Bridge over troubled water

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Profile: Change on the table at MEPC

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Struggling REITs lose acquisition power

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Salisbury: Springtime for Solstice

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Lacking access to health facilities, 10 villagers in Maluku die from diarrhea

first_imgPuskemas Saumlaki reported the death of five villagers, three in Lermatang village, one in Wesawak and one in Bomaki.Meanwhile, Puskesmas Lorulun reported two deaths, namely in Atubul DA village and Arui Bab. Puskesmas Seira reported one death in Wermatang, while Puskesmas Adodo Molu reported the death of two residents of Nerkat village.Edwin went on to say that the deaths were believed to have been caused by a lack of access to a Puskesmas in the district. In some cases, diarrhea likely worsened the condition of villagers already suffering from other health problems, including lung disease, he added.Another cause of diarrhea, he added, was that many residents did not have access to toilets and their habit of defecating in the open made them prone to diseases. “We are handling it. Health workers were immediately deployed to villages that do not have health centers to give villagers a medical checkup,” Edwin said.The health workers treated villagers for diarrhea and also congenital diseases while disseminating information on how to live a healthier, more hygienic lifestyle.“So, it’s not just about treatments. A healthy lifestyle is also necessary to fight diarrhea,” Edwin said, adding that he had advised the villagers to get used to washing their hands with soap and wearing masks.Separately, Maluku Health Agency secretary Adonia Rerung regretted the late response of the Tanimbar Island Health Agency, saying that it should have immediately reported the case to the provincial agency.“I have reprimanded the [Tanimbar Island Health] Agency and told [officials] to immediately submit a report about the situation,” Adonia said, adding that he had also instructed the agency collect data on villagers that were still suffering from diarrhea. (syk)Topics : Ten villagers have died from diarrhea between Jan. 25 and the first week of February because of a lack of health facilities and unhealthy lifestyles, according to the Tanimbar Island Health Agency in Maluku.The agency’s head, Edwin Tomasoa said the findings were based on reports from a number of community health centers (Puskesmas) in Tanimbar Island regency.The 10 people came from seven villages, according to reports from four community health centers in various districts.last_img read more

Twitter advises 5,000 global employees to work from home

first_imgTwitter’s policy on working from home is a step beyond what most companies in the US are doing as the virus spreads. Many, including AT&T Inc. and Citigroup Inc., have restricted international travel, especially to Asia. Others including Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google have postponed or canceled conferences in the US, and Facebook joined Twitter Monday in pulling out of South by Southwest. But Twitter’s suggestion for remote work is more reminiscent of what companies did in Asia as the virus swept the region.That’s probably because Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey is a big proponent of remote work, and has already announced plans to spend as much as six months working from Africa in 2020. “While this is a big change for us, we have already been moving toward a more distributed workforce that’s increasingly remote,” Twitter wrote Monday.Square Inc., the other public company that Dorsey leads, is also asking employees to work from home. On Monday, Square executive Aaron Zamost wrote in a tweet that the company is implementing a “strongly encouraged work-from-home policy.”A handful of Twitter workers tweeted praise for the decision, applauding Dorsey for prioritizing employee health. Many of their tweets included the hashtag #webackjack, doubling as support for a CEO under attack from activist investors who may try to replace him. Topics : Twitter Inc. is “strongly encouraging” its almost 5,000 global employees to work from home due to concerns over the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, the company said Monday.The social media company made the suggestion as part of a blog update one day after it suspended all non-critical travel for workers, including pulling out of the South by Southwest conference scheduled for later this month in Austin, Texas.Twitter says it’s mandatory for employees in Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea to work from home, but that other offices will remain open for those who choose or need to come in. “We are working to make sure internal meetings, all hands, and other important tasks are optimized for remote participation,” the company wrote on its blog.last_img read more

Dutch trial seeks justice for MH17 families

first_img ‘There will be more trials’ Prosecutors say the suspects were all linked to the separatists and were instrumental in bringing the missile to Ukraine even if they did not pull the trigger.Girkin, also known by his pseudonym “Strelkov”, is the most high-profile suspect — a former Russian spy and historical re-enactment fan who helped kickstart the war in Ukraine.Dubinsky, who has also been tied to Russian intelligence, allegedly served as the separatists’ military intelligence chief and was allegedly responsible for requesting the delivery of the missile.Pulatov was an ex-Russian special forces soldier and one of Dubinsky’s deputies who allegedly helped transport the missile system to Ukraine, while Kharchenko allegedly led a separatist unit in eastern Ukraine and secured the missile launcher.Investigators say they are still trying to track the crew of the BUK, which originated from the Russian army’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade based in the city of Kursk.They are also seeking information implicating “high-ranking” Kremlin officials.”I am convinced there will be more trials in the coming years,” Ploeg said. The Netherlands will put four people on trial next week over the downing of flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014, giving families hope of justice even if the suspects are not in the dock.For more than five years relatives have called for the prosecution of those responsible for shooting down the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 with the loss of all 298 men, women and children on board.The jet travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was torn apart by a Russian-made missile over part of eastern Ukraine held by pro-Moscow rebels, spreading bodies and debris over a wide area. A Dutch-led international probe last year made its first charges in the case, accusing Russians Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov and Ukrainian citizen Leonid Kharchenko of involvement.None is expected to be at the high-security court near Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on Monday, but family members will be out in force for the start of what is expected to be a year-long trial.”For the next of kin this is a very important moment,” said Piet Ploeg, head of a foundation for MH17 victims who lost his brother, sister-in-law and nephew on the doomed flight.”We will hear what happened, why it happened, what was the role of the Russian state. I hope, I am convinced, we will get all the answers that we have not had for five-and-a-half years,” he told AFP. Topics :center_img Ploeg, who says he will attend every day of the trial, added: “It’s a bloody shame that the four suspects are having a good time and parties in Russia, but we can’t do anything about it, they won’t be extradited. It’s a fact that we will have to deal with.” ‘Some sort of closure’ Relatives will be allowed inside the courtroom to watch, while a media center has been built outside the stark concrete building to house more than 400 journalists from around the globe.The downing of MH17 on July 17, 2014 horrified the world, with its images of wreckage strewn across Ukranian sunflower fields and some victims including children still strapped into their seats, their faces masks of agony.Of the dead, 196 were from the Netherlands, and Dutch authorities aided by Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine have relentlessly pursued the case ever since.Investigators say the BUK anti-aircraft missile was fired from rebel territory and was supplied by Russia, while the Netherlands and Australia have said they hold Moscow responsible.Russia has long denied any involvement.”We have always questioned the objectivity of the work of the investigative team, as we were deprived the chance to participate in it,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday.The first week of the trial is expected to deal with so-called “housekeeping” issues rather than hearing evidence, but it will include the crucial detail of whether the suspects will turn up.One is known to have appointed a lawyer but since neither Russia nor Ukraine extradites its nationals, it is almost certain they will be tried in absentia.”For the victims there will at least be a decision and the possibility for some sort of closure,” said Marieke de Hoon, assistant professor of international law at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.last_img read more

COVID-19: GMF expects spike in maintenance orders from flight bans

first_imgNotable carriers such as American Airlines, Air France and Qatar Airways have temporarily halted all flights to China in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Several countries, including the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia, have also temporarily suspended all flights to mainland China to prevent the furteher spread of the virus.Read also: Airlines face $100 billion-plus virus hit, discounts ‘wouldn’t do any good’ He added that the increased demand for maintenance from non-affiliates could offset the expected decline in orders from affiliate airlines as well as flag carrier Garuda Indonesia and its low-cost subsidiary Citilink Indonesia, “since both airlines have reduced their flights to China and Saudi Arabia for umrah [pilgrimage]”.This, in turn, could lead to postponements in Garuda’s and Citilink’s regular maintenance schedules, he said.With the expected increase in orders from international airlines, GMF AeroAsia would be heightening its prevention measures by disinfecting every aircraft that rolled into its maintenance hangars.Tazar said that the company had disinfected 19 Garuda aircraft and 13 Citililink aircraft from January to March, as well as 18 aircraft from international carriers during the same period.Read also: COVID-19: Indonesia still allows flights to and from South Korea amid travel banDespite the spike in maintenance orders, Tazar said that GMF AeroAsia would accommodate new orders according to capacity.The company plans to open a new MRO facility this year in Denpasar, Bali, bringing its total to 25 outstations.Tazar added that GMF AeroAsia would maintain its revenue and profit projections for the year, with revenue projected to grow 5 percent and profit 10 percent on the back of planned efficiency measures.GMF AeroAsia was also allocating US$50 million in capital expenditure for 2020, with most of the fund to be used toward both organic and inorganic business growth.Stocks of the company, traded at the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) with the code GMFI, plummeted by 11.58 percent on Friday against the Jakarta Composite Index’s loss of 2.4 percent. The stocks have lost more than 51 percent of its value throughout this year.Topics : The suspension has left some airlines unable to land in China for scheduled maintenance, prompting them to seek new alternatives for servicing their aircraft.GMF AeroAsia had so far received three orders for maintenance services from international airlines that were not on the company’s roster this year, Tazar said.center_img PT Garuda Maintenance Facilities (GMF) AeroAsia expects to see increasing demand for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services from non-affiliated international airlines as a result of diverted flights due to the COVID-19 outbreak.President director Tazar Marta Kurniawan said on Friday that GMF AeroAsia projected a year-on-year increase of 80 percent in the contribution of non-affiliated international airlines for its MRO services, from 71 percent in 2019.“We might receive more orders for MRO services from international airlines, since those who were scheduled to have maintenance in China, for example, would be diverted to us because of the coronavirus outbreak,” Tazar told a press briefing in Tangerang, Banten.last_img read more

Saudi Arabia to suspend international flights over virus

first_imgSaudi Arabia said Saturday it would suspend international flights for two weeks in response to the coronavirus outbreak.”The kingdom’s government decided to suspend international flights for two weeks [starting from Sunday March 15th] as part of its efforts to prevent the spread of #CoronaVirus,” the foreign ministry tweeted.The halt applies to all but “exceptional cases,” the official Saudi Press Agency said, quoting an official source in the interior ministry. Citizens and expatriates who are unable to return due to the suspension or who go into quarantine after returning will be granted an “exceptional official holiday,” it added.Saudi Arabia has recorded 86 cases of the virus so far, but no deaths, according to the health ministry.The kingdom had already halted flights to some countries and closed schools and universities as part of measures to contain the disease.Authorities have also suspended the “umrah” year-round pilgrimage to the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina for fear of the virus spreading. Topics :last_img read more

Indonesian palm oil exports to China drop by half in January: GAPKI

first_imgIndonesia’s palm oil exports to China have plummeted by half in volume amid global uncertainties, an industry source has said.The Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association (GAPKI) said in a statement on Tuesday that China’s export volume fell by 381,000 tons or 57 percent. This contributed to the sharp drop in the country’s total palm oil exports, which declined by 35.6 percent to 2.39 million tons in January from 3.72 million tons in December 2019.”The drastic export decline in January could be because importing countries were still holding on to their stock while waiting for the Indonesia government to implement a 30 percent blended biodiesel [B30] program,” the association said in the statement. Topics : Should the decline continue, overall export performances could be dragged down in 2020 as palm oil has remained the country’s top export. The palm oil industry is one of Indonesia’s major foreign exchange earners, contributing 13.5 percent to total non-oil and gas exports worth US$22.3 billion, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani said on March 2.Read also: In Papua, forests offer more economic benefits than oil palm plantations, research findsA decline in palm oil exports to China will also hit the industry hard as one of the country’s main buyers of the commodity. In 2019, China imported 6 million tons of palm oil from Indonesia, representing 16.5 percent of overall palm oil exports during the year, GAPKI data showed.But China is not the only destination that saw a decline in palm oil exports in January. Palm oil exports to the European Union fell by 188,000 tons (30 percent), 141,000 tons (22 percent) for India and 129,000 tons for the United States (64 percent). Only Bangladesh saw a month-to-month increase by 52 percent to 40,000 tons in January.center_img The novel coronavirus, which emerged in China in late December 2019, could further lower the country’s crude palm oil (CPO) imports from Indonesia, as most of the country’s industries, including food and beverage producers, were closed for months.However, CPO CIF Rotterdam prices rose in January, as CPO prices increased to an average of US$830 per ton from an average of $787 tons in December last year. CPO production also increased to 3.48 million tons in January from 3.45 million tons in the previous month.Palm oil statistics 2019. (JP/Swi)”We hope that such good prices will motivate farmers and companies to take better care of their plantations in order to achieve higher productivity,” GAPKI wrote in the statement.Outside of CPO, palm oil kernel (PKO) and palm oil-based biodiesel exports also declined while palm oil oleochemicals exports rose by 22.9 percent, GAPKI data showed.Despite the export slowdown, domestic palm oil consumption increased slightly to 1.47 million tons in January from 1.45 million tons in December 2019.The increase is in line with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s policy to increase the mandatory use of 20 percent blended biodiesel (B20) and B30, which was made in response to the EU’s palm oil restrictions.Read also: India allots import licenses for 1.1 million tons of refined palmolein from IndonesiaThe domestic market is expected to absorb 9 million tons of CPO a year once the B20 and B30 policies are both implemented.Jokowi had previously asked stakeholders to increase the mandatory use of CPO–based biodiesel from B20 to B30 by January and to 50 percent (B50) by the end of 2020.The association painted a bleak picture of the industry going forward. The unstable petroleum prices as a result of disagreements between Russia and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic will contribute to the global economic slowdown, pushing down demand for imported vegetable oils.It also expressed worries that vegetable oil prices would fall if the outbreak lasted until Idul Fitri. Experts have predicted that COVID-19 will peak in May or June. On top of that, industries will soon face the drought season, when forest and land fires are rampant.last_img read more