PHUKETWAN recognises the importance of Asean with the Economic Community approaching and marks what's happening around the region with a column, Asean Today, that will cease when Phuketwan closes on December 31.
straitstimes.com A local chef has been charged in Malaysia with sexual abuse - more than two years after he was convicted of a similar offence in Singapore. Muhammad Mustaqim Juri, 37, allegedly committed ''carnal intercourse against the order of the nature'' on a 22-year-old man at a carpark in Tampoi, a suburb in Johor Baru, on the afternoon of Dec 10.
dw.com Twenty-three companies have been fined or had licenses revoked after causing forest fires that spread thick haze across Southeast Asia. The Indonesian government said it was still investigating scores of other firms. The smog caused a health and environmental crisis, estimated to have cost the Indonesian economy around $16 billion. More than half a million people suffered acute respiratory infections in Indonesia alone.
reuters Women and girls uprooted by fighting in Myanmar risk sexual violence and lack access to reproductive healthcare, said the UN Population Fund, which next month launches a health project for women and girls in conflict-hit areas. As many as 645,000 people are displaced, the highest number in Southeast Asia.
nationmultimedia.com Thailand is taking on the role of the driver of the hospitality business in the Asean Economic Community, which is expected to ignite an explosion in tourism. Locally, stakeholders are beating the drums for the establishment of an AEC Tourism Centre to capitalise on the integration of the regional market and to strengthen and diversify strategies to maintain the country's spot on the global tourism radar.
reuters The United States said it was deeply concerned by the arrest of a Vietnamese human rights lawyer and called on Hanoi to release all prisoners of conscience. Rights activist Nguyen Van Dai, who was badly beaten this month by unknown attackers, was arrested last week for anti-state ''propaganda.''
cambodiadaily.com Fifty-eight protesting workers from the Tai Seng special economic zone (SEZ) in Bavet City were arrested then released released after agreeing not to use violence or damage property in the future, authorities said, the latest development in a bout of unrest that began last week. Minimum wage in garment factories stands at $128 per month and is set to rise to $140 at the start of 2016.
independent.co.uk The world's first airline compliant with Sharia law has been unveiled in Malaysia. Rayani Airlines, a new low-cost airline, says it strictly follows Sharia rules ''based on guidelines by relevant authorities,'' according to managing director Jaafar Zamhari. Prayers will be recited before the departure of each flight.
arabianbusiness.com Malaysia's first Sharia-compliant airline began operations on Sunday, flying from Kuala Lumpur to the resort island of Langkawi.
telegraph.co.uk An Australian actress who starred in Neighbours is being detained by Malaysian police for allegedly kidnapping her son while he was with her ex-partner at a restaurant earlier this month. Eliza Szonert, 42, was detained late on Monday and authorities are currently trying to establish the whereabouts of the boy.
independent.co.uk Anyone found illegally celebrating Christmas in Brunei could face up to five years in prison, according to a reported declaration by the Sultan of the tiny oil-rich state. Brunei introduced its ban on Christmas last year over fears that celebrating it ''excessively and openly'' could lead its Muslim population astray.
independent.co.uk Sarah-Lorraine Riek, otherwise known as Miss Germany, has apologised to Miss Philippines after suggesting Miss Colombia should have won the Miss Universe contest. After arguably the most controversial and eventful Miss Universe contest in years, Ms Reik gave a video interview in Las Vegas where she criticised the decision to award Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach (Miss Philippines) the coveted crown.
straitstimes.com Media and social networks lit up with reactions to the botched Miss Universe finale on Sunday night, which saw the Colombian contestant crowned and then dethroned in a matter of minutes, before the title was bestowed on the rightful winner, Miss Philippines.
bangkokpost.com The government approved a draft memorandum of understanding (MoU) to purchase electricity from the Nam Thuen 1 hydropower project in Laos.