ASEAN/East Asia

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Four killed in Manila hotel fire

MANILA: A fire that hit a hotel and casino complex in the Philippine capital killed at least four employees, trapped two others and forced the evacuation of more than 300 guests, some by helicopter.

Massive blaze: Firemen battling the fire at the Manila Pavilion Hotel and Casino. — AP

SEA urges N. Korea to end nuke plans

SYDNEY: South East Asian leaders and Australia’s prime minister called on North Korea to end its nuclear programme urged United Nations countries to fully implement sanctions.

Duterte urges other countries also to quit ICC

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte urged other nations to follow his move to quit a treaty underpinning the International Criminal Court which is examining his deadly drug war.

Giant yellow duck goes missing off Australia

PERTH: An Australian swimming club is appealing for ocean watchers to find their giant yellow inflatable duck Daphne, after the mascot was blown into the Indian Ocean with reported sightings hundreds of kilometres from where it was launched.

This undated handout photo supplied on March 18, 2018 by Perth's Cockburn Masters Swimming Club shows swimmers posing with a giant inflatable duck they named Daphne in Perth. - AFP PHOTO / NICK WYATT / PERTH'S COCKBURN MASTERS SWIMMING CLUB

Indonesian bank claims wife, not thieves, cleaned out man's account

JAKARTA: In response to a report about funds being stolen from a customer's account, Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) said its investigation showed that it was not thieves, but the complainant's own wife who had withdrawn the money.

Chinese driver hurtles down highway in unstoppable car after cruise control malfunctions

Man forced to drive at 120kmh on busy road for nearly an hour after cruise control fails to shut off.

It’s NOT about selling sex, 'Sugar daddy' dating websites insist

Designer labels, magic bank accounts, parties in Kuala Lumpur. It’s all part of life for a Hongkonger with a sugar daddy. But as websites cash in on the lifestyle trend, experts warn such experiences can be bittersweet

Spring comes to Tokyo with first cherry blossoms

Tokyo (AFP) - Spring officially arrived in Tokyo on Saturday as Japan's weather agency declared the start of the cherry blossom season, prompting viewers to party under the trees with cherry-related items flooding the capital.

Trees in Tokyo will be in full bloom in about a week's time, turning parks into huge picnic areas where friends, family and colleagues gather for sometimes raucous, alcohol-fuelled celebrations.

PM urges Thais to wear period costumes for outings

BANGKOK: Inspired by the success of the royally initiated winter festival, Oon Ai Rak Klay Kwam Nao, and the mega-hit historical TV soap opera Bupphesanniwat or Destined Love, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is encouraging Thai citizens to wear period outfits in public places.

Parliament gives Xi second term

BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping was elected to a second term with 100% of the vote, days after the lifting of presidential term limits allowed him to stay in office indefinitely.

Loyal comrade:Xi (right) shaking hands with Wang at the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. — Bloomberg