Indonesia bans sex outside marriage in new criminal code By Reuters

Indonesia bans sex outside marriage in new criminal code By Reuters


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© Reuters. An activist shouts slogans during a protest, as Indonesia is set to pass a new criminal code that will ban sex outside marriage, cohabitation between unmarried couples, insulting the president, and expressing views counter to the national ideology, outsid

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By Ananda Teresia and Kate Lamb

JAKARTA (Reuters) -Indonesia’s parliament on Tuesday banned sex outside marriage with a punishment of up to one year in jail, despite worries the laws may scare away tourists from its shores and harm investment.

Lawmakers approved a new criminal code which will apply to Indonesians and foreigners alike and also prohibit cohabitation between unmarried couples. It will also ban insulting the president or state institutions, spreading views counter to the state ideology, and staging protests without notification.

The laws were passed with support from all political parties.

However, the code will not come into effect for three years to allow for implementing regulations to be drafted.

Currently, Indonesia bans adultery but not premarital sex.

Maulana Yusran, deputy chief of Indonesia’s tourism industry board, said the new code was “totally counter-productive” at a time when the economy and tourism were starting to recover from the pandemic.

“We deeply regret the government have closed their eyes. We have already expressed our concern to the ministry of tourism about how harmful this law is,” he said.

Foreign arrivals in the holiday destination of Bali are expected to reach pre-pandemic levels of six million by 2025, the tourism association has said previously, as the island recovers from the impacts of COVID-19.

Indonesia is also trying to attract more so-called “digital nomads” to its tropical shores by offering a more flexible visa.

Speaking at an investment summit, U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Sung Kim said the news could result in less foreign investment, tourism and travel to the Southeast Asian nation.

“Criminalising the personal decisions of individuals would loom large within the decision matrix of many companies determining whether to invest in Indonesia,” he said.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price told a news briefing in Washington the United States was assessing the contents of the law and noted that the implementing regulations had not yet been drafted.

“But we are concerned regarding how these changes could impact the exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Indonesia. We’re also concerned about how the law could impact … U.S. citizens visiting and living in Indonesia as well as the investment climate for U.S. companies,” he said.

“Indonesia is a valued democratic partner of the United States; we seek to work together with Indonesia to counter hatred and intolerance,” he added.

Albert Aries, a spokesperson for Indonesia’s justice ministry, said the new laws regulating morality were limited by who could report them, such as a parent, spouse or child of suspected offenders.

“The aim is to protect the institution of marriage and Indonesian values, while at the same time being able to protect the privacy of the community and also negate the rights of the public or other third parties to report this matter or ‘playing judge’ on behalf of morality,” he said.

These laws are part of a raft of legal changes that critics say undermine civil liberties in the world’s third-largest democracy. Other laws include bans on black magic.

‘A DEATH FOR INDONESIA’S DEMOCRACY’

Editorials in national newspapers decried the new laws, with daily newspaper Koran Tempo saying the code has “authoritarian” tones, while the Jakarta Post said it had “grave concerns” about their application.

Decades in the making, legislators hailed the passage of the criminal code as much needed overhaul of a colonial vestige.

“The old code belongs to Dutch heritage … and is no longer relevant now,” Bambang Wuryanto, head of the parliamentary commission in charge of revising the code told lawmakers.

Opponents of the bill have highlighted articles they say will curb free speech and represent a “huge setback” in ensuring the retention of democratic freedoms after the fall of authoritarian leader Suharto in 1998.

“This is not only a setback but a death for Indonesia’s democracy,” said Citra Referandum, a lawyer from Indonesia’s Legal Aid Institute. “The process has not been democratic at all.”

Responding to the criticism, Indonesia’s Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly told parliament: “It’s not easy for a multicultural and multi-ethnic country to make a criminal code that can accommodate all interests.”

Legal experts say that an article in the code on customary law could reinforce discriminatory and sharia-inspired bylaws at a local level, and pose a particular threat to LGBT people.

“Regulations that are not in accordance with human rights principles will occur in conservative areas,” said Bivitri Susanti, from the Indonesia Jentera School of Law, referring to existing bylaws in some regions that impose curfews on women, or target what are described as “deviant” sexualities.

The new laws will also include more lenient sentences for those charged with corruption.

The morality charges have been partially watered down from an earlier version of the bill so that they can only reported by limited parties, such as a spouse, parent or child.

The government had planned to pass a revision of the country’s colonial-era criminal code in 2019 but nationwide protests halted its passage.

Lawmakers have since diluted down some of the provisions with President Joko Widodo urging parliament to pass the bill this year, before the country’s political climate heats up ahead of the presidential elections scheduled for early 2024.

The public response to the new code has been muted so far, with only small protests held in the capital on Monday on Tuesday.



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Keke Palmer & BF Darius Jackson Cozy Up At NY Rangers Game After Pregnancy Reveal

Keke Palmer & BF Darius Jackson Cozy Up At NY Rangers Game After Pregnancy Reveal





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Image Credit: Michael Simon/Shutterstock

Let’s go Rangers! Keke Palmer and her boyfriend Darius Jackson had a fun date night at Madison Square Garden to watch the New York Rangers take on the St. Louis Blues on Monday, December 5. Hot off of Keke’s debut hosting Saturday Night Live and her pregnancy announcement, the pair looked like they had a great time at the hockey game.

Keke and Darius smiled as they looked up at the scoreboard! (Michael Simon/Shutterstock)

The actress, 29, kept things low-key for the game. She sported a bright green hoodie pulled over her head, with some straight hair poking out. She also rocked a pair of square glasses and had a bag sitting on her lap. Her boyfriend sported a brown leather jacket, with the phrase “Real Ohio Player” printed on it, as well as a black beanie.

With the Rangers winning with a 6-4 score, it’s clear the pair had a great time. Darius shared a few videos from the game on his Instagram Story, including fans singing the Rangers’ signature song when the team scored. “They go up after a goal,” he wrote.

The pair bundled up to enjoy the Rangers taking on the Blues. (Michael Simon/Shutterstock)

The couple attended the hockey game just days after Keke announced that she’s expecting their first child during her monologue on SNL. She playful shared the exciting news by speaking about rumors that she was having a baby. “People are in my comments saying Keke’s having a baby, Keke’s pregnant. And I want to set the record straight…I AM!” she said, before ripping open her jacket and showing her baby bump.

After the show aired, Keke took to Instagram to speak about what an amazing experience it was and reflected on how happy she was to get to announce her pregnancy on the comedy show in her post. “How cool, my baby and I are already doing it all together,” she wrote, before extending many thanks, ultimately leading to Darius. “Thank you to my other half [Darius] for giving me the things that only true unity can bring. Love is all we have isn’t it, you do nothing in this world alone and trust me, I am not alone! Very grateful.”

While it’s not clear exactly how long Darius and Keke have been together, the pair did go Instagram Official in August 2021, when Darius spoke about how much he loves the actress. “I’m glad we were able to help each other throughout our lowest of times & show one another that what we are bringing to the table is everything that we got,” he wrote.





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Analysis-G7 Russian oil price cap evolves from revenue squeeze to market anchor By Reuters

Analysis-G7 Russian oil price cap evolves from revenue squeeze to market anchor By Reuters


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Shun Tai crude oil tanker is seen anchored at the terminal Kozmino in Nakhodka Bay near the port city of Nakhodka, Russia, December 4, 2022. REUTERS/Tatiana Meel

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By David Lawder and Timothy Gardner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When U.S. officials first floated the idea of capping Russian oil export prices in response to a planned European embargo in March, they pledged to squeeze revenues to Russia’s war machine, while avoiding a devastating oil price spike.

But keeping Russian oil on the market and global prices low soon became the bigger priority as oil prices jumped, people familiar with the mechanism’s evolution and energy analysts said.

The $60-per-barrel price limit on seaborne crude imposed by G7 democracies and Australia on Monday bears that out, lining up with current market prices.

Analysts said the cap will have little immediate impact on the oil revenues that Moscow is currently earning. Russia said on Monday the cap would not hurt the financing of its “special military operation” in Ukraine.

The price cap is “an unhappy compromise that will do very little to cut Russia’s oil revenue” from current levels, said Ben Cahill, an energy security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

“I really think that the U.S. Treasury’s main objective was to defuse the EU embargo,” on Russia’s oil exports, Cahill said.

Russia’s Urals blend crude for delivery to Europe was quoted at an average price $55.97 on Tuesday, below the cap and down from $61.35 on Sunday.

The benchmark price slid to its lowest since January on Tuesday at below $80, extending a downward trend as growing concerns about global demand offset any bullish effects from the price cap on Russian oil sales.

Officials at the U.S. Treasury, the driving force behind the G7 price cap, sought to evenly weigh reducing Russia’s revenues and maintaining supply, though market pricing influenced this at times, a senior Treasury official told Reuters.

“There have been times when Brent has fluctuated an enormous amount over the past eight months, where we were worried about one over the other, but in general, we’ve created these to be the twin goals that have equal importance.”

The official said the price cap is “institutionalizing” current market discounts, arguing that the price cap created them.

Analysts also attribute the drop in global oil prices to a weakening global economy, COVID-19 lockdowns in China and the OPEC+ group’s decision to maintain steady production.

https://www.reuters.com/graphics/UKRAINE-CRISIS/OIL-SUPPLY/zdpxdobjxpx/chart.png

PRICES, RUSSIAN INCOME DECLINE

At the current price cap level, Russia would earn oil export revenues of about $10 billion to $15 billion a month, said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York.

That is far lower than over $21 billion a month Moscow earned in June, according to an estimate from the International Energy Agency (IEA), as Brent topped $120.

At current oil price cap levels, Russia is earning about the same as it did before talk of a Ukraine invasion started driving prices up. Russia earned about $15 billion in June and July 2021, before Russian troop buildups near Ukraine.

The $60 price cap level was agreed on Friday after fierce debate. Poland, Lithuania and Estonia argued that European Union countries should make the cap as low as $30, closer to Russia’s production cost, after an initial proposal of $65-70.

FUTURE CASH FLOW

As crude prices have fallen, the language surrounding the price cap from U.S. officials has evolved from “reducing” Russia’s revenues, to “limiting,” future cash flow.

U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told the Reuters NEXT conference in New York on Thursday that the cap “will lead to Russia earning less revenue going forward and having less money to invest in conducting the war.”

“The key thing to remember is that we’re starting at $60 but we have the ability to…further use the price cap to constrain Russia’s revenues over time,” Adeyemo said.

In July, Adeyemo said the goal was to eliminate the “risk premium,” or price increase that Russia had introduced into the

oil market with its invasion of Ukraine, to give Moscow less money to “pay for their war machine.”

If Moscow makes good on threats to curtail production rather than sell oil to countries observing the cap, prices could shoot higher, and that is where it could get tricky for the United States and G7 allies.

U.S. officials “want to avoid that at all costs,” said Mizuho’s Yawger, adding that this could mean that “suddenly support for Ukraine starts to dry up.”

PRICE SPIKE AVOIDED

Oil markets have shifted significantly since March when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent prices soaring.

Internal Treasury estimates around that time had showed that global crude prices could exceed $150 with the EU embargo in place and no mitigating measures.

And with the IEA predicting that oil markets could lose 3 million Russian barrels per day if the most stringent EU sanctions were imposed, Barclays (LON:) and Rystad Energy warned that oil could hit $200.

Treasury’s “true motivation after March has been primarily to preserve Russian flows in the face of EU sanctions, which they don’t think were a good idea,” said a source briefed on Biden administration discussions.

“They believed if there was an oil price spike, not only will it hurt us economically and politically, but it’ll damage Western support for Ukraine,” in its fight against Russia’s military.

As the G7 formed the plan, India and China have snapped up heavily discounted Russian oil, and are expected to continue big purchases outside the price cap, moves endorsed by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.



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Vietnamese luxury EV-maker VinFast files to go public on Nasdaq

Vietnamese luxury EV-maker VinFast files to go public on Nasdaq


Vietnamese electric vehicle maker VinFast has filed for an initial public offering in the United States, the company said Tuesday. Shares will be listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker “VFS.”

VinFast, which was founded in 2017 and began operations in 2019, will convert to a Singapore public limited company for the IPO. The number of shares to be offered and the price range of the offering haven’t been disclosed.

The EV startup has been pursuing the U.S. market, most recently with a showcase of four SUVs presented at the LA Auto Show. Over the summer, VinFast received $1.2 billion in incentives to build a factory in North Carolina, where the automaker hopes to begin building cars by July 2024. VinFast has even promised a $7,500 discount to potential American buyers that would hold out to buy an EV eligible for U.S. EV tax incentives.

No date was given for the IPO, which was originally slated for Q4 of this year. It’s more likely we’ll see the company go public sometime next year, given current market uncertainty.

Unlike many EV companies that have chosen to go public through a special purpose acquisition merger, VinFast has already begun producing and shipping vehicles. The automaker shipped its first batch of 999 vehicles to the U.S. late last month.



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Patrick Mahomes & Brittany Matthews Feel ‘Blessed’ After Welcoming Baby: ‘Ultimate Christmas Gift’ (Exclusive)

Patrick Mahomes & Brittany Matthews Feel ‘Blessed’ After Welcoming Baby: ‘Ultimate Christmas Gift’ (Exclusive)


patrick mahomes, brittany matthew




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Image Credit: Omar Vega/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Patrick Mahomes and Brittany Matthews are overjoyed to be parents for the second time, after they welcomed their new baby Bronze in November. A source close to the pair told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY that they’re looking forward to spending the holidays as a family of four, and they have big Christmas plans for their new baby boy and daughter Sterling, 1.

The insider revealed that the couple couldn’t think of a better blessing this holiday season. “Brittany and Patrick couldn’t be more thrilled to have welcomed Bronze especially right before the holidays. It’s literally the ultimate Christmas gift and they’ve already taken tons of holiday photos with him as a family,” they said. “They already got him his very own jersey and they couldn’t feel more blessed this Christmas season.”

Patrick and Brittany walk the red carpet at an event together. (Omar Vega/Invision/AP/Shutterstock)

While they adjust to being parents of two, the sources said the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback, 27, is making sure his wife, 27, is being taken care of. “Brittany is recovering really well and Patrick has been a huge help. Even though he’s busy with the football season he’s making sure she and the kids are very well tended to,” the source said.

The family friend also revealed that Patrick is very “proud” to be named AFC Offensive Player of the Month, but even though it’s an “honor,” it’s not quite as exciting as being a parent. “But nothing compares to being a dad. It’s his biggest accomplishment ever and he’s ecstatic about having a son,” they said.

It’s been quite an eventful year for the couple. Before welcoming their son, the pair got married in March. The couple announced that they welcomed their baby boy in a joint Instagram post on November 28. It was a shot of their son’s legs, while wearing a onesie. He was laying on a necklace with “Mahomes” written all over it and above a necklace, which has his nickname “Bronze” on it. The couple wrote his full name, birth weight, and date in the caption. “Patrick “Bronze” Lavon Mahomes III. 11/28/22 7lbs 8oz,” they wrote.

Since Bronze was born, Patrick revealed that his younger brother Jackson, 22, played a key part in coming up with the new baby’s nickname, and it was inspired by his big sister’s name. “My brother Jackson, whenever we were trying to find something that was a little unique and different, he said, ‘What about Bronze? It fits perfectly with Sterling,” he said while speaking to reporters.





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