Thousands of Indonesians rally at US embassy over Jerusalem

About 10,000 people demonstrated outside the US embassy in Jakarta on Sunday, December 10, to denounce President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. (AP)
Updated 10 December 2017
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Thousands of Indonesians rally at US embassy over Jerusalem

JAKARTA, Indonesia: About 10,000 people rallied Sunday outside the US Embassy in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta to denounce President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Similar protests, mostly organized by the Islamist Prosperous Justice Party, or PKS, also were held in many other cities in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country.
The protests were the third and biggest in Indonesia since Trump’s decision on Thursday.
In the capital, protesters carried banners reading “US Embassy, Get Out from Al Quds,” “Free Jerusalem and Palestinians” and “We are with the Palestinians.” Al-Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem.
Wearing traditional Islamic white robes, the protesters also unfurled Indonesian and Palestinian flags.
A written statement from PKS described Trump’s decision as “a form of humiliation and provocation against Muslims all over the world.”
It said similar and simultaneous protests also were held Sunday in at least 10 provincial capitals and cities across Indonesia.
Earlier in the day, another group, calling itself Indonesia’s Volunteers Society, held a similar rally in Jakarta, hundreds of meters (yards) from the embassy.
Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has strongly condemned Trump’s move, which he described as a violation of UN resolutions.
Indonesia has long been a strong supporter of Palestinians and has no diplomatic ties with Israel.


Greek Prime Minister heads to Odysseus’ home at end of bailout journey

Updated 21 August 2018
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Greek Prime Minister heads to Odysseus’ home at end of bailout journey

ATHENS: Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras headed to the Greek island of Ithaca on Tuesday in a gesture laden with classical symbolism as the country emerges from nine years of crisis and international financial bailouts.
The island was home to Odysseus, who found his way home from the Trojan war after a 10-year voyage lost at sea, recounted in Homer’s epic poem.
Tsipras is due to give a state address from the island, a day after Greece ended its third bailout deal with international creditors who have bankrolled the country in return for tough reforms and austerity monitored by their inspectors since 2010.
“We are not saying that all problems have been solved because we exited the bailout, we will not celebrate,” deputy economy minister Alexis Haritsis told state tv ERT. “But it is a significant day and it is a success to manage to get out of a tough surveillance.”
Former Prime Minister George Papandreou, who applied for the first bailout from Greece’s euro zone partners and the International Monetary Fund in April 2010, also drew on the Odyssey analogy at the time.
“We are on a difficult path, a new odyssey for Greece and for the Greek nation,” Papandreou said at the time. “But we know the way to Ithaca, and we have charted the waters in our quest.”
Austerity and political turmoil followed, shrinking the economy by a quarter, pushing a third of the population into poverty and forcing the migration of thousands abroad.
Another two bailouts followed in 2012 and 2015. In all, the €288 billion ($330 billion) Greece has borrowed is the largest bailout in history, saddling the country with debt the equivalent of 180 percent of its annual economic output.
In the coming years, Greece will have to maintain primary budget surpluses — excluding debt repayments — and further cuts in pensions may be made in 2019.
One newspaper also referred to the long voyage of Odysseus. “Even after Ithaca we will still be rowing,” the daily Ethnos said on its front page.