Back to overview,Home naval-today USS Fort Worth Ends Routine Patrol near Spratly Islands View post tag: Patrol Littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) arrived to Subic Bay, Philippines, on May 13 to resupply after a weeklong routine patrol in international waters and airspace of the South China Sea near the Spratly Islands.While Fort Worth has transited the South China Sea many times, this patrol marks the first time an LCS has operated in international waters near the Spratlys. View post tag: asia View post tag: Spratly Islands View post tag: Naval USS Fort Worth Ends Routine Patrol near Spratly Islands View post tag: USS Fort Worth View post tag: Routine Authorities View post tag: News by topic While operating in international waters and airspace near the Spratley’s, Fort Worth conducted flight operations with its MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aircraft system and MH-60R Seahawk helicopter. Fort Worth encountered multiple People’s Liberation Army-Navy [PLA(N)] warships, each time taking the opportunity to use the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES).Following the brief stop for fuel in the Philippines, Fort Worth will return to Singapore for the International Maritime Defense Exhibition and Conference (IMDEX) 2015 just ahead of the second crew swap in late May.Throughout the summer and fall, Fort Worth will take part in most of the 2015 CARAT exercise series.[mappress mapid=”15951″]Image: US Navy View post tag: Navy May 13, 2015 Share this article
The jobholder performs highly complex professional accounting tasks related to the business office functions to ensure accuracy and compliance with all applicable regulations and laws. They will compile, maintain, and reconcile college budgets for all fund sources including capital/construction budgets. They will prepare financial reports including interim and annual financial statements for the college. This jobholder will reconcile account subsidiary ledgers to the general ledger, conduct internal audits, and report to external agencies. They will also handle the accounting and reporting for construction/construction-related activities including verification of capital encumbrances and maintaining budget summaries for active projects. The jobholder will also work with Construction and Facilities Offices in the performance of these duties.Education Required: – Bachelor’s degree in accounting, business or related field from a regionally accredited post-secondary institution.Experience Required: – 5 years of professional experience in accounting and financial operations including at least 1 year of experience analyzing the impact of legislation or regulations and establishing and implementing operational compliance proceduresExperience Preferred: – Experience with Datawatch Monarchhttp://gtcc.peopleadmin.com/postings/3051
Pie-maker Peter’s Food Service has teamed up with brewer and pub operator Greene King as part of a long-term campaign to support UK pubs.The ‘Pies for Pubs’ partnership enables Peter’s to approach many of Greene King’s tenanted pubs across England, offering to install bar-top pie cabinets and to deliver pies and pastries.The firm said negotiations between Peter’s and Greene King are still ongoing, but it is expected that additional joint promotions and product collaborations will be announced in the near future.“Our programme provides a simple, hassle-free way for pubs to increase their revenue, and it is fantastic to see big names like Greene King embracing it,” commented James Osgood, trade marketing director of Peter’s Food Service.>>Peter’s ramps up sporting contracts
Nearly a century after it was theorized, Harvard scientists report they have succeeded in creating the rarest material on the planet, which could eventually develop into one of its most valuable.Thomas D. Cabot Professor of the Natural Sciences Isaac Silvera and postdoctoral fellow Ranga Dias have long sought the material, called atomic metallic hydrogen. In addition to helping scientists answer some fundamental questions about the nature of matter, the material is theorized to have a wide range of applications, including as a room-temperature superconductor. Their research is described in a paper published today in Science.“This is the Holy Grail of high-pressure physics,” Silvera said of the quest to find the material. “It’s the first-ever sample of metallic hydrogen on Earth, so when you’re looking at it, you’re looking at something that’s never existed before.”In their experiments, Silvera and Dias squeezed a tiny hydrogen sample at 495 gigapascal (GPa), or more than 71.7 million pounds per square inch, which is greater than the pressure at the center of the Earth. At such extreme pressures, Silvera explained, solid molecular hydrogen, which consists of molecules on the lattice sites of the solid, breaks down, and the tightly bound molecules dissociate to transforms into atomic hydrogen, which is a metal.While the work creates an important window into understanding the general properties of hydrogen, it also offers tantalizing hints at potentially revolutionary new materials.“One prediction that’s very important is metallic hydrogen is predicted to be meta-stable,” Silvera said. “That means if you take the pressure off, it will stay metallic, similar to the way diamonds form from graphite under intense heat and pressure, but remain diamonds when that pressure and heat are removed.”Understanding whether the material is stable is important, Silvera said, because predictions suggest metallic hydrogen could act as a superconductor at room temperatures.“As much as 15 percent of energy is lost to dissipation during transmission,” he said, “so if you could make wires from this material and use them in the electrical grid, it could change that story.”A room temperature superconductor, Dias said, could change our transportation system, making magnetic levitation of high-speed trains possible, as well as making electric cars more efficient and improving the performance of many electronic devices. The material could also provide major improvements in energy production and storage. Because superconductors have zero resistance, superconducting coils could be used to store excess energy, which could then be used whenever it is needed.Metallic hydrogen could also play a key role in helping humans explore the far reaches of space, as a more powerful rocket propellant.Microscopic images of the stages in the creation of atomic molecular hydrogen: Transparent molecular hydrogen (left) at about 200 GPa, which is converted into black molecular hydrogen, and finally reflective atomic metallic hydrogen at 495 GPa. Courtesy of Isaac Silvera“It takes a tremendous amount of energy to make metallic hydrogen,” Silvera explained. “And if you convert it back to molecular hydrogen, all that energy is released, so that would make it the most powerful rocket propellant known to man, and could revolutionize rocketry.”The most powerful fuels in use today are characterized by a “specific impulse” (a measure, in seconds, of how fast a propellant is fired from the back of a rocket) of 450 seconds. The specific impulse for metallic hydrogen, by comparison, is theorized to be 1,700 seconds.“That would easily allow you to explore the outer planets,” Silvera said. “We would be able to put rockets into orbit with only one stage, versus two, and could send up larger payloads, so it could be very important.”In their experiments, Silvera and Dias turned to one of the hardest materials on Earth, diamond. But rather than natural diamond, Silvera and Dias used two small pieces of carefully polished synthetic diamond and treated them to make them even tougher. Then they mounted them opposite each other in a device known as a diamond anvil cell.“Diamonds are polished with diamond powder, and that can gouge out carbon from the surface,” Silvera said. “When we looked at the diamond using atomic force microscopy, we found defects, which could cause it to weaken and break.”The solution, he said, was to use a reactive ion etching process to shave a tiny layer — just five microns thick, or about a tenth the thickness of a human hair — from the diamond’s surface. The diamond was then coated with a thin layer of alumina to prevent the hydrogen from diffusing into the crystal structure and embrittling it.After more than four decades of work on metallic hydrogen, and nearly a century after it was first theorized, it was thrilling to see the results, Silvera said.“It was really exciting,” he said. “Ranga was running the experiment, and we thought we might get there, but when he called me and said, ‘The sample is shining,’ I went running down there, and it was metallic hydrogen.”“I immediately said we have to make the measurements to confirm it, so we rearranged the lab … and that’s what we did.”SaveSaveSave
Related By phone and online, the care continues Global race to a COVID-19 vaccine This is part of our Coronavirus Update series in which Harvard specialists in epidemiology, infectious disease, economics, politics, and other disciplines offer insights into what the latest developments in the COVID-19 outbreak may bring.Lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome have taken center stage as the most dreaded complications of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. But heart damage has recently emerged as yet another grim outcome in the virus’s repertoire of possible complications.COVID-19 is a spectrum disease, spanning the gamut from barely symptomatic infection to critical illness. Reassuringly, for the large majority of individuals infected with the new coronavirus, the ailment remains in the mild-to-moderate range.Yet, a number of those infected develop heart-related problems either out of the blue or as a complication of preexisting cardiac disease. A report from the early days of the epidemic described the extent of cardiac injury among 41 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: Five, or 12 percent, had signs of cardiovascular damage. These patients had both elevated levels of cardiac troponin — a protein released in the blood by the injured heart muscle — and abnormalities on electrocardiograms and heart ultrasounds. Since then, other reports have affirmed that cardiac injury can be part of coronavirus-induced harm. Moreover, some reports detail clinical scenarios in which patients’ initial symptoms were cardiovascular rather than respiratory in nature. How does the new coronavirus stoke cardiac damage?The ways in which the new coronavirus provokes cardiac injury are neither that new nor surprising, according to Harvard Medical School physician-scientists Peter Libby and Paul Ridker. The part that remains unclear is whether SARS-CoV-2 is somehow more virulent toward the heart than other viruses. Libby and Ridker, who are practicing cardiologists at Brigham and Women’s, say COVID-19-related heart injury could occur in any several ways.First, people with preexisting heart disease are at a greater risk for severe cardiovascular and respiratory complications from COVID-19. Similarly, research has shown that infection with the influenza virus poses a more severe threat for people with heart disease than those without cardiac problems. Research also shows that heart attacks can actually be brought on by respiratory infections such as the flu. Second, people with previously undiagnosed heart disease may be presenting with previously silent cardiac symptoms unmasked by the viral infection. In people with existing heart-vessel blockages, infection, fever, and inflammation can destabilize previously asymptomatic fatty plaques inside the heart vessels. Fever and inflammation also render the blood more prone to clotting, while also interfering with the body’s ability to dissolve clots — a one-two punch akin to throwing gasoline on smoldering embers.“It’s like one big stress test for the heart,” said Ridker, the Eugene Braunwald Professor of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.,Third, some people may experience heart damage that mimics heart attack injury even if their arteries lack the fatty, calcified flow-limiting blockages known to cause classic heart attacks. This scenario can occur when the heart muscle is starved for oxygen, which in the case of COVID-19 may be triggered by a mismatch between oxygen supply and oxygen demand. Fever and inflammation accelerate heart rate and increase metabolic demands on many organs, including the heart. That stress is compounded if the lungs are infected and incapable of exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide optimally. This impaired gas exchange can further diminish oxygen supply to the heart muscle.Finally, there is a subset of people with COVID-19 — some of them previously healthy and with no underlying cardiac problems — who develop fulminant inflammation of the heart muscle as a result of the virus directly infecting the heart. This type of inflammation could lead to heart rhythm disturbances and cardiac muscle damage as well as interfere with the heart’s ability to pump blood optimally. The propensity of certain viruses to attack the heart muscle and cause viral myocarditis is well known, Libby said, adding that the most notorious viral offender has been the Coxsackie B virus. A recent case report from Italy underscores the notion that the new coronavirus could also infect the heart and affect heart muscle function in healthy adults even after the acute phase of the infection has resolved and even in the absence of lung damage.“There are definitely some people who develop acute fulminant myocarditis — in which the virus infects the heart muscle itself or the cells within the heart — and causes a horrible inflammatory reaction,” said Libby, the Mallinckrodt Professor of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “This can be life threatening, and it can happen in people who don’t have any preexisting risk factors.”Libby and Ridker, however, say this out-of-the-blue scenario in otherwise healthy individuals is likely rare relative to the overall number of people with COVID-19 who experience heart problems. The frenemy withinFor Ridker and Libby, the cardiac involvement in COVID-19 is yet another striking example of the widespread effects of inflammation on multiple organs and systems. Inflammation is a critical defense response during infection, but it has a dark side. Infections can set off a cascade of immune signals that affect various organs. Libby and Ridker hypothesize that any infection in the body — a festering boil, an injured joint, a virus — can become a source of inflammation that activates the release of inflammatory proteins known as cytokines and calls up armies of white blood cells and other messenger molecules that, in an effort to fight the infection, disrupt normal processes. When these inflammatory molecules reach the welcoming soil of a fatty deposit in the blood vessel wall — one that is already studded with resident inflammatory white blood cells — the cytokines can boost the local inflammatory response and trigger a heart attack.“Our work has shown that cytokines can impinge on these cells in the plaque and push it through a round of further activation,” Libby said. “[Heart inflammation] can be life threatening, and it can happen in people who don’t have any preexisting risk factors.” — Peter Libby The inflammatory chemicals released during infection can also induce the liver to ramp up the production of important proteins that defend the body from infection. These proteins, however, make the blood more prone to clotting, while also reducing the secretion of natural clot-dissolving substances. The tiny clots that may form can clog the small blood vessels in the heart and other organs, such as the kidneys, depriving them of oxygen and nutrients and setting the stage for the multisystem failure that can occur in acute infection.Thus, immune-mediated injury to the heart and other organs could be collateral damage because of the body’s overwhelming systemic immune response — a condition known as cytokine storm, which is marked by the widespread release of cytokines that can cause cellular demise, tissue injury and organ damage.COVID-19 and blood pressure medicationsSARS-CoV-2 invades human cells by latching its spike protein onto the ACE2 receptor found on the surface of cells in the airways, lungs, heart, kidneys and blood vessels. The ACE2 protein is an important player in the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, which regulates blood vessel dilation and blood pressure. Two classes of drugs widely used to treat high blood pressure and heart disease — ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers — interact with the ACE2 receptor. A possible concern related to COVID-19 stems from the notion that these blood pressure medications could increase the number of ACE2 receptors expressed on cells, possibly creating more molecular gates for the virus to enter. Some experts have wondered whether the use of such drugs could render people who take them more susceptible to infection. Conversely, others have postulated that the abundance of ACE2 receptors may enhance cardiovascular function, exercising a protective effect during infection.The answer is far from clear, but a recent review suggests these medicines may play a dual role in COVID-19 — on the one hand, enhancing susceptibility to infection and, on the other, protecting the heart and ameliorating lung damage from the disease.Libby and Ridker cautioned that patients who take such life-saving medications should stay on them or at least have a careful discussion with their cardiologists. This is because these drugs have clear and well-established benefits in hypertension and certain forms of heart disease, while their propensity to make humans more susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 remains speculative for the time being.But what remains speculative today will crystalize in the weeks and months to come, Ridker and Libby said, because the science is moving forward rapidly, with new papers coming out daily and a growing pool of patients to draw observations from. Team at Harvard plans to launch clinical trial in fall Health Services director Giang Nguyen talks about adding remote services and new resources for Harvard community Hope for managing hospital admissions of COVID-19 cases “In 12 to 18 months we’re going to have a great deal of information, but right now our job is to, number one, keep people from getting COVID-19 by strict adherence to now-familiar containment measures,” Libby said. “Then, we need to get people who get the disease through this acute phase.”The need for rigorous randomized trials done quickly and effectively is acute, they said. Until the evidence from these trials begins to coalesce, clinicians will have to navigate the uncharted territory of delivering cardiac care in the time of pandemic with caution but also with resolve.“We don’t have the comfort of our usual databases, so we have to rely on our clinical skills and judgment. But we have to do so in all humility because often data don’t bear out our logical preconceptions,” Libby said. “Yet, we must act.” New projections suggest social-distancing measures in state may be flattening the curve
Poland emerging as major growth market for renewable energy FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Poland, which currently relies on coal for more than 70% of its electricity generation, is stepping up efforts to replace the dirty fuel with renewable energy. As the country finalizes its 2040 energy policy, some of the world’s biggest players in renewables are seeking to capture a share of the market.“Poland is busier than any market I’ve seen since I’ve been working in renewables,” said Gary Bills, regional director for Europe, Middle East and Africa at energy consultants K2 Management. “There’s massive interest in on and offshore wind.”It marks a drastic turnaround for Poland’s ruling Law & Justice party, which went from a blocker of wind farms to booster, amid the plummeting cost of renewables and a public backlash against some of the dirtiest air on the continent. The government’s shift also comes as the European Commission proposes linking its 750 billion-euro ($841 billion) economic stimulus program to the bloc’s climate goals.Poland will increase its renewable power capacity by 65% from 2019 to 2024, mostly from onshore wind farms, according to International Energy Agency estimates. The country’s first offshore wind turbines, in the Baltic Sea, are expected to start producing power by 2025.The conditions in Poland’s Baltic Sea are ideal for the giant turbines increasingly common off the coasts of the U.K., Germany and the Netherlands. There’s strong wind resources, shallow waters and the sites are near to shore, Roszak said.Poland’s government estimates its offshore wind potential will be about 10 gigawatts of capacity, or about a quarter of the nation’s current total available generation. Industry groups think it could be nearly three times higher. That could unleash billions of dollars in investment over the coming years. PGE, the country’s biggest utility, estimates that it will cost about 12 billion zloty ($3 billion) to build every gigawatt of offshore wind capacity.[Will Mathis and Maciej Martewicz]More: Europe’s coal heartland is the hottest market for green power
52SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Kara Vincent Kara Vincent is a Finance Officer at Lancaster Red Rose Credit Union. With over 15 years in the financial services industry, Kara provides an integral role in serving the needs … Web: https://www.lrrcu.org Details Social media should be used to your advantage as a customer service tool and a platform where you engage with your audience. Seventy-one percent of consumers who have had a good social media experience with a company are likely to recommend this brand to others. Individuals trust what others have to say. This is a winning tactic to keep loyal customers or score new ones.Creating Your Company’s Voice When responding to posts on social media, your credit union should have a unified voice that is evident from comment to comment. Try creating a template for different types of posts whether it’s a positive comment, question, or negative review. This way, even if multiple employees are responding as the voice of the company, the general tone sounds identical and cohesive.Positive Comments or QuestionsIf an individual took the time out of their day to leave a positive comment on your page or an individual post, thank them! Not only are you engaging with one person, but the entirety of your followers can see your brand’s genuine engagement. Use the customer’s name and make sure your responses are expressive, individualized, and show your brand’s personality. When responding to any question, make sure to respond by fully answering the question, providing links to your website, or easy to follow, step-by-step instructions if necessary.Negative Reviews or ExperiencesWe’ll say it again, on social media everyone can see what was said and how you respond as a company. No matter what, when responding to a negative review, you should always apologize in a respectful manner even if your credit union is not truly at fault. After apologizing, redirect by offering an incentive or viable solution to their issue. This doesn’t have to be done directly on the specific social media platform for everyone to see, especially if you’re offering a coupon or discount. You can apologize in a comment and ask them to direct message or email to continue the resolution of the problem there.How Often? On Twitter specifically, 78% of individuals who complain to a brand expect to have a response within an hour. It’s not a secret that people use social media as an outlet to release their frustrations. Responses to a post should be completed the day that it was posted. Nowadays, people expect things instantly. Make sure you are present and available to fix problems consistently and to the best of your ability. Be sure to check where your credit union has been tagged and mentioned on a daily basis so you can stay timely with responses.Share your favorite social media customer service responses with us below!
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York When the biggest story in years broke this month in the unsolved Long Island Serial Killer case, few noticed that an online community of crime buffs and two filmmakers sparked the revelation.The news went national when local investigators reported to a federal database that a DNA match meant partial skeletal remains found on Ocean Parkway in 2011 belonged to an unidentified woman whose torso was discovered in Rockville Centre in 1997, which in turn confirmed the victim—dubbed “Peaches” because of her fruit tattoo—was the mother of the lone child recovered amid the carnage uncovered in the Gilgo Beach murders probe. It was widely reported to be the most significant update in the investigation since the last bodies were found. Although most reports omitted it, the story behind how this forensic clue was unearthed raises as many questions about the case as the news itself.“Unfortunately, we’re playing catch up,” Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD cold case investigator told the Press while questioning why authorities didn’t announce Peaches’ link to Gilgo sooner. “We haven’t given her a name yet, but at least we have a connection.”Related Story: Unidentified Murder Victim Dubbed ‘Peaches’ Linked to Gilgo Beach KillingsNews of the link came on the week of the sixth anniversary of police finding the first of 10 murder victims along Ocean Parkway—11 for those that believe the missing woman authorities were looking for at the time, Shannan Gilbert, was also slain, although investigators have said they suspect she accidentally drowned in Oak Beach. Besides Gilbert, five of the victims have been identified. All five were last known to be sex workers.Among the remains were a set of skeletal extremities in a plastic bag found in the brush at Jones Beach State Park in Nassau County on April 11, 2011. It was one of the last discoveries on Ocean Parkway amid a massive search sparked by the unearthing of four women in Gilgo Beach four months prior. The Jones Beach remains were dubbed Jane Doe No. 3 and confirmed via DNA to be the adult relative of the toddler found a week prior about seven miles east, across the county line near Cedar Beach in Suffolk, but the woman didn’t appear to be listed in the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), a federal database designed to help investigators and the public identify John and Jane Does.“There just has to be at least an accurate accounting of these victims,” a man who uses the online pseudonym “Fieldnotes” on Websleuths, a popular online forum for true crime aficionados, was quoted as saying in episode three of The Killing Season, a docu-series about LISK and related cases that recently aired on A&E.Related Story: Did Police Name a Suspect in The Long Island Serial Killer Case?Fieldnotes is widely believed to be the first to bring attention to the fact that Jane Doe No. 3 wasn’t listed in NamUs. The English teacher and Massapequa native who asked that we not use his real name told the Press that he first learned of the omission while attending a vigil for the victims. He provided emails indicating that he first asked the NamUs in February 2013 why Jane Doe No. 3 wasn’t in the database—and continued pressing the issue for years.Josh Zeman and Rachel Mills, the filmmakers that produced The Killing Season, sent the same question to the Nassau County Medical Examiner’s office last month to follow up on Fieldnotes’ observation. The Press sent similar queries to the Nassau ME earlier this month. Eric Smith, a forensic medical investigator in the Nassau ME’s office, confirmed Dec. 13 that the reason Jane Doe No. 3 didn’t appear to be in NamUs is because she was actually Peaches, but the Peaches file wasn’t clarified to reflect that until Dec. 8.“It had always been our…belief that identifying the unidentified along Ocean Parkway would lead to a break in the case and we really believed that the Websleuths community could help do this,” Zeman said.Webslueths’ owner, Tricia Griffith, and longtime website moderator Deb Smith, who goes by the handle Bessie, confirmed that Fieldnotes was the first to bring attention to Jane Doe No. 3’s omission from NamUs. They pointed to it as an example of how the site can help advance investigations.Related Story: Long Island Coroners Seek ID for 38 Unidentified Human Remains“There are still police departments that look at us as annoying and interfering,” Griffith said, “and others see the potential and understand Webslueths is an amazing tool that they can use.”A Suffolk police spokesman told the Press that the news on Peaches “was not a revelation” to their detectives. Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini told Newsday that the department knew of the link for two years. Asked why there was a delay in releasing information that could potentially help identify Peaches and her child, dubbed Baby Doe, both Nassau police and the Nassau medical examiner’s office declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.“There must be a reason why this was not made public,” Zeman said, theorizing that Peaches’ mutilation suggests that she and her child could have died at the hands of the same killer that similarly dismembered three other Ocean Parkway victims whose partial remains were also found scattered on Fire Island and in Manorville over the past 20 years. Authorities have said they believe there is two or more killers that used Ocean Parkway as a dumping ground.Todd Matthews, a spokesman for NamUs, and Dr. Michael Caplan, the chief Suffolk County Medical Examiner, noted that it’s not unusual for found partial remains to be linked via DNA with a previously discovered victim. Matthews doubted that investigators intentionally withheld the information. Giacalone, the former cold case investigator, said that if the information was intentionally held back by authorities, it wasn’t a wise move.“To me, there would be no investigatory reason to withhold that information,” he said. “It would actually benefit Nassau to get that information out there, because at least their clearance rates would improve.”Related Story: Escort Claims Ex-SCPD Chief Burke Paid Her For Sex At Oak Beach Drug Party Amid Gilgo Slayings ProbeAll involved expressed hope that the revelation will help detectives learn the identity of Peaches and Baby Doe. Both the extremities and Baby Doe were found with similar gold jewelry.“If we can ID any of the unidentified, I think that can be the biggest step in the next big break in the case,” said Mills, the filmmaker.Zeman wondered aloud why the update came now. Was it because the anniversary of the case drew increased interest? Because a recently enacted New York State law requiring coroners to post information on unidentified deceased persons into NamUs? Or because so many people were asking about Jane Doe No. 3?“At some point you have to ask yourself, does revealing the fact that there’s a serial killer in both Nassau County and Suffolk County, do the police have a requirement to release that to the public?” Zeman asked. “To somehow say that this is only an issue for sex workers continues to marginalize them. They are human beings and part of the public and therefore this is a public safety issue.”
The House of Representatives has its eyes set on deliberating three problematic bills, namely the omnibus bill on job creation and revisions to the Criminal Code (KUHP) and 1995 Correctional Center Law, as the country grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic and despite persistent public protests against the bills.House Deputy Speaker Azis Syamsuddin announced in a plenary session on Thursday that all House factions and commissions had agreed during a consultation meeting a day before to deliberate the three bills. Topics : Another Dems lawmaker, Herman Khaeron, echoed Benny’s sentiments.”We respect the other legislative agendas, but it’s better for us to focus on COVID-19,” he said.House Speaker Puan Maharani, who attended the meeting virtually did not say anything related to the deliberation of the problematic bills.The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) executive and daughter of the party’s chairwoman and former president, Megawati Sukarnoputri, previously appeared reluctant to deliberate the omnibus bill on job creation. She had cited that the House should be careful in discussing it amid growing public objections against the bill.Students, workers, activists and experts had taken to the streets to protest the government and House’s plan to endorse it, claiming that it would harm the nation’s democracy, environment and interests of workers. They had initially geared up for street rallies in March to protest the articles in the bill, which was cancelled due to restrictions on mass gatherings during the pandemic.Critics have also slammed the legislative agenda, saying that lawmakers used the pandemic to diminish public participation in the deliberation of the problematic bills.Activists and members of the public have also been persistent in protesting revisions to the KUHP and Correctional Center Law, deeming them as threats to democracy and civil rights.In September 2019, tens of thousands of university students and citizens also took to the streets to oppose the deliberation of the two bills, which prompted the government and the House to postpone deliberations. Activists from the National Alliance for the Reform of the KUHP said the government and the House should not use the pandemic as an opportunity to discuss the problematic bills.The alliance noted that the final draft of the KUHP bill included many controversial articles that would over-criminalize people, including articles to restore a ban on insulting the President that had been repealed by the Constitutional Court. The draft also included stipulations on morality that criminalize, among other things, consensual sex between unmarried people, cohabitation and the promotion of contraception.”If the government and the House still insist on doing this, it would actually worsen the COVID-19 pandemic. We called on the deliberations to be immediately postponed until the situation returns to normal,” the activists said in a written statement on Thursday.The National Welfare Movement (Gekanas) labor union called on the House to stop the deliberation of the omnibus bill, saying that it would hold a massive protest if the request was ignored.”If they don’t listen to our demands, we will hold a massive protest despite the pandemic,” the group saidCharles Simabura, a researcher at Andalas University’s Center for Constitutional Studies, called on President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to withdraw the presidential letter that gave a green light for the deliberations, saying that the government should focus its energy on COVID-19 and the wide impacts that it brought.”If this continues, it is clear that the government and the House are using the pandemic as an opportunity to pass the problematic bills,” he said. “Lawmakers have discussed and approved them in the plenary agenda,” the Golkar Party politician said, adding that 31 lawmakers attended the meeting at the House compound , while 278 joined the meeting virtually.Azis explained that the House’s Legislation Body (Baleg) would handle deliberations for the omnibus bill while House Commission III overseeing legal affairs would discuss the KUHP and Correctional Center Law draft revisions.Despite the approval to continue deliberations, some lawmakers expressed their objections, stating that the House and its executive partner should instead focus on the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.“The House and the government should focus on the management of COVID-19. We should postpone the other agenda items. It’s not right. People are facing a difficult situation due to the pandemic. Many of them are struggling to eat, but we, out of the blue, are discussing the omnibus bill and the other bills,” Benny K. Harman of the Democratic Party said.
Prosecutors have demanded that two police officers be given one-year jail terms for their involvement in the acid attack on Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigator Novel Baswedan in which the graft buster lost an eye.The two defendants, Chief Brig. Ronny Bugis and Brig. Rahmat Kadir Mahulette from the National Police’s Mobile Brigade Corps headquarters in Kelapa Dua, Depok, West Java, have been charged with violating Article 353 clause 2 of the Criminal Code on planned torture that causes severe bodily harm. The offense carries a maximum of seven years’ imprisonment.After both defendants allegedly scouted Novel’s house for several days prior to the attack, Rahmat is accused of throwing sulfuric acid in Novel’s face in April 2017 when the latter was walking home from morning prayers at Al Ihsan Mosque in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta. Ronny’s alleged role was driving Rahmat on his motorcycle on the day of the attack. However, their good behavior and cooperation in the trial and their prior service as police officers were regarded as mitigating factors.The defendants’ lawyers said that they would file their defense on Monday, which was approved by the panel of judges.The police were criticized for their sluggish investigation as, before the arrest, a string of investigations carried out by the police and a fact-finding team formed by then National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian — who now serves as home minister — was unable to identify the attackers. The police finally managed to arrest both suspects in December 2019, two and a half years after the attack.Novel expressed his disappointment at the one-year sentence demand shortly after the court hearing, saying that it was proof that the trial was a mere formality.“Outrageous indeed. My daily duty was to eradicate the legal mafia through the Corruption Law. Yet I’ve become the victim of this kind of comical practice,” Novel posted on his twitter account @nazaqistsha, sarcastically congratulating President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo for “the achievement”.Novel’s advocacy team also noted several suspicious aspects about the case, such as charging the defendants with torture instead of attempted murder and not inviting three witnesses who had been previously been investigated by the police.“The prosecutors seemed like they were defending the defendants. The public can easily conclude that from the demands made for the two defendants,” advocacy team member Alghiffari Aqsa wrote in a statement published on Thursday. Topics : Ronny and Rahmat have been accused of attacking Novel because of the latter’s work as an investigator for the KPK, which saw several powerful and corrupt politicians and government officials ending up behind bars. Both saw Novel’s work as an attack on the police.“The assault caused a major injury that would hinder Novel from doing his job as KPK investigator,” the prosecutors read out the indictment at the North Jakarta District Court.The attack left Novel’s left eye with third-degree burns, in addition to first- and second-degree burns to his face, according to a medical report. During a previous court session, it was revealed that his left eye is now completely blind while the right eye retains about 50 percent of its normal vision.The prosecutors said that Ronny and Rachmat’s offense stained the reputation of the National Police and this was an exacerbating factor in their indictments. Prosecutors said as a police officer whose duty was to ensure public safety, Ronny should have prevented the attack.