Asia Briefs: India appoints new army, air force chiefs

India appoints new army, air force chiefs

NEW DELHI • The Indian government has appointed new heads of its army and air force among a series of senior military and intelligence appointments, officials said.

Vice-Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant-General Bipin Rawat was named as the new chief of the army to succeed General Dalbir Singh Suhaag. Air Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, a fighter pilot, was chosen as the new chief of India's air force to replace Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha.


3 Sarawak bridges to cost $450m combined

SIMUNJAN (Sarawak) • Three major bridges will be built in Sarawak at a combined cost of RM1.4 billion (S$450 million to connect state capital Kuching to an upcoming development zone called Score, Prime Minister Najib Razak said yesterday as he touched base with his rural voter base in the giant state.

Datuk Seri Najib, who went to Kuching and Miri towns as part of a packed one-day visit to witness the signing of several project packages, officially opened the newly-completed RM211 million Batang Sadong bridge, the longest to cross a river in Sarawak.


Japan, S. Korea cull birds to contain flu

TOKYO • Japan has begun slaughtering about 210,000 farm birds in northern Hokkaido to contain another outbreak of a highly contagious strain of avian flu, an official said yesterday.

South Korea, too, is battling a bird-flu outbreak. A record number of 10 million chickens, ducks and quails have been culled while zoos have been closed to contain the spread.

Tianjin grounds 36 flights as smog hits

BEIJING • The authorities in Tianjin grounded three dozen flights and closed most highways yesterday after severe smog blanketed the city, one of more than 40 in China's north-east to issue pollution warnings since Friday evening.

Air quality index readings at some monitoring stations in Tianjin, a port and industrial city south-east of Beijing, peaked above 400, state-run news agency Xinhua said.

Anything above 300 is considered hazardous by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 19, 2016, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe