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Indonesian governor orders prayers to stop adultery

An Indonesian governor said Wednesday he has ordered all civil servants in a central province to attend mass prayer sessions and religious sermons in a bid to stop adultery. It was just the latest attempt by Rusli Habibie to encourage government employees in Gorontalo province -- which is mainly Muslim like most parts of the vast archipelago -- to stay faithful. He enacted a local law earlier this month requiring all government employees regularly to pray together and attend half-hour sermons each Friday in the hope it would discourage them from cheating on spouses.

Japan, Philippines agree to boost cooperation in maritime security

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario agreed Friday to strengthen bilateral cooperation in maritime security, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said, a reference to the two countries' territorial disputes with China. Meeting in Hiroshima on the sidelines of a ministerial meeting on nuclear disarmament, Kishida expressed Japan's support for the Philippines' recent filing with a U.N. tribunal of a maritime case against China.

Indonesians vote for new parliament, stage set for presidential poll

By Kanupriya Kapoor JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesians began voting for a new parliament on Wednesday in an election likely to be dominated by the opposition Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle (PDI-P), which it turn should give a further boost to its popular presidential candidate. Opinion polls predict the PDI-P will win the most votes although not an outright majority. Its candidate for the presidential election on July 9, Jakarta governor Joko Widodo, widely known as Jokowi, already looks unbeatable.

One dead as co-ordinated blasts hit Thai south

One person was killed and 14 wounded Sunday in a series of apparently co-ordinated blasts -- including a car bomb -- in a major town in Thailand's insurgency-hit south, the army said. Four explosions rocked Yala, a provincial capital, on Sunday afternoon including a device hidden in a car which destroyed the vehicle and damaged several nearby buildings. Car bombs are rare in the Muslim-majority south, which has seen near-daily shootings and bomb attacks in a decade-long rebellion against Thai rule.

Timeline: the hunt for flight MH370

Hopes were raised once more in the search for Malaysia's missing plane Saturday, after a Chinese ship said it had detected a "pulse signal" in the Indian Ocean, though authorities warned there was no evidence it was linked to MH370. Here is a timeline of major developments in the four-week hunt for the Boeing 777: SATURDAY MARCH 8

China presses Malaysia to rescue kidnapped tourist

China pressed Malaysia on Thursday to rescue a Chinese tourist who was abducted along with a Filipina from a diving resort by gunmen, further straining relations already tested by the crisis over missing flight MH370. The two women were abducted in Malaysia's eastern state of Sabah, known for its natural attractions such as world-class scuba diving, but also for recurring kidnappings blamed on bandits from the Muslim southern Philippines.

China presses Malaysia to rescue kidnapped tourist

China pressed Malaysia on Thursday to rescue a Chinese tourist who was abducted along with a Filipina from a diving resort by gunmen, further straining relations already tested by the crisis over missing Flight MH370. The two women were abducted in Malaysia's eastern state of Sabah, which is known for its natural attractions such as world-class scuba diving, but is also notorious for lawlessness and recurring kidnappings blamed on bandits from the Muslim southern Philippines.

Gunmen abduct Chinese tourist from Borneo resort

Gunmen have abducted a Chinese tourist and a Filipino worker from a dive resort on Malaysia's Borneo island, a report said Thursday, at a time of heightened tensions between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing over missing Flight MH370. The incident also adds to growing concerns about security in that part of the island after last year's bloody armed assault by Islamic guerillas from the southern Philippines.

Philippine ship dodges China blockade to reach South China Sea outpost

By Erik de Castro and Roli Ng SECOND THOMAS SHOAL, South China Sea (Reuters) -The Philippine government vessel made a dash for shallow waters around the disputed reef in the South China Sea, evading two Chinese coastguard ships trying to block its path to deliver food, water and fresh troops to a military outpost on the shoal.

Philippine ship dodges China blockade to reach South China Sea outpost

By Erik de Castro and Roli Ng SECOND THOMAS SHOAL, South China Sea (Reuters) -The Philippine government vessel made a dash for shallow waters around the disputed reef in the South China Sea, evading two Chinese coastguard ships trying to block its path to deliver food, water and fresh troops to a military outpost on the shoal.
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