BANGKOK, July 24 (Reuters) - Thai police have seized nearly $21 million worth of assets, from cars to cryptocurrency, belonging to the late founder of dark web marketplace AlphaBay, who died in a Bangkok jail this month, they said on Monday. Alexandre Cazes, a 25-year-old Canadian citizen, was arrested in Thailand on July 5 at the request of the United States. Thai police on Monday confirmed he was the administrator of AlphaBay, an online site devoted to the sale of illicit goods, ranging from computer hacking tools to drugs and weapons. AlphaBay was widely considered the biggest online black market for drugs, estimated to host daily transactions totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. Cazes was found dead in his cell at the Narcotics Suppression Bureau in Bangkok on July 12 before he was due to be extradited to the United States, Chalermchai said. "We have seized over 700 million baht worth of assets, cars, and cryptocurrency," deputy national police chief Chalermkiat Sriworakan told Reuters. The sum is equivalent to $21 million. Cazes faced charges related to narcotics distribution, identity theft, money laundering and other crimes. It was unclear if Cazes had been provided a lawyer or if police had appointed one for him, as is sometimes the case in Thailand. His Thai wife, Sunisa Cazes, also faces a money laundering charge. She is in custody and Reuters was unable to reach her for comment. Cazes, referred to as "DeSnake" by some in the online community, operated chiefly from Thailand, where media said he owned several properties and had connections in many countries. His arrest followed a police operation called Bayonet, which involved authorities in six countries including the FBI, the Dutch National Police and the Royal Thai Police. AlphaBay was "the largest dark net marketplace in history", U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said last week, when he announced its shutdown by the U.S. Justice Department.
TOKYO, July 24 (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, his ratings sinking over a suspected cronyism scandal, said on Monday he had never instructed that preferential treatment be given to a long-time friend and that his friend had never lobbied for favours. Abe and his aides have repeatedly denied intervening to help Kake Gakuen (Kake Educational Institution) win approval for a veterinary school in a special economic zone. Its director, Kotaro Kake, is a friend of Abe. Abe acknowledged that Kake had been his friend since they were students and told a special session of parliament's lower house budget committee that Kake had "never once" sought favours. "There was no request or lobbying regarding the establishment of a new veterinary school," Abe said. Asked if he had intervened in the approval process, Abe said: "I have never issued instructions regarding specific cases." The scandal, and a perception among many voters that Abe's administration is taking them for granted, are encouraging rivals and casting doubt on Abe's hopes for a third three-year term as ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leader. Several opinion polls have shown Abe's support has plunged below 30 percent and, while this does not immediately threaten his job, it does cloud the longer-term outlook. Abe was until recently seen as being on track to become Japan's longest-serving prime minister by winning a third three-year term when his current tenure ends in September 2018. Further pressure is likely to come from Sunday's victory by an opposition candidate in a mayoral election for the northern city of Sendai. That follows an historic defeat for the LDP in elections for the Tokyo assembly earlier this month, a devastating blow since much of Abe's clout has come from his record of leading the party to victories at the polls. A July 22-23 Mainichi newspaper poll published on Sunday showed Abe's support slipping 10 points to 26 percent from the previous survey in June. It also showed that 56 per cent of respondents did not back Abe's government, a 12 point rise. Also scheduled to appear at Monday's session are Abe's aide, Hiroto Izumi, and Kihei Maekawa, who resigned as the education ministry's top bureaucrat in January and has accused the government of distorting the approval process for the veterinary school. Abe is expected to reshuffle his cabinet early next month in an effort to repair his damaged ratings, a step often taken by beleaguered leaders but one that can backfire if novice ministers become embroiled in scandals or make gaffes. Also in trouble is Defence Minister Tomomi Inada, an Abe protege, who faces calls to resign over media reports of direct involvement in a ministry cover-up of documents about a sensitive peacekeeping operation. She denies the reports Opposition lawmakers are also expected to grill Abe about media reports that Inada allowed defence officials to conceal logs about the activities of the Self-Defense Forces, as Japan's military is known, in a U.N.-led peacekeeping operation in South Sudan.
There is no shortage of good watering holes in Kuala Lumpur, but what if all you want is a glass of great Japanese whiskey and nothing else? The beauty of going to specialist bars is not only in the range of choices you can get for a particular drink, but also the guaranteed quality of expertise you can expect to receive on a particular drink type. Whatever your poison of choice, these five bars are definitely worth a visit the next time you need a reason to raise a toast. JungleBird [caption id="attachment_354407" align="alignnone" width="960"] JungleBird's Facebook page[/caption] Specialty: Rum Where: 15, Plaza Damansara, Jalan Medan Setia 1, Bukit Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur If the tropical flavours of rum are your thing, this bar at Bukit Damansara is a good bet. Although big palm trees and Hawaiian shirts make up the design of this place, its decor and presentation remains classy and unique. With a fun-but-not-too-crazy vibe, JungleBird is the kind of place you go to let your hair down and enjoy a couple of drinks with friends and colleagues. Claret Wine Bar [caption id="attachment_354409" align="alignnone" width="640"] Claret Wine Bar at Troika Sky Dining's Facebook page[/caption] Specialty: Wine Where: Level 23a, Tower B, The Troika, 19 Persiaran KLCC, 50450 Kuala Lumpur Perched on the 23rd floor of The Troika, Claret Wine Bar is the type of place you bring business associates you want to impress. The jazz music, luxe interior and breathtaking views make Claret undeniably one of the most elegant bars in KL today. Relaxing yet sophisticated, Claret offers an extensive selection of curated wines and other drinks that will leave you spoilt for choice. PS150 [caption id="attachment_354410" align="alignnone" width="960"] PS150's Facebook page[/caption] Specialty: Cocktails Where: 150 Ground Floor, Jalan Petaling, City Center, 50000 Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Probably one of KL’s hottest bars, PS150 is well known for its creative twists on familiar drinks. You can trust the bartenders here with your drinks for sure - co-founder and head bartender Angel Ng is one of KL’s most well known mixologists, taking the crown at last year’s Kuala Lumpur Gin Jubilee with her Cantabria Imperial, a gin & tonic made with hibiscus gin and flowers. The establishment itself has an alluring history - the pre-war shophouse it calls home is located in Chinatown and was once a brothel. Its entrance is hard to find and its opium den-inspired interiors give it an air of secrecy and mystery. If you’re looking to wow and surprise, this would be the place to bring your guest. Torii [caption id="attachment_354411" align="alignnone" width="960"] Torii's Facebook page[/caption] Specialty: Japanese whisky Where: 8, Jalan Batai, Bukit Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur Simple and modern, this Jalan Datuk Sulaiman restaurant is all about two things - yakitori and whisky. The bar area is dedicated to Malaysia’s largest selection of Japanese whisky but also includes various types of Scotch from Speyside to Islay. This is the kind of place you go to when you feel like forgoing the pretense, and simply want to have a really great drink with friends and business associates. Plus, they don’t just serve meat skewers. The wagyu steaks (A3 to A5) are beautifully cooked and the perfect accompaniment to the premium whisky served here. Taps Beer Bar [caption id="attachment_354415" align="alignnone" width="780"] Taps Beer Bar Facebook page[/caption] Specialty: Beer Where: Jalan Nagasari, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, It’s the weekend and the weather is hot and humid. The perfect cure, without a doubt, is a pint of ice cold beer and random banter with friends and family. Equipped with 15 beers on tap at the 1 Mont Kiara Mall branch, and 14 at Jalan Nagasari, Taps is a craft beer heaven for those who can appreciate a good ol' mug of frothy golden goodness. The decor is warm, friendly and perfect for just chilling out on a lazy Saturday night. And it doesn’t hurt to know that the food is pretty raved about too.
Days before Tesla is slated to begin deliveries of its new mass-market sedan, a Model 3 was seen in the wild in the Bay Area.
Boos and jeers erupted from thousands of Pokémon Go players in Chicago’s Grant Park on Saturday after the game stopped working.
National diver Cheong Jun Hoong won Malaysia's first-ever gold medal at the International Federation (Fina) World Championships in Budapest on Wednesday, beating 12 other top participants. Her win (397.50 points) upset the Chinese team in the women's 10m platform diving event, beating defending Olympic gold medalist Ren Qian (391.95) who took the bronze. Chinese Si Yajie (396.0 points) won the silver medal. Cheong, 27, who is from Perak, was ranked fourth after the first two dives but moved to the top spot in an unexpected comeback. She was ranked seventh in the final based on results from the semi-final stage. Cheong had already won a bronze medal at the event with team mate Pandelela Rinong in the synchronised platform event. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak joined Malaysians on Thursday (July 20) in celebrating her gold. He wrote in a Twitter post: "Congratulations @cheongjunhoong! First world champion #Negaraku in the women's platform event at #FINABudapest2017."