1. Special taskforce to investigate enforced disappearances
  2. Indonesian troops flood Jakarta streets after post-election riots
  3. Modi claims India poll victory, vows ‘inclusive’ future
  4. German business confidence hits four-year low

Special taskforce to investigate enforced disappearances

Home Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the Home Ministry will set up a special taskforce soon to investigate enforced disappearances of pastor Raymond Koh and social activist Amri Che Mat. He said the Cabinet has consented to the setting up of the task force following the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia’s (Suhakam) report over the disappearances. “The taskforce will analyse the report, and then decide on the appropriate course of action that must be taken either by the ministry or any other relevant authority,” He said the members of the taskforce, which will consist of six to seven individuals, will be revealed “very soon”. “The Suhakam report said that the police were involved in the disappearances, so they will be a part of the taskforce since they have the power to investigate.” “However, we will include others as well, and we already have several individuals in mind for the positions though they have not yet been contacted.”  On April 5, Suhakam revealed its report where it said Bukit Aman is responsible for the enforced disappeared ace of Koh and Amri by “state agents”.

Indonesian troops flood Jakarta streets after post-election riots

Tens of thousands of Indonesian military and police were deployed on the streets of Jakarta today (pic) as a deadline approached for a presidential challenger to file an appeal over claims of widespread cheating in last month’s election. At least six people were killed after two nights of rioting in the capital as police clashed with protesters opposed to the re-election of President Joko Widodo. The violence has been fanned by claims from Widodo’s rival Prabowo Subianto, a retired general, that the Apr 17 poll was a fraud. Indonesia’s election commission on Tuesday confirmed Widodo had beaten Subianto, who has until Friday to challenge the results at the Constitutional Court. The 67-year-old has appealed for calm and said he would pursue legal channels, as he did, unsuccessfully, against Widodo in the 2014 election.

Modi claims India poll victory, vows ‘inclusive’ future

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed victory Thursday in the country’s elections, promising an “inclusive” future after his Hindu nationalist party appeared headed for a landslide win. According to Election Commission data based on votes counted so far, Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is on course to win around 300 of 543 elected seats in India’s lower house, surpassing its 2014 victory and crushing the opposition Congress party’s hopes of a comeback. “Together we grow. Together we prosper. Together we will build a strong and inclusive India. India wins yet again!,” Modi tweeted after votes counted so far pointed to a BJP landslide.

German business confidence hits four-year low

Confidence among German business leaders was ground down to its lowest level in more than four years in May, a closely-watched survey showed today, dampening the mood after tentative signs of spring optimism. The Munich-based Ifo institute said its confidence index fell 1.3 points to 97.9, with the latest reading the lowest since November 2014. “The mood among company managers has weakened further,” Ifo president Clemens Fuest said in a statement.  “The German economy is still lacking in momentum.” However, some analysts insisted a closer look at the survey showed the outlook is not all bleak in Europe’s largest economy. Firms’ judgement of the current business situation dropped, while their expectations for the coming months held firm, noted ING analyst Carsten Brzeski. On the bright side, Brzeski highlighted official data released today which confirmed GDP grew in the first quarter by 0.4 per cent. And the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a forward-looking indicator for both manufacturing and services, posted a three-month high of 52.4.