Obama back in US after Southeast Asia trip

Updated 22 November 2012
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Obama back in US after Southeast Asia trip

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama landed back on US soil early yesterday after his landmark visit to Myanmar and a three-day tour of Southeast Asia in which he attended a regional summit. The president arrived at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, near the US capital, at 12:30 am (5:30 GMT), said a reporter on Air Force One, and then made the short flight back to the White House on his Marine One helicopter.
The Asia trip was Obama's first foreign tour since being re-elected two weeks ago. He met Myanmar's feted democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday, becoming the first serving US president to visit the country formerly known as Burma, and praised its fledgling reform moves after decades of military rule.
And on Tuesday at the 18-nation East Asia Summit in Cambodia a senior Obama aide said the president raised concerns about China's sweeping claims to the South China Sea, which have rattled Southeast Asian countries.
Obama's visit to Cambodia was the final leg of a three-nation trip — he visited the Thai capital Bangkok on Sunday — aimed at deepening US influence in Southeast Asia.


Indian court finds spiritual guru guilty of raping devotee

Updated 25 April 2018
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Indian court finds spiritual guru guilty of raping devotee

NEW DELHI: An Indian court on Wednesday found a high-profile spiritual guru Asaram Bapu guilty of raping a teenage female devotee in 2013 and he faces a maximum of life in prison.
The verdict against 77-year-old Bapu was read out inside a prison in the city of Jodhpur in Rajasthan state because of fears that his followers may resort to violence.
The case is the latest in a series of high-profile rape cases in India that have fueled public protests and raised questions about how police handle the cases and treat the victims.
In August last year, another popular and flamboyant Indian spiritual guru, Dr. Saint Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim Insan, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on charges of raping two female followers.
Judge Madhusudhan Sharma will announce the prison term for Bapu later after hearing arguments from the prosecution and Bapu’s attorneys.
Bapu has denied the rape and can appeal his conviction in a higher court.
The girl in her complaint to the police in 2013 accused Bapu of raping her when she visited his retreat in Jodhpur with her mother. The girl’s family said they had been followers of Bapu for more than a decade.
Bapu has been in prison since his arrest in the case in 2013.
On Wednesday, security was tight around the prison complex and in states where the self-styled guru has a considerable following.
Religious sects also wield considerable political clout in India with several politicians as followers. Asaram is also on trial along with his son Narayan Sai in a separate rape case where two sisters have accused the two men of sexual assault.