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Stansted Airport From fly to heavyweight

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Property is best-performing asset class in 2002

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Fee earners 2000

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Developers appointed for £240m Humber business park

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It’s official: Indonesia halts live animal imports from China until virus ‘subsides’

first_img“The restriction is only temporary until the coronavirus epidemic subsides,” he said. Among those animals banned from imports are horses, donkeys, mules and hinnies, pigs, sheep, goats, oxen, buffaloes and other types of bovines. Reptiles, including snakes and turtles, are also on the contraband list.For poultry, the government has banned imports of chickens of the Gallus domesticus species, ducks and geese, turkeys and guinea fowls. Primates, whales, dolphins, seals and sea lions are also banned. The temporary ban also outlaws animals in traveling circus, traveling menageries, traveling theaters and amusement park animals.  Importers are obliged to send back the animals or exterminate them if they arrive at Indonesian ports after the regulation takes effect, Agus said, adding that the cost for the procedure would be incurred by the importers.Read also: Indonesia to ‘stand together with China’ in battle against COVID-19, Jokowi tells XiThose who fail to take responsibility for sending back the animals or exterminating them within the span of 10 days will receive sanctions, according to the regulation. The ministerial regulation is drafted in accordance with the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) 1994 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which stipulates that each WTO member country may apply its own technical regulations for the welfare of consumers. Jakarta asserted last week that only live animals were subject to the import ban, while other goods shipped in from China would continue as usual. Beijing has previously expressed concerns over the import ban, with Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia Xiao Qian saying on Feb. 4 that there had yet to be any evidence suggesting the coronavirus could spread via imported goods. He was also worried it could affect trade relations between the two countries. Secretary to the Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister Susiwijono Moegiarso said the import ban would not disrupt the economy significantly as it was unlikely to affect Indonesia’s trade balance with China.“Last year, the import [of live animals from China] amounted only to an estimated US$231,000 out of the total $170 million [of trade],” she said on Wednesday as quoted by tempo.co.Susiwijono said the ban was necessary to protect citizens at home from the virus outbreak as live animals were said to be able to act as carriers of the virus — which is believed to have originated from a market selling wild animals in the Chinese city of Wuhan. As of Friday, the death toll from the coronavirus had surpassed 1,300 globally with more than 64,000 confirmed cases worldwide, Reuters reported. Indonesia has recorded no confirmed cases of coronavirus so far. (ydp)Topics : Indonesia has officially halted imports of live animals from China as the Trade Ministry issued a regulation stipulating the temporary ban, another in a series of government efforts to prevent the coronavirus from spreading to the country.Trade Ministerial Regulation No. 10/2020 stipulates a temporary import ban on at least 53 animals, ranging from reptiles and mammals to poultry, which has been in force since Feb. 7.“In response to the outbreak […] the Indonesian government has banned the import of live animals originating from China or transiting in China into Indonesia’s territory,” Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto said in a statement on Thursday as quoted by Antara.last_img read more

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Jakarta’s poor at risk as city drags feet on COVID-19 social assistance

first_imgBut with an additional 2.6 million recipients added to the tally, Anies said the administration would require approximately 10 days to complete their credentials – another massive undertaking.“Not all of them have a Jakarta identity card. Some are not even registered as beneficiaries of the social assistance program,” he said, adding that the administration would use data it had been collecting through the One Jakarta program, which employs the Family Welfare Movement (PKK) to collect household data.Meanwhile, the Social Affairs Ministry’s director general for social empowerment, Pepen Nazarudin, said the ministry was still waiting on the details of the beneficiaries.“The Jakarta administration is to inform us about the data before we will review it. We’ll convey the data to the President as soon as possible,” Pepen told The Jakarta Post.The disbursement mechanism remains unclear but Pepen insisted it would abide by the physical distancing rules mandated by the government, hopeful of avoiding the rush and the long lines that often come with the distribution of staple food packages.Flora Aninditya, a researcher at the University of Indonesia Economics and Business School’s Demographics Institute, emphasized that while speeding up the collection of data was important, the safety of the officers should be of utmost importance during an outbreak.“There should be a protocol to ensure the safety of data collectors who go out into the field, while operational incentives like covered transportation costs or phone credits should also be provided,” she told the Post on Friday.Read also: Indonesia’s strategy to combat COVID-19: What we know so farSeparately, Foundation of the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI) chairwoman Asfinawati deplored the Jakarta government’s “late” decision to set up a social safety net one month after the first COVID-19 infection was confirmed in the capital.She claimed that many people had lost income and could potentially fall deeper into poverty due to the government’s failure to identify risks and prepare mitigation strategies before measures to curb the spread of the virus were put in place.“The risks should have been identified well in advance,” she said.Jakarta RT/RW Forum chairman Muhammad Irsyad said he was worried that low-income groups would no longer heed the government’s call to stay indoors as uncertainty over their basic needs are thrown into doubt.“Though I’ve seen residents obey the call [for physical distancing] for the past two weeks, they will eventually want to go out to find ways [to make money],” he said. “But residents may feel more at ease if they know it [social assistance] is available.”The severity of the COVID-19 outbreak in the capital has triggered an outpouring of solidarity from individuals, community organizations, companies and government agencies that have gathered donations for the poor and provided protective gear for medical workers on the frontline.Meanwhile, communities in Jakarta’s slums have reportedly begun producing their own antiseptic liquid for local use.“These are truly very good initiatives to have as a nation, but they could also be seen as a corrective measure to make up for the failure of the state,” Asfinawati said.Wahyudi Djafar, deputy director of the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM), said that collective efforts to handle the outbreak should always be led by the government.“The government should have been able to produce a map for people to track, for instance, where there is a shortage of protective equipment, so donations and other resources can be equally distributed,” he said.Jakarta, currently the country’s epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, had reported 958 confirmed cases and 96 deaths as of Friday afternoon.Topics : Fast forward to Thursday, at a teleconference meeting with Vice President Ma’ruf Amin, Anies announced that the number of beneficiaries had jumped to 3.7 million people due to a greater share of the population, comprising poor and vulnerable groups, dropping deeper into poverty.“They [people in the vulnerable bracket] still earn a living, but once the economy contracts, they will have lost all of their income,” he said, pointing to street vendors and ojek (motorcycle taxi) drivers as prime examples of this group.Read also: 70 million informal workers most vulnerable during pandemicThe governor has revealed that beneficiaries would be receiving Rp 1 million (US$60.45) in subsidies per household per month for April and May. The Social Affairs Ministry, which is set to allocate Rp. 4.57 trillion to the social assistance program, would be footing a larger chunk of each subsidy of Rp 880,000, while the remainder will be taken out of the city’s budget. The Jakarta administration’s sluggish delivery of crucial social assistance funds in response to the COVID-19 outbreak is putting the city’s underprivileged citizens at a higher risk of slipping into destitution the longer the crisis stretches on.On March 20, five days after the city started closing down schools and tourist destinations to curb the spread of the disease, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said that the administration would be disbursing social assistance to 1.1 million registered beneficiaries.At the time, Jakarta officials were still formulating the amount and method of disbursement.last_img read more

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Tourism will take at least a year to recover from COVID-19 outbreak: Economists

first_imgTopics : Faisal said that when Indonesia’s tourist destinations were hit by natural disasters, such as Lombok’s earthquake in 2018, tourists needed time before traveling there again. Even six months after the Lombok earthquake, tourist numbers had not yet returned to normal.He predicted that COVID-19 would have a deeper impact than natural disasters, as people could not predict when the pandemic would be totally over. “Thus, the tourism outlook this year will really depend on how this virus spreads. If the virus subsides in the third and fourth quarter this year, we predict that the tourism sector will recover in 2021, but it will not be fully recovered yet,” said Faisal.Indonesia Travel Agent Association (Astindo) general secretary and director of Elok Tour, Pauline Suharno, said even if the outbreak slowed down in June, the after effect on the industry would continue, as it needed time to recover.A Flourish chart Indonesia’s tourism sector, the industry hardest-hit by COVID-19, is projected to take a long time to recover, although the pandemic is expected to slow down in the third quarter this year, economists and business players estimate.Economist and director of the Center of Reform on Economics (CORE) Mohammad Faisal said the tourism sector really depended on the people’s psychology, and was very sensitive to safety and security aspects. In the recovery period, regaining people’s trust to travel again after the pandemic would be a challenging task, he said.“During the recovery period, unlike other business sectors, tourism will take a longer time to return to normalcy because tourists need to ensure that the situation is really safe and secure before they travel again. So it will take time,” Faisal told The Jakarta Post on April 2.center_img “We will not be able to sell [tourism packages] right away. It really depends on the economic situation as well. With the economy disrupted, it also reduces people’s desire to travel,” she said.COVID-19 has hit tourism and left tourist destinations across the county empty of visitors. Some popular tourist sites are temporarily closed, such as Borobudur Temple in Central Java and Komodo National Park in East Nusa Tenggara. Statistics Indonesia data show that Indonesia had only 885,067 foreign tourist arrivals in February, a 28.85 percent decline from February last year. Meanwhile, from January to February, Indonesia recorded 2.16 million foreign tourist visits, an 11.8 percent drop from the 2.45 million tourists recorded during the same period last year.“Visitor numbers in February have declined at all entrance points. Considering the current situation, tourist visits are predicted to drop further in March than in February,” said Statistics Indonesia head Suhariyanto on Wednesday.  Suhariyanto said that almost all tourists from countries known as Indonesia’s main tourist markets such as China, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia fell in February. Tourist visits from China alone fell by 93.5 percent to only 11,780 people in February from 199,960 tourists in the same period last year.Astindo recorded a 90 percent drop in sales following booking cancellations in March with potential losses expected to reach Rp 4 trillion, the same amount they reported losing in February. With the current situation, many travel agents have been forced to lay off their non-permanent workers such as drivers and office boys.“The contracts of most non-permanent workers will not be extended. Travel agents also experienced difficulty to pay operational costs and wages in February and March. If there is no help from the government, many businesspeople [travel agents] will not be able to pay employees’ salaries in April,” said Pauline.The PHRI reported the country’s hotel overall occupancy rate had fallen to 30 to 40 percent since early January. PHRI chairman Hariyadi Sukamdani reported last week that 698 hotels across Indonesia had closed due to COVID-19.To help the tourism sector and all businesses recover quickly after the pandemic, the chairman of the Indonesia Tourism Intellectuals Association (ICPI), Azril Azahari, shared several actions that must be carried out such as disinfecting major tourist destinations.“Perform the disinfection at all tourist destinations including hotels, in order to regain people’s trust that tourist destinations and accommodation in Indonesia is all free of COVID-19, so they can feel safe,” stated Azril in its statement.A Flourish chartHe also called on the government to provide financial incentives in the form of loan repayment relaxation to business players in the tourism sector, especially small and medium enterprises, and give cash assistance to employees working in the tourism sector.COVID-19 will severely affect tourism globally. The UN World Tourism Organzation estimated that international tourist arrivals could decline by between 20 and 30 percent globally in 2020, from 1.46 billion tourist arrivals in 2019 to only 1.02 to 1.17 billion tourists this year. This could lead to financial losses of US$300 billion to $450 billion in international tourism exports.last_img read more

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Israel’s Gantz denied extension to form Israel govt

first_imgUnity talks ‘ongoing’If no unity agreement is reached by the end of Monday, Rivlin said he would ask the Knesset to nominate a candidate to become prime minister.The Netanyahu bloc currently holds 59 of the Knesset’s 120 seats. It is therefore possible, but not certain, that the legislature would give the premier a 14-day window to form a government.  Blue and White, the centrist alliance led by Gantz, said in a statement that “the attempts by the negotiating teams to arrive at a unity government are still ongoing”.Likud said it too remained open to forming a unity government.But it also urged Rivlin to give Netanyahu a full four weeks to form a coalition.  Likud stressed that the president gave both Netanyahu and Gantz a chance to build a government following the inconclusive votes in September, and should do so again. But with Israel’s confirmed COVID-19 caseload nearing 11,000, there remain widespread calls from across the political spectrum for a unity alliance, even for a short term.University of Tel Aviv political science professor Emmanuel Navon told AFP that “a unity government remains the most likely option.”But, he added, any number of scenarios could play out, including a fourth election. Netanyahu, in office since 2009, is Israel’s longest-serving premier and the first to be indicted while in office.The premier denies charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, filed against him in January. Netanyahu critics have charged the premier will stop at nothing to make the indictments disappear, including pushing for a fourth vote in the hope of finally gaining a parliamentary majority that could push through legislation granting him immunity from prosecution.  As Navon noted, the latest polls indicate Likud could “emerge as the big winner” if another election were to be called, partly due to generally favorable views of Netanyahu’s handling of the pandemic.  The pro-Netanyahu bloc, including the veteran premier’s right-wing Likud and several religious parties, also remained short of a majority after last month’s vote. In a surprise move last month, Gantz was elected speaker of Israel’s parliament, or Knesset. With the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Israel rising, he pledged to use that powerful position to seek an emergency unity alliance with Netanyahu to tackle the pandemic and unblock a grinding year-long political stalemate.While Gantz’s mandate to form a government technically runs until the end of Monday, he was no longer actively seeking to forge a coalition with himself as prime minister.  Topics : Instead, he was widely believed to be pursuing a deal that would see Netanyahu remain as premier for a defined period, possibly then handing power to Gantz.Despite reports of progress from the two sides — and from Israeli media — no deal has been announced.Late Saturday, Gantz asked Rivlin for an extension of his mandate. In response, Rivlin told Gantz “that in the current circumstances no extension would be possible”, a statement from the president’s office said.”The president made his decision after also speaking to … Netanyahu, who did not confirm in their conversation that the parties are close to signing an agreement that would lead to a unity government,” the statement said.  Israel’s president on Sunday rejected parliament speaker Benny Gantz’s request for more time to form a government, a task that could now fall to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.Ex-military chief Gantz was given the mandate to form a government four weeks ago by President Reuven Rivlin following Israel’s March 2 election, the country’s third inconclusive vote within a year.  But Gantz’s prospects for forming a stable coalition were always remote given deep divisions within the anti-Netanyahu camp. last_img read more

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Five vessels from Philippines, Vietnam caught fishing illegally in Indonesian waters

first_imgThe arrests were conducted by three vessels of the directorate general in two different locations that were monitoring the area. He said the intensity of monitoring remained the same despite the coronavirus pandemic, as the ministry aimed to uphold the sovereignty of fisheries management in the country.“We are prepared for any increase in illegal vessels operating in [Indonesian waters] amid the spread of COVID-19. That is why we are not decreasing our operations as illegal fishing is still rampant,” he said in a statement on Sunday.In Sulawesi waters, the three Philippine-flagged vessels raised Indonesian flags to trick patrols, but personnel managed to detect them, he added. Officials apprehended 34 Filipino crewmen from the three vessels.Six Vietnamese crewmen were apprehended from two Vietnam-flagged vessels caught in the North Natuna Sea.The arrests came just a week after the ministry arrested two illegal foreign vessels from Vietnam in the North Natuna Sea.Edhy explained that the arrests were the result of cooperation between personnel of the directorate general’s control center and the technical unit, which monitor and inform the location of illegal foreign vessels to the joint Supervision Unit that conducted the raids.As part of efforts to strengthen protection of the country’s maritime resources, Edhy said he was considering adding operating days to eradicate illegal fishing.Topics : The Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry has seized five foreign-flagged vessels caught fishing illegally in Indonesian waters as sea patrols remain vigilant during the COVID-19 pandemic.The ministry’s Marine and Fisheries Resources Supervision Directorate General seized three Philippines-flagged vessels and two Vietnamese-flagged vessels in the North Natuna Sea and Sulawesi Sea on Saturday, Minister Edhy Prabowo said.last_img read more

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Hard-hit Milan buries unclaimed virus dead

first_img“This is not at all a mass grave, this is an area completely devoted to these people who unfortunately were dead without any relatives around,” Cocco told journalists as the first 61 victims were laid to rest at the Musocco cemetery.As the death toll in virus epicenter Lombardy rose and with morgues threatening to be overwhelmed, Milan decided to reduce the amount of time relatives had to claim a body from 30 days to five.”Here we have 61 people who died during this terrible period, each of them has a specific name and has a cross just to be sure that they are recognizable,” said Cocco.”This doesn’t mean that they do not have parents or family, this simply means that in this specific period after five days of the death we didn’t receive any communication about what to do with this person.”  Topics : Authorities in Milan on Thursday began burying dozens of coronavirus victims whose bodies have not been claimed by relatives in Italy’s hardest-hit region.With rows of small white crosses lining bulldozed trenches to receive the dead, Deputy Mayor Roberta Cocco stressed that the plot of land northwest of Italy’s commercial capital was not a mass grave.Nearly 13,000 people have already died of the virus in Lombardy, whose capital is Milan — over half of Italy’s total.center_img Relatives who may not have been able to claim bodies because of tough quarantine restrictions or because they themselves were sick will be able to move their loved ones after two years “for sanitary reasons”, said Cocco.The designated areas has room for up to 600 unclaimed bodies, but the authorities hope they will not use all of the space.last_img read more

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