Vietnam’s President Quang dies after ‘serious illness’

Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang was appointed to the role in April, 2016. (AFP)
Updated 21 September 2018
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Vietnam’s President Quang dies after ‘serious illness’

  • Vietnam has no paramount ruler and is officially led by the president, prime minister and Communist Party chief
  • Rumors of Quang’s illness had been swirling on social media for months

HANOI: Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang, one of the country’s top three leaders but with mostly ceremonial duties, died on Friday after an illness, state television and radio announced.
Quang, 61, died in a military hospital in Hanoi from a “serious illness despite efforts by domestic and international doctors and professors,” Vietnam Television reported.
Vietnam has no paramount ruler and is officially led by the president, prime minister and Communist Party chief. Experts say the presidency is largely ceremonial.
Quang was appointed to the role in April, 2016. Before that, he had served as Minister of Public Security, an organization with broad powers and a remit that includes intelligence gathering and thwarting domestic and foreign threats to the party.
Originally from a small farming community 115 kilometers south of Hanoi, Quang rose through party ranks to become a police general and member of Vietnam’s powerful decision-making Politburo.
“We are saddened to hear the news that the president has died,” said Bui Duc Phi, chairman of the village in which Quang was born.
Rumors of Quang’s illness had been swirling on social media for months.
At one of his last appearances, during a visit by Indonesian President Joko Widodo to Hanoi on September 11, Quang appeared visibly unwell and stumbled as he stepped onto a platform to inspect a guard of honor.
State-owned newspaper Vietnam News said Quang hosted a reception for China’s Supreme Court chief in Hanoi on Wednesday.


Pakistan army chief confirms death sentence for 15 militants

Updated 32 min 43 sec ago
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Pakistan army chief confirms death sentence for 15 militants

  • Pakistan lifted a moratorium on the death penalty after a 2014 militant attack on an army-run school in Peshawar that killed more than 150 people
  • The fourth anniversary of the attack is being observed Sunday

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s army chief has approved death sentences for 15 people convicted by military courts of involvement in attacks that killed 32 security forces and two civilians.
A military statement issued Sunday says Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa also approved prison terms for 20 alleged militants. It says they were involved in attacks on security forces and Christians, and the destruction of educational institutions. It did not say when the men would be executed.
Military trials are not open to the public in Pakistan, but defendants can hire their own lawyers.
Pakistan lifted a moratorium on the death penalty after a 2014 militant attack on an army-run school in Peshawar that killed more than 150 people, mostly schoolchildren.
The fourth anniversary of the attack is being observed Sunday.