Earlier this month, the Superior Court of California in San Francisco awarded Dewayne Johnson US$250 million in punitive damages and about US$39 million in compensatory damages against American chemical company Monsanto after ruling that its famous herbicide Roundup gave the former school groundskeeper terminal cancer. During the trial, the jury heard evidence on how Monsanto deliberately withheld information about the cancer-causing effects of Roundup from the public for decades.
Singapore’s 2018 ASEAN chairmanshipThis week, Singapore announced its priorities going into 2018 as chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Much ado about the 31st ASEAN SummitThe highlight for this week was the conclusion of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Meetings which began last week.
Prince Charles and wife visits MalaysiaThis week, Malaysia welcomed the heir to the British throne, His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, and his wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, Duchess of Cornwall as the couple continued their 11-day tour of South and Southeast Asia.
Airlines, airports and passportsIn this past week, news in ASEAN countries mainly focused on airports and the aviation sector. In Malaysia, AirAsia – the leading low-cost carrier in the region – announced that it is partnering up with SATS Ltd of Singapore to expand its reach in both countries. The low-cost carrier is also looking at beefing up its current fleet and is expected to bring in 23 new planes by the end of 2017.
King Bhumibol AdulyadejHundreds of thousands of Thais gathered in the capital city of Bangkok, Thailand, to say their final goodbyes to King Bhumibol Adulyadej during the four-day cremation ceremony.
TensionsTensions have risen in Southeast Asia over the past week, particularly in Myanmar and the Philippines. Scores of Rohingya refugees who were fleeing their homeland in northern Rakhine state of Myanmar found themselves stranded at the Bangladeshi border.
MilitaryMilitary forces were being mobilised across the region due to the rise of conflicts and insurgents. In Myanmar, the army continued to deny the severity of its actions which drove over half a million of Rohingya Muslims out of their home in northern Rakhine state and into refugee camps in Bangladesh.Up north, USA's navy force will be conducting a military drill with its South Korean counterpart as a show of force against North Korea's nuclear threats.
MonarchsThis week, the monarchs in ASEAN countries were prominently featured in news articles across the region. On Thursday, Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who is 71 years old this year, celebrated his 50-year reign in style. The sultan was pulled on a grand golden chariot through the capital city.
This week, tensions have been running high particularly in Bali as its iconic volcano – Mount Agung – which threatens to erupt at any moment. Over 144,000 people have fled the rumbling volcano, but Indonesian officials urged evacuees who live outside the immediate danger zone to return home. According to an official statement made by the Bali Government Tourism office, the threat level of Mount Agung was raised from level three (alert) to level four (danger).
Over the past week, the Philippines and Myanmar had been thrown into the limelight due to on-going conflicts that ripple through the nations. In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war had once again captured media attention. On September 20, The ASEAN Post discussed the controversies that are surrounding Duterte's highly disputed drug war which has murdered over 7,000 people in the country so far.