New King for Thailand as Crown Prince, Vajiralongkorn, Ascends to Throne

https://static01.nyt.com/video/players/offsite/index.html?videoId=100000004799971

The prince, Maha Vajiralongkorn, accepted the invitation to be the king of Thailand in a ceremony on Thursday.

By REUTERS on Publish Date December 2, 2016. Photo by Bureau of the Royal Household, via Associated Press… Watch in Times Video »

BANGKOK — Thailand’s crown prince ascended to the throne on Thursday, seven weeks after the death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died after reigning for seven decades.

Continue reading “New King for Thailand as Crown Prince, Vajiralongkorn, Ascends to Throne”

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Malaysia: Myanmar pursues ethnic cleansing of Rohingya

ALJAZEERA Dec. 3, 2016

Malaysia says Myanmar behind exodus of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Rohingya to neighbouring countries.

Government restrictions on the Rohingya has been likened to apartheid [EPA]

Malaysia has accused Myanmar of engaging in “ethnic cleansing” of its Rohingya Muslim minority, as former UN chief Kofi Annan visits a burned-out village in violence-hit Rakhine state.

Tens of thousands of Muslim Rohingya have fled their homes since a bloody crackdown by the Myanmar army in Rakhine, sparked by a string of deadly attacks on police border posts in early October.

“The fact that only one particular ethnicity is being driven out is by definition ethnic cleansing,” Malaysia’s foreign ministry said in an unusually strongly-worded statement on Saturday.

Former UN chief in Myanmar to investigate plight of Rohingya

Myanmar has balked at such criticism, saying the Rakhine crisis is an internal issue. However, international pressure on the country is mounting.

Malaysia’s statement noted that hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled to neighbouring countries in recent years, including approximately 56,000 to Muslim-majority Malaysia. Continue reading “Malaysia: Myanmar pursues ethnic cleansing of Rohingya”

Modern World Tugs at an Indonesian Tribe Clinging to Its Ancient Ways

Teu Kapik Sibajak, left, and Aman Aqwi Sakkukuret, members of the Mentawai tribe, on the island of Siberut in Indonesia. Credit Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times

DOROUGOK, Indonesia — The older man wore just a loincloth, revealing taut muscles and leathery skin from decades of living deep in the rain forest. Like other members of his tribe, he was covered head to toe in tattoos. Though he appeared strong, he had a pronounced hunch, and a cough from smoking too much tobacco.

The man, Teu Kapik Sibajak, grabbed his ax on a recent morning and went off through the forest to chop down a sago palm tree. Mr. Kapik delivered precise blows before he and a few friends stooped down and rolled pieces of the thick, heavy trunk toward his house. “Hard work, this!” he announced.

But the effort would be worth it: The tree’s leaves provide the roof for his wooden long house; its starchy insides can be cooked and eaten, or fed to the household’s pigs, ducks and chickens.

Mr. Kapik and his wife, Teu Kapik Sikalabai, are among the last of the Mentawai people living traditional lives deep in the forest on the remote island of Siberut.

Mr. Kapik tending to his chickens and pigs. His 42-year-old son, Petrus Sekaliou, wears Western clothing and lives in a village on the outskirts of the forest. Credit Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times

The Mentawai tribe, which today numbers around 60,000, is a rare Indonesian culture that was not influenced by Hindu, Buddhist or Muslim currents over the last two millenniums. Instead, their traditions and beliefs strongly resemble those of the original Austronesian settlers who came to this vast archipelago from Taiwan around 4,000 years ago. If the tribe’s culture disappears, one of the last links to Indonesia’s early human inhabitants will go with it.

Continue reading “Modern World Tugs at an Indonesian Tribe Clinging to Its Ancient Ways”

China Sees New Ambiguity With Donald Trump’s Taiwan Call

President Xi Jinping of China, who considers Taiwan an integral part of his country. Credit Pool photo by Nicolas Asfouri

BEIJING — China’s leaders have been markedly reticent about what kind of leader they think Donald J. Trump will be. A pragmatic dealmaker, as his business background might indicate? Or a provocateur who tests the ways of statecraft?

Continue reading “China Sees New Ambiguity With Donald Trump’s Taiwan Call”

Donald Trump speaks directly to Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen

ALJAZEERA

Donald Trump speaks directly to Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen

President-elect speaks with Taiwan’ leader in a break from the US’ “one China” policy triggering protest from Beijing.

US President-elect Donald Trump has spoken with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, in a major break with Washington’s policy on China, triggering protest from Beijing.

During Friday’s discussion, Trump and Tsai noted “the close economic, political and security ties” between Taiwan and the United States, according to the president-elect’s transition team. Continue reading “Donald Trump speaks directly to Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen”

Indonesians rally for unity after blasphemy protests

Crowds waved 'We Are Indonesia' signs and held a giant red-and-white national flag [Reuters]

IndonesiaNews11 hours ago ALJAREEZA

Indonesians rally for unity after blasphemy protests

Crowds gather in Jakarta in response to protests against city’s Christian governor who is accused of blasphemy.

Crowds waved ‘We Are Indonesia’ signs and held a giant red-and-white national flag [Reute

Tens of thousands of Indonesians have rallied in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, calling for tolerance and unity after massive protests were held against the city’s Christian governor.

The crowds on Sunday filled a major traffic circle in Jakarta and sprawled into its main thoroughfares, waving “We Are Indonesia” signs and a giant red-and-white national flag was held aloft. Continue reading “Indonesians rally for unity after blasphemy protests”

This plastic toilet could save lives

  @CNNMoney

January 22, 2016: 11:03 PM ET

jasmine burton toilet grassJasmine Burton helped design an inexpensive, portable plastic toilet to address the lack of basic sanitation around the world

money.cnn.com: Everybody poops. But not everyone has access to a toilet.

“It’s shocking that this basic necessity is unavailable to nearly half of the world,” said Jasmine Burton, founder and president of Atlanta-based Wish for WASH. Continue reading “This plastic toilet could save lives”