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    A Palestinian woman shouts at Israeli policemen in the old city of Jerusalem on Thursday after Israeli authorities temporarily closed the al-Aqsa mosque compound, Islam's third holiest site but also the most sacred place in Judaism. Israel's closure of the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound to all visitors following the shooting of a Jewish hardliner is tantamount to a "declaration of war," Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said today. (AFP/Menahem Kahana)

  • On alert

    Pigeon Forge City firefighter Pete Griffioen, wearing a protective suit, walks in front of a projection of the Ebola virus during a training slideshow at the fire department in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee on Thursday. Earlier in the month, the Tennessee Hospital Association, Tennessee Medical Association and Tennessee Nurses Association issued a joint statement saying they're on heightened awareness for anyone showing up in their emergency rooms and physicians' offices who exhibit symptoms similar to the Ebola virus. (AP/The Mountain Press, Curt Habraken)

  • Disaster warning system for Jakarta's flood prone subdistricts

    The Jakarta administration will soon install a disaster warning system in five flood-prone urban subdistricts to anticipate flooding during the upcoming rainy season, Jakarta Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) spokesman Bambang Suryawardana says.

  • Indonesia suffers huge losses due to fish theft

    Newly elected Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti said on Friday that losses from rampant fish theft in Indonesian waters were estimated to be in the trillions of rupiah.

  • Tangerang gets ASEAN clean air award

    ASEAN has awarded Tangerang city, Banten province, the ASEAN Environmentally Sustainable City (ESC) Award for the clean air category.

  • Rupiah weakens to 12,115 at opening

    The rupiah interbank trade in Jakarta weakened by 33 points to Rp 12,115 against the US dollar from an earlier position of Rp 12,082 on Friday.

  • Germany fascinated by RI’s maritime vision

    President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s vision to make Indonesia the world’s maritime axis has prompted Germany, the world’s third-largest arms exporter, to strengthen the two countries’ bilateral partnership with maritime defense.

  • Nations urged to address malnutrition

    Nations across the world have been urged to show their political commitment to fighting malnutrition and food crises by taking part in the upcoming Second International Conference on Malnutrition (ICN2) in Rome.

  • RI, Dutch extend diplomatic training to 2016

    Indonesia and the Netherlands on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on diplomatic training, which is set to last until 2016, a top envoy said.

  • Weekly 5: Ethnic enclaves in Jakarta

    Jakarta is the country’s biggest melting pot where Indonesians of different ethnicities, religions and languages live and work. On Oct. 28, 1928, a group of young men and women from far-flung islands assembled in Jakarta to pledge that they would be united under one motherland called Indonesia, one nation called Indonesia and one language, the Indonesian language. With the many ethnic enclaves in Jakarta currently coexisting peacefully, it seems that their wishes have somewhat come true:

  • Police confident drug-abuse rates will decrease

    The Jakarta Police are confident that the drug-abuse rate has declined in the city despite the fact that Jakarta is home to the highest percentage of drug abusers per population according to the National Narcotics Agency (BNN).

  • Ahok gets nod from Muslim leaders

    A qori (Muslim scholar) recited Koran verses during the commemoration of the Islamic New Year at City Hall on Wednesday, while acting governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, a Christian of Chinese descent, listened attentively.

  • 156 housewives live with HIV/AIDS

    HIV/AIDS had infected at least 156 housewives and 31 children aged between 2 and 9 years old in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) between 2001 and July this year, data at the provincial AIDS Mitigation Commission (KPAP) revealed.

  • Regions gear up for new wage hike amid investors’ concerns

    With several regions in the country having increased the 2015 provincial minimum wage (UMP) and others determining an appropriate pay rise, the Japanese government has warned of the potential financial burden on its investors.

  • Local pharmaceutical companies unprepared for free market

    Seventeen of the 38 pharmaceutical companies in East Java have yet to meet international drug production standards, making them vulnerable in the tough business competition to come with the free ASEAN market next year.

  • KPK waits for wealth reports from Jokowi’s ministers

    While none of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s new ministers have yet delivered asset reports to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), Suswono, one of former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s 34 ex-ministers, took the initiative on Thursday to report his wealth to the antigraft body.

  • Soccer Friday: Royal Saudis look to ruin Wanderers’ Cinderella story

    On paper, it seemed like the ultimate mismatch: The aristocratic six-time continental champions from Saudi Arabia against an Australian club based in a Rugby heartland that had been in existence for a little more than two years.

  • Major reform expected at two education ministries

    A major organizational overhaul is in order following President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s decision to divide the education ministry into two, with one handling basic education and the other overseeing higher education and research, experts have said.

  • Minister Imam tours Jakarta sports centers

    On Thursday, just a day after taking office, Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi toured several sporting facilities in Jakarta, signaling his commitment to developing athletic talent during his five-year tenure.

  • Suryadharma proceeds with congress

    Despite a decree from the law and human rights minister upholding the legality of Muhammad “Romy” Romahurmuziy’s leadership of the United Development Party (PPP), the embattled chairman of the party, Suryadharma Ali, pressed ahead with plans to hold his own version of a muktamar (national congress) in Jakarta, starting on Thursday.

  • Putting it briefly: Three foreign teams join IST

    JAKARTA: Jakarta is all geared up to host the 19th Jakarta International Sixes Tournament on Nov. 1-2 in Cibubur. Eight teams, including three foreign teams this year, will be participating in the tournament.

  • Comments: Retno still to learn the ropes, no clear vision yet

    Although Retno LP Marsudi’s appointment as the new foreign minister has won praise, questions linger over her ability to support President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s maritime-axis doctrine, particularly given her lack of experience as a negotiator.

  • Comments: Kalla insists Puan got Cabinet job on merit

    Vice President Jusuf Kalla has rebuffed allegations that Indonesian Democratic of Struggle (PDI-P) politician Puan Maharani was appointed as a coordinating minister solely to please her mother, Megawati Soekarnoputri, the party’s chief patron.

  • Text your say: Jokowi’s Cabinet

    Your comments on the swearing in by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo of the 34 ministers of his new Cabinet on Monday, which some observers say constituted a compromise:

  • Your letters: Winding road toward tobacco cessation

    I went to sleep the other night feeling happy. Happy because we have a great person assigned as the new health minister, Prof. Nila Moeloek. Happy because she focuses on the preventive approaches of public health and is especially interested in stamping out the use of tobacco.

  • Welcoming Jokowi’s Working Cabinet

    In the Twitter age, six days seems like forever. That is how long it took for President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla to mull over and finally appoint 34 ministers to the Working Cabinet. Out of the 34, 20 are from the private sector or have extensive private-sector experience. A senior journalist said Jokowi wanted “CEO-type people who know how to get things done”. Ever since he was declared the winner of the presidential election, the public has wanted his Cabinet to be one filled with professionals, calling comparisons to the zaken kabinet (Working Cabinet) of the past.

  • Is God a democrat or a dictator? He is tolerant and loves diversity

    Yes and no. Supporters of hard-line Islam unabashedly pronounce that God was never a democrat, never is and never will be, implying at the same time that democracy is profane.

  • Work for the new energy minister: Restoring public trust

    After a few delays, finally President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced his Cabinet. And once again, he successfully surprised many.

  • Editorial: Expediting business licensing

    President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo aims to achieve what has eluded past leaders, including Soeharto who ruled for more than three decades with an iron fist. He is determined to expedite business licensing by streamlining arduous procedures and overlapping rules and transforming the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) into a fully fledged, one-stop licensing center for investment.

  • The underground river on the Philippines’ last frontier

    We followed the bridge between the mangrove trees to reach the Badjao Seafood Restaurant, which sat on wooden stilts in Kamia Bay, in Puerto Princesa, the city of forests, on the island of Palawan in the Philippines.

  • Andi Widjajanto named as Cabinet secretary

    Andi Widjajanto, one of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s closest aides, will soon serve as the new Cabinet secretary, pending an inauguration at the State Palace slated to be held next week.

  • Savoring Manila’s unique flair

    While Philippine Airlines and budget carrier Cebu Air make the one-hour trip from Manila to Puerto Princess’s airport twice a day, there’s no direct service from Jakarta to Palawan.

  • Tensions rise in Golkar as rivals attack Aburizal

    A group of Golkar Party politicians vying for the party’s top job have warned their incumbent chairman Aburizal Bakrie against abusing his authority to stay in power.

  • Guess what?: Anji launches new album

    JAKARTA: Singer Erdian Aji Prihartanto, popularly known as Anji, has released a self-titled album as a vehicle to expand his career throughout Asia.

  • Guess what?: Aline turns to acting from modeling

    JAKARTA: Model Aline Adita says she planned to focus more on acting and has gradually reduced her modeling activities.

  • Three foreign teams join IST

    Jakarta is all geared up to host the 19th Jakarta International Sixes Tournament on Nov. 1-2 in Cibubur. Eight teams, including three foreign teams this year, will be participating in the tournament.

  • Swing band misses old times of good music

    Jakarta-based swing band Leonardo and His Impeccable Six has finally released the CD version of their second album, Built To Race.

  • RI economy grew 5.0-5.1 percent

    Indonesia’s economy grew between 5.0-5.1 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, and the September trade balance was expected to show a small deficit, the country’s new finance minister said on Thursday.

  • Rupiah drops most in a month

    Indonesia’s rupiah fell the most in a month as the Federal Reserve’s decision to end its stimulus program spurred bets it’s on course to raise interest rates.

  • Four minimart robbers shot dead

    The Malang Police apprehended on Thursday a gang of assailants who allegedly committed a series of robberies at 28 minimarts across Malang regency, Malang city, Batu city, Pasuruan and Blitar in East Java.

  • Govt seeks to cut debt maturities

    The Indonesian government plans to shorten the average maturity on its government bonds as offering longer-term notes has raised interest costs to a record, said Robert Pakpahan, director-general at the debt-management office.

  • Police press on Jokowi defamation case

    The National Police on Thursday reiterated their commitment to continuing an investigation into a small-time worker in East Jakarta, who stands accused of posting a modified pornographic image that bears the faces of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri amid a public call to drop the case.

  • Commentary: Cutting red tape will reduce business risks, bolster investment

    President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s surprise inspection of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) on Tuesday, only one day after he installed his Working Cabinet, will not immediately solve the business licensing problems that have been plaguing the country.

  • Agribusiness, mining give Astra a boost

    Diversified conglomerate PT Astra International’s (ASII) automotive business has experienced pressure this year, but significant growth in its agribusiness and contract mining operations have lifted the company out of a slump.

  • BNI, BCA book double-digit profit growth

    Publicly listed lenders Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) and Bank Central Asia (BCA) managed to maintain healthy net interest margin (NIM) ratios, which eventually led the banks to book double-digit net profit growth throughout the January to September period.

  • Plantation firms’ results shine as sales, selling price pick up

    Publicly listed plantation firms reported shining results from their nine-month operations as net profits soared on the back of soaring sales and selling prices.

  • Jakarta, a city with many shopping centers

    Currently Jakarta has more than 170 malls, providing consumers with shopping venue options but at the same time causing worsening traffic congestion.

  • BI imposes stricter regulation on dollar loans

    The Indonesian central bank officially introduced on Thursday the much-anticipated regulation on foreign debts, which also includes a requirement to hedge part of offshore borrowings to reduce risks to domestic financial stability.

  • Semen Indonesia sees moderate profit growth, forex loss surges

    State-owned cement maker PT Semen Indonesia (SMGR) saw moderate increases in both its top and bottom lines in the first nine months of this year, mainly driven by the rising sales of ready-mix concrete.

  • PDI-P offers truce in standoff

    The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P)-led Great Indonesia Coalition struck a conciliatory note on Thursday after a month-long political standoff at the House of Representatives that culminated in the coalition establishing its own House leadership.

  • UK’s Premier set to open hotels in Bali, Yogyakarta

    UK-based budget hotel chain Premier Inn plans to open two hotels in Bali and Yogyakarta, respectively, next year to mark its debut in Indonesia’s growing budget hotel market.

  • Timah, Bukit Asam book solid Jan-Sept profits

    Publicly listed tin mining company Timah and coal miner Bukit Asam reported solid profits in the first nine months of 2014 year thanks to surging commodity prices.

  • Land law expected to expedite toll projects

    The implementation of a law on land procurement for public infrastructure next year is expected to help expedite around 35 toll road projects that are mostly being delayed because of land acquisition problems.

  • RI up three slots in ease-of-business rankings

    Starting a business in Indonesia has been made easier thanks to a series of economic reforms implemented over the past several years, according to a recent report by the World Bank (WB).

  • Jokowi’s administration plans reforms to boost tax collection

    President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said Thursday that he would reform the tax collection system in order to boost tax revenues from the increasing number of business organizations in Indonesia and the country’s growing middle class.

  • Coca-Cola to buy 29% stake in RI unit

  • MNC to launch Sindo TV

    Media conglomerate PT Media Nusantara Citra (MNC) will be launching next month its TV network, dubbed Sindo TV, which will be aired throughout the country.

  • City to install warning systems in flood areas

    In anticipation of the rainy season, the city administration will install disaster-warning systems in flood-prone subdistricts such as Bidaracina and Kampung Melayu in East Jakarta, Ulujami and Petogogan in South Jakarta, as well as Rawa Buaya in West Jakarta.

  • Jakarta to host creative products week

    The Jakarta Industry and Energy Agency will host the fourth edition of Creative Products Week, set to be held from Nov. 4 to 7 at the Bidakara Hotel in South Jakarta.

  • Judges deny woman’s lawsuit against mother

    Fatima, 90, who was sued by her daughter Nurhana and son-in-law Nurhakim due to a land dispute, can now let out a sigh of relief.

  • Police nab three suspects in brutal robbery

    A team consisting of officers from the Pekanbaru police and the Riau police arrested on Tuesday and Wednesday three suspects linked to a daytime robbery that took place on Jl. Sudirman in Pekanbaru, Riau.

  • Nusakambangan squatters to be evicted

    The Cilacap regency administration in Central Java is preparing to evict this week hundreds of squatters living on Nusakambangan Island.

  • Mayang’s body to arrive in Lampung on Friday

    The remains of Mayang Prasetyo, alias Febri Andriansyah, an Indonesian citizen who is believed to have been murdered by her lover in Brisbane, Australia, are scheduled to arrive in Bandar Lampung, Lampung, on Friday afternoon.

  • Residents alerted of volcanic material flow

    Residents living along the banks of the Gung River in Tegal regency and the Comal River in Pemalang regency, both in Central Java, have been advised to remain alert regarding the start of the rainy season in November as rainfall is expected to carry volcanic material from nearby Mount Slamet.

  • Red Cross launches mobile app on disasters

    The Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) has launched an Android-based mobile application that warns users of impending natural disasters and allows them to share disaster-related information.

  • New ministries put a halt to scholarship fund

    The inspector general of the now-defunct Education and Culture Ministry, Haryono Umar, said on Thursday that the merging of the ministry’s higher education directorate general (Dikti) with the Research and Technology Ministry, may result in the postponement of disbursement of domestic and international scholarships as well as operational funds for universities until April next year.

  • It’s not snow

    Foam generated from industrial waste accumulates in the East Flood Canal in the Pondok Kopi area in East Jakarta on Thursday. Almost all rivers and canals on Java are polluted by industrial waste from nearby factories. (Antara/Wahyu Putro)

  • Back to nature

    Men bring ashes from a recent Ngaben cremation ritual to the shoreline waters off Lokapaksa Beach in Buleleng, Bali, on Thursday, while a dog swims to fetch the remains of food left as offerings. Stray dogs in the area often live off the remains of such offerings, which consist of chicken meat, fruit and traditional snacks. (JP/Anggara Mahendra)

  • N. Korea cracking down on a distant threat: Ebola

    North Korea announced Thursday it will quarantine foreigners entering the country for 21 days over fears of the spread of the Ebola virus, even though no cases of the disease have been reported anywhere in Asia, and very few foreigners are allowed to enter.