TACLOBAN, Philippines (Reuters) – Hung outside a shattered church in the Philippine coastal city of Tacloban, on a road flanked with uncollected corpses and canyons of debris, is a handwritten sign.
It read, “We need help!”
Relief supplies are pouring into Tacloban three days after Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, turned this once-vibrant port city of 220,000 into a corpse-choked wasteland.
OYSTER BAY, Philippines, Oct 1 (Reuters) – Its
mangrove-fringed coral reefs support an abundant fish
population. Its deep, blue waters are unmuddied by the monsoons
that batter the western Philippines coastline.
But a planned visit by U.S. President Barack Obama to Asia
starting this weekend could herald the start of dramatic changes
to Oyster Bay, a postcard-perfect cove on Palawan Island that
the Philippines expects to transform into a port for its naval
frigates and eventually for American warships – all overlooking
the disputed South China Sea.
HPAKANT, Myanmar (Reuters) – Tin Tun picked all night through teetering heaps of rubble to find the palm-sized lump of jade he now holds in his hand. He hopes it will make him a fortune. It’s happened before.
“Last year I found a stone worth 50 million kyat,” he said, trekking past the craters and slag heaps of this notorious jade-mining region in northwest Myanmar. That’s about $50,000 – and it was more than enough money for Tin Tun, 38, to buy land and build a house in his home village.
PHNOM PENH (Reuters) – His party is reeling from its worst-ever election result. His political opponents have grown bold and vocal. His people are protesting on the streets. So why is Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen smiling?
The long-ruling autocrat emerged beaming from lengthy closed-door meetings this week with his old political foe, Sam Rainsy, who says Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) cheated its way to a narrow victory in a July 28 general election.
YANGON (Reuters) – Every evening, long after Yangon’s office workers have squeezed onto packed buses for grueling commutes to the suburbs, a single room remains lit up on the top floor of City Hall.
Inside sits Toe Aung, a former army major who almost by accident bears one of the biggest responsibilities in reform-era Myanmar: planning Yangon’s unstoppable transformation from a regional backwater into Southeast Asia’s next megacity.
By Andrew R.C. Marshall
(Reuters) – Attempts to bring stability to Myanmar’s strategic northwest Rakhine State could be unraveling after police opened fire on Rohingya Muslims for the third time in two months, reviving tensions in a region beset by religious violence last year.
Villages outside the state capital Sittwe remain volatile after a dispute over custody of a dead Rohingya quickly escalated into a day of clashes on Friday in which police raked Rohingya crowds with gunfire, according to witnesses.
NAUNG CHEIN, Myanmar (Reuters) – A year ago, Wun Naung Lay left his village in northern Myanmar to look for work and found heroin instead. Today, the skeletal 25-year-old is locked up and going cold turkey beneath a filthy blanket in a bamboo cell.
Wun Naung Lay is one of more than 600 young men who have undergone primitive drug rehabilitation at the Youth for Christ Centre, a collection of tin-roofed shacks on a riverbank in Kachin State.
YANGON (Reuters) – The Buddhist extremist movement in Myanmar, known as 969, portrays itself as a grassroots creed.
Its chief proponent, a monk named Wirathu, was once jailed by the former military junta for anti-Muslim violence and once called himself the “Burmese bin Laden.”
NAYPYITAW, Myanmar (Reuters) – Myanmar’s Immigration Minister has expressed support for a controversial two-child limit on a Muslim minority group that opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the United Nations call discriminatory and a violation of human rights.
Khin Yi, Minister of Immigration and Population, is the most senior official to publicly support the recently announced enforcement by local authorities of a two-child policy in northwestern Rakhine State for Rohingya Muslims, a stateless minority termed “Bengalis” by the Myanmar government.
JAKARTA (Reuters) – Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, the governor of Jakarta, might well be the future of Indonesian democracy. Here’s why.
On a recent afternoon he visited Tambora, a densely populated area of west Jakarta, to inspect the aftermath of a slum fire. Within minutes, the narrow streets were a moshpit of jostling well-wishers. Women embraced him. Men kissed his hand. School children chanted “Long live Jokowi!”