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China Daily | Updated: 2019-02-12 07:16

Thailand

Princess disqualified from running for PM

Princess Ubolratana was formally disqualified from running for prime minister for the Thai Raksa Chart party, the Election Commission (EC) said on Monday. "The EC today has announced the name of candidates excluding Princess Ubolratana proposed by the Thai Raksa Chart party," it said in a statement, adding "because all royal family members are above politics". Uncertainty and conjecture have coursed through the country since Friday when the Thai Raksa Chart party made the explosive announcement of Princess Ubolratana, King Maha Vajiralongkorn's elder sister, as their candidate for premier after the March 24 election.

Malaysia

Court postpones ex-PM Najib's trial

A court on Monday postponed the corruption trial of former prime minister Najib Razak over charges related to a multibillion-dollar scandal at state fund 1MDB pending an appeal, his lawyer said. Najib has pleaded not guilty to ten charges of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power and his trial was originally set to begin on Tuesday. His lawyers, however, filed an application last week to stay the trial pending an appeal over a lower court's ruling to transfer some of the charges to the Kuala Lumpur High Court, media reported. No new date for the trial or the appeal has been set, the lawyer said.

Australia

Govt signs submarine contract with France

The country signed a production contract with French shipbuilder Naval Group on Monday for a fleet of 12 new submarines, worth A$50 billion ($35.5 billion), ending a two-year wrangle that cast doubt over one of the world's most lucrative defense deals. Australia selected the French builder as its preferred bidder for the fleet of submarines in 2016 ahead of other offers from Japan and Germany. However, final contracts were delayed amid domestic media reports of cost blowouts and production delays. The first of the new submarines is scheduled to be delivered in the early 2030s and the final vessel during the 2050s.

Hungary

Women with 4 kids given tax exemption

The government is greatly increasing financial aid and subsidies for families with several children, the country's prime minister said on Sunday. The measures are meant to encourage women to have more children and reverse Hungary's population decline. The benefits include a lifetime personal income-tax exemption for women who give birth and raise at least four children; a subsidy of 2.5 million forints ($8,825) toward the purchase of a seven-seat vehicle for families with three or more children; and a low-interest loan of 10 million forints for women under age 40 who are marrying for the first time.

Afp - Reuters - Ap

(China Daily 02/12/2019 page12)

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