World Bulletin / News Desk
Malaysia declared a state of emergency in two parts of the southern state of Johor on Sunday as smoke from land-clearing fires in Indonesia pushed air pollution above the level considered hazardous.
The illegal burning of forests and other land on Indonesia's Sumatra island, to the west of peninsular Malaysia and Singapore, to clear space for palm oil plantations is a chronic problem during the June-September dry season.
The "haze" caused by fires in Riau province on Sumatra has also shrouded neighbouring Singapore but air quality in the city state improved over the weekend after reaching hazardous levels there.
"Prime Minister Najib Razak has agreed to declare emergency status in Muar and Ledang with immediate effect," Malaysian Natural Resources and Environment Minister G. Palanivel said in a Facebook post.
Palanivel said the air pollution index in the two districts had exceeded 750. A reading above 300 indicates that air pollution is hazardous.
Neither Palanivel nor the prime minister's office could be reached for comment.
A spokesman at the Johor state operations centre told Reuters that it was awaiting orders from the National Security Council and that residents in the affected areas should stay indoors.
Indonesian officials have deflected blame by suggesting companies based in Malaysia and Singapore may be partly responsible. Malaysia-listed Sime Darby and Singapore's Wilmar Group both deny the charge.
Johnson, kicking off a trip to Japan, visited the robotic centre at Waseda University, which works closely with Britain's University of Birmingham on robotic technologies.
Juno spacecraft will get closest look ever at planet’s massive, centuries-old storm
Novel way of serving has attracted a large number of customers to pizza place in northeastern Multan city
Due to be launched in 2018, BepiColombo will be the European Space Agency's first mission to the closest rock to the Sun.
In historic first, company successfully lands cargo capsule also used to resupply ISS in 2014
Push to cloud business could mean thousands of layoffs, sources say
Company will no longer pull data from free Gmail inboxes to personalize ads
Kepler telescope reveals details of more than 200 newly-found planets in Milky Way
"Today, it is our pleasure to officially announce the newest member of our 737 family, the 737 MAX 10," Kevin McAllister, head of the company's commercial aviation division, told journalists as the Paris Air Show got under way.
The Twilight Express Mizukaze departed Osaka on its maiden trip with around 30 well-heeled passengers on a journey to the far reaches of Japan's main island.
Google has launched a website to help you find the Qibla – the direction of prayer.
Bilkent University students designed Arbo which can babysit and notify of gas leaks in the house
The refurbished Dragon cargo capsule soared into space aboard a Falcon 9 rocket at 5:07 pm (2107 GMT) from Cape Canaveral, Florida.