Latest Sumatra News

Indonesia province shuts schools as haze from fires returns

Oct. 14, 2019 4:54 AM EDT

PALEMBANG, Indonesia (AP) — Thick, noxious haze from new deliberately set fires blanketed parts of Indonesia's Sumatra island on Monday after days of improving air quality, causing school closings and flight delays. National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Agus Wibowo said nearly 1,200 fires were...

Ex-Indonesia Cabinet minister arrested for alleged graft

Sep. 27, 2019 10:13 AM EDT

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's anti-graft commission on Friday arrested a former sports minister accused of stealing public money, as students across the country protested a new law that critics say will cripple the commission. Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi faces graft charges related to a...

Indonesian riot police clash with student protesters

Sep. 25, 2019 8:55 AM EDT

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian riot police shot multiple rounds of tear gas at thousands of stone-throwing students who attempted to reach Parliament in Jakarta on Wednesday to protest a new law that critics say cripples the country's anti-corruption agency. Police said more than 300 students and...

Haze from Indonesian fires now affecting Philippines

Sep. 20, 2019 9:32 AM EDT

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Haze blown by monsoon winds from fires in Indonesia has begun affecting some areas of the Philippines and raised concerns about aviation safety and possible health risks, an official said Friday. Landrico Dalida Jr., the deputy administrator of the Philippine Atmospheric,...

Indonesian police arrest hundreds linked to forest fires

Sep. 19, 2019 10:37 AM EDT

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian police said Thursday they have arrested 230 people suspected of starting some of the fires that are spreading health-damaging haze across a large part of Southeast Asia. Among those arrested are three men who were caught Monday while trying to clear land to plant crops...

Indonesia sends more people, aircraft to battle forest fires

Sep. 17, 2019 7:07 AM EDT

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's president traveled to the area hardest hit by forest fires, as neighboring countries urged his government to do more to tackle the blazes that have spread a thick, noxious haze around Southeast Asia. President Joko Widodo flew to Riau province, where nearly 50,000...

Indonesian police arrest 185 over forest fires

Sep. 16, 2019 8:00 AM EDT

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian authorities have arrested 185 people suspected of starting forest fires that are spreading a thick, noxious haze around Southeast Asia, police said Monday. Nearly every year, Indonesian forest fires spread health-damaging haze across the country and into neighboring...

Indonesia seals off 30 companies over forest fires

Sep. 14, 2019 5:53 AM EDT

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia has sealed off 30 companies amid a row with Malaysia over forest fires that are spreading a thick, noxious haze around Southeast Asia, officials said Saturday. The plantation companies, including a Singapore-based company and four firms affiliated with Malaysian...

As Indonesia fires rage, schools and airport forced to close

Sep. 13, 2019 8:04 AM EDT

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian authorities closed an airport on Sumatra island on Friday due to poor visibility caused by smoke from raging fires burning through peatland, while schools in several provinces and in neighboring Malaysia closed due to the hazardous haze. Fluctuating visibility that at...

Indonesian province shuts schools due to forest fire haze

Sep. 11, 2019 10:28 AM EDT

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Authorities shut most schools in parts of Indonesia's Sumatra island to protect children from a thick, noxious haze as deliberately set fires burned through peatland forests, officials said Wednesday. Indonesia's Disaster Mitigation Agency said more than 3,600 fires have been...