23 January 2019


Iran firms defy sanctions by signing $1 billion in oil deals

KONFRONTASI - Iranian companies have signed $1 billion in contracts for enhanced recovery at nine aging oilfields of the country which is now left to its own devices in the face of the most restrictive US sanctions ever.

Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh oversaw the signing between two subsidiaries of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and seven domestic contractors to raise recovery at the fields by 90,000 barrels a day, media reports said Wednesday.

Sudan targets demonstrators, journalists as protests continue

KONFRONTASI-Sudan police has fired tear gas at crowds in the capital's twin city Omdurman protesting the fatal wounding of a demonstrator last week, witnesses said.

The demonstration on Tuesday, coming came ahead of planned evening rallies in Omdurman and Khartoum, was the latest in more than a month of escalating protests against the three-decade rule of President Omar al-Bashir.

The crowd chanted "overthrow, overthrow" and "freedom, peace and justice".

Ronaldo agrees to pay €18.8m fine to settle tax evasion case

KONFRONTASI - Portuguese football player Cristiano Ronaldo accepted a prearranged €18.8 million ($21.4 million) fine and a suspended 23-month prison sentence for tax evasion, in Madrid on Tuesday.

Ronaldo arrived at the court with his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez. They entered the courthouse though the public entrance, as a judge had rejected his request to enter the building with a car.

PM to try to break Brexit deadlock with EU concessions

KONFRONTASI-British Prime Minister Theresa May will try to break the Brexit deadlock on Monday by setting out proposals in parliament that are expected to focus on winning more concessions from the European Union.

With just over two months until the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union on March 29 there is no agreement in London on how and even whether it should leave the world’s biggest trading bloc.

Fears of 'Windrush-type scandal' as EU citizen registration opens

KONFRONTASI-A government scheme designed to allow European citizens to continue living in the UK after Brexit was launched in public test phase on Monday, amid warnings that it could leave tens of thousands of people undocumented in years to come.

The 3.5 million citizens of the EU's 27 countries residing in the UK must go through an online application process to apply for "settled status" if they have lived in the UK for at least five years, or "pre-settled status" if they haven't reached that threshold.

Lindsey Graham urges Trump to meet Pakistan PM Khan

KONFRONTASI-Senior US Senator Lindsey Graham has urged President Donald Trump to meet Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, as intense contacts between the two countries continue over negotiations to end the 17-year war with the Taliban in neighbouring Afghanistan.

Graham spoke to reporters in the Pakistani capital Islamabad on Sunday, capping off days of meetings that saw the top US envoy on Afghan reconciliation and its commander of military forces in the region also visit the South Asian country.

"I've seen things change here and all in a positive direction," said Graham, a senior member of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee who has visited Pakistan dozens of times in recent years.

Khan, who came to power after a general election last year, has long stated his support for a peace agreement in Afghanistan to end hostilities there.

Trump would be "far more enthusiastic about the region than he is today" if he met Khan, said Graham, who held talks with the prime minister earlier on Sunday.

"With Prime Minister Khan we have a unique opportunity to change our relationship," he said.

The relationship, he said, was previously "transactional", but should be replaced with a "strategic partnership".

Who is May Ziade?

KONFRONTASI -  May Ziade (also Mayy Ziyādah, Arabic: مي زيادة‎; 11 February 1886 – 17 October 1941) was a Lebanese-Palestinian poet, essayist and translator.

Known as a prolific writer — she wrote for Arabicnewspapers and periodicals — Ziade also wrote a number of poems and books. She was a key figure of the Nahda in the early 20th-century Arab literary scene, and is known for being an "early feminist" and a "pioneer of Oriental feminism.  
Early and personal life

Voices above the chaos: female war poets from the Middle East

 Maram al-Masri, a woman poets from Syria.



By: Ed Vulliamy



Controversial Hissa Hilal: Did the Middle East Reinvent Islam as it Reinvented its nationhoods?

KONFRONTASI -  I recently came across an article by Hissa Hilal from 2011 on a particular idea of Islam that has come to dominate society. Hissa Hilal may not be famous outside of the Gulf region, however she is the first female finalist of the Million’s Poet competition, based on popularizing Bedouin Nabati poetry across the Middle East.

Indonesian presidential candidates spar over corruption

KONFRONTASI -  Indonesian President Joko Widodo accused his