House party

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Bekasi flood victims demand action from property developer, administration

first_imgThe residents, grouped under the Harapan Indah Housing Forum, demanded three things, according to their press release on Sunday. First, they demanded the developer PT Hasana Damai Putra Group and the Bekasi administration take responsibility for the flooding that caused material and other damages. Second, they demanded the developer carry out mitigation efforts against future flooding. Finally they asked for the administration to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the housing projects built by the developer, especially with regard to drainage.  The housing forum claimed that the drainage did not work optimally, allegedly due to bad planning and the absence of a sluice system, for which the developer was at fault. There was an apparent difference between the conditions on Jl. Nusa Indah and Jl. Garden Indah, because of the failures of Hasana Damai as a developer, the press release claimed. Since the start of the year there have already been three floods, which have claimed two lives as a result of electrocution.The negligence of the administration was also highlighted in the housing forum’s demands given the recurring nature of the flooding, which led residents to feel that the administration had failed to create a safe and comfortable living space. (ydp) Flood victims in Bekasi, West Java, are demanding that property developers and the Bekasi administration take responsibility for floods at the weekend in several neighborhood units and to carry out mitigation efforts to prevent future incidents. The heavy rainfall on Saturday night and Sunday morning inundated four neighborhood units at the Harapan Indah Housing on Jl. Nusa Indah. The flooding, up to a depth of around 1.2 meters, killed one, cut off electricity and forced a number of people, especially the elderly and families with young children, to evacuate as late as Sunday night. center_img Topics :last_img read more

Coronavirus infects more than 100,000 worldwide, wreaking financial havoc

first_imgThe infections aboard the Grand Princess added to the more than 100,000 cases across the world, as the coronavirus outbreak reached more countries and economic damage intensified, with business districts starting to empty and stock markets tumbling.President Donald Trump on Friday signed a bill to provide $8.3 billion to bolster the capacity to test for coronavirus and fund other measures in the United States. Cases have now been reported in half of the 50 US states. Fifteen people have died in the country, out of more than 250 cases.In many affected countries, people were being asked to stay home from work, schools were closed, large gatherings and sports and music events were cancelled, stores were cleared of staples like toiletries and water, and face masks became a common sight.The outbreak has killed more than 3,400 people and spread across more than 90 nations, with seven countries reporting their first cases on Friday. Mainland China, where the outbreak started, has seen more than 3,000 deaths, but the epidemic is now spreading faster elsewhere.The World Health Organization (WHO) said every country should make containing the epidemic its top priority, pointing to Iran’s national action plan to combat one of the worst outbreaks after a slow start.Iran’s death toll from the virus jumped to 124, as more than 1,000 new cases were diagnosed over 24 hours.The Vatican reported its first case, a patient in its health services, worsening the prospects of the virus having already spread further in the Italian capital, since most employees in the walled city-state live in Rome, and those who live in the Vatican frequently go in and out to the city that surrounds it.Italy is the worst-hit European country, with a death toll as of Friday of 197.About 3.4% of confirmed cases of COVID-19 have died, far above seasonal flu’s fatality rate of under 1%, the WHO said this week.Supply chains brokenMoves by some major economies, including the United States, to cut interest rates and pledge funds to fight the epidemic have done little to allay fears about the spread of the disease and the economic fallout. Supply chains have been crippled around the world, especially in China, the world’s second largest economy, where the outbreak began.”There’s concern that while there has been a response from the Fed, given the nature of the problem, is this something the central bank can really help with?” said John Davies, G10 rates strategist at Standard Chartered Bank in London.In New York, JPMorgan divided its team between central locations and a secondary site in New Jersey, while Goldman Sachs sent some traders to nearby secondary offices in Greenwich, Connecticut, and Jersey City.Bank of America Corp is splitting its trading force from Monday and sending 100 New York-based staff to nearby Stamford, Connecticut, sources familiar with the matter said.In London, Europe’s financial capital, the Canary Wharf district was unusually quiet. S&P Global’s large office stood empty after the company sent its 1,200 staff home, and HSBC asked around 100 people to work from home after a worker tested positive for the illness.France’s prime minister said nurseries and schools would close for 15 days from Monday in the two areas worst hit by coronavirus infections, one north of Paris and the other in the northeastern part of the country.The South by Southwest music and tech festival in Austin, Texas, and two music festivals in Florida were cancelled over concerns about events that bring crowds of people into close proximity. The NCAA Division III men’s basketball tournament was scheduled to go ahead at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore this weekend, but without spectators.Saudi Arabia will suspend public attendance at all sports events starting Saturday, the ministry of sports said.The United Nations said it had canceled some meetings in Bonn, Germany, and elsewhere planned in the run-up to a crucial U.N. climate summit to be held in Scotland in November.Market hitYields on US Treasuries plunged to historic lows on fears the outbreak will slam the global economy, and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 3.10%. US stocks fell but ended well above their session lows.Airline and travel stocks have been among the worst affected as people cancelled non-essential travel. Norwegian Air Shuttle , the hardest-hit stock among European carriers, lost more than quarter of its market value on Friday and has fallen almost 70% since the start of February.”If this really ramps up, we could see a lot more kitchen-sinking updates from the travel industry and airlines,” said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG. Twenty-one people aboard a cruise ship that was barred from docking in San Francisco have tested positive for coronavirus, US officials said on Friday, as the fast-spreading respiratory disease was reported in half a dozen new US states.Vice President Mike Pence, who is running the US response to the outbreak, said at a news conference that 19 crew members and two passengers out of 46 people tested so far on the Grand Princess ocean liner had the virus.The vessel, with about 3,400 passengers and crew, would be taken to a non-commercial port where everyone on board would be tested, he said.center_img Topics :last_img read more

COVID-19: Batam to ban residents traveling to Singapore amid new border policy

first_imgIn response to Singapore’s new border restrictions on Indonesian passport holders, the administration of Batam in Riau Islands is asking its residents not to visit the neighboring country temporarily to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease COVID-19.“We will issue a circular suggesting that residents do not travel abroad, especially to Singapore, for the next two weeks,” deputy Batam mayor Amsakar said in a press briefing on Monday.He added that he had been coordinating with the Singaporean consul general in Batam regarding the new travel restrictions. The deputy mayor went on to say that the new policy did not completely rule out Indonesian passport holders visiting the country. However, Indonesians would need to be prepared to spend a lot of time in Singapore as they would be quarantined for two weeks upon entering the country.Singaporean authorities implemented new border restrictions on Monday, requiring people entering the country with a recent travel history to countries heavily affected by the coronavirus – including Indonesia – within the last 14 days to receive a 14-day Stay-Home Notice. The regulation will not apply to Singaporeans and Malaysians using sea and land crossings with Malaysian services.Read also: Singapore donates medical equipment to Batam in mutual effort to combat COVID-19“Singapore understands that some Indonesians go to the country to seek medical treatment. However, we don’t want Indonesians to have to stay there too long because of the quarantine policy,” Amsakar said. He added that the local administration was technically unable to restrict Singaporeans from entering Batam, because the health-detection procedure for foreigners had been carried out by the Port Health Office (KKP), which is directly under the authority of the Health Ministry.“Singaporeans will be strictly checked, although we hear that Singapore has prevented its citizens from leaving [the country] as well,” Amsakar said.Hundreds of Batam residents were seen crowding the Batam Center International Ferry Port on Monday ahead of the policy implementation. Indonesian passport holders with temporary stay permits, student passes or permanent resident cards were still allowed to buy Batam-Singapore tickets.Acting Riau Islands governor Isdianto said he would carry out further discussions with relevant parties on the impacts of the restriction policy on economic activities in the city.Asmadi, the chairman of the Batam branch of the Indonesian National Shipowners Association (INSA), said he was surprised by the latest restriction policy and predicted it would hit ferry operators hard. He said the number of passengers on ferries serving the Batam-Singapore route had declined significantly as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.Read also: In Singapore’s neighbor Batam, malls empty, ferry trips reduced as virus fears lurk“The policy certainly makes it more complicated for Indonesian people to go to Singapore than before,” said Asmadi. “We don’t know what it will look like in the next few days.”According to the Batam Investment Board (BPM), around 2,700 foreigners, mostly from Singapore and India, are employed by at least 400 companies in the city.Batam Immigration Office recorded in 2018 around 3.3 million passengers entering the city through five international ferry ports, namely Batam Center, Citra Tritunas or Harbor Bay, Sekupang, Marina and Nongsa Point Marina. Of these 1 million were Singaporeans, while 1.6 million were Indonesians. (syk)Topics :last_img read more

Egypt declares two-week curfew to counter coronavirus

first_imgEgypt has declared a curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. for two weeks starting on Wednesday to counter the spread of coronavirus and those who violate the measure will be penalised under the country’s emergency laws, the prime minister said.A closure of schools and universities, which were shut on March 14 for two weeks, will be extended for a further two weeks, Prime Minster Mostafa Madbouly said.Most public services and government offices will close their doors to the public during the curfew period and a measure to limit the number of government employees going to work will be prolonged until mid-April. The government has also allocated one billion Egyptian pounds ($63.69 million) to the health ministry to help it provide supplies, a statement from the cabinet office said.Egypt has confirmed 366 cases of coronavirus, including 19 deaths.It has taken a series of measures to prevent the spread of the illness, including ordering all cafes, shopping malls, sports clubs and nightclubs to shut from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. since March 19.It has also grounded commercial flights and shut mosques and churches. Topics :last_img read more

Kim Jong Un mystery grows with reports of train, medical team

first_imgAny leadership change in North Korea could increase the threat of instability on China’s border and raise questions about control of the country’s expanding nuclear arsenal. Kim has also been central to US President Donald Trump’s so far unsuccessful efforts to get him to reduce his weapons stockpile.The mystery sent journalists, diplomats and non-proliferation experts scouring satellite images, state news outlets and unverified social media feeds for clues about Kim. The hashtag #kimjongundead was the among the top subjects trending globally Saturday on Twitter. The name of his younger sister Kim Yo Jong — a potential successor — was also trending in the US.Kim similarly disappeared from state media for six weeks in 2014, prompting speculation that he had been sidelined by gout, an ankle injury or was even overthrown in a coup. He subsequently showed up walking with a cane during a visit to a new residential block.The presence of Kim’s train in Wonsan, about 230 kilometers (140 miles) east of Pyongyang and the site of a palatial family compound, potentially fits with the South Korean account. Under Kim, Wonsan has seen a building boom for tourism facilities and lodgings for the state’s elite. The area has been a hotbed for missile tests, which are easy for Kim to view when he’s at the family compound.The train, which Kim took to his failed summit with Trump in Hanoi, arrived at a nearby railway station on or before April 21, 38 North wrote, citing satellite imagery. The train was spotted again at the station on April 23, and appeared to be repositioned for departure.North Korea’s eastern coast saw a burst of military activity on April 14, including cruise missile tests and fighter jet maneuvers, that at the time appeared to be timed to coincide with South Korean parliamentary elections. The next day, Kim was absent from events marking his grandfather’s birthday, known as the Day of the Sun and North Korea’s most politically significant holiday.Kim was similarly missing from events Saturday marking the anniversary of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army, although he also didn’t attend the events last year.A delegation led by a senior member of the Chinese Communist Party’s International Liaison Department — which manages relations with North Korea — departed Beijing on Thursday, Reuters said, adding it wasn’t able to immediately determine what the trip signaled about Kim’s health. Officials with the US National Security Council declined to comment on Saturday.Speculation about Kim’s condition accelerated after Seoul-based news site Daily NK, reported April 20 that the North Korean leader was recovering from surgery, citing one unidentified person inside the country. CNN reported a short time later that Kim was in “grave danger.”Trump has since said he believed the CNN report was “incorrect,” saying he heard “they used old documents.”Topics : The latest developments shed little immediate light about the 36-year-old ruler, who US officials said they were told had been in critical condition after cardiovascular surgery. Kim — a heavy smoker who has gained considerable weight since taking power in 2011 — hasn’t appeared in state media for two weeks, and missed the April 15 birthday celebrations for his late grandfather, state founder Kim Il Sung, for the first time.State media Rodong Sinmun newspaper’s front page on Monday carried a story of Kim Jong Un expressing “gratitude” toward his construction workers in Wonsan-Kalma, a tourist beach resort zone that the leader has made one of his signature projects.Another report from KCNA on Monday said Kim sent a message of greeting earlier that day to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, but it’s not unusual for state media to report on activities associated with the leader during an absence from the public.The episode renews longstanding questions about the stability of a regime built on iron-fisted authority and a cult of personality for Kim, who has no known successor. Health scares have been a common occurrence over the years, and the leader’s medical condition is a closely guarded subject in one of the world’s most secretive states. Speculation about Kim Jong Un’s health intensified over the weekend after tantalizing — yet unverified — reports about a visit by a Chinese medical team and movements of the North Korean leader’s armored train.China sent a team including doctors and senior diplomats to advise its neighbor and longtime ally, Reuters reported on Saturday, citing three people familiar with the matter. Meanwhile, a train resembling one long used by North Korean rulers was parked last week near a coastal leadership compound in Wonsan, according to an analysis of satellite imagery released Sunday by the website 38 North. A prominent South Korea adviser also rejected the notion that Kim was ailing or dead. “Our government position is firm,” Moon Chung-in, a foreign policy adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, told CNN. “He has been staying in the Wonsan area since April 13” with “no suspicious movements” detected. South Korea’s Unification Ministry on Monday reiterated a government assessment made last week that there has been no unusual movement spotted inside North Korea.last_img read more

Family demands justice after Atlanta police fatally shoot Rayshard Brooks in the back

first_imgAs the crowd chanted for justice, the Georgia Assembly rebooted its 2020 session with a renewed call to pass a hate-crime law. Georgia is one of four US states without such a law, which increases punishment for offenses deemed to be racially motivated.The death of Brooks, and the separate shooting of a black jogger, Ahmaud Arbery, near the coastal town of Brunswick in February involving a former law enforcement officer, has driven calls for racial justice in Georgia.Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms announced immediate reforms within the police department, including orders requiring police officers to de-escalate situations and requiring officers to intervene when they see a colleague using excessive force.Bottoms told a media briefing that she was heartbroken and angry over Brooks’ death.”It pissed me off, it makes me sad, it makes me frustrated and there’s nothing I can say that will change what happened Friday.”She said she could not wait for an advisory council to come up with police reform recommendations.”It was clear that we do not have another day, another minute, another hour, to waste,” she said, adding the police must find better ways to handle confrontations.Vince Champion, southeast regional director for the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, urged against a rush to judgment.”We don’t know everything. We are basing what we saw on a video that has no context to it,” Champion told Reuters. “I do believe that the powers that be – the mayor and the DA are just trying to appease the rioters.”President Donald Trump told reporters the shooting in Atlanta was “a terrible situation” and “very disturbing”.Call to a restaurantThe fatal encounter on Friday night began when police responded to a call Brooks had fallen asleep in his car in a Wendy’s restaurant drive-through lane.Caught on video, the encounter seemed friendly at first but when an officer moved to arrest him, Brooks struggled with him and another officer before breaking away across the parking lot with what appeared to be a police Taser in his hand.A video from the restaurant’s cameras showed Brooks turning as he ran and possibly aiming the Taser at the pursuing officers, both white, before one of them fired his gun and Brooks fell.An attorney for Brooks’ family, Chris Stewart, said the police should have let Brooks walk home rather than pursue and shoot him.”It didn’t have to go to that level,” he said. “Where is the empathy in just letting him walk home?”Atlanta’s police chief, Erika Shields, resigned over the shooting. The officer suspected of killing Brooks was fired, and the other officer involved was put on administrative leave.Prosecutors will decide by midweek whether to bring charges, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said on Sunday.Brooks’ death reignited protests in Atlanta after worldwide demonstrations against racism and police brutality prompted by the death of black American George Floyd when a white Minneapolis policeman knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes on May 25.Brooks’ widow, Tomika Miller, implored the public to protest peacefully in her husband’s name.”We want to keep his name positive,” she said. Relatives of Rayshard Brooks, many of them in tears, called for justice and “drastic change” in policing after a white Atlanta officer fatally shot the African-American man in the back, and the city’s mayor called for a shake-up in the force.The death of 27-year-old Brooks, which the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office ruled a homicide, was the latest killing of a black man to spark nationwide outrage at police brutality and racial injustice.”We’re tired and we are frustrated. Most importantly we’re heartbroken, so we need justice for Rayshard Brooks,” his cousin, Tiara Brooks, said at a news conference. “The trust that we have in the police force is broken. The only way to heal some of these wounds is through a conviction and a drastic change in the police department,” she added.Relatives spoke of Brooks as a warm family man who loved to take his daughter skating. One man, after breaking down in tears, left distraught, shouting, “Somebody took my cousin!”More than 1,000 people marched on the Georgia state Capitol in Atlanta on Monday, calling for justice for Brooks and other slain African Americans.”We are going to take over the capitol every single day until they do their job,” the Rev. James Woodall, president of the state NAACP civil rights group, told the crowd, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and other media reported.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Virus layoffs top 45.7m as US economic distress persists

first_imgClaims ‘still so high’The wave of jobless claims peaked in late March and has been decreasing ever since. Yet it remains well above any single week reported during the global financial crisis in 2008, even as states move to reopen businesses and get consumers spending again.Those efforts have paid off in sectors such as retail sales, which the Commerce Department said spiked 17.7 percent in May, nearly double the gain analysts expected, while other data has shown growing optimism among consumers and businesses.Wall Street has also recovered much of its losses for the year after plunging as the virus arrived, though markets had an uneventful session Thursday, with traders holding back as they weighed the claims data.”It’s not clear why claims are still so high; is it the initial shock still working its way up through businesses away from the consumer-facing jobs lost in the first wave, or is it businesses which thought they could survive now throwing in the towel, or both?” said Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics. “Either way, these are disappointing numbers and serve to emphasize that a full recovery is going to take a long time.”In congressional testimony earlier in the week, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said that unless consumers feel confident COVID-19 has been defeated, “a full recovery is unlikely.””The levels of output and employment remain far below their pre-pandemic levels, and significant uncertainty remains about the timing and strength of the recovery,” Powell told the Senate Banking Committee.The central bank chief has predicted the contraction of GDP in the April-June quarter “is likely to be the most severe on record,” and called for more support to the economy. But the Fed can only lend, not spend, and it will be up to Congress to decide whether to act ahead of the expiration of parts of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act stimulus package in the coming weeks.The United States has seen the world’s worst coronavirus outbreak with more than 117,000 deaths and 2.1 million cases diagnosed.The epicenter has shifted from New York and states in the northeast to the south and west of the country. Layoffs caused by the coronavirus pandemic in the United States have passed 45.7 million, raising fears that despite some positive signs, the economy faces a halting recovery from the downturn.Another 1.5 million US workers filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, a decrease of only 58,000 from the prior week and higher overall than analysts expected.An additional 760,526 filed claims under a program for those who would not normally be eligible for benefits, while the insured unemployment rate showing people still receiving aid was unchanged as of the week ended June 6 at 14.1 percent, with 20.5 million people getting benefits. “Based on this side of the firing and hiring equation, labor market improvement is muted,” tweeted Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz.The world’s largest economy has seen a protacted downturn since businesses began closing in mid-March to stop the spread of the coronavirus, with the unemployment rate climbing to 13.3 percent in May and millions of layoffs reported each week. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, President Donald Trump reiterated his expectation that the economy would recover by the time voters decide whether to give him a second term.”We will have created a lot of jobs prior to November 3,” Trump told the newspaper on Wednesday. “I expect a tremendous increase in GDP. And we’ll be heading for the top. We’ll be back.”center_img Topics :last_img read more

BioNTech and Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine shows potential in human trial

first_imgA third dosage, tested at a higher concentration in a separate group, was not repeated after the first shot because of injection pain.”These first trial results show that the vaccine yields immune activity and causes a strong immune response,” said BioNTech’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Ugur Sahin.He said larger trials were being prepared to show whether this translates into protection against a real infection.”While more work needs to be done, we believe the benefits appear to outweigh the risks so far, especially when considering the disease the vaccine is trying to prevent,” Mizuho Securities analyst Divan Vamil said in a note.Peer reviewNo COVID-19 vaccine has yet been approved for commercial use. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology analysis last year found that about one in three vaccines in the first stage of testing later gains approval.BioNTech, which listed on the US Nasdaq in October, said the data demonstrated that BNT162b1 could be administered in a dose that was well tolerated with only temporary side effects.Early-stage human trials of vaccines are designed to measure certain antibodies and other immune markers in the blood as an indicator of the body’s readiness to fight an infection that then requires further validation.The pharmaceutical industry is eager to launch larger follow-up trials to see how vaccinated participants react to real infections over longer periods.BioNTech and Pfizer will now pick the most promising of four experimental vaccines for a trial involving up to 30,000 healthy participants, which is likely to begin in the United States and Europe in late July, if it gets the regulatory green light.If it eventually gets marketing approval, the companies are gearing up to make up to 100 million doses by the end of 2020 and another 1.2 billion doses by the end of 2021 at sites in Germany and the United States.Results from early-stage testing of BioNTech’s three other potential vaccines have yet to be published.The manuscript with the preliminary data from the clinical trials, which were launched in April and May, is under peer review for publication in a scientific journal, BioNTech said.Singapore’s state investment fund Temasek and other investors said on Monday there were investing $250 million into BioNTech for a 1.1% stake in company.The Mainz-based company is using the so-called messenger RNA approach, like unlisted domestic rival CureVac and Moderna. Translate Bio and its partner Sanofi are also working on a messenger RNA vaccine for COVID-19.Biotech investors Thomas and Andreas Struengmann, who sold their generic drugs business Hexal to Novartis in 2005, are major shareholders of BioNTech. BioNTech’s shares were up 4.6%, after rising as much as 19% to reach their highest in more than three months.Pfizer stock also gained, rising 4.4% to $34.13. In turn, shares in some rival vaccine developers, such as Moderna and Novavax Inc dropped.BioNTech said testing of two dosages of its BNT162b1 drug on 24 healthy volunteers showed that after 28 days they had developed higher levels of COVID-19 antibodies than typically seen in infected people.It said the higher of the two doses – both administered via two injections within three weeks of one another – was followed by a short fever in three out of four participants after the second shot. Topics :center_img A COVID-19 vaccine developed by German biotech firm BioNTech and US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has shown potential and was found to be well tolerated in early-stage human trials, the companies said on Wednesday.The drug is one of 17 being tested on humans in a frantic global race to find a vaccine the world is counting on to end a pandemic that has infected 10.5 million people and killed more than half a million so far.The potential treatment is the fourth early-stage COVID-19 drug to show promise in human testing, along with projects involving Moderna, CanSino Biologics and Inovio Pharmaceuticals.last_img read more

Indonesia ‘dog doctor’ rescues canines from pandemic peril

first_imgIndonesian doctor Susana Somali and her staff cut tightly-bound plastic ropes off dozens of whimpering dogs rescued from the butcher’s block after being sold or abandoned during the coronavirus pandemic.Somali’s sprawling Jakarta complex, home to about 1,400 canines, has become a refuge for at-risk animals as cash-strapped owners sell them into the Southeast Asian nation’s controversial dog meat trade.Mostly acting on tip-offs, Somali and her team hit the streets looking for stray dogs and butcher shops where more and more doomed animals are spending their last days howling in cramped cages. ‘Tears in her eyes’Somali and about 30 staff at Pejaten Animal Shelter are struggling to care for a huge number of animals as donations plunge in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak.The money is crucial to help cover upwards of $29,000 in monthly expenses, including employee salaries and the daily cost of half a metric ton of meat for the animals.Myriad breeds, including huskies, pit bulls, and German shepherds, roam the 5,000 square meter (54,000 square foot) shelter, which Somali started in 2009.She started confronting butchers after seeing a video of a pregnant dog about to be slaughtered.”Someone posted images of this crying dog on social media and I saw the tears in her eyes,” she said.”That’s when I became aware of the butchers.”Somali and her team rescued dozens of puppies bound for a local Korean eatery this month, but they don’t always make it in time.”I tried to reach the area but was told that the dog had already been (killed),” she said of one recent dash to a butcher’s shop.”It was a minute too late.”Animal welfare groups estimate as many as one million dogs are killed annually across Indonesia, with more than 100 restaurants in Jakarta alone serving their meat, according to government figures.Dog is often a culinary specialty among Indonesia’s non-Muslim minority groups.The animals are considered unclean in Islam and rarely kept as pets in Muslim-majority countries.Indonesia is relatively relaxed by comparison, but working at the shelter can still be tricky for Muslim volunteers like Ria Rosalina.”Many people have asked me why I take care of dogs but also wear hijab,” she said, referring to the religious head-covering worn by many Indonesian women.”But I don’t care. I just tell them that dogs were created by God, just like humans.”Snatched and killedThe plight of Indonesia’s dogs isn’t limited to the megacity capital.Animal welfare organization Four Paws has warned that thousands of strays in Bali were at risk of starving or being snatched by dog meat traders, as a plunge in tourism hammers the holiday island.It is also a growing problem in other parts of Southeast Asia as traders prey on owners facing hard economic times, said Katherine Polak, a veterinarian with Four Paws.”Animals are at a very heightened risk,” she said.”Some low-income people might be tempted to sell their pets.”For years, activists have called on the government to halt Indonesia’s dog meat market — a goal shared by Somali.”Ending the dog meat trade may sound like a dream but everything starts from a dream,” the shelter owner said.”I’ll always keep fighting.”Topics : Somali — who juggles a day job testing COVID-19 samples at a local hospital — started the shelter in an upscale Jakarta neighbourhood more than a decade ago.Back then, she rescued one or two dogs from a butcher each week. But that number has soared to as many as 20 in recent months as strays are snatched off the streets for their meat.The 55-year-old mother of two negotiates with often unfriendly butchers, sometimes paying them cash or supplying other meat to secure the animals’ release.”The real battle isn’t rescuing them from butchers, although that is always scary. The challenge is taking care of these dogs during the pandemic,” Somali said.last_img read more