Asia Briefs: Ghani warns Taleban: Embrace peace or else...

Ghani warns Taleban: Embrace peace or else...

KABUL • Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has issued an ultimatum to the Taleban, warning the group to embrace peace or "face consequences" after announcing that the death toll from last week's devastating truck bombing had passed 150.

"We are offering a chance for peace but this is not an open-ended offer," Mr Ghani, who has come under mounting criticism over the bombing, the deadliest in Kabul since 2001, said yesterday. "Time is running out... this is the last chance - take it or face consequences."


Rapper T.O.P warded for apparent drug overdose

SEOUL • Popular South Korean singer and actor T.O.P of boy band Big Bang has been hospitalised for an apparent drug overdose, his Seoul-based agency said yesterday.

YG Entertainment said the 29-year-old rapper, whose real name is Choi Seung Hyun, was found unconscious and is currently receiving treatment at an intensive care unit of a Seoul hospital.

Police later said T.O.P appeared to have overdosed on tranquillisers that he has been taking for medical reasons.


Thai PM to visit White House next month

BANGKOK • Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will visit the White House in July following an invitation from US President Donald Trump, a spokesman for the Thai government said on Monday.

The United States suspended high-level strategic dialogues and downgraded joint military exercises after a coup, led by Mr Prayut, overthrew an elected civilian government in 2014. The invitation could signal a step by the US to re-establish normal ties with its oldest ally in Asia.


Myanmar villages overrun by rats

YANGON • Thousands of rats have descended on villages on an island in southern Myanmar, a local official said yesterday, in what some have taken to be an ill omen of impending disaster.

Residents of Haingyi island, one of the larger islands in the Irrawaddy Delta, have been battling the plague of rodents since the critters scurried into their villages over the weekend.

Short of pied pipers, the desperate authorities have resorted to paying residents 50 kyat (five Singapore cents) for each dead animal in a bid to contain the outbreak.

"More than 4,000 rats have been killed since they tried to enter the villages," said regional lawmaker Phyo Zaw Shwe.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 07, 2017, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe