Indonesia

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Gay Couple Sentenced to 85 Lashes

'The prosecution is very harsh. The verdict is harsher'

(Newser) - An Islamic Shariah court in Indonesia's conservative Aceh province has sentenced two gay men to public caning for the first time, further undermining the country's moderate image after a top Christian politician was imprisoned for blasphemy . The court, whose sentencing Wednesday coincided with International Day Against Homophobia and... More »

Internet Picks Name for Albino Orangutan

It's not 'Orangutan McOrangutanface'

(Newser) - A rare albino orangutan rescued from captivity in a Borneo village has been given a new name with the help of online suggestions—and remarkably, it isn't "Orangutan McOrangutanface." The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, which received thousands of suggestions, says the 5-year-old female will be called "... More »

Prosecutors Wanted Probation. Christian Governor Gets Prison

Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama gets 2 years for blasphemy in Muslim-majority country

(Newser) - An Indonesian court sentenced the minority Christian governor of Jakarta to two years in prison on Tuesday for blaspheming the Koran, a jarring ruling that undermines the reputation of the world's largest Muslim nation for practicing a moderate form of Islam. In announcing its decision, the five-judge panel said... More »

Ignored Warnings Led to Komodo Dragon Attack

Tourist had been taking photos and got too close

(Newser) - When traveling to unfamiliar lands, it pays to listen to the locals—especially when you're on the island of Komodo and they're telling you to stay away from the dragons. A 50-year-old Singaporean tourist who failed to heed that advice was severely bitten on the left leg after... More »

Was This the World's Oldest Person Ever?

Sodimedjo of Indonesia, who just died, claimed to be 146

(Newser) - Emma Morano was the world's only living person verified as having been born in the 19th century before her death last month at 117. But Sodimedjo of Indonesia claimed to have three decades on her and two decades on the world's oldest recorded person before his death Sunday.... More »

The Land Where the Dead Never Die

Torajan families don't bury loved ones until they're ready—and even then it's not over

(Newser) - In most parts of the world, wakes and funerals are the main form of ceremonial closure people have when a loved one passes away. Things are a little different in Indonesia's Toraja region in Sulawesi, where Sahar Zand headed for the BBC to reveal a ritual most may find... More »

Famous Producer Has a Really Weird Side Gig

Steve Lillywhite also hawks CDs at Indonesia KFC restaurants

(Newser) - "Music and chicken have become intertwined." That's the word from Steve Lillywhite, the well-known producer for such bands as U2 and the Rolling Stones, who has won six Grammys over the course of his career. He's talking about his other job, in Indonesia, where he works... More »

Search for Missing Man Turns Up His Boot, Then a Bloated Snake

Victim was swallowed whole in remote Indonesia

(Newser) - The body of a 25-year-old man who vanished in a remote village in Indonesia has been found—in the belly of a 23-foot-long snake. Father of two Akbar Salubiro had gone to harvest palm oil on his family's plantation on the island of Sulawesi on Sunday when villagers "... More »

Saudi King Said to Have Packed 506 Tons of Luggage

For first trip to Indonesia since 1970

(Newser) - What exactly is a transportable electric elevator? Ask Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdul Aziz: He reportedly packed two of them among the 506 tons of cargo he is said to have taken with him Wednesday on a nine-day trip to Indonesia, the first time since 1970 a Saudi... More »

Woman Whose Beau Stuffed Mom in Suitcase Alters Story

Heather Mack discusses the 2014 murder in series of YouTube videos

(Newser) - A Chicago woman imprisoned in Indonesia for the 2014 killing of her mother says in videos posted on YouTube that she acted alone and her boyfriend only helped her cover it up because she threatened him. In a series of three videos that were posted last week, 21-year-old Heather Mack... More »

300K Plead for Closure of 'Soul-Destroying' Zoo

Bandung Zoo maintains its animals have enough to eat

(Newser) - Video shot at Indonesia's Bandung Zoo in May shows sun bears begging for food , their ribs visible, though the zoo says thin bears aren't necessarily unhealthy. Another bear was filmed apparently consuming its own feces in what one expert says may signal "extreme boredom"; Gabriella Fredriksson of... More »

Captain Who Jumped Ship Arrested After Ferry Disaster

23 dead, 17 missing after Indonesia fire

(Newser) - Four crew members who survived the New Year's Day ferry disaster in Indonesia have been arrested, including the captain, who was allegedly the first to jump ship when the Zahro Express caught fire off the coast of Jakarta. "A captain who abandons ship first is no captain at... More »

23 Dead So Far After Fiery Ferry Horror Off Indonesia

At least 17 are still missing, nearly 2 dozen injured after New Year's Day disaster

(Newser) - At least 23 people were killed and 17 others were missing after a ferry caught fire Sunday off the coast of Indonesia's capital, officials said. The vessel was carrying more than 230 people from Jakarta's port of Muara Angke to Tidung, a resort island in the Kepulauan Seribu... More »

Scores Dead in Indonesia Quake

6.5 magnitude quake flattened buildings in Aceh province

(Newser) - A strong earthquake rocked Indonesia's Aceh province early Wednesday, killing nearly 100 people and sparking a frantic rescue effort in the rubble of dozens of collapsed and damaged buildings. Maj. Gen. Tatang Sulaiman, chief of the army in Aceh, says at least 97 died while four people were pulled... More »

3 Shipwrecks Sat on the Seabed. Then They Were Gone

Salvage companies eyed in Java Sea mystery

(Newser) - In 2002, divers stumbled upon the wrecks of three Dutch warships that took 900 crew members to their watery graves during World War II's Battle of the Java Sea. Finding them again has so far proved, well, impossible. Divers hoping to examine the wrecks ahead of the 75th anniversary... More »

Woman Guilty in Friend's Coffee Murder

Jessica Wongso convicted of lacing drink with cyanide

(Newser) - A sensational trial that was practically a national soap opera in Indonesia has wrapped up, and a woman is going to jail for 20 years as a result. Australia's Jessica Wongso, 28, was found guilty of murdering friend Mirna Salihin, 27, by lacing her iced coffee with cyanide in... More »

3rd-Largest Democracy May Ban Sex Outside Marriage

This could be a 'disaster' for human rights in Indonesia

(Newser) - Indonesia is the world's third-largest democracy, with more than 260 million people, but it's moving in a direction that some rights groups find very alarming. In what could end up being the latest victory for religious conservatives in the majority-Muslim country, its highest court is considering changing the... More »

The 'Holy Grail of Ornamental Fish' Is Disappearing

Experts believe the Banggai cardinalfish only has a few years left in the wild

(Newser) - The Banggai cardinalfish—the "holy grail of ornamental fish"—may soon disappear from the wild due to its popularity in aquariums, according to an in-depth piece from National Geographic . The tiny fish lives only in a 9-square-mile area of Indonesia, and yet fishermen were catching at least 2,... More »

Indonesia Defies Protests, Executes 4 by Firing Squad

3 foreigners, Indonesian man executed

(Newser) - Indonesia executed four people convicted of drug crimes on Friday despite international protests and said it would decide later when as many as 10 others are put to death. The men were executed by firing squad not long after midnight local time as torrential rains hit the Nusa Kambangan prison... More »

Massive 3-Day Traffic Jam Kills 12 People

Millions were heading home for Muslim holiday in Indonesia

(Newser) - A dozen people died during a massive three-day, 13-mile traffic jam this week in Indonesia, the Guardian reports. According to the BBC , the jam was caused by construction at an intersection on the island of Java. The construction just so happened to coincide with millions of people heading home to... More »

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