Hot off the press

These are the top stories making the front pages of major newspapers from across Southeast Asia today. 

Get up to speed with what’s happening in the fastest growing region in the world.  

Warnings of ‘volcanic tsunami’ after ash pours from volcano near Manila, halting flights

The Philippines was on alert on Monday (13 Jan) for a possible “volcanic tsunami” from the eruption of the Taal volcano south of Manila, a popular tourist attraction set in the centre of a picturesque lake.

A mass evacuation was underway after the nation’s seismological agency warned that a “hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days”. 

The volcano spewed a massive cloud of ash that drifted across the Philippine capital on Sunday, forcing the cancellation of flights and closure of schools and government offices. – The Straits Times

Robredo willing to appear in Congress to discuss drug war report

Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday expressed willingness to attend Congressional hearings to discuss her findings and recommendations on the Duterte administration’s war on illegal drugs, which she has called a “massive failure.”

This was in response to Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano’s pronouncements that the House of Representatives was prepared to hold a “nonconfrontational” hearing with the Vice President, following the release of her report as former cochair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD). – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Myanmar ethnic armed groups look forward to truce

A Shan-based ethnic armed group, which engaged the military in fierce clashes last year, said it is looking forward to signing a ceasefire accord with the government this year, its leader said on Sunday.

The Ta'ang National Liberation Army expects truce with the government this year, according to its chairman General Tar Eike Bone. – Myanmar Times

Cambodian passport still among the least travel-friendly

The Cambodian passport remains to be the among the least travel-friendly travel documents in the world.

The Henley Passport Index released by Henley & Partners two days ago ranked Cambodia 88th globally. Henley & Partners is a London-based global citizenship and residency advisory firm.  The previous survey released by the same firm a few months ago also put the Kingdom in the same spot. – Khmer Times

Greater Bangkok braced for more haze

Weather conditions in Bangkok and its surrounding provinces are improving - but the Pollution Control Department on Sunday said it expects unsafe dust levels to return this week.

The department's weekly report on Sunday said the level of particulate matter measuring 2.5 micrometres or less in diameter showed only some of the 50 stations slightly exceeding the safe zone. This week, however, it expects PM2.5 levels in Greater Bangkok to rise once more. – Bangkok Post