1. Malaysian police foil terror attacks with arrests of four suspects
  2. Sri Lanka blocks social media after worst anti-Muslim unrest since Easter bombings
  3. Malaysia to welcome World Tunnel Congress 2020
  4. China say will never surrender to foreign pressure amid trade disput
  5. Japanese indicator points to recession

Malaysian police foil terror attacks with arrests of four suspects
Malaysian police have arrested four men for plotting assassinations and big-scale terror attacks in the capital. Inspector General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador said the four have admitted to being an Islamic State “wolf pack” and were preparing to strike in the first week of Ramadan to avenge the death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim. “They were planning to murder high-profile personalities whom they accused of not championing Islam or having insulted Islam. “On top of this, they have also been planning large-scale attacks on Christian, Hindu and Buddhist places of worship as well as entertainment centres in the Klang Valley,” he told reporters at the police headquarters at Bukit Aman. Muhammad Adib died in December last year after he was severely injured amid the chaos at a temple in Selangor, where a riot had erupted over the temple’s relocation. On the foiled terror attacks, Abdul Hamid said the suspects – a Malaysian, two Rohingya and an Indonesian – were captured in Terengganu and the Klang Valley between May 5 and May 7.

In Sri Lanka, the authorities on Monday temporarily blocked some social media networks and messaging apps, including Facebook and WhatsApp, after attacks on mosques and Muslim-owned businesses in the worst unrest since Easter bombings by militants. The island nation has ramped up security as fears grow that minority Muslims among its population of 22 million could face sectarian violence after bombers blew themselves up in four hotels and three churches, killing more than 250 people.

Malaysia to welcome World Tunnel Congress 2020
Malaysia will officially host the ITA-AITES World Tunnel Congress (WTC) 2020 next year (pic). WTC, which is owned by the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA) seeks to explore latest innovations, trends and advances in all areas of tunnelilng sustainably. The highly-anticipated annual event brings together engineers, designers, construction professionals and best expertise in its field. The seven-days event in May is expected to generate an economic impact close to RM 21 million from more than 1,500 delegates. WTC2020’s Organising Chairman, Ir. Dr. Ooi Teik Aun explained that the tunnelling and underground space development in Malaysia has been impressive. “We have progressed tremendously especially in the past decade. From our mega dam projects, road systems to transportation and more, Malaysia has carved an impression. I believe with the arrival of WTC 2020, we will undoubtedly increase a great deal when it comes to knowledge and innovation.” WTC 2020 will be themed “Innovation and Sustainable Underground Serving Global Connectivity”. The Congress focuses on multiple technical paper presentations, tunnelling training courses, poster presentations, the ITA-AITES General Assembly, technical visits to ongoing tunnelling projects in Malaysia, and interesting exhibitions by companies from all over the world presenting their latest tunnelling solutions, innovations and technologies.

China say will never surrender to foreign pressure amid trade dispute
China’s government said the country will never surrender to external pressure. Beijing however stopped short of announcing how it will hit back after Washington renewed its threat to impose tariffs on all Chinese imports in an escalating trade dispute. The trade war between the world’s top two economies jumped up a gear on Friday, with the United States hiking tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods after President Donald Trump said Beijing “broke the deal” by reneging on earlier commitments made during months of negotiations. President Trump also ordered U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to begin imposing tariffs on all remaining imports from China, a move that would affect about an additional $300 billion worth of goods. Beijing has vowed to respond to the latest U.S. tariffs, but has announced no details yet.

Japanese indicator points to recession
Japan may already be in recession, a government assessment of its own economic indicators showed on Monday, as the US-China trade war and weak external demand hurt activity and pose fresh challenges for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policies. Japan’s Cabinet Office said the country’s indexes on leading and coincident economic indicators both declined in March from the previous month. In its accompanying assessment on the coincident index, which combines readings such as factory output, employment and retail sales, the government described the state of the economy as “worsening”. That expression suggests a high possibility the economy has already fallen into recession, the government stated in its guidelines on the index assessment. The last time the government used the expression “worsening” in its assessment was between October 2012 and January 2013. It later judged the economy was in recession, often defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction in overseas. Japan releases its first quarter gross domestic product data on May 20 and is expected to post a mild contraction for the period.