Philippines oil tanker spill prompts fears for protected marine areas

Authorities scramble to contain leak from sunken tanker that was carrying about 800,000 litres of oil

Authorities in the Philippines are scrambling to contain an oil leak from a sunken tanker that could threaten the rich biodiversity of more than 20 marine protected areas.

The MT Princess Empress, which was carrying a cargo of about 800,000 litres of industrial oil, sank on Tuesday off the coast of Naujan, Oriental Mindoro province, after it experienced problems with its engine and began to drift due to rough seas. A passing cargo ship rescued the 20 crew onboard.

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US condemns ‘fabricated’ case as Cambodian opposition leader is jailed for 27 years

Kem Sokha, an opponent of Cambodian dictator Hun Sen, sentenced after treason trial widely seen as politically driven

Prominent Cambodian opposition politician Kem Sokha has been sentenced to 27 years in prison after being found guilty of treason, in a case widely condemned as politically motivated.

The former leader of the dissolved opposition party the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) was arrested in 2017 and accused of conspiring with the US to oust Cambodia’s authoritarian leader, Hun Sen, who has ruled for almost four decades.

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Christchurch shooting inquest delayed after bereaved families raise concerns evidence could be missed

Lawyers for survivors and families of victims had urged postponement due to sheer volume of disclosure and delays in receiving, accessing and reviewing it

An inquest hearing into the deaths of 51 Muslims in a white supremacist terror attack on two Christchurch mosques has been postponed, after bereaved families and survivors raised “reasonable concerns” that vital evidence could be missed if it went ahead as scheduled, the coroner heading the inquiry says.

The inquiry will address questions not covered by previous investigations into the 15 March 2019 terrorist attack, in which an Australian gunman opened fire on worshipers during Friday prayers while livestreaming the massacre on Facebook.

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Xi Jinping to tighten Communist party’s grip with overhaul of China’s government at key meeting

The NPC, China’s rubber-stamp parliament, will gather this weekend to approve far-reaching changes, and Xi’s unprecedented third term as president

Xi Jinping is preparing a profound overhaul of China’s government and party institutions at this year’s National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s rubber-stamp parliament, which begins its annual session on Sunday.

On Tuesday, the Chinese Communist party (CCP) trailed changes of “far-reaching significance” that are expected to include a reorganisation of the bodies tasked with managing the financial and technology sectors, as well as state security. The changes will all have one goal in mind: to strengthen the party’s control.

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Drugs, jacuzzis and a horse: the anarchic Philippines prison where anything can be bought

After raids at the New Bilibid prison identified thousands of contraband goods, the management of the country’s prisons is in the spotlight

When officials last raided the Philippines’ biggest prison, their discoveries ranged from deadly to bizarre. Tens of thousands of contraband goods were identified in New Bilibid prison, including lethal weapons, alcohol, drugs and gambling material. A menagerie of horses, game fowls and pythons were also found living in the prison complex.

In the Philippines, prisons have long had a reputation for corruption but the sweep in New Bilibid in Manila late last year put the country’s prisons back in the spotlight. Last month, four Japanese men were arrested for allegedly orchestrating a string of scams and robberies in their home country from inside a Philippine immigration detention centre. A subsequent inspection of the facility found phones, laptops, routers and cash.

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Firefighters battle high-rise blaze in Hong Kong shopping district

No casualties have been reported since flames engulfed construction site in heart of busy Tsim Sha Tsui late on Thursday

Hong Kong firefighters have been battling a blaze that engulfed a construction site in the city’s shopping district.

Officials said the fire broke out at 11.11pm (1511 GMT) on Thursday in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui, a busy shopping and tourist area on the waterfront.

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