Myanmar’s post-coup civilian death toll climbs past 700

YANGON, Myanmar (AFP) — A security guard was wounded in a bomb blast outside a military-owned bank in Myanmar’s second-biggest city Sunday morning, as the civilian death toll from the junta’s brutal crackdown on dissent topped more than 700 at the weekend. The country has been in turmoil since the military removed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1. Myawaddy Bank’s biggest branch in Mandalay was targeted on Sunday morning and a security […]

Seven killed after quake rocks Indonesia’s Java island

  JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — At least seven people were killed after a 6.0 magnitude quake struck off the coast of Indonesia’s main Java island Saturday, as the country reels from a cyclone disaster in another part of the archipelago. The afternoon quake hit offshore about 45 kilometres southwest of Malang city in East Java, damaging hundreds of homes as well as schools, government offices and mosques across the region. “Our latest data shows that […]

New cyclone barrels toward disaster-struck Indonesia

LEMBATA, Indonesia (AFP) — A new cyclone was barrelling toward Indonesia and threatened to spark more floods and landslides, authorities warned Friday, as the archipelago reeled from a storm that killed more than 200 people, including victims in neighbouring East Timor. Tropical cyclone Odette was set to dump torrential rains on south Sumatra and other parts of the country including central Java and holiday island Bali. While the new storm was not expected to be […]

Myanmar actor arrested as junta hunts 120 celebrities

  YANGON, Myanmar (AFP) — A leading Myanmar actor, singer and model who has backed the country’s anti-coup protests was arrested on Thursday, his sister said, as the junta hunts more than 100 celebrities for supporting the movement. The country has been rocked by daily protests since the military seized power on February 1, and the authorities have launched a bloody crackdown on dissent, with hundreds killed and more than 2,500 arrested. Paing Takhon, 24 […]

Britain slams ‘bullying’ Myanmar over London embassy standoff

  LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Britain on Thursday condemned “bullying” by the Myanmar junta after the country’s ambassador to London was ousted in an extraordinary diplomatic coup having called for the release of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Diplomats loyal to the Myanmar military authorities seized control of the embassy on Wednesday, leaving ambassador Kyaw Zwar Minn locked out in the street. The ambassador said the defence attache had taken over the mission […]

US warns China over moves on Philippines, Taiwan

Armed attack on PHL to “trigger our obligation” to defend PHL under US-PHL Mutual Defense Treaty, says US State Dep’t spokesman   WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — The United States on Wednesday warned China against what the Philippines and Taiwan see as increasingly aggressive moves, reminding Beijing of Washington’s obligations to its partners. “An armed attack against the Philippines’ armed forces, public vessels or aircraft in the Pacific, including in the South China Sea, will […]

Indonesia readies hospital ships for cyclone survivors

by Handrianus Emanuel LEMBATA, Indonesia (AFP) — Indonesia’s navy readied hospital ships Wednesday to help treat injured survivors of a cyclone that has killed about 160 in the archipelago and neighboring East Timor, as fears grow over coronavirus outbreaks in cramped evacuation shelters. Helicopters were also dropping food and other essentials into remote villages, while sniffer dogs were deployed to search for the dozens still missing after weekend floods and landslides devastated the Southeast Asian […]

More than 70 dead in Indonesia, East Timor floods: officials

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — More than 70 people have died and dozens are still missing after flash floods and landslides hit Indonesia and neighboring East Timor, officials said Monday. “There are 55 dead, but this number is very dynamic and will definitely change, while some 42 people are still missing,” Indonesia disaster management agency spokesman Raditya Djati told broadcaster MetroTV. At least 16 people had also died in East Timor, said an official in the […]

Vietnam’s pandemic response leader sworn in as president

HANOI, Vietnam (AFP) — The man behind Vietnam’s successful handling of the coronavirus pandemic, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, was formally sworn in as president in Hanoi on Monday. Phuc, 66, was Vietnam’s prime minister for the last five years, a period in which the economy boomed, and his government’s Covid-19 response won plaudits at home and abroad. Following secret voting on Monday, Phuc scored the maximum votes among the almost 500-member rubber-stamp national assembly. “This is […]

Indonesia flash floods kill 44, toll expected to rise

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — At least 44 people were killed after flash floods and landslides swept an island in Indonesia’s easternmost province Sunday morning, rescue officials said, adding they expected the toll to rise. “There are 44 people dead with nine injured” in East Flores regency, and “many (…) are still under the mud”, National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesperson Raditya Jati told AFP. Hours before people woke to celebrate a holiday, torrential rain unleashed flash […]

17 missing after Indonesia boats collision

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — Rescuers were searching for 17 missing fishermen after two boats collided in waters off Indonesia’s West Java province, officials said Sunday. A fishing ship hit a larger cargo vessel on Saturday evening off Indramayu regency, flipping the wooden boat’s 32 crew members into the water, said Bandung rescue agency spokeswoman Seni Wulandari. “Some 15 survivors have been evacuated to the cargo vessel but the team is still searching for 17 other […]

At least five killed in Bangkok residence collapse

THAILAND, Bangkok (AFP) — A Bangkok residence building collapsed on Saturday, killing at least four rescue workers and a resident, according to an emergency worker. The three-story house, located in a luxury gated community in western Bangkok, was engulfed in flames around 6 am and the fire raged for about an hour before it was put out. At around 7 am, as firefighters and rescue workers were moving through the razed structure in the Thai […]