JAKARTA, Indonesia – The latest updates on AirAsia QZ8501 and the response from Indonesia on the Charlie Hebdo attack lead our wrap of stories.
1. Answers to AirAsia questions expected soon
Answers to questions surrounding AirAsia Indonesia's fatal QZ8501 flight are expected to come soon: What caused the crash? Who gave AirAsia permission to fly from Surabaya on December 28, a Sunday and the day of the crash, when it supposedly wasn't licensed to do so? Indonesian officials said ping signals believed to be from the black box data recorders of crashed AirAsia Flight 8501 were detected Friday, January 9, and divers are trying to reach it. The black boxes, of course, are regarded as crucial to explaining the cause of the disaster, as they should contain recordings of the pilots' final words and general flight data. Also, the Transport Ministry is expected to announce on Friday the findings of an audit into scheduling of flights in the domestic aviation industry. Read the full story on Rappler.
2. Indonesian Ulema Council condemns attack on 'Charlie Hebdo'
Along with other moderate Muslims around the world, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) – the highest authority in Islam in the world's most populous Muslim nation – has condemned the brutal terrorist attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo that left 12 people dead, even as it says it objected to the magazine's content. "We object to the content of Charlie Hebdo, although they are published on the basis of freedom of expression. But, it was not right to protest against the content of the French satirical weekly by murdering people. Their action goes against Islamic values because protests can be registered within the realm of law," MUIs Foreign Affairs and International Relations Chairman Muhyidin Junaidi said Thursday, January 8, according to state news agency Antara.
3. After motorcycles, Jakarta eyes restrictions on cars too
File photo by EPA
If Jakarta is to solve its notorious traffic problem, it can't only target motorcycles, of course. In the wake of what the government claims to be an effective system of banning motorcycles on certain roads, Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama said Friday cars shouldn't feel left out: Restrictions on where cars can go and what kind of cars can ply the roads will eventually be released. Jakarta has been testing an Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system on key roads, which the governor said would be implemented buy 2016. He added he's also considering a ban on cars older than 10 years old. Read the full Rappler story in Bahasa Indonesia.
4. Indonesian police halt planned gathering of Islamic State supporters
A plan by alleged supporters of the Islamic State (IS) movement to hold a gathering in Semarang, Central Java, on Sunday has apparently been canceled after police talked to the organizers. “Yes, a group of people promoted the gathering at a mosque by putting up posters that depicted the IS flag, but we have met with them and they have agreed to cancel it,” National Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Agus Rianto said on Thursday. The poster, which was first published on Indonesian hard-line website al-mustaqbal.net, invited people to join a talk titled “They are jihadists, not those who abandon Islam: Defending the Caliphate that has been defamed”. Terrorism expert Noor Huda Ismail said many Muslim activists end up joining IS after they attend such gatherings. Read the full story from the Jakarta Post.
5. More than 100 babies test positive for HIV in one province
Voluntary tests revealed that 105 babies in East Nusa Tenggara province were positive for HIV. "The most is in the city of Kupang and Belu," East Nusa Tenggara AIDS Prevention Commission chairman Husein Pancratius told reporters on Friday, January 9. But this number is smaller than the actual number of those infected, he explained, as many districts do not implement the Voluntary Counseling and Testing program, Tempo.co reported. As of 2014, there were 3,041 people living with HIV and AIDS in the province. – Rappler.com