The Obama administration has agreed to sell eight new AH-64E Apache attack helicopters to Indonesia. BBC News reports that the helicopters are worth $500 million, and the sale includes radar training and maintenance. Indonesia has a population expected to grow to around 265 million people by 2020, and is the most Muslim populated nation in the world. Over 85% of the nation’s residents are Muslim. The Christian population makes up 9% of Indonesians, and are often victims of religious persecution.
Video from Rescue Christians reports on the ongoing violence against Christians in Indonesia.
Human Rights Watch submitted a report earlier this February, claiming that:
the government’s failure to confront militant groups whose thuggish harassment and assaults on houses of worship and members of religious minorities has become increasingly aggressive. Those targeted include Ahmadiyahs, Christians, and Shia Muslims. Indonesian monitoring groups have noted a steady increase in such attacks, one group finding 264 violent incidents over the past year
Last week, ABC News reported that in Prabumulih, Indonesia, an education administrator, Muhammad Rasyid, suggested that teenage girls should undergo a virginity test before entering high school. Many local politicians spoke openly in favor of the virginity test, and stated they will try to make the provision part of their budget plan for the upcoming year in 2014.
Religion Today reports that Islamic radical groups primarily use building permits to try to restrict the establishment of Christian churches and church groups in Indonesia. They report that near Jakarta, a local church had spent over $100,000 before finally receiving a building permit, and many churches in Indonesia are also susceptible to violent acts from Islamic militants.
In addition to the Boeing sales of Apache attack helicopters to Indonesia, CNN News reported today that Boeing has just completed its first 787-9 Dreamliner, and is ready to fill orders:
Boeing has had a total of 82 orders to date for the 787, with the largest order of 42 planes coming from American Airlines. Singapore Airlines has the second largest order for 787s with 30 planes ordered.
In 2011, the Obama administration interfered in a union dispute with Boeing and their labor union, and the National Labor Relations Board sued Boeing Corporation for “unfair labor practices.” Many critics of the Obama administration viewed this move as political in nature, and an effort in his part to secure union votes for his 2012 presidential re-election.
Boeing wanted to build a second production line for the 797-9 Dreamliner plane in South Carolina rather than in Washington State. South Carolina is a “right to work” state that allows workers to vote whether they want to be represented by a labor union or not. The National Labor Board dropped its charges against Boeing, and Boeing negotiated an agreement with its labor union.
Regardless of the union negotiation’s success and seemingly new sales, Boeing has laid off over 1000 employees since the beginning of this year, and this week MSNBC reported that Boeing will be laying off 6% of their workforce or about 10,000 employees.