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Legislator Urges Minister To Regulate Repeat Hajj

Sab, Okt 24, 2009

Banda Aceh ( Berita ) : The religious minister should immediately issue a regulation which
bans repeated hajj pilgrimage and to give first-time pilgrims a chance to pay their obligation
in the Holy Land, a legislator said.

I think the religious affairs minister should issue the regulation soon so that first-time hajj
pilgrims would not wait for their turn too long, Sayed Fuad Zakaria of the Commission 8 of
the House of Representatives (DPR), said here on Saturday.

He made the remarks in response the discourse on how to overcome the problem of waiting
lists of would-be hajj pilgrims. Zakaria said that with the hajj registration that could be done
any time, the number of prospective hajj pilgrims had continued to swell in a number of
provinces, including Aceh.

So, those who have paid a hajj pilgrimage should be banned from paying hajj again, or be
given a time restriction for example five or ten years after which they could be allowed to go
to the Holy Land again, the legislator said.

For this years hajj pilgrimage season, Indonesian hajj pilgrimage groups have begun leaving
for the Holy Land on Friday. Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali on Friday morning
at the Soekarno-Hatta international airport saw off the first batch of the countrys would-be
hajj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.

The first batch of would-be hajj pilgrims flown by Garuda Indonesia airplanes on Friday
morning was part of the 192,835 people in this year hajj season.
Vietnam 2010 ASEAN Chairman
Sab, Jan 2, 2010

Jakarta ( Berita ) : Vietnam officially assumed the position of ASEAN chairman on Januray 1
till December 31, 2010, replacing Thailand. Vietnam will focus on cooperation with other
ASEAN member countries in speeding up the implementation of various agreements, plans
and programs, the ASEAN Secretariat disclosed in Jakarta on Friday.

The programs consist of the ASEAN Charter and the ASEAN Roadmap (2009-2015) to
improve relations between the ASEAN member countries, and to enhance regional

ASEAN Secretary-General Dr Surin Pitsuwan said that he was impressed with the
preparations made by Viet Nam in taking over the ASEAN chairmanship. The new Chair has
a clear set of priorities and agenda which are useful as an implementation and support guide
for ASEAN Member States, the ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Dialogue Partners and other
external parties, he added.

Annual sectoral plans, which have been prepared by Viet Nam well in advance, will be handy
for the stakeholders to know what support to provide and how to mobilize resources. The
plans outline a detailed work programme for each ministerial body with clear objectives,
activities, goals and targets in accordance with the ASEAN Charter and the Roadmap for an
ASEAN Community.

Dr Surin also expressed high appreciation to Thailand for its excellent Chairmanship in 2009
and welcome Viet Nam as the new Chair for the year ahead and hoped for closer cooperation
with Vietnam.

Viet Nams theme for its Chairmanship is Towards the ASEAN Community: from Vision to
Action, and the year 2010 marks the 15th year of Viet Nams accession to ASEAN.

Govt not worried about losing Golkar, presidential

spokesman says
Monday, February 15, 2010

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government has not seen until now the possibility of Golkar
Party leaving the coalition, presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha said here on Monday.

He said the government meanwhile also was not worried following a recent statement from
Golkar executive Priyo Budi Santoso that Golkar would rather leave the coalition than
weakening its stance with regard to the investigation of the Century Bank bailout case by the
House committee.

"The government has not seen the possibility of the development going in the direction. It is
neither worried over the problem," he said.

Julian said the government still considered the situation conducive for reaching understanding
with regard to unveiling the truth in the case.

He said although the President had heard Priyo`s statement he did not give any response to it.

What is clear is President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono remains putting forward the
importance of disclosing the truth of the case by the committee, he said.

On the relations between President Yudhoyono as the Democrat Party`s chief patron and
Golkar Party general chairman Aburizal Bakries he said the two still continued making

In a discussion forum last week Priyo said it would be better for Golkar to resign from the
government`s coalition than having to weaken its stance towards the Century Bank case in the
inquiry committee.

Priyo also said that Golkar would not just follow the Democrat Party with regard to the
committee`s final say on the issue which would be made known early next month.

Regarding the statement from the United Development Party (PPP) that the party had been
disappointed following the naming of its cadres as suspects in corruption cases Julian said
there was no political element involved with regard to the case handling.

"We considered the legal processes that occurred as mere legal procedures while law enforcers
are just carrying out their task as professionally as possible. So, there has not been any
politicization," he said.

Julian also called against linking the attack at the Bendera organization`s headquarters
recently with politics, moreover to the presidential palace and President Susilo Bambang

"The national police`s crimes and intelligence agency has already stated that it is a pure crime.
So referring to the police`s statement the incident is not related with politics moreover the
President," he said.

Julian declined to comment when asked about a terror incident experienced by a member of
the Century Bank inquiry committee.

RI help towards solving southern thailand conflict

Monday, February 15, 2010
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya has expressed appreciation
for Indonesia`s assistance toward the solution of the conflict in southern Thailand where most
people are Muslims.

"We thank Indonesia, especially Muhammadiyah (the second largest Muslim organization in
Indonesia) for its help in providing training opportunities and scholarships for southern
Thailand students and teachers to study in Indonesia," Kasit said here on Monday after a
meeting with his Indonesian counterpart, Marty Natalegawa.

Kasit said Thailand`s neighbors such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Pakistan had during the past
year given assistance for the implementation of capacity building projects for children and
women in southern Thailand.

He said the Thai government had during the past one year carried out a comprehensive
development program worth more than US$1 billion in southern Thailand in an effort to
mitigate the conflict.

"We also encourage members of the cabinet, police officials, prominent civilian figures in
Thai society to reach out to the Muslim community in southern Thailand so as to help
promote the peace process there," Kasit said.

For his part, Minister Marty Natalegawa commended the Thai government`s efforts to
stabilize the situation and promote development in southern Thailand.

"I and Minister Kasit have exchanged ideas and experience on how to handle conflicts in our
respective countries," Marty said.

Bali needs to prepare for welcoming Sun Princess

Monday, February 15, 2010

Denpasar (ANTARA News) - Bali tourist agencies need to make preparations to welcome Sun
Princess a highly luxurious tourist ship with a total of 2,342 passengers, not to mention a crew
of 814, which is scheduled to call at Bali in May 2010.
The preparations need to include improvement of Benoa port and supporting facilities, and
transportation from the port to various destinations, head of Bali`s education and training of
SIPCO (Society of Indonesian Professional Congress Organizers) Ni Made Eka Mahadewi
said here Sunday.

She made the statement in response to a meeting of the Marketing Directorate General of the
Ministry of Culture and Tourism with all-Bali regents, tourist officials, the transportation
agency, and many other relevant government and private institutions in charge of building a
pier, at the Bali Governor`s office recently.

This year Bali will also be visited by Australian yachts with 22 visits and a total of 32,692
passengers, Costa Crociere with 28 visits and 28,572 passengers, and Seabourn with four
visits with 1,298 passengers.

The planned visits by a number of tourist ships and yachts with thousands of passengers will
significantly raise the number of foreign tourists to Bali, which last year has received more
than two million foreign tourists.

RI, Thailand discuss cooperation in fishery field

Monday, February 15, 2010

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa and his Thai counterpart
Kasit Piromya met here on Monday to discuss efforts to enhance bilateral cooperation in the
fishery field.

"We agreed to promote bilateral cooperation in the fishery field. We plan not only to permit
Thailand to fish in Indonesian waters but also invest here," Marty said at a joint press
conference with Kasit at the Foreign Ministry building here on Monday.

Marty said the concerned officials from the two countries were drafting a Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) of fishery cooperation. He expected the draft to be finished within the
next six months.

Meanwhile, Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya who was making an official visit to
Indonesia on Feb 14-15, 2010, emphasized the importance of fishery cooperation between the
two countries.

Indonesia, he said, was one of the world`s largest fish producers while Thailand was one of
the countries with the biggest fish processing industries in the world.

"We hope the cooperation will be of mutual, not unilateral benefit." Kasit said adding the
MoU on fishery cooperation would prevent illegal fishing activities which had been
happening for many years in both countries` waters.

BPOM finally acts against hazardous snacks at schools

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The elementary students. (ANTARA/Yusran Uccang)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - It is surely a great relief for parents when they read news on steps
being taken by the Drug and Food Supervision Agency (BPOM) to stop the sale of snacks
containing hazardous chemical substances at or near schools.

Even parents who are aware of the risk of consuming food or drinks sold by hawkers, are
helpless when their children, tempted by the colorful snacks and beverages on offer at or near
their eschools, do so.
The best they can do is tell their children not to buy colorful snacks and beverages, but
children`s other favorite snacks like `mie bakso` (meatball and noodle soup), crackers and
fried tofu might also contain hazardous substances.

A number of children`s snacks sold at many schools in a number of cities contain hazardous
chemical substances such as borax, textile color dyes and formaldehyde.

BPOM officers in Semarang, Central Java, recently discovered snacks containing hazardous
substances for sale at a number of schools there. Semarang`s BPOM spokesman Supriyanto
Utomo said officers using a special liquid and ultraviolet light, found out that noodles and
crispies sold at several elementary schools in Semarang contained formaldehyde and textile
dye such as Rhodamin B.

In Yogyakarta, the local BPOM found out that 40 percent of the snacks sold in schools contain
artificial sweeteners and coloring substances.

"Food that is mixed with saccharin and coloring agents is unhealthy and hazardous to health,"
regulation and human resource management division head at the Yogyakarta Health Office
Tuti Setyowati said in Yogyakarta on Wednesday, as reported by the Jakarta Post.

Consuming saccharin on a long-term basis would have a negative impact on people`s health
because it could cause migraine and headaches, memory loss, insomnia, irritation and could
trigger cancer.

Earlier this month, similar findings were revealed by BPOM in Mataram, West Nusa
Tenggara. At state-run elementary school SDN 2 Mataram agency officers found Popsicles
containing coloring agents for textiles and borax and formaldehyde in noodle products and
flour balls locally known as `cilok`.

In Jakarta, BPOM Chief Husniah Rubiana Thamrin Akib accompanied Health Minister Endah
Rahayu Sedyaningsih when inspecting a mobile laboratory supervising snacks at school, at
Menteng Dalam 02 elementary school on Tuesday (Jan. 12).

"We have checked snacks at 4,500 elementary schools. We have not recapitulated the results,
but the results are varied, between three percents and 20 percents of the snacks contain
hazardous chemical substances," Husniah said.

Borax or borax acid is antiseptic used for detergent and if eaten, it could cause digestion
problem, diarrhea, and kidney damage, she said. However, borax is often used to make
meatball, fresh noddle and crackers.

Formaldehyde is chemical substance usually used for disinfectant and plywood adhesive as
well as disinfectant. However, it is also sometimes used to preserve tofu and fresh noddle.
Formaldehyde could cause diarrhe, headache, level, brain and cardiac damages.

Synthetic dyes for textile, Rhodamin B (red) and Methanil Yellow are often used in making
sauce, crackers and cakes. It might harm digestive system and lever`s function.
BPOM was trying to deal with the problem by operating mobile laboratories to check snacks
being offered at schools, Husnia said.

The mobile`s laboratory operators took samples of the snacks and then briefed school
managers and snack traders, she said. BPOM now has 22 mobile laboratories being operated
in six cities, namely Serang, Surabaya, Semarang, Yogyakarta, Bandung and Jakarta.

"The ideal number should be 140 mobile laboratories to serve all provinces, but we don`t have
adequate funds," she said.

BPOM jointly with the national education ministry also gave guidance to school`s canteens,
including the Menteng Dalam 02 elementary school which was twice visited by BPOM`s
mobile laboratory.
The elementary school has assigned a teacher to supervise the school`s canteens, which are
not allowed to sell food using synthetic dyes, preservatives, and MSG. However, outside the
school`s yard, there are still some vendors selling colorful beverages, cereals and fried snacks.

It seems that school children`s snack problem has also become a concern of UNESCO.
UNESCO `s Jakarta Office has supported a program of environmentally friendly elementary
schools and revitalization of elementary school canteens in Jakarta.

The program has been implemented since July 2009 by involving around 50 elementary
schools in Jakarta, according to Nuning Wirjoatmodjo, the program`s coordinator, here on

State elementary schools SDN 01 in Gambir (Central Jakarta) and SDN 01 in Pasar Minggu
(South Jakarta) have been appointed pilot projects for the program, which includes trainings
for trainers in integrated waste management and nutrition.

Food sold in Indonesian school canteens in general does not meet health standards, according
to Andang Widhawari Gunawan ND, a nutritionist, when speaking at a workshop on school
canteen revitalization and climate change sponsored by UNESCO Jakarta Office at
environmentally friendly kampong Banjarsari, Cipete, South Jakarta,last December 2009.

Quite a number of children were suffering from diseases such as cancer, diabetes and high
cholesterol which are supposed to be found only in adults, she said.

Andang Gunawan called on the government, in this case BPOM, the health ministry and the
education ministry, to take serious steps to stop completely the selling of the hazardous snacks
and beverages at and near schools.

House commission selects supreme justice candidates

Monday, February 15, 2010

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Commission III of the House of Representatives will hold a fit and
proper test of the 21 supreme justice candidates after passing an administrative test at the
Judicial Commission starting from Monday (Feb 15).

The House Commission III chairman Benny K Harman said in Jakarta Sunday this time the
selection of chief justices will be those of high quality with a vision and mission, as well as
high integrity and commitment to build the judicial institution.
"The ways of selection will also be different from the previous one," Benny K Harman said.

He said by applying quality requirements, it is hoped the elected supreme court judges would
meet the people`s hopes and aspirations of bringing improvements to the existing legal
institutions and eradicating practices of law mafia. Deputy chairman of House Commission III
Azis Syamsuddin said the names of the 21 prospective chief justices had already been
received by the leadership of the Judicial Commission last week after they passed the
administrative selection. The 15 candidates are career judges, and six are non-career judges.

He said in the first stage of the selection applied by Commission III, the candidates are
required to make their vision and mission in writing which will later be submitted to members
of the House Commission III.

"This pattern is a breakthrough of Commission III to see how far the candidates have a vision
and mission, as well as commitment to law enforcement," he said.

He said that under Law No.3 of 2009 on the Supreme Court, the House of Representatives
will choose not more than one third of the total number of candidates, namely seven.

The selection will be conducted by Commission III for four days until Thursday (Feb 18).

The 21 supreme justice candidates who will be undergoing the fit and proper test at
Commission III are:

1. H Yulius (career judge)

2. Sutoyo (career judge)
3. Brig Gen Burhan Dahlan (career judge)
4. Moeniro (career judge)
5. Soltoni Mohdally (career judge)
6. Madya Suhardja (career judge)
7. H Sjam Amansjah (career judge)
8. Nommy HT Siahaan (career judge)
9. Soemarno (career judge)
10. Abdul Wahid (career judge)
11. Dr H Supandi (career judge)
12. H Achmad Yamanie SH MH (career judge)
13. Purnawati (career judge)
14. Muhammad Saleh (career judge)
15. Fransiscus Loppy (career judge)

and the remaining six:

1. Kol CHk Natsri Anshari

2. Dr Wijayanto Setiawan
3. Prof Dr Surya Jaya
4. Dr Salman Luthan
5. Prof Dr Basuki Rekso Wibowo
6. Prof Dr Yohanes Sogar Simamoraare (non-career judges)

Aceh holds 2010 transvestites pageant

Monday, February 15, 2010

Banda Aceh (ANTARA News) - Some 40 transvestites took part in the 2010 Aceh Social and
Cultural Ambassador pageant which has also become a transvestites gathering forum in Aceh.

"The Aceh Social and Cultural Ambassador pageant was held as an Acehnese transvestites
gathering forum in Aceh," said chief of the event`s organizers Jimmy in Banda Aceh, Sunday.

A contestant from Lhokseumawe, Angga alias Zifana Lestisia, was chosen ambassador in the
event at the state-run radio station, RRI, here on Saturday (13/2)
Besides to strengthen the Aceh transvestites group, the event is also held to eliminate negative
stigma on transsexual communities.

"The event is to prove that transsexuals can also make positive contributions to the society,"
Jimmy said.

Before holding the event, the organizers had also obtained permission from the Banda Aceh
Ulemas, Jimmy said.

A week before the event`s final, all the participants are quarantined in an orphanage to learn
about human rights and social affairs matters, according to Jimmy.

During their quarantine the participants in the orphanage were promoting their social
awareness, because the juries are not only judging their beauty but social awareness and
mastery of science as well.

On election night, each contestant had to wear Acehnese traditional clothes from where they
came from, and the winner will participate in a national transvestites pageant

Zifana Lestisia said that the elected Social and Cultural Ambassador will try to introduce Aceh
culture at national level and proof that transvestites in the region also apply Islamic law in the

News Focus: Govt to pursue tax evaders amid Century

bailout issue
Thursday, February 11, 2010

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government is preparing the launching of a concerted drive to
catch errant tax-payers in an initiative which also appears to be directed at the boss of the
Golkar Party whose members in the House Century Inquiry Committee have been consistently
critical of alleged violations in the Bank Century bailout process.

The National Police`s Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim) will soon sign a
memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the finance minister to deal with tax dodgers
from whom the directorate general has targeted to collect Rp5.3 trillion in unpaid taxes this

Three mining companies in Golkar Party Chairman Aburizal Bakrie`s business empire, Bakrie
Group, allegedly owe Rp2.1 trillion in unpaid taxes to the state, an amount which accounts for
40.93 percent of tax arrears the finance ministry`s directorate general of taxes aims to collect
in 2010.

To achieve the target, the directorate general is planning to conduct joint operations with the
police to deal with those involved in tax cases, its chief, Muhammad Tjiptadjo said.

"We will cooperate with the national and regional police commands. We will conduct joint
operations," Muhammad said.

With the cooperation with police, the directorate general of taxation would increase efforts to
collect tax arrears. This year`s target of Rp5.3 trillion is higher than that in 2009 accounting
for Rp3.36 trillion and in 2008 valued at Rp2.52 trillion.

According to Tjiptardjo, the total amount of outstanding tax receivables is about Rp51 trillion.

Meanwhile, police have expressed readiness to assist. Police chief investigator Commissioner
General Ito Sumardi said police were ready to investigate tax manipulation cases.

"In carrying out their investigation, police will probe the audit results of the director general
of tax affairs," the head of the Police Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim) said.

The crimes that the police are going to investigate included document forgery, fraud, false
statements, embezzlement and money laundering.

"If they don`t pay taxes, they will be dealt with by the directorate general of tax affairs. But if
they produced false documents in paying taxes, then they will be dealt with by police,"
Sumardi said.

He said that in an effort to support the government in collecting unpaid taxes, police and the
finance minister will soon sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU). "The MoU will help
intensify legal efforts against tax dodgers," he said.

Last month, legislator of the Democratic Party Sutan Bhatoegana who is also a member of the
House Commission VII for mining affairs called on the government to settle alleged tax
arrears owed to the state by three mining firms under the Bakrie Group worth Rp2.1 trillion.

"Unpaid taxes by companies must be claimed soon because the money belongs to the people
and state," he said.

He made the remarks in response to allegations of tax arrears worth Rp2.1 trillion by three
Bakrie Group mining companies, namely PT Bumi Resources, PT Kaltim Prima Coal (KPC)
and PT Arutmin Indonesia.

Bumi Resources allegedly owes Rp376 billion in unpaid taxes to the state, KPC Rp1.5 trillion
and Arutmin Rp300 billion.

Bhatoegana said that the government should apply persuasive approaches in dealing with the
unpaid taxes by the big mining firms. The alleged unpaid taxes must first be clarified to the
companies concerned.

"If dispensation is to be given to indebted firms, there would be no problem as long as it is not
against the law," he said. If possible, the government allows the Bakrie Group to pay its tax
arrears through an instalment scheme, if it is unable to pay in cash.

He said the important thing was that the tax arrears should be paid.
Senior Vice President, Investor Relations, of Bumi Resources Dileep Srivastava said his
company was still waiting for clarifications from the directorate general of taxes with regard
to the alleged unpaid taxes worth Rp2.1 trillion.

Meanwhile, Golkar Party Chairman Aburizal Bakrie said he was not a tax dodger with regard
to the allegation that companies in the Bakrie Group were among the biggest errant tax

"I am not a tax cheater, because the alleged errant tax payers are companies. After all, the
companies have different interpretation with regard to the tax arrears with the directorate
general of taxation," Aburizal Bakrie who is also a former chief minister for people`s welfare
affairs, said after installing regional executives of Golkar in Southeast Sulawesi.

The Golkar chairman also explained that the Bakrie family was only a minority shareholder in
companies under the Bakrie Group. In PT Bumi Resources, for example, the Bakrie family
only owned seven percent of the shares while the remaining belonged to the public.

He said that the different interpretation should first be settled in court. Thus, unpaid taxes
could not be said tax arrears if the problem of differing interpretation has not yet been decided
in courts.

"In the directorate general announcement, tens of firms were alleged to be tax evaders, yet all
of them denied it," he said.

He said that if only one company which denied the allegation, possibly it was the company
concerned which was wrong. But there were tens of companies, including state-owned firms

"Therefore, the best way to solve the alleged tax arrears is to take it to the court, not to the
mass media," he said.

On the occasion, besides refusing to be called a tax dodger, Aburizal also rejected a statement
by certain quarters that there was a tax evader who was trying to politicize the Bank Century
bailout case.

"I am not orchestrating such a politicization. Such a statement should be proven so that it
would not create a public lie. The Bank Century case is a genuine matter of people interest
and has nothing to do with taxes," he said.

He said that all Golkar`s legislators at the parliament were politicians which did not have the
rights to lift the tax arrears issue as an instrument to mount a political pressure.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Monday ordered the National Police to hunt down
anyone suspected of tax evasion.

According to the Jakarta Globe, Yudhoyono`s order came after a senior presidential aide
suggested that politicians pushing the investigation into the government`s Rp6.7 trillion
bailout were the same one who were allegedly guilty of tax evasion.

RI, Australia conduct research in Ashmore Reef

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian and Australian governments planned a joint
fishery survey and research in the Ashmore Reef to settle the dispute in the MoU Box area.

Head of the International and Inter Institutional Cooperation Center of the Ministry of Marine
and Fishery Affairs Anang Nugroho said in Jakarta Wednesday that with regard to the
settlement of the dispute between the two countries in the Ashmore Reef region as agreed in
the MoU Box, the two sides discussed several things including the important joint survey and
research on fishery commodities in the region.

In addition, he said, conservation in the MoU Box region is linked to the method of fishing
molluscs of the traditional fishermen, and the alternative livelihood implementation under the
Coastal Community Development program.

He added that the joint research in the region is aimed at obtaining joint data on the
availability of fish stocks in the region, so that it would be clear what species need

In the meeting between Minister of Marine and Fishery Affairs Fadel Muhammad and
Australian Ambassador Bill Farmer, he said that the discussion also touched on bilateral
cooperation between the two countries. In the marketing of fishery products under the
ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement.

Identification of the management of the Arafuru marine ecosystem through the Australia
Timor Sea Forum (ATSEF) and fostered institutional cooperation through the Coral Triangle
Initiative forum was also taken up, Anang added.

The two, he said, also discussed joint fishery management like tuna and carp fishery data and
information system in East Indonesia.

In addition, they also discussed the development of method and database by logbook, and
observer program for tuna and red carp fishery.

"Avatar" dethroned at box office by "Dear John"

Monday, February 8, 2010

Los Angeles (ANTARA News/Reuters) - The new romantic drama "Dear John" unexpectedly
ended the seven-week reign of "Avatar" at the weekend box office in North America on
Sunday, pulling in large numbers of young female moviegoers.

"Dear John" grossed an estimated $32.4 million in the three-day period since opening Friday,
said distributor Screen Gems, the low-budget division of Sony Corp.
It had hoped for an opening of about $20 million on a weekend when many Americans
forsake movies to watch the Super Bowl, traditionally the year`s most-watched television
broadcast. The football championship starts around 6:25 pm in Miami.

"Dear John" stars Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried as lovers whose romance is curtailed
by the September 11 attacks. It is directed by Swedish filmmaker Lasse Hallstrom and based
on "The Notebook," a novel by Nicholas Sparks.

Audiences for the film were 84 percent female and two-thirds were under the age of 21, Sony

The last romantic comedy to hit theaters was the widely panned "Leap Year" about a month
ago. "The Lovely Bones," another box office disappointment, also has made a play for young
women after failing to get any traction during the annual movie awards season.

"Avatar" earned $23.6 million in its eighth weekend, taking its total to $630.1 million. James
Cameron`s sci-fi blockbuster surpassed the $601 million haul of his 1997 release "Titanic"
last Tuesday to become the biggest movie of all time in the United States and Canada.

The data are not adjusted for ticket-price inflation or for the higher cost of 3D engagements.
The film was released by 20th Century Fox, a unit of News Corp..

WWF launches campaign to save Sumatran tiger

Thursday, February 11, 2010
Sumatran tigers.

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Indonesia is to launch a public
campaign in support of efforts to conserve the Sumatran tiger, a spokesperson said.

The campaign as part of WWF`s "Year of the Tiger" program would be held in Jakarta
February 12-13 and involve many elements of society, including environmental activists,
governmental agencies handling environmental matters and the business community,
Desnarita Murni, a WWF Indonesia coordinator, said here Thursday.

The purpose of the campaign was to persuade the general public to develop concern for the
fate of the Sumatran tiger which was the only surviving tiger species in Indonesia, she said.

"The number of Sumatran tigers living in the wild in Indonesia has now declined to about
400, So we must all do our best to preserve them, if we don`t want the species to die out,"
Murni said.

The Sumatran tiger had become endangered because of the high frequency of tiger-hunting

"Trade in tiger body parts is continuing. More and more tiger habitats are being destroyed by
human activities. So, if we don`t take joint actions, their extinction will only be a matter of
time," she said.

WWF had also invited the government, the business world and other parties to take part in the
campaign, "Preservation of our bio-diversity requires the cooperation of all. WWF cannot
work without the support of other parties," Murni said.

Villagers allowed to kill long-tail monkeys

Saturday, February 13, 2010
Banda Aceh (ANTARA News) - Villagers in Aceh are now allowed to kill long-tail monkeys
(Macaca Fascicularis) because the apes often enter and hide in their homes.

"If villagers think the animals` disturb the peace, they may kill the apes becauses they are not
a protected species," the head of the province`s Nature Resource Conservation (BKSDA),
Abubakar Chekmat, said here on Saturday.

He said tens of long tail monkeys now often emerged in a number of residential areas in
Banda Aceh city such as in Lampriet and Beurawe.

"According to information they were pets of some villagers before the tsunami disaster
occured in 2004. After the disaster their owners might have gone and therefore the
monkeys have turned wild," he said.

The villagers particularly children have indeed been worried about the presence of the
animal."So if they are considered disturbing it is alright to kill them," he said.

Some villagers in Beurawe said they had been disturbed by the presence of three long tail
monkeys in their residential area in the past two weeks.

"We feel not peaceful because of their presence. We fear they will bite children. The animals
have even shown no fear of people," he said," Sulaiman, a resident of Beurawe, said.

Villagers hoped BKSDA would catch the animal. "We are hope for an immediate handling of
the problem by the office concerned to assure safety and peace," Burhanuddin, another
villager of Beurawe, said.
Students expelled from school for insulting teacher on
Friday, February 12, 2010

Tanjungpinang (ANTARA News) - Four students at state senior high school (SMU) 4 in
Tanjungpinang, Riau Islands province, have been expelled for insulting a female teacher on
the social networking website facebook, a source said.

"We have expelled them for posting dirty words about the female teacher on facebook," the
school`s vice principal , Yose Rizal, said here on Friday.

Yose explained the four students got upset with the teacher and posted improper words on
facebook to vent their anger. The words, he added, were very offensive to women and should
not have been used in a public media such as facebook.

Aldo, one of the four student`s classmates, said he was disappointed by the school`s decision
to expel his friends.

"The teacher should also introspect about why the students posted something negative about
her on facebook," he said.
RI to fight for Karate`s inclusion in Olympics
Saturday, January 16, 2010

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - National Sports Council (KONI) Chairwoman Rita Subowo said
Indonesia will fight for the inclusion of karate as a competition number in the international
Olympics as it was known as a martial arts branch throughout the world.

"After Rio de Janeiro in 2016, we will strive to have Karate recognized as a number in the
Olympics," Subowo said after opening the 13th congress of the Indonesian Karate-Do
Federation (PB Forki) at the KONI building here Saturday.

According to Subowo, Karate deserved to be a competition event in international sporting

events like the Olympics because similar martial arts branches were also part of the Olympic

"Taekwondo and Wushu are compettion events in the Olympic Games, why can`t Karate
which is better known in the international arena enter the Olympics," she said.
Subowo said Indonesia was keen on getting Karate included in the international event because
Indonesia had made promising achievements in the Japanese martial arts branch.

"We believe the quality of Indonesian karate athletes can be better developed if they know that
karate is a competition number in the Olympics," she added.

Through continuous lobbying with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and with the
support of other countries with similar interest, Subowo said, she was optimistic Indonesia`s
aspiration would eventually be fulfilled.