New leader for Japan's opposition party
TOKYO • Japan's struggling main opposition party yesterday elected a former foreign minister as its leader - the third person in the post in 12 months.
Mr Seiji Maehara, 55, beat out former top government spokesman Yukio Edano, who was a high-profile face during the 2011 tsunami disaster.
The centre-left Democratic Party was booted from office in late 2012 following a series of mis-steps and policy flip-flops, along with criticism over its handling of the tsunami-triggered Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Filipinos to face jail over fake news
MANILA • Spreading fake news in the Philippines is now a crime and anybody proven to have done so can be locked up in jail for up to six months and fined up to 200,000 pesos (S$5,000), according to a law signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday. The new law punishes the publication of "any false news which may endanger the public order, or cause damage to the interest or credit of the state".
Thai rice farmers get $3b in govt aid
BANGKOK • Thailand yesterday announced US$2.2 billion (S$3 billion) in loans and handouts to help stabilise prices for rice farmers, a politically influential group whose heartland is in areas where opposition to the junta is strongest. Thailand's staple food has long been a factor in its politics.
The announcement came a week after former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra fled into exile ahead of a court verdict in a criminal negligence case over a rice subsidy scheme that cost billions of dollars.