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Power failures cost London ‘millions every minute’

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Back on the road again

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Inner City: James Whitmore

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PREMIUMUrban farmers withstand floods, pests in Jakarta’s surviving paddy fields

first_imgThe sun gently touched paddy in the middle of a dense neighborhood on a Thursday afternoon in Rorotan village, Cilincing district, North Jakarta, highlighting different colors of the paddy — green on some fresh blocks and golden on others that were ready to harvest.“After it rained, it took days to wait for submerged blocks to return to normal. So, as you can see, some plants are only 10 weeks old,” said Abdul Kadir, the Rorotan farmer group leader.Recent floods had caused not only a delay in the rice planting season, Abdul said, but also the abundance of pests in the paddy fields and less efficient rice production.“From 2014, there were always rats in every planting season. But it is only during the flood season like this that plenty of them come out their holes for fear of sheltering in the holes. They only cause trouble in the plantation area,” he … Linkedin Facebook Topics : Forgot Password ? LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Google Log in with your social account urban-farming #Jakarta North-Jakarta farmers #farmers #NorthJakarta paddy-field paddy-farmerslast_img read more

Continue Reading... PREMIUMUrban farmers withstand floods, pests in Jakarta’s surviving paddy fields
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PREMIUMAdaptation of local wisdom key to flood control in Jakarta, say experts

first_imgLinkedin LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Google Forgot Password ? Log in with your social account The extreme rainfall that hit Jakarta at the start of the year seems to have eased in the past weeks, but flooding remains in some parts of the capital after normal downpours.Residents of Kebon Pala in Kampung Melayu and Tengah in Kramat Jati in East Jakarta were hit by floods up to a maximum of 1 meter in depth on Tuesday.Amid the never-ending debate about whether river “normalization” or “naturalization” projects are better, some experts have urged policymakers to shift from such a conventional approach focusing on hard infrastructure to flood adaptation.Living in harmony with floods is crucial to reducing damage, according to Adam Madigliani Prana, a PhD student at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Flooding is not an unusual phenomenon for the city, even since the Dutch colonial era.Adam, who is doing a doctoral thesis on communities adapti… Topics : Jakarta-flood #Jakarta flood-control flood #flooding #PublicParticipation public-participation local-wisdom Facebooklast_img read more

Continue Reading... PREMIUMAdaptation of local wisdom key to flood control in Jakarta, say experts
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Global virus deaths pass 150,000 as Trump endorses lockdown protests

first_imgTrump did not offer evidence, but pressure has mounted in recent days on Beijing to come clean over its handling of the original outbreak.Leaders in France and Britain have also questioned China’s management of the crisis but Beijing hit back, saying it had not concealed information about the illness.Signs that the outbreak could be easing in parts of Europe prompted Switzerland, Denmark and Finland to begin reopening shops schools this week.Germany’s health minister said infection rates had “sunk significantly” after 3,400 deaths in his country, which is now beginning the delicate task of lifting some restrictions without triggering a secondary outbreak.Some small shops will be allowed to reopen Monday, and some children would return to school within weeks.Parts of Italy also began emerging from lockdown, with Venice residents strolling around quiet canals.But Japan, Britain and Mexico all expanded their current movement restrictions.Read also: China’s Wuhan raises coronavirus death toll by 50% citing early lapsesVulnerable economiesSigns of the economic damage of the pandemic are mounting, with China reporting its first contraction in GDP in several decades.The Trump administration pledged another $19 billion in relief for farmers reeling from a massive jolt to the agricultural markets with schools and restaurants shuttered across the country.Part of the funds will be used to buy up surplus dairy products and produce that farmers have been destroying, unable to get it to consumers or food processors.”Having to dump milk and plow under vegetables ready to market is not only financially distressing, but it’s heartbreaking as well to those who produce them,” agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue said.African state leaders and global financial bodies warned on Friday that the continent needed tens of billions of dollars in additional funds to fight the outbreak.The IMF also warned the virus could spark another “lost decade” in Latin America and backed debt moratoriums to free up spending for the region’s fragile economies. Topics : Coronavirus deaths have surged past 150,000 worldwide with nearly a quarter of them in the United States, where President Donald Trump lent his support to protesters rallying against lockdown orders.Evidence is mounting that social distancing successfully slowed the pandemic after more than half of humanity — 4.5 billion people — were confined to their homes.Governments around the world are now grappling with when and how to ease lockdowns that have crippled the global economy, even as the COVID-19 death toll climbs further in hard-hit countries. Demonstrators in three US states assembled in public this week to call for an end to the restrictions, with the largest protest in Michigan attracting 3,000 people — some of whom were armed.Trump has largely left decisions on easing lockdowns to state officials even as he outlined guidelines for a staged reopening of the national economy.But his call to “liberate” Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia in a series of tweets were quickly rebuked by the Democratic leaders of the three states.”I do not have time to involve myself in Twitter wars,” said Virginia governor Ralph Northam.center_img The US accounts for nearly a third of the 2.2 million coronavirus infections reported globally.It has also recorded around 37,000 deaths, more than any other nation, followed by Italy, Spain and France which have all been ravaged by their own outbreaks.However these figures likely reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections, because many countries are testing only the most serious cases.Virtually no corner of the world has been left untouched, with deaths in Africa passing 1,000 overnight.Nigeria announced the death of President Muhammadu Buhari’s top aide on Saturday, the highest-profile person to succumb to the virus in Africa’s most populous nation.Read also: US surpasses 700,000 coronavirus casesCover-up claimsChina sharply raised its own death toll to 4,636 on Friday after adding another 1,290 fatalities for the city of Wuhan, where the respiratory disease first emerged late last year.Trump, who has angrily shot back at claims he reacted too slowly to the virus threat, has accused Beijing of downplaying the impact of the virus within its borders.”It is far higher than that and far higher than the US, not even close!” he tweeted.last_img read more

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Government turns to domestic industry to modernize defense sector

first_imgAccording to Presidential Regulation No. 54/2020, the ministry still has the lion’s share of its budget with Rp 122.44 trillion (US$7.97 billion), despite incurring a cut of almost Rp 10 trillion.But in spite of the focus on defense spending, the ministry has yet to acquire any foreign military hardware since Prabowo Subianto took the helm last year.Minister Prabowo, a one-time rival to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, had set out on an extensive trip overseas not long after assuming his post at the start of Jokowi’s second term, presumably to survey the global market for arms.Among his destinations were the United Arab Emirates, China, Russia, Turkey, South Korea and France.But the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has further dampened the prospects of arms acquisitions, with experts saying that the country will require substantial foreign loans to support the rest of its modernization drive.PT DI, which specializes in aircraft manufacturing, is in the process of developing a missile to complement its 70-millimeter folding fin aerial rocket launcher, which has been fitted onto the Air Force’s F-16 jets, said president director Elfien Goentoro.The missile is being developed by a consortium led by the company and includes other SOEs such as PT Len Industri, PT Pindad, PT TRESS and explosives maker PT Dahana.“This program is only in its second year […] the aim is to design several systems such as flight control systems, warheads and jet engines, among others,” Elfien told the Post.The firm is also developing a medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle dubbed the Elang Hitam through another consortium involving the Defense Ministry and the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT).The combat UAV is expected to enter production in 2024, even though Jokowi requested in February the fast-tracking of the development to 2022, which would raise the investment cost to Rp 1.1 trillion.But Elfien said it was unlikely to meet the target, considering that many of the existing budget items, including PT DI’s own programs, were reallocated for the COVID-19 response.Meanwhile, PT Pindad will be modernizing its production line to ramp up its ammunition-manufacturing capacity to 1 billion rounds per year, up from the current 250 million rounds per year, said president director Abraham Mose.The company was also instructed to modernize its production line for combat vehicles and small arms production.The Defense Ministry had already agreed to act as an off-taker for PT Pindad’s ammunition and combat vehicle products, Abraham said, which helped the company in seeking loans to upgrade its manufacturing capacity.“Going forward, we expect vendors to be willing to build a factory in Indonesia to manufacture the [vehicle] engines,” he said.In nominal terms, Indonesia spent $7.66 billion on military expenditure last year, according to data compiled by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), making it the second-largest military spender in Southeast Asia.However, the figure only represents 0.7 percent of Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP), slightly behind its neighbors Malaysia, Philippines and Timor Leste, all of which have allocated spending equal to 1 percent of their GDPs.Experts have said that the country is likely to seek to finance its acquisitions through a “guns and butter” approach – trading arms for commodities such as palm oil or coffee – as it has done in previous phases of the modernization program. But the current viral outbreak has weighed heavily on the available options.The big players cater mostly to local clients but have also sold equipment to other countries. However, they have yet to meet the local demand as their products are not equipped with the most advanced technology.Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) defense researcher Diandra Mengko underscored the importance of investing in military research and development, urging the Defense Industry Policy Committee (KKIP) to take a leading role in coordinating stakeholders to develop the domestic defense industry.“The key to its development is technology. The problem with that is it isn’t cheap to conduct research,” she said.“Such things should be considered by the KKIP when charting an industry strategy.”Military expert Khairul Fahmi from the Institute of Security and Strategic Studies (ISESS) expressed similar views, as he called on the Defense Ministry to increase spending on research and education to bolster the domestic industry. “The first thing we need is a blueprint to keep upstream and downstream [sectors] in sync,” he said. Topics : As part of the ministry’s key programs this year, Wahyu said that state-owned companies in the defense sector would focus on pioneering products as set out in the ministry’s defense roadmap.In presentations to the House of Representatives’ defense commission last year, the ministry unveiled plans for a multi-billion-dollar investment in assets including fighter and transport aircraft, tanks, air defense systems and surface combatants to support the last phase of the Indonesian Military’s (TNI) Minimum Essential Forces (MEF) program.Wahyu said PT PAL Indonesia would be developing naval vessels, while PT Dirgantara Indonesia (DI) made propeller aircraft and helicopters and artillery specialist PT Pindad manufactured land combat vehicles.The ministry is the only government agency to hold on to more than Rp 100 trillion in funds from the 2020 state budget, following the reallocation of state expenditure for the COVID-19 response. The government has high hopes that local arms manufacturers can step up their production capacity to facilitate its efforts to modernize Indonesia’s primary weapons defense system amid delayed plans to acquire foreign arms as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.Entering the third and final phase of its long-term modernization program this year, the Defense Ministry has moved to leverage the role of domestic players in developing the national defense industry, amid the continued shortfall in overseas defense spending.“Procurement for our weapons defense system will focus on developing the local industry by way of transfers of technology with principal [manufacturers],” Deputy Defense Minister Wahyu Sakti Trenggono told The Jakarta Post recently.last_img read more

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German spy agency doubts US ‘China lab’ coronavirus accusations: Report

first_imgA German intelligence report casts doubts on US allegations that COVID-19 originated in a Chinese laboratory and says the accusations are an attempt to divert attention from US failure to rein in the disease, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Friday.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday there was “a significant amount of evidence” that the coronavirus had emerged from a Chinese laboratory, but did not dispute US intelligence agencies’ conclusion that it was not man-made.Spiegel said Germany’s BND spy agency had asked members of the US-led “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance for evidence to support the accusation. None of the alliance’s members, the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, wanted to support Pompeo’s claim, it said. An intelligence report prepared for German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer concluded that the US accusations were a deliberate attempt to divert public attention away from President Donald Trump’s “own failures”.A German government spokesman was not immediately available for comment.Trump has said he has evidence the virus could have originated in a Chinese lab, but he has declined to elaborate.US deaths from the coronavirus exceeded 75,000 on Thursday, according to a Reuters tally, with mixed messages from the White House and state governments on how to slow the rate of infection.Deaths in the United States, the epicenter of the pandemic, have averaged 2,000 a day since mid-April.  Topics :last_img read more

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Man collapses from starvation in South Jakarta

first_imgA man fell to the ground in front of Gandaria City shopping mall in South Jakarta on Monday as a result of starvation.Bystanders were initially reluctant to help the 23-year-old man, who was later identified as Mulyadi, out of fear he might be suffering from COVID-19.When local police officers asked him what was wrong, he said his gastric acid levels had risen because he had not eaten. “Our officers took him to a nearby food stall to eat,” South Jakarta police chief Sr. Comr. Budi Sartono said on Monday, as quoted by eating, he regained his strength and was told to return to his home in Depok, West Java. Topics :last_img read more

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Indonesia posts trade deficit in April as exports, imports plunge

first_imgTopics : “There are two main factors: commodity prices fell significantly last month while the coronavirus pandemic upended global demand,” BPS head Suhariyanto told reporters on Friday during a streamed news conference.Commodity products are Indonesia’s top exports.The country’s oil and gas exports declined 17.7 percent yoy to $610 million as a result of falling oil prices, while exports of mining products fell 29.47 percent yoy to $1.54 billion. Exports of manufacturing products dropped 1.77 percent to $9.76 billion in April.Imports of consumption goods shrank 16.57 percent to $1.22 billion as a result of Indonesia’s weakening purchases of date palm and dairy products. Indonesia’s trade balance swung back to a trade deficit of US$350 million in April on the back of falling commodity prices and plummeting global demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) has announced.The economy posted $12.19 billion worth of exports in April, a decrease of 7.02 percent year-on-year (yoy) and the sharpest fall in eight months, as oil and gas exports plummeted.Meanwhile, total imports fell 18.58 percent to $12.54 billion last month, the biggest fall since October 2015, with Indonesians buying less of oil and gas as a result of the pandemic.center_img Imports of raw materials plummeted 19.13 percent to $9.36 billion, while imports of capital goods shrank 17.11 percent to $1.96 billion.“We should worry about falling imports of raw materials and capital goods as they will have a huge impact on the manufacturing and trade sectors, as well as the investment component in gross domestic product,” Suhariyanto warned.From January to April, the country booked a total of $53.95 billion in exports, an increase of 0.44 percent from last year’s figure, while imports were $51.71 billion from January to March, a 7.78 percent yoy decrease.Indonesia recorded a trade surplus of $2.25 billion during the first four months of the year, compared to a deficit of $2.35 billion in the same period last year.”The overall export performance in the January-April period is encouraging and far better than many expectations,” Suhariyanto said. “This is a positive sign amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”The World Trade Organization projected that global trade would shrink between 13 and 32 percent as the economic impact of the health crisis remained uncertain.The WTO forecasts a rebound in the 2021 global goods trade of between 21 and 24 percent, depending largely on the duration of the outbreak and the effectiveness of policy responses.last_img read more

Continue Reading... Indonesia posts trade deficit in April as exports, imports plunge