Heitman in €300m JV with First Islamic

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Declaration of Wright

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Forward Rolls

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Hong Kong schools to remain closed through easter, SCMP reports

first_imgThe city’s students haven’t gone to school since the Lunar New Year break began in late January. The third and final secondary school placement exam for Grade 6 primary school students have been canceled.Read also: Parents grapple with e-learning as schools stay closed in ChinaHong Kong has 81 confirmed coronavirus cases, according to a government statement late Monday. The illness has claimed more than 2,600 lives in mainland China since emerging in December. Nearly 78,000 people in China have been diagnosed with the virus, most in Hubei province, where the outbreak began.Topics : Hong Kong will extend school closures until at least the end of the Easter break in mid-April, the South China Morning Post reported, citing people it didn’t identify.Schools will remain suspended through April 10, when Good Friday falls, according to the report. Education officials are still inclined to hold written tests for university entrance exams as planned from March 27 onward, the report said.The city’s Education Secretary will hold a briefing at 2 p.m. local time on Tuesday. Earlier this month, the Hong Kong government extended school closures to March 16.last_img read more

Trump agrees to send Indonesia medical supplies following call with Jokowi

first_imgThe United States has agreed to supply Indonesia with medical equipment, including ventilators, for its battle with COVID-19, following a phone call between President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and his US counterpart Donald Trump.Trump tweeted on Friday evening Jakarta time that he had spoken with Jokowi – whom he called “my friend” – about possible cooperation between Indonesia and the US regarding medical supplies.“Just spoke to my friend, President Joko Widodo of the Republic of Indonesia. Asking for Ventilators, which we will provide,” the US president tweeted.Just spoke to my friend, President Joko Widodo of the Republic of Indonesia. Asking for Ventilators, which we will provide. Great cooperation between us!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 24, 2020 Jakarta confirmed that the phone call took place, with the two leaders discussing handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, including Indonesia’s lack of medical supplies such, as personal protective equipment and face masks.“President Trump spoke about his country’s efforts to produce ventilators and said he would send equipment to Indonesia once it is ready. This cooperation will be overseen by each country’s respective teams,” read a statement issued by the State Palace press bureau on Saturday.Read also: ‘Trouble shared is…’: South Korea’s Moon conveys support for Jokowi against COVID-19Jokowi and Trump also agreed to strengthen economic cooperation and trade to help restore the global economy.“Indonesia is an important country for the US. We should maintain this cooperation,” said Trump, as quoted by the press bureau.Topics :last_img read more

Canada to speed visa processing for essential foreign workers

first_imgThe aim of Tuesday’s move is to alleviate the shortage of workers in essential services, such as agriculture, healthcare and food processing. “Temporary foreign workers are an integral part of the Canadian workforce and Canada’s COVID-19 response,” Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough said in the release.Nearly 190,000 work permits were issued in 2019, according to the government.Topics : The Canadian government will fast-track work permit applications for foreign workers already in the country as the coronavirus pandemic disrupts global supply chains.The new policy allows migrant workers who lost their jobs in Canada due to COVID-19 to apply for a permit with a different employer and quickly receive authorization to begin a new job. The move, which is temporary, should reduce wait times from at least 10 weeks to less than 10 days, the government said in a news release Tuesday.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has relied on immigration, foreign workers and international students as a driver of long-term growth. But with borders closed amid the public-health emergency, it’s having to reassess its intake targets and open-door policies.last_img read more

COVID-19 volunteers urge govt to release data as suspected virus deaths exceed 3,000

first_imgAs of Wednesday, KawalCovid-19 had recorded a total of 3,180 deaths of patients suspected to have COVID-19, consisting of 3,091 patients under surveillance (PDP) and 90 people under monitoring (ODP), from the COVID-19 websites of a limited number of the 34 country’s provinces.Tabulasi COVID-19 di Indonesia per 13 Mei 2020. pic.twitter.com/Bvnsn9czo8— KawalCOVID19 (@KawalCOVID19) May 14, 2020The actual number is likely to be much higher, as many provinces have chosen not to report PDP or ODP deaths, including hard-hit areas such as West Java, Bali and South Sumatra. The provinces that reported the ODP or PDP deaths also do not necessarily have complete data on deaths from the regency or municipality level.Only 60 of the PDPs who died tested negative for the virus after their deaths. Thousands of others either were not tested or have yet to receive their results.Elina said the country’s low testing rate undermined the government’s data accuracy. “A person should only be considered a suspected case for few days before their test results make clear whether they have the virus or not,” she said. “In Indonesia, suspected cases can wait for weeks to learn that, which also leads to late treatment.”LaporCOVID-19, a volunteer group that helps KawalCOVID-19 collect and verify data, reported that it had received 3,800 COVID-19-related complaints from the community, many of which said that late testing had led to unclear causes of death.The group’s co-founder, Irma Hidayana, also urged the government to release data on suspected COVID-19 deaths, saying that a more accurate mortality rate could lead to more reliable policies.“It appears that some regional administrations have moved faster than the central government in recording and releasing important data,” she said, adding that all provinces should be transparent with their data.The World Health Organization (WHO) broadened its definition of a COVID-19 death last month to include suspected deaths that had no alternative causes.“A COVID-19 death is a death resulting from a clinically compatible illness in a probable or confirmed COVID-19 case, unless there is a clear alternative cause of death that cannot be related to COVID-19,” the WHO stated in its situation report on April 11.The Health Ministry has nevertheless continued to report only confirmed deaths, with the official death toll reaching 1,043 as of Thursday. The ministry does, however, report the nationwide total of suspected cases. There were 33,672 PDPs and 258,639 ODPs as of Thursday.The ministry’s disease control and prevention director general, Achmad Yurianto, declined to provide the nationwide number of suspected deaths when contacted by the Post on Thursday.“We have the data, but we are not going to announce it to the public willy-nilly. Regional task forces also have the data. If you want complete data, ask the regions,” he said.Editor’s note: The number of ODP and PDP cases have been revised and the article has been updated to clarify the sources for PDP and ODP deaths.Topics : Volunteers for crowdsourced database KawalCovid-19 have renewed their calls for the government to release all of its COVID-19 data as the number of suspected COVID-19 deaths recorded by provincial administrations in the country have exceeded 3,000, nearly three times the confirmed death toll reported by the national COVID-19 task force.KawalCovid-19 co-founder Elina Ciptadi said the availability of data on suspected deaths was important so that Indonesians would understand the severity of the outbreak in their respective territories and would be able to calculate risk appropriately.“We need to be aware of the magnitude of the spread of the virus to take necessary precautions. Right now, people only understand the scale [of the outbreak] after a friend or family member contracts the disease,” Elina told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.last_img read more

Asia-Pacific drug trade thrives amid the COVID-19 pandemic

first_imgTopics : “While the world has shifted its attention to the COVID-19 pandemic, all indications are that production and trafficking of synthetic drugs and chemicals continue at record levels in the region.”Inshik Sim, a UNODC Illicit Drugs Analyst, told Reuters that recent intelligence suggested that there had been no change in the street price of methamphetamine in Bangkok or Manila, the capitals of Thailand and the Philippines and the biggest markets for the substance in Southeast Asia.This, he said, showed there had been “no impact on its availability in the market”.The relative stability of the drug market in much of the Asia-Pacific contrasts with the experience in North America and Europe, where tougher travel restrictions and border controls have disrupted supply chains and pushed prices higher. In recent years, transnational crime groups based in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau have expanded the sophistication and scale of methamphetamine production in industrial-scale labs in northern Myanmar and widened their distribution network as far as Japan and New Zealand.As supply has surged and prices have fallen, the purity of the drug has increased, the UNODC report said.Asian crime syndicates produce both potent crystal meth and less expensive tablets of meth mixed with caffeine known as yaba, or “crazy drug” in the Thai language.While opium cultivation and heroin production has been declining in Southeast Asia’s Golden Triangle which straddles northern Myanmar and parts of Laos and Thailand, there has been a “steady emergence” of dangerous synthetic opioids like fentanyl in East And Southeast Asia, said the report.”The illicit drug market here is at a tipping point as synthetic opioid production appears to be migrating into places with deep governance problems like the Golden Triangle,” said Douglas. “Southeast Asia could well become a source of opioids for other parts of the world while these substances get mixed into or displace part of the regional heroin supply.”Other synthetic drugs such as ecstasy, ketamine and cannabinoids are also increasingly found across the region, the UNODC report said.center_img Illicit drug markets in the Asia-Pacific continue to expand and diversify and appear to be largely unaffected by the coronavirus outbreak, the United Nations said on Friday.The production of methamphetamine, the most popular drug in the region, continues to hit record highs while prices fall to new lows in East and Southeast Asia, as well as Australia and New Zealand, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in a report that compiled data from 2019 to first quarter of 2020.”It is hard to imagine that organized crime have again managed to expand the drug market, but they have,” said Jeremy Douglas, UNODC Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.last_img read more

Indonesian netizens fire back at ‘no mudik’ song featuring ministers, regional heads

first_imgThroughout the short clip, a number of state officials – including Communications and Information Minister Johnny G. Plate, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi and Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi – took turns singing an upbeat song whose lyrics serve as a plea for the public to refrain from visiting their relatives during Idul Fitri, which will be observed on Sunday.Another version of the video was posted on the ministry’s official Instagram page, this time featuring several regional heads – West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil, Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo and Bogor Mayor Bima Arya Sugiarto – singing along to the song in tandem with the ministers. Social media users have responded to the video with no shortage of sarcastic quips and memes meant to poke fun at the officials’ musical performance, as well as the quality of the original song.Gara2 lagu gak enak ini, masyarakat indonesia jadi beneran gak mood mudik— Yth Bpk Antono (@pakantono) May 19, 2020“Because of this bad song, Indonesians will definitely not be in a good enough mood to go on mudik,” Twitter user @pakantono wrote. A music video featuring various state officials and regional heads encouraging citizens to stay at home ahead of the Idul Fitri holidays has been met with a less-than-enthusiastic response from the public, with many Indonesian netizens criticizing the video’s “tone-deaf” nature amid the current COVID-19 outbreak.The 55-second video, titled “Jangan Mudik, Nggak Mudik Tetap Asyik” (“Don’t Go on Mudik, Have Fun without Mudik”), was posted on the Manpower Ministry’s official Twitter page on Monday.The video was part of a public service announcement campaign initiated by Emtek media group aiming to urge the public not to participate in the customary Idul Fitri mudik (exodus) in a bid to flatten the curve of coronavirus infection.center_img Meanwhile, another user @ayolho likened the apparent lack of musical harmony among the officials in the video to the suboptimal coordination between state institutions during the pandemic.“Is the lack of musical harmony supposed to reflect the asynchronous communication between state departments?” they tweeted.Read also: COVID-19: Govt to tighten security at ‘mudik’ ban checkpoints as Idul Fitri approachesSimilarly, singer Teuku Adifitrian, aka Tompi, also took to Twitter to voice his frustration over the video.Ini pada ngapain sih bapak2 ibu2 yg terhormat? Bukannya gak menghargai, tp tolong dikerjakan yg proper— dr tompi spBP (@dr_tompi) May 18, 2020“What are these distinguished ladies and gentlemen doing? It’s not that I don’t respect them, but please do your job properly,” he wrote on his Twitter page @dr_tompi.Similarly, a separate music video titled “Ora Mudik Ora Popo” (“No Mudik No Worries”) featuring several notable officials including Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko and Presidential Advisory Board chairman Wiranto was also panned by YouTube users, highlighting public distrust in government officials during the health emergency.“Let’s not participate in mudik, or else they will release yet another song,” said one user in the comments section.The government has previously issued conflicting statements regarding mudik. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had merely advised the public not to participate in the annual tradition before eventually outright banning it last month.Jokowi also took flak for saying that those who had returned to their home regions by taking advantage of the government’s lax policy ahead of the Islamic holiday did not count as Idul Fitri holidaymakers.Furthermore, the implementation of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in several regions including capital Jakarta was called into question following reports that Soekarno-Hatta International Airport Terminal 2 was packed with Idul Fitri holidaymakers waiting for flights back to their home regions.Minister Budi previously reopened all air, land and sea transportation services despite ongoing physical distancing efforts, saying the measure was necessary for the national economy to survive.Amid growing frustration over the government’s handling of the crisis, the hashtag #IndonesiaTerserah (WhateverIndonesia) trended on Twitter over the weekend, with several health workers conveying their pessimism regarding the situation.Social media personality @TheRapUp uploaded a music video in which he rapped about the country’s cavalier attitude toward the pandemic, while making multiple references to the now-popular #IndonesiaTerserah in the hook.Ekspresi lo waktu liat kelakuan beauty vlogger dan warga 62 sejenis lainnya….#indonesiaterserah pic.twitter.com/jW9H4v418H— The Rap Up! (@TheRapUp_ID) May 16, 2020“Three months at home, making TikTok [videos], is it all for naught?” he rapped in the video which has garnered over 21,000 retweets and 32,000 likes at the time of writing.Topics :last_img read more

UK PM Johnson to join post-Brexit talks as key deadline nears

first_imgA little behind scheduleBrexit dominated British politics and frustrated EU officials for years after the seismic 2016 EU membership referendum — won against the odds by the Brexit camp championed by Johnson.But the coronavirus pandemic has put EU-UK talks on the back-burner. Frost and his EU counterpart Michel Barnier developed COVID-19 and Johnson himself was hospitalized for the virus in April.The three have since recovered and the sides concluded a third round of video conference talks this month.”We are perhaps a little bit behind where we would like to be otherwise, but only by a week or two,” Frost said.He said Johnson would join the talks before the June deadline for a summit that could determine whether Britain simply splits from the other 27 nations without a trade deal in 2021.”The expectation on both sides is that these are done at leader level,” Frost said.”And, therefore, yes, the prime minister would attend.” They have given themselves until the end of the year to strike an agreement — and until June 30 to approve an extension to the talks if it seems like more time is required.Johnson’s chief negotiator David Frost reaffirmed to UK lawmakers on Wednesday that Britain had no intention of asking for more time despite fundamental differences in the sides’ positions.”The firm policy of the government is that we will not extend the transition period, and if asked, we will not agree to it,” Frost told a video conference.”I think that we will always put a lot of emphasis on economic and political freedom at the end of this year and thus avoiding ongoing significant payments into the EU budget.” ‘Big gap’ The European Union is willing to offer Britain preferential trade terms if Johnson signs up to the major standards and regulations followed by the remaining 27 nations of the bloc.Barnier has sent a letter to UK parliamentary leaders reaffirming that Brussels was open to extending the talks for one or two years.”The European Union has always said that we remain open on this matter,” Barnier wrote.Debates about Britain’s acceptance of the EU “level playing field” on standards and regulations are at the heart of the negotiations.Johnson’s team argues that the whole point of Brexit was to give Britain the right to set its own rules.Analysts suggest that the global economic damage wrought by the pandemic has left the UK government feeling more confident that it can deal with the much smaller shock of leaving the EU without a deal.”I think it’s fair to say that we have a fundamental disagreement at the moment on most aspects of the level playing field,” Frost said on Wednesday.”In most of the important areas there is a big gap.” Topics : UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will meet EU leaders next month in a bid to reinvigorate stalled post-Brexit negotiations that London said Wednesday must finish by the end of year even if no deal is reached.Britain officially left the European Union in January but still trades with other nations as if it were a member of the bloc.London and Brussels must still agree on everything from fishing rights to state aid rules and environmental standards to avoid a chaotic breakup that might hurt workers and frighten financial markets.last_img read more