Czech up

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Planning

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Miller Developments disposals give 3% uplift

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Lewis steps down in Freeport pay revolt

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Indonesian Priska Nugroho wins Australian Open Junior trophy

first_imgIndonesian tennis player Priska Madelyn Nugroho and Alexandra Eala of the Philippines have won the Australian Open Junior Championship trophy in the women’s doubles category. The final match was held at the 13th court of Melbourne Park on Friday where the pair defeated Ziva Falkner of Slovenia and Matilda Muvtadzic of Britain in two straight sets, 6-1, 6-2.The fourth seeded Priska/Alexandra pair did not let any chance slip by and managed to orchestrate the entire match right from the start. They swept the first five games and closed the first set 6-1.The Falkner/Muvtadzic pair managed to snatch two games in the second set as it seemed they didn’t want to let Priska and Alexandra breath after winning the first game of the second set. But then Priska and Alexandra bounced back and were able to lead the whole affair, sealing the second set 6-2.Priska has followed the winning trail that Angelique Widjaja blazed 18 years ago. Angelique, partnered with Gisela Dulko of Argentina, defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia and Matea Mezak of Ukraine 6-2, 5-7, 6-4.Topics :last_img read more

France coronavirus death toll rises to six, 92 new cases: official

first_imgPresident Emmanuel Macron was meeting Thursday with top researchers leading the efforts to fight an outbreak that has seen authorities close around 150 schools.Government spokeswoman Sibeth Ndiaye said Wednesday that officials would probably have to raise the country’s epidemic alert to the maximum of level three, potentially leading to travel restrictions and clampdowns on public activities.”Slowing the spread will dampen the impact on the population when we go to level three, and limit the epidemic’s peak,” the health ministry said.On Thursday, Paris metro operator RATP reported that a station agent had tested positive for the virus, and had worked for several days before being hospitalized.A RATP union official said the woman had taken part in an evangelical rally last month in the eastern city of Mulhouse, where officials have said several other participants had come down with the disease. Topics : The French health ministry reported Thursday two more deaths from coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s total to six, and 92 new cases since Wednesday.It was the biggest one-day jump in the number of French cases since the outbreak began, raising the total to 377.One 73-year-old victim was in the Oise department north of Paris where a cluster of cases has been reported, the other a 64-year-old from the nearby Aisne department, the ministry said.last_img read more

UNHCR works to ensure no refugees left behind in COVID-19 crisis in Indonesia

first_imgAs the world scrambles to slow the spread of COVID-19, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Indonesia is working to ensure that refugees, one of the most vulnerable populations to the virus, are not left behind. UNHCR representative to Indonesia Ann Maymann said she was closely observing the developments in Indonesia and the country’s response to the virus, which has infected more than 2,000 people in Indonesia and killed 191.“The well-being of refugees, the persons of concern, are at the center of our prevention and response efforts. Together with our partners, we are coordinating closely with the Indonesian government to ensure that refugees are included in the COVID-19 national response system,” Maymann said on Saturday. She said that, under the Indonesian government’s protocol, refugees had access to COVID-19-related services, including testing and treatment provided by the Health Ministry.The refugee groups in the country, she said, had been informed of such protocol, which covers information on prevention measures, symptoms, necessary action and where to look for help.By January this year, there were 13,623 refugees spread across Indonesia, including Medan, North Sumatra; Pekanbaru, Riau; and Bogor, West Java, according to UNHCR data.Read also: International refugees in Indonesia explainedIndonesia is home to among the fewest refugees in the world, as most refugees that enter seek resettlement elsewhere. As a nonparty to the 1951 Refugee Convention, Indonesia is not obligated to receive or take care of refugees. However, Indonesia issued in 2016 a presidential decree that provides legal certainty and standards for government agencies to coordinate and collaborate on the handling of refugees – a move that was lauded by the international community.Article 26 of the decree stipulates that basic necessities such as clean water, food, clothing, health care, hygiene and religious facilities should be sought from international organizations.Despite the low number of refugees compared to that of other countries, refugees in Indonesia are vulnerable, with many living in crammed rooms and tents with no access to electricity and running water.Read also: Refugees in Jakarta near breaking pointIn a bid to prevent the spread of the virus among the refugees, UNHCR’s Indonesia office has been working with various partners and local governments to distribute sanitation kits including face masks and disinfectants.“UNHCR Indonesia provides cash assistance to those most vulnerable and at risk in this current situation to promote improved health and sanitation. With additional funding, the UNHCR aims to also expand this cash assistance to more refugee families,” Maymann said. She said that many refugees in Indonesia had skills and resources they could offer in the time of crisis.Some of the refugee women in Medan, supported by partner Mapanbumi, have produced washable face masks that will be distributed to vulnerable Indonesians and those who continue to work outside their homes in order to support themselves and their families. The women aim to produce 1,000 masks for people in Medan.“The pandemic is a global challenge that must be addressed through national and international solidarity and cooperation. It also serves as a reminder that, in order to effectively address a public health emergency, everyone – including refugees – should be treated in a nondiscriminatory manner,” Maymann said.After Indonesia implemented travel and transit restrictions for foreign visitors, the number of refugees arriving in Indonesia reduced.Read also: Indonesia to bar foreigners from entering in bid to curb imported cases“The number of newly arrived refugees who approached the UNHCR office in Indonesia remains relatively low and the UNHCR continues to follow-up with the government’s counterparts to ensure that the restrictions do not negatively impact asylum access for refugees who are seeking protection in Indonesia,” Maymann said. Refugee camps abroad, meanwhile, are on high alert as most facilities lack the capacity for testing or supportive treatment.The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported Thursday that 23 migrants at the Ritsona camp tested positive for COVID-19. The refugee camp, the first in Greece to be hit by the disease and hosting hundreds of people, was immediately quarantined, Reuters reported.Topics :last_img read more

Nusantara Dua satellite fails to reach orbit after launch from China

first_imgEditor’s note:The story has been updated to include a statement from Indosat Ooredoo. The Nusantara Dua satellite, which is owned by several Indonesian companies, has failed to reach orbit after taking off from China on Thursday.The satellite was carried by the Long March 3B rocket at liftoff from the Xichiang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan province at 7:46 p.m. local time on Thursday.“However, there was an anomaly during the third stage of rocket separation and the satellite could not reach its predetermined orbit,” satellite operator Palapa Satelit Nusa Sejahtera (PSNS) said in its official statement on Thursday evening. The newly built satellite is owned by satellite communications provider Pasifik Satelit Nusantara (PSN), telecommunication service provider Indosat Ooredoo and telecommunications company Pintar Nusantara Sejahtera (PNS).The three companies established a joint venture called PT PSNS to serve as the satellite operator.Read also: Indonesia launches first internet-only satellite with SpaceX rocketChina’s state-run Xinhua News Agency reported that the satellite was destroyed during the launch. Authorities initiated an investigation into the launch failure. The satellite, built by China Great Wall Industry Corporation, was supposed to replace the Palapa-D satellite located at 113 east longitude to provide broadband internet access and high-quality broadcasting services.“Nusantara Dua is covered by insurance that fully covers satellite launch and operational risks,” PSNS president director Johanes Indri Triatmodjo said in an official statement.The satellite weighs 5,550 kilograms and has 20×36 MHz C-band FSS transponders and 9.5 gigabit-per-second HTS. The satellite was to cover regions throughout the Asia-Pacific and Australia for C-band transponders and throughout Indonesia for HTS.Despite the incident, Indosat Ooredoo chief business officer Bayu Hanantasena said the company remained committed to ensuring optimal customer services.“We have a sustainable business plan and will work hard to make sure our customers won’t experience any disruption in our services,” he said in a statement sent to the Post on Saturday. Topics :last_img read more

Indonesians abroad share lessons learned from other countries’ COVID-19 responses

first_imgIndonesians studying abroad, from China to the Netherlands, are sharing their accounts of how the governments of their respective countries have prioritized the health sector over other sectors to slow the rate of COVID-19 transmission.China, where the virus was first detected, managed to significantly bring the number of COVID-19 cases down within three months by imposing strict lockdowns in areas heavily affected by the coronavirus disease.A candidate for a master’s of public diplomacy at Jilin University in China, Raihan Ronodipuro, said President Xi Jinping had conveyed in the early days of the outbreak that “maintaining public health is the government’s top priority”. “Chinese citizens, on the other hand, obeyed the government’s call to stay at home and sacrificed their social lives to control the virus’ spread. As a result, the country managed to control the outbreak in three months,” Raihan said.”Solidarity and discipline are the keys,” he said during a virtual discussion organized by nonprofit research organization Legal Culture Institute on Monday.China has passed its coronavirus peak and now records less than 10 new cases per day.Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, the government has taken strict measures to limit crowds, having imposed large-scale social restrictions on March 16. “Individuals found to have a gathering of more than three people should pay a fine of 400 euro [$436.92] each, while shops that do not pay attention to the health protocol should pay up to 4,000 euro,” Indonesian doctorate of law candidate at Leiden University, Yance Arizona, said.The Netherlands, which detected its first cases of COVID-19 in late February, had reported a declining infection curve in the past month. The daily infection number gradually went down to 148 on Monday from 1,066 on April 19. Indonesia’s infection curve, however, has fluctuated over the past four weeks. It reported a spike of 689 new cases on May 13 from 233 new cases two days earlier. On Monday, the country saw 496 new confirmed cases.Read also: COVID-19: Nearly 90,000 Indonesians return home after more than 700 infected abroadThe president of the Indonesian Students Association in Taiwan, Rizki Revianto Putra, said that Indonesia needed “decisive leadership” in this time of crisis to avoid blunders and overlapping policies.The Indonesian government’s latest move to allow public transportation services to resume, even as the mudik (exodus) ban remains in force, has apparently added unnecessary complications to the country’s physical distancing policy.Experts have slammed the move, saying that not only was it poorly calculated, but it also came at a time when the nation’s fight against COVID-19 should be strengthened, not relaxed. The travel relaxation resulted in long lines at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Banten last week, where some passengers reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.Topics : Authorities there, he explained, had focused on developing dozens of new emergency hospitals with 18,000 beds in less than 10 days to accommodate coronavirus patients.They also supported the mass production of protective gear like face masks and hazmat suits and distributed them nationwide to those in need, particularly health professionals.Read also: Hong Kong shutdown is a lesson to the world in halting coronavirusSchools, businesses and transportation services were subsequently shut down in the locked down areas to force people to quarantine themselves from the virus. The government played its part in distributing staple food and daily needs to the affected regions.last_img read more

Bond financing to swell further as Finance Ministry plans to issue samurai bonds

first_imgThe government’s bond financing jumped sharply in April and the amount is expected to further increase in the following months as the Finance Ministry plans to issue yen-denominated samurai bonds to cover its widening budget deficit caused by coronavirus mitigation and economic recovery programs.Deputy Finance Minister Suahasil Nazara said the government had financed the budget with Rp 231.6 trillion (US$15.73 billion) in government bonds as of April this year, a jump of 44.3 percent compared to the same period last year.“This is bigger not only because of the widening deficit but also to ensure the availability of funds for COVID-19 mitigation, including for healthcare spending, social spending and funds for businesses,” Suahasil told reporters in a streamed media briefing on Wednesday. “Samurai bonds are in the pipeline and we will always be opportunistic in issuing global bonds,” Luky told reporters. “We will look at market conditions to get the best prices.”The Finance Ministry recorded a budget deficit of Rp 74.5 trillion, or 0.44 percent of GDP, as of April this year as state revenue grew while state spending shrank. It looks small as not all the funds allocated for COVID-19 mitigation and economic recovery programs have been realized.State revenue stood at Rp 549.5 trillion as of April this year, up 3.2 percent, driven by nontax income and income from tobacco excise, while income from taxes dropped.Ministry data on Wednesday revealed that tax revenue had contracted 3.1 percent to Rp 548.8 trillion, mainly driven by weakening oil and gas tax collection following a slump in commodity prices, as well as driven by a drop in trade and mining industries.Meanwhile, state spending had reached Rp 624 trillion as of April, or down 1.4 percent from the same period last year, as central government spending grew 3.4 percent to Rp 382.5 trillion as capital and social spending increased despite a contraction of 8 percent in direct regional transfers to Rp 241.7 trillion.The government is rolling out a Rp 641.17 trillion economic recovery stimulus package, bigger than previous allocations, to soften the impact of COVID-19 on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), as well as state-owned enterprises (SOEs).The coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 19,000 individuals across the country and killed more than 1,200, as well as hitting the country’s economy and triggering massive layoffs. The country’s economy grew 2.97 percent as household spending growth slowed.Meanwhile, researchers at the Center for Indonesia Taxation Analysis said the government should not make further sudden changes to the state budget in the near-term, adding the move would confuse businesses and threaten fiscal credibility.”The government should use all of its resources to maximize the [economic] potential,” the researchers said in a statement. “However, they must not be careless despite a widening budget deficit. We do not want to fall into an unwanted economic situation.”Topics : The government had sold Rp 376.5 trillion worth of government bonds as of April and plans to issue another Rp 697.3 trillion from May until the end of this year.However, the Finance Ministry’s director general for financing and risk management Luky Alfirman estimated that the ministry would issue an additional Rp 175 trillion worth of bonds following a plan to revise assumptions underpinning the 2020 budget.The government now expects the budget deficit to reach Rp 1.02 quadrillion, or 6.27 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) this year, rising from the initial estimate of 5.07 percent of GDP, as President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo ramps up economic recovery stimulus to Rp 641.7 trillion to counter the virus blow.It also plans to issue samurai bonds later this year to help cover the widening deficit after offering $4.3 billion in dollar-denominated bonds in early April, including the longest-dated 50-year tranche.last_img read more