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FBI prepares charges against North Korea over Bangladesh heist

United States federal prosecutors are reportedly building a case implicating North Korea's government of orchestrating an


'Meet to Kill' murderer of Cambodia's Kem Ley jailed for life

The laborer and ex-soldier Oeut Ang, also known by the pseudonym "Chuob Samlab" - which means "Meet to Kill" in Khmer - had admitted to


The civilian surrender - Pakistan reinstates military courts

Pakistan's National Assembly (lower house of parliament) unanimously passed Tuesday the 28th Constitutional Amendment Bill to reinstate military courts in the country despite severe opposition from human rights groups.

The bill cites "an extraordinary situation and circumstances still exist that demand continuation of the special measures adopted for expeditious disposal of certain offenses" as the reasons to revive the controversial courts.

" ... [T]he Constitution (Twenty-first Amendment) Act, 2015 (I of 2015) was passed (with a sunset clause of two years) enabling trial under the Pakistan Army Act, 1952 for expeditious disposal of cases related to terrorism.

"These measures have yielded positive results in combating terrorism. It is, therefore, proposed to continue these special measures for a further period of two years through this Constitution Amendment Bill," reads the bill.

The Senate (upper house of parliament) has yet to approve the legislation, but as the ruling Muslim League party of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the opposition Pakistan People's Party hold a majority in the Senate, the bill is most likely to come into effect soon.

The controversial tribunals, which try civilians charged with terrorism offenses, expired on January 7 after functioning for two years. They sentenced some 160 people to death, of whom 20 have been executed.

The courts came into force after the deadly Taliban attack on a Peshawar school in December 2014 that killed more than 150 people, mostly children. The country's powerful military intensified its crackdown on extremists following the massacre, as the civilian government introduced a National Action Plan (NAP) that included the creation of the military courts.

But rights activists say the military courts are "extra-constitutional" and have failed to achieve the target they had set for themselves - the eradication of terror. In addition, they say, no efforts have been made to reform the civilian judicial system to speed up terror trials.

A complicated matter

Civil society groups were hoping that parliament would decide against the revival of military courts. Now that the tribunals have been reinstated, many in Pakistan find it paradoxical that the civilian lawmakers have willingly surrendered their already limited powers to the military.

"For the past eight to nine years, the civilians have surrendered to most demands from the military. Nearly all major decisions to govern the country are made by the army generals. One of the reasons why they submit to the military is that the Pakistani army can destabilize the country and the government," Arif Jamal, a US-based researcher and analyst, told DW.

The civilian surrender - Pakistan reinstates military courts

255 lawmakers voted in favour of the military courts' revival, surpassing the two-third majority in the lower house of parliament

The military courts have been slammed nationally and internationally also due to the fact that they violate fundamental human rights of Pakistani citizens. Under the secret military court system, civilian defendants are barred from hiring their own lawyers; media is not allowed to observe proceedings; there is no right to appeal; and the military tribunal judges - not necessarily possessing law degrees - are not required to provide


Philippine senator: 'No other recourse except to impeach' Duterte

Challenging presidents is nothing new to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. In 2003, Trillanes was one of the military officers who led more than 300 men in a bid to oust then-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

The bloodless mutiny failed. Trillanes and his men were imprisoned and Trillanes spent more than seven and a half years in jail. While in prison, he campaigned for Senate using social media platform Friendster and won. He became one of the youngest elected senators in 2007 and served his senatorial seat from prison until he was pardoned by President Benigno Aquino III in 2010.

During the 2016 presidential elections, Trillanes made his first attempt to discredit Rodrigo Duterte by exposing his bank accounts that were allegedly sourced from illegal drug operations.

Since then, he has turned into a thorn in President Duterte's side, promising to take down the Philippine leader and not stop until Duterte is in jail for his bloody war on drugs.

In this fight, Trillanes has an unlikely ally - a self-confessed hitman Arturo Lascanas who says Duterte ordered and paid him to kill.

In a DW interview, Trillanes calls Duterte's war on drugs "fake," and says that the president is pursuing it because he wants to control society and keep himself in power.

DW: Retired police chief Arturo Lascanas publicly confessed in February to being a core member of the Davao Death Squad (DDS) when Duterte was mayor. Now, a member of your party has filed an impeachment motion against Duterte, do you see an impeachment coming?

Antonio Trillanes IV: Well, that is the logical conclusion to all of this. You have two witnesses who are attesting to the fact that Duterte masterminded the killing of innocent people, including political opposition or critics while he was mayor of Davao.

We have also secured a set of documents showing that he has amassed ill-gotten wealth amounting to about 44 million euros ($47.5 million).

Then there is his complicity to what is happening now where there are about 8,000 people dead because of his fake war on drugs, which I believe he is doing because he wants to control society and keep himself in power - because that is what he did in Davao city.

Philippine senator: 'No other recourse except to impeach' Duterte

Antonio Trillanes IV: 'This is an opportunity to correct the error of the past elections'

You said "fake" war on drugs. What do you mean by that?

When you compare what happened in Davao to what is happening now all over the country, you will see that Duterte is using the same template of killing petty criminals, small-time drug pushers and users. But eight months into the war on drugs, not a single big-time drug lord has been killed.

An Amnesty International Report released in January revealed that police officers were offered rewards of up to 277 euros for each target killed. Lascanas claimed that he got a monthly allowance of 1,852 euros for being a core DDS member. Where is the money to fund these operations coming from?


South Korea testing salvage of Sewol disaster ferry

Workers in South Korea on Wednesday began tests to determine whether they can begin salvage operations to raise a 6,800-ton ferry that