SINGAPORE SUFFERS RECORD SMOG LEVELS FROM INDONESIAN WILDFIRES
Singaporeans were urged to stay indoors last week as a haze from Indonesian forest fires dramatically worsened, with air pollution levels hitting their highest since 1997. The pollutant standards were above the "hazardous" level, at which point air quality can trigger respiratory ailments. Pollution from forest fires has hit Singapore and Malaysia often, but, according to The Guardian, this year's pollution has strained diplomatic ties as officials in Singapore demand that Jakarta do more to stop plantation owners from clearing land by starting fires. Indonesian officials said they are working to educate farmers about alternatives to slash-and-burn agriculture, and the country's National Disaster Management Agency said it would deploy helicopters for "water bombing" operations. For the full story, see http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/20/singapore-pollution-record-levels and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22998592.