World
Four killed in Jakarta blasts
Jakarta : At least four people, including a policeman, were killed and two others injured after gunmen attacked a traffic police post near a shopping mall here on Thursday, an official said.
 
The police spokesman, Brigadier General Anton Charliyan told reporters: "Three police were victims, one of them was killed and two others were injured, and three civilians were also killed." 
 
Previously, the spokesman said all the three policemen were killed.
 
Indonesia police chief General Badrodin Haiti said security at the presidential palace has been beefed up after explosions and fire exchanges with attackers in the heart of the capital city.
 
"Yes, there are more deployment of force (in the palace)," Badrodin said, but he did not go into details on either the number or the security measures taken at the palace to respond to the attacks.
 
The strikes occurred after police got warning that the Islamic State (IS) group would launch attacks in Indonesia, Charliyan told reporters. 
 
"It is clear that from the warning given by IS group that Indonesia will have a concert, Indonesia will be an international news," he said.
 
Therefore, "we have given warning too" of the possible strikes, and conducted arrests of several militants in many places in the country, Charliyan said.
 
Jakarta police spokesman M. Iqbal said in a TV telephone interview that "the explosions were allegedly from bombs, we don't know yet."
 
"Further investigation is underway at present. Our apparatus is now combing a coffee shop building at the left side of the attacked traffic police post," he said.
 
Footage broadcast by Metro TV showed that some of the explosions also took place in the front yard of the shopping mall. 
 
Another footage showed two people in white clothes pointed their guns to the street direction, and gave orders to their colleagues who followed behind.
 
The TV reported that at least 14 people were involved in the shootout with police. A witness said that among those killed in the incident was a foreigner.
 
The TV also reported that another explosion occurred in Palmerah, west Jakarta. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Killing the chill - the Kashmiri way
Kashmiris carry it inside the 'pheran', a traditional long flowing tweed over-garment, to keep the freezing winter away
 
New Delhi : Have you ever imagined carrying red-hot charcoal filled in an earthen pot inside your dress? It sounds dangerous, but Kashmiris do it to kill the chill.
 
As Kashmir freezes in bone-chilling temperatures, woollen and thermal wear are not enough to cope. 'Kangri', commonly called kanger in Kashmir, is a traditional earthen pot in a woven wicker basket and filled with red-hot charcoal.
 
Kashmiris carry it inside the 'pheran', a traditional long flowing tweed over-garment, to keep the freezing winter away.
 
As most of rural Kashmir is devoid of electricity, locals use the kangri daily as it doesn't disappoint them like electricity does.
 
"Winter in Kashmir means kangri. Due to poor electric supply we use the kangri on a daily basis as it is cheaper than oil, gas and heaters" said Wali Muhammad, a resident of Chadoora in Budgam.
 
"At present, the majority of people in the Valley use kangris to keep warm. With its potability we can take it anywhere," Muhammad added.
 
Everybody cannot make a kangri. It needs skill, dexterity and craftsmanship.
 
"We collect twigs from deciduous shrubs, scratch and peel them. After peeling, it goes through the process of soaking, drying, and then dyeing", kangri-maker Abdul Rashid told IANS.
 
"Dried and dressed twigs are woven around a bowl-shaped earthen pot decorated with colourful threads to make the kangri beautiful," he added.
 
"The production of kangris has declined over the years due to availability of alternate heating gadgets", Rashid said.
 
With the increasing winter cold, other modern heating equipment has been flooding the markets but have failed to replace the kangri.
 
Kangri has become a popular handicraft. Besides being used for heating purposes, it remains a durable article which is eco-friendly and cost-effective.
 
"There are different prices of kangris starting from Rs.70 a piece. The prices can go as high as Rs.3,500 depending on the artistic work and design," said Muhammad Shafi, the owner of a kangri shop in Srinagar.
 
"This is a specialty as some kangris are made only for newly-weds. Like many other household articles, the brides carry them to their in-laws' houses. The kangri is also used as a decoration piece in drawing rooms.
 
"Its colours, innovative designs and artwork attract tourists.
 
"If you want to visit Kashmir during winter, you will find different shops selling heaters and other appliances, but you will be surprised to see heavy rush of people at shops selling kangris," Shafi claimed.
 
Kashmiris may use modern gadgets to keep themselves warm, but the majority prefer to follow their culture by using the kangri.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

 

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Crime of Planning
Atrocities of World War II gave the world the legislation on human rights. Punishment for modern crimes will emerge over time
 
In 2012, one morning’s papers reported a legislator watching porn in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly. While most made the act sound dirty, we choose to take a different tack. The man should be charged with ‘dereliction of duty’. If he is not heavily penalised for the graver sin, that of using public time and money for entertainment, all legislators will watch movies, or listen to music, during assembly or parliament sessions. 
 
Lawmen and electronic equipment make bizarre stories but this one should serve as a warning to the public; especially youngsters. A New York cop, Gilberto Valle, had access to the data on NY citizens. It listed details of many women. The data was ‘restricted access only’ and Valle was one of the privileged few. He also had a darker side. How dark, and how dangerous, was the bone of contention. The cop was part of an Internet group which exchanged notes. The themes, or one of the more rabid ones, involved the modus operandi of sickening acts on women. The cop had access to a list-full of names, addresses and other details. One thing led to another. Plans were hatched.
 
The group stepped on the gas with every passing day, or rather every chat. They planned whom, how and when to kidnap. Next step: molestation and murder. Not content, the bodies were to be dissected, cooked and, finally, eaten. Valle was arrested. Before the plans could be put into action. Would you see all that as a crime, with such gruesome facts? You be the judge.
 
Valle was convicted. He lost his job. His wife left him. His daughter was given to custody. And New York had its own ‘Hannibal-the-Cannibal’. The convict appealed. His contention was that the whole exercise was just a fun thing. No harm meant. It was a site where fantasises roamed free. It was not for the conservative majority to judge him as evil. After all, no one was harmed. It was just honest-to-goodness fun.
 
What of the computers that were used to enhance the possibility of success? The victims were totally unaware of the dastardly scheme. His co-chatters had classified information which could be used to deadly and ‘hunger-satisfying’ effect. Valle had exposed a lot of women to extreme harm, possibly a violent end. 
 
Conspiracy has many components. Some are actionable, some not. It involves more than one person, usually a group. It involves a plan, a method of execution, a desired completion. It must cause harm, being planned so, though not necessarily physical harm. The ultimate is sedition, overthrow of the government. Most countries have the maximum penalty for that; either execution or incarceration for life. It has been so for centuries. Until the Second World War. 
 
The carnage that Hitler carried out on his own dissenting officers, like Claus von Stauffenberg, has been well documented. Court martial meant death by firing squad, the end preferred by chivalrous military men, moments after the trial. Insult was often added; by hanging on meat-hooks, slowly sucking life out.
 
These atrocities gave the world the legislation on human rights. And the ‘Cannibal Cop’ relied on them. He argued that making fantasy plans, in no way, can be considered a crime. None of the so-called conspirators met each other. They lacked the physical tools. No joint was cased. No one was stalked. It was all wild imagination.
 
He asked, what about that most hallowed of Amendments to the US Constitution—the first of the ‘Five Freedoms’—freedom of speech? Can people not chat, even in a virtual world? Will Big Brother enter every room, grab every computer, watch every message, interpret every action? 
 
The appellate bench agreed with him. It was all virtual; no harm intended. But the question of computer access remained; it revolved around the definition of ‘authorised access’. The prosecution claimed that access meant certain restrictions. The defence countered that that ‘overuse’ was not specified. The court decided that the 21 months in prison was enough. The man walked free. Will the terrorists, instructed over the Internet, also be given this ruling? Only time, and clever lawyers, will tell.
 

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