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International News

Japan actor gives his all to play shogi master in Satoshi


Organic farms help Thailand welcome cranes lost for 50 years


China bans ‘fatty’ Kim Jong Un nickname on websites


Japan rubber-mask makers happy to face a Trump presidency


From The Asian Reporter, V26, #22 (November 21, 2016), page 2.

Governments want tobacco firms to be liable for smoking harm

NEW DELHI (AP) — A global conference on tobacco control has pledged to hold the tobacco industry legally liable for the health consequences of smoking and protect public-health policies from the influence of tobacco companies. Representatives from about 180 countries participating in the World Health Organization’s global tobacco control treaty negotiations adopted a declaration in which they also vowed to prohibit or regulate the sale of e-cigarettes. The six-day conference concluded with participating countries agreeing to promote alternative livelihoods for tobacco farmers that would ensure a better future for them. Public health activists say smoking-related deaths are still rising worldwide, with 80 percent of them expected to occur in developing countries by 2030.

Philippine senator asks court to stop Duterte attacks

MANILA, The Philippines (AP) — A Philippine senator who President Rodrigo Duterte has linked to the illegal drug trade and described as a "dirty woman" for her alleged affair with her driver has asked the Supreme Court to stop the attacks. Senator Leila de Lima said the petition she filed seeks to stop Duterte and his men from gathering information about her private life and disclosing it publicly, adding that the allegedly illegally obtained information should be destroyed. The petition is a test case because it challenges Duterte’s immunity from lawsuits. De Lima said she also asked that Duterte be compelled to identify the "foreign country" he said helped him to "listen" to de Lima’s communications. De Lima has long raised alarm over Duterte’s brutal crackdown against drugs, earning Duterte’s wrath.

Wanderley banned, Al Nasr fined in fake passport scandal

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Brazil-born forward Santos Monteiro Wanderley received a backdated three-month ban and his Dubai-based club Al Nasr was fined after being found guilty of faking documents so he could play in the Asian Champions League. Wanderley and Al Nasr admitted using a forged or falsified document, the Asian Football Confederation said in a statement. Wanderley was provisionally suspended on September 2 when it was alleged a forged Indonesian passport was used for him to qualify as an Asian player. Each club in the Asian Champions League is allowed to field three foreign players and a non-national from another Asian country. Wanderley was fined $10,000 and suspended for three months. Al Nasr was fined $50,000, ordered to return $340,000 in prize money from this year’s league, and given a suspended two-year ban from the tournament.

South Korean police book 15 over animal smuggling

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean police have booked 15 people for allegedly smuggling endangered animals from Thailand and showing them at small zoos or to children at kindergartens and daycare centers, according to officials. Police in the port city of Busan seized 22 animals, including Siamese crocodiles and slow loris monkeys, according to a city police department official who didn’t want to be named, citing office rules. The official said most of the animals were bought from Thailand in 2014 by a 38-year-old man identified only by his surname, Kim. He said Kim sold the animals to other suspects, some of whom earned money by touring kindergartens and daycare centers for petting classes, putting the health of children at risk as the animals weren’t properly quarantined. Some of the animals were also shown at small zoos run by individuals, he said.

Official sues media mogul over bribery insinuation

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — The head of a major Myanmar (also known as Burma) media group and a top editor have been arrested on criminal charges of defaming a senior official, news reports said. The Frontier Myanmar news website reported that Eleven Media Group CEO Than Htut Aung and chief editor Wai Phyo were sent to Insein Prison after surrendering to police. They were charged under an article in the Telecommunications Law covering online defamation, punishable by up to three years imprisonment and a fine. Phyo Min Thein, governor of Yangon, the country’s biggest city, is the first senior official in Aung San Suu Kyi’s government to sue a member of the media, although there have been other cases at lower levels since she took power at the end of March. He had his office sue the Eleven Media Group officials over an article and online posting that he said suggested he accepted a $100,000 watch as a bribe from a property developer in exchange for approving a development project.

Prince William: We’re still a step behind wildlife traffickers

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Britain’s Prince William praised Vietnam, China, and other Asian countries for taking unprecedented steps to battle wildlife trafficking but said the truth is that rhinos, elephants, pangolins, and lions are still being killed in horrifying numbers. William spoke at the Third International Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade hosted by Vietnam, one of major transit points and consumers of trafficked ivory and rhino horns. He said organized crime syndicates are much more agile than we are. Vietnam vice president Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh said wildlife trafficking is a global problem that needs comprehensive cooperation and strong commitment. She said Vietnam is facing many challenges in protecting wildlife and ensuring economic growth, such as raising awareness in local communities and improving their livelihoods, and overcoming limitations when prosecuting and convicting criminals. Also during the trip, William toured Hanoi’s Old Quarter, where he visited a traditional medicine shop and a primary school, and spoke with local celebrities, traditional medicine experts, and wildlife activists.

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