Indonesia's acting security minister has warned that April legislative elections could be postponed, citing delays in purchasing and sending polling material to many districts across the far-flung archipelago, according to a media report yesterday. \nHari Sabarno told The Jakarta Post that it was unlikely that ballots and other polling material could be delivered by the April 5 vote and said that a decision would be made today on whether to postpone the elections. \nIn recent days, regional election officials have complained they still have not received upwards of 660 million ballot papers. Delays have also been reported in printing the ballots and procuring ballot boxes. \nThe General Election Commission, however, says that it has no plans to push back the date of polls. It said it would consult with the House of Representatives in the next few days to determine what, if any action, must be taken to speed up the distribution of election materials. \nIndonesia is made up of nearly 17,000 islands and some areas are only reachable by boat or plane. It has forced the election commission to consider some unusual approaches to getting out the vote, including transporting ballots by donkey and Air Force cargo planes. \nRestrictions have also been placed on foreign journalists trying to visit war-torn Aceh province ahead of April parliamentary elections, the foreign ministry said yesterday. \nAs part of a lengthy bureaucratic process, reporters will now have to submit six different documents, including a recommendation letter from the general electoral commission, before the military will issue a permit. \n"We have to know that the reporters have a clear purpose there. This is so the military can protect them," said Marti Natalegawa, a foreign ministry spokesman. \nForeign correspondents have complained that onerous press rules have made it all but impossible for them to visit the province on the northern tip of Sumatra island.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
They stand as eyesores to most passers-by and potential public health risks to authorities, decaying buildings wrapped in tangles of exposed wire, studded with protruding leaky plastic pipes, vegetation billowing from cracks and terraces where particulates from polluted air have accumulated over time. With skyscrapers and ultramodern developments on every side, some of these “nail houses” are also sitting on land worth millions of dollars in Shenzhen’s inferno of a property market, where new-unit and second-hand home prices rival London. In battles over land and development, the nail house phenomenon has become widespread throughout China over the past two decades, with owners
An Italian alpine resort on Friday remained on high alert over fears that a vast chunk of a glacier on the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif could plummet in high temperatures. “No one gets through! No cars, bikes or pedestrians,” was the message at a checkpoint where an automatic barrier and two guards blocked the small road snaking up into a lush valley below the Planpincieux glacier, near the town of Courmayeur and the Italian-French border. The blockade has largely been greeted with contempt by the locals, one of whom said: “It’s a joke.” The huge ice block measuring around 500,000 cubic
BEYOND CULTURE: The US State Department was expected to announce that the Chinese government-funded institutes would have to register as foreign missions US President Donald Trump’s administration is increasing scrutiny of a long-established Chinese-government funded program that is dedicated to teaching Chinese language and culture in the US and other nations, the latest escalation of tensions with Beijing. The US Department of State was expected to announce as soon as yesterday that Confucius Institutes in the US — many of which are based on college campuses — would have to register as “foreign missions,” according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified. The designation would amount to a conclusion that the institutes are “substantially owned or effectively controlled” by