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July 10, 2010 | By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
For four long years, Reni Sualeha has lived in the shadow of a monster, a menacing chemical flow of fetid gray mud that belches unchecked from the bowels of the earth near her home. Known as the Lusi mud volcano, its spread is so relentless — burping noxious gas, swallowing communities, killing 14 people and forcing the evacuations of 60,000 — that some say it could star in its own sci-fi thriller. Those in the United States who are wondering just how long the ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico could possibly keep gushing should listen to Sualeha's cautionary tale.
July 4, 2010 | By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
Ruminah winces as she recalls the afternoon a mob ransacked her tiny hair salon, smashing windows and destroying both the business and her faith in justice in her homeland. More than a decade later, the reason she was attacked still haunts her: She is part Chinese. In May 1998, during two deadly days of racially fueled mayhem, rioters killed 1,000 people and raped 87 women, most of Chinese descent. Others cowered in their homes as the rape squads, reportedly led by army thugs, roamed the streets of Jakarta, the Indonesian capital.
June 28, 2010 | By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
Like any die-hard sports fan, Jim Keady eagerly anticipated soccer's World Cup. But he isn't at home watching the matches. Instead, the 38-year-old New Jersey native has been in Indonesia, talking to the workers who make the Nike jerseys worn by nine of the teams in the tournament. For years, the former professional goalie has waged a one-man campaign to highlight Nike's labor practices, complaining that the company pays Indonesian workers low wages to stitch together the uniforms that have made the company the world's most successful sports garment manufacturer.
June 4, 2010 | By Christi Parsons, Tribune Washington Bureau
President Obama is putting off his June trip to Indonesia and Australia, postponing the visit for a second time this year as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico continues unabated. President Obama is putting off his June trip to Indonesia and Australia, postponing the visit for a second time this year as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico continues unabated. Obama called the leaders of both countries Thursday night to convey his regrets, according to a senior administration official.
May 29, 2010 | By Tanalee Smith
Young Barry Obama is struggling with his pingpong shot. Or rather, 12-year-old Hasan Faruq Ali is struggling to play left-handed in imitation of the character he is portraying in a new Indonesian film, "Little Obama." "Hasan has the walk, he has the posture of Barry," said Slamet Djanuadi, a consultant on the film and a childhood friend of President Obama when he lived in Indonesia from 1967 to 1971. "But Barry was a better pingpong player," he laughed, watching Hasan hit the ball off the table.
April 24, 2010 | From Reuters
A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1 struck in the Moluccas about 120 miles north of the Indonesian island of Ambon, the U.S. Geological Survey said on Saturday. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage. The quake was measured at a depth of about 33 miles.
April 13, 2010 | By John M. Glionna
The beautiful young socialite slipped the businessman a note scrawled in eyeliner on a crumpled napkin. "Help me," it pleaded. She was a teenage Indonesian model who had married a Malaysian prince, but Manohara Odelia Pinot says her life with him was no fairy tale. Press accounts of her allegations of abuse and tales of her escape from an unhappy marriage have captivated this country, and further divided two nations that have long been Southeast Asian rivals. Known across Indonesia by her first name, which means "thief of hearts" in Sanskrit, Manohara is viewed here as a tragic heroine mistreated by an obsessed suitor who became outraged when she would not yield to his demands.
April 6, 2010 | From Reuters
A major earthquake of 7.7 magnitude struck off the coast of Aceh on the Indonesian island of Sumatra on Wednesday triggering panic and power blackouts, although a tsunami alert was later lifted. Neighbouring Thailand and Malaysia, lying east of Sumatra, also cancelled tsunami warnings. A Reuters photographer in Sinabang on Simeulue island, south of Aceh, said that electricity was cut in the area and that he saw four injured people, including a child with a head wound who had been hit by fallen masonry.
March 28, 2010 | By John M. Glionna
For Rosono Rachmat, every memento marking a personal tie to Barack Obama is a precious thing. Rachmat, who goes by the nickname Nono, cherishes, for example, an elementary school class picture of himself standing with the wide-eyed boy who grew up to become the president of the United States. He wouldn't part with that photo for any amount of money, he says. So Rachmat is baffled by a controversy over a statue erected in a park to commemorate the four years Obama spent here in Indonesia's capital, where he lived until age 10 and was referred to as Barry.
March 19, 2010 | By John M. Glionna
Indonesia's adopted son isn't coming home just yet. Across this sprawling archipelago, people took the news stoically that President Obama had postponed his trip here next week to attend to a pressing political agenda back home - getting his healthcare initiative passed into law. On Friday, the Indonesian media continued its coverage that treated Obama more as rock star than pragmatic political leader. White House officials said Obama would delay until June a diplomatic trip to Indonesia and Australia that is aimed at cementing U.S. ties in a region that faces rising Chinese influence.
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