In today’s bulletin:
Coronavirus slows in China, Malaysia’s Malay party grassroots eye cabinet posts, the US strikes the Taleban, Durians the battery of the future?, Philippines’ police chief survives helicopter crash, data breaches and more.
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CORONAVIRUS INFECTIONS SLOW IN CHINA, BUT ARE WE SEEING THE FULL PICTURE?
As the coronavirus epidemic accelerates across the world, there are signs of the virus slowing down in China – the centre of the outbreak, with new cases slowing dramatically and recoveries gathering pace. Still, doubt remains over whether the government’s statistics show the full picture as homesick Wuhan residents slowly return home. As the global battle with the virus continued, 290 million students are out of school.
See also: Singapore research shows coronavirus lingers in rooms and toilets.
Taiwan says China forced Malaysian state Sarawak to ban Taiwanese entry on virus fears.
Finally, virus-hit Australia was in a tissue tizzy as a toilet paper truck caught fire,and a man was tasered in a store brawl.
MALAYSIA’S MALAY PARTY GRASSROOTS EYE KEY CABINET POSTS
Malaysia’s fledgling coalition Perikatan Nasional (PN) government is barely two weeks old but its two major blocs, Umno and Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), are facing challenges tempering expectations among party members over Cabinet posts.
Both parties have openly voiced that Cabinet appointments would be left to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s discretion, but at the grassroots, an omission of party leaders from the Cabinet lineup is seen as unacceptable.
Malaysia Bureau Chief Shannon Teoh: Reeling from ouster, PKR trains guns on pro-Azmin ‘traitors’
US CARRIES OUT AIR STRIKE ON TALEBAN, CALLS FOR HALT TO ‘NEEDLESS ATTACKS’
The United States on Wednesday carried out its first air strike on Taleban fighters in Afghanistan since the two sides signed a troop withdrawal agreement on Saturday.
A US forces spokesman confirmed the incident in southern Helmand province, hours after President Donald Trump spoke by phone with chief Taleban negotiator Mullah Baradar Akhund on Tuesday, the first known conversation between a US leader and a top Taleban official.
The Taleban fighters “were actively attacking an (Afghan National Security Forces) checkpoint. This was a defensive strike to disrupt the attack,” Colonel Sonny Leggett, a spokesman for US Forces, Afghanistan, said in a tweet.
Taleban attack Afghan army bases, throwing peace talks into doubt
Peace, but at what price? Afghan women fear Taleban return will strip them of new freedoms
Must read: A deal to end Afghan terror havens
US Bureau Chief Nirmal Ghosh: Peace deal between US and Taleban marks tentative step towards US exit from its longest war
BIDEN REVIVES CAMPAIGN WITH SUPER TUESDAY COMEBACK
Joe Biden cemented a remarkable comeback on the biggest primary night of the Democratic presidential campaign with victories in nine states across the US, including upsets in Texas and Massachusetts, even as Mr Bernie Sanders took the biggest prize of the night, California.
Mr Biden, whose campaign was faltering just days ago, scored wins in Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Alabama and Minnesota. His victories in Texas and Massachusetts were especially stinging for Mr Sanders, who had supplanted Mr Biden at the top of polls in recent weeks.
US Correspondent Charissa Yong: Five takeaways from Super Tuesday
See also: Bernie Sanders calls race against Joe Biden ‘conflict of ideas’ after dismal Super Tuesday; Elizabeth Warren weighs campaign future
US Bureau Chief Nirmal Ghosh: A vote for safety and stability
And Michael Bloomberg drops out of Democratic presidential race after Super Tuesday losses, backs Joe Biden.
CATHAY PACIFIC FINED BY UK WATCHDOG OVER MASSIVE DATA BREACH
Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific has been fined HK$5 million (S$890,000) by Britain’s privacy watchdog over a huge data leak of more than nine million customers including passport numbers and credit card details.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said in a statement on Wednesday (March 4) that it has ordered the airline to pay the fine for “failing to protect the security of its customers’ personal data”.
IN OTHER NEWS
PHILIPPINES POLICE CHIEF AND TOP AIDES SURVIVE HELICOPTER CRASH: A helicopter carrying the Philippines’ top police official and his aides crashed at a police camp south of Manila early on Thursday. General Archie Gamboa, head of the 191,000-strong Philippine National Police (PNP), survived. He was conscious when taken to a hospital, PNP Highway Patrol Group chief Lieutenant-Colonel Wilson Doromal told CNN Philippines.
DURIAN, JACKFRUIT ARE THE ‘POWER BANKS’ OF THE FUTURE: Local fruits like durian and jackfruit could change the way we charge our smartphones or electric cars in the future, according to a study highlighted in website Popular Mechanics. A group of scientists led by associate professor Vincent G. Gomes at the University of Sydney in Australia has found a way to turn fruit cores from durian and jackfruit into potentially high-performing electrochemical supercapacitors, or energy storage devices with high energy density, which can then be further developed into applications such as batteries for electronic devices and transportation.
INDONESIA DETAINS VIETNAMESE FISHING BOATS NEAR DISPUTED WATERS: Indonesia says it has detained dozens of crew from Vietnamese boats fishing illegally in waters that were the scene of a diplomatic spat with China earlier this year. The maritime ministry said five fishing boats and some 68 crew members were seized after being intercepted on Sunday near Indonesia’s Natuna islands, which border the South China Sea, most of which is claimed by Beijing.
That’s it for today, thanks for reading and see you tomorrow.