first_imgMost mosques in Tangerang, Banten are holding Friday prayers on March 20 despite a warning from the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) to suspend the mass prayers, especially in areas hit by COVID-19. Friday prayers at mosques are commonly believed to be obligatory for Muslim men in place of noon prayer. Before praying, a sermon is given that can last up to 45 minutes.Keepers at Great Al-Azhom Mosque in Tangerang said they would still hold Friday prayers with a shorter sermon. They also advised the congregation to bring their own prayer mats. Topics : The MUI previously issued a fatwa advising Muslims against praying in congregation in areas where COVID-19 had spread “uncontrollably”, including skipping “Friday prayers in those areas until the situation returns to normal”. The council has also urged the government to map areas with outbreaks of COVID-19 following the fatwa.Al-Azhom mosque keeper Chaerudin, however, said the decision to hold Friday prayers was made after consulting with MUI Tangerang.“Because as of now, Tangerang is not a red zone [where COVID-19 has spread uncontrollably]. So we’ve agreed to hold Friday prayers,” Chaerudin said Friday as quoted by also said the mosque would be disinfected and cleaned beforehand, adding that the mosque’s keepers would check the body temperature of attendees at the mosque gates.“If someone has a fever, we will tell them to go home,” he said, as the fatwa also prohibited individuals with COVID-19 from attending congregational prayers. (mfp)last_img read more

first_imgIndoor dining in cafes and restaurants will resume on Friday, he said, with social distancing of 1.5 meters between groups.Marriages and funerals will also be allowed if the attendees wore face masks and kept two meters distance from each other.Bettel however said cafes and restaurants would have to close at midnight.Francois Koepp, the general secretary of the Horeca federation grouping hotels, restaurants and cafes, welcomed the announcement, saying the sector had “greatly suffered from the confinement”. Topics : He said it provided employment to some 21,000 people in this nation of 620,000 inhabitants.Cinema theatres and gyms will open at the end of the week but children’s parks will remain closed.The government has pledged to give every citizen over 16 a voucher worth 50 euros ($54) to spend in hotels to provide a boost to the sector.The vouchers will also be given to some 200,000 cross border workers from Belgium, France and Germany.center_img Luxembourg will ease its coronavirus restrictions on Wednesday, reopening cafes and restaurants and allowing civil and religious ceremonies under strict conditions, the government announced.The tiny country has so far registered only 3,993 COVID-19 cases, of which 110 have been fatal. Four people are in intensive care and shops were closed on March 18 to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.Prime Minister Xavier Bettel told a news conference on Monday that eateries could reopen terraces with a maximum of four people at a single table.last_img read more

first_imgBeasiswa Sobat Bumi Pertamina (Pertamina Friends of the Earth Grant) has announced 285 recipients of the 2020 grants. They are students from 25 universities nationwide. “After conducting a selection process involving experts, practitioners and academics as judges, we’ve named 285 students who were qualified to receive the grants,” Pertamina Foundation president director Agus Mashud S. Asngari said in a statement on Sunday.The grants are aimed at bright students who are excellent in academics, have a vision and are concerned about environmental issues. “For the 2020 grants, 50 percent of the recipients are those who really need financial assistance and are affected by COVID-19. It was a challenge for us to select the 285 students out of 6,848 applicants due to their respective potential,” said Agus. Read also: COVID-19: Pertamina Foundation provides housing for medical workers at referral hospitalStudent Arsalan Umar of Pertamina University said he was excited to be named a grant recipient in the Sobat Bumi program.“It is time for me to conquer challenges, to grow even more and to inspire as well as motivate other young people. Thank you Pertamina and the Pertamina Foundation for the grant. I hope more students receive such support,” Arsalan said on Monday.This year, Sobat Bumi offered three types of financial support for students on regular bachelor’s degree programs, in affirmation programs and vocational programs. The aid falls under the PF Prestasi program, which belongs to the Pertamina Foundation, launched in 2011. The 2020 scholarship received online applications between April 18 and May 5.Topics :last_img read more

first_imgSecond, the country needs to create a much more flexible labour market. Sharma argues that the Modi government, despite having the first majority in 30 years, still repeats the mantra that labour law reform is subject to the unions’ approval, and that it must not be biased towards the employer. The problem is that, with very inflexible labour markets, employers fear they cannot make staff redundant easily, even if the companies are facing losses that deter investment in industry in large parts of the country.Modi, it seems, has dismissed ‘hire and fire’ as a “Western concept”, not in keeping with Indian culture. Such an attitude, while great for those already in employment, is not so good for those seeking it. It is also arguably one of the reasons why the UK and US are experiencing more vibrant economies than many European countries such as France, which also has more rigid labour laws.Third, Sharma argues that the country needs genuine administrative reform. It is the incapacity and inefficiency of the state, he says, that poses the greatest hurdle for the economy – as anyone who has experienced Indian bureaucracy can testify. In particular, ministries need to become policy-making, not rule-making, centres, with independent agencies and regulators empowered to make the rules instead.Fourth, Sharma argues that India needs to reform its budget and expenditure mechanism. Making the Union Budget use accrual-based accounting instead of a cash-based one, he says, would increase transparency while cutting the Union government out of the process of disbursing monies to the states for schemes they are implementing and evaluating.What irks Sharma most is the government’s astounding timidity on reform. In principle, any major reform creates losers as well as winners, yet the economy as a whole is better off. What should be a worry is whether Modi’s administration becomes hijacked by vested interests that thwart the promises of change that swept him into power.Joseph Mariathasan is a contributing editor at IPE The prime minister’s timidity in the face of much-needed reform is astonishing, writes Joseph MariathasanIndia’s growth rate is now comparable with China’s, but it still lags far behind in many respects, most notably in the state of its infrastructure. India’s current prime minister, Narendra Modi, came into power in May 2014 on a wave of optimism and hope that his administration would finally produce the changes required to transform the economy. More than two years later, there has certainly been some changes, accompanied by much hype, but many commentators are disappointed and frustrated by his inability to create the “Big Bang” changes the economy requires.Economist Mihir Sharma argues there are four key problems the Modi administration has failed to tackle.First, he says, India should be privatising those businesses that governments should not be in. The most notable example is the national carrier, Air India, which Sharma describes as a national disgrace in terms of service quality. It is seen as a bottomless sink for taxpayer rupees and a constant source of undercutting and instability in the aviation sector. He, along with many others, argue that dozens of Indian public sector units are a drain on public resources and productive capacity, and should be sold off.last_img read more

first_imgStrong investment performance and increased deficit contributions by employers were behind the reduction in the aggregate deficit, according to Barnett Waddingham.“This is the third year in a row that deficit contributions have increased, suggesting that the FTSE350 companies are stepping up their commitment to paying down DB pension scheme deficits,” it said.However, the report also found that the average deficit contribution paid by FTSE350 companies as a proportion of dividends remained at 10% in 2017.The firm speculated that the Pensions Regulator may be concerned that around 43 companies boosted dividend payments while at the same time reducing deficit contributions. “However, within this group there will be some companies who agreed to pay higher levels of contributions in the short term, which have now done their job in reducing the DB deficit,” it commented.“It is only right that they can now return to more normal contribution levels,” the firm added.Nick Griggs, partner at Barnett Waddingham, said that while the deficit shrinkage was positive news, it would not take much to tip the balance the other way.“Our analysis suggests that a 0.5% fall in bond yields in 2017 would have pushed the aggregate deficit of the FTSE350 DB schemes up to £85bn,” he said.“With the health of the UK and global economy threatened by a lack of progress with Brexit and the threat of a trade war from Trump’s America First assault, there could a major impact on the size of pension deficits and the ability of FTSE350 companies to pay the contributions needed to clear these,” Griggs warned.Separately, consultancy Mercer earlier this month released figures quantifying the likely size of UK DB deficits for FTSE350 companies, saying the aggregate pension deficit had more than halved in 2018 so far, improving by a total of £40bn from £72bn at the start of the year to £32bn.With its figures compiled on a different basis to those from Barnett Waddingham, Mercer included data for July as well as the first half.In July, both asset values and liabilities had risen and the deficit had increased by £3bn compared to £29bn at the end of June, the firm said. Pension deficits at major UK companies have fallen sharply in the first half of this year, but are still susceptible to bond yield shifts, according to a new report.Consultancy Barnett Waddingham estimated the aggregate defined benefit (DB) pension scheme deficit for companies in the FTSE350 index was around £35bn (€38.9bn) on an accounting basis at the end of June 2018, down from £55bn at the end of last year. At the beginning of last year the aggregate deficit stood at £62bn.The £35bn deficit compares to FTSE350 companies’ total pre-tax profits of £210bn, putting the collective deficit at 17% of total corporate profits compared with 70% 18 months ago, according to the firm’s latest report analysing the impact of DB pensions on UK business.This bucks the trend seen since 2011, where deficits steadily increased as a proportion of pre-tax profits from a low of 25% and hitting a peak of 70% in 2016, the firm said.last_img read more

first_imgDenmark-based offshore wind O&M service provider ZITON completed three maintenance projects at UK offshore wind farms this month. The company’s team on board its jack-up vessel Wind Enterprise has exchanged gearboxes on two out of the 30 Senvion (REpower) 5 MW wind turbines at the Ormonde offshore wind farm. In addition, ZITON reported at the beginning of August that it completed a blade exchange on the Kentish Flats offshore wind farm, which comprises 30 Vestas 3 MW wind turbines. At the beginning of this month, ZITON also completed a full-scope gearbox exchange at the Teesside Wind Farm (also knows as Redcar Wind Farm), which features 27 Siemens Gamesa 2.3 MW turbines. center_img The work was carried out in mid-August with both gearboxes exchanged within four days. “This specific type of gearbox is notorious for minimum tolerances, hence requires a very experienced team to guarantee successful exchange”, the company said via social media. last_img read more

first_imgThe selling price of a shoulder bag isP350 each, he added.    Iris Ellaine Gail Dingcong, officer ofthe Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Antique, said the table utensilsmade of bamboo materials won as the “best eco-luxury homestyle” while the“buri” shoulder bag won as the “best eco-luxury fashion and wearables” during acontest which wrapped up last week. “The selling price of a set ofutensils with pouch is P250,” he added. Dingcong added the table utensils weremade by the Sibalom Bamboo Craft Makers Association and the shoulder bag wasmade by the United Group of Weavers. Aside from the shoulder bag, theUnited Group of Weavers, composed of 40 members mostly beneficiaries of thePantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, also makes shoeboxes and mats for theirlivelihood.(With a report from PNA/PN) “I am inspired by the outcome of mynewly innovated table utensils made of bamboo,” said Isaias Fabillo, head ofthe Sibalom Bamboo Craft Makers Association. “The judge chose our entry because itis purely made of natural material,” he said.  The set of bamboo utensils in a “buri” pouch won as the best eco-luxury homestyle during the Panublion Trade Fair at a mall in Iloilo City. The utensils were made by the Sibalom Bamboo Craft Makers Association. PNA/ANNABEL CONSUELO J. PETINGLAY center_img SAN JOSE, Antique – Two products fromthe province bagged the top awards during the five-day Panublion Trade Fair ata mall in Iloilo City.  Meanwhile, Jhon Wilson Hernaez of theUnited Group of Weavers said the “buri” shoulder bag is a product of theircreativity and the technical assistance they received from DTI-Antique. “I make spoon, fork and table knifewhich I put inside a ‘buri’ pouch,” he added. He said the materials for each set ofutensils cost P100 while the “buri” pouch costs around P50. She said micro small and mediumentrepreneurs (MSMEs) from the different provinces of Western Visayasparticipated in the Punublion Trade Fair organized by the DTI-6.  “DTI has taught us a good colorcombination to make our product more attractive,” Hernaez added, saying “buri”is abundant in the mountainous area of Anini-y, Antique.last_img read more

first_imgNo. 10 seed Syracuse (22-13, 9-9 Atlantic Coast) will take on No. 1 seed Virginia (29-7, 13-5) at 6:09 p.m. Sunday in the Elite Eight. The Orange is coming off a dramatic win over 11th-seeded Gonzaga (28-8, 15-3 West Coast) to advance to its third Elite Eight in five years.Here’s how beat writers Sam Blum, Jesse Dougherty and Matt Schneidman predict the matchup to unfold.Sam Blum (21-14)Virginia 68, Syracuse 60Game over AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse’s season has officially been defined by this incredible NCAA Tournament run. By the time the Orange takes the court on Sunday, there will only be five teams left vying for an National Championship. This year, because of that, has been a success. The image of Tyler Lydon’s block will never be forgotten. But Virginia is the best team left in this Tournament. It might have been the best when it began. It dictates tempo and scores in bunches and play fantastic defense. It’s really hard to beat that team. This will be a good game, but it will also be SU’s last.Jesse Dougherty (23-12)Virginia 59, Syracuse 54Hoo?Syracuse is obviously on a very big high, but Virginia looked awesome in its lopsided win over Iowa State on Friday and does not look like a No. 1 seed that’s going to lose to a No. 10. The Cyclones dropped into a 2-3 zone for some of that game, and Cavaliers point guard London Perrantes looked like a one-man wrecking ball against it. And while the Orange zone is way better than whatever ISU patched together, Perrantes’ keen ability to find the cracks and open teammates will translate (enough) to breaking down SU’s defense. Michael Gbinije was the man against Gonzaga, but first-team All-American Malcolm Brogdon wasn’t on the court. Now he is, and that’s trouble for Syracuse’s most consistent source of offense.Matt Schneidman (25-10)Virginia 71, Syracuse 66Broken slipperRegardless of whether Syracuse takes down the top-seeded Cavaliers or not, this run has been a magical one for the Orange. It has a chance to be the highest-ever seed to win a national title, but those hopes come crashing down at the hands of an efficient, stingy Virginia team that boasts a deadly balance of offensive and defensive prowess. SU doesn’t play badly by any means, but its ACC foe, led by Brogdon and Perrantes, is simply too good offensively and a Cinderella run comes to an end in Chicago. Comments Published on March 26, 2016 at 1:36 pm Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Related Stories Syracuse-Virginia basketball Elite Eight game time set for 6:09 p.m. SundayDougherty: Ignorance is bliss (or something like that) for Syracuse’s three freshmenMichael Gbinije carries Syracuse offensively in 63-60 victory over GonzagaSyracuse escapes nail-biter with 63-60 win over Gonzaga in Sweet 16Inside the final 11.2 seconds of Syracuse’s 63-60 Sweet 16 win over Gonzagalast_img read more

first_imgThe 1994 Major League Baseball strike started on Aug. 12, 1994, and 25 years later the effects of the work stoppage have not been forgotten.  There was no World Series that year, and baseball fans had to wait until April 25, 1995, for meaningful baseball. It’s looking back at what could have been that hurts most when breaking down what the 1994 strike took away.   MORE: Watch live MLB games all season long on fuboTV (7-day free trial)Here are the seven worst things about it. Home run chase cut shortRoger Maris held the single-season record with 61 homers at that point, but San Francisco’s Matt Willilams (43) and Seattle’s Ken Griffey Jr. (40) were making an honest run at the record. Williams was on pace for 62 home runs, and Griffey was on pace for 58 — which would have been a career high for the Hall of Fame slugger. Griffey had cooled off with eight homers in July and August, but Williams was still on a consistent pace with 14 homers through those two months.  Maddux’s ERA would be even better  Greg Maddux was 16-6 with a 1.56 ERA through 25 starts at that point in the season. The only two pitchers who had a lower ERA in a single season since 1919 were Bob Gibson at 1.12 in 1968 and Dwight Gooden at 1.53 in 1985. Maddux would post a 1.63 ERA in 1995 as part of an incredible two-year run. Gwynn’s pursuit of .400 cut shortTony Gwynn won eight batting titles, but it was the 1994 season when he made a run at becoming the first person since Ted Williams to hit .400. Gwynn was trending upward, too, with a .423 average over 28 games after the All-Star break and a .475 average in 10 August games. Gwynn, Todd Helton and Ichiro Suzuki are tied for the highest single-season average since 1994 at .372.  Thrilling pennant races diedThe White Sox had a one-game lead on the Indians in the AL Central. The Rangers were up one game on the Athletics in the AL West. The Reds and Astros were separated by a half-game in the NL Central and the Giants were within 3.5 games of the Dodgers in the NL West. Compare that to this year, where the AL Central and NL Central are the only divisions where the gap is fewer than 6.5 games.   The Yankees’ dynasty was alteredThe Yankees — led by manager Buck Showalter — had the best record in American League at 70-43. Paul O’Neill led the AL in batting average (.359). Jimmy Key led the majors with 17 wins. The Yankees would lose the ALDS the following season, and Joe Torre replaced Showalter in 1996. The rest is history, but it might have been different had 1994 played out.  The Montreal Expos, of course Everybody knows this one by now. The Expos had the best record in baseball at 74-40. Felipe Alou had a loaded team that featured Larry Walker, Cliff Floyd, Moises Alou and Marquis Grissom at the plate and a rotation led by Ken Hill and Pedro Martinez. John Wetteland closed the door. The Expos, however, never got a chance to make their first World Series. Montreal never finished higher than second in the NL East after the strike before moving to Washington in 2005.  The damage still lingersBaseball’s reputation took a huge hit. Not playing the World Series had a devastating long-term effect on the sport. The seeds for the Steroid Era were planted, and stars such as Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens are not in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The last World Series to clear a 20 in average Nielsen Rating was in 1992. The sport continues to have debates about unwritten rules and is dealing with attendance issues. In 2018, attendance dipped below 70 million for the first time since 2003.last_img read more

first_imgLiverpool bank on stability over signings to end 30-year title waitLiverpool, United Kingdom | AFP | Missing out on the Premier League title despite a record-breaking campaign was eased by winning a sixth European Cup for Liverpool last season, but ending a 30-year wait to be crowned English champions is now more important than ever on Merseyside.Jurgen Klopp’s men are expected to strike first blood in the title race when they kick off the Premier League season against newly-promoted Norwich under the Friday night lights of Anfield.However, unlike most of their competitors who have delved into the arms race for talent in another transfer window where Premier League clubs have spent over £1 billion ($1.2 billion), the European champions have been conspicuously quiet in the transfer market.Teenage talents Sepp van den Berg and Harvey Elliott have been snapped up with an eye to the future, while Spanish goalkeeper Adrian will replace Simon Mignolet as back-up to Alisson Becker in three low-key arrivals.Klopp, though, believes the foundations are already in place for another tilt at the title after spending over £230 million in the past two years on the likes of Alisson, Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah.“You should never do transfers because other clubs are doing transfers,” Klopp told Sky Sports.“That makes no sense, it’s not about that. And if you sit back for a second and have a look at the squad, do we need more players?”On the evidence of last season, there is precious little for Liverpool to improve on. – Man City set the bar –A Premier League points tally of 97 would have won the title in any season bar the last two as Manchester City have set a new bar under Pep Guardiola.City have further strengthened the squad that won a first ever domestic treble of trophies in England last season with the club record signing of Spanish midfielder Rodri and will be the benchmark for Liverpool to beat.A 1-1 draw between the sides, with City edging a penalty shootout 5-4, in the Community Shield last weekend again highlighted how little there is to separate the English and European champions.Yet, in contrast to last season when Liverpool were the least affected of England’s big six by the late return to pre-season of players at the World Cup, Klopp has a tougher time in ensuring his side hit the ground running.The prolific front three of Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane were all involved in international tournaments again this summer.Liverpool have decided against investing heavily in back-up for that trio and their presence was missed in a bumpy pre-season that saw an under-strength side beaten by Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla and Napoli.But Klopp believes the squad he has assembled will be bolstered by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana and Rhian Brewster’s return to fitness, while Naby Keita can have a bigger impact in his second season in English football.“People think that players from other clubs, other countries, are better than the players we have here but without really having the proof, because those players haven’t played here,” he said.“It means whoever wants to start has to be at his top level. We have proper competition and that’s exactly what you need.”Winning the Champions League also booked Liverpool’s place in next week’s UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup in December, meaning they have five trophies to play for this season.However, it is ending 30 years of hurt by winning a 19th league title come May that will determine whether Liverpool’s season has been a success or failure.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more