Japan Olympic Committee deputy head says he has coronavirus

first_imgJapanese officials insist that the summer Games — due to start in July — will take place as scheduled despite rising speculation that it might be postponed or even cancelled due to the virus.Tashima said he had been on a business trip since February 28, first heading to Belfast to attend the annual general meeting of the International Football Association Board (IFAB).From March 2, he visited Amsterdam for a Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) meeting to give a presentation on Japan’s bid for the 2023 women’s World Cup.And On March 3, he attended a general meeting of the same body. Japan Olympic Committee deputy chief Kozo Tashima said Tuesday he had contracted coronavirus, as doubts increase over whether Tokyo can safely host the Summer Games.”Today, my test result showed positive for the new coronavirus,” Tashima said in a statement, issued via the Japan Football Association, which he also heads.”I have a mild fever. Examinations showed a symptom of pneumonia, but I’m fine. I will concentrate on treatment following doctors’ advice,” he said. Topics :center_img “In Amsterdam and in Europe in early March, the level of nervousness against the novel coronavirus was not the same as now,” he said in the statement.”Everyone was still doing hugs, handshakes and bises (cheek kissing).” He then travelled to the United States to watch the Japanese women’s team in action and to lobby for the women’s World Cup, before returning home on March 8.”In the United States, too, the sense of crisis about the novel coronavirus was not as serious as now,” he said.Staff at the Japan FA have been working from home as a precaution against the virus, but Tashima said he went to the association building several times last week and attended meetings.He began feeling chills and experienced a mild fever from Sunday. He went to a local public health centre on Monday and told them about his travel history.During the UEFA gatherings, Tashima said he saw Swiss and Serbian football chiefs, who have tested positive for the virus, although he added it was not clear how he contracted the infection.His positive test came out on Tuesday.”I have chosen to face the illness as so many people are doing in Japan and around the world,” he said, adding that he hoped his decision would help eradicate the stigma attached to the infection.His announcement came as the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee said it would scale down festivities related to the Olympic torch relay to prevent further spread of the virus.The flame, which has already been lit in Greece, will arrive in northern Japan on Friday, with the torch relay slated to start on March 26 from Fukushima.Chief executive Toshiro Muto told reporters that the Fukushima “grand start” would take place without spectators “in order to prevent the spread of infections”.Any spectators who are feeling unwell will be asked not to watch from the roadside and torch-bearers with high temperatures will be barred from taking part, Tokyo 2020 organizers said.”Please be careful to avoid forming crowds,” organisers urged, saying the program could be changed in the event of “excessive congestion”.Ceremonies to mark the flame’s arrival at its final destination each day, as well as departure ceremonies, will take place without fans.So-called “welcome programs” by local municipalities will be scrapped.The flame is set to arrive on March 20 in Miyagi prefecture north of Tokyo, following the traditional lighting ceremony in Greece which took place without spectators.Only 100 accredited guests from the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee were allowed to attend the ceremony, whereas 700 had originally planned to attend.Greece cancelled its leg of the torch relay after large crowds gathered to see the flame, despite repeated pleas to stay away.Hollywood actor Gerard Butler, who starred as the ancient Spartan King Leonidas in the movie “300”, was mobbed as he lit a cauldron in the city of Sparta.Japan also decided not to send a delegation to the Olympic flame handover ceremony in Greece later this week due to virus concerns, local media said.The delegation, including Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori and Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto, had been scheduled to attend the ceremony on Thursday in Athenslast_img read more

India political activist arrested for selling cow urine to combat virus

first_imgLast week, dozens of Hindu activists held a cow urine party in the capital New Delhi where they staged fire rituals and drank urine from earthen cups in order to fight the COVID-19.Critics have rejected the urine claims as quackery.A milk trader in the same state was arrested Tuesday for selling cow urine and dung and claiming they “would keep the novel coronavirus at bay”, senior police officer from Hooghly district Humayan Kabir told AFP.Kabir said the trader, Sheikh Masud, was selling cow urine at 500 Indian rupees (US$6.69) a liter and cow dung at 400 rupees a kilogram Masud, who hung a poster at his shop with the words “Drink cow urine to ward off coronavirus” told police he was inspired to sell the excrement after hearing about the Delhi party.AFP has sought comment from the Ministry of Health on whether cow dung and cow urine are effective in curing COVID-19.The World Health Organization in India has also been contacted for comment over the urine and dung claims.The government said Wednesday there have been 151 positive cases and three deaths from the virus in India, the world’s second-most populous country with 1.3 billion people.Most schools, entertainment facilities including cinemas, and even the iconic Taj Mahal have already been closed in India to try and stop the spread of the outbreak. An activist with India’s ruling party has been arrested after a volunteer fell ill from drinking cow urine at a party to combat the novel coronavirus, police said Wednesday, as interest grows in home remedies amid the pandemic.Narayan Chatterjee, a Bharatiya Janata Party activist, was arrested by West Bengal state police late Tuesday for “organizing the cow urine consumption event and compelling a civic volunteer to drink cow urine”, Kolkata police chief Anuj Sharma told AFP.”The civic volunteer fell sick on Tuesday and lodged a complaint with the police. The BJP activist was arrested on Tuesday night.” The president of BJP’s West Bengal branch told AFP Chatterjee’s arrest was “unfortunate”.”India is a democratic country. Everyone has the right to express his opinion,” Dilip Ghosh said.”It’s unfortunate that Chatterjee was arrested for expressing his opinion organizing the event. We don’t know if the civic volunteer was forced to drink cow urine.”Many in the Hindu-majority nation of 1.3 billion consider cows sacred and believe drinking cow urine is a panacea for all manner of ailments, from arthritis and asthma to cancer and diabetes.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Coronavirus means working from home for many. But some say it’s easier said than done.

first_imgWhat started out as an ideal work situation, however, gradually turned into a seemingly inescapable rut. After working within the confines of her house for two weeks, anxiety started kicking in.“After two weeks, I’ve grown anxious and bored. I’ve also felt less energized than usual since I’m always cooped up at home,” she said, adding that working during the self-quarantine period had also begun to take a toll on her physical health.Read also: COVID-19: The twists and turns of working from homeFor Jessica Khairunnisa, working from home has been significantly more stressful than getting things done at the office. The 24-year-old who works for a telecommunications company in Jakarta noted that daily communication with her colleagues and supervisors had become a constant struggle as work moved at a faster pace due to a revamped workflow.“My workload has increased since I started working from home. Things are expected to move much faster now. What’s worse is that I can no longer meet with my coworkers and have a good laugh during breaks to lighten the mood,” Jessica said.She went on to say that working from home had also made her less aware of when to actually stop working. The absence of an established structure that traditionally defines “work” had also negatively affected her sleep cycle, leaving her fatigued during the day.“I can’t sleep peacefully. It’s almost like [I’m attached] to my laptop,” Jessica said.The two women are among those in capital Jakarta – the epicenter of the country’s coronavirus outbreak – suddenly made to hunker down and work remotely from their own homes as companies adjusted to the government’s call to flatten the curve of COVID-19 transmission, which has largely remained unabated.Health authorities had confirmed at least 1,369 COVID-19 cases in Jakarta as of Tuesday afternoon, making up nearly half the country’s official tally of 2,738 infections. There were more than 100 fatalities from the disease in the capital city out of a nationwide death toll of 221.Read also: Should I exercise during the coronavirus pandemic? Experts explain the just right exerciseAs of Tuesday, more than 3,300 companies across the capital have put in place work-from-home policies for some 1.2 million employees in response to the outbreak, allowing workers to get their jobs done without having to go into the office, according to the Jakarta Manpower, Transmigration and Energy Agency.Working from home is apparently the new normal. For those who were already used to the rigid structure and logistics of office space, however, it is obviously easier said than done.David Abraham, the cofounder of Outpost coworking space, said the importance of a work structure could not be overstated during these unprecedented times.The seemingly open-ended nature of working from home – where there is no specific cue that tells employees when to start or stop working – had been a common concern among those who had been thrust into the new workflow, he said.“We must first realize this is not the ideal remote work situation. We’re in the middle of a pandemic, after all. Once we’ve acknowledged that fact, we will be able to regain control of the situation and create a semblance of structure,” Abraham told the Post.He called on companies to be more understanding of the situation and adjust accordingly. Minor gestures, such as having employees stand up during “virtual happy hours” and encouraging them to set aside time for physical exercise, for instance, might increase engagement within the digital workspace, he said.Employees should also specifically establish “work” and “life” spots in their home to keep the balance between both elements of their lives in check during self-quarantine, he said.“The tools we use for work now are also the ones we use for pleasure. Designate a little spot in your room where you work; walk away from it when you’re supposed to be finished working. Create structure, create space,” Abraham said.Read also: Coronavirus could spark a revolution in working from home. Are we ready?Yesiska has since found solace in binge-watching her favorite movies and shows on streaming services in her free time.Listening to podcasts while working has also helped her regain her sense of focus and drown out negative thoughts amid the health crisis.“I’ve also started taking advantage of online courses. I now have extra time to upgrade my professional skills,” Yesiska said.Meanwhile, Jessica copes with the pressures of working from home by talking to her close friends and colleagues through video calls in her spare time, checking in on each other amid dire circumstances.“It’s how I keep my mental health in check,” she said.Topics : The first two of weeks of working remotely was professional bliss for Yesiska Putri, a 24-year-old project supervisor at a digital technology firm in Jakarta.Despite growing concerns over the novel coronavirus pandemic, her team had breezed through every assignment from home, seemingly empowered by the liberation from conventional office space.“We’ve been working from home for almost four weeks now. I felt very optimistic during that first half as productivity among my team members only seemed to have increased,” she told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.last_img read more

East Nusa Tenggara residents celebrate Good Friday from home amid COVID-19 pandemic

first_imgRonny reminded Christians to keep their faith and stand strong against the pandemic.“This was the first time throughout my 27 years as a reverend that I had to deliver the sermon while facing rows of empty chairs,” Ronny said.He also added that the church had to postpone the Holy Communion typically conducted on Good Friday, which commemorates the day Jesus Christ was crucified.Meanwhile in East Nusa Tenggara, six dioceses had urged their congregations to celebrate Easter inside their houses.Petrus Ngempeng from Saint Josef Freinademetz Parish in Wajur, Flores, said this was his first time to celebrate Good Friday from inside his house. He said his family followed the advice issued by the Ruteng diocese to stay at home and implement physical distancing to prevent any further spread of COVID-19.“This [Easter] has become a historical moment for me since I had to celebrate it at home for the first time with my family,” he said. (dpk)Topics : Christians in East Nusa Tenggara celebrated a solemn yet joyful Good Friday from the comfort of their homes, taking part in online church services as the COVID-19 outbreak forced people to refrain from public gatherings.The head of Kaisarea Church Council, Rev. Ronny Runtu, said the church had conducted a live-streamed Good Friday service for its congregation.“Through the livestream, they can follow it from their houses. We have to follow the government’s policy to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” he said, referring to the physical distancing policy encouraged by central and local administrations.last_img read more

Staple food distribution hampered as bags with President’s message run short

first_imgSeveral companies in Greater Jakarta that the government has appointed to help pack staple foods to be distributed to families affected by COVID-19 have reported delays caused by a shortage of special bags printed with a message from the President.Jakarta-owned food security company PT Food Station Tjipinang Jaya has recently been busy packing staple foods into red-and-white cloth bags with the printed message: “Aid from the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Together We Fight COVID-19”.One of the firm’s workers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said his company had received an order to pack 20,000 bags per day since mid-April, but they did not meet the target recently because of insufficient packaging. “We’re supposed to pack 20,000 aid packages per day. But we can only do 5,000 because of the number of cloth bags available,” the worker told tempo.co on Tuesday, adding that the company was trying to keep the aid distribution going.There are about 300 workers in Food Station working in three shifts, each consisting of 100 people and divided into 10 groups. Besides packing, workers also load the aid packages onto trucks, before officials distribute them to residents.Food Station president director Arief Prasetyo Adi declined to comment on the matter, saying only that they were focused on working fast so that the community could receive the aid as soon as possible.The company’s operational director, Frans M. Tambunan, said the Social Affairs Ministry had tasked them with preparing a total of 277,649 aid packages to be distributed every two weeks for six distribution periods. Frans said that the aid packing began on April 16 and would end on June 29. The aid packages would be distributed to East Jakarta residents by state-owned postal company PT Pos Indonesia.Read also: Govt to give cash aid to 4.1 million people affected by COVID-19 in Greater JakartaThe government plans to provide aid packages for 3.7 million poor families in Jakarta, with the central government preparing food for 2.6 million families, while the Jakarta administration handles the remaining 1.1 million.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo recently said he had allocated Rp 2.2 trillion (US$138 million) for the distribution of staple food packages, each worth Rp 600,000 per month, for three-month assistance to Jakarta residents.The central government has also allocated a budget of Rp 1 trillion for similar food-package distribution to 1.6 million people living in Jakarta’s satellite cities including Bogor, Depok and Bekasi in West Java and Tangerang in Banten.In addition to Food Station, the government is also working closely with logistics companies and warehouses in North Jakarta, Tangerang and Bekasi and Karawang, West Java, to help prepare the staple food distribution.In Marunda Center, Bekasi, a source told tempo.co that the aid distribution had once stopped, after only reaching 5 percent of target, because Sri Rejeki Isman (Sritex), a textile factory in Sukoharjo, Central Java, was late sending the packaging bags.Sritex president director Iwan Setiawan Lukminto confirmed that his company was one of the bag providers, but denied the claim that there had been delays in production. “We are always on time,” he said.Iwan declined to detail the volume of production the factory was responsible for. “The Social Affairs Ministry handles those calculations,” he added.Presidential spokesman Fadjroel Rachman was not immediately available to provide clarification or comments regarding this matter when contacted by The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.Read also: Staple food imports arriving in May to safeguard stocks, prices: AirlanggaIndonesia Corruption Watch said the main problem lay in the way many social aid programs were split between the central government and regional administrations, so each responsible party felt the need to put their mark on their assistance.“I think, what the government should do to prevent chaotic management is to simplify these various assistance efforts and make them into a single social program,” ICW coordinator Adnan Topan Husodo told the Post on Wednesday.Under one program, he added, the government could also update the beneficiary’s data and avoid incidents such as one family receiving multiple aid deliveries through similar programs, or those not affected by the virus receiving assistance.“Otherwise, I think problems like this will continue to emerge. If the central government packs the aid [this way], the regional administrations will certainly do the same in their own way,” he said. (syk)Topics :last_img read more

May Day rallies go online amid COVID-19 restrictions as workers continue to oppose job creation bill

first_imgA coalition of three major labor unions in the country calling itself the the Indonesian Labor Workers Assembly (MPBI) is preparing to organize May Day digital strikes, demanding an end to the deliberation of the omnibus bill on job creation.The coalition previously planned to hold the rally on the streets on Thursday.The unions agreed to cancel the street protests after President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced last Friday that the government had reached a deal with the House of Representatives to delay deliberation of the labor provisions within the bill. The coalition also demanded job protections amid the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that airlines, hotels, travel agents, restaurants, logistic firms, online transportation services, digital economic firms, as well as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) had seen the most layoffs.”The number could reach 80 to 90 percent of the total number of layoffs amid the pandemic.”Manpower Ministry data show that more than 1.9 million workers in both the formal and informal sectors had either been furloughed or laid off as of April 19, as companies temporarily halt operations to comply with large-scale social restrictions (PSBB). However, Iqbal said, not all sectors had been equally hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.”Don’t use the pandemic [as an excuse] not to pay full THR [Idul Fitri holiday bonuses], wages or severance pay [for laid-off workers],” he said.The coalition also noted that many workers were forced to continue working as normal amid the pandemic and demanded that the government and employers ensure workers were better protected.”Many of them have been infected with COVID-19, for example in PT Denso Indonesia, PT Eds Manufacturing Indonesia (PEMI) and PT Yamaha Music. They are giant companies. The workers have been infected [with the virus] and some of them have died,” Iqbal said.Read also: As COVID-19 bites, current labor rules can protect jobsThe coalition plans to display banners outside company offices and other strategic places in protest.Andi Gani Nena Wea, president of the All-Indonesia Workers Union Confederation (KSPSI) ‒ also a MPBI member ‒ said the three labor unions would also replace the May Day street rally with social service activities on Friday.”We will distribute PPE and hand sanitizer to hospitals in Bekasi, Jakarta and Tangerang. Workers will do the same in their respective regions,” he said.Labor groups the Inter-Factory Laborers Federation (FBLP), the All-Indonesia United Workers Confederation (KPBI) and SINDIKASI, a trade union for media and creative industry workers, are also calling for deliberations on the job creation bill to be stopped so the government and the House can focus on COVID-19.”We don’t need them to delay deliberations of part [of the bill]. We demand deliberations of the entire bill be stopped,” Ellena Ekarehendy of SINDIKASI said.Topics : The May Day online protests are to take place on the Twitter, Facebook and Instagram platforms of the coalition members’ accounts. As of Thursday, a hashtag, #demodarirumah (rally from home), popped up in several social media platforms, mostly voicing opposition to the omnibus bill.  Said Iqbal, president of the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) ‒ one of MPBI’s members ‒ said on Thursday that even without street protests, the coalition would still call on the government to withdraw the omnibus bill from deliberations.”We ask the government to issue a Keppres [Presidential Decree] to allow trade unions to join the drafting team so that the bill will accommodate the public’s interests,” he said.Di Saat Pandemi, Buruh Tetap Peringati May Day https://t.co/DEbEzzWQ8h— FSPMI KSPI (@FSPMI_KSPI) April 30, 2020last_img read more

KPU prepares health protocols as government insists on holding year-end regional polls

first_imgThe KPU is also adjusting some election procedures, including limiting the number of election campaign participants permitted to be present in indoor facilities to 20 people. It will also prohibit candidates from hosting campaign events that could attract massive crowds, such as music concerts, sporting events, bazaars and blood drives.The commission will still allow candidates to install and distribute campaign props, but it is also advising them to look to social media to campaign.The number of registered voters per polling station will be reduced from 800 voters to 500 to comply with physical distancing measures. Voters will be obliged to wear face masks and disposable gloves when voting, while polling stations should provide hand sanitizer, disinfectant and body temperature scanners on site.Any voters with body temperatures above 38 degrees Celsius will be banned from entering polling stations. Election officials will escort them to vote in specific polling stations.Registered voters found to be positive for COVID-19, patients under surveillance (PDP) and people under surveillance (ODP) will be allowed to cast their vote after 12 p.m., an hour before voting closes, at designated polling stations at nearby hospitals.These special polling stations will be managed by three polling station administrators (KPPS), consisting of regional KPU officers and hospital management representatives, who must wear personal protective equipment (PPE), transparent face shields and gloves.“But the long list of the new protocols requires additional budget funds,” Dewa added.The KPU previously estimated that the additional safeguards would add about Rp 536 billion (US$35.72 million) to the current regional election budget of around Rp 10 trillion, but the source of the extra budget remains unclear.Read also: Year-end regional polls risk low turnout due to virus fearsFadli Ramadanil of election watchdog the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem) warned of possible delays in PPE procurement for the elections due to uncertainty over the financing of health protocols’ extra budget. He said the lack of budget would eventually affect the overall preparation stages and might put the balloting behind schedule, recommending the KPU to postpone the elections until next year.Activist Jerry Sumampouw from the Indonesian Voters Committee (TEPI) urged the commission to seek help from the COVID-19 task force to procure PPE.The Home Ministry’s acting director general for political affairs and general administration, Bahtiar, said that the government was exploring whether the state budget allocated for the COVID-19 task force could be used for procuring PPE and other health equipment during the elections.The government has allocated Rp 3.14 trillion for the task force to procure protective gear and pay for the treatment of COVID-19 patients in hospitals across the country.”The KPU should only focus on preparing for the elections as another agency has taken the responsibility of providing health equipment,” Bahtiar said.Topics : The General Elections Commission (KPU) is preparing health protocols to prevent COVID-19 transmission during the 2020 simultaneous regional elections, which the government has insisted on holding in December despite the health risks.The protocols, which will be laid out in a set of new KPU regulations, will be mandatory for KPU officers, candidates and voters during all stages of the elections, from the preparations starting from June 15 to the final vote count a week after voting day.“We have coordinated with the Health Ministry and the COVID-19 national task force to prepare for health protocols,” KPU commissioner I Dewa Kade Wiarsa Raka Sandi said in a virtual public discussion on Saturday. The move follows a decision by the government and the House of Representatives on May 27 to hold the regional elections on Dec. 9 to elect 270 regional leaders, comprising nine governors, 224 regents and 37 mayors. The elections were pushed back for around three months from their initial schedule of Sept. 23 after President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo issued in May a regulation in lieu of law that mandated election organizers, the House and the government to decide on a new date for the ballot.Critics have urged policymakers to push back the elections to 2021 over fears the COVID-19 outbreak could continue late into the year – and even beyond it – and put voters and election organizers at risk of contracting the disease. They also expressed concern about low voter turnout should the outbreak in the country show no signs of abating, thus discouraging people from showing up at polling stations.Read also: COVID-19: House, watchdog call for delay of regional electionsDewa said, however, that health protocols and their strict implementation would be sufficient to protect voters and KPU officers from infection.last_img read more

North Kalimantan indigenous communities awarded UN prize for environmental conservation

first_imgThe alliance, known locally as FoMMA, comprises 11 local indigenous groups that are spread across an area of around 20,000 square kilometers. It successfully advocated for the first comanagement arrangement for a national park in Indonesia, where government and indigenous people collaborated in resource management and access as well as use rights.According to a statement from UNDP Indonesia, as a winner, FoMMA will receive a US$10,000 prize and the opportunity to join a series of special events associated with the UN General Assembly, the UN Nature Summit and the Global Climate Week in late September.The group, alongside other winners, will join a network of 245 communities from 81 countries that have received the Equator Prize since its inception in 2002.This year marked the eleventh cycle of the UNDP Equator Prize and focused on the theme “Nature for Life”. The award recognizes 10 local and indigenous communities from across the world for their innovative initiatives that demonstrate exceptional achievements in the area of nature-based solutions for local sustainable development, the UNDP said on its official website. An alliance of indigenous communities in North Kalimantan has received a prestigious award from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for its dedication to environmental conservation.The UN body named the group, Forum Musyawarah Masyarakat Adat Taman Nasional Kayan Mentarang (Assembly Forum of the Kayan Mentarang National Park Indigenous People), as one of the recipients of the 2020 Equator Prize – an award given to communities that have made tremendous contributions to environmental protection.The announcement coincided with the commemoration of World Environment Day observed every June 5. Read also: COVID-19 won’t stop Indonesia from conserving endangered wildlife treasuresThis year’s winners come from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mexico and Thailand. This year was the first time the Equator Prize had been be awarded to groups from Canada and Myanmar.“As our natural world faces a range of unprecedented challenges, the Equator Prize lifts the curtain on a range of exceptional nature-based solutions pioneered by local communities and indigenous peoples,” UNDP administrator Achim Steiner said, as quoted in the statement.“Indeed, as countries move to build back better after the COVID-19 pandemic, these innovative ways to protect ecosystems, biodiversity and tackle climate change are more important than ever – I expect that the incredible efforts of the Equator Prize winners will have a ripple effect across the world.”The Equator Prize has been supported by notable world figures, including Nobel Prize winners Al Gore and Elinor Ostrom, thought leaders Jane Goodall and Jeffrey Sachs and celebrities such as Edward Norton, Alec Baldwin and Gisele Bündchen, the statement read.This year, the winners were selected from a pool of 583 nominations from more than 120 countries by an independent technical advisory committee of internationally renowned experts. The selection was based on community-based approaches that provide a blueprint for replication and scaling solutions to address the world’s biodiversity crisis, UNDP Indonesia said in the statement.FoMMA is not the first Indonesian groups to win the award. In 2019, Indonesia’s Dayak Iban Sungai Utik Long House from West Kalimantan won the Equator Prize for successfully conserving about 9,500 hectares of land near the source of the Utik River in the province.Four years earlier, the Dayak Benuaq tribe from Muara Tae village in West Kutai, East Kalimantan, also won the 2015 Equator Prize Award for protecting its forests from the encroachment of palm oil companies and coal mining firms.Topics :last_img read more

Indonesia jails IS-linked couple who tried to assassinate minister

first_imgTopics : The trial had heard that Alamsyah stabbed the now 73-year-old Wiranto as he exited a car during a visit to Pandeglang regency on Java island.Alamsyah and his wife, who injured a member of Wiranto’s entourage, were wrestled to the ground by security personnel. Wiranto sustained knife wounds to his abdomen, but survived the attack, in which several others were also injured.Days before the assassination attempt, the pair pledged allegiance to late IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the court said in its ruling.Alamsyah was a member Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), an IS-linked extremist group responsible for a string of attacks, including suicide bombings at churches in Indonesia’s second-biggest city Surabaya in 2018 that killed a dozen people.JAD is among dozens of radical groups that have pledged loyalty to IS in Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim majority nation, which has long struggled with Islamist militancy.The couple were radicalized through hardline rhetoric on social media and watching videos of Muslims fighting in Syria, their trial heard.They also listened to speeches by jailed firebrand cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, believed to be behind the 2002 Bali bombings, and Aman Abdurrahman, who was sentenced to death for masterminding gun and suicide attacks in Jakarta in 2016. But the court rejected the couple’s defense that they were solely motivated by anti-government sentiment, ruling that Alamsyah belonged to a local extremist group allied to IS.”We rule that the defendant is guilty of terrorism together with his wife,” presiding judge Masrizal, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, told the West Jakarta District Court.A third defendant was also sentenced to five years on terror charges linked to a separate attack planned with Alamsyah last year.The hearing was held by video conference due to coronavirus concerns, with lawyers and judges wearing facemasks with the defendants listening via videolink.center_img An Indonesian couple with links to the Islamic State (IS) group who tried to assassinate the country’s chief security minister were jailed Thursday. A Jakarta court handed a 12-year sentence to Syahrial Alamsyah, 51, and nine years to his wife Fitria Diana, 21, after convicting them on terrorism charges for trying to kill then security minister Wiranto in October last year.The sentences were below prosecutors’ demands for a 16-year and 12-year term, respectively.last_img read more

Canada ranks worst in elderly care home coronavirus deaths: Study

first_imgCanada ranks worst among 16 OECD countries for its high number of coronavirus-related deaths in elderly care homes, according to a Canadian Institute for Health Information report released Thursday.Eighty-one percent of COVID-19 deaths in Canada were recorded in long-term care homes, according to an analysis by the government agency.This is significantly higher than the average for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 42 percent. Conversely, Canada — like France, Spain and the United States — took more limited measures, according to the study.”This report confirms what we all suspected: Canada is not taking care of our seniors as it should be,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, calling on the provinces to do more to remedy this situation.The Canadian army had to be called in to care for seniors at long-term care facilities in Quebec and Ontario due to a chronic shortage of staff, which was worsened by the pandemic.The report notes that the proportion of seniors aged 65 years and up living in care homes in Canada is higher than the OECD average, and they tend to be older on average too.Canada also had fewer nurses and personal support workers per 100 senior residents relative to other countries.The report’s authors stressed the different testing and reporting standards across countries, as well as different definitions of long-term care homes, making direct comparisons difficult. Canada also ranks last behind Spain (66 percent), Israel and Norway (58 percent), Ireland (56 percent), Belgium (50 percent), France (48 percent) and the United States (31 percent).Canada has had a “relatively low” overall COVID-19 mortality rate compared to other OECD countries. However, the proportion of deaths in long-term care, which includes retirement homes, is “double the OECD average”, according to data collected from 17 countries as of May 25.Australia, Austria and Slovenia, which implemented “specific prevention measures” targeted at elderly care homes, including segregating units and wide screening for the illness, have registered “fewer COVID-19 infections and deaths.”center_img Topics :last_img read more