Briefs, February 18, 2013

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 18 February, 2013, 4:51am

Bangladesh amends law on war crimes

DHAKA - Bangladesh's parliament, meeting demands of protesters thronging the capital, amended a law yesterday allowing the state to appeal any verdict in war crimes trials it deems inadequate. Tens of thousands of demonstrators burst into cheers as the assembly approved the changes. The protesters have been demanding the death penalty for war crimes after a tribunal this month sentenced a prominent Islamist to life in prison. Reuters


Gillard seeks answers after senator deported

PERTH - Australia is seeking further explanation from Malaysia about why senator Nick Xenophon, who went to the country to discuss electoral reform, was denied entry and deported. Speaking in Melbourne, where Xenophon had arrived earlier yesterday, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said: "We made immediate and strenuous representations on his behalf. Clearly we didn't succeed. We will continue to pursue this issue with the Malaysian government." Reuters


Park names Hyun as finance minister

SEOUL - South Korea's President-elect Park Geun-hye appointed Hyun Oh-seok as finance minister. Hyun, currently head of the state think-tank Korea Development Institute, will also become deputy prime minister for economy, signalling that Park will make spurring growth in the economy a priority. Bloomberg


Bomb kills two people in southern Thailand

BANGKOK - A bomb killed two people in southern Thailand and police said they had defused other devices, apparently placed by Muslim separatists showing their capacity to strike despite a failed attack on a marine base last week. The bomb was hidden in a fruit basket placed by a clock tower in the city of Pattani. It killed two defence volunteers and injured a policeman. Reuters