Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionEnjoyed article about 109-year-old womanYour May 7 story about Dorothy McClements and her family was such a nice way to start a day. Maureen VanHeusenSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Motorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashSchenectady High School senior class leaders look to salvage sense of normalcySchenectady department heads: Budget cutbacks would further stress already-stretched departmentsTroopers: Schenectady pair possessed heroin, crack cocaine in Orange County Thruway stop
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Ansu Fati became the youngest player ever to score a brace in La Liga on Sunday by capitalising on two brilliant Lionel Messi assists to give Barcelona a 2-1 victory over Levante. Fati, at 17 years and 94 days old, broke the previous record held by Juanmi Jimenez, who scored twice for Malaga against Real Zaragoza at 17 years and 115 days old in 2010. Messi teed up Fati’s quick-fire double with a defence-splitting pass and then a trademark weaving run before Ruben Rochina scored Levante’s goal in the 92nd minute, which really should have come sooner. Setien, who replaced Ernesto Valverde as coach last month, found his methods questioned and there was evidence against Levante to suggest he may have decided to introduce his style of play more gradually. Barca played with more urgency and ambition, their dominance of possession sacrificed occasionally for riskier passes forward. Yet Levante also pressed high and left gaps to be exploited, despite the likes of Valencia and Granada enjoying more success against Setien’s team by sitting deep and bursting out on the break. Fati has been one of the main beneficiaries of Setien’s arrival. He exploded onto the scene at the start of the season but was used increasingly rarely by Valverde, who may have been wary of burdening the teenager with too much too soon. Instead, Setien has started Fati in all five of his games in charge so far and this was the first time his faith has really been rewarded. “He is a boy who is emerging and has great potential,” Setien said. “Today he had a historic day for his goals and for helping the team.”Messi’s own excellent form also continues. He now has nine goals and four assists in his last 10 league games. His first set-up for Fati came from the centre circle where he played a reverse pass through three Levante players that sent clear his teammate, who cut inside Jorge Miramon and finished. – Handful of opportunities -Less than two minutes later, Fati was in again. Levante lost the ball upfield and Gerard Pique fired straight into Messi inside the right flank, midway inside the opposition’s half. He drove into the penalty area and when he finally stopped by a cluster of Levante chasers, he slid left to Fati, who fired through the legs of Aitor Fernandez for a second. Nelson Semedo crashed a shot against the crossbar and then hopped over Tono only for Antoine Griezmann to tap wide at the front post. But Levante were more dangerous in the second half and could have taken a draw if they had been more clinical with a handful of opportunities. The best of them fell to Gonzalo Melero, who blazed over, and by the time Rochina’s shot flew through one pair of legs and in off the hands of Marc-Andre ter Stegen, there were only two minutes remaining. There was time for one Levante attack and Sergio Busquets’ weak header gave Rochina another chance but he could not keep his shot down. Sevilla and Real Sociedad both lost ground in the race for Champions League qualification as Getafe beat Athletic Bilbao to climb to third. Real Sociedad lost 2-1 away at struggling Leganes while Sevilla were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Alaves. In between, Getafe had carved out a 2-0 victory away at Bilbao to put them in pole position behind Real Madrid and Barcelona.Jose Bordalas’ team are now ahead of Sevilla on goal difference, while Real Sociedad are five points further back.Getafe missed out on fourth on the final day of last season but they continue to prove their challenge was far from a one-off. Topics : Barca reduce the gap at the top to three points behind Real Madrid and begin to regain some rhythm under new coach Quique Setien after Thursday’s 5-0 thumping of Leganes in the Copa del Rey. “We could have won 8-2 or 8-3,” said Setien. “We lost a little control in the second half and conceded too much but it was a good job from the team.”Yet Levante should have converted more of a handful of excellent chances in the second half, that suggested Barcelona’s defensive problems and fragility when in the lead are far from solved. Leganes and Levante, who sit 18th and 13th respectively, offered a relatively straight-forward route back to winning ways too for Barcelona, who were wobbling last weekend when they followed a last-gasp win over Segunda side Ibiza with a convincing defeat by Valencia.
The use of wild animals for non-edible purposes, including scientific research, medical use and display, will be subject to strict examination, approval and quarantine inspection.Prior to the announcement, traders legally selling donkey, dog, deer, crocodile and other meat told Reuters they planned to get back to business as soon as the markets reopen.Many academics, environmentalists and residents in China have joined international conservation groups in calling for a permanent ban. Online debate within China has also heavily favored a permanent ban. Topics : China’s top legislature said it will immediately ban the trade and consumption of wild animals, in a fast-track decision it says will allow the country to win the battle against the coronavirus outbreak.The announcement, made late on Monday according to the official Xinhua News Agency, comes after an initial suspension of the trade and consumption of wildlife in January.Scientists suspect, but have not proven, that the new coronavirus passed to humans from animals. The disease has now killed almost 2,700 people in China and spread to countries around the globe. Some of the earliest infections were found in people who had exposure to a wildlife market in Hubei’s provincial capital Wuhan, where bats, snakes, civets and other animals were sold.”There has been a growing concern among people over the consumption of wild animals and the hidden dangers it brings to public health security since the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak,” said Zhang Tiewei, a spokesman for the top legislature’s Legislative Affairs Commission.Zhang said it was both urgent and necessary for the decision to be made at the “critical moment for the epidemic prevention and control”.The decision, made by the National People’s Congress, stipulates the illegal consumption and trade of wildlife will be “severely punished” as will be hunting, trading or transporting wild animals for the purpose of consumption.
Topics : National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia announced it expects its financial performance would be adversely affected by the global COVID-19 outbreak as it cancels more flights because countries around the world are struggling to limit the movement of people to contain the virus.The airline has been forced to cut flights to and from China and reduce the number to several other destinations, such as Singapore and Hong Kong.On Thursday, Garuda’s top executive said the airline was forced to halt even more after the Saudi government imposed a temporary ban on all umrah (minor haj) by foreigners because of the spread of the pneumonia-like illness. The COVID-19 outbreak, which according to Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering has infected more than 83,500 people worldwide and killed more than 2,800 as of Friday, has prompted several countries to impose travel bans or warnings in an effort to contain it.Indonesia’s tourism industry is expected to be hit hard as Chinese tourists were the second largest group of foreign visitors to the country last year.The government announced on Tuesday a stimulus package worth Rp 10.3 trillion ($742 million) to boost consumer spending and boost the tourism industry. Of that amount, about Rp 298.5 billion is to be channeled into incentives for airlines and travel agents to attract foreigners to Indonesia and another Rp 443.39 billion into discounts for domestic tourists visiting various attractions.“Hopefully, this one shall pass quickly, so we can recover fast,” Irfan said. Garuda Indonesia has stopped a total of 40 weekly flights from and to China and suspended its Denpasar-Hong Kong route, operating flights to and from Hong Kong from Jakarta. It has also reduced the frequency of flights between Jakarta and Singapore from 10 per day to only three. To cope up with the situation, Garuda wants to open new routes to replace the temporarily closed ones, such as by linking Denpasar with Brisbane, New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.Garuda is not alone. Several international airlines, such as British Airways, American Airlines, AirAsia and Cathay Pacific, have also suspended or reduced flights because of travel bans and falling demand. “This would potentially hit Garuda’s financial report this year,” Binaartha Sekuritas analyst Nafan Aji said on Thursday. “At times like this, government stimulus for the tourism and aviation sectors is very important to boost the industries and keep them surviving.” He expected the airline to implement strategic measures, such as cost efficiency and revenue maximization from other potential flights or new routes, to survive this situation. “It is inevitable that the [COVID-19] coronavirus outbreak would affect our revenue significantly,” Garuda president director Irfan Setiaputra told a press conference in Jakarta on Thursday. The Saudi travel ban has worsened the situation, he added, since the airline operated four daily flights to Mecca with wide-body aircraft. “However, we have yet to calculate the exact amount of the loss,” he said.Garuda Indonesia’s stocks, traded with the code GIAA on the Indonesia Stock Exchange, dropped by 5.63 percent following the statement. The stocks went further down by another 8.2 percent on Friday afternoon even as the bourse’s main gauge, the Jakarta Composite Index, plunged 3.47 percent.The airline booked US$122.8 million in profits from January to September last year as its revenues jumped by 10 percent annually to $3.54 billion. Its total liabilities were worth $3.5 billion as of September, a slight increase from the $3.4 billion in the corresponding period of 2018.
Production HaltedWhile viewing of live TV is also on the rise thanks to 24/7 coverage of the virus outbreak and more people being stuck at home, production of most TV shows and movies has halted for the foreseeable future, creating a potential shortage of new programming.Streaming services are in a good position because consumers look to them for their libraries of titles on demand — not a live feed — and they have already banked programs for release in the weeks ahead.Traditional TV networks must be on the air 24 hours a day, and outlets such as CBS, Turner and ESPN have scrambled to replace the live sports that have gone on hiatus.That’s opened the door to unconventional forms of programming, from marble rolling to live in-home concerts. Singer John Legend performed from his home Tuesday, streaming live on Instagram for an audience that reached almost 100,000 people.An avatar is displayed in an arranged photograph of the Honour of Kings mobile game, developed by Tencent Holdings Ltd., in Hong Kong, China, on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. (Bloomberg/Justin Chin)Streaming of GamesOne industry that may face minimal disruption from the pandemic is video games, which participants have long enjoyed and played without being in the same place.The audience at Twitch, which lets viewers see gamers compete via livestreams, has increased 10 percent in the past few days, according to Doron Nir, CEO of StreamElements, a provider of tools and services to the industry. And YouTube Gaming is up 15 percent, he said.“With more stay-at-home mandates being issued around the world and the entertainment industry finding new ways to migrate their offerings to livestreaming platforms, we expect to see these numbers rise,” he said in an email.David Steinberg, who is 27 and streams himself playing video games, saw an influx of viewers in recent weeks as more people have been staying home.“Now that sports are canceled — NBA, PGA — they are just out of stuff to watch,” he said. “I am a one-man army here in my basement and I can still create content. And with so many people looking online — especially on Facebook, where they check how is their family is doing — it’s been good.”An increase in viewers could translate into more revenue from advertisers or sponsors looking to reach that captive audience, unless, that is, those companies tighten their belts, too. Steinberg says his total audience across sites like Facebook and YouTube is 3.5 million.“I’ve gotten thousands of messages from people,” Steinberg said.Topics : A pedestrian holds an umbrella and her phone while wearing a protective mask in the SoHo neighborhood of New York, U.S., on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. (Bloomberg/Demetrius Freeman)“While video streaming is far from the most important thing on the world agenda, it is an industry that indirectly will see a major shift due to the crisis,” said Sean Doherty, Wurl’s chief executive officer.Driving that growth is the collapse of many leisure and entertainment activities because of the virus, from restaurants and movie theaters to professional sports and concerts.Media companies have torn up their normal strategies to satisfy growing demand for programming from people stuck at home. Universal Pictures, the studio division of cable giant Comcast Corp., will offer three movies for rental at home before they leave theaters, while Walt Disney Co. released “Frozen 2” on its streaming services months ahead of schedule. For years, TV executives have fretted there is too much TV. Now, with the coronavirus looming large, they are worried there might not be enough.Because of the pandemic, streaming surged this past weekend, according to Wurl, a company that delivers video and advertising to connected TVs. The amount of time people spent streaming spiked by more than 20 percent worldwide, including more than 40 percent in Austria and Spain.While streaming services haven’t commented on any increases in traffic, researchers are seeing more activity places like Netflix and Twitch, the online gaming network owned by Amazon.com. Installs of the Netflix app leaped 34 percent last week in Spain and 57 percent in Italy, according to SensorTower. Italy has the second-most coronavirus cases worldwide, after China.
Chelsea will provide free accommodation to staff of Britain’s National Health Service in a hotel at the club’s Stamford Bridge stadium during the coronavirus pandemic.The Premier League club’s owner, Roman Abramovich, will fund the service that will allow medical professionals in London a chance to rest if they are unable to travel home or face long commutes.The scheme will be put in place for two months, but could be extended if needed. There have been 1,950 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 71 deaths in Britain.”It was decided the best way Chelsea can assist the NHS is to provide accommodation for NHS staff. Mr Abramovich will be covering the costs of providing the accommodation,” Chelsea said in a statement.”Many of the medical staff will be working long shifts and may not be able to travel home or would otherwise have to make long commutes. Local accommodation helps maintain the health and well-being of these crucial personnel at this critical time.”Manchester United legend Gary Neville followed Chelsea’s example, announcing the two hotels he co-owns will be opened to NHS staff in Manchester free of charge. Neville’s hotels will close to the public over the weekend before the 176 beds are opened up to hospital staff.”It is at this moment in time the whole of our industry needs to show solidarity, not just for our staff in these uncertain times, but for the people who need the accommodation most in the coming months,” Neville said.”It is something we are delighted to have been able to come to an agreement with.”Chelsea do not know when they will next return to the pitch, with the Premier League suspended until at least April 4, although the date is set to be pushed back at a meeting of Premier League clubs on Thursday.In the absence of any matches to entertain the public, Chelsea and Neville are latest from the football community to make an offer of community support at this time of crisis.Liverpool players contributed to a £40,000 ($48,000) donation from the club to help keep local foodbanks running.Aston Villa and Brighton were among the clubs to donate food prepared for last weekend’s matches to homeless charities. Topics :
Juliari went on to say that the government might add more people to the list of the assistance beneficiaries following Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan’s request for aid for laid-off daily workers in the capital.“We will decide the number immediately but each person will receive staple food packages worth Rp 600,000. […] They don’t have to have a Jakarta ID card, but they must be laid-off daily workers who live in Jakarta.”The minister also said the government would start disbursing staple food packages in Jakarta worth Rp 200,000 to mark the beginning of the social safety net program.In addition to the staple food package program, the government has also prepared a monthly cash transfers (BLT) program of Rp 600,000 for each underprivileged family across the country for three months.Read also: Indonesia’s COVID-19 stimulus playbook explainedThe BLT program is designated for people ineligible for the Family Hope Program and staple food packages programs.“The President has approved BLT disbursement for all families in our database. There are approximately 9 million families designated to receive the aid.”The government is confident, the minister added, that it will be able to protect the bottom 40 percent affected by the outbreak by increasing the capacity of the PKH and staple food package program.“Especially for the PKH beneficiaries, they can get cash transfers every month until December this year.” The government will disburse social assistance funds and staple food packages starting late April to more than 3 million low-income families in Greater Jakarta affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.Social Affairs Minister Juliari Batubara said on Tuesday that the number of beneficiaries would be around 2.5 million people in Jakarta, as well as 1.6 million in its satellite cities of Tangerang in Banten as well as Bogor, Depok and Bekasi in West Java. Topics : Each person will receive a staple food package worth Rp 150,000 (US$37) every week for three months starting April. “We can start delivering on April 20,” Juliari said.The minister added that the staple food package disbursement was part of the social safety net programs requested by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to assist people whose incomes had been affected by the outbreak but could not return to their hometowns.Read also: Govt to give cash aid to 4.1 million people affected by COVID-19 in Greater Jakarta”We are aware that Ramadan is approaching. This is for people who cannot participate in the Idul Fitri mudik [exodus], while they have no income at the same time.”
The government has announced that it is to provide interest subsidies for small borrowers in banks and finance companies to help small businesses cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the government, the Financial Services Authority (OJK) and Bank Indonesia (BI) were currently finalizing the regulations as a response to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s call for financial assistance for small businesses to survive the pandemic. “[Those people], for example, have borrowed money to buy motorcycles to run a business, such as ojek [motorcycle taxi] drivers. They will be treated according to the same policy that is applied to [KUR borrowers],” added Sri Mulyani.Similar to KUR, the small borrowers are also eligible for relief in the form of delays in interest payments for six months. The full interest subsidy is to be applied in the first three months of the relief program, while the half subsidy is to be applied in the latter three months.The policy, she asserted, would involve banks and financial institutions with a good track record.“The government will avoid moral hazard. The track record of the financial institutions is very important. We’re making policies to help the people but we want to remain prudent,” added the finance minister.Read also: COVID-19: Govt to give Rp 5m aid to shops, ‘ojol’ drivers as business slows downCooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises Ministry acting finance deputy Hanung Harimba Rachman estimated that 70 percent of the total existing KUR entities would be able to join a business restructuring program with the government’s interest subsidy.However, those entities are required to have loan-quality classifications described as Collectability One (pass) and Collectability Two (special mention) and to have no major cash flow problems before the pandemic.”We have submitted an additional budget to the Finance Ministry for this program,” Hanung said in a virtual meeting with House of Representatives Commission VI overseeing SMEs on Wednesday.Topics : The subsidy will be designed for individuals as well as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with the financing capped at Rp 500 million (US$32,269), which is the credit limit in the government’s microcredit program (KUR).“We are working on regulations for small borrowers in banks, whose loan sizes are almost the same as entities in the KUR program. They’re not KUR [entities], but they borrow money from finance companies,” Sri Mulyani said on Wednesday.Read also: Indonesia to issue larger tax breaks to cover 11 more sectorsShe said that businesses that borrow from finance companies were in a similar situation to KUR entities as they carried the “same burden”.
Former Indonesian Military (TNI) commander Gen. (Ret.) Djoko Santoso died at the age of 67 on Sunday morning at the Gatot Subroto Army Hospital (RSPAD).Gerindra Party politician Habiburokhman confirmed the death of his fellow party politician on Sunday.“He died this morning, a few days after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage,” Habiburokhman said as quoted by kompas.com. Djoko had been hospitalized since May 2 and underwent surgery for a cerebral hemorrhage the day after. Born in Surakarta, Central Java on Sept. 8, 1952, Djoko was known as a prominent military figure. He graduated from the Military Academy in 1975 and held various high-ranking positions in the army, including chief of the Pattimura Military Command in Maluku from 2002 to 2003 and chief of the Jayakarta Military Command in Jakarta in 2003.He served as army chief of staff from 2005 to 2007, before being appointed as TNI commander by then-president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in 2007, a position he held until his retirement in 2010.In 2015, he joined the Gerindra Party and was appointed deputy of the party’s steering committee. During the 2019 presidential election, Djoko Santoso chaired the Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno campaign team.He is survived by his wife Angky Retno Yudianto and three children. (trn)Topics :