Month: October 2020

Vets help preserve best country in world

first_imgSinger/song-writer Lee Greenwood recorded so elegantly “God Bless the USA.”On my mind constantly are the veterans of this United States of America.So exquisite Lee Greenwood wrote the lyrics.The Stars and Stripes flying, the National Anthem playing, leave no void of what we so fortunately have and are responsible for preserving.When the world is evaluated, the United States of America, though not perfect, is the best in the world.Les HassanEsperanceMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Find alternatives to arming teachers

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionThere are problems with arming teachers and setting up metal detectors in schools in order to deter school shootings. Money is one problem. Schools already are underfunded, and using tax dollars to arm and train teachers would be an incredible waste. Five hundred dollars for a metal detector might sound cheap. But to a school that can barely afford school supplies for teachers and students, it isn’t.Another problem is that armed teachers and metal detectors don’t actually address the issue of gun violence. Things like licenses, registrations and insurance for guns could help the problem. Raise the legal age to buy a gun. If the drinking age is 21 because people can’t drink responsibly when they are younger, then they probably can’t use a gun responsibly either. Taylor WilliamGlenvilleMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img read more

PFI ‘bank’ could be shunned

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West Yorkshire retail: Prime movers

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More Regus in Thames Valley

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Diary of… a rent review surveyor

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COVID-19: West Java medical personnel forced to use raincoats in lieu of hazmat suits

first_imgDue to the limited availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as hazmat suits, medical personnel from a state-owned hospital in Tasikmalaya, West Java were forced to wear disposable plastic raincoats when transporting patients under observation for COVID-19. Medical personnel from the Soekardjo Regional General Hospital were seen wearing blue plastic raincoats while transferring a suspected COVID-19 patient to an ambulance on Saturday. The patient was about to be transferred to the Gunung Jati general hospital. “Yes, it’s true that our staff were wearing normal raincoats,” Tasikmalaya Health Agency head Uus Supangat said on Wednesday as reported by tribunnews.com. “The city [administration] bought 100 plastic raincoats at the store for a total of Rp 1 million [US$69].” Uus said his agency was aware that raincoats did not provide sufficient protection when moving suspected COVID-19 patients according to standard operational procedures, but they forced to use what was at hand because proper PPEs were not available at the time.“Right now there are only 10 sets of PPEs [in the city] and they are spread around several hospitals in Tasikmalaya,” he said.Tasikmalaya Mayor Budi Budiman confirmed the limited supply of PPEs in Tasikmalaya and said his administration had requested that the Health Ministry provide additional equipment. (roi)Topics :last_img read more

COVID-19: Govt forgoes ‘mudik’ ban to prevent economic collapse, Luhut says

first_imgCoordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, who is also acting transportation minister, said that the government decided to allow an Idul Fitri mudik (exodus) during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite also appealing to the public not to do it, for economic reasons.“Our main consideration is to prevent the economy from stopping altogether. After we calculated everything, [having no lockdown] is our best option among a number of flawed options,” Luhut said during a virtual press briefing from the Presidential Palace on Thursday. “Based on these considerations, we advised the President […] and he agreed that [if we ban mudik] it would affect low-income households the most.”He added that the decision was also taken based on the government’s modeling, which he said showed that the country’s hot weather and high humidity would slow the virus. “Even if we choose to prohibit people from mudik, they’d do it anyway. Therefore we decided to tell them instead that mudik will bring the disease to their families so it’s better not to do it,” he added.Luhut said the people who choose not to mudik would be given an as yet undisclosed amount of compensation.Earlier on Thursday, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said there would be no official ban on mudik, asking local authorities to monitor potential virus carriers instead.The decision was made despite calls from public health experts and regional heads for the government to impose a lockdown for “red zone” areas, such as Jakarta, to prevent the disease from spreading farther across the island of Java.According to the central government’s official count, there were 1,790 confirmed COVID-19 cases nationwide as of Thursday, 897 of which were in Jakarta. Topics :last_img read more

Hit by sharp ad decline, India’s newspapers cut jobs and salaries

first_imgIndia’s vibrant newspaper industry that reaches tens of millions of readers daily has been ravaged by declining advertising revenues due to a nationwide lockdown to fight the coronavirus, pushing leading titles to slash jobs and salaries.Advertising revenues at some top dailies published by market leader The Times Group and publisher ABP Group have nosedived as businesses slash ad spending to conserve cash, senior executives said.”Our print advertisement revenue, which is 80% to 85% of our total revenue, is almost zero post lockdown,” said D. D. Purkayastha, chief executive of ABP, which publishes English-language daily The Telegraph and top Bengali language newspaper Anandabazar Patrika. India has extended a nationwide lockdown to May 3 to fight the coronavirus that has so far infected more than 12,000 and killed over 400 people. India has said it will allow opening up of only some industries after April 20.Ad spending The Hindustan Times, another leading publisher, on Thursday said it was moving between 5% and 15% of salaries to variable pay linked to the company’s performance, an internal memo seen by Reuters said.Indian companies last year spent nearly $9 billion on advertising, including about $2.6 billion on print media, according to Pitch Madison advertising report this year.The Indian Newspaper Society, which represents around 1,000 publishers, has estimated the industry could lose $2 billion over the next six to seven months. It has sought federal support via a 50% increase in government advertisement rates.The 88-year-old Indian Express this month also announced pay cuts of up to 30% for some staff and warned of more sacrifices to come. “If the situation continues this proposed reduction in salary will also not be enough for us to see through this crisis,” an internal staff memo seen by Reuters said.The Dainik Bhaskar group, whose Hindi newspaper has the largest circulation of any in India, said it had restructured pay for roughly 1,000 employees, or 12% of its workforce, by introducing a variable component dependent on the group’s performance.”This is to face the situation,” said the group’s human resources head Ravi Gupta.  The Times of India, among the world’s largest circulating English-language dailies, has shrunk to around 16 pages with supplements, compared with 40 plus pages previously, as ads from companies have stopped, said one Times employee.The Times this week laid off some staff on its Sunday magazine team, a move two journalists told Reuters had sparked fears among staff about further job losses.”There is tension and people are only praying. Who knows what will happen, but everybody is expecting pay cuts,” said one Times Group business journalist, who declined to be named.The Times Group did not respond to a request for comment.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Australia to force Google, Facebook to pay for news content

first_imgAustralia announced Monday it will begin forcing Google and Facebook to pay news companies for content, in a landmark move aimed at shielding traditional media from the tech giants’ digital dominance.Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said a mandatory code of conduct to be unveiled by July would require the firms to reimburse Australian media companies for using their news and other content.”What we want to see is a level playing field. What we want to see here is a fair go for the companies and for the journalistic content that is prepared,” he told Channel 7. “That hasn’t made meaningful progress so now we are taking the decisive decision to create a mandatory code, seeking to be the first country in the world to ensure that these social media giants pay for content,” he said.A similar move by Spain saw Google shut down its News service there in 2014, while the company has threatened to do the same in response to the new French laws.Australia’s new regulations will also cover the sharing of data, and the ranking and display of news content, to be enforced by binding dispute resolution mechanisms and penalties.An estimated 17 million Australians use Facebook each month and spend an average of 30 minutes on the platform a day, while 98 percent of Australian mobile searches use Google. Topics :center_img It comes just weeks after France’s competition authority ordered Google to negotiate with publishers over payments to reuse snippets of content in its news aggregator and Google Search.Google and Facebook have had a huge impact on Australia’s news industry, with the number of newspaper and online journalists falling more than 20 percent since 2014 as digital advertising revenues were overwhelmingly captured by the two titans.The new regulations follow an 18-month inquiry into the power of digital platforms by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which recommended an overhaul of existing regulations.Frydenberg said the government was imposing the measures after discussions on a voluntary code failed to make headway, with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on advertising revenues hastening the need for action.last_img read more