Why Indian billionaires Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani were targeted in protests over Modi’s farm laws

Two of India’s richest men have landed in an unlikely controversy over farming laws, becoming targets of protesters who allege the tycoons have benefited from their close links to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.For weeks, tens of thousands of farmers have camped outside the nation’s capital, demanding the withdrawal of recently passed legislation they say, without evidence, was designed to allow billionaires such as Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani to enter farming. The tycoons say they have no…

‘It is modern-day slavery’: migrant workers from Indonesia’s East Nusa Tenggara face trafficking, abuse

It was around 3am when Antonious Remigius Abi, an ethics professor at the Faculty of Law at Santo Thomas Catholic University in Medan, North Sumatra, was awoken by frantic knocking on his front door. When he opened it, he found six young women carrying what seemed like all their worldly possessions.“They were begging for help, saying ‘Please protect us. Don’t tell anyone we’re here’,” said Abi, who recognised from their accents that the women were from his home province of East Nusa Tenggara …

As exiled Tibetans vote, calls grow for India to help them stand up to China

In the first week of January, Tibetan refugees across the globe, from New York to the freezing heights of Ladakh along the India-China border, cast their votes to elect a new political leader and members of the Tibetan parliament-in-exile – with the Dalai Lama’s advancing age and the global rise of an increasingly assertive Beijing chief among their concerns.At least three candidates have emerged as clear front-runners to head the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), which has its seat in the…

Indonesia earthquake: damaged roads, power outages hamper hunt for survivors

An aftershock hit Indonesia’s Sulawesi island on Saturday as rescuers searched for people trapped under rubble after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake left at least 45 dead and hundreds injured.There were no reports of further damage after the magnitude 5.0 aftershock at 6.32am local time, said Raditya Jati, spokesman for the National Disaster Management Agency.“Further aftershocks are expected, so we advise residents to remain calm and alert,” he said.Operations were focused on about eight locations…

Filipino women slam ‘sexist’ Duterte after he says presidency is not for women

Filipino women on Friday reacted scornfully to President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement that the country’s top leadership role was “not for women” because they were emotionally different than men, deriding the 75-year-old for ignoring the contributions of women leaders and furthering the already-prevalent sexism in the country.Etta Rosales, chair emeritus of Akbayan Partylist, a moderate left-wing group of opposition lawmakers, led the tide of criticism, saying in a statement, “The presidency is…

Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands eyed as venue for World Economic Forum summit: sources

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is aiming to attract around 1,000 delegates for its Singapore summit in late May and wants the iconic Marina Bay Sands complex to host the event, two sources familiar with the organisation’s plans said.The sources, who did not want to be identified as negotiations are ongoing, said the plans for the May 25-28 event were still fluid given the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic raging across the world.The WEF and Marina Bay Sands declined to comment. Singapore…

Indonesian cave painting of life-size pig believed to be over 45,000 years old

Archaeologists have discovered the world’s oldest known cave painting: a life-size picture of a wild pig that was made at least 45,500 years ago in Indonesia.The finding described in the journal Science Advances on Wednesday provides the earliest evidence of human settlement of the region.Co-author Maxime Aubert of Australia’s Griffith University said it was found on the island of Sulawesi in 2017 by doctoral student Basran Burhan, as part of surveys the team was carrying out with Indonesian…