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18 mourners 'killed in road crash' in Indonesia

An overcrowded van with dozens of mourners has slammed into a truck on the main Indonesian island of Java, killing 18 people and injuring 14 others, according to the Associated Press.

Police officer Captain Mustofa says the van was carrying a group of 29 mourners from East Java's Probolinggo town who were on their way to pay respects to a relative.

He said today the vehicle was moving uncontrollably and collided with a trailer truck. The occupants were thrown from the van and 15, including two children, died instantly. The others died in hospital. The driver has been arrested for reckless driving.

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Mount Sinabung fills sky with volcanic ash in Indonesia

Mount Sinabung spewed volcanic ash into the sky over Karo district, Indonesia's north Sumatra province yesterday.

The volcano threw an 8,000m-high plume into the atmosphere as thousands of residents fearful of more eruptions remained in temporary shelters.

Mount Sinabung spews ash, as pictured from Sibintun village in Karo district, Indonesia's north Sumatra province. Credit: Reuters
A boy in a mask stands behind a fence at Mardingding village shortly after Mount Sinabung spewed volcanic ash. Credit: Reuters
A woman carries a bucket full of ash-covered tomatoes on her head at Mardingding village shortly after Mount Sinabung spewed volcanic ash. Credit: Reuters

British gran one of four Brits jailed over Bali drugs

Lindsay Sandiford was sentenced to death in January. Credit: REUTERS/Stringer Indonesia

Lindsay Sandiford was sentenced to death after being found guilty of drug trafficking in January.

Julian Ponder, from Brighton, was jailed for six years for possessing drugs. Credit: ITV News

Sandiford's alleged accomplice, Julian Ponder, from Brighton, was jailed for six years in Bali after being cleared of drugs smuggling but convicted of possessing drugs. He remains in jail.

Rachel Dougall with her translator in a Bali court in December. Credit: Reuters

His partner, Rachel Dougall, also from Brighton, received a one-year jail term and has now returned to the UK after serving her sentence.

Paul Beales was a long-time Bali resident. Credit: ITV News

Paul Beales, a long-time Bali resident, was sentenced to four years in prison for possession of hashish. He remains in jail.

British woman 'loses appeal against death sentence'

The Foreign Office is seeking confirmation that a British grandmother has lost her appeal against a death sentence for trafficking drugs into the resort island of Bali.

We are aware of unconfirmed reports that the decision of the Indonesian Supreme Court has been announced. We are seeking confirmation of the decision from the Indonesian Supreme Court.

We will continue to provide consular assistance to Lindsay Sandiford and her family at this difficult time.

– Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman

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Lindsay Sandiford loses second appeal

A woman from Teesside appears to have lost her second, and possibly final, appeal against a death sentence in Indonesia.

Lindsay Sandiford faces a firing squad after being convicted of drug smuggling in January.

The 57-year-old from Redcar had been arrested at Bali Airport after drugs were found in her luggage.

Lindsay Sandiford is facing the death penalty in Indonesia Credit: ITV News

The Foreign Office has told ITV News that they are checking reports that her final appeal has been rejected,

If this is the case, her last hope would be a presidential reprieve.

Three dead after Australia asylum seeker boat sinks

Three people have died and more than 150 had to be rescued after a boat carrying would-be asylum seekers to Australia sank in Indonesia waters.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said the sinking "underlines the need" for the country to change its refugee policy, defending a government announcement that future asylum seekers who attempt to arrive by boat will never be allowed to settle in Australia.

According to an Indonesian official, more than 150 survivors have been rescued but it is still unclear how many more may be missing.

Elephant endangered from illegal logging dies

A Sumatran elephant endangered from illegal logging has died. ITV News highlighted the story of Raja who was being held to ransom by villagers in Aceh, Indonesia. They were demanding compensation from the government for the financial loss they were suffering.

Raja the elephant Credit: ITV News

In a statement charity Elephant Family said: "The villagers buried Raja soon after his death, and without having been able to examine his body, it is difficult to know for sure how he died.

"From the reports they gave, it seems that very tragically, through their inexperience and without checking with the vets, the villagers started giving Raja something new to eat from the forest - something he could naturally eat, but which is very rich in protein and which his body wasn't used to.

"It seems that they gave him too much of this particular plant, and this caused a sudden bacterial infection and bloating, and his young body couldn't cope. It apparently all happened so quickly."

Singapore wakes up to another polluting day of haze

Singapore's landmark Marina Bay Sands Hotel has been clouded for yet another day as pollution continues to blight the city. Credit: RTV
Haze from illegal fires in Indonesia have enveloped skyscrapers in the worst pollution to ever hit the city. Credit: RTV
Tourist boats were barely visible in the thick smog, which has been whipped up by heavy winds. Credit: RTV
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