The wRap Indonesia: Indonesia to join TPP, US warships near China
The wRap Indonesia: Indonesia to join TPP, US warships near China


Other stories include orangutans endangered by the haze and the dipping of equities as Asia awaits central bank meetings

JAKARTA, Indonesia – From Indonesia vowing to join the trans-Pacific trade deal, to a US warship approaching China’s declared territory, here are the top stories to start your day.

1. Indonesia to join TPP

US TRIP. Joko Widodo meets with the Indonesian community in the USA. Photo from Jokowi's FB account

US President Barack Obama won Indonesia’s endorsement for a contentious trans-Pacific trade deal Monday, October 26 with the president of Southeast Asia’s largest economy, Joko Widodo, vowing to join.

The deal is seen by some as a counterbalance to growing Chinese economic clout in the region. Widodo’s endorsement is a political victory for Obama, who is steering the already completed pact through a hostile Republican-controlled Congress and without the full backing of his Democratic party. Widodo cut his trip short to return to Indonesia and address the worsening haze crisis. Read more.

2. US warship sails near China waters

SPRATLY ISLANDS. An aerial photo taken though a glass window inside a military plane of the alleged on-going reclamation by China into mischief reef in the Spratly group of islands in the South China Sea, west of Palawan, Philippines, 11 May 2015. Photo by Ritchie B. Tongo/EPA

A US warship on Tuesday, October 27, sailed close to artificial islands Beijing is building in the South China Sea, a US defense official said, in a move that infuriated the rising Asian power.

The USS Lassen passed within 12 nautical miles of at least one of the land formations Beijing claims in the disputed Spratly Islands, the official told Agence France-Presse. The move is a significant escalation of the dispute over the strategically vital South China Sea, which Beijing claims almost in its entirety, even waters close to the coasts of other states. Read more.

3. Equities dip

EQUITIES DOWN. Emerging market units had been hammered this year on talk of a 2015. EPA/BAGUS INDAHONO

Most equities markets eased Tuesday, October 27, after the previous day’s rally while the dollar slipped against its major peers as investors look ahead to key central bank meetings in the United States and Japan this week.

The upbeat outlook fueled by China’s surprise rate cut on Friday gave way to concerns about the world’s number 2 economy, with the country’s leaders gathering in Beijing to discuss their next 5-Year Plan. However, Shanghai ended on a high, with defense and technology shares rallying on news that a US warship had sailed close to artificial islands Beijing is building in disputed South China waters. Read more.

4. Orangutans in danger

Endangered orangutans are falling victim to a devastating haze crisis that has left them sick, malnourished and severely traumatized as fires rage through Indonesia’s forests, reducing their habitat to a charred wasteland.

Rescuers at a center for the great apes on Borneo island are considering an unprecedented mass evacuation of the hundreds in their care, and have deployed teams on hazardous missions to search for stricken animals in the wild. At the Nyaru Menteng center in Kalimantan, 16 baby orangutans have been put into isolation, suffering infections from prolonged exposure to the thick, yellow smoke suffocating Indonesia’s half of Borneo island. Read more.

5. Processed meats are carcinogens

CANCER-CAUSING, SAYS W.H.O. A picture shows traditional 'porchetta' and sausages on a delicatessen stall at the Campo di Fiori food market, in central Rome, on November 4, 2014. Andreas Solaro/AFP

Eating sausages, ham and other processed meats causes colon cancer, and red meat “probably” does too, an arm of the World Health Organization. The findings support “recommendations to limit intake of meat,” said the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which compiled a review of more than 800 studies on the link between a meat diet and cancer. 

“In view of the large number of people who consume processed meat, the global impact on cancer incidence is of public health importance,” IARC official Kurt Straif said in a statement. Read more. –

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