May 24, 2012 Indonesia has the world's largest Muslim population and has drawn praise for evolving into a vibrant, pluralistic democracy. But the rise of hard-line Muslim groups and recent cases of religious persecution have led some to question whether it lives up to that reputation.
May 14, 2012 Gambling has always been popular in Australia, and slot machines, known as "pokies," can be found in bars, hotels and clubs as well as casinos. Some politicians, including the prime minister, have raised the possibility of setting some limits.
April 30, 2012 Indonesia has the largest share of the world's mangroves — coastal forests that have adapted to saltwater environments. They play important environmental and ecological roles. The challenge is convincing locals that they benefit more from protecting the trees rather than cutting them down.
April 9, 2012 The wall of silence in Indonesia surrounding one of the 20th century's worst atrocities is beginning to fall apart. A forthcoming report estimates that in the mid-1960s, the Indonesian military killed up to 1 million suspected communists, and places blame squarely on former military dictator Suharto.
April 1, 2012 Supporters of the main opposition party celebrated a projected victory in closely watched by-elections as Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi won a seat in the country's parliament for the first time. The results could help to consolidate support for political reforms and herald the end of foreign sanctions on a country ruled by a military junta.
March 30, 2012 As Sunday's election approaches, there's a flurry of activity in Myanmar. People from all over the world have come in search of Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel laureate and leader of the opposition National League for Democracy. The chaotic environment is a reminder of how far the party has to go to be ready for the political prime time.
March 28, 2012 Gangster and samurai movies have long dominated the Japanese film industry, and both genres require high body counts. Kirareyaku, or "sliced-up actors," specialize in meeting that need. The group's leading light, Seizo Fukumoto, has died at least 50,000 times — on screen.
March 12, 2012 The northeast coast of Japan has an older population, fewer jobs and more tsunamis than the rest of the country. The regional economy had been declining long before last year's disaster. Many people say in order to survive, the region needs to remake itself.