Birmingham Alliance to sell £100m Martineau Place


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The market in minutes


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Govt to pay Rp 72 billion to influencers to boost tourism amid coronavirus outbreak


first_img”As much as Rp 98.5 billion will go to airlines and travel agencies to give discounts or other kinds of incentives. Around Rp 103 billion will go to the promotion budget and Rp 25 billion will be allocated for tourism activities and as much as Rp 72 billion will go to influencers,”The global COVID-19 outbreak has depressed the tourist industry, with Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan recently saying that the industry had lost an estimated US$ 500 million due to the tourists’ fears over the coronavirus.Airlangga said the government would also provide incentives for domestic tourists.“The government will give 30 percent discounts for 10 tourist destinations,” Airlangga said, adding that the discount would be enjoyed in March, April, and May. “If the program succeeds, it may be extended.”State-owned oil and gas holding company Pertamina will also provide discounts for aviation fuel during the same time period, amounting to Rp 265.5 billion in value, he said.The government will also encourage people to visit 10 tourist destinations –  Toba Lake regency in North Sumatra, Yogyakarta, Malang in East Java, Manado in North Sulawesi, Bali, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara, Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara, Bangka Belitung, and Batam and Bintan in the Riau Islands – by waiving hotel and restaurant taxes.“In the future, the government will prepare other incentives that will follow the development of the coronavirus and its impacts on the economy in early or late April,” said Airlangga. (gis)Topics : The government is building up strategy to shield the tourist industry from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, including by allocating as much as Rp 72 billion (US$5.2 million) to pay influencers to promote the country. Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto said paying influencers was among initiatives to boost demand in the tourist industry.“The government is allocating an additional Rp 298.5 billion to provide incentives for foreign tourists,” he told reporters on Tuesday after a closed-door meeting with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.last_img read more


Indonesia accepts reconnaissance​​​​​​​ drone, helicopter grant from US


first_imgThe Defense Ministry has accepted a grant comprising 14 Insitu ScanEagle drones and three Bell 412 helicopters from the United States, as Jakarta expects the equipment to further strengthen the Navy’s maritime patrol operations throughout the archipelago.House of Representatives Commission I overseeing intelligence, defense and foreign affairs approved on Wednesday the grant from the US, although lawmakers reminded the Defense Ministry to conduct reassessment on the conditions of the drones and the helicopters so as to prioritize  national security.”We ask the government to take precautionary measures […] such as to ensure that there are no wiretapping tools left attached unintentionally [in the equipment],” House Commission I chairwoman Meutya Hafid said, “There is no need to be overly suspicious when a country that has a defense cooperation with [Indonesia] decides to give a grant but cautiousness is still necessary.” Commission I’s decision followed a meeting on Wednesday with Defense Ministry officials, including Deputy Minister Sakti Wahyu Trenggono.Read also: Made in Indonesia: First long-range military drone unveiled in BandungSakti said in 2014 to 2015, the US offered the Indonesian Military (TNI) a grant under Foreign Military Financing (FMF). The Navy accepted the offer in 2017, which covered a grant consisting of the ScanEagle drones, unmanned aerial vehicles built by Boeing subsidiary Insitu and an upgrade of Bell 412 helicopters.The Defense Ministry had set up an assessment team to examine the technical, economic and political aspects before deciding whether it was strategic for Indonesia to accept the grant.The US$28.3 million-worth ScanEagle drones were expected to improve the Navy’s intelligence surveillance reconnaissance and ultimately strengthen the nation’s defense system, Sakti said.He also believed that the three Bell 412 helicopters worth US$6.3 million would be able to improve the Navy’s effectiveness in carrying out military operations and increase the capabilities of national defense.“ScanEagle drones will only be used by the Navy for special purposes. We will only spend around Rp 10 billion [US$719,886] to integrate and ensure the data security of the equipment with other defense systems,” Sakti said, adding that state-owned electronic components maker PT LEN Industri would handle the integration.Topics :last_img read more


Government to ease import procedures as manufacturers look beyond China for sources of raw materials


first_imgAccording to data from the state treasurer, the raw materials imported by the 500 companies accounted for 40 percent of the country’s total raw material imports.The coronavirus outbreak in China has hit global supply chains hard and has spurred countries to look for other sources of raw materials. The disruption to the supply of raw materials from China has also severely hurt Indonesian manufacturing companies, especially those involved in plastics, textiles and chemical production.“The disruption to the supply of raw materials from China, especially for plastic, textile, footwear, steel and chemical products, has severely hurt local industries.” Sri Mulyani said, adding that for many companies, between 20 to 50 percent of their raw materials were imported from China. (hen)Topics : The government plans to ease licensing procedures for importing raw materials as the country’s manufacturing industry begins to feel the impact of the disruption to the supply chain from China caused by the coronavirus outbreak.Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said in Jakarta on Monday that simplifying import procedures for raw materials would be one of the strategic measures taken to cope with the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the manufacturing sector.The minister said 500 companies were being considered to receive special permits to allow them to import raw materials from sources other than China.last_img read more


Indonesia starts rapid tests, imports medicines to ‘cure’ COVID-19, Jokowi says


first_imgHowever, the President said the rapid test should be treated as a preliminary detection of whether a person has been infected with the coronavirus.Read also: Jokowi nixes lockdown, opts for mass testingThe rapid tests are deemed more convenient and can promptly detect whether a specimen has been infected with COVID-19, much more quickly than the PCR test.The rapid test only requires blood serum as a sample, meaning the tests can be performed at all health laboratories across the country. Everyone, whether they have shown COVID-19 symptoms or not, can undergo the test. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said the government had officially kicked off rapid tests to detect COVID-19 on Friday afternoon.He went on to say the first tests had been conducted in South Jakarta, considering that the area was very prone to the disease according to contact tracing carried out by the authorities.“We conducted tests this afternoon, with medical officials visiting residents there [in South Jakarta] door-to-door, from one house to another,” Jokowi said during a press briefing at the Presidential Palace on Friday. In contrast, the regular tests had to be performed in level two biosafety laboratories, since nasal fluid or larynx substances — in which the virus is contained — were used as the main specimens.“The government has also allowed medical laboratories authorized by the Health Ministry to conduct their independent tests in areas deemed prone to the disease,” said Jokowi.Read also: Indonesian government initiates research to produce COVID-19 vaccine, VP saysThe President said the government also planned to import two kinds of medicines proven effective in “curing” the disease, namely Avigan – commonly used to treat COVID-19 patients in Japan – and chloroquine.As of today, no medicine mentioned by President Jokowi has been clinically proven to cure COVID-19. However, medical personnel in several countries have been using Avigan and chloroquine to treat the disease’s symptoms in patients.“We have imported 5,000 packs of Avigan and are ordering 2 million more. We also have 3 million packs of chloroquine available,” Jokowi said. “Those medicines have been proven to cure COVID-19 in other countries, although no one has discovered the COVID-19 antivirus.” (glh)Editor’s note: The article has been updated to clarify that no medicine mentioned by President Jokowi has been clinically proven to cure COVID-19 as of today.Topics :last_img read more


Don’t declare civil emergency, civil society group tells government


first_imgThe Civil Society Coalition for Reform on the Security Sector is calling on the government to refrain from declaring a civil emergency or martial law as part of its efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.The coalition, comprising at least nine advocacy groups, said the government should optimize the tools based on Law No. 24/2007 on disaster mitigation and Law No. 6/2018 on health quarantine. Article 51 (2) of the Disaster Mitigation Law stipulates that the president must declare a disaster emergency before a national emergency.The president, therefore, must issue a decree to declare a disaster emergency that “will provide a legal basis for a social restriction policy”, the coalition said in a statement released on Monday. The contagious respiratory disease has infected 1,414 people and led to 122 deaths as of Monday in Indonesia. Of them, 75 people have recovered.To step up the country’s efforts in handling the outbreak, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said the government will issue a policy of “large-scale social restriction” and a tightened physical distancing policy.According to Article 59 (3) of the health quarantine law, large-scale social restriction comprises temporary closure of schools, offices, religious activities and activities at public places.“As I said earlier, a policy for a civil emergency is necessary,” Jokowi said after a meeting on Monday.However, the declaration of a civil emergency would “prepare us if the situation gets very concerning”, said presidential spokesperson Fadjroel Rachman.“For this stage, it is still a large-scale social restriction in line with Law No. 6/2018 and a legal discipline according to the National Police chief edict issued on March 19,” Fadjroel said in a statement released on Monday. (dfr)Topics : Read also: Jokowi considers civil emergency policies“Large-scale social restrictions should be issued according to the Health Quarantine Law to avoid the unnecessary securitization of health issues.”The coalition also called for better-coordinated measures to handle the rapid spread of COVID-19 by establishing a clear chain of command. Like many other countries, Indonesia has been struggling to curb the spread of COVID-19 since its first two confirmed cases were reported in early March.last_img read more


New York City posts sharp spike in coronavirus deaths after untested victims added


first_imgMarch 11 was used as the starting point because that was the date of the first confirmed coronavirus death, the city said.”Behind every death is a friend, a family member, a loved on,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “We are focused on ensuring that every New Yorker who died because of COVID-19 gets counted.”The new approach in New York City could pave the way for similar policies elsewhere across the country, possibly leading to a surge in reported US coronavirus mortality.Even before Tuesday’s revision in New York City, the number of new US deaths on Tuesday had reached at least 2,228, the highest toll yet in a single 24-hour period.’Not a comfortable place’Louisiana, another coronavirus hot spot, and California also reported record daily spikes in deaths on Tuesday, despite tentative signs across the country in recent days the outbreak was beginning to ebb.New York Governor Mario Cuomo, whose state’s healthcare network was strained to breaking point by a wave of COVID-19 hospitalizations, had said on Monday it appeared “the worst is over.”Health officials have cautioned that death figures are a lagging indicator of the outbreak, coming after the most severely ill patients fall sick, and do not mean stay-at-home restrictions are failing to curb transmissions.New York state and some other hard-hit areas continue to report sharp decreases in hospitalizations and numbers of patients on ventilators, although front-line healthcare workers and resources remained under extraordinary stress.”The plateau is not a very comfortable place to live,” David Reich, president of New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital, said in a telephone interview. “So I don’t think people should be celebrating prematurely.”That cautious note was also sounded by President Donald Trump’s top infectious disease adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who said Trump’s May 1 target for restarting the economy was “overly optimistic”.Fauci, echoing many governors, said in an Associated Press interview that health officials must first be able to test for the virus quickly, isolate new cases and track down new infections.At his daily White House briefing later in the day, Trump said he was close to completing a plan for ending America’s coronavirus shutdown, which has thrown millions out of work, and may forge ahead with restarting the battered US economy in some parts of the country even before May 1.The president took renewed aim at the World Health Organization at the briefing, saying he has instructed his administration to halt US funding to the Geneva-based institution over its handling of the pandemic.Mutiny on the bounty Trump, a Republican who before the outbreak touted a vibrant economy as a pillar of his Nov. 3 re-election bid, earlier lashed out at Democratic state governors, after Cuomo said he would refuse any presidential order to reopen the economy too soon.”Tell the Democrat Governors that ‘Mutiny On The Bounty’ was one of my all time favorite movies,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday, referring to a classic film about an 18th-century rebellion against the commanding officer of a British naval vessel.But Trump toned down his remarks at the White House briefing saying he would “authorize” governors – despite doubts from some experts that the presidency has such powers – to implement plans in their states at the appropriate time.Cuomo, a Democrat, and governors of six other northeastern states have announced they are coordinating on a regional plan to gradually lift restrictions. The governors of California, Oregon and Washington formed a similar West Coast regional pact.California Governor Gavin Newsom and Oregon Governor Kate Brown, both Democrats, on Tuesday offered frameworks for eventually restarting public life and business in their states.Some Republicans, including the governors of Ohio, Maryland and New Hampshire, also said states have the right to decide when and how to reopen.Topics : The city’s revised count, 10,367 in all, raised the number of coronavirus deaths nationwide to more than 28,300 – New York accounting for the biggest share of deaths.With only a tiny fraction of the US population tested for coronavirus, the number of known infections climbed to more than 600,000 as of Tuesday, according to a running Reuters tally.US public health authorities have generally only attributed deaths to COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, when patients tested positive for the virus.New York City’s Health Department said it will now also count any fatality deemed a “probable” coronavirus death, defined as a victim whose “death certificate lists as a cause of death ‘COVID-19’ or an equivalent.” New York City, the hardest hit US city in the coronavirus pandemic, revised its official COVID-19 death toll sharply higher to more than 10,000 on Tuesday, to include victims presumed to have perished from the lung disease but never tested.The new cumulative figure for “confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths” released by the New York City Health Department marked a staggering increase of over 3,700 deaths formally attributed to the highly contagious illness since March 11.The 60 percent spike in reported deaths underscored the enormous losses endured in the nation’s most populous city, where the sounds of wailing sirens have echoed almost non-stop through largely empty streets for weeks.last_img read more


Indonesians surprised at other countries being better prepared for pandemic: Survey


first_imgOnly 1 in 5 Indonesians, or 20 percent, said they were “angry and frustrated” as the world went through the coronavirus crisis. However, Indonesians top the list as being the most surprised at how much better prepared other nations were in tackling the pandemic, with 70 percent expressing such a view.Blackbox Research founder and CEO David Black said the sentiment was a result of Indonesian authorities’ slow response during the early stages of the pandemic as well as the country’s limited testing capabilities compared to its Southeast Asian counterparts.”With neighboring countries like Singapore and Malaysia starting to identify cases as early as January, we can see why Indonesians are reflecting on how quickly other countries kicked into gear with the pandemic, as compared to Indonesia, which only took action in early March,” David said in a statement made available to The Jakarta Post on Wednesday. Indonesia, which now has recorded more than 15,000 coronavirus cases and more than 1,000 fatalities, reported its first two cases on March 2. Indonesians are “fairly satisfied” with their country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, yet they are the most “surprised” at how other countries are better prepared to face the global health crisis, a global survey has found.The survey, conducted by Singapore’s social research agency Blackbox Research and digital market research company Toluna from April 3 to April 19, gives Indonesia a relatively high index score of 48 points — slightly above the global average of 45 points — in COVID-19 crisis performance.The score ranks Indonesia ninth globally and seventh within the Asian region. The survey was carried out online and involved more than 12,500 respondents aged 18 to 80 across 23 countries. China comes out on top with a score of 85, as most of its citizens rated the country’s performance “favorably”, followed by Vietnam with a score of 77 and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and India, both scoring 59 in the index.Read also: Bali’s Denpasar to impose COVID-19 restrictions that keep businesses runningThe survey noted that New Zealand with 56 points was the only Western nation with an index score above the global average, showing that “citizens in Western countries are generally less satisfied with their countries’ performances.”Japan ranks last in the survey, with an index score of 16 due to its perceived poor political performance and business leadership, among other things, according to Blackbox Research’s poll.On the other hand, only seven of the 23 countries’ political leaders were rated highly for their coronavirus crisis response by at least 50 percent of their respective citizens. For Indonesia, the percentage stood at 37 percent, or below the global average of 40 percent. Most Indonesians were also dissatisfied with businesses performances during the pandemic, as only 29 percent of them felt business leaders had responded favorably to the health crisis, which is slightly above the global average of 28 percent.“Economies all around the world have been dealt a huge blow from COVID-19, and Indonesia, as Southeast Asia’s largest economy, has seen the halting of businesses and reported its weakest pace since 2001,” Black said.”While the Indonesian government has taken decisive measures to cushion the impact of COVID-19, the expectations of a looming recession and workers hard hit by layoffs and forced unpaid leave have led to the general sentiment that business leaders are not stepping up to the crisis.”He underlined that COVID-19 was not the first and might not be the last global pandemic and therefore leaders had to consider the lasting implications of the crisis in order to emerge from it “stronger and more resilient”.Three things people most want to see once the current crisis is over were a full economic recovery in six months, healthcare reforms and better use of technology for contract-tracing, Black added.Topics :last_img read more


Ireland comes back to life as lockdown eased


first_img“This is a great day for our country,” health minister Simon Harris told state broadcaster RTE. “It’s a day of hope, it’s a day that we weren’t guaranteed to get to.”Ireland has suffered 1,679 deaths in the outbreak, according to the latest official figures.Deaths recorded in a single day peaked at 77 mid-April but on Sunday the figure had fallen to just one. Topics : A new plan Under the new blueprint, social home visits were permitted for the first time, with up to six allowed to meet indoors or outdoors. Vulnerable people “cocooning” are allowed “a small number of visitors”.Meanwhile citizens were allowed to travel anywhere in their county of residence or up to 20 kilometers from home, in an unexpected extension of the previous five-kilometer limit.Nonetheless radio broadcasts on Monday urged citizens to “stay local”. Harris urged the public to visit only a modest list of friends and family, to strictly maintain social distancing and to log names in case they are needed for purposes of contact tracing.Livestock markets and elite sports training facilities were also opened as scheduled under the second stage of the government roadmap.Under the government plan, shops are not permitted to open before 10.30 am in order to prevent overcrowding on public transport and will allocate time for vulnerable customers.Shopping centers will not reopen until next week, and must put in place measures to prevent the public congregating in shared spaces.”Over the last few months fear has exerted a kind of gravity pulling us down, but now we find there is hope lifting us up again,” Varadkar said on Friday.”We are making progress, we are heading in the right direction and we have earned the right to be hopeful about the future again.” Ireland began its tentative first step out of lockdown on May 18, allowing small groups to meet outside, outdoor shops to reopen and activities such as golf to tee off.On Friday, Varadkar signaled he intends to press ahead with the accelerated ending of lockdown by allowing hotels and pubs serving food to open on June 29. Prime Minister Leo Varadkar announced the accelerated slackening of restrictions on Friday, and brought forward the planned date to drop almost all coronavirus containment measures from August to July. Ireland’s shops and workplaces lurched back to life on Monday, as the nation pressed ahead with its plan to lift coronavirus lockdown restrictions ahead of schedule.As the new week started, all shops were permitted to trade and travel limits were massively relaxed in a dramatic quickening of the government’s reopening plans.Employees able to maintain social distancing were also encouraged to return to their workplaces as Ireland took its largest step yet since lockdown was imposed on March 28.last_img read more