Trump’s issues go beyond mental test

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionNo one should accuse The Gazette again of liberal bias after the recent rants of David Harsanyi (Jan. 22 column) and Ed Rogers (Jan. 24 column). By comparison, George Will, with the same political bias, uses the language well, sometimes beautifully, and he shows evidence of principled thought. I’ll chose just one statement to question for lack of space. Does Harsanyi really believe that “Trump passed an extensive cognitive exam?” Look online for a copy of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment for a simple screening of dementia: Identify a couple of animals, count backward from seven, copy a cube from the drawing and make a clock face. Be pronounced fit to be POTUS in 10 minutes. I doubt Dr. Ronny Jackson is qualified to administer tests for the real concerns we have. The media has been complicit with willful distractions by giving attention to tweets, potty-mouth comments, and even adding its own discrimination based on age: early dementia. All these are distractions and false issues. Meanwhile POTUS and his ilk dismember our democracy and any semblance of justice, while redistributing wealth to the top tier who execute this so well.Betty PieperScotiaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusSchenectady teens accused of Scotia auto theft, chase; Ended in Clifton Park crash, Saratoga Sheriff…EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img read more

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Airport town is flying, but tragedy may take its toll

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Family planning

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WH Smith sales bring in £40m

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Regus in fourth joint venture

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Brought to account

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The market in minutes

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New survey finds Prabowo has highest name recognition, best job approval among ministers

first_imgA recent survey conducted by Jakarta-based pollster Indo Barometer has found Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto to be among the most well-known members of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s current Cabinet.In the poll, conducted from Jan. 9 to 15, 1,200 respondents were asked to name the first Cabinet member who came to mind, with 18.4 percent naming Prabowo. Finance Minister Sri Mulyani came in second, being named by 10.4 percent of respondents.“I think it’s only logical given that [Prabowo] was a two-time presidential candidate,” Indo Barometer executive director Muhammad Qodari said in a press conference in Jakarta on Sunday. Other ministers found to have high name recognition among respondents included State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir at 8.2 percent; Coordinating Legal, Political, and Human Rights Minister Mahfud MD at 7.9 percent; Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makariem at 5.3 percent; and Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan at 5.2 percent.The least well-known ministers according to the survey are Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Edhy Prabowo (2.5 percent) and Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung (2.2 percent).Prabowo also had the best job approval among Jokowi’s Cabinet members at 26.8 percent, followed by Sri Mulyani and Erick, at 13.9 percent and 12.6 percent, respectively.Qodari noted that Prabowo had maintained his political standing and relevance since taking office as a minister under Jokowi. (rfa/mfp)Topics :last_img read more

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BPJS Kesehatan books deficit below 50% of 2019 projection

first_imgThe Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan) has recorded a deficit of Rp 15.5 trillion (US$1.13 million), 51.56 percent lower than the late-2019 projection of Rp 32 trillion, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has said. The reduced deficit could be largely attributed to the government’s Rp 13.5 trillion cash injection provided through Presidential Decree No. 75/2019, she said.“With the Presidential Decree, we were able to provide Rp 13.5 trillion to BPJS Kesehatan in the period between August and December [2019]. It has helped to reduce BPJS’ deficit from the projected Rp 32 trillion to Rp 15.5 trillion,” Sri Mulyani said on Tuesday, as quoted by kompas.com. The cash injection was made to cover the difference in premiums between low-income customers, known as contribution assistance recipients (PBI), and earning employees (PPU).The minister went on to say that the government had allocated an additional Rp 48 trillion to help BPJS Kesehatan fulfill its obligation to finish reimbursing 5,000 medical centers and hospitals.Read also: Can BPJS Kesehatan survive after drastic premium hikes?BPJS Kesehatan executive director Fahmi Idris had said earlier that the agency had cleaned up its PBI data late last year. It discovered 27.44 million pieces of problematic data, including erroneously inputted national identity numbers. The data cleansing was a requisite for obtaining the government’s approval to increase the BPJS premiums.BPJS Kesehatan has booked a huge deficit since its establishment in 2014 to manage the National Health Insurance (JKN) program, primarily due to its insufficient premium income to pay insurance claims.This year has marked a new phase for Indonesia’s universal healthcare program, with the government raising JKN premiums for the first time since it was launched.The government announced last month that it would not provide cash injections this year to cover the BPJS deficit following the premium hike. (rfa)Topics :last_img read more

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Cannibalism on rise among polar bears, say Russian scientists

first_imgSpeaking at a presentation in the northwestern city of Saint Petersburg, he suggested that the behaviour could be due to lack of food.”In some seasons there is not enough food and large males attack females with cubs,” he said.The rise in cases may also be partly due to more people working in the Arctic and reporting such behaviour, he said.”Now we get information not only from scientists but also from the growing number of oil workers and defence ministry employees.” Cases of polar bears killing and eating each other are on the rise in the Arctic as melting ice and human activity erode their habitat, a Russian scientist said Wednesday.”Cases of cannibalism among polar bears are a long-established fact, but we’re worried that such cases used to be found rarely while now they are recorded quite often,” said polar bear expert Ilya Mordvintsev, quoted by Interfax news agency.”We state that cannibalism in polar bears is increasing,” said Mordvintsev, a senior researcher at Moscow’s Severtsov Institute of Problems of Ecology and Evolution. This winter the area from the Gulf of Ob to the Barents Sea, where polar bears used to hunt, is now a busy route for ships carrying LNG (liquefied natural gas), Mordvintsev said.”The Gulf of Ob was always a hunting ground for the polar bear. Now it has broken ice all year round,” he said, linking this to active gas extraction on the huge Yamal peninsula that borders the Gulf of Ob, and the launch of an Arctic LNG plant.A polar bear cub licks its mother Nora during its first public appearance at the Schoenbrunn zoo in Vienna, Austria, on February 13, 2020. (AFP/HERBERT NEUBAUER / APA )Quitting normal hunting grounds Russia, already a key global oil and gas exporter, is keen to develop its LNG potential in the Arctic. It has also significantly upgraded its military facilities there.Another Russian scientist, Vladimir Sokolov, who has led numerous expeditions by the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, based in Saint Petersburg, said this year polar bears had mainly been affected by abnormally warm weather on Spitsbergen Island to the west in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, where there have been no ice floes and little snow.Russian researchers have recorded growing numbers of polar bears moving away from their traditional hunting grounds as ice melts due to global warming.Over the last quarter-century, Arctic ice levels by the end of summer have fallen by 40 percent, said Sokolov. He predicted that polar bears would  eventually no longer hunt on sea ice and be confined to shore areas and high-latitude archipelagos.Russians living in Arctic settlements have sounded the alarm over dozens of bears entering areas of human habitation, particularly to raid rubbish dumps for food.Topics :last_img read more

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