How a wife’s birthday surprise turned into a nightmare

A surprise trip to Bali for a woman’s birthday has turned into a nightmare for a NSW couple. Linda Peterson and her husband Michael, a former air force technician, were on a getaway for her birthday when Mr Peterson was arrested after landing on the tourist island on Friday, Nine News reports. Mr Peterson, from the Hunter Region, was found with Dexamfetamine while going through customs and could face 20 years’ jail due to the country’s strict drug law Dexamfetamine is used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy.

The 47-year-old remains behind bars. On Monday, his legal team and wife visited him in jail. He told 7News he booked the trip as a surprise for his wife. “I just didn’t give it (bringing the medication) a thought,” he said. “Because I’ve travelled with defence as well, taking that drug, I didn’t   think anything of it.” Mr Peterson said he needs the medication to counter extreme fatigue as a result of his work in the air force.

But authorities are questioning why he has 87 tablets despite staying in Bali for four days. He also doesn’t have a prescription with him. The Government’s Smart Traveller site notes “some drugs used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are illegal in Indonesia”. “If you plan to bring medication, check if it’s legal in Indonesia,” the section reads. “Take enough legal medicine for your trip.”

Mr Peterson’s lawyer Edward Pangkahila told 7News on Monday he’s confident his client will avoid drug charges with information from the doctor now in the hands of narcotics police. He’s hopeful the Australian man will be released on Monday or Tuesday. [au.news.yahoo.com November 25, 2019]

Climate change brings worst drought to Indonesia since 2015

Regions in at least 11 southern Indonesian provinces, some of which have gone more than seven months without rain, are expected to see the prolonged dry spell continue until December, in another sign of changing weather patterns in the country. Cities and regencies across Lampung, Banten, West and East Java, Yogyakarta, Bali, West and East Nusa Tenggara as well as South and Southeast Sulawesi have not seen rain for more than 61 days straight, according to Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) data as of Nov. 13. The agency has raised the drought status for the said regions to the highest level of awas (warning), putting the chance of low-intensity rainfall in the areas in the following 20 days at 70 percent.

In the worst dry season the country has experienced since 2015, most affected regencies have experienced months without rain. Buleleng in Bali and Sampang in East Java  have not seen rain for more than 216 days, while East Sumba in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) has suffered the             longest at 249 days. The drought statuses of some regions in Bali, NTT, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), Southeast Sulawesi and Maluku, meanwhile, have been put at waspada (advisory), meaning that the regions have not seen rain for more than 21 consecutive days with a slightly higher prospect of low-intensity rainfall.

BMKG’s climate variability analysis head Indra Gustari said an anomaly had been observed this year, marked by the lateness of the rainy season that would not come until late November or December in southern Indonesia, including Java, Bali and Nusa Tenggara. This is in contrast to most of Sumatra and Kalimantan, which are expected to see their rainfall peak over the same period. “There are two factors: First is the weak El Niño phenomenon that we observed    from the middle of last year until July this year. However, a more dominant factor is the relatively low sea surface  temperature, a global phenomenon known as the positive Indian Ocean Dipole,” Indra told The Jakarta Post on Friday. [www.thejakartapost.com November 22, 2019]

Badung has two temporary trash options after Suwung dump ban

The Badung district government continues to discuss the best way to overcome the trash dump issue after Suwung landfill is closed to it at the end of the month. At the moment, the government states that there are two temporary options. The Green House at the government area and buildings in Sempidi or deliver them to 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) Integrated Waste Management Areas (TPST) near Mengwi Terminal. Previously, the Bali provincial government provided a solution by offering their owned land for landfill, in the Ungasan, Canggu, and Sobangan areas but that has been rejected by residents.

The daily average of trash build up in Badung district now reaches approx. 281 tons, with 19.25 tons of that absorbed by all the TPSTs in Badung, while the rest is delivered to Suwung. The Head of Badung District Environment Board (DLHK), I Putu Eka Merthawan, confirmed the options when he was interviewed on Tuesday. He said that both of the options are temporary because the government is still discussing the final location that will be set as the landfill area in Badung. “Yes, the landfill construction is still in process, as it needs a large area to make it. We have reviewed two locations, Green House at the Badung Government Center which stands on 25 are (2500 m2 of land), and 3R TPST on Mengwitani near Mengwi Terminal which stands on 50 are of land,” he said to balipost.com. He also confirmed that they used existing waste management areas for a temporary solution while waiting for the new landfill plan. “Actually we can optimize the existing landfills. The trash that is collected from residents could be recycled there. And we definitely won’t construct an open landfill, we will construct a closed one. The trash that is delivered there can be recycled immediately,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Head of PDI Perjuangan Party, I Gusti Anom Gumanti, said that the provincial government should give at least a year to the Badung District government before they forbid them delivering rubbish to Suwung. He hoped that   the governor can mediate the issue with related parties. “This trash issue is quite sensitive for the Badung District government, because Badung is the main tourism in Bali and even in Indonesia and it can affect the Badung and Bali  tourism industry,” he said. He also said that Badung District government plans to fully manage their own trash by 2021 and they have constructed 1,000 village-based trash banks. The Badung District government has also commanded all villages and sub-villages to construct 3R TPST and they also planned to construct a landfill with eco-green waste management technology, but both of them need time.

In an article in NusaBali it was stated that the rubbish problem has also been discussed in Jakarta. It was revealed, the issue of the Suwung rubbish dump was briefly discussed by President Jokowi in a limited cabinet meeting at the Jakarta State Palace recently as stated by Govenor Koster yesterday in Denpasar. “Yes, the issue of the Suwung rubbish dump has been discussed in a limited meeting chaired by President Jokowi at the State Palace. We should be ashamed. Imagine, just because the garbage issue is not over, President Jokowi has intervened,” Governor Koster said at the plenary session yesterday afternoon.

According to Koster, the handling of the waste problem at the Suwung dump has been decided. In this decision Tabanan and Gianyar Regencies won’t be sending waste to the Suwung landfill. Only Denpasar City can send trash to Suwung. While Badung Regency, has been given a month to stop sending waste to Suwung. During this month, Badung is only allowed to send garbage to the Suwung landfill with a maximum of 15 trucks per day. [seminyaktimes.com November. 12, 2019]

Japanese expat in Bali falls from 2nd floor of apartment and breaks neck during brutal robbery

Radar Bali reports severe injuries were suffered by a Japanese female national, Mika Hasegawa, possibly inflicted in the course of a home robbery. Hasegawa (38) was robbed at her place of residence, Apartment #8, Liem House Apartment, on Jalan Pura Merta Sari IV, Pemogan, Denpasar Selatan on Monday, November 25, 2019, at around 8:00 am.

Police report that a robber or robbers beat, choked, and then threw the woman from the second floor of the apartment building into an adjacent open lot. Nyoman Wirajaya of the South Denpasar Police Precinct said: “We don’t know the chronology of the incident yet. What’s clear is that a Japanese fell from the second floor. She said a man was following her.” Police are unable to conduct a thorough interview of the woman who remains warded at the BIMC Hospital. Hasegawa has reportedly suffered a broken neck in the course of the robbery, inhibiting her ability to speak with police. The woman was discovered by a guard of the apartment building who heard her calls of help as he arrived at 8:00 am to report to work and then discovered the woman lying in the vacant lot. Police are reviewing CCTV footage from the apartment building as their investigation continues.

[balidiscovery.com November 26, 2019]

Peaceful beach area in Bali marred by violence

Police in Bali are investigating an unusually vicious knife attack on a Spanish female tourist that took place of the parking area of Padang-Padang Beach at Uluwatu on Thursday, November 21, 2019, at 7:20 pm. According to Radar Bali, Rossie Pie Leal (40) and a traveling companion, Azul Aine Martinez Jacomet, were walking from the beach to the parking area where they had parked a motorcycle. The pair told the police that a man riding a motorcycle approached the couple and tried to snatch a bag from the woman’s shoulder.

Leal reportedly resisted the theft while her companion tried to summon help. In the ensuing struggle, the thief produced a small sword (parang) that he used to viciously attack the woman, slashing her in the left shoulder, left elbow, right elbow, left hand, back, and waist. Leaving the woman badly wounded and bleeding, the thief escaped with the woman’s bag containing an iPhone X, cash, and credit cards. Police have interviewed the victims and bystanders, and are reviewing CCTV footage from the        surrounding area while an intensive manhunt is underway for the attacker. [balidiscovery.com November 26, 2019]

Indonesia trials gift of chicks to wean children off of smartphones

Officials in one Indonesian city have hatched a plan to wean children off smartphones-by giving them their own fluffy chicks to raise. Around 2,000 four-day-old chicks will be handed out to pupils at elementary and junior high schools in Bandung in the coming weeks in an attempt to distract them from their gadgets. The children must feed their new pets before and after school and can keep them at home or on school premises if they do not have space in their backyard.

Authorities in the city, around 150 km (95 miles) southeast of the capital Jakarta, have dubbed the unusual project “chickenisation”. At a ribbon – cutting held on Thursday, a dozen chicks in cages were distributed with a sign that read: “Please take good care of me”. “There is an aspect of discipline here,” said Bandung’s mayor Oded Muhammad Danial. But the project isn’t just about curbing school kids’ phone habits, he said – it is also part of a national plan to broaden pupils’ education launched by President Joko Widodo.

Danial first announced the chick project last month but said the city needed time to sort out logistics with local chicken farms. Mother Yayah Ratnasari was sold on the chicks-not-smartphones plan, and even expressed hopes it might encourage her son to become a poultry farmer. “It’s more beneficial for them to take care of chicks than play with smartphones,” she said. But her teenage son Rabil  was less enthused. “It’s more interesting playing with a smartphone,” he said. [scmp.com November 22, 2019]