ASEAN IN FOCUS

President Duterte joins 34th ASEAN Summit opening

  The 34th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Leaders’ Summit formally opened Sunday with President Rodrigo Duterte joining fellow ASEAN leaders during the opening rites held at the Athenee Tower. The ceremony started with the playing of the ASEAN anthem, “The ASEAN Way.” After which, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha delivered his welcome remarks. During the ceremony, Thailand, the host country, presented a cultural performance displaying the rich and […]

Trade disputes to dominate as ASEAN meets in Bangkok

  by Jenny Vaughan Agence France Presse BANGKOK, Thailand (AFP) — Southeast Asian leaders will dissect the impact of the US-China tariff war this weekend at a Bangkok summit, with Beijing determined to drive forward a trade pact sweeping in 40 percent of global commerce — but excluding America. Disputes in the flashpoint South China Sea and Myanmar’s treatment of Rohingya Muslims are also likely to make the agenda at the two-day Association of Southeast […]

6.3-magnitude earthquake rocks Indonesia’s Papua

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — A 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit Papua, in eastern Indonesia Thursday, US seismologists said, but no tsunami warning was issued. The quake hit about 250 kilometers west of the town of Abepura in Papua province at 12:46 am local time, at a depth of 12 kilometers, according to the US Geological Survey. The quake was felt weakly in Abepura, but most people did not notice it. “I was still awake at home but […]

President Duterte to push for Code of Conduct in South China Sea in 34th ASEAN summit in Thailand

  (Eagle News) – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to fly to Thailand this week to attend the 34th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit where he would join other ASEAN leaders in discussing important regional issues. Duterte is expected to push the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea during the ASEAN Summit in Thailand with the Philippines being the ASEAN-China dialogue coordinator, an official from the Department of Foreign Affairs said. […]

Indonesia ferry sinking leaves at least 15 dead

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — At least 15 people have died after a passenger ferry sank off the Indonesian island of Java, police said Tuesday, the latest maritime accident to hit the archipelago nation. The overloaded boat was carrying around 50 people when it overturned Monday in rough seas near Madura island, East Java Police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera said. Search and rescue teams found 13 bodies Tuesday morning, bringing the total number of dead to […]

Dozen killed in Indonesia bus crash after passenger argument

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP ) — Twelve people were killed and dozens more injured in an Indonesian traffic accident Monday after a bus passenger tried to wrest control of the steering wheel following an argument with the driver, police said. The accident happened at around 1:00 am Monday (1800 GMT Sunday) when the coach swerved into oncoming traffic on a toll road in West Java, smashing into two cars and causing a truck to roll. Some […]

Indonesia returns five containers of waste to the US

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — Indonesia has returned five containers of rubbish to the United States and will not become a “dumping ground”, officials said Saturday, the latest Southeast Asian country to return imported waste. The containers were supposed to contain only paper scrap, according to the customs documents. Instead they were loaded with other waste including bottles, plastic waste, and diapers, said senior environment ministry official Sayid Muhadhar. “This is not appropriate and we don’t […]

PHL sends pair of Philippine eagles to Singapore to mark 50th year of diplomatic relations

  (Eagle News) — The Philippine goverment has sent a pair of Philippine eagles to Singapore under a Wildlife Loan Agreement (WLA) between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) on Tuesday, June 4, marking the first-ever overseas loan of Philippine eagles. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the pair named Geothermica, a 15-year-old male Philippine eagle, and Sambisig, a 17-year old female eagle, will be provided […]

Mahathir: Malaysia will use Huawei ‘as much as possible’

TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Malaysia will continue using Huawei products “as much as possible,” bucking a global trend prompted by security concerns and a US ban on the Chinese firm, the country’s prime minister said Thursday. Mahathir Mohamad, speaking at a conference in Tokyo, acknowledged the security concerns but said they would not deter Malaysia. “Yes, there may be some spying. But what is there to spy (on) exactly in Malaysia? We are an open […]

Australia pilots hit by lasers during South China Sea flights

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Australia’s military has confirmed that Navy pilots were targeted with lasers during flights in the hotly contested South China Sea, with informal Chinese militia vessels believed to be behind the attacks. Beijing has become more assertive in the area, stoking tensions with rival claimants in Southeast Asia as well as Canberra and Washington — traditionally the dominant naval and air power in the Asia-Pacific region. The Australian Defence Force said “assets […]

Malaysia to ship back hundreds of tonnes of plastic waste

by M JEGATHESAN PORT KLANG, Malaysia (AFP) — Hundreds of tonnes of imported plastic waste will be shipped back to where it came from, Malaysia said Tuesday, insisting the country did not want to be a global dumping ground. Around 300 million tonnes of plastic are produced every year, according to the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), with much of it ending up in landfill or polluting the seas, in what is becoming a growing […]

Fire and blast at Thai port injures 25

BANGKOK, Thailand (AFP) — A fire erupted on a cargo ship docked at a port in Thailand, triggering a blast and leaving at least 25 workers suffering from smoke inhalation and other injuries, officials said Saturday. The district around Laem Chabang deep-sea port in Chonburi province, located two hours south of capital Bangkok, has been declared a “danger zone”, said port director Yuthana Mokkhao. The fire broke out on Saturday at 6.35 am (23:35 GMT […]