Purpose in service

first_imgThe ROTC commissioning ceremony Wednesday at Tercentenary Theatre saluted the long Crimson line of Harvard students who have joined the military.Eight years ago, Shawna Sinnott ’10 received her commission as a Navy second lieutenant at a ceremony attended by Harvard President Drew Faust. In January of this year, Sinnott, now a captain in the Marine Corps, sent Faust an American flag she had flown for her in Afghanistan.The same flag took center stage at Wednesday’s event.Harvard President Drew Faust and Belfer Center director Ash Carter pledge allegiance before the ceremony. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer“Capt. Shawna Sinnott wrote to explain that on the eve of her fourth deployment, she was sending me a flag she had flown in my honor while she was stationed in Afghanistan,” Faust said in her remarks. “I was deeply moved by her gift and her story, as I have been by the stories of sacrifice and service of all 74 Harvard students I have cheered on as they have taken their officer’s oaths in this ceremony over the past 10 years.”Faust brought the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps back to campus in 2011 after a nearly 40-year absence. In her speech, she highlighted Harvard’s long tradition of service to the nation.“Strong connections between Harvard and our armed forces are essential to Harvard’s — and the nation’s — present and future,” she said. “Harvard students aspiring to be leaders and influencers in America and the world need to understand the military. And the military has and will continue to benefit from the contributions of the extraordinary leaders educated here.”,The ceremony recognized two Army second lieutenants, two Marine Corps second lieutenants, and three Navy ensigns.Army 2nd Lt. Daniel Cord, who graduated with a master’s in Middle Eastern Studies, will serve as a military intelligence officer at Fort Devens, Mass. Army 2nd Lt. Nathan Williams, a government concentrator, will attend the engineer officer basic course at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Kevin Zhu, a visual and environmental studies concentrator, and Marine Corps 2nd Lt. James Joyce, an economics concentrator, will attend the Basic School in Quantico, Virginia.Ensigns Michael Haley, an economics concentrator, and Phillip Ramirez, a government concentrator, were selected for aviation duty and will report to the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Fla. Ensign Kirstin Anderson, a physics concentrator, will report to Charleston, S.C., to be assigned to the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command.The new officers swore an oath to the Constitution and received their first salute; their relatives pinned their insignias to their uniforms. When the ceremony ended, the warrior-scholars were embraced by families, classmates, and friends.,Asked why he joined the military, Zhu, who grew up in Boston, said he was moved by a desire to give back.“This country has given a lot to my family and me,” he said. “I wanted to make some kind of impact as a young person — do my part and serve the country.”Guest speaker Ash Carter, former U.S. Secretary of Defense and director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School, commended the new officers for their spirit of sacrifice and for choosing to serve “something bigger than yourselves.”A historian of the Civil War and the American South and the great-granddaughter of a West Point graduate, Faust saluted the group’s dedication to a “bigger purpose.”“We do not know yet what path will unfold for those of you on the stage today,” she said. “We do not know what price might be asked. But we know that Harvard has helped you to develop skills and capacities that will enable you to make significant contributions in the year ahead. And we know that the most important and fundamental of your contributions will be the selflessness and service that your decision to join the military represents.”last_img read more

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Let the Transformation Begin

first_imgIn a few weeks’ time all eyes will turn to Austin, where the sun is warm, the finest food comes on trucks and the music never stops. Yes, I’m talking about Dell EMC World (Oct 18 – 20), the biggest enterprise technology event of the year and our first big event as Dell EMC.Bigger and better than ever, Dell EMC World will be full of technical and strategy sessions, as well as a CxO event with tracks for both commercial and enterprise-sized businesses. The Converged Platforms and Solutions Division will be a critical part of the event and we’ll be showcasing the full range of our build to buy continuum, from validated systems to engineered solutions.There’ll be plenty of new announcements which we can’t wait to share with our customers, partners and the industry. I won’t be letting the cat out of the bag if I mentioned that one of these announcements will be about the mighty PowerEdge servers which have taken the market by storm to become the market share leader as recognized by the Gartner and IDC quarterly market share report. Customers are at the heart of everything we do and our customers are demanding that we expand the reach and scope of our HCI platforms in order to give them more choice and flexibility, and do so at a better price point. I assure you we will not disappoint them.In other news our Hybrid Cloud Platform team is working apace on an analytics platform and I can’t wait to share more details about that.From an event participation perspective Chad Sakac, president of the Converged  Platforms and Solutions Division will be joining Jeremy Burton in a General Session: Transforming IT: From the edge, to the core, to the cloud. Featuring an all-star cast from various divisions within the company they’ll be showcasing the real heroes of Dell EMC World: the incredible new products and solutions destined to defeat any IT challenges they come up against.Chad Sakac will answer all your questions on whether hyper-converged or converged is the right option for your business or if you should build or buy your infrastructure in a breakout session that will explain the benefits of modernizing your data center wherever you stand on the buy or build continuum.Want to find out why developers love the Native Hybrid Cloud platform? Don’t miss Chad Sakac at the Dell EMC World Live Tech Chat with Barton George where they will discuss the importance of speeding up application development for the new digital enterprise.For those who are not attending the event – you can catch the keynotes and highlight session via the virtual event.  You can be social with us by following the #DellEMCWorld hashtag to see what is happening at the show and what is being announced.  Also stop by the booth and tweet why #VxRailRocks to collect a prize from the VxRail Locker.With Alabama Shake providing entertainment – it’s promising to be an event the size of Texas and I can’t wait to touch down in Austin!See you on the other side.last_img read more

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Trail Mix | Lowland Hum

first_imgEarly last week I was listening to Thin, the newest release from Charlottesville folk duo Lowland Hum, and thinking about this blog post, when I reached out to a good friend to see if he had heard them before.Turns out he had and, in fact, had crossed paths with Daniel and Lauren Goans, the married couple who make up Lowland Hum, not long ago.“I spent most of the day hanging with them at a festival last year,” he said, “and they were a very interesting couple, in many ways breathtaking. They are dedicated to making music their own way, without worry about levels of success other than where they currently are.”Having never met Daniel and Lauren myself, I did feel a sense of recognition and agreement with those words. The collection of songs that became Thin is, at bare minimum, interesting, if not purely captivating and hypnotic, so it stood to reason that the musicians behind them be interesting people as well.My notions were confirmed as I dug deeper, learning that Daniel and Lauren partner to create a holistic musical experience, from the songs themselves to album artwork, live videos, and even lyric books that are shared with audience members.I recently caught up with Lauren to chat about the new record, working with one’s spouse, and this weekend’s record release show at The Southern.BRO – Are there any distinct challenges being creative partners with your spouse?LG – Certainly! I think we tried really hard to separate our work life from our home life in the beginning of our collaboration together, but it didn’t take long to realize how unrealistic that is. Of course, whatever is going on in our personal live affects our working relationship. It means we spend a lot of time working through things to stay on the same page. If we aren’t in unity about something, our work is neither productive nor enjoyable.BRO – Describe your songwriting process. Do you schedule time together or strike when the iron is hot, so to speak, and work when inspiration stirs?LG – We tend to work in cycles. We go through phases throughout the year when we try to make songwriting a part of our daily practice. We have also taken writing retreats when we can squeeze them into our tour schedule. In the months leading up to recording, we devote a significant portion of our days to editing and fine-tuning songs we have been working on throughout the year. And, of course, sometimes ideas surface unexpectedly, and we try to give them room to grow when that happens.BRO – I have never heard of a band providing lyric books to its audiences. What was the inspiration behind that?LG – I am a visual processor, so I have always found that I connect to lyrics more deeply when I can see and hear them. When we first started playing shows together, we wanted to create hospitable experiences of presence for people. The lyric books came out of those early brainstorms about how to do that for our audiences. In 2012, we made the first few generations of lyric books entirely by hand, using our home printer, stamping simple illustrations on each book and binding them using a special hand-sewn method. It took us weeks. Now we pay a great print shop in North Carolina to print and hand bind them. The books still have that magical, handmade charm.BRO – We are featuring “Thin Places” on this month’s Trail Mix. What’s the story behind the song?LG – “Thin Places” was written during a writing retreat on the eastern shore of Maryland at a property overlooking the Chesapeake Bay. It is one that Daniel mostly wrote, and the lyrics recall several instances of experiencing wonder in a sudden and surreal way that resulted in gratitude. The song also references Andrew Wyeth, whose work seems to share a color palette with the landscape of the Chesapeake Bay.BRO – You are set to play The Southern this weekend. Excited to share these tunes with the hometown family?LG – We are thrilled to share these songs with the hometown crowd. The album was recorded about a mile and a half from the venue, so it feels all the more celebratory to have the release show at The Southern.Lowland Hum returns home to Charlottesville on Friday to play The Southern Music Hall and we want to give you the chance to catch the show for free! Take a chance on the trivia question down below and shoot your answer to [email protected] A winner from all correct answers received by noon tomorrow (Thursday, Feb. 16) will receive two passes to the show.Question . . . . Prior to being known as The Southern, what name did this venue go by?Good luck!And be sure to take a listen to “Thin Places,” along with tracks from The Sadies, Otis Taylor, Scott Biram, and more on this month’s Trail Mix.last_img read more

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Brazilian Air Force Conducts Irregular Warfare Operational Exercise

first_imgBy Taciana Moury August 05, 2019 The Brazilian Air Force (FAB, in Portuguese) mobilized 600 service members and 50 aircraft, including airplanes and helicopters from about 30 air squadrons, to conduct the second edition of Operational Exercise (EXOP, in Portuguese) Tápio in the city of Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul. The activity took place April 23-May 17, 2019, at the 5th Wing, to prepare troops for irregular warfare, which is a conflict that doesn’t involve constituted states and their armed forces, but rather insurgent groups, paramilitary organizations, and resistance movements.The goal of Preparation Command (COMPREP, in Portuguese), which created the exercise, was to train air and land resources in various aerial activities, in a realistic scenario. The characteristics of EXOP Tápio are similar to those found in United Nations peacekeeping missions.During the 25 days of operations, participants carried out about 700 missions: including close air support, forward air control, forward air guidance, escort, aerial infiltration and exfiltration, combat search and rescue, and counter-air defense. The exercise used Brazilian Navy aircraft in addition to FAB aircraft.Operational resources of the Brazilian Airborne Rescue Squadron, the Air Defense Brigade, and the Air Defense Groups, all from FAB, took part in the exercise. The Brazilian Army was present with service members from the Paratrooper Infantry Brigade and Western Military Command. “U.S. Air Force officers joined the exercise, predominantly during close air support activities,” said FAB Colonel André Luiz Alves Ferreira, co-director of the exercise and head of COMPREP’s Operational Preparation Control Division.Night trainingThe 2019 edition stood out for the use of Composite Air Operation (COMAO) at night. COMAO involves various aircraft and squadrons in a single mission with simultaneous operations. “The operations included dozens of aircraft, most of them using night vision goggles — NVG. The results were excellent, demonstrating solid operational and doctrinal progress of our units,” said Col. André Luiz.According to the Air Force Public Affairs Office, each COMAO carried out during Tápio involved at least 100 service members and up to 30 aircraft with different performance levels. The goal of the combined exercise is to integrate the aircraft in a synergic, safe, and complementary manner, considering doctrine and the characteristics of each aircraft.FAB Lieutenant Colonel Luciano Antonio Marchiorato Dobignies, commander of the 2nd Squadron/10th Air Group-Pelican Squadron, emphasized the importance of night missions. “They enabled the improvement of Tactical Pre-Hospital Care [APHT, in Portuguese] to service members of the rescue team, a result of lessons learned during the previous edition of the exercise,” he said.The Pelican Squadron participated with the SC-105 (C-295 SAR) aircraft, performing the Airborne Mission Commander role. “The goal was to support the Combat Search and Rescue Task Force for communication and coordination between resources, with the evader and higher command, for better situational awareness, enabled by the systems on board,” Lt. Col. Marchiorato said.“Compared with the previous edition, the latest edition of Exercise Tápio was marked by the improvement of APHT techniques,” stated Lt. Col. Marchiorato. “Each service member had to take refresher classes and undergo a series of evaluations, starting with a theoretical test on APHT. [This was] followed by a hands-on workshop. They were then tested in an enemy resistance field simulation, in addition to a complete check, also conducted during the flight.”According to Lt. Col. Marchiorato, EXOP Tápio is the most complete exercise to prepare service members on irregular warfare missions and has been essential to coordinate different participating aircraft, and standardize rescue teams. Col. André Luíz also emphasized that all tactical and technical trainings and planned procedures were met during EXOP Tápio 2019.Col. André Luíz also pointed out that the 2019 edition carried out more cargo and personnel launches and increased the use of doctrine by conducting advancement classes, workshops, and an intermediary meeting to analyze results. “EXOP Tápio enables us to train for realistic tactical scenarios,” the officer concluded.The Brazilian Air Force (FAB, in Portuguese) mobilized 600 service members and 50 aircraft, including airplanes and helicopters from about 30 air squadrons, to conduct the second edition of Operational Exercise (EXOP, in Portuguese) Tápio in the city of Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul. The activity took place April 23-May 17, 2019, at the 5th Wing, to prepare troops for irregular warfare, which is a conflict that doesn’t involve constituted states and their armed forces, but rather insurgent groups, paramilitary organizations, and resistance movements.The goal of Preparation Command (COMPREP, in Portuguese), which created the exercise, was to train air and land resources in various aerial activities, in a realistic scenario. The characteristics of EXOP Tápio are similar to those found in United Nations peacekeeping missions.During the 25 days of operations, participants carried out about 700 missions: including close air support, forward air control, forward air guidance, escort, aerial infiltration and exfiltration, combat search and rescue, and counter-air defense. The exercise used Brazilian Navy aircraft in addition to FAB aircraft.Operational resources of the Brazilian Airborne Rescue Squadron, the Air Defense Brigade, and the Air Defense Groups, all from FAB, took part in the exercise. The Brazilian Army was present with service members from the Paratrooper Infantry Brigade and Western Military Command. “U.S. Air Force officers joined the exercise, predominantly during close air support activities,” said FAB Colonel André Luiz Alves Ferreira, co-director of the exercise and head of COMPREP’s Operational Preparation Control Division.Night trainingThe 2019 edition stood out for the use of Composite Air Operation (COMAO) at night. COMAO involves various aircraft and squadrons in a single mission with simultaneous operations. “The operations included dozens of aircraft, most of them using night vision goggles — NVG. The results were excellent, demonstrating solid operational and doctrinal progress of our units,” said Col. André Luiz.According to the Air Force Public Affairs Office, each COMAO carried out during Tápio involved at least 100 service members and up to 30 aircraft with different performance levels. The goal of the combined exercise is to integrate the aircraft in a synergic, safe, and complementary manner, considering doctrine and the characteristics of each aircraft.FAB Lieutenant Colonel Luciano Antonio Marchiorato Dobignies, commander of the 2nd Squadron/10th Air Group-Pelican Squadron, emphasized the importance of night missions. “They enabled the improvement of Tactical Pre-Hospital Care [APHT, in Portuguese] to service members of the rescue team, a result of lessons learned during the previous edition of the exercise,” he said.The Pelican Squadron participated with the SC-105 (C-295 SAR) aircraft, performing the Airborne Mission Commander role. “The goal was to support the Combat Search and Rescue Task Force for communication and coordination between resources, with the evader and higher command, for better situational awareness, enabled by the systems on board,” Lt. Col. Marchiorato said.“Compared with the previous edition, the latest edition of Exercise Tápio was marked by the improvement of APHT techniques,” stated Lt. Col. Marchiorato. “Each service member had to take refresher classes and undergo a series of evaluations, starting with a theoretical test on APHT. [This was] followed by a hands-on workshop. They were then tested in an enemy resistance field simulation, in addition to a complete check, also conducted during the flight.”According to Lt. Col. Marchiorato, EXOP Tápio is the most complete exercise to prepare service members on irregular warfare missions and has been essential to coordinate different participating aircraft, and standardize rescue teams. Col. André Luíz also emphasized that all tactical and technical trainings and planned procedures were met during EXOP Tápio 2019.Col. André Luíz also pointed out that the 2019 edition carried out more cargo and personnel launches and increased the use of doctrine by conducting advancement classes, workshops, and an intermediary meeting to analyze results. “EXOP Tápio enables us to train for realistic tactical scenarios,” the officer concluded.last_img read more

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JTF-Bravo, a Dynamic Force For SOUTHCOM

first_imgBy JTF-Bravo Public Affairs / Edited by Diálogo Staff February 03, 2020 January 10 interview with U.S. Army Colonel Steven Barry, Joint Task Force Bravo (JTF-Bravo).How would you describe the state of JTF-Bravo today?U.S. Army Colonel Steven Barry, commander of Joint Task Force Bravo: Long-term, the task force has been here as an established organization for well over 30 years, but the missions have evolved. Today, we are a dynamic force that the [U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM)] commander can deploy anywhere he needs to throughout the area of responsibility. Traditionally, we were tied to Honduras, doing most of our activities in this country because we are based out of here. Now our scope and our gaze have expanded beyond to try to have more regional focus. The past six months have been a huge effort from all components of Joint Task Force Bravo to change not only things like equipment we need and our procedures, but most importantly, our mentality.Another significant change over the past few months is that now we have a persistent presence with civil affairs in the Northern Tier countries. That is something that we lacked, and now we are able to conduct activities every day in those countries. They are critical to our neighborhood here in the Western Hemisphere, and the impact we can have to work with those countries that obviously influence the United States is great.What has been the driving factor for pushing JTF-Bravo’s activities further into the joint operations area?Col. Barry: When you look at the entire U.S. Southern Command region, its 31 countries, and so we decided that inside those countries — including Central America in its own operating area — JTF-Bravo was given a regional focus to help the combatant command integrate everything we are doing. Geography and relationships — everything is tied together on this isthmus, from the border of Colombia and Panama to the border of Mexico and Guatemala. You really have to take a regional view, especially when considering that borders are extremely porous.Every one of these Central American nations has a large tract of land that is essentially an ungoverned space — whether it’s Gracias a Dios in Honduras, Petén in Guatemala. What we are trying to do is knit the efforts together across the borders, including how we spend money and how we do activities. There are eight components in U.S. Southern Command that work throughout the entire area of responsibility, so we’re also trying to bring some coherent unity of efforts to how we operate here in Central America, which is far more underdeveloped than parts of South America. It has things like a poor doctor-per-person ratio. It still has high murder rates, although they have gone down. Their militaries could benefit more from our security cooperation. The threat networks that work throughout this region don’t care about borders, and they exploit them. So, by focusing beyond just one country, we are trying to bring a more deliberate approach and knit these activities together.How important is a historical and cultural perspective for members of JTF-Bravo and how does it affect your decision-making model?Col. Barry: I think historical perspective is tremendous. I have a deep history background, so when I came into this job, I tried to find what I could about what we are doing in Central America and South America, as it was my first time in the region. I tried to get that background and ask, “What exactly do we need to be doing here?” We did not even have a written history of our unit to put it all in perspective. When I think about what this region looked like in the early 1980s at the height of the Cold War, this is where the war moved to. It was the last sort of gasp of where the Soviets and the U.S. teed off against each other. As those nations weakened their presence here, narcotrafficking increased.But as we’ve clamped down and put pressure on that drug network, we’ve had other threats grow too. The world is really trying to follow two philosophies right now: Either you’re for a liberal, open, democratic and international, rules-based framework, or you’re for more authoritarian-run nations who subscribe to only some of the economic policies of capitalism. There are also external-state actors in this region, which is part of why the U.S. presence matters so much. This is the Western Hemisphere, and the United States always has interests here. We are the most significant power here, and we have the responsibility to lead and support our partners to make sure it can be the best neighborhood. Often with task forces, they’re stood up for a certain reason, and then they’re stood down, and I think that’s totally appropriate for some missions. JTF-Bravo is unique because of its geographic location and the cultural similarities and interests we have with our partners. When I look at [the Soto Cano AB] airfield, I imagine in 1982 or 1983 we were out here paving it, and we’re still here now using it to do all the things we need to do.What has been the strategic impact of the work JTF-Bravo has done over the last six months?Col. Barry: We’ve been able to get people to look beyond themselves and their time here. We’re producing a long-range training calendar well beyond any of our tenures here. So getting people to have that idea that, “Hey, when I leave here, the mission still continues, so how have I set the right conditions?” is important. We talked before about the expeditionary mindset — realizing that as a staff we need to push people out from Soto Cano and bring them back. Whether that’s equipment or new processes to do that, the staff has done a tremendous job. Considering our regular, current operations, how do we track what’s going on? How do we protect our soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors when they’re here? We’re at a level now where, based on what I’ve seen in previous operations, whether it’s been combat or not, we’re at the standard.One of the other key components is relationships. I always emphasize to the staff that those matter outside of Soto Cano and JTF-Bravo. I talk about the fact that we always know who we work for and who we need to work with. The staff has made tremendous strides building relationships and being aware of capabilities. If there is some sort of crisis down here, now we have plans on the shelf for how we respond. We’ve done a deep dive on the seven Central American countries and produced useful information that any officer or noncommissioned officer coming into this organization can pick up and read and have some situational awareness. I’m really proud of how we have taken it as a challenge to integrate folks and to have continuity.JTF-Bravo recently has new lines of effort. Why were they chosen?Col. Barry: We have a new SOUTHCOM campaign plan. So our responsibility as a component is to decide how we support that plan. We thought about the three lines of effort — strengthen partnerships, counter threats, and build our team — and we adopted them for our more tactical level. We changed “strengthen partnerships” to “grow partnerships” because we believe we are at the grassroots, tactical operational level to do that. If we look at “build our team,” we still do that, and that can be everything from our leader development program to how we work with other folks in the SOUTHCOM enterprise. One of the other things we have to do is “counter threats.”It’s very difficult with the way JTF-Bravo is organized to directly counter a threat. As far as something like an external state actor, we try to undermine those actors by doing the activities we can do under the authorities we have. We also focus on threat organizations — basically terrorist or criminal organizations — that operate in Central America. Because of the high corruption, weak institutions, poor economic opportunities, there is a high gang and crime rate, including narcotrafficking through here. JTF-Bravo does directly support our partners who counter that. Together, these are the three parts that essentially echo the SOUTHCOM lines of effort, but we’ve changed the names a bit to come in line with what we are actually meant to do.What does the future of JTF-Bravo look like, both in the near and long-term?Col. Barry: I think it’s going to look fairly consistent if you looked at six months from now or two years from now. One of the good things about being here this long as a task force is there has been a sustained stability brought to the region. If you go back 20 or 25 years, there was violence against U.S. personnel here — helicopters being shot down, grenade attacks. Today, that does not happen. You see a slow, steady stabilization here for this region. Now we can focus on some of the underlying things like corruption and building the capacity of our partners to deal with threat networks. How do we get our partners to be more efficient at countering threat networks? I think you’ll see attempts through our policies to try to use the aid packages where we spend money down here to undermine certain actors.I think our presence here and the way we spend our money does counter that long-term. So, I don’t see any drastic shifts. There’s no cold war going on. I don’t see a terrorist campaign developing here because of the cultural similarities we have with Central and South America. I don’t see that as a way for, say, the Iranian threat network or any other terrorist threat network to come over here. I see the region struggling with the same things it has been. There’s a lack of economic opportunity in Central America. We really need to figure out how to get that right. A lot of those are not in our “job jar,” but they definitely affect what we do.last_img read more

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Commission orders BPKP to disclose BPJS Kesehatan’s deficit audit report

first_imgThe Central Information Commission (KIP) has ordered the Development Finance Comptroller (BPKP) to disclose its audit report on the Health Care and Social Security Agency’s (BPJS Kesehatan) deficit.The order was stipulated in the commission’s ruling in favor of Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), which demanded that the comptroller open its report to the public after the BPKP rejected the watchdog’s initial request. The ruling was read by KIP commissioner Cecep Suryadi during a hearing in Jakarta on Tuesday.Cecep said the audit report did not have elements of confidentiality as regulated under articles 6 and 17 of Law No. 14/2008 on public information, which has given liability to any public agencies in central government and local administration to provide open access to public information. Read also: BPJS Kesehatan books deficit below 50% of 2019 projection“According to the Public Information Law, the defendant is required to provide public access to the audit report, the existence of which was mentioned during a public meeting, because it contains no confidential elements,” another KIP commissioner, Arif Kuswardono, said.ICW researcher Egi Primayogha said he appreciated the ruling and requested the BPKP make the BPJS Kesehatan audit report available to the public as soon as possible.”The audit report will probably be beneficial to the public as it might show the problems of the BPJS,” Egi said after the hearing. The ICW had filed a lawsuit against the BPKP after the comptroller refused to provide the audit report to the graft watchdog, which was planning to look into issues surrounding BPJS Kesehatan’s national health insurance (JKN) program.Read also: Can BPJS Kesehatan survive? An assessment after drastic premium hikesAccording to the graft watchdog, the government had allocated at least Rp 22.1 trillion (US$1.5 billion) to the agency to subsidize the premium payments of low-income participants. However, BPJS Kesehatan still recorded a deficit of Rp 15.5 trillion as of December last year, the ICW said.”The amount is certainly not small. That’s why the BPKP’s audit report must be known widely by the public. The public as taxpayers and the compulsory members of the JKN program must know every problem within its operations,” Egi said.A BPKP legal team member, who refused to be named, said he would coordinate with the agency in regard to the ruling. (ars)Topics :last_img read more

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Education minister Nadiem Makarim calls on people to stay at home

first_imgHe also implored the public to not take the virus lightly since it could spread quickly between people. Although some infected people may not exhibit the symptoms, they still could infect people with weak immune systems.“So please remember, every time we go out our presence could threaten someone else’s life,” he said in the video.Read also: IYSF scientist praises social distancing policy, urges govt to cancel ‘mudik’“Let us save Indonesian lives by working from home, studying from home and praying from home,” he adds.The government has called all Indonesians to practice what epidemiologists call social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Several major companies in Jakarta had been instructing their staff to work from home over the concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus.As of Tuesday afternoon, health authorities have confirmed 134 COVID-19 positive cases across the country. Eight cases have recovered , while five others died from COVID-19.Topics : Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim has called on people to stay at home to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading.Through a short video uploaded to social media, Nadiem told people to work from home and avoid public places in fear of transmitting the virus to others.“I’ve seen that there are a lot of people who are still going out despite being able to work from home,” Nadiem said, adding that he recorded the video from his house.last_img read more

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BPTJ to launch app that helps commuters track COVID-19 spread in Greater Jakarta

first_imgBPTJ head Polana B. Pramesti said in a statement quoted by kompas.com on Tuesday that the apps would include a feature called Pantau Jalan (Road Monitoring), which allows commuters to track the disease’s possible prevalence along the route they were traveling.Users will first be asked to complete their profile and health record, and provide the locations they have recently visited. If the user shows any chances of being exposed to the disease, they would also be marked red on the app.L-Cov app was originally going to be launched on Wednesday, but the BPTJ postponed it for a week to enhance several features.”We need a week to ensure that this app can be easily accessed by the public,” Budi added.Topics : The Transportation Ministry’s Greater Jakarta Transportation Agency (BPTJ) is set to launch a new mobile application called L-Cov to help commuters track the spread of COVID-19 in the capital and its satellite cities.BPTJ spokesperson Budi Rahardjo said the app could help users decide whether they wanted to continue traveling to a certain area in Greater Jakarta after considering its exposure to COVID-19.”Areas classified as high-risk will be marked red in the app,” Budi said during a teleconference on Wednesday, adding that the platform would utilize data provided by users and the government to identify the risks of COVID-19 transmission in certain areas.last_img read more

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Rain pounds central Japan, 55 feared dead in south

first_img‘I was terrified’In hardest-hit Kyushu, the rains had mostly stopped by Wednesday morning, as residents tried to come to terms with extensive damage.Naomi Nishimura told Japan’s NNN broadcaster that her parents had been killed in flooding in Hitoyoshi City in Kumamoto region.”Even though a neighbor came over and pleaded with my parents to evacuate, they didn’t go… because I had told them that I’d come home [that day],” the tearful women said as she attempted to clean her parents’ flood-devastated home.In Kashima city in northern Kyushu’s Saga region, a woman was mopping the floor of a local souvenir shop inundated when a nearby river burst its banks.”It usually settles at the very edge of that stone bridge, but this time the water splashed up without stopping,” she said.”The water rose so fast that I was terrified. I was too scared and shaky to do anything, I just kept going this way and that,” she added, surrounded by knick-knacks now coated in mud.Non-mandatory evacuation orders have now been issued for 1.4 million people, with millions more under lower-level warnings.But the coronavirus has complicated evacuation efforts, with the need to maintain social distancing reducing capacity at shelters.Japan has been relatively lightly affected by the pandemic, with just over 20,000 cases and fewer than 1,000 deaths.But local media reported that some people were preferring to sleep in cars rather than risk infection at shelters.At some facilities, cardboard walls were set up to separate families and try to reduce the risk of infection.Authorities have warned that the rains will continue.”The rain front is expected to stay at least until Friday, and a wide swathe of the country… will likely have heavy rains,” said Yoshihisa Nakamoto, the chief of the weather agency’s forecast division, at a late morning press conference.”Please be extremely vigilant for potential landslides, flooding rivers and inundation on low-lying areas,” he warned.Japan is in the middle of its annual rainy season, which frequently unleashes deadly floods and landslides.Experts say climate change has intensified the risks of heavy rains, because a warmer atmosphere holds more water.In 2018, more than 200 people died in devastating floods in western Japan. The toll in the disaster has risen steadily as rescue workers discover new casualties.Government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said 52 deaths had been confirmed with three more people feared dead.The toll is expected to rise, with more than a dozen people reported missing, and authorities investigating whether six additional deaths are linked to the disaster. “In these areas, heavy rains are at an unprecedented level,” a JMA official said at an early morning briefing.”Especially in areas designated as high risk for landslides and flooding, the possibility is extremely high that some kind of disaster is already happening,” he warned.At least 80,000 rescue workers have already been deployed in a desperate effort to reach survivors stranded by flooding and landslides.Late Tuesday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to double the number of troops involved in the rescue effort to 20,000. Torrential rain pounded the center of Japan on Wednesday as authorities said 55 people were feared dead in days of heavy downpours that have triggered devastating landslides and terrifying floods.Rains that began early Saturday on the island of Kyushu have already caused widespread damage across a swathe of the southwestern portion of the country, causing rivers to burst their banks and hillsides to collapse.The weather front was now moving north, and on Wednesday morning the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) issued warnings for Gifu and Nagano prefectures in central Japan, though it downgraded the advisories from its top level by midday. Topics :last_img read more

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Top competition helps McDonald to top of Southern SportMod rookie point standings

first_imgKamera McDonald collected three feature wins en route to capturing the national Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center South­ern SportMod rookie of the year prize. She is pictured with IMCA President Brett Root. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography)KELLER, Texas ­– Better competition made Kamera Kaitlin McDonald a better driver.The Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center Southern SportMod national rookie of the year from Keller, Texas, tallied three feature wins while running weekly at Boyd Raceway and Kennedale Speed­way Park, also the regular venues for national champion Jeffrey Abbey and a host of the divi­sion’s heavy hitters.“I have raced with the Abbeys forever. It’s always been a goal of mine to be competitive,” said McDonald, 15 years old and a sophomore at Timber Creek High School. “I got three of the wins Jeffrey could have had. Once I won my first race (on June 11 at Kennedale) we strived even harder.”McDonald was runner-up to Abbey at KSP, third behind Abbey and Ronnie Welborn at Boyd and fourth in the national points race.“Seat time was very important. I learned to get a feel for the car and read more into the track,” said McDonald, who made 47 starts at five different speedplants in Texas and Oklahoma. “That helped me develop as a driver. That was the biggest thing I learned this season.”She was 17th when the division made its Labor Day debut at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s, an event she described as both exciting and amazing.McDonald began racing a go-kart at the age of eight, then in the Bandolero, Legends and mini-stock classes. She’s the second female driver in as many years to earn national rookie of the year honors in the Southern SportMod division.“It’s quite an honor for me to follow in Taylor Florio’s footsteps. It also means a lot to me to be one of the youngest rookies of the year,” McDonald said. “I will be refining my driving skills and experienc­ing new tracks next season, trying to prepare for a run for the championship in the near future.”Starts: 47Wins: 3Additional Top Fives: 12 HER CREW: Parents Tim and Karan, John Sliney and Dean Abbey and his crew.HER SPONSORS: TM Racing of Keller; DAE Enterprises of Fort Worth; and Abbey Racing of Comanche.last_img read more

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