Indonesia said yesterday it would probably strengthen anti-terrorism regulations to prevent attacks such as last week's bomb blast at a Jakarta hotel, as the US ambassador warned more attempts at attacks were likely. \nChief security minister Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told reporters the Cabinet would debate the issue tomorrow, but added the world's most populous Muslim nation would not copy draconian security laws used by its neighbors. \nAnti-terrorism regulations were introduced in the wake of last October's Bali bombings that killed 202 people, mostly foreigners, but are not as far reaching as laws used in Singapore and Malaysia. \nAuthorities have blamed the Bali and hotel bombings as well as others over the past year on militant Muslims linked to the regional Jemaah Islamiah group and Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda. \n"The main idea of the government is to revise the current law. Particularly, we will study whether the current regulation is accommodating enough or not," Yudhoyono told reporters. \nHowever, the government has "no thought" to "plagiarize the ISA [internal security acts] of Singapore and Malaysia." \n"The government is not as stupid as that, because our conditions are different, the substance is different," he said. \nThere have been calls by some officials for Indonesia to follow the Singapore and Malaysian examples of draconian internal security laws since the Aug. 5 bombing at the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, which killed 12 people and wounded up to 150. \nBut civil rights groups and some legislators have responded angrily to suggestions the government might seek to revive laws similar to those used by former autocrat Suharto during his 32 years of iron rule that ended in 1998. \nUS envoy to Jakarta Ralph Boyce said he had warned Americans to expect more attempts at terror attacks. \nIn remarks to reporters who asked him about a meeting of US citizens in the heavily guarded embassy complex earlier, Boyce said a theme of his comments was that "we believe it likely there will be further attempts" by militants at such attacks. \nHe said he also suggested to those at the gathering that if they left the meeting more concerned or even more frightened than when they came they would have got the message. \nThe meeting itself was off the record to the media. \nWashington has already issued several warnings, most recently on August 8, of terrorist threats in Indonesia, and said places where Americans and other foreigners gather or reside are potential targets. \nWhile all but one of those who died in the Aug. 5 Marriott attack were Indonesians, the hotel was viewed as a Western symbol, and had been used by the US embassy for various events. \nAustralia issued a warning yesterday for its citizens to avoid all international hotels in Jakarta after new intelligence found the capital could be under threat of further attacks.
‘WITHIN SAFE LIMITS’: Hong Kong is to ask authorities in Guangdong for updates regarding the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant and inform the public of developments The Hong Kong government is closely watching a nearby Chinese nuclear power plant following a news report that it might be leaking, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥) said yesterday. The plant’s operators have released few details, but nuclear experts have said that based on their brief public statement, the facility might be suffering a leak of gas from fuel rods inside a reactor. Government data showed that radiation levels in Hong Kong were normal on Monday night, Lam said. Data from the Hong Kong Observatory showed radiation levels were still normal yesterday. A French company that helps manage the Taishan Nuclear
Maori might have been the first to discover Antarctica, with connections to the icy continent and its surrounding oceans stretching back to the seventh century, researchers say. A new paper by University of Otago combines literature and oral histories, and concludes that Maori were likely the first people to explore Antarctica’s surrounding waters and possibly the continent in the distance. They write that Maori and Polynesian journeys to the deep south have been occurring for a long time, perhaps as far back as the 7th century, and are recorded in a variety of oral traditions. The oral histories of Maori groups Ngti Rrua
Until recently, the location of executed Japanese prime minister Hideki Tojo’s remains was one of World War II’s biggest mysteries in the nation he once led. Now, a Japanese university professor has revealed declassified US military documents that appear to hold the answer. The documents show the cremated ashes of Tojo, one of the masterminds of the Pearl Harbor attack, were scattered from a US Army aircraft over the Pacific Ocean about 50km east of Yokohama, Japan’s second-largest city. It was a tension-filled, highly secretive mission, with US officials taking extreme steps to keep Tojo’s remains, and those of six others executed
In India’s capital, New Delhi, thousands of commuters yesterday crowded into underground train stations and shopping malls, prompting some doctors to say that it could lead to a resurgence in COVID-19 infections. Major Indian cities have begun lifting strict lockdowns as the nationwide tally of new infections has dropped to its lowest level in more than two months. However, disease experts and doctors have cautioned that a race toward resuming business as usual would compromise vaccination efforts, as only about 5 percent of all 950 million eligible adults have been inoculated. Doctors have said New Delhi’s near-complete reopening is concerning. The city’s authorities