Daughter of Malaysian opposition leader arrested
The daughter of imprisoned Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was arrested on March 16. Nurul Izzah, a Member of Parliament, was vocal in her opinion that Anwar’s imprisonment was politically motivated. Nurul Izzah was released the next day on bail, but she may be summoned at any time.
Upon her release, she called her arrest “unnecessary, malicious [and] unlawful … My arrest confirms what we have maintained all this while: Anwar Ibrahim is Malaysia’s No 1 Political Prisoner; and [there are] hidden intentions to make me a political prisoner to further consolidate power in the ruling elite.”
Sydney café re-opens after hostage crisis
Last December, Man Haron Monis took 18 people hostage in the Lindt café in Sydney for 17 hours. Ninety-five days after the crisis, the Lindt café reopened for business. People queued around the block to buy chocolate in a show of support.
Mike Baird, premier of New South Wales, said that while “we continue to mourn” with the victims’ families and friends, “today is a reminder that whilst we were challenged, we have come through that test.”
Installed in the café’s entrance are two plaques memorializing Lindt shopkeeper Tori Johnson and barrister and mother-of-three Katrina Dawson, both of whom were killed in the attack. Seen back at work was Joel Herat, one of the employees who was held hostage.
Intentional plane crash in French Alps kills 150
Germanwings flight 4U 9525 from Barcelona to Düsseldorf crashed in the French Alps on Tuesday. All 150 passengers aboard the Airbus A320 died. Investigators believe the co-pilot Andreas Lubitz intentionally crashed the plane. Data from airplane tracking services and the plane’s cockpit voice recorder indicate the captain left the cockpit and Lubitz locked him out. Lubitz programmed a descent into the aircraft’s autopilot and the plane crashed 20 minutes later. The voice recorder indicates Lubitz’ breathing could be heard up to the moment of the crash, and the captain was fighting to get inside.
Investigators, families of the victims, and recovery crews have visited the area, where they say remains of the plane and the passengers are strewn across the mountain. Investigators have said on Sunday that they have isolated DNA samples of 78 victims. Although Germanwings’ parent company Lufthansa says Lubitz had passed all examinations with “flying colors” and was fit to fly, French investigators have uncovered evidence that he suffered from depression and concealed his condition from employers.
Singapore mourns death of prime minister
Founding father of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew died Monday in a hospital, reported government sources. Lee Kuan Yew oversaw the tiny nation-state’s growth from an island dependent on Malaysia to an economic powerhouse. He served as prime minister for 31 years.
The public’s response to the death took officials aback. Singapore has been in mass mourning since Tuesday, with queues for public viewing of the body topping nine hours. A state funeral for Mr. Lee was held Sunday. Although Lee Kuan Yew was a popular figure, he was an autocrat who clamped down on the media, squashed political dissent and micromanaged people’s daily lives. He was admired by world leaders for his economic achievements and criticized for his regulation of basic freedoms.
Ebola virus leads to lockdown in Guinea
Officials are worried that complacency toward the Ebola virus is behind a rise in new infections. The number of new infections in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone had dropped in recent months, but that number appeared to be increasing over the last few weeks. Concerned that the virus may be coming back, Guinea imposed a lockdown on parts of the country on Friday. On Saturday, the government declared a 45-day emergency in five prefectures in the south and south-west of the country.
“Wherever the need may be, throughout this period, measures of restriction and confinement will be taken,” said Guinean President Alpha Conde. On Friday, Sierra Leone imposed a three-day lockdown over fears the virus was strengthening there as well.