UEFA teams up with Disney in a bid to boost girls participation

first_imgWhile more teenage girls and women are playing football, girls tend to start later than boys, choosing other sports or activities.UEFA examined research which showed that globally 84% of girls under the age of 17 are not meeting the World Health Organization minimum activity guidelines.When girls reach the age of 15-24, they are half as likely to participate in sport as boys the same age, according to studies by the European Commission for Education, Sport, Youth and Culture.Kessler says that sessions at Playmakers events will be very different from traditional training sessions.”There will still be football cones and a ball but these sessions will allow girls to play out scenes of their favorite Disney movies, they will be empowered to take on the character and roles of their favorite Disney heroes.”It is broken down into 10 sessions and the girl will learn basic football skills by completing different tasks,” she added.The Playmakers project will launch in Scotland, Norway, Belgium, Poland, Austria, Romania, and Serbia this spring, before a full pan-European roll-out.Disney is not one of UEFA’s commercial partners and has joined up with the organization specifically for the Playmakers project.”It is a completely new agreement we have signed and a very important one,” said Kessler.”If you decided to create a program based on play-based learning then you want to have the best characters and stories in the world and I think Disney has inspired generations and we are really happy to be able to use some of this magic.”Topics : The first stage of the project will be based around the Incredibles 2 film and characters.UEFA had already committed to an ambitious target of doubling the number of women and girls playing the sport by 2024 and the youngest age group is seen as key to that change.Nadine Kessler, UEFA’s Head of Women’s Football, told Reuters that the aim of the program was to “create an environment for all girls to flourish and develop, whether that be fundamental movement skills, football basics or life skills and values.”We truly believe that this unique program can be the spark for a more active generation of football-loving girls.” UEFA has teamed up with Disney to launch a pan-European project aimed at increasing the number of girls playing football.The biggest-ever attempt to boost girls’ involvement in the game will start this spring in seven European countries before being introduced across the continent, European soccer’s governing body said on Thursday.The new ‘Playmakers’ project is aimed at girls aged five to eight years old, who are not currently playing football, and is focused around play and games involving popular Disney characters and storylines.last_img read more

COVID-19: Annual Easter Parade in East Nusa Tenggara canceled

first_imgTimor Evangelical Church (GMIT) has officially canceled the 26th Easter Parade in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, which was set to be held on Apr. 13. The city’s annual celebration, which has always attracted thousands of parishioners from hundreds of churches, has been halted over COVID-19 concerns.”It is a very tough decision but this is what needed to be done to curb the spread of COVID-19,” the head of the Synodal Assembly of GMIT, priest Merry Kolimon said on Friday, adding that big events related to Easter, which attract crowds, would be postponed until further notice.He also called on churches to pay more attention to vulnerable age groups, such as the elderly and children, as a precautionary measure against COVID-19.”If the situation gets worse, churches need to tell their parishioners to pray at home while maintaining close communication with the head of the church,” he suggested.According to priest Merry, the 2020 Easter celebration should be defined as a chance to build family cohesion and solidarity across the nation. In addition to the cancellation of the Easter Parade, the GMIT has also postponed an ordination Mass for 22 newly elected vicars, which was scheduled to be held on Sunday. The ordination was planned to be held in two places, namely the Policarpus Atambua church-Belu synod and Petrus Ombok church-Northwestern Rote synod.The GMIT’s move to cancel and postpone events was lauded by the head of East Nusa Tenggara’s Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), Abdul Kadir Makarim, who supported the precautionary measures being enforced in the region.”Religious events that involve crowds must be canceled,” he said.In accordance with the GMIT, the MUI East Nusa Tenggara has also advised local residents not to conduct Friday prayers at mosques, which involve crowds, in the country’s battle against COVID-19. (trn)Topics :last_img read more

Govt to disburse money to laid-off workers, families to curb economic impacts of COVID-19

first_imgProgram participants will receive Rp 1 million per month (US$ 61) for three to four months. To protect the economy from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has decided to speed up the disbursement of training funds for workers through the preemployment card program, as well as increase the allowance provided to low-income families.Originally slated for April, the preemployment card program’s launch has been brought forward to this Friday.“Several sectors have started layoffs. [The program will] support laid-off workers as well as day laborers and micro-businesses that have seen a decline in sales. We hope that those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak can learn a new skill or improve their skills,” President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said in a virtual press briefing on Tuesday. The government has allocated Rp 10 trillion for the program, which is expected to provide training to about 2 million people.Earlier, Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto said online training would be available nationwide while offline training sessions would be available in Riau, Bali, North Sulawesi and Surabaya in East Java during the program’s first phase of implementation.The President has also announced an increase in the amount of aid given to families enrolled in the Family Hope Program (PKH) for the next six months.“The allowance has been increased from Rp 150,000 to Rp 200,000 for each family. The allocation fund is Rp 4.5 trillion,” said Jokowi, adding that the program could cater to around 20 million low-income families. (aly)Topics :last_img read more

Spain ‘risks chaos’ if state of emergency not renewed

first_imgBut this time, the main opposition Popular Party has said it will not extend the move, raising the political stakes as Spain slowly begins easing restrictions that have kept nearly 47 million people at home for the past 50 days.”We cannot support extending the state of emergency,” PP leader Pablo Casado told Spain’s Onda Zero radio station after talking with Sanchez by phone. “When the prime minister says that… we are in a phase of de-escalation, it does not seem compatible with continuing to demand extraordinary measures against the rights and freedoms of Spaniards.” But Transport Minister Jose Luis Abalos warned that any such move would have serious repercussions, saying it “could bring chaos to Spain’s health system and its economy” and “end the best defense we have against COVID”. Topics : Spain’s coalition government warned the opposition Monday it could spark “chaos” in the healthcare system and the economy if it failed to approve an extension of the lockdown to curb the spread of the virus. Facing increasing criticism over its handling of the crisis, the minority government of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will on Wednesday seek parliament’s approval for a fresh two-week extension of the state of emergency.Extended twice, the current measures are set to expire at midnight on May 9 as Spain has sought to fight a virus that has now claimed more than 25,000 lives. center_img Political dissent Experts believe the epidemic peaked on April 2, when 950 people died over 24 hours, and last week the government unveiled its plans for exiting the lockdown in a phased rollback due to be completed by the end of June.Until now, the PP has voted in favor of extending the lockdown, but has refused to cooperate with the government on planning to deal with the economic crisis triggered by the epidemic. The political dissent in Spain has been at odds with the relative ease with which the governments in neighboring France and Portugal have been able to manage the crisis.In Portugal, the conservative opposition has rallied around Prime Minister Antonio Costa’s minority Socialist government.”We will help in any way we can. I wish you courage, nerves of steel and much luck, because your luck is our luck,” the leader of the main center-right opposition PSD party, Rui Rio, said during a debate in parliament.But that has changed in France, where government plans to exit the lockdown on May 11 have drawn a backlash for moving too fast.Critics say the country does not have enough masks and is not ready to cope with strict social distancing and other measures needed to avoid a flare-up of the epidemic which has so far claimed nearly 25,000 lives there.last_img read more

COVID-19: Jokowi urges public to follow health protocols

first_imgPresident Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has called on the public to continue following health protocols and large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) despite claims that the rate of COVID-19 infection is on the decline.”It is possible that the number of cases could go up and down, and so on. This means we have to live in peace with COVID-19 for the time being until we find an effective vaccine,” Jokowi said on Thursday. He also said that people in Indonesia were lucky because the government chose to implement large-scale social restrictions instead of a total lockdown to prevent the virus from spreading.  Read also: Easing restrictions? Not so fast, experts say”The PSBB allow the public to continue their daily activities, albeit with limitations. People also need to limit themselves, and refrain from gathering in large numbers,” Jokowi said.He said he had received reports that people were gathering in crowds in several regions.“It’s OK to carry out activities with limitations, but follow the health protocols,” he said. “[Dealing with the outbreak] requires discipline from all of us.”According to the official government count, Indonesia had 12,776 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 930 deaths as of Thursday.Topics :last_img read more

Three killed after man goes on stabbing spree in British town’s park, police say

first_img“My thoughts are with all of those affected by the appalling incident in Reading and my thanks to the emergency services on the scene,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.’Deeply shocking’Video footage posted on Twitter showed paramedics rushing to help at least three people who were bleeding on the ground. Reuters was unable to verify the footage independently.Matt Rodda, a lawmaker who represents Reading in Britain’s parliament, said the park, located in an historic area of the town, was typically busy on a Saturday evening.”It’s used by people to sit and meet with friends and obviously at the moment people have been meeting there, observing social distancing, and just chatting to friends peacefully in a park,” Rodda told Sky News.”This incident happened in that kind of environment so it’s really quite deeply shocking for local people.”Current coronavirus restrictions mean venues like pubs are closed, so many people in Britain gather in parks in the evenings to meet friends.The head of the local council authority in Reading, Jason Brock, said his thoughts were “with the families of all those who have died or have been injured.”The attack in Reading took place at the site of a Black Lives Matter anti-racism protest in the town earlier on Saturday but police said it was not connected.”There have been some reports that this incident was linked to the Black Lives Matter protest which took place in Reading earlier this afternoon,” Hunter said. “I can confirm that this incident is not connected. It occurred around three hours after the protest had concluded.”Some 36 people were killed in four attacks in Britain blamed by authorities on terrorism in 2017, the most deadly of which occurred at the end of a concert by US singer Ariana Grande in Manchester, northern England, with other attacks at London Bridge and near parliament.Last year the government downgraded the national terrorism threat level to “substantial,” meaning an attack is likely, from “severe”. Topics : “There is no intelligence to suggest that there is any further danger to the public, however we urge people to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious by calling police,” Detective Chief Superintendent Ian Hunter said.”This is not currently being treated as a terrorism incident, however officers are keeping an open mind as to the motivation for the incident and are being supported by colleagues from Counter Terrorism Policing South East.”A witness who spoke to the BBC, Lawrence Wort, said the attack began when a man suddenly veered toward a group of about eight to 10 friends and began stabbing them, “so the first three he got so completely out of the blue, he got very badly”.Wort said the assailant locked eyes with him and the person he was with and started coming toward them, but they ran to safety, at which point the man turned back to attack another group. When everyone started running from the scene, the attacker ran from the park, Wort said. Three people were killed and another three seriously injured when a man went on a stabbing spree in a park in the southern English town of Reading on Saturday, though police said they were not currently treating the incident as terrorism.Witnesses said a man went on the rampage at around 1800 GMT in Forbury Gardens, stabbing people at random who had gathered in the park on a sunny summer evening in Reading, which is about 40 miles (65 km) west of London.A 25-year-old man from Reading was arrested on suspicion of murder, police said, adding that they were not searching for any more suspects.last_img read more

MRT Jakarta commences phase 2 construction amid COVID-19 outbreak

first_imgCity-owned transportation company PT MRT Jakarta commenced construction of phase 2 of the Jakarta MRT project last week, after a three-month delay due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the capital.MRT Jakarta, the operator of the country’s first subway service, officially commenced construction of a 2.8-kilometer underground tunnel from the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle (Bundaran HI) to the National Monument (Monas) in Central Jakarta – known as stage CP201 – a city official has said.“On June 15, work commenced on MRT phase 2. We have issued a letter to the contractor, and the CP201 stage has started with the mobilization of workers,” the company’s president director William Sabandar said recently. A total of 2,000 workers will be gradually deployed to the construction site for CP201, he added.The physical construction of CP201 is expected to take place next year.The firm deferred the commencement of work on CP201 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, having pushed it back from the initial March commencement with completion expected by December 2024. MRT Jakarta now expects the contract package to be concluded by March 2025.With the outbreak yet to ebb in the capital, William assured that the company would implement all the necessary health protocols during construction. Among them is to uphold the contractor’s responsibility to ensure workers remain safe throughout their stay in Jakarta. “We will take a ‘business beyond normal’ approach. We’ll no longer be able to work on projects like we used to during the first phase,” he said, adding that office work would make use of more digital technology to reduce physical interactions.During the three months of down time, both the company and the contractor had prepared for the commencement of work with field surveys, soil investigation, relocation of utilities, design completion and continuing the permit application process, MRT Jakarta construction director Silvia Halim said.“We also ensured our readiness to implement health protocols,” she said recently.Phase 2 of the MRT’s development will see the construction of seven underground stations, extending 6.3 kilometers from Bundaran HI to Kota in West Jakarta.Stage CP201 proceeds alongside construction of other phase 2 stages, namely Harmoni-Mangga Besar (CP202) and Glodok-Kota (CP203), as well as the construction of railway systems and track work (CP205) and the procurement of rolling stock (CP206).The firm has completed stage CP200, which was the construction of an electric receiving substation (RSS) at Monas.William said the deferral would not affect the continuation of the project because the Indonesian government and the Japanese government, through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), had signed a deal for a loan worth Rp 22.5 trillion (US$1.59 billion) to fund phase 2.However, as the loan will only cover the Bundaran HI-Kota route, the firm is seeking additional funding to continue the construction from Kota to West Ancol, where the train depot is located.He said the central government would request additional funding from JICA to complete the line up to the MRT Jakarta depot, which is phase 2B. The project’s value has yet to be revealed, pending feasibility studies.During phase 2 construction, MRT Jakarta will simultaneously build transit-oriented-developments (TOD) in its stations. The company is attempting business-to-business (B2B) cooperation to gain funding to develop the integrated services, William said.  Since its launch last year, the MRT has seen a dramatic drop in ridership since the Jakarta administration imposed large-scale social restrictions (PSBB).Before the COVID-19 outbreak, the MRT saw an average of 100,000 daily passengers. This number has declined sharply, with an average of just 2,000 daily passengers during PSBB.With the city administration beginning to ease restrictions, the MRT recorded an increase of up to 17,000 passengers in mid-June.Topics :last_img read more

Indonesia raises $930m in samurai bonds to fund pandemic response

first_imgIndonesia has raised 100 billion yen (US$930 million) from the issuance of five-tranche samurai bonds to help the government cover the fiscal deficit and fund the coronavirus pandemic response, the Finance Ministry announced Friday.The deal was finalized in Japan on Thursday and sold in maturities of 20 years, worth 1.5 billion yen with a coupon rate of 1.8 percent; 10 years, worth 13.4 billion yen with a 1.59 percent coupon rate; and seven years, worth 10.1 billion yen with a 1.48 percent coupon rate.The five-year tenure is worth 24.3 billion yen with a coupon of 1.35 percent and the three-year tranche is worth 50.7 billion yen with a 1.13 percent coupon. The settlement date is set for July 8. The financing directorate general reported that Japanese investors responded with a strong appetite for the debt instrument, with interest coming from both existing and new investors.“Indonesia’s achievement of successfully pricing benchmark-sized transactions, while significantly reducing the average premium for its US-dollar secondary curve, encouraged the market and proved Indonesia […] was a leading samurai bond issuer,” the Finance Ministry added.The joint lead arrangers of the bond issuance are Daiwa Securities, Nomura Securities, SMBC Nikko Securities and Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.Prior to the samurai bond issuance, the Finance Ministry held a non-deal financial roadshow through the internet and group calls to explain macroeconomic conditions in the country.The government now expects full-year growth of only 1 percent under the baseline scenario in 2020 or full-year contraction of 0.4 percent in the worst-case scenario.Fitch Ratings director for sovereigns and supranationals Thomas Rookmaker expected Indonesia’s government debt ratio to swell to 38 percent by the end of the year, adding that it would still be below the BBB rating peer median of 53 percent of GDP.”A rapid increase in public debt resulting from rising budget deficits is a negative rating sensibility from our last review when we affirmed Indonesia’s rating at BBB with a stable outlook, but that was before the coronavirus pandemic,” Rookmaker told The Jakarta Post in mid-June.Topics : “The funds raised will be used to finance the budget deficit, including to fund COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts,” the ministry said in a statement. “Indonesia’s transaction is the first issuance of the sovereign Japanese yen in 2020 and the first issuance from an Asian [country] since the pandemic hit.”The government faces the daunting task of funding the budget deficit of 6.34 percent of gross domestic product this year, with Rp 695.2 trillion ($49 billion) set aside to bolster the economy and strengthen the healthcare system.The government is planning to offer Rp 900.4 trillion worth of sovereign debt papers in the second half of the year as debt financing swells significantly to fund the country’s coronavirus response.It had raised Rp 630.5 trillion worth of debt papers until June this year, including $4.3 from a three-tranche US-dollar bond in April and $2.5 billion from a three-tranche global sukuk (sharia-compliant bond) last month.last_img read more

COVID-19: Jakarta still undecided on extending PSBB transition despite surge in cases

first_imgIf the evaluation results were good, Ahmad said Jakarta would end the policy to enter what he dubbed a period of “safe, healthy and productive” social life where residents could co-exist with the coronavirus.”If the transmission rate still remains high like now, it’s very likely that we’ll extend the transitional PSBB for the third time,” Ahmad said, adding that the city administration would continue limiting maximum capacities to 50 percent in public places, offices and on transportation.”If the situation gets worse, it’s not impossible that we will restore [the previously stricter] PSBB,” he added.Read also: Muslims in Jakarta’s 33 red zones should avoid Idul Adha mass prayers Jakarta has yet to decide whether to extend its transitional period of COVID-19 restrictions despite having continuously hit new records in daily numbers of new infections ever since curbs began to be eased.The city’s large-scale social restrictions (PSBB), currently described as a “transitional” phase with the gradual reopening of several essential services, was supposed to end on Thursday after the Jakarta administration extended the period for two weeks from July 16.Deputy Jakarta governor Ahmad Riza Patria, however, said the city administration was still undecided. As of Tuesday, authorities were still evaluating the transitional PSBB policy and reviewing future options, he said. Jakarta has seen a rising number of daily new COVID-19 cases following the city’s decision to gradually relax restrictions and reopen businesses and offices under health protocols from June 4.On Wednesday, the capital recorded 584 new confirmed cases, its highest one-day spike since the first confirmed cases were detected in the city in March.The city’s previous daily highs include 467 new cases on Monday, 441 on July 21, 404 on July 12, 395 on July 11 and 344 on July 8.As of Wednesday, Jakarta had recorded 19,885 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 795 fatalities and 12,373 recoveries.Ahmad said the city administration still awaited reports on the latest positivity rate — the number of people who test positive divided by the total number tested — as well as the data on COVID-19’s basic reproduction number (R0) and daily reproduction number (Rt) in Jakarta to determine future measures.Jakarta’s weekly positivity rate had consistently been below 5 percent since the beginning of June, in line with one of the World Health Organization’s requirements for regions seeking to enter the so-called “new normal”.However, the city’s positivity rate has recently recorded a rise as the rate on Saturday was recorded at 7.1 percent and 9.6 percent on Sunday, with a weekly average of 5.7 percent last week.Topics :last_img read more

Former Spanish king Juan Carlos has gone into exile in UAE

first_img‘Fleeing justice’ Anti-monarchist parties have accused Juan Carlos of “fleeing justice” but his lawyer has stressed that he would remain available to answer questions from prosecutors.A majority of Spaniards, 56.2 percent, feel his decision to move abroad is “misguided”, according to a poll published Sunday in the daily ABC, with only 25.4 percent saying it was the right step.An even greater number, 60.9 percent, believe his self-imposed exile is harmful for his son, the current King Felipe VI, according to the poll of 802 people carried out August 10-14.Since ascending to the throne in 2014, King Felipe VI has since taken steps to improve the monarchy’s image, such as imposing a “code of conduct” on royals.Earlier this year he stripped his father of his annual allowance of nearly 200,000 euros after new details of allegedly shady financial dealings emerged. The royal palace had up until now refused to reveal where Juan Carlos is living, saying he would announce it himself if necessary.It was first reported that he had travelled to the Dominican Republic or Portugal, where he spent part of his youth, but pro-monarchy Spanish daily ABC later said the former king had gone to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE.While Juan Carlos is not under formal investigation, revelations by a former mistress, German businesswoman Corinna Larsen, raise legal questions about his financial affairs which officials are looking into in Spain and Switzerland.The daily Tribune de Geneve has reported that a Swiss prosecutor is focusing on $100 million (85 million euros) which that late Saudi king Abdullah allegedly deposited in 2008 into a Swiss bank account to which Juan Carlos had access.  Spain’s former king Juan Carlos, who went into exile this month in the face of graft allegations, is in the United Arab Emirates, the royal palace said Monday, ending the mystery over his whereabouts.The 82-year-old, who has long had warm relations with the Gulf monarchies, “travelled to the United Arab Emirates on August 3 and he remains there,” a spokesman said without giving further details.In a surprise move, Juan Carlos announced on August 3 that he was leaving Spain to prevent his personal affairs from undermining his son King Felipe VI’s reign, but did not say where he would be going. In conversations which were apparently recorded without her knowledge that were leaked to the media, Larsen claimed Juan Carlos had collected a payoff relating to a 2011 high-speed rail contract in Saudi Arabia that was awarded to a consortium of Spanish firms. The 450-kilometre (280-mile) link between Mecca and Medina was inaugurated in 2018.center_img Royal apology Spain’s Supreme Court in June announced an investigation to determine whether the contract had involved the “crime of corruption in international transactions” and whether Juan Carlos was legally responsible — but only for acts committed after his abdication in 2014, because of the immunity he enjoyed until then.Juan Carlos ascended the throne in 1975 on the death of the fascist dictator Francisco Franco and ruled for 38 years before abdicating in favour of his son Felipe VI in June 2014 — just two years after he apologised to Spaniards for jetting off on an elephant-hunting trip in Africa with Larsen as Spain grappled with a financial crisis.He was a popular figure for decades, playing a key role in the democratic transition from the Franco dictatorship which ruled Spain from 1939-1975.But a steady flow of embarrassing media stories about his past lifestyle and personal wealth have eroded his standing in recent years and renewed debate over the future of the monarchy in Spain.Polls show Spaniards are roughly equally split over whether their country should remain a monarchy or become a republic.Older people and conservatives are more likely to back the monarchy, while younger people and leftists are more likely to oppose it. Topics :last_img read more