More carmakers caught in headlights of VW engine-rigging scandal

More carmakers caught in headlights of VW engine-rigging scandal
Volkswagen has admitted it installed illegal software into 11 million 2.0 liter and 3.0 liter diesel engines worldwide (AFP Photo/Josh Edelson)

Volkswagen emissions scandal

Iran's 'catastrophic mistake': Speculation, pressure, then admission

Iran's 'catastrophic mistake': Speculation, pressure, then admission
Analsyts say it is irresponsible to link the crash of a Ukraine International Airline Boeing 737-800 to the 737 MAX accidents (AFP Photo/INA FASSBENDER)

Missing MH370 likely to have disintegrated mid-flight: experts

Missing MH370 likely to have disintegrated mid-flight: experts
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 commercial jet.

QZ8501 (AirAsia)

Leaders see horror of French Alps crash as probe gathers pace

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Commercial Airline Pilot Says UFOs Are Real, Tim Brosnan, July 30, 2010 at 8:15 am

With nearly 30,000 flight hours under his belt, Jim Courant’s qualifications as a major passenger airline captain are solid. So is his conviction that the UFO phenomenon is real.

"I got the proof that I was after,” Courant says. “That’s the part I won’t discuss.But obviously something has kept me in this, taking the chances I’ve taken.”

The nature of the proof that he found isn’t all that Courant won’t discuss. Concerned about professional repercussions, he declines to confirm the name of his airline. Nor will he reveal the identities of some high level officials who he says have confirmed the extraterrestrial presence in conversations with him.

There are a few names that he will drop, however.

Astronaut Gordon Cooper, whose own unambiguous UFO encounter is a matter of public record, was a friend of Courant’s. He’s also traded stories with astronaut Edgar Mitchell, whose 2009 statement at the National Press Building calling for the U.S. government to come clean on the topic of UFOs garnered such fleeting media attention.

The short shrift Mitchell received in the press gives Courant little cause for optimism that future media events will turn the tide.

Media obscura

“A national hero and the sixth man to walk on the moon says that your government and others have been in contact with ETs for 67 years. That’s an incredible statement. It was buried on page seven the next day in the NY Post. Then Rush Limbaugh got in on the act.”

Courant’s frustration with the trickle-down effect of what X-Conference organizer Steve Bassett calls the “truth embargo” is obvious when he’s asked to comment on the effectiveness of the disclosure movement.

“I’d like to say that Steve is getting somewhere with what he’s trying to do,”Courant says. “But the internet is the new sheriff in town. There’s so much B.S. that it’s made it tough for people to know what to believe.”

Saying that he’s ready to unload his 5,000-volume library of UFO books, Courant talks with the road-weary circumspection of someone who’s told his story countless times, and who’s taken a few hits for the telling.

“It’s ruined my social life,” says Courant, who is divorced and lives in the Carolinas.

“I just don’t want the grief,” he says, referring to the backlash that airline pilots sometimes face within their own ranks when they express an interest in UFOs.

“In 1991, two co-pilots did turn me in, saying that the stuff I was talking about was off the wall,” Courant says. “I ended up getting a four-day check ride.Even the FAA showed up. Nothing was ever said about what it was about, but atthe end of the four days, they said, ‘You fly a good airplane.’ There was never any question about my ability to fly.”

Speaking in the documentary film “Fastwalkers,” Courant said that two of his colleagues had been fired from their jobs as pilots for doing UFO-related interviews while in uniform.

But Courant, now 59, continues to fly, despite his active involvement in UFO research. He’s spoken on the topic as far a field as China and Brazil and,closer to home, in Gaithersburg, MD where he participated in the 2005 X-Conference “Seen from Above” pilots’ panel.

Courant was invited in 1992 by an NBC affiliate in Raleigh, North Carolina to host"New Perspective," a live daily television show focusing on topics similar to those popularized by NBC's “Unsolved Mysteries” series, for which he’d served as a consultant.

“We did 534 shows, covering many aspects of the UFO subject,” Courant says. He traveled extensively taping interviews for the show which he co-hosted with a woman he’ll identify only as “Dea,”explaining that she now prefers to maintain a low profile.

Quest for knowledge in the avalanche of lies

Asked about his own UFO sightings, Courant says that he’s had three, the most notable of which occurred in 1995 while he was flying from New Mexico to Los Angeles.

“My co-pilot wouldn’t talk about it afterward,” he says, describing a large,oval-shaped, blue-green object that approached from the left, then shot up at a45-degree angle in a bright flash of light.

But Courant acknowledges that expert testimony is no match for what he says Gordon Cooper referred to as the “huge avalanche of lies” obstructing disclosure.

Google “Jim Courant” and you’ll find, among other things, a $20 DVD titled “Jim Courant Presents UFO Perspective,” which Courant says he’s never seen and did not authorize. Search for him on YouTube and you’ll find excerpts from an interview he did with black ops scientist and alleged contactee Dr. MichaelWolfe, which Courant says was posted without permission.

"I've taken a lot of heat for that," he says, lamenting the ill effects of information age technology, even as it raises public awareness (and acceptance) of UFOs.

“It’s sad that between your astronauts and your trained pilots, there’s still the put-down factor. I’ve learned from 20 years that you’ve got the real deal people, and the people who are in it for the ego and to make some money and fame.”

“For me," Courant says, "it’s ended up being a quest for knowledge.”

Premium Test Finds Impurities at Indonesia's State Owned Gasoline Pumps

Jakarta Globe, Faisal Maliki Baskoro | July 30, 2010

PTPertamina, the state oil and gas company, is facing renewed pressure toinvestigate the quality of its fuel after a non-governmental organizationperformed tests, allegedly finding impurities, water and mud. (SP Photo)

Related Articles

Jakarta. PT Pertamina’s Premium fuel distributed inGreater Jakarta is contaminated with substances that have led to the breakdownsof thousands of cars, particularly taxis, according to a study from anon-governmental organization that advocates for clean fuel.

“Basedon our research, Pertamina’s Premium fuel in the city may contain zinc, ferrumas well as other sediments such as water and mud,” Ahmad Safrudin, chairman ofthe Committee Against Leaded Gasoline (KPBB), said on Friday.

The KPBBsurveyed 20 auto repair shops in Greater Jakarta and found that seven of themhad received complaints of fuel pumps damaged by those substances, he said.

“Zinccoating in Pertamina storage depots may have peeled off and mixed with thefuel,” he said. “Lack of tank cleaning and maintenance of the storage areas mayhave been the cause for those substances to become mixed with the fuel.”

He urgedPertamina and the government to immediately explain to the public what waswrong with Premium fuel, instead of insisting that the state energy company wasnot at fault.

Pertaminaspokesman Basuki Trikora Putra questioned KPBB’s research, calling theaccusations baseless and saying the organization’s test results were invalid.

“Thedirectorate general of oil and gas in cooperation with downstream oil and gasregulator BPH Migas are investigating this issue. The investigation isindependent and the result will be the official result,” he said.

Basukisaid Pertamina had carried out upkeep of its storage tanks and distribution offuel in accordance with the company’s standard operating procedures.

“We haveroutine maintenance in our storage depots and refineries,” he said.

“Ourfuel has been certified and quality checked. All of this was documented byPertamina and the government.”

The fuelpump flap began when Jakarta’s biggest taxi company, Blue Bird Group, said1,200 of its taxis had been affected by impurities in Pertamina’s Premium fuel.

TheExpress taxi company and Gamya Taxi Group have noted the same problems in itsToyotas and Nissans.

Theproblem is also affecting auto manufacturer Hyundai, which along with Toyotasaid it was struggling to meet a sudden surge in demand for fuel pumps.

Gamya onWednesday threatened to drop Pertamina as its fuel distributor and switch toShell, a pricier option.

Thecompany said it had suffered Rp 500 million ($56,000) in losses over the pastmonth due to repair costs and lost revenue after fuel pumps malfunctioned on270 of the company’s vehicles.

MintarsihLatif, Gamya’s president director, said that independent tests conducted inThailand at the behest of an automotive distributor found that the sulfurcontent in Pertamina’s Premium gasoline exceeded normal levels for the fuel.

Lastweek, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources also launched aninvestigation of four Pertamina gas stations in Greater Jakarta, but found thepremium fuel met government specifications.

Anotherprobe by the Civil Servant Investigators office (PPNS) carried out earlier thisweek on four gas stations had yet to announce its result.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Indonesia wants to send more Air Force officers to study in US

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 07/29/2010 12:55 PM

Air Force chief of staff Vice Marshall Imam Sufaat expressed his intention to send more Air Force officers to study in the United States.

“Because the human resources development is vital for us,” Imam said after leading a ceremony to commemorate the Air Force's 63rd anniversary in Yogjakarta.

Imam explained there were five Air Force officers who were still studying in the US. “The larger the number, the better,” Imam said as quoted by news portal. “I just returned from there yesterday,” he added.

He explained that the relations between the two countries' Air Forces was good. “It can be seen from the frequent visits of officials and our participation in various joint exercises,” he said.

Imam also disclosed that the US has help the maintenance of several planes belonging to the Indonesian Air Force. “Now one of our Hercules plane is in the US for a free-of-charge maintenance service,” he added.

Welcome to Britain! New Harrods owners see cars worth £1.5m CLAMPED (outside store they bought for £1.5bn)

Daily Mail, By DAILY MAIL REPORTER, 29th July 2010

They may be two of the fastest, most exclusive supercars in the world but they were going nowhere fast - after being clamped outside Harrods.

The sportscars - worth over £1.5million - belong to the Qatari royal family which bought the exclusive store three months ago.

The £1.2million Koenigsegg CCXR and £350,000 Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4 SuperVeloce were illegally parked outside the London department store last week.

Going nowhere: Two supercars worth over, £1.5million belonging to the Qatari royal family were clamped outside Harrods

Crowds of tourists watched in disbelief as a traffic warden first ticketed then clamped both vehicles - which are custom-made in the royal family's distinctive 'baby blue' colour.

The stunning cars belong to the oil-rich Al-Thani royal family, who own a string of luxury vehicles - including a one-off Pagani Zonda Uno.

Qatar Holding group, which forked out £1.5billion in April to buy Harrods from Fulham FC owner Mohamed Al Fayed, is led by the Prime Minister of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani.

The beautiful 249mph Koenigsegg is one of only six ever made.

The £1.2million Koenigsegg CCXR and £350,000 Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4 SuperVeloce were illegally parked outside the London department store

The custom-built supercar is built from scratch and does an eye-watering 0-60 in 2.9 seconds, producing a staggering 1,064bhp.

The Lamborghini is one of only 350 ever built, again in the families trademark colour, and has a top speed of 213mph and is capable of 0-60 in just 3.2 seconds.

But both were brought to a standstill when they were clamped - although the owners shouldn't have too much trouble stumping up the £150 release fee.

The owners could have taken advantage of Harrods' valet parking service which charges a £8 for the first hour or £40 for 8-9 hours with an additional £50 charge to store a car overnight.

An onlooker said: 'It's not every day you see cars like this, let alone watch them get clamped.

'Judging by their cars, I shouldn't think the owners will worry too much about paying a couple of hundred quid to have the clamps taken off.'

The Al Thani family have an estimated wealth in the region of £2.4billion as well as stakes in dozens of businesses around the world.

They live a playboy lifestyle and assets include a fleet of £multi-million yachts and luxury homes in countries across the globe.

A spokesperson for Harrods said: 'You will need to speak to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea who deal with parking regulations.'

Indonesia Overtakes Thailand in Car Sales

Jakarta Globe, Alvin Darlanika Soedarjo, July 29, 2010

Car salesin Indonesia are now the highest in Southeast Asia. (Antara Photo)

Jakarta.Indonesia has hit the fast lane in terms of auto sales and has overtakenSoutheast Asian pace-setter Thailand for the first time, according to a Nikkeisurvey from the first six months of the year.

Officialsand auto executives attending the 18th Indonesia International Motor Show inJakarta told AFP the outlook for sales in the archipelago of 240 million peoplehad never been brighter.

“Sincelate 2009 and early 2010, all auto brands and producers have been trying toincrease production capacity in Indonesia” to meet demand, industry ministryofficial Budi Darmadi said.

“Comparedto other countries in the region, we have the fastest growth of car sales.”

Salespeaked in Indonesia at 600,000 units in 2008 but slumped 20 percent last yeardue to the global financial turmoil. This year’s figures are expected to top700,000 for the first time, ahead of Thailand.

TheIndonesian Automotive Industry Association (Gaikindo) said auto sales inIndonesia jumped 76 percent to 370,206 vehicles in the first half of 2010,driven by strong demand for minivans with engine outputs of 1.5 liters.

Sales inThailand rose 54 percent to 356,692 units during the same period, according tothe Nikkei survey released Wednesday.

Some1.18 million new vehicles were sold in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, thePhilippines, Vietnam and Singapore during the period, it said.

This wasan increase of 41 percent and put the industry on track to surpass the 2008sales record of 2.09 million units for the six key Southeast Asian markets.

The newswill be music to the ears of Toyota executives — Japanese cars account forabout 80 percent of sales in these countries.

Multipurposemodels like Toyota’s Avanza — a four-door family hatchback — make up 30 percentof total sales in Indonesia, Nikkei said.

“Indonesiamay hit its first million annual car sales in the next two years,” industryanalyst Suhari Sargo said.

Sargosaid more and more Indonesians would trade in their motorcycles for cars aswealth was more evenly distributed outside the economic centre of Java island.

“Butbefore it can achieve more well-balanced wealth distribution, the governmentmust improve infrastructure such as roads,” he said.

GunadiSindhuwinata, the chief of prominent distributor Indomobil, said most vehicleswere purchased through credit so low interest rates were crucial.

“Consideringthe country’s population of 240 million, sales of 700,000 units a year doesn’tmean much,” Sindhuwinata said.

Indonesiaweathered the global liquidity crunch and is forecasting growth of around 5.7percent this year, among the fastest in the G20 group of rich and developingcountries.

Itspotential has caught the eye of Japanese carmaker Nissan, which plans to invest20 million dollars in its Indonesian assembly plant to double productioncapacity to 100,000 cars from 50,000.

“Todaywe have about five percent market share. This is far below our potential,”chief executive Carlos Ghosn said while visiting Jakarta in June.

Mercedes-Benzbooked remarkable growth although competition in the luxury segment was tough,Mercedes-Benz Indonesia chief executive Rudi Borgenheimer said.

“Oursales have increased about 46 percent to June this year compared to the sameperiod last year. I’m very proud,” he said. “Per capita income has risen. Morepeople can afford cars now compared to when I came to this country four yearsago.”

Risingcar sales may be good news for some, but residents of the traffic-chokedIndonesian capital could be forgiven for hoping the additional vehicles end upon other cities’ roads.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Taxi company leaves Pertamina, shifts to Shell

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Wed, 07/28/2010 9:32 AM

Taxi company PT Gamya Taksi Group is negotiating a cooperation agreement with PT Shell Indonesia after 270 units or one fourth of its fleet could not operatedue to broken fuel pumps.

Gamya President Director Mintarsih A Latief said replacing the taxis’ fuel tanks would not solve the problem if the cause of the damage was still around gasstations selling subsidized fuel produced by state oil and gas company PT Pertamina.

“There is no guarantee that the same problem will not recur if we change the fuel tanks,” she told Kontan business daily on Tuesday.

Preliminary investigation found that the Pertamina fuel bought from gas stations in Kreo,Pondok Bambu and on Jl. TB Simatupang contained sulfur. Gamya claims to have lost up to Rp 162 million in revenue per day due to the damage.

As of Tuesday 50 taxis could not operate due to limited stock of fuel pump components.

Mintarsih said the use of high-octane fuel from Shell would force her company to increase service fee. “If we cannot find another way, we will have to increase thetariff,” she added.

The multinational oil company only sells non-subsidized fuels.

Monday, July 26, 2010

KNKT: Radar at Soekarno Hatta Airport Can Still Be Used If Well-Maintained

Tempo Interactive, Monday, 26 July, 2010 | 15:46 WIB

TEMPOInteractive, Jakarta:The chief of the National Flight Safety Commission (KNKT)Tatang Kurniadi said that the condition of airport radars is mostly affected byits maintenance rather than its age.

“Radarsare an electronic device. If it is well maintained and the spare parts arestill available in the market, then it can still function well,” he told Tempowhen asked about the complaints about the radar at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport,yesterday.

Even so,Tatang admitted that radars still have an ideal usage time. “But a radar isexpensive. So as long as you maintain it well, you can still use it. But if youchange it with a new one off course it is better and surely moresophisticated,” he added.

Accordingto Tatang, an airport radar has an important function in regulating airtraffic. “Radars cannot be used 24 hours straight or it will malfunction,” hesaid.

Tatangsaid he did know for sure how long the radars in Indonesian airports have beenaround for, but there have not been any accidents due to radars.

Earlier,the radar at the Soekarno – Hatta International Airport was reported to havebeen malfunctioning often. It is 15 years old and its performance isproblematic.


Fuel Pump Problems Continue To Spread

Jakarta Globe,Faisal Maliki Baskoro & Muhamad Al Azhari, July 25, 2010

Embattled Pertamina, under fire for a rash of explosions involving state-subsidized gascylinders, is facing further criticism for the poor quality of its Premium gasoline. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta)

BlueBird has been joined by another taxi company as well as an auto distributor incomplaining about broken fuel pumps in their cars causing breakdowns, while state oil company PT Pertamina continued to stand behind its Premium gasoline, saying it was not the problem.

Express Group president director Daniel Podiman said on Sunday that about 40 of the company’s taxis were suffering broken fuel pumps each day. All of the affected cars were Toyota Limos, the same model used by the Blue Bird Group.

“This has been happening for the last few weeks. However, we can’t conclude whether the problem is caused by poor-quality Premium fuel supplied by Pertamina or byToyota’s fuel pumps,” Daniel said.

Also speaking on Sunday, PT Hyundai Motor Indonesia president director Jongkie Sugiarto said the distributor had seen a sudden rise in requests for fuel pumps over the past few weeks. “Yes, there is a surge in fuel pump demand based on reports from our dealers, but we don’t know what’s causing it,” he said.

He said Hyundai was investigating what type of cars were experiencing the problem, where they were filling up and the damage to their pumps.

Last week, Blue Bird, the country’s largest taxi company, announced that 1,200 of its Toyota Limo taxis had experienced pump failures since early June. It blamed substandard Premium fuel for a build-up of sediment in the pumps and said Pertamina may be liable for repair costs, which it estimated at Rp 20 billion($2.2 million).

Both Blue Bird and Express purchase subsidized Premium gasoline exclusively from Pertamina at discounted rates. Blue Bird buys around 5.7 million liters of fuel per month for its 11,000 taxis nation wide, according to Pertamina.

The oil company, meanwhile, has strenuously denied allegations that its Premium fuel is to blame for the fuel pump problems.

Speaking on Friday, Pertamina president director Karen Agustiawan challenged Blue Bird to prove that Pertamina had downgraded the quality of its Premium fuel.

“Who ever thinks that our Premium fuel is bad can go ahead and prove it. But if it turnsout that Pertamina is right and they are wrong, I will sue them,” she said.

Karen said recent spot tests of fuel had proven that the quality of Premium fuel was well within the range the government deems acceptable.

Last week, Pertamina undertook checks on Premium gas sold at 16 stations in Greater Jakarta to monitor for possible quality problems with the fuel. On Friday, it announced that levels in all of the tested samples met state requirements for octane and sulphur content. Low octane in fuel can clog fuel pumps as can high levels of sulphur, eventually leading to breakdowns.

Johny Darmawan, president director of PT Toyota Astra Mobil, said on Friday that he was aware that Pertamina had carried out quality tests on its fuel. “However,we are still wondering why there are so many cars experiencing breakdowns, and not just Toyotas,” he said.

Johny said the company planned to sit down with Pertamina next week in an attempt to find a solution to the problem. In the meantime, the car distributor was focusing on fulfilling the increased demand for fuel pumps, he said.

Commenting on the fuel pump debate, Danang Parikesit, chairman of the Indonesian Transportation Community, blamed the ongoing problems on insufficient government oversight and called for independent testing of the fuel as soon as possible.

“The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry needs to increase scrutiny on Premium fuel quality. If it can’t do that, it should appoint an independent watchdog toit,” he said.

Related Article:

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Taxi operators hit hard by sudden spate of stalled cars

HasyimWidhiarto, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sat, 07/24/2010 9:23 AM

Taxioperators in the city are expressing frustration following increasing incidentsof taxis stalling in the past three weeks, allegedly due to poor qualitygasoline and badly manufactured fuel pumps.

“Atleast 30 taxis stall during operation every day and must return to our pool fora check up,” Priyatmedi, the operational director of Jakarta-based Taxiku taxiservice, told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

“Ourin-house mechanics found that the taxis stalled mainly due to problems with thefuel pumps.”

Althoughthe company’s new fleet of Chevrolets are still covered by guarantees for anyspare parts purchased from the dealer, Priyatmedi complained that “once a taxistalls, it affects the collection of our operating income”.

BlueBird Group public relations head Teguh Wijayanto said his company had foundfuel pump damage in 1,200 of their cars.

“Some ofour drivers could not start their cars due to the problem while others hadtheir cars suddenly grind to a halt.”

He saidthe company’s mechanics pinned the problem on a similar cause. “They found aclot in the cars’ fuel pumps,” he said.

Earlierthis week, several taxi operators reported that a large number of their carssuffered from technical problems due to flawed to fuel pumps.

Normally,the pumps have to be replaced after 100,000 kilometers, or around four years ofuse.

“Butnow, we find that some of our newer cars that have less than 30,000 kilometerson the clock also have faulty fuel pumps,” Teguh said.

BlueBird currently operates a fleet of more than 11,000 Toyota Limo cars, producedbetween 2007 and 2009, throughout Greater Jakarta, while Taxiku operating lessthan 1,000 cars in the same area.

Thesudden spate of fuel pump issues has triggered public speculation.

Onewidespread view is that there was an intentional attempt to degrade the qualityof premium gasoline in Jakarta, while others blame production errors during thefuel pump manufacturing process.

State-ownedoil and gas firm PT Pertamina has strongly denied any rumors of tampered fuelsupplies.
Pertaminais the largest distributor of subsidized premium gasoline in the country.

“Ourlaboratory tests on premium gasoline samples collected from several Pertaminagas stations in Jakarta on July 20 found no substandard fuel.” Pertaminacorporate secretary Toharso said Thursday.

Whenasked for comment, PT Toyota Astra Motor president director Johnny Darmawansaid
Fridaythat he did not want to speculate about the fuel pump problem, saying that allcar distributors, Pertaminaand public representatives needed to meet to discuss the matter.

“Reportsshow that it is not only our [Toyota] cars that have this problem,” Johnnysaid.

Green cars have great market potential in RI : minister

Antara News, Saturday, July 24, 2010 03:52 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Industry Minister MS Hidayat said green cars had great market potentials in Indonesia, particularly among middle-class consumers.

"There is now a trend to use green and low-priced vehicles," the minister said after accompanying Vice President Boediono in opening the Indonesian International Motor Show (IIMS) 2010 here on Friday.

He said such four-wheel vehicles were now in high demand in Indonesia. Low-cost , energy-efficient and environmentally friendly cars had great market potentials among middle-class people in Indonesia.

However, he said, he could not promise incentives for environmentally friendly cars to enable them to gain a large market. Cars with environmentally friendly technology are more expensive than cars with regular engines.

"If vehicle manufacturers in Indonesia already use environmentally friendly technology in most of their products, then we`ll talk about incentives," said the former chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN).

But Hidayat also said t he supported the provision of incentives for environmentally-friendly cars. But the authority to give incentives, he said, was at the Ministry of Finance.

"I am not a finance minister," said Hidayat when reporters asked about the matter of incentives.

Previously, auto sole agencies (ATPMs) had called on the government to provide tax incentives for environmentally-friendly cars so that they could be sold at lower than their present prices. The price of environmentally friendly cars, such as the Toyota Prius with a hybrid engine, is now almost twice the price of cars of the same type using conventional technology (gasoline engine).

Related Article:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Garuda orders six Airbus planes for US$1.15 billion

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 07/22/2010 11:12 AM

State-owned airline PT Garuda Indonesia placed an order with Airbus SAS at the Farnborough Air Show for six A330-200 wide-body jets in a deal valued at US$1.15 billion, the airline said in a statement Wednesday.

The planes are expected to arrive in Indonesia in the fourth quarter of 2012 and will supplement four A330-200 and six A330-300 Airbus planes currently used by Garuda.

The six aircraft will be equipped with the Trent 700 engine from Rolls-Royce and serve the airline’s routes in the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and Europe, said Garuda.

“Since we started operating the plane last year, the A330-200 has proven an excellent performer, particularly in terms of economic and operational efficiency,” said Garuda president and CEO Emirsyah Satar.

He added that the A330-200 would be the right choice for the airline’s medium-range routes.

Tom Enders, president and CEO of Airbus, said the company was pleased to revive a long-term relationship with Garuda. He added the A330 excelled in efficiency compared to other airlines in its class.

On Wednesday, the third day of the airshow, Airbus also booked an $1.49 billion order for seven A330-300 wide-body jets from Thai Airways International Pcl, Thailand’s biggest airline.

Boeing said it booked an order Wednesday for two 777 wide-body aircraft from Qatar Airways Ltd and for two 777-200LR wide-body aircraft from Air Australia.

Bloomberg reported Wednesday that Airbus and Boeing were almost tied for new orders and had racked up collective orders for 243 aircraft valued at more than $23 billion.

Boeing won 121 orders worth $11.6 billion as of Tuesday while Airbus has sales agreements for 122 jets valued at $11.7 billion, excluding 50 A320s ordered by Chile’s LAN Airlines and subject to confirmation.

Orders at this year’s event are more than three times the 78 announced at last year’s Paris Air- show, with which the Farnborough event alternates. The tally trails the 373 firm orders announced by Airbus and Boeing in 2008.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cyclists continue asking for safety protection, comfort

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 07/20/2010 10:55 AM

Cyclistsattending the first Bicycle Congress of Indonesia (KSI) last weekend at theSultan Hotel in Central Jakarta, have shown support for authorities to improvethe safety and comfort of cyclists including implementing bike lanes.

Some ofthe 4,000 bikers joining the congress even cycled from as far as Central Java.

Forexample, the 63-year-old farmer Juid from Dukuh Waru village in Tegal, CentralJava. He told The Jakarta Post that he cycled for three days to reach thecongress.

“Ialways love to gather with other cyclists to share the same love for thesport,” Juid said adding that cycling was his main form of privatetransportation.

The ricefarmer said he cycled alone to the congress and sacrificed sleep.

He didnot have enough money to join a group from his hometown, which asked Rp 150,000(US$16) for the transportation fee.

“If Ifelt sleepy, I stopped at a coffee stall and drunk a cup of black coffee withsalt,” he said smoking a clove cigarette.

Juiddeparted from his village last Wednesday and arrived about 4 a.m. lastSaturday.

He saidthat he loved riding bicycles because it was healthy and he could meet newpeople.

“I hopewe can organize similar activities like this in our village,” Juid said.

Eightteachers from a state vocational high school in Sumedang also cycled toJakarta. It took about 16 hours to reach the capital.

Oneteacher, Ony Kaswoyo, 54, said that he loved to see cyclists gathered becausethey were sociable because had things in common.

“I metsome people in the previous cyclists meeting, they know each other well. Ithink we should hold more events like this in the future,” Ony said.

He saidthat he liked cycling in Jakarta, however, he said the city should have a bikelane.

“It isdifficult for us to cycle in the lanes used by buses and other vehicles,” hesaid.

Anotherteacher, K.H. Sarbini, 43, encountered a challenge when his group began cyclingto Jakarta.
“We werelost late at night in the middle of nowhere.

“We lostour way, so we decided to take a break,” he said.

However,he said that he would join another event in the future.

As partof the event, the KSI declared Saturday a new committee called the IndonesianBicycle Committee with South Jakarta Mayor Syahrul Effendi acting as itschairman.

“Thecommittee will be the voice of the cycling communities to the government.

“We willkeep making recommendations to improve the safety and comfort of cyclists,”Syahrul said. (not)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Explosions force Batavia Air to land

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 07/16/2010 12:39 PM


A Batavia Air Airbus A320 plane bound for Jakarta landed back at Sultan SyarifKasim II Airport in the Riau capital of Pekanbaru on Thursday evening due to asuspected engine problem, the company said Friday.

BataviaAir District Manager Zulkifli told Antara news agency that 137 of 186registered passengers were flown to Jakarta on Friday at 10 a.m. after an hourdelay using a substitute plane.

TheAirbus took a U-turn after two explosions were heard from the left wing of theaircraft, shortly after it took off at 6:55 p.m. local time on Thursday.

Pilotedby Capt. Muhammad Arfan, the plane hovered around Pekanbaru sky for about oneand a half hours to drain the fuel tank. Arfan said he took the decision tominimize the possibility of an accident during landing.

Zulkiflisaid passengers who agreed to stay overnight were given Rp 350,000 each tocover their hotel and local transportation fees.

Thecause of the blasts is being investigated.

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Friday, July 9, 2010

UFO disrupts air traffic in east China 2010-07-08 11:14:50

A photo taken by a resident in Hangzhou shows an unidentified flying object hovering over Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang province, late Wednesday, July 7, 2010. [Photo/Metro Express]

HANGZHOU,July 8 (Xinhua) -- An unidentified flying object disrupted air traffic over Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province, late Wednesday, the municipal government said Thursday.

Xiaoshan Airport was closed after the UFO was detected at around 9 p.m. and some flights were rerouted to airports in Ningbo and Wuxi cities, said an airport spokesman.

The airport had resumed operations and more details would be revealed after an investigation, he said.

Editor:Han Jingjing

An unidentified flying object disrupted air traffic over Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang province, late Wednesday, the municipal government said Thursday. Xiaoshan Airport was closed after the UFO was detected at around 9 pm and some flights were rerouted to airports in Ningbo and Wuxi cities, said an airport spokesman. The airport had resumed operations and more details would be revealed after an investigation, he said. (Photo:

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