Anwar wins damages

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia’s former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim today won a public apology and undisclosed damages for the beating he suffered at the hands of the then-police chief after his 1998 arrest. In a civil suit which opened in court on Monday, Anwar had demanded an apology and compensation from the government, former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, and former police inspector-general Rahim Noor. But under an out-of-court deal, the case was dropped in return for an apology from Rahim as well as a sum in damages — although Anwar’s lawyer Gobind Singh said both sides agreed not to disclose who was paying. — AFP

Haze engulfs Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A smoky white haze from fires burning in Indonesia shrouded large parts of Malaysia for a second day after a brief respite following heavy rains on Wednesday morning. The Department of Environment monitoring stations recorded “unhealthy” air quality in seven areas, mostly in the densely populated Klang Valley, which includes Malaysia’s largest city, Kuala Lumpur, and its capital, Putrajaya. A spokesman for the department said 22 other places around the country showed “moderate” air quality since the haze began drifting from Sumatra province early Tuesday. — AFP

Tsunami alert

PERTH: India was on Wednesday selected to take the lead in implementing a tsunami early warning system for Indian Ocean countries after the devastating December tsunamis that killed more than 2,00,000 people. The international warning system, expected to be in place by July 2006, brings together 27 nations and aims to allow them enough time to alert their citizens to incoming tidal waves and avoid a repeat of last year’s catastrophe. The panel decided to establish a coordinated warning system after the tragedy in December. — AFP