India holds naval drills with US, Japan
NEW DELHI • India began holding naval exercises with the United States and Japan off its south coast yesterday, seeking to forge closer military ties to counter growing Chinese influence in the region.
The exercises come as Indian and Chinese troops face off in a remote and strategically sensitive part of the Himalayas where India, China and Bhutan meet.
Samsung heir refuses to testify at Park's trial
SEOUL • Samsung Electronics heir Lee Jae Yong has refused to testify at the bribery trial of former president Park Geun Hye, arguing that doing so risked affecting his own corruption hearing.
Representing lawyers have invoked an article in the criminal procedure Act that allows individuals to refrain from testimony that may lead to criminal prosecution.
Cambodia MPs isolate opposition figurehead
PHNOM PENH • Cambodian ruling party MPs yesterday voted to effectively sever ties with the beleaguered opposition and its figurehead, as Prime Minister Hun Sen presses home his authority ahead of key polls next year.
The move appears to directly target the opposition's self-exiled former leader Sam Rainsy, who has a string of convictions that he says are politically motivated.
World's 'oldest' hippo dies at Philippine zoo
MANILA • Bertha, believed to be the world's oldest hippopotamus, has died aged 65, the Manila zoo said yesterday, having beaten the typical lifespan for the mostly herbivorous mammals by decades.
The 2.5-tonne female was found dead last Friday in its enclosure, with a post-mortem concluding that it had died from multiple organ failure.