Elementary Watson

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Picking up the gauntlet thrown down by Property Week

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Westminster’s latest curb on West End schemes

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Yasonna ready to step down if immigration boss found not guilty of covering up fugitive’s whereabouts

first_imgThe antigraft body has arrested Wahyu, but Harun — an Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician, still remains at large.Yasonna, a senior member of the PDI-P, apparently insisted that Harun had left the country on Jan. 6 and remained overseas as of Jan. 16. However, Tempo reported that Harun had returned to Indonesia via Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on Jan. 7.Immigration officials, who first denied the report, later confirmed that it was accurate, with Ronny saying on Jan. 22 that there had been a “delay in the processing of traffic data at Terminal F” of the airport.Yasonna has since been accused of deliberately covering up Harun’s whereabouts, with critics saying that Ronny was only a scapegoat and the minister himself should be held accountable.He has played down the allegations and instead established a “fact-finding team”, comprising officials from the National Police’s cybercrime unit and the Communications and Information Ministry, to investigate why the system had failed to detect Harun. (glh).Topics : Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly says he is prepared to resign from his ministerial seat if Ronny F. Sompie, who was recently removed from his position as the ministry’s director general of immigration, is found not guilty of covering up about the whereabouts of graft fugitive Harun Masiku.“If he [Ronny] is not guilty, I will step down from my position as a minister because I am sure that [Ronny] is guilty,” Yasonna said on Thursday.Yasonna recently removed Ronny and the immigration office’s director of systems and technology, Alif Suadi, from their positions, arguing that the two officials were responsible for the failure of the immigration information system to detect Harun’s return from Singapore earlier this month.   The minister claimed that prior to Ronny’s dismissal, he had continuously expedited the maintenance of the immigration management and information system’s (SIMKIM) central database due to frequent delays in receiving immigration data from airports’ immigration check points.He went to say that he had reprimanded immigration officials in December because the SIMKIM had been unreliable in delivering real time immigration data.“I have always told them [immigration officials] to expedite maintenance of the immigration information system,” he added as quoted by kompas.com.On Jan. 8, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) named Harun a graft suspect for allegedly paying bribes of Rp 600 million (US$43,950) to General Elections Commission (KPU) commissioner Wahyu Setiawan in the hope of securing a seat at the House as a replacement for the late Nazarudin Kiemas.last_img read more

Jambi wildlife agency investigates death of crocodile

first_imgThe Jambi Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA Jambi) has launched an investigation into the death of a 4-meter-long saltwater crocodile in Teluk Dewan village, East Tanjungjabung regency, Jambi.“The crocodile was found dead on Thursday when local residents were cleaning an artificial canal using an excavator,” BKSDA Jambi head Rahmat Saleh said on Friday.The residents, he added, claimed the machine’s operator had hit something upon cleaning the canal. When he raised the excavator’s arm, he found a saltwater crocodile in it. “Maybe something happened when we placed the animal on land, causing its death,” Anwandi said.The saltwater crocodile is included in a list of protected animals detailed in a 2018 environment and forestry ministerial regulation.A 1990 law on natural resources conservation prohibits the killing of protected species, except in emergency situations that threaten human life. Anyone convicted of deliberately violating the law faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, as well as a fine of Rp 100 million (US$6,328).Another resident, Iswanto, said saltwater crocodiles were common in the area and often preyed on residents’ livestock.Read also: ‘See you soon, mate’: Australian presenter Matt Wright returns home despite failing to rescue Palu crocodileAccording to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the saltwater crocodile is commonly found in the inland waters of northern Australia, eastern India and Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia.“We’re afraid of the animal. Sometimes, we don’t know whether our activities would provoke a crocodile to attack us,” Iswanto said.Jambi saw several crocodile attacks on humans last year. Environmentalists believed such incidents were caused by habitat destruction, such as converting peatlands into oil palm plantations and illegal mining in rivers. (nal)Topics : A team from the agency has moved the animal and questioned the operator regarding the incident.“We didn’t apprehend him,” Rahmat said.Read also: Missing boy found dead inside a crocodile in MalukuAnwandi, a local resident who had witnessed the incident, said residents had told the operator to remove the crocodile from the canal.last_img read more

Iran says world learning US ‘kills people’ after WHO move

first_imgThe death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic has topped 125,000 around the world, with more than two million people infected by the disease since December.Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif likened the funding freeze to the United States’ “maximum pressure” campaign against his country.The United States reimposed crippling sanctions against Iran in 2018 after Trump unilaterally withdrew from a nuclear deal.”The shameful defunding of WHO amid a pandemic will live in infamy,” Zarif wrote on Twitter. “The world is learning what Iran has known & experienced all along,” he said.”US regime’s bullying, threatening & vainglorious blathering isn’t just an addiction: it kills people,” added Zarif.Iran itself is battling the Middle East’s most deadly coronavirus outbreak and on Wednesday reported that another 1,512 people had tested positive for the COVID-19 illness.It has repeatedly called on the Trump administration to reverse its sanctions policy, which has been opposed even by some US allies, particularly since the pandemic hit.Medicines and medical equipment are technically exempt from the US sanctions but purchases are frequently blocked by the unwillingness of banks to process payments for fear of incurring heavy US penalties.The new infections confirmed by Iran on Wednesday took the total number in the country to 76,389, Jahanpour said, noting that 49,933 of those hospitalised had recovered and been discharged.The government of President Hassan Rouhani has struggled to contain the outbreak that emerged two months ago.It shut schools and universities, postponed major events and imposed a range of other restrictions, but it has stopped short of ordering lockdowns.Iran allowed small businesses outside Tehran to reopen on Saturday and is set to extend the measure to the capital next week.The move has faced criticism from health experts and even some authorities.Iran has requested a $5 billion emergency loan from the International Monetary Fund to battle the coronavirus outbreak.But the United States, which effectively holds a veto at the IMF, has signalled it has no intention of agreeing to give Iran such a credit line, alleging that it would be used to fund “terror abroad”.Topics : Iran said Wednesday the world is learning that the United States “kills people”, after President Donald Trump suspended US funding for the World Health Organization amid the coronavirus pandemic.Trump has accused the UN body of covering up the seriousness of the COVID-19 outbreak in China before it spread around the world.The US president on Tuesday ordered that payments amounting to $400 million be halted pending a review of the WHO’s role in allegedly “severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus”.last_img read more

Indian train kills 14 workers laid-off in coronavirus lockdown

first_imgPolice said the laborers worked for a steel company and were walking to their village in the neighboring state of Madhya Pradesh.”They had been walking all night, they were exhausted and fell asleep on the tracks,” a police officer said.Because of the lockdown, they were probably not expecting any trains to be moving, an official said.India’s eight-week long lockdown, one of the world’s most stringent, has helped contain the coronavirus officials say, but it has hit the poor hard.Criticism has mounted about how Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has arranged planes to bring back Indians from overseas, while leaving laborers stranded in big cities with little food or cash.Modi said on Twitter he was anguished by the loss of lives in the train accident and all possible assistance was being provided.”Shocked by the deaths of migrant workers hit by train. We should be ashamed of how we treat our nation-builders,” said Rahul Gandhi, leader of the main opposition Congress party.Over the past week, some state governments facing public pressure organized trains and buses to bring back migrant laborers.Many are trudging great distances in the blistering heat through fields and forests to get home. Topics : Fourteen people were killed and five were injured, said a railway spokesman, C.H. Rakesh.”I have just heard the sad news about laborers coming under the train, rescue work is underway,” Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said on Twitter.Under the lockdown, all public transport has been suspended so migrant workers heading home often have to walk long distances to get there.The government has extended the lockdown until May 17.center_img An Indian train killed 14 migrant workers who had fallen asleep on the track on Friday while they were heading back to their home village after losing their jobs in a coronavirus lockdown, police said.Tens of thousands of people have been walking home from India’s big cities after being laid off because of the lockdown to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus since late March.The driver tried to stop the freight train when he saw the workers on the tracks in the western state of Maharashtra, the railway ministry said, adding it had ordered an inquiry.last_img read more

​​​​​​​Concerns rise as shoppers throng malls despite pandemic

first_imgIn East Java, for instance, crowds packed a number of shopping centers in several cities and regencies. In the capital Surabaya — which currently imposes PSBB — Royal Plaza, Pakuwon Trade Center (PTC), Tunjungan Plaza and other malls were all busy on Sunday.East Java COVID-19 task force secretary Heru Tjahjono confirmed the information, saying that his team was required to pay “special attention” to the implementation of the mobility restrictions during this time of the year.“We have received reports that shopping centers are crowded in several areas as Idul Fitri approaches, including in Malang,” Heru told tribunnews.com on Monday, adding that his team would monitor malls in certain areas, specifically in Greater Surabaya.Last week, East Java Deputy Governor Emil Dardak designated Pakuwon Mall and Tunjungan Plaza as two of 52 COVID-19 clusters in the province. The Surabaya COVID-19 task force later disagreed, saying that no transmissions had occurred inside the malls. Read also: COVID-19: Jakarta extends PSBB until June 4 as Jokowi seeks to ease restrictionsIn Jember regency, a large crowd that was seen at Roxy Mall in Kaliwates district on Sunday led to heated conversations on social media later in the evening.Kaliwates Police chief Comr. Edy Sudarto confirmed that the crowding occurred on Sunday, despite the the police having previously invited the management of a number of shopping centers to discuss their anticipation of a buildup ahead of Idul Fitri, which is expected to fall on Saturday and Sunday.“The buildup happened at Roxy because it’s very popular with middle- to lower-income people. Eventually, the officers were overwhelmed,” Edy told kompas.com on Monday, while regretting the public’s attitude of ignoring the police order.Jember Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Aris Supriyono said that he had coordinated with at least 17 shopping center and clothing store managements in Jember to ask them to apply better measures such as dividing visitors into various areas of the malls for body-temperature checks.Jember Police have also asked mall managements to limit visiting times and the number of visitors, and to ensure that all visitors wear face masks and apply proper physical-distancing rules.In Gresik regency, two people tested positive for COVID-19 through a rapid test conducted by the regency’s task force in a Ramayana store on Sunday, after two days of huge crowds and visitors jostling around.Gresik COVID-19 task force secretary Tursilowanto Hariogi said that the two people, one a Ramayana employee and the other a visitor, were immediately ordered to self-quarantine, under monitoring from the health agency.In Tangerang, Banten, a video showing a buildup in the entrance hall of the Ciledug CBD Mall has also gone viral on the internet.Read also: Tanah Abang Market packed with traders ahead of Idul Fitri despite virus fears“It happened on Sunday,” Tangerang Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) official Gufron Falfeli told kompas.com on Tuesday, adding that the mall had been allowed to operate as it included stores that provided basic daily needs.The agency’s head, Agus Hendra, said a further investigation had found that the mall management may have violated operational restrictions by allowing the operation of non-essential businesses, which later were forced to close.Large crowds have also been seen in some markets across Jakarta, as well as in shopping centers in the cities of Tegal and Pekalongan, Central Java, and in Pekanbaru, Riau, in the past few days.People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) Deputy Speaker Lestari Moerdijat voiced her concerns, saying that the government should act consistently in implementing social restrictions, especially during Idul Fitri.“There have been alarming scenes before this Idul Fitri. The government has insisted there has not been any policy easing, but crowding has continued to occur. This situation confuses people,” Lestari said in a statement on Tuesday.She stressed that the authorities should be able to immediately restore order when people crowded the roads and markets. In Tanah Abang Market, Central Jakarta, she pointed out, even though the market was officially closed, traders were still selling on roadsides.“If there has been no policy easing, why are there no sanctions and arrangements according to the health protocols?” asked Lestari, adding that such confusion might eventually lead to skepticism among the community about the government’s policies. (syk)Topics : Entering the last week of Ramadan, shopping centers across the country are packed by shoppers getting ready to welcome the annual celebration of Idul Fitri, with many neglecting health protocols designed to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.A number of photos and videos have made the rounds on social media showing shoppers swarming clothing shops and lining up too closely at entrances, waiting for their body-temperature checks before entering shopping centers.Besides implementing large-scale social restrictions (PSBB), some local administrations have issued restrictions on operating hours, with many shopping centers only allowed to open at noon, but not all places have obeyed these policies.last_img read more

NTT vows to abolish bride ‘kidnapping’ after nationwide public anger

first_imgThe administration of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) has vowed to abolish the practice of kawin tangkap (capture and wed), a form of bride kidnapping commonly practiced on the island of Sumba, after a viral video of an such an event angered a Cabinet minister and the public nationwide.The administration claimed that the practice violated humanitarian values, the state ideology of Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution.”The NTT administration supports the eradication of customary laws that violate human rights. […] We urge religious leaders, tribal leaders and regional administrations to stop any customary practice that shackles humanity,” the head of NTT’s Women Empowerment and Child Protection Agency, Erny Usboko, told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.Erny said any regulation or culture that infringed human dignity should be changed.”Of course, it is not as easy as turning one’s hand and [the practice] could not be stopped immediately. It will take a gradual and slow process by educating local indigenous communities,” she said.She said Sumba local administrations, religious leaders and tribal leaders could hold a discussion about equality, dignity, justice, universality and humanity.Read also: Video of ‘kidnap and wed’ practice on Sumba Island angers minister”NTT Governor Viktor Laiskodat has held a meeting with regents from Sumba Island asking them to stop any customary law that contradicts humanitarian values and justice. We don’t want customary laws to violate human rights,” Erny said.The practice of kawin tangkap has been in the spotlight lately after a video showing locals take a woman by a public place went viral in social media.In the video, a group of men is seen carrying a distressed-looking woman to a black pickup. Another woman comes and hugs the woman through the open window while trying to open the car door to get her out of the vehicle.Dozens of people can be seen crowding the car, cheering and taking videos, while the woman cries as the event unfolds.The head of the East Nusa Tenggara Legislative Council (DPRD), Emilia Nomleni, said the practice should be stopped at all costs.”In my opinion, kawin tangkap needs to be stopped by all means, as it violates the law and is a form of harassment not only for women but also children. We’ll never know whether the women ‘kidnapped’ from public spaces or their boarding houses are underage or not,” she told the Post on Wednesday.An offficial from the East Sumba Tourism and Culture Agency, Yudi Umbu TT Rawambaku, admitted that the practice did not regard age when the perpetrators take a woman by force.”There is no age limit; if a girl has gone through puberty and is considered an adult, there’s no restriction [for ‘kidnapping’ her],” Yudi said last Wednesday as quoted by tribunnews.com.Emilia said members of the NTT legislative council had discussed ways to end the practice before the COVID-19 pandemic.”We had discussed ways to end the practice, but the discussions stopped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All parties, from regional administrations, councillors and religious leaders to other stakeholders should take part to end the practice of kawin tangkap,” she said.Topics :last_img read more

Biden campaign outraises Trump for second straight month

first_imgDemocrat Joe Biden outraised President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign for the second straight month and for the second quarter of 2020, figures released Wednesday showed, highlighting robust enthusiasm for the White House challenger.Biden, the Democratic National Committee and related fundraisers brought in a staggering $141 million in June, the campaign’s best fundraising month ever and $10 million more than Trump and the Republican National Committee.The second quarter of 2020 was a record haul for both campaigns, with Biden coming out on top, $282.1 million against Trump’s $266 million for the April-to-June period. “This haul means for the second consecutive month we have outraised Donald Trump’s campaign and demonstrates a surge in grassroots energy to elect Joe Biden,” campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said in a statement.Sixty-eight percent of Biden donors in June, the month he reached the number of delegates needed to become the party’s presidential nominee, were first-time contributors, she said.Trump’s campaign reported that it holds a $295 million war chest. Team Biden did not report its cash-on-hand figures, but Trump’s campaign said it maintains a “vast” advantage over Biden in cash on hand.Fundraising typically kicks into high gear in the six months before a presidential election, and the record donations in part reflect robust digital and online fundraising efforts by the campaigns during the coronavirus pandemic. Biden holds a substantial lead of 9.4 percent over the incumbent in national polling, according to a RealClearPolitics poll aggregation.Biden also leads in several swing states that helped propel Trump to victory in 2016, including Florida, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.Trump’s approval rating has slid with voters displeased with his handling of the pandemic and the related economic crisis, as well as his response to spirited protests against racial injustice.center_img Topics :last_img read more