Special Southeast Asia correspondent/ Head of News, Malaysia
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Nov 14, 2013

U.S. carrier starts Philippine storm relief; death toll jumps

TACLOBAN, Philippines, Nov 15 (Reuters) – A U.S. aircraft
carrier started unloading food and water in the typhoon-ravaged
central Philippines, while the United Nations, citing government
figures, put the latest death toll at 4,460 – almost double the
last official number given.

President Benigno Aquino has faced mounting pressure to
speed up the distribution of supplies and stoked debate over the
extent of casualties from Typhoon Haiyan.

Nov 14, 2013

Aquino under pressure over typhoon aid, U.S. carrier to arrive

TACLOBAN, Philippines, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Philippine
President Benigno Aquino was under growing pressure on Thursday
to speed up the distribution of food, water and medicine to
desperate survivors of a powerful typhoon and to get paralysed
local governments functioning.

Widespread looting of rice stocks and other supplies broke
out across the central Philippines on Wednesday despite the
deployment of solders to maintain law and order.

Nov 14, 2013

Desperate Philippine typhoon survivors loot, dig up water pipes

TACLOBAN, Philippines (Reuters) – Desperation gripped Philippine islands devastated by Typhoon Haiyan as looting turned deadly on Wednesday and survivors panicked over shortages of food, water and medicine, some digging up underground water pipes and smashing them open.

Five days after one of the strongest storms ever recorded slammed into cities and towns in the central Philippines, anger and frustration boiled over on Wednesday as essential supplies dwindled. Some survivors scrawled signs reading “Help us”.

Nov 13, 2013

Typhoon babies fight against odds in ravaged Philippine city

TACLOBAN, Philippines (Reuters) – In the chapel of the only functioning public hospital in typhoon-ravaged Tacloban, seven tiny, premature babies lie sweltering in intense heat, looked over by anxious mothers and a wooden statue of Christ.

An eighth, born two days after Friday’s monster storm hit the central Philippines, is kept alive only by his exhausted grandmother who pumps air by hand into his sick lungs. Only one baby, his face bruised purple from a hurried delivery by forceps, is strong enough to cry.

Nov 13, 2013

Philippine president says typhoon death toll overstated

TACLOBAN, Philippines (Reuters) – Philippine President Benigno Aquino said local officials had overstated the death toll from Typhoon Haiyan, saying it was closer to 2,000 or 2,500 than the 10,000 previously estimated, comments that drew skepticism from some aid workers.

The government has been overwhelmed by the typhoon, which flattened Tacloban, coastal capital of Leyte province where several local officials have said they feared 10,000 people died, many drowning in a tsunami-like surge of seawater.

Oct 23, 2013
via FaithWorld

Malaysia’s curbs on use of the term ‘Allah’ hurting its moderate Muslim image


(A Muslim demonstrator stands outside Malaysia’s Court of Appeal, along with others, in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Samsul Said)

Malaysia’s self-styled image as a global leader of moderate Islam has been undermined by a court ruling that only Muslims can use the word “Allah” to refer to God, with a growing number of Muslim scholars and commentators condemning the decision.

Oct 23, 2013

Malaysia curbs on use of ‘Allah’ hurting moderate Muslim image

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia’s self-styled image as a global leader of moderate Islam has been undermined by a court ruling that only Muslims can use the word “Allah” to refer to God, with a growing number of Muslim scholars and commentators condemning the decision.

A Malaysian court ruled last week that the word was “not an integral part of the faith in Christianity”, overturning a previous ruling that allowed a Malay-language Roman Catholic newspaper to use the word.

Oct 22, 2013
Oct 21, 2013

Malaysia’s Najib seen levying consumption tax to curb budget deficit

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will trim the government’s hefty subsidy bill and likely announce a new consumption tax later this week as he delivers a budget seen as crucial to ward off a possible credit downgrade and reassure investors over the Southeast Asian country’s fast-growing debt burden.

After securing his power base in ruling party elections over the weekend, Najib should have a freer hand to tackle a high fiscal deficit with unpopular steps to wean Malaysians off cheap fuel and food.

Oct 20, 2013

Malaysia’s Najib entrenches power as reform drive fades

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Internal voting for top posts in Malaysia’s ruling coalition at the weekend have proved Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to be a canny survivor – five months after a poor showing at national elections – but at a cost to his reform agenda.

In May, Najib seemed dead in the water to some observers after presiding over the long-ruling United Malays National Organisation’s (UMNO) worst election result.

    • About Stuart

      "I cover the politics, economics and people of Southeast Asia from Kuala Lumpur, where I also act as head of editorial for Malaysia and Brunei. I joined Reuters on the Singapore editing desk back in 1997 and have been on the move ever since, from Japan to the Philippines to the U.S.A and then Brazil."
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