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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 »

Wild Orangutans Now Critically Endangered

Borneo population added to red list

(Newser) - A global conservation group says Borneo's orangutans are now a critically endangered species due to hunting and destruction of forest habitat. The International Union for Conservation of Nature estimates the number of Bornean orangutans has dropped by nearly two-thirds since the early 1970s and will further decline to 47,... More »

More Real-Life Hobbits Found on Indonesian Island

And they were even older and smaller than we thought

(Newser) - We know hobbits existed . And we know humans may have killed them off . But new fossils discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2014—and announced Wednesday via two papers in Nature—show they were older and smaller than previously believed. Gizmodo reports the remains of the first hobbits—... More »

Indonesia to Kill, Castrate Pedophiles

New rules follow rape, murder of 14-year-old

(Newser) - Indonesia is officially a terrifying place for pedophiles: Effective immediately, child sex offenders can face the death penalty or chemical castration under new rules approved by President Joko Widodo, reports AFP . Offenders can also receive a maximum of 20 years in jail—double the previous maximum sentence—and may be... More »

Villagers Thought 'Angel' Fell From Sky. It Was a Sex Toy

'They have no Internet,' a police chief explains

(Newser) - A sex toy found by a fisherman in a small Indonesian village was taken home, dressed up, and worshipped as an angel for weeks, the BBC reports, proving yet again that the world is a strange and wonderful place. According to the San Francisco Chronicle , the 21-year-old fisherman found the... More »

Ignoring Cobra Bite, Pop Star Sings to Her Death

Irma Bule sang for 45 minutes after deadly snakebite

(Newser) - An Indonesian pop star known for dancing with snakes was bitten by a king cobra during a concert on Sunday and kept on singing until she collapsed and later died. Irma Bule, 29—famous in the Dangdut genre of Indonesian folk music, per Mashable —often included pythons, cobras, and... More »

Indonesia Threatens to Ban Leonardo DiCaprio

They're not happy about his environmental concerns

(Newser) - Leonardo DiCaprio may be banned from returning to Indonesia over his criticisms that palm oil plantations are destroying the country's rainforests and endangering wildlife, an immigration official said Saturday. The Oscar winner made a one-day visit to protected Mount Leuser National Park in northern Sumatra last weekend and uploaded... More »

Study: Humans May Have Killed Off Real-Life Hobbits

Homo floresiensis disappeared thousands of years earlier than believed

(Newser) - New research suggests it's possible ancient humans are responsible for killing off Indonesia's hobbits (an urge no doubt felt by modern humans who sat through the extended edition of The Hobbit). Starting in 2003 when their remains were first discovered on the island of Flores, scientists believed Homo ... More »

Cops: Woman Laced Study Partner's Coffee With Cyanide

Jakarta police arrest Jessica Kumala, 27

(Newser) - Indonesian authorities arrested a woman Saturday for allegedly lacing her friend's coffee with a lethal does of cyanide, Australia's News Network reports. Investigators say Jessica Kumala, 27, arrived early at a cafe in central Jakarta and ordered an iced coffee for friend Wayan Mirna Salihin, 27—who soon... More »

Cops Find ISIS Flag After Jakarta Attacks

Indonesia security forces now face major challenge

(Newser) - Indonesian police on Friday arrested three men on suspicion of links to the brazen attacks in the heart of the country's capital , and said they recovered an ISIS flag from the home of one of the attackers. The discovery of the flag bolsters authorities' claim that the attack Thursday... More »

At Least 7 Dead in 'Paris-Style' Jakarta Attacks

Assault began with explosion in Starbucks

(Newser) - Attackers set off explosions at a Starbucks cafe in a bustling shopping area in Indonesia's capital and waged gunbattles with police Thursday, leaving bodies in the streets as office workers watched in terror from high-rise buildings. Police said five attackers and two civilians were killed, while 10 people were... More »

Rudder Problem Blamed for Deadly AirAsia Crash

Problem was reported 23 times over previous year

(Newser) - A rudder control system problem that had occurred 23 times in the previous 12 months, coupled with the pilots' response, led to last year's crash of an AirAsia plane that killed all 162 people on board, Indonesian investigators said Tuesday. The National Transportation Safety Committee said an analysis of... More »

Elephants Trained to Fight Forest Fires

'Forest watchdogs' patrol Indonesia

(Newser) - Forest fires difficult to control? Call in the pachyderm patrol. Officials in Indonesia are using trained elephants outfitted with water pumps and hoses to help patrol forests and control fires. For nearly three months, Riau province in East Sumatra has been blanketed by smoke from forest fires and land clearing,... More »

Indonesia Plans Island Prison Guarded by Crocodiles

'You can't bribe crocodiles'

(Newser) - The Guardian reports the head of Indonesia's anti-drug agency has proposed an innovative new prison for drug convicts on death row: an island surrounded by blood-thirsty crocodiles. According to the Washington Post , the inmates would have food delivered to them on the island but would otherwise be left to... More »

Biggest Eco Disaster in Our Time Unfolds as World Shrugs

George Monbiot: What's happening in Indonesia is indescribable

(Newser) - You wouldn't know it from the attention of the world's media, but something akin to an "eco-apocalypse" is unfolding, writes George Monbiot in the Guardian . It takes the form of a forest fire in Indonesia that nearly defies description, one that's burning across the entire 3,... More »

Scientists Find New Rat With Curious Pubic Hair

Meet the hog-nosed rat

(Newser) - A newly found creature's name is the hog-nosed rat, and things don't get any more picturesque from there. Reporting on their find in the Journal of Mammalogy , scientists describe the animal, found in 2013 on Mount Dako, on Indonesia's Sulawesi Island: It's a long-faced carnivorous creature... More »

Enslaved Fisherman Shares Brutal Story

'It was like our lives were already over'

(Newser) - A 25-year-old fisherman from Mynamar who found himself enslaved thousands of miles from home for five years was rescued—along with thousands of others like him—earlier this year. Now he's telling his story. "Who could stand working continuously without taking a rest?" asks Myo Aung, describing the... More »

No Survivors Found at Indonesia Crash Site

Black boxes, all 54 bodies recovered

(Newser) - Dozens of rescuers have made their way to the mountainous area where an Indonesian passenger plane crashed on Sunday , but they haven't found anybody to rescue. Officials say all 54 people on board—44 adult passengers, five children, and five crew members—were killed when the Trigana Air Service... More »

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