MONTH IN BRIEF
Khan faces terror charge
Pakistani police have filed terrorism charges against former prime minister Imran Khan, further escalating political tensions in the country as the ousted premier holds mass rallies in an attempt to return to office. The charges come after Khan gave a speech in Islamabad on Aug. 20, in which he alleged that a close aide had been tortured after his arrest. Khan vowed to sue police officers and a female judge shortly before the terrorism charges were filed against him.
Attack on Rushdie
Novelist Sir Salman Rushdie has been left with ‘life-changing’ injuries after being stabbed as he prepared to deliver a lecture at an event in Chautauqua, New York. His assailant, US-born Hadi Mata, who is believed to be an Iranian sympathiser, rushed on to the stage and stabbed the author multiple times. Rushdie’s life has been under threat since 1989, when the late Ayatollah Khomeini – leader of Iran’s Islamic revolution – condemned his famous book, The Satanic Verses, as blasphemous and issued a fatwa calling for his death.
The United States and its two chief Asian allies, South Korea and Japan, have announced they conducted a joint missile defence exercise off Hawaii, raising the profile of exercises that show their willingness to work together in light of threats posed by North Korea and China. The anti-missile drill took place between Aug. 8 and Aug 14 at the same time as the multinational Pacific Dragon exercise, the US Department of Defence said in a statement. The three countries agreed at a ministerial meeting in Singapore in June to conduct the drill, the department said.
Extended prison term for The Lady
Myanmar’s deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced to six further years in prison by a special court inside a prison compound in the capital Naypyitaw. The court found Suu Kyi guilty of four corruption charges related to a charity named after her late mother, according to anonymous sources. It is the fourth round of criminal verdicts against the Nobel peace laureate since the military seized power in a 2021 coup, bringing her total jail term to 17 years and crushing her chanced of staging a political comeback while the junta remains in power.
Data protection law revoked
India has withdrawn a proposed personal data protection law amid concerns from big technology companies and privacy advocates about data use and government control.
Four years after being in the works, the highly debated law was revoked in Parliament on Aug. 3, leaving one of the world’s biggest Internet-use markets without a privacy law.
Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw wrote in a parliamentary statement that the proposed law was being withdrawn because a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) had suggested a large set of changes.
A hero’s farewell
Former Philippine president Fidel Ramos, regarded as one of the country’s most effectual leaders, was buried on Aug. 9 with full state honours at Metro Manila’s National Heroes Cemetery. Incumbent President Ferdinand Marcos Jnr joined Mr Ramos’ widow and family, as the silver urn with the late president’s cremated remains was lowered into the ground after a military parade and a 21-gun salute. A career soldier who oversaw a rare period of steady growth and peace in the turbulent years following the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos Snr, Mr Ramos died on 31 July aged 94.
Hong Kong teacher jailed
A Hong Kong teacher-turned-publisher has been jailed for nine months after pleading guilty to unlawful assembly. The sentence was meted out more than three years after Raymond Yeung Tsz-chun was shot in the eye by police during a protest to oppose a Bill to allow the extradition of criminal suspects to mainland China. Tsz-chun, 32, lost 95 per cent of sight in his right eye after it was hit by a police projectile during one of the first protests in what would become a huge, sometimes violent pro-democracy movement.
Volunteers in New Zealand saved seven of nine stranded dolphins, bringing pails of water and wrapping the animals in towels to keep them hydrated until the tide on a remote beach rose enough to carry them back to sea. At least one calf was among the nine mammals stranded at Whakanewha Bay on Waiheke Island, off the city of Auckland. Project Jonah, a not-for -profit group that specialises in rescuing stranded whales and dolphins, called the operation ‘a huge combined effort from our medics, Department of Conservation staff, Iwi [a regional tribal group] and members of the public’.