Who’ll get your vote?

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Forty specimens tested negative for Wuhan coronavirus: Ministry

first_imgThe Health Ministry revealed Wednesday that 40 specimens of individuals being monitored for the novel coronavirus have tested negative, while two others are still under observation.Anung Sugihantono, the ministry’s disease control and environmental health director general, said the ministry’s medical research and training agency had gathered data from across the country.The Health Ministry was collaborating with regional health agencies as well as private and public health service centers in monitoring the suspected cases, he said.”We are still monitoring public health conditions through a surveillance system,” Anung said on Wednesday.Read also: Chinese toddler becomes first suspected Wuhan coronavirus case in ManadoHe added that the general public was urged to remain calm and cautious regarding the spread of the coronavirus. Anung also reminded people to maintain their health through a healthy lifestyle.According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were 24,554 confirmed cases of the 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease around the globe as of Wednesday. Most of the confirmed cases were in China with 24,363 cases, while 191 cases were confirmed in 24 countries.The United Nations’ health agency also recorded that 491 people in China and one person in the Philippines had died from the disease. (dpk)Topics :last_img read more

Iran says two more deaths among 13 new coronavirus cases

first_imgThe newly reported cases included “seven in Qom, four in Tehran, and two in Gilan” on the Caspian Sea coast, Jahanpour tweeted.”Most of the cases are still either Qom residents” or were people who had come from Qom to other provinces “in recent days and weeks”, he added.The official did not say anything about the suspected source of the outbreak in the Islamic republic.He added that Iran had so far received from the World Health Organization four shipments of medical kits used to detect COVID-19. Iran’s health ministry Friday reported two more deaths among 13 new cases of coronavirus in the Islamic republic, bringing the total number of deaths to four and infections to 18.”Thirteen new cases have been confirmed,” ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said on Twitter. “Unfortunately two of them have lost their lives.”The COVID-19 outbreak first appeared in Iran on Wednesday, when officials said it killed two elderly people in the Shiite holy city of Qom, the first confirmed deaths from the disease in the Middle East. Qom is a centre for Islamic studies and tourists, attracting scholars from Iran and beyond.However, a government official said the first two people who died of the disease had not left Iran.Following the announcement of those deaths, Iraq on Thursday clamped down on travel to and from the Islamic republic.The health ministry in Baghdad said people from Iran had been barred from entering Iraq “until further notice”.Kuwait’s national carrier Kuwait Airways also announced it would suspend all of its flights to Iran.Iran was holding a parliamentary election on Friday, with state media saying that the coronavirus had not been able to dampen “the revolutionary zeal of Qom’s people” to turn out to vote.Topics :last_img read more

Panama confirms first coronavirus case after woman showed symptoms

first_imgTopics : “She has what we could describe as a minor case of coronavirus,” said Turner.  A 40-year-old women in Panama has tested positive for coronavirus, the country’s health minister said on Monday, marking the first such case in the Central American nation.The unnamed women had traveled from Spain and upon arriving to Panama on Monday sought hospital care for fever and a cough, Health Minister Rosario Turner told reporters, adding that the government wanted to be transparent about the case.The woman, whose nationality was not disclosed and is believed to have a relatively minor case of the illness, has since been sent home in stable condition, the minister added.last_img

London hospitals facing ‘tsunami’ of virus patients: NHS official

first_imgAccording to the latest figures, 463 people have died from the virus and more than 9,500 people have been infected. London makes up a third of the UK total.The government is opening a temporary 4,000-bed hospital at an exhibition center in London next week to treat patients with the virus. British media reported 10 similar facilities could be set up around the country.Hopson said the problem of dealing with the increased number of patients was exacerbated by the “unprecedented absence rate” of medical staff. “We’re now seeing 30, 40 and even some places 50 percent sickness rates,” he said, adding that there was also a “real problem” with ventilator capacity in hospitals. His comments came as the government announced it had ordered 10,000 emergency ventilators to help tackle the pandemic from billionaire entrepreneur James Dyson.In an email to staff, the inventor said his company designed the “CoVent” at the request of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and promised to donate 5,000 to the international relief effort.Dyson said teams of engineers had been working on the design since receiving the call 10 days ago.”We have received an initial order of 10,000 units from the UK Government, which we will supply on an open-book basis,” he said.”We are also looking at ways of making it available internationally.”The company is now waiting for the design to receive regulatory approval so manufacturing can commence. Hospitals in the British capital are being overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients, the head of an organization representing bosses in the state-run National Health Service said on Thursday.The chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, told BBC radio that London hospitals had seen an “explosion of demand… in seriously ill patients”, likening it to a “continuous tsunami”, with numbers predicted to surge in the next fortnight.”They talk about wave, after wave after wave,” he said. “The word that’s often used to me is a sort of continuous tsunami.”center_img Topics :last_img read more

Israel’s Netanyahu, Gantz see ‘significant progress’ toward unity govt

first_img‘What my nation needs’Netanyahu, in office since 2009, was in January charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust, but the start of his trial has been delayed by the pandemic.He denies the charges.The divided anti-Netanyahu forces, who held a narrow majority in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, on Wednesday forced the ouster of speaker Yuli Edelstein, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party. Gantz then put himself forward as speaker, triggering the break-up of Blue and White, with Telem and Yesh Atid accusing Gantz of surrendering “without a fight” to Netanyahu.On Friday, Gantz justified his move as being “what my nation needs” given the coronavirus pandemic.”I won’t be the one who categorically refuses to step in and pull my weight in a state of emergency,” he wrote on Facebook.There were no official details of the likely makeup of a future government, but Netanyahu has in past weeks proposed 18-month premiership terms — with him taking the first, to be followed by Gantz.Reports said that at least three people who were not originally part of Gantz’s party would be seeking to join him in Netanyahu’s coalition.Spokespeople for Blue and White and the Likud would not provide any details on what any agreement to form a government might entail.One of the main questions centered on who takes over as justice minister, replacing the current Netanyahu loyalist now overseeing the legal proceedings against the prime minister. “Significant progress was made during the meeting,” it added. “During the course of the day, an additional meeting will be held in order to come to a finalized agreement.”Both leaders have previously voiced support for a unity government to help combat the coronavirus pandemic.Gantz was tasked with forming a government following March 2 elections — a task he had already been unable to complete after two national polls last year — and there was no guarantee he would succeed this time, given rifts within the anti-Netanyahu bloc. The former chief of Israel’s army, Gantz has subsequently tempered his long-time opposition to working with Netanyahu, due to the dangers presented by the coronavirus. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his erstwhile rival Benny Gantz on Sunday announced “significant progress” in talks towards forming an emergency unity government amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.Gantz, whose now fractured centrist Blue and White alliance had positioned itself as the alternative to Netanyahu in three inconclusive elections over the past year, was elected parliament speaker Thursday. The two men held talks through Saturday night “aimed at establishing a national emergency government to deal with the corona crisis and the additional challenges facing the State of Israel”, said a joint statement from Blue and White and Netanyahu’s Likud party. But that move has provoked an implosion of the anti-Netanyahu block Gantz had led.A parliamentary committee on Sunday afternoon formalized Blue and White’s fracture, with Gantz’s faction keeping that name.The dissidents were rebranded as Yesh Atid-Telem, incorporating the Yair Lapid and Moshe Yaalon parties. “We will keep a watchful eye over the work of this government and create a real alternative for the State of Israel,” the new grouping said in a statement after the split. Topics :last_img read more

‘Political prisoners’ turn to UN amid COVID-19 threat

first_imgWith their plight largely ignored by the public, 63 Indonesians detained on treason charges have turned to the United Nations for help, hoping they could be saved from the threat posed by the COVID-19 disease in the country’s overcrowded prisons.The prisoners made joint appeals to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and three UN special rapporteurs on Wednesday, helped along by Australian and Indonesian lawyers Jennifer Robinson and Veronica Koman.The human rights lawyers argued that the 56 indigenous Papuans, five indigenous Moluccans, one native Batak and one Polish national were arbitrarily and unlawfully detained in violation of the country’s international obligations. “These urgent appeals have been made given the imminent threat to the prisoners’ lives from being detained in overcrowded prisons amid the COVID-19 pandemic […] Their detention is now not only unlawful, but life-threatening. All 63 prisoners should be immediately and unconditionally released,” Robinson said in a statement on Thursday.The appeal was made following the government’s plan to grant early release or parole to 50,000 eligible prisoners and juvenile inmates as a means of preventing the spread of the infectious disease in correctional facilities.Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly previously said that those eligible for release include 15,442 drug convicts who have already served five to 10 years, 300 graft inmates aged 60 years and above, 1,457 special crimes convicts with chronic diseases and 53 foreign prisoners who have served at least two-thirds of their sentences.It remains unclear whether the 63 prisoners in question are eligible for early release, but one ministry official said on Thursday that only those who fulfilled the requirements set out in Law and Human Rights Ministery Regulation No. 10/2020 would be considered. The regulation stipulates that convicts are eligible for early release unless they have committed one of several types of crimes, including crimes against national security.Most of the petitioning prisoners were arrested for their involvement in a series of protests against racial abuse last year, which stoked tensions between Papuan rebels and the government.The country’s easternmost provinces of Papua and West Papua have long been dealing with a disorganized separatist movement, which the Indonesian government routinely blames as being the actor behind various cases of violent unrest in the restive region.Indonesia’s permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, Switzerland, Hasan Kleib, said he had not received any information about the appeals the lawyers claimed to have submitted. “We have not seen the copy of the letters. We are trying to find out and ask the relevant parties at the UN Human Rights Council directly,” Hasan told The Jakarta Post in a short message on Thursday.Indonesia was elected to the Human Rights Council in October last year. The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is mandated by the council to investigate alleged cases of arbitrary detention, but only with the consent of the states concerned.On April 1, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet urged countries to reduce the population of overcrowded prisons to avoid an explosive spread of the SARS-Cov-2 virus – which causes COVID-19 – in closed and choked settings.Indonesia currently houses 268,919 inmates in 524 prisons, roughly double its maximum capacity, according to Law and Human Rights Ministry data from February.Bachelet urged states to “release all those detained without a lawful basis, including those held in violation of human rights obligations”. Her spokesman, Rupert Colville, later stressed that nations should also release “political prisoners and those detained for critical, dissenting views”.All 63 political prisoners in question have been charged with treason under Article 106 and/or Article 110 of Indonesia’s Criminal Code, which can carry a sentence of up to 20 years. Seven of them have been convicted while the others are still on trial.“The activities for which they have been detained range from simply carrying or displaying the West Papuan or Moluccan national [separatist] flags, to participation in peaceful protests and being members of political organizations that support self-determination: all internationally protected activities,” said the human rights lawyers who organized the appeal.According Article 6, Paragraph 4 of Government Regulation No. 77/2007, the design of a regional logo or banner must not have any resemblance to that of a banned organization or separatist movement.Veronika was previously involved in an attempt to hand over letters to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo during his visit to Australia in February. The letters reportedly included details of 57 Papuan political prisoners as well as 243 civilians who have died in Nduga, Papua, since December 2018.The document was dismissed by Coordinating Legal, Political and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD.“So far, we have not received any response, except for the minister saying that the data was ‘probably just trash’. We urge the UN and the Indonesian government to take this matter very seriously now that lives are at stake,” Veronica said.The European Parliament has also called for the Polish man’s transfer back to his home country.Papua has restricted entry to the province by sea and air to stem the spread of COVID-19. As of Thursday, Papua has confirmed 80 cases and six fatalities, while West Papua has recorded five infections and one death.The country’s official tally is currently at 5,516 confirmed cases with 469 deaths.Topics :last_img read more

133 more COVID-19 cases in Jakarta despite ‘flattened curve’ claims

first_imgOn Saturday, Sunday and Monday, the city reported 85, 114 and 70 new cases, respectively, according to Health Ministry data.Read also: Jakarta buries more than 1,000 bodies according to COVID-19 protocolMeanwhile, the death rate in Jakarta alone remained at 9.2 percent as of Tuesday with 370 deaths among 4,002 confirmed cases.Nationwide, the country has recorded a total of 9,511 COVID-19 infections in all 34 provinces.Nevertheless, many have questioned the Health Ministry’s data as the government has been sluggish at testing and tracking cases since the first confirmed COVID-19 cases were announced in March.Topics : Jakarta recorded 133 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday even though the government claimed the capital city had flattened the curve the day before.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said on Monday that Jakarta, the COVID-19 epicenter in the country, had experienced a rapid and significant slowdown in new cases.However, new cases surged to 133 in Jakarta on Tuesday.last_img read more

Australian media face trial over Pell sex abuse case reporting

first_imgAfter the verdict some Australian media said an unnamed high-profile person had been convicted of a serious crime that could not be reported, while some overseas media named Pell and the charges.The second case was later dropped, and the suppression order was lifted in February 2019. Pell’s conviction was overturned by Australia’s High Court in April.Supreme Court of Victoria Justice John Dixon on Tuesday proposed beginning the trial on Nov. 9, although the prosecution and defense have yet to agree on all the issues at stake and whether to go through a single trial or several.The prosecution is seeking one trial, which would be held before a judge, but the lawyer representing the charged media organizations and reporters said there appeared to be 13 separate controversies. Dozens of Australian journalists and publishers are set to face trial in November over coverage of ex-Vatican treasurer George Pell’s child sex abuse conviction in 2018, facing charges that they breached an Australia-wide gag order in the case.Prosecutors in the state of Victoria said 19 journalists and 21 publications aided and abetted contempt of court by overseas media and breached suppression orders imposed by the trial judge.Pell was found guilty in December 2018 of sexually assaulting two choirboys, but reporting on the case was gagged so as not to prejudice another trial on separate charges. “The respondents are very anxious for these matters to be resolved, finally, that have been hanging over their heads for far too long, but we do think it’s a question of proceeding with some caution,” Matthew Collins, the lawyer for the media organizations, told the court.Those facing contempt charges include journalists from Nine Entertainment Co’s newspapers The Age and the Australian Financial Review and several News Corp publications.Breaches of suppression orders can be punished with jail for up to five years and fines of nearly A$100,000 ($66,000) for individuals and nearly A$500,000 for companies.The next hearing in the case is set for July. center_img Topics :last_img read more

China, India agree to reduce tensions after deadly clash

first_imgHe added that ways to reduce frictions in the Ladakh region opposite Tibet “were discussed and will be taken forward by both the sides”.The source gave no further details, but the clashes followed an earlier agreement to disengage struck in early June after weeks of rising tensions that included several brawls.The June 15 violence took place around 4,500 meters above sea level in the Galwan valley, where both sides accuse each other of encroaching on their respective territory.China has said it suffered casualties but has not given more details. Indian media reports suggested there were more than 40 casualties on the Chinese side.The meeting between military commanders came ahead of virtual talks between the foreign ministers of India, China and Russia later Tuesday, ostensibly to discuss the coronavirus. China and India have agreed to reduce tensions a week after clashes on their disputed Himalayan border left 20 Indian troops dead in brutal hand-to-hand fighting.The June 15 battle, reportedly fought with fists, clubs and rocks, was the first time troops have been killed on their border since 1975 and marked a major deterioration in ties between the two Asian giants.Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that after talks between the top regional military commanders on Monday, both sides “agreed to take necessary measures to promote a cooling of the situation”. The Press Trust of India said the meeting was between Lieutenant General Harinder Singh, commander of the 14 Corps, and Major General Liu Lin, commander of the Tibet Military District.”The holding of this meeting shows that both sides want to deal with their disagreement, manage the situation and de-escalate the situation through dialogue and consultations,” Zhao told a regular news conference.The two sides “exchanged frank and in-depth views” and “agreed to maintain dialogue and jointly committed to promoting peace and tranquility in the border areas”, Zhao added.There was no official comment from New Delhi but an Indian army source said that after the meeting, reportedly lasting almost 11 hours, that there was a “mutual consensus to disengage”.center_img Topics :last_img read more