Myanmar officers guilty of Rohingya atrocities
YANGON • Three Myanmar military officers were found guilty by a court martial investigating atrocities against Rohingya Muslims in the conflict-ridden Rakhine state, the army said yesterday.
The rare action against military members came as Myanmar faces charges of genocide at the United Nations’ top court over a brutal 2017 crackdown against the Rohingya. Some 750,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh with accounts of widespread murder, rape and arson.
Estimates from survivors put the death toll in the hundreds.
2021 Apec forum hosted by NZ to go digital
WELLINGTON • New Zealand’s hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum next year will go ahead using virtual platforms.
While the annual Apec leaders’ meeting will not be held until November next year, hosting requires thousands of people entering New Zealand from the later part of this year, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said yesterday. The government is making the call now for planning and security purposes, he said.
“Given the current global environment, planning to have such a large volume of high-level visitors in New Zealand from late 2020 onwards is impractical,” Mr Peters said. “We simply couldn’t guarantee these people would be able to enter New Zealand without being quarantined.”
S. Korea’s birth rate lowest in the world
SEOUL • South Korea has the world’s lowest birth rate, according to a United Nations report released yesterday.
The annual report by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) found the fertility rate per woman in South Korea was only 1.1, the lowest among 201 countries surveyed.
“Even as women have gained equality in access to education and work, decisions on having more children are constrained by their ‘second shift’ in taking care of children and managing households,” said Mr Won Do-yeon, chief of the UNFPA’s Seoul office.
Reversing the fall in fertility will require wider institutional reform consisting of policies to empower women, and the greater involvement and support of men, he said.
Other countries with a low birth rate included Bosnia and Herzegovina and Singapore at 1.2, and Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Portugal at 1.3.