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The Star Online: Metro: South & East

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The Star Online: Metro: South & East

Singapore Airlines plane headed to Hong Kong from Changi turned back after cargo door problems

Posted: 09 May 2014 05:04 AM PDT

SINGAPORE: A Singapore Airlines (SIA) plane to Hong Kong was turned back mid-flight after a cargo door warning light was triggered.

Flight SQ866, an Airbus A380 superjumbo, "was en route from Singapore to Hong Kong when there was a warning light that came on with regards to the cargo door, so the pilot decided to turn back to Singapore," said an SIA spokesman told The Straits Times on Friday.

The cargo door, however, was found closed when the plane landed safely back in Changi at 2:20 p.m. local time, added the spokesman. No one was hurt, and investigations into why the alarm was set off are ongoing.

A replacement aircraft with the same crew took off at 5:18pm, and is expected to arrive in Hong Kong at 8:40 p.m., more than three and a half hours after the original scheduled arrival time. - ANN/Straits Times

Japan to export robot cat Doraemon to US

Posted: 09 May 2014 12:53 AM PDT

TOKYO, May 09, 2014 (AFP) - One of Japan's most popular cartoon creations, Doraemon, a robot cat from the future with a magic pocket and a portal to anywhere, is to make his debut on US TV this year, officials said Friday.

TV Asahi, which partially owns the rights to the character, has reached an agreement with Disney to air a version dubbed into English, said a spokeswoman with the Japanese broadcaster.

The cartoon has been broadcast in Japan for decades and has captivated children across Asia, but it will be his first foray in English into the American market, she said.

The US media giant is to air 26 episodes of the animation, amending storylines, character names and gadgets to suit US viewing tastes.

Doraemon, a dumpy blue feline with a round head, was sent back in time from the 22nd century by a young boy who wanted to change his family's fortunes.

His magic pocket provides an endless supply of fantastical gadgets that help his young friend Nobita Nobi navigate the trials of everyday life.

Created by artist Fujiko F. Fujio, the character first appeared in manga strips in 1969, making the transition to small and big screen over the following decades.

Doraemon remains enormously popular in Japan, serving as an instantly recognisable cultural reference across generations.

Indonesia races to count parliamentary poll results

Posted: 08 May 2014 11:23 PM PDT

JAKARTA: Indonesian officials raced against time Friday to finish counting votes from last month's legislative polls before a midnight deadline, as fears grew the announcement of the results may have to be delayed.

The final results are expected to confirm earlier unofficial tallies showing the main opposition Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) won the biggest share of the vote, but with less support than expected.

The April 9 elections set the stage for presidential polls in July, and the PDI-P's candidate, popular Jakarta governor Joko Widodo, is the favourite to become the next leader of the world's third-biggest democracy.

However concerns were mounting Friday that officials might not finish the mammoth task of counting votes from across the world's biggest archipelago nation before the deadline, which is set down in law.

If that becomes a realistic prospect as midnight approaches, officials and party members said they might have to apply to the president for an extension, which requires a special government order.

"We hope we can finish the process tonight but of course if we can't, the (election) commission will have to file a request for the government regulation," said Ahmad Yani, who was representing the United Development Party during the vote-count.

Officials had still not finished counting votes from seven of 33 provinces by midday Friday, while witnesses from the 12 competing parties were reporting numerous alleged violations, including suspected vote-buying and falsifying results.

An election commission spokesman said that results in some provinces were not ready due to disputes, while in others the process had simply taken longer than expected.

However a senior commission official, Ferry Kurnia Rizkiyansyah, said he was "optimistic" the counting would be finished in time.

"There are still some issues to be resolved with seven provinces, but we are getting through them," he told AFP.

Unofficial tallies released on election day, which have accurately predicted poll results in the past, showed the PDI-P with around 19 percent of the vote, in the lead but with a lower share of the vote than expected.

This means the party will likely have to form a larger than expected coalition to put forward a presidential candidate and ensure enough support at July 9's election.

A party needs to win 25 percent of the national vote or 20 percent of seats in the lower house of parliament to nominate a presidential candidate.

Intense coalition-building negotiations have been going on in recent weeks, and the PDI-P has already won backing from the small NasDem party.

The final results are also expected to confirm that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's Democratic Party lost around half its support following a string of corruption scandals. -AFP

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