Asia Briefs: Suu Kyi's ally picked as Upper House chairman

Suu Kyi's ally picked as Upper House chairman

NAYPYITAW • Myanmar's new popularly elected Upper House of Parliament voted, in its opening session yesterday, for an ally of Aung San Suu Kyi to serve as chairman, bringing the legislature closer to naming a new president.

Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party, which won a majority in both Houses in the November polls, chose Mr Mahn Win Khaing Than, 63, to serve as the Upper House chairman.

Mr Mahn Win Khaing Than is a member of the Karen ethnic minority group, and a grandson of a Cabinet minister who was assassinated alongside Ms Suu Kyi's father in 1947.


3 Chinese firms fined for role in smearing KFC

SHANGHAI • A Shanghai court has fined three tech firms for helping to spread rumours about Yum Brands' KFC fast-food chain that included doctored photos of deformed chickens and allegations that the birds had six wings and eight legs.

In a statement on its official microblog, the Xuhui District People's Court said Yingchenanzhi Success and Culture Communication, Taiyuan Zero Point Technology, and Shanxi Weilukuang Technology had "damaged KFC's reputation" and "caused it economic losses" by permitting the allegations to be posted on their social messaging accounts.


Japan arrests 'spy for North Korea'

TOKYO • Japanese police yesterday said a special unit that deals with espionage has arrested an ethnic Korean resident on suspicion of fraud. According to local media, he was spying for North Korea.

Police on Tuesday arrested the 49-year-old man, who is suspected of using a credit card that he obtained illegally to make purchases from an online shopping company in Tokyo, Kyodo News reported.

It added that he was engaged in espionage activities aimed at spreading North Korean ideology in South Korea and China.


US to consider joint patrols in disputed seas

MANILA • The United States will consider joint patrols with the Philippines in the disputed South China Sea as part of efforts to ensure freedom of navigation in waters claimed by China, the US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg said yesterday.

Washington has angered Beijing in recent months by sending US warships and warplanes on patrols near artificial islands built by Beijing in disputed waters.

The Philippines last month suggested joining the US patrols.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 04, 2016, with the headline 'Asia Briefs: Suu Kyi's ally picked as Upper House chairman'. Print Edition | Subscribe