Ensuring a safe Christmas in Jakarta
JAKARTA • Police chief Idham Aziz said he has instructed his colleagues across Jakarta to prevent a recurrence of last year's raids on Christmas-related businesses by hardline Islamic organisations.
"We have to guarantee that the Christmas celebration run safely and in an orderly manner," Inspector-General Idham was quoted by the kompas.com news portal as saying on Friday.
Some 21,000 police officers will be deployed to guard Christmas and New Year's Eve celebrations in the Indonesian capital, the police chief added.
Gujarat votes in test of Modi's popularity
AHMEDABAD • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat began voting yesterday, in a key electoral test of his popularity after a series of controversial economic reforms.
Nearly 1,000 candidates are vying for power in 89 constituencies across 19 districts of Gujarat, according to the Election Commission of India. Vote counting begins on Dec 18.
Senior Trump aide to step down
WASHINGTON • President Donald Trump's deputy national security adviser for strategy Dina Powell plans to resign early next year but will still have a role in Middle East diplomacy.
White House spokesman Sarah Sanders on Friday said Mrs Powell, a key player in US diplomatic efforts in the Middle East, had always planned to stay just one year in the administration and then return to her home in New York.
Death for two who raped, killed maid
NEW DELHI • A special court in India has sentenced a businessman and his domestic helper to death for the brutal rape and murder of a housemaid in 2006.
Singh Pandher and his aide Surinder Koli were found guilty on Friday of killing the 25-year-old maid, known only as Anjali, in their house in Nithari village in Noida. It is believed Koli also ate his victim's flesh.