Month: October 2020

Trump, GOP are ruining our country

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first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion This assault to cover up corruption comes with the support of an equally corrupt Republican Congress and spineless party leadership, which is bereft of any notion of public trust.So fire someone, and let this nation decide whether we are worthy of democracy or would prefer the corruption of King Trump. Let our “friends,” the Russians, continue their collusion. This is itself an act of treason, my friends. Note that to date no action has been taken by Congress or Trump to address Russian cyberhacking and penetration of U.S. cyberspace.Trump is a racist with no patriotism (Remember his rant on a Gold Star mother whose son was killed in Iraq) who now calls for a military parade — just like Putin or any other tin pot despot. But there’s no call for any action on national security (CIA, NSA, FBI, etc.), and Trump has mocked those who have rendered service in defense of this nation. This is an abject betrayal of every American who values decency and truth from his government instead of the cover-up tactics, lies and other efforts to twist and polarize the truth that have discredited us globally.Save our nation. Vote out every Trump Republican stooge in Congress this November.George W. PutmanSaratoga SpringsMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationSchenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes Armageddon is upon us. Our constitutional democracy is under assault from “King” Trump and his corrupt minions, who question the integrity, purpose and dedication to the rule of law of the very government institutions responsible for the protection, safety and security of the United States.last_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Friday, July 26

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first_imgMore 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?Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18 Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionMany made Music Haven what it is nowIn reference to your article on Mona Golub and Music Haven, Golub certainly deserves accolades for her successful programs offered in Schenectady’s Central Park. She has taken Music Haven beyond what was started by others so many years ago.Without taking away Golub’s well-deserved applause, we must also acknowledge those whose efforts created and made Music Haven what it was in the years before her.Once located near its current site, Music Haven was built to attract area residents to the park through its summer concerts. Back then, Music Haven played host to concerts featuring local musicians and their bands: jazz music by Nick Brignola, Polka and Dixie music by Don Nikolski, 50s and 60s classics of Freddy Randall, and Schenectady Musician’s Union members Abe Rapp, Steve Anthony, Ronnie Pidgeon, Norm Pratt, Tom Brown and others.These gifted musicians graced the Music Haven stage, packing the park lawns and seats for every performance. Let’s also remember the commitment of local restaurant owner Mike Iacobucci, whose very successful Tuesday in the Park festivals filled Music Haven with day-long entertainment.Having grown up in Schenectady, I remember the Music Haven of the early days, and it’s great to see the stage still being used to bring more people to our city. Kudos to Golub for her success, and kudos to those musicians and performers who were there in the beginning. Their music still echoes in the walls of Music Haven, as well as in our own memories.Michele A. DobskiSchenectadyLove what Rivers is doing, but lower ACI have been a customer at the Rivers casino for about two years and have seen several improvements, including complimentary drinks for table game players.My favorite attribute at Rivers are the dealers. They are the friendliest and most professional that I have experienced anywhere. Rivers is doing many things right as it shows in the excellent revenue produced. It is by far the most successful of the new New York state casinos.With all the things they are doing right, why are they trying to freeze the customers and employees? Whenever it’s hot outside and they are air-conditioning the casino, it’s way too cold in the building. If I wanted to keep customers as long as possible, I would want to make it as comfortable as possible. They are certainly not doing well in that department. Please raise the temperature.Tom SingerDelansonSt. Clare’s retirees going through hellI know the St. Clare’s pensioners are having an awful summer. I feel they are going through the worst case of abuse that anyone could ever go through. Due to the actions of the St. Clare’s Hospital, these care-givers were left to care for themselves, to live the rest of their lives with a 25% slash in their retirements or no retirement at all. We are speaking about 1,100-plus pensioners who were very loyal employee’s at St. Clare’s. These are the actual people who cared for our families. St. Clare’s was the hospital that helped all who needed it. These pensioners are living a nightmare. I don’t know how they can sleep at night. Their stress levels must be over the top. They all feel their lives have been ruined. They have been living with this agonizing problem since last year. Their retirements have still not been recovered. These are people like you and me, put in a very sad situation. Everyone knows they are deserving of their retirements, but the hospital left them no way to receive them. It’s a disgrace that they are being treated in this manner. It’s shameful. They are hurting and afraid at what is going to happen to them. No one should be treated this cruel way. This isn’t going to be settled for a long time. How long can these people go through this torture? Please say a prayer for them. They need all the help they can get.Walter “Neal” BrazellRotterdamlast_img read more

Refinancing on track

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Picking up the pieces

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first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Nahdlatul Ulama luminary Gus Sholah dies at 77

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first_img“We received the news that he passed away at 8.55 p.m. at Harapan Kita hospital,” Hanif said on Sunday as quoted by kompas.com, referring to the national cardiology center.Hanif said that Gus Sholah’s health had deteriorated after he underwent heart surgery on Saturday.“He was in recovery, but his health kept deteriorating,” he said.Gus Sholah’s son Ipang Wahid said that his father had started complaining about his heart two weeks ago, and entered critical condition on Sunday afternoon. Salahuddin “Gus Sholah” Wahid, a renowned Muslim figure and luminary of the country’s largest Islamic group, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), passed away on Sunday evening.He was 77 years old, and is survived by his wife and three children.Gus Sholah, the youngest brother of the country’s fourth president, Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid, died at 8:55 p.m. on Feb. 2 in Jakarta, confirmed NU education head Hanif Saha. Gus Sholah subsequently underwent cardiac ablation in an effort to restore normal heart rhythm, said Ipang.Born on Sept. 11, 1942 in Jombang, East Java, the son of the late NU leader Wahid Hasyim was also a prominent NU cleric and the director of Pesantren Tebuireng in his hometown until his death. Just like his late elder brother, Gus Sholah was known as a staunch and lifelong advocate of human rights.Gus Sholah will be laid to rest on Monday within the grounds of Tebuireng Islamic boarding school.”The big Nahdlatul Ulama family send our condolences regarding the passing of K.H. Shalahuddin Wahid,” the organization posted to its Twitter account, @nahdlatululama.center_img The NU Central Board (PBNU) has tweeted an instruction for all NU members, including those overseas, to hold shalat ghaib (prayer for the deceased) for Gus Sholah.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo joined other leading figures in the nation in expressing his sympathies on Gus Sholah’s passing.“On behalf of the government, the country and the people of Indonesia, I send my deepest condolences on the passing of Salahuddin Wahid,” Jokowi said after paying his respects at Gus Sholah’s residence in Mampang, South Jakarta.The President said that the country had lost a great Muslim scholar whose numerous contributions in advocating for human rights had a significant impact on religious tolerance.“He was a great Muslim scholar, truly a role model for us all. The people of the nation feel a great loss with his passing,” he added. (rfa)Topics :last_img read more

PREMIUMSrikandi Cup struggles in Indonesian women’s basketball landscape

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first_imgTuesday’s press conference on the second series of the 2020 Srikandi Cup in Kuningan, South Jakarta, sent a clear message: the league was struggling financially.The league’s organizers were having difficulty both attracting fans and winning sponsors.After the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL Indonesia) was stopped in 2016, stakeholders scrambled to find a way to keep high-level women’s basketball alive. Before that, Kobanita, the previous women’s basketball league, which began in the 1990s, closed in 2009 due to a lack of funding.“The lack of big sponsors has been the reason we could not reach our potential,” said Srikandi Cup coordinator Deddy Setiawan.Now, despite being the country’s highest-level women’s basketball competition, the Srikandi Cup is not recognized by the Indonesian Basketball Association (Perb… Facebook Srikandi-Cup women-basketball IBL Indonesian-Basketball-Association Kobanita Forgot Password ? Linkedin LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Log in with your social account Topics : Googlelast_img read more

City deploys joint team to evacuate, assist residents after floods hit Greater Jakarta

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first_imgThe Jakarta administration has deployed a joint team comprising officials of several agencies to distribute aid and evacuate residents affected by severe floods that hit Tuesday across Greater Jakarta due to heavy rainfall overnight.The team comprises officers of the Jakarta Water Resources Agency, the Jakarta Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD Jakarta), the Jakarta Social Agency, the Jakarta Fire and Rescue Agency and the Public Facility Maintenance Agency.Together with the Jakarta Search and Rescue Agency, the Jakarta Fire and Rescue Agency has evacuated thousands of residents affected by the floods. Meanwhile, BPBD Jakarta and the social agency, assisted by the health agency, have established emergency shelters and distributed aid to the evacuees. “As of [Tuesday] noon, 294 neighborhood units, 10.74 percent of the total in Greater Jakarta, had been severely affected by the floods, with the highest water level of 200 centimeters occurring in Cawang subdistrict,” BPBD Jakarta said in a statement on Tuesday.Read also: Video of Anies supporter claiming flooding ‘always occurs on day off’ under ‘pious governor’ goes viralThe agency reported that 973 families consisting of 3,565 people had been evacuated to 40 locations including local mosques, community offices, post offices, schools, integrated child-friendly public spaces, integrated health services posts (Posyandu) and low-cost apartments.The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency’s (BMKG) rainfall distribution map revealed that the daily rainfall intensity from 7 a.m. on Monday until 7 a.m. on Tuesday in Greater Jakarta ranged from the categories of very heavy to extreme, causing rivers to overflow and prompting authorities to increase the alert level at several floodgates.Extreme rainfall intensity at a rate of more than 150 millimeters per day occurred in seven BMKG stations in Greater Jakarta, with the highest number recorded at the Kemayoran Meteorological Station with 278 mm per day.The capital and its surrounding areas have been experiencing constant rainfall since the rainy season started late last year. Massive flooding occurred on New Year’s Eve, claiming at least nine lives and displacing thousands of others. (syk) Topics :last_img read more

COVID-19: Labor union calls on govt to reduce electricity, fuel prices

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first_imgThe Indonesian Metal Workers Federation (FSPMI) urged the government to cut the prices of electricity and fuel to help people amid the weakening economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.The federation’s secretary-general, Riden Hatam Azis, said the workers’ demands were realistic considering plummeting oil prices. International benchmark Brent crude was down 2.3 percent in afternoon trade on Monday at $26 a barrel, after earlier being down about 5 percent.”By cutting fuel prices, we hope people’s purchasing power remains stable in this difficult time caused by the pandemic,” Raden said in a statement on Tuesday. Read also: House, labor unions call on govt, businesses to protect workers from COVID-19The decrease in fuel prices, he explained, would be followed by a drop in staple food prices, as the former would cause a decrease in distribution costs.”The government should also cut electricity rates as it has lowered the price of industrial gas to US$6 per million British thermal unit [mmbtu],” Raden said. “The decrease in gas price would automatically be followed by a decrease in production costs for state electricity firm PLN.”He went on to say a cut in the electricity rate would help those are forced to stay at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”The government should act fairly. When the global oil price rises, they increase prices for fuel and electricity. Therefore, they should also lower those prices now as the global oil price is plummeting now.”Oil prices were mixed in volatile Asian trade on Monday, but remained at multi-year lows due to the double shock of the coronavirus pandemic and the Saudi-Russia price war.Topics :last_img read more

South Korea’s coronavirus crackdown a boon for Moon ahead of polls

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first_imgTopics : “We were terrified several weeks ago, but thanks to the government’s handling of the coronavirus, we think we will do much better than we had previously thought,” a senior ruling party official told Reuters, requesting to remain unnamed due to the sensitivity of the matter.The results of the parliamentary election could shape Moon’s ability to implement his agenda in the final two years of his administration, including looser fiscal policy aimed at creating jobs and the raising minimum wage, as well as continued re-engagement with North Korea.Moon’s Democratic Party currently holds 120 seats in the 300-seat, single-chamber National Assembly, and is seeking to secure an outright majority in the election.The main opposition, conservative United Future Party, which has vowed to lower debt and abandon engagement with North Korea, holds 92 seats and is also seeking to seize a majority.Even with the coronavirus boost, experts say victory for the ruling camp is far from assured, as economic growth remains a concern.”Many citizens are wary of the populist policy the government has been carrying out for the sake of the outbreak response and its potential economic consequences,” said Kwon Huck-ju, a professor in public administration at Seoul National University. “In times of a national disaster or crisis, the ruling camp would usually be on the defensive. But the recent slowing of the outbreak appears to have turned the tide in their favour,” said Yang Seung-ham, a professor of political science at Yonsei University in Seoul.So far, Korea has reported a total of 9,976 coronavirus cases and 169 deaths.In addition to a 11.7 trillion won ($9.45 billion) extra budget and a 9.1 trillion won ($7.35 billion) subsidy package for families, the government has put in place strict curbs to fight the outbreak, and this progress in quelling the spread has encouraged officials to go ahead with the election, even though campaigning will be different from past years.Candidates will wear masks, avoid handshakes, and greet voters individually instead of holding massive rallies.center_img South Korea’s fierce battle against the coronavirus has turned the pandemic into an unlikely boon for President Moon Jae-in and his ruling party as campaign season kicks off on Thursday ahead of parliamentary elections on April 15.By the time South Korea was hit by the first major outbreak outside of China in February, approval ratings for Moon and his Democratic Party of Korea were already battered by a stagnant economy and more than a year of domestic political scandals.The government’s stringent response to the epidemic, which was praised by the World Health Organization and other nations, appears to have reversed this downtrend: Moon’s approval ratings hit a 16-month high last week, a poll by researchers Realmeter showed while his party’s popularity was 15% higher than the conservative main opposition United Future Party.last_img read more

Freelance workers sell belongings to survive amid COVID-19 outbreak

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first_imgFreelance workers in the creative industry are resorting to loans to survive the economic downturn brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, as they lack health insurance and other social safety nets, a survey indicates.According to a recent survey conducted by Sindikasi, a media and creative workers union, about 22.3 percent of freelance workers who have reported a loss of income are taking loans to survive, while 20.6 percent of them have sold some of their belongings to make ends meet.“If the condition continues, freelance workers have to choose whether to die because of COVID-19 or to die from starvation,” Sindikasi chairwoman Ellena Ekarahendy told journalists during an online press conference on Thursday. In addition, the economic downturn has prompted companies to tighten their expenditure, which includes reducing their marketing budgets for advertisement. Market research firm eMarketer previously revised down its forecast for global advertising growth by $20 billion as advertisers shy away from marketing their products amid a humanitarian crisis.Sindikasi’s data projects that the majority, or around 65 percent, of potential contract cancellations in the first half of 2020 would come from small projects worth between Rp1 million (US$53) to Rp15 million.To reduce the freelance workers’ financial burden, Ellena urged the Tourism and Creative Economic Ministry to hire the creative industry freelancers to create content for the government.“The ministry budget could be reallocated as a ‘creative workers emergency fund’ to hire the workers for producing content,” she said.She also urged the Education and Culture Ministry to coordinate with the Manpower Ministry to start recording data on the economic impact of COVID-19 on the creative industry, which would provide the government with a clear view on the industry’s condition.The COVID-19 induced economic downturn has threatened millions of workers worldwide, including in Indonesia, as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects the worst global recession since the Great Depression.The IMF also projects that Indonesia’s unemployment rate will rise to 7.5 percent this year from last year’s 5.3 percent as the pandemic has upended supply chains, forcing companies to lay off employees and crushing demand for goods as consumers stay at home.According to data from the Manpower Ministry and the Workers Social Security Agency (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan), as many as 2.8 million people have already lost their jobs as of April 13 or were sent on paid or unpaid leave.Topics : Ellena said freelance workers in general were extremely vulnerable during economic downturns, as they had no social security from their clients and client could cut off their contracts without any compensation.More than 87 percent of the respondents in Sindikasi’s survey said they had not received any compensation for canceled projects. Meanwhile, 79.1 percent of the respondents said they relied on their freelance work to earn a living.In the creative industry, filmmakers and videographers are the most affected subsector, followed by those working in performing arts.“Many of the freelance workers are losing their income as their jobs require them to be in the field. For instance, art performers would have to perform in theaters with large audiences to earn their income,” Sindikasi researcher Fathimah Fildzah Izzati said.last_img read more