January 30 2017
Trump defends travel curbs despite outcry
United States President Donald Trumps defended his executive order to ban citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries-Iran, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Libya and Yemen from entering the United States for at least 90 days.
Refugees from Syria are banned from entering the United States indefinitely.
Mr Trump said that the goal was to give priority for admission to Christians and to screen out and block radical Islamic terrorists from entering the United States.
Technology executives, Muslim leaders and human executives spoke out against the executive order. However Mr Trump supporters argue that this ban was necessary to protect the United States from potential terrorist attacks.
January 31 2017
Manila suspends war on drugs to purge rogue cops
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has suspended the war on drugs in order to focus its effect on purging rouge officers from its ranks.
The PNP chief has stated that after the PNP has “cleaned their own ranks”, they would resume the war on drugs in the Philippines which has claimed thousands of lives so far.
The move comes as the PNP was shaken by a scandal in which a South Korean man was abducted and murdered by rouge police officers. It should be noted that corrupted police officers committing crimes is nothing new in the Philippines, the PNP is regarded internationally as one of the world most corrupted institution.
Philippines President, Rodrigo Duterte, meanwhile, has stated that the crackdown on illegal drugs would continue until 2022.
February 1 2017
Quebec mosque rampage: University student charged
A Canadian university student, Bissonnette, has been charged for opening fire on congregants in a mosque in Quebec City shortly before 8pm. The attack has left 6 people dead. The 6 victims were all males, aged from 39 to 60.
The killings have exposed intolerance in Canada. The Canada government open door immigration policies stand in contrast to those of the United States under President Trump.
Bissonnette has frequently posted anti-Muslim comments, however he is not known to be affiliated with any of Canada far right groups. It should also be noted that he is a vocal supporter of France far-right leader Ms Marine Le Pen.
January 30 2017
SAF Terrex vehicles seized in November returns home
The nine SAF Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV) and other equipment seized on Nov 23 in Hong Kong has returned after two months. The Ministry of Defence said in a statement that the vehicles arrived at 2:40pm on 30 Jan and would be transported to an SAF camp for post-training administration.
The vehicles were shipped back to Singapore by APL, the same shipping company from which the Terrex was seized from by Hong Kong officials. APL was shipping the Terrex vehicles back to Singapore after an SAF exercise in Taiwan when the vessel containing the vehicles were stopped by Hong Kong officials for “routine inspections”.
February 3 2017
Kovan double murder, former policeman to hang after appeal dismissed
Former policeman Iskandar Rahmat who was found guilty of stabbing to death Mr Tan Boon Sin ,67, and his 42-year old son Chee Heong will not be spared the noose. The Court of Appeal upheld his two death sentences on Friday (Feb 3).
At his appeal in October of last year, Iskandar’s defence urged the court ot consider new evidence which include a psychiatric report. It started that Iskandar was afflicted with two mental illnesses at the time – adjustment disorder and acute stress reaction.
It was also accompanied by forensic pathology reports which said that Iskandar suffered defensive injuries, giving credence to the defence’s case that Mr Tan Boon Sin was the aggressor and that Iskandar killed him in self-defence.
Prosecutors however argued that the reports were unreliable as it was prepared three years after the murders and more than eight months after Iskandar was sentenced to death.