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Outrage in Indonesia over sex abuse case

JAKARTA (UCAN): Politicians and Church activists in Indonesia have demanded justice after an 18-year-old mentally disadvantaged girl was allegedly treated as a sex slave by her father and two brothers. Reports of the crime shocked the nation.
 

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School children expelled over HIV fears

JAKARTA (UCAN): Fourteen Indonesian orphans with HIV—seven girls and seven boys aged between seven and 10-years-old—were expelled last week from a state-run school in Surakarta, in Central Java province in early February.
 
The expulsions were the result of a backlash from parents, who discovered the children were HIV positive during a parents-teacher meeting in January, the Jakarta Post reported.
 
The parents allegedly threatened to remove their children from the school if the orphans were not expelled.

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Conservatives attack sexual violence bill

JAKARTA (UCAN): “We do need more detailed and explicit rules because when we report cases of sexual violence, police are often confused as to what legal redress they can use against perpetrators,” Sister Maria Yosephina Pahlawati of the Congregation of Servants of the Holy Spirit,  said, commenting on a groundbreaking sexual violence bill before Indonesia’s legislature.
 

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Aid rushed to Indonesian flood and landslide victims

JAKARTA (UCAN): Aid is being rushed to victims of floods and landslides in Indonesia’s South Sulawesi province that have killed dozens of people and displaced thousands over the third week of January.
 
At least 68 people were reported dead and 6,700 others were made homeless, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesperson of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, said on January 27.
 

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Officials caught stealing quake aid money

Jakarta (UCAN): Police in West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, have arrested three officials of the local Religious Affairs Ministry for allegedly demanding kickbacks from funds to repair 58 mosques damaged during powerful earthquakes that hit the province in July and August last year.
 
The quakes killed at least 563 people and damaged thousands of buildings, including 630 mosques.
 
The three suspects allegedly demanded 20 per cent of US$426,000 ($3.3 million) set aside to fund the repair of 58 mosques.
 

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Officials caught stealing quake aid money

Jakarta (UCAN): Police in West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, have arrested three officials of the local Religious Affairs Ministry for allegedly demanding kickbacks from funds to repair 58 mosques damaged during powerful earthquakes that hit the province in July and August last year.
 
The quakes killed at least 563 people and damaged thousands of buildings, including 630 mosques.
 
The three suspects allegedly demanded 20 per cent of US$426,000 ($3.3 million) set aside to fund the repair of 58 mosques.
 

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Bali bomb mastermind to walk free from jail

JAKARTA (UCAN): “This move is being seen by the public as political will, instead of goodwill. Why has this (pardon) been given directly ahead of the presidential election?” asked Al Chaidar, a terrorism expert from Malikussaleh University, Aceh province, reacting to news of the impending release of Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, the terror network leader behind the 2002 Bali bombings on compassionate grounds.
 

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Tsunami aftermath Indonesia

HONG KONG (SE): Authorities in Indonesia have raised the danger level for Mount Anak Krakatau in the Sunda Strait, following a devastating tsunami on December 22, which swept over the west coast of Java island and the south coast of Sumatra. 
 
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement on December 26 that 430 people are dead, 1,495 injured, 159 are missing and an estimated 22,000 displaced.
 

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No New Year celebrations in Aceh

JAKARTA (UCAN): Aminullah Usman, mayor of Banda Aceh, the provincial capital of Aceh, said on December 18 that letters have been sent out warning people “not to hold parties, set off fireworks, and blow horns” on New Year’s Eve.
 
“These practices are not in accordance with Islamic Shariah law,” he said, adding, “Muslims have their own special celebration, which is the Hijri New Year.” 
 
This year the Hijri New Year fell on September 11.
 

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Cross desecration condemned

YOGYAKARTA (UCAN): The Archdiocese of Semarang, Indonesia, condemned the removal of the upper part of a burial cross for deceased before he could be buried in a public cemetery in Yogjakarta.
 
A December 19 statement, called the incident “a violation of the constitution that contradicts the state’s ideology of Pancasila” which respects diversity.
 
The case has gone viral on social media and sparked outrage among Catholics and rights advocates.
 

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