Khamis, 23 Januari 2014

The Star Online: Metro: South & East

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The Star Online: Metro: South & East

One dead, 12 missing in Indonesian landslide

Posted: 23 Jan 2014 12:52 AM PST

JAKARTA: A woman has been killed and 12 other people are missing after torrential rains triggered a landslide that buried sleeping villagers on Indonesia's main Java island, an official said Thursday.

Rescuers were digging by hand through mounds of earth in Kudus district, central Java, to reach six houses buried by the landslide as the area was too remote to be reached by heavy machinery.

"The victims were sleeping when the landslide struck," said local disaster agency official Junaidi, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

He said rescuers had so far found the body of a woman after Tuesday's landslide and had also rescued one man alive but 12 people were still missing.

Deadly landslides and flooding are common during Indonesia's six-month rainy season, and in the past week several parts of the country have been affected.

Widespread flooding in the capital Jakarta has left five people dead and more than 60,000 displaced, national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said. -AFP

Indonesia jails bomb-maker in Myanmar embassy plot

Posted: 23 Jan 2014 01:39 AM PST

JAKARTA: An Indonesian court Thursday jailed an Islamic extremist bomb-maker for seven-and-a-half years for his role in a plot to attack the Myanmar embassy to avenge the killing of Rohingya Muslims.

Separiano (pic) is the fourth person to be jailed over the failed plot to bomb the mission in Jakarta, which came amid rising anger in Muslim-majority Indonesia at the plight of the Rohingya in mainly Buddhist Myanmar.

The 29-year-old was arrested in May the night before the attack was due to take place, carrying a backpack full of pipe-bombs as he rode a motorbike with another alleged plotter in Jakarta.

At a previous hearing the court heard he had plotted with other militants over Facebook and had attended sermons by firebrand cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, the alleged spiritual leader of the terror network behind the 2002 Bali bombings. Bashir is now in jail.

The South Jakarta District Court Thursday found Separiano, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, guilty of charges under anti-terror laws.

"The defendant Separiano... has been proven guilty legally and convincingly of making and transporting the bombs for an act of terrorism," said presiding judge Suwanto.

He handed him a seven-and-a-half year sentence. Separiano, also known by his alias of "Mambo", could have faced the death penalty.

On Tuesday the mastermind of the plot, Sigit Indrajid, was also jailed for seven-and-a-half years.

There have been a string of attacks on minority Muslims in Myanmar since 2012, mostly in the Rohingyas' western home state of Rakhine. Hundreds have been killed and tens of thousands made homeless.

There have been numerous demonstrations by Indonesians expressing support for the minority. In August a small bomb went off at a Buddhist temple in Jakarta, slightly injuring one person.

Indonesia has been waging a campaign against Islamic extremists over the past decade since a series of attacks on Western targets, and has succeeded in dismantling the most dangerous terror networks. -AFP

‘N. Korea is top security concern’

Posted: 22 Jan 2014 08:00 AM PST

SINGAPORE: North Korea remains Washington's "number one security concern" in Asia, the US Pacific Fleet commander said, despite simmering territorial disputes elsewhere in the region.

Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr also accused China of "coercion" in its maritime disputes with neighbours.

He said an increased deployment of US military assets in the region as part of an Asian "pivot" announced in 2012 would ensure that "we are where it matters and when it matters".

"Our number one security concern is North Korea," Adm Harris told reporters in Singapore on board the destroyer USS Spruance.

"I am concerned as a commander for the provocations that come from North Korea. I don't understand them, I don't understand their leadership and I don't understand their intent," he said.

Pyongyang last week warned of "calamities and disasters" if the United States and South Korea push ahead with a series of annual joint military drills from next month.

Last year's exercises were held in the wake of North Korea's third and largest nuclear test, and prompted months of escalated military tensions that saw Pyongyang issue similar apocalyptic threats of nuclear war against its southern neighbour and the United States.

Adm Harris also expressed concern at China's declaration of an "air defence identification zone" over the East China Sea, including over islands disputed with Japan.

"We think that the air defence identification zone (ADIZ) was an unfortunate imposition in the region," he said.

"It highlights an issue that I am concerned about, and that is coercion by China in this case and other countries as well," he added.

"It has not affected our military operations at all. We choose to do business as usual in the ADIZ."

The declaration, which caused a furore, requires foreign aircraft to declare their intentions and maintain communications with Chinese authorities or face unspecified "defensive emergency measures".

China is also embroiled in a bitter row with the Philippines, Vietnam and other nations about overlapping claims in the South China Sea.

Beijing claims sovereignty over essentially all that sea.

Adm Harris urged countries in­­volved in the disputes to resolve them "amicably, peacefully, and without resort to undue pressure".

He also welcomed the acceptance by China's People's Liberation Army of an invitation to take part in major US-hosted naval drills for the first time in June off Hawaii.

The biennial Rim of the Pacific exercise is billed as the world's largest international maritime war games and will feature armed forces from 23 nations. — AFP


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