Asia Briefs: Girl, 7, raped and killed: Suspect nabbed

Girl, 7, raped and killed: Suspect nabbed

LAHORE (Pakistan) • The Pakistani authorities yesterday arrested a suspect in the rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl that ignited nationwide protests and outrage over allegations of government inaction, two police officials said.

Police found Zainab Ansari's body in a garbage dump in Kasur district near the eastern city of Lahore last week, four days after she was reported missing.


Iskandar bus service ready by mid-2021

JOHOR BARU • A comprehensive bus service covering Johor's southern development region is expected to be operational by the middle of 2021.

Work on the Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit project is expected to begin in the first quarter of next year, said Mr Ismail Ibrahim, CEO of Iskandar Regional Development Authority.


Sumatran elephant gives birth

JAKARTA • A critically endangered Sumatran elephant has given birth to a new calf in Indonesia, the country's conservation agency said yesterday.

Sumatran elephants are a protected species, but rampant deforestation for plantations has reduced their natural habitat and brought them into conflict with humans. The newborn was found with its 40-year-old mother Seruni, who was being closely monitored by the agency in anticipation of the birth inside a conservation forest in Riau on the island of Sumatra.


Duterte denies cracking down on media

MANILA • Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's government yesterday urged reporters of a news website facing state-enforced closure to reinvent themselves as bloggers, rejecting allegations Manila was cracking down on the free press.

Mr Duterte's spokesman Harry Roque made the suggestion a day after the government brushed off appeals from media organisations to reverse its decision to withdraw the registration of the Rappler online portal.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 18, 2018, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe