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International

MAS issues lifetime prohibition order on former Goldman Sachs banker; Malaysia charges Singapore GS unit for abetment

The Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Republic’s central bank, has issued a lifetime prohibition order against Tim Leissner, a former banker at global investment banking firm Goldman Sachs after he pleaded guilty to the criminal charges slapped against him by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) in relation to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) graft scandal. Channel NewsAsia reported that Leissner …

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Filipino news site Rappler to be first recipient of international fund for journalists facing threats to press freedom

International media groups started raising fund for journalists “facing extensive legal battles meant to suppress critical journalism”, and Rappler and its CEO Maria Ressa will be the first recipient of the fund. As mentioned in Rappler’s site, this project is initiated by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and First Look Media’s Press Freedom Defense Fund (PFDF), with the International …

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Hyflux announces suspension of contracts following US restoration of sanctions on Iran

Amidst US President Donald Trump’s decision to restore sanctions against Iran, Singapore-based water technology company Hyflux faces the prospect of shouldering “material adverse effect” on top of its mounting debts as a result of its decision to suspend its contracts with Water Development Engineering Company (AWDEC). The suspension took place only eight months after Hyflux had been awarded a deal …

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Governments, authorities, and political parties decide if elections are “free and fair”, not tech firms such as Facebook: Facebook’s EMEA vice president for public policy

While tech giants such as Facebook want to do what is necessary using the tools they have engineered in order to contribute to a democratic and just election process in the age of online disinformation surrounding politics, Facebook’s vice president for public policy for Europe, Middle East and Africa Richard Allan said that ultimately the governments and political parties of …

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Luxembourg aims to make all public transportation free by 2020

Soon, all public transport in Luxembourg will be free as fares for trains, trams, and buses are lifted next summer. This is one part of the plans of the re-election coalition government led by Xavier Bettel has been sworn in as Prime Minister for a second term. Luxembourg’s capital is home to about 110,000 people while a further 400,000 commute …

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Most fake accounts on Facebook set up “not with political intent,” but “with commercial intent”: Facebook’s EMEA vice president for public policy

Noting that most fake accounts are created “not with political intent,” but “with commercial intent,” which entail creating fake accounts to sell such accounts and even followers of such accounts, Facebook’s vice president for public policy for Europe, Middle East and Africa Richard Allan explained that “there will be a three-month period” where “hundreds of millions of such accounts” are …

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Taiwan’s pro-independence ruling party suffers massive losses in local elections

Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) suffered huge losses in the local elections last weekend, losing 7 of 13 cities that it won in 2014 including two strongholds Kaohsiung and Taichung, both which well to the opposition, Kuomintang (KMT). Kaohsiung was a particularly sharp loss as the city has been a power base for pro-independence DPP for over two decades. This …

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North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun more popular than Singapore’s Straits Times

The Straits Times published a news report saying that it “continues to be Singapore’s best read newspaper”. Quoting the latest annual Singapore Media Index Report released by Nielsen, ST said that 29.8 per cent of Singapore residents aged 15 and above read ST everyday. “It marks a percentage point improvement from last year,” ST proudly proclaimed. However, when compared with …

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Conscientious objection now considered among “justifiable grounds” for military enlistment exemption under landmark South Korean court ruling

In a 9-4 historic ruling by South Korea’s apex court on Thursday (1 Nov), South Korea has declared that conscientious objection against military conscription based on religious grounds is now considered “justifiable grounds,” and has subsequently removed its status as a crime in the eyes of the law. The landmark decision will result in the acquittal of more than 900 …

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Around 18 killed and 178 injured in Taiwan train crash

Approximately 18 deaths were recorded after a train in Yilan County in northeastern Taiwan went off its track, resulting in five out of its eight carriages being overturned in a crash on Sunday (12 Oct), according to Taiwanese authorities. The Puyuma Express No. 6432, which was carrying 366 passengers on board, was en route to the southeastern county of Taitung …

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