Pakistan arrests dozens for killing Sri Lankan factory manager accused of blasphemy

Up to 120 people have been arrested in Pakistan after a Sri Lankan factory manager was beaten to death and set ablaze by a mob who accused him of blasphemy, officials said on Saturday.The vigilante attack has caused outrage, with Prime Minister Imran Khan calling it a “day of shame for Pakistan”.Few issues are as galvanising in Pakistan as blasphemy, and even the slightest suggestion of an insult to Islam can supercharge protests and incite lynchings.The incident took place on Friday in Sialkot…

Indonesia’s Semeru volcano erupts, sending panicked villagers fleeing

Indonesia’s Semeru volcano on Java island erupted on Saturday, killing one person and injuring 41 as it spewed out huge clouds of smoke and ash, officials said.Videos shared by emergency officials showed residents running as towering plumes of smoke and ash blanketed nearby villages in East Java province. Some were heard shouting “Allahu akbar!” or God is greatest.The deputy chief of Lumajang district, Indah Masdar, told a news conference one person had died and 41 people had suffered burn…

Sri Lanka man tortured and killed by mob in Pakistan; ‘day of shame’ for nation, says Prime Minister Imran Khan

A mob of factory employees in eastern Pakistan tortured and burned a Sri Lankan manager on Friday in a “horrific” attack that Prime Minister Imran Khan said brought shame on the country.A police official in the eastern town of Sialkot, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case, said investigators believed the attackers had accused the manager of blasphemy for tearing down a poster with Islamic holy verses.“The factory workers tortured the manager,” said…

Lawyer for Philippines’ Nobel Peace Prize winner Ressa ‘confident’ about Oslo trip

A lawyer for Philippine Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa, who faces multiple court cases, said on Friday he was “confident” the journalist would be allowed to travel to Oslo to collect the award in person.Ressa, co-founder of news website Rappler, and Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov were given the award in October for their efforts to “safeguard freedom of expression”.The former CNN correspondent, who is on bail pending an appeal against a conviction last year in a cyber libel case,…

Myanmar security forces deliberately killed 65 protesters in March, rights group finds

The killing of at least 65 protesters in Myanmar’s biggest city on March 14 this year was planned and premeditated, and the perpetrators must be brought to justice, a rights watchdog said in a report released on Thursday.Human Rights Watch accused security forces of deliberately encircling and using lethal force against crowds in Yangon’s working class neighbourhood of Hlaing Tharyar that were demonstrating against the military’s February 1 seizure of power from the democratically elected…

With appeal court verdict looming, Malaysia’s Najib seeks entry of new 1MDB evidence ‘for justice to be done’

Malaysia’s former leader Najib Razak has sought to introduce fresh evidence in one of the criminal cases linking him to the 1MDB financial scandal, days before an appellate court was to rule on whether to uphold a guilty verdict that sentenced him to a 12-year jail term.The development ahead of the December 8 Court of Appeal ruling has raised questions among observers on whether Najib is seeking to delay the judgment amid a resurgence in his once-faded political clout.The former prime minister…

Philippine election: Bongbong Marcos slams ‘nuisance candidate’ who called him an impostor

Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jnr, the 64-year-old son of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, faces several petitions seeking to stop him from running to become the Philippines’ next president. One says he’s a convicted tax cheat, another that he’s morally unfit. But surely the most unusual charge is that he’s dead.That allegation was filed by a man who also has presidential aspirations. Tiburcio Villamor Marcos, who refers to himself as TVM, claims that Bongbong Marcos is an “impostor” and that…