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Huge ash cloud as Indonesia’s Mount Soputan erupts
October 26th, 2007

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Mount Soputan volcano on the northern tip of Indonesia‘s Sulawesi island has erupted, throwing columns of ash 1,000 meters (3,300 ft) into the air, an official said on Friday.

Saut Simatupang, of Indonesia’s Centre for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, said that the eruption did not appear to pose an immediate threat to residents, although ash had reached the nearest town.

“From the data that we have, it is only spraying ash without other volcanic material,” he said by telephone. “It is not so dangerous but we suggest people wear a mask so they will not suffer from respiratory problems.”

The nearest village to Soputan, 2,175 km (1,351 miles) northeast of the capital Jakarta, is located 11 km from its crater.

In August, Soputan also spewed ash and rocks, although Simatupang said that a few days ago the volcano was calm.

A local official said that no evacuation had been ordered.

“The eruption was weak, only sending out volcanic ash and the wind blew to the south while we are in the western part of the mountain,” said Ramai Luntungan.

He said that two villages near the mountain, with 1,000 people in each, were not in danger as they were protected by the lie of the land, but that masks would be distributed.

“Based on our experiences, we will only be showered by ash, so we didn’t need to evacuate.”

Last week, authorities evacuated residents living within a 10-km (6-mile) zone around Mount Kelud volcano in eastern Java after warning it was liable to erupt.

The order to evacuate more than 100,000 people was made after officials declared a maximum alert at the volcano, just 90 km (55 miles) southwest of Surabaya, Indonesia‘s second-largest city.

Indonesia has the highest number of active volcanoes in any country, sitting on a belt of intense volcanic and seismic activity known as the “Pacific Ring of Fire.”

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United Nations Climate Change Conference, 3-14 December, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia
October 21st, 2007

The Conference, hosted by the Government of Indonesia, brings together representatives of over 180 countries together with observers from intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, and the media. The two week period includes the sessions of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, its subsidiary bodies as well as the Meeting of the Parties of the Kyoto Protocol. A ministerial segment in the second week will conclude the Conference.

More information will be posted by the UNFCCC secretariat as it becomes available. In addition, the Government of Indonesia will launch a website providing detailed information on visas, local conditions and hotels.




U.S. lifts warning on flights in and out of Bali airport
October 20th, 2007

The United States has lifted a security warning against the airport on Indonesia’s Bali island, two years after it was issued after a string of bombings on the resort island.

The decision came ahead of U.N. climate talks in December when delegates from 189 countries will gather in Bali to discuss a pact to slow global warming.

In 2005, U.S. homeland security declared the airport in Denpasar unsafe and discouraged U.S. planes from flying directly to the island, after the attacks in 2002 and 2005 that killed over 200 people.

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Released turtles represent Bali bombing victims
October 13th, 2007

Two-hundred and two baby turtles have been released into the sea at Bali’s Kuta beach, each one of them representing a life lost tonight five years ago.

As the sun began to set, hundreds of people gathered on Bali’s Kuta beach around sandcastles made in the shape of giant turtles and the words “Paddle for Peace” carved out of the sand and filled with pink flower petals.

The baby turtles were lifted out of large buckets with small cups of seawater, and about 80 surfers then followed the struggling reptiles, paddling out beyond the waves and forming the shape of a heart as a symbol of peace.

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Garuda adds Perth capacity this month to cope with Bali demand
October 11th, 2007

etravelblackboard.com

Garuda Indonesia is to add another 1096 seats to its capacity on the Perth-Bali route this month to cope with demand that is more than 50 per cent up on the same period last year.

The airline’s Regional Manager South West Pacific Mr Suranto Yitnopawiro said Airbus A330s would replace Boeing 737s on flights scheduled for October 14,15,22,23,24,25,26 and 27, giving an extra 137 seats per flight.

“Perth has always been Australia’s leader in demand for Bali and the growth this year has been overwhelming, even with extra capacity added earlier this year. The A330s will provide 42 Executive Class (Business) seats and 251 economy class seats per flight.

“These will help us through October, while we still have seats available in November to cope with demand for top value holiday packages, such as our current specials (www.balionanybudget) from $569*, “ he said.

Load factors from the East Coast have also been high, leading to the introduction of an additional Garuda service from Sydney to Bali in June and the deployment of a larger aircraft on several Sydney services until the end of October. Melbourne flights have also been recording consistently high seat load factors; a clear indication that Bali is back on the map for Australian holidaymakers.

** Plus Australian Government taxes and airport/airline fees and surcharges of $240 per person

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Frank Beck appointed General Manager of the St. Regis Resort, Bali
October 4th, 2007

Frank Beck has been appointed General Manager of the St. Regis Resort, Bali – the first St. Regis resort to open in Asia Pacific.

Prior to his appointment and since December 2005, Frank was General Manager of The Laguna Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali, a Starwood Luxury Collection property.

Frank has almost 20 years experience with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and has a wealth of experience in luxury hotels, having held senior management positions in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, including 8 years in Indonesia.

The St. Regis Resort, Bali will feature 81 oversized suites as well as 42 pool villas, all with full butler service. The resort is being developed on an 8.8 hectare site with direct beach access, adjacent to The Bali Golf & Country Club in the luxury Nusa Dua enclave. The St. Regis Resort, Bali is scheduled to open in the 3rd Quarter 2008.

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The Real Madrid Football Academy (RMFA) in Bali
October 2nd, 2007

JAKARTA, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) — Spain’s soccer giant Real Madrid plans to build a soccer academy on the Indonesian resort island of Bali in January 2008, an executive said here Monday.

The Real Madrid Football Academy (RMFA) in Bali will become Real’s second overseas school after the one in Mexico, said Jose Eduardo Nadal, the chief executive officer of PT Realindo Sport Indonesia.

He made the remarks after a meeting with Indonesian Sports Council (KONI) chairwoman Rita Subowo.

The academy is open to children and teenagers between nine and 18 years old with a capacity of 220 trainees under coaches from Real Madrid.

Jose said any student needs to pay 20,000 US dollars every 10 months.

Rita Subowo told reporters she welcomed the plan by Realindo and Real Madrid to build the academy, the first of its kind in Indonesia.

“Hopefully, the academy will deliver highly talented players to become the backbone of the Indonesian national team in the future,” she said.

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