21 November 2018

English

Haiti quake death toll rises to 15, and 300 injured

KONFRONTASI-An earthquake that struck Haiti on Saturday killed 15 people, injured another 300 and destroyed 40 houses, Jerry Chandler, head of the Caribbean country’s civil protection agency, said on Monday.

Chandler was speaking at a news conference to report on the human cost of the relatively shallow, magnitude 5.9 quake, which hit the north of the impoverished country late on Saturday.

Osaka starts test to convert main street into haven for pedestrians

KONFRONTASI -   Aspiring to create a Japanese version of Champs Elysees in Paris, the city government here on Oct. 9 banned traffic on a side road of Midosuji boulevard for a two-week demonstration experiment.

It is part of the municipality’s multistage project to convert the ginko tree-lined main boulevard into a pedestrian paradise by 2037.

“We are hoping that the experiment will turn up positive results,” a city official said.

Return to Parliament: Malaysia's Mahathir stumps for Anwar Ibrahim in Port Dickson by-election

KONFRONTASI - Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and Anwar Ibrahim appeared together at a political rally for the first time in 20 years, where the latter is contesting in the Port Dickson by-election to return to Parliament.

"I am happy to be able to campaign for Anwar today," Tun Mahathir told the estimated 2,000-strong crowd. This was the first election rally by Dr Mahathir, 93, since the May general election. More than 16,700 people watched Dr Mahathir's speech via Facebook Live at one point.

Thousands of Yemeni children malnourished

KONFRONTASI-Hundreds of thousands of children are suffering acute malnutrition because of the war in Yemen.

Two weeks ago, we reported how two-year-old Bassam Hassan's parents in the Houthi-controlled north could not afford to take him to the capital Sanaa for treatment.

The Houthi administration's health minister saw Bassam’s story on Al Jazeera English and ordered that Bassam be brought for treatment. His condition might improve or he might need treatment from an outside specialist.

India: Mob attacks schoolgirls for confronting sexual harassers

KONFRONTASI-Campaigners are calling on India to protect girls in state-run institutions who are at risk of sexual assault and violence after 34 girls were violently attacked by a mob for fighting off sexual harassers in Bihar state.

Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya, a residential school for girls in Supaul district, witnessed chaotic scenes on Saturday after some girls objected to sexual advances and lewd messages from a group of boys.

A mob comprising the boys and their parents later entered the school where they beat and injured dozens of girls aged between 12 and 14.

"The girls were playing inside the school compound when some boys came in and tried to sexually harass them. The girls fought them off and there was an altercation. A mob then gathered with the boys' parents who beat up the girls," Jagatpati Chaudhury, the District Education Officer in Supaul, told Al Jazeera.

"The girls were injured, shocked, in trauma and were rushed to hospital. These were scenes of havoc as most of the girls are in sixth and seventh grades."

A video uploaded on social media by a local news website, The Bihar Post, showed a girl from the school after the attack.

"They were beating up all the girls. They tore our clothes and took away our dupattas [scarves]," said a young girl who was sobbing at the hospital.

Police say they have arrested two people and detained four in connection with the incident.

District magistrate Baidyanath Yadav said local boys used to write lewd messages on the school walls. Local media reports suggest the girls at the school were routinely harassed.

Stalin-era mass graves located using Nazi photo

KONFRONTASI-A team of Russian historians and archaeologists have used a Nazi bomber pilot’s photograph to help them pinpoint the location of mass graves in Moscow containing the remains of thousands shot by Stalin’s secret police.

 

The existence of a mass grave in the Kommunarka district in southwestern Moscow first came to light in the dying days of the Soviet Union when the KGB opened up its archives.

Turkey begins investigation into missing Saudi journalist

KONFRONTASI-Turkish prosecutors have begun investigating the disappearance of the prominent Saudi Arabian commentator Jamal Khashoggi, who has been missing for four days after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the Turkish broadcaster NTV reported on Saturday.

Indonesia fears post-tsunami disease epidemics

KONFRONTASI-Hospitals in Palu are understaffed with doctors and overflowing with patients already and now the health conditions in central Sulawesi Island are deteriorating.

Pompeo says has good meeting with North Korea's Kim but more needs to be done

KONFRONTASI- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agreed to arrange a second leaders summit “as soon as possible,” and discussed potential U.S. monitoring of Pyongyang’s steps toward denuclearization, South Korea’s presidential office said on Sunday.

Pompeo said his latest, fourth trip to Pyongyang was “another step forward” to denuclearization and he had a “good, productive conversation” with Kim, but more needed to be done.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in held talks with Pompeo in Seoul after the top U.S. diplomat met with Kim for more than three hours during a short trip to Pyongyang that was aimed at breaking a gridlock in their nuclear negotiations.

Pompeo said he and Kim discussed denuclearization steps to be taken by the North and the issue of U.S. government monitoring of those actions, which Washington sees as vital, as well as the measures the United States would conduct in return, Moon’s office said.

Pompeo and Kim also agreed to form a working group “at an early date” to discuss the denuclearization process and the second summit, which Kim proposed to U.S. President Donald Trump in a letter last month, according to Moon’s press secretary Yoon Young-chan.

“Secretary Pompeo said he and Chairman Kim concurred that they will hold the second U.S.-North Korea summit as soon as possible,” Yoon said in a statement.

“The two sides also agreed to continue discussions to decide on the detailed timing and location of the second summit.”

While Seoul sounded upbeat, Pompeo struck a more cautious tone.

“As President Trump said, there are many steps along the way and we took one of them today,” Pompeo told Moon. “It was another step forward. So this is, I think, a good outcome for all of us.”

Trump appeared hopeful on Sunday.

“@SecPompeo had a good meeting with Chairman Kim today in Pyongyang. Progress made on Singapore Summit Agreements! I look forward to seeing Chairman Kim again, in the near future,” Trump tweeted.

Moon expressed hopes that Pompeo’s trip and the proposed second meeting between Kim and Trump would make “irreversible, decisive progress in terms of denuclearization as well as the peace process.”

Moon had his own third summit with Kim last month in Pyongyang, which was partly intended to help salvage the stumbling negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington, after Trump called off Pompeo’s planned visit to the North in late August citing lack of progress.

A U.S. official who was part of Pompeo’s delegation said the trip was “better than the last time” but added: “It’s going to be a long haul.”

Kim pledged to work toward denuclearization during the Singapore summit, but Pyongyang’s actions have since fallen short of U.S. demands for irreversible steps to give up its arsenal.

At his last meeting with Moon, he expressed willingness to allow outside observations of key missile facilities and, for the first time, to “permanently” scrap North Korea’s main nuclear complex in Yongbyon.

But the inter-Korean agreement again failed to stipulate any plans called for by the United States, such as to declare a list of its nuclear weapons, facilities and materials, or a concrete timeline for denuclearization.

 

Seoul is keen to keep the dialogue going, with Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha suggesting Washington delay securing the list, which she said would “take a lot of back and forth,” and agree to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War in return for a shutdown of Yongbyon.

Emergency ICOR, That Mister President Must Beat!

By Djoko Edhi S Abdurrahman

(Indonesian Tax Watch and Deputy Secretary of the Central Leader of the Legal Aid Institute for Nahdlatul Ulama, PBNU).

KONFRONTASI- I was shocked to read the words of Director of PDBI Christianto Wibisono yesterday which called our ICOR number 6.0 which should be 2.0. This is an emergency number. Throughout the Soeharto regime, the highest ICOR figure was 3.0 due to corruption, rent-seeking economy and oligopoly.

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