Niche market

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Planning: Handle with care

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Tallest City tower tempts high-powered tenants

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Modern classic

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The market in minutes

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Walsalls packed

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PREMIUMFor the love of science: Community promotes fun STEM education among students

first_img“Leadership tomorrow depends on how we educate our students today — especially in science, technology, engineering and math,” the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama, said in one of his speeches on the Educate to Innovate campaign on Sept. 16, 2010.Indonesia has also started to practice what Obama said. Students are expected to learn many things related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), especially at school. However, this is not without flaws, as the students are not taught how to use that knowledge.In a bid to improve effective learning, several groups have called for more practice rather than memorizing.“Science at Indonesia’s schools is taught theoretically through textbooks. In fact, science needs to be taught through hands-on experience. Otherwise, it won’t attract children,” the founder of the Jakarta… Forgot Password ? Facebook Education STEM Women engineers steam Art-Jakarta Habibie aerospace aircraft Log in with your social account Linkedin LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Topics : Googlelast_img read more

‘We are at war’: France imposes lockdown to combat virus

first_imgAnyone flouting the restrictions, in place for at least the next two weeks, would be punished.”I know what I am asking of you is unprecedented but circumstances demand it,” Macron said.”We’re not up against another army or another nation. But the enemy is right there: invisible, elusive, but it is making progress.”He said tougher action was needed after too many people ignored earlier warnings and mingled in parks and on street corners over the weekend, risking their own health and the wellbeing of others. In France the coronavirus has killed 148 people and infected more than 6,600.Army mobilizedUnder the new measures, soldiers would help transport the sick to hospitals with spare capacity and a military hospital with 30 intensive care beds would be set up in the eastern region of Alsace, where one of the largest infection clusters has broken out.Macron said he was postponing the second round of local elections on Sunday. Because the government’s sole focus needed to be fighting the pandemic, he said he was suspending his reform agenda, starting with his overhaul of the pension system.The government would, when necessary, legislate by decree to fight the coronavirus, he said.Coronavirus infections and fatalities in France and Spain have been surging at a pace just days behind that of Italy, the epicenter of the outbreak in Europe where hospitals in the worst-hit northern regions are stretched to breaking point.Seeking to offer further reassurance to businesses, Macron said the government would guarantee 300 billion euros worth of loans. The loan guarantee plan would be submitted to parliament in coming weeks and would be retroactive, a finance ministry source said.Rent and utility bills owed by small companies would also be suspended to help them weather the economic storm, he added.”No French company, whatever its size, will be exposed to the risk of collapse,” Macron said.  French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday ordered stringent restrictions on people’s movement to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and said the army would be drafted in to help move the sick to hospitals.France had already shut down restaurants and bars, closed schools and put ski resorts off limits, but Macron said measures unprecedented in peacetime were needed as the number of infected people doubled every three days and deaths spiraled higher.In a somber address to the nation, the president said that from Tuesday midday (1100 GMT) people should stay at home unless it was to buy groceries, travel to work, exercise or for medical care.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Virus lockdowns scale back May Day rallies

first_imgBut with drastic social distancing rules to halt the spread of the disease, labour leaders have opted to postpone the public gatherings or move events online. With France still under lockdown, workers will mark the day on social networks or by calling from their balconies. “This is an opportunity to bear the social demands that we have been defending for a long time and that the crisis has highlighted,” said Philippe Martinez, the general secretary of umbrella trade union CGT. The government of Greece asked unions to delay public rallies by more than a week, but leading union GSEE called for a general strike to coincide with May Day.  Workers were forced to scale back May Day rallies around the world on Friday because of coronavirus lockdowns, although some pushed on with online events and others hit the streets in face masks.The traditional festival of the workers’ movement usually attracts millions of people to loud and boisterous marches through the streets — and occasional violent confrontations with police forces.This year the date carries extra significance after the COVID-19 outbreak sent the global economy into a historic tailspin and put unprecedented numbers of people out of work.  It has also urged demonstrators to “raise their fist and salute” health workers and other professionals helping to keep supplies and telecoms running.Portugal’s main CGTP trade union confederation is planning a gathering of union leaders on the vast esplanade where their traditional May Day parade ends each year. The group said they would stand four metres from each other and waved flags and placards.In Finland, labour rallies are traditionally preceded by huge communal picnics in the largest public gathering of the year.But only a handful of revellers congregated around the Manta statue in the market square, the traditional epicentre of the festival that was this year boarded up and patrolled by police enforcing the ban on groupings of more than ten people.  Authorities have instead encouraged Finns to celebrate online this year, with several restaurants across the capital offering live streams of wine tastings or cocktail lessons, and serving up traditional May Day food for home delivery.”We’ve had to get creative and try and find new ways that we can still interact and create togetherness,” Helsinki restaurateur Filippo Phoumsavanh told AFP.Not all members of the public are heeding restrictions on public gatherings, with riot police in Hong Kong mobilising ahead of a planned rally by pro-democracy protesters.The semi-autonomous financial hub was upended by seven months of violent protests last year, hammering its reputation for stability and leaving the city deeply divided.Small protests have bubbled up against in the past week and activists are hoping to use May Day to muster numbers once more.Topics :last_img read more

Virus lockdowns stifle Eid celebrations around the world as infections rise

first_imgMuslims around the world began marking a sombre Eid al-Fitr Sunday, many under coronavirus lockdown, but lax restrictions offer respite to worshippers in some countries despite fears of skyrocketing infections.The festival, one of the most important in the Muslim calendar marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, is traditionally celebrated with mosque prayers, family feasts and shopping for new clothes, gifts and sweet treats.But this year, the celebration is overshadowed by the fast-spreading respiratory disease, with many countries tightening lockdown restrictions after a partial easing during Ramadan led to a sharp spike in infections. Further dampening the festive spirit, multiple countries — from Saudi Arabia to Egypt, Turkey and Syria — have banned mass prayer gatherings, a festival highlight, to limit the spread of the disease.Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest sites, began a five-day, round-the-clock curfew from Saturday after infections more than quadrupled since the start of Ramadan to around 68,000 –- the highest in the Gulf.Eid prayers will be held at the two holy mosques in the cities of Mecca and Medina “without worshippers”, authorities said on Saturday, citing a royal decree.Mecca’s Grand Mosque has been almost devoid of worshippers since March, with a stunning emptiness enveloping the sacred Kaaba — a large cube-shaped structure towards which Muslims around the world pray. Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, will reopen to worshippers only after Eid, its governing body said.In Lebanon, the highest Sunni religious authority has announced the reopening of mosques only for Friday prayers. Worshippers, however, will be subject to temperature checks and sanitary controls before they enter.Fears of ‘new peak’Meanwhile, Muslims across Asia — from Indonesia to Pakistan, Malaysia and Afghanistan — thronged markets for pre-festival shopping, flouting coronavirus guidelines and sometimes even police attempts to disperse large crowds.”For over two months my children were homebound,” said Ishrat Jahan, a mother of four, at a bustling market in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi.”This feast is for the kids, and if they can’t celebrate it with new garments, there is no point in us working so hard throughout the year.”Pakistan, which gave into religious pressure by allowing mosque prayers throughout the fasting of Ramadan, is yet to make a decision over mass gatherings during Eid.In Indonesia –- the world’s most populous Muslim nation — people are turning to smugglers and fake travel documents to get around bans on the annual end-of-Ramadan travel that could send infections soaring. More than 3,500 Tunisians who travelled home just ahead of the holiday will have to spend it away from their families, forced to quarantine for two weeks in hotels after arriving from abroad.Atef Maherzi, a doctor repatriated Tuesday from Saudi Arabia, said she would be catching up with family over Skype, foregoing her usual role of host.”Usually, I’m the mistress of the house, but this time, my husband will receive the guests alone.”The COVID-19 death tolls across the Middle East and Asia have been lower than in Europe and the United States, but numbers are rising steadily, sparking fears the virus may overwhelm often underfunded healthcare systems.Iran, which has experienced the Middle East’s deadliest outbreak, has called on its citizens to avoid travel during Eid as it battles to control infection rates.Iran shut schools and places of worship and banned inter-city travel for the Persian New Year holidays in March, but the restrictions were recently eased.Health Minister Saeed Namaki said that the country was focusing hard on avoiding “new peaks of the disease” caused by people “not respecting health regulations”.The exact date of Eid has yet to be set in the Shiite-majority country, but will likely be Monday, in line with the Shiite community’s celebrations in Iraq, as announced by top cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani.Sunnis in Iraq will mark the start of the festival on Sunday.’Comedy night’The neighbouring United Arab Emirates has tightened its lockdown, with the night-time curfew starting at 8:00 p.m. instead of 10:00 p.m. during Ramadan. But that has not stopped some families from planning getaways to luxury beachfront hotels in Ajman or Ras Al-Khaimah emirates.However, Muslims in many countries are set for frugal celebrations amid growing financial distress.The twin shocks of coronavirus restrictions and falling oil prices have plunged the region into the worst economic crisis in decades.The coronavirus restrictions have hit businesses hard, including retailers who would normally be preparing for the festive rush, as Muslims save their money for masks, gloves and other COVID-19 protective gear.In the Syrian capital Damascus, Eid shoppers rummaged through flea markets for clothes at bargain prices as the war-ravaged and sanctions-hit country grapples with a much more entrenched economic crisis.”The flea market is the only place I can buy something new to wear for the Eid holidays,” 28-year-old Sham Alloush told AFP.”Had it not been for this place, I wouldn’t have been able to buy new clothes at all.”But promising some laughs in these dire times, 40 Muslim comedians from across the world will host a virtual show on Sunday called “The Socially Distant Eid Comedy Night”.”This Ramadan has been particularly difficult for communities around the world,” said Muddassar Ahmed, head of the Concordia Forum, the organizer of the event.”We’re proud to be pulling together some of the brightest Muslim comedic talent to entertain those celebrating the Eid festival at home, people looking to learn a little bit about Muslim culture, or really anyone in need of a good laugh.”Topics :last_img read more