World Briefs: PM congratulates Ardern on polls win

PM congratulates Ardern on polls win

SINGAPORE • Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong congratulated his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern on her historic victory in the country's general election in a phone call yesterday.

The leaders reaffirmed the close partnership between their two countries and agreed to continue working together to maintain trade flows. They also exchanged views on Covid-19 recovery efforts, including the safe and gradual reopening of borders.

4 US cops hurt after black man shot dead

PHILADELPHIA • Protests broke out in the US city of Philadelphia on Monday night, injuring four officers, after police shot and killed a black man they said had been armed with a knife.

The four officers were hit with bricks during an anti-racism protest outside a police station and were taken to hospital, broadcaster NBC said.

Earlier, a man identified by officials as Mr Walter Wallace, 27, had approached two officers who drew their guns after warning him to put down the knife, video of the afternoon's shooting showed.


Graft court jails businessman for life

JAKARTA • An Indonesian graft court on Monday sentenced businessman Benny Tjokrosaputro to life in prison for a stock manipulation scheme that helped trigger losses of over US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) at state insurer Asuransi Jiwasraya, state news agency Antara reported.

Three of the insurer's executives were among five other defendants given life terms in one of the biggest anti-graft trials in Indonesia. The court found Tjokrosaputro, chief commissioner of property developer Hanson International, guilty of corruption and money laundering by conspiring with investors to inflate shares in the main equity market. He was also ordered to pay compensation of 6 trillion rupiah (S$560 million). REUTERS

Over 90,000 people flee wildfires near LA IRVINE • More than 90,000 people fled their homes near Los Angeles on Monday as two wildfires raged across more than 5,900ha, blocking key roadways and critically injuring two firefighters.

The larger Silverado Fire erupted early in the morning in the foothills of Irvine and quickly spread, fuelled by dry conditions and erratic winds.

A second blaze about 27km away in Yorba Linda, dubbed the Blue Ridge Fire, erupted in the afternoon.


China hits US media with 'reciprocal' rules

BEIJING • China tightened the rules on a number of American media outlets on Monday, in a move it said was "necessary and reciprocal" after Chinese journalists in the United States were hit with restrictions last week.

After the US declared several more Chinese media outlets to be "foreign missions", Beijing late on Monday demanded that six US media groups report their staffing, finances and real estate. They included Los Angeles Times, the American Broadcasting Corporation and Newsweek.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the move was "legitimate and justified self-defence in every sense".


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 28, 2020, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe