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Op-Ed: Luxury hotels linked to palm oil plantations, forest destruction

If you remember those quaint drawings of big fish eating progressively smaller fish, until there's only one big fish at the end, you have the general gist of how palm oil companies often destroy rain forests.

Indonesia begins search for migrant boats

Jakarta - Indonesia has begun search and rescue operations for stranded migrant boats carrying Bangladeshis and ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar, an official said on Sunday, after it dropped a hardline policy of refusing them sanctuary.

Boat people grateful for sanctuary, baffled by Gambia offer

Indonesia - Boat people who have come ashore in Southeast Asia after harrowing journeys are delighted that Indonesia and Malaysia will give them temporary shelter -- although some were baffled by an offer of sanctuary in a tiny African nation they had never heard ...

Indonesia sinks foreign boats to deter illegal fishing: Reports

Jakarta - Indonesia has sunk 41 foreign boats across the archipelago, reports said Thursday, as part of an ongoing push to stop illegal fishing in its waters.Authorities sank the vessels in public displays at several sites Wednesday, local media reported.

Fishermen wept as they rescued starving migrants off Indonesia

Indonesia - Fisherman Muchtar Ali broke down in tears when he set eyes on the overcrowded boat carrying desperate, starving Rohingya off the coast of Indonesia before going to the rescue of a vessel that has become emblematic of Asia's human-trafficking crisis.

Hundreds of boatpeople rescued off Indonesia's Aceh: official

Banda Aceh - Hundreds of boatpeople were rescued by local fishermen from their wooden vessels off Indonesia's Aceh province on Wednesday, officials and fishermen said.

Indonesia says migrant crisis is regional problem

Jakarta - Indonesia said Tuesday a migrant boat crisis was a problem for all of Southeast Asia ahead of key regional talks, as Jakarta and other countries came under more pressure to let the boatpeople land.

Families torn asunder by Asian migrant boat crisis

Langsa - A teenage son fleeing poverty on a perilous sea voyage, his relatives in a squalid refugee camp, and the cousin who made it to a marginally better life in Malaysia -- the story of one Rohingya family illustrates the torment and dreams driving Asia's mi...

Bangladeshi, 14, kidnapped, forced into Asian migrant boat

Langsa - Snatched by people traffickers in his native Bangladesh and forced onto a migrant boat, 14-year-old Absaruddin endured a weeks-long nightmare in which he almost starved to death, saw his relatives killed and was forced to jump overboard after being att...

Malaysia seeks Myanmar help on migrant 'catastrophe'

Langsa - Malaysia's prime minister said on Saturday he would seek help from Myanmar to address the unfolding "humanitarian catastrophe" involving a wave of people fleeing on boats to Southeast Asia, thousands of whom are ethnic Rohingya escaping oppression in t...

Desperate scenes in migrant boat rescue off Indonesia

Langsa - Desperate migrants facing certain death as their overcrowded boat began sinking fought for space on the stricken vessel, throwing some people overboard before they were plucked to safety Friday by passing Indonesian fishermen.

Indonesia urged to stop military 'virginity tests'

Jakarta - Indonesia faced calls Thursday to stop virginity tests for women seeking to join the military, with a leading rights group calling the practice "cruel, inhuman and degrading".

Rohingya teen recalls horror of boat trip to start new life

Indonesia - Muhammad Shorif, a 16-year-old Muslim Rohingya from Myanmar, dreamed of one day being a doctor. After fleeing a dismal upbringing in a refugee camp, he embarked on a dangerous sea voyage, only to find himself stranded on Indonesia's farthest shores.

S.E. Asia urged to save thousands of migrants feared adrift at sea

Banda Aceh - Thousands of migrants believed to be stranded at sea without food and water could die unless Southeast Asian governments act urgently to rescue them, migrant groups and the UN warned Tuesday.

Almost 500 Rohingya rescued off Indonesia: officials

Banda Aceh - Rescuers on Sunday brought ashore 469 migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh after their wooden boat arrived off Aceh in northwest Indonesia, an official said.

Indonesian leader insists death penalty 'positive' for country

Abepura - Indonesian President Joko Widodo insisted Saturday that the death penalty was "positive" for his country after the execution of seven foreign drug convicts by firing squad last month sparked international outrage.

Indonesia says to ease Papua reporting curbs, frees prisoners

Indonesia - Indonesian President Joko Widodo said Saturday decades-old reporting restrictions for foreign journalists in Papua would be lifted and ordered the release of a group of political prisoners in the insurgency-hit eastern province.

Indonesian court postpones death row Frenchman's appeal

Jakarta - An Indonesian court on Thursday postponed the start of an appeal by a Frenchman on death row to next week, indicating the country's slow-moving justice system could delay his execution for some time yet.

Rare birds jammed inside water bottles in Indonesia

Surabaya - Indonesian police have arrested a suspected wildlife smuggler after discovering nearly two dozen rare live birds, mostly yellow-crested cockatoos, jammed inside plastic water bottles in his luggage.

Mentally ill Brazilian was 'not aware' of imminent execution

Cilacap - A mentally ill Brazilian executed in Indonesia this week was delusional and oblivious to his fate until the final moments before he faced a firing squad, his lawyer and priest said Thursday.
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