17 September 2019


Chilly start to spring on the cards for New Zealand as 'Beast from the East' nears

KONFRONTASI  -  New Zealand is in for a "particularly unsettled" start to spring with below average temperatures forecast over the first few weeks.

There was also an elevated risk of sharp cold snaps for September and early October, according to NIWA's spring outlook released this week.

It comes as Auckland experiences one of its wettest Augusts on record, with 29 days of rain.

Turkey's Erdogan: No tolerance for US stalling on Syria safe zone

KONFRONTASI-President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared that Turkey would not allow the United States to delay its plan to set up a "safe zone" in northeast Syria, while insisting that the deal he reached with Washington was still the correct step to take.

Erdogan was quoted in a CNN Turk report published on Thursday as saying that Ankara would not accept delays in the plan, comparing it to an earlier deal with Washington to remove the Kurdish YPG fighters from the northern Syrian city of Manbij, which Turkey had accused the US of delaying.

Duterte arrives in Beijing as South China Sea tensions grow

KONFRONTASI-Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has arrived in Beijing as he seeks to salvage his policy towards China, which left his country's sovereignty more vulnerable to foreign incursion, exposed his neighbours to a new level of brinkmanship in the South China Sea, and embarrassed him before his domestic critics.

Duterte and several top Philippine officials, including Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin, arrived in the Chinese capital late on Wednesday for his scheduled bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday.

He is also scheduled to hold meetings on Friday with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. It is Duterte's fifth visit to China.

Despite his huge domestic popularity and great affection for China, Duterte is under growing pressure to push back at its growing maritime assertiveness.

After avoiding the issue for three years, he has promised to raise with Xi a 2016 international arbitration ruling that invalidated China's claim to sovereignty over most of the South China Sea.

A boat-sinking incident in June involving Filipino fishermen and a Chinese vessel within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone has also has enraged the public, and highlighted the Duterte's close relations with Beijing.

Before his trip, the owner of the Chinese trawler that hit and sank the fishing boat apologised on Thursday for the incident, but added that it was an "unintentional mistake". They also promised to compensate the Filipino fishermen for the damage.

Duterte's spokesman, who was travelling with him to Beijing, said the apology had been accepted. 

Duterte's trip comes amid a recent rise in tension on multiple fronts, with Chinese vessels challenging energy assets and sea boundaries of Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines, prompting warnings and rebukes by the United States, which accuses China of "coercive interference" and holding hostage $2.5 trillion of oil and gas.

China called that "warrantless criticism" with distorted facts.

Duterte's motivation, experts say, is to tackle public unease over his refusal to speak out against a deeply mistrusted China and frustrations among a defence establishment that has started to find its own voice.

Six killed as Indonesian forces fire on Papua protesters

KONFRONTASI - Security forces have opened fire on protesters in Indonesia's easternmost province of Papua, killing six people in a clash at a government office in the Deiyai region, a resident and a website citing a separatist group said.

Since last week, thousands of people have protested over perceived ethnic discrimination, leading to the torching of a market, a jail and government offices.

About 1,200 police have been flown in to reinforce a region with a heavy military presence due to decades of separatist conflicts.

Kasich: I don't see a path to beat Trump right now

KONFRONTASI - Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who unsuccessfully ran for president in 2016, has said that he does not see a path to beat President Donald Trump in the 2020 Republican primary.

In an interview on Wednesday with CNN, Kasich said that while he doesn't see a path right now, "that doesn't mean there wouldn't be a path down the road."

"But right now, I don't see it," he stressed.

Bar fire kills at least 23 in southern Mexico

KONFRONTASI-At least 23 people died in a fire at a bar in Mexico’s southern port city of Coatzacoalcos, after what could have been an attack on the premises, authorities said.

The fire broke out on Tuesday night and killed at least eight women and 15 men, according to a statement posted on Facebook by the attorney general’s office of the state of Veracruz.

Another 13 people were being treated at hospitals for serious injuries, the office added.

Meet Eduardo Camavinga, the 16-year-old sensation who beat PSG and is the youngest player to make an assist in Ligue 1

KONFRONTASI  -   Eduardo Camavinga had a starring role against the French Ligue 1 champions, providing a sumptuous cross that was turned in by Romain Del Castillo to shock Thomas Tuchel's men and deliver a 2-1 win for his side Rennes.

Russia’s Aeroflot Denies Having Biggest Pilot Gender Gap

KONFRONTASI -  Russia’s national carrier Aeroflot has disputed a recent ranking of global airlines’ gender gaps among pilots, saying it has a higher ratio of women aviators than reported.

Aeroflot was ranked the last of 45 major airlines worldwide in the FromAtoB.com travel platform’s study cited by Bloomberg last week, with 1.4% of its pilots being women. After initially counting 58 female pilots, Bloomberg appended Aeroflot’s clarification that the airline employs 62 women pilots.

Baby dies on AirAsia flight to Perth

KONFRONTASI -   The Sydney Morning Herald reported that a two-month-old  baby died on an AirAsia X flight from Kuala Lumpur to Perth this morning.

The infant died after a “medical emergency” had been reported by the crew on AirAsia X flight D7236 to Perth Airport officials, prior to the arrival. The flight left KLIA2 in Sepang shortly after midnight.

Hong Kong police say rioters push city to verge of dangerous situation

KONFRONTASI - Violent protests have pushed Hong Kong to the verge of a very dangerous situation; say officials a day after the city saw some of the fiercest clashes between rioters and security officers.

People took to the streets for the second consecutive day, on Sunday, as part of weeks-long protests, which initially erupted in mid-June in protest to a proposed extradition bill.