The wRap Indonesia: Jokowi meets Obama, deadly South Asia quake
JAKARTA, Indonesia – From Indonesian president Joko Widodo's arrival in the United States to the deadly earthquake in South Asia, here are the top stories to start your day.
1. Jokowi meets Obama
US President Barack Obama on Monday, October 26 welcomed to the White House political upstart Joko "Jokowi" Widodo – the first Indonesian president to visit in a decade and a leader his hosts hope can help catalyze the world's most populous Muslim nation.
During their meeting, Obama won Indonesia's endorsement for a contentious trans-Pacific trade deal Monday, with the president of Southeast Asia's largest economy vowing to join. "Indonesia is an open economy and with a population of 250 million, we are the largest economy in Southeast Asia," Widodo said in the Oval Office. "Indonesia intends to join the TPP."
But Widodo also announced the cancelation of his trip to San Francisco to attend to the worsening haze in his home country. The Palace confirmed that Jokowi is cutting his trip short due to the complaints from the public on the impact of the haze on their health. Read more.
2. Deadly quake
At least 1,000 more were injured and hundreds of homes destroyed as the quake shook a swathe of the subcontinent, sending thousands of frightened people rushing into the streets in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. It was centered near Jurm in northeast Afghanistan, 250 kilometers (160 miles) from the capital Kabul and at a depth of 213.5 kilometers, the US Geological Survey said. Read more.
3. Warships arrive
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.
4. Volatile market
While Friday's move – the 6th reduction since November – realized hopes for further monetary easing, Premier Li Keqiang tempered the joy by indicating China's economy could grow less than 7% this year. Emerging market currencies also retreated as the latest announcement led to concerns about the Chinese outlook, a week after official data showed the economy expanded in the 3rd quarter at its slowest pace in 6 years. Read more.
5. Desperate Indonesians live in haze
The 32-year-old pharmacist and her 3-year-old daughter have for weeks been inhaling toxic air in Palangkaraya, a city of 240,000 that has been engulfed in poisonous darkness by smoke from peat land set alight to clear land for palm oil plantations. "The smoke was no longer white, it was yellow," she told AFP from an evacuation center in Banjarmasin, a 6-hour drive from Palangkaraya. Read more about the stories of those suffering. – Rappler.com