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Letters to the Editor for Saturday, Sep. 28

first_imgMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionClimate deniers must recognize scienceIn his Sept. 25 letter, John Gaetani agreed that there was climate change but said he believed that it’s caused by “the sun’s activity and the Earth’s orbit around the sun” rather than human activity.This is what is known in the science trade as a “testable hypothesis.” That is, do measurements show that the energy from the sun has increased over the last hundred years or so and can this account for the warming?The answer is that solar or orbital changes can account for no more than a few percent of global warming. This hypothesis has been tested and has been found wanting.By contrast, the hypothesis that CO2, methane and other human-produced gases are the principal cause of warming has been tested hundreds of times through various calculations, and they have been found to produce the observed warming.If the deniers have another explanation that has survived testing, then they should put it on the table. And don’t dismiss this as “only a model.” Most of science and all of engineering rest on mathematical models.But this is not about science.I once asked a local SUNY scientist and vocal climate change skeptic about what it would take to convince him that human-caused global warming was true. His answer was, “Nothing, really.”That is not skepticism, it is denial. The time has come for the deniers to step aside. We have work to do.James E. PickettNiskayunaMake better use of my tax moneyIt’s time to take the letter C out of FMCC. I graduated from Fulton Montgomery Community College in 1976. It was a college for Fulton and Montgomery county students to better their education.It was for community students.I read recently that FMCC is making an effort to increase international student enrollment. I am a taxpayer in Montgomery county. Why should I have my tax money pay for a person from out of the country? Back some 50 years ago, these colleges were created to provide local people a means to get educated, not for foreigners or even out-of-region people to take advantage of the system. Either take the “C” out or stop paying for it with my tax dollars.Also, I believe the county tax budget is up to $120 million, up from $90 million, when supposedly it will save money with legislators and a county executive. It’s not working.So I guess go back to the old system with supervisors and a chairman. It seems like it was cheaper.Sandy “Rogo” RoginskiAmsterdamlast_img read more

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Bids for top property firms finally accepted

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Six resign at CBRE Perth

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It’s easier for funds to love property than they think

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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The lease is up. Should you stay or should you go?

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would 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 newsletterslast_img

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Scargill’s last stand

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The full Monte

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Belarus, Azerbaijan report first coronavirus cases

first_imgThe health ministry also said that there would now be health checks on anyone arriving in Belarus from Italy — the worst affected country in Europe — Iran and South Korea.Travelers from China were already subject to such controls.For its part, Azerbaijan’s government said that a Russian citizen who had arrived from Iran had been confirmed to have contracted COVID-19. “He has been placed in an isolation ward,” it said in a statement, adding that the patient’s condition was stable. Georgia recorded its second coronavirus case and said the patient had recently traveled to Italy.The infected person’s “condition is satisfactory,” the head of Georgia’a national center for disease control, Amiran Gamkrelidze, told a news conference.He said 29 more people were kept in isolation in a Tbilisi hospital and there was “high probability” that some of them might test positive for the novel virus.On Wednesday, Georgia introduced a two-week ban on Iranian nationals entering Georgia. Earlier this month, Tbilisi suspended direct air services with China.Topics : Belarus and Azerbaijan reported Friday their first cases of the novel coronavirus, while Georgia announced its second case, saying several more people in quarantine may test positive.Belarus’s health ministry said that an infected Iranian student who arrived in the country from Azerbaijan last week was in a “satisfactory” condition.The student and people he had been in contact with had been placed in quarantine in a hospital in the capital Minsk, it added in a statement.last_img read more

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Indonesia may raise budget deficit cap to finance COVID-19 fight

first_imgThe House – and several economists – had previously urged the government to issue a Perppu to raise the deficit cap in the 2020 state budget plan. A higher cap would enable the government to step-up development of healthcare systems, disburse more social funds and stimulate the economy to tackle the pandemic. The downside is that Indonesia might spend the next few years paying off more debt.Read also: More cash aid, stimuli needed to soften economic shocks of COVID-19: EconomistsThe chairman of House budget committee (Banggar), Said Abdullah, said on Monday that the government should raise the ceiling from the current 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) to 5 percent.“Almost every macroeconomic indicator has changed significantly due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 state budget, as the government’s fiscal instrument, will no doubt change as well,” he said after a teleconferenced meeting with Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati and Bank Indonesia (BI) Governor Perry Warjiyo. Macroeconomic indicators that include GDP, inflation and the rupiah exchange rate were predicted to be volatile as the COVID-19 crisis could weaken economic growth to zero percent in the pessimistic scenario, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said.The baseline scenario was for annual economic growth this year to be slightly above 4 percent, she added, which would be the lowest rate in 15 years.The government would reallocate Rp 62.3 trillion (US$3.9 billion) of state spending from the 2020 budget to tackle COVID-19 in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.The allocated sum is a significant increase from the previous estimate of Rp 27 trillion – on top of the Rp 120 trillion in stimulus packages – as the government prepares for worst-case scenarios including the possibility of zero percent economic growth, ministers said.Bahana Sekuritas economist Satria Sambijantoro said widening the budget deficit to Rp 610.9 trillion, or around 3.5 percent to 3.7 percent of GDP—if economic growth drops below 4 percent—would provide Rp 334 trillion for additional spending to fight COVID-19.“[…] Possible room for Rp 334 trillion additional spending for the Finance Ministry even after accounting for zero growth in state revenues, which we view as quite sufficient to cushion the economy from the COVID-19 outbreak,” Satria added.Read also: ‘Desperate times, desperate measures’: Calls grow for flexible state budget amid virusThe government initially targeted a budget deficit of Rp 307.2 trillion, equal to 1.76 percent of GDP. The 3 percent deficit-to-GDP cap, introduced in the aftermath of the 1997 financial crisis, was introduced to enforce fiscal discipline and minimize credit risks in Indonesia.“We expect the waiver to be only temporary, with the deficit cap back in place after risks from the Covid-19 outbreak subside,” Satria wrote in a note.University of Indonesia rector Ari Kuncoro estimated the deficit should be compensated for within three to five years, adding that the priority now was for the state budget to be flexible to solve health issues and counter the negative economic effects of the virus.“Desperate times call for desperate measures,” the senior economist told The Jakarta Post, adding that the existing state budget limited the government’s ability to spend more on the COVID-19 fight, as it was designed for a normal scenario. “The government should look to implement an intertemporal budget.”Banggar chairman Said suggested another Perppu to make changes to the current income tax law to roll out incentives for individual taxpayers to give them breathing space on their finances.For the haves, however, they would be required to pay Rp 1 billion per person to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) for the COVID-19 response fund as a consequence of lower income tax.“The important point is to [reduce] income tax to 20 percent for those with savings of more than Rp 100 billion,” Said said.“This Perppu is meant to support public efforts to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, ensure the implementation of a social safety net program and help informal and small and medium businesses survive in the face of economic hardship.”Topics : President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has revealed that government officials and legislators are in talks to raise Indonesia’s budget deficit cap, which would allow the state to borrow more money to fund emergency response measures to the coronavirus pandemic.Jokowi told reporters on Tuesday that the government and the House of Representatives had been discussing raising the cap over the past few days. He has also held discussions with the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK).“The point is, we want to relax the state budget and have the political support for when we issue the government regulation in lieu of law [Perppu],” he said. Jokowi previously said the state budget should focus on three things: health care, the disbursement of social funds and economic stimulus.last_img read more

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Tensions high after two farmers killed in South Sumatra land conflict

first_imgAfter the New Order regime collapsed in 1998, the villagers made an effort to reclaim their land, urging the company to return it 20 years later, in 2018.Several efforts to bring the two parties to terms have been made but to no avail. Lahat Regent Cik Ujang arranged a proposal for the company to give up 20 percent of its plantation area to villagers under the plasma smallholders scheme, in which the villagers would sell the produce to the company.The offer was rejected, and villagers kept working the land without an agreement.On the morning of March 21, the plantation company moved to evict the villagers from the land. A number of company security guards, accompanied by police officers carrying rifles, arrived to enforce the eviction.Villagers resisted, and violence broke out between the two groups. In addition to the two farmers who died during the clash, two others were injured. They were taken to the Lahat General Hospital.The clash ended after the police fired warning shots and company security personnel withdrew from the land.“The dead farmers have been buried. Their graves are a symbol of our fight. The injured farmers are recovering,” said Andriansyah.Read also: Land disputes still common, putting farmers’ future in jeopardyCivil society organizations, including the South Sumatra chapter of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) and the Palembang Legal Aid Institute, lambasted what they considered the company’s aggression. They wrote an open letter to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.“We urge the President to evaluate palm oil plantation permits that have been leading to land conflicts,” South Sumatra Walhi executive director Hairul Sobri said.He said the police should uncover the truth instead of defending one party in the conflict. He said facts had been manipulated regarding the naming of suspects.“The National Police should also investigate the regional police for providing security assistance to the company during the conflict.”Pagar Batu villagers have demanded that the government investigate the case thoroughly and work to settle the ongoing land dispute.PT Artha Prigel spokesperson Yulius Rafli did not respond The Jakarta Post’s request for comment. (aly)Topics : The conflict has been ongoing since 1993, when the company forced Pagar Batu residents to give up their land in exchange for what they considered paltry compensation. According to the village’s youth forum, the total area of the disputed land is about 180 hectares.“We’re still defending our land because it is the source of our livelihoods. There’s no more farm land in the village. Where else would we make our livings,” a resident named Andriansyah told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday, adding that the villagers had produced coffee, durian and rubber on the land for generations.Read also: Conflicts in South Sumatra triggered by overlapping landPT Artha Prigel is a subsidiary of PT Bukit Barisan Indah Permai of the Sawit Mas Group. The government granted the company an additional 35-year permit to cultivate the 2000 ha of land in 2006. Years of conflict between residents of Pagar Batu village and oil palm plantation company PT Artha Prigel in Lahat regency, South Sumatra, reached a climax recently as company security guards allegedly killed two farmers from the village.Lahat Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Irwansyah said a security guard, identified as 38-year-old UB, had been named a suspect for allegedly stabbing the two farmers: Putra, 32, and Sumarlin, 38.“We are still investigating the case and questioning other witnesses. It is possible that we will name new suspects later,” Irwansyah said.last_img read more

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