19 March 2019

English

US lawmakers demand Trump-Putin communications by March 15

KONFRONTASI - Three key House chairmen are giving the White House until March 15 to turn over all communications between US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, regardless of their classifications.

The leaders of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight committees demanded the information in a joint request on Monday.

British museum agrees to return Ethiopian emperor's hair

KONFRONTASI-Two locks of hair belonging to a widely revered Ethiopian emperor will be repatriated after a request from Addis Ababa, the National Army Museum in Britain announced, as more countries seek to reclaim heritage they say was taken decades, even centuries, ago.

An outcry erupted last year in Ethiopia over the display of the hair belonging to Emperor Tewodros in an exhibit by the Victoria and Albert Museum on the 1868 British expedition to what was then called Abyssinia.

China accuses detained Canadian of stealing state secrets

Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig

KONFRONTASI-China on Monday accused detained Canadian citizen Michael Kovrig of stealing state secrets which were passed on to him from another detained Canadian, Michael Spavor, in what is likely to further ramp up tension between Ottawa and Beijing.

Four Americans and local pilot killed in Kenya helicopter crash

KONFRONTASI-Four Americans and a Kenyan pilot were killed when their helicopter crashed shortly after taking off from a remote island in Lake Turkana in a national park in northwest Kenya, officials said.

The aircraft came down on Monday in Central Island National Park at around 8pm local time (21:00 GMT) on Sunday, Kenya's National Police Service said on its Twitter feed, killing all on board.

The cause of the crash had yet to be determined.

Presidential Election: Can Prabowo pull off an upset to become the next president of Indonesia?

KONFRONTASI- The upcoming election is a 2014 presidential rematch between Joko Widodo and General Prabowo Subianto. Jokowi leads the polls. But recent elections have demonstrated that polling is not always accurate.

Editorial

183 injured in Algeria protests

KONFRONTASI-A total of 183 people were injured during protests across Algeria on Friday against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s bid for election to a fifth term, the state news agency APS said on Saturday, citing the health ministry.

One person died of a heart attack, officials said earlier.

Tens of thousands of protesters called on the ailing, 82-year-old Bouteflika to abandon plans to seek re-election in an April presidential vote — Algeria’s biggest anti-government rallies since the Arab Spring eight years ago.

JP Morgan: U.S. Recession Chances in Next Two Years Top 60%

KONFRONTASI -  The U.S. economy has a greater than 50-50 chance of tipping into a recession in the next two years, according to a model tracked by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The probability of a U.S. recession within one year is almost 28 percent, and rises to more than 60 percent over the next two years, researchers wrote in a note this week. Over the next three years, the odds are higher than 80 percent, according to the note.

Read More: Markets Show Recession Risk Falling, Why Don’t Investors Agree?

Britain's Labour Party leader backs Brexit referendum

KONFRONTASI-Britain’s opposition Labour Party will back a new referendum on Brexit after parliament defeated its alternative plan for leaving the European Union, its eurosceptic leader Jeremy Corbyn said.

With 29 days left until the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union, both Prime Minister Theresa May and Corbyn have been forced into making changes to their approaches to the divorce.

Corbyn, who voted against membership in 1975 and gave only reluctant backing to the 2016 campaign to remain in the EU, on Wednesday gave ambiguous backing for another referendum, saying he would push for one alongside a British parliamentary election.

It is the first time since Britons voted in 2016 to leave the EU that one of its two major political parties has thrown its weight behind giving voters a chance to change their minds.

But it was unclear what the exact question might be.

“After tonight’s votes in parliament, we’ll continue to push for a close economic relationship based on our credible alternative plan or a general election,” Corbyn said.

“We’ll also back a public vote in order to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit or disastrous no deal.”

John McDonnell, the second most powerful man in the Labour Party, said it would put down an amendment calling for a second referendum as soon as May brought a deal back to parliament.

Britain’s Brexit minister, Steve Barclay, said there was no consensus in parliament for another referendum or even on what question might be asked.

After months of saying that Britain must leave the EU on time on March 29, May opened up the possibility on Tuesday of a short extension to the exit date.

She is hoping to bring back a tweaked divorce accord for a parliamentary vote, which could come as early as next week but may not take place until March 12.

Talks with the EU have moved forward in the last week, but there is a significant amount of work to do, May’s spokesman said.

UN: Possible Israel crimes against humanity in Gaza

KONFRONTASI-There is evidence that Israel committed crimes against humanity in responding to 2018 protests in Gaza, as snipers targeted people clearly identifiable as children, health workers and journalists, according to a United Nations report.

No Afghan peace deal if air raids continue

KONFRONTASI-A return to peace is not possible in Afghanistan if its government continues to conduct air strikes which have resulted in countless civilian casualties, a former Taliban official has said.

In a press conference in Kabul on Wednesday, Syed Mohammad Akbar Agha, who is the current leader of Rah-e-Nejat (High Council of Salvation), said President Ashraf Ghani's government is sabotaging peace talks being held in Qatar between Taliban representatives and US officials.

"The government doesn't want peace. They are still targeting civilian areas while claiming to have targeted Taliban hideouts," Agha told Al Jazeera, adding that air raids are being carried out "almost every day".

"We are all positive about peace and very serious, especially now that Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is directly involved in the talks in Qatar," he said.

"We are expecting positive results for peace in Afghanistan."

Taliban and United States officials are meeting for the third day on Wednesday in Qatar's capital Doha, where two main issues being discussed in the high-level talks are: the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, and assurances that Afghanistan will not be used by foreign armed fighters.

The talks have gained momentum in recent months after the US decided to engage with the Taliban, which has been waging a deadly armed rebellion since the group was removed from power in 2001.

US President Donald Trump's administration is seeking to end the 17-year war, the US's's longest, that has left thousands dead.

According to the United Nations, at least 32,000 civilians have been killed and another 60,000 wounded in the last decade, when the organisation began compiling the data.

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