Go ahead, Republicans: Investigate Hillary … again

first_imgSo go ahead, investigate Hillary for the 10,000th time.Other than a monumental waste of taxpayer dollars, there’s little harm in taking another look at the Uranium One sale.OK, Jeff Sessions, go forth and direct federal prosecutors to look into “potentially” unlawful international dealings — at least as imagined by Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee.A special counsel could be appointed if they find something, which they won’t.This sideshow immediately followed the release of Don Jr.’s secret correspondence with Russian-controlled WikiLeaks during the presidential campaign.The Atlantic reports that campaign advisers Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Hope Hicks and Brad Parscale knew about it.There is nothing imaginary about Robert Mueller’s investigation into collusion between the Trump campaign and our Russian adversaries. Directing the government to go after a former political foe, of course, broke a major political norm. Trump may believe that no one else has the guts to ravage the democracy as he has. We shall see.In any case, launching a new witch hunt against Clinton is a sure sign that the heat’s been turned up high.Do Democrats want to help Trump turn attention away from the web of troubles in which he is thrashing?As Mueller’s investigation trains more hot lights on Trump and company, the president’s people will send more rabbits for the media to chase in the opposite direction.Democrats will undoubtedly be asked to respond to the phony allegations. Their best response would be a quick dismissal and a shrug.Froma Harrop is a nationally syndicated columnist.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? The Trump position has moved from “there was no collusion” to “collusion is not illegal.”U.S. intelligence has long held that WikiLeaks acted as an arm of the Russian military to push the race in Trump’s favor. Trump ally Roger Stone was in touch with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and worked with the Russian agents running Guccifer 2.0, the entity that launched cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee.We know that because he stupidly bragged about it.“There is one ‘trick’ that is not in my bag, and that is treason,” Stone said last September in his defense. Ooooh. We don’t know about that.Lest anyone doubt that a fire could be raging under this heavy smoke of denials, the Department of Homeland Security and the director of national intelligence on election security issued a joint statement last year that “the recent disclosures … are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts.”Funny that Trump was in Asia this month telling Americans to trust Russian strongman Vladimir Putin but not the leaders of their own intelligence services. Actually, it was not funny at all.Harassing a political opponent no longer in office is not without risk for Trump. Given the tawdry family history — going back to the ‘90s, when a bankrupt Trump turned to Russians for loans — the president has provided ample opportunity for his successor to push for investigations of him.center_img Categories: Editorial, OpinionWhenever the legal walls start closing in on Donald Trump, the president releases a bad rabbit on the political field, a creature invisible to all but the haters of Hillary Clinton.The most recent example is his attorney general’s call to “evaluate certain issues” regarding the sale of a majority stake in Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation.Yes, that again.There was absolutely zero wrong with or troubling about the Uranium One transaction.Even Fox News viewers who heard Shep Smith dismiss the wild charges as nonsense know that.And that’s why Democrats should resist the urge to chase this non-scandal down the rabbit hole of Trumpian distraction.Provoking them to become players — to angrily defend Hillary with their files of facts — is the point of Trump’s game.last_img read more

Take steps to ensure wolves are protected

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Right now negotiations are being held on an appropriation rider that de-lists the wolf in the western Great Lakes. Not only one federal judge, but the highest appeals court in the nation, with Bush-appointed judges, found that USFWS violated delisting rules for wolves, and now, this rider takes away our legal challenge to keep agencies accountable. We certainly need that more than ever. The Northeast region is a potential wolf habitat, but we have no confirmed wild wolves living here. Restoring wolves to this landscape is really a way to complete and perfect the ecologic order. By resolving the public’s concerns, showing the economic, environmental and social benefits, along with carrying out the purpose of the Endangered Species Act in a strategic and effective manner, the gray wolf could be a success story.But here’s the catch. If wolves are delisted by this rider, it virtually eliminates the chances of natural recovery because of the violent and aggressive wolf-hunting seasons. Wisconsin wolves have the highest probability of getting to New England, but they certainly can’t do it if the population is killed off by trophy hunters.Wolves don’t know state lines, and that’s not how populations are able to recover. Until wolves recolonize suitable habitat nationally, we must stop delisting attempts. Congress shouldn’t be in the business of picking off species to delist. Western Great Lakes wolves are everyone’s wolves, no matter where you live in the United States.Please contact your senator and ask that wolves remain protected.Jacqueline de WittNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:Puccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more

All roads lead to Lincoln

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Wyncote invests in Worthing retail

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Life after Cardiff

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The value of retaining carefully assembled teams

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COVID-19: MRT Jakarta imposes longer headway as ridership plunges

first_imgOver the last three days, the number of MRT passengers has plummeted from 13,000 to 3,000, according to the company.“Our evaluation shows that the number of passengers has decreased by over 90 percent from the number we usually recorded,” Effendi said in a statement issued on Thursday.Despite the longer headway time, however, the company’s policy restricting each train to only carrying a total of 60 passengers would remain in effect, he said. The company’s physical-distancing policy, which entails maintaining a minimum safe distance of 1 meter between passengers, would also still be implemented, he added.On March 17, the Jakarta Transportation Agency announced that the capital’s public transportation, such as Transjakarta, MRT Jakarta and LRT Jakarta, would resume normal operations after a policy to restrict their operational hours in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19 backfired, causing buildups at stations and bus stops.Three days later, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan declared a state of emergency for the following two weeks in the capital city in an effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.Anies said the administration would still limit public transportation to reduce mobility and curb the spread of the virus. (rfa)Topics : MRT Jakarta is increasing headway time to 10 minutes starting on Thursday because of a staggering decrease in commuter numbers caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic that has prompted the government to encourage a work-from-home policy for residents.City-owned PT MRT Jakarta made the decision after considering the dwindling numbers of commuters, the company’s operational and maintenance director Muhammad Effendi said. The policy was also formulated amid the public health emergency and the state of emergency declared by the Jakarta administration.The headway was increased from the regular five minutes during the peak hours of operation.last_img read more

Neighborhood authorities help curb COVID-19 spread

first_imgThe Jakarta administration has enlisted the help of local authorities as part of wider efforts to curb the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the capital, which is the national epicenter of the epidemic that has infected more than 1600 people nationwide and killed 157.The rapid rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in Jakarta has prompted extra efforts to contain the disease, as the city boasted a record 10.9 percent death rate – threefold the global average of 3.9 percent. As of Wednesday morning, the city’s website corona.jakarta.go.id reported 794 confirmed infections and 798 patients under surveillance in Jakarta.Jakarta Governance Bureau head Premi Lasari has said leaders of the city’s many neighborhood units (RT) and community units (RW) had initiated efforts to protect vulnerable groups from COVID-19 transmission, as mandated in a city circular dated March 26. Each RT and RW in the capital will collect and collate data on the most vulnerable groups in their respective neighborhoods, particularly people aged 60 and above as well as people suffering from hypertension, heart diseases, diabetes, lung diseases and cancer, according to the document.According to the Jakarta office of Statistics Indonesia, there are about 800,000 residents recorded in the vulnerable age group. “The RT and RW unit heads have been carrying out the governor’s directive,” Premi told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.The grassroots efforts come as Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan instructed city officials to “protect the clean areas” – defined as neighborhoods with zero infections – during a virtual meeting with Jakarta mayors last week. “They have to find ways so that the residents in areas declared safe are not infected,” Anies said in footage of the meeting posted on the administration’s YouTube channel.So far, some RW leaders had acted on their own initiative to limit the movement of people in their respective communities, Premi said, including by closing off neighborhood entryways and monitoring traffic in and out of their areas.The chairman of the Jakarta RT/RW Forum, Muhammad Irsyad, said many communities at the neighborhood level had taken preventive measures even before the governor’s directive was rolled out, after they had learned about the spread of the disease from media reports.Irsyad said that each neighborhood had come up with a different approach to curbing the spread of the virus, based on the social makeup and characteristics of its population.For instance, a neighborhood consisting of several urban kampungs would not be able to prohibit low-income residents from leaving their homes. “But at least they can monitor nonresidents who enter their area, besides promoting good personal hygiene,” Irsyad said.Restricting access, he argued, was only feasible in smaller areas, such as the more well-off gated communities, in which residents had the resources to fulfill their needs during a quarantine.But even in more modest community units, residents have not stopped lending a helping hand.Irsyad, who heads a community unit of his own in the “clean” district of Rawa Badak Selatan in North Jakarta, said he recently had to ask a resident to get himself and his family checked up and to self-isolate themselves after showing what was deemed mild virus symptoms.“As the managers of the [RW], we continue monitoring the needs of [that person and the family]. We’ve provided them with disinfectant spray and antiseptic handwash. Other neighbors could give them food if it is deemed necessary – I believe other RWs are doing the same thing,” he said.For other places with more footfall or a lack of physical boundaries, things may be a bit more complicated.Nurul Huda, head of the Gelora subdistrict in Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta, said that community units under his authority were unable to block access to their areas because a number of offices and a traditional market were located in the area.“It is more complicated for our area because of the offices and Palmerah Market. Anyone who can will come through here,” he told the Post, noting that only some RWs were able to implement a one-gate policy, where residents take turns to guard access to the neighborhood.The Gelora subdistrict has two confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday, Huda claims, and both are apartment dwellers in the area. Only 42 out of Jakarta’s 261 subdistricts have not reported any COVID-19 positive cases.While most RTs and RWs rely on their own residents to protect the neighborhood, Premi said they could still ask for assistance from the local police to enforce public order or help them promote physical distancing measures in the surrounding community.In Gelora, Huda said, one police officer was assigned to each RW to patrol at night and raise public awareness on COVID-19 during the day.Outside of the capital, a number of regions have also taken the initiative to impose containment measures of their own.The Tegal city administration in Central Java has moved to close its borders for four months from March 30 to July 31, imposing something akin to a full lockdown. In Yogyakarta, residents of Sleman regency have limited access to several hamlets, such as the neighborhood units in Randu in Hargobinangun village, Pakem district, where only two roads are left open for access.Read also: COVID-19: Regions start locking down as govt works on regulationTopics :last_img read more

Australia loses 6 percent of jobs to coronavirus crisis: Statistics bureau

first_imgAustralia may have lost three quarters of a million jobs between mid-March and early April when large chunks of the economy were shut down in the fight against the coronavirus, new data showed on Tuesday. Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed jobs recorded by the Australian Taxation Office payrolls system fell 6 percent between March 14 and April 4. The ATO system covers about 99 percent of substantial employers, those with 20 or more workers, and 71 percent of smaller employers. The ABS monthly employment report for estimated there were 13 million working in early March, suggesting around 780,000 jobs may have been lost by early April. The largest drop was in the accommodation and food services industry where a quarter of jobs were lost, while arts and recreation shed almost 19 percent of workers. “The largest impact of net job losses, in percentage terms, was for people aged under 20, for whom jobs decreased by 9.9 percent,” said Bjorn Jarvis, head of labor statistics at the ABS. Total wages paid by businesses decreased by 6.7 percent over the period. This was the first release of the payrolls series, which uses data reported by businesses through the ATO to provide much more timely numbers than the monthly jobs report. Topics :last_img read more

Premier League’s international appeal faces coronavirus test

first_imgTopics : Reschedule rebateThe need to cram the remaining 92 games of the season into a five-and-a-half week window also means many more midweek games with evening kick-offs in England, forcing fans in the Far East to tune in during the early hours.Overseas broadcasters will be compensated with a reported £107 million rebate due to the change in scheduling.However, the excitement over the Premier League’s return endures, particularly among the huge number of Liverpool fans, many of whom are awaiting a first league title in their lifetimes.Jurgen Klopp’s men are just two wins away from being crowned champions of England for the first time in 30 years.Hu Zhifei, a 26-year-old journalist and member of Liverpool’s official fan club in Beijing, had planned a trip to see his heroes in action in February that was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.”Nobody is anticipating the league’s restart more than Liverpool fans because we are within two wins of the title,” said Hu, who will tune in to watch the Reds via internet streaming despite kick-offs in the early hours.Excitement is also building in India, where the Premier League has built up a strong following among urban youth in a traditionally cricket-obsessed nation.”Finally I’ll watch some live EPL action. I have already chalked out a schedule for these matches,” Qazi Ahmad Masood, a 17-year-old student, told AFP. “I would love to see my favorite club Liverpool lift the trophy.”  That income will be all the more welcome, with uncertainty over when supporters will be allowed back into stadiums and commercial revenues expected to tumble in a global economic crisis.However, without the atmosphere generated by baying fans, the Premier League’s appeal may be diminished in football’s new normal.”What makes it special in England is the way people react to the game,” former Arsenal manager and FIFA’s chief of global football development Arsene Wenger told The Athletic.”It is the best country in the world for the way the fans respond to what’s happening on the pitch. That’s why I think it will be the most handicapped championship without that.” ‘Fast and exciting’ One of the difficulties that lies ahead for the Premier League’s brand will be to maintain the intensity of competition on the field in echoing, empty stadiums.”The Premier League is fast and exciting and no matter whether it is a strong or weak team, the games are great to watch,” said Hu.Fans watching at home will be offered pre-recorded fan noise dubbed over the action to compensate for the real thing.”There is something about the legend that is English football that is all about noise and atmosphere and proximity,” Simon Chadwick, director of Eurasian sport at Emlyon business school in France told AFP.”That spectacle, the product, the noise, the atmosphere, the experience won’t necessarily be there.”However, by overcoming a series of obstacles just to get back playing in the country that is the worst-hit by coronavirus in Europe, the Premier League is confident it will not lose ground in the long run against the Bundesliga, La Liga or Serie A in the battle for viewers across the globe.”We know it won’t be the same without our loyal supporters in stadiums but, together with our broadcast partners, we are able to ensure fans can watch or listen to each match live from home,” said the Premier League’s chief executive Richard Masters. When the 100 day-wait for Premier League football comes to an end on Wednesday, the anticipation will be felt as keenly in Mumbai and Beijing as in Manchester and Birmingham.The global reach of the English top-flight has helped secure its position as the wealthiest league in world football.The Premier League’s overseas television rights deals for the 2019-2022 three-season cycle hit a record £4.2 billion ($5.3 billion) and another £2 billion deal has already been struck for Scandinavian rights between 2022 and 2028.last_img read more