Arjo takes space in Times Place

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Canadian group buys Canary Wharf stake

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CABE campaign aims to tackle UK’s wasted space

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What’s not to like about Irvine Sellar’s ‘shard of glass’?

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Surveying is turning off the best students

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Brascan confirms plans to block Wharf bid

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Going places

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‘We should be thankful’: Jokowi voices optimism despite slowing economic growth

first_imgPresident Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is refusing to view the glass as half empty even though official data released Wednesday shows that the country’s economy last year grew at its slowest pace since 2015.Statistics Indonesia announced that Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 5.02 percent last year as investment and exports cooled. The figure is lower than 5.17 percent growth in 2018 and below the government’s target of 5.3 percent.“Let’s compare the figure with those of other countries, especially those in the G20. Our growth is still the second highest,” Jokowi said at the State Palace in Jakarta on Wednesday. “Alhamdulillah [thank God], we should be thankful that our economic growth is still above 5 percent.” Read also: Indonesia’s GDP growth stagnated at 5.02 percent last year, weakest since 2015Maintaining such an economic performance, he went on to say, was difficult given the global economic slowdown but good communication between the central bank and the government, coupled with prudent policies, had helped anchor the country’s economy.The government has stepped up efforts to boost the sluggish economy by carrying out reforms to attract more investment. The central bank joined forces last year by relaxing its benchmark interest rate and issuing accommodative macroprudential policies.Indonesia’s prudent fiscal policy was also important in maintaining economic stability, Jokowi said. “Japan Credit Rating [Agency] recently upgraded our [sovereign credit] rating. What does it mean? It means international trust toward us is getting better,” he said.Read also: Japan Credit Rating Agency raises Indonesian credit rating to BBB+ amid solid growthJapan Credit Rating Agency raised Indonesia’s sovereign debt rating from BBB with a positive outlook to BBB+ with a stable outlook last month. The rating mainly reflects the country’s solid domestic consumption-led economic growth, restrained budget deficit and public debt, as well as resilience to external shocks.“We should voice this optimism. Don’t just pick pessimistic things up,” Jokowi stressed. (prm)center_img Topics :last_img read more

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40 killed in attacks in restive central Mali

first_imgForty people, including nine soldiers, have been killed in a spate of attacks in central Mali, authorities said Friday, with most of the deaths caused by inter-ethnic violence in the deeply troubled region.Thirty-one people were killed in an attack overnight in Ogossagou, a village mainly inhabited by Fulani people where 160 died last March in a massacre blamed on Dogon militiamen, the government said, raising the death toll.About 30 gunmen carried out the new attack, village chief Aly Ousmane Barry told AFP.  “Huts and crops were set alight, livestock was burned or taken away,” he added, vowing that the government would find the perpetrators.A local government official, who requested anonymity, had earlier said that 28 people were missing.He blamed the attack on a Dogon hunters’ group — an assertion that could be not be verified independently.The official and village chief Aly Ousmane Barry both said the attackers moved in several hours after government troops had pulled out of the area. Topics :center_img Eight soldiers killed in ambush Later Friday eight Mali soldiers were killed and four others injured in an ambush in the central Gao region, the army saidThe Malian force also suffered “material damage,” the military said on social media sites, without indicating who had carried out the attack in the village of Bentia.Also on Friday a soldier was killed in an attack on a military camp in Mondoro, also in central Mali, security officials said. The camp had already been hit before — as part of a joint raid by militants that also targeted the military camp of Boulkessy near the border with Burkina Faso, killing at least 25 soldiers. Central Mali became gripped by ethnic violence after a jihadist revolt broke out in the north of the country in 2012.The insurgency has claimed thousands of lives and spread to neighboring Niger and Burkina Faso.  Tit-for-tat attacks in central Mali flared after Fulani people, also called Peul, became associated with jihadists. Led by a firebrand Islamic preacher Amadou Koufa, a militia called the Katiba Macina recruited members from among the Fulani and has been accused of ethnically-motivated attacks.Other ethnic groups such as the Bambara or the Dogon began to form self-defense groups that have been accused of reprisal massacres. In addition to the latest attack at Ogossagou, 14 Fulani were killed in central Mali in January.Around 75 Dogons were killed in the villages of Sobane Da, Gangafani and Yoro in June last year, in an attack blamed on Fulani militants.’Epicenter’ of violence Human Rights Watch this month pointed to the ethnic patchwork of central Mali as the country’s “epicenter” of violence. It said over 450 civilians had been killed in the region in 2019, “the deadliest year for civilians” since the jihadist insurgency began.Reflecting the chronic instability, Malian soldiers are themselves frequently targeted.On Jan. 26, Al-Qaeda-linked militants attacked a military camp in Sokolo, central Mali, killing 20 gendarmes and wounding five more. The violence in central Mali coincides with renewed hopes that the fragile government can reassert control over the largely lawless north. Troops returned on Thursday to Kidal, a northern town that had been a bastion of Tuareg rebels, after a six-year absence. Regular forces returned to the town accompanied by former rebels who have been integrated into the army under a regional peace agreement. The deal, reached in Algiers in 2015, is considered one of the few avenues Mali has for escaping the cycle of violence. last_img read more

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290 million students out of school as global virus battle intensifies

first_imgAlmost 300 million students worldwide faced weeks at home with Italy and India the latest to shut schools over the deadly new coronavirus, as the IMF urged an all-out global offensive against the epidemic.More than 95,000 people have been infected and over 3,200 have died worldwide from the virus, which by Thursday had reached more than 80 countries and territories.The US state of California declared an emergency following its first coronavirus fatality — raising the US death toll to 11 — and a cruise ship was kept offshore after passengers and crew members developed symptoms. Topics : Economic threat Infections are now rising faster abroad than they are in China, where 31 more deaths and 139 new cases were reported Thursday. China’s toll now stands at 3,012, with over 80,000 infections.AFP reporters saw a handful of people trickling back into Wuhan, the quarantined city at the center of the epidemic, at the train station this week.Beijing is now concerned about importing cases, with 20 infections brought from abroad so far — prompting several cities to require people arriving from hard-hit countries to self-quarantine.Japan announced on Thursday that a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping this spring had been postponed because containing the epidemic was “the biggest challenge” for the two countries.China, the world’s second largest economy, has been badly hit by the outbreak, which has also rumbled global stock markets, with Europe’s major exchanges sinking again Thursday. The IMF said it was making $50 billion in aid available for low-income and emerging-market countries to fight the epidemic, which it sees as a “serious threat” that would slow global growth to below last year’s 2.9 percent.”At a time of uncertainty… it is better to do more than to do not enough,” IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said.In the United States, lawmakers reached a deal to provide more than $8 billion to fight the outbreak. No kissing Thousands of people were stranded on the Grand Princess off the California coast Wednesday as officials delayed its return to carry out tests on people on board.A 71-year-old man who had been aboard the same ship during its previous voyage to Mexico died after contracting COVID-19.The vessel belongs to Princess Cruises, the same company which operated a coronavirus-stricken ship held off Japan last month on which more than 700 people on board tested positive, with six dying from the disease.The US and other governments have taken extraordinary measures to contain the outbreak. Japan will quarantine all arrivals from China and South Korea for two weeks, while the United Arab Emirates warned its citizens to “avoid travelling”. Saudi Arabia has suspended the year-round Islamic “umrah” pilgrimage, an unprecedented move that raises fresh uncertainty over the annual hajj.New measures in Italy — where 11 towns with 50,000 have been under quarantine — include a month-long nationwide ban on fan attendance at sports events, and advising people to avoid greetings like kissing on the cheek or shaking hands.center_img Switzerland reported its first death from the outbreak on Thursday, while Bosnia and South Africa confirmed their first cases and Greece’s cases surged after 21 travellers recently returned from a bus trip to Israel and Egypt tested positive for the virus.  Most deaths and infections are in China, where the virus first emerged late last year, prompting the country to quarantine entire cities, temporarily shut factories and close schools indefinitely.But it has quickly spread beyond China’s borders.  Several countries have implemented extraordinary measures, with UNESCO saying on Wednesday that school closures in more than a dozen countries have affected 290.5 million children.  India, the world’s second most populous country, later announced it was closing all primary schools in the capital New Delhi until the end of March to prevent the virus from spreading.  The orders came as an India-EU summit scheduled for March 13 was also postponed.  While temporary school closures during crises are not new, UNESCO chief Audrey Azoulay said “the global scale and speed of the current educational disruption is unparalleled and, if prolonged, could threaten the right to education”.Italy on Wednesday ordered schools and universities shut until March 15, ramping up its response as national fatalities rose to 107.South Korea — second to China in terms of infections with cases jumping past 6,000 on Thursday — has postponed the start of the next term until March 23.In Japan, nearly all schools are closed after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for classes to be cancelled until early April.Schools have also shut in Iran, where 107 people have died from the disease — alongside Italy, the deadliest outbreak outside China.last_img read more

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