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Asian, European markets sink after US Fed warning of 'uncertain' outlook

KONFRONTASI -  Asian and European markets dropped on Thursday following a warning by the US Federal Reserve of "uncertain" outlook for the American economy badly affected by the coronavirus.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Fed boss Jerome Powell said that the recovery from the current was looking better, but added it remained unclear when things would go back to normal.

 "Overall activity remains well below its level before the pandemic and the path ahead remains highly uncertain," he said.

Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn inaugurated the International Miladunnabi (SAW) Conference

KONFRONTASI -    The biggest Quranic event of Thailand in the history ‘International MiladunNabi (SAW)’ was held on 3rd April at Bangkok. The conference was inaugurated by the King of Thailand, King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun (King Rama X).

Clashes and arrests as 'yellow vest' protests return in France

KONFRONTASI-The French police fired tear gas and arrested more than 250 people in Paris as "yellow vest" protesters returned to the capital's streets in force for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown.

The "yellow vest" movement, named after motorists' high-visibility jackets, began in late 2018 in protest against fuel taxes and economic reform, posing a big challenge to President Emmanuel Macron as demonstrations spread across France.

On Saturday, hundreds of demonstrators gathered at the starting points of two authorised marches.

Shinzo Abe to step down as Japan’s prime minister

KONFRONTASI-Shinzo Abe will stand down as prime minister of Japan because of a relapse in his ulcerative colitis, ending an eight-year term that made him the longest-serving leader in his nation’s history.

His departure will set off a race for the leadership of Mr Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic party even as Japan struggles to deal with the impact of Covid-19, a deep economic downturn and disputes with its neighbours in China and South Korea.

'Polishing the gun': China, U.S. tensions raise Taiwan conflict fears

KONFRONTASI-Numerous Chinese and U.S. military exercises, Taiwan missiles tracking Chinese fighters and plummeting China-U.S. ties make for a heady cocktail of tension that is raising fears of conflict touched off by a crisis over Taiwan.

In the last three weeks, China has announced four separate exercises along its coast, from the Bohai Gulf in the north to the East and Yellow Seas and South China Sea, along with other exercises it said were aimed at “the current security situation across the Taiwan Strait”.

14 killed in Jolo twin bombings in southern Philippines

KONFRONTASI-At least 14 people have been killed and several others wounded after two explosions, including one reportedly carried out by a female suicide bomber, struck the southern Philippine town of Jolo, according to the authorities.

Philippine Red Cross Chief Richard Gordon said the first explosion hit at approximately noon (04:00 GMT) on Monday in the capital of Sulu, one of the country's southernmost provinces.

Gordon, who is also a senator, said a motorcycle loaded with improvised explosive device went off near a military truck. The Red Cross office in Jolo is located near the site of the blast.

According to news reports, as authorities were cordoning off the area, a second explosion was reportedly carried out by a female suicide bomber.

"A female suicide bomber detonated herself as a soldier stopped her from entering the cordoned area," Lieutenant Colonel Ronaldo Mateo, an army spokesman told Manila radio station DZMM.

In total, eight members of the security forces, six civilians and the bomber were killed in the two blasts, while 27 security personnel and 48 civilians were wounded.

Jolo is one of a chain of mainly Muslim islands in the southwest of the majority Roman Catholic country.

The blasts happened not far from the site of a major explosion that killed more than 20 people inside a Catholic church in early 2019, according to state-run PTV channel.

Images posted by PTV on social media on Monday showed debris and bodies lying on a street next to a military vehicle.

Monday's incident was one of at least six suicide bombings in the past three years, a mode of attack previously rare in the Philippines.

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