The Asian reporter. (Portland, Or.) 1991-current, April 18, 2016, Page Page 2, Image 2

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April 18, 2016
Chimp flees zoo, caught after falling from power pole
TOKYO (AP) — A chimpanzee fled from a zoo in northern Japan and tried
desperately to avoid being captured by climbing an electric pole. But not for long.
Chacha, the male chimp, was on the loose nearly two hours after it disappeared
from the Yagiyama Zoological Park in Sendai, the city that’s hosting finance
ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations in May. Television
footage showed Chacha perched atop the pole, agitated and screaming at zoo
workers below. Even after being hit by a sedative arrow in the back, Chacha
desperately tried to escape, dangling from a power line. He finally gave up and
fell head down into a blanket held by a dozen workers on the ground.
Indonesia sinks 23 foreign fishing boats
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian authorities have blown up 23
foreign vessels that were captured for fishing illegally in the country’s waters.
The boats, 13 from Vietnam and 10 from Malaysia, were blown up
simultaneously in seven ports from Tarakan in northern Kalimantan to Ranai
on the Natuna Islands in the South China Sea. Minister of Maritime Affairs and
Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti witnessed the destruction, which was coordinated by
the navy, coast guard, and police via live-streamed internet video at her office in
downtown Jakarta. Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago nation, has taken
a tough stance against illegal fishing since President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo took
office in 2014. Pudjiastuti has overseen the capture of nearly 200 illegal fishing
boats from several countries after declaring a fishing moratorium for foreign
vessels. A total of 174 illegal fishing boats have been blown up. The fates of 20
others await court rulings. In March, Indonesia destroyed the Nigeria-flagged
Viking with explosives. The ship was wanted around the world for illegally
taking toothfish from southern waters. It was seized by the Indonesian navy
February 25 while operating in waters south of Singapore.
Cambodian activist slashed with machete as she slept
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — A leading international environmental
group has called on the Cambodian government to investigate an attack on a
young forest activist who was slashed with a machete while she slept in a
hammock after patrolling for illegal loggers. Global Witness said Phan Sopheak,
25, sustained an injury to her feet in the March 26 attack by unidentified
perpetrators in Kratie province. Phan Sopheak is a member of the Prey Lang
Community Network, a grassroots movement in northeastern Cambodia. Its
members said the assailants were trying to cut her throat, Global Witness said.
“Cambodia’s forests have become like a piggy bank for Cambodia’s elites and
their cronies, who routinely flout forest protection laws to pillage them for
valuable timber, or sell off the land illegally for mining and agribusiness
concessions,” said Josie Cohen, a land campaigner at Global Witness, which
investigates economic networks behind environmental destruction. Activists
say members of the Prey Lang network have suffered regular harassment from
Cambodian courts, police, and soldiers, as well as local officials involved in the
timber business. The group is made up largely of indigenous activists who live in
and around the Prey Lang forest and rely on it for their food, medicine, and jobs.
South Korea upholds tough anti-prostitution laws
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s top court has upheld laws that
toughened punishment on prostitutes, pimps, and their clients. The 2004
legislation drove thousands of sex workers in traditional red-light zones out of
business in South Korea, but prostitution has still thrived in the shadows. Sex
workers have occasionally held rallies calling for the abolishment of the laws.
The Constitutional Court ruled to uphold a provision that makes it a criminal
offense to voluntarily sell or buy sex, punishable by a year in prison or a fine. The
ruling was made in response to a complaint by a female sex worker, who argued
people have the right to choose their occupation. A court statement said the
government could deny such individual rights to prevent exploitation and
protect moral values.
China imposes anti-dumping duties on foreign steel
BEIJING (AP) — China has imposed anti-dumping duties on steel from the
European Union, Japan, and South Korea. The Ministry of Commerce said on its
website that imports of grain-oriented flat-rolled steel will be charged duties
ranging from 14.5 percent to 46.3 percent. The ministry said Chinese producers
suffered “substantial damage” due to improperly underpriced foreign steel. For
its part, Beijing also faces complaints by its trading partners that Chinese steel
mills are exporting at improperly low prices to clear away a backlog of excess
production. The ministry will impose anti-dumping duties between 6.1 and 17.8
percent on imports of acrylic fibers from Japan, South Korea, and Turkey.
Indonesia threatens to bar DiCaprio over comments
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — An Indonesian immigration official says Holly-
wood actor Leonardo DiCaprio may be banned from returning to Indonesia over
his criticisms that palm-oil plantations are destroying the country’s rainforests.
DiCaprio made a one-day visit to protected Mount Leuser National Park in
Tamiang, an Aceh district neighboring North Sumatra province, in March and
uploaded photos to his Instagram account, expressing concerns over species
whose habitats are threatened. Heru Santoso, spokesman for the Directorate
General for Immigration at the Law and Human Rights Ministry, said DiCaprio
used his visit to discredit the palm-oil industry and the Indonesian government.
Said Santoso, “We can blacklist him from returning to Indonesia at any time if
he keeps posting incitement or provocative statements in his social media.”
TRANSFORMING TRAUMA. Five asylum-seekers and their teachers, from left, Roohollah, Amin, surf instructor
Conrad Pattinson, Uthayakumar, Mahdi, Kumar, and surf instructor Will Bigelow practice standing on their surfboards while
still on the sand during a surfing class on Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia. A novel program by the not-for-profit organiza-
tion Settlement Services International is introducing asylum-seekers to the iconic Aussie sport of surfing in a bid to trans-
form their feelings toward the ocean and their lives. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
In Australia, surfing soothes
asylum-seekers’ fears of sea
By Kristen Gelineau
The Associated Press
YDNEY — They gather under the
blazing sun and blue skies of an
Australian beach, looking out at the
water that once symbolized so much misery:
Terrifying boat trips marked by sickness and
death and the constant dread that their own
lives might be nearing the end. But today, the
sea will become their unlikely savior.
For these five asylum-seekers, a novel
program introducing them to the iconic Aussie
sport of surfing is helping to transform both
their feelings toward the ocean and their lives
and allowing them, at least for a brief time, to
forget the pains of the past.
“We know that getting into the ocean and
surfing makes everybody feel good,” says
Brenda Miley, surf school director at Let’s Go
Surfing, which is providing the lessons. “... I
just think it’s a win-win because it helps build
confidence, they learn some skills, they learn
about being a local Aussie.”
There is a rush of nervous laughter and
chitchat as the men file into the Let’s Go shop
at Sydney’s famed surf haven, Bondi Beach.
Inside, instructors Conrad Pattinson and Will
Bigelow demonstrate how to put on wetsuits.
Amin, an asylum-seeker from Iran, flexes
his muscles under the neoprene and chuckles.
He has been urging his fellow Surfing Without
Borders buddies along all morning, eager to
get on a surfboard for the first time. But he
admits his excitement is tinged with anxiety.
Like the tens of thousands of asylum-
seekers who have fled to Australia in recent
years, Amin’s trip involved a harrowing ocean
crossing that began in Indonesia, where
smugglers pack migrants into rickety boats
that frequently break down or capsize. Those
who survive the journey are often scarred by it.
Amin’s memories of that trip and the relent-
less seasickness that came with it are dark.
Today, though, he hopes to forget all that.
Down on the beach, Pattinson and Bigelow
give the men a pep talk. They explain how the
current works and the different parts of the
“We’re going to make a plan to keep it safe
and get heaps and heaps of waves,” Bigelow
Amin eyes the turquoise water, where the
swells are gaining strength. He asks how far
out they will go. “Not deep,” Bigelow assures
The students practice standing on the
boards from the safety of the sand. Pattinson
warns them that if they don’t use proper form,
they’ll lose their balance and “do a helicopter.”
At this, he circles his arms wildly. The men
crack up.
Finally, it is time to hit the water. The men
slide onto their boards and paddle toward a
sandbar where the waves are breaking. There,
the instructors help maneuver the students’
boards into the proper position. And when
Amin is ready, Pattinson pushes him forward
onto his first wave.
Amin presses himself up with his hands,
pops into a brief, unsteady crouch and …
“Fell down, no good!” he says. Undeterred,
he wipes his face, grabs his board, and paddles
back out.
One by one, the men make their first shaky
attempts as Pattinson and Bigelow whistle
and cheer. Flanked by other student surfers,
they are largely indistinguishable from the
rest of the rookies: Their hips wobble, their
arms “do the helicopter,” they occasionally
Continued on page 4
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