World Briefs: Philippines on alert for tropical storm

MANILA • The Philippines is bracing itself for Tropical Storm Podul, which is forecast to hit the northern Luzon island by early this morning, the state weather bureau said yesterday.

"Residents, especially those living in areas identified to be highly or very highly susceptible to floods and rain-induced landslides, are advised to take precautionary measures, coordinate with local disaster risk reduction and management offices, and continue monitoring for updates," the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said.

Even before the storm hit land, many provinces in the northern Philippines were already flooded by rains yesterday, submerging houses and prompting school closures.

A number of city roads in Metro Manila were also flooded, making it difficult for light vehicles to pass.


China holds military drills near Taiwan

BEIJING • China has said it will stage military exercises in the East China Sea near Taiwan this week, amid tense relations between Beijing and the self-ruled island.

The drills, which began last night in waters off the coast of China's eastern Zhejiang province, are the third set in a month, following the United States' recent approval of billions of dollars worth of arms sales, including F-16 fighter jets, to Taiwan.

Ties between Beijing and Taipei have plummeted since Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen came to power in 2016, as her party refuses to recognise the 1992 Consensus - that there is one China, with Beijing and Taipei having different interpretations of what it means.


Indonesians suggest names for capital

JAKARTA • Indonesians jumped in with suggestions of a name for their future capital yesterday, after the long-awaited announcement of the city's location gave no clue about what it would be called.

Suggestions, both serious and light-hearted, swept social media after President Joko Widodo said on Monday that the capital would move to the island of Borneo in 2024, away from the sinking mega-city of Jakarta on Java island.

"Saint Jokoburg" and "Jokograd" were among 11 suggestions from a Twitter user with the handle @Enggalpm, following the announcement of the new capital's location.

Another user with the handle @IdThalamus suggested "Mandalanusa", which loosely translates as "centre of the archipelago".

The new site in the province of East Kalimantan will straddle the regions of Penajam Paser Utara and Kutai Kartanegara.

A spokesman for the national development planning agency said the name has not been decided.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 28, 2019, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe