US agriculture crews in Washington state destroy first nest of Asian ‘murder hornets’

Heavily protected crews in Washington state worked on Saturday to destroy the first nest of so-called murder hornets discovered in the United States.The state Agriculture Department had spent weeks searching, trapping and using dental floss to tie tracking devices to Asian giant hornets, which can deliver painful stings to people and spit venom but are the biggest threat to honeybees that farmers depend on to pollinate crops.The nest found in the city of Blaine near the Canadian border is about…

Coronavirus latest: Malaysia cases hit record daily high; Germany deaths pass 10,000

Malaysia reported 1,228 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, a record daily jump since the start of the pandemic, taking the total number of cases to 25,742.The health ministry also said seven new deaths were recorded across the Southeast Asian country, bringing the toll to 221.The government ordered about 1 million people to work from home from October 22 in a bid to tighten movement controls in the capital Kuala Lumpur and several states.Coronavirus Malaysia: more heat on Muhyiddin over…

National University of Singapore admits mishandling lecturer’s sexual misconduct case

Singapore’s largest university on Friday admitted its failings in dealing with allegations of sexual misconduct in cases involving its students and pledged to improve how it handles such situations in the future.The commitment to be “more open, more transparent [and] more willing to disseminate information in a timely manner” came on Friday from Tommy Koh, the rector at National University of Singapore’s residential Tembusu College, as he addressed brewing public criticism over the sacking of…

Eating rats and snakes to survive: the brutal toll of Myanmar’s second coronavirus lockdown

After the first wave of coronavirus hit Myanmar in March, 36-year-old Ma Suu closed her salad stall and pawned her jewellery and gold to buy food to eat.During the second wave, when the government issued a stay-home order in September for Yangon, Ma Suu shut her stall again and sold her clothes, plates and pots.With nothing left to sell, her husband, an out of work construction labourer, has resorted to hunting for food in the open drains by the slum where they live on the outskirts of Myanmar…

US accuses China of aiding North Korea cyber thefts

A senior US justice official accused China on Thursday of helping North Korea launder money from massive cyber thefts it has carried out to raise funds in the face of international sanctions.At an event hosted by a Washington think tank, John Demers, the assistant attorney general for national security, also said North Korea was likely to be getting support from China in the form of cyber expertise and training.“The other thing … that really pops out of our cases … is the involvement of China…

Goldman Sachs Malaysia pleading guilty in 1MDB case in US, with US$2.9 billion settlement reached

Goldman Sachs on Thursday agreed to pay nearly US$3 billion to settle a probe into its role in Malaysia’s 1MDB corruption scandal, and its Malaysia unit agreed to plead guilty to violating foreign bribery laws, drawing a line under a saga that has dogged the bank for years.The settlement resolves a probe by US authorities into the bank’s role in underwriting three bond offerings in 2012 and 2013 that raised US$6.5 billion for Malaysia’s government.Under the terms, Goldman has been slapped with…

Why China playing bystander to the trouble in Eurasia is not ideal

Beijing has yet to articulate much by way of major policy initiatives on the trouble in its Eurasian backyard – in Belarus, Nagorno-Karabakh and Kyrgyzstan. Is China’s decision to wait and watch as the chaos unfolds a conscious reflection of the power it wants to be, or acknowledgement of the fact that it has little to offer and no idea what to do?The question of whether China should have a view on all of this instability is a reflection of its place in the world today.On the face of it, the…