Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Grey mattersOn 1 Apr 2003 in Personnel Today Employment rights for retirement-age staff, anti-ageism legislation andchanges to pensions provision are all up for grabs as employers struggle withtheir demographic destiny. Sue Nickson advises on what it means for HR policiesPeople are living and working longer than ever before, and the birth rate isin decline, a trend which is likely to continue for at least 20 years. TheOffice for National Statistics predicts 35 per cent of the workforce will beaged over 45 by 2005, rising to 40 per cent by 2010. Politicians and employers are having to address the complex consequences ofthis demographic trend, for working patterns, retirement ages and pensions. Itseems inevitable that as the population ages, it will become necessary forpeople to work longer. Recent challenges to the validity of UK legislation onunfair dismissal and redundancy rights of the over-65s, together with theEuropean-led drive towards age equality in the workplace, are adding to thedebate on what are and will be acceptable (and legal) age-related practices inthe workplace. Current legislation: unfair dismissal and redundancy Currently, employees who have reached 65, or the normal retirement age for thejob (NRA), are not eligible for statutory redundancy payments and cannotgenerally bring unfair dismissal claims (under sections 156 and 109 EmploymentRights Act 1996). The validity of these exclusions has been in question forsome time. Most recently, in Harvest Town Circle Ltd v Rutherford 2001, claimsfor unfair dismissal and a redundancy payment were brought by Rutherford, whoat 67 was on the face of it excluded from both by his age. It was argued thatthe upper age limit discriminated against men and amounted to unlawful sexdiscrimination, which could not be justified. At first instance, the tribunal agreed. But in August 2002, the Stratfordtribunal – following guidance from the EAT – considered detailed statisticalevidence and found the exclusion did have a disproportionate and unjustifiableimpact upon men. This decision dealt with the statistics at such length and in such detail,that other tribunals are unlikely to dispute the point about disproportionateimpact. It would be a brave employer that took on the burden of disproving thestatistics relied on in this case for some time to come, not least because itwould probably be more expensive to do so than just conceding unfair dismissal.The Secretary of State’s appeal is to be heard by the EAT in May. Future legislation: age discrimination At present, there is no legislation outlawing age discrimination, despiteevidence which suggests it is not a minority issue. A recent report by the Employers’ Forum on Age estimated the annual cost ofageism to the economy is £31bn. While the Government has extolled the economic and social advantages of anage-inclusive workforce, this is supported only by a non-enforceable Code ofPractice, the current version of which is Age Diversity at Work 2002. However, the Government has until December 2006 to implement its commitmentunder Article 13 of the EU Employment Directive 2000 to put in place agediscrimination legislation. In the consultation exercise on the FrameworkDirective (Equality and Diversity: The Way Ahead), which closed in January2003, the Government made certain basic proposals for age discriminationlegislation. A second round of consultation will commence this spring, followedby a final consultation on the draft regulations in spring 2004. The Governmentenvisages the regulations will be in force no earlier than December 2006. The Government proposes that like existing anti-discrimination legislation,the age regulations will outlaw direct discrimination, indirect discrimination,harassment and victimisation. The Directive applies to: – access to employment, self employment or occupation, (including selectioncriteria and recruitment conditions in all branches of activity and includingpromotion) – access to vocational guidance, training, and work experience – employment and working conditions, including dismissals and pay – membership of and involvement in a workers’ or employers’ or employmentorganisation or any professional organisation – virtually all categories of worker except, in most cases, the genuinelyself employed. It will outlaw unjustified age discrimination for all relevantworkers, young or old The Directive allows for justified differences of treatment when acharacteristic constitutes a genuine occupational qualification for the job. Italso provides that differences of treatment on grounds of age may be”objectively and reasonably justified” by a legitimate aim within thecontext of national law. There will no doubt be considerable debate on thispoint during the consultation exercise. The Directive itself gives examples of when discrimination might bejustified, to include allowing: – Special conditions in respect of certain age groups “in order topromote their vocational integration or ensure their protection” – The fixing of minimum conditions of age, professional experience orseniority in service for access to employment or certain advantages linked toemployment – The fixing of a maximum age for recruitment based on the trainingrequirement of the post in question or the need for a reasonable period ofemployment before retirement So far as compulsory retirement is concerned, the Directive will meanemployers will not be able to impose their own retirement age, unless there arecircumstances peculiar to the business which provide an objectivejustification. Future legislation: pensions and tax Increased longevity is posing complex challenges for the affordability ofpensions. While most workers hope for continued rising standards of living inretirement, as many as 3 million people are estimated to be saving inadequatelyfor that purpose. At the same time, occupational schemes are under pressurefrom rising costs, with some schemes being closed or employer contributionscut. The Government’s proposals in the face of this are contained in twoprinciple documents. The Department for Work and Pensions has published a GreenPaper entitled Simplicity, Security and Choice: Working and saving forRetirement. The Treasury and Inland Revenue have also published proposals forthe simplification of pensions taxation in Simplifying the taxation ofpensions: increasing choice and flexibility for all. Both principal documentsare consultation papers. The consultation for the Green Paper closed on 28March. The consultation on the tax proposals closes on 11 April. Although there are no proposals to increase the state pension age, the GreenPaper does propose that people should be encouraged to work past 65 bydeveloping the concept of flexible and phased retirement. It is also proposedthat from 2010, people should gain at least 10 per cent for each year that theydelay drawing their pension (compared to 7.5 per cent now). Further, peopleshould be allowed to remain in the same employment while receiving any pensionbuilt up in that job (this is prohibited under the current tax system).Tax-efficient early retirement, except in cases of ill health, will move fromage 50 to 55 from 2010. The Government hopes to introduce the tax changes vialegislation from April 2004. The combined effect of these age-related issues will be profound. Employersneed to be prepared for the changes ahead if they are to make appropriate andtimely changes to policies, procedures and practices. Those who participate inthe current consultation process on the scope and shape of impending agediscrimination and pension legislation, will be contributing enormously to theobjective of having workable and effective legislation. Sue Nickson is head of employment at Hammonds Over 65s dismissal and redundancy– Pending appeal, employees over theNRA, or if there is none 65, can bring claims for unfair dismissal orredundancy. This is regardless of whether there is a contractual retirementage. It is likely that all such claims will be stayed during the appealprocess, which could go as far as the ECJ and may therefore take many months toresolve– Do not assume that all employees will wish to retire at theNRA or 65. Communicate with those approaching retirement age to discuss theirexpectations and needs– Explore possibilities for alternative employment and/orworking patterns where necessary or desired – Do not rely on impending retirement to resolve problemsrelating to discipline, performance or sickness with older employees; followfair and appropriate procedures in all cases. Assume a genuine and fair reasonfor dismissal will be required, and that a fair procedure towards dismissalmust be followed – Do not select for redundancy by reason of ageMany believe older workers bringbenefits to business such as:– Improved staff retention rates– Higher staff morale– Decreased short-term absenteeism– Higher productivity– Improved public image– Widened customer base– Increased breadth of skillsAvoiding ageism in the workplace– Review the wording of job ads toensure they do not contain age discriminatory conditions– Review or draw up workable policies to avoid any inference ofdiscrimination which could be based on age– Agree a fair and consistent retirement policy with employees.The policy should not impose a ‘normal’ or contractual retirement age unlessthere are particular business circumstances which provide an objectivejustification, and should include the use of flexible, extended or phasedretirement options and/or flexible work patterns such as part-time work, jobsharing and secondments – Regularly analyse the age profile of the business to assessthe age diversity of the workforce– Review pay, incentive and reward schemes to ensure theyobjectively and fairly reward skill and productivity, rather than longevity– Review redundancy selection criteria and policies to ensurepeople are not selected for age-related reasons Previous Article Next Article
TRUMP VS HILLARY – EMBARRASSMENT VS EVILMaking Sense by Michael ReaganEveryone knows I’m not a Trump supporter.He’s personally embarrassing.He has embarrassed the Republican Party.He has embarrassed the country.He’s right about many things. And he did much better at the second debate.But it doesn’t matter. Unless there’s a miracle, he’s going to lose to Hillary.He’s going to be defeated by the weakest, most unlikable, least trustable candidate the Democrats have nominated since, well, her husband.It’s not just Hillary we’ll be stuck with for four years, by the way. It’ll be a two-fur.We’ll also get four more years of her dirty old man, Bill, who singlehandedly did more to debase and embarrass the office of president than anyone.America is already in big trouble. I’m 71 and I won’t live to see it, but it’s going to get worse before it gets better.It really makes me sad to think about what’s happening to the country, or why.Most young people — the millennial voters everyone’s trying to please — don’t have a clue what’s going wrong now because they don’t know anything about history.They don’t know how America got to be great, or how much better off they are than their parents or grandparents — or why.They don’t know where their great country came from, or who built it, or why immigrants came here, or why the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.For them, American history started with the iPhone, Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders promise of free college.I was talking to my 38-year-old son the other day. He’s got a 9-month-old daughter and he’s worried about her future.So am I.What kind of country is she going to find after four or — God forbid — eight years of a Clinton co-presidency?Everyone who reads this column knows how I feel about Donald Trump. Trump knows how I feel about Trump. My father in heaven knows.I’m embarrassed. My father would be embarrassed. My mother would be embarrassed. My stepmother would be embarrassed. And rightly so.Trump is no conservative, no Republican, no gentleman, no policy wonk, no answer to America’s prayers or needs — at home or overseas.Trump is Trump, and always will be. He has been as embarrassing as he is now since the day he started to run.The purists on talk radio and in the conservative movement, and the GOP establishment– the chickens who let Trump steal their party instead of their ideas — are jumping ship like rats.Trump isn’t perfect as a human being or a Republican and never will be.But I’m willing to be embarrassed by him for four years if that’s what it takes to stop Hillary.America can’t afford to have her in charge for one hour.Her bad economic ideas, her dishonesty, her corrupt politics, her slimy friends, her Supreme Court choices and her phony family’s family values will start us down a path that will lead to the destruction of the American way of life.That scary thought far outweighs any concern — and embarrassment — I’d have voting for Donald Trump.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
Joanne Massey Is Someone Whose Passions Have Enabled Her To Live Her Dream.By Bryan FoxMost of us can’t say we’ve lived our dream. Sure, we all have envisioned what our future lives will be like as children, but usually those childhood dreams fade away. For one tri-state resident, this is not the case. Local artist Joanne Scott Massey has been\ able to fulfill her lifelong passion of creating artwork and mentoring others who share these passions.A graduate of the University of Southern Indiana in Fine Art, Joanne began to pursue her love for art at a young age. In fact, she grew up in a family of artists. “It’s been a lifelong interest. My sister, mother, and grandmother were all artists,” Joannesaid.On her website at joannemasseyfineart.com, Joanne showcases her artwork. Most of her paintings could be considered realism in style and done in acrylic painting. She loves painting flowers and landscapes. Joanne also enjoys working with clay.Much of her pottery work is also on her website. Some of her pottery work include making a resemblance of a sunflower, a koi pond, and floral bowls.As for Joanne’s influences, the one artist she referenced is the renowned Georgia O’Keefe, who was also known for large flower paintings. However, she said she gains inspiration from many of her friends who are also artists.Joanne Massey also teaches art classes at Angel Mounds in Newburgh. She teaches classes at all levels. ” It is so rewarding to see someone learn to paint while their enjoyment and growth evolve! I think everyone has an artist inside of them. All you need is desire, and a good coach,” Massey says.Joanne has many of her paintings in private and public collections, including many paintings in the Deaconess Hospital collection.Joanne also sells her artwork. If your interested in buying a Joanne Massey original, feel free to visit her website. You can also purchase her artwork locally by visiting the Rumjahn Gallery, Basket kases, and the aforementioned Angel Mounds.She is married to prominent and highly respected attorneyTom Massey and they have 3 children. Oldest daughter Rachel lives in Indianapolis and is a Scientist for Eli Lilly. Middle son Scott, is a senior at Purdue and is graduating this spring with a degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology and starting his own business, ” Hydro Grow”. The Massey’s youngest Ellie is graduating high school in May and plans to go to Purdue to study Industrial Management.In conclusion, Joanne Scott Massey is someone whose passions have enabled her to live her dream.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
== ABI head retires ==Alan Hempton, managing director of Allied Bakeries Ireland (ABI), has retired after 45 years in the trade. He joined the business as a 16-year-old apprentice engineer in 1964 and went on to become managing director in 1987. In his time as MD, ABI began exporting to the Republic of Ireland in 1991 and to Great Britain in ’98. Hempton notes the success of Kingsmill as one of his career highlights. An announcement on the new MD is expected later this month.== Fired-up Bells ==Bells of Lazonby, which installed the UK’s first wood-fired rack oven, built by Acrivarn in 2001, says it is now in 24-hour use. “We installed it for environmental reasons, but the recent increase in fossil fuel costs means it has also proved significantly cheaper,” says owner Michael Bell.== Costa tops poll ==Costa Coffee has been voted the best coffee chain by customers who rate its friendly staff and tidy stores more highly than its main rivals. Costa beat Caffè Nero into second place, with Starbucks and Coffee Republic in third and fourth respectively, in consultancy firm him!’s Coffee Chain Customer Tracking Programme, which asked customers to rate their visits on quality of drinks, choice of food and time spent queuing.== Competition raisins ==There are less than two months left to enter California Raisins’ innovation competition, which involves developing new products using California Raisins. The winning bakery business will get its hands on thousands of pounds worth of advertising for the product and free PR for the company. The closing date for entries is 31 March. For details, call 020 8741 8513 or email [email protected]
Politically engaged young people have a historic opportunity to help heal the deep national rifts exposed during the presidential campaign, two prominent speakers told student leaders from campuses across the country at a Harvard forum Saturday.Doris Kearns Goodwin, the veteran presidential historian and commentator, said the current generation has come along “at a time when divisiveness in our country is as great as certainly it’s ever been in my lifetime.”“If this is your rendezvous with destiny to figure out how to better heal some of those wounds and get politics into a place where people can work together again, then it’s great to have that challenge for you,” Goodwin told the assembled students at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics.The panel discussion featuring Goodwin and veteran political analyst David Gergen was among the highlights of the Institute of Politics’ 2017 National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement conference. Seventy student representatives from 28 campuses took part in the three-day event, which this year focused on how to reconnect the nation’s factions.“There is a real spike now in interest in your generation about what can we do to help … how do we make a difference. I think this is a moment to be asking that question, and this is the opportunity to get engaged,” said Gergen, a professor of public service and co-director of the Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership. Gergen advised four U.S. presidents.Massachusetts Congressman Joseph Kennedy delivers the keynote address to the conference participants. Photo by Martha StewartJoe Goodwin ’01, J.D. ’13, the director of the conference, said the election revealed the deep divides in the nation. “We are saying to the kids: ‘We understand the problem, but instead of hand-wringing, let’s roll up our sleeves and find a way’” to reconnect people, said Goodwin, a son of Doris Kearns Goodwin.He said an aim of the conference, which also included a student town hall, break-out sessions, and a keynote address by U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy, was for students to devise strategies they can pursue on their own campuses with help from the Institute of Politics.Nivedita Khandkar ’19, student chair of the conference organizing committee, said she was impressed at “how respectful the discussion was … It’s kind of a model for how I think society should look.” Khandkar said she hoped her fellow students “will leave with a sense of hope rather than the sense of fear and worry that I know a lot of people have.”Jalen Jennings, a junior from Tennessee State University, said he enjoyed meeting students from across the country and hearing their thoughts. “We all have different views, [but] you come together and you find that in some ways we have the same ideas in some areas,” he said. Jennings, who took part in a breakout group that focused on social media, added, “We are trying to come up with different ideas to make sure news gets published to social media sites that is more credible,” a subject he plans to pursue on his own campus.Shae Omonijo, a junior from the University of Chicago, said a major issue discussed at the conference was that “students really don’t know how to run for a local position,” or even how to become involved in “simple campus engagement like student government.” She hopes to create a document guiding students on her campus on running for office.Natalie Hagy, a junior from Ohio State University, said that as a political moderate in America today, “I feel right now like I’m watching a food fight. I’m just kind of between both sides … I think this conference has kind of energized me a little bit in that aspect” by spurring participants to seek common ground on core issues.Conference Director Joe Goodwin implores participants to take the lessons learned back to their campuses across the country to help heal the divided nation. Photo by Martha StewartAt the forum, Gergen said he understood the direction of President Trump’s early tenure, but that it can lead to other problems.“It’s natural he wants to keep the coalition behind him,” he said. “But increasingly his problem is that he is playing so exclusively to his base that it’s scaring a lot of other Americans, causing enormous distress. And very importantly, it is really, really alienating a lot of our friends and allies around the world at an extraordinarily fast pace.”Gergen and Goodwin cited instances when the nation has faced similar divisions, though episodes that had starkly different outcomes. The fight over extending slavery, for example, led to war. But in other periods, notably the Civil Rights Movement, a fiercely divided nation ultimately came together, Gergen said.Both speakers noted the importance of having unifying leaders as a key to bridging the political divides. They said young people have a vital role to play, including in the current climate.Gergen, who served in the White House when President Richard Nixon was embroiled in the Watergate scandal, observed, “I’m more worried today about the future of this country than I was in Watergate. This is serious stuff, and we really need you to be engaged.”
Vice president for finance Shannon Cullinan will succeed John Affleck-Graves as executive vice president starting July 1, the University announced in a press release Wednesday. Additionally, Notre Dame announced that administrators Micki Kidder and Mike Seamon will take on newly created roles and chief of staff of the president’s office Ann Firth was promoted to vice president.“[Cullinan] combines expertise in financial management with wide administrative experience and broad engagement with the academy,” University President Fr. John Jenkins said in the release. “Above all, he brings a deep commitment to the mission of Notre Dame. I am excited to have him in this new role.”John J. Brennan, chair of the Board of Trustees, praised Cullinan for his previous work at the University.“There is no one better qualified than Shannon Cullinan to succeed John Affleck-Graves,” Brennan said in the release. “He is already one of the reasons that Notre Dame enjoys a well-deserved reputation nationally for being a superbly managed University.”Cullinan said he was excited to take on the new role and expressed his appreciation for John Affleck-Graves’ service to the University.“I am deeply humbled by this opportunity and grateful to my predecessors who wisely shaped the Executive Vice President’s Division, dating back to the original visionary, Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C.,” Cullinan said in the release. “I also want to thank John Affleck-Graves for his extraordinary legacy of stewardship and selfless dedication to our employees, especially our staff.”The University announced Affleck-Graves’ retirement in a press release Aug. 22, after 15 years in his role as executive vice president. According to the announcement, since 2004, when Affleck-Graves began his tenure, the University’s endowment has grown from $3.5 billion to $11.8 billion and its operating budget has increased from $650 million to $1.5 billion. Additionally, Notre Dame has added 3.3 million square feet in new structures, through the 36 buildings constructed under Affleck-Graves’s tenure, including the Campus Crossroads project.In succeeding Affleck-Graves, Cullinan will be the chief financial officer of the University, supervising its investment and finance offices, which include Notre Dame’s “$13 billion endowment and $1.6 billion operating budget,” the release said. As executive vice president, he will also supervise the offices of facilities, design and operations; information technology; and human resources, according to the release.A 1993 alumnus, Cullinan holds a bachelor’s degree in accountancy and a master of business administration degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, the release said. He has worked at Notre Dame since 2000, serving as assistant vice president for public affairs and communications and later as assistant vice president for development and associate vice president for campus services.Cullinan took on the role of associate vice president for university relations in 2011 and worked alongside the Board of Trustees, administration and the University relations team. He became vice president for finance in 2016, according to the release, and was responsible for the offices of budget, procurement services, treasury services, financial planning, Northeast neighborhood development and the controller’s group.Cullinan has served as associate executive director of the Center for the Homeless and is the recipient of a Notre Dame Presidential Leadership Award.Also in Wednesday’s press release, the University announced additional changes to its administration.Associate vice president and executive director of development Micki Kidder will take on the new role of vice president for University enterprises and events, according to the release. Kidder’s position includes overseeing campus food services operations, heading University events — like commencement and concerts — and overseeing “university enterprises” such as the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore, licensing, McKenna Hall, the Morris Inn and St. Michael’s Laundry.Mike Seamon, who currently serves as vice president for campus safety and event management, will be appointed to the new role of vice president for campus safety and University operations. He will continue to head the Emergency Management Program, Notre Dame Security Police, the Notre Dame Fire Department and risk management and safety. Additionally, the release said, he will now oversee Land O’Lakes, the office of sustainability, building services, warehouse delivery and transportation and “other operations vital to the life of Notre Dame.”Both Kidder and Seamon will take on their new positions starting March 1, the release said.Jenkins has also promoted chief of staff Ann Firth to vice president, according to the release. In addition to advising the president and overseeing the president’s staff, Firth will help implement “key initiatives of the President’s Office” and serve as a liaison between the office and the Board of Trustees. Her new position is effective immediately, the release said.Tags: Ann Firth, Chief of Staff, Executive Vice President, John Affleck-Graves, Micki Kidder, Mike Seamon, Shannon Cullinan, vice president for Campus Safety and University Operations, vice president for University Enterprises and Events
A few days of sunshine can make a gardener forget El Nino. It’s rained all winter, but spring is here. It’s hard to resist working the garden. A University of Georgia scientist, though, has a word of advice: resist. Don’t be in such a hurry, said Wayne McLaurin, an Extension Service horticulturist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. First, be sure it’s not too wet to plow. “If you turn the soil when it’s too wet,” McLaurin said, “you’ll create a lot of hard clods that will take years to get rid of.” That’s especially true with heavier clay soils. “Sandy soils,” he said, “will be a little more forgiving.” Georgia has been inundated with rains this winter. A week into March, McLaurin figured it was “probably too wet to plow anywhere in the state.” So even though the average-last-frost dates are easing by, and spring gardening fever is mounting, don’t start working the garden soil until you’re sure it’s ready. “The soil will compact on you,” McLaurin said. “The implements you use to loosen up the soil will do just the opposite, creating hard-glazed clods that water can’t penetrate.” It’s almost like making rocks. “It will be very hard to break them up later,” he said. You can tell if your garden soil is dry enough to be worked, he said. Just dig down three or four inches with your hand and squeeze a clod of soil the size of a tennis ball. “Then if you tap it with your finger and it breaks up, it’s ready to work,” McLaurin said. “Or you can drop it, and if it shatters, it’s time to begin turning the soil.” If the clod holds together, he said, you’d best peruse those catalogs a little longer before starting this year’s garden.
On Monday, Garnar says masks will be available at select schools where people pick up meals. He says distribution plans are still being finalized. Broome County April 23 coronavirus update There are 143 active cases of the coronavirus in Broome County. 86 people recovered from the virus. Broome County Executive Jason Garnar says the three victims were a woman over the age of 100, a woman in her 60s and a man in his 90s. Garnar says county residents will be able to pick up masks at Otsiningo Park and the old Macy’s building in the Oakdale Mall from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Masks distribution The county executive says county agencies are working on ways to deliver masks to people who cannot leave their homes. (WBNG) — Three more people have died from COVID-19 in Broome County bringing the county total to 15. If you have more questions, call 211. Coronavirus numbers 68,000 masks were donated to the county by the state and federal government. There is a limit of one mask per person and five masks per household. For a map detailing where cases are located in the county, click here. In total, the county has reported 244 positive cases of the virus.
Other experts said faulty tests may be playing a role, or remnants of the virus may still be in patients’ systems but not be infectious or of danger to the host or others.The 116 cases is more than double the 51 such cases South Korea reported a week earlier.South Korea plans to send 600,000 coronavirus testing kits to the United States on Tuesday in the first such shipment following a request from U.S. President Donald Trump, a Seoul official told Reuters on Monday.Government leaders, meanwhile, called on South Koreans to continue to follow guidelines and restrictions on social gatherings, but hinted that such measures could soon be eased. South Korea reported on Monday that at least 116 people initially cleared of the new coronavirus had tested positive again, although officials suggested they would soon look at easing strict recommendations aimed at preventing new outbreaks.South Korea reported only 25 new cases overall on Monday, but the rise in “reactivated” patients has raised concerns as the country seeks to stamp out infections.Officials are still investigating the cause of the apparent relapses. But Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), has said the virus may have been reactivated rather than the patients being re-infected. South Korea has called on residents to follow strict social distancing until at least April 19, but as cases have dropped and the weather has improved, a growing number of people have been flouting the guidelines.At a meeting on disaster management on Monday, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said the government would soon be looking to loosen the guidelines, which call for people to stay at home, avoid social gatherings of any type, and only go out for essential reasons.”Later this week, we plan to review our intensive social distancing campaign that we have carried out so far and discuss whether we will switch to routine safety measures” he said.Some local governments have imposed stricter measures, including closing bars and nightclubs, banning large demonstrations, and limiting church services.Chung cautioned that even when the restrictions are eased, the country will not return to life as before the outbreak.”We need a very cautious approach because any premature easing of social distancing could bring irreversible consequences, and have to ponder deeply about when and how we switch to the new system,” he said. Topics :
The Twitter account of Pandu Riono, an epidemiologist from the University of Indonesia (UI), was hijacked on Wednesday evening by unidentified hackers who posted several tweets.The handle, @drpriono, posted a picture of Pandu and a woman at 9:59 p.m., with that caption read: “After [spending a] holiday with [my] young mistress.”Five minutes later, the account posted another picture showing Pandu with the same woman accompanied by the caption: “My romantic night with her who will be my mistress.” The tweets were deleted on Thursday morning.Pandu confirmed to tempo.co on Thursday that his Twitter account had been hacked. The motive behind the breach is still unclear.Read also: Jokowi administration spends Rp 90.4 billion on ‘influencers’: ICWPandu is known for being a vocal critic of the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the hacking, he criticized the potential COVID-19 remedies developed by Airlangga University in cooperation with the Indonesian Army and the State Intelligence Agency (BIN).The university’s rector Muhammad Nasih touted the supposed remedies as the first COVID-19 cure in the world. He said three combinations of medications – lopinavir/ritonavir and azithromycin, lopinavir/ritonavir and doxycycline and hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin – had already undergone clinical trials.Pandu said the medications had not be registered for clinical trials under the World Health Organizations (WHO), which has cautioned against physicians and medical associations recommending or administering unproven treatments to COVID-19 patients.The UI epidemiologist added that the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) had the right to decline authorization for the use of the medications.“There should be clinical trials [to check] whether all processes have followed correct procedures,” Pandu said on Monday, as quoted by tempo.co.Read also: Government critic faces incitement charges after WhatsApp hackedThe BPOM said on Wednesday that additional trials needed to be conducted as it had found several critical findings that affected the tests’ validity.He also slammed the university for not reporting the research findings to the BPOM, but rather handing over the process to the BIN and the Army.Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) chairwoman Asfinawati condemned the hacking and called on authorities to investigate the matter. “There should be an investigation into the case because it often happens to those who are critical against the government.” (trn)Topics :