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Social initiative helps disabled travellers in Indonesia get home safely for Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner. As families are preparing food checklists and churches are setting up bright lights and decoration, many people with disabilities mull a basic-yet-complicated question: How do I get home for Christmas? One of them is Jujur Saragih, who lives in a social home for physically challenged people in Pondok Bambu, […]

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Outrage and protests in India after latest horrific murder-rape case

Hundreds of people on Saturday laid siege to a police station where four men are being held over the latest gruesome rape-murder to shock India. Baton-wielding police pushed back crowds from the building in the southern city of Hyderabad where they said the 27-year-old veterinary surgeon was gang-raped, killed and then her body burned. While […]

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Thai woman finds ‘fossils said to date back 250mil years ago’ on farm

A woman posted on her Facebook page a picture of three fossils found on her family’s palm oil plantation in Sa Kaeo province on Sunday (December 1). The photo of the account “Pinthip Koktung” received approximately 2,000 shares and 1,000 comments. The Facebook page “Fossil World” explained that the fossils were crinoids, which are echinoderms […]

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Japanese government earmarks $4bil in funding for ASEAN

The government intends to provide members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with a total of about ¥330 billion (S$4 billion) in public and private investments and loans over three years from 2020, for such purposes as the development of quality infrastructure there, it was announced Monday. Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi made the announcement […]

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Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises

Newly-hatched tortoises take their first steps at a Bangladesh conservation park, their feet barely visible under hard shells that carry the weight of the species on their backs. These tiny newborns – 41 in all – belong to a species thought to have gone extinct in the country until seven years ago, when they were rediscovered […]

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‘I thought it was a fake explosion’, says witness of blast at Jakarta’s Monas

It was 7 a.m. on Tuesday and people were going about their daily morning routines on Jl. Medan Merdeka Utara in Central Jakarta when they heard a blast from the northern side of the National Monument (Monas) complex. The explosion took many people by surprise as it occurred just across the Home Ministry building – […]

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Man claiming to be final prophet gets reported for blasphemy

The Tana Toraja Indonesia Ulema Council (MUI) in South Sulawesi has issued a fatwa declaring a local organisation led by a man named Paruru Daeng Tau, who claims to be the final prophet, a heretical organisation. The council filed a police report against the leader alleging blasphemy. Paruru, who comes from the neighbouring Gowa regency, […]

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Half-North Korean, half-Chinese kids struggle in South Korea

UIJEONGBU, South Korea – Ms Song Hong Ryon looks like any other young woman in South Korea. But three years after her arrival from China, the half-North Korean, half-Chinese 19-year-old has made only two South Korean-born friends and says she’s often been hurt by little things, like when people ask if she’s from China because […]

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