‘My body also has these parts’: Lion Air rescuers discuss their grim task

Tanjung Priok port in North Jakarta handles more than half the country’s cargo traffic, but for the past few days it has also seen a steady inflow of body parts, debris, and personal belongings from Monday’s Lion Air plane crash in the Java Sea.
Sifting through the remains of flight JT610, which left Jakarta with 189 passengers but never made it to Pangkal Pinang, is Willy, a photographer with Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency, or Basarnas.
As divers and rescuers…

Singapore surveys public on attitudes toward death penalty as rights groups call for its abolition

Singapore will gauge public attitudes towards the death penalty in a survey, the interior ministry said on Wednesday, as human rights groups renewed calls for its abolition.
The city state – which staunchly maintains that capital punishment is a crime deterrent – executed eight convicts last year, the highest number in a decade, according to official data. They had all committed drug offences.
The Straits Times said it is the first time that the MHA, which is in charge of the…

British woman charged with murdering her husband on Malaysian resort island of Langkawi

A British woman was charged Tuesday with murdering her husband, who was found stabbed to death at their home on the Malaysian resort island of Langkawi.
Lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo said Samantha Jones, 51, was asked by a court official if she understood the charge and that her client said yes.
Police found a blood-stained kitchen knife in the couple’s home, where John William Jones, 62, was found dead on October 18 with a stab wound to his chest.
“She is very, very overwhelmed. It is…

Deadly crashes and near misses: Why does Indonesia have such a notorious air safety record?

Investigators are still trying to piece together why a Lion Air plane plunged into the sea off Jakarta early on Monday morning with 189 people on board, even as Indonesian authorities continue searching for the plane’s fuselage.
The Boeing 737 Max jet had only been in service for two months. The plane’s speed and altitude sensors gave out irregular readings on Sunday but were later tested and cleared for flight, said Geoffrey Thomas, managing director of Airlineratings.com….

US$250 million luxury yacht linked to 1MDB scandal put up for auction by Malaysian government

A US$250 million luxury yacht linked to a multi-billion dollar scandal at Malaysia’s state fund 1MDB has gone up for auction, a government lawyer said on Monday, the first sale of a major asset seized by investigating authorities.
The Equanimity is among US$1.7 billion in assets allegedly bought by fugitive Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, and his associates with funds taken from 1MDB, the US Department of Justice has said.
Malaysia and the United States are…

History of Indonesia’s Lion Air blighted by deadly accident in 2004, near misses and poor management

Indonesian budget carrier Lion Air leapt from obscurity to global fame in 2011 when it ordered 230 Boeing planes worth a whopping US$22 billion, the US maker’s biggest ever deal, but it has been dogged by safety issues for years.
When co-founder Rusdi Kirana was asked months later if bank loans would be needed to finance the purchase, he told reporters at the 2012 Singapore Airshow: “I am the bank.”
Founded in 1999 by brothers Rusdi and Kusnan Kirani, the budget carrier began…

Shinzo Abe and India’s Narendra Modi build ties after Japan PM’s China visit

The leaders of Japan and India are reaffirming their ties amid growing worries about trade and regional stability.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe invited his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to his holiday home for dinner in a scenic resort by Mount Fuji on Sunday as a token of gratitude for accommodating him in the Indian leader’s home state last year.
Modi became the first foreign leader to visit Abe’s holiday home in Yamanashi Prefecture, west of Tokyo, at his invitation as the…

Female ‘motorsai’ drivers are on the rise in bustling Bangkok

Hair pulled back tightly as she lounges on her red scooter, Ar is a rare sight among the male-dominated ranks of Bangkok’s motortaxi riders plying their trade on the Thai capital’s treacherous roads.
A veteran of seven years who works in the bustling On Nut district, Ar is among the thousands of women drawn to the work as gender roles in Thailand evolve, attracted by the flexible hours, decent wages, and a sense of autonomy.
She welcomes the changes as offering a chance for women to…