M&G founder’s charity puts £36m in Grosvenor fund

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A facelift for Croydon’s serviced office market

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Motorola picks Thames Valley for European HQ

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Indonesian official barred from entering PNG by coronavirus measures

first_img“We are following measures to ensure that his entry [into PNG] is facilitated,”According to PNG newspaper The National, Lebelauw was disappointed that he was not allowed to enter under his diplomatic immunity.He said thermal coronavirus detection scanners were available at the border but were not used.“There are no reported cases yet in Indonesia and I clearly am not coming from Wuhan,” he told The National. The Indonesian consul in Vainamo, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Abraham Lebelauw is stranded in Jayapura after he was barred entry at the land border because of measures being taken against the Wuhan coronavirus. Papua New Guinea’s Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Patric Pruaitch told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday that the consul was denied entry at the Wutung border post, which has been temporarily closed to prevent the spread of the virus. He said officials are in talks with the Indonesian ambassador to allow Lebelauw to return to the consulate in Vainamo, a PNG town 40 kilometers from the border, to continue his work. He said that border authorities in Indonesia were not properly advised before the border was closed.“As a neighboring country with a good relationship with Papua New Guinea, it is wise to talk, discuss and work together to solve the problem, as we already did when combating a polio outbreak some time ago.“I hope that when we talk about borders, we can sit and talk together first, since any decision that we make will have implications for many people and sectors, especially when it comes to borders between PNG and Indonesia.”PNG citizens were reportedly stranded on the Indonesian side of the border after it was closed last week.A number of PNG nationals in Wuhan – the epicenter of the coronavirus – left China with other evacuees on an Air New Zealand flight, which landed in Auckland today. Included on the flight were 17 citizens of Timor Leste and a number of other Pacific nation citizens.All the evacuees are to be placed in quarantine in Auckland for the next 14 days.– The writer is an intern under the ACICIS programTopics :last_img read more

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West Java to build waste treatment sites to turn plastic into raw materials, fuels

first_img“If everything goes well, the project in Sarimukti and Galuga will begin this year. We are finishing the detailed engineering design [for both projects] this month,” Ridwan said after a meeting with Plastic Energy in Bandung on Wednesday.There will be two plants in each location. One plant, which will take nine months to build, will separate plastic waste from other waste. Meanwhile, the other plant will include a petrochemical processor that will take around two years to construct.At the treatment facilities, domestic waste collected from households will be separated based on material, as materials like paper, cardboard, glass and aluminum cannot be processed into hydrocarbons.Plastic Energy CEO Carlos Monreal said his company allocated at least 50 million euros (US$55 million) for the construction of waste treatment facilities in each location. Read also: British company to invest $200m in West Java waste-to-fuel plants“In Europe, we recycle 5 to 6 million tons of plastic in a year. We are aiming for 10 million tons by 2025,” Carlos said. He added the company would ensure the plants in Indonesia follow exact protocols as well as the health and safety standards implemented by their European counterparts.The company uses patented Thermal Anaerobic Conversion technology to convert end-of-life plastics, turning plastic waste into a new feedstock to create clean recycled plastics or alternative low-carbon fuels.“We raise the plastic’s temperature to convert it into a fluid of melted plastic. After that, we take it into our reactor, where we raise the temperature once again to turn it into gas. We condense and distill the gas into a different liquid which depends on its function,” Carlos said.One ton of end-of-life plastic waste can be processed into 816 liters of chemical feedstock (TACOIL), to be used for the production of virgin oil.Plastic Energy has been building such facilities in Spain for three years. The company signed an agreement last year with Saudi Arabia-based chemical manufacturing company SABIC to provide feedstock for the production of certified circular polymers in the Netherlands.West Java’s Ridwan said the waste treatment facilities would be part of an upcoming final waste treatment and processing site (TPPAS) project in Legok Nangka, Bandung. The project has yet to commence.“The handling of Greater Bandung’s waste, in theory, requires a waste-to-energy process in Legok Nangka, as well as in Sarimukti,” Ridwan said.Read also: Regions lag behind in waste management planningThe TPPAS Legok Nangka government project is deemed as a solution for waste in Greater Bandung, which dumps its trash at a 20-hectare landfill in Sarimukti. The project is scheduled to be ready by 2022.To prevent any delays in TPPAS Legok Nangka construction, the administration decided to expand the Sarimukti landfill by preparing an additional 20 to 30 ha of land.West Java Environment Agency head Bambang Riyanto said the administration had proposed the expansion plan to state-owned forestry firm Perum Perhutani and was obliged to pay compensation of Rp 4.5 billion ($329,000) for the additional land.Separately, Bogor Mayor Bima Arya said the new waste treatment site would help the operation of the 38-ha Galuga landfill, which receives waste from Bogor and its surrounding areas.“Five-hundred tons of waste is dumped every day in Bogor, 80 tons of which are plastic waste. This will be processed later by Plastic Energy in Galuga, while the non-plastic waste will go to Nambo. We will prepare the system,” Arya said, referring to a landfill in Lulut Nambo, Bogor regency.The Nambo landfill is an ongoing waste-processing facility project covering 55 ha of land. It is projected to manage 1,600 to 1,800 tons of waste per day coming from Bogor municipality, Bogor regency, South Tangerang and Depok.The project was expected to finish in November or December this year, Ridwan said. (syk) The West Java administration will construct waste treatment sites that process plastic waste into diesel fuels and raw plastic materials that it hopes will be used by 2023.The project is a collaboration between the provincial administration and United Kingdom-based plastic processing company Plastic Energy. The company has helped initiate feasibility studies that the administration is currently running.Governor Ridwan Kamil said the facilities would be built in five locations, including Bekasi, Tasikmalaya and Cirebon. The other two would be at landfills in Sarimukti, West Bandung, and Galuga, Bogor.center_img Topics :last_img read more

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Counting to start in Ireland’s ‘three-way tie’ election

first_imgThe Greens were next on 7.9 percent and Labor on 4.6 percent.However, Ireland uses a single transferable vote system to elect multiple deputies from each of the 39 constituencies, making it hard to extrapolate a likely seat forecast from the first preference votes exit poll.Count centers will begin sorting ballot papers from the estimated 3.3 million eligible voters at 0900 GMT.Some 159 seats are up for grabs in the Dail, the Republic of Ireland’s lower house of parliament, but filling them may not be quick due to the multiple rounds of counting required. Vote-counting begins on Sunday following Ireland’s general election which exit polls called as a three-way tie, meaning every ballot will count in the battle to form the next government.Prime Minister Leo Varadkar’s incumbent Fine Gael party, center-right rivals Fianna Fail and left-wingers Sinn Fein, on a dramatic surge in support, all received 22 percent of first preference votes, according to an Ipsos MRBI exit poll issued as the polls closed on Saturday.The survey of around 5,000 voters — which has an estimated margin of error of 1.3 percent — put Fine Gael on 22.4 percent, Sinn Fein on 22.3 percent and Fianna Fail on 22.2 percent. Topics :center_img Eunan O’Halpin of Trinity College Dublin university said it would take “perhaps two-and-a-half days for the full picture to be known” in terms of seats.Coalition posturing The shape of the government could take much longer to come into focus and may hinge on inter-party negotiations once the seat spread becomes clear.Following Ireland’s 2016 election it took 70 days before a new minority coalition government was formed under Fine Gael.During this year’s election campaign, Fine Gael and Fianna Fail both ruled out working with Sinn Fein, citing the party’s historic links to the Irish Republican Party paramilitary group.During “The Troubles” — 30 years of bloodshed when 3,500 were killed by bombs and bullets — the party acted as the political wing of the IRA in its battle to unite the British territory of Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland.Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin also said he would not back centre-right rivals Fine Gael in a “grand coalition”.But his party has propped up the Fine Gael minority government through a confidence and supply arrangement since the last election — suggesting common ground could be found again.And analysts have said statements ruling out coalitions could be pre-election posturing, and party stances may change as the parliamentary arithmetic becomes clear.”We’ve never seen a general election result like it. Basically a statistical tie between what are now the three big parties,” said Pat Leahy, political editor of The Irish Times newspaper.He told RTE television that forming a government could prove “a very difficult exercise” unless parties compromised on their pre-election stances.PM’s future in the balance Varadkar became Ireland’s prime minister in June 2017 after an internal Fine Gael leadership contest. The party had been in power since 2011 under his predecessor Enda Kenny.Saturday was Varadkar’s first time facing voters at the polls as the PM, or taoiseach.Just 41 years old, he is Ireland’s first mixed-race and openly gay premier who has come to represent a more socially progressive nation after years of dominance by the Roman Catholic Church.He plumped for an early election after successfully helping to broker a deal cushioning Britain’s EU exit on January 31 by avoiding a hard border with Northern Ireland.Varadkar’s campaign was focused on Brexit — but did not seem to land with voters concerned with issues of healthcare, housing and homelessness.”The government handled the Brexit as good as could be done, but that’s over. There’s a phrase ‘eaten bread is quickly forgotten’,” O’Halpin told AFP.Irish voters tend to vote on local issues, he added.last_img read more

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China virus death toll nears 1,500 but new cases fall

first_imgMore than 64,600 people have now been infected in the country.Health officials in Hubei said they started to count clinically diagnosed cases to ensure that patients get treated as early as possible instead of having to wait for laboratory tests to confirm they have the COVID-19 disease.But the change raised concerns that the crisis may be more serious than Chinese authorities have reported.Topics : The death toll from China’s coronavirus epidemic rose to 1,483 on Friday but the number of new infections in hard-hit Hubei province fell after a change in case definitions caused a massive increase the previous day.The central province’s health commission reported 116 more deaths and 4,823 new cases, the majority involving “clinically diagnosed” patients.The province, the epicentre of the outbreak, had 242 more deaths and over 14,800 new cases on Thursday.last_img read more

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Ohio likely has 100,000 coronavirus cases: Health official

first_img“We have 11.7 million people. So the math is over 100,000. So that just gives you a sense of how this virus spreads and is spreading quickly,” she said.”It is this one-in-50 years pandemic that we’ve been planning for.”Ohio has five confirmed cases and 52 under investigation but, like much of the United States, has so far carried out limited numbers of tests.Coronavirus cases in the United States surpassed 1,300 on Thursday with nearly 40 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The US state of Ohio likely has more than 100,000 people carrying the new coronavirus, the state health department director said.Speaking at a press conference Thursday with state governor Mike DeWine to announce measures to slow the spread of the pandemic, director Amy Acton said Ohio had community spread of the virus.”We know now just the fact of community spread says that at least one percent, at the very least, one percent of our population is carrying this virus in Ohio today,” Acton said. As of Sunday, 1,707 Americans had been tested, Business Insider reported, citing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “These numbers are going to continue to grow. We know that these confirmed numbers are just a small fraction of the individuals who are infected already in the state of Ohio,” governor DeWine said during the press conference.”We’re told by medical experts that whatever the number is today, it will double in six days and that just continues on and on,” he said.Public health experts have rebuked US authorities for downplaying the pandemic and lagging far behind other hard-hit countries in rolling out testing for the virus.As part of Ohio’s measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Acton and DeWine signed an order banning most gatherings of more than 100 people. Ohio schools were also ordered to close for three weeks.”We’re all sort of waking up to our new reality,” Acton said.”The steps we’re taking now will absolutely save lives.”Acton stressed the importance of slowing down the spread of the virus so that health services were not overwhelmed by a massive spike in cases.”As we can see, we’re in a crisis situation now,” she said. “Taking decisive action now will greatly slow down this disease and stop this trajectory.”President Donald Trump has taken fire for what critics say is a slow response to the spread of the virus, which gives flu-like symptoms and has claimed more than 4,700 lives worldwide. He has repeatedly played down the threat, initially claiming that only a handful of Americans were at risk.On Wednesday, Trump announced a ban on travel from mainland Europe as part of an “aggressive” effort to halt the spread of the pandemic.The move, however, sent financial markets into a tailspin and sparked panic among stranded travelers.Topics :last_img read more

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House to resume deliberating KUHP bill amid pandemic

first_imgThe minister added that he would ask President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to submit a new presidential letter (Surpres) instructing the House to restart the deliberation process.Anticorruption activists have warned that the revision to the 1995 law could be a “gift” for graft convicts, as it would remove technical hurdles for obtaining special remissions, including conditional releases.The revised law would scrap a 2012 government regulation on the rights of inmates, which stipulates strict criteria for issuing remissions and parole for prisoners convicted of extraordinary crimes, including terrorism and corruption.House Deputy Speaker and Commission III member Azis Syamsuddin said that the House leadership would meet to discuss the possibility of restarting deliberations without a new Surpres, and announce its decision at the plenary meeting on Thursday.Topics : Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly and House Commission III overseeing legal affairs agreed to resume deliberating the two bills after the government decided to start releasing inmates to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country’s overcrowded prisons.Read also: House urged to stop controversial omnibus bill deliberation, prioritize COVID-19The government released over 5,500 inmates on Wednesday to meet its target of releasing about 50,000 inmates.”Please understand that the government is committed to continue the deliberation of both bills. We don’t disagree on the bills,” Yasonna said in a virtual meeting with House Commission III on Wednesday. The House of Representatives is set to resume deliberation of the revisions to the Criminal Code (KUHP) and the 1995 Correctional Center Law, at a time when the country is consumed by efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.It plans to restart the deliberation of both bills during a plenary session Thursday afternoon. The deliberation of the two bills were postponed in September 2019 following widespread protests led by tens of thousands of university students following the passing of the revised law on the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). The protesters argued that the bills would threaten democracy and curtail civil rights.last_img read more

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US says ‘evidence’ virus came from China lab as Europe eases lockdown

first_imgUS President Donald Trump, increasingly critical of China’s management of the first outbreak in the city of Wuhan in December, claims to have proof it started in a Chinese laboratory.  Scientists believe the virus jumped from animals to humans, after emerging in China, possibly from a market in Wuhan selling exotic animals for meat.’History of infecting the world’ China denies the claims, and the US Director of National Intelligence office has said analysts are still examining the exact origin of the outbreak. Pompeo, a former CIA chief, told the ABC he agreed that the COVID-19 virus was not man-made.But Pompeo went further than Trump, citing “enormous” evidence that the virus originated in a Wuhan lab. He did not however present evidence to back up his claim.”I think the whole world can see now, remember, China has a history of infecting the world and running substandard laboratories,” he said.Pompeo said early Chinese efforts to downplay the coronavirus amounted to “a classic Communist disinformation effort. That created enormous risk.””President Trump is very clear: we’ll hold those responsible accountable.”Pressure from demonstrators US news reports say Trump has tasked US spies to find out more about the origins of the virus, as he makes China’s handling of the pandemic a centerpiece of his campaign for the November presidential election.The United States has the most coronavirus deaths in the world at more 67,600, with 1,450 recorded over the 24-hours late Sunday.Trump, speaking at a live TV event, promised an early coronavirus vaccine and an “incredible” future for the country as he sought to relaunch his disrupted election campaign.Florida is set to ease its lockdown Monday, as other US states wrestle with pressure from demonstrators — some carrying weapons — who have rallied against the restrictions.In New York, the epicenter of the US outbreak, an emergency field hospital erected in Central Park is set to close as virus cases decline.But dozens of New Yorkers were fined for violating social distancing guidelines as they flocked to beaches and parks in balmy weekend weather.In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro railed against the country’s lockdown in a speech to thousands of anti-confinement demonstrators, even as the national death toll rose above 7,000.’Rules are not clear’ Across the Atlantic, European nations prepared for cautious easing of restrictions.Hard-hit Italy — which reported its lowest daily toll since stay-at-home orders were imposed on March 10 — is set to follow Spain in allowing people outside.Starting Monday Italians will be allowed to stroll in parks and visit relatives. Restaurants can open for takeaways and wholesale stores can resume business, but there was some confusion over the rules.Romans were doing aerobics on rooftop terraces and exercising indoors while squares in the city center were mostly empty on the last day that Italians were obliged to remain within 200 meters of their homes.”On the one hand, we’re super excited for the reopening, we’re already organizing various activities the kids will be able to do with their grandparents outdoors,” said Rome resident Marghe Lodoli, who has three children.”On the other hand, it’s disorientating. The rules are not clear, and we’re not sure if just using common sense will do.”Italian authorities have said some preventative measures are still needed in a country that has the second-highest number of virus deaths.In another sign of life returning, an influential German minister said Sunday he supports a resumption of the country’s football season this month as long as teams respect hygiene conditions.The British government said the easing of coronavirus lockdown measures was likely to be gradual, as it announced a further rise in the overall death toll.Most governments are sticking to measures to control the spread of the virus — social distancing and masks in public — and more testing to try to track infections even as they relax curbs.Even as some European countries gradually lift restrictions, officials in Moscow — the epicenter of the contagion in Russia — urged residents to stay home.With cases increasing by several thousand each day, Russia is now the European country registering the most new infections.Prepare for ‘bad scenarios’ European leaders are backing an initiative from Brussels to raise 7.5 billion euros ($8.3 billion) to tackle the pandemic and raise funds for efforts to find a vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.The race is on to find a viable vaccine or treatment with several countries involved in trials.In Asia, South Korea — once the second worst-hit nation on the planet — said Sunday it would ease a ban on some gatherings and events as long as they “follow disinfection measures.”Thailand allowed businesses such as restaurants, hair salons and outdoor markets to reopen so long as social distancing was maintained and temperature checks carried out.But experts caution that many countries are still not through the worst.The Philippines suspended all flights into and out of the country in a bid to ease pressure on its congested quarantine facilities.Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that mosques would reopen across large parts of the Islamic Republic, after they were closed in early March to try to contain the Middle East’s deadliest COVID-19 outbreak.Topics : US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday said “enormous evidence” showed the new coronavirus originated in a lab in China, further fueling tensions with Beijing over its handling of the outbreak.Pompeo’s comments came as Europe and parts of the United States prepared to cautiously lift virus lockdowns as signs emerge that the deadly pandemic is ebbing and governments look to restart their battered economies.More than 245,000 people have been killed and 3.4 million infected worldwide by the virus, which has left half of humanity under some form of lockdown and pushed the global economy towards its worst downturn since the Great Depression.last_img read more

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