Indonesia's sinking, polluted capital is moving to new city
(AP Photo/Dita Alangkara) (Dita Alangkara)JAKARTA, Indonesia — (AP) — Jakarta is congested, polluted, prone to earthquakes and rapidly sinking into the Java Sea. Now the government is leaving, and moving the country's capital to the island of Borneo. “The construction of the new capital city is not merely a physical move of government offices,” Widodo said last week ahead of parliament's approval of the plan. In constructing a purpose-built capital, Indonesia will be taking a path that others have in the past, including Pakistan, Brazil and Myanmar. Widodo previously said he expected the Presidential Palace would be moved to the new capital city before he ends his second term in 2024, along with the Home, Foreign, and Defense Ministries and the State Secretariat.wftv.com
Indonesia's capital is sinking, polluted and now moving
Indonesia New Capital A young boy plays as high rise buildings at the main business district are seen in the background, in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara) (Dita Alangkara)JAKARTA, Indonesia — (AP) — Jakarta is congested, polluted, prone to earthquakes and rapidly sinking into the Java Sea. Now the government is leaving, and moving the country's capital to the island of Borneo. “The construction of the new capital city is not merely a physical move of government offices,” Widodo said last week ahead of parliament's approval of the plan. In constructing a purpose-built capital, Indonesia will be taking a path that others have in the past, including Pakistan, Brazil and Myanmar.wftv.com
Indonesia's capital is sinking, polluted and now moving
Jakarta is congested, polluted, prone to earthquakes and rapidly sinking into the Java Sea. Now the government is leaving, and moving the country's capital to the island of Borneo. President Joko Widodo envisions the construction of a new capital as a panacea for the problems plaguing Jakarta, reducing its population while allowing the country to start fresh with a “sustainable city” that has good public transportation, is integrated with its natural environment and is in an area that's not prone to natural disasters.news.yahoo.com
Indonesia wants to use G20 presidency to aid COVID rebound
JAKARTA, Indonesia — (AP) — Indonesia's leader said Thursday that his country, which holds the presidency of the Group of 20 biggest economies this year, sought to strengthen global partnership and inclusiveness to aid the economic recovery amid a resurging COVID-19 pandemic. In an online address to the World Economic Forum, Indonesian President Joko Widodo committed to making the G-20 presidency an important part of the response, with a focus on inclusive health care, the digital transformation and a transition to sustainable energy. He called for world economic leaders to cooperate on trade, industrialization and technology to aid the pandemic recovery. COVID-19 concerns delayed the forum's in-person gathering in Davos, Switzerland, but some panels and addresses are being held online. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.wftv.com
Indonesia raises Semeru volcano alert, fearing new eruption
Indonesian authorities have raised the alert level for the highest volcano on Java island, saying Mount Semeru could blow up again after a sudden eruption earlier this month left 48 people dead and 36 missing in villages that were buried in layers of mud.
Widodo urges stay home after omicron confirmed in Indonesia
Virus Outbreak Indonesia People wearing face masks as a precaution against the new coronavirus outbreak, walk along a pedestrian crossing in the main business district in Jakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021. The Indonesian government on Thursday announced that the country has detected its first case of omicron variant on Wednesday evening. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana) (Tatan Syuflana)JAKARTA, Indonesia — (AP) — Indonesian President Joko Widodo urged people and government officials to refrain from traveling abroad after the country detected its first case of the omicron variant of the coronavirus in a cleaning worker at a hospital in Jakarta. The patient has no symptoms and is being quarantined at the Athlete’s Village emergency hospital, where the person worked. The government created the facility in March 2020 to treat COVID-19 patients and as a quarantine venue for Indonesians returning from abroad.wftv.com
Blinken vows more US military might in Indo-Pacific
Indonesia US In this photo released by Indonesian Presidential Palace, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, left, walks with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, second right, as U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Sung Kim, second left, and Indonesian State Secretary Pratikno, right, look on, during their meeting at Merdeka Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, Dec. 13, 2021. To do that, we will lean on our greatest strength: our alliances and partnerships,” Blinken said in a speech in Indonesia, outlining the administration's Indo-Pacific plans. But he laid out a litany of complaints about “Beijing's aggressive actions” from “Northeast Asia to Southeast Asia and from the Mekong River to the Pacific Islands." Blinken is in Indonesia on the first leg of a week-long, three-nation tour of Southeast Asia that will also take him to Malaysia and Thailand.wftv.com
Pacific leaders expected to agree on vaccines, fossil fuels
It was unclear Friday if the leaders would manage to agree on a U.S. bid to host APEC in 2023 after Russia raised objections. U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are among the leaders taking part in the online meeting. The delegate also described some areas where the APEC members had been able to find common ground. In all, APEC members account for nearly 3 billion people and about 60% of the world’s GDP. APEC members had agreed to reduce or eliminate many tariffs and border holdups on vaccines, masks and other medical products important to fighting the pandemic.wftv.com
Bali reopens to foreign travelers as COVID-19 surge subsides
Virus Outbreak Indonesia A beach vendor sets chairs as he waits for customers in Kuta beach in Bali, Indonesia, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021. No international flights to Bali were scheduled on the first day of the reopening and a tourism official forecast travel would pick up in November. The July surge, fueled by the delta variant, again totally emptied the island's normally bustling beaches and streets. Overall, 59.4 million of Indonesia’s 270 million people are fully vaccinated and another 43.2 million are partially vaccinated. Indonesia has confirmed more than 4.2 million cases and 142,811 deaths from COVID-19, the most in Southeast Asia.wftv.com
Bali welcomes back foreign travelers as COVID cases subside
Virus Outbreak Indonesia A beach vendor sets chairs as he waits for customers in Kuta beach in Bali, Indonesia, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021. President Joko Widodo credited Bali's high vaccination rate, and the country's COVID-19 caseload has also declined considerably. Indonesia has had around 1,000 cases a day in the past week after peaking around 56,000 daily in July. Overall, 59.4 million of Indonesia’s 270 million people are fully vaccinated and another 43.2 million are partially vaccinated. Indonesia has confirmed more than 4.2 million cases and 142,811 deaths from COVID-19, the most in Southeast Asia.wftv.com
Indonesian court rules president negligent over pollution
Indonesia Air Pollution Lawsuit An activist displays a placard with a doll representing babies affected by air pollution during a protest outside Central Jakarta District Court where judges are scheduled to announce their verdict on a civil lawsuit filed against several Indonesian officials, including President Joko Widodo and Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan, for their failure to improve poor air quality in the capital city, in Jakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara) (Dita Alangkara)JAKARTA, Indonesia — (AP) — An Indonesian court ruled Thursday that President Joko Widodo and six other top officials have neglected to fulfill citizens’ rights to clean air and ordered them to improve the poor air quality in the capital. Jakarta has 10 million residents and three times that number live in its greater metropolitan area. Prone to flooding and rapidly sinking due to uncontrolled ground water extraction, Jakarta is the archetypical Asian mega-city. It has been creaking under the weight of its dysfunction, causing massive pollution to rivers and contaminating the ground water that supplies the city.wftv.com
President Widodo says pandemic changed Indonesia's culture
Virus Outbreak Indonesia Indonesian President Joko Widodo, wearing traditional Baduy outfit, delivers his State of the Nation Address ahead of the country's Independence Day, at the parliament building in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim, Pool) (Achmad Ibrahim)JAKARTA, Indonesia — (AP) — Indonesia's president pledged to improve COVID-19 testing and treatment in an address Monday marking the country's independence and said the pandemic had changed Indonesian culture in ways that would be a foundation for advancement. “Amid today’s disruptive world, the spirit to change, the spirit to make changes and the spirit to innovate have become the foundation to build and advance Indonesia,” Widodo said. Its totals of 3.8 million cases and 117,588 fatalities are considered undercounts due to low testing and poor tracing measures in the nation of 270 million people. She noted new COVID-19 cases were soaring in certain provinces outside the country’s most populated island of Java despite restrictions.wftv.com
Indonesian Muslims mark grim Eid amid devastating virus wave
Muslims across Indonesia are marking a grim Eid al-Adha festival for a second year as the country struggles to cope with a devastating new wave of coronavirus cases and the government has banned large gatherings and toughened travel restrictions.
Indonesia holds mass vaccination to scale up virus fight
Thousands of Indonesians lined up at a sports stadium to get a COVID-19 vaccine dose Thursday in a one-day, mass vaccination event that’s part of a push to dramatically scale up the nation’s virus fight as hospitals fill with sick patients. Meanwhile, President Joko Widodo announced new community restrictions and the mobilization of the National Police and other resources to combat the surging infections. The efforts follow the warning earlier this week from the Red Cross that Indonesia was “on the edge of a COVID-19 catastrophe" and urgently needed to increase medical care, testing and vaccinations.news.yahoo.com
The Latest: Indonesia greenlights vaccines for 12 and older
Authorities have so far only fully vaccinated 13.1 million of Indonesia’s 270 million people and partially vaccinated another 14.2 million. The country has seen more than a million cases and 14,619 deaths. The government says people can quarantine at home or in a place stipulated by Portuguese health authorities. Officials say more than 800 COVID-19 cases in eight regions across mainland Spain have been traced back to the Mallorca outbreak, which started last week. Mallorca health authorities carried out mass testing on hundreds of students after the outbreak became clear.wftv.com
Virus stifles Muslims' Eid al-Fitr celebrations for 2nd year
APTOPIX Indonesia Eid al-Fitr Muslim women pray during the Eid al-Fitr celebration in Bali, Indonesia on Thursday, May 13, 2021. Indonesian Muslims perform Eid al-Fitr prayer that marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati) (Firdia Lisnawati)JAKARTA, Indonesia — (AP) — Muslims celebrated Eid al-Fitr in a subdued mood for a second year Thursday as the COVID-19 pandemic again forced mosque closings and family separations on the holiday marking the end of Islam's holiest month of Ramadan. The world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation allowed mosque prayers in low-risk areas, but those in areas where there was more risk of the virus spreading closed their doors, including Jakarta’s Istiqlal grand mosque, the largest mosque in Southeast Asia. “We followed the government decision that banned us visiting my parents for Eid last year, it’s enough!wftv.com
Suicide bomb hits Palm Sunday Mass in Indonesia, 20 wounded
Police officers inspect the area near a church where an explosion went off in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia, Sunday, March 28, 2021. A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a packed Roman Catholic cathedral on Indonesia's Sulawesi island during a Palm Sunday Mass, wounding a number of people, police said. Police later said both attackers were killed instantly and evidence collected at the scene indicated one of the two was a woman. Indonesia has been battling militants since bombings on the resort island of Bali in 2002 killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists. Indonesia has been on high alert since police in December arrested Jemaah Islamiyah leader Aris Sumarsono, also known as Zulkarnaen.
Striking Myanmar rail workers move out as protests continue
State railway employee load belongings after being evicted from their homes Saturday, March 20, 2021, in Mandalay, Myanmar. State railway workers in Mandalay have been threatened with eviction to force them to end their support for the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) against military rule. AdNumerous reports on social media, including videos, have shown security forces vandalizing cars parked on the street. It said security forces have reportedly occupied more than 60 schools and university campuses in 13 states and regions. Ad“Schools must be not used by security forces under any circumstances," it declared.
UN official: Myanmar people want UN sanctions, peacekeepers
Police and military forces occupy a road block barricade in Yangon, Myanmar, Friday, March 19, 2021. “People are really looking for concerted international action in terms of sanctions. Getting Security Council approval for U.N. sanctions or peacekeepers will be an uphill struggle. That’s because it will require support or an abstention from China, a veto-wielding council member that calls itself a friend of Myanmar and has a policy opposing sanctions. Ad"The protests and the violence haven’t really spread in Rakhine as they have in the rest of the country," Kirkwood said.
2 journalists detained as Myanmar junta clamps down on press
(AP Photo)YANGON – Two more journalists were detained in Myanmar on Friday, part of the junta’s intensifying efforts to choke off information about resistance to last month’s coup. The journalists were covering legal proceedings against Win Htein, a detained senior official from the National League for Democracy, the party that ran the country before the takeover. AdAbout 40 journalists have been arrested since the Feb. 1 coup, with roughly half still in detention, including Thein Zaw of The Associated Press. “Indonesia urges that the use of violence in Myanmar be stopped immediately to avoid more victims. “Indonesia also urges dialogue and reconciliation to be carried out immediately to restore democracy, peace and stability in Myanmar."
UN chief: UN will seek to unite world, reverse Myanmar coup
Supporters give roses to police while four arrested activists make a court appearance in Mandalay, Myanmar, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021. (AP Photo)CAMEROON – Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pledged Friday that the United Nations will do everything it can to unite the international community and create conditions for the military coup in Myanmar to be reversed. It detained Suu Kyi, whose party swept that vote, and other lawmakers, activists, journalists and members of civil society. “Indonesia and Malaysia take the political situation in Myanmar seriously,” Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said after meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Jakarta. Guterres said the U.N. is also in contact with the 15-member Security Council, which is in charge of international peace and security.
Indonesia, Malaysia vow to counter anti-palm oil campaign
Indonesia and Malaysia are the world’s largest exporters of palm oil, which plays an important role in their economic recovery. After meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, Indonesian President Joko Widodo told a joint news conference that Indonesia is fighting against palm oil discrimination. Ad“We are concerned over the current anti-palm oil campaign, especially in Europe, Australia and Oceanea,” Muhyiddin said. There are over 2.7 million palm oil smallholders in Indonesia and 600,000 in Malaysia. The Associated Press’ investigation reports late last year revealed that many palm oil companies in Indonesia and Malaysia exploit children in their plantations.
Asia Today: South Korea adds 559 cases, highest in 10 days
(AP Photo/Aung Shine Oo)SEOUL – South Korea has reported 599 new coronavirus cases, the highest in 10 days, as health workers scramble to slow infections at religious facilities, which have been a major source throughout the pandemic. — Indonesian President Joko Widodo received the second dose of the Chinese coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday, two weeks after the first injection. — India has vaccinated 2 million health workers in less than two weeks and recorded 12,689 new cases. Myanmar health authorities on Tuesday announced 411 new coronavirus cases, bringing the confirmed total to 138,368. It has recorded 532,916 coronavirus cases, including 8,055 deaths.
Indonesia's confirmed coronavirus cases exceed 1 million
(AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)JAKARTA – Indonesia’s confirmed coronavirus infections since the pandemic began crossed 1 million on Tuesday and hospitals in some hard-hit areas were near capacity. Indonesia’s Health Ministry announced that new daily infections rose by 13,094 on Tuesday to bring the country’s total to 1,012,350, the most in Southeast Asia. The total number of deaths reached 28,468. Jakarta continues to be hardest hit city in Indonesia, confirming more than 254,000 cases as of Tuesday, including 4,077 deaths. Health Ministry data showed hospital capacity nationwide was at about 70%.
After seeing floods, Indonesian leader visits quake zone
In this photo released by the Indonesian Presidential Palace, President Joko Widodo, center, talks to an official as he inspects an earthquake-damaged government building, in Mamuju, West Sulawesi, Indonesia, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. Widodo visited the areas where a deadly earthquake left thousands of people homeless in an effort to reassure them the government's response is reaching those struggling after the quake. (Indonesian Presidential Palace via AP)MAMUJU – Relief workers struggled Tuesday to clear the rubble of collapsed buildings on an Indonesian island where a strong earthquake killed at least 90 people and left thousands homeless. Disaster Task Force Commander Firman Dahlan said at least 12,900 people are in shelters in Mamuju and the neighboring district of Majene in West Sulawesi. The quake and flood disasters followed a landslide in West Java on Jan. 9 that left 40 people buried in tons of mud.
Damaged roads, lack of gear hinder Indonesia quake rescue
Motorists make their way through a road affected by an earthquake-triggered landslide near Mamuju, West Sulawesi, Indonesia, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. At least 415 houses in Majene were damaged and about 15,000 people were moved to shelters, said National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesperson Raditya Jati. The quake set off landslides in three locations and blocked a main road connecting Mamuju to Majene. State-owned firm AirNav Indonesia, which oversees aircraft navigation, said the quake did not cause significant damage to the Mamuju airport runway or control tower. On Thursday, a magnitude 5.7 undersea quake hit the same region, damaging several homes but causing no apparent casualties.
Florida reports 13,000 new COVID-19 cases, 222 deaths
A doctor gives a dose for a shot of COVID-19 vaccine at a public health facility in Jakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. In Florida, state officials have said that more than 23,000 people have died as a result of the virus. [READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Florida reports 13,660 new COVID-19 infections with over 61,000 fully vaccinated]Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on Jan. 14:CasesThe Florida Department of Health reported 13,462 new cases on Thursday, bringing the state’s overall total to 1,531,192 cases since the coronavirus pandemic began in March. DeathsFlorida reported 222 new virus-related deaths Thursday, raising the death toll to 23,981. VaccinationsThe Florida Department of Health recently began releasing a daily report on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state.
Indonesian health workers receive COVID-19 vaccination
A worker carries medical equipment during a COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)JAKARTA – Indonesia started vaccinating health workers and public servants for COVID-19 on Thursday, a day after President Joko Widodo received the first shot of China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine. The Health Ministry is planning to vaccinate more than 1.3 million health workers and 17.4 million public officials in the first stage. “The pandemic is still going on and health care workers are the front-liners in caring for COVID-19 patients,” Deputy Health Minister Dante Saksono said. The first 25 health workers to get the jab were employees of Jakarta's Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital.
Asia Today: Chinese city tests millions amid new outbreak
Another 16 cases were reported in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang and one in the northern province of Shanxi. The world’s fourth most populated country plans to vaccinate millions of health care workers and other other high-risk groups in the coming months. Health officials are still working to secure access to enough doses to protect around 67% of the population. — Japan expanded a coronavirus state of emergency to seven more prefectures Wednesday, affecting more than half the population amid a surge in infections across the country. Suga has been criticized as being to slow to act as the country’s coronavirus infections and deaths roughly doubled over the past month to about 300,000 and 4,100 respectively.
Indonesia starts mass COVID vaccinations over vast territory
Indonesia’s vaccination program is the first large-scale use outside of China of the Sinovac Biotech Ltd. vaccine. Indonesia plans to vaccinate two-thirds of its population of about 270 million people — or just over 180 million people. Besides Indonesia, China and Bolivia have granted conditional use authorization for the Sinovac vaccine. Indonesia received its first shipment of the Sinovac vaccines on Dec. 6 and began distributing the doses around the country while awaiting emergency use authorization. It was cleared for that use based on clinical trial data and after the Indonesian Ulema Council declared the vaccine halal.
Indonesia green-lights emergency use of Chinese vaccine
Indonesia's highest Islamic body has gave its religious approval to China's Sinovac vaccine, paving the way for its distribution in the world's most populous Muslim nation. The vaccine was cleared for emergency use after Indonesian authorities reviewed clinical trial data from Brazil, Turkey and Indonesia, which are all taking part in Phase III clinical trials of the vaccine. Indonesia conducted its own Phase III clinical trials of the vaccine with 1,620 volunteers. Griffith University epidemiologist Dr. Dicky Budiman said that many people have questioned and expressed doubt about the vaccine, as the data Indonesia used for emergency authorization is only preliminary. Authorities in China and Bolivia have both issued emergency authorization for the CoronaVac vaccine.
Indonesian divers find parts of plane wreckage in Java Sea
An investigator of Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee inspects parts of Sriwijaya Air Flight 182 that crashed in the waters off Java Island, at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta, Indonesia, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021. Indonesian rescuers pulled out body parts, pieces of clothing and scraps of metal from the Java Sea early Sunday morning, a day after the Boeing 737-500 with dozens of people onboard crashed shortly after takeoff from Jakarta, officials said. Earlier Sunday, search and rescue operations resulted in parts of the plane being found in the sea at a depth of 23 meters (75 feet), leading rescuers to continue searching the area. “We are sure that is the point where the plane crashed.”He said the objects found included broken pieces of fuselage with aircraft registration parts. In December 2014, an AirAsia flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore plunged into the sea, killing 162 people.
Indonesian cleric who inspired Bali bombings freed from jail
The convicted firebrand cleric who inspired the Bali bombers and other violent extremists walked free from prison Friday after completing his sentence for funding the training of Islamic militants. (AP Photo/Aditya Irawan)JAKARTA – A firebrand cleric who inspired bombings in Bali and other attacks walked free from an Indonesian prison Friday after completing his sentence for funding the training of Islamic militants. He was convicted of funding the military-style camp to train Islamic militants and sentenced to 15 years in jail. Indonesian authorities had struggled to prove Bashir's involvement in the Bali bombings and fought multiple battles to uphold convictions on other charges. Upon release from prison in 2004, he was arrested and again charged with heading Jemaah Islamiyah as well as giving his blessing to the Bali bombings.
Concern among Muslims over halal status of COVID-19 vaccine
While the diplomats were there to finalize deals to ensure millions of doses reached Indonesian citizens, the clerics had a much different concern: Whether the COVID-19 vaccine was permissible for use under Islamic law. Spokespeople for Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca have said that pork products are not part of their COVID-19 vaccines. In Indonesia, the government has already said it will include the Muslim clerical body in the COVID-19 vaccine procurement and certification process. “Public communication regarding the halal status, price, quality and distribution must be well-prepared,” Indonesian President Joko Widodo said in October. The government has announced several COVID-19 vaccine procurement deals with the company totaling millions of doses.
The Latest: China reports results of mass testing
(Siphiwe Sibeko/Pool via AP)BEIJING — China has reported new coronavirus cases in the cities of Shanghai and Tianjin as it seeks to prevent small outbreaks from becoming larger ones. ___RENO, Nevada — The head of the Nevada agency promoting business growth has urged companies to embrace new restrictions as coronavirus cases soar. Kentucky continued setting records with 2,135 new confirmed coronavirus cases reported, the state’s highest daily number on a Monday since the pandemic again. Gary Herbert on Monday relaxed restrictions on social gatherings ahead of Thanksgiving weekend as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to surge. Also on Monday, Spain’s 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population — a key metric in measuring the pandemic’s spread — has continued to fall.
Firebrand Indonesian cleric returns from 3-year Saudi exile
JAKARTA – Tens of thousands of followers of a firebrand cleric joyfully welcomed him at an Indonesian airport on Tuesday as he returned home from a 3-year exile in Saudi Arabia after criminal charges including a pornography case were dropped. Police dropped both charges last year due to weak evidence, but authorities in Saudi Arabia had banned him from leaving the country without any explanation. “My return home today is to call on you and to invite all Indonesian Muslims to join in a moral revolution. He said the moral revolution should include fighting all kinds of injustice and corruption, and changing human nature from conducting bad deeds to good ones. Agus Maftuh Abegebriel, Indonesia's ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said Shihab was given a visa to leave Saudi Arabia this month for Indonesian citizens who undergo a deportation process.
Pandemic puts Indonesia into recession; 1st time in 20 years
A drink vendor rides his bicycle reflected in a puddle in the main business district in Jakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. Indonesia's economy entered its first recession since the Asian financial crisis more than two decades ago as the country struggles to curb the coronavirus pandemic under control. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)JAKARTA – Indonesia’s economy has fallen into recession for the first time since the Asian financial crisis more than two decades ago as the country struggles to control the coronavirus pandemic. Much of the region is in recession, with air travel nearly paralyzed due to border controls and other restrictions. Indonesia had reported more than 14,000 deaths from the coronavirus as of Thursday and has been adding 3,000-4,000 cases daily since mid-September.
Asia Today: China to test 9 million after new outbreak
The announcement broke a two-month streak with no virus transmissions reported within China, though China has a practice of not reporting asymptomatic cases. The last reported virus transmissions within China were four patients found on Aug. 15 in the northwestern city of Urumqi in the Xinjiang region. All the cases reported since then were in travelers from outside the mainland. In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:— India has reported 66,732 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, driving the country’s overall tally to 7.1 million. Jakarta imposed large-scale social restrictions from April to June, then eased them gradually.
Protests against new labor law turn violent across Indonesia
Protesters add a bicycle to a burning metro station during a rally in Jakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. Thousands of enraged students and workers staged rallies across Indonesia on Thursday in opposition to a new law they say will cripple labor rights and harm the environment. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)JAKARTA – Protests in many Indonesian cities turned violent Thursday as thousands of enraged students and workers criticized a new law they say will cripple labor rights and harm the environment. Clashes between rock-throwing demonstrators and riot police broke out near Jakarta's presidential palace as police tried to disperse the protesters, including workers and high school and university students. The Job Creation Law approved by Parliament on Monday is expected to substantially change Indonesia’s labor system and natural resources management.
Indonesia takes part in late-stage China vaccine trial
JAKARTA More people in Indonesia rolled up their sleeves Friday to test a potential coronavirus vaccine developed by a Chinese company. As part of the deal, Indonesia recruited 1,620 volunteers for the trial. We hope that this third clinical trial will be completed in six months. Fifty percent of the volunteers will be injected by the vaccine and the other 50% will be injected with the placebo. But with many experts believing that a vaccine is the best hope against the virus, clinical trials and development have been rapidly accelerated since Jan. 10, when China shared the virus genetic sequence.
The Latest: Confirmed coronavirus cases reach 20 million
(AP Photo/Andy Wong)PROVIDENCE, R.I. The confirmed number of coronavirus cases in the world has reached 20 million. It said this was due to the British governments decision to advise people to avoid cruises as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. On Tuesday, Indonesia announced 1,693 new COVID-19 cases, bringing its confirmed total to 128,776. ___NEW DELHI, India India reported 53,601 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday as its total confirmed infections near 2.3 million. Beshear, the father of two children, called it a tough but necessary step as the state comes off an escalation of virus cases in July.
The Latest: South Africa has backlog of nearly 100,000 tests
South Africa has backlog of nearly 100,000 unprocessed tests. ___JOHANNESBURG South Africa says it has a backlog of nearly 100,000 unprocessed tests for the new coronavirus. The ministry says one of the latest people to die in South Africa was an employee with the National Health Laboratory Services. Indonesia had recorded more than 24,500 COVID-19 cases as of Thursday with nearly 1,500 deaths, the most fatalities in Southeast Asia. Thailand has had just single-digit increases in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases for most of May.
Indonesia postpones vote to criminalize sex outside marriage
iStock/allanswartJAKARTA - Indonesian President Joko Widodo has postponed a vote that could have criminalized consensual extramarital sex after outcry from human rights groups worldwide. The code was set to pass into law on Tuesday, with lawmakers describing the vote as a formality. "In that case, I ordered (the) Law and Human Rights minister to deliver my standpoint to Parliament. I also ordered Law and Human Rights Minister to gather feedback from the public again as an input for a better criminal code." The new criminal code has been in the making for decades.
Indonesia may pass law to criminalize sex outside of marriage
Muhammad Rasyid Prabowo via Wikimedia CommonsJAKARTA, Indonesia - Indonesia is set to pass a highly controversial new penal code that would criminalize consensual sex outside of marriage and effectively outlaw same-sex relations, in a move rights groups have criticized as a violation of basic rights. "We would like to change to our new penal code to focus more on Indonesian perspectives in the law. The reason is because there are some laws in the penal code that are not suitable for Indonesia any more," Yasonna Laoly said. Andreas Harsonso, senior Indonesia researcher at Human Rights Watch, said that the next century would "likely be disastrous for minorities in Indonesia." Northernmost Banda Aceh is the only province in the country that observes Shariah -- or Islamic law -- and those found guilty of breaking the strict morality laws are flogged in public.
Indonesia is building a new capital from scratch no matter the environmental impact
Indonesias president has picked the remote province of East Kalimantan to build a new capital from scratch to replace Jakarta. Shifting the capital east, he said, would help even out Indonesias development, which is overwhelmingly concentrated on the island of Java, where Jakarta and its sprawling suburbs command the nations attention. Fears now abound that the relocation of the nations capital will result in the trading of one environmental mess in Jakarta for another in Borneo. The government has tried to placate concerns with such buzzwords as green city, smart city and sustainable city to describe the project though detailed plans wont emerge until next year. Boys walk across a makeshift bridge to reach their neighborhood, which lies below sea level in Jakarta, Indonesia.latimes.com
Indonesia will build its new capital city in Borneo
(CNN) - A jungle-draped area on the east of Borneo island is set to be transformed into Indonesia's new capital city, President Joko Widodo announced Monday, amid concerns over the sustainability of its congested and rapidly sinking political center Jakarta. "As a large nation that has been independent for 74 years, Indonesia has never chosen its own capital," Widodo said in a televised speech, AFP reported. The city sits on swampy ground and hugs the sea to the north, making it especially prone to flooding. No name has been given for the new site, but the government originally announced plans to relocate the capital in April. Indonesia owns the majority of Borneo, the world's third-largest island, with Malaysia and Brunei each holding parts of its northern region.
Indonesia's Widodo says Islam is tolerant' there
JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNN) - In his first international television interview since being re-elected in May, Indonesian President Joko Widodo denied being concerned about the rise of fundamentalism in his country, saying that the Islam practiced there is tolerant and progressive. "I still believe that Islam in Indonesia is a tolerant and moderate Islam. But during his re-election campaign, he embraced elements of Indonesia's religious right. In May 2018, a spate of deadly, ISIS-inspired bombings rocked Indonesia's second-largest city Surabaya, targeting churches and the police. During his first term, Indonesia's economy grew at just over 5% per annum -- shy of the 7% promised, but enough for the country's GDP to surpass $1 trillion in 2017.
Woman jailed for recording alleged sexual harassment granted amnesty
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Indonesian lawmakers have unanimously approved amnesty for a woman who was sentenced to six months in prison for recording her boss's alleged sexual harassment. Indonesia's House of Representatives on Thursday agreed that President Joko Widodo would grant Baiq Nuril Maknun amnesty, according to CNN Indonesia. The decision comes after President Joko last week recommended that Nuril be granted amnesty. Calls for President Joko to grant her amnesty grew louder, with a Change.org petition calling on him to grant Nuril amnesty attracting well over 300,000 signatures. But rights groups say the sexual harassment Nuril allegedly endured is not uncommon in Indonesia.