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The government’s efforts to persuade the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) to release a halal (permissible by Islamic law) fatwa (edict) for the AstraZeneca vaccine have been unsuccessful. Amid lobbying, MUI officials asked to be made commissioners at state-owned enterprises. The government then enlisted religious organizations in the regions so that a halal edict can be issued for the vaccine. With the vaccine’s expiration date approaching, the government is currently mapping regions more amenable to the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The National Police' Criminal Investigation Department investigated three officers with the rank of brigadier in the case of extrajudicial killings of members of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI). The reconstruction did not explain the fact that all of the victims died with gunshot wounds straight to the heart.
AstraZeneca Vaccine Does not Contain Porcine Material
The fatwa (edict) commission of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) declared the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine haram (forbidden by Islamic law) because it used trypsin enzyme from pigs in its viral multiplication process. The fatwa runs counter to the drug monitoring agency (BPOM)’s ruling that the enzyme is already broken up thus no longer present in the vaccine making process. Penny Kusumastuti Lukito, Chair of BPOM, considers the end product to be free of porcine material. Given the limited supply of halal (permissible by Islamic law)-certified vaccine Sinovac, the government has no choice but to turn to other vaccines including AstraZeneca.
Switzerland approved free trade agreement with Indonesia. With the condition, however, that Indonesia produce palm oil in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way.
Inflation in the US, which might trigger an interest rate hike by the Fed and reduced liquidity injection, is becoming the biggest fear of emerging markets, including Indonesia. Investor’s money which has been anchored here might just return home, in great numbers and fast.
Power Plant Ash Controversy
The government takes fly ash resulting from coal combustion off the list of hazardous and toxic waste. There is concern that this will endanger the environment and ignore any impact on those living around coal power plants.
Smoke on the Water
The destruction of Malaysian-flag vessels in the Samudera Lampulo Harbor waters, Banda Aceh, Aceh, Thursday, March 18. The Banda Aceh District Prosecutor’s Office destroyed two foreign fishing vessels and their fishing gear after the Banda Aceh District Court found them guilty of conducting illegal fishing. ANTARA/Irwansyah Putra
Save the River
Several environmental activists from Mupalas, the Reject Plastics Community, and Ecoton conduct a river water quality test during a plastic-free campaign in Tambak Wedi River, Surabaya, East Java, Thursday, March 18. Apart from carrying out the campaign, they also test the quality of the water known to have been contaminated with waste. ANTARA/Didik Suhartono