East midlands residential: Leicester’s lofty goal

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Rebel Laxey attacks British Land attitude

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There’s a self-storage unit with your name on it

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Shed shortage backlash

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UK firms lash out at lease plans

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Ministry to audit Jakarta spatial plans following widespread floods

first_imgThe Agrarian and Spatial Planning Ministry wants to asses spatial plans for Greater Jakarta following widespread flooding that hit parts of the capital on Tuesday.Budi Situmorang, the ministry’s spatial use and land control director general, said officials were “racing against time” to audit the spatial plan from “upstream to downstream”, adding that the uphill areas of Greater Jakarta were particularly problematic due to the construction of villas.”We would like to conduct replanting in the upstream area together with the Environment and Forestry Ministry, because our requirement is that villas can only occupy 20 percent of the total spatial plan,” Budi said in a statement. “We will dismantle [villas] if their number exceeds the limit.” Budi said the building density in Greater Jakarta had clogged many water catchment areas in the area, causing rivers to overflow due to constant rain and often resulting in floods.“The rain [on Tuesday] was torrential, but many water catchment areas are closed due to buildings. Thus, the drainage system did not function properly.”Read also: Complex measures, partnerships needed to deal with floods in JakartaThe ministry was also working with the Public Works and Housing Ministry’s Directorate General for Water Resources, Budi said. “Areas in Bogor and Depok used to have extensive lakes, but the latter have been gradually reduced, so we are working together to prevent any further reduction.”The ministry would identify and go as far as to dismantle buildings, especially those built without permits, in several locations in Jakarta based on Law No. 24/2007 on disaster management. Greater Jakarta was hit by the fourth major floods this year on Tuesday morning following torrential overnight rainfall. According to PetaBencana.id, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency’s (BNPB) website for real-time flood information, 87 locations across Jakarta had been inundated by floods on Tuesday, which paralyzed part of the capital city and disrupted transportation. (awa)Topics :last_img read more

Seoul city seeks murder charges against sect founder over virus

first_imgSeoul’s city government has asked prosecutors to press charges, including murder, against the founder of a secretive religious sect for failing to cooperate in containing the spread of the deadly coronavirus.South Korea has seen a surge in the number of infections — adding more than 4,000 cases in less than two weeks — with around 60 percent of the national total linked to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus.As officials try to track down and test more than 266,000 people associated with Shincheonji, the entity has been accused of submitting false lists of its members to authorities. The Seoul City government said it had filed a legal complaint to prosecutors against 12 leaders of the sect — including its founder, Lee Man-hee — accusing them of homicide, causing harm and violating the Infectious Disease and Control Act.”They did not take any action to encourage its members to actively cooperate with the health authorities to prevent further spread of the COVID-19,” the city authorities said in a statement.Seoul mayor Park Won-soon added on his Facebook page: “If they had actively taken early measures, we could have prevented the explosive rise of COVID-19 cases in Daegu and North Gyeongbuk province and the deaths of several people.”Under South Korean law prosecutors can make their own decision on whether to act on complaints filed to them, and Yonhap news agency reported that the Seoul City request had been assigned for investigation. Shincheonji declined to comment, saying: “The most important thing for us now is disinfecting and our highest priority is to end the COVID-19 outbreak soon.”The outbreak among Shincheonji members began with a 61-year-old woman, who developed a fever on February 10 but attended at least four church services in Daegu — the country’s fourth-largest city and epicentre of its outbreak — before being diagnosed.The organisation has apologised on behalf of its members who have not answered survey calls but has insisted that it has been fully cooperating with the government to contain the virus.Shincheonji, founded in 1984, proclaims Lee has donned the mantle of Jesus Christ and will take 144,000 people with him to heaven on the day of judgement. But with more church members than available places in heaven, they are said to have to compete for slots and pursue converts.Topics :last_img read more

Trump warned about virus repeatedly in Jan. and Feb.: Report

first_imgFor weeks, the Daily Briefs traced the spread of the virus, said that China was suppressing information about the virus’ lethality and ease of transmission, and mentioned the frightful political and economic consequences, the Post said.The president, who officials told the Post often does not read the briefings and bristles at having to listen to oral summaries, failed to mobilize for a major pandemic.Trump did restrict travel between the United States and China in late January, but he spent most of the following month downplaying the threat.He did not declare a national emergency over the coronavirus pandemic until March 13, as the stock market plummeted and virus cases were on the rise in New York.As of late Monday, the United States recorded an overall coronavirus death toll of 56,144, with 988,197 confirmed infections, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. US President Donald Trump was repeatedly warned about the dangers of the novel coronavirus in intelligence briefings in January and February, The Washington Post reported late Monday.The warnings — more than a dozen included in classified briefings known as the President’s Daily Brief — came during a time the president was mostly downplaying the threat of a COVID-19 pandemic.The Post, citing unnamed current and former US officials, said the warnings were contained in the daily classified summary of the most important global issues and security threats. Topics :last_img read more

Facebook’s Zuckerberg embraces remote work beyond Silicon Valley

first_imgTopics : “These aren’t necessarily offices,” Zuckerberg said, although the company would likely create “some kind of physical space” to foster community. “The idea for these hubs is that we want to create scale. We want to focus the recruiting energy in some cities where we can get to hundreds of engineers.”The total effect on costs of the shift to remote work is unclear, Zuckerberg said. Savings related to real estate, food and labor costs will be partially offset by additional expenses for travel and logistics associated with home offices.He said the company was committed to keeping its current office spaces, which include a tony Menlo Park headquarters designed by architect Frank Gehry, featuring a rooftop garden and a courtyard sheltered by redwood trees.The sky-high compensation packages common in Silicon Valley will not necessarily be transferred to other parts of the country, however. Zuckerberg said salaries will be adjusted if Facebook employees opt to live in less-pricey regions, consistent with the company’s existing cost-of-living calculations.“We pay very well, basically at the top of the market, but we pay a market rate. And that varies by location, so we’re going to continue that principle here,” he said.Internal surveys indicate that about 60 percent of Facebook employees preferred a flexible approach to work, with a mix of remote and office-based functions, Zuckerberg said.Within that group, he said, just under half reported they would move to another region if given the option.He said there were no differences in the results by gender. Facebook Inc will permanently embrace remote work even after coronavirus lockdowns ease, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Thursday, accelerating the tech sector’s geographic diversification away from its home in Silicon Valley.Zuckerberg said the world’s largest social network would start “aggressively opening up remote hiring” in July, expecting that about half its workforce would eventually do their jobs outside Facebook’s offices over the next five to 10 years.The company would take a more “measured approach” with existing employees based on job function and past performance, he said, and set a January 1, 2021 deadline for staff to update the company on their new locations for tax purposes.center_img The move is the most significant yet by a tech giant to reimagine what work culture will look like in a post-coronavirus world, as the pandemic upends office and commuting habits for companies around the world.It follows similar announcements earlier this month by social media rival Twitter and payments company Square, both led by Jack Dorsey, which were the first tech companies to permit remote work indefinitely.But Facebook is a much larger company, with nearly 50,000 employees, and it went further in laying out a novel proposed structure for remote work. Its decision is likely to have a pronounced impact on the San Francisco area, where the tech sector’s rapid growth has strained regional infrastructure.Facebook, which has already said it will stick to plans to hire 10,000 engineers and product employees this year, will also build three new “hubs” in Atlanta, Dallas and Denver where remote workers in those areas could occasionally convene.last_img read more

‘Rely on God’: A prescription for India’s poor in pandemic

first_imgWith scant supplies and underpaid staff, one of India’s poorest states is scrambling to prevent a “blast” in coronavirus cases that medics say could cripple its precarious health system.The pandemic has already overwhelmed the medical network in the eastern state of Bihar, which has recorded more than 62,000 infections and nearly 350 deaths.But locals fear the worst is yet to come. Topics : “We got frightened and … our family members started crying out of helplessness. [Then] hospital authorities called us and – admitted him,” his brother-in-law Manoj Kumar said by phone from his village in Madhubani town.But it was too late.”We were told that he was severely breathless overnight and other patients tried to call the doctor for him but nobody came. Finally he fell from his bed and died due to a lack of oxygen,” Kumar told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.Health experts say the death toll is set to rise, especially as annual floods complicate efforts to enforce social distancing and strain resources.”The floods have decreased mobility. People can’t leave … testing teams are also unable to reach these areas,” said S.R. Jha, a doctor in impoverished Araria district.”The cases will spike a lot more. There will be a kind of blast.”Neither the state’s health secretary and health minister nor the federal health ministry responded to repeated phone calls, text messages and emails over a week seeking their comment.’Missed the boat’India’s coronavirus outbreak is the third worst in the world behind the United States and Brazil, with more than 1.9 million confirmed cases and about 40,700 deaths, according to a tally by the Johns Hopkins University.The virus travelled from crowded cities to rural hinterland as millions of workers returned home under a strict lockdown, with Bihar receiving one of the largest migrant influxes.Bihar lacks good hospitals, with facilities outside Patna woefully short on resources, doctors and medical experts say.In Darbhanga district – which bore the brunt of floods – a coronavirus patient even staged a protest inside a local hospital, claiming medical negligence.”No doctor has come to see me for 10 days. The situation is so bad the oxygen cylinder that they gave me ran out of gas … I asked them for a replacement, but there’s no response,” Shailendra Sinha told local media.Medical observers say the government failed to prepare.Sunil Kumar, Bihar secretary of the Indian Medical Association that represents 325,000 doctors, said more than 40% of state healthcare posts were vacant. This, he said, despite doctors’ requests to the government to fill the openings.”The government missed the boat on preparation and planning and now you can see the fallout,” said Kumar.Officials had no response after a week of requests for comment. Yet Kumar said medics’ pay was pitiful and that staff lacked basic kit such as protective suits, masks and gloves.”How can you expect medical staff to work for 8,000 or 10,000 rupees ($133) in COVID-19 wards in such conditions – only to risk their lives?,” he said.The state government says it will give health workers an “encouragement incentive” worth a month’s salary.’Rely on god’Home to 120 million people, Bihar is testing about 38,000 samples a day – compared to some 100,000 in India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh.Kumar said the virus was spreading undetected, with few people wearing masks or keeping a safe distance, despite a lockdown until Aug 16.State Chief Minister Nitish Kumar says the virus is “definitely a threat to Bihar” given it has the top population density in the country – three times the national average.Bihar’s principal health secretary, Pratyaya Amrit was not available for comment, but has told local media that his top priority was to ramp up testing to 50,000 a day.He has vowed to make changes, including increasing the number of beds with oxygen support, ambulance services, round-the-clock availability of doctors and nurses and filling vacancies by appointing 1,000 specialist doctors.Dr. Shakeel, who goes by one name and heads the People’s Health Movement in Bihar, a network of medical and civil society organizations, said private hospitals were out of reach for most people since they could charge up to 15,000 rupees a day – in a state where the daily per capita income is $1.50.Instead, ordinary people would have to make do with local “hospitals that are dirty, where beds are very few and any treatment for (the) coronavirus is not even available,” said Jha, the doctor from Araria.”The poor … they have to rely on God.”center_img Fuelling their anxiety – a slew of media reports and images of people struggling to access healthcare, including coronavirus patients languishing on oxygen support in hospital corridors.The list of patient complaints – worse outside the capital city of Patna – is long: too few beds, faulty oxygen cylinders, no doctors, zero tests and a dearth of effective medicine.When village pharmacist Om Prakash Gupta became breathless last week, he waded through swirling flood waters to reach a local, district hospital only to wait hours for a coronavirus test – and a whole day for oxygen support.The 42-year-old tested positive, and got a bed after his family faced initial apathy from hospital staff, threats from doctors and rejection from politicians.last_img read more