‘Postpone local elections or outcome will be subpar’

first_imgA high possibility of a low voter turnout, coupled with increased probability of money politics in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, will compromise the integrity of the December 2020 simultaneous regional elections and will likely result in local leaders having low electoral support from the public, experts have said.Considering that possible scenario, election observers and political analysts speaking during a webinar organized by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on Wednesday called for a delay in the implementation of the simultaneous regional elections in 270 regencies and municipalities until there are new rules and regulations that can guarantee the safety of both voters and political candidates.Political analyst Hadar Nafis Gumay of the Network for Democracy and Electoral Integrity said there should be an assurance that all electoral processes could guarantee the safety of everyone involved and that under the current arrangement there were enough loopholes that could put everyone at risk of catching COVID-19. “Elections and pandemics don’t mix. Elections are loud, and pandemics should be quiet. We need to have new rules for having an election during a pandemic. The General Elections Commission [KPU] has inserted some new articles on social distancing measures, but they were very narrow. This goes beyond technical regulations. We need to change the law on regional elections,” said Hadar, a former KPU commissioner himself.Hadar said the proposed new elections law, which the government could write in six months, should guarantee the integrity of the elections and that all processes involved would be of high quality. “The benchmark of a good election is participation. With COVID-19, people will be reluctant to join the process and there will be not too many parties monitoring the process. The new law should address this,” Hadar said, adding that the government should only delay the elections by up to six months.Holding regional elections during the COVID-19 pandemic would only encourage candidates, especially the incumbents, to engage in money politics as well as abuse the pandemic relief efforts to their benefit, Hadar said.”The contest will be an unequal one. Incumbents will abuse COVID-19 relief funds to get more support, while voters, who have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic, will be more accommodating to illicit practices,” he said. Topics :center_img Political observer Djohermansyah Djohan of the Institute of Public Administration (IPDN) argued that such corrupt practices would only perpetuate the culture of corruption among local leaders who were voted into office in December elections.”Candidates who win in this year’s elections may not be able to exercise good leadership during their upcoming tenures, and this could eventually cause political instability in their respective regions,” he said.Given such a risk, Djohermansyah also called on the government to delay the regional elections.”We all want the elections to produce leaders who are capable and have the integrity to resist any kind of corruption. Therefore, I think it’s best for the government to postpone the elections until the risks can be mitigated,” he said.Since May, civil society organizations and election activists have been calling on the government to postpone the elections, in which 270 regional leaders will be elected, comprising nine governors, 224 regents and 37 mayors, due to public health risks.Critics have also aired concern that the elections will have poor quality of outcomes due to the expected low voter turnout and rampant practices of vote-buying to lure voters.Aside from those concerns, they have also questioned candidates’ leadership qualities, since several of them are going to have no opponents in this year’s elections. The KPU has recorded that 24 out of 734 candidates in this year’s elections will be uncontested — surging significantly from only three candidates in the 2015 polls. Two candidates running this year are President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s son Gibran Rakabuming Raka and his son-in-law Bobby Nasution.Epidemiologist Pandu Riono of the University of Indonesia has called on the government to delay the elections until the COVID-19 pandemic can be brought under the control.”The infection rate will continue to rise up until December, when we have the regional elections, and this shows that the pandemic is not yet under control. But the government has already talked about ending the pandemic, and this language has been used to justify the decision to press ahead with holding regional elections,” Pandu said in the same webinar.Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD said the government would welcome any suggestions to improve the quality of regional elections, which he said had often produced corrupt regional leaders.“We are more than happy to receive input to have better arrangements for better regional elections, which we can apply for the upcoming regional elections,” Mahfud said. “But we will discuss that when the December polls are over.”last_img read more

Read More

FSB adds ‘reach for yield’ to pension fund vulnerability list

first_imgThe Financial Stability Board (FSB) has added to its list of “potential vulnerabilities” of pension funds following feedback to a consultation on proposals for policy recommendations arising from concerns over the financial stability implications of asset management.The FSB yesterday published its final policy recommendations for tackling “structural vulnerabilities” from asset management activities.Like the consultation document that preceded it, yesterday’s report includes an annex setting out the FSB’s thinking about the vulnerabilities that pension funds could pose from a financial-stability perspective.This is relevant to its work on methodologies to decide whether financial institutions other than banks and insurers – such as asset managers, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds – should be deemed of global systemic importance; this would lead to a G-SIFI designation and come with rules. Pension funds could yet also still be deemed “systemically important” financial institutions, with the FSB having in its June 2016 consultation document said it may consider financial stability risks posed by pension funds when it resumes its work on these G-SIFI assessment methodologies.The same point is made in its final policy recommendations report, but its list of “potential vulnerabilities” of pension funds has been expanded.A new risk has been added to this list, to do with the “reach for yield and portfolio balancing”.The FSB said the low-interest-rate environments could cause pension funds, particularly defined benefit (DB) plans, to “reach for yield”, in particular as the funding status of some DB schemes has deteriorated.“Furthermore, recent moves into higher-risk credit securities and credit-intensive alternative assets could result in large, unexpected losses should market conditions deteriorate,” it said.A spokesman at the FSB told IPE the addition resulted from findings from comments received on the report, such as from BlackRock, the Investment Association and the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation, as well as from internal analysis.last_img read more

Read More

Bulldog Netters Victorious Over Olympians

first_imgBatesville defeated Columbus East 5-0 on Thursday.#1 Singles- Lleyton Ratcliffe defeated Luke Miller 6-2, 6-0#2 Singles- Sam Giesting defeated Nathan Jackson Stevens 6-2, 6-4#3 Singles- Adam Scott was defeated Nathan Hatchett 6-0, 6-1#1 Doubles- Cooper Williams/George Ritter defeated Jalen Pleak/JT Kuhlman 6-3, 6-0#2 Doubles- Lane Oesterling/Brayden Worthington defeated Derek Heideman/Pranav Kumar 6-2, 6-3In JV, Batesville defeated East 2-0. The doubles teams of Ben Rodgers/Sam Voegele and Seth Gausman/Grant Story were winners.Batesville JV and Varsity are 10-0 on the season (5-0 EIAC) and will play in the Columbus North Invitational on Saturday.Courtesy of Bulldogs Coach Mike McKinney.last_img

Read More

10 are already qualified for IMCA Modified $10,000 to win Clash at the Creek

first_imgBy Greg AregoniFRANCIS CREEK, Wis. (June 22) – Sixty-seven of the best Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modified drivers from 10 states converged on 141 Speedway for opening night of qualifying for the $10,000 to win Clash at the Creek main event.When passing points were figured after 16 heat races, 10 of those drivers … Benji LaCrosse, Mike Mullen, Kyle Brown, Jay Matthias, Hunter Marriott, Shawn Kilgore, Jordan Grabouski, Jer­emy Jacobs, Todd Dart and Marcus Yarie … were locked into Thursday’s starting grid at Francis Creek.The remainder of the field will be set by the “B” features and a Final Four race. Racing starts at 6 p.m. tonight.Brandon Czarapata and Jeff Schmuhl raced to $500 paydays on Wednesday, in IMCA Sunoco Stock Car and Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod features, respectively.Kyle Frederick started on the pole of the Stock Car feature. He was looking for his fourth win of the season but the rest of the field had other ideas. Frederick took to the lead immediately and set a quick pace.Czarapata worked from his seventh starting position into the second spot and tracked down the leader. Czarapata grabbed the lead but a caution put him back to second.  Frederick tried to stay down low on the restart but Czarapata was not to be denied on this night.Czarapata finally got the lead for good on lap 11. He had plenty of company in the next few cir­cuits that saw a couple of cautions. Travis Van Straten and John Heinz both had their chances with Czarapata but neither could come away with the lead. Czarapata put a stranglehold on the field late in picking up the win.  Heinz bested Van Straten for the runner-up finish.  Shawn Wagner took fourth with Frederick fifth.Jeff Steenbergen set the pace on the opening lap of the SportMod main. What proved to be the race-winning pass happened on lap two when Schmuhl stole the show up top.Schmuhl checked out from the field and was never to be seen again. Schmuhl worked into lapped traffic starting on lap 11. Cody Schroeder drove into the second spot late in the race but ran out of time for any chance to catch the leader.Schmuhl stayed as cool as ice driving around the rim of the 1/3-mile oval on his way to the check­ered flag.  Schroeder finished second with Steenbergen right behind. Kevin Bethke finished fourth with Hunter Parson taking home fifth.Both the Stock Cars and Northern SportMods will run complete shows again this evening with $500 awarded to the winners.last_img read more

Read More

Mayo start with victory

first_img Press Association But the Kingdom suddenly began to carry a threat at the end of the opening quarter. Darran O’Sullivan set up James O’Donoghue, but his shot was superbly saved by David Clarke. In the 17th minute, O’Donoghue finally did find the net, but the home side responded with points from Doherty and Kevin McLoughlin. They were level on 0-9 to 1-6 at the interval, but Mayo full back Ger Cafferkey repeatedly frustrated Kerry’s attacking efforts, and they were unable to break down a tenacious Mayo attack. And the home side saw off their opponents with a late flourish which saw Enda Varley come off the bench to shoot a couple of points. The Kingdom failed to score in the second half, having had midfielder Anthony Maher sent off for a second booking in the 49th minute. Kerry’s only point in the first 15 minutes came from Michael O’Donoghue, as Mayo forged ahead with four Jason Doherty points. center_img Mayo opened their NFL Division One campaign with a 0-15 to 1-6 win over 14-man Kerry at Castlebar.last_img read more

Read More

Guyana Rush Saints male and female win semi-final opener in Rupununi FA Champions League

first_imgGUYANA Rush Saints male and female teams romped to victories when semi-final action kicked off in the Rupununi Football Association (RFA) Champions League on Saturday.At the Parishara Sports Ground in Parishara Village, the Saints male team whipped the Kanuku Harpies 3-0, while at the Saints Sports Ground, the female Saints needled Flash Football Club 1-0.MALE BATTLEJulius Phillips fired in the opener in the fourth minute of play, before Roy Andrew mistakenly scored an own goal in the 18th minute.It was not until the dying moments of regulation (90th) that John Miguel made it 3-0.In the female clash, a strike from Nina Cabral separated the two teams after 90 minutes of action.Cabral fired in the goal in the 54th minute of play after the side capitalised on a corner kick.Although they lost, Flash FC females played a good game. Both teams had chances to score.The first leg of the other semi-final were scheduled for Sunday. Paiwomak Warriors females were expected to clash with Strikers FC and Paiwomak Warriors males were scheduled to battle the Titans FC.The teams will have their return leg on June 8 and 9 with the winners advancing to the final, which will be played on June 15.last_img read more

Read More

Germany not among Euro 2020 favourites – Loew

first_imgBERLIN, Germany (Reuters) – Germany will not be among the tournament favourites if they qualify for next year’s Euro 2020, coach Joachim Loew said yesterday ahead of their final two qualifiers.The Germans, who take on Belarus today before facing Northern Ireland on Tuesday, are level with leaders Netherlands on 15 points. Northern Ireland are third on 12. The top two earn automatic qualification and Germany could qualify as early as today.“We don’t belong to the tournament favourites,” Loew told reporters. “France, England have been playing with the same players for years. There are the Dutch, Spain.”“We, with our young team, are not among the favourites because we are still in the process of change.”The Germans suffered a shock group-stage exit at last year’s World Cup and were relegated in the inaugural Nations League, promoting a major overhaul of the team.“Maybe in two or four years when the players are at their peak! I mean a lot is possible with this team and we are working on that because it does have a lot of quality.”Loew has had to struggle with a lot of absences in recent months and his young team has rarely played with the same starting lineup, delaying, as he said, its development.“We have had games where we played really well over 45 minutes and when I was surprised at how well some things worked,” he said. “But we have not yet managed to do it over 90 minutes against tough opponents. That is the job we have.”Loew said the situation was similar to that of the 2010 World Cup when injuries had forced several last-minute changes and the young team that included Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Mesut Ozil and Manuel Neuer – reached the semi-finals.It also formed the backbone for the 2014 title-winning team in Brazil.“It is a bit like the situation in 2010. But to play for the title will be difficult. There are things that are possible but we don’t have the ‘favourites’ role this time,” said Loew.last_img read more

Read More

University opens first office in Seoul, Korea

first_imgThe Office of Globalization has opened an office in Seoul, South Korea, the sixth of its international offices and the second to open this school year. USC hopes the new office will increase educational collaboration between Korea and the United States and provide new opportunities for USC students in Seoul.USC Korea’s Opening Ceremony took place March 15, hosted by Vice Provost for Globalization Adam Powell and USC Trustee Yang Ho Cho, the only Korean national to be on a board of trustees at any major university in the United States.The office will be directed by Steven Lee, a professor of East Asian languages and cultures. Lee said he sees great potential for USC to grow through its relationship with Korea.“Korea has one of the fastest emerging economies in the world, and one of the world’s best-educated citizenry,” Lee said. “Consequently, Korea has become Asia’s hub for economic and education development. Capitalizing on these factors and extending on USC’s mission to offer opportunities for global education, Korea is an ideal place for USC.”The goals of the new office in Korea include advancing research partnerships with foreign universities, prospective partners and government agencies; providing an increased amount of internships abroad for USC students; and identifying schools and students with the potential to assist in recruiting graduate and undergraduate students for USC.According to Powell, USC has historically had a very strong relationship with Korea, hosting thousands of Korean students over the years — 873 currently. Korea is the third most-represented country at USC, behind only India and China, and the alumni association in South Korea has the largest membership of any foreign institution in that country.USC Korea, the first U.S. university program to be approved as a nonprofit by the Korean government, represents the university’s increasing interest in Asia. Powell said Asian countries including China, Korea and India are of great interest to the USC faculty because of research and internship opportunities.“We’re getting more interest from all departments each year in international partnerships and global research,” Powell said. “[Executive Vice President and Provost C. L. Max] Nikias asked me last year to double our programs in Asia — he believes it’s an essential investment in USC’s future, and so do the rest of the faculty.”Of USC’s six current international offices, five are located in Asia and the next office slated to open will be in Mumbai, India. The other international office is in Mexico City.Pei-Hsuan Chu, the director of the Taiwan Office in Taipei, which opened in 1998, said she thinks the university’s global push has been successful thus far.“As far as I know, there is no school that is doing what we have been doing [in Taiwan],” Chu said. “No other university is as thoroughly involved in overseas education as we are; being on the ground allows local people to learn more about USC in their own language and their own culture.”Pei’s sentiment is echoed by the faculty of the other international offices.“Apart from Boston University, which has a local office mainly responsible for admissions, USC is the only university with a local office to not only manage admission procedures but also to assist with numerous events and activities in Hong Kong such as career placement and alumni relations,” said Sarah Lee, administrative and event officer for the Shanghai office.The Mumbai office is scheduled to open late this summer and the university is hoping to launch another international office as soon as 2012, though the location has not yet been confirmed.USC’s expansion into Asia also extends beyond the Korea office and the upcoming India office. In 2012, USC plans to open its Asia Global University campus, which will allow students to take USC courses in Korea.“We live in an increasingly globalized world, and we’re trying to really invent what it is to be a global university,” Powell said. “Our network of international offices is a big part of that; we’re aiming to establish USC as a de facto capital of the Pacific Rim, a seamless hub of educational experience — national and international. That’s what our vision is here.”last_img read more

Read More

New law extends statute of limitations in Tyndall case

first_imgAssembly Judiciary Committee Chair Mark Stone presented a policy analysis April 9 for the bill that argued USC thought the bill could “disrupt the pending $215 million federal class-action settlement for all former patients of Tyndall.” USC also hired a lobbying firm to oppose Assembly Bill 1510. John Manly, an attorney representing over 30 several victims, said Newsom’s decision to approve the legislation represents a step forward for victims. Gloria Allred, a prominent women’s rights attorney representing over 60 victims in the case, said she is pleased that all victims will be able to seek damages, regardless of when they were abused. “While the bill does not name USC or Dr. Tyndall, the bill clearly seeks to allow the USC victims, in particular, to revive claims barred by the statute of limitations in effect,” Stone wrote. “Sponsored by the Consumer Attorneys of California, the bill has the support of several consumer, civil rights and women’s groups.” California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law Wednesday that would allow victims of former campus gynecologist George Tyndall to revive sexual assault cases time-barred by the state’s statute of limitations.  “As amended, this legislation protects the federal class action settlement for the former patients who prefer the privacy and certainty of that option, while allowing other former patients to litigate their claims publicly if they choose to do so,” USC wrote in a statement. “Providing fair, respectful relief to former patients, while making lasting, impactful changes that safeguard students, strengthen our University, and rebuild trust with our community, remain USC’s top priorities.” The new law allows cases regarding assaults between 1988 and 2017 seeking more than $250,000 in damages are eligible to be revisited.  Tyndall, who was charged with 29 felony counts in June, is currently being sued by more than 800 individuals in state and federal courts. The former USC doctor’s bail is set at $1.6 million, and he faces up to 53 years in state prison.  “The legislature heard from many, many, many survivors,” Manly said. “The administration has not treated these women like family. They treat them like adversaries or enemies. USC did this to itself, by the way they treated these women.” “What USC also did in 2017 is enter into a deal to pay Dr. Tyndall $200,000, which, by the way, is way more than any of the victims will get in the class action to secretly leave campus, knowing that he had sexually assaulted hundreds of women,” Manly said. “And  what the legislature did is say ‘You’re not getting away with this.’”center_img In March, USC wrote that the legislation was “unnecessary” and “harmful” to plaintiffs. However, the University released a statement Wednesday claiming that new amendments made to the legislation will help protect plaintiffs.  The law will now open up the statute of limitations for these assaults for one year, allowing more than 800 plaintiffs to file suit against Tyndall and the University. Stone said the bill can bring claims that have been voided due to the current statute of limitations, including allegations against Tyndall.  USC filed a settlement in February, which would provide tiered compensation for any individuals who were patients of Tyndall.  “We represent victims who saw Dr. Tyndall as early as 1991 and many others who will now be able to seek a fair and just recovery and not face dismissal of their claim simply because of statute of limitations defense,” Allred wrote in a statement to the Daily Trojan. “Our clients are grateful to the California legislators who voted for passage of this important bill and to Governor Newsom who signed the bill today and that it be effective immediately as an emergency measure.” “[It would be] in part by encouraging members of the class to opt out of the settlement in order to bring or join a separate civil action,” Stone wrote. Tomas Mier contributed to this report.last_img read more

Read More

Bookies Corner: Trump Presidency sinks as US 2020 enters its 100 day countdown

first_img US 2020 enters its final 100 days of campaigning, as current polls indicate a comfortable Joe Biden / Democratic Party victory as President Trump flounders on his handling of critical issues in the most unprecedented of election years. Against the ropes, can Trump deliver another seismic political upset, or has America finally turned the lights off on ‘President 45’… SBC gets the bookies lowdown!___________________Sarbjit Bakhshi – SmarketsSBC: Trialling by 10-14 points across all core polls, losing electorate appeal in swing and red states… Is this the end of the President Trump show?Sarbjit Bakhshi (Head of Politics – Smarkets): Not since George HW Bush has an incumbent president polled as badly as President Trump at this stage of an election.There has been almost £3m traded on our Winner of the 2020 Presidential Election market, with Trump currently trading at 35%, after hitting his lowest ever price of 31% this June. Even the bellwether state of Florida puts the Republicans slightly behind, showing just a 37% chance of staying red on election day.However, this might be indicative of more than merely a popularity contest between Trump and Biden. With the Republican Party so closely associated with the president, the impact may be felt in the House and Senate races, with our market currently suggesting a 48% chance the Democrats could control both after the election.Could the end of the Trump presidency also usher in a serious decline in the power of the Republicans in the US political system? With the markets pointing to Trump being out of office in 2021 and a Democratic House and Senate seeing him off, this might very well be the case…Matt Shaddick – GVC HoldingsSBC: Is President Trump’s US 2020 campaign the biggest political demise of all time, considering his comfortable lead against a divided DNC in March?  Matt Shaddick (Head of Politics – GVC Holdings): I don’t think Trump was clearly leading in many polls, although he was still favourite through the early part of March.It was a bit of a mystery to us as to why Trump was still favourite up until the Covid crisis started impacting American states. Biden was solidly ahead in the polls, and Trump’s favorability ratings were not good. I guess people were still expecting the mostly positive economic indicators to see him through at that stage of the crisis.In contrast to some other leaders and governments, Trump’s poll ratings have gotten worse through the pandemic and he needs a big turn around to give him any kind of chance by November. It’s certainly possible, but the betting markets seem way too high on his chances. Incredibly, 95% of all the money Ladbrokes took last week was on Trump and he’s led on that measure almost every week recently: The mismatch between what the polls are showing and how our customer’s are betting is fairly dramatic right now.Darren Hughes – BetfairSBC: Latest polls show Biden tracking above voter expectations in traditional GOP heartlands. Could any ‘Red States flip‘ come November?  Darren Hughes (Betfair Politics): This has so far been an election like no other, as the US continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic. Betting markets have been very active- there has already been over £50m traded on Betfair Exchange, over twice the amount traded at the same stage of the 2016 election. At 15/8, Donald Trump is the least likely incumbent in US Presidential betting history to be re-elected, with presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, outpolling him in many key states, and trading at 4/6 to claim the White House in November.‘The state-by-state betting is every bit as interesting, as both polls and Betfair Exchange suggests that Trump may well be on the cusp of losing the Republican heartland of Middle America. A traditionally deep-red state like Arizona is currently 4/6 to vote Democrat in November. Wisconsin, a state Trump won in 2016, are currently 2/1 to vote Republican this time around. North Carolina, a state won by Trump in 2016, and who have voted Republican in 10 of the last 12 presidential elections, are barely a coin-toss to do so again this year at 20/21, all of which would spell trouble for Trump’s election chances.‘Perhaps the most sobering poll of all for the GOP machine is in their traditional heartland of Texas. The reddest of red states, which hasn’t turned blue in over 40 years, is as short as 15/8 to vote Democrat in the Fall, a result that would surely come as a death knell on the night for the Republican party.‘While this election is far from over, both polling and betting markets suggest things are leaning firmly in Biden’s favour as we enter the final 100 days of the campaign, and we will watch with interest as the markets continue to react in real-time.Amy Jones – Paddy PowerSBC: As we enter the last 100 days of campaigning. Are there any more twists and turns left in this  Election… or has the public had all the drama it can take in 2020?  Amy Jones (Mischief Maker – Paddy Power): As we roll into the last 100 days of the campaign, excitement around the election remains strong, and that’s reflected in our markets. Betting volumes are around 50% higher than four years ago, and the rate the money comes in only seems to be increasing.The current lead in the polls and the prospect of the Republicans possibly losing their Texas stronghold would typically suggest a shorter price for “Sleepy Joe” (8/15), who has been expertly executing the “Keep out the way, and yet Trump lose this himself” strategy. Still, punters have seen this before and fully expected Trump (7/4) to go on the attack and have something up his sleeve.This is supported by the punters – who have staked over 80% of all volume on Trump since the market was activated following the inauguration in 2017 – a figure which has actually been increasing in recent weeks.The impacts of Covid-19 and what is seen as an unsatisfactory response, coupled with the resulting economic pressures look increasingly hard for an incumbent to survive and has seen Trump drift from 8/13 pre-Covid to 7/4.2020 has been one of those years and we can only expect the unexpected, but ultimately this does not look like 2016. This is a wider bridge too narrow for Trump, with more against him. In a way he was lucky in 2016 to scrape through in enough states to win the election with such a deficit in the popular vote. Expect some outlandish fun and games as the desperation builds but ultimately this looks a step too far for “Four more years”.________________________ GVC absorbs retail shocks as business recalibrates for critical H2 trading August 13, 2020 ‘Deal maker’ Rafi Ashkenazi ends Flutter tenure  August 27, 2020 StumbleUpon Related Articles Flutter moves to refine merger benefits against 2020 trading realities August 27, 2020 Share Submit Sharelast_img read more

Read More