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Asian market lacks the REIT stuff

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Merrill-led share slide

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Canary Wharf shares drop further

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‘Patriarchal’: Women rights activists slam family resilience bill

first_imgHowever, many female activists lambasted the article, calling it “patriarchal in nature.”Mutiara Ika Pratiwi of women’s rights group Perempuan Mahardhika said the proponents only tried to deflect the fact that the whole bill would interfere with a family’s private life.“[The article] is a deception because the bill’s spirit is to control families,” Mutiara said. “According to the International Labour Organization [ILO] convention, the spirit of true maternity rights is not for family resilience. Maternity rights should be provided for the fulfillment of basic women’s rights.”Read also: Indonesia’s family resilience bill says housekeeping wife’s duty Indonesian Breastfeeding Association (AIMI) chairperson Nia Umar called the bill “very weird” as provisions on maternity leave have always been part of the Manpower Law because the regulation for such leave is directed at employers.“How will you enforce the regulation if it’s included in the family resilience bill?” said Nia.Frenia Nababan of the Mother and Child Health Movement (GKIA) said the bill excluded females from working as “factory workers, media workers and other jobs.”“Women working in informal sectors are always the ones facing difficulties when they want to take maternity leave,” Frenia said.“Since its conception, this bill covers areas that are considered private, as it wants to manage Indonesian’s family lives. However, each family has their own way of handling their own problems. We don’t need government intervention or new regulations,” she went on to say.The family resilience bill has been initiated by five politicians from several factions in the House of Representatives – three of whom are women. It has been included in the 2020 National Legislation Program (Prolegnas).Topics : A controversial bill on family resilience includes a provision of six months of paid maternity leave for female workers, but only for those working in government offices, regional administrations, and state-owned or region-owned enterprises.Article 29 of the draft bill, a copy of which has been obtained by The Jakarta Post, stipulates that the aforementioned offices are obligated to give female workers their right to “get maternity leave for six months without losing their right to salary and position.”Other points in the article also obligate offices to provide daycare centers for children, as well as lactation rooms for female workers to breastfeed.last_img read more

Gojek to import masks, distribute staple goods to help drivers endure pandemic

first_imgHe added that the drivers could be at an increased risk of contracting the virus as they interacted with people daily through their deliveries.Distributing masks is one of a dozen measures from the company to keep its employees and contracted workers safe during the pandemic. Gojek has distributed staple goods to drivers above 60 years old, has given staple-needs vouchers to younger drivers and has relaxed vehicle loan repayment requirements.Drivers who get COVID-19 or become a patient under treatment (PDP) can also receive financial aid from Gojek and its charity foundation Yayasan Anak Bangsa Kita. Gojek customers can help drivers by giving tips up to Rp 100,000 (US$5.89) using the in-app e-wallet feature.“Our drivers are facing uncertainties every day, and we just want to help ease their worry about the future,” said Gojek Co-CEO Kevin Aluwi.Previously, the company’s senior management cut their salaries to allocate more than Rp 100 billion to help drivers and employees cope with low demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.Topics : Homegrown ride-hailing app Gojek has received a permit from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) and the Health Ministry to import 5 million masks to be distributed to its motorbike drivers and the country’s healthcare providers.The imports will add to the company’s previous distributions of masks, hand sanitizer and vitamins to its drivers in 80 cities in the country.“This import is to ensure that locally produced masks and other protective gear can be allocated to hospitals,” said Gojek’s independent commissioner Garibaldi Thohir in a written statement on Wednesday.last_img read more

Russia reports record coronavirus deaths, recoveries

first_img There were 8,915 new cases in the last 24 hours, according to a government tally, while a record 12,331 people recovered, a sign that Russia may be past its peak.Restrictions have been eased in many areas though hard-hit Moscow remains on a strict lockdown until at least the end of May.On Monday, President Vladimir Putin made a rare lockdown appearance in the Kremlin after working remotely from his residence outside Moscow for weeks.Russia’s reported mortality rate is much lower than in other countries with similar rates of infection, leading critics to accuse authorities of under-reporting deaths to minimize the scale of the crisis.  Health officials say one reason is that Russia counts only those deaths directly caused by the virus, unlike some countries that count all deaths of people infected. Russia on Tuesday recorded its highest daily coronavirus death toll of 174 but said more than 12,000 people had also recovered over the past 24 hours.Health officials said Russia’s total death toll from the pandemic had reached 3,807 and its number of cases had hit 362,342, the third-highest in the world after the United States and Brazil.The number of new cases has been steadily dropping and authorities have begun easing lockdown measures in some parts of the country.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Demand for office space expected to bounce back after pandemic: JLL

first_imgDespite the surge in remote working arrangements among companies in Indonesia, demand for office space is expected to return after the COVID-19 pandemic passes, according to property consultant Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) Indonesia.The current health crisis might even lead to expansions in office space, as companies try to accommodate needs for physical distancing among their employees in the post-pandemic era, the firm stated.JLL Indonesia head of research James Taylor said that Jakarta might experience the most significant impact from the pandemic on new leasing deals in the second quarter, as businesses continue to implement work-from-home arrangements. For example, JLL noted that millennials in the region struggled with smaller apartment sizes, slow internet connectivity and the need to juggle family duties while working from home. Meanwhile, offices still play a central role in creating spaces for collaboration and interaction and for boosting staff morale and productivity.“The office, as we know it, will evolve. Owners and investors who can take advantage of this opportunity to think about long-term redevelopment plans and designing or refitting their facilities will benefit greatly,” Couse said.Companies might also consider flexible options such as coworking spaces as an alternative to short-and-medium-term expansion plans, JLL notes.Previously, real estate services firm Colliers International projected that if more companies implemented remote working arrangements, demand for office space was expected to drop, according to its report released in April.Topics : “However, we expect tenant demand to return once the worst of the crisis has passed. In some ways, COVID-19 is accelerating the changes to the workplace that were already coming,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.In the first quarter this year, leasing activity in the Asia Pacific region dropped 9 percent from the previous quarter last year, even though a 14 percent increase year-on-year (yoy) was recorded, JLL data show. Vacancy rates have remained stagnant at 10.9 percent in the region.“We think offices will remain central to people’s daily business life,” said JLL Asia Pacific CEO Anthony Couse. “Looking ahead, we believe that this is a resilient sector that will continue to draw long-term investor interest and confidence.”He added that despite a seemingly successful global adaptation to work-from-home arrangements, offices would continue to be sought after the pandemic, as remote working might not be a sustainable or optimum long-term option for all companies.last_img read more

Man arrested in deadly 2019 fire at Japan’s Kyoto Animation: Media

first_img“We have no further words for the suspect… Our fallen colleagues will never return, and our wounds will never heal,” it said.Kyoto Animation is well known in Japan and abroad for its series and movies, including “Violet Evergarden”, which has been on Netflix.In mid-July last year, Aoba went to the studio, poured fuel around the entrance and shouted “Die!” as he set the building ablaze, media reported. After the attack, Aoba reportedly told police he had done it because the studio had plagiarized his novel.  Police will brief media later on Wednesday, NHK said.A spokesman at Kyoto Prefectural Police Headquarters said he could not confirm the arrest.The fire had killed mostly young artists at the studio, shocked animation fans around the world, and prompted tributes from world leaders such as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook.In a statement, Kyoto Animation said it expected the suspect to be prosecuted “to the maximum extent” under the law. Topics :center_img Japanese police on Wednesday arrested the man suspected of killing 36 people at Kyoto Animation last July after he had spent 10 months recovering in two hospitals, media reported.Police had issued an arrest warrant for Shinji Aoba at the time of the fire but had been unable to question him after he suffered serious, self-inflicted burns.Public broadcaster NHK said that police arrested Aoba at a Kyoto hospital, where he confessed to the crimes, and that he was transferred to police headquarters for further questioning.last_img read more

VP Ma’ruf wants ‘pesantren’ to get financial aid during pandemic

first_imgRead also: Nine foreign students at East Java boarding school test positive for COVID-19Ma’ruf went on to say that not all pesantren in the country would need such assistance.In the meeting, he also ordered the administrations to provide boarding schools with COVID-19 test kits, better sanitation and clean water as well as to instruct students on health and hygiene, including physical distancing and handwashing, to prepare them for the so-called “new normal” phase.”If we can provide them with the aforementioned necessities, it would be better for all,” said Ma’ruf. (vny)Topics : Vice President Ma’ruf Amin has instructed his subordinates to draw up a list of pesantren (Islamic boarding schools) to receive financial assistance from the government during the COVID-19 pandemic.The financial support, Ma’ruf said, would help the boarding schools operate during the health and economic crisis.”The amount of financial support [for each pesantren] will depend on the government’s financial ability. Hopefully, it will be enough to support them to operate during the pandemic,” the Vice President, who is a prominent Muslim cleric in the country, said during a virtual meeting with several ministers on Wednesday as quoted by kompas.com. last_img read more

US defense secretary to visit Indonesia amid increased tension with China

first_imgWith the United States renewing its campaign against China in the Indo-Pacific theater, Defense Secretary Mark Esper expressed his intention to visit Indonesia to strengthen the cooperation through arms sales despite recent reluctance from the Indonesian side.Speaking in a virtual briefing organized by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Esper said his department encouraged all allies and partners to purchase American equipment.“Why? Because first and foremost it brings us together, secondly it improves our interoperability in case something does happen and third we think they are a better alternative to anything else out there. So for those reasons we continue to talk about arms sales between our countries,” he said. Earlier this month, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), an agency under the US Department of Defense, announced the possible sale of eight V-22 Osprey aircraft and related equipment worth some US$2 billion to Indonesia. However, Indonesian officials appeared to be backtracking from the deal, with one saying the purchase was “not included in the plan for the development of the primary defense system.”The last US weapon systems Indonesia acquired was the Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters with naval capabilities. The contract value was US$1.42 billion for eight helicopters and related equipment. All eight helicopters have been delivered to the Army Aviation Center in Semarang.Esper and Prabowo had a phone call discussion on bilateral defense priorities, including military readiness and defense acquisitions in late March.“My view is that we can continue to meet and have discussions. I’ve done it several times with the defense minister and I hope to visit Indonesia during my tenure as well,” Esper said. He said his country had good relations with Indonesia and he had spoken to Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto several times this year.“As we talk, he understands that we fully support Indonesia’s sovereignty, that we support as partners trying to push back against China’s malign behavior in the region particularly as they contest Indonesia’s EEZ [exclusive economic zones] there,” he said.Earlier this year, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had to visit Indonesia’s Natuna regency and deploy coast guard patrol boats and Navy warships to ward off Chinese fishing vessels assisted by its own coast guard operating in Indonesia’s EEZ.A country can exercise its sovereign rights within 200 nautical miles of its EEZ and full sovereignty within 12 nautical miles of its territorial seas.Indonesia has no overlapping territorial claim with China, but the Natuna Sea is located adjacent to the South China Sea, a highly disputed body of water, a majority of which is claimed by China based on historic rights that were invalidated by a 2016 international tribunal ruling.The South China Sea issue remains a thorn in China’s relations with its Southeast Asian neighbors, who are increasingly concerned over China’s apparent militarization in the disputed waters. Its aggressive claims have led to clashes with Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia, some of the countries located around the waters.The US has reasserted its position over the South China Sea maritime dispute in the last weeks by calling out Beijing’s activities in the disputed waters as “completely unlawful”.Speaking about the US Indo-Pacific priorities, Esper said the US military was emphasizing the three pillars of the Indo-Pacific strategy: preparedness, strengthening partnerships and promoting a more networked region.He asserted that the military played a role in the whole-of-government approach in the region. “We are not only prioritizing the development and deployment of game-changing technologies such as hypersonic weapons, 5G and artificial intelligence, but we are also investing in platforms critical to the Indo-Pacific and transforming the way we fight,” the secretary said.He also welcomed the growing trend in multilateral cooperation in the region, including talks between defense ministers under the Five Eyes, an intelligence alliance between the US, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as well as other multilateral discussion with Japan and Australia.”We are encouraging Indo-Pacific nations to expand their own intra-regional security relationships and networks of like-minded partners,” he said. Topics :last_img read more