Asia Briefs: Park solicited bribes, SK chairman testifies

Park solicited bribes, SK chairman testifies

SEOUL • A top South Korean business tycoon yesterday in court backed prosecutors' allegations that the ousted South Korean president Park Geun Hye solicited bribes from businesses in return for policy favours.

Mr Chey Tae Won, chairman of SK, the country's second-largest conglomerate after Samsung, became the first business mogul who took the stand at what is being dubbed in South Korea "the trial of the century".

Mr Chey was one of seven tycoons that Park held confidential meetings with in February last year. She denies the allegations, arguing companies made voluntary donations to two foundations whose aims she said were helping develop sports and culture.


China shuts audio-video streaming on top portals

BEIJING • China's TV and film watchdog yesterday asked three major web portals, including Sina Weibo, to shut down video and audio streaming services that were being operated in violation of state rules.

The Twitter-like Sina Weibo, news portal and ACFUN - a major online video site with "bullet screen" function where real-time comments from viewers appear on the screen - provided audio-visual services without gaining the appropriate certificates, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television said in a statement.

Chinese Internet stocks tumbled in the wake of the regulatory clampdown.


Car bomb attack outside Afghanistan bank kills 34

LASHKAR GAH (Afghanistan) • At least 34 people were killed yesterday when a powerful car bomb struck a bank in Afghanistan's Lashkar Gah city as people were queuing to withdraw salaries, the latest bloody attack during the holy month of Ramadan.

Sixty people were rushed to hospital after the bombing at New Kabul Bank, which overturned vehicles, left the area littered with debris, and sent a plume of smoke into the sky.

No group has claimed responsibility for the brazen attack, but it comes as the Taleban ramps up its nationwide spring offensive despite government calls for a ceasefire during Ramadan.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2017, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe