TOKYO (AFP) – A blind Japanese sailor completed his non-stop Pacific voyage yesterday, local media reported, becoming the first sightless person on record to navigate a vessel across the vast ocean.
Mitsuhiro Iwamoto arrived at port in Fukushima in his 12-metre sailboat yesterday morning, around two months after he left California.
Iwamoto, a 52-year-old San Diego resident, sailed from the United States (US) on February 24 with Doug Smith, an American navigator who verbally helped him by offering information such as wind directions.
This was his second attempt after his initial voyage was cut short six years ago when his yacht hit a whale and sank.
“I’m home. Thank you,” Iwamoto told the welcoming party after his yacht sailed into Fukushima, ending a journey of some 14,000 kilometres.
“I didn’t give up and I made a dream come true,” Iwamoto was quoted by Japan’s Kyodo News as saying.
It was the first Pacific crossing by a blind sailor, Kyodo News said.
Iwamoto, who lost his sight at the age of 16, made the voyage to raise funds for charity, including efforts to prevent blinding diseases, according to his website.Mitsuhiro Iwamoto, who lost his sight at the age of 16, made the voyage to raise funds for charity, including efforts to prevent blinding diseases. – MITSUHIRO IWAMOTO/FACEBOOK
| Fadley Faisal |
A LOCAL man was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment and a lifetime disqualification from holding or obtaining a licence to drive any motor vehicle in the Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
Nur Adi Husseini bin Jufeeri, 26, was convicted after trial of an offence of causing death by dangerous driving under Section 27 (1) of the Road Traffic Act, Chapter 68.
The defendant was responsible for an accident on October 26, 2012 along the Muara-Tutong Highway resulting in the death of another driver.
He was driving at 180km/h with his hazard lights on, to meet a friend in Tutong to buy a car, when he swerved into the victim’s car and caused it to hit the road safety barrier and lamppost, resulting in it flipping backwards.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Pengiran Hajah Nor ‘Azmeena binti Pengiran Haji Mohiddin submitted that the defendant demonstrated a complete and intentional disregard for the road traffic regulations and the safety of other road users for his own selfish benefit, and that he had disregarded the warning of his passenger to be careful.
In her sentencing, Magistrate Pengiran Hazirah binti Pengiran Haji Yusof stated that imprisonment was necessary after considering several aggravating factors, including the defendant’s driving at excessive speeds, improper use of hazard lights, and his selfish disregard for the safety of other road users, and that the accident was not caused by a momentary error in judgement.
| Hakim Hayat |
PLANS to revive the Excellent Village Award (AKC) for localities nationwide are in the works, and are expected to be launched next year, Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong said yesterday.
The annual AKC, last held in 2014, recognises villages that demonstrate excellence in community and village socio-economic activities and entrepreneurship, but the minister said the next edition of the awards will also take on a slightly different format and criteria to include other areas besides the One Village, One Product (1K1P) initiative.
He made these remarks during a dialogue session with grassroots leaders, residents and committee members of the Mukim and Village Consultative Councils (MPMK) of Temburong District during his working visit to the district yesterday.
The dialogue was held at the Temburong Community Hall.
He also shared that his ministry has formed a committee that is evaluating the format and criteria of the next edition of the AKC, and will also consult with grassroots leaders to draw more progressive ideas and feedback.Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong learns about a local food product during his visit. – MOHA
“Once this is done, we will further discuss and summarise the new format and we hope to announce it next year so that villages can work towards achieving the awards,” he added.
One of the AKC’s goal is to give village residents incentives to develop their villages to spur economic activity and generate work opportunities and to further develop villages as a cohesive community.
The minister’s visit to Temburong District yesterday is also part of his series of visits to different districts to encourage more products from different localities to shine and penetrate the market better under the 1K1P initiative.
As Temburong District was chosen to run the 1K1P pilot project in 2006, the minister said MPMK around the district have been successful in enabling different small industries to develop, but reminded that they should not be complacent and remain vigilant to ensure constancy in their products and services and allow improvement, as well as enhance local socio-economic growth.
By looking closer at the 1K1P products created by MPMK here, the minister, who was speaking to the media on the sidelines of his working visit, said he hopes “to encourage the MPMK to further boost their output by giving feedback and suggest ways to enhance quality and meet increasing demand”.
The minister added that he also hopes to see more village residents, especially the youth, to initiate and further boost programmes and activities in their areas through MPMK, especially in the development of the 1K1P initiative to help enhance socio-economic activities and self-sustainability in the areas.
KABUL (Xinhua) – At least two assailants were killed after four attackers stormed a ministry office building in the central of Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul yesterday, police said.
“Initial information found that one assailant detonated his explosive jacket at one of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology’s gate.
“Three other attackers made their way inside the compound,” Kabul police chief Sayyed Mohammad Roshandel told local media.
Another attacker was shot dead by security forces inside the compound and one civilian was injured following the blast and ensuing gun firing, he said.
“We heard a huge blast which was followed by gun firing at around 11.35am local time, outside Ministry of Communication and Information Technology and the whole place has now been sealed off,” witness Najib Rustami told Xinhua.Security personnel take positions on the perimetre outside the Telecommunication Ministry during a gunfight with insurgents in Kabul, Afghanistan. – AP
The Crisis Response Unit (CRU) or Afghan Special Operations Forces arrived at the side and cordoned off the area for precautionary measures.
The police chief added that the security forces were trying to kill or capture the remaining attackers who were disguised in military uniform.
About 2,000 ministry workers were rescued by the security forces and from nearby buildings shortly after the clashes.
The incident caused panic among the people and all the shops were closed down following the attack in the main business hub of the city, the witness added.
Sporadic firing has been continuing as of afternoon in the day.
The media and people were not allowed to enter the site and no one knows what exactly is ongoing there, he said.
Further details about the incident are still forthcoming amid the absence of any official statement.
No group has claimed responsibility for the incident yet.
| Fadley Faisal |
A CHINESE national who pleaded guilty to a charge of assault and public nuisance was ordered to settle a BND1,800 fine, or serve seven weeks’ jail in default by Magistrate Kamaliah Fadhilah binti Haji Ibrahim.
The case involving a viral video shared on social media of 37-year-old Xiaodong Han who created a scene in the capital recently came to a conclusion in the Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
DPP Hajah ‘Adzimah Mukarramah binti Haji Salleh revealed in court that it was on April 7 when the defendant assaulted a 47-year-old foreign man by pulling his shirt collar forcefully and causing annoyance to a 28-year-old local woman by shouting frantically at her and other members of the public.
It was also at 10.15am that day during Bandarku Ceria that the defendant drove along Jalan Pemancha and crashed his car into a car parked in front of him. He reversed his car straight after, crashing into yet another parked car.
The drama was caught on traffic CCTV which aided police investigations.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea has issued a relatively mild criticism of White House national security adviser John Bolton over a recent interview he gave.
State media yesterday cited First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui as criticising Bolton for telling Bloomberg News that the United States (US) would need more evidence of North Korea’s disarmament commitment before a third leaders’ summit.
Choe described Bolton’s comments as having “no charm” and being “dim-sighted”
Her criticism is much softer than the North’s typical fiery rhetoric usually directed at the US and South Korea.
North Korea blames the US for deadlocked nuclear negotiations. Some observers say the North is avoiding harsh rhetoric at the US to keep diplomacy alive.
On Thursday, the North demanded US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo be removed from nuclear negotiations.White House national security adviser John Bolton. – AP
TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appears to be using every opportunity, even the emperor’s accession, to court President Donald Trump.
Abe is scheduling a rushed visit to Washington to meet with Trump and celebrate the first lady’s birthday, and then is inviting him to be first foreign leader to meet the new emperor, the two countries announced last Friday.
Tokyo and Washington said that Trump and first lady Melania Trump will make a state visit to Japan at the end of May, just weeks after Crown Prince Naruhito ascends Japan’s Chrysanthemum throne. Naruhito’s 85-year-old father, Emperor Akihito, is ending his three-decade reign on April 30 by abdicating.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said receiving Trump as the first state guest of the new imperial era would “symbolise the unshakable bond of the Japan-United States (US) alliance.” Japanese officials are also arranging for Trump to watch the final day of a sumo wrestling tournament on May 26 so he can present a trophy to the winner.
Trump may also travel to a Japanese naval base in Yokosuka west of Tokyo to see a destroyer that is planned for refitting as Japan’s first postwar aircraft carrier, and play a round of golf with Abe, Japanese officials and media reports said.US President Donald Trump (L) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands before a bilateral meeting at the Akasaka Palace in Tokyo. – AP
Abe, experts said, is taking every opportunity to court Trump as Japan tries to stay out of the US leader’s crosshairs.
“I’m not sure what other choices this administration, or any Japanese administration, has except to try to build the best relationship possible with Washington through face-to-face interaction,” said Stephen Nagy, a politics and international studies professor at International Christian University in Tokyo.
“I think Mr Trump being the first to meet the emperor is a good example of that.”
Relations between Japan and two of its closest neighbours, South Korea and China, remain strained over their war history and territorial disputes.
In February, Trump said Abe had nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to denuclearise North Korea.
Abe did not deny the claim, triggering criticism from opposition lawmakers that his apparent effort to please Trump was embarrassing.
Abe has managed to largely stay on good terms with Trump by assiduously avoiding criticism of the US leader. “You never hear criticisms out of Japan … that has been very characteristic of the Abe administration,” Nagy said.
Abe was also the first foreign leader to meet Trump after his election in November 2016, not even waiting until he officially took office as is normal diplomatic practice.
Hiro Aida, professor of global studies at Aoyama Gakuin University and an expert on Japan-US relations, said Abe is jumping at the opportunity of the emperor’s succession after his ties with Trump were seen to be weakening as the US leader came down hard on trade issues, demanding that Japan do more to reduce the countries’ trade imbalance.
“Inviting Trump in May to meet the new emperor would be a perfect chance for Abe to show how much he cares about Trump, while also showing their relationship off to the world,” Aida said.
| James Kon |
A COLLECTION of local comic artworks is currently on display at the ongoing Comic Art Exhibition 2019 themed Kami Urang Brunei at the Art Gallery of the Dermaga Diraja.
One of these is the much talked about Bapa & Anak artworks, which incorporates Bruneian characters created by Khairul bin Haji Kamis, otherwise known as @Ngatun in his works.
His comic art Bapa & Anak was published in the Media Permata, the main Malay language newspaper in Brunei in 2003. However he discontinued the cartoons after five editions after running out of ideas for the storyline. His works was also published in the Brucert magazine in 2011.
Influenced by Disney animations, Khairul started his comic art passion when he began sketching comic artworks in secondary school, moving on to producing more serious artworks in 2000. His artworks were inspired by Malaysian comics such as Gila-Gila and Gempak, among others.
Recently, some of his friends encouraged him to revive his passion, and he agreed to exhibit some of his latest works at the Comic Art Exhibition.Khairul bin Haji Kamis. – JAMES KON
“When I was thinking about the idea, I wasn’t married yet,” he said of the process of coming up with ideas for his comics. “Then I came up with the idea of a child who is smarter and always helped his father get out of troubles.”
He said his family including his five-year-old son is very supportive of and love his comics work.
“It would be my dream to publish a comic if I can compile a good one and complete a storyline that can be made into a comic,” added the 36-year-old, who works as an assistant operation officer at BruCERT.
“It’s very hard to only get an income from comic artworks. I tried to make a living out of comics earlier in my life and I barely survived, so I feel that it is ideal to have a permanent job and carry on my hobby part-time.”
To help support comic talents in the local creative industry, Khairul said he hopes the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports could provide a permanent avenue for local talents to display and expose their artworks.
Members of the public can see Khairul’s works at the Comic Art Exhibition 2019 until April 23.
His artworks can also be viewed on his Instagram page @Ngatun.
NEW DELHI (AFP) – India’s most senior judge hit back yesterday at harassment allegations made by a former Supreme Court employee, calling the accusations “unbelievable”.
Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the accusations made by a 35-year-old junior court assistant were an attempt to stop him hearing important cases.
The 64-year-old called a special session of the country’s highest court and said it was below his dignity to deny the allegations, which he said were provoked by “bigger forces”.
The woman wrote to 22 Supreme Court judges last Friday, alleging Gogoi twice made unwanted advances against her in the office inside his official residence in October last year.
The woman also claimed she was dismissed from her job and her family was subjected to harassment after she rebuffed Gogoi’s advances.
She has called on the Supreme Court to set up a “special inquiry committee” to look into her affadavit.Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi due to retire in November this year, said he would continue his work ‘without any fear’. – AP
“I have taken this unusual and extraordinary step of sitting in court today because things have gone too far,” Gogoi said in response.
“The judiciary can’t be made a scapegoat.”
The Chief Justice, who is due to retire in November this year, said he would continue his work “without any fear”.
“There are forces that are trying to destabilise the judiciary… there are bigger forces behind these allegations hurled at me,” he told the special hearing, adding that the woman had a criminal background.
The controversy came amid a mounting #MeToo movement in India that has seen several Bollywood directors, actors and media figures accused of harassment.
A junior foreign minister was forced to resign last year after several women accused him of harassment.
The Supreme Court has 25 judges appointed by the president, including the Chief Justice.
One of the country’s most respected institutions, the Supreme Court often rules on key policy matters and orders measures citing the public interest.
| Hakim Hayat |
THE Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) marked the eve of the Nisfu Syaa’ban for the 1440 Hijrah with a religious ceremony at the Police Headquarters in Jalan Gadong yesterday.
Commissioner of the RBPF Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohd Jammy bin Haji Muhd Shah Al-Islam and Deputy Commissioner of the RBPF Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Mohd Irwan bin Haji Hambali attended the event at the Surau of the Police Headquarters.
The event began with the mass Maghrib prayer, followed by Sunnat Hajat prayer and the recitation of Surah Yaasiin.
A special Doa of Nisfu Syaa’ban was also recited.Commissioner of the RBPF Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohd Jammy bin Haji Muhd Shah Al-Islam and Deputy Commissioner of the Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Mohd Irwan bin Haji Hambali during the event. – RBPF
His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office attended the AIA Singapore Premier League home match of DPMM FC against Warriors FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Saturday. His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik was also present. DPMM FC survived a brave fightback from Warriors FC to snatch all three points in a hugely entertaining 4-2 victory. More details in Sunday’s Borneo Bulletin.
HER Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah binti Pengiran Haji Salleh Ab Rahaman on Saturday attended to watch Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Muda ‘Abdul Muntaqim ibni Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Muda Mahkota Pengiran Muda Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah and Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Anak Muneerah Madhul Bolkiah binti Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Muda Mahkota Pengiran Muda Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah participate in the 27th Brunei Age Group Long Course (LC) Swimming Championship at the Aquatic Centre of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas. Also present were Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Muda Muhammad Aiman ibni Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Muda Mahkota Pengiran Muda Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah and Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Anak Faathimah Az-Zahraa’ Raihaanul Bolkiah binti Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Muda Mahkota Pengiran Muda Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah. More details in Sunday’s Borneo Bulletin.
PLANS to revive the Excellent Village Award (AKC) for localities nationwide are in the works, and are expected to be launched next year, Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong said on Saturday. More details in Sunday’s Borneo Bulletin.
A donation presentation to the Society for the Management of Autism Related issues in Training, Education and Resources (SMARTER) Brunei was held in conjunction with the charity event during the Bakti Dewa School ‘Sports Fun Day’ on Saturday. More details in Sunday’s Borneo Bulletin.
THE curtains to the Islamic Calligraphy Art Exhibition and Activity were raised on Saturday during a launch officiated by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin. More details in Sunday’s Borneo Bulletin.
New Delhi (AFP) – India’s most senior judge hit back on Saturday at harassment allegations made by a former Supreme Court employee, calling the accusations “unbelievable”. More details in Sunday’s Borneo Bulletin.
TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appears to be using every opportunity, even the emperor’s accession, to court President Donald Trump. More details in Sunday’s Borneo Bulletin.
KABUL (Xinhua) – At least two assailants were killed after four attackers stormed a ministry office building in the central of Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul on Saturday, police said. More details in Sunday’s Borneo Bulletin.
BANGKOK (AFP) – The Thai Navy will begin removing a ‘seastead’ home built by an American bitcoin investor and his partner off the coast of Thailand, an official said on Saturday, as the couple remain in hiding from charges accusing them of violating the country’s sovereignty. More details in Sunday’s Borneo Bulletin.
KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia will not be successful as a developed nation if it does not balance physical development with the preservation of nature and maintaining the existing environment. More details in Sunday’s Borneo Bulletin.