Hot off the press

These are the top stories making the front pages of major newspapers from across Southeast Asia today. 

Get up to speed with what’s happening in the fastest growing region in the world.  

Iranians shot down Ukrainian airliner, Western leaders declare

Evidence indicates it is “highly likely” that an Iranian anti-aircraft missile downed a Ukrainian jetliner near Tehran late Tuesday, U.S., Canadian and British officials said Thursday. They said the strike, which killed all 176 people on board, could well have been a mistake amid missile launches and high tensions throughout the region.

The crash came just a few hours after Iran launched a ballistic attack against Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops amid a confrontation with Washington over the U.S. drone strike that killed an Iranian Revolutionary Guard general. Four U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence, said they had no certain knowledge of Iranian intent and the airliner could have been mistaken for a threat.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose country lost at least 63 citizens in the downing, said in Toronto: “We have intelligence from multiple sources including our allies and our own intelligence. The evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile.” – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Health Ministry on alert for new SARS-like virus

The Health Ministry has installed thermal scanners at the Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Preah Sihanouk international airports to prevent the entry of a new virus strain, which causes pneumonia, found in China.

Health Minister Mam Bun Heng said yesterday that the ministry has cooperated with the three international airports to prevent the transmission of the virus which has not yet been detected in the Kingdom. – Khmer Times

Two more polio cases detected in Sabah; both children unimmunised foreigners

Two more cases of poliomyelitis (polio) have been detected here, bringing the total number of children infected with the re-emerging disease in Sabah to three.

The new cases were detected after the Health Ministry implemented preventive and control measures in the state after a 3-month-old boy in Tuaran was the first to be diagnosed with the disease. – The New Straits Times

Facebook forms team to monitor use in Myanmar ahead of election

Facebook has formed a team to monitor the use of the social media in Myanmar, especially with the upcoming 2020 general elections, a spokesperson for the US-based social media and technology company said.

“We also know that we must protect people from those who attempt to spread hate and misinformation,” she told the Myanmar Times. “That’s why we’re committed to keeping the platform safe not only during Myanmar’s 2020 election, but all year-round.” – Myanmar Times

Vietnam wants to work with Japan in developing e-government: PM

Vietnam is developing an e-government and cyber security and the country wants to work with its reliable partner Japan in these fields, said Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc.

While receiving Japanese Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications Sanae Takaichi in Ha Noi on Thursday, PM Phúc said the Vietnam-Japan partnership is developing while political trust has been enhanced in many aspects. – Viet Nam News