Indra Ketaren: President of Indonesia Gastronomic Association

Indra Ketaren was born in Medan and brought up in Bremen, Germany; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and in Jakarta. Growing up in Europe, his family often traveled around the European Union and Eastern Europe. After studying international relations at the Socio-Political Faculty of Pajajaran University in Bandung from 1976 to 1982, Indra worked in the Indonesian Foreign Service and in the commodities and trade financing import/export sector.

Bangladesh orders probe after deadly fire at COVID-19 facility

KONFRONTASI-Authorities in Bangladesh have launched an investigation after a fire swept through a makeshift coronavirus isolation unit in the capital, Dhaka, killing at least five people, according to local media.

The Fire Service and Civil Defence on Thursday formed a four-member committee to investigate the blaze at the isolation unit in the United Hospital located in the posh Gulshan area of the capital.

Nigerian military unlawfully detain children at rehabilitation centre for militants: Amnesty

KONFRONTASI-The Nigerian military are unlawfully detaining boys and men at a rehabilitation centre for alleged members of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, Amnesty International said in a report released on Wednesday.

In the latest allegations of rights abuses since Boko Haram began its insurgency in Nigeria’s northeast, Amnesty criticised Operation Safe Corridor, a programme that receives financial and technical support from the European Union, Britain, the United States and the U.N. International Organization for Migration.

France, Italy, Belgium act to stop use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 on safety fears

KONFRONTASI-France, Italy and Belgium acted to halt the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat patients suffering from COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus, amid questions about the safety of the generic anti-malaria drug.

France on Wednesday cancelled a decree allowing hospital doctors to dispense the medicine, while the Italian Medicine Agency (AIFA) suspended authorization to use hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 outside clinical trials.

North India sizzles as temperature touches 50C

KONFRONTASI-India is wilting under a heatwave, with the temperature in places reaching 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) and the capital enduring its hottest May day in nearly 20 years.

The hot spell is projected to scorch northern India for several more days, the Meteorological Department said on Tuesday, "with severe heatwave conditions in isolated pockets".

As global temperatures rise, heatwaves are a regular menace in the country, particularly in May and June. Last year, dozens of people died.

Rouhani urges cooperation as newly elected Parliament convenes

KONFRONTASI-Iran has held the opening session of its new Parliament under strict health protocols, more than three months after an election in February was swept by conservative candidates.

During the first session of the 290-member body on Wednesday, the new MPs were sitting at a secure distance, with some wearing face masks in line with physical distancing rules imposed to limit the spread of coronavirus in one of the Middle Eastern countries hit hardest by the pandemic.

Hong Kong’s leader reaffirms new law would not harm rights, freedoms

KONFRONTASI - Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam has reiterated that the new national security law proposed by Beijing would not affect rights and freedoms in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory, amid a wave of protests over the bill.

Lam said during a regular news conference on Tuesday that the bill would not have to raise concern.

Trump to withdraw US from Open Skies treaty, citing Russian violation

KONFRONTASI - US President Donald Trump plans to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty allowing unarmed surveillance flights over member countries, the Trump administration’s latest move to pull the US out of a global treaty.

Senior US officials said Trump plans to inform Moscow on Friday that Washington will pull out of the pact, which will formally take place in six months.

US weekly jobless claims remain high as backlogs, layoffs linger

KONFRONTASI - Millions more Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week as backlogs continue to be cleared and disruptions from the novel coronavirus unleash a second wave of layoffs, pointing to another month of staggering job losses in May.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits totaled a seasonally adjusted 2.438 million for the week ended May 16, the US Labor Department said on Thursday.