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JAKARTA, June 19, 2018 (News Wires) - Rescuers searching on Tuesday for dozens of people missing after a ferry sank on Indonesia's Lake Toba have found bags, jackets, an ID card and other items in the waters but no new survivors.

Police said in a statement that 18 people were rescued and one body was recovered, unchanged from figures released by disaster and police officials nearly a day earlier on Monday evening. It released the names of 94 people confirmed as missing but said the figure is expected to rise as information from relatives is compiled.

Cellphone video released by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency shows the crew of another ferry attempting to rescue people struggling in the waters shortly after the sinking but being hampered by bad weather and rough waters. Distraught relatives have gathered at major ferry docks on the lake, hoping for news of missing family members.

Budiawan, the head of the search and rescue agency in the nearby city of Medan, said the overcrowded boat was filled with an estimated 150 people and 55 motorbikes. Officials are relying on reports from the families of victims and survivors to estimate the number of victims. Budiawan, who uses one name, said the vessel did not have a passenger manifest.

Disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the boat sank at about 5:30 pm Monday as it sailed from the mainland to an island.

A survivor identified by Indonesian television as Juwita Sumbayak said the vessel was rocked by high waves and was hit a by a wooden boat before suddenly sinking.

"I was desperate. I was scared to death. I'm afraid my family is dead," she said, weeping.

BANDUNG, Indonesia, June 11, 2018 (News Wires) — Indonesia’s first Islamic fashion school is teaching students in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country the usual skills of design, styling and marketing — but with a religion-specific twist.

As demand grows for Islamic apparel, featuring variations on traditional headscarves and long, flowing dresses for women, while men are targeted with robes or shirts embroidered with religious motifs, about 140 students have signed up.

“We want our students to make unique designs and become leaders in modest fashion,” said Deden Siswanto, who founded the Islamic Fashion Institute nearly three years ago in Indonesia’s third largest city of Bandung.

“We also teach them about wearing clothes according to Islamic rules.”

Nearby sat a group of young women working at sketchboards and sewing stations in the school, which offers nine-month courses in fashion styling, marketing, and basic styling.

Both men and women, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, may join. But teachers must be Muslim, to ensure familiarity with Islamic business practices.

The trend towards garments that meet religious requirements is becoming more visible among the burgeoning middle class in Indonesia, where, for years, few Muslim women covered their heads, or opted for traditional batik or Western clothing.

The country hosted its first Muslim Fashion Week in 2015 and the industry ministry aims to make Indonesia a “Muslim fashion hub” by 2020.

One of the students at the school, Runi Soemadipradja, said she started wearing a headscarf in 2007 but found few options suitable for Muslims.

“I started designing my own clothes,” she said.

“We are overwhelmed by this (demand). So far I have released 10 collections.”

JAKARTA, May 30, 2018 (News Wires) - Indonesia and India pledged on Wednesday to step up defence and maritime cooperation, with plans to develop a strategic Indonesian naval port in the Indian Ocean, the leaders of the two countries said after meeting in Jakarta.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss, among other issues, developing infrastructure and an economic zone at Sabang, on the tip of Sumatra island and at the mouth of the Malacca Strait, one of the busiest shipping channels for global trade.

“India is a strategic defence partner...and we will continue to advance our cooperation in developing infrastructure, including at Sabang Island and the Andaman Islands,” Widodo told a news conference after the meeting at the presidential palace.

Analysts say the move comes amid concerns over China’s rising maritime influence in the region, and is part of Modi’s “Act East” policy of developing stronger ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

“The India-ASEAN partnership can be a force to guarantee peace and progress in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond,” Modi said in a statement read in Hindi.

Modi this year invited the leaders of all ten ASEAN nations to attend New Delhi’s Republic Day parade, the biggest such gathering of foreign leaders at the annual event.

YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia, May 21, 2018 (News Wires) — Indonesia's most volatile volcano spewed smoke and ash early on Monday in the latest of several eruptions in less than two weeks.

Mount Merapi on the main island of Java erupted twice, sending a column of volcanic material up to 1,200 meters  into the air and making ash fall in several villages, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the disaster mitigation agency spokesman.

He said the alert level of the volcano was not raised, which is at a normal level with no eruption expected in the foreseeable future.

An eruption of Merapi on May 11 sent nearby residents fleeing to safer areas. There have been no reports of casualties, and operations at Adi Sucipto airport in Yogyakarta was not disturbed by Monday's eruptions.

The 2,968-meter  mountain between Yogyakarta and Central Java provinces is the most active of 500 Indonesian volcanoes. Its last major eruption in 2010 killed 347 people and caused the evacuation of 20,000 villagers.

Indonesia, an archipelago of 240 million people, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity because it sits along the Pacific "Ring of Fire," a horseshoe-shaped series of fault lines.

CAIRO, May 14, 2018 (MENA) - Egypt condemned on Monday the terrorist attack on a police headquarters in Surabaya, the second largest city in Indonesia.

In a statement released on Monday, the Foreign Ministry wished a speedy recovery for the injured, asserting Egypt's backing for the Indonesian government and people in fighting terrorism that has hit the country over the past two days.

The statement also called for intensifying international efforts to stand against terrorism which has become a growing threat to global stability and security .

SURABAYA, Indonesia, May 14, 2018 (News Wires) - A family of Islamist terrorists in Indonesia carried an eight-year-old into a suicide bomb attack against police in Surabaya on Monday, a day after another militant family killed 13 people in suicide attacks on three churches in the same city.

The suicide bombers rode two motorbikes up to a checkpoint outside a police station and blew themselves up, Tito Karnavian, the police chief in Indonesia’s second-largest city, told a news conference.

He said the child survived the explosion, and CCTV footage showed a child stumbling around in the aftermath.

Four officers and six civilians were wounded in the attack, East Java police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera said.

President Joko Widodo branded the attacks in Surabaya the “act of cowards”, and pledged to push through a new anti-terrorism bill to combat Islamist terrorist networks. After some major successes tackling Islamist militancy since 2001, there has been a resurgence in recent years, including in January 2016 when four suicide bombers and gunmen attacked a shopping area in central Jakarta.

Police suspected Sunday’s attacks on the churches were carried out by a cell of the Islamic State-inspired group Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), an umbrella organisation on a US State Department terrorist list that is reckoned to have drawn hundreds Indonesian sympathisers of Islamic State.

“In the case of Surabaya, they escaped detection, but once it happened we moved fast to identify their network,” Karnavian said.

The father of the family involved in those attacks was the head of a JAD cell in the city, the police chief said.

Earlier, police said his family was among 500 Islamic State sympathisers who had returned from Syria, but the police chief said that was incorrect.

During the hunt for the cell, police shot dead one suspect and arrested four others.

The police chief said the JAD cell may have been answering a call from Islamic State in Syria to “cells throughout the world to mobilise.”

He said the imprisonment of JAD’s leader, Aman Abdurrahman, could be another motive, and cited clashes with Islamist prisoners at jail near Jakarta last week in which five counter-terrorism officers were killed.

In another incident in Sidoarjo, south of Surabya, Karnavian said police recovered unexploded pipe bombs in an apartment where an explosion killed three members of a family alleged to have been making bombs. Three children from the family survived and were taken to hospital.

In all, 25 people have died since Sunday attacks, including 13 suspected terrorists, Karnavian said.

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