ASEAN IN FOCUS

China’s Xi stands with Myanmar despite Rohingya genocide accusations

  by Hla-Hla HTAY and Dene-Hern CHEN Agence France Presse NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar (AFP) — China’s Xi Jinping doubled down on his support for fallen rights icon Aung San Suu Kyi on Saturday, signing dozens of infrastructure and trade deals and meeting with the Myanmar army chief accused of overseeing a genocide against Rohingya Muslims. The Chinese president’s state visit to Myanmar’s purpose-built capital came as Western investors give a wide berth to the country due […]

Treason trial opens for Cambodia opposition leader

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AFP) — Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha stood trial for treason Wednesday, more than two years after his arrest in a highly anticipated case decried by his family as a “farce” and described by the US as politically motivated. The 66-year-old co-founded the now-banned Cambodia National Rescue Party — once considered the sole viable opponent to the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) led by strongman premier Hun Sen. But Kem Sokha was […]

Flood-hit Jakarta residents sue over deadly disaster

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — Jakarta’s governor has been hit with a lawsuit filed by residents of the sprawling city after torrential rain sparked floods and landslides that killed dozens and left thousands homeless, a lawyer said Tuesday. More than 200 flood victims are seeking a total of 43 billion rupiahs ($3 million) in compensation in the class action, which was filed Monday in Jakarta district court. The suit claims Governor Anies Baswedan was responsible for […]

Indonesia deploys fighter jets, warships to patrol islands near disputed South China Sea

  JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — Indonesia has deployed fighter jets and warships to patrol islands near the disputed South China Sea, the military said Wednesday, escalating tensions with Beijing after a diplomatic spat over “trespassing” Chinese vessels. President Joko Widodo also headed Wednesday to the fishing-rich waters around the Natuna islands, which border the South China Sea, most of which is claimed by China despite competing claims from other Southeast Asian nations including Vietnam, the […]

Cambodia building collapse death toll hits 36 as rescue called off

KEP, Cambodia (AFP) — The search for victims in the rubble of a collapsed building in southern Cambodia drew to a close Sunday with the final death toll at 36 — the latest tragedy in a string of deadly construction accidents. Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen, said 23 people had been pulled alive from the rubble of the seven-storey hotel, which crumpled to the ground in seaside Kep on Friday afternoon. On Sunday rescuers also […]

Indonesia flood rescuers hunt for missing after 43 killed

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — Indonesian rescuers mounted a desperate search Friday for those missing after flash floods and landslides sparked by torrential rains killed at least 43 people across the Jakarta region, leaving whole districts underwater and thousands homeless. Around a dozen people were still unaccounted for after record rains that started on New Year’s Eve pounded the capital and left swathes of the megalopolis, home to some 30 million, a wasteland of overturned cars […]

UPDATED: Indonesia New Year flood death toll doubles to 18: official

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — The death toll from floods that hit Indonesia’s capital region jumped to 18, authorities said Thursday, as torrential rains on New Year’s Eve caused landslides and left vast swathes of the megalopolis submerged. Tens of thousands of residents have been evacuated to temporary shelters, and the Southeast Asian nation’s disaster agency warned the number killed could increase. Local media reports said as many as 21 people were dead or missing. “We’re […]

At least 24 dead in Indonesia bus plunge

PALEMBANG, Indonesia (AFP) –At least two dozen people died and 13 others were injured after a bus plunged into a ravine in Indonesia, police said. The bus carrying dozens of passengers careered into a 150-meter (500-foot) ravine in South Sumatra province just before midnight (1600 GMT) on Monday and ended up in a river, local police spokesman Dolly Gumara told AFP on Tuesday. “It crashed into the concrete road barrier before plunging into the ravine. […]

African swine fever kills nearly 30,000 pigs in Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — Tens of thousands of pigs have died from African swine fever in Indonesia’s North Sumatra province, officials said Thursday, the first time the virus has been detected in the country. The disease has devastated swine herds in China and elsewhere in Asia, and initially Indonesia authorities put the death of 27,000 pigs down to hog cholera — a different virus with similar symptoms. But Fadjar Sumping Tjatur Rasa, an official at […]

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi denies ‘genocidal intent’ in Rohingya case

  by Danny KEMP and Jan HENNOP Agence France Presse THE HAGUE Netherlands (AFP) — Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday denied “genocidal intent” as she defended Myanmar’s military operation against Rohingya Muslims in the UN’s top court. Addressing judges in The Hague, Myanmar’s civilian leader admitted that the army may have used “disproportionate force” but said that did not prove it was trying to wipe out the minority group. The African […]

PHL seals mark as sports leader in ASEAN region with hefty 149 gold medal haul at 30th SEA Games

  (Eagle News) – The Philippines is the over-all champion of the 30th Southeast Asian Games with a hefty gold medal haul of 149, dominating the biennial regional sports meet, while second placer Vietnam has 96 golds as of evening of Dec. 10. The host country thus makes a dominating presence in the biggest SEA games in history with a total medal haul of 385. Aside from the 149 golds, it had 117 silvers, and […]

PHL set to be 30th SEAGames over-all champ with wide gold medal lead; 137 golds won as of Day 9

  (Eagle News) – The Philippines is set to be the over-all champion of the 30th Southeast Asian Games as Day 9 ends with the host country grabbing 137 gold medals and a total medal haul of 345. The country also has 102 silvers and 106 bronze medals as of late evening of December 9. Thailand grabbed the second spot with 84 golds, 91 silvers and 102 bronzes, while Vietnam is third with 79 golds, […]