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From The Asian Reporter, V27, #10 (May 15, 2017), page 2.
Moon’s down-to-earth manner generates buzz
SEOUL, South Korea — Selfies, coffee, and a jacket were all that new South Korean President Moon Jae-in needed to powerfully project an image that he’s a down-to-earth leader. South Korean internet users shared photos of Moon waving at a presidential employee and taking off his own jacket at a luncheon. Images of Moon, without a jacket and holding a cup of coffee while cheerfully talking with his aides in the presidential garden, also generated a buzz. Many see Moon’s manner as a refreshing break from his disgraced, jailed predecessor, Park Geun-hye, whom critics saw as aloof and autocratic. Moon began his first full day in office by shaking hands and taking selfies with supporters near his private Seoul home before heading to the presidential Blue House. Moon’s aides say he will commute from his home for the first few days as workers finish furnishing the Blue House residential space for him. In a speech after he took the oath of office, Moon said he plans to eventually move out of the Blue House, which was seen as part of an attempt to be a more accessible leader. He instead plans to work at an office in nearby Gwanghwamun, near the square where millions took part in months of peaceful protests before Park was removed from office and arrested in March on corruption charges.
Cambodia breaks ground on first oil refinery
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for its first oil refinery, a $620-million project to reduce spending on imported fuel. Suy Sem, the minister of mines and energy, said at the ceremony that the refinery, being built by an engineering unit of China National Petroleum Co., will be able to process 2 million tons of crude oil per year when it is completed in 2019. A second phase unit set for completion in 2022 will increase capacity to 5 million tons. The refinery, in Cambodia’s southwestern Preah Sihanouk province, will be a joint venture between Cambodia Petrochemical Co. and China’s Sino Great Wall International Engineering Co. Ltd. Suy Sem said most of the crude oil for the refinery would come from the Middle East, with some coming from Cambodia in the future. He said domestic demand for fuel is steadily increasing, with the country importing 1.8 million tons of fuel in 2015, a 6.7 percent increase over 2014. There are 14 local and international companies that currently import fuel oil, Suy Sem said.
Headgear approved for use by world basketball body
HONG KONG (AP) — Basketball’s international governing body has approved a new rule that will allow players to wear headgear that complies with their religious faith. The Switzerland-based body, known as FIBA, said the rule will take effect in games beginning October 1. Then, players can wear hijabs, turbans, and yarmulkes after a 20-year ban on head coverings that was initially imposed for safety reasons. FIBA member federations passed the rule at a congress in Hong Kong after studying the issue since 2014, and with several conditions on design and color. Headgear will be permitted under the following conditions: must be black, white, or the same dominant color as a team’s uniform; not cover any part of the face entirely or partially; and have "no opening/closing elements around the face and/or neck."
North Korea vs. Malaysia soccer match rescheduled
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — North Korea has finally been approved to host a 2019 Asian Cup qualifying match against Malaysia following political tensions between the countries. The Asian Football Confederation said the game can go ahead in Pyongyang on June 8 after the Malaysian soccer federation confirmed it was not subject to "government travel restrictions." Diplomatic tensions escalated amid investigations into the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s estranged half-brother in Kuala Lumpur. Both countries imposed travel bans on the other’s citizens. The original March 28 qualifier was postponed and a neutral venue sought. The match opens play for both teams in a four-nation Asian Cup qualifying group that includes Lebanon and Hong Kong.
715 pounds lighter, Egyptian woman leaves India
MUMBAI, India (AP) — An Egyptian woman who lost about 325 kilograms (715 pounds) after undergoing weight-loss surgery in an Indian hospital has left for the United Arab Emirates for long-term treatment. Eman Ahmed, who weighed more than 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) when she was flown to Mumbai for treatment in February, was reportedly the world’s heaviest woman. Doctors who reduced the size of her stomach to help her lose weight said her treatment would continue at a hospital in Abu Dhabi. The 36-year-old from Alexandria has lymphedema, a condition that causes body tissue to swell. She had a stroke when she was 11, after which her weight gradually increased. A chartered aircraft took Ahmed and a team of nine doctors to Abu Dhabi.
Body of 85-year-old climber recovered from Mount Everest
KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — The body of an 85-year-old climber who died attempting to regain his title as the oldest person to scale Mount Everest was flown to Kathmandu where family and supporters held a funeral. The death of Min Bahadur Sherchan has also revived concerns about allowing elderly people to attempt to scale mountain peaks where the conditions are harsh and oxygen levels are low. Sherchan’s body was flown by helicopter to Kathmandu, a day after the Nepali died at Everest base camp. At a community center, his family, friends, and supporters offered flowers and a colorful scarf as Buddhist monks chanted a religious hymn and burnt sandalwood incense. Sherchan first scaled Everest in May 2008 when he was 76 — at the time becoming the oldest climber to reach the top.
Court says Facebook must delete hate postings worldwide
VIENNA (AP) — An Austrian court has ruled that Facebook must delete hate speech postings worldwide and that Austrian law can be applied to lawsuits against the social-media website.
Maria Windhager, a lawyer for an Austrian politician, said the ruling is a rebuff to the social-media giant’s claims that any court actions against it can be heard only in California or Ireland, where Facebook’s world and European headquarters are located. Windhager represents Greens politician Eva Glawischnig, who went to court over comments about her posted on a fake profile. The Austria Press Agency said the decision arose from Facebook’s appeal of a court ruling ordering posts be deleted.
Indonesia-made ship is newest addition to Philippine navy
MANILA, The Philippines (AP) — The Philippine navy welcomed a second Indonesia-made amphibious landing dock as part of the military’s modernization program. The new ship, named BRP Davao del Sur, arrived at Manila’s South Harbor to a ceremony led by Rear Adm. Gaudencio Collado Jr., commander of the Philippine Fleet. The delivery completes a 3.8-billion peso ($76 million) procurement of two such vessels from Indonesian shipbuilder PT PAL Indonesia, said navy spokesman Capt. Lued Lincuna. The new ship sailed from Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city, with 120 Filipino sailors and a 10-man Indonesian delivery crew.
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