The Globe as you know it is changing. Coming June 2019

  • More thought provoking stories that inspire
  • Independent, free and member supported
  • Vote for, pitch and commission stories
  • Member engagement with our journalists
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To understand more about why you are so important to our member support initiative, we encourage you to read the following from our managing editor ~ Read more

The Globe as you know it is changing.

Since 2007, Southeast Asia Globe has been a space for some of the region’s best writers and photographers to take our readers behind the headlines into the stories that shape people’s lives. Every month, you could expect to pick up our latest print edition and find high-quality journalism, analysis and artwork waiting on every page. And since 2007, we’ve fought to uphold our promise of quality and independence to you, our readers.

But, like we said, the world is changing. Print publications just aren’t reaching the audiences they need to fulfil their promise of informing, educating and entertaining the public. Advertisers continue to invest in digital platforms while printing costs creep ever higher. Print may not be dead, but it’s fighting for its life. And we’re tired of waiting by a sickbed for its condition to improve. We want to be present at the birth of something new.

That’s why Southeast Asia Globe is relaunching as a member-driven platform featuring daily long-form features combining world-class journalism with enthralling art design and data-centered tech. Through our core pillars – Power, Money, Life and Earth – we are focusing in on the central issues that our readers have always engaged with most, with the same in-depth coverage of politics, business, social affairs and the environment that you’ve come to expect since 2007.

But leaving print behind us doesn’t just save our backs from lugging stacks of magazines across Southeast Asia. It opens up a global readership who don’t just want to read the news, but have a say in the stories that we tell and the way that we tell them. We’re not asking you to take out another magazine subscription – our stories are open to all. What we’re offering our members is a space where they can pitch and vote on the stories that they think deserve to be told. We want to inspire an engaged and active community of members who vote for, comment on and contribute to the stories that matter most to them. We want to work with our members to curate the way they engage with the news – not just as readers, but as an active extension of our editorial team.

That’s how we’re changing to bring you great stories. Here’s how we’re not.

We’re independent. Always have been, always will be. We’re not owned by any corporation or aligned with any state. We choose the stories that we tell, and the way that we tell them.

We’re creative. We’re not interested in churning out breaking news stories on the hour, every hour. We believe that the best stories are the ones that come alive on the page, digging deeper into the issues that shape Southeast Asia – and bringing you along for the ride. From our dedicated designers to our new software development team, our commitment is to constantly challenge ourselves to find new ways of reaching out to our readers.

We’re open. Challenging governments, NGOs and businesses to be transparent with the public means nothing if we keep our own readers in the dark. That’s why we will be completely open about why we tell the stories that we tell – and how we pay for them. Work with us to build something that endures where many media fail, and decide with us exactly where that money is going.

Above all, we’re optimistic. And yeah, we know what you’re thinking. Faced with impending climate collapse, the rise of right-wing authoritarian governments across the world, widening wealth and income inequality and deepening divisions rooted in race or gender or creed, it’s hard not to open the papers and feel the weight of the world pressing down. But we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t believe that when people work together, they can make their little corner of the world a more just, open and equal place.

And that’s why we can’t do this without you. We believe that across the globe is a community of people who care deeply about social justice, environmental action and press freedom – and who will join in to help make those ideals a reality. We’re not just holding our hand out – we need your voice to play a vital role in building Southeast Asia Globe into a leading space for progressive causes in the region. Tell us what stories the mainstream media is missing. Share with us the causes that matter most to you, and how we can champion those causes not just across Southeast Asia, but the world.

Our vision is clear. By 2025, we want to be recognised for building a great space for outstanding journalists from across the region to explore new ways of telling Southeast Asia’s most vital stories. Let’s bring together a community of engaged and loyal members who want to help reshape the media rather than just read it. And we want to reach a point where our readers, not advertisers, are the ones working to support our shared vision of an inclusive media.

We can’t do this without you. Let’s get together and build something that we all believe in.

If you’re interested in joining us, sign up to our newsletter, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter. And watch this space.

Kim Jong Nam trial / Vietnamese woman in N. Korea murder case loses bid for release

By: by M. Jegathesan / AFP - Posted on: March 14, 2019 | Current Affairs

A Vietnamese woman suspected of assassinating the North Korean leader’s half-brother lost her bid for immediate release Thursday as Malaysian authorities refused to drop a murder charge, days after her Indonesian co-accused was freed

Doan Thi Huong (C) leaves court escorted by Malaysian police Photo: Mohd Rasfan / AFP
Doan Thi Huong (C) leaves court escorted by Malaysian police Photo: Mohd Rasfan / AFP

Doan Thi Huong broke down in tears as a prosecutor announced the attorney-general had rejected a request to free her and her trial would continue. She has been on trial for a year and a half over the 2017 assassination of Kim Jong Nam at Kuala Lumpur airport.

On Monday a murder charge was unexpectedly withdrawn against the Indonesian woman accused alongside her, sparking calls from Vietnam for Huong to be freed and prompting her lawyers to apply for her release.

The Vietnamese defendant, who had to be helped out of court by two police officers following the shock announcement, tearfully told reporters: “I am depressed. I am innocent… I want my family to pray for me.”

Huong’s lawyer said he would make a second bid to get the charge against her dropped, and criticised the failure to free her following the release of the Indonesian, Siti Aisyah.

“Both the accused have said they were made scapegoats by North Korea, both of them said they were doing video pranks — very obviously there is discrimination,” said Hisyam Teh Poh Teik.

The pair had always denied murder, saying they were tricked by North Korean spies into carrying out the Cold War-style hit that shocked the world using a highly toxic nerve agent, and believed it was a prank for a reality TV show.

Their lawyers presented them as scapegoats and said the real killers were four North Koreans, who were suspected of being the masterminds behind the plot but fled Malaysia shortly after the assassination.

Facing the death penalty 

The prosecutor did not give any reason why charges were not being dropped for Huong, 30, who is now the sole defendant on trial for Kim’s murder and could face death by hanging if convicted.

Indonesia had mounted a sustained diplomatic offensive to free 27-year-old Aisyah, while Vietnam had only stepped up pressure since the Indonesian woman’s release this week.

During the trial, the court saw airport CCTV footage showing Huong approaching Kim, placing her hands on his face and then running away. Aisyah was only seen as a blurred figure fleeing the scene of the crime.

The trial began in October 2017 but there had been no hearings since August last year when the prosecution finished presenting its case.

Proceedings were scheduled to resume Monday with Huong testifying — but the unexpected release of Aisyah led to the trial being adjourned so the Vietnamese suspect could also seek her freedom.

But on Thursday, lead prosecutor Muhammad Iskandar Ahmad told the High Court in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur, that the attorney-general had ordered the case against Huong to proceed.

As Huong broke down in the dock, the judge said she was in not fit state to testify and ordered that the trial be adjourned until April 1.

A murder conviction carries a mandatory penalty of death by hanging in Malaysia. The government vowed last year to scrap capital punishment but has indicated this week it would backtrack.

‘Clearly unfair’

Vietnam had increased pressure on Malaysia to release Huong since Aisyah was freed, with the foreign minister this week pressing his Malaysian counterpart on the issue and the justice minister writing to the attorney-general.

In Huong’s home village her father Doan Van Thanh, who had washed bed sheets in anticipation of her homecoming, was left heartbroken: “I am very sad. The government gave us the best support but the other side could not solve it, what can we do.”

Abdul Rashid Ismail, a leading Malaysian criminal lawyer who was not involved in the case, said the decision to prosecute Huong but not Aisyah was “clearly unfair”.

“This is the very reason why the death penalty should be abolished — the imposition of the death penalty may not be applied equally,” he told AFP.

Prosecutors said the women had been specially trained to murder the estranged relative of Kim Jong Un, once seen as heir apparent to the North’s leadership, but their lawyers insist they were innocent pawns.

South Korea has accused the North of ordering the hit, which Pyongyang denies.

© Agence France-Presse