The Two-Way
3:56 pm
Sun May 17, 2015

Indonesian Military Chief Defends 'Virginity Tests' For Female Recruits

Female soldiers perform martial arts at a ceremony in Jakarta. Women in Indonesia must undergo an invasive "virginity test" to join the military.
Agung Kuncahya B. Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 9:26 am

Indonesia's top military commander defended a requirement that female recruits undergo an invasive "virginity test" to determine whether they are morally suited for the armed forces. His remarks follow a letter from Human Rights Watch condemning the practice.

"So what's the problem? It's a good thing, so why criticize it?" Gen. Moeldoko was quoted by The Jakarta Globe as telling reporters on Friday.

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The Two-Way
2:23 pm
Sun May 17, 2015

Islamic State Claims Capture Of Iraqi City Of Ramadi

Displaced Iraqis from Ramadi rest before crossing the Bzebiz bridge as they flee toward Baghdad on Saturday.
Hadi Mizban AP

Originally published on Sun May 17, 2015 11:06 pm

Updated at 11:50 p.m. ET

The self-declared Islamic State claims its fighters have seized Ramadi in Iraq's western Anbar province, even as Iraqi officials disagreed on whether the city was lost and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered Shiite militias not to abandon their positions.

In a statement, the extremist group said it seized tanks and killed "dozens of apostates," referring to Iraqi security forces, according to Reuters. A spokesman for the governor of Anbar province also said the city had fallen to ISIS.

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The Two-Way
2:01 pm
Sun May 17, 2015

20 Years After China Seized Boy Monk, Tibetans Call For His Release

Members of Exile Tibetan Women Association protest to demand the immediate release of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the 11th Panchen Lama, during a gathering to mark the 20th anniversary of his disappearance, in New Delhi, India, on Sunday.
Tsering Topgyal AP

Two decades after a 6-year-old boy designated as Tibetan Buddhism's second most important spiritual leader was swept up by Chinese authorities and never heard from again, the Dalai Lama's government-in-exile has renewed a call for his release.

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The Two-Way
12:30 pm
Sun May 17, 2015

Asia's Governments Talk As Desperate Rohingyas Wait At Sea

Migrants as their boat is towed away by a Thai navy vessel, in waters near Koh Lipe island, on Saturday. Thousands of Rohingya and Bangladeshis have been turned away by Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 2:34 pm

At least 1,000 desperate Rohingya migrants from Myanmar remain stranded on boats in the Andaman Sea with little food or water as the nations of Southeast Asia seem no closer to resolving the problem of where — or even whether — they will come ashore.

As Michael Sullivan reports from Thailand, the region's countries have begun leaning on Myanmar to take action to stop the flow.

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The Two-Way
9:52 am
Sun May 17, 2015

Palestinian Nuns Among Latest Saints Declared By Pope Francis

Pope Francis greets Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas following a canonization ceremony for four nuns, including two Palestinians, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, on Sunday.
Alessandra Tarantino AP

Originally published on Sun May 17, 2015 1:58 pm

Two nuns from 19th-century Palestine are now saints after being canonized by Pope Francis, in a move seen as aimed at encouraging Christians across the Middle East who are facing persecution by Islamist extremists.

According to The Associated Press:

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Sun May 17, 2015

Burundi's President Makes First Public Appearance Since Coup Attempt

President Pierre Nkurunziza makes a brief statement at the presidential palace in Bujumbura, Burundi, on Sunday. In his first appearance since a failed coup against his government, Nkurunziza, didn't mention the unrest.
Jerome Delay AP

Originally published on Sun May 17, 2015 1:48 pm

Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza, whose government survived a coup attempt last week, has made his first appearance in the capital since the unsuccessful attempt to oust him, warning of the threat from the extremist al-Shabab movement in Somalia.

According to AP:

"Nkurunziza made a brief statement to journalists in the foyer of his heavily guarded presidential offices in Bujumbura Sunday morning. He did not mention the failed coup plot against him or the protests that have rocked Burundi for weeks over his bid for a third term in office."

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The Two-Way
7:52 am
Sun May 17, 2015

4 ISIS Leaders Reportedly Among 32 Killed In U.S. Raid, Airstrikes

Originally published on Sun May 17, 2015 1:44 pm

At least four leaders of the self-declared Islamic State, including Abu Sayyaf, were among 32 members of the extremist group killed in airstrikes and a U.S. Special Forces raid inside Syria, according to U.K.-based monitors.

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7:32 am
Sun May 17, 2015

Blogging In Bangladesh Is A Deadly Occupation

Originally published on Sun May 17, 2015 9:44 am

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The Two-Way
3:53 pm
Sat May 16, 2015

Kerry Meets With China's Foreign Minister Over Disputed Islands

A photo taken days ago shows alleged on-going reclamation by China of Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.
Ritchie B. Tongo AP

Originally published on Sat May 16, 2015 6:48 pm

China's foreign minister today reasserted Beijing's claims to disputed islands in the South China Sea, dismissing a push by his counterpart, Secretary of State John Kerry, to pursue a diplomatic solution to tensions.

NPR's Anthony Kuhn, reporting from Beijing, says Kerry called for China to halt the building of military outposts on the islands and instead focus on reaching an agreement about the area with its Southeast Asian neighbors.

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The Two-Way
12:49 pm
Sat May 16, 2015

8 Bodies Recovered From U.S. Helicopter Crash Site In Nepal

Nepali army soldiers prepare for a rescue mission to the downed U.S. helicopter on Friday. Officials say the remains of all eight aboard the Huey UH-1 have been recovered.
Niranjan Shrestha AP

NPR's Julie McCarthy, reporting from New Delhi, says the remains of all eight people aboard a U.S. Marine helicopter that went down in Nepal east of the capital, Kathmandu, have been recovered.

"Nepali special forces along with U.S. Marines and Air Force personnel were inserted into the crash site early Saturday. The Joint Task Force coordinating the U.S. military's disaster relief in Nepal said they are investigation why the [UH-1 ] Huey helicopter went down."

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