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July, 1, 2016

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Asia > Indonesia
The forest fires blanketing Southeast Asia in choking haze are on track to become among the worst on record, NASA has warned, with a prolonged dry season hampering efforts to curb a crisis that has persisted for nearly two decades.
 
Thirteen years after winning independence from Indonesia, East Timor has to wage another struggle for justice with a more powerful neighbor -- but this time in the courts, the nation's prime minister says.
 
Indonesian police were Wednesday investigating claims that several Rohingya women were sexually assaulted by local men outside a camp housing members of the Myanmar minority who had arrived as migrants by boat.
 
Two British journalists have gone on trial in Indonesia for allegedly trying to make a documentary about piracy without the correct visas, and could face up to five years in jail, an official said Tuesday.
 
A lucrative illegal market for land to plant crops such as oil palm is a major cause of annual fires in Indonesia, a senior forestry researcher says, with the racket driven by complicit local officials and the global demand for commodities.
 
A 6.6-magnitude quake hit in waters off Indonesia's easternmost province early Friday, injuring dozens of people, damaging buildings and sending panicked residents fleeing from homes, hotels and even a hospital.
 
Indonesian police have arrested 18 migrants who were stranded in the waters off Java island after their boat ran out of fuel as they tried to reach Australia, an official said.
 
Indonesia has revoked the license of a timber supplier and suspended the operations of three palm oil plantation operators over fires that have blanketed Southeast Asia in haze, an official said Tuesday.
 
Indonesian police have detained seven people whose companies are allegedly connected with illegal agricultural fires that have cloaked Southeast Asia in haze, in rare arrests over the annual smog outbreaks.
 
Helicopters Monday water-bombed raging forest fires that have cloaked parts of Indonesia in thick haze and pushed air quality to unhealthy levels in neighboring Singapore and Malaysia.
 
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