Holocaust memorial is too controversial

first_imgJeff Wilkin’s article of May 16 regarding the Holocaust issue in Niskayuna, now over seven months old and showing no evidence of abatement, is entirely and delightfully objective. Virtually all ramifications are well addressed in a thought-provoking manner.This issue, which has been under intense public and media scrutiny, is now extremely contentious and divisive, as demonstrated at the Niskayuna town public hearing and board Meeting in April. I am proud to be Jewish and have visited the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., and now support it financially, because I believe in its excellence and historical importance. Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion I do not believe that the proposed memorial for Niskayuna is necessary or appropriate for the town.I firmly believe that the contention that has predictably ensued and increased is sound evidence that the issue be resolved as quickly as possible by a town vote, as mentioned in the article.Even good ideas that are particularly divisive may be allowed to be forgotten so that peace is restored and animosity resolved.The fact that a powerful Albany law firm has been hired to assist in pushing it through the Town Board, perhaps against the will of most citizens of the town, says it all.Lyle W. BarlynNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:Puccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Niskayuna girls’ cross country wins over BethlehemEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more

People moves

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Syndicates scramble to get in the zone

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Grosvenor hits a six for Liverpool

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Gold standard

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Merkel rival Merz in bid to succeed her as German Chancellor

first_imgWith the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) still ahead in the opinion polls, he would be well placed to succeed Merkel as she steps down after 15 years in office.Merz, a 64-year-old lawyer, is preparing to stand in internal party elections expected in the coming months, the daily Bild and DPA news agency reported.If he succeeds in becoming party leader it will become difficult for his rival Merkel to remain in power until her mandate ends next year. Early elections would become a distinct possibility.Merz has never forgiven Merkel for driving him out as head of the party’s group of MPs in the Bundestag in 2002. Friedrich Merz, a longtime rival of Angela Merkel within the ruling CDU party, is hoping to replace her as German chancellor, local media reported Wednesday.Merz, who wants to shift the centre-right party further to the right, is throwing his hat into the ring after Merkel’s chosen successor, CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, gave up her leadership ambitions on Monday in a deepening party crisis over ties between the centre and far right.The next CDU leader will also be the party’s candidate to become Chancellor at elections due by the end of 2021. He was narrowly beaten in the vote for party leader by Merkel’s preferred successor Kramp-Karrenbauer in December 2018, and has been waiting in the wings ever since.- Return to full-time politics -He announced this month he was quitting his job on the supervisory board of the German arm of investment firm BlackRock to dedicate himself to politics and to helping the CDU “renew itself”.In recent months Merz has attacked Merkel and her “failed” leadership.Favoured by the CDU’s most conservative members, Merz wants to shift the party to the right to woo back voters lost to the anti-Islam, anti-immigrant AfD.Kramp-Karrenbauer opted out of the race after barely a year in the post — a period marked by internal battles over whether to cooperate with the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD).AKK, as Kramp-Karrenbauer is popularly known, said she had had “a difficult time” as party leader.While the CDU party has a policy of no cooperation with either the far left or far right at a national level, regional CDU lawmakers last week nevertheless voted with MPs from the AfD to oust a far-left state premier in Thuringia.The breach in the political firewall against the AfD prompted Merkel’s junior partners in the national government, the Social Democratic Party (SPD), to call urgent talks at the weekend about the partnership’s future.Topics :last_img read more

COVID-19 patients become victims of Indonesia’s lack of privacy protection

first_imgPresident Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced that a 31-year-old woman (Case 1) and her 64-year-old mother (Case 2), both residents of Depok, West Java, had tested positive for COVID-19 after coming into contact with a Japanese woman who later tested positive in Malaysia.The President’s announcement came as a surprise to the patients themselves. “We had not been [officially told that we had tested positive],” Case 2 said to kompas.com on Tuesday.Ever since the announcement, reporters have swarmed the patients’ house. In social media, photographs of the patients also spread like wildfire. Some internet users questioned the younger patient’s profession, correlating it with how she might have contracted the virus.Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto said on Monday that Case 1 was a dance teacher and had danced with the Japanese citizen, whom he described as a close friend of the woman, in a club in Kemang, South Jakarta. Indonesia’s first two confirmed COVID-19 patients claim that media coverage and discussion on social media have taken a greater toll on them than the disease itself, saying that numerous breaches of privacy and the resulting stigma have left them “mentally drained”.Some people went so far as to directly attack one of the patients, known as Case 1, through social media. A message saying “You have been warned by the government to be vigilant of foreigners but you were stubborn” was sent to her over Instagram, a screenshot of which was shown to The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.Earlier, personal details of the two patients comprising their initials, ages and home address popped up on WhatsApp groups and other social media from an unclear source not long after the news about the confirmed cases broke on Monday. In a statement made on Wednesday, Case 1 shared how she might have contracted the virus and what she did afterward — which differed from the account released by the authorities.Case 1 said she had started coughing and having a fever on Feb. 16 and decided to visit a private hospital along with her mother last Thursday. There, she was diagnosed with bronchopneumonia and her mother with typhus. The following day, a friend in Malaysia called to let her know a Japanese woman who had tested positive for COVID-19 on Feb. 26 had visited the restaurant in Jakarta where she had been hosting on Feb. 15.”For the sake of national security and health, I informed the doctor that I needed to be tested and that’s why I’ve been isolated since Sunday. I don’t even know nor am I acquainted with the Japanese citizen,” she said. She further emphasized the Japanese citizen was a woman, not a man who “rented” her like the gossip said. “I was just in a room with the Japanese woman without knowing who she was.” “Please respect me and my family’s privacy, stop spreading our photos and fake news about us,” she said in a statement.The breach of the patients’ personal data also affected their neighbors. Anis Hidayah of Migrant Care, one of the neighbors, said media coverage had disrupted their activities: some were not allowed by their employers to work and app-based motorcycle taxi drivers were adamant about not accepting orders from the housing complex.“What I regret the most is it has framed people I know personally in unfavorable ways,” Anis said.Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy researcher Wahyudi Djafar said the recent case of privacy breach was due to the absence of legislation on personal data protection and the lack of respect for privacy in society.Unlike Singapore with its 2012 Data Protection Act, Indonesia has no specific law stipulating what makes data private, the rights of data owners, the duties of the data processors, or the mechanisms for processing such data.“Even if some laws regulate about privacy, the material is limited and often contradictory because they don’t follow the same principle of personal data protection,” he said.He urged that a data protection bill be discussed, although he warned the public to keep an eye on the deliberations as there was potential for abuse of power in the current draft. The draft only imposes administrative sanctions on the government for possible wrongdoing.Jokowi requested people respect the COVID-19 patients’ privacy following his announcement. He also asked that his ministers and the hospitals involved in treating the patients avoid disclosing the patients’ private information.In a statement issued on Monday, the Alliance of Independent Journalists called on members of the press to be more considerate in their reporting by speaking to the most credible sources on the issue, as opposed to publishing “sensationalized” pieces on the patients and their families.Lawmaker Charles Honoris has urged the government to ensure the privacy of its citizens in relation to the spread of the coronavirus. “Mass disclosure of COVID-19 patients’ private information should be taken seriously as a violation of citizens’ privacy,” he said.He said the government must learn from Singapore and Japan in this regard, specifically about how the two countries had implemented a zero-tolerance privacy policy to protect the personal lives of its confirmed COVID-19 patients. (aly)Topics :last_img read more

PREMIUMMusic from graveyard annoys Depok residents

first_imgLOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Facebook Linkedin Google Topics : Log in with your social account For almost a year, residents of community unit (RW) 18 of Pancoran Mas district, Depok, have been annoyed by loud dangdut music blasting from a cemetery located on Jl. Swadaya, a street in neighborhood unit (RT) 5. The residents…center_img Heli, a 30-year-old resident of Pancoran Mas, Depok, West Java, recalled attending a tahlilan (prayer gathering) last Saturday afternoon after one of his neighbors passed away and had just been buried earlier that morning at a cemetery located right in front of his house. Forgot Password ? The tahlilan went fine as attendees fervently prayed while some wiped away tears as they mourned their loss. However, the mournful atmosphere swiftly changed as loud dangdut music suddenly blared from the middle of the cemetery.  “I couldn’t focus on praying as the sound was very disturbing,” Heli told The Jakarta Post on Friday. graveyard music cemetery dangdut scavenger street-musician Depok West-Javalast_img read more

New Zealand prepares to enter lockdown as coronavirus cases double

first_imgTopics : New Zealand said on Monday it will move to its highest alert level imposing self-isolation, with all-non-essential services, schools and offices to be shut over the next 48 hours as the number of coronavirus cases more than double.Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said these decisions will place the most significant restriction on New Zealanders’ movements in modern history, but it was needed to save lives and slow the virus.”We are all now preparing to go into self isolation as a nation,” Ardern said in a news conference. She added that without these measures tens of thousands of New Zealanders could die. The number of coronavirus cases in New Zealand shot up to 102, more than double since Friday, as the country reported 36 new infections. New Zealand has had no deaths.Ardern said the cabinet agreed that effective immediately, the country of 5 million people would move into alert level 3 nationwide, and after 48 hours it will be at the highest level 4. New Zealand has already closed its borders to foreigners.Ardern said all bars, restaurants, cafes, gyms, cinemas, pools, museums, libraries, playgrounds and any other place where the public congregate must close their face-to-face function.She said supermarkets, doctors, pharmacies, service stations, access to essential banking services will all be available throughout New Zealand at every alert level.center_img “If you do not have immediate needs, do not go to the supermarket. It will be there for you today, tomorrow, and the day after that,” she added.The move comes after neighboring Australia, which has thousands of COVID-19 cases, started lockdown measures on Monday, but has stopped short of self-isolation.New Zealand’s bourse reacted immediately to the announcement plunging 10% to biggest intraday percentage drop ever.Finance Minister Grant Robertson said all rents will be freezed and the government will announce further support for the economy in the coming days.”To be absolutely clear we are now asking all New Zealanders who are outside essential services to stay at home, and to stop all interactions with others outside of those in your household,” Ardern said.Schools will be closed from Tuesday, except for children of essential workers such as our doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers and police. Schools will close entirely from midnight Wednesday.All indoor and outdoor events will be cancelled. All workplaces were asked to implement alternative ways of working.Public transport will shut for everyone outside of people working in essential services.To stop community transmission these measures will need to be in place for 4 weeks, said Ardern.New Zealand’s opposition National Party said it had put on hold its campaign for a general election on Sept 19. Ardern said there was no impact on the election for now.Of the new cases, two are being treated as related to community transmission, Ministry of Health’s Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said in a news conference on Monday.More than half the cases are directly related to overseas travel, while most of the remainder are close contacts of a previously confirmed case or associated with an event where there were confirmed cases, he said. last_img read more

Medical staff prioritized in West Java’s COVID-19 rapid tests

first_imgRead also: Want to take a rapid test in West Java? Know which category you belong toNucki also listed non-medical staff who would be prioritized in the rapid testing, namely drivers who helped transport COVID-19 patients, security guards who have had close contacts with patients, forensic staff who bathed dead bodies of infected patients as well as administration staff and cleaning service staff in the ring 1 area, the closest epicenter to the isolation rooms.”If we have enough test kits, we will also conduct the tests on staff in ring 2 areas, as they may face the same risks,” he added.The West Java administration plans to conduct COVID-19 rapid tests for people in three categories, identified as categories A, B and C. Category A includes people at the highest risk of COVID-19 transmission, such as people who recently returned from overseas, patients under monitoring and their families, neighbors and friends as well as medical staff handling COVID-19 patients in hospitals.Category B includes people at high risk of COVID-19 transmission based on their professions and daily social interactions, while Category C covers people showing symptoms similar to COVID-19 who have referral letters from a health facility.The provision of drive-thru rapid tests for categories B and C will be discussed with regencies and city administrations as the medical equipment and medical staff need to be prepared in advance.At least three officials in West Java have been infected with the novel coronavirus to date, namely Bogor Mayor Bima Arya, Bandung Deputy Mayor Yana Mulyana and Karawang Regent Cellica Nurachadiana.As of Wednesday, West Java had recorded 73 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 10 fatalities, according to the central government’s data. (trn)Topics : “Hopefully, the rapid tests will detect more cases and/or people with a high risk of getting the disease so we will be able to take precautionary measures in advance,” West Java Health Agency head Berli Hamdani said.The tests for RSHS staff members marked the first phase of rapid testing in the province.RSHS Medical and Nursing Department director Nucki Nursjamsi Hidayat said the staff members tested ranged from doctors and nurses to drivers and security personnel.The first group prioritized are doctors, including internists, anesthesiologists, clinical pathologists and pediatricians as well as students of medical specialist programs. The second priority is given to nurses stationed at special inpatient rooms, isolation emergency rooms and isolation outpatient rooms. The West Java administration began COVID-19 rapid tests on Wednesday, prioritizing at least 300 medical and non-medical staff of Hasan Sadikin Hospital (RSHS) in Bandung who have had close contact with coronavirus-positive patients.Read also: COVID-19: Inadequate medical supplies take toll on lives of Indonesian medical workerslast_img read more