Crichel Down: the lowdown

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Oil price fall hits granite city property market

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£15m Hampstead mansion sign of better times

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Bradford’s £615m groundbreaker

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North-west market is simply wunderbar

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UBS dials up City landmark

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Kresna goes about business as usual despite reports of problems related to Jiwasraya

first_imgThe Financial Services Authority (OJK) has denied rumors that investment management firm PT Kresna Asset Management and life insurer PT Kresna Life are under investigation by the Attorney General’s Office (AGO). The fund manager also reports business as usual with no disruption linked to the high-profile Jiwasraya case, as speculated.OJK public relations and logistics deputy commissioner Anto Prabowo said on Thursday that Kresna Asset Management (KAM) and Kresna Life were going about business as usual and were not connected to the case of ailing state-owned insurer PT Asuransi Jiwasraya.“They are not relevant to the AGO’s investigation of assets and accounts [in Jiwasraya],” he said in a statement to the press, referring to reports in local media that KAM and Kresna Life’s securities account had been blocked due to the investigation. Previously, several local media reported that KAM and Kresna Life’s securities accounts had been blocked by the AGO as they were rumored to be relevant to Jiwasraya’s investment mismanagement case. Such reports emerged after KAM’s customers reportedly claimed that they were unable to redeem their mutual funds from the company.However, KAM soon dismissed the reports, saying that customers were indeed able to redeem their mutual funds. “We also stress that we are not connected to the Jiwasraya case,” the statement read.Kresna Life, however, has yet to issue a statement on its rumored connection to the case. The AGO ordered the suspension of 800 securities accounts related to Jiwasraya as part of its ongoing investigation to uncover the alleged corruption in the ailing insurer that resulted in its failure to repay policyholders’ claims totaling Rp 16 trillion (US$ 1.17 billion) as of January. Topics :last_img read more

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Court-martial of gay soldier form of discrimination, activists say

first_imgThe trial against DS in a martial-court in Denpasar was the latest example of numerous forms of persecution confronting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community across the country, according to activists. Many activists and experts have been denouncing such accusations against people for same-sex relations as a form of discrimination and a violation of human rights.The indictment was not the correct application of Article 281, which stipulates that the offense must be carried out “publicly” in open spaces, said Institute for Criminal Justice Reform’s (ICJR) researcher Genoveva “Geno” Alicia Karisa Shiela Maya.The article was often interpreted loosely so as to provide room for discriminatory prosecutions of members of the LGBT community.”The reason [behind the use of the article against LGBT people] might be more because of social factors,” Geno told The Jakarta Post on Sunday. “If the law is applied appropriately, there is actually no basis that can be used to prosecute [LGBT people], but the problem is this law is being interpreted freely, so such cases keep happening.” A gay soldier, a second lieutenant of the Indonesian Army identified only by his initials DS, is fighting a legal battle over his alleged personal relations with three men in 2017 and 2018. His prosecution is discriminatory, according to rights groups.The prosecutor, Lt. Col. I Putu Gede Budiadi, indicted DS for his alleged same-sex relations with one man at a hotel in Canggu in Bali in April 2017, another man at a hotel in Denpasar in October 2017 and a college student at a hotel in Seminyak in 2018. DS, who joined the Army after graduating from a military academy in Magelang in Central Java in 2016, was accused of committing a crime based on Article 281 of the Criminal Code on public decency. The prosecutor was also accusing DS of disobeying a command and violating Article 103 of the Military Criminal Code. Between 2006 and 2017, LGBT advocacy group Arus Pelangi recorded 172 cases of persecution of members of the marginalized community across nine provinces in the country. The cases include various forms of persecution, such as intimidation, abuse, maltreatment, molestation, personal data leaks, raids, destruction of goods, rape, forced-dispersion, nonprocedural arrests and detainment, murders, extortion, obstacles in obtaining permits to hold events and forced-conversion attempts.Many Indonesians perceive LGBT people negatively. A 2018 survey by Saiful Mujani Research Center (SMRC) found that, out of 1,200 respondents, 87.6 percent saw LGBT people as a threat and 81.5 percent said the orientation was prohibited by religion.Activists said the central government is complicit in the rampant discrimination against this community, as evident in last year’s civil servant recruitment involving 190,000 vacant civil servant posts at 74 ministries and state agencies, as well as 467 local administration offices. The Trade Ministry required its candidates “not to exhibit sexual orientation deviations”. Worse still, the Attorney General’s Office required its candidates “not to be mentally disabled, including sexual orientation deviations and behavioral deviations”.”[DS’s] case is appalling and discriminatory,” Amnesty International Indonesia executive director Usman Hamid said in a recent statement.”It sets a dangerous precedent for other soldiers who are or are perceived to be engaging in consensual same-sex activities and has repercussions for broader society. No one should be persecuted or discriminated against because of who they are or who they love.”The court-martial of DS showed that Indonesia did not comply with its obligation as a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which protects same-sex relations under the rights to privacy and freedom from discrimination, Amnesty said.In 2018, for example, 12 transwomen were arrested by the police in North Aceh, which, according to Amnesty, was in violation of the treaty. Moreover, five beauty salons where the 12 transwomen used to work were closed by the police. “It is important for them to acknowledge that a person’s sexual orientation is totally irrelevant to their ability to serve,” said Usman. “Going ahead with this prosecution would further institutionalize discrimination and risk inciting violence against LGBT people in the military and in wider society.”Supreme Court spokesperson and justice Andi Samsan Nganro refused to comment on the DS case, saying it would “disrupt the court’s independence” or be “violating the presumption of innocence principle”. (dfr)Topics :last_img read more

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Coronavirus reveals, exacerbates US inequality

first_imgReal wages took eight years to recover after the crisis, and had only accelerated for lower-paid workers in the past two years, he said. Wages in 2019 rose at the fastest rate in 20 years partly thanks to some states increasing the minimum wage.”This crisis, with the huge increase it is bringing in unemployment, will erase those gains,” Alden said.A decade of employment gains came to an abrupt halt in March, as the economy jettisoned 701,000 jobs and the unemployment rate posted the biggest increase in 45 years, rising to 4.4 percent.President Donald Trump, who is running for re-election in November, regularly touts the record low unemployment among Hispanics and blacks. But the jobless rate for both groups surged last month. Even during years of economic growth, inequalities have continued to widen between wealthiest Americans — who accumulated substantial gains on Wall Street — and the bottom 90 percent.The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the global economy into recession and the downturn “will exacerbate inequality,” said Gregory Daco, chief economist at Oxford Economics.Nearly 10 million workers filed for unemployment insurance in the final two weeks of March, and those “sudden job losses are concentrated in the low-income service sectors” in a country with few social safety nets and an extremely low savings rate of around eight percent.Rodriguez, 55, is saddened to have to rely on unemployment benefits for the first time since arriving in the United States in 1983 from El Salvador.And he worries payments, which do not take into account tips, which make up the majority of his earnings, will not be enough to provide for his three children.”I have some savings now but I can survive for a couple of months,” Rodriguez told AFP.He is not alone: half of all Americans do not have emergency savings to deal with unforeseen financial difficulties, according to a survey by Oxford Economics. In the lowest-income households the situation is more dire, as three-quarters lack a financial cushion.”So it’s the people who need it most who have the least,” Daco said. And as the coronavirus continues to spread, it remains unclear how long the economic shutdown will last.Bradley Hardy, professor at American University, cautioned that “we must brace for impacts on employment and wages that would last into at least early 2021.””Given low savings rates and high levels of installment debt, many US households do not have the needed cushion to push through the economic headwinds that have arrived,” he said.Just like the 2008 global financial crisis, Alden said, “this one has highlighted the enormous vulnerability of many Americans.”Lower-income individuals are woefully unprepared for retirement, and many Americans into their 70s and 80s likely will have to continue to work.The Saint Louis branch of the Federal Reserve found that among those who lack a high school diploma, only 22 percent have a retirement savings plan. And even when they do, the median balance is only $35,000. But Hardy said “this recession will have negative impacts across the income distribution, including for some ostensibly well-off households.””Any threat to their income flow would therefore be quite dangerous for these families” he said, and “this is disproportionately true for black middle class households.” Rodriguez is trying to remain hopeful even though he has a mortgage and a car loan to pay.”I think as soon as we sort it out the economy will come back stronger.”Topics : Just three weeks ago, Miguel Rodriguez was enjoying a pleasant life, working as a waiter in a Maryland restaurant in a job he held for 20 years.The American economy was going strong and he had a comfortable living situation.Everything changed overnight when La Ferme, a French restaurant in the upscale Chevy Chase suburb of Washington, was forced to close amid statewide shutdowns to try to contain the coronavirus outbreak. His wife, a waitress at another restaurant, also lost her job.The pandemic instantly threw millions of US workers off the payroll and into poverty, in a crisis that is revealing and further exacerbating inequalities in the world’s largest economy.Low-income and middle-class households will be the first and hardest hit, and they have little in the way of savings.”This is an extraordinary blow to millions of Americans who had barely recovered from the 2008 financial crisis,” said Edward Alden, an expert at the Council on Foreign Relations.last_img read more

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Tottenham issue warning after Mourinho and players seen training

first_imgThe Premier League has been suspended since mid-March due to the spread of COVID-19.The outbreak has seen the British government introduce a strict series of measures which, while they allow individuals to go out for a walk or exercise once a day, state they must remain at least two meters apart unless they are with a member of the same household.”All of our players have been reminded to respect social distancing when exercising outdoors,” said a Tottenham spokesperson on Tuesday.”We shall continue to reinforce this message.”Tottenham had already been criticized during the outbreak for applying to the British government’s furlough financial assistance program for company wage bills last week on the same day it was revealed Spurs chairman Daniel Levy was paid £7 million ($8.7 millioTopics : Tottenham Hotspur have reminded players of their responsibilities during Britain’s coronavirus lockdown after pictures and video on social media emerged of manager Jose Mourinho and several members of his squad that appeared to show them flouting social-distancing rules.Portuguese boss Mourinho was pictured training with Tanguy Ndombele on Hadley Common, while Davinson Sanchez and Ryan Sessegnon were seen running side by side in the same public park in north London. Spurs full-back Serge Aurier also posted a video of himself jogging alongside another person on Instagram.last_img read more

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