The Asian Reporter 19th Annual
Scholarship & Awards Banquet -
From The Asian Reporter, V27, #8 (April 17, 2017), page 2.
Thriller Trivisa wins big at Hong Kong Film Awards
HONG KONG (AP) — Crime thriller Trivisa was the big winner at the Hong Kong Film Awards, taking home five awards including the prize for best film. The movie, which takes place on the eve of Hong Kong’s 1997 handover from Britain, also took home awards for best director and best actor. News sites in mainland China downplayed the coverage, which Hong Kong media speculated was because one of its directors worked on 2016’s Ten Years, about Beijing’s tightening grip on the semiautonomous city. Best actress went to Happiness star Kara Hui. She won her fourth Hong Kong Film Award for playing a middle-aged recluse suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Family-themed movie Mad World was another big winner, receiving trophies for best supporting actor and actress and best new director.
Coldplay vocalist visits sick fan in Manila hospital
MANILA, The Philippines (AP) — Coldplay’s lead vocalist visited a fan with cancer hours before the group played a packed concert at Manila’s seaside Mall of Asia Arena Concert Grounds. Chris Martin visited Ken Valiant Santiago in a hospital where the medical student is battling cancer and spends much of the time listening to favorite Coldplay songs. Concert organizer Rhiza Pascua tweeted a picture of the meeting. "Chris Martin, you are an angel! Thank you for making Ken very happy!!" she added. Santiago’s brother, Kheil, earlier posted an appeal on Facebook for help in relaying a request to the band to say hello or send a short message to his brother, who bought a ticket but could not make it to the concert. He was diagnosed with advanced cancer in February, Kheil said. In a tweet, Ken thanked Pascua for making Martin’s visit possible. "Words can’t even begin to describe how thankful I am," he said. "You’ve made my heart full of joy. Thank you so much!"
Man who bought orangutan, leopard, and bear arrested
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian police say they saved a sun bear, a clouded leopard, and a baby orangutan from the wildlife trade after receiving a tip from conservationists who tracked the illegal activities through Instagram. Jakarta police spokesman Prabowo Argo Yuwono said Abdul Malik was arrested in a raid on his southern Jakarta house where the animals were found caged. The 42-year-old Malik told police he arranged for the purchase of the animals through Instagram messages and paid 25 million rupiah ($1,900) for the orangutan, 15 million rupiah ($1,125) for the sun bear, and 60 million rupiah ($4,500) for the leopard. Yuwono said the police were helped by conservationists who were tracking an Instagram account they believed to be a front for the illegal trade in threatened species.
Construction starts on China-funded Cambodian stadium
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia has begun construction of a new $157 million football stadium funded by China, the Southeast Asian country’s most important ally. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said at the groundbreaking ceremony that China’s support for the stadium, to be used for hosting the Southeast Asian Games in 2023, is evidence of the close cooperation of the two countries. Beijing has provided millions of dollars in aid and investment for Cambodia over the past decade, and in return has secured its political support in international forums. The new stadium is six miles north of Phnom Penh and will have a capacity of 60,000, second only to Phnom Penh’s Olympic Stadium, constructed in 1964 to hold 70,000 spectators.
Poachers kill rare one-horned rhino in southern Nepal forest
KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Authorities are searching for poachers who killed a rare one-horned rhinoceros in the forests of southern Nepal and cut off its horn, according to officials. Forest officer Nurendra Aryal said it was the first killing of a rhino in the Chitwan National Forest in nearly three years. Soldiers and forest rangers were scouring the forests and nearby areas for the people who shot the rhino. Aryal said the night the animal died was a stormy night, so forest officers did not hear a gunshot or spot the poachers enter the area. The forest, located about 100 miles south of Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, and bordering India, is protected by the government and guarded by armed soldiers. Nepal has been working to increase the number of one-horned rhinos in Chitwan National Forest, where the population has reached 605.
Bombs bring down scores of power poles in Thailand
HAT YAI, Thailand (AP) — Suspected Muslim insurgents set off dozens of bombs in southern Thailand, bringing down power lines and setting tires on fire to block roads. Security officials said there were no reports of deaths or injuries. Most of the attacks occurred in Muslim-majority provinces in Buddhist-dominated Thailand’s deep south, where about 7,000 people have been killed in a separatist insurgency that flared in 2004. Thai media speculated the actions were in response to the ratification of Thailand’s new constitution, but officials say no information connecting the events. Military spokesman Pramote Prom-in said 52 electric poles were damaged by explosives in the provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, and Songkhla, causing scattered minor blackouts. He said officials also discovered burnt tires and more explosives, but reported no injuries or deaths. Men with grenade launchers and other heavy weapons attacked a police checkpoint in Yala, injuring six officers. Three previous attacks killed an army ranger and a policeman. Don Pathan, a security analyst specializing in southern Thailand, said he believed the incidents were not related to the new constitution but were meant to discredit the security apparatus in response to a police shooting that killed two people whom friends said were unarmed.
Malaysia seizes 18 rhino horns from Mozambique
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian authorities say they have seized 18 rhino horns believed to have been smuggled into the country from Mozambique. Airport customs director Hamzah Sundang said the horns were flown from Mozambique and transited in Doha before arriving at the Kuala Lumpur airport. He said the horns, which weighed 51.4 kilograms (113 pounds) and were worth 13.6 million ringgit ($3.1 million), had been declared as art objects in a forged air bill with a fake final destination. Hamzah said custom officials made the seizure at the airport cargo warehouse based on a tip and that no arrests were made. He said the case is being investigated for smuggling of prohibited goods. Rhino horns are believed to have medicinal properties and are in high demand in Asia.
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