Mahathir Mohamad in the cross hairs after inquiry into central bank losses recommends Malaysia’s former premier face criminal investigation

An inquiry into huge losses by Malaysia’s central bank on Thursday recommended Mahathir Mohamad face a criminal investigation, ahead of polls at which the former premier wants to oust the current government.
The final report by the official Royal Commission of Inquiry into the scandal in the 1990s during Mahathir’s tenure also recommended Anwar Ibrahim – finance minister at the time and now a leading opposition figure languishing in jail – face a criminal probe.

Pope Francis urges ‘decisive measures’ to address Rohingya crisis after travelling to Bangladesh

Pope Francis on Thursday arrived in Bangladesh, where hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingya refugees have sought sanctuary after fleeing a crackdown in neighbouring Myanmar, in the second stage of a tour dominated by the plight of the persecuted minority.
Francis – the first pope to visit Bangladesh in 31 years – will spend three days in the majority-Muslim country, which is grappling with a rise in Islamist extremism that has seen Catholics attacked for their faith.
He flew to…

Trump and Xi call for nuclear-free Korean peninsula

President Donald Trump spoke with President Xi Jinping by phone to discuss North Korea’s latest missile launch, a test that showed progress in the country’s effort to produce nuclear weapons capable of striking the US.
“President Trump underscored the determination of the United States to defend ourselves and our allies from the growing threat posed by the North Korean regime,” the White House said in an announcement.
Trump “emphasised the need for China to use all…

Facing cuts from international donors, Cambodian PM looks to China for more aid

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, facing Western donor pressure over a crackdown on critics before 2018 elections, will seek more aid and investment from China during a visit this week, his aide said on Wednesday.
China is already Cambodia’s biggest donor and its support has bolstered Hun Sen in the face of criticism of what his opponents say amounts to the destruction of democracy.
The aide, Sry Thamrong, said Hun Sen would attend a special summit from Thursday to Sunday held by the…

Pope Francis disappoints rights groups by failing to mention Rohingya in Myanmar speech

Pope Francis called for respect for rights and justice in a keenly watched address in Myanmar on Tuesday, but avoided mentioning the Rohingya, or allegations of ethnic cleansing driving huge numbers of the Muslim minority from the country.
Sharing a stage with Myanmar’s unofficial leader Aung San Suu Kyi in the capital Naypyidaw, he did not address the Rohingya crisis head-on, instead tiptoeing around the unfolding humanitarian emergency.
Peace can only be achieved through “justice…

Celebrity elephant crushes owner to death at Thai zoo

An elephant that has starred in feature films and television commercials crushed its owner to death in Thailand, zoo officials said on Tuesday, setting off fresh debate about the kingdom’s animal tourism industry.
The accident took place on Monday morning in the northern city of Chiang Mai, just after owner Somsak Riengngen unchained the five-tonne elephant Ekasit.
With a mahout, or handler, on his back, Ekasit took a few steps before reversing course and attacking 54-year-old Somsak, who…