Viet fighter jet crashes; pilot killed
HANOI • A Vietnamese trainee pilot was killed when his fighter jet crashed into a rice field, an official said yesterday, in the third deadly military plane accident since June.
He was the only one aboard when the plane went down in south-central Vietnam, the Ministry of Defence said on state-run television.
The L39 fighter jet belonged to the air force pilot training college near the crash site in Phu Yen province.
Indonesia seizes over 600 frozen pangolins
SURABAYA • The Indonesian authorities have seized 657 pangolins hidden in freezers and arrested a man for allegedly breaking wildlife protection laws, police said yesterday.
The pangolins were wrapped in plastic and stored in freezers at a house in Java. A critically endangered species, they are consumed as a luxury dish in China and used in traditional medicine.
India court orders shrine to lift ban on women
MUMBAI • A centuries-old Islamic mausoleum was ordered yesterday to allow women to enter its inner sanctum, after an Indian court said the ban violated their constitutional rights.
The Haji Ali Dargah trust has imposed the ban at the landmark mausoleum since 2012, insisting that allowing women near the tomb of a revered saint is "a grievous sin" in Islam.
The Bombay High Court ruled that women can enter the inner sanctum and that the state government has to ensure their security.
Hotels report orders to bar some nationalities
BEIJING • Police have ordered some low-end hotels in Guangzhou not to allow guests from five Muslim-majority countries to stay, although the foreign ministry said it had never heard of the policy.
Three hotels with rooms costing about 150 yuan (S$30) a night said they had received notices telling them to turn away people from Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Afghanistan.
All five nations have been beset by terrorist attacks or wars in the past few years.