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Bali set to impose US$10 levy on foreigners to save environment

DENPASAR: Bali is set to impose a US$10 (RM41) levy on foreign tourists that will go tow­ards environment and cultural preservation.

Pacific Rim trade bloc in Tokyo, preps for growth

TOKYO: Representatives from a Pacific Rim trade bloc geared up to roll out and expand the market-opening initiative as they met in Tokyo, reaffirming their commitment to open and free trade and inviting new membership.

Myanmar army told to stage push against Arakan rebels

NAYPYIDAW: Myanmar’s military announced that the Arakan Army, a Buddhist rebel group in Rakhine state, has been classified a terrorist organisation after mounting a flurry of recent attacks.

Philippines’ richest man Sy dies in his sleep at 94

MANILA: The Philippines’ wealthiest man, Henry Sy, who rose from being a penniless Chinese immigrant to leading a multi-billion dollar business empire, died, his conglomerate has announced.

Rags to riches: Sy arrives for the opening of one of his shopping malls, the SM Aura, in Manila in this file picture. — AFP

Indonesian cleric to be released

JAKARTA: An Islamic cleric who was the ideological leader of the Bali bombers and other Indonesian militants is being released early from a 15-year prison sentence after the country’s president relented on a condition that he renounce radical beliefs, lawyers confirmed.

Out on the inside: Bashir (centre) walking with Yusril (right) at Gunung Sindur prison in Bogor, Indonesia. — Reuters

Thai temple attack leaves two dead

Bangkok: Gunmen in Thailand’s deep south shot dead two Buddhist monks and wounded two others inside a temple, police said, capping a week of deadly violence as the prime minister vowed to “punish” those responsible.

Seeking solace together: Buddhist monks and Muslim village leaders sitting together to express sympathy and show support for each other during a gathering in Rattanaupap temple in Narathiwat province following an attack by black-clad assailants that killed two monks. — AFP

Mum’s the mob in South Korea

IT all started when a four-year-old boy went home from day care and told his family he was upset.

Mothers gone wild: Due to South Korea’s low birth rates, motherhood has become a kind of privilege in the republic, leading to some mums considering themselves of having higher status and being more powerful than others. — AFP

Middle class and frustrated in Asia

WHEN he opened his hawker stall 15 years ago, Singaporean Jaesen Ng hoped the man he named it after would drop by some day.

Meeting rising Islamism: Jokowi and his running mate Ma’ruf Amin kicking off of the campaign period for Indonesia’s presidential and parliamentary election poll which will be held in April. — AP

Silver chariot procession kicks off Thaipusam celebration in KL

The silver chariot carrying the Lord Muruga deity kicked off the annual Thaipusam celebration on Saturday night. The chariot was decorated with light-emitting diode (LED) lights, to match the newly renovated, vibrant Sri Subramaniar Swamy temple in Batu Caves, as well to help reduce the heat, according to the temple’s volunteer electrician, P. Ravichandran. Read more at

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Meet Dr Fruit: the Chinese surgeon who goes to grape lengths to promote precision surgery

Wang Yexiao originally started making short videos of his ‘fruit operations’ to entertain his two-year-old son
He now regularly posts these unusual slices of surgical skill on Beijing-based video-sharing platform Kuaishou