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Tsunami: Pacific nations wait, and exhale

TOKYO, Japan — Dozens of countries in the Pacific region spent an anxious 24 hours bracing for massive waves after Saturday’s magnitude 8.8 earthquake in Chile sent a tsunami coursing halfway around the world. The threat of more devastation attracted blanket TV coverage, as millions, from New Zealand to Russia’s far east, waited to learn whether they would be spared or forced to flee their homes.

Indonesia: Forced church closings spike

BEKASI, Indonesia – Packed into the living room of a small house here, several hundred Christians, all dressed in their Sunday best, whispered to each other over the sermon. “But as an Indonesian and as a follower of Christ, we will still worship,” said Pieterson Purba, a visiting pastor, in response to news that local authorities planned to seal off their makeshift church and force them to move. “And with nowhere else to go, we will continue to worship right here in this house.”

Anti-corruption chief sentenced for murdering golf buddy

Top News: An Indonesian court sentenced the country’s former anticorruption czar to 18 years in prison Feb. 11 for orchestrating the murder of a prominent business executive.

Dalai Lama: Blackballed from Thailand

BANGKOK, Thailand — In the age of growing Chinese influence, there’s a simple measure of a country’s willingness to test China’s wrath. Will they stamp the Dalai Lama’s passport? Add Thailand to the shrinking list of nations that won’t.

Indonesia's former anti-corruption czar sentenced

An Indonesian court sentenced Indonesia’s former anticorruption czar to 18 years in prison for orchestrating the murder of a prominent business executive Thursday. The verdict marks the culmination of almost one year of all kinds of intrigue that pitted the anticorruption body against top law enforcement agencies.

Yudhoyono's popularity wanes

Top News: Thousands marked the first 100 days of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s second term with demonstrations across Jakarta and several other Indonesian cities on Jan. 28.

Lifestyles of the rich and convicted

Top News: The government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has reignited the practice of banning books, films and other forms of free speech at a level not seen since before the overthrow of longtime authoritarian ruler, Suharto.

Indonesia: What do they think of the "Menteng Kid" now?

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Elated when the United States inaugurated Barack Obama as its 44th president, Indonesians across the country threw lavish parties, complete with triumphant speeches — some of them broadcast live on American news stations. (Watch as Indonesians muse on their former resident on year ago.)

Economic worries in Indonesia? Blame the Chinese.

CIPULIR, Indonesia — They say it’s all about location, location, location. But here, sitting outside her store in the corner of the fourth floor of a crowded indoor garments market, Ibu Nasution says the only threat to her business is the Chinese. “When they get here, nobody will buy these clothes anymore. We won’t be able to pay our debts. We won’t be able to eat. Things are going to get bad,” she said, sitting on a dusty stack of tightly wrapped T-shirts.

Pluralistic, tolerant leader dies in Jakarta

Top News: New Year’s Eve celebrations were muted for many millions of Indonesians this year after former Indonesian president and one of the Muslim world’s most prominent proponents of pluralism and tolerance, Abdurrahman Wahid,  died Dec. 30 at the age of 69.  
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