Asia Briefs: Chinese official jailed over sinkhole disaster

Chinese official jailed over sinkhole disaster

BEIJING • A Chinese lawmaker was sentenced to five years in jail yesterday for trying to dig a basement under his Beijing home so deep it created a giant sinkhole that swallowed four of his neighbours' houses.

Li Baojun and two men he hired to expand his courtyard home five storeys underground had violated construction safety regulations, the Beijing Xicheng District People's Court ruled.

As well as houses, the sinkhole caused a major thoroughfare in the capital to collapse and damage of more than five million yuan (S$1 million), it said on its official microblog.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


Villagers clash over Indian TV serial

DHAKA • A brawl broke out between villagers in eastern Bangladesh arguing over the plot of an Indian TV serial, leaving 100 people injured, police said yesterday.

The villagers had gathered at a restaurant in Habiganj district on Wednesday night to watch Kiranmala, a famous show about a warrior princess who saves mankind from evil, when the dispute erupted.

Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the crowd as the argument escalated throughout the night, with angry viewers vandalising the restaurant in Dhol village and attacking each other with sticks and knives.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


Rally against officials in 1MDB scandal barred

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysian police will not allow a rally against officials involved in a state fund scandal to go ahead on Aug 27, Malaysiakini reported yesterday.

Organisers of the #TangkapMalaysianOfficial1 rally planned to be held in Dataran Merdeka did not get permission from Kuala Lumpur City Hall, said Inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar.

The rally is aimed at putting pressure on the authorities to arrest and charge officials linked to the corruption scandal surrounding 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 20, 2016, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe