Top China official for N. Korea anniversary
BEIJING • A top official will lead China's delegation to North Korea to mark a major anniversary there, state media reported yesterday, amid speculation that ties between the traditional allies are souring.
Mr Liu Yunshan, a member of the Communist Party's Politburo Standing Committee, will attend the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the North's ruling party, Xinhua news agency said. The Chinese were invited by the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, the report said.
Myanmar to ink ceasefire with 8 groups
YANGON • Myanmar's government will sign a long-negotiated ceasefire on Oct 15 but with only eight rebel forces, officials said yesterday, as several major insurgent groups declined to ink an agreement that excludes some factions.
Hopes for a nationwide ceasefire have crumbled after several rebel groups refused to sign an agreement without the inclusion of all insurgent forces - notably some smaller organisations locked in conflict with the army.
Blast probe: Thaksin’s son rewards police
BANGKOK • The son of ousted Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra has handed police a reward of nearly US$200,000 (S$286,000) for their probe into the deadly Bangkok blast, after the authorities declared the first suspect arrested was the bomber.
The reward from Mr Panthongtae Shinawatra - Thaksin's first-born son - follows Thai police rewarding their own officers some US$84,000 for arresting the bombing suspect two weeks after the blast.
Art done jointly by Jack Ma goes for $7.8m
HONG KONG • A painting by Alibaba founder Jack Ma and Chinese artist Zeng Fanzhi fetched HK$42.2 million (S$7.8 million) at a Sotheby's auction in Hong Kong yesterday, 17 times the upper estimate. The money will go to a charity to promote environmental awareness. The oil on canvas painting, titled Paradise, was executed last year.
The upper estimate - auction houses provide a high and a low - of the piece's value was HK$2.5 million.