WORLD IN BRIEF

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MALAYSIAN COUPLE JAILED FOR STARVING MAID TO DEATH
KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian court on Thursday sentenced a couple to 24 years in jail for starving their Cambodian maid to death. Hardware store owners Soh Chew Tong, 44, and his wife Chin Chui Ling, 42, were found guilty of culpable homicide at a high court in the northern state of Penang. The 24-year jail term is to run from the day of their arrest in April last year, shortly after their maid Mey Sichan was found dead by paramedics. She weighed just 57 pounds) and had bruises on her body. Police said she died from acute gastritis and ulcers likely caused by lack of food over a long period.

TODDLER DIES AFTER BEING LEFT IN THAI SCHOOL BUS
BANGKOK: A three-year-old boy has died after being left inside a private school bus for several hours in sweltering heat, Thai police said on Wednesday, the second such death of a toddler in recent weeks. Suriyakarn Thakan was found unconscious inside the cab of a pick-up truck which was being used to transport children to a nursery school in northeastern Si Sa Ket province bordering Cambodia on Tuesday afternoon. It was due to be the child’s second day at nursery.

TAIWANESE CHARGED WITH TRAFFICKING CAMBODIAN FISHERMEN
PHNOM PENH: A Taiwanese woman has been charged with human trafficking after allegedly sending hundreds of Cambodians to work in slave-like conditions on fishing boats off Africa. Lin Yu Shin, owner of the now defunct Giant Ocean International Co. Ltd, was arrested in the tourist hub of Siem Reap last Friday. Lin’s firm allegedly began sending Cambodian workers to man trawlers off the coasts of South Africa, Mauritius and Senegal in 2009 as well as Japan, Fiji, Qatar, Malaysia and Singapore.

DEATH TOLL RISES TO FIVE IN INDONESIA MINE COLLAPSE
TIMIKA: Rescuers have recovered one more body from a collapsed mine tunnel in eastern Indonesia, police said on Thursday, taking the death toll to five as search teams battled to reach 24 others still trapped. Ten workers have been rescued alive following the accident on Tuesday at US firm Freeport-McMoRan’s Grasberg, one of the world’s biggest gold and copper mines high in the mountains of rugged Papua province.

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OBAMA NAMES JAPAN EXPERT AS TOP ASIA DIPLOMAT
WASHINGTON, D.C.: President Barack Obama on Wednesday named Danny Russel, a close aide with expertise in Japan, as the top US diplomat for East Asia charged with handling relations with the vast and growing region. The Senate will need to confirm Russel as the assistant secretary of state for East Asia.

JAPAN MAYOR READY TO APOLOGIZE TO COMFORT WOMEN
TOKYO: The maverick mayor of Osaka on Thursday offered to meet former “comfort women” to apologize for their suffering after causing an international storm when he said they served a “necessary” role in wartime. Hashimoto prompted outrage at home and abroad by saying on Monday that soldiers living with the daily threat of death needed some way to let off steam, which was provided by the comfort women system.
AFP

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