World Briefs: Firms' climate costs may hit $1.4 trillion

Firms' climate costs may hit $1.4 trillion

LONDON • More than 200 of the world's largest listed companies forecast that climate change could cost them a combined total of almost US$1 trillion (S$1.4 trillion), with much of the pain due in the next five years, according to a report published yesterday.

Even so, the findings by charity CDP suggest that many companies still underestimate the dangers, as scientists warn that the earth's climate system is on course to hit catastrophic tipping points without rapid cuts in carbon emissions.

In its latest study, CDP analysed survey data from 215 large companies, including Apple, Microsoft, Unilever, Sony and BHP.


'Executed' N. Korean envoy alive

SEOUL • North Korea's nuclear envoy - who a South Korean newspaper said last week had been executed - is alive and under investigation for his role in a failed summit with the United States, CNN reported yesterday.

There has been a series of conflicting reports over the past five days about shake-ups in the North Korean team that steered negotiations with the US, following a failed summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump in Hanoi in February.

Mr Kim Hyok Chol, who led North Korea's working-level talks in the run-up to the Hanoi summit, is in state custody, CNN reported, citing several unidentified sources. He could still face "heavy punishment", it said.


Myanmar cop arrested for drug switch

YANGON • A Myanmar policeman has been arrested after switching 64kg of seized crystal meth with salts loosely resembling the party drug also known as Ice, officials said yesterday.

Officers stumbled across the suspect packages around a week ago while carrying out an inventory of seized narcotics at a police station, ahead of an annual burning for an international anti-drug day on June 26. "Sixty-four packages out of 103 were fake," said Deputy Police Colonel Myint Swe, chief of Kengtung district police force in Shan state, adding that each package weighed 1kg.

A kilogram of ice is worth around 20 million kyats (S$18,000) locally, giving the product a value of around US$830,000 (S$1.1 million) in Myanmar.


Japanese women say 'no' to high heels

TOKYO • A group of Japanese women on Monday submitted a petition to the government to protest against what they say is a de facto requirement for female staff to wear high heels at work.

The #KuToo campaign, a play on the Japanese word "kutsu" - meaning "shoes" - and "kutsuu" - meaning "pain" - was launched by actress and freelance writer Yumi Ishikawa and won support from nearly 19,000 people online. Campaigners say wearing high heels is almost obligatory when job hunting or working at many Japanese firms.

"Today we submitted a petition calling for the introduction of laws banning employers from forcing women to wear heels - as sexual discrimination or harassment," Ms Ishikawa told reporters.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 05, 2019, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe