Hong Kong eases some coronavirus curbs, allows gatherings of four

first_imgHong Kong will expand the size of public gatherings to four people and re-open more sports venues from Friday as the Asian financial hub relaxes strict curbs against a third wave of the coronavirus.The measures come as new daily cases have dropped into the single digits from three figures. Last week gyms and massage parlors re-opened and night-time dining hours were extended.Restaurants will be allowed to seat four people, up from two now, while indoor and outdoor recreation spaces will re-open, said Sophia Chan, the city’s health secretary, but swimming pools are to stay shut. “We must strike a balance. The third wave is entering two months already and we have yet to see an end to it,” Chan told a news briefing, adding that new infections were being reported each day, some of unknown origin.A mass testing scheme initiated by China for Hong Kong has picked up 16 new cases from more than 800,000 people tested, the government said on Tuesday.About 1.2 million people in the city have sought tests from a population of 7 million.Theme parks and convention centers could re-open on Sept. 18 in the former British colony, if conditions allow, authorities said, adding that Hong Kong was discussing travel bubbles with nations such as Singapore and Thailand.Hong Kong Disneyland, majority-owned by the government with Walt Disney holding a minority stake, closed temporarily on July 15 for a second time this year due to the virus, after having reopened in June.Hong Kong aims to re-open from Sept. 23 for face-to-face classes, as it eases curbs that have kept about 900,000 students working at home for more than four months. Topics :last_img read more

COVID-19 now a real threat to year-end polls

first_imgEpidemiologist Tri Yunis Miko Wahyono said such a lack of discipline in social distancing during elections would definitely increase the risk of COVID-19 transmissions in the country, attributing it to the failure of the KPU to impose stricter sanctions on offenders.He warned that the transmissions would further escalate if people kept neglecting protocols in the coming campaign season, which will run from Sep. 26 to Dec. 5.“Therefore, the sanctions must be firm. If they repeatedly violate the rules, the KPU should drop their candidacy,” Tri said on Tuesday.Read also: ‘We should not stop being democratic’: Govt insists on holding regional races in December Democracy and public health are under threat as the 2020 simultaneous regional elections in 270 regions across Indonesia may emerge as new sources of COVID-19 infections in the country, experts and lawmaker have warned.The Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) has found that 243 prospective candidates ignored health protocols when they brought along large entourages to register their candidacies with the local offices of the General Elections Commission (KPU) from Sept. 4 to Sept. 6.These prospective candidates and their supporters violated a KPU regulation that prohibits mass-gatherings during all stages of the elections, from the preparations starting from June 15 to the final vote count a week after the Dec. 9 polling day. The regulation says the KPU can only issue a warning to the candidates and campaign teams. Netty Prasetiyani of House of Representatives’ Commission IX overseeing health said stricter sanctions were key to preventing transmissions during elections and that all candidates should educate their supporters better about COVID-19 prevention.”The KPU announcement [of eligible candidates on Sept. 23] and campaign events should be carried out virtually. Prospective leaders must prioritize their people’s health,” she said.The government and the House insisted in late May on holding the elections on Dec. 9 despite the health risks. The KPU has since found itself under pressure to draft special health measures.Read also: So much work, so little time: KPU under pressure over regional pollsExperts and activists have repeatedly urged authorities to postpone the elections, as the COVID-19 outbreak in the country could continue late into the year, but so far to no avail.They say the elections, to choose 270 regional leaders comprising nine governors, 224 regents and 37 mayors, will put voters and election organizers at risk of contracting the disease. They have also expressed concern about low voter turnout should the outbreak in the country show no signs of abating, thus discouraging people from showing up at polling stations and eventually undermining democracy.Now, with three months to go to polling day, the KPU has found that 46 out of 734 prospective candidates have tested positive for COVID-19. Several hopefuls have died of the disease even before placing their bids.KPU commissioner Hasyim Asy’ari told The Jakarta Post the commission would continue verifying the 46 names online rather than in person.If they pass the verification, they are still eligible to run in the elections despite having the disease. However, they will not be allowed to hold campaigns as they will be required to focus on their recovery, according to the KPU.Political parties endorsing candidates who have died of COVID-19 after registering with the KPU can replace them with new names by providing death certificates of the former candidates, Hasyim said.A Democratic Party-backed regent candidate in Karo regency, North Sumatra, Kena Ukur Karo Jambi Surbakti, 74, died from COVID-19 on the last day of registration for regional elections on Sunday. The party later replaced him with his daughter after the supporting parties, the Golkar Party and the National Mandate Party, agreed to the substitution.But Fadli Ramadhanil of the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem) recommended that the government, the KPU and the House postpone the remaining election stages, including the campaign period.“In a critical situation like this, they should consider whether these election stages should continue or not,” he said.Read also: Majority of public wants regional elections delayed: SurveysPresident Joko “Jokowi” Widodo was quick to comment on the issue, saying that the elections could not be postponed because the government could not predict when the outbreak would end.Jokowi, whose eldest son Gibran Rakabuming Raka and son-in-law Bobby Afif Nasution are running in the Surakarta, Central Java, and Medan, North Sumatra, mayoral races, respectively, doubled down on his message for election organizers to enforce strict health protocols in the lead-up to and on voting day.“The safety and health of the public is everything, so enforcing health protocols is non-negotiable,” Jokowi said.KPU head Arief Budiman said the commission was set to apply stricter health protocols for the coming campaign period, the conditions of which have been laid out in the prevailing regulation.The commission will allow only 100 participants during face-to-face campaign rallies, which will be limited to one session for each mayoral and regency candidate and two sessions for each gubernatorial candidate.Above all, the commission is urging candidates to refrain from hosting campaign rallies in person and instead turn to online platforms.Bawaslu head Abhan said the agency was now considering reporting those candidates in the future who neglect health protocols to the police. “We are exploring numerous possibilities. One option is to use criminal offenses under the Criminal Code or the Health Quarantine Law.”Topics :last_img read more

Borussia Dortmund chief ‘cannot understand’ Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s ‘clown’ outburst

first_imgAdvertisement Zorc, right, has defended the comments made by Watzke, left, about Aubameyang (Getty)But Zorc has defended his colleague and believes Watzke was only speaking in jest, while he is surprised by the ferocity of Aubameyang’s response given how much he was supported at Dortmund.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘I think Auba was a bit out of tune to the tone and choice of words. Aki [Watzke] did not say anything bad and meant no harm,’ said Zorc at a press conference on Friday.‘In the time Auba was with us, during four-and-a-half years, we have always stood behind him even in difficult situations.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘In that sense, I cannot understand now why he’s had such a strong and exaggerated reaction.’Asked what Aubameyang’s tweet was referring to, Zorc added: ‘What he means, and I know all the details, I cannot tell you. We don’t have any blame.’ Comment The Arsenal striker reacted angrily to comments made by Hans-Joachim Watzke (Picture: Getty)Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has defended Hans-Joachim Watzke after he became involved in a spat with Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.The Dortmund CEO took an unprompted swipe at Aubameyang during Wednesday’s Champions League action, suggesting he only moved to the Emirates for the money.Aubameyang reacted angrily to the remarks, calling Watzke a ‘clown’ and citing the club’s sale of Ousmane Dembele to Barcelona as a mark of his hypocrisy. Metro Sport ReporterFriday 4 Oct 2019 12:47 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link422Sharescenter_img The Arsenal striker has been prolific for the Gunners since leaving Dortmund (Picture: Getty)Aubameyang missed out on Champions League football again this season, with Watzke saying he would be ‘saddened’ when watching the competition even if his bank balance is healthy.The Arsenal star responded on Twitter, saying: ‘Better for you I never talk about why I really left Dortmund Mr Watzke you such a clown.‘I remember that time you said we never gonna sell Ousmane then you saw more than 100M you were the first to take that money don’t talk about money please!!! Leave me alone pls (sic).’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Borussia Dortmund chief ‘cannot understand’ Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s ‘clown’ outburst Advertisementlast_img read more

BLOG: Governor Wolf Wishes Pennsylvanians a Happy Thanksgiving (VIDEO)

first_img By: Governor Tom Wolf The Blog,  Videos November 26, 2015 SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img As one of the original thirteen colonies in America, Pennsylvania has a long history of firsts for our nation. For example, as many folks know, both the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation were signed in our commonwealth, and the American Constitution was drafted here. However, what many Pennsylvanians may not realize is that Thanksgiving was first proclaimed in my hometown of York, Pennsylvania.Today, as Americans and Pennsylvanians, we continue to hold our independence as one of our proudest values, and we continue to work towards peace in our homes, communities, schools, workplaces, state, and nation. It is as true today as it was in 1777 that we are grateful for these American principles.This year, Frances and I are thankful for the opportunity granted to us by Pennsylvania’s voters to lead our state into a bright, successful future. My administration remains committed to upholding the principles for which our founding fathers fought and said thanks in our commonwealth almost 250 years ago.Today, I’d like to wish all of the people of Pennsylvania a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.Thank you.Governor Tom WolfTo read Governor Wolf’s Thanksgiving Day proclamation, click here.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf BLOG: Governor Wolf Wishes Pennsylvanians a Happy Thanksgiving (VIDEO)last_img read more

Governor Wolf Joins EDF, Google and People’s to Launch Methane Mapping in Pittsburgh

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Governor Wolf Joins EDF, Google and People’s to Launch Methane Mapping in Pittsburgh November 15, 2016center_img Environment,  Press Release Pittsburgh, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today joined the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Google, People’s Natural Gas and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) to unveil their partnership to map methane leaks in Pittsburgh and highlight his administration’s strategy to reduce emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change and has been implicated in health risks.“This partnership that will use Google’s existing assets – their Street View cars –  to identify hidden underground methane leaks from local natural gas systems is truly groundbreaking and so important,” Governor Wolf said. “The results of this effort will help the utility and its regulators to efficiently target the largest repair needs to prevent further leaks and help us reach our goal of establishing a robust energy and protecting our public health in Pennsylvania.”EDF and Google have been working together to explore the potential of new technologies to measure key environmental data and make that data more widely available. The Methane Mapping project uses sensors attached to Google Street View cars to create detailed maps of places where natural gas is leaking from utility pipes under city streets. To learn more about this important partnership, visit here.Pittsburgh will be the first location for this project in Pennsylvania and People’s Natural Gas was the first natural gas utility to initiate contact on their own with EDF.Earlier this year, Governor Wolf launched a groundbreaking strategy to reduce emissions of methane. The plan is designed to reduce emissions from natural gas well sites, compressor stations and along pipelines, and will protect the environment, reduce climate change, and help businesses reduce the waste of a valuable product.“Curbing methane leaks keeps more natural gas in the pipelines where it go to homes and businesses – not just wasting it by letting it drift into the atmosphere,” said Patrick McDonnell, Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. “At DEP we’re working to write new rules to keep methane in the pipes with cutting edge leak-detection technology and cutting down on emissions from wells and compressor stations.”Methane, the primary component of natural gas, has been identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the second-most prevalent greenhouse gas emitted in the United States from human activities.  It has more than 28 to 36 times more warming power than carbon dioxide, according to data from the federal government.Included in Pennsylvania’s methane reduction plan are these four strategies:To reduce leaks at new unconventional natural gas well pads, DEP will develop a new general permit for oil and gas exploration, development, and production facilities, requiring Best Available Technology (BAT) for equipment and processes, better record-keeping, and quarterly monitoring inspections.To reduce leaks at new compressor stations and processing facilities, DEP will revise its current general permit, updating best-available technology requirements and applying more stringent LDAR, other requirements to minimize leaks. A new condition will require the use of Tier 4 diesel engines that reduce emissions of particulate matter and nitrous oxide by about 90%.To reduce leaks at existing oil and natural gas facilities, DEP will develop requirements for existing sources for consideration by the Environmental Quality Board.To reduce emissions along production, gathering, transmission and distribution lines, DEP will establish best management practices, including leak detection and repair programs.With federal estimates that the natural gas and oil industries account for a quarter of U.S. methane emissions, reducing methane leaks from the oil and gas sector is one of the essential steps needed to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the impacts of climate change.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolflast_img read more

Governor Wolf Takes Father’s Day Pledge to End Gender Violence

first_imgGovernor Wolf Takes Father’s Day Pledge to End Gender Violence June 16, 2017 Press Release,  PSA Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today is urging Pennsylvanians to join him in taking the Father’s Day Pledge to end gender violence. Governor Wolf is joining the Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates, along with other elected officials and men across Pennsylvania, to commit to never use violence in relationships, speak up, support work to end gender violence, and be a mentor to younger men.“It is important that all Pennsylvanians work towards reducing violence of all forms, but domestic violence is particularly damaging to women, kids and our communities,” Governor Wolf said. “Strong men respect women and by speaking out and raising awareness about the dangers for women and families, we can help end gender violence and make our communities more safe”Governor Wolf encouraged fellow Pennsylvanians to take the Father’s Day Pledge to End Gender Violence at http://pasaysnomore.com.The campaign, organized by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, asks each signer to pledge to work to end gender violence and:Never use violence of any form in my relationships.Speak up if another man is abusing his partner or is disrespectful or abusive to women and girls.Support women who are working to end all forms of gender violence.Mentor and teach boys about how to be men in ways that don’t involve degrading or abusing girls and women.According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime to the point in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence is a statewide collaborative membership organization committed to ending intimate partner violence and all forms of violence against women.center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Amara Residences has thrown down the gauntlet on sophisticated living

first_imgThe new $20 million Amara Residences is bringing a new level of sophistication to the Bulimba riverfront.DRAWING inspiration from the classic Queenslander, the new $20 million Amara Residences at Bulimba aim to bring elegance to the riverfront.Award-winning Brisbane architectural firm BVN has taken the meaning of Amara — “peaceful and eternal” — and made the 13 residences not only a place of calm to escape the hustle of the city, but also given them a timeless twist.BVN associate Glenn Bliesner said Amara Residences design paid homage to the Queensland lifestyle while adding a new level of sophistication by creating design that was more like living in a home than an apartment.Amara Residences in Bulimba.He said they aimed to bridge the gap between living areas and the natural environment, adding touches such as an enclosed all-weather balcony that became its own room.“This is not a typical viewing balcony, it’s actually an extension of the kitchen,” Bliesner said.“It’s a multifunctional space that could even be used as a pool room or a second living room.“Because we all like a backyard, there’s a touch of this on every level in the alfresco areas next to the urban balconies where we have placed special grassed planters that serve both design and function.”Amara Residences is a mix of two, three and four-bedroom offerings, ranging from 93sq m to 197sq m and starting from $1.99 million.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home5 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor5 hours agoAmara Residences in Bulimba.The apartments use natural tones of timber, masonry and stone, softened with natural greenery.Full-length glass walls take advantage of the stunning river views, while extended ceiling heights up to 3.8m in some living spaces add to natural light and ventilation.PDS Group development manager Michael Sutherland, whose company is seeing the project through from inception to completion, said the McConnell Street site could have fitted a higher density development, but that didn’t fit with the companies vision to create a destination residence.“Luxury living areas, spacious outdoor areas, commanding riverfront views and privacy bring all the elements of an exclusive Queensland home on the river to the fore here,” Sutherland said.Cloistered lobbies give the privacy of a home entry while quality fittings and European appliances give the final touch of elegance.Ground-floor residences have their own plunge pools on the garden terrace, overlooking a grassed river walk that leads to the water’s edge.Sutherland said the residences had been designed specifically for owner occupiers, a sector of the market that was benefiting from rising interstate migration and empty nesters downsizing.All residences have built-in day beds in their master bedroom, while some ensuites feature deep freestanding bathtubs and all have spacious walk-in robes.Amara is a short walk from Bulimba’s wealth of retail and recreational facilities, and is close to the Apollo Road City Cat terminal.last_img read more

Nationally the property market may have slowed but Brisbane is still on the increase

first_imgNerida Conisbee REA Group Chief Economist said demand still existed for the Brisbane market.WHILE it may not be at the pace many investors would like, Brisbane house values are continuing to slowly move ahead.As price growth begins to slow in other capitals, Brisbane property values are still on the increase – if a little incrementally.The good news though is for renters. With rents continuing to decline, tenants are finally in a position of power to negotiate on rents and conditions.The latest CoreLogic market analysis reveals that in the quarter to the end of July within the Brisbane City Council region, median house prices have increased 0.8 per cent to $665,000 while unit prices have dropped by 0.7 per cent to $444,000. MIGRATION to Queensland highest in years Within the Greater Brisbane area, that is including council regions of Ipswich, Logan, Moreton and Redlands, the median house value rose 0.5 per cent during the September quarter and unit values went up 0.1 per centCoreLogic research analyst Cameron Kusher said while, clearly the market was not particularly strong, houses were significantly outperforming units.REA Group chief economist Nerida Conisbee said buyer demand on realestate.com.au was not too bad in Brisbane.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this homeless than 1 hour agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investorless than 1 hour agoShe said the segment of the market feeling the pinch was the investor market which had been affected by restrictions on borrowing.But she said there was some positivity with growing offshore demand, particularly from China, for Brisbane apartments. THE nation buying 8 per cent of new Queensland homes Ms Conisbee said the big winners in the current property market were renters.According to CoreLogic figures, Brisbane’s median asking rent for houses was now $450 a week and for units it was $400 a week.Weekly rents were down 0.1 per cent for the quarter on the back of a series of drops.Ms Conisbee said a drop in asking rents put tenants in the box seat.“It’s great for renters in terms of what they can pay, but also the types of conditions they can negotiate, whether it’s to allow pets in their rental or longer- or shorter-term leases,’’ she said.last_img read more

Welcome to the stunning Monaco St mansion that can clean its own windows

first_imgThe mansion is built with an expansive amount of glassThe property is home to luxury features including honed fossilised shell stone terraces and self-cleaning Pilkington Activ glass windows, sensor taps, electric blinds and an integrated sound system. More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North3 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa23 hours agoHomeowners Paul and Patricia Robinson said they mulled over the plans to build a house that was functional, fluid and engaging. 49 Monaco St even has views from the sink picture perfect views are captured in this amazing designA TEAM of designers have brewed up a striking mansion that doesn’t just look beautiful but can clean itself too. While Gold Coast architect Michael Witty set to work on bringing the residence to life, landscape designer Paul Bangay created an ultra-modern garden — and the result is amazing. A black marble seats is the showpiece of the courtyardWith expansive glass and stunning views the property certainly does bring the river views inside. The kitchen features timber finishes and seamlessly opens into the courtyard which is visible throughout the house. A black marble seat inset with lighting and water creates a unique sculpture in the courtyard. “The marble seat doubles up as a water feature and it was all the work of designer Paul Bangay,” Ms Robinson said. 49 Monaco St comes with an elegant style “It’s a funny story because Paul and I were originally the neighbours to this home,” she said.“We were at No. 47 and we were there for 23 years so we really didn’t move very far after two decades.”Ms Robinson said it was the waterfront lifestyle she loved most about Monaco St. “There are a lot of wow factors but the design is all about capturing the marvel of the river,” she said. last_img read more

Would you buy a display home as an investment?

first_imgOpulence is evident in the kitchen.It’s one of 31 homes from 10 builders that are on show in the $500 million Helensvale community.The five-bedroom, three-bathroom Black Label design ‘The Desert’ is described as being able to ‘comfortably fit among palatial Palm Springs properties or high in the Hollywood Hills’.Inside, an atrium invites the outside in while the decor is a combination of Californian charm and the latest in integrated technologies. Modern decor features throughout. The bedroom in the master wing. An atrium fills the interior with light.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa19 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago The designer make-up station at the residence.The property also features a rear terrace and courtyard, grassed roof and separate wings, including the master wing that includes a spacious bedroom, make-up station, dressing room and ensuite with steam room. 16 Clover Way, Helensvale is on the market for $1.69 million.ONE of the first houses in the Gold Coast’s biggest display home village has hit the market.The Aston Milan display home in The Surrounds — Villawood Properties is listed for $1.69 million. A render of The Surrounds estate in Helensvale. The first phase is due for completion in 2019.According to the property listing, as part of the sale Aston Milan will lease the property off the buyer from settlement until November 2019 with a guarantee return of five per cent of the sale price.More than 195 of 620 lots in the village have been sold, with the first phase of the development due for completion in 2019.last_img read more