Today Around Southeast Asia
PHUKETWAN recognises the importance of Asean with the Economic Community approaching and marks what's happening around the region with a new column, Asean Today.
channelnewsasia.com Singapore's first pop-up urban beach will be appearing in the heart of Marina Bay next month, complete with a pool, palm trees and a beach bar, said DBS Bank on Wednesday. The beach, measuring 50-by-50 metres, will also include a pool where activities such as stand-up paddling and yoga will take place, with space for 250 people. [Ed: Don't know whether byo beach chairs are allowed.]
cbc.ca When he's not dealing with world issues, the Prime Minister of Singapore has a surprising hobby. He writes code. More specifically, he has created a program that solves sudoku puzzles. PM Lee Hsien Loong posted code for his program on his Facebook page. It has since gained widespread praise from computer programmers and sudoku lovers around the world.
reuters The number of Australian visitors to Indonesia rose in March and the island nation's tourism industry has seen no impact from a Boycott Bali protest over death sentences passed on two Australian drug traffickers, a government official said.
ngrguardiannews.com Eight more Nigerians are reportedly waiting to be executed in Indonesia. This is according to the United Nigerians in Diaspora, a group of Nigerians living outside the country.
cnn.com Migrant worker groups have reacted angrily to Indonesia's move to ban its citizens from working as domestic helpers in 21 countries, mainly in the Middle East. They say it'll do nothing to stop abuse and will only drive the trade underground, exposing them to even greater risks.
time.com Critically endangered cockatoos were found stuffed in plastic water bottles in Indonesia during an anti-smuggling operation. Police arrested one man suspected of bringing the approximately two-dozen birds from Makassar, Sulawesi, and customs officials freed the animals at the Tanjung Perak port in Surabaya, Indonesia, CNN reports.
thediplomat.com The US State Department approved potential new multi-million dollar missile sales to Indonesia and Malaysia. The Indonesia sale involves AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder missiles and associated equipment.
themalaysmailonline.com Malaysian mothers are nearly nine times more likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth than their Singaporean counterparts, a survey has shown. The State of the World's Mothers 2015 report by international children's rights group Save the Children also showed Malaysia declining in the ranks from 68th last year to 71st out of 179 countries surveyed this year.
straitstimes.com A Chinese national had a close shave with death when his Maserati Quattroporte crashed into a side railing on an elevated portion of the Sprint Highway about 3am and burst into flames before plunging to the slip road below.
reuters Australia wants to transfer a small group of refugees from one of its offshore detention centres to Cambodia ''very shortly'' and encourage other asylum seekers to take the same route themselves, its immigration minister said on Wednesday.
aljazeera.com Cambodia's overall rate of child marriage - commonly defined as the percentage of women between 20 and 24 who married before the age of 18 - dropped from 24 percent in 2000 to 18 percent in 2010, according to government data. But in Jarai country, child marriages as young as 14 appear to be on the rise, say local officials and aid workers, for reasons including economics, culture, raging hormones and even mobile-phone technology.
scmp.com Philippine and Japanese coastguard teams staged an anti-piracy drill yesterday, featuring the storming of a cargo vessel after a mock hijack, in a show of maritime cooperation between the two nations amid rising tension in Asian waters. Both nations face a challenge from China's growing assertiveness.
xinhua Road accidents claimed 133 lives and injured another 1066 during the month of April, local media reported. The death toll was up by 25 on the previous year despite a decrease in the total number of recorded accidents.
news1130.com ''There is prejudice that exists towards Muslims throughout the country,'' said Canada's religious freedom ambassador, Andrew Bennett. ''This is an ongoing challenge not only for Rohingya Muslims, but the situation facing them is particularly acute.''
itv.com A photograph shared thousands of times on social media since the devastating Nepal earthquake was actually taken in Vietnam 10 years ago. It was said to show a ''two-year-old sister being protected by her four-year-old brother in Nepal'' following the disaster which claimed the lives of over 7000 people.