World Briefs : Brunei Sultan returns Oxford honorary degree

Brunei Sultan returns Oxford honorary degree

LONDON • Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah has returned an honorary degree awarded by Britain's Oxford University after a global backlash led by celebrities including George Clooney and Elton John for proposing the death penalty for gay sex and adultery.

Nearly 120,000 people had signed a petition by April calling on Oxford University to rescind the honorary law degree awarded in 1993 to the sultan, the world's second-longest reigning monarch and Prime Minister of the oil-rich country.

Oxford University said the sultan had decided to hand back the honorary degree on May 6, while it was reviewing its decision to award it.


Over 360 same-sex couples marry in Taiwan

TAIPEI • Same-sex couples tied the knot in emotional scenes in Taiwan yesterday, the first such legal marriages in Asia, and hailed by activists as a social revolution for the region.

Taiwan's Parliament passed a Bill last week that endorsed same-sex marriage, although the measure could complicate President Tsai Ing-wen's bid for re-election next year.

More than 360 same-sex couples married yesterday, according to government data.


Weinstein 'agrees to $61m settlement'

NEW YORK • Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has agreed to a US$44 million (S$60.7 million) deal to settle lawsuits with his alleged sexual misconduct victims, his former film studio's board members, and the New York attorney-general's office, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The cash settlement will include about US$30 million for his alleged victims, former Weinstein Co employees and creditors, and their lawyers, sources said.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the tentative deal.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2019, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe