Indonesia executes six drug convicts, five of them foreigners

Indonesia executes six drug convicts, five of them foreigners
Widodo has pledged to bring reform to Indonesia

Ban appeals to Indonesia to stop death row executions

Ban appeals to Indonesia to stop death row executions
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has pleaded to Indonesia to stop the execution of prisoners on death row for drug crimes. AFP PHOTO

Pope: 'Death penalty represents failure' – no 'humane' way to kill a person

Pope: 'Death penalty represents failure' – no 'humane' way to kill a person
The pope wrote that the principle of legitimate personal defense isn’t adequate justification to execute someone. Photograph: Zuma/Rex

Obama becomes first president to visit US prison (US Justice Systems / Human Rights)

Obama becomes first president to visit US prison   (US Justice Systems / Human Rights)
US President Barack Obama speaks as he tours the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Oklahoma, July 16, 2015 (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

US Death Penalty (Justice Systems / Human Rights)

US Death Penalty (Justice Systems / Human Rights)
Woman who spent 23 years on US death row cleared (Photo: dpa)


"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Monday, March 26, 2018

Ride-hailing apps run Indonesian tuk-tuks off road

Yahoo - AFP, Mackenzie Smith, March 25, 2018

Ride-hailing apps like the Grab motorcyle-taxi seen here are denting the fortunes
of traditional three-wheeled bajaj taxis in Indonesia (AFP Photo/BAY ISMOYO)

Auto-rickshaw driver Zainuddin used to make decent money navigating Jakarta's congested roads and narrow alleyways.

But now US-based Uber, Google-backed Go-Jek and Singapore's Grab are locked in a race for ride-hailing app supremacy in Southeast Asia's biggest economy, denting the fortunes of traditional three-wheeled bajaj taxis that once ruled Indonesia's roads.

"Our income has fallen between 70 and 80 percent since ride-hailing apps came on the scene," said Zainuddin, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

There were some 14,000 bajaj on Indonesia's roads by 2015, according to the latest official figures.

By contrast, Go-Jek alone claims 900,000 drivers and some 15 million weekly active users. It launched in 2010.

Google and Singapore's sovereign wealth fund Temasek have announced investments in Go-Jek, which has been valued at as much as $5 billion although it's little known outside Asia.

Southeast Asia's ride-hailing market more than doubled in two years to some $5 billion in 2017 and it's expected to reach $20 billion by 2025, with Indonesia set to account for some 40 percent of it, according to research done by Google and Temasek.

Go-Jek, which also reportedly won funding from Chinese internet giant Tencent, has said it is mulling an initial public offering as it looks to grow in Indonesia and beyond.

That could inflate its army of motorcycle taxis, private cars and other services -- from massage and house cleaning to grocery shopping and package deliveries -- all available at users' fingertips.

Dragging behind its regional rivals, Uber is reportedly selling parts of its Southeast Asian operations to rival Grab in exchange for a stake in the Singaporean company.

No more haggling

The ride-hailing trio offer fixed-price rides that take haggling out of the equation, a welcome change for former bajaj customer Tetty Iskandar.

"I haven't taken a bajaj in years," said the 35-year-old housewife, who used to ride the three-wheelers to go grocery shopping.

"You had to bargain with the drivers to get cheap fares. And you would already have done bargaining a lot in the market. Sometimes I felt so tired and just wanted to get home."

The vast archipelago of some 260 million people has a relatively low per-capita car ownership rate.

For some, sitting in a tuk-tuk as it teeters and rumbles over Jakarta's roads offers
a connection to an older way of life (AFP Photo/BAY ISMOYO)

And vehicle owners often choose to leave their ride at home, opting instead for a fixed-price motorcycle that can zip through Jakarta's epic traffic congestion -- at a bargain-basement prices.

That is threatening bajaj -- not to mention regular cabs and ubiquitous motorbike taxis known as ojek -- which arrived in Indonesia during the 1970s.

The motorised rickshaw quickly made inroads under its namesake company, which hailed from India.

The name bajaj is now inked into Jakarta's lexicon after supplanting traditional bicycle taxis.

A distinctive blue model of the vehicle is still a common sight and while pollution-spewing older models are outlawed, some still ply the narrow alleyways of Indonesia's sprawling capital.

Government efforts to reduce traffic snarls by reintroducing bicycle taxis could further chip away at the market share of bajaj, which cannot operate on highways and certain busy streets.

'Nostalgic feeling'

Still, bajaj backers point out that the little tuk-tuks are safer than motorcycles which have higher injury and fatality rates.

"They are still a very useful means of transport when you have to go through small alleys and roads in Jakarta," said Danang Parikesit, president of the think tank Indonesia Transportation Society.

For some, sitting in a tuk-tuk as it teeters and rumbles over Jakarta's roads offers a connection to an older way of life.

"Riding bajaj has a unique sensation, a nostalgic feeling," said faithful customer Budiyanto.

In central Jakarta, bajaj line a curb, their drivers smoking or sleeping as swarms of motorbike drivers sporting Go-Jek or Grab windbreakers zip by on their way to collect customers.

Even if they wanted to switch to ride-hailing apps, it's too late for some older drivers.

"I cannot shift to an app-based motorcycle taxi because of my age," said driver Sutardi.

"Companies require that their drivers not be over 60."

Despite the threat of technology, some insist bajaj have a future, especially among customers who don't want to get soaked on the back of a motorbike or while waiting for a hired car during the months-long rainy season.

"Customers don't like to get wet," tuk-tuk driver Zainuddin said.

"It's not good for people when the rain comes, but bajaj drivers will be happy."

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Batik, Batik, Batik: Textile Dominates Plaza Indonesia Fashion Week 2018

Jakarta Globe, Sylviana Hamdani, March 20, 2018

The organizers and designers of Plaza Indonesia Fashion Week 2018 at a press
conference at the mall last Thursday (15/03). (Photo courtesy of Magnifique PR)

Jakarta. Plaza Indonesia Fashion Week or PIFW, the annual fashion shows held at premium shopping mall Plaza Indonesia in Jakarta, started on Monday (19/03).

This is the eleventh PIFW held by the mall.

"PIFW is proof of our consistent support for Indonesia's fashion industry," Zamri Mamat, Plaza Indonesia's marketing general manager, said last Thursday.

This year, PIFW showcases the collections of 22 local and international labels at The Warehouse on the fifth floor of the mall.

A series of fashion shows by well-established Indonesian labels opened PIFW on Monday.

At 5.30 pm, Bin House by Indonesian textile maker Josephine Komara showcased its Spring/Summer 2018 collection.

"This is our first fashion show at PIFW. Our collection combines traditional batiks and edgy fashion," Wita, the in-house designer of Bin House, said.

The second show on Monday was SEBASTIANred by Indonesia's high-fashion legend Sebastian Gunawan.

Seba, as the designer is affectionately known, showcased his Lebaran and Summer 2018 collection called "Reminiscence," inspired by old photos.

Black, white and sepia dominated SEBASTIANred's evening gowns on the runway.

The first day culminated with "Nuswantara," a special collection by Iwan Tirta Private Collection (ITPC).

"This is our Spring/Summer 2018 collection," Era Sukamto, creative director of ITPC, said.

"The style is young and fresh. We also showcased old batik motifs collected by the late Iwan Tirta from Cirebon, West Java, that are heavily influenced the Chinese and Japanese," she said.

On Tuesday, Indonesian quirky ready-to-wear label Danjyo Hiyoji, in collaboration with local textile factory Lucky Trend, will present its Spring/Summer 2018 collection called "Splendor Force."

"The collection is inspired by millennials, it encourages freedom of expressions," Liza Mashita, co-founder and co-designer of Danjyo Hiyoji, said.

"We'll be using a lot of prints by Lucky Trend in the collection," Dana Maulana, co-founder and co-designer of the label, said. "We want to prove that Indonesian factories can also produce good quality textiles."

On Wednesday, toy company Hasbro will launch a special collection called "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic."

The collection features a range of shoes and ready-to-wears and is a collaboration with eight prominent Indonesian designers, including Lenny Agustin, Ria Miranda and Ni Luh Djelantik.

"This is the first collaboration with local designers that Hasbro Southeast Asia Consumer Products has been involved in, and also the first of its kind globally, with so many designers interpreting the story of 'My Little Pony,'" Bambang Sutedja, Hasbro International's Southeast Asia rep, said.

On Thursday, ready-to-wear brand (X) S.M.L will showcase its Autumn/Winter 2018 collection, called "Streetstyle."

"It's the same collection we'll showcase in Tokyo Fashion Week on March 19," Jun Mardian, creative director of the label, said. "We have 48 looks ready with deconstructed silhouettes and monochromatic colors."

Another interesting collection to be shown on the same evening will be a collaboration between premium batik brand Alleira and young designer Rama Dauhan.

"This collection will be fun and playful," Rama said last Thursday. "Alleira is known for its classic, mature styles, I'm more crazy and edgy. But we've worked together to create new oversized batik motifs with youthful colors that really pop up, such as pink, orange and purple."

PIFW as always keep the most exciting shows for the final day of the festival on Friday.

"The final day's theme is 'Kain' (textile)," Ria Juwita, Plaza Indonesia's events manager, said. "We'll highlight Indonesian textiles, especially batik."

"Batik is now part of our lifestyle," Ria continued. "They are office wear, street wear and gala wear. The possibilities [of using them] are endless."

The first show on Friday will feature a another collaboration between batik house Parang Kencana and young local designer Wilsen Willim.

Wilsen is known for understated and sleek monochromatic designs. It will be interesting what he comes up with working with Parang Kencana's rich, even loud, batik motifs.

Another exciting collaboration to be shown on Friday night will be between Iwan Tirta Private Collection and young couture designer Auguste Soesastro.

"This collaboration combines Auguste's strong designs and the deep philosophy of our batik pieces," Era Sukamto said. "It's been a very explorative experience for both of us."

The fashion week will conclude with a show by Populo Batik, who will present its Autumn/Winter 2018 collection called "Purity," which takes its inspiration from the Gandaki River in Tibet.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Dutch packaging industry has two years to solve plastic bottle problem

DutchNews, March 10, 2018

The Dutch government has given the packaging industry until 2021 to boost the recycling of small plastic bottles or face the introduction of a deposit system. 

‘Litter is bad for the environment and the public mood,’ junior environment minister Stientje van Veldhoven said in a briefing for MPs about the plans. ‘We’ve all seen the pictures, the roadside full of litter, the Bali beach covered in bottles, animals full of plastic in the oceans. It has to stop.’ 

The industry must ensure 90% of throwaway plastic bottles are recycled and that the number of plastic bottles in litter is cut by 70% to 90% to avoid the introduction of deposits of 10 to 15 cents on plastic bottles. 

The results of the industry’s efforts will be assessed in autumn 2020. If the target has not been met, deposits will be introduced on small bottles from January 1, 2021, the minister said. 

Almost 200 Dutch local authorities and other organisations have now signed up to a campaign aimed at bringing in deposits on cans and small plastic bottles. 

The Statiegeldalliantie was launched in November with 21 organisations, including the North Sea foundation and aims to persuade Dutch and Belgian governments to widen the use of deposits. 

In 2015, the Dutch government tore up an agreement with the packaging industry to end the current system of deposits on plastic bottles. The industry argued there would be major cost advantages if deposits were scrapped but the cost savings, in a report commissioned by the industry, were later shown to be exaggerated.

The Indonesian holiday island has become an embarrassing poster child for the
country's trash problem (AFP Photo/SONNY TUMBELAKA)

Related Article:

Monday, March 5, 2018

Women's March Jakarta 2018

Fears PNG death toll will rise after 'worst quake in century'

Yahoo – AFP, March 4, 2018

Australian air force personnel along with high commission officials and Papua New
Guinea locals unload aid from trucks onto an RAAF C-130J aircraft in Lae, bound
for earthquake-hit areas (AFP Photo/David Gibbs)

Local communities are struggling to cope with the aftermath of a major earthquake that hit Papua New Guinea's remote highlands almost a week ago, reports said Sunday, amid fears of a rising death toll.

The highlands in the Pacific nation's interior about 600 kilometres (370 miles) north-west of Port Moresby were struck by a 7.5-magnitude tremor early on February 26.

The region has also been shaken by a series of strong aftershocks in subsequent days, the latest a 6.0-magnitude tremor recorded by the United States Geological Survey that struck about 0.30am local time Monday (1430 GMT Sunday).

The government has declared a state of emergency and sent relief workers to the Southern Highlands, Western, Enga and Hela provinces, which have been hit by downed communications, landslides and sinkholes, as well as toppled homes and buildings.

"This was the biggest earthquake in a hundred years (in the highlands) and it spread 150 kilometres across the fault line," humanitarian duty officer Darian Clark of the Australian High Commission (embassy) said in a statement Saturday.

"A number of urban settlements, as well as villages, have been affected, many in the form of landslides and landslips, which means that roads have been cut off, water contaminated, power knocked out and other widespread effects for the local people."

Numerous communities have yet to be reached by aid workers and it was not known how badly they were affected, seismologist Mathew Moihoi of PNG's Geophysical Observatory told AFP Sunday.

No official death toll has been released by the government, but various PNG media reports have cited local officials on the ground who spoke of dozens of casualties.

The PNG Post-Courier newspaper has collated unconfirmed reports of more than 50 dead from the initial quake.

"The figures (for the death toll) have been coming out from areas where there is access, but there might be areas which are not accessible and it is a little bit hard to get to those areas," Moihoi said.

"There might be some casualties there, we just don't know. It's going to be a little bit difficult to get the figures at this stage."

Local news website Loop PNG cited a police officer as saying that starvation and looting were on the rise in the affected communities.

The situation was worsening on the ground every day, the website added Sunday, quoting local advocacy groups mobilising to help stricken communities.

"People are crying and they are shouting when they are calling us," Cathy Alex from the Advancing PNG Women's Network said as she pleaded for public donations.

"We can't just sit and wait for the (government-pledged disaster funding of) 450 million kina (US$140 million)."

Besides the government's aid efforts, oil and gas companies ExxonMobil and Oil Search, which operate in the area, have assisted relief and recovery efforts.

The Australian military said Saturday it had arrived in PNG and was distributing relief supplies and conducting aerial surveys of quake-hit areas.