Matthew's Feed
Apr 16, 2013

Public sector strikes test Ghana’s deficit-cutting mettle

ACCRA, April 16 (Reuters) – Oil-rich Ghana’s effort to slow
rampant public spending may be undone by middle-class
professionals demanding that a generous, 2010 wage policy be
implemented in full.

The strikes – by doctors, professors and pharmacists – pose
the sternest test for President John Mahama since he took office
in January and raise questions over the course of economic
policy in one of Africa’s hottest frontier markets.

Nov 30, 2012

ASEAN chief voices alarm at China plan to board ships in disputed waters

JAKARTA, Nov 30 (Reuters) – China’s plan to board and search
ships that illegally enter what it considers its territory in
the disputed South China Sea could spark naval clashes and hurt
the region’s economy, Southeast Asia’s top diplomat warned on
Friday.

Seeking to ease alarm over the issue, China said it attached
“great importance” to freedom of navigation in waters that have
some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

Nov 30, 2012

China moves to ease alarm over South China Sea plan

JAKARTA, Nov 30 (Reuters) – Southeast Asia’s top diplomat
warned on Friday of great anxiety over China’s plan to board and
search ships that illegally enter what it considers its
territory in the disputed South China Sea and said it could lead
to naval clashes and undermine confidence in East Asia’s
economy.

Beijing, however, moved to ease international alarm over the
issue and said it attaches “great importance” to freedom of
navigation in the South China Sea, a day after state media said
police in its southern island province of Hainan will carry out
the new plan.

Nov 30, 2012

ASEAN chief says China plan on disputed seas escalates tension

JAKARTA (Reuters) – China’s plan to board and search ships that illegally enter what Beijing considers its territory in the disputed South China Sea is a very serious turn of events, the head of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) said on Friday.

“My reaction is (this is) certainly an escalation of the tension that has already been building. And it is a very serious turn of events,” ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Oct 28, 2012

Indonesia militant arrests show shift to violence

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s arrest of 11 suspected Islamic militants it said planned to attack the U.S. embassy and a plaza near Australia’s embassy is evidence that legal extremist groups are turning to violence, analysts said on Sunday.

The arrests could also step up pressure on the government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, criticized for doing too little to curb religious intolerance in the country which has the world’s largest Muslim population.

Oct 24, 2012

Insight: Pakistani death squads spur desperate voyage to Australia

QUETTA, Pakistan/PUNCAK,Indonesia (Reuters) – It was 3 a.m. when Abid Warasi and his friend clambered into an Indonesian fishing boat, joining 300 other migrants packed into the hold. Only a few days away by sea, Australia seemed tantalizingly close.

Six hours into the voyage, the craft overturned. The two teenagers clung to the upturned hull. One by one, survivors lost purchase and drifted away, their dreams swallowed by the warm waters of the Java Sea.

Oct 24, 2012

Pakistani death squads spur desperate voyage to Australia

25 (Reuters) – It
was 3 a.m. when Abid Warasi and his friend clambered into an
Indonesian fishing boat, joining 300 other migrants packed into
the hold. Only a few days away by sea, Australia seemed
tantalizingly close.

Six hours into the voyage, the craft overturned. The two
teenagers clung to the upturned hull. One by one, survivors lost
purchase and drifted away, their dreams swallowed by the warm
waters of the Java Sea.

Oct 12, 2012

Indonesia acts to over-ride patents on HIV drugs

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s government has taken steps to over-ride patents for HIV drugs, following the lead of other Asian states that have allowed the production of cheap generic drugs that cut into the sales of global pharmaceutical companies.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono quietly issued a decree last month authorizing the use of patents for seven HIV/AIDS and hepatitis medicines held by the likes of Merck & Co, GlaxoSmithKline, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Abbott and Gilead.

Oct 4, 2012

Strike-hit Indonesia to improve labor conditions

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia said on Thursday it would improve worker pay and restrict the use of temporary contracts in the face of a vow by union leaders, who staged a national strike this week, to press ahead with industrial action.

Chief Economics Minister Hatta Rajasa said the government would draft a regulation to increase worker pay and would quickly implement rules to improve conditions for workers not on fixed contracts. He gave no details of the pay increase.

Sep 20, 2012

Indonesia’s crowded capital votes for governor

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s capital voted for a new governor on Thursday, with exit polls showing the challenger was likely to take control of one of the world’s largest, and most congested, cities which could give him a chance at the presidency in two years’ time.

The campaign has been tainted by hints of religious bigotry and racism, both deeply sensitive issue in the ethnically diverse Southeast Asian country which is also home to the world’s largest Muslim community.