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Indonesia sends back US trash 

Indonesia has followed the Philippines and Malaysia and returned five sea containers of trash to the United States, saying it will not become a “dumping ground“.  The containers were supposed to contain scrap paper but were stuffed with bottles, plastic waste and used nappies, said...

China admits sinking Philippine fishing boat 

China has confirmed that a Chinese trawler “bumped into” a Philippine fishing boat in the South China Sea but denied claims the incident was a “hit and run.” China’s vast fishing fleet has been co-opted to serve Beijing’s military agenda and support its naval presence...

Meth trade extends its web 

Intrepid visitors to Yangon should not miss the military’s bizarre Drug Elimination Museum.  Its gory mannequins depict the dangers of drug abuse and the military’s efforts to tackle the issue.  One interactive display includes a claw-like hand that shoots towards the unsuspecting visitor. However, the giant building...

Indonesia poised to cut interest rate

The Bank Indonesia is set to ease monetary policy to counter the global economic slowdown sparked by the US-China trade war, according to Indonesia’s finance minister, Sri Mulyani Indrawati. “When the situation has now changed, especially in advanced countries, including about the direction of monetary...

Thailand abattoir shame revealed amid disease fears 

Undercover pictures taken in an abattoir in central Thailand show men bludgeoning pigs to death with clubs and using illegal homemade stunning machines.  Thai law states that animals be killed “without suffering” but humane slaughter is rarely practised in smaller abattoirs, according to campaigners. Pork is...

Philippine wrestles with giant mango surplus 

The Philippines is facing a surplus of millions of extra mangoes, with the agriculture minister, Emmanuel Piñol, saying farmers had reported an unusual increase in the harvest.  El Niño, the climatic phenomenon that caused unusually hot, dry weather this year, is associated with the bumper...

Vietnam set for Asean’s fastest growth: report 

Vietnam’s economy has been forecast to grow at around 6.7 per cent this year, the fastest rate in Asean, according to the UK Institute of Chartered Accountants’ Economic Insight report. The report said elsewhere in Asean exports were falling year on year during the second...

Singapore tries to ease Lee’s Pol Pot blunder 

The Singaporean Ministry of Foreign Affairs has tried to ease tensions with Cambodia and Vietnam after Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s Facebook post referred to Vietnam’s 1978 “invasion” and “occupation” of its neighbour.  Lee made similar comments at a security forum in Singapore last...

Shaky economy greets Thailand’s reappointed PM

Thailand’s newly reappointed prime minister, Prayut Chan-ocha (pictured), has said little about being selected to head a supposedly civilian administration.  The former general issued a brief statement thanking the parliamentarians who had voted for him, including many of the 250 unelected senators, who were selected...

Mahathir appoints graft boss, bypassing colleagues 

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has appointed the former Lawyers For Liberty director Latheefa Koya (pictured) for a two-year term as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief. "I didn't discuss with the cabinet. Normally I make the decision myself because I don't have to ask the...

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