HK police defuse pipe bomb, arrest four
HONG KONG • The city's police said they defused a pipe bomb and arrested four men for manufacturing explosives after raiding a Hong Kong apartment where they found protest-related items.
Police also searched a village house in a northern neighbourhood where they found laboratory equipment they suspect could be used for producing explosives. The men are aged 21 to 29, Senior Superintendent Chan Tin Chu said late on Tuesday.
KL's $149m boost for digital transactions
KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia started a programme yesterday to hand out a total of RM450 million (S$148.8 million) to nearly half of its citizens, the government said, in a drive to increase digital transactions that will be a boost for e-wallet firms.
Every Malaysian aged 18 years and above and earning less than RM100,000 a year will be eligible to receive a one-time shopping handout of RM30 via South-east Asian e-wallet operators Grab, Boost and Touch 'n Go.
Park's retrial hearing ends after just 5 mins
SEOUL • The retrial of ousted former South Korean president Park Geun-hye began yesterday over the sprawling corruption scandal that saw her impeached, convicted and jailed - only for the hearing to end after five minutes.
Park, the country's first female president, boycotted the session, Yonhap news agency reported. She has refused to take part in the judicial proceedings against her for more than two years.
As a result, the Seoul High Court adjourned and scheduled another session for Jan 31, when it will move straight to closing arguments, Yonhap reported.
Cambodia opposition leader on treason trial
PHNOM PENH • The treason trial of Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha opened yesterday, more than two years after his arrest in a case decried by his family as a "farce" and described by the United States as politically motivated.
The 66-year-old, who co-founded the now-banned Cambodia National Rescue Party, stands accused of conspiring in a "secret plan" with foreign entities to overthrow the government, according to court documents - charges he vehemently denies. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in jail.