London attack: five dead including offender

A suspected Islamist terrorist has been shot dead after killing four people and injuring 40 more in a car and knife attack on London’s Westminster Bridge and inside the grounds of the Houses of Parliament.

The attack started at about 2:40pm (local time) when a speeding car ran down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, before crashing into the railings surrounding the Parliament.

The knife-wielding driver then entered the Parliament grounds and fatally stabbed a police officer, identified as a 48-year-old father with 14 years’ service, before himself being shot dead.

Indonesians in London asked to remain vigilant following attack

The Indonesian Embassy in London has asked Indonesians in the capital to remain vigilant following a terrorist attack around London’s Westminster area on Wednesday afternoon local time.

Through its social media channels, the embassy also asked Indonesians to obey the London Metropolitan Police’s call on people to avoid Westminster and surrounding areas, including Parliament Square, Whitehall, Lambeth Bridge, Victoria Street up to Broadway and Victoria Embankment.

“Indonesian citizens who happen to be in London are asked to maintain communications with fellow Indonesians and avoid traveling through those areas,” the embassy stated.

Indonesians who are in trouble or with knowledge of other Indonesians who are in trouble following the incident are urged to immediately inform the Indonesian Embassy in London through the hotline +44 (0) 7881221235.

(Read also: At least 2 dead in car rampage, knife attack in London)

At least five were killed and 20 were injured during the attack.

A vehicle mowed down pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge, killing at least one woman and leaving others with injuries described as catastrophic. Around the same time on Wednesday, a knife-wielding attacker stabbed a police officer and was shot on the grounds outside Britain’s parliament, sending the compound into lockdown, the Associated Press reported.

“The Indonesian Embassy in London is safe. Consular services at the embassy’s new office at 30 Great Peter Street SW1P 2BU are normal,” the embassy states.

There were around 10,000 Indonesians currently residing in the United Kingdom, of which more than 2,000 were students, according to the embassy’s data in 2015. (bbs)

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Samsung Galaxy S8 photo leaked, phone looks smaller than S7 Edge

As the release of the Galaxy S8 inches closer, a new leaked image has revealed that the new flagship smartphone may be smaller than its predecessor.

In the uploaded image by SlashLeaks, what is assumed to be the S8 is flanked by a 4.7-inch iPhone 7 to the left and a 5.5-inch S7 Edge to the right.

TechRadar reports that the Samsung Galaxy S8 appears to be slightly smaller than the S7 Edge despite having a larger screen.

Sitting in the middle, the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8 looks to have a normal 5.5-inch body but equipped with a phablet-sized screen. (SlashLeaks/

Read also: Samsung Galaxy S8 rumored to have 6-inch screen

This could be attributed to the smaller bezel on the new flagship phone. With this larger screen, it can be safely assumed that the device will have virtual home, back and recent buttons.

Considering previously leaked information courtesy of Evan “Evleaks” Blass, it appears that what is seen in the photo can be considered the general form that the S8 will have come March 29.

This article appeared on the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper website, which is a member of Asia News Network and a media partner of The Jakarta Post

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Apple and (RED) mark partnership anniversary with special launch

Apple has announced the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (PRODUCT)RED special edition have been given a red aluminium finish in recognition of more than 10 years of partnership between Apple and (RED).

This gives customers an unprecedented way to contribute to the Global Fund and bring the world a step closer to an Aids-free generation, the tech giant said.

The special edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone will be available to order online worldwide and in stores from March 24.

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (PRODUCT)RED special edition will be available in 128GB and 256GB models starting at Bt26,500 (prices may vary).

 The special edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone joins iPhone 7 with jet black, black, silver, gold and rose gold finishes.

Both special edition models are available worldwide from March 24, and will begin being shipped to customers at the end of March.

The special edition iPhone joins the current (PRODUCT)RED lineup, which is available for customers to purchase year-round, including the full iPod line of products, Beats Solo 3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones, Beats Pill+ Portable Speaker, the iPhone 7 Smart Battery Case and a range of accessories for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.

iPhone SE will be available on March 24 in 32GB and 128GB models, doubling the current capacity and replacing the 16GB and 64GB models – all at the same starting price of Bt16,800.

The new colours of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus silicone cases are azure, camellia and pebble, while leather cases come in taupe, sapphire and berry. Their starting price is Bt1,500.

Source – TheNation

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Italian citizen arrested in West Nusa Tenggara on pedophile charges

The West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Police are investigating a 70-year-old Italian citizen, identified only by the initials BG, for allegedly having sexually abused several children.

“Investigators are investigating BG. Apart from collecting information from victims, they are also still examining documents and photos in a laptop and mobile phone belonging to the suspect,” NTB Police spokesperson Adr. Sr. Comr. Tribudi Pangastuti said in Mataram on Tuesday.

She said BG was arrested at his home at the Graha Permata Mataram housing complex on March 1 after the police received a report from the NTB Children Protection Institution (LPA). BG was suspected of having molested six boys, she added.  

“He has been arrested for 20 days and the police have requested an additional 20 days to complete their investigation,” said Tribudi. It was revealed in the investigation that BG had lived on Lombok for 20 years.

LPA advocacy division coordinator Joko Jumadi said his organization would give assistance to the six alleged victims. “There are many other victims who have not yet reported his [alleged] crimes to the police. We are tracing them,” he said. It was suspected dozens of children had been victims of BG as authorities found a lot of pictures of children in his laptop and tablet.

Joko said the case was discovered after the LPA received reports from local residents about BG’s behavior, which raised their suspicions.

In the first stage, the LPA would focus its assistance on accompanying the victims in the ongoing legal process. In the rehabilitation process, it would provide psychologists to help heal their trauma, Joko said.

Source – TheJakartaPost

How to spot Switzerland’s truly rich

Hanging out in Switzerland before you check out watches at Baselworld and overwhelmed by all the affluence and shiny timepieces? Here’s a way to separate the wheat from the chaff: forget the bling and have a look at the license plate.

Switzerland doesn’t allow vanity plates, so special or lucky numbers have an added value and sell for thousands of francs. While Swiss auctions of license plate numbers can’t quite compete with those in the United Arab Emirates — where the wealthy pay millions of dollars — they are not far behind.

Read also: Longines launches high-tech quartz wristwatch

Just last week, industrialist Otto Ruppen forked out 160,100 francs ($160,400) for VS 1, with the letters standing for the Canton of Valais in western Switzerland. Even more common three or four-digit numbers are in high demand.

“It’s a question of prestige,” said Stefan Cardinale, who works at a dealership that sells Ferraris and Maseratis in Zug, a canton known for its wealth and low taxes. “People who invest in flashy wheels want the world to see how awesome they are.”

Buyers of luxury vehicles regularly inquire about low-digit numbers and are willing to pay a lot for them, Cardinale said. His boss Pierre Sudan owns Zug’s No. 1 plate.

Read also: Bentley’s first-ever, electric concept car is a luxury fever dream

The Swiss system of the two letters indicating the canton followed by a number has been in place since 1933 and unlike most other European countries, it’s not the car that is assigned a plate, but a person. As every new car registering to roam Swiss roads just gets the next highest number in line, the ability to pass on license plates to your children has made low-digit numbers synonymous with old money.

“This might add to some people’s attachment to their license plate,” said Peter Kyburz, head of the Zurich traffic office. “It’s also connected to prestige, as the lower the number, the longer a person or his or her family has been able to drive a car.”

St. Gallen raised almost 1.7 million francs in 2014 by auctioning special numbers that were previously attached to fire trucks, police cars and ambulance vehicles. Kyburz says that Zurich’s auctioning of license plates earns the canton an annual revenue stream of 2.5 million francs to 3 million francs. Just before Christmas, ZH 888 888 yielded a price of 50,280 francs.

Read also: DJ performances in Jakarta to look out for in April

‘Family Heritage’

Zug is the only canton that lets its citizens trade their plates privately without paying a fee to the authorities. Some smaller cantons with fewer registered cars have fixed prices for attractive numbers whereas most of the country’s 26 cantonal traffic offices host websites regularly auctioning new numbers. In Zurich, the country’s most populous region, the bidding for a four-digit plate starts at 2,000 francs.

“After the two license plates LU 100 were stolen from my son’s car — despite being more securely bolted-on than required — we attached our own LU 40 plate even more elaborately,” says Vreni Haeberli, who lives in Aesch in the canton of Lucerne. “We would never sell them, they’re now part of our family heritage.”

Not to forget the publicity factor in the country that hosts one of the world’s biggest watch fairs in Basel March 23-30.

“Having the number 1 on our car is mainly a marketing tool,” says Marcel Kunz, whose taxi company Nova Taxi got lucky when the canton of Bern re-issued the number over 50 years ago. It’s now gracing one of the company’s Tesla X cars and people regularly photograph it. “The long-term publicity effect far exceeds the monetary gains from selling it. Who else can say that not only are they number one, but also own the number 1?”

Source – The JakartaPost

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Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni calls for vote free from threats, intimidation

A leaked statement from King Norodom Sihamoni circulated on social media since Sunday, nearly a month after he signed it, calls on citizens to vote for their preferred party in the upcoming elections without “worry of suppression, threats or intimidation”.

The statement, signed by the King on February 20, asks Cambodians to vote and exercise their right to a secret ballot, with CNRP official and royal family member Prince Sisowath Thomico calling it a regular pre-election appeal, similar to ones issued during the reign of King Father Norodom Sihanouk.

“But, I am very surprised the King signed it on February 20 and it was only just released,” he said.

The King is currently in China for routine medical checkups, though another decree he signed while overseas – this one bestowing honorifics on late deputy prime minister Sok An – was distributed the same day as its signing.

The King did not, however, sign recent amendments to the Law on Political Parties, also passed while he was abroad, leading some to suggest he objected to the controversial legislation.

The election remarks had circulated on social media for two days before being posted to the National Election Committee’s Facebook page yesterday. Royal family spokesmen could not be reached yesterday for information on the apparent lag between signing and dissemination.

While ruling party spokesman Sok Eysan said the King was only reminding people to feel secure in casting their ballot, CNRP Vice President Mu Sochua said the timing of the message, amid heated political tensions, would resonate with voters.

Source – PhnomPenhPost

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Cambodia – Microlender in monster deal

Hong Kong financial giant The Bank of East Asia and Sri Lanka’s LOLC announced on Friday that they have jointly acquired a majority stake in Prasac Microfinance, Cambodia’s largest microfinance institution (MFI) by assets, in what could be the largest acquisition of a Cambodian lender to date.

According to a joint company release, The Bank of East Asia (BEA) and LOLC acquired a controlling share of Prasac by purchasing minority stakes held by Dragon Capital Group Ltd, Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries SA (BIO) and the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO).

The acquisition raises LOLC’s existing holding from 22 percent to 70 percent, with BEA holding 21 percent. Prasac retains the remaining 9 percent stake.

The deal was valued at $186 million by Sri Lankan media. Prasac and its shareholders could not be reached yesterday for confirmation, nor was the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) available to confirm whether it had approved the acquisition.

Prasac is Cambodia’s largest deposit-taking MFI with an asset portfolio of $1.3 billion and over $660 million in deposits, according to the joint statement, which added that the deal would help pave the MFI’s path toward becoming a licensed commercial bank.

Sim Senacheert, CEO of Prasac, was quoted in the release as saying that BEA was a strategic investor that would “further contribute to sustainable economic development and financial inclusion in Cambodia”.

David Li, chairman and chief executive of BEA, said the deal marked the financial group’s first foothold in Cambodia and would help it expand its reach to the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

“Through Prasac, our bank will further strengthen its presence in Southeast Asia. This strategic investment will enable us to better capitalise on the opportunities arising from China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiatives’,” he was quoted as saying.

This is not the first time Prasac has worked toward securing a strategic investor, a move widely seen as the central bank’s requirements for commercial bank licence eligibility.

In August 2016, the NBC scuttled a deal between Prasac and South Korean financial giant Woori Bank for a 50 percent stake, claiming that the Korean lender was not one of the preferred bidder’s acknowledged by the independent regulatory body.

Cambodian MFIs have attracted the interest of international investors, with several large mergers and acquisitions announced in recent years. In January 2016, Thailand-based Bank of Ayudhya reached an agreement to acquire the local MFI Hattha Kaksekar – a deal that was valued at upwards of $140 million.

BEA’s stake in Prasac would mark the entry of Hong Kong’s third-largest bank into the Cambodian market. The financial group reported $98.7 billion in consolidated assets as of the end of last year.

Source – PhnomPenhPost

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Dubai boasts world’s fastest, free airport Wi-Fi

Despite not making it onto Skytrax’s top ten airports of 2017 list, the Dubai International Airport has claimed that it is now home to the world’s fastest, free airport Wi-Fi, at speeds of 100mbps.

The announcement follows the recent overhaul of both Dubai Airports, Dubai International and Dubai World Central. The overhaul, which was rolled out in December last year, featured free, unlimited high-speed internet.

The network, called WOW-Fi, is now available to all 89 million travelers who are expected to visit the airport in the following year. To make it work for such a large number of people in transit, the Dubai Airports group says that they will be installing 6,000 new Wi-Fi access points in the two airports.

(Read also: South Korea has world’s fastest internet)

Despite this, when group Rotten WiFi conducted their report of fastest airport internet speeds in 2016, the Middle East was mostly missing in the list of 226 airports, AFP reported. Instead, the United States and Thailand were named world leaders in fastest internet Wi-Fi, with seven and six airports featured on the top 20 list, respectively.

Still, with this new update, the Dubai International Airport says that in this respect, it has now eclipsed the competition.

Source – TheJakartaPost

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Rock n’ Roll legend Chuck Berry dead at 90

NEW YORK – Chuck Berry, one of the creators of rock ‘n’ roll who helped shape modern youth culture with his dance-ready rhythms but who struggled to overcome institutional racism, died Saturday. He was 90.

Police in the St. Louis area, where Berry was born and lived most of his life, said that first responders found the guitar legend unresponsive when they answered an emergency call at his home.

“The St. Charles County Police Department sadly confirms the death of Charles Edward Anderson Berry Sr., better known as legendary musician Chuck Berry,” it said on Facebook.

Berry became a sensation in the years after World War II as the baby boom generation came of age in an increasingly prosperous America. The middle-class son of a carpenter and a high school principal, Berry grew up under segregation but instinctively sensed how to bridge the racial divide.

 Berry had played blues guitar but found that his white audience was more interested in country. He merged the styles with an electric energy and consummate stage showmanship, although he hesitated to say that he created rock ‘n’ roll.

“It used to be called boogie-woogie, it used to be called blues, used to be called rhythm and blues,” he later said. “It’s called rock now.”

Whatever the music was named, Bruce Springsteen, one of many artists heavily influenced by Berry, said the man was indispensable.

“Chuck Berry was rock’s greatest practitioner, guitarist and the greatest pure rock ‘n’ roll writer who ever lived,” Springsteen wrote on Twitter.

His 1958 hit “Johnny B. Goode” was so influential and recognizable that the US space program chose it to represent rock music for potential extraterrestrial listeners on the Voyager spacecraft.

Struggles with racism 

“Roll Over Beethoven” from 1956 was almost a manifesto of rock ‘n’ roll as the charismatic Berry urged the DJ to switch off the classical records and turn to the new genre of the youth.

Other hits included “Maybellene,” one of the pioneering rock songs that gave a guitar edge to a popular fiddle tune, and “Sweet Little Sixteen,” in which Berry hailed rock ‘n’ roll’s sweep across the United States.

Berry was one of the first African Americans to find a widespread white audience, with his gentle demeanor and the usually innocuous subject matter of his songs initially insulating him in a country where many black people lived under Jim Crow institutionalized racism.

But that changed as his fame grew. After a packed performance in 1959 in Meridian Mississippi, a white crowd set upon Berry and forced him to leave through a side entrance after accusing him of kissing a white girl among his fans.

“One of the girls threw her arms around me and hung a soul-searching kiss that I let hang a second too long,” Berry later explained. He was arrested for disturbing the peace and left the city after paying a fine.

His career soon was interrupted when he was arrested in 1959 under an obscure law for taking a 14-year-old girl across state lines for “immoral purposes.”

Berry defended himself against allegations that he had slept with the young waitress. But he was convicted by an all-white jury and served a year and a half in prison. In a bitter irony, he was incarcerated just as the United States was swept by white rockers influenced by him, including the British invasion led by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Mick Jagger hailed Berry on Saturday as an inspiration, saying: “He lit up our teenage years, and blew life into our dreams of being musicians and performers.”

Final album due 

After his prison time, friends described the laid-back and fun-loving Berry as a changed man, and the conviction has long been viewed in the African American community as a warning sign for artists on the rise.

Berry mostly avoided the media limelight as he resurrected his career. In a rare 1987 interview with NBC television, Berry declined to describe himself as the father of rock ‘n’ roll, listing others including his contemporary Elvis Presley as well as Fats Domino and Little Richard.

“We’re all I think just a cog in the wheel. We all got the ball rolling,” he said.

Berry initially found success after record executive Leonard Chess sensed his crossover potential and signed him after an introduction from Muddy Waters. Berry late in his life stayed low-profile in St. Louis where he played two decades worth of shows at the Blueberry Club, with his son Charles Berry Jr. in his backup band.

In a surprise, Berry last year celebrated his 90th birthday by announcing that he had recorded his first album in 38 years.

Entitled simply “Chuck,” the album is slated to be released sometime this year.

In a statement as he announced the album, Berry dedicated it to his wife of 68 years, Themetta Berry.

“My darlin’, I’m growing old! I’ve worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!”

Roger Federer reaches Indian Wells final against Wawrinka

Roger Federer might soon have to reset his goals for the year, seeing how well things are going for him.

Having won his record 18th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January, Federer will pursue a record-tying fifth BNP Paribas Open title after beating Jack Sock 6-1, 7-6 (4) Saturday to reach the final.

He takes on Stan Wawrinka in an all-Swiss title match after Wawrinka eased past Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3, 6-3.

Federer was sidelined by various injuries for much of last year, forcing him to skip Indian Wells. Heading into this year, his plan was to play as far as the Miami event next week and then see how he felt.

“I was just happy to be feeling healthy again at the end of last year,” he said. “I was just happy to be playing another 10 events maybe.”

Now, Federer is poised to win his 90th career title in the final, keeping him third behind Jimmy Connors ( 109 ) and Ivan Lendl ( 94 ) for the most titles in the Open era.

“It’s not a goal of mine per se to play until I reach 100,” he said. “Could be. It’s a nice goal to have. But that stuff can change. Ask me again in three to six months how I’m feeling, if I won any more or not.”

Federer is 4-2 in finals at Indian Wells with his last title coming in 2012. He owns a 19-3 edge over Wawrinka, including 14-0 on hard courts, and has won their last three meetings, including in the Australian Open semifinals in January.

Two-time major champion Svetlana Kuznetsova plays 14th-seeded Elena Vesnina in an all-Russian women’s final Sunday.

Source – TheJakartaPost

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