FBI 'most wanted' alleged sex abuser arrested
June 19th, 2013
03:13 AM ET

FBI 'most wanted' alleged sex abuser arrested

Mexican authorities have arrested a former college professor who was on the FBI's 10 most wanted list over allegations of child sex abuse.

Walter Lee Williams was detained late Tuesday, Mexican state news agency Notimex reported.

The FBI placed the former university professor wanted for alleged sexual exploitation of children on the list Monday, according to Notimex.

Williams researched in the field of gender development at a university in California, which gave him easy access to his victims, mainly teenage boys in developing countries, the FBI said.

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Filed under: California • Child safety • Crime • FBI • Indonesia • Justice • Mexico • Peru • Thailand • U.S. • Uncategorized • World • World Update
Indonesia floods kill 12; thousands flee raging waters
January 18th, 2013
08:08 AM ET

Indonesia floods kill 12; thousands flee raging waters

Heavy flooding in the Indonesian capital this week has killed 12 people, driven thousands from their homes and paralyzed the sprawling city - and officials are warning that more water is on its way.

Caused by unusually strong monsoon rains, the flood waters - often carrying trash and human waste - have inundated the city's central business district, closed schools and offices, and entered the presidential palace.

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Filed under: Flooding • Indonesia • Weather • World
December 10th, 2012
12:17 PM ET

7.2-magnitude earthquake strikes in ocean off Indonesia, USGS says

A large 7.2-magnitude earthquake has occurred in a remote area of the ocean off Indonesia, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has not issued an alert, saying that the quake was too deep to generate a wave.

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Filed under: Indonesia
October 27th, 2012
09:27 AM ET

Report: Indonesia terror raids net 11 suspects

Eleven suspects were arrested Saturday as Indonesian anti-terror police carried out a series of raids which also uncovered bombs and explosives, state media reported.

Police said operations were carried out in Madiun, East Java, Solo in Central Java, Bogor in West Java and Palmerah, as well as Kebong Kacang in Jakarta, according to the official Antara news agency.

"Explosives have been found in the form of bombs or materials ready for use," National Police headquarters spokesman Insp. Gen. Suhardi Alius is quoted as saying.

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Filed under: Indonesia • Terrorism
September 3rd, 2012
03:09 PM ET

Earthquake strikes south of Java

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 struck south of the Indonesian island of Java early Tuesday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey confirmed. The quake epicenter was 583 miles southeast of Jakarta, Indonesia.

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Filed under: Indonesia • World
Badminton disqualifications: Players allegedly tempted by own rules
China's Yu Yang, left, and Wang Xiaoli were two of the eight badminton players disqualified from the Olympics this week.
August 1st, 2012
10:53 PM ET

Badminton disqualifications: Players allegedly tempted by own rules

Until this week, badminton probably wasn’t one of the sports that Americans generally linked to cheating and international scandal. More like backyard cookouts and college fitness classes.

Even the college gym types, though, understand there’s an unspoken agreement between participants: Championship or practice, competition or graduation requirement, you will not intentionally lose to a worthy opponent.

Players might balk at this if they’re rewarded for shunning victory. That’s allegedly what was at play this week when four pairs of female badminton players were disqualified from the Olympics, accused of trying to lose their last qualifying-round matches to face easier opponents in the knockout stage.

The players appear to have denied paying spectators of the competitive matches they’d come to see. The London Olympic organizing committee’s chairman, Sebastian Coe, said the incident was depressing and unacceptable.

But it’s not the first time that this has happened in a tournament’s group stage. And it’s not even the only time in these very Games that a team tried not to win.

The coach of Japan women’s Olympic soccer team acknowledged that it intentionally avoided scoring in its third and final group game, a 0-0 draw with winless South Africa on Wednesday, according to The Independent.

Japan would have won its four-team group with a victory. But a draw put it in second, just enough to qualify for the knockout stage.

Japan’s coach says he did it to ensure the team didn’t travel across the United Kingdom. Second place meant it would start the knockout round in Cardiff, Wales, where the squad already was. The winner of Group F, in contrast, will play its first knockout game in Scotland.

“It was important not to move to Glasgow but to stay here and prepare for the next match,” Japanese coach Norio Sasaki said, according to The Independent.


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Filed under: China • Indonesia • Olympics • South Korea • Sports
Smoking orangutan moves to island to kick habit
Before moving to her new island, Tori smokes a cigarette discarded by a zoo visitor.
July 26th, 2012
12:22 PM ET

Smoking orangutan moves to island to kick habit

Call it an orangutan detox facility.

It's an island in the middle of a lake in Indonesia's Taru Jurug Zoo, and it's where Tori, the smoking orangutan, will be spending her days.

The 13-year-old primate picked up the habit by grabbing still-burning butts discarded in her enclosure by zoo visitors and imitating their actions, zoo officials told the Jakarta Globe.

Signs warned against the practice, but zoo visitors paid no heed, the zoo's director, Lilik Kristianto, told the Globe.

“A common problem for zoos in Indonesia are naughty visitors,” the director is quoted as saying. “Although there are sign prohibiting them from giving food or cigarettes to the animals, they keep on doing it. It is not rare that visitors even hurt the animals.”

Besides keeping puffing visitors at a safe distance, the island will have other advantages over the concrete cage Tori has called home at the zoo in Solo.

“Tori can climb five big trees on the island. This might be the best orangutan enclosure in Indonesia,” the zoo director is quoted as saying.

Tori isn't alone on the island. A male, Didik, has joined her.

But Didik has no need for rehab. While Tori would puff on the butts, Didik used to stamp them out, the Globe reported.

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Filed under: Animals • Indonesia • Orangutan
June 26th, 2012
11:40 PM ET

Ship carrying 150 sinks in Indian Ocean

A ship carrying about 150 people has sunk in the waters between Australia and Indonesia, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said Wednesday. Two merchant vessels are trying to rescue people where the ship went down, about 107 nautical miles north of Australia's Christmas Island, the authority said.

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Filed under: Australia • Indonesia • World Update
June 21st, 2012
11:06 AM ET

Indonesian court sentences Bali bomber to 20 years in jail

A court handed down a 20-year sentence Thursday for an Indonesian man convicted of helping assemble the bombs that killed more than 200 people in Bali in 2002.

The Jakarta court found Umar Patek, 45, guilty of taking part in premeditated murder and conspiracy to smuggle explosives and firearms for use in terror attacks.

Patek had faced a maximum penalty of death, and the courtroom was packed for the verdict delivered by a panel of five judges.

He stared at the floor and showed no emotion as the verdict was read. He shook the judges' hands and hugged his lawyer before he was escorted to a car waiting in the basement of the courthouse for transportation to a jail on the outskirts of the city.

Patek, who has expressed remorse for his actions, will consider appealing to a higher court, said his lawyer Asludin Hatjani.

Hatjani said he was "very disappointed" by the verdict.

"Umar Patek did what he was accused for because he was under pressure from his seniors, and he failed to convince them to prevent the attacks, although he already tried hard to do so," Hatjani said.

Patek was one of Indonesia's most wanted terrorists, with a $1 million bounty on his head from the U.S. government's Rewards for Justice program.

Three of the masterminds of the Bali bombings - Imam Samudra, Amrozi bin Nurhasyim and Ali Ghufron - were executed in 2008. Patek was the last of the accused to stand trial in Indonesia.

The October 12, 2002, blasts tore apart two nightclubs in Kuta, a town popular with tourists on the Indonesian island of Bali. At the time, the country's police chief called the attack "the worst act of terrorism in the country's history."

Among the dead were 88 Australians and seven Americans.

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Filed under: Indonesia • Terrorism • World
British housewife caught with $2.6M in cocaine could face death
Briton Lindsay June Sandiford covers her face as officials display evidence at a customs office in Bali.
May 29th, 2012
04:09 AM ET

British housewife caught with $2.6M in cocaine could face death

A British woman could face the death penalty after being found with an estimated $2.6 million worth of cocaine in her luggage by Indonesian authorities.

Lindsay June Sandiford, 55, was found to have blocks of cocaine weighing almost 4.8 kilograms in her suitcase after she arrived on the island of Bali on a Thai Airways flight earlier this month, government officials said.

Sandiford, described by British media reports as a housewife, did not speak as she was paraded at a press conference Monday wearing a prison-issue orange T-shirt.

Three other Britons - one woman and two men - and an Indian man are also being questioned, Bali police narcotics chief Mulyadi told reporters. They are accused of being part of an international syndicate, he said.

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Filed under: Indonesia • World
Security concerns prompt Lady Gaga to cancel Indonesia concert
Earlier this month, Indonesian police had recommended Lady Gaga not be issued a permit because of security concerns.
May 27th, 2012
03:11 AM ET

Security concerns prompt Lady Gaga to cancel Indonesia concert

Lady Gaga canceled her concert in Indonesia, her management said Sunday, citing security concerns after Islamic hardliners denounced her costumes and dance moves as too risqué.

If the concert is held, there are concerns the singer, her crew and attendees may be in harm's way, said Minola Sebayang, the lawyer for the promoters.

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Filed under: Indonesia • World
May 16th, 2012
03:11 AM ET

Part of Russian plane's flight recorder found in Indonesia

Indonesian authorities said Wednesday that they had found part of the flight recorder of the Russian passenger jet that crashed into the side of a volcano during a demonstration flight last week, killing 45 people.

Searchers retrieved the cockpit voice recorder, which records communication between pilots and air traffic controllers, but have so far been unable to locate the flight data recorder, said Vice Marshal Daryatmo, head of the National Search and Rescue Agency.

He said the voice recorder would be brought to Jakarta for analysis.

Rescue workers found no survivors from the Sukhoi Superjet 100, Russia's newest passenger plane, which slammed into Mount Salak after disappearing from radar screens on May 9.

Most of the wreckage of the plane is on a steep slope at an altitude of 6,000 feet, making it difficult to reach.

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Filed under: Indonesia • Russia
May 9th, 2012
12:36 PM ET

Russian jet missing in Indonesia

A Russian passenger airliner went missing Wednesday after it disappeared from radar screens over a mountainous region of Indonesia.

The Sukhoi Superjet 100, Russia's newest civilian airliner, was carrying 42 passengers and eight Russian crew members, said Sunaryo, an official with Sukhoi's Indonesian agent, Trimarga Rekatama.

However, the number was in dispute. The Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency said only 37 of the 42 invited passengers were on board. Russian state-run news agencies reported 44 people were on the plane.

Ground teams were continuing to search. The air search will resume at daylight, depending on the weather.

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Filed under: Indonesia • Russia • World
Russian airliner disappears over Indonesia
The jet, a Sukhoi Superjet-100, was on a demonstration flight.
May 9th, 2012
07:34 AM ET

Russian airliner disappears over Indonesia

[Updated at 7:34 a.m. ET] Transportation Ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan told Metro TV the Sukhoi jet went missing at about 2 p.m. local time in the area of Bogor, West Java.

The jet was on a demonstration flight that should've lasted 30 minutes, taking off and expected to land again in Jakarta's Halim airport. About 46 people were onboard he said.

National Search and Rescue Agency official Gagah Prakosa said on Metro TV that there was an initial search by air that's been suspended because of darkness. A ground search continues.

[Updated at 7:24 a.m. ET] Russia's newest civilian airliner disappeared Wednesday from radar screens during a demonstration flight in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, state-run Ria Novosti news service reported. There were 44 passengers on board.

The pilots requested permission to descend from 10,000 feet to 6,000 feet, air traffic controllers said. After that, all radio contact was lost.

The plane began making its descent but vanished from radar screens at 6,200 feet in a mountainous area.

By the time the plane was due to return it should have burned up its fuel, RIA Novosti said.

The Sukhoi Superjet-100 airplane arrived in Jakarta as part of a demonstration tour of six Asian countries. It had been to Myanmar, Pakistan and Kazakhstan, and was due to visit Laos and Vietnam after Indonesia, RIA Novosti said.
Sukhoi manufactures military aircraft and is known especially for its fighter jets. Its civilian aircraft is narrow-bodied with a dual-class cabin that can transport 100 passengers over regional routes.

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Filed under: Aviation • Indonesia
April 11th, 2012
09:04 AM ET

Magnitude 8.6 quake strikes off the Indonesian island of Sumatra

A massive earthquake struck off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra on Wednesday, triggering a tsunami watch for the Indian Ocean.

The magnitude 8.6 quake struck about 500 kilometers from Indonesia's Aceh province, the U.S. Geological Survey said. It took place at a depth of 33 kilometers.

Are you there? Send your images, video to iReport

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center initially issued a tsunami watch for the entire Indian Ocean, but the watch has been cancelled.

Banda Aceh was devastated by a tsunami resulting from an earthquake in December 2004.

[Updated at 9:04 a.m. ET] The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has cancelled its tsunami watch in the Indian Ocean.

"Sea level readings now indicate that the threat had diminished or is over for most areas," the center said.

[Updated at 8:34 a.m. ET] CNN's Kathy Quiano reports that officials have said about 14 aftershocks have rocked Indonesia after the initial 8.6 magnitude earthquake.

Officials are still telling residents to saying stay away from the coastline.

"We are hearing that many residents are choosing to stay away from their homes and have sought shelter on safer and higher ground," Quiano reported, noting that many of the people had taken part in regular drills given that they are prone to quakes and the devastation caused by the 2004 quake.

[Updated at 8:15 a.m. ET] Barry Hirshorn, a geophysicist from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, told CNN that while the earthquake was a 8.6 magnitude and is considered large, it could be much different than the 9.0 magnitude quake that hit in 2004. Because the epicenter of this recent quake is also nearly double the distance offshore, it also means that it could be less likely to create a massive tsunami.

Hirshorn added that was also largely in part to how the rupture of the earth took place in this tsunami. Hirshorn explained that the earthquake in 2004 made more of a vertical motion, which would produce larger waves, while this strike-slip earthquake creates more side-to-side motion.

"Tusnami-wise, we are lucky that way, for now," he said.

Interactive: World's biggest quakes  | How do you measure an earthquake?

[Updated at 8:12 a.m. ET]  A spokesperson for the Indonesian president said the situation in the country is under control but he still anticipates that tsunamis may hit the area.

Teuku Faizasyah said right now it is most important to ensure people that they are safe. Search and rescue teams have been deployed.

"What's important is to bring confidence among the people that the government is with them, that we are ensuring their safety," he told CNN.

Tsunami warnings are in place for another hour, he added, saying they will watch the remote areas of the country especially closely.

"We are really waiting to hear from the isolated areas, but hopefully we wont receive any bad news," Faizasyah  said.

[Updated at 8:01  a.m. ET]  Waves were reported at 1-meter (3.3-feet) amplitude offshore in Meulaboh, Indonesia, but in other cities they were reported at about a foot or less, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

A series of buoys also measured changes in wave height levels, indicating a tsunami could occur. Waves are normally small when they are out in the ocean, but are expected to be much higher when they reach the shore.

British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that Britain "stands ready to help if required."

[Updated at 7:44 a.m. ET] An evacuation order has been given by Thailand's National Disaster Warning Center for those along the Andaman coast after the earthquake, according to CNN affiliate MCOT.

The warning center's director Somsak Khaosuwann "urged people along the sea in the Andaman coastal provinces of Phuket, Krabi, Phang-nga, Ranong, Trang and Satun to evacuate to higher ground," according to MCOT.

MCOT, also known as Thai TV 9, noted that tremors were felt as far as Bangkok.

In the Maldives, some resorts were evacuated in advance of possible waves, according to CNN's Erin Burnett, who was on vacation in the region.


April 11th, 2012
07:50 AM ET

Wednesday's live events

The race for the presidency can change at the drop of the hat, and CNN.com Live will be there for all the latest news and views from the campaign trail.

Today's programming highlights...

Continuing coverage - Indonesia earthquake and aftermath

10:00 am ET - Gingrich talks to seniors - Rick Santorum may be out of the GOP presidential race, but Newt Gingrich remains a candidate.  He'll speak at a senior center in Newark, Delaware.


Filed under: Elections • Indonesia • On CNN.com today • Politics • Republican Party • World
March 28th, 2012
04:29 AM ET

Hong Kong court overturns ruling allowing maids to seek residency

The Hong Kong Court of Appeals on Wednesday overturned a historic ruling that would have allowed overseas maids to seek permanent resident status in the affluent Chinese territory.

The decision is a setback for the rights of tens of thousands of maids from countries like the Philippines and Indonesia who often spend years working in the homes of Chinese and foreigners living in Hong Kong.

One Filipino maid, Evangeline Banao Vallejos, who has been working in Hong Kong since 1986, mounted a legal challenge to a government ordinance that excluded domestic helpers from outside Hong Kong from obtaining permanent residency.

She and her lawyers argued that denying maids the possibility of seeking permanent status was unconstitutional under Hong Kong's Basic Law, which sets out the core rights of those living in the city.

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Filed under: China • Hong Kong • Indonesia • Philippines
Suspected terrorists killed in shootout with police in Bali
Indonesian counter-terrorism police personnel look for clues at a bungalow after the shoot-out on the island of Bali.
March 18th, 2012
07:55 PM ET

Suspected terrorists killed in shootout with police in Bali

Five suspected terrorists were killed Sunday in a shootout with police in Bali, a spokesman for Indonesia's National Police said Monday.

The suspects were planning to rob several jewelry stores to help fund their alleged terror plots, and planned on making at least two thefts Sunday night, said Senior Commander Boy Rafli Amar of the National Police.

Indonesia's counter-terrorism police, who had been following the suspects for a month, conducted two raids on hotels in the Denpasar area of Bali on Sunday night. Gunfire was exchanged before the suspected terrorists were killed, Amar said. Two guns and ammunition were recovered from the two sites, he said.

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Filed under: Indonesia • Terrorism
Reports: Concrete balls keeping some off Indonesian train roofs
A train passes through a newly installed iron support with hanging concrete balls in Indonesia last week.
January 23rd, 2012
01:04 PM ET

Reports: Concrete balls keeping some off Indonesian train roofs

Is the threat of getting their heads smashed by a concrete ball enough to prevent people from riding the roofs of Indonesian trains?

Depends on whom you ask.

"From our monitoring so far, the roofs of the trains have been clean (from riders) after the concrete balls were put in place,” a spokesman for state railway company Kereta Api Indonesia, Mateta Rizalulhaq, told the Jakarta Globe on Monday.

The devices erected over some train tracks are called Goal Bola-bola, or goal balls, as they resemble soccer goals with the grapefruit-sized concrete balls strung from chains. The balls are about 10 centimeters, or 4 inches, in diameter and are painted silver. They a strung in groups of a dozen each over each track. The first ones were deployed Tuesday.

But in a Globe report on Saturday, Eman Sulaiman, chief of the Bekasi city station, near which the first set of concrete balls were strung last week, said some people are still trying to ride, donning motorcycle helmets for protection.

Passengers are climbing onto roofs after trains pass the obstacles, according to a report Friday in the Jakarta Post.


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Filed under: Indonesia • Railroads • Transportation • World
January 18th, 2012
07:16 AM ET

Indonesian railway stringing concrete balls to deter roof riders

Indonesia's state railway, Kereta Api Indonesia, has begun stringing concrete balls over rail lines to prevent people from hitching free rides on top of its trains, according to local news reports.

The devices are called Goal Bola-bola , or goal balls, as they resemble soccer goals with the grapefruit-sized concrete balls strung from chains, according to a report in the Jakarta Post.

Trains in Indonesia are often overcrowded.

The railway said it resorted to using the concrete balls after previous anti-roof-rider efforts - including greasing the roofs, spraying roof riders with colored water, and detentions and fines - didn't stop the practice.

But a human rights group says the balls expose violators to a punishment as severe as death for a minor infraction.

“Picture this: If a student has to take the train, he or she would face the threat of being killed by the concrete balls. Now his right to get to school safely is simply violated,” Yosep Adi Prasetyo, a spokesman for the National Commission on Human Rights, told the Jakarta Globe.

The balls will only be used on lines that run locomotives, according to the Globe report. Lines with electric trains will use swinging doors that will allow the electrical connectors through, but not roof riders.

Adi told the Globe the real problem isn't freeloading riders, but that there aren't enough trains to accommodate demand.

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Filed under: Indonesia • Railroads • Transportation • World
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