Wednesday, September 10, 2008

News of the Weird

In a country of 230 million-odd people and 17,000 islands, there’s bound to be a host of weird and wonderful news stories. Without further adieu, a roundup of some of the quirkiest.

Malaysians Strike Back: Apparently Indonesians are cornering the market on sappy love songs (no surprise to anyone who’s ever travelled there). Malaysian singer-songwriters are so fed up with Indonesians crowding their radio airwaves, they’ve set up Malaysian-content restrictions.

Er, You’re Betting on the Wrong Horse: Indonesia is developing its media ties with … wait for it … Zimbabwe, to share news stories to counter Western propaganda. Someone please tell Jakarta that Mugabe is a thuggish dictator who’s wrecked the country’s economy, so much so that a cup of coffee now costs billions of Zimbabwean dollars. Or maybe that won’t make the news service?

Sax Appeal: Who knew the Indonesian ambassador to the U.S. was such a smooth operator? The Indo-U.S. Chamber of Commerce hosted a recent gala in Atlanta, Georgia, and the star attraction was the ambassador’s “saxophone serenade.” Someone give the ambassador his playa card.

Getting Sauced: Forget American ketchup ... turns out Heinz Corp.'s biggest global driver of growth is none other than good old Kecap ABC. I never acquired a taste for the stuff, but since every Indonesian carries a bottle along with their wallet and keys, it makes sense. Now the big question, who's behind all that sambal money?

Today's Top Stories:

Yet another Sumatra quake

Aceh still on edge

Mud lake draws tourists

Sulawesi floods wreak havoc

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