Asia Briefs: Gunmen kill vice-mayor of Philippine town

Gunmen kill vice-mayor of Philippine town

MANILA • Two gunmen killed the vice-mayor of a southern Philippine town yesterday, the fourth local official assassinated in a week, including one President Rodrigo Duterte said may have had links to illegal drugs.

The attack took to 16 the number of mayors and vice-mayors killed since Mr Duterte unleashed his deadly anti-drug drive when he came to power in 2016, media said.

"We're still investigating the motive for the killing," said Zamboanga City police chief Allan Nazaro, after the attack on Mr Al Rashid Mohammad Ali, Vice-Mayor of Sapa-Sapa in the southern-most province of Tawi-Tawi.


Sri Lanka to hang drug criminals

COLOMBO • Sri Lanka yesterday announced it would start hanging drug criminals, ending a near-half century moratorium on capital punishment as officials vowed to "replicate the success" of the drug war in the Philippines.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena told the Cabinet he "was ready to sign the death warrants" of repeat drug offenders and deploy the military to tackle drug crime, a government spokesman said.


India set to legalise homosexuality

NEW DELHI • The Indian government yesterday signalled it would not oppose a move to decriminalise homosexuality, as the country's top court chewed over appeals to overturn a colonial-era ban.

Section 377 of the Penal Code bans gay acts as "carnal intercourse against the order of nature" and allows for jail terms of up to life.

The Supreme Court began hearing petitions against the ban on Tuesday, in the latest twist in a legal tussle between social and religious conservatives and more liberal Indians.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 12, 2018, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe