The wRap Indonesia: Aceh to cane gays, haze reaches Thailand
The wRap Indonesia: Aceh to cane gays, haze reaches Thailand
Other stories include a recommended jail term for journalists doing illegal reporting in Indonesia, and up and coming women leaders in the country's tech scene

JAKARTA, Indonesia – From gays in Aceh subject to caning if caught having sex, to the haze hitting Thailand, here are the top stories to start your day.

1. Caning of gays caught having sex

Gay people caught having sex in Indonesia’s staunchly Islamic Aceh province will from Friday, October 22 be punished by 100 strokes of the cane, an official said, despite criticism of the “inhumane” law.

Under an Islamic bylaw, anal sex between men and “the rubbing of body parts between women for stimulation” is outlawed. The rule applies to all Muslims including foreigners, provincial sharia chief Syahrizal Abbas told AFP. Read more.

2. Jail for journalists?

Indonesian prosecutors on Thursday, October 22 recommended that two British journalists on trial for trying to make a documentary about piracy without the correct visas be sentenced to 5 months in jail.

Prosecutor Bani Ginting told Batam district court that Neil Bonner, 32, and Rebecca Prosser, 31, had been proven “legally and convincingly guilty” of misusing their tourist visas for “inappropriate activity.” Read more.

3. Haze hits Thailand

SUFFOCATING HAZE. Haze suffocates parts of Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. ABDUL QODIR / AFP

Dense haze produced by Indonesian forest fires has caused some of the worst pollution levels in southern Thailand in a decade, officials said Thursday, October 21, delaying flights in an area popular with tourists.

For nearly two months, thousands of fires caused by slash-and-burn farming have suffocated vast expanses of Southeast Asia, causing rates of respiratory illnesses to soar, schools to close, and scores of flights and some international events to be canceled. Read more.

4. Santos soars on bid refusal

RUPIAH UP. The dollar is down against emerging-market currencies. EPA/ADI WEDA

Australian energy giant Santos surged more than 20% at one point Thursday, October 22 after rejecting a multi-billion-dollar takeover bid it described as “opportunistic,” giving a lift to other Sydney-listed energy firms.

And while jitters over China’s economics malaise kept equities on edge, increasing confidence that the Federal Reserve will delay an interest rate rise until the new year continued to lend broad support to emerging-market currencies. Read more.

5. Women in the tech scene

Indonesia’s tech industry is a sausage fest – it’s mostly male-dominated, especially when we look at top leadership and technical positions. It’s a fact we’ve come to accept for now, while hoping that programs encouraging female entrepreneurship, like Girls in Tech, will help turn the tide.

Where is the future generation? Who are the young female leaders next in line to “smash the glass ceiling”? Here are 8 women under 30 we’ve noticed as emerging talents in Indonesia’s tech world. Read more. –

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