Apollo and Portfolio plan £220m Hounslow revamp

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Russell to regenerate Edinburgh

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Coronavirus kills two Iranians, first Mideast deaths

first_imgThe state news agency also quoted a media adviser to Iran’s health minister as saying two people had died after testing positive for the coronavirus.”Both of the people who had tested positive for coronavirus were in Qom and were old. Both have passed away,” said Alireza Vahabzadeh.- Quarantine hospitals readied -Qom is a centre for Islamic studies attracting scholars from Iran and beyond.However, the head of the health ministry’s contagious diseases unit said the pair who died were Qom residents who were not known to have left Iran.”These two were from Qom and visited (us) two days ago after falling ill… they didn’t even have a history of going abroad,” IRNA quoted Mohammad Mehdi Gouya as saying.Another official in Qom said people suspected of being infected with the coronavirus would be put into quarantine in two hospitals.Mohammadreza Ghadir, head of the city’s medical sciences unit, told IRNA that “the spread of coronavirus in Qom has been controlled and we want the people not to worry about it.”The new coronavirus has now claimed the lives of eight people outside mainland China.One has died in Japan, one in Taiwan, another in the Philippines and two in Hong Kong. One has also died in France.The United Arab Emirates last month became the first country in the Middle East to report cases of the coronavirus strain. Egypt has also reported cases.Iran’s health sector has been hit by sanctions imposed by the United States since Washington withdrew in 2018 from a landmark nuclear deal between the Islamic republic and world powers.Topics : Two people have died in Iran after testing positive on Wednesday for the new coronavirus, the health ministry said, in the Islamic republic’s first cases of the disease.According to YJC news agency, a branch of state television, the pair who died were Iranian citizens and residents of the holy city of Qom.They are also the first deaths from the COVID-19 virus in the Middle East and only the seventh and eighth outside China, where the outbreak has killed more than 2,000 people. State news agency IRNA quoted Kianoush Jahanpour, a ministry spokesman, as saying the virus was detected in two elderly people with immunity problems in Qom, south of the Iranian capital.”Following the recent cases of chronic respiratory diseases in Qom, two of the patients tested positive in preliminary tests,” it quoted him as saying.”Unfortunately both passed away in the intensive care unit due to old age and issues with their immune system.”IRNA had earlier quoted Jahanpour as saying that the “new coronavirus” had been confirmed in two people and that other suspected cases were isolated.last_img read more

It’s not ‘imprudent’ when the rich wed the poor: Minister defends idea to reduce poverty

first_imgRead also: Minister suggests ‘the rich’ should marry ‘the poor’ to reduce Indonesia’s poverty rateHe went on to say that there was a paradigm in society that low-income people married those from their class and rich people “must be picky” when looking for partners, meaning that their spouses were usually fellow rich people. “What I observe is that society is influenced by the belief that a person should seek somebody who is equal to them. […] However, those who are poor then make poor families. And that’s why we need a moral movement to eliminate such perspectives,” he said.Muhadjir said he proposed that Fachrul issue a fatwa because he believed marriage matters were within the remit of the Religious Affairs Ministry.  Amid questions surrounding his suggestion that the country’s rich people should marry the poor to break the chain of poverty, Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy stood up for his idea, saying such a practice could be a “moral movement”.He said that his decision to propose that Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi issue a fatwa on cross-class marriage was derived from his concern about a common belief that it was impossible for the rich to marry the poor or vice versa.“A fatwa means advice or a moral movement [to suggest to people] not to be rigid in believing that marriages [between people] of different economic classes in society is something imprudent. That’s it,” Muhadjir told journalists on Thursday. As a fatwa is only advisory, Muhadjir claimed, the rule would not be binding or mandatory among the members of society.In Indonesia, however, a fatwa is usually issued by Muslim organizations, such as the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI).Citing government data, the minister said the number of poor households in the country was roughly 5 million, around 9.4 percent of the total 57.1 million households recorded.Read also: Indonesian children who grow up in poverty earn less as adults, study showsIn addition to the fatwa, Muhadjir said he also proposed a premarital certification program, under which couples who sought to get married but were not yet economically stable must receive three months’ training beforehand. “What I need to emphasize is that there will be no such thing as passing or not passing the [premarital certification] program because there will be no exams, only continuous courses that can be done online,” he said.Muhadjir added that the premarital program was an affirmation program at the earliest point of forming a family, that is, before a couple, especially those who are not ready economically, become a bride and groom.He estimated that out of a total of 2.5 million marriages per year in the country, about 10 percent, 250,000 marriages, potentially made poor households.Therefore, he said, there should be education for prospective new families especially on important issues such as reproductive health and maternity.“A family must be well-planned indeed and the state must be present to find ways to help plan new families,” he added.Topics :last_img read more

Police seize 350 boxes of face masks during raid on suspected hoarder in West Jakarta

first_imgThe Jakarta Police seized 350 boxes of face masks during a raid on the residence of a suspected hoarder in Tanjung Duren, Grogol Petamburan, West Jakarta in the wake of panic buying that hit the capital city on Monday following the announcement of the country’s first confirmed COVID-19 cases.“The Tanjung Duren Police have confiscated 350 boxes of face masks from various brands at an apartment in Grogol,” Jakarta Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Yusri Yunus said on Tuesday as quoted by kompas.com.Separately, West Jakarta Police’s general crimes unit head, Comr. Teuku Arsya, confirmed the raid had taken place. However, he was still tight-lipped about the number of suspects apprehended. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s announcement of the country’s first confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases on Monday rattled many Jakartans, some of whom reacted to the news by frantically flocking to stores across the city to stock up on medical supplies and other essentials, including face masks and hand sanitizer.Panic buying has prompted a price surge for such items both online and offline in the last two days, with a box of face masks now selling for an average of Rp 300,000 (US$ 21) – a whopping 1,500 percent increase from the original average of Rp 20,000 per box.In response to the phenomenon, the National Police have announced that it will bring those known to have hoarded masks and hand sanitizer to justice.“We are carrying out an investigation to sniff out any illegal stockpiling,” said National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Argo Yuwono. (rfa)Topics :last_img read more

Indonesia’s domestically driven economy could be blessing in disguise amid outbreak: ADB

first_imgRead also: Reforms may jeopardize Indonesia’s role in global value chains: World BankIndonesia is heavily dependent on domestic demand, with household consumption growing 4.97 percent year-on-year (yoy) in the fourth quarter of 2019 to account for more than 50 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Asakawa did not deny, however, that the outbreak would have a negative impact on the Indonesian economy, because it had already dampened the global tourism industry.Many countries, including Indonesia, have issued travel bans and restricted flights to destinations with localized outbreaks in a bid to stem the transmission of COVID-19 – the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Although he did not provide a projection of how the outbreak might affect Indonesia, Asakawa said he believed that the country still had ample room to maneuver in macroeconomic policy and fiscal expansion to buffer the economy.“[Bank Indonesia] Governor Perry [Warjiyo] has cut the policy rate five times so far and he can do this because Indonesia still has enough policy room to do so, unlike Japan or Europe that currently have negative interest rates,” he said. “By taking advantage of this policy room, Indonesia could accommodate future contingencies from the outbreak.”Read also: BI sees room for more easing to jack up weakening economy Indonesia may not be affected severely by the global health emergency, thanks to its minimal exposure to the global trade and its wide room to maneuver in monetary policy, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said.Newly appointed ADB president Masatsugu Asakawa, speaking during a restricted media briefing in Jakarta on Wednesday, expressed his belief that Indonesia was less likely to experience a strong impact from the global outbreak compared to other countries in the region, such as Japan or Thailand.“Indonesia isn’t deeply integrated in the global supply chain, so it is still considerably fortunate compared to other countries,” Asakawa said. He added that the Indonesian economy, which was primarily driven by domestic activity, was an advantage during the global health emergency. He said that possible easing measures to jack up growth included setting a lower reserve requirement for both the rupiah and the US dollar for local banks, as well as lowering the benchmark interest rate.BI cut its benchmark rate, the seven-day reverse repo rate (7DRRR), by 25 basis points in February.“There are plenty of BI instruments from among BI’s five main instruments that we can still use,” he said.The bank announced five measures on Monday to stabilize the financial market and prop up the rupiah. The measures included cutting the reserve ratio to free up billions of dollars in the banking industry, which could bolster the financial market and export-import activities that had been severely hit by the outbreak.The government has already launched a Rp 10 trillion fiscal stimulus package to support the tourism industry and boost consumer spending to counter the economic impacts of the outbreak. It is currently finalizing a second, bigger stimulus package to ease imports and exports, and to support manufacturing.center_img “China has become a major player in the global economy and plays a big role in the global supply chain,” Asakawa noted, saying that he expected the COVID-19 outbreak to have a greater impact than the 2003 SARS outbreak on China’s economy as well as the global economy.The rapid spread of the virus, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019, has prompted the Chinese government to restrict economic activities. As a result, factory activity in China contracted to the lowest level in history in February at 35.7 on the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI). Figures below 50 on the PMI indicate contraction, while figures above 50 indicate expansion.Given China’s place in the global supply chain, Asakawa warned that world production and trade could see some disruption if the global epidemic lasted longer than expected.“The virus could also impact consumption, depending on how long this outbreak lasts,” he added.Perry echoed Asakawa’s sentiments, saying that Indonesia’s economic growth would likely drop to just 4.9 percent in the first quarter of the year. Although this would be the lowest growth in three years, it would still fall within the 1 percentage point range of the 4.97 percent growth recorded in the fourth quarter of 2019.“That’s not a doomsday scenario, [and is] based on the V-shaped scenario we are projecting. Recovery is likely to occur over the next six months after bottoming out in February and March,” the central bank governor said while briefing chief editors on Wednesday at BI headquarters in Jakarta.Read also: Indonesia to launch second, ‘bigger’ stimulus to cushion virus impact Topics :last_img read more

PREMIUMDigital adoption outside Java lags despite adequate infrastructure: Report

first_imgLog in with your social account Forgot Password ? Facebook Google LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Despite available infrastructure in provinces and cities outside Java Island, the digital implementation in those places is still behind their peers on Java, offering abundant opportunity for development in those regions in the coming years.A recent digital competitiveness survey shows the regions outside Java still lag in digital implementation in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) despite there being sufficient infrastructure.  According to a recent East Venture report, provinces such as Jakarta, West Java, East Java, Yogyakarta and Banten lead in its Digital Competitiveness Index (DCI), while provinces like East Nusa Tenggara, Central Kalimantan, West Sulawesi and Papua ranked low in the index.The report measures each province’s digital input, such as the amount of tech-savvy human resources and internet access, digital output such as the number of workers i… Topics : Linkedin digital digital-banking financial-technology P2P P2P-lending Java-island fintech BUMN SOEslast_img read more

Port container traffic at Tanjung Priok to improve after 5.13 percent decline: IPC

first_imgContainer traffic at Indonesia’s biggest and busiest seaport, Tanjung Priok in North Jakarta, declined 5.13 percent year-on-year from January to February, but the port operator expects improvements with factories in China reopening.State-owned port operator Indonesia Port Corporation (IPC), also known as Pelindo II, saw 992,212 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of container traffic from January to February this year, compared with 1.05 million TEUs in the same period last year. Port container traffic is the flow of containers loaded and unloaded from land to sea transportation and vice versa. “The decline reflects a direct impact from the coronavirus outbreak, which originated in Wuhan, China. However, this is understandable because, when this virus started to spread in December 2019, there was a drop in productivity there as well,” said IPC transformation director Ogi Rulino. “[…] China contributes the most to container traffic at Tanjung Priok Port.” Ogi said traffic would return to normal soon in the future, especially as industrial activities in China had started to recover. IPC has yet to change its annual targets for container traffic and revenue at 8.1 million TEUs and Rp 13.5 trillion respectively. Its net profit target this year is Rp 3.1 trillion.Read also: Indonesia records $2.3b trade surplus in February despite coronavirus pandemicIPC would monitor container traffic in the next two to three months to determine whether it needed to review its business targets, Ogi added.With the help of 17 subsidiaries, the port corporation operates a total of 12 ports in the western part of the Indonesia. Besides Tanjung Priok, IPC also operates Teluk Bayur Port in West Sumatra, Palembang Port in South Sumatra, Tanjung Pandan Port in Belitung and Pontianak Port in West Kalimantan.Topics :last_img read more

British PM Johnson will be back at work on Monday, office says

first_imgCriticism is growing over the government response to the pandemic, with limited testing and shortages of protective equipment for medical workers and carers.Johnson’s stand-in leader Dominic Raab has faced questions over how Britain will ease the lockdown without a deadly second wave of infections.Britain’s interior minister urged Britons to stick to the lockdown rules earlier on Saturday. But many lawmakers want restrictions to be eased to bolster the economy, which budget forecasters say could be heading into its deepest recession in more than 300 years.Johnson was taken to St Thomas’s Hospital in central London suffering from COVID-19 symptoms on April 5, and spent April 6-9 in intensive care.Topics : British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be back at work on Monday, a Downing Street spokeswoman confirmed on Saturday, after having recovered from a case of coronavirus that sent him to intensive care for three nights in early April.Johnson, 55, will take back control of a government under pressure from the economic fallout of shutdowns aimed at curbing the spread of the highly infectious virus, as well as a rising death toll.As of Saturday, Britain has recorded more than 20,000 deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.last_img read more

International flights maintain normal operations despite ‘mudik’ ban: Ministry

first_imgHe added that the transportation ministerial regulation also did not restrict Indonesian nationals currently abroad from entering the country.The ban also does not apply to flights carrying leaders of state institutions or foreign envoys, nor does it apply to aircraft engaging in special repatriation operations for Indonesians or foreign nationals. Air cargo transportation will also be permitted.The ministry previously stated on Thursday that the passenger travel suspension would also apply to all passenger transportation to domestic and overseas destinations, both commercial and chartered flights.Read also: COVID-19: More than 1,000 motorists asked to turn around as ‘mudik’ ban begins The Transportation Ministry has asserted that international flights to and from the country will continue to operate normally, despite a previous statement that all passenger flights to overseas destinations had been suspended to prevent people from participating in the annual Idul Fitri mudik (exodus).The ministry’s air transportation director general, Novie Riyanto, said the ban on air travel would not apply to flights serving international routes.“Flights going to other countries will operate normally, as long as those countries still accept international visitors,” Novie said on Saturday, adding that COVID-19 health and safety protocols would be applied during flights. Novie went on to say that the immigration office had its own regulation on foreigners entering the country during the COVID-19 outbreak.Indonesia has denied entry to 239 foreigners as of Tuesday due to, among other reasons, recent travel history to areas affected by COVID-19 in the past 14 days, having a temperature of above 38 degrees Celsius, not having a health certificate and refusing to be examined by airport health authorities.State-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II, which operates 16 international airports across the archipelago, echoed the ministry, saying some of its airports were still serving international flights.“Soekarno-Hatta International Airport [in Tangerang, Banten] still serves an average of 40 scheduled international commercial flights per day this month,” Angkasa Pura II corporate communications vice president Yado Yarismano said in a statement on Friday.He added that Kualanamu Airport in Deli Serdang, North Sumatra was also still serving international flights.The Transportation Ministry has restricted all types of public and private passenger travel by air, sea, land and railway since Friday to May 31 as the government attempts to prevent people from participating in the Idul Fitri mudik to curb the spread of COVID-19.The ban, however, does not apply to cargo transportation or vehicles serving special purposes, such as ambulances and fire trucks.Topics :last_img read more