Trump threatens to ‘close down’ social media after his tweets tagged

first_imgOn Tuesday, Twitter for the first time prompted readers to check the facts in tweets sent by US President Donald Trump, warning his claims about mail-in ballots were false and had been debunked by fact checkers. US President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to close down social media platforms after Twitter labelled two of his tweets “unsubstantiated” and accused him of making false claims.”Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen,” Trump tweeted. Topics : In a tweet responding to the company’s move, Trump accused the company of interfering in the 2020 presidential election. “Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!” he said.The blue exclamation mark notification prompted readers to “get the facts about mail-in ballots” and directed them to a page with news articles and information about the claims aggregated by Twitter staffers.Trump pushed back again on Wednesday saying “we can’t let large scale Mail-In Ballots take root in our Country. It would be a free for all on cheating, forgery and the theft of Ballots.”Whoever cheated the most would win. Likewise, Social Media. Clean up your act, NOW!!!!” The president also accused social media platforms of interfering in the last election, saying “we saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016.””We can’t let a more sophisticated version of that happen again.”The president has long used Twitter as a platform to spread abuse, conspiracy theories, false information and insults to his 80 million followers.Before being elected in 2016, he built his political brand by supporting the “birther” lie that Barack Obama, America’s first black president, was not born in the United States and therefore was not eligible to be president.And he has recently ignited another storm with an attempted character assassination of MSNBC TV host Joe Scarborough by spreading the baseless rumor he murdered an aide.last_img read more

Start reading Trump threatens to ‘close down’ social media after his tweets tagged

Ministry task force arrests men for selling endangered plants

first_imgThe plants sold reportedly included 25 tropical pitcher plants, locally known as kantong semar, as well as silver Komalomena, Vilodendrum boceri, turtle back Labisia and silver Alocasia.Read also: COVID-19 won’t stop Indonesia from conserving endangered wildlife treasuresOne of the pitcher plant species the men sold, Nepenthes clipeata, which grows in the crevices of granite rocks, is endemic to Kelam Hill in Sintang regency, West Kalimantan. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declared the species critically endangered in 2014.AC had been reported to authorities once before by members of the Suara Pelindung Hutan (Voice of the Forest Protector) community for allegedly smuggling protected plants from Indonesia. RB and MT admitted to selling each plant for Rp 500,000 (US$33.5) to AC.Both perpetrators have allegedly been smuggling Nepenthes clipeata from the Kelam Hill Nature Park conservation area since 2017. They sold the specimens online to local and foreign buyers, including in Taiwan, Penang, Kuching and Kuala Lumpur.“This is our first time investigating the smuggled protected plants case. We will develop the case and trace the international network of protected plant smuggling,” Environment and Forestry Ministry law enforcement director general Sustyo Iriyono said on Thursday.Read also: Ministry launches guide books for identifying protected speciesRB and MT are currently being detained in the West Kalimantan Police detention center. RB has been declared a suspect and MT remains classified as a witness.Both men were charged with violating Article 21 paragraph 1 and Article 40 paragraph 2 of Law No. 5/1990 on natural resources and ecosystem conservation, which stipulates a maximum punishment of five years in jail or a Rp 100 million fine.Topics : A law enforcement task force that includes the Environment and Forestry Ministry and the West Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), has taken two men into custody for allegedly selling protected plants.The men, 23-year-old RB and 32-year-old MT, were apprehended in Sekadau Hilir district, Sekadau regency, West Kalimantan, on Wednesday.RB and MT were allegedly selling the plants to AC, a nursery owner in Taiwan who sells tropical plants from Southeast Asian countries.last_img read more

Start reading Ministry task force arrests men for selling endangered plants

Lufthansa says up to 26,000 employees at risk of losing jobs

first_imgLufthansa admitted on Wednesday that the positions of up to 26,000 employees are surplus to requirements, suggesting many more jobs will be cut at the German carrier than a figure of more than 10,000 flagged a few weeks ago.Speaking after a meeting with trade unions, a Lufthansa spokeswoman said the airline estimates that it has a surplus of 22,000 full-time equivalent positions or 26,000 employees.Lufthansa last week pledged a wide-ranging restructuring, from thousands of job cuts to asset sales, as it seeks to repay a 9 billion euro (US$10.26 billion) state bailout and navigate deepening losses in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. It said then that job cuts would be “significantly more” than the 10,000 figure it had previously estimated.The company is trying to reach agreement with labour unions to make employees work part-time and other ways to cut personnel costs before it holds an extraordinary general meeting on June 25, when shareholders will vote on the bailout.Flight attendants union UFO demanded that Lufthansa commits to avoiding forced redundancies, but said it was working hard to reach a deal by the time of the meeting.Meanwhile, the union representing pilots said its members had offered to take a cut in pay of up to 45 percent, in total amounting to about 350 million euros, but in return it wants the company to try to secure as many jobs as possible.Topics :last_img read more

Start reading Lufthansa says up to 26,000 employees at risk of losing jobs

UGM focuses on new normal life during seventh online KKN program

first_imgTopics : The students will be supervised by 178 lecturers and 16 regional coordinators virtually.“They have also received a briefing on online platforms for farmers, waste management as well as online village development planning,” Irfan said in a statement.Salsabila Ramadhani, a student of the university’s School of Engineering, said she appreciated the university for holding the program online due to the danger of the coronavirus disease.“I don’t want to lose time. We don’t know when the pandemic will come to an end,” Salsabila said. “This [the virtual KKN program] is for the best of all.”Read also: Teachers go extra mile to teach students as schools remain closedEducation and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim, who spoke at the KKN inauguration ceremony, appreciated UGM for the innovation, which was important in protecting the health of the students as well as local communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.While praising various themes chosen by the program participants to assist the community in facing the pandemic, Nadiem urged the students to help teach elementary school students who face difficulties in learning due to the outbreak.“I hope students of UGM and students from other universities help elementary school students to study from their respective homes by becoming their mentors,” the minister said. Read also: KKN community work program goes online amid pandemicUGM rector Panut Mulyono said the KKN program, which aimed to develop the students’ understanding of problems in local communities, had to be done online to prevent further COVID-19 transmission between the participating students and the communities.“We don’t want to halt students’ study progress, while also taking into consideration the health and safety factors,” said Panut.Separately, the university’s community service director Irfan Priyambada said the students applied several themes to their community work, such as promoting a healthy lifestyle, developing tourism in villages, strengthening people’s finances and preparing village communities ahead of the so-called new normal period.center_img Thousands of of Gadjah Mada University (UGM) students in Yogyakarta participated in the seventh wave of the university’s virtual compulsory community work (KKN) program, which focuses on helping local communities face the so-called new normal period.The KKN program started on Monday, with 4,505 students participating in the virtual community work to assist 263 villages until Aug. 18. This is the seventh batch of participants in UGM’s virtual KKN program, with the first batch being sent in March.Traditionally, the KKN program sends participating students to live on-site for about two months. However, due to the pandemic, the students can only do community services from their respective dormitories, rented rooms or houses.last_img read more

Start reading UGM focuses on new normal life during seventh online KKN program

Tokyo governor Koike cruises to second term

first_imgAs for the Olympics, she said, “the coronavirus infection is also the priority here as well”.”What can we do to host a safe and secure Games? How can we reduce its cost and simplify it? I wish to continue working on our coronavirus measures so that it will become reality,” she said.Her second term begins amid a growing weariness with the Olympics, as just over half of Tokyo’s residents do not think the Games should be held next year, according to a poll published late last month.The coronavirus also overshadowed Sunday’s voting with polling station staff donning masks, face shields and plastic gloves, while tape on the floor kept voters apart.Poll booths were sanitised after every use, and voters were urged to use hand sanitiser as they entered and exited.Koike’s main challengers were Kenji Utsunomiya, 73, a lawyer backed by the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and two other opposition parties, and Taro Yamamoto, 45, a former actor and leader of the anti-establishment party Reiwa Shinsengumi.The men were nationally recognised figures, but were no rivals to Koike, who campaigned online and did not mingle with supporters or give speeches to reduce infection risks. Koike originally won the governorship in a landslide vote in 2016, becoming Tokyo’s first female leader.She has been seen as a steady pair of hands during the coronavirus crisis, issuing frequent video messages — including in English, which is highly unusual for a Japanese politician.However, she fluffed her biggest political gamble in 2017 when she created a new “Party of Hope” that coalesced opposition to Abe’s all-powerful Liberal Democrats in the national election.This sparked speculation she would ditch her role as Tokyo governor to run for the prime minister.However, despite initially promising opinion polls, support imploded because of public confusion over her intentions.Topics : Many observers say her smooth performance during the coronavirus pandemic contrasted sharply with current PM Shinzo Abe, who critics say bungled Japan’s response.The postponed Olympics, due to open on July 23, 2021, was also a major theme of the campaign and Koike pledged to reduce the Games budget as organizers grapple with the unprecedented challenge of rescheduling the event.Koike gave an “online” victory speech in front of a limited number of journalists to minimise the risk of coronavirus infection.”The immediate issue at hand is the coronavirus,” Koike said, as Tokyo has seen more than 100 new cases a day recently — many from clusters in the city’s host and hostess clubs. Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike declared victory in Sunday’s vote to elect the leader of one of the world’s most populous cities and immediately vowed to step up the fight against a recent coronavirus resurgence.Major media exit polls suggested a landslide victory after voting stations closed at 8 p.m., as Koike shrugged off challenges from a wide range of candidates, many of whom were political novices.The 67-year-old media-savvy Koike is a rare top female leader in Japan’s male-dominated politics and is often mentioned as a possible prime minister.last_img read more

Start reading Tokyo governor Koike cruises to second term

‘Freakish’ Greenwood is Man Utd’s new baby-faced assassin

first_imgIn his first season with the first team, Greenwood has scored 15 goals despite making just 18 starts in all competitions.United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who earned the tag “baby-faced assassin” for his finishing prowess as a player at Old Trafford, rates the club’s latest prodigy as “one of the best — if not the best — finisher I have worked with and seen”.Greenwood’s second against Bournemouth was particularly eye-catching as he spun onto his supposedly weaker right foot before crashing the ball with such speed that Aaron Ramsdale could not keep it out despite getting a hand to it.”It’s freakish,” said former United striker Andy Cole. “He can go either side and you know he’s going to produce that kind of quality.” ‘More like a man’Revitalized by the January signing of Bruno Fernandes, United were in fine form before football’s three-month coronavirus shutdown. But far from seeing their momentum slowed, the manner in which Solskjaer’s men have returned has raised hopes they could even mount a title challenge to Liverpool and Manchester City next season.Greenwood did not let the lockdown period go to waste as he reportedly gained three kilograms of muscle mass.”Mason is looking more and more like a man,” said Solskjaer prior to the season’s restart.It has shown on the field as the teenager has started three consecutive Premier League games for the first time, during which United have scored 11 goals.Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial’s goals against Bournemouth took them to the 20-goal mark in the season for the first time and with an average of just 21, United’s front three have the potential to bring back the glory days of the Ferguson era in the coming years.”He’s always eager to learn and he reminds me, mentality-wise, of how I was when I was younger,” said Rashford. “If you keep learning, there’s no limit to what you can become.”United’s immediate future is focused on securing a return to Champions League football, with a trip to relegation-threatened Aston Villa next up on Thursday.The swagger and speed with which United have played in the past three games has come, significantly, in the only three matches Fernandes and Pogba have started together.Pogba seemed destined to leave Old Trafford for the second time in his career prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, with finances tighter across European football, it is unlikely interest from Real Madrid will materialize this summer.For the first time in his second spell at United, Pogba’s role in the midfield suits his skill-set, with Nemanja Matic providing the platform for the French World Cup winner and Fernandes to share the creative burden.”We know that they [Rashford, Martial and Greenwood] can score goals, we know that they’ve got pace, energy, they’re youthful, they’ll learn, they’ll improve,” added Solskjaer.”With the players that we have that can provide the passes with Paul and Bruno, the creativity that we’ve got in the team now is exciting.” Manchester United have spent more than £1 billion ($1.2 billion) on new players over the past nine years but the Red Devils latest revival owes much to a home-grown superstar in 18-year-old academy graduate Mason Greenwood.The young forward was the star of the show as United scored five goals in the Premier League at Old Trafford for the first time since 2011 against Bournemouth at the weekend.Greenwood smashed high into the Bournemouth net, first with his left foot and then with his right as free-flowing United won 5-2 in a style rarely seen since Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013. Topics :last_img read more

Start reading ‘Freakish’ Greenwood is Man Utd’s new baby-faced assassin

EU raises its bet on blood plasma in search for COVID-19 therapy

first_imgFunds could be used to buy equipment to collect, store and test convalescent plasma, the document said, adding the money could come from the Emergency Support Instrument (ESI), a European rainy-day fund.The use of the ESI could allow funds to be provided this year. Usually EU funding projects are planned years in advance.Money from the 2.7-billion-euro ($3 billion) ESI has so far only been used or committed for highly sensitive issues, such as buying scarce face masks at the peak of the pandemic in Europe and advance purchase of potential COVID-19 vaccines .Over 300 million euros have been spent and about 2 billion is penciled in to buy possible vaccines, EU officials told Reuters. This leaves some 400 million euros available. The European Union wants to fast-track funding to treat COVID-19 patients with blood plasma collected from survivors, an EU document seen by Reuters shows, in a sign of the bloc’s growing confidence in the experimental treatment.The move also highlights the more assertive approach being taken by the 27-nation union in the race to find effective drugs and vaccines against the new coronavirus, after the United States scooped up several promising candidates.The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, has invited national blood authorities to apply for possible emergency funding by July 10 to boost their collection of convalescent plasma, which is obtained from people who have recovered from COVID-19, the document seen by Reuters said. The use of the ESI is still being considered, the Commission noted in its document. A Commission spokesman did not immediately reply to questions on the matter.Plasma rushSince the beginning of the pandemic, medics across the world have been transfusing convalescent plasma into critically ill COVID-19 patients, often with positive results, although its efficacy is still under investigation.People who survive an infectious disease like COVID-19 are left with blood plasma containing antibodies, or proteins made by the body’s immune system to fight off a virus, that can be transfused into newly infected patients to try to aid recovery.Plasma, which is the liquid component of blood, is also being tested by public authorities and companies to develop medicines against COVID-19, such as hyper-immune globulins.Separate research is underway on its possible use to prevent COVID-19 infections, as antibodies extracted from it could be transfused to boost immunity defenses of vulnerable people. That could be particularly important in the absence of a vaccine.The Commission has already funded research on convalescent plasma, but unblocking emergency funding to promote collection would be the boldest move so far.The EU is currently financing a project to develop a plasma-derived therapy against COVID-19 and has also set up a database to share results of treatments applied in European hospitals.It is also working to reduce its long-standing dependency on plasma imported from the United States to manufacture critical non-COVID medicines such as immunoglobulins and medication that helps control bleeding. Topics :last_img read more

Start reading EU raises its bet on blood plasma in search for COVID-19 therapy

Virus cases on sharp rise since start of July: AFP tally

first_imgPresident Donald Trump appeared on Saturday for the first time publicly wearing a mask, as more than 66,000 new cases were recorded in the United States, according to the Johns Hopkins University, a new daily record.Latin America and the Caribbean is the region where the disease is surging the most, with more than 76,000 new cases registered on July 11 (compared with just over 70,000 in the United States and Canada, nearly 40,000 in Asia, 17,500 in Africa and 16,000 in Europe).On Friday, the World Health Organization said it was “still” possible to control the situation if “rapid action” was taken to deal with outbreaks.The number of diagnosed cases still reflects only a fraction of the actual number of infections. Some countries test only severe cases, others use them primarily for tracing, and many poor countries have limited testing capacity. The coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 565,000 people out of nearly 13 million registered cases worldwide, has been accelerating sharply since the start of July, according to a count carried out by AFP from official sources.The three biggest daily worldwide increases in new cases were seen on Saturday (more than 230,000), Friday (more than 225,000) and Thursday (nearly 220,000).Since July 1, nearly 2.5 million new cases have been officially declared, a record level since the outbreak was first reported in China in December.  Topics :center_img The number of declared cases worldwide has doubled in just a month and a half.The United States (3,247,782 cases), Brazil (1,839,850), India (849,553), Russia (727,162) and Peru (322,710) account for more than half of the global total.Worldwide, a total of at least 12,736,737 infections, including 565,151 deaths, have been recorded.Europe is the most affected continent in terms of fatalities, with 202,396 out of 3,355,128 cases while the hardest-hit country the United States has registered 134,815 deaths.last_img read more

Start reading Virus cases on sharp rise since start of July: AFP tally

Positive news on Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine could come Thursday: Report

first_imgShares in AstraZeneca traded 5% higher by 1415 GMT. There was no immediate comment from the company on the report.A spokeswoman for Oxford University told Reuters the team was awaiting confirmation from a scientific journal of a publication date and time for the data, but gave no further details. “(We) are not able to confirm when it will be released,” she said.Peston said in a blog post: “I am hearing there will be positive news soon (perhaps tomorrow) on initial trials of the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine that is backed by AstraZeneca.”Researchers in the United States reported on Tuesday that Moderna Inc’s experimental vaccine showed it was safe and provoked immune responses in all 45 healthy volunteers in an ongoing early-stage study.Moderna started its Phase II trial in May and expects to start a Phase III trial on July 27. Positive news on initial trials of the University of Oxford’s potential COVID-19 vaccine that has been licensed to AstraZeneca could be announced as soon as Thursday, ITV’s political editor Robert Peston said, citing a source.The potential vaccine is already in large-scale Phase III human trials to assess whether it can protect against COVID-19, but its developers have yet to report Phase I results which would show whether it is safe and whether or not it induces an immune response.The developers of the vaccine said this month they were encouraged by the immune response they had seen in trials so far and were expecting to publish Phase 1 data by the end of July. Topics :center_img The data are expected to be published by The Lancet medical journal.More than 100 vaccines are being developed and tested around the world to try to stop the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed hundreds of thousands and ravaged the global economy.AstraZeneca’s experimental vaccine is probably the world’s leading candidate and most advanced in terms of development, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist said in June.The company has signed agreements with governments around the globe to supply the vaccine should it be cleared for use.last_img read more

Start reading Positive news on Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine could come Thursday: Report

Authorities issue joint regulation to supervise regional elections amid pandemic

first_imgThe National Police chief, the attorney general and the head of the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) signed on Monday a new joint regulation on the Integrated Law Enforcement Center (Sentra Gakkumdu) to supervise the 2020 regional elections in December.The joint regulation consists of several adjustments, including on the implementation of health protocols during the regional elections. However, no further details regarding the changes have been provided yet.“We face new challenges for the upcoming 2020 regional elections due to the pandemic, especially in collecting evidence on election violation cases, which is due in five days,” the head of Bawaslu, Abhan, said during a meeting on Monday. He said the pandemic might hinder direct investigations of suspects due to the physical distancing policy.“For example, when we receive a report [on a possible violation] and we need to summon someone [for an in-person investigation] but we can’t guarantee that the Bawaslu office is COVID-19-free, that person might be worried and refuse to come,” said Abhan.    Read also: KPU regulates campaign methods amid COVID-19 pandemicAccording to Abhan, 309 regions are set to supervise the regional elections. However, only 270 of them – nine provinces, 224 regencies and 37 cities – are registered to participate in the 2020 regional elections. “Therefore, we need to pay attention to possible election violations in the 309 regions, and not just in the 270 regions,” he said.The 2020 regional elections were postponed for three months due to COVID-19. They were initially slated for Sept. 23, but President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo issued Regulation in Lieu of Law (Perppu) No. 2/2020 in May to reschedule the voting day to Dec. 9.The three parties involved in the signing applauded the initiative, saying it was a tangible effort by authorities to run fair and honest elections.“We need to be prepared in dealing with any kind of situation,” National Police chief Gen. Idham Azis said. Read also: Regional elections in December may escalate COVID-19 transmission: Public health experts“I order the National Police’s operational assistant to select committed staff to be involved in the Gakkumdu team. If they do a good job on the joint team, give them rewards. It will motivate them to do better.” In addition, Attorney General ST Burhanuddin said, “some challenges might come up in the elections, such as a smear campaign and money politics. We need to be aware of that.”Sentra Gakkumdu consists of members of Bawaslu and the National Police, as well as prosecutors. It is responsible for supervising, investigating and enforcing the law against crimes related to election violations. The joint team was first established during the 2015 regional elections.Topics :last_img read more

Start reading Authorities issue joint regulation to supervise regional elections amid pandemic