Recent Posts

  • Jokowi’s coalition parties divided over title of omnibus bill on job creation

    first_imgThe PDI-P proposed changing the title of the bill to include aspects other than job creation, so that after its passage it would become the Law on Strengthening Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Cooperatives, National Industry and Job Creation.”For us, it’s impossible to create jobs if MSMEs, cooperatives and the national industry are not strong,” Rieke Diah Pitaloka of the PDI-P said.Rieke added that the bill’s title should have been changed from the beginning of the deliberation process, as it would affect its substance, saying the draft itself still needed many changes due to the effect of the pandemic COVID-19 that hit the country’s economy.“Our national economic backbone is now the MSME sector, in which the number of people involved has reached around 60 million,” she said, citing government data. The Gerindra Party, meanwhile, proposed reverting to the initial name of the bill, cipta lapangan kerja (job creation bill) — instead of the current cipta kerja (jobs bill).Read also: Guide to omnibus bill on job creation: 1,028 pages in 10 minutes“The title should return to the original from Jokowi’s speech at his presidential inauguration in the People’s Consultative Assembly [MPR], so that the substance would meet the President’s main objectives,” Heri Gunawan of Gerindra said.The NasDem Party proposed a change to “ease of doing business bill”, to include the notions of facilitating investment and integrating licensing procedures.”We see that almost 80 percent of the bill is about easing investment, so the spirit of job creation is no longer there,” NasDem’s Fauzi Amro said. “The government has also decided to postpone the deliberations of labor provisions of the bill.”Parties in the ruling coalition have expressed differences over the bill several times. The Golkar Party, of which the chairman is the current Coordinating Economic Minister, Airlangga Hartarto, is considered the main supporter of the bill while the PKB, the political party of which Manpower Minister Ida Fauziyah belonged to, often disagrees with the ruling PDI-P.The PDI-P, whose constituents are generally working class, has been reluctant to pursue the bill from the outset. It was the only party to urge lawmakers not to rush into its deliberation, citing public objections to the bill.Members of the public, especially workers, still strongly objected to the bill despite the government’s decision to delay the deliberation of labor provisions within the bill, demanding the latter to be completely dropped instead, as they argue that the content of the bill undermines labor rights and environmental protection.Lawmakers of the PDI-P and NasDem have also voiced opposition to the domestic food supply provisions in the bill, arguing that it could weaken farmers’ position and favor importers.Topics : Political factions at the House of Representatives are divided over the title of the controversial omnibus bill on job creation, with four parties in President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s ruling coalition demanding a change.Of the six parties in the government coalition, only the Golkar Party and the National Awakening Party (PKB) opposed any change during a semi-virtual hearing between the House’s Legislation Body (Baleg) and the government on Wednesday.The others, namely the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the Gerindra Party, the NasDem Party and the United Development Party (PPP), had different views on what the piece of legislation should be called.last_img read more

  • Indonesian schools not ready for ‘new normal’: Survey

    first_imgTopics : More than half of schools across the country say they are not ready to resume face-to-face learning in the so-called “new normal” period due to a lack of infrastructure and funds to do so, a recent survey by the Federation of Indonesian Teachers Associations (FSGI) has revealed.The survey was conducted earlier this month, involving at least 1,656 respondents comprising teachers, principals and school management in 245 cities and regencies in 34 provinces. Most of the respondents work at schools located within a green zone – meaning there is a low risk of COVID-19 infection.The Education and Culture Ministry announced the phased reopening of schools located in COVID-19 green zones starting July. The FSGI’s survey found around 89 percent of respondents agreed that a prerequisite to reopening schools during the outbreak was having good health protocols, and that it was therefore important to ensure the school infrastructure was ready to support the new normal situation.However, around 53.4 percent of respondents claimed they were unable to provide the necessary infrastructure to support the new normal policy.Read also: School reopening raises concerns as health risks loomSchools, especially private ones, claimed not to have a big enough budget to provide supporting infrastructure to restart the learning process amid the new normal, said FSGI deputy secretary-general Satriwan Salim on Tuesday.center_img “They are facing difficulties in allocating funds for such infrastructure from their budget, as funds have been used for other necessities,” said Satriwan.He added that more than 70 percent of respondents perceived that preparation for the new normal could be done using the government’s school operational aid (BOS). “However, some said the BOS wouldn’t be enough to cover expenses for providing such infrastructure.”Labschool Jakarta senior high school principal, Suparno Sastro, said education stakeholders had to pay attention to the students and staff members’ health and security above all else upon reopening schools.“But who can guarantee that? The government acknowledged it is impossible to conduct PCR testing on all students. It would be expensive if the school had to do that,” Suparno said.“In terms of the BOS, we perhaps can use it to provide health equipment. However, it’s impossible to rely on [BOS] for testing,” Suparno said, adding Labschool Jakarta was still reluctant to reopen at the start of the 2020-2021 school year on July 13.last_img read more

  • Shooting at California Walmart distribution center leaves two dead, four injured

    first_img“This is an active police investigation and we will continue to work with Tehama County Sheriff’s Office and assist in their investigation in any way possible”, it added.The injured were taken to Red Bluff’s St. Elizabeth Community Hospital.Local media said the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office is conducting a criminal investigation with assistance from the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).Red Bluff is a city of about 14,000 people located around 210 kilometers north of Sacramento, California. Topics : The shooter killed an employee before police officers shot and killed the attacker.The authorities identified the employee as Martin Haro-Lozano, 45, of Orland, California.Walmart said it was aware of the situation and was working with law enforcement authorities.”We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident”, the company said in a statement.center_img A shooting at a Walmart distribution center in Red Bluff, California, killed at least two people and injured four others late on Saturday, officials said.The incident started around 3:30 pm Pacific Time, according to the office of the local sheriff.Tehama County’s assistant sheriff said the attacker circled the center’s parking lot four times before crashing his vehicle into the building and opening fire with a semi-automatic rifle.last_img read more

  • UK newspaper The Times launches news radio station

    first_imgThe new station said it aims to appeal to listeners who may have been turned off by what it called the “febrile tone of political debate” on other radio networks.Instead of “unnecessarily adversarial interviews” and presenter interruptions, it wants to focus on “informed expertise”, The Times said in an article to announce the launch.It also aims to provide a “daily soundtrack” to people still working from home during the coronavirus crisis, said Tim Levell, a former BBC executive in charge of the new station. “Lockdown is still continuing, although of course it’s easing, and we want to be a fresh voice… particularly [for] those at home,” he added. Times Radio is a partnership between The Times, the Sunday Times weekly and its owners’ News UK’s radio division, Wireless, which also owns the Talksport and Talkradio networks.News UK is a subsidiary of News Corp, whose executive chairman is Rupert Murdoch. It also owns Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal.The Sun, which is also owned by News UK, launched its own radio station, Sun Talk, in April 2009 but it closed 18 months later as part of cost-cutting measures.UK radio stations, including the BBC and commercial speech networks such as LBC, have reported an increase in listeners during the coronavirus outbreak. The British newspaper group that owns The Times and the Sunday Times on Monday launched a news and current affairs radio station, aiming to position itself as a rival to the BBC.Times Radio went live on digital radio and online at 0500 GMT and had Prime Minister Boris Johnson as its first big-name guest.Morning speech radio has traditionally been dominated by BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program, which has often set the political agenda for the day.center_img Topics :last_img read more

  • Hundreds detained, firearms used in third night of Belarus unrest

    first_imgPolice in Belarus said Wednesday they had detained hundreds more people and used firearms against protesters in a third night of violence over a disputed presidential election.Western governments have condemned the crackdown and the European Union said the bloc’s foreign ministers would discuss Belarus at an extraordinary meeting on Friday.Protesters rallied again on Tuesday night to contest strongman President Alexander Lukashenko’s claim of having won Sunday’s election, although they were in smaller numbers after police cordoned off city centers and limited transport. Women form human chain The protests broke out after authorities said Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994, won 80 percent of the vote in Sunday’s polls.Election officials said Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, a 37-year-old political novice who ran after other potential opposition candidates including her husband were jailed, came second with 10 percent.Tikhanovskaya said the vote was rigged and claimed victory, demanding that Lukashenko hand over power. She left Belarus on Tuesday for neighboring Lithuania, with supporters saying she came under pressure from authorities.Protesters said Tuesday night’s crackdown in Minsk was especially violent, with videos released on social media showing police kicking protesters lying prone on the ground, smashing cars with truncheons and assaulting passers-by. Yan, a 28-year-old paramedic from Minsk who has protested every night since the election, said police had become more aggressive.”Things were scary last night, it was complete lawlessness,” he told AFP. “All of this is aimed at intimidating people so that they keep quiet.”Oleg Gulak, the head of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee rights group, said he was “stunned by the unprecedented level of cruelty and violence” used against protesters.”Last night was the scariest night in Belarus’s modern history,” he said.On Wednesday, several hundred women, many wearing white and holding flowers, joined hands to form a human chain in central Minsk urging an end to police violence.Hundreds of people also gathered outside a pre-trial detention center in Minsk in an effort to learn about the fate of missing family members.EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Belarus would be discussed at Friday’s extraordinary meeting. The bloc on Tuesday condemned the election as “neither free nor fair” and Borrell threatened sanctions against “those responsible for the observed violence, unjustified arrests, and falsification of election results.” In the capital Minsk, protesters and witnesses said riot police used indiscriminate force against those who did gather, firing stun grenades and rubber bullets in the suburbs. In the southwestern city of Brest on the Polish border, police said they had used firearms against a group of demonstrators armed with metal bars who had ignored warning shots, wounding one.”A group of aggressive citizens with metal rods in their hands attacked police employees in Brest” on Tuesday, interior ministry spokeswoman Olga Chemodanova said in statement. “Firearms were used to protect the lives and health of the employees,” she said, adding that “one of the attackers” was wounded. Topics : The ministry said protesters gathered in 25 cities and towns on Tuesday night and that more than 1,000 people had been detained. The latest arrests have brought the number of detentions to more than 6,000 after three days of protests.More than 50 people sought medical assistance, it said.Chemodanova said there had been smaller gatherings on Tuesday than on the two previous nights.”The number of protesters was smaller last night, as was the number of cities where protests took place,” she told AFP. Dozens of people have been wounded in the crackdown and police said that one protester died when an explosive device went off in his hand on Monday night.last_img read more

  • Trump, fellow Republicans paint dire portrait of a US under Biden

    first_imgTrump has focused on a “law and order” response to widespread protests following the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis, and he has pushed schools and businesses to reopen despite the pandemic. Both messages represent the campaign’s effort to win back suburban voters, especially women, who have abandoned the Republican Party in droves during the Trump era.Donald Trump Jr., the president’s oldest son and Guilfoyle’s boyfriend, portrayed the ongoing civil unrest as violent assaults on small businesses by anarchists and said Democrats would fail to keep neighborhoods safe.The dystopian language echoed that of Trump’s 2017 inaugural speech, when he vowed to end the “American carnage” of crime, poverty and manufacturing decline. It remains to be seen whether voters find the same argument as compelling after Trump has held power for more than three years.”What you heard tonight was a parade of dark and divisive fear-mongering designed to distract from the fact that Donald Trump does not have an affirmative case to make to the American people about why he should be re-elected,” Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said.The convention’s opening night also laid out what promises to be a central theme of the week: that Biden, a former vice president, and his running mate, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, will merely be puppets of radical left-wing activists.Topics : “They want to destroy this country and everything that we have fought for and hold dear,” Trump campaign adviser Kimberly Guilfoyle said. “They want to steal your liberty, your freedom. They want to control what you see, and think, and believe, so they can control how you live.”The four-day convention opened at a critical juncture for Trump, 74, who trails Biden, 77 in national opinion polls during a pandemic that has killed more than 176,000 Americans and erased millions of jobs.Democrats drew their own dismal picture of what four more years under Trump would look like at their convention last week.Like its Democratic counterpart, the Republican convention was largely virtual. Most speakers addressed a quiet auditorium in Washington, D.C., bowing to the reality of the pandemic despite Trump’s having pushed for a big event in front of thousands of raucous admirers. President Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans opened their national convention on Monday by painting a dire portrait of America if Democrat Joe Biden wins the White House in November, arguing he will usher in an era of radical socialism and chaos.Trump set the tone early in the day when he addressed delegates in Charlotte, North Carolina, after formally securing their nomination for another term, and claimed without evidence that Democrats were trying to steal the election.Republicans had vowed to offer an inspiring, positive message in contrast to what they characterized as a dark and gloomy Democratic convention last week. But the first night’s prime-time program featured speakers who peppered their remarks with ominous predictions if Democrats win power.last_img read more

  • Indonesia confirms record daily COVID-19 cases for second day in a row

    first_imgThe official count also showed that 105 more people have died of the disease, bringing the death toll to 7,169.Jakarta recorded the highest number of new cases with 869, followed by West Java with 526, East Java with 417 and Central Java with. 242.Read also: COVID-19 contacts should be tested, regardless of symptoms: WHOThe capital has extended its transition period for large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) for another 14 days, from Friday to Sept. 10.Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan urged the public to take health protocols more seriously by limiting their activity outside their homes, maintaining a safe physical distance and washing their hands with soap regularly in order to suppress the spread of COVID-19.According to official records, the 3,003 new cases were detected after the government tested 16,649 people, bringing the national positivity rate (percentage of positive results from all tests) to 18 percent.Three provinces reported no new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, namely West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan and Bangka Belitung.Topics : Health authorities confirmed 3,003 new COVID-19 cases in Indonesia on Friday, bringing the official nationwide count to 165,887.It was the second day in a row for Indonesia to record its highest daily COVID-19 increase. The previous highest daily toll was recorded on Thursday with 2,719 cases confirmed.last_img read more

  • Industrial COVID-19 clusters in Bekasi, Karawang reach 500 cases

    first_imgSiska said more than 54,000 tests were being conducted a week. “We are indeed targeting 105,000 tests for the next two weeks,” she said.The West Java administration is distributing about 15,000 portable polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test kits and is waiting for the arrival of 250,000 PCR test kits from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).“The governor is providing assistance in the form of portable PCR test kits to 27 regencies and cities to increase tracing and testing capacity to speed up treatment and isolation of cases,” Siska said.A total of 585,598 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in West Java, consisting of 288,019 PCR tests and 297,579 rapid tests. The West Java Industry and Trade Agency said the National Industry Information System (SINAS) application was being used to monitor the enforcement of health protocols in the industrial sector.Read also: COVID-19 haunts industrial zones in Indonesia“Through SINAS, all companies that have operational and mobility permits (IOMKI) must report every week on the implementation of health protocols,” said Dendi Hermandi, an official at the agency.Dendi said 5,585 industrial firms in West Java had received IOMKI, which allowed them to operate during the pandemic, including those that later discovered positive cases in Jababeka, MM2100 and Deltamas.“Our investigations found that one of the companies was closed because the spread of the cases was not sectorial. Apparently, the first person exposed to the virus had high mobility,” he said.He added that the other companies with confirmed cases were still allowed to operate, except in the production units where the cases had been found.The local government has requested the improvement of a number of COVID-19 prevention protocols in industrial areas, including a ban on smoking areas and on serving boxed rice to workers.“It is also expected that industrial areas provide self-isolation facilities because those prepared by the government are limited,” he said.Separately, the East Jakarta Manpower, Transmigration and Energy Agency said it would temporarily close biscuit factory PT Khong Guan, after some employees were found to have COVID-19. However, the closure was to take place after the agency monitored and evaluated the factory on Tuesday.“If it is true that there are positive cases, we must close the company,” the agency’s head, Galuh Prasiwi, said on Monday.The Ciracas district community health center (Puskesmas) previously reported that 28 of the 170 rapid tests performed at the Khong Guan factory were reactive. Two people were later confirmed to have COVID-19 through swab tests. (syk)Topics : Industrial COVID-19 clusters discovered in the Bekasi and Karawang regencies of West Java reached 500 cases on Tuesday, prompting demands for increased testing and tracing.“[Cases have been found] in three industrial areas, namely Jababeka, MM2100 and Deltamas. The total number [of cases] is 500,” West Java COVID-19 task force official Siska Gerfianti said on Tuesday, as quoted by West Java task force has tracked the clusters to 12 factories in Karawang and 22 factories in Bekasi with the help of regency task forces. last_img read more

  • Intan Jaya pastor third churchman allegedly killed by security personnel, church says

    first_imgHe said the TNI had also denied this allegation, claiming that Elisa had died at the hands of Goliath Tabuni, a separatist leader based in the district.Read also: Churches union condemns shooting that killed pastor in Papua, urges Jokowi to take actionSocratez strongly condemned the recent killing of Yeremia, as well as the other two cases, saying that it was “an accursed act before God and man.”“The cruelty, violence and savagery of the TNI against the pastors is an affront to humanity and should be condemned,” he said.Local news in Papua reported that Yeremia was shot dead on his way to his pig pen on Saturday, at the same time as a military operation was taking place.Socratez said at least seven churches had been emptied, with many members of the congregations fleeing into the forests, as a result of military operations in Papua.Yeremia was the head of a theological school in Hitadipa district in Intan Jaya and a pastor in the Imanuel Hutadipa congregation of the Indonesian Evangelical Christian Church (GKII). He was also a Bible translator and a community leader of the Moni tribe.Executives of the GKII and the Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI), as well as figures from the Moni tribe, are currently probing the incident.The PGI has sent a letter to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, urging him to establish an independent team to thoroughly investigate this case, with support from the Papuan Police and the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) in Papua.Socratez urged Jokowi to end military operations in Papua. He also urged the Papuan Council of Churches (WPCC) to write to the Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC) and the World Council of Churches (WCC) to urge Pacific island nations to raise the issue at a United Nations forum.Read also: After a year of Papuan antiracism rallies, discrimination remains an everyday occurrenceKomnas HAM commissioner Beka Ulung Hapsara said the commission had received a report regarding the latest incident from Papuan Students Alliance head John Gobay on Monday, and had immediately launched an investigation into the case.“We have not concluded who is responsible. However, Komnas HAM believes that the government needs to evaluate its security approach in Papua to stop the cycle of violence involving TNI, armed groups and civil society, to which a long list of people have fallen victim,” Beka told the Post on Tuesday.Amnesty International Indonesia executive director Usman Hamid urged the government to investigate Yeremia’s case and provide an explanation whether TNI personnel were responsible for the incident.“This shooting again shows the failure of the state to bring peace to Papua. Since the beginning of the year, there have been at least 15 cases of extrajudicial shootings there. When can Papuans be free to live in peace?” Usman said in a statement on Tuesday.The Papua Police said the latest incident was committed by an armed group, aiming to attract global attention ahead of the UN General Assembly scheduled for the end of this month, although the police were investigating the motive behind the shooting.TNI spokesperson for the Joint Regional Defense Command III in Papua Col. Gusti Nyoman Suriastawa also said Yeremia had been shot by an armed group, although he said he was still waiting for the results of an investigation by the Cendrawasih Regional Military Command.“I don’t know [if there were two previous cases]. It’s been a long time. I’m afraid I might provide an incorrect statement. Let’s all wait for the investigation while we mourn the deceased,” he told the Post.Cendrawasih Regional Military Command spokesperson Lt. Col. Reza Patria said on Tuesday that his team was still investigating the incident and declined to elaborate further.Topics : Geyimin was killed in Mapenduma district, Nduga regency, on Dec. 19, 2018, he said, adding that the victim was reportedly forced to dig a grave in the backyard of his house, before being shot dead and his body burned.“[Geyimin] had been a church pioneer since 1963. He was an old man, a figure who had received the gospel in Nduga,” Sokratez told The Jakarta Post on Monday.Socratez said a TNI spokesman at that time had denied the allegation, saying Geyimin was alive and well. However, he added, the results of an investigation by the Papuan Human Integrity Justice and Peace Foundation showed that Giyimin had died, allegedly at the hands of TNI personnel.Meanwhile, Elisa was reportedly handcuffed and shot dead by members of the Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus) in Tingginambut district, Puncak Jaya regency, on Aug. 16, 2004, Sokratez said. The recent killing of pastor Yeremia Zanambani in Intan Jaya regency, Papua, allegedly carried out by personnel from the Indonesian Military (TNI) is the third case targeting a churchman in Papua since 2004, a church fellowship has said.The TNI has denied involvement in all three killings, accusing separatists of killing two of them and claiming that the other one was not actually dead. Human rights institutions have called on the government to open an independent investigation to shed light on the killings.President of the Papuan Baptist Churches Fellowship, Sokratez Sofyan Yoman, has alleged that prior to Yeremia, TNI members shot dead two other pastors, namely Geyimin Nirigi and Elisa Tabuni, in separate incidents.last_img read more

  • Jokowi inaugurates first toll road in Riau

    first_imgPresident Joko “Jokowi” Widodo inaugurated the Pekanbaru-Dumai section of the trans-Sumatera toll road through a virtual ceremony carried out from the Bogor Palace in Bogor, West Java, on Tuesday.”Thank God, construction of the Pekanbaru-Dumai toll road has been completed. The toll road can now be fully operational and used for productive activities for Riau residents or people crossing Sumatra Island,” Jokowi said during the event, which was broadcasted through the Presidential Secretariat’s official YouTube channel.Spanning 131.5 kilometers and consisting of six sections, the Pekanbaru-Dumai toll road is the first in Riau province.Construction kicked off in 2017 with a total cost of Rp 12.18 trillion (US$818.25 million).The Pekanbaru-Dumai toll road is part of the trans-Sumatra toll road, which will extend 2,987 kilometers through Sumatra island connecting Lampung to Aceh.Read also: Jokowi inaugurates first toll road in AcehJokowi said its construction had increased interest in investments around the area.”The toll road has brought investment interest around the area, such as the development of industrial areas, housing complexes and tourist spots that would create,” Jokowi said.”Investors’ interest to support the development of the local economy should be responded to quickly, so the regional administration and local residents could reap the benefits of infrastructure built by the government.”The Pekanbaru-Dumai highway includes five tunnels specifically designed to allow wildlife to cross as the fourth section is located near the Balai Raja and Siak Kecil wildlife conservation areas, home to endemic Sumatran elephants.Jokowi expressed hope that the highway could be used as a tool to boost welfare equality.”I urge the local administration and Pekanbaru and Dumai residents to use this [toll road] as a tool to create more business opportunities and a facility to increase welfare equality.” Topics :last_img read more