Month: October 2020

Iron Leung

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Myers and Chande deny LandSec link

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TrizecHahn to float by 2002

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Local knowledge

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Government concedes to industry over planning

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Taking stock

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Indonesia ready to assist citizen confirmed with COVID-19 in Australia

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first_imgThe department is seeking to contact anyone who was traveling on Virgin Airlines flight VA682 from Perth to Melbourne on March 2, which was the flight taken by the patient when she was already showing symptoms of the respiratory illness.The Indonesian Health Ministry’s Disease Control and Prevention Director General Achmad Yurianto said his ministry had coordinated with Indonesian representatives in the neighboring country to trace the patient’s travel records. Achmad, however, asserted that his office believed the patient “did not contract the virus in Indonesia”.Authorities worldwide, including in Indonesia and Australia, are on high alert over the coronavirus epidemic that has killed more than 4,000 and infected more than 110,000 people in more than 100 countries, AFP reported. According to data compiled by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, Australia recorded 91 confirmed cases as of Tuesday, while Indonesia recorded 19 cases on its soil. Citizens have been advised to regularly wash their hands with soap and take care of their health as the best means of protecting themselves against the virus.Topics : “However, as she is an Indonesian citizen then she has to understand that if she needs help, our representative [in Australia] is ready to help her at any time,” Retno said on Monday.News of the patient made rounds on Sunday after the Victorian Health Department issued a public statement saying the patient “who is now well and in home-isolation” was the 12th confirmed COVID-19 case in Victoria. The woman, who flew from Jakarta to Perth on Feb. 27, tested positive for the coronavirus on Saturday.Read also: COVID-19: More Indonesian travelers The government is ready to give assistance to an Indonesian woman in her 50s who recently tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus in the Australian state of Victoria, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi says. Retno said that she had met with Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Gary Quinlan in Jakarta on Monday to clarify the citizenship status of the woman, who was later confirmed to be an Indonesian citizen holding an Australian permanent residency visa. She told reporters the Indonesian government “will try to get more information about her” while at the same time respecting her privacy. last_img read more

Russian meddling casts ‘dark shadow’ over MH17 trial: Prosecutors

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first_imgDutch prosecutors accused Russia on Tuesday of interfering with the probe into the downing of flight MH17 and casting a “dark shadow” over the trial of four suspects in the disaster.Moscow had tried to track down witnesses in the trial that started on Monday in the Netherlands, leaving some in fear for their lives in case they were identified, prosecutors said.Three Russians and a Ukranian are on trial over the 2014 crash of the Malaysia Airlines jet in rebel-held eastern Ukraine with the loss of all 298 people on board, 196 of them Dutch. “There are clear indications that Russian security services are actively attempting to disrupt efforts to establish the truth behind the shooting down of flight MH17,” prosecutor Thijs Berger told judges.Russian spies had also tried to hack Malaysian and Dutch authorities investigating the crash, he said.”Seen as a whole, this information casts a dark shadow over these proceedings,” Berger said.The trial opened in the absence of the suspects — Russian nationals Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov and Ukrainian citizen Leonid Kharchenko. Pulatov is the only one represented by a lawyer and he denies all involvement. International investigators say the Boeing 777 was hit by a Russian-made BUK surface-to-air missile, fired from territory held by pro-Moscow rebels battling Kiev. ‘Campaign of disinformation’ Relatives of those who died have repeatedly called for the trial to examine the role of Russia in the crash.”The court has made it crystal clear that the Russian government is staging a campaign of disinformation,” Anton Kotte, a board member of a foundation for MH17 victims, said Tuesday.”And we will have to be prepared for much more distortion of the truth as the case proceeds.” Kotte lost his son, daughter-in-law and grandson.Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement in the crash of MH17, or in eastern Ukraine generally.Pulatov’s defence lawyer rejected the prosecutor’s “sharp” comments, saying the remarks on witness safety were “not only premature, but highly public”.”I wonder why the Dutch authorities at the same time when it suits them, ask for the cooperation of the Russian Federation,” lawyer Boudewijn van Eijck said.Prosecutors have said Russia was trying to trace potential witnesses in the trial, some of whom will testify anonymously.”The use of Russian security services to discover the identify of witnesses in this investigation is a very real scenario,” Berger added.”Several witnesses in this investigation say that they fear for their lives if their identities were to come to light.”‘Fear of reprisals’ The prosecutors added that Russian security services were already “accused of multiple murders that have been committed in various European countries”.Special protection had been given to one witness, who was willing to be named later in the proceedings but was remaining anonymous for now given the security concerns, prosecutors said.Only referred to as M58 at this stage, the witness was a Russian volunteer attached to a separatist unit close to the BUK when it was launched on the day MH17 was shot down.The witness had testified that Russian military personnel — whom separatists said were from Russia’s FSB security agency — were with the missile at the launch site, they added.”Once it became clear in the following hours that it was not a military aircraft but civilian flight, MH17, the disinformation campaign started immediately,” prosecutor Dedy Woei-a-Tsoi said.Another witness identified only as S24 had “expressed a fear of reprisals by the Russian Federation”. And a third, known as V9, had asked to remain anonymous because “I might get picked up by Russian special services,” the prosecution added.The case was adjourned for two weeks and will resume on 23 March.Topics :last_img read more

COVID 19: Public fend for themselves amid scarcity of information from government

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first_img“Before that, no information. Many residents do not know anything about the coronavirus. Honestly, we are worried now because the patient was our neighbor,” she said.She said she needed detailed information about the virus, especially about the symptoms and what to do not to spread it to others.“We know about how to maintain our hygiene. But we need more information about the symptoms and how it spreads. I’m sure many residents are still in the dark,” she went on.Surakarta administration claims it has disseminated information about the novel coronavirus in public spaces such as markets, shopping centers, bus terminals and stations. Officials say they have reached out to subdistrict and even to neighborhood (RT) units.“We have to move fast so people will know what the coronavirus is,” Siti Wahyuningsih, the head of Surakarta Health Agency said on Sunday.She said the main points of the information included hygiene and good nutrition.Residents should not panic, she said, the coronavirus was the same as other viruses. “The important thing is to maintain immunity, keep up our hygiene and our health standards. We also encourage people not to get close to crowds,” she said.Surakarta Mayor FX Hadi “Rudy” Rudyatmo said his administration was serious about it and had allocated Rp 2 billion (US$ 131.8 million) for extraordinary measures.North Sulawesi administration has allocated extra funding to handle the coronavirus crisis. The funding will be used to add an isolation room as there are currently only 10 available.Manado Health Agency head Ivan Marthin said it had distributed information in the community.The North Sulawesi provincial capital has reported one COVID-19 case and Lion Air operated flights from the city to Guangzhou in China before the outbreak.Ivan acknowledged the limited information most people had about the coronavirus, but they knew that it could be deadly. “Most people know about the coronavirus from social media, that’s why we give them information about the spread, that it is not airborne,” he said.Latest research has said that the novel coronavirus is mostly likely not airborne, but this is not conclusive.Deisy Makawata, a Manado, North Sulawesi, resident, said she knew only a little about the virus. “I’m kind of in the dark. What I know, for example, is to avoid people who’ve just returned from abroad and that the virus stays on things but not in the air.”The administration in Batam in Riau Islands, which borders Singapore, says it relies on the media to spread information about the novel coronavirus because of budget constraints.Batam Health Agency Didi Kusumajadi told The Jakarta Post on Saturday that it did not have any plan to reach out to local communities.“We don’t have enough budget or manpower to go to neighborhoods. We rely on the media,” he said. But he said he had deployed medical personnel to schools to provide information.“Sometimes we get requests from companies or factories, and we do that,” he went on.He said the administration had sent a circular, telling people not to panic. He admitted that many people knew only a little about the virus.Sigit Pramono, 38, who runs a food stall, said he got information from social media. “I don’t know the symptoms in detail, I know very little,” he said.“What I know is to keep up our hygiene, maintain our immunity and avoid leaving the house if not really necessary,” he said.Sarma Siregar, an employee of a private company, said he did not know how to prevent the spread of the virus.Another resident, Susi Lee, said she had some knowledge about the virus but she learned about it from social media.Last week, the police arrested at least six people for spreading misinformation and fake news about the virus on social media.Agust Hari contributed to this story from Manado, North SulawesiTopics : Despite the country having two months to prepare for the arrival of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Indonesian people say they have limited knowledge about the virus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, and what little they know they have learned from the media or social media, not from any government institutions.Residents of Surakarta, Central Java, one of the cities reporting confirmed COVID-19 cases, said they began to get more information after Indonesia reported its first confirmed cases on March 2 and before the city reported its first death.Erlangga Bima Sakti, 23, said before the first deaths were reported in the country on March 11, he did not receive much official information about the virus. Earlier, he learned about it from the media, including social media. “There has been limited information about the virus from the government. It began to trickle after someone died,” he said.Another resident, Iwan Adi, 23, also found the information on his own from social media and news portals.“I learned about how it spread, how to prevent it, what the symptoms are, from the media. Before, there was not much from the government,” he said.Astuti Herliani, 45, a neighbor of the deceased victim in Surakarta, said a health official came to the subdistrict office and invited residents on March 14, three days after the COVID-19 patient died in Moewardi General Hospital.last_img read more

Huge fire breaks out at India gas well blowout

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first_imgThe company called for help from the army after locals allegedly attacked its vehicles after Tuesday’s explosion, spokesman Tridiv Hazarika said.Water was being pumped to the well over the past two weeks to prevent the gas catching fire.Assam’s Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said firefighters, police and the army were being sent to the site, which is 500 kilometers east of Guwahati, the state’s biggest city.Environmentalists were increasingly worried about the impact of the gas leak. The well was producing 100,000 standard cubic meters per day (SCMD) of gas from a depth of 3,870 meters before the blowout in May, according to Oil India.Just one kilometer from the field is Maguri-Motapung wetlands, an ecotourism site. State-owned sanctuary Dibru Saikhowa National Park — renowned for migratory birds — is about 2.5 kilometers away.Authorities had established an exclusion zone of 1.5 kilometers and about 2,500 people had been evacuated from their homes.Officials Monday ordered a probe into the deaths of five people from the areas surrounding the field, although the district administration said a preliminary investigation suggested they died of natural causes. A huge fire broke out at an oil field near popular ecotourism spots in northeastern India on Tuesday, after gas that had spewed for two weeks from a blown-out well ignited, officials said.The gas well at an oil field managed by state-owned Oil India started leaking in late May in Tinsukia district of Assam state, and the firm said late last week gas was still flowing “uncontrollably”.Tuesday’s explosion sent bright orange flames and huge, black plumes of smoke high into the sky, visible 10 kilometers from the oil field, locals told AFP. Topics :center_img “While the clearing operations were on at the well site, the well caught fire,” Oil India said in a statement, adding that a firefighter suffered “minor injuries”. Around 200 engineers and workers — including a team of experts who arrived from Singapore on Monday — are trying to stem the leak within four weeks, the company added. Villagers fled in fear, and said five of their homes had caught fire.”The situation is very bad. It is spreading. I knew it was going to happen,” local environmentalist Niranta Gohain told AFP over the phone from the site.last_img read more