Northampton offices & retail

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

Indonesia, South Korea join hands in COVID-19 response

first_imgBetween the two countries, the COVID-19 outbreak began much earlier in South Korea, near the end of January, whereas Indonesia only reported its first confirmed case in early March.At the time, there were so many unknown factors to the disease, but now Indonesia stands to benefit from the wealth of data available to determine the direction of its COVID-19 response.“[It] would practically make the unknown that little bit more familiar, and researchers could shed more light on what works and what doesn’t or what policies could be pursued,” Umar said during a virtual discussion hosted by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), on Wednesday.South Korea endured one of the worst early outbreaks of the disease outside China, and while it never imposed a compulsory lockdown, strict social distancing had been widely observed since March. Indonesia looks to learn more from South Korea in raising its capacity to curb viral infections, officials have said, as the special strategic partners work together in the multilateral response to the COVID-19 pandemic.Having recorded some of the highest transmission rates in all of Southeast Asia, Indonesia has struggled to “flatten the curve” of infection due to its limited testing capacity and slapdash policy decisions.Indonesian Ambassador to South Korea Umar Hadi said the Korean Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) and other related institutions could help Indonesian authorities respond better to the viral outbreak. Now the South appears to have brought its outbreak under control thanks to an extensive “trace, test and treat” program that has drawn widespread praise, AFP reports.In a population of 51 million, its death toll is little more than 250, and new cases have slowed to just a handful – 13 in the past three days, all of them arriving international passengers.At its peak, the country reported 909 cases in late February, Yonhap news agency reported.In contrast, since President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced the first confirmed cases, Indonesia has recorded 12,776 infections and 930 deaths, according to Thursday’s official tally.“I think Indonesia can learn from this valuable data,” Umar said.“We need a kind of more structured, institutionalized communication or sharing between the KCDC and maybe the BNPB [National Disaster Mitigation Agency] or the Health Ministry in Indonesia so we can also benefit from the data collected in [South] Korea.”CSIS executive director Philips J. Vermonte pointed out that the pandemic had exposed vulnerabilities in various aspects of governance in Indonesia, especially its decision making and institutional capacity.Unlike South Korea, which had taken swift action against the outbreak, Philips said Indonesia had been very slow to respond in the beginning, and then proceeded with a half-hearted policy.The government took almost two weeks after its first COVID-19 case to set up a rapid response team, and the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) were only introduced by the end of March, at a time when more than 1,500 people were already infected by the coronavirus.Since the onset of the pandemic, Indonesia and South Korea have joined hands to cooperate on mitigating the health crisis.In late March, South Korea put Indonesia on its priority list for quarantine supplies exports, which includes test kits.The government in Seoul recently pledged to provide a US$500,000 grant to Indonesia in the form of test kits and rechargeable power sprayers for sanitation.Previously, the head of the national COVID-19 task force, Doni Monardo, said Indonesia exported ready-to-use personal protective equipment (PPE) to South Korea as compensation for procuring raw materials from the South to meet domestic needs.The Foreign Ministry’s director general for Asia, Pacific and African affairs, Desra Percaya, noted that the two countries just concluded negotiations on the Indonesia-South Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IK-CEPA), but said that, “in order for this to work, we should first address, adapt and adjust to the ‘new normal’ by working hand in hand to revive international trade as an engine for growth”.The two countries concluded the negotiations in November last year and look to sign the CEPA by the first half of 2020.South Korean Ambassador to Indonesia Kim Chang-beom hailed the cooperation, saying the two countries have worked well when compared to partnerships with other countries.“President Moon [Jae-in] and President Jokowi spoke the same language when they attended the G20 special virtual summit in April,” he said during the discussion on Wednesday.“And then our foreign ministers Ibu Retno [Marsudi] and Minister Kang [Kyung-hwa] have led efforts to tackle COVID-19 through global collaboration and coordinated responses at various forums.”Topics :last_img read more

Well-Centric secures North Sea contract with Chrysaor

first_imgWell-Centric, a specialist operating in the well integrity and production technology sectors of the oil and gas industry, has secured a contract with independent exploration and production company, Chrysaor.The contract is worth up to £300,000 ($397,800) per year, Well-Centric said on Monday.The one-year contract, which has two, one-year extension options, will see Well-Centric provide offshore services across three North Sea platforms; Lomond, Everest and Armada. Services include surface wellhead and xmas tree repair, testing and maintenance. Annulus top-up operations will also be carried out using Well-Centric’s innovative Annulus Lubrication Filling (ALF) Valve. The company will also be providing workshop testing, refurbishment and storage of equipment.Well-Centric CEO, Gary Smart, said: “Securing this contract was a direct result of work we previously carried out on all three North Sea assets, and demonstrates Chrysaor’s confidence in our ability to successfully deliver efficient and cost-effective services.“Our services are of special benefit to assets operating in the mature phase, such as the Lomond, Everest and Armada platforms. This contract award demonstrates Well-Centric’s capabilities as a multi-disciplined well integrity organisation, and enables us to continue strengthening and optimising our portfolio.Well-Centric, alongside Well-SENSE Technology and ClearWELL Oilfield Solutions, is part of FrontRow Energy Technology Group – a group of complementary upstream oil and gas technology focused businesses.This is yet another in line of contracts awarded by Chrysaor since its takeover of a package of Shell’s North Sea assets. Namely, Chrysaor previously awarded contracts to Stork, Sparrows Group, Return To Scene Limited, and DNV GL.last_img read more

March Madness 2019: Abilene Christian’s Joe Golding wearing celebratory ripped pants vs. Kentucky

first_imgThe Abilene Christian coach ripped his suit pants in celebration when the team won the Southland Conference Tournament, which punched their ticket to March Madness.According to Golding, he has one suit and didn’t have time to get the pants fixed when the team returned to Abilene, Texas, to prepare for the tournament. March Madness 2019: 3 takeaways from Belmont’s First Four win over Temple Related News Joe Golding is going to the Big Dance in ripped pants.No, that’s not a euphemism for anything. “So I’ve got one suit, my man,” Golding told reporters. “I had two suits when the year started. I left one in an airport, true story. Had to go when we played Nicholls State and buy a suit or khaki pants and a shirt. I’m coaching them all in my baby blue suit, and I’m going to have a hole in my butt, man. So it is what it is, man. We’re going to be who we are and go out there and embrace it.”Golding joked he was going to try and use his $1,000 bonus to get a new suit, but that doesn’t kick in until June 1. He also said the “one suit place in town” wasn’t available, so he is having to make due with what he has.No. 15-seeded Abilene Christian will take on No. 2 Kentucky in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday.last_img read more

South African artistic talent goes global

first_imgMinister of Arts and Culture Paul Mashatile said South Africa’s participation is significant for the country and its art community. (Image: Wilma den Hartigh) Kay Hassan, Weighing Time, 2007. Installation with found objects. (Image: SMAC Art Gallery, Stellenbosch and Renzske Scholtz) MEDIA CONTACTS • Fiona Gordon  The Famous Idea  +27 11 446 7046 RELATED ARTICLES • Art infects the Mother City • Giving rhinos a voice through art • ConCourt art tells SA’s story • African Guernica: life becomes art Wilma den HartighSome of South Africa’s top artists will be representing the country at the 55th International Venice Biennale, one of the world’s most prestigious contemporary art exhibitions that takes place every two years in Italy.Speaking at an event yesterday to launch the exhibition, Minister of Arts and Culture Paul Mashatile said South Africa’s participation is significant for the country and its art community.“By participating in events such as the Venice Biennale we are offering massive opportunities for our artists to showcase their talent on the world stage,” Mashatile said.This year the exhibition titled Imaginary Fact; Contemporary South African Art and the Archive, aims to showcase established and upcoming artists who use materials of the past to comment on the contemporary.The Department of Arts and Culture appointed the National Arts Festival (NAF) to curate and stage the South African exhibition.“The exhibition is about the protection and preservation of our national heritage and the symbols and artefacts of that heritage,” Mashatile said. “It is also about using the arts to question and challenge our reading of the past, to reach a new understanding of it and to craft a new and inclusive narrative for our country.”Nomusa Makhuba, a representative of the curatorial advisory committee for Venice, said the NAF is confident the exhibition, which precedes the 20th anniversary of South Africa’s constitutional democracy in 2014, will allow the world to reflect on the country’s history and achievements.“It will also give the international community a window to look into the South African journey from its dark and horrid past to one that promises hope and opportunity,” Makhuba said.The South African exhibition in Venice will take place from 1 June to 24 November 2013. Top artists tell SA’s storyNumerous artists such as David Koloane, whose works were created to interrogate the narratives from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), will be on show in the historic city of Venice.The work of Gerhard Marx, Maja Marx and Philip Miller also draws inspiration from the TRC. The trio, counted amongst South Africa’s leading contemporary composers, created confessional video installations which draw on the opera REwind: A Cantata for Voice, Tape & Testimony, and provides a visual account of the emotions of death, despair and loss that were embedded within the TRC processes.Extending the use of digital images in the exhibition, videos by Penny Siopis will question the myths and narratives around the attempted and later successful assassination of HF Verwoerd, the architect of apartheid.Sue Williamson’s work will explore the psychological and logistical effects of the apartheid pass book, which black people were required to carry with them at the time when travelling outside their homelands or designated areas.Images from Capetonian photographer Andrew Putter’s latest exhibition Native Work will also be on display.The National Arts Festival has commissioned new work from Wim Botha, Kay Hassan and Cameron Platter to be showcased at the Venice Biennale.Other artists who will be representing the country include Joanne Bloch and Johannes Phokela.Work focusing on the experiences which inspired South African artists in the 1950s and 1960s will be featured through the photolithographic work of Sam Nhlengethwa, who is considered one South Africa’s most senior visual artists. Opening doors for SA artistsIn 2011, after South Africa participated in the Biennale again for the first time in years, Mashatile took a strategic decision to ensure that South African art continues to feature prominently on the international stage – in this case the Biennale.The Department of Arts and Culture recently secured a 20-year lease in the Arsenale, Sale d’Armi Building D for the South African exhibitions.Mashatile said since South Africa’s participation in 2011, accomplished artists such as Mary Sibande, a multi-media artist, has been invited to exhibit her work extensively in Italy, France, America, Reunion Island and Holland.“We are confident that the 55th la Biennale di Venezia will be one of our best arts exhibitions at an international level,” Mashatile said.• Slideshow image: David Koloane’s Made in South Africa (Twilight), 1994, oil pastel on paper. Courtesy of artthrob.co.zalast_img read more

Promoting Freedom of Expression and African identity through the use of vernacular languages and inspiring a culture of reading

first_imgJohannesburg, Wednesday 23 October 2019 – “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart,” words once said by the father of the nation, Nelson Mandela.In echoing the sentiments of the former statesman, Brand South Africa and the Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Ms Thembi Siweya are heading to the Eastern Cape, Bizana on Friday, 25 October 2019 to promote freedom of expression and African identity through language, in honour of the late Moses Mtileni, who achieved 3 Masters degrees in African languages.This opportunity also presents Brand South Africa a chance to promote constitutional awareness,  pride and patriotism among South Africans to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.The activation is a collaboration of various primary schools around Bizana  and will see  grade 3 – 4 learners compete in a reading, spelling bee and storytelling competition all crafted in their mother tongue. We see the late Moses Mtileni as an advocate, not only for African languages, but also for the African identity”, said Brand South Africa’s General Manager for Communications, Ms Thoko Modise.“We look forward to conversing with young people to inspire pride in African identity. It is important that young people are reminded that they have a right to use the language and to practice their culture as enshrined in the South African Constitution.”Language and culture Everyone has the right to use the language and to participate in the cultural life of their choice, but no one exercising these rights may do so in a manner inconsistent with any provision of the Bill of Rights. – The Constitution OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, 1996 – CHAPTER 2 BILL OF RIGHTS Media is invited to attend details as follows;Date: 25 October 2019 Venue: Multipurpose Youth Centre, Mbizana Local Municipality, Eastern CapeTime: 08:30 amRSVPS/Enquiries:     Ntombi Ntanzi                             Email: [email protected]                             Mobile number: 064 890 6819 Brand South Africa will also be able to facilitate any requests for interviews.Follow the conversation on  #PlayYourPartlast_img read more

Akwesasne council blasts Public Safety Minister Toews over John Wayne attitude

first_imgAPTN National News OTTAWA–Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has taken on a “John Wayne attitude towards First Nation people” through his government’s plan to create a 50 RCMP officer task force and introduce tougher penalties to fight the underground tobacco trade, according to the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne.Toews announced Tuesday that in addition to a new anti-contraband tobacco unit, the government would introduce a bill to set mandatory minimum jail terms for people involved in the black market tobacco trade.“Sending additional troops from the RCMP isn’t going to resolve the contraband issue,” said a statement from Akwesasne Grand Chief Mike Mitchell. “There are already an insurmountable number of external policing agencies surrounding Akwesasne with the same goal.”Toews’ office did not respond to a request for comment.The RCMP said in an email to APTN National News that the new task force would get no new money and the cost would be absorbed under the existing budget. The RCMP also acknowledged that the rate of tobacco smuggling is decreasing.“The RCMP contraband tobacco seizures have declined over the past few years, which indicates that our efforts have an impact,” said an emailed statement from the RCMP. “However, it remains robust and a lucrative activity for organized crime.”The RCMP said the new task force would deployed “in areas known to have the highest level of contraband tobacco activity” including southern Ontario and the “central St. Lawrence seaway,” which is in and around Akwesasne Mohawk territory.The majority of black market tobacco flows from the U.S., through Akwesasne and into markets across Canada. There are also informal cigarette factories in Kahnawake, which sits next to Montreal, and Six Nations, which is also home to an established tobacco firm called Grand River Enterprises.Akwesasne has also seen a high level of marijuana, cocaine and human trafficking flow through its territory and the presence of organized crime elements has created tensions with local residents.The Akwesasne council, however, said no amount of policing could ever stem the flow of smuggling because it thrives from the jurisdictional tangle that covers the Mohawk territory. Akwesasne district Chief Steve Thomas said Toews should have first visited and met with the people of Akwesasne before launching another wrong-headed plan against the tobacco trade.“(Toews) would see that the problem isn’t the people of Akwesasne, but the multitude of borders that dissect Akwesasne into two countries, two provinces and one state,” said Thomas, in the statement. “The international boundary line zigzags around islands in the St. Lawrence River, making it extremely difficult for contraband to be seized and this weakness has been exploited by external criminal organizations.”The territory of Akwesasne, which sits about 120 kilometres west of Montreal, crosses the Quebec, Ontario and New York State borders.“The long-term solution…is removing the international boundary to one side or the other of Akwesasne…This would make our community whole again and the jurisdictional issues we face would cease to exist,” said Mitchell.Akwesasne is currently negotiating with the Ontario and Quebec governments to legalize the tobacco trade through internal self regulation.In the statement, the Akwesasne council said it is trying to replace the tobacco economy, which has kept the community from falling into abject poverty, with other types of economic development. The Mohawks own “nearly a hundred miles of islands” in the St. Lawrence River and are looking to develop cottage and tourism industries.“Harsher sentences and more police are not the solution to a larger economic issue,” said the statement from the Akwesasne Mohawk Council. “Minister Toews seems to be bent on becoming a poster child of Idle No More with his John Wayne attitude towards First Nations people.”First Nations people introduced Europeans to tobacco and the plant is used in sacred ceremonies. Many Mohawks see the tobacco trade as a right and do not recognize international boundaries imposed by nations they view as foreign.last_img read more

Rep Cole bill allows private marriages between minors to be made public

first_img Local couple celebrating 50th anniversary wants to see their marriage on public recordState Rep. Triston Cole (left) testified with Bonnie and Doug Dean in support of his bill to allow private marriages between minors to be made public after both parties are at least 18.The House Families, Children, and Seniors Committee today approved legislation authored by state Rep. Triston Cole to allow private marriages between minors to be made public after both parties are at least 18.Under current law, only persons at least 18 years of age may be married without parental consent. However, a probate judge may marry, without publicity, minors between the ages of 16 and 18 years old if these individuals have their parents’ permission.There is nothing in the statute allowing these individuals’ marriage records to be made public once they both reach 18 years of age. The bill would allow the court to unseal the record of their marriage.Bonnie and Doug Dean testified with Cole about having a “secret marriage.” Last summer they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. The only gift they were asking for is the ability to see their marriage on public record.“These marriages should not be hidden away based solely on the age of the individuals,” said Cole, of Mancelona. “The bill would allow for these secret marriages to be made public after both parties involved are no longer minors.”The legislation will allow marriage licenses to be unsealed upon the following conditions:·         All petitioners were married without publicity under section 1 of the act.·         The petitioners are both at least 18 years of age at the time of the filing.·         Both of the petitioners wish to unseal the record of the marriage.Once the petition has been received and the court determines the above qualifications are met, the court shall forward a copy of the license and certificate of marriage to the clerk in the county the license was issued. The court shall also forward a copy of the marriage record to the state registrar.House Bill 4802 moves to the full House for consideration.### 05Oct Rep. Cole bill allows private marriages between minors to be made public Categories: Cole Newslast_img read more