Letters to the Editor for Wednesday, Nov. 27

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionProctors is a jewel; treat it with respectI was privileged to attend the spectacular production of “Frozen” at Proctors.The elderly gentleman with me needed his walker, so we were among the last to leave the theater.As we came up from the fifth row, I was astounded at the amount of trash left behind all over the floor, not just playbills, but water bottles, half-eaten candy bars, plastic cups and wrappers.Why should the volunteers have to clean up all this garbage, especially when there are bins on the way out? Restoring this beautiful, historic theater has helped restore downtown, and we no longer need to go to New York City to see wonderful Broadway shows. Proctors has become the jewel of Schenectady, and we should treat it as such.Joanna DeSilvaScotiaQuestion witnesses in impeachment caseAccording to one American poet, “Believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see.”This might be the watchword for the House of Representative’s impeachment hearings.The House-backed witnesses repeatedly stated that they “overheard” conversations between the American president and foreign leaders. Hum. Such eavesdropping accusations ring hollow in credence and smack of much doubt.But even worse is what we see — too many House witnesses opine as to what form the president’s action should take.They say, “I think the president’s comments are inappropriate.” Huh? What gives these public servants the supposed credibility to question official policy-making decisions? Might it be their party affiliation? Impossible. Whistleblowers are above reproach, aren’t they?Allen R. RemaleySaratoga SpringsSay thanks to all vets who’ve servedAs I prepared to go out on this Veterans Day to pay respects to my fellow veterans, and those that are not with us anymore, I decided that I would first send this letter to The Daily Gazette, and give you a big salute for the great job the paper did in publishing the section “Honoring Our Veterans.”That space dedicated to the special people on this special day was a great gesture of respect to the many Schenectady and Rotterdam residents that served our country in the military.I noted the many female veterans recognized in the section. Over 730 female veterans have received the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat in the current Afghanistan war.This section brought back many memories from when I was director of Schenectady County Veterans Service Agency, and how I had served the veterans with their military entitlements questions.Many veterans who served came from the same family and had parents that could have lost all of their children, like the “Five Sullivans” that lost their lives in World War II on the same ship.There were many families that sent their “boys” into the military because they were born at the wrong time and the government said they needed them to give us the freedom we enjoy today.When we see a person wearing a veterans cap that says they served, thank them for their service. They wear the cap, not to get praise, but because they have pride in having served.James A. WilsonSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img read more

Singaporean to sell half of City’s £200m Lion Plaza

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Standard Life in giant retail bid

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Leisure pressure points

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Heathrow rents soar

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‘It’s safe to eat pork’: Bali launches campaign against swine fever outbreak with delicacies

first_imgSome 300 portions of the pork delicacies are set to be provided in the event. In addition, the agency will also provide non-pork dishes to cater to guests who do not eat pork.Nata said that the event, which will take place at the agency’s office, would be held particularly to remind people that they did not have to be worried about consuming pork dishes on the resort island.He said that public interest in consuming pork had not yet been affected by the ASF outbreak, however, they decided to launch the campaign early as they were worried that the outbreak might soon cause people to feel unsafe about eating pork.”We’re trying to minimize the impact of the [outbreak], especially to save pig farmers from greater loses,” Nata said, “We are going to tell people that it is safe to eat pork, as long as it is from a healthy pig, and well cooked.” Topics : The Bali administration is set to present mouth-watering pork dishes in an event held on Friday as part of its campaign to assure residents and tourists that it is safe to consume pork in the province, which recently saw the deaths of nearly 900 pigs as a result of an African swine fever (ASF) outbreak.”We will provide two suckling pigs and many other Balinese dishes made from pork,” senior Bali Agriculture and Food Security Agency official IKG Nata Kesuma said on Thursday.Read also: Bali confirms swine fever outbreak amid numerous pig deathscenter_img So far 888 pigs have been killed by the ASF outbreak within the last two months in Bali — the latest province to suffer an outbreak after the same disease killed more than 50,000 pigs in North Sumatra in an outbreak that began last year.[RA:: Read also: Bali confirms swine fever outbreak amid numerous pig deaths]According to the agency, Badung regency recorded the highest number of deaths with a total of 598 pigs, followed by Tabanan with 219, Denpasar with 45, Gianyar with 24 and Bangli and Karangasem with one each.Balinese authorities claim they have worked well to contain the spread of the disease as the agency recorded no more pig deaths within the last eight days.The ASF is not a risk to human health as it is known only to infect pigs, according to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).Chairman of Bali’s Pig Farmers Association, Ketut Hari Suyasa, warmly welcomed the agency’s plan to hold the campaign event, saying “it is a great idea.””We hope that the event will successfully spread the message to all people that pork is still safe for consumption,” he said.Hari said that the ASF outbreak already caused the price of pigs to drop slightly from Rp 28,000 (US$2.05) per kilogram to only Rp 22,000 per kg in areas which saw the disease.However, the price in the unaffected areas remained at around Rp 28,000, he said. “We hope that the price will not drop again.”last_img read more

Supreme Court revokes BPJS Kesehatan premium hike

first_imgThe Supreme Court has granted a judicial review of Presidential Regulation no. 75/2019 on health care security, effectively revoking the policy to increase the premiums for the Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan).The court stated that point 1 and 2 in Article 34 of the regulation — which stipulated a 100 percent increase of BPJS Kesehatan premiums — contradicted a number of prevailing laws.“[The article] is not legally binding,” Supreme Court spokesperson Agung Andi Samsan Nganro said on Monday as quoted by tempo.co.  The judicial review petition was filed late last year by individuals grouped in the Hemodialysis Patients Community — a group among many members of the public who protested against the premium hike that they deemed too expensive.Read also: Can BPJS Kesehatan survive after drastic premium hikes?The verdict of the country’s highest court has therefore rolled back the premium increase and reverted the BPJS premiums to their original prices prior to the issuance of the contentious regulation.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo signed the regulation on Oct. 30 of last year, doubling the premium for the first-class and second-class service while increasing the premium for the third-class service by 64 percent. The regulation has been awaited by BPJS Kesehatan – which manages the country’s national health insurance (JKN) – as the former was expected to help the state insurer overcome the perpetual financial losses they suffered. (rfa)Topics :last_img read more

Sri Mulyani appoints new spokesperson, tells official to fight fake news

first_imgTopics : Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has appointed Rahayu Puspasari as the ministry’s new spokesperson replacing Nufransa Wira Sakti, who has been appointed to the expert staff for tax supervisory matters.Sri Mulyani told Rahayu Puspasari that she has the responsibility to combat fake news in regard to the country’s financial wellbeing, adding that the ministry would need to change its means of communications.”I ask Puspa to take the leadership role to strengthen the institution and our responsibility [to disseminate information],” said Sri Mulyani in Jakarta on Monday. “The contest of information is very rampant and creative, even some people working full-time create hoaxes.” “Every means of communications including through social media and websites will need to be renewed. We sometimes need storytelling so that the public know about the country’s finances,” she told the new spokeswoman, calling for the ministry to immediately respond to fake news.The minister appointed several new officials, such as Lukman Effendi to replace Purnama T. Sianturi as the ministry’s state assets directorate general (DJKN) director for state receivables and other wealth matters and Joko Prihato as the new DJKN director for auctions, replacing Lukman.last_img read more

Colombia declares coronavirus state of emergency, orders elderly to stay home

first_imgBut Duque’s government has been criticized for not enforcing controls at airports, as tourists have taken to social media to say they were not made aware of quarantine requirements upon landing.Some provinces and municipalities in the Andean country have already put in place nightly curfews.State-run oil company Ecopetrol has cut its planned investment for the year by $1.2 billion, while the government slashed bond issues by nearly $366 million. Colombia’s President Ivan Duque declared a state of emergency on Tuesday as the country steps up measures to stop the spread of coronavirus, including ordering the elderly to stay home from Friday until the end of May.Speaking during a televised address, Duque said full details on the state of emergency would be announced on Wednesday. Governments on every continent have implemented containment measures to contain the disease, which has infected more than 187,000 people and killed nearly 7,500.”To protect our grandparents we have declared an obligatory isolation starting Friday March 20 from seven o’clock in the morning until May 31,” Duque said. “All adults older than 70 must remain in their homes except to buy groceries and medicines, use health services, and access financial services.”People walk on the street, wearing protective masks as a preventive measure against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Bogota, Colombia March 17, 2020. (REUTERS/Leonardo Munoz)So far 75 people in Colombia have been infected by coronavirus, most of them after traveling in Europe or the United States. No deaths have been reported.Colombia originally required a 14-day quarantine for arriving travelers, before restricting entry to anyone who is not a citizen or a resident, closing schools, bars and nightclubs, delaying the start of the legislative session in Congress and then shuttering land and waterway borders.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Indonesia’s budget to fight COVID-19: What we know so far

first_img“To reprioritize for the handling of COVID-19, we are continuously exercising options so that on the one hand our state budget can respond quickly but without deliberately creating a credibility crisis for our own state budget.   President Jokowi has revealed that the government and the House of Representatives are in talks to raise Indonesia’s budget deficit cap to finance more needs to fight COVID-19, which has never exceeded its self-imposed limit of 3 percent of GDP.On March 23, the chairman of the House budget committee (Banggar), Said Abdullah, said the government should raise the budget deficit ceiling to 5 percent of GDP, meaning that Indonesia’s state budget could be increased by hundreds of trillions more rupiah.So far, the government has prepared a total of Rp 158.2 trillion (US$9.77 billion) to finance the healthcare sector, safeguard individuals, workers and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes the first and second stimulus packages worth Rp 10.3 trillion and Rp 22.9 trillion, respectively. The government has issued regulations to support these spending plans for related ministries, government agencies and local governments. The regulations include Presidential Instruction No. 4/2020 on refocusing activities, budget reallocation and procurement to speed up the handling of COVID-19.The Finance Ministry went as far as issuing technical guidance to speed up budget proposals, on top of many other finance ministerial regulations to accommodate the change in government spending.“The government may need far more funds to counter rising rates of infection and the virus’ economic impact on workers,” said Bank Permata economist Josua Pardede. “With the planned stimulus, combined with the 2.5 percent budget deficit projection, the government still has room for Rp 52 trillion to Rp 69 trillion if they need to take more drastic measures.”Bahana Sekuritas economist Satria Sambijantoro estimated that if the government allowed its budget deficit to widen to 3.5 percent of GDP, spending could be increased by around Rp 334 trillion.“[…] even after accounting for zero growth in state revenues, which we view as quite sufficient to cushion the economy from the COVID-19 outbreak,” Satria said.Topics : The Jakarta Post has compiled a list of funds allocated by the government for medical needs, workers, households and businesses to cope with COVID-19 based on information from the Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister and the Finance Ministry as of March 30.center_img The government is finalizing a new state budget designed to battle the health and economic aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including widening the state budget deficit to beyond its legal limit of 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has rallied ministers and regional administrations to refocus their budgets on health care, the disbursement of social funds and economic stimuli to cope with COVID-19.“Actually, from the total spending, which is currently estimated at Rp 2.5 quadrillion, we can afford it, but if there are so many changes we need to adjust accordingly,” Finance Minister Sri Mulyani said on March 20.last_img read more