Asia sees sharp decline in match-fixing, says AFC

first_imgAsia has seen a sharp decline in match-fixing over the last six years, the Asian Football Confederation and its integrity partner told Reuters, though illicit gambling has grown thanks partly to the use of cryptocurrencies as a payment method.Swiss-based Sportradar has been a key ally in the AFC’s fight against corruption since 2013 and the tie-up will run through to the 2023 AFC Asian Cup in China after being renewed last month.Match-fixing is driven by illegal gambling, a market which Transparency International estimated in 2018 was worth some $400 billion in Asia. “Since 2013, we have witnessed a significant reduction in the number of match-fixing related incidences,” Benoit Pasquier, AFC General Counsel and Director of Legal Affairs, told Reuters by email.”Sportradar has been pivotal in driving the decrease in overall figures for illicit activity…”From 2016 we’ve witnessed a decline in match-fixing across Asia by 21% and with our efforts in tandem with Sportradar, the preventive measures we’ve introduced have produced positive results.”Gambling is technically illegal across large parts of the continent, including the five most populous nations: mainland China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Pasquier said monitoring integrity across Asia was “deeply challenging” because of the continent’s cultural and sporting diversity.Low wages were one of the main reasons match-fixing was a significant threat in Asia, said Oscar Brodkin, Director of Intelligence & Investigation Services at Sportradar.”Most of Asia sits in the sweet spot of low wages and high coverage and is therefore one of the highest risk areas,” he said.”Player wages in Asia are generally lower compared to places such as Europe but paired with the growing viewership of football in the region, leads to higher stakes allowed on the betting market and thus the opportunity for large-scale fraud.”Prior to 2013 a handful of large global syndicates operated “with all the bells and whistles of an organized crime syndicate,” said Brodkin.It was a different scenario today.”With key figures being imprisoned or disrupted and very high-profile cases being discussed in the media, match-fixing over the last five years has become much more fragmented,” he explained.”There are now more ‘lone wolves’, with local gangs and syndicates more common.”And yet, throughout this time, particularly from 2009, betting amounts have become larger. Match-fixing has evolved from a pastime or side hustle into a business.”The financing aspect had evolved too, he said.”…traditional payments from financial institutions and wire transfers have switched to methods like cryptocurrencies or even payment in kind.”We have observed an increase in adoption of cryptocurrency as a payment method for illegal activities and a medium to bet.”A decade after being born on the web, digital currencies remain a largely unregulated and opaque sector, offering users near-anonymity and associated by many people with hacks, heists and illicit activity.Sportradar has over 110 permanent staff operating across continents, including 30 investigators from military, law enforcement, intelligence and due diligence backgrounds.Brodkin said Sportradar’s system was based on data from studying millions of clean and some 5,000 corrupted matches, as well as the odds offered by 600 bookmakers. The AFC has also made it easier for fans, players and officials to report match-fixing suspicions by launching a mobile app in 2017.Following the renewal of the partnership, the app will be upgraded to allow for the reporting cases of doping, bullying and harassment.Topics :last_img read more

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In the shadow of Ebola and COVID-19, measles rips through Congo

first_imgTopics : “I feel guilty because I’m afraid people might say it’s because I didn’t get my daughter treatment quickly,” Dobo’s mother Wanea Mabele said over her writhing child’s rattling breath.Mabele is hardly to blame. Underfunded and delayed government vaccination drives in the vast Central African nation have left millions of hard-to-reach children vulnerable.Dud vaccines have left thousands of others at risk without knowing, local and international health workers say, in a nation of 81 million people that is ten times the size of Britain.Coronavirus, Ebola divert attention  Complicating matters, authorities have funneled hundreds of millions of dollars and manpower into a 19-month Ebola outbreak in the east that has killed over 2,000 people, weakening efforts to contain measles, health officials say. Ebola is finally on the wane, but COVID-19 threatens to steal the limelight.After a first case in the capital Kinshasa this month, reported infections rose to 18 by the weekend.”Priority will be given to COVID-19 in the coming weeks or months depending on the trend of the disease. Consequently, we will face challenges in resources mobilization for measles,” said Vincent Sodjinou, who leads the measles response for the World Heath Organization (WHO).Measles is on the rise globally, but Congo is worst hit.The disease, contracted when a carrier coughs or sneezes, carries risks of brain damage, blindness and deafness.Dobo’s ward sits among the palm and mango trees of Busu-Mandji, a dilapidated old colonial town deep in the jungle, 1,000 kilometers from Kinshasa. The nearest paved road is 125 km south in the city of Lisala.Keeping vaccines refrigerated for the duration of the journey from the capital is vital but tricky. On a recent vaccination campaign, medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) flew 2,700 vials to Lisala in large cool boxes fitted with digital thermometers to ensure the temperature remains between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius in the equatorial heat.In Lisala, the boxes were lashed to the back of a dozen motorbikes for a ten-hour ride along bamboo-thronged dirt tracks and precarious log bridges too pitted for 4X4 vehicles.During the 10-hour ride to Busu-Mandji, the convoy was halted by three flat tyres, engine trouble and a broken chain. MSF workers said the vaccines remained in the right temperature range.Tiny graves Congo’s government has year-round vaccination campaigns, but there was no emergency response targeting high risk areas until an October-December 2019 campaign. When the government vaccines did finally come, health workers say some may have overheated.Malnutrition and poorly-trained health workers make the vaccine, normally 85% effective, less efficient.The health ministry did not respond to requests for comment.Mada Maddow lives at the edge of Macau, a village near Busu-Mandji where front gardens are peppered with tiny plots of freshly-turned earth, each a child’s grave.Her seven children were vaccinated in the December campaign, she said, but they all subsequently contracted measles. One died.It is unclear why the vaccines failed.Official statistics suggest 100% of children have been vaccinated in the area, said Mushadi Gidion, a local official from the health ministry.But that calculation is based on 1984 census data: health workers have no idea how many children actually need vaccinating, and there is no data on the effectiveness of the vaccine after it is administered in this setting.”There can be many causes that can lead to the epidemic,” Mushadi said. “Perhaps our vaccination campaign was not of high quality.” center_img Thomas the Tank Engine beams from the front of Dobo Mambanza’s ripped pullover. Unlike the cartoon train’s face, Dobo’s is blistered and scrunched as she struggles for breath, her eyes shuttered and weeping. The three-year-old is going blind.Cradled by her mother, Dobo lies in the ward of a health center in a remote town in northern Democratic Republic of Congo where mosquito nets on sticks droop over rusting metal beds, and doctors work frantically to contain a deadly virus.Dobo does not have the new coronavirus or Ebola. She has measles, a preventable but extremely contagious disease that since January 2019 has ripped through Congo unchecked into remote regions. Some 6,400 people have died, according to official figures, though healthcare workers say the number is likely much higher because reporting rates are so low.last_img read more

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Indonesia still using Zoom despite security flaws

first_imgIndonesia is becoming wary of teleconferencing platforms such as Zoom for their security holes, as such applications have become popular since the government told people to stay home to prevent further COVID-19 spread in the country.Read also: Defense Ministry bans staff from using Zoom over security concernsJournalist Ismi Damayanti, 29, said she was worried when the app on her iPad started up automatically after receiving a notification that said “accessory may not be supported” despite being unplugged from any external devices.”I underestimated the news [about Zoom’s security problems] but after that incident, I never let Zoom be installed [for too long],” said Ismi, adding that she only installed the application for teleconferences and uninstalled it right after.But such concerns have not only haunted individual users. The Defense Ministry, for instance, issued a circular on April 21 forbidding its staff to use Zoom over security concerns, after learning that Zoom had reported traffic duplication to servers in other countries, opening up the possibility for conversations via the platform to be monitored by a third party. “We urge all working unit and sub-unit heads to refrain from using Zoom for teleconferences,” the circular reads. “Defense Ministry employees are required to coordinate with the ministry’s Data and Information Center before conducting a teleconference session.”However, numerous ministries and organizations are still turning to Zoom as the best available option to hold press conferences, as the country has yet to develop its own teleconferencing application.The Supreme Court will also continue to use Zoom for its virtual trials, with spokesperson Abdullah saying that continuing trials was crucial because exceeding the court’s 30-day detainment period would complicate legal processes.”There are no other solutions for now except [Zoom],” he said, adding the court was currently seeking solutions to the security concerns.The court, however, will not use the application to hold closed trials involving children and “decency cases”, nor to authenticate evidence.The Communications and Information Ministry was not available for comment. However, Communications and Information Minister Johnny G. Plate previously said that Zoom was safe for government officials to use, considering that the Cabinet Secretary office controls and manages Zoom meetings for limited Cabinet meetings, as quoted by kompas.com.His ministry is also currently working with cellular operator Telkomsel to review and develop the latter’s cloud-based telecommunications application CloudX as an alternative application for teleconferences. CloudX is currently only available for corporate usage.Read also: Work from home: Security risks lurk in virtual meetingsTelkomsel corporate communications vice president Denny Abidin said last week that the firm would soon issue an official statement about the partnership.Denny has earlier said that Telkomsel was waiting for further coordination with the ministry and planned to open up CloudX to the general public in the near future.Communication and Information System Security Research Center (CISSReC) chairman Pratama Persadha recommends that the government use other safer alternatives for teleconferences, such as Google Meet, Cisco Webex or Microsoft Teams, while it develops its own application.He also lauded the Defense Ministry’s ban for being aware of the potential risks of using the Zoom application.The problem with Zoom, he said, was that it lacked end-to-end encryption to prevent third parties from intercepting conferences. He also saw its chat features as a loophole for hackers to access the user’s username and password, leading to the private data of thousands of users being sold online.Read also: Facebook takes aim at Zoom with video chat upgradeResponding to global concerns over its security, Zoom said it had enhanced its security features in its newest version, which upgrades encryption standards. It has also provided easier access for security controls for the hosts and default password settings for most users, among other features. The move is part of its 90-day plan to bolster privacy and security issues.“I am proud to reach this step in our 90-day plan, but this is just the beginning,” Zoom chief executive and founder Eric Yuan said last Wednesday. “We will earn our customers’ trust and deliver them happiness with our unwavering focus on providing the most secure platform.”Aside from Zoom, WhatsApp has also been under the spotlight as hackers have reportedly hacked WhatsApp accounts. One independent researcher even faced incitement charges after a message calling for nationwide riots on April 30 was broadcast from his WhatsApp account, which he says was hacked.But not everyone is worried about such hackers. Information technology company administrator Boban Mas Iqbal, 25, said he now felt confident using Zoom as the application now obliges virtual meeting participants to be authorized by the host before they can join a meeting.“Actually, hackers are able to enter [virtual meetings] because the individuals are not being careful when they are surfing the internet. Hackers look for loopholes from such carelessness,” Boban said.Topics : Private employee Juliana Ekaputri, 26, said she was surprised after seeing a video last Friday from her colleague showing how videoconferencing application Zoom had caused her colleague’s computer to be hacked.The video reminded her that about a week before, she received a notification saying that someone had tried to log in to her Yahoo account. Upon hearing her coworker’s story, she suspected that it was because she had used Zoom several times to contact her friends during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. She immediately uninstalled the Zoom app on her phone.“It is terrifying because most of my work data is on my phone as well as corporate email and mobile banking,” Juliana said. “I’m scared because it leaves open the possibility of something similar happening with other applications as well.”last_img read more

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Menteng Heritage falls short of revenue target as occupancy rates plummet

first_imgThe Hermitage, a boutique hotel located in Menteng, Central Jakarta, only generated Rp 11.02 billion from a target of Rp 15.8 billion, and Pomelotel, located in South Jakarta, booked Rp 3.9 billion from a target of Rp 6.49 billion.Despite this, the company’s total revenues were 28.92 percent higher than the Rp 15.95 billion recorded in the same period last year.Tourism and travel are among the hardest-hit business sectors during the COVID-19 crisis. Like other hotel operators, Menteng Heritage suffered a significant drop in its occupancy rates.In March, The Hermitage’s occupancy rate averaged 18.6 percent, plummeting from 56.3 percent recorded in January and 49.5 percent in February. Pomelotel, on the other hand, fared slightly better as the hotel had a 39.89 percent occupancy rate in March, down from January’s figure of 42.8 percent and February’s 54.48 percent. PT Menteng Heritage Realty, which owns The Hermitage, Pomelotel and PT Global Samudra Nusantara (GSN), fell short of achieving its 2020 first-quarter revenue target because of the COVID-19 outbreak.The company booked Rp 20.58 billion (US$1.32 million) throughout the first three months of the year, Rp 7.57 billion short of the targeted Rp 28.15 billion.“The shortfall occurred because the hotel business units were not able to realize their targets,” Menteng Heritage Realty president director Christofer Wibisono said in a virtual press conference on Monday. “The COVID-19 epidemic had affected The Hermitage business unit significantly in comparison to Pomelo’s, in entering the second quarter of 2020,” the president director noted.In light of the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) or partial lockdown the Jakarta administration enforced to limit the spread of the virus, Menteng Heritage has decided to close down operations at The Hermitage from April 14 until April 30. Christofer said the temporary shutdown could be extended following a recent announcement from the administration to extend the PSBB until May 22.To limit the economic blow from the fall in visitor numbers, the company initiated a shift in business operations to include food delivery services. Its business unit, Pomelotel, now provides catering to offices that are still open for business during the PSBB; those offices that are considered to be essential businesses by the administration.“We are hoping for an increase in revenue and possibly covering some of the company’s expenses,” Christofer said, although noting that the extra income would not be able to fully meet the costs of operation.In 2019, Menteng Heritage allocated Rp 7.9 billion in capital expenditure (capex), which is used to renovate gym facilities, to increase the capacity of its function rooms and restaurants, as well as to prop up its IT system, while the rest of the funds went into its subsidiaries, as reported by Kontan.This year, the company had yet to disburse capex because “the strategy is cash conservation for 2020,” Christofer explained.PT Menteng Heritage Realty’s share prices, listed on the IDX with the code HRME, had fallen by 73.86 percent year-to-date, as of last week. Indonesia Stock Exchange had suspended trading of Menteng Heritage shares since April 23 due to the significant cumulative drop. Its share prices closed at Rp 230 on April 22, a deep plunge from its highest price of Rp 1,130 per share booked on Feb. 7.Topics :last_img read more

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China refutes 24 ‘lies’ by US politicians over coronavirus

first_img“Timely” warningsThe article also provided a timeline of how China had provided information to the international community in a “timely”, “open and transparent” manner to rebuke US suggestions that it had been slow to sound the alarm.Despite China’s repeated assurances, concerns about the timeliness of its information have persisted in some quarters.A report by Der Spiegel magazine last Friday cited Germany’s BND spy agency as saying that China’s initial attempt to hold back information had cost the world four to six weeks that could have been used to fight the virus.The article rejected Western criticism of Beijing’s handling of the case of Li Wenliang, a 34-year-old doctor who had tried to raise the alarm over the outbreak of the new virus in Wuhan. His death from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, prompted an outpouring of rage and grief across China.The ministry article said Li was not a “whistle-blower” and he was never arrested, contrary to many Western reports.The article did mention that Li was reprimanded by the police for “spreading rumors”. Though Li was later named among “martyrs” mourned by China, an investigation into his case also drew criticism online after it merely suggested the reprimand against him be withdrawn.Rejecting suggestions by US President Donald Trump and Pompeo that the new coronavirus should be called the “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus”, the article cited documents from the World Health Organization to say the name of a virus should not be country-specific. Topics : “As Lincoln said, you can fool some of the people all the time and fool all the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time,” it said in the prologue.The article also cited media reports that said Americans had been infected with the virus before the first case was confirmed in Wuhan. There is no evidence to suggest that is the case.Keen to quash US suggestions that the virus was deliberately created or somehow leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the article said that all evidence shows the virus is not man-made and that the institute is not capable of synthesizing a new coronavirus.center_img China has issued a lengthy rebuttal of what it said were 24 “preposterous allegations” by some leading US politicians over its handling of the new coronavirus outbreak.The Chinese foreign ministry has dedicated most of its press briefings over the past week to rejecting accusations by US politicians, especially Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, that China had withheld information about the new coronavirus and that it had originated in a laboratory in the city of Wuhan.A 30-page, 11,000-word article posted on the ministry website on Saturday night repeated and expanded on the refutations made during the press briefings, and began by invoking Abraham Lincoln, the 19th century US president.last_img read more

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Nevada approves first boxing, UFC events since virus halt

first_imgUFC’s mixed martial arts events will be staged at its facility on Saturday and June 6 while Top Rank chief Bob Arum will offer fights on June 9 and 11 at the MGM Grand, both without spectators.The commission decision, made on a conference call, comes a day after Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak moved the state into the second phase of a reopening plan that includes sports events without audiences after more than two months being shut down since the deadly virus outbreak.Unbeaten US southpaw featherweight Shakur Stevenson, 13-0 with seven knockouts, is expected to face Puerto Rico’s Felix Felix Caraballo, 13-1 with two drawn and nine knockouts, in the June 9 boxing main event.UFC staged three events earlier this month in Florida using testing and COVID-19 safety protocols and have worked with the commission to establish an operations plan for Nevada events, while details of Top Rank’s plan are being finalized.  UFC fighters would be tested upon arrival in Las Vegas and again after weighing in on the eve of the event.Event personnel will be required to quarantine after their arrival tests under Nevada’s protocols until the conclusion of the event, with facemasks required, ESPN reported. Topics :center_img Boxing is set to return to Las Vegas next month after the Nevada State Athletic Commission gave the greenlight to the resumption of combat sports in the state on Wednesday.Nevada chiefs approved two June boxing cards which will be put on by promoter Top Rank as well as two Ultimate Fighting Championship events. The cards are the first combat sports events to be staged in Nevada since the coronavirus pandemic erupted.last_img read more

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‘I didn’t have a clue what to do’. Adjusting to football’s new reality

first_imgAll about the money “As for the Ekstraklasa, 50 people from each club had to go into isolation for two weeks before anybody was allowed to train.”We had our temperature taken in the morning and at night and then we had to fill out a questionnaire every night for the doctor, which we are still doing now.”Individual training began in early May and teams then went into three-week training camps to prepare for the resumption. Players undergo blood tests once a week to check for virus antibodies.”We have to wear face masks at the club, any time we are in the stadium, in the changing rooms we have to have a mask on. The gyms are all closed. It is only when you go on the pitch that the masks come off,” says Hateley, shortly before departing for a night in a secure, specially-assigned hotel to prepare for his team’s next game.It is a “strange situation”. However, he understands why most leagues across Europe have been determined to restart, even in Poland where television revenue is nothing like that in major nations.”Clubs all over the world need this money to survive, to be able to pay wages. It makes you realize that football is a business.”Ideally, would everybody go back and play games, contact sport now? I’m not sure. I don’t think it would be rushed back if there wasn’t such big money at stake.”Supporters will be allowed into matches in Poland from June 19, although stadiums will only be allowed to fill a quarter of their capacity.For now, teams have to get used to playing in empty grounds, quite a contrast to early March, when over 23,000 saw Hateley’s team win at title rivals Legia Warsaw.The midfielder is now in his second spell in Poland having previously featured for Slask Wroclaw in between playing in Scotland.He helped Piast win their first Polish title last year. They now sit eight points off leaders Legia with 10 games left, but still hope to repeat the feat.”I hope so. We’re again doing very well, for us. We are second, we are in a position to try to challenge again.” Topics : Daily medical questionnaires, frequent temperature checks, weekly testing, face masks in the changing room and showers at home only. Not to mention trying to work out how to celebrate goals.Such is the reality for footballers in leagues returning from the coronavirus shutdown.Poland was among the first European countries to start playing again as its league returned last weekend. Games are behind closed doors for now, and adjusting to this new way of life is the challenge facing Tom Hateley.The son of former AC Milan, Monaco, Rangers and England striker Mark Hateley, he plays for Piast Gliwice, the unheralded club who resumed their defense of the Polish Ekstraklasa title with a 4-0 mauling of Wisla Krakow.After all that time without a game, they were 2-0 up inside 11 minutes, but — having witnessed social distancing at goal celebrations in the Bundesliga — Hateley had to check himself each time the ball went in.”I didn’t have a clue what to do. We sort of all high-fived and that was that,” he laughs while speaking to AFP. “I saw in Germany with Dortmund in their first game back, they were celebrating two meters apart. We weren’t like that, for us it was just a little fist bump and on we go.”Hateley’s story is a reminder of the difficulties, even in a country like Poland which has suffered comparatively little in the pandemic, with just over 1,000 deaths for a population of 38 million.”In Poland you had to wear masks out and about, which they have just stopped now this week. They have started to open shops, restrictions have been eased,” says the 30-year-old.last_img read more

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KPU presses on with December elections despite turnout concerns

first_imgHadar Nafis Gumay, cofounder of election watchdog Network for Democracy and Electoral Integrity (Netgrit) and a former KPU commissioner, said the onus was now on the election organizers to strictly enforce health protocols to encourage people to vote.“If, leading up to election day, [election organizers] are able to show discipline and strict enforcement of health protocols, I believe the public will have faith and participate [in the elections],” Hadar said. “If not, I am concerned that only some people will turn out and the level of participation will decrease.”National COVID-19 task force chief Doni Monardo said earlier this month that 40 regions set to hold elections were considered at high risk for COVID-19 transmission. He said the task force would continue to update the election organizers on the issue.Read also: ‘We can turn it into an opportunity’: Govt defends holding December regional electionsThe KPU, however, is confident about the safety of the December elections, saying it had drafted the regulation after consulting with the Health Ministry and the national COVID-19 task force.“The health protocols will be implemented at every stage to reduce the risk whenever there are interactions between organizers, voters and candidates,” KPU Commissioner I Dewa Kade Wiarsa Raka Sandi said.The regulation, which was approved by House Commission II overseeing Home Affairs on Monday, was shared with other stakeholders on Tuesday and will soon be officially announced, Dewa said.The KPU regulation and a similar regulation introduced by Bawaslu state that safety measures such as the use of face masks and physical distancing are mandatory for KPU officers, candidates and voters during all stages of the elections, from preparations to the final vote count one week after election day.The regulations also limit the number of participants in indoor campaign events to 40 percent of the venue’s capacity. Campaign activities that involve large crowds, such as concerts, have been banned.Read also: December regional polls to cost more than planned, pose health riskCOVID-19 patients will be allowed to cast their votes after 12 p.m., an hour before voting booths close, as long as ballot papers are available, at designated polling stations at nearby hospitals.The health protocols will be enforced equally in all election-holding regions, regardless of their respective COVID-19 statuses, KPU chairman Arif Budiman said during the Monday hearing with House Commission II.“We do not know what the situation will be on voting day or during the campaign period, which is why we are applying the same standard to all regions [that are holding elections],” said Arif.Topics : The House of Representatives and the government have agreed to a set of health measures devised by the General Elections Commission (KPU) for the Dec. 9 simultaneous regional elections, but worries remain about virus fears depressing voter turnout.The Dec. 9 elections will be for 270 regional positions: nine governors, 224 regents and 37 mayors. They will be held under strict health protocols laid out in a KPU regulation approved by the House on Monday. The regions holding elections include Surabaya and 18 other cities and regencies in East Java, one of the provinces hit hardest by COVID-19.Association of Elections and Democracy (Perludem) executive director Titi Anggraini said election stakeholders – the KPU and the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) – should strongly encourage voters to participate in the upcoming elections. She warned that low voter turnout would harm the reputation of the KPU and those who had insisted on holding the elections in December: the government and the House.“It will affect the public’s trust in elected local governments [if they are] established by minimal public support. The reputation of the central government and the KPU will therefore be at stake because people will see that they insisted on holding the elections under suboptimal conditions,” she said.Read also: So much work, so little time: KPU under pressure over regional pollsThe KPU was put under pressure to establish special measures after the House and government decided in late May that this year’s regional elections would be held on Dec. 9, even though the epidemic showed no sign of abating. The elections were pushed back by about three months from their initial date of Sept. 23, as mandated by a regulation in lieu of law issued by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in May.last_img read more

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Australian woman jailed over Bali policeman’s death gets early release

first_imgThe two, who were a couple, were tried separately and Taylor, who is in his mid 30s, received a six-year term.Wearing a headscarf, Connor did not comment as she left the prison surrounded by guards, who helped her through a scrum of photographers and into a vehicle that took her to an immigration facility.”I think everybody who will be released will be very happy, especially when she wants to meet the family, but I don’t know about the next plan,” said Sienny Karmana, Connor’s lawyer.Karmana added that Connor would return to Australia on Friday.During a trial that attracted significant attention in Indonesia and Australia, the defendants both denied murder and said a fight broke out over Connor’s missing purse.Connor had testified that she saw Taylor beating policeman Wayan Sudarsa, but the judge ruled that she had held the victim down while he was being struck.  An Australian woman sentenced to four years imprisonment over the death of a policeman on the Indonesian island of Bali was given early release on Thursday, and was keen to be reunited with family, her lawyer said.Sara Connor, 49, was jailed in March 2017 together with British man David Taylor for their roles in the death of a traffic policeman, whose body was found on the popular Kuta beach with neck and head wounds.Connor was freed 13 months short of her full term due to her good behavior. Topics :last_img read more

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Sri Mulyani vows to uphold BI independence amid House-led legal reform

first_imgThe draft bill scraps all provisions on central bank independence and gives the government voting rights on monetary policy. Central bank independence was enforced by law in the wake of the 1998 Asian financial crisis to ensure a prudential central bank for the country.The bill also expands the central bank’s mandates as managing the rupiah exchange rate, managing inflation, boosting economic growth and contributing to sustainable job creation. The prevailing laws stipulate only the first two mandates.Economists said legal reform to expand the central bank’s mandate was necessary to ensure that the central bank could face the challenges of recent developments in the global economy. They warned, however, that the proposed revisions would curtail BI’s independence and macroprudential capacity.Read also: ‘Bill will push central bank into dark age’: Experts voice concerns over BI Laws revisionIn addition, Sri Mulyani said the government wanted the central bank to continue buying government bonds through auctions until 2022, citing the uncertainty over when the coronavirus pandemic might end.“The burden sharing scheme will continue until 2022, in which BI will be a standby buyer of sovereign debt papers in [direct] auctions,” she said.Sri Mulyani, however, ruled out the possibility of another bond-buying scheme by BI through private placement, which she said was a “one-off policy” for this year only.The government and BI have agreed to a US$40 billion debt monetization scheme for just this year to fund the COVID-19 response, under which the central bank is to buy up $28 billion in government bonds while shouldering the debt burden.The government was pursuing systemic financial reform to strengthen its crisis management capacity to more effectively address issues in the financial industry, Sri Mulyani said.Read also: Looking closely at Bank Indonesia’s dilemmaThe reform effort looks to smooth the flow of data and information between members of the Financial System Stability Committee (KSSK) and review macroprudential and microprudential supervision, the responsibility for which respectively resides with BI and the Financial Services Authority (OJK).The four members of the KSSK, a crisis management task force, are the Finance Ministry, BI, the OJK and the Deposit Insurance Corporation (LPS).Topics : In response to concerns among economists and market players regarding proposed revisions to legislation on the central bank, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati pledged on Sept. 4 that the government would maintain a credible and independent Bank Indonesia (BI) to maintain stability and market trust.Monetary policy must “remain credible, effective and independent” going forward, the minister stressed, reiterating President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s statement earlier last week. Read also: Experts warn of moral hazard, uncertainty as House plans to let BI supervises banks“The government has not yet discussed the revision to the BI laws that was initiated by the House [of Representatives],” she said at a virtual press briefing last Friday.“The President’s statement is clear that monetary policy must remain credible, effective and independent,” Sri Mulyani said, citing Jokowi’s pledge during a foreign press briefing on Sept. 1.The House Legislation Body (Baleg) has proposed a bill that revises the 1999 and 2004 laws on the central bank in the biggest legislative shake-up for the monetary authority since 1999.last_img read more

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