Latest Southeast Asia News

Quake shakes eastern Indonesia; no initial report of damage

Jan. 18, 2020 1:13 PM EST

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A strong inland earthquake late Saturday night struck Indonesia's easternmost Papua province. There were no immediate reports of major damage or casualties. The magnitude 6.0 quake was centered 141 kilometers (87 miles) west of Abepura city at a depth of 33.6 kilometers (20.8...

Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, right, greets Chinese President Xi Jinping at president house in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020. (Nyein Chan Naing/Pool Photo via AP)

China's Xi ends Myanmar visit with flurry of agreements

Jan. 18, 2020 8:17 AM EST

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping ended a two-day state visit to Myanmar on Saturday after attending the signing of a raft of agreements buttressing bilateral relations and advancing Beijing's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, in which his host country is a key player. The two sides...

Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn, right and Queen Suthida, review the royal guard during Armed Forces Day  at Adisorn military camp's Cavalry Centre at Saraburi province central Thailand, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020. Thailand's king has presided over an oath-taking ceremony at an army base where almost 7,000 soldiers and police paraded to mark Armed Forces Day. The king's presence at Saturday's ceremony was unusual,  as Thai monarchs have rarely, if ever, attended the occasion, even though the royal palace and the military are closely linked. (AP Photo/Thanis Sudto)

Thai military holds ceremony to swear allegiance to king

Jan. 18, 2020 8:04 AM EST

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's king presided over an oath-taking ceremony Saturday at an army base where almost 7,000 soldiers and police paraded to mark Armed Forces Day. King Maha Vajiralongkorn's presence at the ceremony was unusual, as Thai monarchs have rarely, if ever, attended the occasion, even though...

A roof covered with volcanic ash shows a sign

Philippine volcano simmers, officials brace for long crisis

Jan. 18, 2020 5:36 AM EST

AGONCILLO, Philippines (AP) — Philippine officials said Saturday they're bracing for a long crisis whether the Taal volcano erupts more disastrously or simmers precariously for weeks or months, as massive numbers of displaced villagers languish in emergency shelters. Health Secretary Francisco Duque III...

In this Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, photo, a man walks through a cloud of volcanic ash as he evacuates to safer grounds as Taal volcano in Lemery, Batangas province, southern Philippines. Red-hot lava is gushing from the volcano after a sudden eruption of ash and steam that forced residents to flee and shut down Manila’s airport, offices and schools. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

AP Photos: Taal volcano emits ash, threatening more eruption

Jan. 18, 2020 12:39 AM EST

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Taal volcano near the Philippine capital emitted more ash clouds on Saturday, posing the threat of another eruption. The ash and steam explosions have gotten weaker after seven days of eruption. But despite the seeming lull, factors such as continuing volcanic quakes, the...

Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi, right, shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping  during their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Aung Shine Oo)

Chinese president heads to Myanmar for crucial state visit

Jan. 17, 2020 6:44 AM EST

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar (AP) — China's President Xi Jinping was given a lavish welcome to Myanmar as he arrived Friday for a state visit meant to deepen bilateral relations at a critical time. The visit nominally marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Myanmar,...

FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2019, file photo, SoftBank founder and Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son speaks during a news conference in Tokyo. Japan's SoftBank is offering to invest $30 billion to $40 billion in the development of a new Indonesian capital, an official said Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. (Kyodo News via AP, File)

SoftBank to invest $40 billion for new Indonesia capital

Jan. 17, 2020 6:30 AM EST

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Japan's SoftBank is offering to invest $30 billion to $40 billion in the development of a new Indonesian capital, an official said Friday. The billionaire founder and chief executive of SoftBank Group Corp., Masayoshi Son, hinted at partnering with the Indonesian government to...

A motorcycle that is covered in volcanic ash is left by it’s owner at a deserted village near Taal volcano in Talisay, Batangas province, southern Philippines on Friday Jan. 17, 2020. Taal volcano remains life-threatening despite weaker emissions and fewer tremors, an official said Friday and advised thousands of displaced villagers not to return to the danger zone. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Philippine volcano still 'life threatening' despite lull

Jan. 17, 2020 2:34 AM EST

TAGAYTAY, Philippines (AP) — An erupting Philippine volcano remains life threatening despite weaker emissions and fewer tremors, an official said Friday and advised thousands of displaced villagers not to return to the danger zone. The Taal volcano emitted weaker ash and steam explosions Thursday and...

A traveler wears a facemask as she stands near the Beijing Railway Station in Beijing, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. A second person has died from a new form of coronavirus in central China, health authorities said late Thursday. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

China reports 2nd death from virus behind pneumonia outbreak

Jan. 17, 2020 1:58 AM EST

BEIJING (AP) — A second person has died from a new coronavirus that has caused an outbreak of pneumonia in central China, health authorities said. A 69-year-old man surnamed Xiong fell ill with the respiratory condition on Dec. 31, according to a statement late Thursday from the Wuhan Municipal Health...

In this Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019 photo, newly constructed buildings stand on Bhasan Char, or floating island, in the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh. The island in Bangladesh that was regularly submerged during monsoon seasons is ready to house 100,000 Rohingya refugees, but no date has been announced to begin relocating people from crowded and squalid camps on the country's border with Myanmar, officials said Thursday. The island is built to accommodate 100,000 people, just a fraction of the million Rohingya Muslims who have fled waves of violent persecution in their native Myanmar. (AP Photo/Saleh Noman)


“Bhasan Char is ready for habitation. Everything has been put in place,” Bangladesh refugee, relief and repatriation commissioner Mahbub Alam Talukder told The Associated Press.

Bangladesh says once-submerged island ready for Rohingya

Jan. 17, 2020 12:06 AM EST

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — A Bangladeshi island regularly submerged by monsoon rains is ready to house 100,000 Rohingya refugees, but no date has been announced to relocate people from the crowded and squalid camps where they've lived for years, officials said Thursday. Flood protection embankments, houses,...