Sports minister quits over Olympic stadium
TOKYO • Japan's Sports Minister Hakubun Shimomura, a close ally of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has resigned over the scrapping of plans for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics centrepiece stadium after a cost blow-out.
Mr Shimomura told a post-Cabinet meeting news conference yesterday that Mr Abe had asked him to stay on until a Cabinet reshuffle planned for next month.
He will return half his pay for the six months to Sept 30 in atonement, the Kyodo news agency reported.
Russia offers nuclear expertise to Malaysia
KUALA LUMPUR • Russia has said it will extend its expertise if Malaysia decides to develop its own nuclear programme.
Russian Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev said that his country was well placed to build and support a national nuclear industry, The Star reported.
Mr Ulyukayev was asked how Russia could help if Malaysia wanted to develop its own nuclear power plant.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK
British backpackers murder trial extended
KOH SAMUI • Lawyers for two Myanmar migrant workers accused of killing two British tourists in Thailand were yesterday granted more time to organise their defence, which could put back a verdict that had been expected next month, one of the lawyers said.
The battered bodies of backpackers Hannah Witheridge and David Miller, both in their 20s, were found on the southern holiday island of Koh Tao last year.
The killings raised questions about the safety of tourists in Thailand, the competence of its police and its treatment of migrant workers.