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

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

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first_imgBintan Island in Riau Islands, Bali, and Manado in North Sulawesi have been among the favorite destinations of Chinese tourists, who for years have been among the largest group of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia.Transportation Ministry expert staff member Adita Irawati said the ministry had discussed with a number of airlines about providing discounted prices for flight tickets.Read also: Indonesian tourism could lose US$4 million amid coronavirus outbreak: WishnutamaAdita said that it would be the airlines’ prerogative to decide how big the discounts would be. “The Transportation Ministry has given the instruction, the application is up to each of the airlines,” she said as quoted by kompas.com.Adita said the discounts were one of the country’s efforts to keep Indonesia’s tourism afloat despite the many route closures to and from China.Statistics Indonesia (BPS) revealed that from January to November 2019, 1.9 million Chinese tourists visited Indonesia, representing nearly 13 percent of overall foreign tourist visits.”We are looking for ways to keep [tourism] attractive by [offering] various packages from the airlines,” Adita said, “The airlines will soon announce how big the discounts will be.” (gis)Topics : The government has called for airlines to entice domestic tourists with special discounts for flights bound for some of Indonesia’s top tourism destinations as part of the country’s strategy to cope with declining foreign tourist arrivals amid China’s coronavirus outbreak.The move followed Jakarta’s decision to impose a travel ban to and from mainland China and to halt visa-free and visa-on-arrival provisions for Chinese tourists — a policy aimed at preventing the fast-spreading virus from entering the archipelago but which will almost certainly take a toll on Indonesia’s tourism.”Through the Transportation Ministry, the government has initiated giving special discounts for domestic flights to Bali, North Sulawesi and Bintan Island,” Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko said on Thursday.last_img read more

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first_imgDemocratic White House hopefuls rounded on leftist frontrunner Bernie Sanders at a feisty debate on Tuesday, attacking him as too extreme for American voters and a weak challenger to President Donald Trump.Joe Biden, who needs a victory in South Carolina’s crucial primary on Saturday to keep his campaign alive, hit Sanders as soft on gun control, while billionaire tycoon Michael Bloomberg said Russia was working to help Sanders win the nomination — betting he will be defeated in November.”Vladimir Putin thinks that Donald Trump should be president of the United States, and that’s why Russia is helping you get elected so you’ll lose to him,” the former New York mayor told Sanders in a heated opening exchange. “I’m hearing my name mentioned a little bit tonight,” he said to laughter. “I wonder why.”Sanders is in pole position heading into South Carolina’s primary and the debate offers a late-hour opportunity for other Democratic hopefuls, former vice president Biden in particular, to halt his momentum.The leftist senator from Vermont had finished in a virtual tie with former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg in the first nominating contest, in Iowa.Bloomberg seeks to rebound South Carolina is the final early vote before the race takes on a national dynamic on “Super Tuesday” March 3, when 14 states vote and a whopping one third of all delegates — the candidates’ representatives who formally pick the nominee at the Democratic Party’s July convention — are up for grabs.Seven candidates are taking part in the debate in Charleston, the 10th debate of the campaign cycle.Also on stage were Senator Amy Klobuchar and billionaire activist Tom Steyer.Bloomberg, 78, was seeking to rebound from a disastrous performance last week in his first debate and prove he is a credible, moderate alternative to the leftist Sanders.The 77-year-old Biden has also been staking out the center and aims to bounce back from dismal showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, where he finished fourth and fifth respectively.The former vice president came in second in Nevada’s caucuses, but with 20.2 percent, he was well behind Sanders’ 46.8 percent.Biden has been counting on strong support among black voters in South Carolina to recharge his flagging campaign.The state is the first contest featuring a substantial African-American electorate, a crucial voting block in the Democratic primary process.A new Reuters Ipsos poll shows support for Biden slipping among black voters nationwide by 10 points in recent weeks, to 23 percent, while Sanders saw his support rise seven points to take the lead at 26 percent.Super Tuesday A Sanders victory in South Carolina, or even a close second, could set him up for a knockout blow on Super Tuesday.Some Democrats argue that Sanders, who calls himself a “democratic socialist,” is too far to the left for many Americans and would be a weak opponent against Trump in November.That is a line of attack which the 38-year-old centrist Buttigieg employed in the last debate, when he called Sanders “polarizing.”Sanders clearly believes he is more in touch with the sentiments of Democratic voters than his rivals.”Is guaranteeing health care to all people as a human right a radical idea? Is addressing the existential threat of climate change a radical idea?” Sanders asked attendees at a CNN town hall Monday in Charleston. The questions were met with chants of ‘No’ from the crowd, leading him to say, “I rest my case.”Topics : “I’m the one choice that makes some sense,” Bloomberg added.Senator Elizabeth Warren, a fellow progressive, also attacked Sanders for not explaining how his costly programs like universal health care, a $15 minimum wage and tuition free college would be paid for.”I dug in, I did the work,” Warren said of her own plans to pay for similar programs, “and then Bernie’s team trashed me for it.”Sanders, 78, had emerged largely unscathed from the last debate, but he acknowledged he was now in the firing line, with rivals seeking to derail his push for the nomination following two straight victories, in New Hampshire and then Nevada.last_img read more

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first_img“We’re not done yet, we must keep going,” Raab said in a televised briefing in London on Thursday. “Deaths are still rising, and we still haven’t seen the peak of the virus. So it’s still too early to lift the measures that we’ve put in place. We must stick to the plan.”With good weather forecast for much of the long weekend, ministers are anxious to avoid scenes of people gathering in groups in parks, beaches and beauty spots. The government rolled out an advertising campaign on social media and in print urging Britons to stay home, protect the National Health Service and save lives over the Easter break.Raab spoke after the death toll from the virus rose by a further 881 to bring the total to 7,978. Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, warned he expects the number of deaths to increase for “a few weeks” yet.When the UK imposed sweeping restrictions on movement on March 23, Johnson said the measures would be reviewed in three weeks — a deadline that falls on Monday. The lockdown has brought the economy to a near halt, and triggered a surge in the number of people claiming welfare payments for the first time. Still, the number of deaths from the virus has continued to increase, and government scientists say they don’t have enough data yet to show the restrictions are having enough of an effect to justify being relaxed.‘Weeks’It will be “several more weeks” before scientists will be able to draw conclusions about the rate of decline in cases and therefore recommend any lifting of measures, Neil Ferguson, an epidemiologist at Imperial College London who advises the government, told BBC Radio 4 on Friday. But he also said there’s preliminary evidence the lockdown is working better than expected to reduce the number of transmissions.Johnson, 55, announced he was isolating with coronavirus on March 27, and was admitted to St. Thomas’s hospital in London on April 5 after struggling to shake off the symptoms. He was moved to intensive care the following evening when his condition worsened, and was given oxygen but not put on a ventilator.Raab, who has deputized for Johnson since the premier was transferred to critical care, wouldn’t say how long he expects the restrictions will be extended for. He said the government would analyze the data next week.Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty pointed to one positive sign — the rate of confirmed infections has slowed. Instead of doubling every three days, they are now taking six days or more, he said.Topics : Boris Johnson was released from intensive care Thursday evening after his deputy said it’s too soon for the UK to relax the lockdown imposed 17 days ago in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.The UK premier remains in the hospital “where he will receive close monitoring during the early phase of his recovery,” from coronavirus, his office said in an emailed statement Thursday evening. “He is in extremely good spirits.”Speaking earlier before the start of a four-day Easter break, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab signaled Britain needs to maintain stringent curbs on the movement of people imposed to stop the spread of the disease.last_img read more

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first_imgEast Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa has finally decided to submit a request to implement large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) to the Health Ministry to stop the spread of COVID-19 as a result of a rising number of cases over the past three days. Khofifah, who was previously adamant about not implementing the restrictions, said the provincial COVID-19 task force had requested detailed measures from Greater Surabaya administrations — Surabaya, Sidoarjo, Gresik and Lamongan — in the efforts to significantly reduce the spread of the virus. The detailed measures are part of requirements that any region must meet before requesting PSBB status. “We are waiting for the detailed [measures]. I’ve been informed that the respective administrations are working hard on it. Hopefully tonight or tomorrow [Thursday] we will receive an update,” Khofifah told the press on Tuesday at the governor’s official residence, the Grahadi Building, in Surabaya. Read also: COVID-19: More regions request PSBB status as Indonesia sees big jump in infections, deathsEast Java recorded a sharp increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the last three days, bringing the total tally to 474 with 81 recoveries and 45 fatalities as of Tuesday. Surabaya is the hardest hit city in the province with 228 confirmed cases. Surabaya’s satellite cities such as Sidoarjo, Lamongan and Gresik have seen 45, 25 and 18 confirmed cases, respectively.The head of the task force’s curative team, Joni Wahyuhadi, told The Jakarta Post that cities and regencies that were hard hit by the virus should have requested PSBB status.He refuted an accusation that put the provincial COVID-19 task force into the spotlight for discouraging cities and regencies from submitting their respective requests for PSBB status. “Each time the governor, as the provincial task force head, announces the progress of COVID-19 spread in respective cities and regencies, those with a high number of confirmed cases, especially Surabaya, should [automatically] think of stricter measures to stop the spread,” said Joni.Separately, Surabaya task force spokesperson M. Fikser said the city administration had been working on the detailed measures that would be included in its PSBB status request. Read also: COVID-19: Community in Madiun builds ‘open kitchen’ to help affected residents avoid hunger”I have not yet been informed about the progress of the meeting on the matter,” he told the Post.A source familiar with the matter revealed to the Post that the Surabaya administration had been preparing the measures for the request long before the surge in cases. However, the source said that Governor Khofifah was disappointed with the Surabaya administration’s actions, which were deemed taken without coordination with the provincial administration. “There have been silent disagreements between the two leaders,” said the source, referring to Khofifah and Surabaya Mayor Tri Rismaharini.Topics :last_img read more

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first_imgTopics : “African friends will be treated fairly, justly and amicably in China,” the ministry said.Many foreigners in China say they have faced suspicion as the country brought its own outbreak under control, only to see new cases brought from other countries. China has barred entry to most foreigners, and the vast majority of imported cases of the disease have come from Chinese nationals returning home.In Guangzhou, a hub for African traders, authorities said on Tuesday that 111 Africans had tested positive for the coronavirus, while a total of 4,553 Africans had undergone testing since April 4, state media reported.Several African residents said the black community was being unfairly targeted for stricter checks.”If they do this to all foreigners, then it’s not a problem, but it’s only black people,” Soumana Toudou, a garment trader from Niger, told Reuters by WhatsApp. He said he was undergoing his second 14-day quarantine because the authorities did not believe he had completed his first.Such decisions are made at the local level and Reuters could not independently confirm this.The scrutiny from the authorities had triggered hostility from Chinese residents, one student said.”The selective testing has set the Guangzhou locals into panic, thinking black people are carrying the virus,” he said. He declined to be identified.A Communist Party social worker, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters on Monday that black people were specifically being made to enter a period of quarantine.Last week, authorities announced that two neighborhoods popular with Africans would be locked down to curb the coronavirus after five Nigerians tested positive.On Monday, the U.S. consulate general in Guangzhou advised African-Americans, or those who believe Chinese officials may suspect them of having contact with African nationals, to avoid the city.The provincial foreign affairs office provided no immediate comment to Reuters about complaints from Africans and embassies that Africans had been unfairly targeted.Engagement China has stepped up its engagement with Africa in recent years, with state-owned companies building infrastructure and signing hundreds of deals across the continent.Guangzhou was home to 13,652 Africans in 2019 and about 351,000 Africans entered the city from abroad last year, official figures show.Videos on social media in recent days showed what appeared to be Africans sleeping on Guangzhou streets after being evicted from their apartments. Reuters could not independently verify the footage.Property agents near Guangzhou’s Sanyuanli trading hub said such evictions of foreigners, including Africans, had contributed to a glut of empty apartments.”For a white person, you can’t rent around here now because of the virus, but you’ll be welcome again in a few months,” said one agent, referring to when the pandemic passes. She declined to give her name.”But black people, no one will accept them.”A spokeswoman for McDonald’s in China apologized on Tuesday after staff at a Guangzhou branch forced black customers to leave.The fast-food chain had temporarily closed the outlet while staff completed “diversity and inclusion” training, spokeswoman Regina Hui said in a statement.The Chinese authorities now seem to be taking a more conciliatory stance. On Tuesday, media showed hazmat-clad personnel delivering food and flowers to Africans in home quarantine.The chairman of the African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat, was receptive, saying on Twitter on Monday he had spoken to Foreign Minister Wang Yi.”He reassured me of measures underway in Guangzhou to improve the situation of Africans, in line with the strong and brotherly partnership between Africa and China.”  Huddled under a highway bridge with a small bag of belongings, a 19-year old student from Ivory Coast was desperately dialing his few contacts in China.The student said he arrived in the southern city of Guangzhou last week, after completing his quarantine in another city, during a coronavirus clampdown that several African countries and Africans in Guangzhou say has unfairly targeted them.”I really need help. I just don’t want to sleep on the streets again,” he said on Monday, asking not to be identified by name.center_img He came to China to study the language but his university shut because of the coronavirus. Hotels kept turning him away, but later on Monday he said he had found one.Several African ambassadors wrote to China’s foreign minister last week, calling for the “cessation of forceful testing, quarantine and other inhuman treatments meted out to Africans”.Ghana’s foreign minister on Saturday called in China’s ambassador to convey the government’s concern.China’s foreign ministry said on Monday all foreigners are treated equally. But it also said virus controls on Africans would be lifted, apart from confirmed cases and those who have had close contact with them.last_img read more

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