ASEAN IN FOCUS

Two die, thousands flee after 7.3 quake in Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — At least two people have been found dead and thousands were forced from their homes after a major 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit the remote Maluku islands in eastern Indonesia, an official said Monday. The shallow quake struck about 165 kilometers (100 miles) south of the town of Ternate in North Maluku province on Sunday evening, according to the US Geological Survey. In the sparsely populated South Halmahera district, the closest area to […]

One dies, hundreds evacuate after 7.3 quake in Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — At least one person has been found dead and hundreds were evacuated after a major 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit the remote Maluku islands in eastern Indonesia on Sunday, an official said. The shallow quake struck about 165 kilometers (100 miles) south-southwest of the town of Ternate in North Maluku province at 6:28 pm (0928 GMT), according to the US Geological Survey. In South Halmahera district, the closest area to the epicenter, around […]

Locsin says validity of UNHCR resolution pushing report on Duterte drug war “highly questionable”

14 states , including Philippines, reject Iceland-authored resolution (Eagle News) – The Philippines, along with 13 other countries, rejected a United Nations Human Rights Council resolution pushed by Iceland and other Western nations that sought a comprehensive written report on the Philippine drug war under President Rodrigo Duterte. Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr was scathing in his statement read after the UN human rights body voted in favor of a draft resolution pushed by […]

Indonesia to send 210 tonnes of waste back to Australia

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — Indonesia said Tuesday it would send more than 210 tonnes of garbage back to Australia, as Southeast Asian nations push back against serving as dumping grounds for foreign trash. The eight containers seized in Surabaya city should have contained only waste paper, but authorities also found hazardous material and household trash including plastic bottles and packaging, used diapers, electronic waste and cans, a spokesman for the East Java customs agency told […]

President Duterte inaugurates most technologically advanced rice processing center in Southeast Asia

  (Eagle News) — President Rodrigo Duterte led the inauguration on Friday evening (July 5) of a rice processing center in Leyte which, he said, is one of the government-private initiatives to “sustain our rice supply and ensure food security for our nation.” The two-hectare complex is the most technologically advanced rice processing center in Southeast Asia and the largest in the Visayas and Mindanao regions, Malacanang said. The P1.7-billion Chen Yi Agventures (CYA) Rice […]

Najib’s former deputy hit with new graft charges in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AFP) — Malaysia’s former deputy premier under scandal-plagued ex-leader Najib Razak was hit with seven fresh corruption charges Wednesday for allegedly receiving about $3 million in bribes. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, now an opposition leader who was a key figure in the former regime, has now been charged with a total of 54 counts of corruption since his long-ruling coalition lost power last year. The latest charges relate to allegations that he received […]

Southeast Asian leaders throw weight behind China-led trade pact

by Thanaporn PROMYAMYAI / Dene-Hern CHEN BANGKOK, Thailand (AFP) — Southeast Asian leaders gathered in Bangkok on Saturday determined to drive forward the world’s largest commercial pact, with the trade war between the US and China clouding the outlook for their export-led economies. Disputes in the flashpoint South China Sea and Myanmar’s persecution of Rohingya Muslims are expected to be tussled over by leaders on Sunday, the final day of the Association of Southeast Asian […]

7.3-magnitude quake hits Indonesia, no tsunami threat

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — A powerful magnitude 7.3 quake struck eastern Indonesia on Monday, US seismologists said, but no tsunami warning was issued and there were no immediate reports of major damage or casualties. The quake hit at a depth of 208 kilometres (129 miles) south of Ambon island in the Banda Sea at 11:53 local time, the US Geological Survey said. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no threat of a tsunami […]

6.1-magnitude earthquake rocks Indonesia’s Papua

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — A 6.1-magnitude earthquake hit Papua, in eastern Indonesia, on Monday, US seismologists said, but no tsunami warning was issued. The quake hit about 240 kilometres (150 miles) west of the town of Abepura in Papua province at 10:05 am local time, at a depth of 21 kilometres, according to the US Geological Survey. There were no immediate reports of casualties after the earthquake. A shallower 6.3-magnitude hit the area last week, […]

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 […]