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Retirees will see impacts of tax cut

October 20, 2020 | tqhsdewk | No Comments

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion One class of taxpayer who will not be seeing a tax cut, but should expect a tax increase, consists of retirees on Social Security.Of course, they already receive their benefits tax-free. But recently, those benefits have not increased.Rather, their cost for Medicare has gone up and should continue going up, no doubt to help the government make up for the loss of its own income.David ChildsJohnstown More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFeds: Painting stolen by Nazis and found at Arkell Museum returned to familyTroopers: Colonie man dies in Montgomery County Thruway crashFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img

Support the rule of law, Constitution

October 20, 2020 | pelzfibj | No Comments

first_imgThere is an old adage that happens to be biblical that states: “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” This statement is predominant in our very First Amendment to the Constitution; freedom of religion and freedom of the press. Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Consider this fact: If truth sets us free, how can there be a “free” press that is full of lies and innuendo? How can “religion” be free if also filled with lies? To go further, how can our country be free if liars rule us? The truth must be upheld by the rule of law and the willing hearts of those involved in it. It was written, near our founding as a nation, that the Constitution was written for a God-fearing people who would “regulate” themselves — not for those who would not. How can that be?  If truth is not adhered to by the heart of the people, we get the chaos and law breaking that we see predominant in the Unites States today. Men are falling just by accusation and you have wicked women, unmarried but “living with a man” (or even another woman), passing judgment on sexual improprieties of others causing their fall without even a trial. “People are to be considered innocent until proven guilty” is another bedrock of our Constitution. The truth is being trampled just as it was in the time of the crucifixion of Christ who, before Pilate, was found not guilty. But the mob mentality called for his death and was appeased. There are evil people who are destroying the foundation of our nation by disavowing the rule of law (our leaders here in New York amongst them). Do not be as they are. Support the police, and I can vouch especially for the Schenectady Police Department, and support the rule of law.Barry GroatSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationSchenectady police reform sessions pivot to onlineEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Schenectady man dies following Cutler Street dirt bike crashlast_img read more

State must stop wasting tax money

October 20, 2020 | zelepmlo | No Comments

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion As a New York state taxpayer, along with most of you readers, I’m appalled at the lack of outrage regarding the current state budget that was just recently pushed through. Some examples of extreme waste are $3 million that was allotted to the Dick’s Sporting Goods Golf Tournament — yes, $3 million. Also, $300,000 was given to Cornell University for “concord grape research,” as well as $100,000 to the town of East Hampton for “tourism initiatives.” Trust me, this is a town that doesn’t need this kind of help. There are many other examples of money given for these “pet projects,” which in my opinion, could have been better spent elsewhere.We have roads loaded with potholes and infrastructure that’s falling apart around us, yet those worthy causes didn’t get the money they need. Just to get out in time for the Easter and Passover holidays, lawmakers chose to fund these other unworthy causes.  What about organizations and institutions established to help the poor and those in need? Food pantries and homeless shelters are in constant need of funds and supplies to help the many who go hungry and have nowhere to sleep in New York state every day. Apparently, they’re less important than a golf tournament.Let’s send out a message to our elected representatives on Election Day, or messages to their respective offices even sooner. This isn’t how I want our money spent.Come on, lawmakers, get your act together. Do your jobs and earn our respect. Fund the causes that truly need it — and not spend billions in pork-barrel spending. And you wonder why people are disgusted.Margaret HesdorferSchoharieMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more

Munk’s new habit

October 20, 2020 | aazfmwrl | No Comments

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first_imgWhile Morrison can not be ousted as party leader after changes to Liberal party rules following Turnbull’s fall, he will not want poor polling to impact his legislative agenda before the next election that must be held before 2022.Morrison came under fire from voters in December when it was revealed he was on a family holiday in Hawaii as the country’s bushfire crisis escalated.When two fire fighters were killed, forcing him to return, his initial inaction and later refusal to link the fires with climate change drew criticism that he lacked leadership at a time of national crisis. Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison will on Tuesday front parliament for the first time in three months as he seeks to repair his standing with voters angry by his response to the country’s bushfire crisis and a scandal over sports funding.Morrison secured re-election in May 2019, defying polls that had indicated voters would punish his conservative government for ousting its former leader Malcolm Turnbull in 2018.Less than nine months after what he described as his “miracle” re-election, Morrison is now unpopular with voters and under pressure from opposition Labor lawmakers. The prolonged bushfire season has killed 33 people and an estimated 1 billion native animals since September. About 2,500 homes have been destroyed and more than 11.7 million hectares of tinder-dry bushland have been razed.Public anger at Morrison and his government has also been fuelled by an independent audit of public spending which found the government used a A$100 million ($68.4 million) sport development fund to target votes in marginal electorates ahead of the last election.The Australian National Audit Office said 400 projects received funding, with more than 70 percent done without any endorsement by the governing body for sport in Australia.When the report was first released Morrison refused to discipline the former sports minister who approved the funding, drawing more voter criticism.Bridget McKenzie, the deputy leader of the Nationals – the junior member of Morrison’s conservative coalition – on Sunday resigned after she was ruled to have breached ministerial rules when as sports minister she approved a A$36,000 grant for a shooting club where she was a member.Topics :center_img This photo illustration taken on May 19, 2019 show Sunday newspapers in Melbourne displaying the victory of Australia’s coalition government after they clung to power in a general election they were expected to lose. Australia’s ruling conservative coalition defied expectations to retain power in national elections on May 18, prompting Prime Minister Scott Morrison to declare: (AFP/William West)”The Labor party will be like a mosquito on a nudist beach, they are so many fleshy issues for them to bite into,” said John Hewson, former leader of the Liberal Party, now headed by Morrison.”They will go after him on issues of climate and he’s defence of the sports funding. He will be under huge pressure.”A Newspoll for The Australian newspaper on Monday showed Morrison’s approval rating was at its lowest level since he assumed office, while his government is trailing the Labor party by a margin of 52% to 48%.last_img read more

first_imgFor mother-of-four Nasima, the prospect of lasting peace in Afghanistan is almost too good to be true.The 45-year-old, whose husband Nasir Ahmad was killed in a massive truck bomb in Kabul blamed on Taliban insurgents, is one of thousands of grieving relatives in the war-weary country who look upon a promised peace deal with skepticism as well as hope.Afghanistan has been at war for decades. The Soviet invasion dominated the 1980s, civil war followed, the hardline Islamist Taliban movement held sway for a few years before being ousted in a US-led assault, followed by 18 more years of conflict. Topics : Horror in attack’s aftermath Nasima’s husband left home early one morning in late May, 2017, in search of work so that he could afford to bring home “iftar”, an evening meal served during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. He had not found a job for a few days.”A day before I had asked him about whether he found a job; he told me there were shops whose display windows needed cleaning for Ramadan and he was confident he’d find work if he got there early,” Nasima recalls.At around 8:30 a.m., she heard a loud blast. Such was the intensity of the explosion that it shook the entire city.The truck bomb was deadliest attack in Kabul in 18 years of war. No one has claimed responsibility for at least 150 people who were killed, including Nasir Ahmad.Nasima’s memories of that day are harrowing, yet common among Afghans.”At the hospitals I saw bodies covered with blood, charred. The wounded were screaming. There were boxes full of human body parts,” Nasima recalled.Nasima has washed dishes and clothes for the last three years to support her children – two daughters, Naiema, 15, Sabzina, 13, and two sons, Waris, 10, and Arif, 7.”I have lived my life and have had to suffer; but for my children I want peace,” she added. Pain for peace Families of Taliban fighters and security personnel have also faced loss.Haji Malik, 47, a shopkeeper in the northern city of Kunduz, lost his son, 18-year-old Sarajuddin, a Taliban fighter killed in a clash with international and Afghan forces in Paktika province in 2016.Sarajuddin ran away from home two years earlier to join the insurgents, and Malik remembered the intense pain he felt when he received word of his son’s death.He never got to bury his him, he said, because the body was in such bad shape that he had to be interred before his father got there.”This (the Doha agreement) is a chance for peace in Afghanistan, which has suffered through years of war,” Malik told Reuters. “But if peace is coming, it should be real peace … not only for a few days.”Habibullah Nazari, an officer in Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS), which has been on the frontline of the fight against the Taliban, was killed in an attack by the militant group.Nazari was preparing for a security mission along with six colleagues when a Taliban suicide bomber drove his explosive-laden vehicle into the NDS office in the western city of Herat.He was the sole breadwinner for his family of 12, said his brother, Mohammad Gul, 23.”Losing a family member is very painful, but I will have no complaint if peace, real peace, is restored,” said Gul. “I will believe my brother was martyred in the name of peace.” center_img Tens of thousands of civilians, insurgents, Afghan security personnel and foreign troops have died, and loved ones will look on Saturday’s planned deal between the United States and the Taliban with mixed feelings.”Anyone who can carry out such a brutal attack, how can I believe that they will let others live in peace?” Nasima asked, speaking in her Kabul apartment surrounded by her children.But she would at least try to move on if the attacks really stopped.”If they (the Taliban) are serious about getting together for real peace, I am ready to forgive the suffering they caused me and my family.” The weekend agreement in Doha on an American troop withdrawal is connected to a wider push for reconciliation between the Taliban and the Afghan government, although major obstacles to lasting peace remain.One is the lack of trust between sides who blame each other for the heavy toll of war.last_img read more

first_imgThe two patients are currently being treated in isolation at the city’s referral hospital for the virus, the Sulianti Saroso Infectious Diseases Hospital (RSPI Sulianti Suroso). Read also: Anies issues decree on increasing Jakarta’s COVID-19 alertness levelThey were previously admitted to Mitra Keluarga Hospital in Depok on Feb. 27. The Depok administration sent a circular to about 70 medical workers of the private hospital who may have come into contact with one of the patients, ordering them to limit their movements and avoid crowded areas.The Health Ministry said it tracked the movements of the two patients and found at least 48 people had come into contact with them.The Jakarta Archdiocese issued a statement on Monday suggesting churchgoers suffering from respiratory illnesses, such as cough and breathing difficulties, to stay at home and consult with their doctors.It also suggested that churchgoers bring their own hand sanitizers and allowed them not to hold hands for the sign of peace ritual. They were also given permission to bring their own crosses for the Good Friday service ahead of Easter. (ars) The Jakarta administration will reduce the number of mass gatherings as a precaution after two residents of Depok, West Java – located on the outskirts of the capital city – tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), marking the country’s first confirmed cases.Governor Anies Baswedan said on Monday his administration would suspend the issuance of new permits for mass gatherings.”The provincial administration won’t issue any new permits for events that will gather people in large numbers. The permits that have already been issued will be reviewed,” he told reporters at City Hall on Monday. Read also: Jakarta steps up efforts to tackle COVID-19 following two confirmed casesJakarta is scheduled to hold several large events this month. Pop culture festival Head in the Clouds Jakarta, initiated by Asian-American label 88rising and scheduled for Saturday, announced its postponement following the news.Anies also called on the public to avoid visiting places where cases of infection cases were reported.Officials announced Monday that a 64-year-old woman and her 31-year-old daughter tested positive for COVID-19 after the daughter was in contact with a Japanese citizen at a club in Jakarta on Feb. 14. The Japanese citizen tested positive for COVID-19 in Malaysia on Feb. 27.center_img Topics :last_img read more

first_imgThe Papuan Customary Council has called on local authorities to limit access to Papua and West Papua following the report of the first two COVID-19 cases in the region on Sunday.”We demand that the authorities halt all flights to Papua,” Customary Council head Dominikus Surabut said on Monday. He also urged the Papua and West Papua provincial administrations to restrict people’s activities to further contain the spread of the virus. “There must be concrete action [to combat COVID-19],” Dominikus said, suggesting that prevention was better than cure.Papua’s COVID-19 task force reported previously that 15 patients were under surveillance in Papua as of March 22. Two of them tested positive while two others were negative. The remaining 11 patients were still waiting for their test results. Papua Governor Lukas Enembe is set to hold a meeting with 29 regional heads, along with their respective health agencies, to discuss preventive measures. “We will announce whether or not a lockdown will be imposed on Wednesday,” Lukas said on Monday.Separately, on Sunday, Mamberamo Tengah Regent Ham Pagawan said that he would ask for an aircraft from the central government to help transport potential COVID-19 patients from Papua’s mountainous areas, which are difficult to reach by land.They would then be transported to Wamena, the capital of Jayawijaya regency, for treatment. “Wamena will be the community service center for people from mountainous areas,” Ham said. As of Monday afternoon, Indonesia had recorded 579 confirmed COVID-19 cases nationwide, with 49 deaths. (vny)Topics :last_img read more

first_img“We hope that housing subsidies will help low-income households to acquire decent and affordable housing, especially in the difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Public Works and Housing Ministry infrastructure financing director general Eko “Heri” Djoeli Heripoerwanto said in a press statement on Tuesday.Read also: COVID-19: Early warning for property marketsHeri explained that the stimulus would be in the form of interest rate subsidies for loan installments (SSB) and down payment subsidies (SBUM). Out of the Rp 1.5 trillion, Rp 800 billion will be used for SSB and Rp 700 billion for SBUM.The housing subsidies are part of a Rp 10.3 trillion stimulus package announced by the government in February to cushion the impacts of COVID-19 on household spending. The pneumonia-like disease has infected more than 1,700 people in the country with 170 fatalities and disrupted business activity as citizens are told to stay at home to limit the virus spread. The new mortgage subsidies allow low-income households to pay a mortgage interest rate of just 5 percent per year, much lower than the 9 to 10 percent in the current housing loan market, with a tenure of up to 10 years. People living in Papua and West Papua provinces will pay 4 percent in interest per annum for a loan tenure of up to 20 years.The government will then pay up any remaining interest rate differences.For low-income people who buy a landed house, the government will provide a Rp 4 million mortgage down payment subsidy and Rp 10 million for those living in Papua and West Papua provinces, Heri said.Read also: Indonesia announces $742m stimulus to shield economy from virusThree state-owned banks, namely Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) and Bank Tabungan Negara (BTN), will disburse the subsidies.“The Public Works and Housing Ministry still opens the opportunity for other banks that want to take part in the program so that low-income families will get as easy access as possible to the facility through the banks’ networks,” Heri said.He expressed hope that the latest stimulus would enable the government to achieve its target to give mortgage subsidies to 330,000 low-income households this year.In addition to the 175,000 families targeted by the new subsidies, the government will also support 88,000 poor families to get a house through the Housing Financing Liquidity Facility (FLPP) and 67,000 households through its new savings-based financial assistance.”The government is making every possible effort to help low-income citizens to fulfill one of life’s basic needs, which is to have a home,” Heri added.The government has been struggling to reduce the country’s housing backlog, which stood at 7.6 million in 2015. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration aims to build 1.25 million houses this year in its commitment to build 1 million houses per year.Since 2015, around 4.8 million houses have been constructed – 699,770 in 2015, 805,169 in 2016, 904,758 in 2017, 1.13 million in 2018 and more than 1.25 million in 2019.Property developers expressed their appreciation for the government’s new subsidies. Indonesian Settlement and Housing Developers Association (Apersi) chairman Junaidi Abdilah said in a statement that the association would adjust its targeted potential buyers accordingly through the subsidized housing loan mobile application Sikasep.Read also: Property developers, banks rush to woo millennial homebuyersDevelopers Indonesia (PI) chairman Barkah Hidayat and National Housing Development Alliance (Apernas) Jaya secretary-general Risma Gandhi also urged banks to optimize their mortgage disbursements for the program.“Problems over spreading awareness about the regulation usually happen between banks and their regional branches, delaying the process for regional developers,” Risma said.Paulus Totok Lusida of Real Estate Indonesia (REI) told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday that the stimulus could prop up the property sector, which saw an annual growth of only around 3.5 percent in the past few years. The sector relies heavily on subsidized housing programs, which account for half of the industry’s revenue, according to REI members’ data.”At least the subsidies can maintain the sector’s existence, because if it drops, it won’t be easy to pull it back up again,” Paulus said.Topics : The government has rolled out new housing loan subsidies and opened the door for more citizens to access the facility amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which is expected to disrupt businesses and hit people’s purchasing power.It launched Rp 1.5 trillion (US$89.7 million) in mortgage subsidies for 175,000 low-income families nationwide and increased the salary ceiling for eligible recipients to Rp 8 million for all types of housing from the previous Rp 4 million for landed houses and Rp 7 million for low-cost apartments. The new provision takes effect on April 1.The minimum wage varies across the country with a range of between Rp 1.7 million and Rp 4.3 million per month.last_img read more

Bayern Munich to resume training on Monday

October 19, 2020 | shgcmyqk | No Comments

first_img“In order to further slow the spread of the coronavirus, Bayern asks fans to continue to follow the instructions of the authorities and therefore please do not come to the Bayern training ground,” added the statement.More than 1,300 people have died in Germany from the coronavirus. Topics : Bayern Munich said Sunday that players will return to training on Monday for the first time since the Bundesliga was suspended due to the coronavirus.Bayern led the table by four points when the season was halted on March 13.”The Bayern Munich first team will return to training in small groups from Monday, April 6,” said a statement from the club.center_img “This will be done in coordination with government policy and the relevant authorities. “It goes without saying that all hygiene regulations will be strictly observed.”German football league officials had already advised a break in training until Sunday at the earliest.Bayern said that training will be held in private with no members of the public allowed.last_img read more