Briefs, October 7, 2012

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 07 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 07 October, 2012, 2:42am

Rebel leader captured at Quezon City hideout

MANILA - Philippine troops have captured a senior communist rebel leader who had received military training in Libya and had a US$135,000 bounty for his arrest, a military spokesman said. New People's Army regional chief Benjamin Mendoza and three other suspected insurgents were arrested outside their hideout in suburban Quezon City, said Colonel Generoso Bolina. Mendoza is a member of the central committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines. AP

Manila asks hackers to stop cyber attacks

MANILA - Hackers incensed by the Philippines' controversial cybercrime law have attacked government sites that deliver emergency information during natural disasters, an official said. President Benigno Aquino's spokeswoman Abigail Valte appealed for a stop to the attacks, on the websites and social media accounts of the weather service, the earthquake and tsunami monitoring service and the social welfare agency. Valte did not disclose the extent of the damage, if any. AFP

Ex-Japan PM heads to S Korea to mend ties

TOKYO - Former Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso is planning to meet South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak in a bid to mend ties soured by a territorial dispute, reports said. Relations between Tokyo and Seoul were badly damaged in August when Lee made a surprise visit to the Dokdo islands. Japan claims them as the Takeshima islands. Aso, of the opposition Liberal Democratic Party, will visit Seoul from today to attend a two-day conference of the Japan-Korea Co-operation Committee, Kyodo News and Jiji Press said, citing political sources. He plans to meet Lee tomorrow. AFP

Malaysia steps up Illegal gold crackdown

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian authorities have expanded a crackdown on suspected illegal gold trading activities, raiding a total of four companies suspected of taking deposits illegally, money laundering and tax evasion. A central bank spokesperson confirmed police and government agencies jointly raided the offices of gold investment companies Pageantry Gold, Caesar Gold and Worldwide Far East. The operations followed a raid by the authorities earlier this week on the office of gold trading firm Genneva following complaints the company had failed to pay its clients and agents. Reuters