Wednesday, June 26, 2013

This Post About Indonesia is Smoking!

"Indonesian men rank as the world’s top smokers, with two out of three of them lighting up in a country where cigarettes cost pennies and tobacco advertising is everywhere."


"Study cites confusion in stop-smoking plans" by Michelle Andrews  |  Washington Post, December 30, 2012

WASHINGTON — Most people who smoke want to quit, and the 2010 health care law is supposed to make it easier for them by requiring many insurance plans to cover smoking-cessation treatments with no out-of-pocket cost to members. But a recent study found that details about what is covered and who pays for it remain confusing and inconsistent.

‘‘We were taken aback at the extent to which the policies were rife with confusing language, conflicting coverage, and gaps in coverage,’’ said Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, an advocacy group that commissioned the study....

Insurers offer a different perspective....

Tobacco use kills an estimated 443,000 people in the United States every year, accounting for about one in five deaths annually. It remains the number one cause of preventable death....

Outside of war.


Also seeUS should embrace efforts to combat smoking overseas

The first step would be to stop threatening sanctions on those who ban import of the death sticks. 

UPDATE: US targets smoking in new campaign

Perhaps smokers are responsible for this:

"Singapore urged people to remain indoors because of record air pollution Thursday as a smoky haze wrought by forest fires in neighboring Indonesia worsened dramatically. Nearby Malaysia closed 200 schools and banned open burning in some areas. Smog fueled by raging Indonesian blazes has hit Singapore and Malaysia many times, often in the middle of the year, but the severity of this week’s conditions has strained diplomatic ties.

Full story for subscribers.

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Must be the smoke. 

"Indonesian planes sent to fight fires" Associated Press,  June 22, 2013

SINGAPORE — Air pollution in Singapore soared to record heights for a third consecutive day, as Indonesia sent planes and helicopters Friday to battle raging fires blamed for hazardous levels of smoky haze in three countries.

The blazes in peat swamp forests on Indonesia’s Sumatra island have sent massive plumes of smog across the sea to neighboring Singapore and Malaysia, both of which have grown impatient with Indonesia’s response to the perennial problem.

Singapore’s environment minister, Vivian Balakrishnan, flew to Jakarta on Friday to discuss measures to tackle the forest fires that break out in Indonesia during midyear dry spells because of carelessly discarded cigarettes and illegal blazes set by plantations and farmers to clear land.

I can't believe they are blaming the cigarettes when everyone knows it's the second thing.

Balakrishnan’s Indonesian counterpart, Balthasar Kambuaya, pledged that Jakarta will investigate and take stern legal action against those who started fires. Some Indonesian officials have suggested that Malaysian and Singaporean companies might be among those responsible.

That's why we will never really see much about this.


"8 accused of setting fires in Indonesia" by Kasparman Piliang  |  Associated Press, June 26, 2013

PEKANBARU, Indonesia — Indonesian authorities have arrested eight farmers for setting illegal fires on Sumatra island to clear land after numerous blazes created a thick haze, choking parts of Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia, police said Tuesday.

They are called scapegoats. Were probably paid by companies to do it.

The farmers were arrested Monday and Tuesday after being caught ‘‘red-handed,’’ said police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Hermansyah. He did not say whether they were employed by some companies that have been accused of deliberately starting the fires.

About 1,100 residents were forced to flee Rantau Bais and Bangko Pusako villages in Riau province Tuesday as acrid smoke from nearby burning peat swamps and palm oil plantations made breathing difficult, Hermansyah said.

‘‘The smoke has hurt their throats and eyes,’’ said Hermansyah, who like many Indonesians uses one name. ‘‘Visibility there is really bad.’’

A day after apologizing to neighboring Singapore and Malaysia, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia deployed 2,000 additional personnel Tuesday to fight the fires, which have affected air quality and caused respiratory problems among some people. He has called for an investigation.

Indonesia’s environmental minister, Balthasar Kambuaya, told reporters Sunday that authorities were investigating eight plantation companies that may have started the fires.

Riau forestry official Ahmad Saeroji estimated the burned area was around 4,942 acres. Satellite pictures have detected about 200 fires on plantations in the area.

Authorities warned motorists and fishermen in parts of the province to stay home this week due to poor visibility from the haze. However, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency reported Tuesday that it was raining in the provincial capital of Pekanbaru and in several hot spots after the government deployed aircraft for cloud seeding.

But they don't affect weather. That's one of the conspiracy theories I was told was shot down because of the lack of global warming. Or is s*** just backfiring again?


Be careful flying around up there:

"Jet crashes into sea while trying to land on Bali" by Firdia Lisnawati |  Associated Press, April 14, 2013

BALI, Indonesia— All 108 passengers and crew members survived after a new Lion Air jet crashed into the ocean and snapped in two while attempting to land Saturday on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, injuring up to 45 people.

Related: Big Old Jet Airliner

The injured were taken to several hospitals for treatment, but there appeared to be no serious injuries, said airport spokesman Alfasyah, who like many Indonesians uses only one name. There were three foreigners on board — two Singaporeans and a French national — all of whom suffered slight injuries.

TV footage showed police and rescuers using rubber boats to evacuate the 101 passengers and seven crew members.

Officials initially said the plane overshot the runway before hitting the water, but a spokesman for Lion Air, a low-cost carrier, said at a news conference that the plane crashed about 164 feet ahead of the runway. ‘‘It apparently failed to reach the runway and fell into the sea,’’ said the spokesman, Edward Sirait.

He said the Boeing 737-800 Next Generation plane was received by the airline last month and was declared airworthy. The flight originated in Bandung, the capital of West Java province, and had landed in two other cities on Saturday before the crash.

‘‘We are not in a capacity to announce the cause of the crash,’’ Sirait said, adding that the National Safety Transportation Committee was investigating.

Those on board recalled being terrified as the plane slammed into the water Saturday afternoon....

Lion Air is currently banned from flying to Europe because of broader safety lapses in the Indonesian airline industry that have long plagued the country. Last year, a Sukhoi Superjet-100 slammed into a volcano during a demonstration flight, killing all 45 people on board.

Related(?): Not So Superjet 

Then the Globe's fire went out?

Indonesia is one of Asia’s most rapidly expanding airline markets, but is struggling to provide qualified pilots, mechanics, air traffic controllers, and updated airport technology to ensure safety.

Lion Air, which started flying in 2000, signed a $24 billion deal last month to buy 234 Airbus planes, the biggest order ever for the French aircraft maker. It also gave Boeing its largest-ever order when it finalized a deal for 230 planes last year.


What's with the pieces?

New fires in Indonesia:

"Teams dig for miners in cave-in" by Jefrey Pattirajawane |  Associated Press, May 16, 2013

TIMIKA, Indonesia — Mining activities at a giant US-owned gold and copper mine in Indonesia were halted Wednesday as rescuers using jacks, saws, and wheelbarrows dug through a caved-in mine tunnel looking for about 25 trapped workers, the mine operator said....

What the web saw fit to cut:

Meanwhile, hundreds of workers blocked a main road about two miles from the accident site in solidarity with the victims.


Must have been Muslim!

"Radicalism did not take over this moderate Muslim nation, and the visitors that terrorists once scared away from the resort island have come flooding back."

"11 charged in plot to attack embassies

JAKARTA — Indonesia’s antiterror squad arrested 11 people suspected of planning a range of attacks on domestic and foreign targets, including the US Embassy and a site near the Australian Embassy, police said Saturday. The suspects were arrested Friday and Saturday in four provinces. Police said the suspects belonged to a new group called the Harakah Sunni for Indonesian Society (AP)."


RelatedIndonesia accuses 10 of terror plan

"Aerosmith canceled a show in Indonesia after authorities there said they had foiled a bomb plot targeting the Myanmar Embassy. Concert promoter Ismaya Live cited safety concerns as the reason for the cancellation, but it wasn’t clear if there was a direct connection to the alleged embassy plot. The American rockers were scheduled to perform this coming Saturday for a nearly sold-out crowd of 15,000 in the capital, Jakarta, said Helmi Sugara, event organizer spokesman. The statement about the cancellation carried an apology from Aerosmith also saying they hoped to make it up to the fans one day. There was no immediate indication they would reschedule. Indonesian police said Friday they had arrested two suspected militants and seized bombs the suspects were plotting to use against the Myanmar Embassy in Jakarta to protest Myanmar’s treatment of Muslims. Aerosmith started an Asia-Pacific tour in April with their first-ever concert in New Zealand and several shows in Australia. They’re scheduled to play Wednesday in the Philippines. Western music acts are popular in Indonesia, but Islamic hard-liners have forced changes or cancellations in the past. Lady Gaga canceled what was to be the biggest performance on her ‘‘Born This Way Ball’’ tour in Asia last year. Hard-liners had threatened violence if the concert was held because they saw the pop diva as a corrupting influence. Jennifer Lopez, who judged ‘‘American Idol’’ alongside Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler for two seasons, toned down her costumes and dance moves during an Indonesian concert in late November."

Yeah, yeah, they hate us for our freedoms -- and shitty music. 

Related: Gross Post

Globe Goes Gaga 

Not me.

"Girls’ murderer escapes in Indonesia" Associated Press, April 27, 2013

JAKARTA, Indonesia — A militant serving a 19-year prison sentence for beheading three Christian schoolgirls has escaped while visiting his sick wife, Indonesian police said Friday.

National Police spokesman Brigadier General Boy Rafli Amar said Basri, 36, fled from his house in the town of Poso last week when a guard who escorted him home left him unguarded for several hours. 

Translation: they let him go.

Basri, who like many Indonesians uses a single name, was sentenced in 2007 for the beheadings and a series of attacks that terrorized Poso, where a Muslim-Christian conflict killed at least 1,000 people from 1998 to 2002.

‘‘When the guard came to take him back to the prison, he found that Basri was no longer at his house,’’ Amar said.

Police are searching for Basri, whom Amar described as a ‘‘dangerous militant,’’ and are investigating why he was escorted by only one guard.

Basri admitted to beheading one of the three girls in late 2005 as they walked to school.


"Indonesia court gives British woman death sentence" by Sara Schonhardt  |  NY Times Syndication, January 23, 2013

JAKARTA, Indonesia — An Indonesian court sentenced a 56-year-old British woman to death Tuesday for smuggling $2.5 million worth of cocaine onto the island of Bali, a decision that went far beyond the prosecutors’ recommendation of 15 years in prison.

In May, according to investigators, customs officials at Bali’s airport discovered 8.4 pounds of cocaine hidden in the lining of the travel bag carried by the woman, Lindsay June Sandiford. A grandmother, she said she was forced to take the drugs into the country by a gang that had threatened to hurt one of her children.

Dismissing the prosecutors’ call for a prison term, judges at the Denpasar District Court decided on death after finding that Sandiford, by ferrying in the drugs, had damaged the image of Bali as a tourism destination and weakened the government’s drug prevention program. Television footage showed Sandiford sobbing. She is expected to appeal.

The British Embassy said, ‘‘Britain remains strongly opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances.’’

Indonesia, known for its tough treatment of people who commit drug offenses, has put five foreigners to death in drug cases since 1998. Forty foreigners are on death row for drug and other offenses.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has granted clemency to four prisoners on death row for narcotics crimes. Some analysts said the judges might have been motivated to issue the harshest possible sentence in the Sandiford case because the president’s decision to reduce the sentences of 19 drug convicts in October stirred a public backlash.

A Briton accused of serving as Sandiford’s accomplice, Anthony Pounder, is expected to be sentenced Wednesday.


"Crowds protest as Indonesia debates gas hike" New York Times, June 18, 2013

JAKARTA, Indonesia — The House of Representatives met Monday evening to debate a revised budget that includes a highly contentious increase in the price of subsidized gasoline, which drew thousands of protesters into the streets of the capital.

The government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono wants to raise gasoline prices 44 percent, from 45 cents to 66 cents a liter, to help close a widening budget deficit. The country’s Finance Ministry has said spending on fuel subsidies could reach $23 billion in 2013, compared with about $20 billion last year, if urgent action is not taken.

Amid heavy rain, protesters including members of labor groups — the Jakarta police estimated as many as 4,000 — staged rallies and burned tires Monday outside the national legislative complex in south Jakarta to voice opposition to any price increases.

The police said they had deployed nearly 20,000 officers to maintain order, given violent protests that had erupted during past fuel price debates.

Demonstrations by students and other groups were also reported in other cities around Indonesia.

International lenders such as the World Bank have urged the government to eliminate subsidies altogether, as savings could go to crucial social programs, including health care, as well as much-needed infrastructure investment.

Yeah, they are looking out for your best interest.

However, with national legislative elections scheduled for April 2014 and a presidential election three months later, fuel subsidies are a hot-button political issue.

Indonesian lawmakers may have to put politics aside, however, if they want to avoid harming one of Asia’s best-performing economies.

Looks like all governments do when it comes to banks.


Time to put some water on those:

"Torrential rains in Indonesia cause at least four deaths" by Sara Schonhardt  |  New York Times, January 18, 2013

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Torrential rains caused flooding that paralyzed much of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, on Thursday, resulting in the deaths of at least four people and forcing the evacuations of tens of thousands of others.

Parts of the capital were under at least 6 feet of water, and even the presidential palace was flooded....

‘‘This is the worst I’ve ever seen it,’’ said Yudi Sukarno, 40, who lives in the Bendungan Hilir neighborhood. ‘‘There’s all this asphalt and concrete, so the water doesn’t have anywhere to go.’’


Thirteen rivers run through Jakarta, but poor drainage caused by garbage and the depletion of wells in a city already at or below sea level has intensified the impact of the flooding. The problems have recently been exacerbated by deforestation outside the city, which allows rainwater to flood in....

The Indonesian Meteorological Agency said heavy rains were expected in the Jakarta region for the next three days.

“Because of the rain’s intensity we’ve declared an emergency situation from now until Jan. 27,’’ said Jokowi Widodo, the governor of Jakarta.


"Indonesia rescues 43 Sri Lankans adrift for 9 days" Associated Press, September 01, 2012

SIKAKAP, Indonesia — Indonesian fishermen on Friday rescued 43 starving, dehydrated Sri Lankans who had been adrift in a boat for nine days after their engine broke down as they tried to reach Australia to seek asylum, police said.

Another group of about 60 Sri Lankans in a boat, also apparently heading for Australia, were seeking food and drink from communities nearby on Mentawi island in western Indonesia, police Captain Abdurachman Suryanegara said, citing reports from residents in the area.

Australian officials have noted a surge in asylum seekers trying to make the dangerous sea journey to the country before a tough deportation policy goes into effect in the coming weeks.

A boat with about 150 asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Pakistan sank off Indonesia’s main island of Java on Wednesday, leaving about 95 people missing....