PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 August, 2012, 4:12am


Aquarium apologises over death of shark

SEOUL - A South Korean aquarium operator publicly apologised for the death of a captive whale shark, and said it would release a second such fish following protests from conservationists. Aqua Planet, which opened last month on the southern island of Jeju, admitted it had not been properly prepared to keep the sharks. Whale sharks, the world's largest fish, are protected under the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species. The aquarium operator said they were caught by chance in a fisherman's nets off the southern island last month. One of them stopped feeding around the end of last month and died last week. AFP

Singapore court allows challenge to gay ban

SINGAPORE - Singapore's highest court has cleared the way for a constitutional challenge against a law criminalising sex between men, local media reported. The Court of Appeal struck down a High Court decision disallowing the challenge, launched by a man who was arrested after being caught with a male partner in a public toilet cubicle in 2010. The new ruling is expected to trigger a fresh debate over a provision in the penal code known as Section 377A, which traces its origins to British colonial rule and carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail for homosexual acts. AFP

Japan's PM meets nuclear protesters

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda met anti-nuclear demonstrators face to face for the first time since weekly rallies outside his office began five months ago. About a dozen representatives of the movement asked Noda to reverse his decision to restart two reactors and urged him to abandon nuclear power altogether. Noda said his government was considering its energy policy with a view to "phasing out nuclear power in the mid to long term". He said the decision would be made taking people's views and the need for a stable supply of energy into account. AFP

Deadlock threat over Singh coal scandal

NEW DELHI - India's opposition vowed to block parliamentary proceedings until the prime minister resigned over a coal scandal, raising the prospect of more legislative deadlock and stalled reforms. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was implicated by the national auditor in a report published last Friday which suggested the government had lost out on billions of dollars of revenue by gifting away coal mining rights. Singh, who has seen his reputation as "Mr Clean" damaged by a string of scandals in his second term in government, served as acting coal minister from 2004 to 2009. AFP