Asia briefs

32nd Mers death in South Korea

SEOUL - South Korea reported its 32nd death from the Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) yesterday as the virus' mortality rate continued to rise, even as the pace of the outbreak appeared to slow.

A 55-year-old man died last Saturday of Mers, the Health Ministry said, putting the latest mortality rate at 17.5 per cent. That is up from 15 per cent a week ago, though still lower than World Health Organisation figures, which put the mortality rate for Mers at about 36 per cent.


Uighur official in graft probe

BEIJING - A senior ethnic Uighur official in China's far western region of Xinjiang is being investigated for suspected serious "discipline violations", the Communist Party's anti-graft watchdog said yesterday, using a euphemism for corruption.

Mr Alimjan Maimaitiming, 55, is secretary-general of the regional government.

He was previously editor-in-chief of the official Xinjiang Daily. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection gave no other details.


Rajapaksa to run for PM post

COLOMBO - Sri Lanka's former president Mahinda Rajapaksa will contest as a prime ministerial candidate in August, a former minister and close aide of Mr Rajapaksa said yesterday.

Mr Kumara Welgama, a former minister in Mr Rajapaksa's government, said the former president will contest under the opposition United People's Freedom Alliance.


Flash floods and landslides kill 23

DHAKA - At least 23 people have died in flash floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains that lashed south-eastern Bangladesh, officials said yesterday.

Tens of thousands of people were marooned on higher ground as floodwaters submerged areas around the hilly district of Bandarban.

Bangladesh is highly vulnerable to natural disasters such as cyclones, droughts, floods and earthquakes.

A study in March said India, Bangladesh and China are most at risk from river floods, with an increasing number of people threatened because of climate change and economic development in low-lying regions.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 29, 2015, with the headline 'Asia briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe