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we are going to publish new Betty MacDonald essays on Betty MacDonald's gardens and nature in Washington State.
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Deadline: January 31, 2016
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December 15, 2015
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Wolfgang Hampel's new Vita Magica guest is a very famous TV lady, author and singer.
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Islamic State Claims Deadly Indonesia Attacks
Two civilians, five terrorists killed, officials say
A Canadian and an Indonesian died along with the five terrorists after the attackers struck in the heart of downtown Jakarta, setting off explosions and opening fire on those trying to flee the mayhem, Indonesian police said.
The extremist group claimed responsibility for the attacks in an official Arabic-language statement distributed to its social media accounts, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors global jihadist activity.
The gun-and-bomb assaults—the first major attack in the capital since two, near-simultaneous hotel bombings in July 2009—targeted an area popular with shoppers and tourists and were set in motion late Thursday morning as a suicide bomber detonated a device at a Starbucks, killing himself but no one else, police said.
Two more suicide bombers detonated blasts as motorists left their cars and joined hundreds fleeing the area. A Canadian citizen was shot near the Starbucks and an Indonesian was killed by shrapnel, police said.
Police shot and killed two other militants, leaving all five attackers dead, and said they found six small bombs after sweeping the area. Twenty civilians were injured, including a Dutch national and a German, officials said.
A spokeswoman for Canada’s foreign department said the government was working with Indonesian authorities to confirm the identity of the believed Canadian victim.
Officials said the militants came from an Islamic State-linked group in Solo, a city on Indonesia’s main island of Java, and had been in contact with terrorists in Syria. “We have detected communications between a Syrian group and the Solo group,” Deputy Police Chief Budi Gunawan said.
Indonesia has been on heightened alert for terrorism after police arrested several Islamic State-linked militants who were planning attacks during the holiday season in December. Police said the group had indicated there would be a “concert in Indonesia,” leading authorities to deploy more than 150,000 officers to guard places of worship and other public areas during the holiday season. Thursday’s perpetrators were from the same group, police said.
“There has been clamor among the ISIS community in Indonesia for [the militant group] to do something to show ISIS central leadership that Indonesia is important also,” said Todd Elliott, a terrorism analyst from Concord Consulting, referring to Islamic State.
The bombings ended a lengthy period without a major terrorist attack in Jakarta, the capital of the world’s most Muslim-populous nation and one with a reputation for moderate Islam.
In the 2000s, the city was hit by multiple terrorist attacks, including two separate assaults on a hotel run by JW Marriott, and a 2004 attack on the Australian embassy by an Southeast Asian terror network known as Jemaah Islamiyah. Some members of the group fought in Afghanistan and its leaders claimed to represent al Qaeda in the Malay archipelago.
The group also was responsible for Indonesia’s most deadly terrorist attack—the 2002 Bali nightclub bombs that killed 202 people, mainly Western tourists.
Indonesia successfully raised its counterterrorism efforts in the wake of the Bali bombings.
There have been sporadic attacks in outlying areas of Indonesia, a nation of over 17,000 islands, but Jemaah Islamiyah is widely thought by analysts to be much diminished. In recent years, terrorists have focused their resources on assaulting police, the force responsible for overseeing counterterrorism efforts in Indonesia.
President Joko Widodo condemned Thursday’s assault, saying that “the nation and the people must not be afraid, must not be defeated by terrorism like this.”
Indonesians expressed outrage on Twitter with the hashtags #KamiTidakTakut (We Are Not Afraid) and #prayforjakarta. Motorcycle taxis and ride-sharing Internet services offered free rides to people from the attacks site.
Indonesian stocks and currency, the rupiah, declined after the attacks but then recovered somewhat following an interest-rate cut by the country’s central bank.
The blasts occurred an hour before hundreds of diplomats, students and officials were planning to gather for a lunch event in the mall next door. “We were very lucky because we were expecting a lot of ambassadors and officials,” said Dino Patti Djalal, head of the event’s organizer, the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia.