World Briefs: Kuwait's ruling Emir Sheikh Sabah dies

Kuwait's ruling Emir Sheikh Sabah dies

KUWAIT • Kuwait's ruling Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah has died, according to a statement read out on state television yesterday.

Sheikh Sabah, 91, had ruled the Gulf Arab oil producer and US ally since 2006 and steered its foreign policy for more than 50 years. His designated successor is his brother, Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah.

The late emir had been in a US hospital since July after surgery for an unspecified condition in Kuwait.

Dubbed the "dean of Arab diplomacy" after four decades as Kuwait's foreign minister, the emir tried up until his death to resolve the row over Qatar which he said left him "bitter".


Thai army chief vows to defend monarchy

BANGKOK • Thailand's new army chief pledged yesterday to follow his predecessor, who has taken a hard line against anti-government groups, and emphasised the importance of protecting the monarchy.

The appointment of General Narongpan Jittkaewtae in an annual military reshuffle comes as Thailand's army-and palace-dominated establishment is dealing with more than two months of anti-government protests.


Facebook accused by Manila of censorship

MANILA • The Philippines accused Facebook yesterday of censoring pro-government content which it said was tantamount to curtailing freedom of speech and called for new measures to regulate the social media giant.

Facebook last week dismantled a network of accounts that originated in China and the Philippines for engaging in "coordinated inauthentic behaviour", including one that Manila says it supports for its anti-communism stance. The takedown drew the ire of President Rodrigo Duterte.


North Korea violating nuclear sanctions: UN

SEOUL • North Korea is violating international sanctions aimed at curbing its nuclear programme by exceeding a cap on petroleum imports and sending its workers overseas, the UN said.

Pyongyang has been subject to a range of restrictions imposed since 2017. But it has continued to develop its nuclear and ballistic missile arsenal, analysts say.

The United Nations Security Council on Monday said an annual 500,000 barrel cap on imports of refined petroleum products had been broken in just the first five months of this year.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 30, 2020, with the headline World Briefs: Kuwait's ruling Emir Sheikh Sabah dies. Subscribe