BREAKING: Indonesia not repatriating IS fighters to protect nation from ‘terrorist virus’

first_imgThe government has decided not to repatriate Indonesian citizens who joined the Islamic State (IS) movement, Coordinating Legal, Political and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD announced.He said President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and the Cabinet made the decision because the interests of the hundreds of millions of citizens in the country outweighed those of the 689 who, he said, had become “foreign terrorist fighters” in Syria and Turkey.“The government and the state has to ensure that the 267 million people in Indonesia are safe from the threat of terrorism,” Mahfud said after a Cabinet meeting at the Bogor Presidential Palace in West Java on Tuesday. “If these foreign terrorist fighters come back they can become a new virus that makes those 267 million people feel unsafe.” Jokowi expressed his personal objection to the repatriation proposal last week, but said that the final decision would be made after meeting with the Cabinet.Read also: ‘If you asked me, I’d say no’: Jokowi personally against repatriation of Indonesian IS membersMahfud said the government would nevertheless collect data about the numbers and identities of the citizens who had allegedly joined IS and that young children might be repatriated, depending on their circumstances.“Children under 10 will be considered on a case-by-case basis: for example, if they have parents there or not,” he said. He added that the Cabinet did not discuss the citizenship status of the IS supporters during the meeting. “The main thing is that the [IS supporters] will not come home because we want to provide a feeling of safety for all the people who are here,” he said, explaining that the government wants to protect the nation from the ‘terrorist virus’.Topics :last_img read more

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PREMIUMOmnibus law on job creation to offer fresh hope for migrant workers

first_imgFacebook LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Forgot Password ? Log in with your social account Google MigrantWorkers migrants omnibus-law omnibus-bill-on-job-creation skilled-workers Topics : Despite the controversy over the omnibus bill on job creation, the government has given an assurance that the bill will have a positive impact on migrant labor reform by allowing for a more streamlined bureaucracy to expedite a grand vision of improving conditions for Indonesians working overseas. The Agency for the Protection of Migrant Workers (BP2MI) estimates that about 6 million Indonesians worked overseas last year, equivalent to nearly 5 percent of the country’s total workforce. Together they sent US$11 billion back to Indonesia in remittances in 2019.However, this number represents only those who leave the country to work legally, meaning that there are thousands more who work illegally overseas and oftentimes these illegal, or nonprocedural, workers tend to be a source of problems. The authorities in El Tari Airport in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT)… Linkedinlast_img read more

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Long lines at Batam port ahead of Singapore’s new travel restriction

first_imgHundreds of Batam residents filled the Batam Center International Ferry Port on Monday ahead of Singapore’s implementation of new border restrictions on Monday to stop the spread of COVID-19.People who enter Singapore with a recent travel history to countries heavily affected by the virus — including Indonesia, Japan, Switzerland and the United Kingdom — within the last 14 days will receive a 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN). The regulation will not apply to Singaporeans and Malaysians using sea and land crossings with Malaysian services.  Indonesian ferry operators are likely to stop trips to Singapore as the regulation will take effect starting at 11.59 p.m. on Monday.However, starting at 8 a.m. on Monday morning, ferry operators are allowing Indonesian passport holders with temporary stay permits, student passes or permanent resident cards to buy Batam-Singapore tickets. “Without those conditions, we cannot sell the tickets. It is a requirement set by Singapore,” said Batam Fast Ferry ticket officer Santi.Batam Center International Ferry Port operations manager Nika Astaga said the port would study the impact of the aforementioned regulations issued by Singapore’s Ministry of Health.”Today [Monday], we will have a joint meeting with stakeholders at the port,” Nika said.A number of ferry services said they were still uncertain of their business following the restrictions, predicting a decline in the number of passengers.Rizal, a ferry worker, said he did not even know whether his company would run trips on Tuesday. (ggq)Topics :last_img read more

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Activists urge govt to resolve HIV drugs shortage amid COVID-19 pandemic

first_img“There is no guarantee that the airline will resume operations after two weeks. If the ministry decides to use another airline, they should make sure that the documents are taken care off, so the customs office won’t hold them up from entering the country,” he said.Read also: Lengthy AGO investigation blamed for ARV shortageIn the meantime, the government had only started ARV drugs procurement using the state budget. However, the National Public Procurement Agency (LKPP) has yet to reveal who is the tender winner for the project.“Even if they announce the bid winner, we will face a similar obstacle since the medicine still needs to be imported from India,” said Aditya. Topics : The activist demanded the Health Ministry start identifying necessary medicines for both the AIDS rehabilitation program as well as the general public, and ensure their availability.“Authorities need to gather all stakeholders to gain insights, as well as to map the potential COVID-19 effect on medicine supplies in Indonesia. This way, the government will know which medicine can be produced locally and which should be imported from other countries.”Read also: Tackling HIV stigma amid LGBT+ ‘moral panic’The government should also cooperate with the Indonesian Medical Association to promote the rational use of medicine in order to save available supplies. “The government should use this opportunity to fix its roadmap to strengthen the local pharmaceuticals industry so it will stop depending on imported medicines,” Aditya added.HIV patients in Indonesia have recently decried the shortages of ARV drugs, which are provided for free by the Health Ministry. The ministry procures the drugs through importers PT Kimia Farma and PT Indofarma.It is the second time in the past two years that supplies have been depleted at hospitals and clinics, forcing patients to make adjustments that may risk their health.center_img Civil society groups assisting HIV patients in the country have urged the Health Ministry to pay attention to the supply of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs for such patients, who have been affected by the global COVID-19 outbreak.“The Health Ministry should think about how COVID-19 affects ARV drug availability,” Indonesia AIDS Coalition executive director Aditya Wardhana said in a statement on Friday.The ministry has purchased the drugs from India using a grant from the Global Fund. However, the shipments are expected to be delayed since the airline assigned to deliver the drugs to Indonesia has canceled its flight for the past two weeks because of the pandemic.last_img read more

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Morocco NGO delivers emergency supplies to single mums in lockdown

first_imgEach year, INSAF helps over 500 young women who have fallen pregnant out of wedlock — viewed as a “sin” by a society marked by religious conservatism.The organization usually supports the mothers with medical and psychological assistance, tries to mediate between them and their families and helps find jobs for the pregnant women.But that all changed when the coronavirus pandemic struck, with the first distress calls arriving some 15 days after the government declared a health emergency around mid-March.”The epidemic touches everyone, but single mothers are the most vulnerable”, INSAF head Meriem Othmani says. A small van zips through the streets of Casablanca to deliver food to single mothers, as economic paralysis caused by the coronavirus crisis puts pressure on Morocco’s poor.”We have to be quick,” says Bouchra, a coordinator from NGO INSAF who is supervising the day’s rounds.The lockdown to curb the spread of the COVID-19 disease, and a lack of work and money, are creating tensions in the working-class neighbourhoods of the country’s economic capital. “Their families reject them and they have to manage alone with their baby, without any support.”The organization phones a few minutes before the van’s arrival to arrange a pick-up point on the street near the women’s homes. It stops quickly, and the supplies are swiftly offloaded.At each stop, passers-by ask if they can receive assistance too.The single mothers try to avoid being noticed, ashamed of their social status and afraid of the envy of others.”Thank you,” murmurs Habiba before disappearing down an alley with two big bags of supplies.”Many get by doing odd jobs in hairdressing, cleaning, or in the textiles industry or hospitality,” INSAF’s Latifa Ouazahrou says of the single mothers who have now found themselves without work or a safety net. More than three million people out of Morocco’s population of 35 million inhabitants are poor, according to official statistics. The monthly minimum wage is around $260 while three-quarters of workers have no social security cover.The World Bank says around 10 million in Morocco could find themselves in difficulty as the pandemic hits and further pressure mounts due to a drought. In a large room normally used as a kitchen, INSAF teams fill bags with couscous semolina, lentils, potatoes, rice, oil, tea, flour, soap and sanitary products.A leaflet detailing virus protection measures is also included.Emergency deliveries also go to families in isolated hamlets in the central Atlas region, where a drought in the agricultural sector is exerting further pressure. State aid of up to 1,200 dirhams (around $120) is being allocated to needy families to weather the crisis, part of an emergency package also funded by corporate and private donations.In recent days, the first beneficiaries were able to withdraw money from ATMs after receiving a text message from the authorities, thanks to a new payment system set up with help from local banks.But helping the poorest is a challenge, and the country lacks a social register to identify the needs of the population.”Some [single mothers] can’t even buy milk for their baby any more,” Ouazahrou says. “It’s very important to bring them basic necessities.”As of Sunday, the coronavirus had claimed 111 lives in the North African country from a declared total of 1,545 cases. Only around 7,000 tests have been conducted.center_img Topics :last_img read more

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Boeing 737 MAX cancellations pile up during production halt

first_imgThat was the lowest since 1984 for the first quarter.The company posted orders in March for 12 787 Dreamliners, one 767 freighter and 18 pre-MAX versions of the 737 for the P-8 maritime patrol program. For the first quarter, it posted 49 new orders, or a negative total of 147 after cancellations.After further accounting adjustments representing jets ordered in previous years but now unlikely to be delivered, Boeing’s adjusted net orders sank to a negative 307 airplanes.The pandemic has forced Boeing and European rival Airbus to cut production in the face of plunging demand, cash problems at airlines and logistical difficulties in delivering aircraft.Boeing remains in talks with regulators seeking approval to return the plane to service. Last week, Boeing said it was addressing two new software issues with the MAX flight control computer.Major US airlines, suffering an unprecedented downturn in demand due to the coronavirus, on Wednesday said they agreed in principle on the terms of $25 billion US government payroll aid. “GOL remains fully committed to the 737 MAX as the core of its fleet and this agreement further enhances our successful long-term partnership with Boeing,” said GOL chief executive Paulo Kakinoff in a statement. GOL now has 95 remaining firm orders for 737 MAX aircraft.The cancellations come as Boeing seeks to untangle delivery commitments after halting output of the MAX in January, following delays in returning it to service.Boeing shares closed down 4.3% to $141.00, off $6.33.Boeing, facing a 13-month-old freeze on deliveries of the MAX and now disruption to deliveries of larger planes due to the coronavirus epidemic, said it had delivered 50 planes in the first quarter, barely a third of the 149 seen a year earlier. Boeing Co on Tuesday reported another 75 cancellations for its 737 MAX jetliner in March, as the coronavirus crisis worsened disruptions from the grounding of its best-selling jet.The US plane maker posted a total of 150 MAX cancellations in March, including 75 previously reported from Irish leasing company Avolon. New cancellations came from buyers including 34 of 135 aircraft ordered by Brazil’s GOL.GOL confirmed the 34 cancelled planes and said it reached agreement with Boeing on “cash compensation and changes to future orders and associated payment schedules.”center_img Topics :last_img read more

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Ruangguru removes journalism course from preemployment card program

first_imgShe also objected that the platform put her course into the program without her permission, saying that they initially agreed to create the course for a different paid program.Ruangguru spokesperson Sekar Krisnauli later explained that ever since the platform collaborated with Prita in 2019, Skill Academy has held the copyright of the content Prita created.“Both parties signed the agreement at the beginning of the collaboration,” Sekar told The Jakarta Post.Ruangguru nevertheless decided to acquiesce to Prita’s request.  Online education platform Ruangguru, whose subsidiary Skill Academy has partnered with the government in the preemployment card program, removed a journalism course from the program on Saturday following a request from the course’s creator.On Friday, television journalist and tutor Prita Kusumaputri publicly called on Skill Academy to exclude her course from the package designed for preemployment card beneficiaries as she believed her course was not what people needed during the COVID-19 pandemic.The demand was made following public scrutiny over the course as another journalist, Agustinus Edy Kristianto, criticized Skill Academy for easily issuing a certificate for the course, even without supervision from any accountable journalism institution or the Press Council. Read also: Preemployment card draws criticism as workers ‘need cash aid’“We understand the public attention that she might get [following the criticism],” Sekar said, without responding further to Prita’s argument that the course was not suitable for the preemployment card program.Ruangguru has also been under scrutiny for its participation in the government program due its co-founder and CEO Adamas Belva Syah Devara holding a position as an expert staffer to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. Belva has since resigned from the staffer position following accusations of a conflict of interest. The government has allocated Rp 20 trillion (US$1.32 million) to cover around 5.6 million people in the program, which has partnered with eight online platforms including Skill Academy, Tokopedia, Bukalapak and Sisnaker. Each participant will receive Rp 1 million to cover the online training costs, Rp 2.4 million in incentives for four months, which will only be disbursed if a participant completes a course and another Rp 150,000 if they complete a job survey.The preemployment card program was initially created by the Jokowi administration to teach new skills to the workforce to keep up with the ever-changing digital economy and combat job loss as a result of automation, but has been retargeted to help those who have lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.Topics :last_img read more

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Tesla sues California county in virus factory closure fight, threatens to leave

first_imgThe company said it had worked out a thorough return-to-work plan that includes online video training for personnel, work zone partition areas, temperature screening, requirements to wear protective equipment and rigorous cleaning and disinfecting protocols.The company said it had informed health authorities in Alameda County, where the Fremont factory is located, about its restart plans, but claimed the acting official did not return calls or emails.Alameda County’s Public Health Department, which earlier on Saturday said it had been “communicating directly and working closely with the Tesla team,” did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Tesla filed a lawsuit against the county in San Francisco federal court on Saturday, calling the continued restrictions a “power-grab” by the county since California’s governor had said on Thursday that manufacturers in the state would be allowed to reopen. The company said Alameda was going against the federal and California constitutions, as well as defying the governor’s order, the lawsuit said.Alameda County is scheduled to remain shut until the end of May, with only essential businesses allowed to reopen. The county said it does not consider Tesla an essential business. County officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.The outspoken Musk also took to Twitter on Saturday to complain and threatened to leave the state.Read also: Indonesia asks Tesla’s Elon Musk for ventilators”If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependent (sp) on how Tesla is treated in the future,” he tweeted, referring to the San Francisco Bay area facility that is Tesla’s only US vehicle factory.Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependen on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2020Alameda County said on Saturday that it has been working with Tesla to develop a safety plan that “allows for reopening while protecting the health and well-being of the thousands of employees” that work at the factory and that it looks forward to coming to an agreement on a safety plan very soon.Fremont Mayor Lily Mei expressed concern about the potential economic implications of continuing the shelter-in-place order without provisions for manufacturers such as Tesla to resume. Mei on Saturday urged the county to work with businesses on “acceptable guidelines for re-opening.”Musk had told employees on Thursday that limited production would restart at Fremont on Friday afternoon.Tesla last year built nearly half a million vehicles at the Fremont plant and moving the entire production facility would be a massive undertaking.Dan Ives, a Wedbush analyst, on Saturday estimated it could take the company 12 to 18 months to relocate production.The threat to relocate the facility comes as Tesla aims to ramp up production at Fremont of its Model Y sport utility vehicle, which it expects to generate record demand and profit margins.Musk, who sparred with California officials in March over whether Tesla had to halt production at Fremont, had criticized the lockdown and stay-at-home orders, calling them a “serious risk” to US business and “unconstitutional.”Tesla shares have risen 127 percent since March 18, their recent closing low, including a 16.8 percent gain in the last trading week to close at $819.42 on Friday. Topics : Tesla Inc sued local authorities in California on Saturday as the electric carmaker pushed to re-open its factory there and Chief Executive Elon Musk threatened to move Tesla’s headquarters and future programs from the state to Texas or Nevada.Musk has been pushing to re-open Tesla’s Fremont, California, factory after Alameda County’s health department said the carmaker must not reopen because local lockdown measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus remain in effect.In a blog post on Saturday, Tesla said the county’s position left it no choice but to take legal action to ensure Tesla and its employees can go back to work.last_img read more

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WHO to Latam: Don’t lower COVID-19 guard, deaths could quadruple by October

first_imgThe toll from COVID-19 could rise to 438,000 deaths in Latin America by October if prevention measures are not kept up, the World Health Organization’s regional director for the Americas Carissa Etienne warned on Tuesday.Fatalities so far in Latin America have reached 113,844 or almost one fifth of the number of people who have died globally, according to mapping by Reuters.The Americas is the world epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic and the toll for the whole region could almost treble to 637,000 by Oct. 1, the WHO official said, though she cautioned that mathematical model projections should not be taken literally but only as planning guides. Topics : Under current conditions, the pandemic is expected to peak in Chile and Colombia by mid-July, but in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Peru not until August, and Costa Rica will not flatten its curve of infection until October, she said.Countries, states and cities that relax restrictions too soon can be flooded with new COVID-19 cases, Etienne and other directors of the WHO’s regional branch, the Pan American Health Organization said in a virtual briefing from Washington.”Complacency is our enemy in the fight against COVID-19,” she said, adding: “The battle is tough but it’s far from lost.”In the United States, Washington state and New York are seeing very low numbers of new cases and deaths, but 27 other states are reporting exponential growth, Etienne said.center_img Several Caribbean countries and territories were able to curb transmission completely and have reported no new cases for several weeks, but they need to remain vigilant for months to come, Etienne said.This past week Manaus, in Brazil saw its first day without reporting new deaths from COVID-19, after weeks of dealing with high mortality in the largest city in the Amazon.Brazil has the second most fatal and widespread outbreak in the Americas after the United States and WHO directors said they have repeatedly asked the South American country to increase testing and have a consistent message to population.Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has downplayed the gravity of coronavirus and criticized quarantine and social distancing measures adopted by states and cities, sending a confusing signal to Brazilians, public health experts say.Countries must be prepared to adjust course quickly if the epidemiological situation changes, the WHO director said.Reopening is not merely a question of suspending travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders. It requires ample testing and adequate contact tracing to quickly detect and control new outbreaks, she said.The Americas region as a whole reported 5.1 million cases and more than 247,000 deaths due to COVID-19 as of June 29.last_img read more

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Dubai expatriates race for new jobs after virus layoffs

first_img‘I want to stay’ Emirates airline is one of the companies that have taken a major hit in the crisis, cutting a tenth of its giant workforce of 60,000, including 4,300 pilots and nearly 22,000 cabin crew.Sami, an Egyptian flight attendant who travelled the world with the airline for six years, was one of those laid off in June in a “five-minute meeting” as it processed the layoffs on an industrial scale.”We were many of us, hundreds waiting around all day for one-on-one meetings,” he said.The 32-year-old, who took out a loan to buy a smart SUV and become accustomed to a “life of luxury”, will now have to return to his family in Cairo with “no plans” in mind.”I really want to stay in Dubai, but I don’t think there are any decent opportunities now,” he said.Topics : ‘Expats, not migrants’ Expatriates, who make up about 90 percent of Dubai’s population of more than 3.3 million, have helped create and operate its mega malls, attractions and five-star hotels, and turn it into a global hub for tourism, banking and services.But with global travel only just emerging from a standstill, and lockdown measures still in force in many countries, all these industries have taken a heavy hit.Scott Livermore, chief economist at Oxford Economics Middle East, said the Gulf system, however, is designed to keep foreigners as “expats rather than migrants”, with welfare state support reserved for citizens. “Expatriates then return to their country of origin or move on to another country,” Livermore told AFP. “It is a conscious, designed policy.”Endless planeloads of blue-collars workers have already left Dubai on repatriation flights, but the city — as the archetype of globalized consumerism — could itself suffer from the departure of free-spending higher income earners.According to an Oxford Economics study, employment across the Gulf could fall by 13 percent during the crisis, resulting in the population declining by between four percent in Saudi Arabia and Oman and around 10 percent in the UAE and Qatar.”While an expat exodus may mean that the Gulf Cooperation Council ‘exports’ some of the impact of recession, it will also have some adverse consequences on key sectors,” the study said.In Dubai, which has already been suffering from an oversupply of property in particular, the study said “sectors that are vulnerable are travel and tourism, hotels and restaurants, and real estate and logistics”. In a country where permanent residency is not generally offered, even for those who have spent decades in the UAE, as the redundancies begin to mount many are being forced to sell up their things and make a quick exit.”We all know how the UAE is a temporary place and, one day or another, we all have to go back home or elsewhere,” said Mustafa, who before the crisis earned a good salary with a sports marketing firm.Without a new job, in a market where openings are few and applicants are many, the 30-year-old will have no choice but to return home to Pakistan — a prospect he feels gloomy about.”Here I worked with luxury hotel brands, airports, car brands, extreme sports. They don’t have a big market share there,” he said about Pakistan, adding that even if he did find a job, the salary would be “half of what you get paid in Dubai”.center_img Mustafa, a hipster Pakistani graphic artist, has a month to find a new job or be forced to leave Dubai among an exodus of expatriates whose futures have been up-ended by coronavirus. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) — made up of seven sheikdoms including the oil-rich capital Abu Dhabi and freewheeling Dubai — has become a hub for young professionals and a safe haven in a region blighted by political turmoil and poverty.But the pandemic has set in motion a global economic crisis that one study said could see some 900,000 jobs lost in the UAE — among a population of under 10 million — and force 10 percent of its expatriate residents to leave.last_img read more

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