Southeast Asia faces threats from Daesh, cyber-attacks, summit hears

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivers his opening address at the 32nd ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Summit in Singapore on April 28, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 28 April 2018
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Southeast Asia faces threats from Daesh, cyber-attacks, summit hears

SINGAPORE: Southeast Asia faces “very real” threats from Daesh despite their defeat in the Middle East, as well as cyber-attacks, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong warned Saturday as he opened a regional summit.
Parts of the 10-country region, encompassing about 650 million people, have long struggled with Islamic militancy and the emergence of Daesh has served as a new rallying point for radicals and re-energised extremist groups.
A deadly gun and suicide-bombing attack in Indonesian capital Jakarta in 2016 was the first Daesh-claimed assault in the region, while the Philippine city of Marawi was overrun last year by fighters loyal to the extremists, triggering a months-long battle that killed hundreds.
Fears are also growing that Southeast Asia, which is home to booming economies where a growing number of people are adopting digital technology in their everyday lives, could be increasingly targeted by cyberattackers.
Opening the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Singapore, Lee warned that Daesh continues to threaten the region despite their military defeat in Iraq and Syria, while the move toward digitalization has made countries more vulnerable to cyberattacks.
“Southeast Asia is at peace, but these threats are very real,” he said.
“We need to be resilient to both conventional threats, and also non-conventional threats such as terrorism and cyberattacks.”
The leaders at a working dinner Friday ahead of their formal summit agreed to increase coordination in cybersecurity.
Lee also warned that the open global trading system, which has allowed many of the region’s export-driven economies to flourish, has come under increasing threat due to protectionist policies in major economies.
“The political mood in many countries has shifted against free trade,” he warned.
“In particular, the trade tensions between the US and China are worrying concerns.”
Washington and Beijing have imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars worth of goods which analysts said could escalate into a global trade war and scupper global growth.
Lee said the answer to such rising protectionism is for ASEAN to further push for the deeper integration of their economies and bolster cooperation in other fields.
“Individually, the ASEAN member states will find it hard to make much impact on their own,” Lee said.
“But when we speak in one collective ASEAN voice, we can be effective.”
ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.


Drifter charged in stabbing death of champ golfer in Iowa

Updated 18 September 2018
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Drifter charged in stabbing death of champ golfer in Iowa

  • Celia Barquin Arozamena was found in a pond at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames, about 50 kilometers north of Des Moines
  • A police dog tracked Barquin’s scent to a temporary camp along a creek near the golf course, where a suspect was apprehended

AMES, Iowa: A homeless man attacked and killed a top amateur golfer from Spain who was playing a round near her university campus in central Iowa, leaving her body in a pond on the course, police said Tuesday.
Collin Daniel Richards, 22, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Celia Barquin Arozamena, a student at Iowa State University.
Barquin was found Monday morning in a pond at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Des Moines. Police were called to the golf course around 10:20 a.m. to investigate a possible missing female after golfers found a golf bag with no one around it.
Officers found Barquin’s body some distance from the bag, with several stab wounds to her upper torso, head and neck, according to the criminal complaint filed Tuesday against Richards.
A police dog tracked Barquin’s scent to a temporary camp along a creek near the golf course, where Richards had been living in a tent, the complaint said. Officers found Richards with several fresh scratches on his face consistent with fighting, and a deep laceration in his left hand that he tried to conceal, it said.
An acquaintance of Richards told investigators that the suspect had said in recent days that he had “an urge to rape and kill a woman” while they were walking on a trail near the course, the complaint said. A second acquaintance told police that Richards arrived at his home on Monday appearing “disheveled and covered in blood, sand and water.” He bathed and left with his clothes in a backpack.
Investigators later recovered two pairs of shorts with blood stains and a knife that Richards allegedly gave to two other people after the slaying, the complaint said. Those two individuals were driving Richards out of town after the slaying, but he asked them to drop him off near the camp so he could get his tent and that’s when officers arrested him, it said.
Barquin was the 2018 Big 12 champion and Iowa State Female Athlete of the Year. The university said the native of Puente San Miguel, Spain, was finishing her civil engineering degree this semester after exhausting her eligibility at Iowa State in 2017-2018.
She was one of the most accomplished players in Cyclone golf history, the university said. In April, she became the second women’s golfer at Iowa State to earn medalist honors at a conference tournament when claiming the 2018 Big 12 Championship. She did it with a three-shot victory.
Barquin, who was ranked No. 69 nationally by Golfweek, ended her career as a Cyclone with a fourth-straight NCAA Regional appearance and earned All-Big 12 Team honors for the third time — the second player in Iowa State’s history to do so.
She became the third Cyclone women’s golfer to compete in the US Women’s Open Championship, the university said. The team announced Tuesday it was pulling out of the East & West Match Play in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to be with friends and family and to grieve their loss.
Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen said in a statement on Twitter that she was “deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death” of Barquin, describing her as a “dedicated civil engineering student” and an “acclaimed golfer with a bright future.”
Head women’s golf coach Christie Martens said in a release that Barquin was “loved by all her teammates and friends” and was an “outstanding representative of our school.”
“We will never forget her competitive drive to be the best and her passion for life,” Martens said.