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Sabtu, 15 Agustus 2009

Bunaken Masuk World Natural Heritage

Taman Nasional Laut (TNL) Bunaken yang berada di perairan Manado, Sulawesi Utara (Sulut), telah diusulkan masuk World Natural Heritage karena memiliki keunikan tersendiri di dunia.

"Indonesia sementara berjuang di mata sejumlah negara di dunia, untuk mendukung TNL masuk World Natural Heritage," kata Dirjen pengawasan dan Pengendalian Sumber Daya Kelautan dan Perikanan Departemen Kelautan dan Perikanan Aji Sularso saat press breafing terkait Sail Bunaken di Manado.

Salah satu lembaga badan dunia, UNESCO, yang telah meninjau langsung ke TNL Bunaken di Kota Manado, sangat tertarik akan keindahan alam biota laut yang ada sehingga perlu diberikan penghargaan untuk ditetapkan menjadi World Natural Haritage.

Pergelaran Sail Bunaken yang diikuti puluhan kapal perang dan 165 kapal layar (yacht) berbagai negara akan menjadi momentun untuk terus mengenalkan kepada publik internasional tentang keindahan TNL Bunaken.

TNL Bunaken merupakan salah satu keindahan laut yang dimiliki Indonesia dan tidak dimiliki negara lain karena terdapat jutaan biota laut dan karang yang sangat indah.

TNL Bunaken telah diusulkan bersama dengan Komodo di Provinsi Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB) untuk masuk World Natural Heritage, dan itu masih harus melalui voting sejumlah negara yang ada.

Asisten II bidang Perekonomian Pemerintah Provinsi Sulut, Marietha Kuntag, mengatakan, pihaknya terus membenahi infrastruktur penunjang TNL Bunaken agar diharapkan masuk World Natural Heritage.

Segala kekurangan di TNL Bunaken, seperti infrastruktur dermaga dan fasilitas umum lainnya, akan terus dibenahi agar menjadi menarik untuk dikunjungi turis.

Families mourn hundreds of Taiwan's storm victims

SHIAO LIN, Taiwan – Families and friends paid homage Saturday to victims buried alive under mud and rock after the worst storm in more than 50 years pounded southern Taiwan unleashing flash flooding and massive landslides.

Some 380 people were killed in the hardest-hit village of Shiao Lin — more than half its entire population — after Typhoon Morakot pummeled the island last weekend causing tons of earth to come crashing down surrounding mountains.

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou said Friday more than 500 had died in southern and central Taiwan in the typhoon.

TV images Saturday showed survivors from Shiao Lin being shuttled from shelters by pickup trucks to attend a Buddhist memorial service a few miles (kilometers) away from their buried homes.

Villagers cried, held each other tightly, and lit sticks of incense at the service to honor family and friends who perished in the storm.

"My parents, my brother ... my aunt ... there were 17 of them in total (who died)," an unidentified woman in her 20s told the TVBS news station.

Morakot dumped more than 80 inches (2 meters) of rain on the island and stranded thousands in villages in the mountainous south. A total of 15,400 villagers were ferried to safety and rescuers were working to save another 1,900 people.

The storm destroyed the homes of 7,000 people and caused agricultural and property damage in excess of 50 billion New Taiwan dollars ($1.5 billion), according to government estimates.

The only structures standing in Shiao Lin, once a village of about 600 people, were a small brick home and a tiny temple. Large boulders were scattered where houses once stood and streams of mud continued to flow down the mountainous landscape. Helicopters flew overhead on their way to rescue survivors from nearby areas.

Criticism of Ma's handling of the Morakot disaster has risen quickly — even within his own party and in media outlets normally friendly to the president.

Lawmaker Lo Shu-lei of Ma's own Nationalist Party took the leader to task Friday for not taking responsibility for disaster prevention and relief efforts.

"If we expect the people to do everything themselves, what do we need a government for?" she said, adding Ma "seems to be out of the loop and doesn't understand the way the relief system works."

Rabu, 12 Agustus 2009

DNA shows body of slain militant not Noordin Top

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Indonesia's most wanted Islamist militant, accused in a string of deadly terror attacks including a bombing in Bali, was not killed in a shootout last week as initial media reports suggested and remains at large, police said Wednesday.

Tests comparing the body's DNA with that of members of Noordin Muhammad Top's family came back negative, said Eddy Saparwoko, head of the national police victim identification unit. The body was found to be that of a florist linked to Noordin who police said was a member of a terrorist cell that led last month's twin suicide hotel bombings in Jakarta.

Noordin, a Malaysian national, has been blamed for masterminding a series of deadly al-Qaida-funded attacks in Indonesia since 2003 and is a prime suspect in the July 17 hotel attacks that killed seven people.

Last month's strikes ended a four-year lull in terrorist attacks in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation. Bombings have killed more than 250 people in Indonesia since 2002, most of them on the resort island of Bali, where a 2002 attack killed 202 people.

"The DNA test didn't match with Noordin's family," Saparwoko said at a nationally televised press conference Wednesday.

Local media had reported that Noordin, a self-proclaimed al-Qaida commander who has eluded capture in Indonesia and Malaysia since 2001, was slain in a gunbattle with security forces.

But Saparwoko said the man who died in the shootout at a farmhouse in central Java on Saturday was a florist, identified only as Ibrohim. He made floral arrangements at the J.W. Marriott Hotel and Ritz-Carlton hotels, where suicide bombers attacked last month during breakfast, killing themselves and wounding more than 50 others.

Chief national police spokesman Nanan Sukarna identified Ibrohim as "a planner and arranger of the bombings" and said that five other suspects in the blasts remain at large, including Noordin.

Ibrohim, the father of four children, began working in Jakarta's luxury hotels in 2002 after gaining "an important position in the Noordin M. Top's network," Nanan said. He began working in 2005 for Cynthia Florist, which operated two shops at the American hotel chains.

Police say Ibrohim met Noordin several times in the run-up to the July attacks and had advanced preparations to kill President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, including a would-be suicide bomber and a car rigged with hundreds of pounds (kilograms) of explosives.

In April, Ibrohim began scouting the targets and smuggled explosives in through a basement cargo dock a day before the strikes, Nanan said, showing newly released security camera footage.

The grainy images show a lone man driving a small pickup truck into the J.W. Marriott Hotel and unloading what police said were three containers of explosives, apparently after skirting all security checks.

The video also showed Ibrohim leading the suicide bombers, one of them an 18-year-old high school graduate, through the hotels on July 8, apparently in a rehearsal for the attacks plotted from two rented safe houses on the outskirts of Jakarta.

"We know him. He worked as a third-party florist," said Allan Orlob, head of security for the J.W. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels.

Ibrohim resigned the morning of the bombings, Orlob told The Associated Press on Wednesday, and left only a letter to his employer in which he asked that part of his last paycheck be used to reimburse several people who loaned him money.

Noordin, 41, is also accused of orchestrating a bombing of the J.W. Marriott Hotel in 2003 and a massive explosion outside the Australian Embassy in 2004, attacks in the capital that killed more than 20 people.

The story behind of Gobi Treasure

In 1937, the treasure of Danzan Ravjaa, a famous buddhist master from the Gobi desert, was buried in the sand by Tuduv, the caretaker of his legacy, to protect it from being destroyed by the communist army.

Tuduv's grandson Altangerel is the only person alive who knows the precise location of the crates. A number have already been recovered, and the artefacts they contained are now on display at the Danzan Ravjaa Museum in Sainshand, 400km south of Ulaanbaatar. Another 15 remain where they were buried 72 years ago.

On August 1st, 2009, two of the last of Danzan Ravjaa's treasure crates will be unearthed in a live international satellite transmission, directly from the Gobi desert. The event will be part of 80+1 - A Journey Around the World within the program of Linz 2009 - Cultural Capital of Europe.

In addition, the live stream will be available on this website. There will also be public viewings at other places, such as Vienna, Austria.

All donations made on this web site and at the public viewings will be handed over to Altangerel in order to support the Danzan Ravjaa Museum in Sainshand and the reconstruction of the Khamariin Hiid Monastery.

Mona Lisa smiles on after Russian teacup attack

PARIS (AFP) – An "unhinged" Russian woman threw a teacup at the world's most famous painting, Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa," but it emerged unscathed due to its bullet-proof glass cover, the Louvre museum said on Tuesday.

"The young woman took a cup out of her bag and threw it over the heads of other people who were looking at the painting. The cup smashed on the bullet-proof glass which was slightly scratched," a spokesman said.

"It looks like it was done by someone who was unhinged and wanted to draw attention to herself," he said.

The woman put up no resistance when museum guards apprehended her after the incident on August 2.

She was handed over to police who said the woman "did not have all her mental faculties and has been transferred to the police psychiatric infirmary."

The Louvre, the biggest art museum in the world, has thousands of paintings, but most of the millions of visitors a year make a bee-line for the Mona Lisa, known in France as La Joconde.

The 500-year-old painting was stolen in 1911 from the Louvre but was returned two years later after an Italian was arrested for its theft.

It was doused with acid by a vandal in 1956 and later the same year a Bolivian damaged it again by throwing a rock at it.

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