Environment

Rescued Rohingya Describe High-Seas Terror

A group of Rohingya say they were beaten by traffickers and drank their own urine to stay alive on a perilous four-month journey at sea until their dramatic rescue near the Indonesian coast.The bedraggled survivors - about 100 in all, mostly women and children - described a high-seas horror story that saw them reduced to throwing the dead overboard as their rickety craft drifted thousands of kilometres towards Malaysia.Two survivors claimed that people smugglers paid to transport them had bea

29 June 2020
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Mekong Under Great Threat

Water levels in Southeast Asia’s largest river may be at its lowest in a century.Low rainfall, high temperatures and poor dam regulations are contributing to a historic low at the Mekong, affecting lives, the region’s agriculture and fishing industries and leading to rapidly drying taps.Chinese dams control the flow of the 4,350-kilometre (km) river which originates in the Tibetan highlands before travelling across Myanmar, Lao, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

28 June 2020
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Pandemic Causing Child Marriage To Spike

The coronavirus crisis has caused millions to lose their jobs and sources of income. Reports of shuttered businesses and a global recession have headlined the news since the virus first appeared in Wuhan, China. The World Bank has predicted that 24 million fewer people will escape poverty in Southeast Asia this year as a result of the pandemic.

25 June 2020
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Nearly 100 Rohingya Rescued Off Indonesia

Nearly 100 Rohingya from Myanmar, including 30 children, have been rescued from a rickety wooden boat off the coast of Indonesia's Sumatra island, a maritime official said Wednesday.Images shot from Indonesian rescue boats showed dozens of children and adults, many weeping, after they had been plucked from their vessel by local fishermen."The boat with Rohingya onboard was broken and floating in the middle of the sea when the fishermen found them," said Muhammad Nasir, head of

25 June 2020
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COVID-19: ‘No Action’ For Entertainment Industry

It is no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected some of the major industries such as the tourism sector, aviation and even the real estate market. Preventive measures such as citywide lockdowns and travel curbs have been imposed by numerous countries in order to break the chain of infection.

24 June 2020
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China Dog Meat Festival Goes Ahead

Volunteers at a Beijing dog shelter hand out treats to dozens of rescued animals which had been bound for a controversial dog meat festival under way this week in southern China. The annual event in Yulin city always provokes outrage from animal rights activists, but this year they hope the coronavirus epidemic will be the death knell of a tradition they see as cruel.It is "inhumane and barbaric", said Jeffrey Beri, founder of the No Dogs Left Behind organisation, which kee

24 June 2020
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COVID-19: Pushing Millions Into Poverty?

The coronavirus pandemic does not discriminate. The deadly COVID-19 virus infects anyone exposed it regardless of age, ethnicity, gender or living conditions. When it comes to the impacts of the crisis - livelihoods, local industries, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and even large corporations are severely affected.

23 June 2020
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A Quarter-Billion Children Getting No Education

Nearly 260 million children had no access to schooling in 2018, a United Nations agency said in a report Tuesday that blamed poverty and discrimination for educational inequalities that are being exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak.Children from poorer communities as well as girls, the disabled, immigrants and ethnic minorities were at a distinct educational disadvantage in many countries, the UN's Paris-based education body UNESCO said.In 2018, "258 million children and youth w

23 June 2020
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Internet Blackout In Rakhine Enters Second Year

The internet shutdown in Myanmar's conflict-ridden northwest, described by rights groups as the world's longest, entered a second year Sunday with locals and campaigners appealing for an end to the blackout as coronavirus fears grip the region.The Myanmar military has been embroiled in a bloody civil war since January 2019 against the Arakan Army (AA), an insurgent group fighting for more autonomy for ethnic Rakhine Buddhists.The government shut down mobile data in several townships

22 June 2020
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Freedom In ASEAN Summed Up In A Week

ASEAN member states have had an eventful seven days.  In recent years, Southeast Asia has enjoyed increasing democratisation along with economic growth.

19 June 2020
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China Pressed On Mekong Dams After Low Water Levels

China was pressed Tuesday to show more transparency over its dam operations on the Mekong River, months after downstream water levels hit record lows and threatened millions of livelihoods.Lao, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam all battled severe drought last year as the tide of the river fell to record lows - exposing rocks, killing fish and threatening millions of livelihoods. But the dams along the waterway in China - where the river is known as the Lancang - held "above-average

17 June 2020
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