Indonesia wants Australia as full ASEAN member

  SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Indonesian President Joko Widodo wants Australia to become a full member of ASEAN, signalling Friday he is keen on Canberra playing a bigger regional role in defense, trade and security matters. His comments come with Australia hosting a special summit of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders in Sydney, as China increasingly flexes its muscle and the threat of violent extremism grows. “I think it’s a good idea,” Widodo told […]

Assessor for DOT says 60-day closure of Boracay will help save island

QUEZON CITY, Philippines (Eagle News) — One of the reasons why the situation in the Island of Boracay had worsened was due to the lack of implementation of existing rules and regulations by the local government units in the island. This is according to President and CEO of Healthcore, Ms. Jocelyn “Joyce” Sacao-Alumno, who was one of the national assessors of the Department of Tourism (DOT) in 2015. She is also a staunch advocate of […]

Myanmar erects security posts on burned Rohingya land: Amnesty

YANGON, Myanmar (AFP) — Myanmar is building security installations on top of razed Rohingya villages, Amnesty International said Monday, casting doubt on plans to repatriate hundreds of thousands of refugees. Nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled northern Rakhine state to Bangladesh since Myanmar launched a brutal crackdown on insurgents six months ago that the US and UN have called ethnic cleansing. Myanmar rejects that term, saying it was responding to attacks by the Arakan Rohingya […]

ASEAN Secretary-General meets Malaysian Prime Minister

QUEZON CITY, Philippines (Eagle News) — Association of South East Asian Nation’s Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi met Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Monday, March 5. During the courtesy call, the two officials discussed the promotion of intra-ASEAN trade and investment as well as support for micro-, small-, and medium-scale industries and enterprises for an inclusive ASEAN Community. They also discussed ways to raise the public’s awareness about ASEAN and its importance on the economy […]

US aircraft carrier arrives in Vietnam for historic visit

  DANANG, Vetnam (AFP) — A US aircraft carrier arrived in Vietnam Monday for the first time since the end of the war, as the former foes bolster military ties in the face of Beijing’s build-up in the disputed South China Sea. The USS Carl Vinson will make a four-day port call to the central city of Danang for a highly symbolic trip that will include a visit to a center for victims of Agent […]

Roque: President Duterte to skip ASEAN-Australia Summit this month

(Eagle News) — President Rodrigo Duterte will not attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Australia Special Summit in Sydney from March 17 to 18. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said to attend the summit  in place of the President was Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano. According to Roque, the decision was made because there were “developments at home” that required President Duterte’s attention. For instance, he said the President would make an appearance before the […]

PHL hails Washington’s decision to include Maute Group in list of foreign terrorist groups

(Eagle News) — The Philippine government hailed the inclusion of the Maute group in the United States list of foreign terrorist organizations. “The official designation of the Maute Group as an affiliate group of ISIS and its inclusion in the US list of foreign terrorist organizations are positive developments in the campaign against terrorism,” said Presidential Spokesperson harry Roque in a statement. “This reaffirms our long-held belief that the Maute Group is composed of local […]

Shallow 6.1-magnitude quake hits off eastern Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — A 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck off eastern Indonesia late Monday, the US Geological Survey said, but no tsunami warning was issued and there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage. The quake was measured at a depth of 11.9 kilometers (seven miles) with its epicenter in the Seram Sea around 194 kilometers northwest of Ambon, the capital of Maluku province, according to USGS. “The earthquake does not have tsunami potential. I […]

Vietnam cops seize $2.5 mn heroin in China border drug bust

HANOI, Vietnam (AFP) — Five men were arrested in Vietnam for allegedly attempting to smuggle $2.5 million worth of heroin into China after police shot at their drug-packed vehicle as they tried to flee, local media reported Monday. The men were caught in northern Cao Bang province on the border with China with nearly 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of heroin from Laos in their truck, state-run Thanh Nien newspaper reported. Vietnam is a key trafficking […]

Indonesian maid’s death highlights failure to protect helpers

    by Sam Reeves / with Kiki Siregar in Jakarta Agence France Presse KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AFP) — Trafficked to Malaysia, forced to sleep outside with a dog before dying from serious injuries -– the latest abuse case involving an Indonesian maid highlights a failure to protect domestic helpers despite repeated government pledges, critics say. Adelina Sau died earlier this month in hospital a day after being rescued from her employer’s house in Malaysia’s […]

Five dead, 15 missing in Indonesia landslide

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — At least five people have been killed and 15 are still missing after a landslide cascaded down the terraced slopes of a rice field on the Indonesian island of Java on Thursday, officials said. The victims, farmers tending their crops in Brebes district, Central Java, were buried under an avalanche of mud and rock around 8:00 am (0100 GMT). “The landslide buried the farmers working in their rice fields,” disaster mitigation […]

US intelligence claims Duterte, Hun Sen threat to SE Asia democracy; Palace says US report “myopic”, “speculative”

  (Eagle News) – Malacanang hit a US intelligence community report that branded President Rodrigo Duterte as one of the Southeast Asian leaders who allegedly pose a threat to democracy and human rights in the region, saying this was a “myopic” and “speculative at best” assessment. In a 28-page “Worldwide Threat Assessment” report of the US Intelligence Community presented by US Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, it listed Philippine president Duterte, Cambodian leader Hun […]