14 jailed over Shandong oil pipeline explosion
BEIJING • China has sentenced 14 former officials at state energy firm Sinopec and the local government to jail for up to five years for their role in a massive oil pipeline explosion in 2013, Xinhua reported yesterday.
The explosion in Shandong killed 63 people and injured 156, and caused losses worth 751.7 million yuan (S$165 million).
The former Sinopec officials were sentenced for violating safety regulations, while the former government officials had failed to deal with the blast, Xinhua said.
Tainted cooking oil case: Appeal against acquittal
TAIPEI • Taiwanese prosecutors will appeal against the surprise acquittal of a tycoon accused of selling tainted cooking oil, amid public anger over food safety scares. Mr Wei Ying-chung, who could have faced a 30-year jail term if convicted, was found not guilty along with five others on Friday.
The former chairman of Ting Hsin Oil and Fat Industrial Co was accused of selling oil intended for animal food. The case prompted a recall, with hundreds of tonnes of products taken off the shelves. Ting Hsin group owns the Master Kong instant noodle brand that is popular in Taiwan and China.
S. Korean Parliament ratifies FTA with China
SEOUL • South Korea's Parliament yesterday ratified a free trade agreement with China, the country's biggest trading partner. The pact, signed in June and set to take effect as early as this year, will reduce barriers to commerce, but curbs on rice and cars remain.
South Korea is one of the few developed countries that run a surplus with China, thanks to exports of smartphones, TVs and semiconductors. Last year, the South Korean presidential office estimated the surplus at US$55.2 billion (S$78 billion).
Plan to visit graft-linked park: Thai army detains 2
BANGKOK • Thailand's army yesterday detained two leaders of an opposition group who were planning to visit a public park dedicated to the monarchy. The park has been at the centre of a corruption scandal involving the military government.
The allegations relating to the financing of the Rachabhakti Park, built on army property in the seaside town of Hua Hin, are threatening to damage an anti-graft drive by the junta, which seized power last year.