Terror suspects killed or captured in raids last week were planning to launch attacks on tourism spots in Indonesia, national police said Tuesday.
An anti-terror police squad shot dead seven suspects and detained four others on Sulawesi and Sumbawa islands in central Indonesia last week.
“An investigation revealed that tourism spots in the town of Bima (on Sumbawa) and Tana Toraja in south Sulawesi were targets,” said national police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar.
Tana Toraja, whose population is mainly Christian, is one of Sulawesi’s most popular tourist destinations.
Indonesian police have arrested 11 members of an Islamic group allegedly planning attacks on American diplomatic missions in the latest terror alert to hit the country.
The group had planned to hit the US embassy and a US consulate, as well as a building near the Australian embassy in the capital Jakarta that houses the office of American mining giant Freeport-McMoran, police said on Saturday.
They said they were from a new outfit called HASMI, the Sunni Movement for Indonesian Society, and explosives and a bomb-making manual were found when members were arrested in locations across the main island of Java.
“The group’s objectives were to attack the US embassy in Jakarta and consulate-general in the eastern Javanese city of Surabaya,” national police spokesman Suhardi Alius told reporters.
Save the Trees, We’ll Save Your Life: Can medical care motivate Indonesian villagers to protect the rain forest?
IN JULY 2011, about a week before I landed in Western Borneo, a local man sent an ominous text message to his boss from deep within the jungle. For more than 10 years, this man had worked as a research assistant at the Cabang Panti Research Station, in the core of Gunung Palung National Park, a mountainous wilderness that contains some of Indonesia’s last lowland rain forest and remains a stronghold for orangutans, gibbons, and other primates. Like many protected areas in the developing world, Gunung Palung’s boundaries were poorly enforced, and the people from the hardscrabble communities nearby had been logging and hunting in the park’s periphery for decades.
Cabang Panti (pronounced CHA-bong Pon-tee), by virtue of its remoteness and year-round research activities, had largely been spared. The research assistant, whose name I have agreed to withhold, kept track of the growth of the dominant canopy trees, including Borneo ironwood, which can live for more than 10 centuries and is prized for its dense lumber. One morning, he was walking along a trail when he heard a chainsaw through the thick understory. “I’ve come across people working,” he texted. When he and a coworker returned later, they found a fresh stump and a massive tree splayed across the trail. They took photos of the area with their cell phones, documenting more than a dozen felled trees, including several ironwoods marked with aluminum research tags. Nearby, smaller trees had been stripped of their bark to construct a kuda-kuda, a rudimentary rail system loggers use to transport heavy timber to the nearest waterway.
The photos quickly spread through the network of biologists and conservationists working near the park, including an American doctor named Kinari Webb, who operates her clinic in the regional hub of Sukadana. The episode was not as shocking as the time a researcher crossed paths with a hunter holding the embryonic body of an orangutan stripped of its skin. Nor was it as upsetting as the weeks Webb spent caring for an orphaned baby orangutan, only to find a bullet in its stomach after it died. Nevertheless, the tree-felling—conducted in broad daylight, a stone’s throw from an international scientific station—was far more significant. It meant that no part of Gunung Palung would ever be safe.
On May 29, in the bottom of a tin-mining pit on Bangka Island in Indonesia, a wall about 16 feet high collapsed, sending a wave of earth crashing down on a 40-year-old father of two. His name was Rosnan. The dirt crushed his legs, sent something sharp slicing through his right thigh, and buried him from the waist down. His partner, panicked but unhurt, scrambled out of the pit screaming for help. About 20 other miners rushed in to dig Rosnan out with their bare hands.
“He kept repeating, ‘Please, please help me,’ ” recalls Rosnan’s son, Dian Chandra, 20, who rode in the back of a car with his father to a nearby hospital. Rosnan lost too much blood. “I couldn’t find a pulse,” says Dr. Mario, the emergency room physician on duty. Dr. Mario declared Rosnan dead at about 3 p.m. (Like many Indonesians, including Dr. Mario, Rosnan had one name.) Back at the mine, someone stuck a withered sapling into the soft bottom of the pit near the spot where Rosnan fell—a far too frequent sight in the mines of Bangka, where Rosnan was the first of six to die on the job during a single week this spring.
Authorities on the island of Java have mandated speaking a little of the local language every week. Will this keep the dreaded English invasion at bay, and does the local tongue even need the protection?
In late May, the province of Central Java, Indonesia, passed a law requiring residents to use the regional tongue, Javanese, once a week. The law is symbolic and probably unenforceable—“I swear officer, I yelled at my mother in Javanese this very morning”—but addresses what a local councillor called “a tendency for many Javanese people not to use Javanese in their daily lives.” Why is the government panicking over how its people talk, and why should we care?
If Javanese is dying, it’s hard to detect by the usual means—counting how many people use it. The language’s 75 million speakers, according to a UCLA project that tracks such things, outnumber those who converse in Polish or Korean. And in a country with deep Internet penetration, Javanese also has a vast digital footprint. Just ask SpongeBob.
In interviews with local press, the councillor advocating the bill argues that the threat to Javanese isn’t the nation’s more widely spoken tongue, Indonesian, but English.
A tsunami alert was issued for the entire Indian Ocean Wednesday after a powerful 8.7-magnitude earthquake was recorded off Indonesia’s coast.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centered 20 miles beneath the ocean floor around 308 miles from the provincial capital of Banda Aceh.
The quake is in a similar location and of a similar magnitude to the 9.1-magnitude tremor on Dec. 26, 2004 that triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean, killing 230,000 people, nearly three-quarters of them in Aceh province.
Reports on Twitter said Wednesday’s tremors were felt in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and India. High-rise apartments and offices on Malaysia’s west coast shook for at least a minute.
The annual Java Jazz festival is streaming live, Pat Metheny playing later.
About Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival
Established in 2005, Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival has not only become Indonesia’s finest jazz festival, but also one of the most prestigious and largest in the world.
Watch video from previous Jakarta international Java Jazz Festival here.
Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival 2012
2-3-4 March 2012
follow on @javajazzfestival for updates
Thousands of travelers have been left in the lurch around the world after the carrier Air Australia went into administration and grounded its fleet Friday.
“It currently appears that there are no funds available to meet operational expenses so flights will be suspended immediately,” the company said in joint statement Friday with its newly appointed administrators, KordaMentha.
About 4,000 passengers in total have been left stranded in Hawaii, Thailand, Indonesia and Australia as a result of the suspension, said Michael Smith, a spokesman for KordaMentha.
“It also appears highly unlikely there will be any flights in the short to medium term,” the airline’s statement said, advising passengers to make alternative arrangements.
The airline had sold about 100,000 tickets for future flights, Smith said. With no indication from Air Australia when it might resume operations, those tickets could end up worthless.
Today, The Atlantic explores 100 years of Japanese transit gender segregation:
This year marks the 100th anniversary of Japan’s first women-only trains. The idea, back in 1912, was to spare young women the indignity of being ogled by admiring men.
Over the course of the century Japan’s women-only trains were discontinued and resurrected several times until they were at last fully restored in late 2000. At that time, the term sekuhara – ‘sexual harassment’ – had become a bit of buzzword in the Japanese media, as stories of just how often most women were subjected to public groping began to receive more attention.
“I’ve been groped on the train, and I don’t want that to happen again,” she says.
Japan is not the only country to offer women-only transportation. Cities in Indonesia, India, Brazil, and Russia operate similar programs, while women-only buses have gained popularity in cities in Guatemala, Mexico, and most recently, Pakistan.
Strikingly, the article makes no mention of Isreal.
As bounty hunters with bush knives entrapped them in a circle and moved in for the kill, the only thing this mother orang-utan could think to do was to wrap a giant protective arm around her daughter.
The pair seemed to be facing a certain death as a gang of hunters surrounded them in Borneo, keen to cash in on the palm oil plantations’ bid to be rideof the animals.
But, happily, a team from the British-based international animal rescue group Four Paws arrived in time to stop the slaughter and saved their lives.
The pregnant mother and daughter were captured and moved to a remote and safe area of the rainforest and released back into the wild - but not before the mother was equipped with a radio device so she and her young can be tracked to ensure they remain safe.
‘Our arrival could not have been more timely,’ said Dr Signe Preuschoft, a Four Paws primate expert.
Mother and daughter were captured and moved to a remote and safe area of the rainforest and released back into the wild - but not before the mother was equipped with a radio device so she and her young can be tracked to ensure they remain safe.
‘Our arrival could not have been more timely,’ said Dr Signe Preuschoft, a Four Paws primate expert.
‘A few minutes later and the orang-utans could have been dead.
‘We discovered a gang of young men surrounding them and both victims were clearly petrified.
‘The gang meanwhile were jubilant in anticipation of their rewards for catching and killing the animals. These massacres must not be allowed to continue.’
Rescue: When the animal rescue group found the ‘clearly petrified’ mother and baby they discovered a gang of young men who were looking to cash in on the palm oil companies’ offer of £70 per orang-utan
Before the rescue, a Four Paws team had scoured the area on the Indonesian side of Borneo, which is shared with Malaysia, but found no other orang-utans which had survived an earlier slaughter.
Deforestation has dramatically reduced their habitat and their numbers have dropped from 250,000 a few decades ago to only 50,000 in the wild.