The virus has killed at least 373, 439 people around the world since it appeared in late 2019 in China, according to a report compiled by AFP from official sources.In the United States, states have begun relaxing confinement measures intended to slow the spread of the virus in varying degrees.But several major US cities have issued curfews in the face of violent protests sparked by the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed last week after a white officer knelt on his neck for nine minutes.Topics : The United States on Monday recorded 743 new coronavirus deaths in 24 hours, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, bringing its total to 105,099 since the global pandemic began.The country has officially logged 1,809,109 cases of COVID-19, the tracker set up by the Baltimore-based university showed at 8:30pm (0030 GMT Tuesday).The death toll and number of cases in the United States are by far the worst in the world.
Technology giant Gojek’s e-wallet GoPay announced on Tuesday a new gold-investment feature called GoInvestasi in partnership with investment fintech start-up Pluang.GoPay managing director Budi Gandasoebrata said the demand for investment through e-wallets had led to GoPay providing the investment platform.“That is why we are sure that an accessible and transparent investment feature is relevant to our users’ needs,” he said in a press statement. Users can register with GoInvestasi using their Gojek-registered phone number. They can then invest as little as 0.01 gram of gold, equivalent to Rp 8,000 (US 57 cents), in Pluang with payment and investment withdrawal made through GoPay.GoInvestasi is available as a GoPay feature, and both are available in the Gojek app.Users can also save their gold and exchange it for PT Aneka Tambang (Antam) certified gold bars.Budi went on to say that all GoInvestasi transactions were supervised by the Indonesian Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency (BAPPEBTI), as well as PT Kliring Berangkat Indonesia (KBI).Meanwhile, Pluang cofounder Claudia Kolonas said that partnering with GoPay would allow more people to start investing in gold.“The public’s awareness and willingness to invest has become more apparent and people are drawn to gold investment because it is low risk but still profitable,” she said.Pluang received $3 million from Go-Ventures, Gojek’s venture capital unit, in the fintech’s series A funding round in September. (eyc)Topics :
‘Prepared for prison’ The security law was introduced in a bid to quell last year’s huge and often violent pro-democracy protests, and authorities have since wielded their new powers to pursue the city’s democracy camp, sparking criticism from western nations and sanctions from the United States. Lai’s Apple Daily and Next Magazine are unapologetically pro-democracy and critical of Beijing. Few Hong Kongers generate the level of personal vitriol from Beijing that Lai does.China routinely calls him a a “traitor” and a “black hand” behind last year’s protests.Allegations of Lai colluding with foreigners went into overdrive in state media last year when he met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence.Lai spoke to AFP in mid-June, two weeks before the new security law was imposed on Hong Kong.”I’m prepared for prison,” he said.He described Beijing’s new security law as “a death knell for Hong Kong” and said he feared authorities would come after his journalists. He also brushed off the collusion allegations, saying Hong Kongers had a right to meet with foreign politicians. Journalists working at Lai’s Apple Daily took to Facebook to broadcast dramatic footage of police officers conducting the raid, and the newspaper’s chief editor Law Wai-kwong demanding a warrant from officers.”Tell your colleagues to keep their hands off until our lawyers check the warrant,” he was filmed saying.Apple’s staff were ordered to leave their seats and line up so police could check their identities as officers conducted searches across the newsroom.At one point Lai was present, in handcuffs and surrounded by officers. Police said the search was conducted with a court warrant which was shown to staff.Chris Yeung, president of the Hong Kong Journalists Association, described the police action as “shocking and terrifying”. “This is unprecedented, and would be unimaginable only one or two months ago,” he said.Apple editor Law later sent a note to staff, seen by AFP, telling reporters to “stand by their posts” as he vowed to get the latest edition printed despite the raid. Sweeping new law Beijing’s new law targets secession, subversion, terrorism and colluding with foreign forces.Both China and Hong Kong have said it will not affect freedoms and only targets a minority.But its broadly worded provisions criminalized certain political speech overnight, such as advocating sanctions, greater autonomy or independence for Hong Kong.Critics, including many Western nations, believe the law has ended the key liberties and autonomy that Beijing promised Hong Kong could keep after its 1997 handover by Britain. Washington last week responded by imposing sanctions on a group of Chinese and Hong Kong officials — including the city’s leader Carrie Lam.The law’s introduction has coincided with ramped up police action against democracy supporters.About two dozen — including Lai — have been charged for defying a police ban to attend a Tiananmen remembrance vigil in early June. Lai and many others are also being prosecuted for taking part in last year’s protests.Last month a dozen high-profile pro-democracy figures were disqualified from standing in local elections for holding unacceptable political views.The banned opinions included being critical of the security law and campaigning to win a majority in the city’s partially-elected legislature in order to block government laws.Shortly after the disqualifications, city leader Lam postponed the elections for a year, citing a surge in coronavirus cases. Hong Kong pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai was arrested Monday and led in handcuffs through his newspaper office as police raided the building, part of a sweeping crackdown on dissent since China imposed a security law on the city.Lai, 71, was among seven people detained on suspicion of colluding with foreign forces — one of the new national security offences — and fraud in an operation targeting the Next Media publishing group. It was the latest police operation against dissidents since Beijing imposed the law on Hong Kong at the end of June. Two of Lai’s sons were among those detained, a police source told AFP. Topics :
109 Seagull Ave, Mermaid Beach.Mr Howarth said the 558sq m property was considered large for Mermaid Beach with a 32m frontage to Heron Ave and 17m frontage to Seagull Ave.It now has four strata-titled units.“Subject to council approval, you could design four, three-storey villas on the site…,” he said.The property is in a prime position, 150m from the beach and close to the popular Nobby Beach dining precinct. More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa17 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago109 Seagull Ave, Mermaid Beach.“More than 80 people came to watch the auction, which was conducted by Mark MacCabe from Apollo Auctions, and there was plenty of spirited bidding before it became a battle between two parties,” he said.“The winning bidder was a long-time Gold Coast resident, who owns several properties in the region.“The purchaser intends to initially land bank while they complete a feasibility study to determine the best development option for the property.” 109 Seagull Ave, Mermaid Beach.A MERMAID Beach unit block attracted buyers from as far as New Zealand and Japan when it went under the hammer on the weekend.But a local buyer made the winning bid, snapping up the four beachside units at 109 Seagull Ave for $2.105 million.Marketing agent Peter Howarth, of John Henderson Professionals Mermaid Beach, said there were 18 registered bidders on the day with two phoning from overseas.
Keogh added: “The requirements have been expanded to cover the areas such as portfolio monitoring for individual funds and potentially for the LGPS pools, and also investment cost-monitoring services.“And so we are wrapping up those individual strands into a new framework.”State Street no longer provides investment benchmarking to the LGPS generally, having since March 2016 discontinued its performance-measurement services for third-party clients in the UK and the Netherlands.Keogh said the new framework agreement would be multi-lot and multi-provider.As with other national frameworks, this one would be accessible to all LGPS, with a view to making it attractive for the asset pools being formed as well.“We are hoping to frame this in a way such that LGPS pools can access those services should they wish to,” said Keogh.The procuring group aims to issue an invitation to tender in early November. [Updated] Nick Wright, head of global services UK, State Street, told IPE that although State Street decided to stop offering its performance measurement services on a standalone basis to third party local authority clients in the UK, it is still providing these to clients that subscribe to its asset services as part of the provider’s focus on the “end-to-end solution”. * Carmarthenshire County Council, Essex County Council, the London CIV, Staffordshire County Council and Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council Norfolk County Council is preparing to launch a national framework for the UK local government pension schemes (LGPS) for the provision of investment performance and cost monitoring and reporting services, a move initially fuelled by State Street’s decision to drop its benchmarking service for the LGPS sector.Norfolk County Council – acting on behalf of itself, four other local authority pension fund administering bodies and one asset pool* – communicated its intention to the market by way of a prior information notice last week.Nigel Keogh, national LGPS frameworks manager at Norfolk County Council, told IPE the group began discussing launching a new framework after State Street decided to discontinue its local authority pension fund universe analysis service.Over time, however, “the conversation moved on to cover related services”.
Focus on the Family August 2015Resistance to a Colorado law passed in 2012 legalizing the recreational use of marijuana is growing steadily as unnerving results continue to mount.Some voters who supported the law are now voting to block pot shops in their communities. Education organizations are springing up around the state, and a fledgling repeal movement is underway.“There is a growing angst among people who are now pushing back,” says Bob Doyle, executive director of the advocacy group Colorado Tobacco Education and Prevention Alliance. “People have become aware of what this is all about—the mass commercialization of marijuana, not social justice or (reducing) incarceration rates.”A top concern for many people who are now part of the resistance is the fact that kids under the age of 21—the minimum age for purchasing marijuana that was written into the law—are nonetheless consuming it at stunning levels, according to the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (RMHIDTA), an offshoot of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which coordinates efforts between federal, state and local drug-enforcement agencies.Moreover, today’s marijuana includes concentrated products, like cannabis butter or oil, which are made by extracting the psychoactive ingredient of the plant for a very powerful effect.“I feel like we’re losing a generation. I talk to these kids, mainstream kids, and they are doing the concentrate every day. Every day,” says Diane Carlson, co-founder of Smart Colorado, a youth advocacy group that works with many schools. “The potential for harm and the implications for their future is unfathomable.”The new law has caused headaches for its neighbors, too. Two states and a consortium of law enforcement agencies from three are suing Colorado for the spillover effects they’re now seeing in their own neighborhoods, where marijuana usage remains illegal.Far-Ranging ImpactsCarlson admits she was unaware of all the different types of marijuana products that could be sold when the law was being debated in 2012. Now she knows.Aiming at the ChildrenThere’s big money in legalized marijuana. Sales hit $700 million in Colorado in 2014—$313 million in the recreational category and $386 million in medical, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue. In the first quarter of 2015, retail cannabis shops sold $118 million worth of marijuana. That number is increasing every quarter, the department says, and recreational sales will likely top $472 million this year.Spiking PotencyAccording to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, THC levels in marijuana averaged about 4 percent 30 years ago, when smoking a joint meant a gentle high. The national average now is 12 percent and rising. But in Colorado, THC levels exceed 20 percent in many of the retail edibles, and can reach 95 percent in the case of concentrates. That exacerbates the drug’s mental and physical impacts, sending addiction levels soaring.Rising Opposition“Our kids are getting access to the potent marijuana edibles. Adults are absolutely shocked,” Carlson says.http://www.focusonthefamily.com/socialissues/citizen-magazine/where-theres-smoke/where-theres-smoke
Gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on a church near Cairo on Thursday, setting off a gunbattle with police, Egypt’s official news agency said. No one was killed.The MENA news agency said the three attackers escaped after the firefight. It said police guarding the evangelical church near the Giza pyramids were left with scrapes and bruises.Attacks on churches and Egypt’s Christian minority have increased over the past decade as tensions have grown with the country’s Muslim majority, sometimes exacerbated by officials.Egypt’s Coptic Christians have long complained of being treated like second-class citizens. They now make up about 10 percent of a population of around 90 million, making them the largest Christian community in the Middle East.
Share Bishop, His Lordship Gabriel MalzaireMy personal devotion to Saint Francis of Assisi is multi-facetted. For one thing, being born on his feast day, October 4, makes him my patron saint. Additionally, his spirituality, that is, the qualities that characterize his relationship with God, is a further attraction. Francis was one who perceived a sense of unity in all of God’s creation. For him there was no disparity between the sacred and the secular; everything was created for a divine purpose.It is not without reason, therefore, that Francis is regarded as the patron saint of ecology; he saw every living creature as his brother and his sister: brother sun and sister moon, for example. According to his philosophy, all things tend toward a common salvific end if they are allowed to fulfil the purpose for which they were created. That end, therefore, always constitutes an experience of well-being and of Peace. For similar reasons, Pope Francis too, has adopted Saint Francis as the patron of his pontificate.Using Saint Francis as a metaphor for what our world and society needs today, we can deepen our understanding of the purpose and message of Christmas.It is well to know that according to tradition, Saint Francis is credited with creating the first nativity scene—the first Christmas crèche, in 1223 at Greccio in central Italy.It was created in an attempt to place the emphasis of Christmas on the worship of Christ rather than on secular materialism.” Francis was keenly aware that any form of greed, even that which can be expressed in the gift-giving associated with the festivity can be engaged for the wrong reason, and therefore may not lead to the desired peace for which is stands. For him, only Christ has the means towards complete Peace.This is essentially the challenge of the much-abused notion of “bringing Christ back into Christmas.” The truth is, Christ can only be brought back into the festivity when He is allowed to play his rightful role in our lives; that is, to lead the human community to that sense of well-being and peace. Therefore, the presence of the Christmas crèche in our churches and parks serve to remind us of the presence of the Prince of Peace who is Christ himself.In the aftermath of one of the most divisive General Elections in the history of Dominica, no one can doubt that Peace and Tranquillity should be the most precious objects of our desire in our quest to fulfil the divine plan here on earth in this historical period of our existence. What better time for us as Church and Nation to put some effort into that much-needed area but the seasons of Advent and Christmas. The message of the throng of angels on the first Christmas morn was: “Glory to God in the highest heavens and on earth Peace to those who enjoy his favour” (Lk 2:14). It stands to reason, therefore, that the favour of God is directly related to the pursuit of Peace in the human community.We will recall also that the parting words of Jesus to his followers were: “Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you, a peace which the world cannot give, this is my gift to you” (Jn 14:27). As Prince of Peace the Saviour departs the world of the flesh with the same message as he entered it—Peace. It is the one gift for which the human heart naturally yearns. With Saint Francis, therefore, let us pray that in this Yuletide season and beyond, the divine harmony which God desires for us and our nation may find a home among us. Therefore, we pray: LifestyleLocalNews Bishop Malzaire says Lets Talk Peace by: – December 20, 2019 Lord make me an instrument of your peace.Where there is hatred, let me sow love,Where there is injury, pardon;Where there is doubt, faith;Where there is despair, hope;Where there is darkness, light;Where there is sadness, joy.O Divine Master, grant that I am not so much seek to be consoled as to console;To be understood as to understand;To be loved as to loveFor it is in giving that we receiveIt is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen. Tweet Sharing is caring! Share Share A merry Christmas to you and your family! 65 Views no discussions
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BAXTER, Minn. – A transitional rules and information meeting has been scheduled for drivers of three Minnesota race tracks.Representatives from Princeton Speedway, North Central Speedway in Brainerd and Buffalo River Race Park in Glyndon will be at the meeting, set for Sunday, Feb. 22. IMCA representatives will also be present at the 3 p.m. meeting, which will be held at Arrowwood Lodge, 6967 Lake Forest Road in Baxter. Limited seating will be available and the meeting is open to drivers only.The 2015 season will be the first under the IMCA banner for the Brainerd and Princeton ovals. Buffalo River Race Park will be entering its second season as an IMCA sanctioned facility.