Briefs, October 4, 2012

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 October, 2012, 4:32am

Opposition join forces to challenge Hun Sen

PHNOM PENH - Cambodia's two main opposition parties have joined forces to challenge Prime Minister Hun Sen's 27-year grip on power at a general election next July, a spokesman for the new group said yesterday. The Cambodia National Rescue Party, formed by the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party, received official approval from the interior ministry on Tuesday, said spokesman Pol Ham. It will be headed by opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who is seen as Hun Sen's main rival but who lives in France to avoid prison for a string of convictions that critics contend are politically motivated. AFP


Eight Taiwanese die in separate boat mishaps

HANOI; MANILA - Eight Taiwanese tourists were killed in two separate boating accidents in Vietnam and the Philippines. Five of them, including a child, were killed in Vietnam's famed Halong Bay, state media reported, when their boat collided with a bigger vessel. The other three - including a two-year-old girl and a woman in her 70s - were part of a tour group of Taiwanese riding a motor boat in the Philippine resort of Boracay. "A rescue team was able to save 30 of them, but sadly three of the Taiwanese died," an official said. AFP


Four held for killing of Maldives lawmaker

COLOMBO - Maldives police say they have arrested four suspects in the killing of a ruling coalition lawmaker. Afrasheem Ali was stabbed to death late on Monday by an attacker at his home in the capital, Male. He was an Islamic scholar and a member of the Progressive Party, part of the coalition government. Reports said he was attacked as he returned home from speaking on a television programme. Amnesty International urged authorities to ensure that "no suspect is ill-treated or tortured". AP