Country still in the swamp with Trump

first_imgRecently as my family arrived for an early Christmas celebration, they brought in my mail. Since things were a bit hectic, I laid it aside for later and I’m so glad I did. Although I noticed the Social Security Administration return address, I still laid it aside.Later I opened it and found an increase of more than $100. For about 10 seconds, I was ecstatic — the first increase in approximately four years. However, I then found that my Medicare payment had gone up the exact same amount as my Social Security payment. Therefore, I still have no more available “cash” than I did in 2014. I just wish that the millionaires who make these decisions could live for a few decades on the edge of wondering what they would do if they needed a new furnace, or if they couldn’t afford to pay car insurance. They need to see what most of the country just calls “daily living.” We really need to “drain the swamp” that has accumulated from the early part of January this year in our nation’s White House — it’s turning the national reputation within our own country and with our allies into a dirty gray color. It’s so sad.Pat BruschettiCanajoharieMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Feds: Painting stolen by Nazis and found at Arkell Museum returned to familyEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationTroopers: Colonie man dies in Montgomery County Thruway crash Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Friday, Feb.22

first_imgBush, not Obama, passed enhanced license lawRegarding Mr. Vincent Belardo’s Feb. 8 letter, the Enhanced License Law was passed by Congress in 2005 under President George W. Bush, not President Barack Obama. Signed, A smart liberal Dem. Diane Sanders HombachSchenectady New York hostile to family valuesWhen introduced to someone new, it doesn’t take long for them to recognize that my accent is not native to Cincinnati. The conversation typically flows along the lines of me stating that I’m originally from New York resulting in genuine bewilderment that I don’t sound like a “New Yuhrker,” followed by me explaining that I’m from “upstate” New York, a difference without distinction in the eyes of most people in “fly over” country. My new acquaintance smiles politely while I deliver my soliloquy about how wonderful upstate New York is, the historical and cultural significance of Saratoga and Albany coupled with four-season beauty. I conclude with the polite reason for residing in Cincinnati: My wife is from Kentucky. Polite, yes. Accurate, no.The inconvenient truth is that if you desire to raise a family consistent with Christian values, there’s no compelling reason to live in New York state. Between the effort to close Catholic schools through the “substantially equivalent” review system and the legalization of infanticide through the Reproductive Health Care Act, the political class is clearly hostile to families of faith. This is in stark contrast to Ohio where we recently elected a governor who’s also about to sign a reproductive health care act: the Heartbeat Bill which will ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected (which can be as soon as six weeks gestation). The New York state that I was raised and still have family is no longer a good place to live. It’s a good place to be from. Chris RichardCincinnati, OhioThe writer is a former Burnt Hills resident. Where will it end? Who’s next to be “aborted” because “women have a right to choose?”Maybe they’ll choose a family without an old grandfather or a niece with cerebral palsy. God help us.I’m thankful for the courage of Laurie Cox, who wrote in her Feb. 9 letter that she had voted for people who support murder. She was deceived by their false “phrases” and now asked how she can live with her vote choice. She’s speaking out. How can they live with their vote?Thank you Jennifer Richard for your Feb. 9 letter about your daughter. Her tears brought me to tears. She asked what everyone should be asking, “What are we going to do? I don’t want that to happen.” Psalm 8:2 “Out of the mouths of babes.” What are we going to do?Susan HoverSchenectady Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionPro-choicers can’t rationalize murderAbortion is murder. For decades, pro-abortionists have hidden their agenda in “phrases” and cloaked it in “It’s about a woman’s right to choose; it’s her body.” Unless a woman’s body has four legs, four arms and two heads, how can you say it’s about a woman’s right over her body?There are two bodies all along, that can’t be disputed in the third trimester.Incrementally pro-abortionists succeeded in chipping away the morality of the issue and making it about “rights.” I heard state Sen. Diane Savino, D-Staten Island, say on the Jan. 22 news: “It’s not about abortion, although that’s part of it, it’s not about contraception, but that’s part of it, it’s about allowing women to really be fulfilled, as women and parents, and to choose the kind of family they want.” I encourage all New Yorkers to demand that state comptroller divest from fossil fuels and seek a better rate of return elsewhere.“Activists from 350.0rg, an advocacy group combating climate change, hired an investment firm to calculate how the NYS state pension fund would have fared if it had divested when first requested. The answer was it would be worth a “cool” (pun intended) $5 billion more and will grow in the future.” (https://cityandstateny.com/articles/opinion/opinion/fossil-fuel-divestment-boost-new-york-pension-funds.html).“Exchange Traded Funds performed poorly over the last 7 years but this past year, renewable energy bested fossil fuels. In the last 3 months – a period of sharp market and oil price corrections – renewables trounced both fossil fuels and the S&P 500. Even Exxon Mobil lost over 30 percent of its value in the last 5 years.” (https://seekingalpha.com/article/4231525-renewable-energy-etfs-now-outperforming-will-continue-2019).“Oil and gas companies misled the public and investors about climate change for decades. Even heirs to the original oil fortune of John D. Rockefeller, along with a growing list of philanthropic investors, announced they are divesting”: (https://www.timesunion.com/opinion/article/Cuomo-is-right-on-fossil-fuel-divestment-12470817.php).“NYS is planning to divest almost $400 billion and Governor Cuomo states he is working with the NYS Comptroller to further this effort.” (https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/new-york-takes-leap-renewable-energy-sources.php).Learn how you can to divest from fossil fuels: (https://gofossilfree.org/usa/your-roadmap-to-personal-divestment/).Go to https://gofossilfree.org/ny/divest-ny-sandy5/  by February 27 to tell the New York State Comptroller to divest from fossil fuels. Encourage NY to divest from fossil fuels Big Apple life is not right for upstate Birth rates just one way to save planetAny reduction in birth rates are surely a welcome development. Yet this is hardly a cause for feeling optimistic about the impact of overpopulation on global warming, as Arthur Glaude seemed to imply in his Jan. 18 letter.  Blue sky, sunshine, a pot of coffee (undiluted) and a window rattling YouTube medley of Irish pub music inspired an epiphany of mind-expanding magnitude.The revelation is an analogy of the conflict between Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the English crown. It reminds me of the struggles between upstate New York and the “Big Apple” thugs and their outpost in Saratoga Springs. They have yet to come with their S.A.S. and armored cars to subdue and oppress the savages and heathens of upstate. However their attitudes, words and actions hint that it’s not off the table in the penthouses and mansions downstate.Andrew Cuomo reprises in the role of “Iron Lady” Thatcher and the downstate-dominated state Legislature is his Parliament. They are people who are convinced beyond doubt that the “Big Apple” way of life is the only way, and they will not rest until it’s imposed upon every citizen of New York and the U.S.At the national level, we find Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. What more can I say about “Good Ol’ Chuck” that he’s not more than happy to say about himself? As for “Kiki,” she lays claim to being upstate born and bred, yet her loyalty is wedded to “Big Apple” wealth and power. Oh Hillary!Think about it; “Iron Lady” Cuomo and “Kiki” have presidential aspirations. “Chuckie” is a self-appointed champion of the common man. Sleep well tonight.Mark RahnScotia So, divest/reinvest now and help mitigate climate change. Robert ConnorsCanaan Bush administration came up with enhanced ID lawsIn response to his Feb. 8 letter, Vincent Belardo and titled “Liberal Dems show how dumb they are,” Mr. Belardo stated that “About seven or eight years ago, President Obama passed the enhanced license law. The enhanced law states that if you want to go to Mexico or Canada, you need the enhanced license,” and “I went to motor vehicles to get the real ID license.”After a quick visit to Wikipedia, my understanding of this topic is that the guidelines for both the enhanced license and the real ID license, which Mr. Belardo had attempted to get, were established under the Bush administration in 2005 at the behest of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Real ID Act of 2005 modified U.S. federal law regarding the issuance procedures for state driver’s licenses and identity documents. The law and its requirements were not established under President Obama. The requirements which Mr. Belardo was asked to comply with in order to receive his real ID were established under this law’s more stringent guidelines. I’m not sure why his discharge papers were not accepted but I’m guessing that they did not meet the proof of legal status requirement, something which is stated on a birth certificate. I recently needed to get a new copy of my birth certificate, as my old one was completely faded. It’s a little time consuming but doable. If Mr. Belardo has lost his birth certificate, he can apply for a new one.Mary Ellen RiellSchenectady Predictions of overall increases in population for the Earth are estimated to range from about 9 billion to 11 billion by the end of this century. What impact this increase will have on the sustainability of our planet depends on where this growth will occur.People in less-wealthy urban centers generate much less carbon compared to those in most wealthy countries. The unfortunate trend, in places like China, is for people in urban environments to adopt consumption rates similar to high-income nations, which only exacerbates global warming. Despite some slowing in population growth, it could take centuries for any meaningful reductions to occur. Speeding the rate of decline in birth rates across the globe is part of the solution. Education and the increased status of women in societies have been shown to create a significant reduction in fertility rates.Climate change will remain a major threat to our planet. So please recycle, reduce your consumption levels and embrace a reduced carbon lifestyle.Also, encourage a child-free choice or adopt children as a means of sustaining the viability of our planet. Our very existence, as well as that of other species, will depend on it.Doreen HarrisScotia More from The Daily Gazette:Cuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccineEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Thursday, Oct. 3

first_imgSpa financial health is not an accidentSaratoga Springs Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan’s opponent has suggested that the city Finance Office pretty much runs itself, and citizens won’t notice a difference no matter who is elected in November. I think she’s very wrong.We only have to remember the condition of the city’s finances before Madigan took office in 2012.Before Madigan, the city had experienced severe budget cuts, resulting in layoffs of city employees including police, firefighters and public works employees. In spite of the layoffs and program cuts, the 2010 city budget still included a 7.8% tax increase.Madigan took that dismal financial situation and turned the city’s finances around through smart budgeting and initiating money-saving practices. She refinanced city debt twice, saving the city $3.6 million. Her sound management has earned the city an AA+ bond rating, reducing the interest rates the city pays. Her financial skills enabled the city to bring back laid-off city employees while keeping the city’s tax rate stable for seven years.Today, even Madigan’s opponent has admitted that Saratoga Springs enjoys one of the strongest local economies in upstate New York.This didn’t happen by accident. It’s alarming that her opponent doesn’t seem to realize that.Jane WeiheSaratoga SpringsNadler should listen to his own words“The effect of impeachment is to overturn the popular will of the voters as expressed in a national election.“We must not overturn an election and remove a president from office except to defend our very system of government or our constitutional liberties against a dire threat. And we must not do so without an overwhelming consensus of the American people and of their representatives in Congress of the absolute necessity.“There must never be a narrowly voted impeachment or an impeachment substantially supported by one of our major political parties and largely opposed by the other.“Such an impeachment would lack legitimacy and would produce divisiveness and bitterness in our politics for years to come.“And it will call into question the very legitimacy of our political institutions.” — Rep .Jerry Nadler, 1998.“A Republic if you can keep it madam.” — Rep. Ben Franklin, 1776.Michael SheedySchenectady In his Sept. 29 letter (“Trump promoting a devotion to country”), William Malec speaks about the president promoting a devotion to our country.The president certainly talks as though he loves the United States. He is quick to call out “treasonous” behavior of Democrats, journalists and others he suspects are trying to undermine the U.S. Constitution daily. He can certainly tweet the word treason, but I don’t think he can define it.Yes, the president loves the United States and “We the People” in it. Except if we disagree with him, if we are not white, if we are women, if we are legal immigrants from any place other than Western Europe, or if we are poor, then We the People become “nasty,” “traitors” or “savages” who should “go back” to our own country.So, yes, if you are a white guy living in New York, you can be part of the United States of America, as imagined by the president.Just don’t disagree with him. The rest of us? Probably not.James FogartyNiskayunaGrants available for pain managementI read the Sept. 28 article “Panel discusses opioid crisis in Saratoga County” where interested individuals in government, academia, health care and the community met to cooperate to solve this issue by working together.If a cooperative effort led by academia and health care professionals applied to the National Institute of Health before 2021 for grant money to conduct research and clinical programs, then a greater social and emotional approach may be found while the drug dealers are captured.Some NIH research grants involving pain management are:Research on Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions Clinical Trial Optional, PA-18-937; Bio behavioral Basis of Chronic Pain Clinical Trial Optional, PA-18-944; Bio behavioral Basis of Chronic Pain Clinical Trial Optional, PA-18-943; Safety and Outcome Measures of Pain Medications Used in Children and Pregnant Women, Clinical Trial Optional, PA-18-043; Safety and Outcome Measures of Pain Medications Used in Children and Pregnant Women (R03 Clinical Trial Optional, PA-18-044; and Developing the Therapeutic Potential of the Endocannabinoid System for Pain Treatment Clinical Trial Optional, PA-18-917.In addition, there is a small business grant for pain management, the HEAL Initiative: America’s Startups and Small Businesses Build Technologies to Stop the Opioid Crisis Clinical Trial Optional, RFA-DA-19-020.Michael McGlynnWatervliet Nation needs to respect objectivityIf Deputy Joe Smith started to investigate John for sexual abuse, based on John Doe, who was near Sara Jones and seen accompanying Sara late one night in spite of Sara saying, “John is a perfect gentleman and always has been.” I would say either Deputy Joe hates John or has some personal motivation to smear John that in some way benefits Deputy Joe.If the news of late is any indicator, it seems the ability to make objective analysis takes a back seat when your “Man” has crossed the line of OK-to-do.I suppose it’s connected to fear of something, perhaps the boogeyman or something else, such as whatever socialism internally or emotively represents.Hence, in their mind, it’s better to be an ostrich than end up having the boogeyman in the neighborhood.It’s hard to say whether one feels sorry for the objectively handicapped or angry. I suppose it depends if the loss of being objective was a conscious choice or not.Anyway, I hope sanity prevails, or at least a semblance of sanity.Time will tell, and I have never seen anything this nutty in 64 years. Perhaps if I was not age 1 in the McCarthy period, I might have a solid comparison.R. Michael BoyerGilboaKelly and her team  have served city wellTwo years ago, I made a mistake and did not vote for Meg Kelly for Saratoga Springs mayor.This year I will.Kelly has earned everyone’s vote. She has accomplished far more in her first term than the previous mayor did in four years.I am most impressed with how she built trust and teamwork throughout City Hall, including with Commissioners Michele Madigan, John Franck, Skip Scirocco and Peter Martin. While Martin decided not to run, I’m confident that Robin Dalton will join the team and be an effective Commissioner of Public Safety.This team unclogged years of delays, getting the City Center garage and Geyser Trails approved.Under Meg’s leadership, they also moved to a new temporary City Hall after the fire and were functioning in only five days.And they did all of this without increasing taxes.Kelly has been very vocal describing Commissioner Madigan as an important partner whose re-election is critical to keeping the team productive.This is a great year to split your ticket, although every one of my recommended candidates can be voted for on the Independence ticket.Richard SellersSaratoga SpringsGazette has been a go-to source of infoRegarding your 125th anniversary. I’m 82. It has always been the “Schenectady Gazette” to me from the time I could only look at it until today.It is my “go-to” for news; local, national and international. TV and the Internet come in second. I trust what I read. And of course, I enjoy the comics, too. I’ve been reading your little daily capsules of 125 years of news. Some I remember.And it really does make me realize how times have changed in my lifetime. Keep up your good work.Naomi WikaneWarnervilleMore from The Daily Gazette:Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homescenter_img Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionTrump loves you – if you agree with himlast_img read more

Reuters move could seal Docklands as media hub

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Joyful victory for trophy Hunter

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Timor Leste evacuees sought NZ’s help after ‘Bali refused’, confirms NTT

first_imgThe East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) provincial administration has confirmed that 17 Timor Leste citizens evacuated from China had been quarantined in New Zealand after Bali turned down Dili’s pleas for help.NTT spokesperson Marius Ardu Jelamu told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday that the Timor Leste nationals had been quarantined in New Zealand since Feb. 5.“They canceled their plans to be quarantined in Kupang,” Marius said, referring to the provincial capital. “It turns out that, after they were rejected by Bali, the Timor Leste government asked for New Zealand’s help.” NTT Governor Viktor Bungtilu Laiskodat had earlier agreed to Timor Leste’s request to quarantine their nationals from Wuhan in the province, after Bali refused to grant the request.Viktor had already instructed the director of W.Z. Johannes Regional General Hospital in Kupang to set up a temporary facility at the Naimata Mental Hospital for accommodating the Timor Leste evacuees.”At that time, our stance was that the NTT provincial administration was ready to facilitate [the quarantine] if the President instructed us to do so,” said Marius.Earlier on Feb. 4, Timor Leste Planning and Strategic Investment Minister Xanana Gusmao said that Dili had requested assistance from Jakarta to quarantine on Bali 17 of its nationals awaiting repatriation from China, citing the lack of facilities in the neighboring country. The Bali administration, however, rejected the request for help.According to a Feb. 5 report in The Guardian, 17 people from Timor Leste were among the 190 passengers on an Air New Zealand aircraft who had been airlifted from the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in China. All passengers, excepting Australian citizens, were transferred for two weeks of quarantine at Whangaparoa air base, north of Auckland. (mpr)Topics :last_img read more

Formula E organizers declare Monas racetrack plan feasible, reveal circuit design

first_imgThe total distance of the Monas circuit will be 2,588 meters, with the tracks 9.5 to 12-meter wide. The circuit, comprising a total of 12 turns, will be able to accommodate cars racing at a maximum speed of 220 kilometers per hour.The circuit starts from the street in front of City Hall, then runs clockwise from Jl. Merdeka Selatan, turning right at the Arjuna Wiwaha Horse Statue at the southwest part of the Monas monument. It continues around the western side of Monas before running along its southern side.The circuit then turns southeast before returning to the starting point at City Hall.City secretary Saefullah previously said construction for the race needed to be completed by April, as tests would be carried out prior to the race in June.Read also: Need for speed: Jakarta to start Formula E track construction despite criticismThe race, also known as the Jakarta e-Prix, will mark the first time Indonesia holds a Formula E race. Governor Anies Baswedan said in September last year that the country had secured a deal to host the race for five consecutive years from 2020 to 2024.The Medan Merdeka Area Development Steering Committee, led by State Secretary Pratikno, initially rejected the plan to turn the Monas area into a racetrack due to its designation as a cultural heritage site.It asked the city administration to alter the plan by moving the race to other locations such as Jl. MH Thamrin, Jl. Sudirman and the area around the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.The committee later accepted the location under the circumstances that the city preserves the cleanliness, vegetation and security of the Medan Merdeka area. It also required the administration to coordinate with various agencies to ensure that the cultural heritage site continues to function as normal. (syk)Topics : After weeks of discussions, the National Monument (Monas) complex in Central Jakarta was declared feasible as a circuit for Indonesia’s first Formula E electric motorsports championship, which is scheduled to take place on June 6 this year.The announcement was made during a press briefing on Friday, when city-owned developer PT Jakarta Propertindo (Jakpro), the Indonesian Motorsports Association (IMI) and Formula E Operation revealed the circuit design.“Engineers, architects and representatives of the FIA [International Automobile Federation] have examined everything and made sure that the Monas complex is suitable for a world-class racetrack,” IMI chairman Sadikin Aksa said on Friday as quoted by kompas.com. He said construction of the race’s necessary infrastructure would be completed in two months. The FIA will conduct a final inspection days prior to the race to certify the racetrack.“The FIA will assess not only the racetrack, but also its safety before granting the eligibility certificate. The track must be in line with the FIA’s grade-3 standards, which are sufficient for a Formula E race. We don’t need a grade-1 or grade-2 circuit since this is not permanent,” Sadikin said.A grade-3 circuit is designed for a single-seater racecar with a weight-to-power ratio of between 2 and 3 kilograms per horse power. Formula E racecars are included in this category.Read also: Jakarta motors ahead with e-prix plans despite controversieslast_img read more

PREMIUMFinding shelter: Motorcyclists told to vacate overpasses, even during pouring rain

first_imgGoogle Facebook Log in with your social account Linkedin Topics : Heavy rainfall, waterlogged streets and traffic bottlenecks give severe headaches to anyone commuting around the city in this rainy season. To avoid getting drenched in a downpour or driving into potholes hidden by water, some motorcyclists prefer to take shelter to wait out the rain.Motorcyclists commonly take shelter under overpasses during heavy rains, blocking some of the street lanes and creating traffic jams.In order to prevent motorcyclists from parking under overpasses during a rainfall, the Jakarta administration is reminding people of the prevailing traffic regulations through its Instagram account, @dkijakarta.“Stopping on the road under an overpass is a traffic violation as there are traffic signs that mark them as no-stopping areas,” the chief of the Jakarta Police’s traffic law enforcement center (Gakkum), Adj. Sr. Comr. Siregar, told The Jakarta… Forgot Password ? LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here motorcycle motorcycle-ban flyover Rain-in-Jakarta rain rainfall TrafficJam traffic traffic-congestionlast_img read more

US Senate passes one coronavirus aid package while working on another

first_imgThe plan also would provide $300 billion for small businesses, $50 billion in loans for cash-strapped airlines and $150 billion for loan guarantees to other distressed economic sectors.The coronavirus has infected almost 8,000 people in the United States, killing at least 145. It has pummeled financial markets and upended daily life.Health officials have advised Americans to avoid non-essential travel and large gatherings in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.Time pressureRepublican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said his party hoped to forge a deal with the White House soon. Another Republican, Senator Richard Shelby, said it could be unveiled as soon as Wednesday evening.US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who has been talking to congressional leaders about the legislation, is pushing for it to be finished by early next week, a congressional aide said.With that kind of time pressure, Democrats said the best strategy would be for members of both parties in the two chambers to negotiate together with the White House. “That’s the way that’s worked the best, the quickest, the fairest in the past,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor.Mindful of lingering voter anger over the 2008 bank bailout, lawmakers said any industry-specific aid should come in the form of loans that must be paid back.“I’m not in favor of just handing over billions in taxpayer dollars to the airlines or others,” Republican Senator Josh Hawley told reporters.Republican Senator Lamar Alexander said he guessed that lawmakers would, in yet another phase of action to come, need to look at state unemployment compensation systems and “make sure they are able to handle the large number of people who are losing their jobs because the government is shutting down the economy in order to contain the disease.”Mnuchin privately warned this week that unemployment could hit 20 percent if Congress does not act.The Trump administration also asked Congress for an additional $45.8 billion to shore up US government agencies responding to the outbreak.It would also give extra funds to improve airport sanitation, provide protective gear to federal agents, bolster cybersecurity protections, improve teleworking capabilities and shore up the Amtrak passenger rail service, which has seen a steep drop in ridership.House Democrats had concerns that the bill might also enable the Homeland Security Department to deport more immigrants who are in the country illegally, according to an aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity.Early this month, Congress approved a first $8.3 billion package to boost the medical response to the pandemic.In a step aimed at limiting the spread of the virus among the lawmakers themselves, McConnell began doubling the amount of time to vote to limit the number of members in the chamber at any one time. The US Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation on Wednesday providing billions of dollars to limit the damage from the coronavirus pandemic through free testing, paid sick leave and expanded safety-net spending.The bill, which was backed by President Donald Trump, now goes to him to be signed into law. Congress and the White House are discussing additional stimulus measures that could cost more than US$1 trillion.Lawmakers in the Republican-led Senate largely set aside their ideological divisions, passing the legislation by a bipartisan vote of 90-8, with all “no” votes coming from Republicans. The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives also passed the bill by an overwhelming bipartisan margin last Saturday. Topics :center_img The exact cost has not been tallied, but the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the sick leave and family leave provisions alone would cost $105 billion.Lawmakers are simultaneously trying to craft another emergency package that could cost $1.3 trillion – far more than the mammoth recession-fighting packages that Congress passed in 2008 and 2009 during the financial crisis.That package could include two rounds of direct payments to Americans, totaling $250 billion each, according to a Treasury Department proposal seen by Reuters.Trump suggested on Tuesday those checks could amount to up to $1,000 each. Payments would be tiered based on income and family size. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said expanded unemployment benefits would provide more of an impact.last_img read more

Riau Islands governor Nurdin Basirun sentenced to four years in prison for bribery

first_imgA panel of judges at the Jakarta Corruption Court has sentenced suspended Riau Islands governor Nurdin Basirun to four years in prison for accepting bribes in relation to a reclamation project in the province.The governor was also ordered to pay a fine of Rp 200 million (US$12,592) and Rp 4.22 billion in restitution fees for his crimes.“If [the defendant] does not pay [the restitution fee] within one month after the court’s decision, the defendant’s property will be confiscated and auctioned off to cover it,” presiding judge Yanto read the verdict during a virtual hearing on Thursday. The court also revoked Nurdin’s right to run for office for the next five years.Prosecutors previously demanded a six-year sentence and a fine of Rp 250 million.Read also: Reclamation project delayed in Riau Islands after governor nabbed for alleged briberyBoth Nurdin and Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors told the bench that they were considering whether to appeal the sentence. The KPK arrested and named Nurdin a graft suspect in July last year for allegedly accepting bribes and unlawful gifts from local businessman Abu Bakar over the deliberation of the province’s zoning plan on coastal areas and small islands.Abu Bakar allegedly bribed the governor in exchange for a reclamation permit at Tanjung Piayu in Batam, which would later be used as a resort and tourist area even though the site was previously reserved for land cultivation and a protected forest.Nurdin is suspected of having accepted a total of Rp 665 million in different currencies, including the Singaporean dollar and US dollar.The KPK also named Abu Bakar, Riau Islands Maritime Affairs Agency head Edy Sofyan and agency official Budi Hartono suspects in the case.Nurdin was elected Riau Islands governor in April 2016. He was replaced by his deputy Isdianto shortly after his arrest.Topics :last_img read more