27 January 2020


China extends holiday, businesses shut as virus toll rises to 81

KONFRONTASI-The death toll from a coronavirus outbreak in China rose to 81 on Monday, as the government extended the Lunar New Year holiday and more big businesses shut down or told staff to work from home in an effort to curb the spread.

Premier Li Keqiang visited the city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, as the central government stepped up its response while city authorities faced growing accusations from the public of mismanagement and a failure to respond to the outbreak in time.

Asian shares tumbled, with Japan’s Nikkei average sliding 2.0%, its biggest one-day fall in five months, as investors grew anxious. Demand spiked for safe-haven assets such as the Japanese yen and Treasury notes.

The total number of confirmed cases in China rose about 30% from the previous day, to 2,744, with about half in the central province of Hubei, the capital of which is Wuhan. But some experts suspect the number of infected people is much higher.

As worry grew around the world, Chinese-ruled Hong Kong, which has had eight confirmed cases, banned entry to people who had visited Hubei in the past 14 days. The ban did not cover Hong Kong residents.

People from Hubei have come under scrutiny within mainland China as well, with many people facing suspicion from officials about their recent travels.

“Hubei people are getting discriminated against,” a Wuhan resident complained on the Weibo social media platform.

The number of deaths from the virus in Hubei climbed to 76 from 56, health officials said, with five deaths elsewhere in China.

While a small number of cases linked to people who traveled from Wuhan have been confirmed in more than 10 countries, including Thailand, France, Japan and the United States, no deaths have been reported elsewhere.


Li is the most senior leader to visit Wuhan since the outbreak began. Clad in a blue protective suit and mask, he inspected efforts to contain the epidemic was shown on state television leading medical workers in chants of “Wuhan jiayou!” - an exhortation that translates literally as “add oil!”.

On China’s heavily censored social media, where dissent is typically suppressed, local officials have borne the brunt of mounting public anger.

Wuhan Mayor Zhou Xianwang told state broadcaster CCTV the city’s management of the crisis was “not good enough” - rare self-criticism for a Chinese official - and said he was willing to resign.

The city of 11 million people is in virtual lockdown and much of Hubei province, home to nearly 60 million people, is under some kind of travel curb.

The government is extending the week-long Lunar New Year holiday by three days to Feb. 2, in a bid to slow the spread of the virus. The Lunar New Year is usually a time for travel by millions, but many have had to cancel plans.

Investors are worried about the impact on travel, tourism and broader economic activity.

During the 2002-2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), a coronavirus that originated in China and killed nearly 800 people globally, air passenger demand in Asia plunged 45%. The travel industry is more reliant on Chinese travelers now than it was then.

The newly identified coronavirusvirus is believed to have originated late last year in a Wuhan market illegally selling wildlife.

Much is not known about it, including how easily it spreads and just how deadly it is.

National Health Commission Minister Ma Xiaowei said on Sunday the incubation period could range from one to 14 days, and the virus was infectious during incubation, unlike SARS.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated an incubation period of two to 10 days.

China coronavirus: All you need to know in 500 words

KONFRONTASI-Health authorities around the world are grappling with an outbreak of a new coronavirus, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

At least 81 people have died in China and almost 3,000 have been infected worldwide.

Here is what you need to know:

What is a coronavirus?

Iran's new Quds leader vows 'manly' revenge for Soleimani killing

KONFRONTASI-The newly appointed commander of Iran's elite Quds Force said the United States killed his predecessor, Qassem Soleimani, "in a cowardly way" and promised to "hit his enemy in a manly fashion".

Esmail Qaani made the remarks on Monday at an introduction ceremony held for him by top Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' (IRGC) commanders to mark the formal beginning of his tenure.

Ces Régions qui veulent se passer de la SNCF avec l’ouverture à la concurrence

KONFRONTASI -  L'ouverture à la concurrence des lignes TER dans les Hauts-de-France ?

‘We finally put a name and a face to this monster.’ DuPage officials ID killer of 16-year-old girl in 1976. Man, now dead, believed to be linked to other cases.

KONFRONTASI -  An unsolved string of killings of young suburban women in the 1970s frustrated police for decades. Now authorities in DuPage County believe that by cracking one of those cold cases, they may have uncovered the trail of a serial killer.

By digging up the remains of the suspect, and matching his DNA to the crime, investigators were able to identify Bruce Lindahl as the killer of 16-year-old Pamela Maurer in Lisle in 1976.

Les "zinzins" donneront finalement 6 milliards d'euros pour la French Tech

Une vingtaine d'investisseurs institutionnels, dont les assureurs, se sont engagés ce lundi matin à débloquer 6 milliards d'euros pour financer les startups de la French Tech en hyper-croissance. L'enveloppe a vocation à se répartir pour moitié entre les entreprises cotées et les sociétés non cotées.


par Anaïs Cherif


Springtime in winter

KONFRONTASI -   Rapeseed plants put on their springtime best as the yellow flowers bloomed early at Azumayama Park in Ninomiya, Kanagawa Prefecture. Visitors enjoyed the yellow of the blossoms in the warm winter light. On clear days, the park commands a panoramic view of Mt. Fuji and Enoshima island from its summit, which is at an altitude of 136 meters and overlooks Sagami Bay.

Pédophilie dans l’Eglise : l’ex-père Preynat devant la justice

L’ancien prêtre, aujourd’hui âgé de 74 ans, est jugé à partir de lundi à Lyon pour agressions sexuelles sur mineurs.


Au Sahel, la France et ses alliés face à l’urgence djihadiste

KONFRONTASI -  Après un faux départ, c’est dans un climat un peu plus apaisé que le président français, Emmanuel Macron, réunit, lundi 13 janvier à Pau, ses cinq homologues du G5 Sahel (Mauritanie, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Tchad). Paris attend qu’ils confirment « explicitement » leur soutien à l’implication militaire française dans la région alors que l’année 2019 y a été marquée par une recrudescence et une mortalité inédites des attaques djihadistes.

‘I Lost My Legs’: Wounded in Iraq, He Sued Iran

Americans who lost limbs or loved ones in the Iraq war and fought to prove that General Suleimani played a role see justice in his death by a missile strike.


KONFRONTASI -   Chris Levi’s fellow soldiers were sure he was dead. The Humvee he commanded in Baghdad had been torn apart by a projectile, and so had his body. When he awoke several minutes later, he followed his training, trying to assess his injuries.