Indonesia aims to secure more vaccines from UK

first_imgAstraZeneca is developing a COVID-19 vaccine with Oxford University and is among the front runners in the global vaccine race, which according to a Reuters report, could provide early analyses of data from their various large trials over the next two months. During its European trip, the Indonesian delegation will also meet World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, as well as representatives from the Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). The three entities lead the COVAX facility, a global COVID-19 vaccine allocation plan that aims to help purchase and fairly distribute a future vaccine.Indonesia, according to Retno, is one of the countries listed as COVAX 92, which means that it is eligible to provide the vaccine for 20 percent of its population, or 106 million to 107 million additional doses because each person gets two injections.“Another objective of this visit is to strengthen medium- and long-term cooperation between [Indonesia’s state-owned pharmaceutical company] Bio Farma and its partners abroad, including, once again, in a multilateral context,” Retno said.She added that she was also scheduled to meet with her counterpart in the United Kingdom as well as other high-level officials.Read also: Efficacy and safety first: Experts urge government not to put vaccines on pedestalA separate delegation led by Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan went to Yunnan, China, last week to meet the leaders of vaccine producers Sinovac and Cansino, as well as Sinopharm, which is partnering with Abu Dhabi-based healthcare firm G42.In the meeting, Indonesia and China finalized a purchase deal for the large bulk of the vaccine — known to have entered its final stage of clinical testing on humans — that was previously agreed upon in August.But experts are cautious about Indonesia pinning its hopes on vaccine development to curb the pandemic, particularly when a strong COVID-19 response is absent.Dicky Budiman, an epidemiologist at Australia’s Griffith University, said that vaccines alone would not bring a country out of the pandemic.“There is no indication that vaccines can be a single solution to the COVID-19 pandemic. We still need to combine that with the main strategy, namely testing, tracing, isolation and quarantine, as well as physical distancing,” he said.Read also: Vaccines won’t bring back normal life at once: ExpertsHowever, he pointed out that the vaccine developed by Oxford University was among the most advanced vaccines currently being made, with final results expected by the end of this year. In comparison, Sinovac’s vaccine production is expected to bear results in the first quarter of 2021.“That is why we need options, not only from China but also from other potential vaccines. Oxford is relatively at the forefront [of vaccine development], followed by China. Other vaccine developers from South Korea and Australia are also quite advanced,” Dicky said.The government is aiming to vaccinate 160 million people in the coming years. Terawan said his ministry was still working on the details of a vaccination program but asserted that priority would be given to health workers and security forces who were at the forefront of handling COVID-19.– Ardila Syakriah contributed to this story State officials are embarking on an official trip to Europe this week to secure another supply of COVID-19 vaccines after the government finalized previous deals made with Chinese producers.Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir left the country with a team on Monday for official visits to London, as well as Bern and Geneva in Switzerland.“The main objective of this visit is to secure commitments from other sources for a COVID-19 vaccine under a bilateral vaccine cooperation framework,” Retno told a press briefing before her departure. In August, Retno and Erick went on a similar work trip to China and the United Arab Emirates, where they secured a supply of a potential COVID-19 vaccine in the ballpark of 300 million doses until the end of next year.Retno did not specify which vaccine producers she and Erick would meet this week.However, Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartanto earlier said that the government was going to pay for a down payment on vaccines from Britain-based pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca by the end of this month.“The government, through the Health Ministry, will procure vaccines from AstraZeneca in a contract for 100 million doses,” Airlangga said in a Sunday webinar held by the Association of the Gadjah Mada University Alumni. “We will pay a 50 percent down payment by the end of this month, or about US$250 million.”center_img Topics :last_img read more

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Intan Jaya pastor’s family ‘reluctantly’ signs investigation report

first_imgFamily members of pastor Yeremia Zanambani, who was recently shot dead in Intan Jaya regency, Papua, claimed they were reluctant to sign an investigation report (BAP) on the priest’s death and had only agreed to do so after they were promised that the report would be sent to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.Yeremia’s family, including his wife, was told to sign the BAP at 2 a.m. on Monday after the government-sanctioned fact-finding team (TGPF) launched an initial investigation into the case. The team had also questioned four of the priest’s family members as witness in the case.Rode Zanambani, the pastor’s fourth daughter, said her family was encouraged to sign the report as the TGPF promised to hand over the report directly to President Jokowi. “They [TGPF members] said they would be reprimanded if they returned to Jakarta with an unsigned BAP,” Rode said on Monday.She added that the TGPF also promised that the government would punish Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel who allegedly shot and stabbed Yeremia to death. The priest’s family had provided information on the alleged perpetrators in the BAP.“We have identified the [implicated] soldiers. We ask that they be prosecuted,” said Rode.Read also: Fact-finding team of slain Papuan pastor concludes field investigation, returns to Jakarta Before signing the report, Rode said the investigators read every sentence in the BAP before the family members signed each official copy of the report. She went on to say that the family members had corrected several mistakes in the BAP.Rode also requested that the BAP should be copied three times, with one copy given to the family.Previously, Yeremia’s family members refused to sign the BAP because they claimed there had been a slight change made in the report. They would only sign it if they were accompanied by lawyers.“We’re concerned that the police altered some provisions [in the report]; therefore, we didn’t trust the BAP and refused to sign it,” Yeremia’s relative, Bernard Kobogau, said.In an earlier statement received by The Jakarta Post, the TGPF claimed the family was reluctant to sign the BAP due to a language barrier, limited knowledge of the law and input from other parties.Benny Mamoto of the National Police Commission (Kompolnas), who leads the field investigation unit, said the family members only signed the BAP after the team invited religious and community leaders to convince them and explain the legal process.The TGPF team also convinced Yeremia’s wife and children to allow authorities conducting autopsies on the priest’s body as part of the investigation.Read also: Papuans doubtful over govt team to probe shootingsCoordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD recently defended the TGPF team, saying it comprised professionals with “unyielding independence”. The coordinating minister also dismissed accusations that the team only followed government orders.The Indonesian Communion of Churches, the Indonesian Evangelical Christian Church (GKII) and several local Papuan media claimed that Yeremia was shot by a TNI soldier on his way to his pigpen on Sept. 19. The military denied the allegation, claiming that an armed group was responsible for the incident.The government responded by forming a fact-finding team to investigate not only Yeremia’s incident but also the deaths of civilian Badawi and TNI soldiers Chief Sgt. Sahlan and First Pvt. Dwi Akbar in Intan Jaya.The team was given two weeks from its formation on Oct. 1 to report the results of its investigation to the government. Benny claimed the team would continue to monitor the case even after its dismissal. (syk)Topics :last_img read more

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Liability-driven investment: The elephant in the room

first_imgAt every conference, there is an elephant in the room, a subject not directly addressed by speakers, but discussed between delegates over coffee, lunch and dinner. The risks inherent in liability-driven investing (LDI) are that subject at this year’s National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) Investment Conference.Speaking off record, one delegate, the trustee of a super mature defined benefit (DB) scheme, points out that, if interest rates rise by 100 basis points, the LDI programme he helped design would need to post more collateral in cash or Gilts. “Both areas drag on performance in a portfolio where we are already allocating more than I like to fixed income,” he says.Another delegate, also off record, wonders if LDI has distorted asset allocation out of reasonable form. “Should we have so much of our assets in bonds and an overlay that does not in absolute terms produce any returns for our members, or should we put more in equities?” he asks.The background to this is widely predicted rises in interest rates. Keynote speaker Roger Bootle, chairman of consultancy Capital Economics, predicts a rise by the end of next year. That this is of only 25bps, from 0.5% to 0.75%, is easy to lose sight of. The conventional wisdom is that a tightening of monetary supply must push up interest rates with a negative impact on Gilt and investment-grade corporate bonds, exactly those assets now held by UK pension funds as a key component of their LDI strategies. Events in the Ukraine, even the forthcoming Scottish independence referendum, have also reminded delegates that non-economic political and systemic risks lurk constantly just beyond the firelight, threatening to intrude without warning. “What would happen to our LDI programme if interest rates were forced up by say 200 or 300 basis points?” asks another delegate. “I am sure our consultants will have run those numbers, but I don’t recall them telling us the result.”Of course, no one is suggesting LDI is about to be superseded by a new set approach to managing interest and inflation rate risk. “But there may be some re-engineering on a scheme-specific basis,” concedes Gurjit Dehl, vice-president at Redington. “And we are looking to find alternatives to Gilts and investment-grade corporate bonds.”The market is rendering these too expensive for all but the best-funded pension schemes. Instead, there is a hunt for ‘new’ combinations of less liquid assets offering an illiquidity premium to hard-pressed trustees. Some of this is visible at conference events – private equity, farmland, direct lending, small-cap equities, emerging debt, infrastructure and more. We can expect these to be combined in asset portfolios designed to reduce the cost of LDI.Meanwhile, a debate is developing over the correlation between short and long-term interest rates. The price of LDI hedges is, after all, dependent on long-term rates. Short-term rates can rise sharply without affecting long-term ones, point out LDI providers. But many, not least Bootle, foresee a rise in long-term rates and a return of higher inflation rates, which will reduce the real cost of Gilt redemption. If this happens, the cost of LDI will rise, but, for many trustees, there is no alternative.last_img read more

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Pilot union to appeal ruling in case against KLM over pensions

first_imgVNV, a union representing pilots in the Netherlands, is to appeal a recent court ruling that Dutch airline KLM is not obligated to offset a funding shortfall at its pension fund for pilots.It said it would seek to force the airline to honour its previous agreement, which would have allowed the union to grant full indexation, although the VNV said it was also “fully engaged” in talks with the company.In summary proceedings brought by the VNV, the Amsterdam court ruled that KLM’s additional pensions contribution – estimated at €600m by the airline – was sufficiently large for it to cancel its shortfall agreement.The court also ruled that the agreement, terminated unilaterally by KLM, had not fallen under a binding collective labour agreement between the employer and union. Meanwhile, KLM’s pilot pension fund – the €8.2bn Pensioenfonds Vliegend Personeel KLM – is preparing its own legal case against the airline for unilaterally terminating the agreement.And in a separate case, cabin staff union VNC issued a summons against KLM and its pension fund for cabin staff for having agreed a new pension contract “at odds” with a prior agreement between the airline and unions.According to the VNC, KLM also unilaterally decided to abandon an existing agreement that the airline would plug funding gaps.KLM insists it agreed with unions that shortfalls would be filled by “natural recovery” – i.e. returns on investment.The Pensioenfonds Cabinepersoneel KLM said it would implement the contract – concluded between the airline and the scheme – that failed to provide for a recovery contribution from the company.Annette Groeneveld, chair at the VNC, said the union would demand that KLM and the pension fund produce in court the documents on which they had based the new contract.She said the union and airline were discussing a potential switch from defined-benefit arrangements to collective defined contribution but that no agreement had been reached on an increased employer contribution as compensation.“When the introduction of the financial assessment framework interrupted the negotiations, we did agree that its rules would be incorporated into the contract, but the ‘natural recovery’ was not part of this deal,” Groeneveld said.She estimated that KLM would have to pay €34m extra annually to plug the funding gap over a 10-year period, adding that the employer had paid recovery contributions over 2014 and 2015.KLM and the cabin-staff pension fund, which returned 0.5% last year, declined to comment.The scheme’s funding stood at 101.8% as of the end of August; its required coverage level is 128%.last_img read more

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Petition Launched to Continue Search for Missing Bourbon Rhode Crew

first_imgFamilies and friends of the missing AHTS Bourbon Rhode seafarers, as well as maritime professionals, have started a petition* to get active search and rescue (SAR) operations back on track. As explained, seven Croatian and Ukrainian crew members of the sunken vessel had reportedly boarded life rafts and may be floating somewhere in the Atlantic. “We believe they are still alive and waiting for a miracle,” the petition initiators stressed.The move comes after French offshore vessel owner Bourbon said on October 5 that the SAR operations, even with seven more missing sailors that may have survived the sinking, will take place only by vessels in the shipwreck zone.“Several vessels have continued to survey the search area today (October 5), with no results for the past 4 days. The CROSS has decided to make the search operation evolve. It will regularly disseminate messages to vessels in the shipwreck zone and ask them to carry out adapted watch,” the company said.To remind, the Luxembourg-flagged Bourbon Rhode AHTS sank after it was hit by a category 4 hurricane. At the time of the incident, the vessel, crewed by 14 Ukrainian, Russian, South African, Filipino and Croatian seafarers, was in transit some 1,200 nautical miles off the French Martinique island and 60 nautical miles south-south east from the eye of the hurricane Lorenzo in the Atlantic.Search operations carried out since September 26 by the CROSS French West Indies-Guyana and the French Navy have resulted in finding three survivors of the shipwreck, as well as recovering the bodies of four seafarers. Since October 1, no more survivors or bodies have been found.On October 7, Bourbon informed that the three survivors arrived in Fort de France on board the French Navy frigate Ventose. The three of them, all in good health, have been reunited with their families.The company added that the 90-meter AHTS Alp Striker, capable of operating over very long distances, is still surveying the area to find the missing Croatian Master Dino Miskic and his crewmen.Separately, Croatia has also requested the U.S. assistance in the search for the missing seafarers.Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Croatia’s Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Gordan Grlić-Radman, said that he believes the missing Croatian sea captain was alive, adding that “not all options had been exhausted.”Croatia’s President, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, has written to her French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, asking that the decision to suspend active search be reconsidered.*The petition can be found here.last_img read more

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Woman dumps her cheating husband with a Billboard sign

first_imgWoman forces plane to make an emergency landing over ‘cheating’ husband https://twitter.com/bradleygreen31/status/646612193648185345https://twitter.com/ancoDigital/status/646611544218976260 China and Tanzania Sign Development Agreements Relatedcenter_img Woman swallowed $7,000 in desperate bid to hide assets from husband An English woman broke up with her cheating husband through a billboard sign.The sign, strategically positioned alongside a busy highway in Sheffield, a city in northern England, read: “To my cheating husband Paul. You deserve each other. When you get home I won’t be there. Enjoy your drive to work! Lisa.”The sign was put up at around 11 pm on Tuesday. Hundreds of people saw it and took to Twitter and other social media to express their shock.last_img

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Flow Design renews awards for drivers in five IMCA divisions

first_imgWELLINGTON, Kan. – Flow Design rewards the accomplishments of drivers in five IMCA divisions again in 2016.First through fifth place finishers in Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modified, IMCA Late Model, IMCA Sunoco Stock Car, Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod and Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center Southern SportMod national point standings all receive carburetor spacers from the Wellington, Kan., manufacturer.Sixth through 10th place drivers in the same divisions all receive certificates good for 50 percent off the purchase of a carb spacer.Flow Design is in its ninth season as an IMCA marketing partner. Information about Flow Design-made products is avail­able by calling 620 326-3537 and at the www.taylormadeproformance.com website.“The Flow Design carburetor spacers are quality pieces we’ve relied on as part of our contingency offerings for a number of years,” observed IMCA Marketing Director Kevin Yoder. “They make an excellent product and one we’re confident in including in our rules.”last_img read more

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WATCH: Miami Beach Hospital Imploded

first_imgHere in America and especially South Florida we don’t need a huge fire to destroy our buildings…we blow them up on purpose.Old South Shore Hospital on Miami Beach was imploded by a construction crew shortly after 10 a.m., Tuesday.After the controlled explosions, all that was left was rubble.Construction crews will remove the old debris to make way for construction of a new high-rise condominium building.last_img

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Windies urged to seize crucial moments against unbeaten India today

first_imgMANCHESTER, England (CMC) – Captain Jason Holder yesterday said West Indies were still to produce the “complete game” and urged his charges to capitalise on the “crucial moments”, as they looked to halt their losing slump and revive their flagging World Cup campaign against unbeaten powerhouse India here today.The Caribbean side started their World Cup quest with much promise when they crushed Pakistan in their opener at Nottingham but things have gone horribly wrong since, losing four of their last five games to find themselves eighth in the 10-team standings on three points.They have, however, found themselves in positions of strength but failed to cash in. Against Australia, they reduced the reigning World champions to 38 for four after opting to bowl in Nottingham but let them off the hook.Left with 288 to chase, the Windies were 190 for four in the 35th over but suffered a late-order collapse.There were similar indiscretions against Bangladesh and New Zealand which served to derail their campaign and Holder said there was need to correct these if they were to finish the World Cup strongly.Seasoned opener Chris Gayle awaits his turn to bat in the nets in preparation for today’s game against India.“I think at the start of this tournament we all match up every single team and most captains say that it’s a competition where if you play good cricket on any given day, anyone can beat anyone,” Holder told media here.“And it’s just a matter of putting together a complete game. We’ve shown glimpses here and there what we can produce and as a side we just haven’t brought it together collectively more often than not, and it has hurt us in games before.“So tomorrow is another opportunity for us to bring it all together and play a perfect game.”He continued: “We’ve had some close games in our World Cup campaign so far and it just shows … playing a few more scenarios a bit better, who knows what the result could have been. We look back on the games that we’ve played and we definitely didn’t seize crucial moments in certain games.“If you put it into perspective of the teams that are doing well, they’re doing those good things and seizing crucial moments within the game. That’s what’s required in the tournament such as this one.“I think with the exception of the game where we were outplayed by England, I think all the other games we’ve been in them with a chance to win them, but we didn’t seize crucial moments in those games.”West Indies’ last two outings would have been especially heart-breaking. Against Bangladesh in Taunton, they left the Asian side with a record run chase and they easily completed it with 51 balls to spare.And against New Zealand, they fought back from 164 for seven in pursuit of 292 at Old Trafford only to lose with six runs needed from seven balls.Holder said it was important West Indies did not allow the manner of the defeats to impact them negatively.“It’s been two crushing defeats and we felt them drastically over the past couple of days,” Holder acknowledged.“But it’s a situation where learning must take place. I think it’s significant for everybody just to draw on their own resources and look at themselves in the mirror and try to make sure that learning takes place.“And it’s a matter for us just to keep going. There’s no point to drop our heads. We’ve got three games left in this campaign and we’ve got to just win all three games.”India present a monumental challenge for West Indies. Not only have the Virat Kohli side won four of their five matches so far but they have lost only twice to West Indies in their last 10 ODIs inside the last three years.However, Holder said there would be no retreat from his side, as India matches were always fixtures they relished.“I think everybody’s upbeat for the occasion. Playing India is always a big game for West Indies, and we’re looking forward to it,” he stressed.“First we need to finish the campaign as best as we can and our objective is to win all three games.”SQUADS:INDIA – Virat Kohli (captain), Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Vijay Shankar, Rohit Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav.WEST INDIES – Jason Holder (captain), Fabian Allen, Sunil Ambris, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Shannon Gabriel, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Nicholas Pooran, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas.last_img read more

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Badgers open Big Ten play at home

first_imgIn the blink of an eye, the Wisconsin women’s soccer team (5-3-2) has gone from a legitimate top-25 program to a team struggling to find momentum.The once highly ranked Badgers began conference play last weekend, falling to Illinois in overtime, 3-2, and tying Iowa 2-2. The pair of losses knocked the former No. 13 team out of the national rankings this week.Though last weekend’s games were a tough blow for the Badgers, head coach Dean Duerst is hoping to bounce back this weekend.”We need to rebound,” Duerst said. “We are a great team and will find a way. There is a ton of parity in our conference and we know that. We just have to dig down and keep working hard.”The Badgers will attempt a rebound this weekend when they host border rival Minnesota Friday and No. 2 Penn State Sunday.”It’s just going to be a great weekend because this border battle is starting to really grow with our team,” Duerst said.Duerst is setting high expectations for his recovering team, hoping a Friday night game under the lights will motivate the Badgers to a victory.”We have an experienced group of players,” Duerst said about his team. “Our team is very balanced right now in our scoring, which is what a coach wants. We’ve got numerous players getting points for us.”Leading the way for the Badgers are senior forward Amy Vermeulen and junior forward Allison Priess. Vermeulen leads the cardinal and white with five goals. Both Priess and Vermeulen lead Wisconsin in scoring with 10 points apiece.Goalkeepers Lynn Murray and Stefani Szczechowski have combined for 48 saves this season, with Murray accumulating 45 of them.Both goalkeepers will be put to the test Sunday when they face Tiffany Weimer of Penn State. Weimer currently leads the Big Ten with 15 goals and has been the sole leader for the undefeated Nittany Lions.”I think we’re going to have to devise some scheme with Weimer,” Duerst said. “She’s just someone special that has to be paid attention to. We’re ready for that challenge.”Weimer, a Hermann Trophy candidate, garnered Soccer America National Player of the Week Honors after scoring three goals in the Nittany Lions’ Big Ten opening weekend. Weimer has managed to score a goal in all 10 Penn State contests.Last year, the senior pulled off her second career hat-trick en route to leading the Nittany Lions to a 4-0 victory over the Badgers.”Last year we lost pretty badly to them,” assistant coach Carrie Barker said. “I think we need to have a recap and let them know that we are going to remember last year’s game and not be afraid to play them again. It’s important for us to evaluate ourselves.””We are a year older, more experienced and more driven to prove to them that last year’s game was an embarrassment and we will not let that happen again,” Barker said.Both Minnesota and Penn State are coming off overtime wins. Last Sunday Penn State managed to beat Purdue 3-2 and Minnesota defeated Indiana 2-1.The Badgers have seen overtime five times this season, going 1-2-2. Though Duerst said overtime exposure helps the Badgers gain experience, he agrees five is too many.”We’ve played 10 games and five were in overtime,” Duerst said. “As a coach I don’t like that because that’s too many, but it’s given us some great experience as we head into the meat of our season. And, you know, you win some of those, you lose some, you tie some, and it gives you this experience I think which is valuable down the road. And for us to improve and get better each weekend is real important.”The Badgers will host the Gophers Friday at 7 p.m. and the Nittany Lions at 11:30 a.m. Sunday. Both matches will be held at the McClimon Soccer Complex.last_img read more

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