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

Beijing reports zero virus cases for first time since new outbreak

first_imgBeijing on Tuesday reported zero new coronavirus cases for the first time since the emergence of a cluster in the Chinese capital in June that prompted fears of a domestic second wave.A total of 335 people have been infected since a cluster emerged at the city’s massive Xinfadi wholesale market in early June.Beijing’s health commission said on Tuesday it detected only one asymptomatic case the previous day, which China does not include in its confirmed cases counts. Beijing’s outbreak is “stabilizing and improving,” Pang Xinghuo, deputy director of the city’s center for disease control, told reporters Monday.China had largely brought the deadly outbreak under control before the new Beijing cluster was detected last month.The government has since also imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people in neighboring Hebei province to contain a fresh cluster there, adopting the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the epicenter of Wuhan city earlier this year. While Chinese authorities are still investigating the cause of the latest outbreak, the virus was detected on chopping boards used to handle imported salmon at Xinfadi market, prompting a ban on certain imports and increased scrutiny of foreign food suppliers.The Beijing government has tested more than 11 million people for COVID-19 since June 11 — roughly half the city’s population, officials said at a press conference Monday.Residents lined up in the summer heat at testing venues across the city in June, with hundreds of thousands of samples collected each day.Localized lockdowns across the city have been eased in recent days, with people living in areas of the city considered “low risk” now allowed to travel freely again.center_img Topics :last_img read more

UK pensions industry bemoans lack of clarity on DC reforms

first_imgRuston Smith, chairman at the NAPF, said while there was no denying that the reforms were an “exciting and compelling” proposition for savers, the industry was beside itself as the deadline approached.“April is not far away,” he told delegates at this year’s NAPF Annual Conference in Liverpool.“The problem is, we do not know enough about the detail. This lack of detail and lack of clarity is severely limiting our opportunity to get things right for members – and it is increasing the risk of failure.”He said, with 4.2m savers eligible to take advantage of the reforms come April, products and legislation were still unprepared.The UK’s DC market has long supported the insurance annuity business, but concerns have grown over the value for money offered by insurers.Savers are now expected to look for more income-drawdown products, or to withdraw their DC savings entirely as cash.“These people will expect these products to work and expect us to help them make the right choice,” Smith said.“The government has set high expectations for the industry to respond positively and innovatively. But it is closing down the time we have to make this a real success.“I say to the government, help us to give freedom and choice and not fear and confusion. Give us the clarity we need to make this a success.”Speaking later at the conference, Labour MP Gregg McClymont, the opposition’s spokesman on pensions, said while his party understood it was “politically difficult” to speak out against the reforms, the party did in principle support greater freedom.However, his personal misgivings over the reforms were that it did not fix the main criticism placed on insurers or the UK annuity market.“There are good political reasons for [the reforms],” he said. “It is possible to work with [the government] on the reforms, while defending pensions as a concept.”McClymont said that, while the annuities market did need reform, the criticisms were based on DC savers never seeking out the right arrangement.He said he failed to understand how giving DC savers more choice was going to solve the situation. Industry figures and opposition politicians have condemned the lack of clarity from the UK government over fast-approaching reforms to the defined contribution (DC) at-retirement model.Reforms are set to go into effect in April 2015, just over a year after they were announced as part of chancellor George Osborne’s 2014 Budget.The ‘Freedom and Choice’ proposals, which removed the need for compulsory annuitisation, were welcomed by the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) and unchallenged by the opposition party.However, pressure for more detail is now mounting.last_img read more

Dutch pension system ‘in peril if interest rates remain low’, says minister

first_imgIn his opinion, the European Central Bank (ECB) was the main cause of the low interest rate level “as it has been keeping rates at 0% for 10 years, and is planning for a further decrease”. “We could keep on reforming as much as we want, but low rates would fully erode the value of pensions”Pieter OmtzigtAt its most recent meeting on 6 June, the ECB said it would maintain its current record-low interest rates at 0-0.25%, and expected them to remain unchanged “at least through the first half of 2020” or “as long as necessary” to keep inflation at roughly 2%. However, Koolmees defended the ECB, noting that interest rates had been steadily falling for 30 years.He said he would address the effects of long-term low interest rates on pensions in his “road map” for reform, which is to be published this autumn.Meanwhile, at a conference hosted by Dutch pensions publication Pensioen Pro last week, economist Matthijs Bouman said lower expectations for inflation and growth, as well as saving levels exceeding investing, were the main causes of low interest rates.“We want to save, we want to increase security and we want to accrue financial buffers,” Bouman said. “As returns on investment are low, so is the risk-free return on capital.”Also at the conference, Paul Frentrop, senator for the new right-wing party Forum for Democracy, argued that the capital-funded pensions system was no longer sustainable and suggested that the Dutch second pillar system should be transferred to the state. The viability of the Dutch capital-funded pensions system is in danger if interest rates remain at their current low levels, according to the country’s social affairs minister Wouter Koolmees.During a debate in parliament last week about the recent pensions agreement, the minister said that “we all have a problem in a capital-funded system, if interest rates remain zero for a very long time”.He made the remark while answering questions from Pieter Omtzigt, who had suggested that no capital-funded system could survive such a situation. The MP noted that the issue touched the core of the pension system and arming against the effect of low interest rates wasn’t possible.“We could keep on reforming as much as we want, but low rates would fully erode the value of pensions,” Omtzigt argued.last_img read more

Rodgers concedes Leicester may lose Ndidi,two others

first_img “It’s having those youthful players, who are hungry to learn, who want to be better, then, of course, having really, really top senior players, which I’m fortunate to have. “We have outstanding senior players here that are very concentrated, very professional, and of course they have big talents. read also:Premier League legend recommends Ndidi to Man United “Our challenge is to continue along that route, retain the hunger. It’s always going to be difficult for clubs like ourselves to be up there but we enjoy the challenge and that’s what we hope to try to achieve.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Loading… Promoted ContentWhat Happens To Your Brain When You Play Too Much Video Games?What Is A Black Hole In Simple Terms?Top Tastiest Foods From All Over The WorldBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreThe Best Cars Of All Time8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its GrowthPlaying Games For Hours Can Do This To Your BodyWhy Do So Many Digital Assistants Have Feminine Names & Voices?7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend Better7 Theories About The Death Of Our UniverseWorld’s Most Delicious Foods Key players like Ben Chilwell, James Maddison, and Wilfred Ndidi have drawn admiring glances from the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United and while all have long contracts at Leicester, Rodgers also recalled the case of Harry Maguire, who left Leicester to join the Red Devils for £80million in summer 2019. “Harry came in, had a good couple of seasons playing at the club, great guy, good man, then obviously one of the so-called bigger clubs offers him the opportunity to go and play and he goes,” said the Leicester boss. “So that is always going to be there, especially when you have talented young players. But our organisation is very much based on the team.Advertisement Leicester City boss, Brendan Rodgers, has revealed that they will always be vulnerable to losing their best players to higher-profile clubs.last_img read more

Baggies too strong for Burnley

first_img The Baggies were always in control against lifeless Burnley, who failed to deal with live-wire Berahino. The England Under-21 forward now has five goals for the season, with the Clarets having netted just once between them. They have not scored in eight hours and 46 minutes in the Premier League and already look destined for a long fight against the drop. The Baggies, though, clinched their third win in a week, following victories over Tottenham in the league and Hull in the Capital One Cup. They were unchanged from their 1-0 win at Spurs last week, their first of the season under head coach Alan Irvine. Berahino started after scoring the late winner in Wednesday’s 3-2 cup victory over Hull, but Victor Anichebe and Brown Ideye were ruled out with hernia and ankle injuries respectively. Burnley recalled Ross Wallace, Michael Kightly and Steven Reid, who left the Baggies in the summer after a four-year stay at The Hawthorns. Dave Jones and Dean Marney failed to recover from their thigh and hamstring injuries. Burnley had not scored in the league in 436 minutes coming into the game and their lack of quality was evident from the start. The striker pounced in each half after Craig Dawson opened the scoring to condemn the Clarets to their third defeat of the Barclays Premier League season. Graham Dorrans then added a fourth with a minute left to underline the hosts’ dominance. Kightly shot over for the Clarets before Chris Brunt’s drive deflected off Michael Duff and dropped inches wide after 15 minutes. Berahino drilled across goal as the hosts took charge and tried to add to their own measly goal tally of just one in the last 376 minutes of league football before the game. And the opener came on 30 minutes to reward the Baggies for their more inventive play when Dawson headed in Chris Brunt’s deep corner from five yards. It was bitter for Burnley, who had three bids rejected for the defender – who also handed in a transfer request – in the summer. Brunt then volleyed over four minutes before the break and Tom Heaton superbly turned Dorrans’ fierce 25-yard drive behind. Albion were hunting a second and it came in first-half injury time as Berahino netted his fourth of the season, nodding in from a yard out after Dorrans flicked on James Morrison’s corner. Burnley offered little resistance with the Baggies in total control, and they hauled off Wallace and Reid for Nathaniel Chalobah and Ashley Barnes at half-time. Chalobah’s first action was to pick up a yellow card for a foul on Dorrans and the changes made little difference. The composed hosts continued to press as Craig Gardner’s deflected effort arrowed wide and Ben Mee blocked Stephane Sessegnon’s volley. Albion confirmed their dominance with a third on 56 minutes when Dorrans’ pass split the Burnley defence for Berahino to drill low into the corner from 15 yards. There was no way back for the visitors, although Ben Foster did well to keep out Lukas Jutkiewicz’s header on 66 minutes. Barnes ballooned over three minutes later as the Baggies switched off but there was little further danger. And it was left to Dorrans to add the gloss with a minute left when he swept in from 14 yards. Saido Berahino’s brace powered West Brom past hapless Burnley 4-0 to seal their third straight win. Press Associationlast_img read more

Did Florida Couple Adopt a Grown Woman?

first_imgA Florida family thought they adopted a child named Natalia Grace but later speculated that she was woman posing as a little girl.Michael and Kristine Barnett adopted Natalia in Florida in 2010 and were told she was from Ukraine and had a rare form of dwarfism that makes it difficult to gauge her age. Michael Barnett said the couple believed the girl was 6.The couple, who are now divorced, claim they were scammed into adopting Natalia, who they claim is really a 30-year-old woman.Now, the Ukrainian woman claiming to be the birth mother of Natalia says her daughter is definitely a child, despite her adoptive parents claiming she is a mentally disturbed adult who terrorized their family.Natalia’s story went viral in September when her adoptive parents, the Barnetts, were charged with with neglect.The Barnetts are accused of legally changing Natalia’s age to from 8 to 22 in 2012, and moving to Canada without her. Prosecutors say she was a child at the time.Kristine Barnett told Daily Mail Online that Natalia terrorized her family. Natalia is now living with another family in Indiana.Daily Mail reporters Will Stewart, Svetlana Skarbo, and Ben Ashford found a woman claiming to be Natalia’s birth mother in Ukraine, who told the site that her daughter is a child, and that she was forced to put her up for adoption because of the girl’s physical disabilities.last_img read more

Cricket News ICC To Partner With Facebook, Become Exclusive Digital Content Rights Partner

first_imgDubai: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday announced a partnership with Facebook which will become the exclusive digital content rights partner for ICC global events in the Indian sub-continent. Facebook, a popular social media platform, will also carry post match recaps throughout the rest of the world through to 2023. Facebook will carry a range of digital content across four years including match recaps, in-play key moments and other match and feature content.  “We are delighted to welcome Facebook to the global cricket family for this multi-year, multi-market partnership which is a first for our sport. The combination of one of the world’s most watched sports with one of the world’s largest platforms is exciting for the future of our game,” ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said.   Ajit Mohan, VP and Managing Director Facebook India said, “We are excited to partner with the ICC to bring the most exciting moments in cricket to Facebook Watch and to chart the next stage of technology led transformation in cricket.”Also Read | Whatsapp’s New Feature Will Let You Share Your Stories Directly On Facebook, Know MoreThe Shashank Manohar-led International Cricket Council (ICC) wants complete tax exemption for all global events happening in India and is still awaiting waiver for the 2016 World T20 held in the country. According to the latest documentation of the July 6 Committee of Administrators (CoA) meeting here, the ICC wants to recover the tax burden for the 2016 event by slashing the BCCI annual share from the ICC revenue. The BCCI is set to seek advice from an English law firm after the ICC threatened to deduct a part of the Indian cricket board’s annual revenue share in a continuing tussle on tax exemptions for events held in India.  Also Read | Facebook Says It Isn’t Fact Checking Politicians On The Site   The BCCI legal team has informed the CoA that the Board “ensured all efforts to make tax exemptions to ICC. Prior to this event (2016), these events have always received tax exemptions.” For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

Williams wins Payless Variety Store feature 35-lap race in record time

first_imgCONTINENTAL Cycle Club’s cyclist Geron Williams won the feature 35-lap race of the 6th Annual Payless Variety Store’s 11-race cycle programme in the National Park yesterday in a time of one hour, 12 minutes 35.42 seconds and in the process, erased the previous record for the race which was established just over one month ago by Kemuel Mosses whose time for the event was one hour, 13 minutes.Williams who is based in the United States of America and who is back home (Guyana) to recuperate from an injury he sustained while in the US where he represents Team Foundation as a professional cyclist – the only Guyanese professional – broke from the pack after the second lap and together with Paul Cho-Wee-Nam, Christopher Griffith, Paul DeNobrega, Curtis Dey, Jamal John and two others, established a sizeable lead.Throughout the remainder of the race, the leaders interchanged the lead which allowed Williams to win two of the eight prime prizes that were up for grabs, while Jamal John and Cho-Wee-Nam also won two primes each. DeNobrega and Griffith shared the other two.At the bell lap for the feature race yesterday, Cho-Wee-Nam and DeNobrega shared the lead with Dey, Silvio Inniss, John and Williams trailing, but with approximately 80 metres remaining for the finish, Williams `sailed’ to the outside and powered past Inniss and John to win the race.In other results, Curtis Dey won the 10-lap race for juveniles in a time of 26 minutes 37.59 seconds. Nigel Dugid and Briton John were second and third, respectively.The veterans’ over 50 years of age five-lap race was won by Linden Blackman who finished ahead of Kennard Lovell and Shameer Baksh, respectively.The five-lap race for veterans’ under 50 years of age was won by Ian `Dumb Boy’ Jackson. Second was Warren McKay, while Lennox Jackman placed third.Jonathan Ramsuchit won the three-lap race for boys and girls 12-14 years old.The five-lap race for mountain bikers was won by Nigel Jacobs, with Lakeram Singh second.Jared Barrington was the winner of the two-lap race for BMX boys 6-9 years old. Tesirka Mohabir was second and Arinna Roberts third.Joheme Henry won the BMX boys 9-12 years three-lap race ahead of Mark Lewis and John Niles, respectively.The programme was organised by cycling coach, Hassan Mohamed. Prior to making the presentation of prizes to the respective winners, Payless Variety Stores’ representative, Rajan Tiwari thanked the cyclists for participating, and Mohamed for organizing the activity for the sixth consecutive year.Tiwari said his company not only supports cycling, but other sports disciplines. He pledged Payless Variety Store’s continued support for the cycling programme.(Caption): Prize winners of the various categories of the 6th Annual Payless Variety Store-sponsored 11-race cycle programme yesterday strike a pose with Mohamed and Tiwari.last_img

Danns nets ‘historic double’

first_img… Golden Jaguars humbled by Panama 4-2 in spirited performanceBy Rawle Toney (compliments of Let’s Bet Sports) THE story of the game, Guyana versus Panama; Neil Danns netted a double, but Guyana went down 4-2 to Panama at the FirstEnergy Stadium, in Cleveland, Ohio, last evening in match number 15 of the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup. As promised, coach Michael Johnson made some changes to the line-up from the USA game in Minnesota, going with Dutch League import Torrell Ondaan, while Samuel Peter Cox wore the captain’s armband. Out from the previous game were Brandon Beresford and Keanu Marsh-Brown.Though some pundits questioned why the former Jamaican International didn’t make some changes in the defence as well; changing Jordan Dover, his starting 11 played good enough to out-do Panama for the entire  first half.Guyana’s continuous pressure on a ‘suspect’ Panamanian  defensive line paid off in the 33rd minute when Ondaan – who had a superb game playing on the wing – after a build up with Dover, collected a ball in the 18-yard and slipped it back to the right-back (Dover), who was brought down in the penalty area. The referee wasted little time in pointing to the penalty spot. Johnson ensured that his most senior and seasoned player, Danns, was the one responsible for bringing Guyana level.Danns, with entire stadium more so the Guyanese supporters who travelled to the Cleveland Browns home stadium to cheer him on, was composed, calm and didn’t show any nervousness, as he stroked home the country’s first-ever goal at a major CONCACAF men’s tournament.However, Guyana’s celebration was short-lived, as Terence Vancooten, probably the team’s best defender, in an attempt to clear the ball, scored in his own goal in the 40th minute.Guyana, though having several chances from Emery Welshman, Ondaan and Callum Harriott, headed back into the dressing room down one goal (2-1).After a rather eventful first half, Guyana came out in the second stanza with the same energy but Panama showed why they had qualified for the last FIFA World Cup. They mounted the pressure on Golden Jaguars’ defence, but, Akel Clarke’s exceptional goalkeeping kept the Guyanese in the game.Game-changing momentAll was well in the game. Panama continued their relentless hunt, while Guyana’s defence, marshalled by Matthew Briggs and Vancooten, stood firm; that’s until the 51st minute when Liam Gordon brought down one of Panama’s forwards in the ‘18’.At the blast of the referee’s whistle, Clarke made a dive to his right and pulled off a beautiful save. However, the assistant referee’s flag was raised, pointing out to the Jamaican referee, Daneon Parchmant, that the ‘GT’ keeper moved a little too soon from his goal line. However, when the replay was shown in the stadium, the result was otherwise.A section of the Guyanese fans who turned up in their numbers to support the Golden Jaguars against Panama.Panama’s Eric Davis, on the re-take, found the net, much to the Guyanese players and their supporters’ displeasure, as the South Americans went up 3 – 1. Johnson, at the post-game press conference, chastised the officials for the decision, and also questioned why VAR (Video Assistant Referee) was not used in the competition.Guyana didn’t offer much in the second half, though Johnson, making the right tactical substitution, brought in Stephen Duke McKenna for Elliot Bonds, Anthony Jeffrey for Ondaan and Keanu Marsh-Brown for Harriot. Substitute Gabriel Torres put the icing on the cake in the match in the 86th minute, netting a neatly timed header.“If I’m looking at effort and commitment, the performance of the team was of a different class; again they gave everything. What I was disappointed with was the way we utilised the ball. We weren’t efficient with it, we weren’t careful with it and the final goal started with a bad pass from us when in a comfortable possession with the ball,” Johnson told reporters after the game.Johnson admitted that the team “could have passed the ball better but I think first half we showed what we can do. But it is just disappointing, because we gave away goals and we are not good enough to give the team three, four goals head-start. We are not good enough and until we start tightening up, this will happen.”Guyana will now travel to Kansas City where they will take on Trinidad and Tobago on June 26. For Panama, their win against Guyana, coupled with the fact that the USA defeated the ‘Soca Warriors’ 4-0 last evening, sets up a mouthwatering encounter with the ‘Stars and Stripes’.Starting X1: 1. Akel Clarke, 4. Elliot Bonds, 5. Jordan Dover, 8. Samuel Cox (c), 10. Emery Welshman, 11. Callum Harriot, 13. Liam Gordon, 15. Terrence Vancooten, 16. Neil Danns, 17. Torell Ondann, 20. Matthew Briggs.Substitutions: 18. Alex Murray, 22. Quillan Roberts, 2. Kevin Layne, 3. Daniel Wilson, 6. Ronyane Marsh-Brown, 7. Keanu Marsh-Brown, 9. Sheldon Holder, 12. Pernel Schultz, 14. Daniel Wilson, 19. Stephen Duke-McKenna, 21. Brandon Beresford, 23. Anthony Jeffrey.last_img read more