Military aircraft carrying medical equipment from China arrives in Jakarta

first_imgThe operation was a response to Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto’s request for the TNI to provide military aircraft to transport the medical kits from Shanghai, following his limited meeting with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo last week.Arriving at the handover ceremony shortly after the plane landed in Jakarta, Prabowo said the distribution effort would continue and that more and bigger planes would fly out for the same mission.“The Chinese minister of defense asked about our needs and I sent our list. This is a form of international cooperation between countries and they already have the experience. Now that they are giving assistance to us, we accept the offer,” he said.Jokowi previously said he had received many complaints regarding the lack of personal protective equipment available and asked for understanding that about 180 countries were fighting to get such equipment.“Alhamdullilah [thank God], on Saturday, we were ready with around 105,000 pieces of medical personal protective equipment, which will be distributed today to hospitals around the country,” Jokowi said.He detailed that 45,000 items would be distributed to Jakarta and its surrounding areas that included Bogor and Banten, 40,000 items for West Java, Central Java, East Java, Yogyakarta and Bali, 10,000 for provinces outside of Java and 10,000 as reserves.Indonesia has confirmed 514 positive cases of COVID-19 across 20 provinces, while the death toll has reached 48 as of Sunday.Topics : An Indonesian Military (TNI) Hercules C-130 aircraft arrived at Halim Perdanakusuma Air Base in East Jakarta on Monday morning after picking up medical equipment from China to help medical personnel working against COVID-19.The military aircraft flew to the Chinese city of Shanghai on Saturday to transport the medical equipment to Indonesia and headed to Raden Sadjad Air Base in Natuna, Riau Islands, on Sunday before flying to Jakarta.The medical equipment includes disposable masks, N-95 masks, protective clothing, goggles, gloves, shoe covers, infrared thermometers and surgical caps, which will be used by the country’s doctors and fast-response team for COVID-19.last_img read more

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US coronavirus death toll rises as cases hit 750,000: Reuters tally

first_imgMore than 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits in the past month as closures of businesses and schools and severe travel restrictions have hammered the economy.Governors in US states hardest hit by the coronavirus sparred with President Donald Trump over his claims they have enough tests and should quickly reopen their economies as more protests are planned over the extension of stay-at-home orders.The region of Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. is still seeing increasing cases. New Jersey reported on Sunday that its new cases rose by nearly 3,900, the most in more than two weeks. Boston and Chicago are also emerging hot spots with recent surges in cases and deaths.Several states, including Ohio, Texas and Florida, have said they aim to reopen parts of their economies, perhaps by May 1 or even sooner, but appeared to be staying cautious. The US death toll from the novel coronavirus rose to more than 40,000 on Sunday, the highest in the world and almost double the number of deaths in the next highest country Italy, according to a Reuters tally.It took the United States 38 days after recording its first fatality on Feb. 29 to reach 10,000 deaths on April 6, but only five more days to reach 20,000 dead, according to a Reuters tally. The United States’ toll increased to 40,000 from 30,000 in four days after including untested but probable COVID-19 deaths reported by New York City.The United States has by far the world’s largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases, with more than 750,000 infections — a number that has doubled in 13 days. New cases on Saturday rose by nearly 29,000, the lowest increase in three days. Topics :last_img read more

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Brazil passes France in coronavirus cases to become 6th worst-hit country

first_imgBrazil registered a record number of new cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, surpassing France’s tally to become the sixth-worst hit country, as the disease sends the economy toward its worst year since at least 1900.The government confirmed 11,385 new cases in the last 24 hours, bringing its total count to 188,974 cases of the coronavirus since the outbreak began. Early on Wednesday, France revised its total number of confirmed and suspected cases down 0.3% to 177,700.The pandemic has battered Brazil’s economy as residents shelter at home and many state and local governments instructed most businesses to close to slow the spread of the virus. He escalated the fight this week by declaring gyms and beauty salons as “essential” services that can open for business, threatening legal action against local governments that don’t comply.Sao Paulo, Brazil’s most populous state and with the most cases of the virus, will not comply with Bolsonaro’s decree, Governor Joao Doria said on Wednesday, echoing comments made by at least 10 other governors.The five countries that have registered more infections than Brazil are the United States, Spain, Russia, the United Kingdom and Italy.Brazil recorded 749 new deaths from coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the overall toll to 13,149. Topics :center_img Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has locked horns with state governors for weeks over the lockdowns, saying they are causing more damage through lost jobs than the disease itself.On Wednesday, the economy ministry predicted the Brazilian economy would contract 4.7% in 2020, the biggest annual fall since records began more than a century ago.The ministry estimates every additional week of quarantine measures costs the economy 20 billion reais ($3.40 billion).”It will reach the point where hungry people take to the streets,” Bolsonaro said on Wednesday.last_img read more

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Government to develop 165,000 hectares land in Central Kalimantan for food-estate program

first_imgHowever, Agrarian Reform Consortium (KPA) secretary-general Dewi Kartika said the government’s botched agrarian reform program was to blame for the shortages as vast plots of farmland were constantly being encroached on by mining concessions and corporate plantations.Agrarian reform was among the National Priority Programs pushed by Jokowi’s first-term administration in an effort to better distribute development and improve the quality of people’s lives.It includes programs that are expected to alleviate poverty in villages, improve the country’s food security and land production, acknowledge ownership rights over land owned by individuals, the state and the general public, including land utilization in the popular interest.“According to National Land Agency data, our farmland shrank by 650,000 ha in 2018. Much of this was converted to be used by other business sectors such as palm oil, natural resources extraction and infrastructure,” Dwi said in May.She added that she feared the government’s plan to clear 600,000 ha of peatland in Central Kalimantan would yield the same result as a similar measure taken under former president Soeharto, which ended up leading to crop failures and subsequent food shortages.Topics : President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has instructed the Public Works and Housing Ministry to expand the government’s food-estate program by developing 165,000 hectares of land in Pulang Pisau regency, Central Kalimantan, into farmland, a senior official has said.Minister Basuki Hadimulyono said a total of 85,500 ha of land in the area already functioned as farmland so the ministry only needed to clear 79,500 ha of scrubland for the development. The project aims to boost productivity by 2 tons of rice for each ha of land.“We will start developing the land this year until 2022. This project is our second-highest priority after the development of the National Strategic Tourist Areas [KSPN],” he said during an online video conference on Tuesday. He further said the land designated for the project was alluvial and not peatland, even though it was previously used in the government’s Peatland Development Project (PLG).The ministry will require Rp1.05 trillion (US$74.5 million) to build the project’s irrigation system, according to Basuki, and the development project will be carried out in conjunction with the State-Owned Enterprise Ministry through an investment scheme.“We will handle the irrigation system rehabilitation program on this former PLG land,” he said.Government data presented by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on April 28 showed that over 20 provinces faced shortages of staple foods, such as garlic, sugar, chilis and eggs, making food security one of his administration’s priorities.last_img read more

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Government unveils criteria for tech firms to collect VAT

first_imgOver-the-top (OTT) technology firms appointed by the tax office as VAT collectors in July are expected to start collecting the taxes in August. Consumers using digital goods or services from the technology firms are obliged to pay 10 percent VAT with the regulation enforcement.Law No. 2/2020 stipulates that the government is able to charge VAT on taxable intangible goods and/or services sold through e-commerce platforms. It can also charge income tax or electronic transaction tax on e-commerce operated by foreign individuals or digital companies that have a significant economic presence.The government has been struggling to collect revenue to fund its cash-strapped budget as the COVID-19 pandemic hits almost all business sectors. Ministry data shows state revenue reached Rp 664.3 trillion as of May, down 9 percent year-on-year (yoy), as tax income dropped 10.8 percent yoy to Rp 444.6 trillion.It has pressed ahead with collecting digital tax despite an announcement by the United States Trade Representatives (USTR) that it will investigate such policy, which the US said was aimed squarely at its technology giants. The Taxation Directorate General has unveiled the criteria for technology firms expected to collect value-added tax (VAT), including the transaction value and traffic, as the government ramps up efforts to increase state revenue during the coronavirus epidemic.According to a regulation unveiled by the tax office on Tuesday, technology firms with total transaction value of more than Rp 600 million (US$41,949) and with customer traffic of more than 12,000 per year are obliged to collect VAT from their Indonesian  customers.“According to the criteria, the appointment of VAT collector would depend on the transaction value or traffic from Indonesian [customers] without consideration of the companies’ jurisdiction,” the tax office statement reads. However, the government has maintained that the VAT is not the subject of an investigation by the US, which is focusing more on corporate income tax plans for technology companies, a topic of discussion led by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).Previously, tax office chief Suryo Utomo said six OTT technology firms were ready to collect VAT from consumers, adding that the office was also in talks with several other firms.“We will announce the firms that will collect VAT on digital goods and services in early July,” Suryo told reporters during a streamed news conference on June 25.Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has repeatedly mentioned that the government is targeting streaming platform Netflix, music streaming service Spotify and videoconferencing application Zoom.center_img Topics :last_img read more

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Australia sets up suburban checkpoints to contain Melbourne virus hotspots

first_img“All of us across Victoria have to really consider whether we need to see people in other settings, other households, including family members and friends.”On the other side of the country, remote Northern Territory reported its first infection in two months after a traveler who had entered the country via Melbourne and completed the mandatory two-week quarantine showed symptoms after returning to his home territory.”People will be anxious hearing this news … but we have measures in place to protect our community [and] these measures have been followed,” Northern Territory Health Minister Natasha Fyles told reporters.The infected person, aged in their 30s, has been isolated in hospital, she added.Globally, coronavirus cases exceeded 10 million on Sunday, a major milestone in the spread of a disease that has killed more than half a million people in seven months.  Australian police set up suburban checkpoints in new coronavirus hotspots in Melbourne on Thursday as authorities struggled to contain new outbreaks in the country’s second-largest city, even as travel restrictions eased elsewhere.Images published by the Australian Broadcasting Corp. on Thursday showed police flagging down cars in suburban streets after 36 suburbs in Melbourne in Victoria state went into lockdown following a spike in new infections there. The state reported 77 new cases on Thursday, up slightly from the previous day and in line with two weeks of double-digit daily increases.”I’m obviously concerned about the outbreak, and I’m pleased that the premier has taken the action he’s taken by putting in place the lockdown for the outbreak in those suburbs,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a televised news conference, referring to the Victorian state government. “We have seen some leveling [in new cases] although they remain at elevated levels and that is of concern and that means as the lockdown now is in place, we would hope to see those numbers fall again.”Australia has fared better than many countries in the pandemic, with around 8,000 cases and 104 deaths. However, the recent jump in Victoria has stoked fears of a second wave of COVID-19, echoing concerns expressed in other countries.Most states have said they will reopen their internal borders except to Victoria. Neighboring New South Wales, the most populous state, has kept its border open except to people arriving from the targeted Victorian suburbs.”Though these restrictions are in place in those restricted postcodes, there’s an obligation on all of us to consider how we minimize our interactions with other people,” Victorian chief health officer Brett Sutton told reporters.center_img Topics :last_img read more

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Former minister Rudiantara appointed commissioner for nickel miner Vale

first_imgThe deputy president commissioner and the independent commissioner position was previously held by economist Mahendra Siregar.The note says that Rudiantara will be a fresh face on the board as shareholders voted to reelect all previous commissioners, except Mahendra.A business manager by training, Rudiantara built his career in the telecommunications industry having worked for each of Indonesia’s top three telcos, namely state telecommunication firm Telkomsel, telco firm XL Axiata and Indosat Ooredoo. He also served stints in other industries such as cement and electricity, when he assumed the vice president director post in state electricity firm PLN in 2008.Topics : Seasoned telecommunications player Rudiantara has been appointed deputy president commissioner and independent commissioner of top nickel miner PT Vale Indonesia.Rudiantara, who previously served as communications and information technology minister in President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s first term Cabinet, is slated to hold the positions from 2020 to 2023 after a shareholders meeting on Wednesday.“We will meet the regulatory requirements related to changing the board of commissioners,” wrote Vale in a shareholder note.last_img read more

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COVID-19 contacts should be tested, regardless of symptoms: WHO

first_img“What is really important is that testing be used as an opportunity to find active cases so that they can be isolated and so that contact tracing can also take place,” she said.”This is really fundamental to breaking chains of transmission.”The controversial policy shift at the CDC was made quietly on its website on Monday amid reports of political interference from the White House.President Donald Trump has repeatedly said that the United States should do less testing, and has blamed mass testing for making it appear as though the country is doing poorly against the pandemic.This is not true: though the United States is testing at a high level, its outbreak is worse than any other country in the world, with more than 5.8 million confirmed cases and almost 180,000 deaths.Anthony Fauci, who leads the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, voiced concern Wednesday that the new CDC recommendations “will give people the incorrect assumption that asymptomatic spread is not of great concern. In fact, it is.”The CDC has previously emphasized that between 40-50 percent of people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic, and therefore getting tested is important to stop the spread of the virus. People exposed to someone diagnosed with coronavirus should be tested whether they show symptoms or not, the World Health Organization said Thursday, after US health authorities said they were not needed.The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website earlier this week shifted from its position that all close contacts of known COVID-19 cases should be tested, suggesting that those with no symptoms “do not necessarily need a test.”When asked about the shift, the WHO’s COVID-19 technical lead Maria Van Kerkhove did not mention the US situation specifically but told reporters the UN health agency recommends that “contacts, if feasible, should be tested, regardless of the development of symptoms. “We know that people who have symptoms transmit, and we know that people who don’t have symptoms can transmit the virus as well,” she said.The WHO had developed guidelines for countries at different stages in their outbreaks, leaving it up to them to adapt their testing strategy to their needs and capacities, depending on the intensity of transmission, she said.To date, the novel coronavirus has killed more than 826,000 people of the over 24 million infected since the disease first surfaced in China late last year.While the main focus of testing is on those who develop symptoms, Van Kerkhove said that especially when investigating clusters of cases, “testing may need to be expanded to look for individuals who are on the more mild end of the spectrum or who may indeed be asymptomatic.”center_img Topics :last_img read more

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Explainer: Whoever takes over, next Japan PM faces daunting challenges

first_imgBelow are main issues the new leader will confront.Economy and coronavirusAbe’s signature “Abenomics” growth strategy was facing headwinds because of an export slump and a sales tax increase even before the coronavirus outbreak, highlighting the problem of lifting the economy out of decades of stagnation.Critics said Abe’s “third arrow” of structural reforms – the first two were hyper-easy monetary policy and government spending – was not bold enough in the face of a fast-ageing population and a rigid labor market. The successor to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is resigning because of poor health, faces a daunting list of economic, diplomatic and security issues.Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) will choose its next party president on Sept. 14, media reported.The winner will serve out Abe’s term as party leader until September 2021 and is all but assured the premiership by virtue of the LDP’s majority in parliament. Japan has not seen an explosive coronavirus outbreak but cases have been rising and the government must balance containing it and restarting the economy. The pandemic brought Japan’s biggest economic slump on record and a third quarter of declines knocked real gross domestic product growth to decade-low levels, wiping out the benefits of “Abenomics”.Policymakers are short of ammunition with a big public debt limiting new government spending and the Bank of Japan running out of options to hit its elusive 2% inflation target.Japan is also struggling with a rock-bottom birthrate, shrinking labor force and low global ranking on women’s empowerment.DiplomacyJapan’s ties with China had improved ahead of a planned visit by President Xi Jinping, but the trip was postponed because of the coronavirus. Some LDP members want the visit cancelled over China’s clampdown on Hong Kong and its push to assert claims in the East China Sea.China is locked in a confrontation with the United States over rights, trade and security, and Washington may press Tokyo to take sides. But while Japan shares US concerns about China, the Asian neighbors’ economies are deeply intertwined so the next leader must balance security and economic priorities.Abe had forged close ties with President Donald Trump so the next leader will be starting afresh no matter who wins the US election.Pressure on Japan from its main security ally to take on a greater share of the burden of its defense and pay more to host US troops is unlikely to ease.Japan’s ties with US ally South Korea are frigid due to disputes over Koreans forced to work for wartime Japanese firms and “comfort women”, a euphemism for those pushed into Japan’s military brothels, and the feud has spilled over into security and trade.Security, constitutionThe government has begun a review of its National Security Strategy following a June decision to scrap a plan to deploy the US-made Aegis Ashore ground-based missile defense system at two sites.An LDP committee wants the government to consider a strike capability to halt ballistic missiles within enemy territory, a controversial issue for a country that renounced the right to wage war after its World War Two defeat. The proposal is also likely to anger China and Russia, which could fall within range of any new strike weapons.Abe engineered a historic policy shift by reinterpreting the pacifist constitution, passing laws to end a ban on exercising the right of collective self-defense, or defending a friendly country under attack.But he failed to achieve his goal of revising the post-war, US-drafted charter’s pacifist Article 9. Amending that is divisive and the new leader must decide if it’s a priority.Public opinion, general electionAbe’s successor is likely to lead the LDP in a general election that must be held by October 2021 and could come sooner.The weakness of fragmented opposition parties helped Abe hold power by leading the LDP-led ruling bloc to repeated election victories, and the LDP is expected to hold a majority in the next election.But whether it can keep its nearly two-thirds majority in the lower house is a question and will likely hinge on the coronavirus, the economy and the new leader’s image.If the LDP does badly, it may choose a new leader, reviving revolving-door premierships that plagued Japan before Abe’s nearly eight-year rule.center_img Topics :last_img read more

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Arsenal make contact over Nabil Fekir move but may need to sell Mesut Ozil to sign the Frenchman

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterWednesday 3 Jul 2019 7:56 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link Commentcenter_img Nabil Fekir is expected to leave Lyon this summer (Picture: Getty Images)Arsenal have begun negotiations over a deal for Nabil Fekir, making contact, but are yet to produce a bid for the Lyon man.The France international has been offered to the Gunners for just £30m this summer, despite almost signing for Liverpool for £53m last summer, as he now only has one year left on his contract with the Ligue 1 side.The Gunners are interested in the 25-year-old and have made contact over a potential move, but discussions are at a very early stage, according to French publication L’Equipe.It is believed that any transfer would depend on Arsenal moving on Mesut Ozil as he is the highest earner at the club, pocketing £350,000-a-week, and they would need to free up his wages.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTArsenal are open to selling Ozil this summer, offering the German to clubs around the world, but are struggling to get him off their hands due to his huge wages and he looks most likely to stay, with no formal offers received.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityAC Milan are also thought to be interested in Fekir, while he is also reportedly attracting clubs in China who could pounce on the situation.Lyon president, Jean-Michel Aulas, is keen to move Fekir on this summer to avoid him leaving on a free next year, commenting last month: ‘His preference is a departure. We are open to discussions, we leave the door ajar for Nabil but for the moment, there are no offers.’A move to Liverpool for the Frenchman was very nearly completed a year ago, but concerns over a knee problem brought talks to an end.Fekir appeared to allay those fears by making 39 appearances in all competitions for Lyon last season, scoring 12 goals.MORE: Arsenal enquire about Manchester United target Harry MaguireMORE: Arsenal target Wilfried Zaha not interested in Manchester United return Arsenal make contact over Nabil Fekir move but may need to sell Mesut Ozil to sign the Frenchmanlast_img read more

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