Asia Briefs:Rape victim, 10, granted abortion

Rape victim, 10, granted abortion

NEW DELHI • An Indian court ruled yesterday that doctors were free to carry out an abortion on a 10-year-old girl who was repeatedly raped and impregnated by her stepfather.

Indian law severely restricts access to abortion after 20 weeks, except when the life or health of the mother is endangered.

But the law also allows for abortions under "exceptional circumstances".

The girl is now at least 20 weeks pregnant, and the medical board petitioned the court for a decision on whether this situation met the criteria.

The case came to light last Wednesday.


Lengthy jail terms for Laos dissenters

BANGKOK • Three critics of communist Laos have been handed lengthy jail sentences after more than a year in pre-trial detention, underscoring the harsh punishments meted out to dissenters in the authoritarian nation.

All three had written comments critical of Laos on their Facebook pages while working in neighbouring Thailand and had participated in protests outside Vientiane's embassy in Bangkok, according to a statement issued by the Federation of International Human Rights (FIDH) yesterday.

Somphone Phimmasone, 30, and Soukan Chaithad, 33 - both men - were given 20- and 18-year sentences respectively.

Lodkham Thammavong, a woman believed to be in her early 30s, received a 12-year prison sentence, FIDH said.


Northern China to be hit by heatwave

BEIJING • China's top meteorological authority warned yesterday that high temperatures will scorch the country's northern region in the following days.

The National Meteorological Center (NMC) forecast that a heatwave will sweep across the cities of Beijing and Tianjin, as well as the provinces of Hebei, Henan and Shandong from today to Friday.

These areas will see temperatures rising to 37 deg C, according to the authority.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 17, 2017, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Subscribe