JAKARTA, Indonesia – From the haze death toll rising, to Indonesia improving its ease of doing business ranking, here’s the top stories for the day.
1. Haze death toll doubles
For nearly two months, thousands of fires caused by slash-and-burn farming in Indonesia have choked vast expanses of Southeast Asia, forcing schools to close and scores of flights and some international events to be canceled. Read more.
2. Ease of doing business
Starting a new business in Indonesia has become increasingly easier, at least according to the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business survey 2016, published Wednesday, October 28. Indonesia jumped from rank 114 in 2015 to rank 109 in 2016.
In its annual survey, the World Bank projects the level of ease of starting a new business in a country in the following year, by measuring “regulations affecting 11 areas of the life of a business.” Read more.
3. Fighting forest fires
Wearing an oversized T-shirt and ill-fitting rubber boots, 13-year-old Yosua Oktavianus assisted his father douse a fire burning outside their hometown in Borneo as acrid smoke belched from the scorched earth. “I just want to help my dad,” he told AFP near Palangkaraya, a city of 240,000 where respiratory illnesses have soared as the smog has worsened in recent weeks. Read more.
4. ‘Unbelievably high’
Tuberculosis kills 4,400 people daily, a number that remains “unacceptably high,” said a World Health Organization report Wednesday, October 28that ranked TB alongside HIV as a leading cause of death globally.
The disease killed 1.5 million people last year, despite big strides in treatment and prevention over the past 25 years, said the UN health agency’s Global Tuberculosis Report 2015. More than half of the world’s TB cases were in China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Pakistan. Read more.
5. Epic fail
On Tuesday, October 27, the prestigious newspaper mistakenly identified Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu as Indonesian President Joko Widodo in a photo caption. WaPo later admitted to their error. Read more.