Rex Tillerson claims sanctions won’t solve Myanmar’s Rohingya crisis as Aung San Suu Kyi rejects accusations of complicity

Washington’s top diplomat on Wednesday said he would not yet push for sanctions against Myanmar over the Rohingya refugee crisis, but he called for a independent investigation into “credible” allegations that soldiers were committing atrocities against the Muslim minority.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was speaking after a one-day stop in Naypyidaw, as global outrage builds over impunity for a military accused of waging an ethnic cleansing campaign against the Rohingya.
His…

Richest 1 per cent own half the world’s wealth, study finds

The globe’s richest 1 per cent own half the world’s wealth, according to a new report highlighting the growing gap between the super-rich and everyone else.
The world’s richest people have seen their share of the globe’s total wealth increase from 42.5 per cent at the height of the 2008 financial crisis to 50.1 per cent in 2017, or US$140 trillion, according to Credit Suisse’s global wealth report published on Tuesday.
“The share of the top 1 per cent has…

Ultra-nationalist Myanmar monk denied bail for Rohingya protest

One of Myanmar’s most prominent ultra-nationalist monks was denied bail on Tuesday after he was arrested on charges of inciting unrest at an anti-Rohingya protest held outside the US embassy in Yangon last year.
The Buddhist abbot, Parmaukkha, was detained over the weekend in a rare move against hardline clergymen who have fanned hatred against the persecuted Muslim Rohingya – a group recently targeted by a deadly military crackdown in Rakhine state.
[I] am just protecting the…

‘Aung San Suu Kyi is handmaiden to genocide and accomplice to murder,’ says Bob Geldof

Irish musician and activist Bob Geldof called Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi “a hand maiden to genocide” on Monday as he returned his Freedom of the City of Dublin award in protest over his fellow recipient’s response to the repression of Rohingya Muslims.
“I don’t want to be on a very select roll of wonderful people with a killer,” Geldof told state broadcaster RTE. “Someone who is at best a handmaiden to genocide and an accomplice to murder.”…

‘We are still refusing to leave’: asylum seekers remain defiant as stand-off at Manus Island detention centre continues

Papua New Guinea Immigration Minister Petrus Thomas said authorities would take steps on Monday to forcibly remove around 450 men who remain in an abandoned Australian detention centre without food or running water.
Hundreds of men have barricaded themselves into the Manus Island centre for more than 13 days without regular food or water supplies, defying attempts by Australia and Papua New Guinea to close the facility, saying they fear for their safety if removed to transit centres.
“We…

Trump, Duterte meet in Manila at Asean gala dinner

US President Donald Trump is attending a gala in the Philippines celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte greeted Trump and other leaders one by one as they arrived at a convention centre in Manila for the glitzy event. Trump and Duterte shook hands twice and exchanged pleasantries before the leaders posed for a group photo and everyone filed into dinner.
Trump joined his fellow leaders in wearing Philippine formal…

Two men held over murder of expat in Bali village, months after gruesome killing of Japanese couple there

Two men have been arrested over the murder of an elderly Dutch man whose decomposing body was found at his home on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali.
The corpse of Robert Gilhooad, 80, was found on November 3 at his rental property in Jimbaran, a resort area in the southern part of the island.
An autopsy concluded the Dutch expatriate had been murdered, said policeman Aris Purwanto, the region’s criminal investigative chief.
“He had injuries to the left of his head,” he…

Japan mulling new missile interceptor deployment to guard against North Korea

To bolster protection against the threat posed by North Korean missiles, Japan is studying deploying a new land-based Aegis missile defence system in both Akita Prefecture in northeastern Japan and Yamaguchi Prefecture in western Japan, a government source said on Saturday.
Under the plan, the Ground Self-Defence Force would operate Aegis Ashore systems at SDF facilities in those two prefectures. But some defence Ministry officials are opposed to the plan, the source said.
The Cabinet of Prime…