TACLOBAN, Philippines (Reuters) – Philippine President Benigno Aquino said local officials had overstated the death toll from Typhoon Haiyan, saying it was closer to 2,000 or 2,500 than the 10,000 previously estimated, comments that drew skepticism from some aid workers.
The government has been overwhelmed by the typhoon, which flattened Tacloban, coastal capital of Leyte province where several local officials have said they feared 10,000 people died, many drowning in a tsunami-like surge of seawater.
Malaysia’s self-styled image as a global leader of moderate Islam has been undermined by a court ruling that only Muslims can use the word “Allah” to refer to God, with a growing number of Muslim scholars and commentators condemning the decision.
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia’s self-styled image as a global leader of moderate Islam has been undermined by a court ruling that only Muslims can use the word “Allah” to refer to God, with a growing number of Muslim scholars and commentators condemning the decision.
A Malaysian court ruled last week that the word was “not an integral part of the faith in Christianity”, overturning a previous ruling that allowed a Malay-language Roman Catholic newspaper to use the word.
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will trim the government’s hefty subsidy bill and likely announce a new consumption tax later this week as he delivers a budget seen as crucial to ward off a possible credit downgrade and reassure investors over the Southeast Asian country’s fast-growing debt burden.
After securing his power base in ruling party elections over the weekend, Najib should have a freer hand to tackle a high fiscal deficit with unpopular steps to wean Malaysians off cheap fuel and food.
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Internal voting for top posts in Malaysia’s ruling coalition at the weekend have proved Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to be a canny survivor – five months after a poor showing at national elections – but at a cost to his reform agenda.
In May, Najib seemed dead in the water to some observers after presiding over the long-ruling United Malays National Organisation’s (UMNO) worst election result.
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Oct 10 (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of
State John Kerry gave tacit backing to the Philippines’ stance
in a tense maritime dispute with China on Thursday, saying that
all countries had a right to seek arbitration to resolve
competing territorial claims.
The Philippines, a U.S. ally, has angered China by launching
an arbitration case with the United Nations to challenge the
legal validity of Beijing’s sweeping claims over the
resource-rich South China Sea.