Asia Briefs: HK pro-independence lawmakers' final bid

HK pro-independence lawmakers' final bid

HONG KONG • Two ousted pro-independence lawmakers in Hong Kong yesterday announced they were making a final bid to overturn a controversial Beijing-linked ban preventing them from taking up their seats in Parliament.

Ms Yau Wai Ching and Mr Sixtus Leung were elected in September but deliberately misread their oaths of office during their swearing-in, prompting Beijing to effectively bar them from taking up their seats .


Deadly brew: Pakistan nabs three suspects

ISLAMABAD • Pakistani police yesterday caught three men said to have prepared liquor mixed with aftershave that killed 34 people, including a fourth suspect, after they drank the toxic brew on Christmas Eve.

More than 100 people also fell ill in the incident, one of the country's deadliest cases of mass alcohol poisoning, which happened in a Christian neighbourhood some 340km south of Islamabad.

"Four people have been identified who prepared and distributed the toxic liquor," senior police official Atif Imran, who is investigating the case, said, adding that the group also consumed the alcohol.


Hope for Mekong's Irrawaddy dolphins

PHNOM PENH • The sighting of 10 new Irrawaddy dolphin calves this year in the Cambodian stretch of the Mekong river has brought hope for the race against the extinction of this species, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said yesterday.

The dolphin habitats are in a protected area along the Mekong river in eastern Cambodia's Kratie and Stung Treng provinces.

The WWF believes there are no more than 80 Irrawaddy dolphins in the Cambodian section of the Mekong.


Earthquake shakes buildings in Tokyo

TOKYO • An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.3 hit eastern Japan yesterday, but no tsunami warning was issued, public broadcaster NHK said.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, but the quake shook buildings in the capital, Tokyo.

The US Geological Survey put the magnitude at 6.2, but later downgraded it to 5.9.

Japan's nuclear regulator said there were no irregularities at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant where one of the world's worst nuclear accidents unfolded after a March 2011 quake and tsunami.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 29, 2016, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe