Plan to protect Indonesian peatlands with aerial mapping wins $1m

  JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — A plan to use satellite imagery and aerial mapping to protect Indonesia’s peatlands — a vast carbon sink and source of much of the country’s greenhouse emissions — was awarded a $1 million prize on Friday. The cutting-edge technology will be used by authorities to clamp down on illegal clearance of the land for plantations, helping to prevent a repeat of annual forest fires that plague the region while also […]

Duterte: Malaysian and Indonesian troops can enter the PHL when in pursuit of terrorists

President Rodrigo Duterte has said that Indonesian and Malaysian troops can enter the Philippines when in pursuit of terrorists. The President said all Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur should do was to inform the Armed Forces of the Philippines beforehand. President Duterte said the Philippines was even willing to give the foreign troops assistance. “If it is a joint operation, you bring along my soldiers because that’s what I’ve been saying. Hot pursuit in the seas,” […]

WATCH: President Duterte’s visit to India for ASEAN Summit

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte, during his trip to participate in the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit, held a bilateral meeting with India Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 24, 2018 at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India. Following the meeting, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Board of Investments of the Republic of the Philippines and Invest India of the Republic of India was exchanged between the two nations. DTI Philippines Secretary Ramon […]

ASEAN and India to strengthen maritime defense

(Eagle News) — The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India  have agreed to strengthen maritime security defense cooperation. “India shares ASEAN’s vision through rule-based order for the oceans and seas. Respect for international laws, notably the UNCLOS is critical for this. We remain committed with ASEAN for cooperation in maritime area,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, referring to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas. According to the Indian Foreign […]

Myanmar blames Bangladesh for delayed Rohingya return

by Richard Sargent  with Annie Banerji in Cox’s Bazar Agence France Presse YANGON, Myanmar (AFP) — Myanmar blamed Bangladesh on Tuesday for delays to the start of a huge repatriation program for Rohingya refugees, as the UN warned of the dangers of rushing their return to strife-torn Rakhine state. Nearly 690,000 Rohingya escaped to Bangladesh after a brutal Myanmar army crackdown began in the state last August, while around 100,000 fled an earlier bout of […]

Strong quake sparks panic in Indonesia

    by Dessy Sagita Agence France Presse JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — A strong quake rattled Indonesia Tuesday, sparking panic in the capital Jakarta and ripping roads apart in the countryside. Office workers rushed outside as buildings began swaying, while riders were thrown off their motorbikes by the force of the 6.0 magnitude rumble. Footage broadcast on Indonesian television showed trucks swaying violently from side to side at a port in Banten province on the […]

Three civilians killed in southern Thailand market bomb: police

YALA, Thailand (AFP) — A motorcycle bomb killed three civilians and wounded 22 others on Monday morning at a market in Thailand’s insurgency-hit south, officials said, the first such attack on a ‘soft target’ in the Muslim-majority region for months. A rebellion against Thai rule in the culturally distinct Thai “Deep South” bordering Malaysia has left nearly 7,000 dead — the majority civilians — since 2004. The death toll in 2017 from the insurgency was […]

Duterte off to India next week; is expected to attend ASEAN-India summit, celebrate India’s Republic Day

  (Eagle News) — President Rodrigo Duterte will visit India next week to participate in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-India Commemorative Summit (AICS) and attend activities commemorating India’s Republic Day. Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Assistant Secretary Hellen De La Vega said in a press briefing on Friday, January 19, that President Duterte is expected to arrive in New Delhi on January 24. The ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit will take place the next day. […]

Two Koreas in fresh talks on Winter Olympics

by Jung Ha-Won Agence France-Presse SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — North and South Korea began talks Monday on appearances by performers from Pyongyang’s state-run artistic troupes at next month’s Winter Olympics in the South, after the North agreed to attend the Games. Pyongyang agreed last week to send athletes, high-level officials, and others to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, easing months of high tensions over its weapons programmes. The two sides agreed an art troupe […]

Myanmar army’s admission of killings a ‘positive step’: Suu Kyi

YANGON, Myanmar (AFP) — Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi has welcomed an unprecedented army admission that security forces carried out extra-judicial killings of Rohingya Muslims as a “positive step”, state-backed media reported Saturday. After months of staunch denials of abuse, the army on Wednesday said a probe found four members of the security forces helped kill 10 Rohingya militant suspects at Inn Din village on September 2, leaving their bodies in a hastily […]

Shallow 6.0-magnitude earthquake hits Myanmar: USGS

YANGON, Myanmar (AFP) — A strong 6.0-magnitude earthquake hit a remote region of central Myanmar early Friday, the US Geological Survey said. The shallow quake struck some 40 kilometers (24 miles) west of the town of Pyu, the USGS said. It was followed by three weaker tremors in the region, all of magnitudes 5.3, the survey reported. “There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage,” USGS said, but noted that residential structures in the […]

Japanese crime boss held in Thailand after ‘yakuza’ tatts go viral

BANGKOK, Thailand (AFP) — A retired Japanese crime boss has been arrested in Thailand ending more than 14 years on the run after photos of his ‘Yakuza’ tattoos and a missing little finger went viral. The fugitive, Shigeharu Shirai, 72, was arrested by a SWAT team on Wednesday in the sleepy central Thai market town of Lopburi while he was out shopping. Japanese authorities have called for his arrest over an alleged role in the […]