Indonesian News

Decapitation of 3-year-old sparks anger and fear in Taiwan

Jakarta Post Latest News - Fri, 2016-04-01 04:29

A woman visits a makeshift memorial for a girl who was attacked to death Monday by a knife-wielding assailant outside a subway station in Taipei, Taiwan, March 29. (AP/Chiang Ying-ying)

The apparently random decapitation of a 3-year-old girl in front of her mother in low-crime Taipei this week has sparked outrage, calls to save the death penalty and questions about the island's state of mental health care.

The attack on the child, who was walking behind her mother on the way to a metro station, has stunned and horrified inhabitants of greater Taipei, with the reaction at times verging on violence. Hours after the girl was killed, a crowd gathered outside the police station where the slaying suspect was taken, some of them armed with baseball bats.

"I can't accept this," said Chiu Yuan-chao, Taipei mother of a 9-year-old, said in a telephone interview. "This kind of person shouldn't be allowed to enjoy the treatment of a normal person. I think all moms and dads will have this kind of view. This sort of incident is becoming something of a trend and my feeling is that the society is amid some sort of panic."

Police arrested Wang Ching-yu, 33, who they suspect killed the child. He had been was hospitalized for treatment in 2010 and 2014 after arguing with his family because of an unspecified mental illness, Central News Agency said, citing police.

Authorities have not said whether mental illness was a factor in the attack or whether Wang had been clinically diagnosed with any mental illness.

City dwellers largely still consider the metro area of 5.6 million to be safe. Murders across the island have fallen from 1,765 cases in 1995 to 474 in 2014, statistics from the National Police Agency show.

But the attack triggered debate about whether to keep the death penalty as a deterrent against violent crime. Legislators have been discussing reforms to the punishment, which had been effectively suspended from December 2005 to May 2008. Thirty-three people have been executed since 2008.

About 80 percent of Taiwanese support capital punishment, according to the Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty.

"We need a deeper discussion, not just keep or drop the death penalty, but a more complete system," alliance Executive Director Lin Hsin-yi said Thursday. "If we let a criminal out of jail, will he do more bad things? We need to talk about that."

The girl's killing was among several cases of random violence in recent years that have raised concerns about crime and the city's ability to provide adequate mental health support.

A day after the slaying, a police officer was stabbed at a metro station, again apparently at random. Last year, an 8-year-old girl was killed on an elementary school campus by a man who local media said heard voices. In 2014, a man killed four people in Taipei's ever-crowded metro system.

In each instance, the attackers were characterized as suffering from mental disorders. The man convicted of killing passengers on the subway at age 21 was sentenced to death last year.

The attack has also raised questions about potential inadequacies in the island's mental health services. Lin Wan-i, an incoming official of the president-elect's administration, told local media that the suspect had not been properly diagnosed and observed before being discharged.

Since Monday, many people in Taiwan, including a local official overseeing a Taipei borough, have called for hospitalizing severely mentally ill people in hospitals.

But Pan Chun-hung, director the Department of Addiction Science with Taipei City Hospital, said Taiwan needs to raise the public's overall awareness of mental health issues. Some people may have difficulty recognizing mental illness in themselves and others or are unaware that treatment is available, he said. Strangers should not fear the mentally ill as "most have no antisocial traits," he said.

"When things happen there's a bit of panic and a reaction that people should be quarantined," Pan said. "But our medication is advanced and people can be treated effectively. We hope eventually, if people know more, they won't feel so panicked."

Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan's president-elect, said Wednesday that Taiwan's future head of police will need to devise "specific strategies and activities" to boost public safety.

"Facing the innocent sacrifice of a child, we can't just be angry and sad," she said in a statement. "Our responsibility is to give every father, mother and child a life that's free of fear."

Categories: Indonesian News

15 killed, many trapped in overpass collapse in India

Jakarta Post Latest News - Fri, 2016-04-01 04:29

Locals and rescue workers clear the rubbles of a partially collapsed overpass in Kolkata, India, Thursday. (Swapan Mahapatra/Press Trust of India via AP)

Rescuers in Kolkata dug through large chunks of debris from an overpass that collapsed while under construction Thursday, killing at least 15 people and injuring scores of others, officials said.

A section of the overpass in the busy Bara Bazaar residential and shopping area in north Kolkata fell on vehicles and people moving underneath, trapping scores in their cars, trucks and motorized rickshaws.

"We heard a loud rumble and then saw a lot of dust in the sky," a witness told the New Delhi Television news channel, NDTV.

Mamta Banerjee, the top elected official of West Bengal state, said 15 people had been confirmed dead. Banerjee visited the collapse site and said a private builder had missed several deadlines for completing the overpass.

Army troops and personnel from the National Disaster Response Force joined efforts to extract people from vehicles that lay under massive concrete blocks and metal debris. Huge cranes and other rescue equipment reached the site and began clearing the rubble. Workers also used gas cutters to pry open the slabs.

O.P. Singh, the chief of the disaster response force, said the operation was a "very, very challenging task."

Rescuers were using sniffer dogs and victim locating cameras to find trapped people, Singh told reporters.

More than 70 injured people were admitted to two hospitals in Kolkata, the state capital, hospital officials said.

"The area was very, very crowded. Motorized rickshaws, taxis ... there was a lot of traffic," one witness told NDTV.

Television images showed the bloody legs of some of trapped people jutting out of the collapsed girders and concrete slabs.

The contract for the overpass was signed in 2007 and it was expected to be completed in two years. Banerjee accused the previous Communist government in West Bengal of not adhering to building regulations.

Building collapses are common in India, where regulations are poorly enforced and builders often use substandard materials.

 

Categories: Indonesian News

Google photo editing software now free to download

Jakarta Post Latest News - Thu, 2016-03-31 21:58

Google's photo editing software that previously retailed for US$149 is now free to download for both Mac and Windows users. (Shutterstock)

Google's photo editing software that previously retailed for US$149 is now free to download for both Mac and Windows users.

According to the company's announcement, the Nik Collection desktop suite, designed for professional photographers, was made available for free following Google's long-term plans to focus on building photo editing tools for mobile applications such as Google Photos and Snapseed.

The free-to-download package consists of seven desktop plugins including Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Dfine, Sharpener Pro, Sliver Efex Pro, Viveza and HDR Efex Pro.

Those who already purchased the desktop suite this year can expect to receive a full refund.

PCMagazine reported that the collection's seven different plugins could be use as a standalone product, but they work better when combined with existing image editing programs such as Adobe's Photoshop.

This is not the first time for Google to change its policy regarding software pricing. In January, Google Earth Pro, which allows users to virtually explore the globe, has also been made available for free from previously being priced at $399. (kes)(+)

Categories: Indonesian News

Turkish army rules out 'anti-Erdogan coup'

Jakarta Post Latest News - Thu, 2016-03-31 21:58

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accompanied by his wife Emine walk down the stairs upon his arrival at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., March 29. (AP/Jose Luis Magana)

The Turkish army says it has no plans to stage a coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and has threatened legal action against anyone who suggests otherwise.

The rare statement aims to squash speculation over the possibility of a military coup in Turkey as the president visits the United States. The military said on its website such "baseless news" was hurting morale in its ranks without naming specific publications.

The Turkish army, historically seen as a defender of secular principles, has ousted three elected governments and one prime minister.

The institution saw its power reduced through a series of measures after Erdogan came to power as prime minister in 2003. Now the country's president, Erdogan is due to return to Turkey on Sunday.(+)

Categories: Indonesian News

Rights body calls for revision of history textbooks

Jakarta Post Latest News - Thu, 2016-03-31 21:58

Human rights activists stage a rally in front of the State Palace to demand justice for past human rights abuses. Participants in the weekly protests, which began eight years ago and occur every Thursday, have called on President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to fulfill his campaign promise to create a rights tribunal.(JP)

The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) has called on the government to revise school history books, which it believes have been manipulated for decades by those in power.

“We can’t depend on the version of history that was provided by the New Order government [from 1966 to 1998], for example. There should be new lesson materials based on the process of revealing the truth,” said Komnas HAM commissioner Dianto Bachriadi.

History textbooks should be revised after the government reveals the truth regarding past human rights cases, he added.

Komnas HAM has launched its own investigations into the cases but its recommendations have never been followed up by the Attorney General’s Office.

Dianto said the government should provide updated materials for history lessons in schools countrywide and compensate victims of past rights abuses.

However, Benny Susetyo of the Setara Institute said the most important thing in resolving past human rights cases was recognition and, therefore, the government should recognize the country’s dark past in order to bring about justice for victims.

“Our society discourages efforts to recognize the truth of the past as it would threaten perpetrators’ positions nowadays,” said Benny.

The government has expressed its wish to resolve seven past human rights violations, namely a 1989 massacre in Talangsari, Lampung; the forced disappearance of anti-Soeharto activists in 1997 and 1998; the 1998 Trisakti University shootings; the Semanggi I and Semanggi II student shootings in 1998 and 1999; the mysterious killings of alleged criminals in the 1980s; the communist purge of 1965; and various abuses that took place in Wasior and Wamena, Papua, in 2001 and 2003.

Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said on March 17 that the government expected to resolve at least six of those cases by May 2. (vps/bbn)(+)

Categories: Indonesian News

World’s leaders of moderate Islam to meet on radicalism and terrorism

Jakarta Post Latest News - Thu, 2016-03-31 21:58

Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) chairman Said Agil Siradj (right) sits next to NU rais am (supreme leader) Ma'ruf Amien at the muktamar (national congress) on Aug. 5, 2015.(Antara/Zabur Karuru)

About 300 leaders of moderate Islam from across the globe will meet in Jakarta to discuss measures to prevent the spread of Islamic radicalism and terrorism in the name of religion, an Islamic cleric has said.

"This event is to harmonize the perception of Islam because [the profile of] radicalism and terrorism has been intensifying given the recent bomb attacks", Nahdlatul Ulama’s (NU) advisory board chairman Ma'ruf Amin said after a meeting with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo at the State Palace on Thursday.

The event named the “International Summit of the Islamic Moderate Leaders” will take place from May 9 to 11 at the Jakarta Convention Center, and will be attended by some 300 representatives from 60 countries, Ma’ruf added.

NU chairman Said Aqil Siradj stressed that the country’s largest Islamic organization was an anti-violent socio-religious organization, starting from its executives in the central board to its smallest branches in villages.  "All of us are anti-radicalism and hold the principle of a tolerant Islam", he went on.

The event will also attended by a number of government officials such as Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan and the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) chief Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian.

The organizers have also invited experts from all around the world namely Nico Proca, an expert of the Islamic State movement, from the University of Vienna, the former Grand Mufti of Egypt Sheikh Ali Gomaa, Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus from Bangladesh and the presidential envoy to the Middle East and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Alwi Shihab. (bbn)(+)

Categories: Indonesian News

Sulawesi’s largest solar power plant begins operation

Jakarta Post Latest News - Thu, 2016-03-31 20:29

Renewable energy: Solar panels are pictured in a residential settlement on Ponelo Island, North Gorontalo. A solar power plant (PLTS) with a capacity of 2 megawatt peak (MWp) has begun operating in the regency's East Sumalata district, making it the biggest solar plant in Sulawesi. (thejakartapost.com/Syamsul Huda M.Suhari)

A solar power plant (PLTS) with a capacity of 2 megawatt peak (MWp) has begun operating in Gorontalo, meeting the energy needs of people in the province with renewable power.

Located in Motihelumo, East Sumalata district, North Gorontalo regency, the Sumalata PLTS is said to be Sulawesi’s biggest solar plant.

Putu Eka Astawa, manager of state-owned electricity company PLN for North Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi and Gorontalo, told thejakartapost.com that the Sumalata PLTS could supply electricity for 4,000 households.

He said the electricity output from the Sumalata PLTS had been integrated with Gorontalo’s power network, which also relies on other sources, such as a diesel power station and a steam-fueled power plant, for its electricity supply.

Built on a 5-hectare plot of land, the Sumalata PLTS took around eight months to build, and officially began operating at the end of February. At least 8,600 solar panels are installed at the plant.

The peak load from the Sumalata PLTS is estimated to occur for around three hours, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with an electricity load of 2,049 kilowatt peak.

Previously, the use of solar energy in North Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi and Gorontalo only reached 1 MWp.

Built based on a partnership between PLN and an independent power producer (IPP), the Sumalata PLTS is the second IPP-funded solar plant in Indonesia.

Earlier, PLN built a solar power plant with a capacity of 5 MWp in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara.

Putu said the existing load in North Sulawesi and Gorontalo reached 325 MW on average, while the electricity capacity was 395 MW. “Currently, there is an electricity reserve of around 70 MW,” he said on Wednesday.

Gorontalo Governor Rusli said it was hoped that the electricity reserve in the province could help push economic growth.

“Each time an investor sounds out a possibility to invest in the province, the electricity capacity in Gorontalo is the main issue they always question,” he said recently. (ebf)

 

Categories: Indonesian News

Obama, Asian leaders to huddle on North Korea nuclear threat

Jakarta Post Latest News - Thu, 2016-03-31 20:29

A picture showing US President Barack Obama (left) and South Korean President Park Geun-hye is displayed as anti-war protesters stages a rally opposing the joint military exercises, dubbed Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, between the US and South Korea, near the government complex in Seoul, South Korea, March 19.(AP/Ahn Young-joon)

Working to display a united front, the United States and key Asian countries will seek Thursday to put more pressure on North Korea as world leaders open a nuclear security summit in Washington.

President Barack Obama, the summit's host, will also seek to smooth over tensions with China over cybersecurity and maritime disputes as he and President Xi Jinping meet on the sidelines. The summit also offers Obama his last major chance to focus global attention on disparate nuclear security threats before his term ends early next year.

Though nuclear terrorism and the Islamic State group top this year's agenda, concerns about North Korea's nuclear weapons program are also commanding focus as the two-day summit gets under way. Those long-simmering concerns have escalated of late following the North's recent nuclear test and rocket launch.

Obama planned to have a joint meeting Thursday morning with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-hye, two US treaty allies deeply concerned about North Korea. It's a reprise of a similar meeting the three countries held in 2014 during the last nuclear security summit in The Hague.

China's influence over the North will be front and center later in the day when Obama sits down with Xi. The White House said that meeting was also an opportunity for Obama to press US concerns about human rights and China's assertive territorial claims in waters far off its coast.

Though frictions with China remain high, the US was encouraged by China's role in passing stringent new UN sanctions on North Korea, its traditional ally. Now the US is pressing Beijing to implement those sanctions dutifully.

"The international community must remain united in the face of North Korea's continued provocations, including its recent nuclear test and missile launches," Obama wrote in an op-ed appearing Thursday in The Washington Post. He added that the recent UN sanctions "show that violations have consequences."

The US and South Korea have been discussing whether to deploy a US missile defense system called THAAD, or the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, in South Korea to counter the threat from the North. China has resisted that step out of concern it would also give the US radar coverage over Chinese territory, and Russia opposes it as well.

Antony Blinken, the US deputy secretary of state, said this week that China must engage with the US directly on North Korea if it wants to avoid the US and its partners taking steps "that it won't like."

In North Korea, meanwhile, the government has been churning out regular propaganda pieces condemning the US and South Korea, while warning it could launch a pre-emptive strike against South Korea or even the US mainland at any time.

For years, pressing security crises in the Middle East have overshadowed Obama's goal of expanding US influence and engagement in Asia, with the North Korean threat another unwanted distraction. Though the US and China have struck sweeping agreements on climate change, they've remained at odds on many economic issues. Obama has also been unable to get Congress to ratify the Asia-Pacific free trade deal his administration painstakingly negotiated.

Obama also planned to meet Thursday with French President Francois Hollande, amid steep concerns about terrorism in Europe following Islamic State-linked attacks in Paris and Brussels. The summit continues on Friday with a special session focused on preventing IS and other extremists from obtaining nuclear materials and attacking urban areas.

Some of the 2,000 metric tons of highly enriched uranium and separated plutonium being used in civilian or military programs worldwide could be turned into a nuclear bomb if stolen or diverted, the White House warned. Fewer than half of the countries participating in the summit have even agreed to secure sources of radiological material that could be used for a dirty bomb, though more countries are expected to announce commitments during the summit to tighten controls. (+)

___

Associated Press writer Matthew Pennington contributed to this report.

Categories: Indonesian News

Vietnam elects first chairwoman of parliament

Jakarta Post Latest News - Thu, 2016-03-31 20:29

Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan takes the oath of office after being elected as chairwoman of the National Assembly in Hanoi, Vietnam Thursday.(Vietnam News Agency via AP/Thong Nhat)

Vietnam's parliament on Thursday elected Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan as its chairwoman, making her the first woman to lead the Communist-dominated legislature.

Ngan, 61, won 95.5 percent of the votes, the National Assembly said on its website.

State media reported that Ngan took the oath of office, vowing to "be completely faithful to the country, people and the Constitution."

Ngan rose from director of the finance department in her home province of Ben Tre in the southern Mekong Delta to vice chairwoman of the assembly five years ago.

Her appointment was widely expected when she was re-elected to the powerful Politburo at the Communist Party Congress in January.

On Wednesday, the assembly voted to relieve chairman of the assembly Nguyen Sinh Hung of his duties.

Hung, who was not re-elected to the Politburo, should have served out his term when the new legislature meets in July, but officials have said that new leaders selected for the top positions of the ruling Communist Party should be appointed to lead the assembly, state and government.

The assembly will vote later Thursday to end the term of President Truong Tan Sang, and he will be replaced by Tran Dai Quang, the current public security minister, on Saturday.

The legislature will also relieve Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung of his duties and elect his deputy Nguyen Xuan Phuc to head the government next week.

The moves will formally complete the election process that started with the Communist Party's Congress in January. (+)

Categories: Indonesian News

South Korea upholds tough anti-prostitution laws

Jakarta Post Latest News - Thu, 2016-03-31 20:29

Park Han-chul (center) president of South Korea's Constitutional Court, sits with other judges before a judgment at the Constitutional Court in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday.(AP/Lee Jin-man)

South Korea's constitutional court on Thursday upheld laws that toughened punishment on prostitutes, pimps and their clients.

The 2004 legislation drove thousands of sex workers in traditional red-light zones out of business in South Korea, but prostitution has still thrived in the shadows. Sex workers have occasionally held rallies calling for the laws' abolishment.

The Constitutional Court decided to uphold a provision that makes it a criminal offense to voluntarily sell or buy sex, punishable by up to a year in prison or a fine of 3 million won (US$2,600).

The ruling was made in response to a compliant by a female sex worker, who argued people have the right to choose their occupation.

A court statement said that the government could deny such individual rights to prevent exploitation and protect moral values.

South Korea has always banned prostitution, but the laws were rarely enforced and red-light districts were largely tolerated before 2004.

The court said that decriminalizing prostitution would inspire an explosive growth in sex trade, threaten the stability of South Korea's society and economy and inspire disorderly sexual behavior.

Critics of the anti-prostitution laws say they limit women's freedom over their bodies. They also say that tougher punishment has made sex work more dangerous for women by creating a thriving underground industry in which they sell sex at bars, apartment rooms and through social media and dating apps, which often leaves them more vulnerable to abusive customers and pimps.

Supporters of the laws say decriminalizing prostitution would benefit exploiters more than sex workers. They argue prostitution is inherently violent and exploitative for women, especially in a country like South Korea, where women suffer from one of the harshest inequalities among developed nations and are often economically pressured into prostitution.

Male prostitution and homosexuality largely remain taboo subjects in conservative South Korea and are rarely discussed in public. (+)

Categories: Indonesian News

Indonesia seeks best option in case of kidnapped crewmen

Jakarta Post Latest News - Thu, 2016-03-31 20:29

Sutomo,49, shows a picture of his son Bayu Oktavianto in Klaten, Central Java, on Tuesday. Bayu is one of 10 Indonesian sailors held captive by a militant group in the Philippines.(Antara/Aloysius Jarot Nugroho)

The government has intensified coordination with the Philippines government, looking for the best option to save  a group of sailors held captive by a militant group in Philippines waters, the foreign minister said on Thursday.

In the past three days, the Foreign Ministry and its Philippine counterpart have continued their joint efforts to save 10 Indonesian crewmen held as hostages by Abu Sayyaf militants, according to Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi.

Other Indonesians officials from the Indonesian Military (TNI), the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) and the National Intelligence Agency (BIN) have also been communicating intensively with their counterparts in the Philippines to maximize efforts, Retno said.

"We are now still looking for the best solution. As I said on Tuesday, the safety of the 10 Indonesian crewmen is our outmost priority," Retno said in a press briefing at the Foreign Ministry on Thursday.

The ministry confirmed on Tuesday that two Indonesian-flagged vessels, the Brahma 12 and Anand 12, had been hijacked in the Philippines by a group reported to be Abu Sayyaf. Tugboat Brahma 12 has since been  handed to the Philippine authorities while the Anand 12, with 10 Indonesian crewmen, is still being held.

The notorious Southern-Philippines-based Abu Sayyaf militant group has contacted the vessels' owners and demanded a ransom of $1.08 million, setting a five-day deadline for the payment that began on  March 26.

The Foreign Ministry has been leading negotiations with the hijackers, while consulting with all relevant parties to step up the measures for the rescue, Retno added.

"Indonesia appreciates the cooperation and the support of the Philippine government ," she added. (rin)(+)

Categories: Indonesian News

What you should and shouldn't do about Instagram notifications

Jakarta Post Latest News - Thu, 2016-03-31 19:00

Following Instagram's recent announcement (http://blog.instagram.com/post/141107034797/160315-news) that it would no longer display posts in chronological order, many accounts have been asking their followers to "turn on notifications" to ensure their updates would stay visible. (Shutterstock.com/Denys Prykhodov)

Following Instagram's recent announcement that it would no longer display posts in chronological order, many accounts have been asking their followers to "turn on notifications" to ensure their updates would stay visible.

If you happen to be one of those followers, hold your horses.

First, Instagram stated that the feeds update would be applied in the coming months, not right away; so you still have time.

Second, turning the notifications on means you will be flooded with annoying updates that you may or may not want to know right away, adding more unnecessary buzzing to your smartphone.

This upcoming feature by Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, will probably be similar to what Facebook has been using, which basically curates what you see at the top of your News Feed based on your interests and friends, among other factors. If you are perfectly fine with how your Facebook feed works, then chances are you have nothing to worry about with Instagram's new algorithm.

As reported by The Huffington Post, the move from the old platform would particularly hurt fashion outlets and other retailers that show ads to people without paying for any sponsored placement. Greeting card company Rhubarb Paper Co., for example, which has nearly 4,000 Instagram followers, recently posted that the algorithm update will be “really bad for small businesses” -- implying that their content will be punished by an automated feed. (ken/kes)(+)

Categories: Indonesian News

Drugs rampant in rural parts of Bali, says BNN

Jakarta Post Latest News - Thu, 2016-03-31 17:58

Officials of the National Narcotics Agency’s (BNN) Bali chapter parade four drug suspects at the agency's offices in Denpasar on Thursday. (thejakartapost.com/Ni Komang Erviani)

The National Narcotics Agency’s (BNN) Bali chapter has said that drug dealers on the island do not only target city-dwellers, but also sell narcotics to people in rural areas, particularly children and young people.

“We believe that drug-dealing in rural areas is rampant now," said BNN Bali chief Brig. Gen. Putu Gede Suastawa on Thursday, adding that since early this year, BNN Bali had arrested 29 drugs dealers from across Bali, 24 of whom were arrested in rural areas.

The most recent arrest was carried out in Banyuatis village, a small village in the hilly Buleleng regency in northern Bali. The agency’s officers arrested Kadek Citayana , 47, and seized 26 small packages of crystal methamphetamine, along with plastic bags, a digital scales, a mobile phone and Rp 34 million in cash.

The BNN also arrested two  dealers in neighboring villages. Kadek Saraswastika, 26, was arrested in Tampekan village and Komang Arimbawa, 33, in Kaliuntu village.

From the two suspects, the team seized seven packages of crystal methamphetamine measuring 2.36 grams in total. The agency also seized Rp 2 million in cash, plastic bags and bank account receipts.

All of the suspects said they had obtained the drugs in Java, and were targeting young people in rural areas, particularly those from rich families. "Banyuatis village was one of their targets as there are many rich clove farmers in the village," Suastawa said.

On Tuesday, the agency arrested a further suspect, identified as Anton Listyo Trenggono, 33, in the Renon area of Denpasar.  (bbn)(+)

Categories: Indonesian News

Ahok fears minority issues will hamper his candidacy in Jakarta Election

Jakarta Post Latest News - Thu, 2016-03-31 17:58

Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama speaks with the Netherlands Foreign Affairs Minister Bert Koenders (right) during a visit to Pluit Reservoir on March 24.(Antara/Hafidz Mubarak A.)

Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama is expressing concern that Jakartans will still take religious and race into consideration when voting for a leader for the capital, despite a recent survey that says otherwise.

In response to a survey by Charta Politica published on Wednesday, Ahok said he noted there was anomaly in the results.

The survey, conducted from March 15 to 20 with 400 respondents revealed that Jakartans don't mind Ahok's minority status as a Christian and as an Indonesian of Chinese descent. Respondents' satisfaction level to Ahok soared to 80 percent while his electability stood at 44.5 percent. Something that Ahok found strange was that electability was half of the satisfaction level.

"Usually if people are satisfied with your work, electability would follow, but the results did not [show that] so there might be basic issues or people don't like my style," he told journalists at City Hall on Thursday.

The former East Belitung regent said he had been used to race and religion being used against him. He even recalled people who cited verses from the Koran to urge others not to support him for he is a non-Muslim.

Even though the survey by Charta Politica said that Jakartan voters are more mature and looked more at the performances of the hopefuls rather than at personal backgrounds, Ahok said he still suspected that religion and racial issues would hamper his candidacy.

However, Ahok expressed optimism over fighting political parties in the 2017 Jakarta Gubernatorial Election, being an independent candidate with Heru Budi Hartono, the head of the City’s Financial Asset Management Board (BPKAD), as his running mate.

He recalled that when he was running to be deputy governor with Joko "Jokowi" Widodo the pair, supported by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) was able to beat then incumbent Fauzi Bowo, who was backed by big political parties.

"Fauzi Bowo even tried to gather all the parties, but he still lost. It is not about political parties. People are smarter now," Ahok added.

Ahok and Heru had announced that they would run as independent candidates in the 2017 Jakarta Election. Despite being independent, the pair has received support from two parties: Nasdem and the People's Conscience Party (Hanura). (rin)(+)

Categories: Indonesian News

China proposes new Web rules that could enhance censorship

Jakarta Post Latest News - Thu, 2016-03-31 17:58

Pedestrians past by an advertisement for a Chinese news web portal in Beijing, China, Wednesday, March 30, 2016. China is consolidating its ability to censor the Internet by drafting new rules requiring businesses that serve domestic Internet users to register their Web addresses inside the country, a move seen as targeting Chinese companies but that has raised concerns among foreign businesses.(AP/Ng Han Guan)

China is consolidating its ability to censor the Internet by drafting rules requiring businesses that serve domestic Internet users to register their Web addresses inside the country, a move seen as targeting Chinese companies but that has raised concerns among foreign businesses.

In its most draconian interpretation, the proposed requirements could also further limit access within the Chinese network, analysts said. That appears to be the latest step by the ruling Communist Party to erect cyber barriers in the name of what some officials call "Internet sovereignty."

"This expands control over domestic Internet operators and contributes to the gradual buildup of the capability underpinning Internet sovereignty," said Rogier Creemers, an expert on Chinese media policy at the University of Oxford.

Under the draft regulations released this week by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, any firm that provides services to Chinese users must register its domain, or Web address, with a Chinese provider. The rules are found in Article 37 of the ministry's proposed update to a set of decade-old Internet laws.

Analysts said the main targets appear to be Chinese Internet companies that store their content domestically but keep their Web address registered overseas with reputable, international firms for security purposes.

Requiring them to shift their registration to a domestic provider under Chinese government control would allow censors to react more quickly in blocking access to certain sites, said Long Weilian, an IT consultant based in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen who has blogged extensively on the issue.

"Before, they had to contact the server, get the address, talk to the manager and then ask them to censor something," Long said. "If the domains are all domestic, they can directly stop traffic going to your domain with a command."

Jacob Parker, vice president for China operations with the U.S.-China Business Council, which lobbies the Chinese government on trade policy, said his group was concerned that the rules would block the free flow of information.

"Any kind of restrictions would undermine China's broader economic development goals," Parker said.

Concerned that a borderless, U.S.-led global Internet could weaken its political control, China's government has repeatedly issued cyber regulations that have drawn criticism from Western trade groups. Following pushback from the White House last year, China dropped a provision in a cybersecurity law that would require companies to keep Chinese user data at facilities in China, allowing the government access to personal information.

Questions remain about the new rules' true purpose and how strictly they would be enforced. The ministry is currently soliciting feedback on the proposed registration regulations, and Chinese laws are often softened during the revision process.

Fang Xingdong, the director of a top Chinese technology think tank, said he believes Chinese leaders are seeking to enhance their control, but not to wall China off from the rest of the world.

"Under the current wording, all this is doing is integrating large Chinese Web service providers under a more rigorous supervision framework, while most small businesses won't be affected," said Fang, whose organization regularly submits opinions to the government on Internet issues.

Any attempt to seal off the Chinese Internet "would hurt China as much as America," he said.(+)

Categories: Indonesian News

6 Instagram-worthy hotels for your next holiday

Jakarta Post Latest News - Thu, 2016-03-31 17:58

In addition to its strategic location in the city center, Artotel is also a favorite among editorial magazines and TV shows to hold a shoot.(Artotel/-)

Holidays are arguably the most share-worthy moments for netizens as they Instagram their plane tickets and passport, check in at the hippest locations on Path and make sure their followers stay updated with what they devour from breakfast until dinner.

For those looking to add more gorgeous photos to their social media, we have curated these Instagrammable hotels in Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta and Bali that are just too good not to share.

Summerbird Bed and Brasserie

Only a 10-minute drive to Bandung's popular shopping mall Paris van Java, this BnB quickly became the subject of talk among young people for to its cute, thematic rooms. Room prices are pocket-friendly for youngsters too as they start from Rp 439,000 (US $33) per night, including breakfast for two.

Mix up the room pictures with the well-lit dining area that offers the perfect spot to take  #ootd or #foodgram photos.

Location: Jl. Ksatriaan No. 11 Bandung

Oliver’s Hostelry

Situated in the northern part of Bandung overlooking the city lights, this inn looks like a lodge usually found in the US. Up to 18 rooms are available for reservation; each is uniquely designed and named after a popular song like “Holocene”, “Wonderwall” and “What a Wonderful World.”

The place also has an outdoor coffee corner, which means ample sunlight, so there is no need to edit the brightness of photos.

Location: Jl. Panumbang Jaya No. 5 Ciumbuleuit, Bandung

Artotel Thamrin

In addition to its strategic location in the city center, Artotel is also a favorite among editorial magazines and TV shows to hold a shoot. The hotel features original artwork by local artists; in fact, all three Artotels are customized and designed individually based on their location -- currently available in Jakarta, Surabaya and Bali -- and the locals' lifestyle.

Those checking in at its Jakarta location, take an elevator up to its rooftop bar, which offers a view of the capital city's picturesque skyscrapers.

Location: Jl. Sunda No. 3 Menteng, Central Jakarta

Brown Feather

When a hotel’s backdrop is Bali's signature lush paddies, the first thing any good netizen would do is take out their smartphones and snap a photo of the view. This two-story boutique hotel, which exudes vintage vibes with its white-painted walls, rustic and vintage furniture using local materials and recycled wood, offers just that.

Despite its very au naturel location, it is only five-10 minutes away from Seminyak’s shopping and dining district.

Location: Jl. Batu Belig No. 100 Kerobokan, Bali

Tijili Hotel Seminyak

Stepping inside this spacious boutique hotel is like entering an eclectic-style painting as it is dominated by bright colors and pattern-clashing interiors. The balconies are also colorful, making them noticeable even from a distance.

The lobby alone is worthy of an Instagram post with its dry-stone walls and splashes of color. The natural light that shines through the windows also makes for a pretty image without an added filter.  

Location: Jl. Drupadi 9 Seminyak, Bali

Lokal Hotel

Deliberately not built into a high-rise building, this hotel only has 12 rooms and an 80-seat restaurant. Its one-story and mezzanine rooms have a strong homey vibe.

As the name suggests, it only uses locally made products, including the shredded kawung artworks found on the hotel’s walls and floors, and attractively features a mix of minimalistic and traditional design.

Location: Jl. Jembatan Merah No. 104C, Yogyakarta

Categories: Indonesian News

Fuel price cut to remain for six months

Jakarta Post Latest News - Thu, 2016-03-31 16:29

A worker checks the sales record at a fuel station in Jakarta. (tempo.com)

The government will maintain the new price of subsidized fuel for the next six months amid a global trend toward price increases, an energy official has said.

The government announced on Wednesday that it would cut subsidized fuel prices by Rp 500 (4 US cents) per liter, starting April 1, with an expected concomitant 3 percent reduction in public transportation fares.

“The Rp500 per liter cut in Premium gasoline and diesel prices takes into account the trend in oil prices throughout the next six months,” Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry director general of oil and gas IGN Wiratmaja Puja told thejakartapost.com on Thursday.

The decision, he added, ensures there will be no fluctuation in fuel prices during the fasting month and Idul Fitri holiday in June and July. “Global oil prices are projected to rise over the next six months, but we will maintain the price until Sept. 30," he said.

The government will cut the price of subsidized Premium gasoline from Rp 6,950 per liter to Rp 6,450, down by Rp 500. Similarly, subsidized diesel will drop from Rp 5,650 per liter to Rp 5,150. Kerosene remains at Rp 2,500 per liter.

The fuel price cut follows a three-month low in global oil prices, Wiratmaja added, while the rupiah has over the same period strengthened against the US dollar.

As of Wednesday, the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) stood at $38.84 per barrel, down 20.2 percent year-on-year (yoy), while Brent reached $39.32 per barrel, slumping 30.1 percent yoy.

"Regarding the upward trend, the ministry projects global oil prices to rise until 2019, though not sharply," Wiratmaja went on.

State-owned energy company Pertamina has  cut subsidized gasoline and diesel prices by Rp 200 per liter from 12 a.m. today, the second price cut this month, with total cuts reaching Rp 400 per liter. (bbn)(+)

Categories: Indonesian News

Meet 5 of the city’s hair heroes

Jakarta Post Latest News - Thu, 2016-03-31 16:29

The hairstyle heroes (from left to right): Aar Yanuar, Anton Gozalt, Hisato Suzuki, Kirman and Waris.(thejakartapost.com/Asmara Wreksono & Ni Nyoman Wira)

Jakarta has abundant resources when it comes to style. However, only a select few are able to weather the ever-changing trends and scenes and manage to keep being relevant and sought-after.  

In the hairstyle department, thejakartapost.com has revealed five of the city’s most recommended star stylists who are in the business of making women beautiful and are not planning to leave the scene just yet.

Anton Gozalt

His edgy Japanese-style hairdo, colorful choice of clothes and welcoming demeanor make even first-time clients feel comfortable. “In handling clients, first I need to know what they want. I’m not the kind of hairdresser who dictates to my customers. And although they are longtime clients, I always ask first and then we discuss,” Anton said.

In his 15-year career as a hairdresser and stylist, Anton has handled local and multicultural clients. “My expat clients are very loyal, but they usually regenerate. That means they leave eventually but suggest my name to their replacements.”

An expert in cutting and coloring, Anton tells thejakartapost.com that ombre is still the coveted coloring trend, although bolder and braver color tones will be dominating 2016. “This year, the tone is slightly braver, although it will not be shown on the outer part of the hair but the inner parts.”  

Prepare to shell out Rp 200,000 (US$15) to Rp 2 million for cutting and coloring treatments.  

Location: GMCM Salon, Pondok Indah Mall 2, South Jakarta

Contact: +62-21 75920791

Kirman

One of the most respected senior hairstylist in the metropolis, Kirman maintains a large clientele, from expats to socialites, celebrities and prominent figures. Having clients of importance, Kirman remains professional: “I treat all my customers equally, because they are all kings in my eyes. They also treat me with the same respect and become very loyal, so even in the past when I switched salons, they all still looked for me,” he said.

Having started his career 20 years ago, Kirman never stops learning. “I always participate in trainings and experiments to keep up with the trends. It’s the only way to enrich my knowledge.”  

Christian, owner of deCoiffure salon, is also very supportive of Kirman’s career, providing insights to keep his top stylist up-to-date. “I’m a trend-observer and I always give new insights to my team. And they always manage to apply the styles to the customers really well,” he said.

Treatments at deCoiffure with Kirman range from Rp 350,000 to Rp 1 million.

Location: deCoiffure Salon, Le Papilion Kemang, South Jakarta

Contact: +62-21 7190789

Hisato Suzuki

Twenty years of hairstyling around the globe have not yet been enough for Hisato Suzuki to keep on learning and adding new artful hair creations to his portfolio.

Now in Indonesia, tending to a younger but more sophisticated crowd, Hisato is very much used to unique requests: “Most of my work on my clients creates a ‘wow’ factor. In the past two years, everyone wants to have edgy hairstyles and bright colors. I love it because I often persuade my clients to try something bold.”

Hisato is known for his Japanese Step Bone Cut, a cutting technique which makes hair feel lighter, bouncier and easier to manage.

“This year, lighter colors are still in fashion, asymmetric cuts are also still favored although they have become common,” Hisato said, commenting on hairstyle trend of 2016.  

To get Hisato’s touch on your hairstyle, prepare to spend between Rp 200,000 and Rp 2 million.

Location: One Piece Studio by Hisato, Lippo Mall Kemang, South Jakarta

Contact: +62-21 29528398

Aar Yazuar

In the private setting of Prestige Salon in Kemang Utara 5E, Aar Yazuar gives his best work to his loyal clients who have trusted him with their hairdos for decades. Aar has been one of Jakarta’s trusted names in hairstyling since around 1997.  

While popular among his clients, Aar stays humble. “I have to stay up to date, willing to learn and keep on developing my skills so I can cater to my clients’ needs. This is the internet era; it’s easier to monitor trends, but I still communicate with the clients about what style suits them and what style makes them comfortable,” he said.

Marking cutting and coloring as the main strengths of his salon, Aar noted the growing trend of bold colors in the past year. “These days people are bolder than ever before. They’re OK with multiple rainbow colors. Ombre colors are still popular, but the requests for brighter colors are increasing.”

Prices start from Rp 100,000 to Rp 3 million for various treatments.

Location: Prestige Hair and Beauty, Kemang Utara Raya No. 5E, South Jakarta

Contact: +62-21 71793193

Waris

Most of the regular patrons at Irwan Team Salon's Pondok Indah Mall 1 branch swear by his name when it comes to cutting and coloring. Waris has been with the salon chain since 2004 and there is a reason why customers love him: He’s a fast learner when it comes to people’s needs.

“For me, each customer’s needs and wants are different. I have to be able to connect with a wide range of clients from college students, housewives, prominent people and I have to understand them fast.”

Waris also noted the importance of following a customer’s wishes while at the same time advising what suits them and what does not. “As long as they want it and they like it, and it suits their ego, I will do it.”

Foreign clients, who make up about 10 percent of his clientele, according to Waris, are somewhat simpler in their requests, “My foreign clients especially Caucasians have it easier when it comes to hair coloring. They only need one process because their hair pigment is not as strong as Asians'. However, they don’t really request many colors, usually just highlights.”  

Prices start from Rp 265,000 for men and Rp 385,000 for women.

Location: Irwan Team Salon Pondok Indah Mall 1, South Jakarta

Contact: +62-21 7506747

Categories: Indonesian News

Jakartans don't care about Ahok's race and religion, survey says

Jakarta Post Latest News - Thu, 2016-03-31 16:29

People fill in forms to support Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama at the Teman Ahok secretariat in Graha Pejaten, South Jakarta, on March 21. Teman Ahok, or Friends of Ahok, opened the post to gather copies of citizens' identity cards for Ahok, who will run as an independent candidate in the 2017 Jakarta Gubernatorial Election.(Antara/Reno Esnir)

The chance of Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama staying on in the capital's top post next year might be open wide as Jakartans are most likely to choose him despite his minority status and outspoken personality, according to a recent poll.

The survey indicates Jakarta's voters are more mature and discount the two things often used to attack Ahok as issues: the fact he is Christian and of Chinese descent.

In the survey conducted by Charta Politica with 400 respondents from March 15 to 20 after Ahok announced Heru Budi Hartono as his running mate, the head of the city’s Financial Asset Management Board (BPKAD), the respondents did not even dispute Ahok's outspoken and often rude comments, tempo.co reported on Thursday.

Ahok's electability ranked at 44.5 percent, according to the survey released on Wednesday. The number far exceeded that of his rival, former Justice and Human Rights Miniser Yusril Ihza Mahendra, whose electability stood at 7.8 percent.

Other people who had declared their intentions to run as candidates in the 2017 race, such as businessman Sandiaga Uno, former Youth and Sports Minister Adhyaksa Dault also raked in small amounts in the survey.

"Ahok received benefits from the disobedience of political party members," Charta Politica executive director Yunarto Wijaya said as quoted by tempo.co.

Ahok had announced that he and Heru would run as independent candidates without political party backing. The move was applauded by many, but also  denounced by political parties that called Ahok's move an attempt to weaken the role of political parties in Indonesian democracy.

Two small parties, NasDem and the People's Conscience Party (Hanura), had announced their support for Ahok and Heru for next year's Jakarta election.

Moreover, the survey also showed that most Jakartan members of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) would probably vote for Ahok.

Kompas.com reported that out of 400 respondents, PDI-P voters represented the most at 19.3 percent. Of those, 67.5 percent said they would vote for Ahok to be Jakarta governor for the next term.

The PDI-P had not yet announced its official support for any candidate for next year's election. Charta Politica saw there was a big chance that the PDI-P would support Ahok because despite the refusal of several members, there has been no word yet from the chief patron of the party, Megawati Sukarnoputri.

"Megawati had not yet made any comments. There is a possibility that the PDI-P would support Ahok in the Jakarta election," he said as quoted by kompas.com.(+)

Categories: Indonesian News

International Jazz Day is coming to the White House

Jakarta Post Latest News - Thu, 2016-03-31 16:29

In this Feb. 24, 2016 file photo, Andra Day and Anthony Hamilton perform for President Barack Obama, front row, lower right, and others during the “In Performance at the White House” series in the East Room of the White House, in Washington. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle plan to host a blockbuster concert April 29 with established stars and up-and-coming musical artists. The show is to be televised by ABC the following day, on April 30, the fifth anniversary of International Jazz Day.(AP/Carolyn Kaster)

President Barack Obama plans to host a blockbuster concert on April 29 featuring such artists as Aretha Franklin, Al Jarreau, Sting, Herbie Hancock and many others.

The show is to be televised by ABC the following day, the fifth anniversary of International Jazz Day.

UNESCO and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz are the sponsors of International Jazz Day, a worldwide celebration of jazz music.

Hancock, a UNESCO goodwill ambassador whose idea led to the creation of International Jazz Day, said jazz is a musical language understood worldwide.

An award-winning pianist and bandleader, Hancock said "incredible" jazz musicians are now everywhere. "That really shows me the power of the music and the fact that it has reached every country on the planet," Hancock told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

Previous host cities for International Jazz Day were Istanbul, Turkey, in 2013; Osaka, Japan, in 2014; and Paris in 2015.

In 2012, programs were held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris; in New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz; and at the U.N. General Assembly Hall in New York City.

Last year's programming reached more than 2.8 billion people, Tom Carter, president of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, told the AP.

Obama and the first lady are big music lovers and supporters of jazz. During a recent appearance at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, Mrs. Obama said one of her grandfathers loved and collected jazz and that she would visit him on Saturdays while growing up in Chicago "and I would just play music with him."

The Obamas practically jumped at the chance to bring the International Jazz Day concert to the White House, Carter said.

"They welcomed us with open arms," added Hancock.(+)

Categories: Indonesian News
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