Friday, 31 December 2021


PARIS - France has recorded more than 100,000 virus infections in a single day for the first time since the pandemic struck, and COVID-19 hospitalizations have doubled over the past month as the fast-spreading omicron variant complicates the government's efforts to stave off a new lockdown.


More than 1 person in 100 in the Paris region has tested positive in the past week, according to the regional health service. Most new infections are linked to the omicron variant, which government experts predict will be dominant in France in the coming days.


Meanwhile a surge in delta variant infections in recent months is pushing up hospital admissions. More than 1,000 people in France with the virus died over the past week, bringing the overall death toll to more than 122,000.


The government is holding emergency meetings Monday to discuss next steps. Some scientists and educators have urged delaying the post-holiday return to school, or re-imposing a curfew.


But the education minister says schools should open as usual January 03, 2022, and other government officials are working to avoid measures that would hammer the economic recovery.


Instead the government is hoping that stepped-up vaccinations will be enough. The government is pushing a draft law that would require vaccination to enter all restaurants and many public venues, instead of the current health pass system which allows people to produce a negative test or proof of recovery if they're not vaccinated.



@ Jackie San

Cara mudah menyalai daging segar

Thursday, 30 December 2021

Produk Pertanian Segar Dari Ba'kelalan Lawas Sarawak



WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court says it will hold a special session in just over two (2) weeks to hear arguments on the Biden administration's vaccine or testing requirement for large employers and a separate vaccine requirement for healthcare workers, an announcement that comes amid rising coronavirus cases.


The high court announced late Wednesday that it would hear arguments in the cases on January 07, an extraordinary fast timeline. The court had not been scheduled to hear cases again until January 10.


A three-judge panel of the 6th United States Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled 2-11 on Friday that the vaccine or testing regime for workers at larger companies could take effect. The plan requires workers at larger companies to be vaccinated or wear face masks and get tested weekly. The requirement could affect some 84 million United States workers.


The high court will have to grapple with whether the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has the authority to impose such a requirement. The requirement had been scheduled to take effect January 04.


The high court also will hear arguments over a rule published November 05 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid that applied to a wide range of health care providers that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid funding. It requires their workers to receive the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by December 06 and be fully vaccinated by January 04. It was projected to affect more than 17 million workers in about 76,000 health care facilities as well as home health care providers.


Decisions by the New Orleans-based 5th United States Circuit Court of Appeals and St. Louis-based 8th United States Circuit Court of Appeals as well as a federal judge in Texas have the mandate blocked in about half of states.


The high court's decision to quickly hold arguments on the requirements was unusual. Both issues arrived at the court on an emergency basis, and the court usually quickly decides emergency applications without the more typically full briefing and oral argument.


But the court has also been criticized recently for how it handles the process, which has been called the court's " shadow docket." Justice Samuel Alito pushed back in September against that criticism, saying it was unwarranted.


The Supreme Court announced earlier this year that all the justices have been vaccinated. Because of the coronavirus, however, the court is not open to the public. Lawyers arguing cases must test negative COVID-19 and journalists observing arguments must also have a negative test.




@ Jackie San 

Wednesday, 29 December 2021

Cara Mudah Menyediakan Menu Makan Siang




BERLIN, GERMANY - Germany's justice minister says he will present legislation next month to remove from the country's criminal code a ban on doctors " advertising " abortions, one of several more liberal social policies that the new government plans.


The three (3) parties that form Chancellor Olaf Scholz's government have long opposed the current rules, but they were defended by the center-right Union bloc of ex-Chancellor Angela Merkel, which is now opposition.


Justice Minister Marco Buschmann said in comments to the Funke newspaper group published Wednesday that there is a " huge reform backlog " on social policy. He said the first step will be to scrap a paragraph in Germany's criminal code that bans " advertising " abortions, and which carries a fine or a prison sentence of up to two years.


Under a compromise in 2019, Merkel's government left the ban formally in place but allowed doctors and hospitals for the first time to say on their websites that they perform abortions. They were not, however, allowed to give more detailed information.


Buschmann said the so-called paragraph 219a constitutes a "penal risk" for doctors performing legal abortions who give factual information on the internet, and that is " absurd."


" Many women who wrestle with themselves on the question of an abortion look for advice on the internet," he said. " It cannot be that, of all people, the doctors who are professionally best qualified to inform them aren't allowed to provide information there."


Other changes to social policy planned by the new governing coalition of Scholz's center-left Social Democrats, the Greens and Buschmann's transsexual people to get a psychological assessment and a court decision before officially changing gender, a process that often involves intimate questions.


The coalition has pledged to replace that with a new " self-determitation law. 



@ Jackie San 

Tuesday, 28 December 2021

Kebun Petai Gergasi



A court in East Timor has jailed a defrocked American priest for 12 years after he was charged with sexually abusing several orphaned and disadvantaged girls in his care.


The sentencing of Richard Daschbach took place on Tuesday, December 21, 2021.


The case against the 84-year-old marked the first time that allegations of sexual abuse perpetrated by a priest have gone to trial in the staunchly Catholic country.


Daschbach, who founded in the early 1990s a shelter for orphans and vulnerable children, was accused of 14 counts of sexual abuse of children younger than 14, as well as one charge of child pornography and domestic violence.


The trial began in February in the district of Oecusse, 200 km (125 miles) west of the capital, Dili, and near his Topu Honis shelter. Court proceedings were closed to the public, and the trial was postponed several times before concluding last month.


Responding to Tuesday's ruling, Dashbach's lawyer, Miguel Faria, said he did not accept the sentence and would coordinate with the defendant and his family to prepare an appeal.


Faria said the verdict was based on the testimony of four (4) victims but had not taken into account the testimony of other withnesses.


Lawyers representing the victims from the group JU,S Juridico Social applauded the verdict but said they would also appeal.


In a statement the group said that considering the gravity of the Crimes, Dashbach should have received a maximum sentence of 30 years.


" The history written today is a bitter history for the entire nation, " the group said. " Our children were subjected to horrendous crimes for such a long time because we, as a society, were blinded by the belief that a figure as the defendant in this case would not commit such crimes against children.


The Vatican defrocked the Pittsburgh-born priest in November 2018, but Daschbach maintains strong backing from some, including former President Xanana Gusmao, who went to the court on Tuesday.


East Timor is generally the most stauchly Catholic place outside the Vatican and Daschbach is revered for his assistane during the Southeast Asian nation's campaign for independence from Indonesia.


The church and foreign donors who once supported the shelter said Daschbach confessed to the abuse, but the former priest and his lawyers have at various times refused to comment. During the proceedings, victims complained about threats and online attacks.


Al Jazeera's Jessica Washington said the case has divided East Timor.


" Timor Leste is a very religious country, with around 98 percent of the population identifying as Catholic. The church has played a very important role in the history of this young nation. Many still feel a sense of gratitude for the Catholic Church for the support the church gave to the people during the Indonesian occupation. It provided food, shelter, and safety during what was a very difficult time for many Timorese people. And as a result, many people still feel a sense of discomfort at anything that discredits the institution of the Catholic Church, " Washington said from Jakarta in neighbouring Indonesia.


" In Richard Saschbach, we have a figure who was not only a priest but a very influential one at that. He had support not only within the country, but also international donors who saw the work he was doing as the director of this orphanage and other shelters that he himself set up, and believed that he was doing amazing work for the local Timorese People."


Tuesday's, December 21, 2021 sentence was " hugely significant ", Washington said, adding that the guilty verdict " could become a catalyst for further cases, for further victims of sexual abuse to come forward."


Daschback is also facing charges in the United States.


A federal grand jury in Washington, DC indicted Daschback in August on seven (7) counts of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place.


If convicted in the US, Daschbach could receive up to 30 years in prison for each count, but the Department of Justice has not said whether it plans to try to extradite the ex-priest.


Daschbach is also wanted  in the United States for three (3) counts of wire fraud linked to one (1) of his California-based donors, which accused him in a court case of violating an agreement to protect those under his care. An Interpol " Red Notice " has been issued internationally for Daschbach's arrest.



@ Jackie San

Monday, 27 December 2021

Pilihanraya Negeri Sarawak Ke-12 Tahun 2021


Several Killed When Protests Rock Goma in Eastern DRC Happens

Several people have been reported dead as protesters clashed with security forces in the city of Goma, in the restive east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).


Large rocks littered a street where crowds of demonstrators gathered on Monday, December 20, 2021 for a standoff with police to protest against growing insecurity and what they believe is the imminent arrival of security forces from neighbouring Rwanda to quell unrest - a claim denied by the Congolese Government.


The protesters converged on arterial roads early in the morning, setting up makeshift barricades and burning tyres. Gunfire rang out across the capital of North Kivu province, and police fired tear gas and used live ammunition to disperse the demonstrators whom they accused of stealing at least three (3) weapons from them and attacking security posts.


" Two law enforcement officers were killed and two (2) seriously injured," General Sylvain Ekenge, a spokesman for the military governor of North Kivu Province, told reporters. " These acts will not go unpunished," Ekenge said.


A local community leader and a police source who requested anonymity told the AFP news agency that one protester had been shot dead while riding a motorbike. Mario Ngavho, the president of Goma's civil society, told the Reuters news agency at least two (2) civilians were killed and six (6) wounded on Monday, December 20, 2021.


The main market in the city centre was closed, as well as banks and schools, following the call for a general shutdown to denounce rising crime in the city. 


Many in Goma are also fed up with a surge in attacks by various armed groups in North Kivu and Ituri provinces that has led authorities in May to declare a " state of siege ", with soldiers replacing civil servants in key positions.


But continuing deadly violence has raised questions as to whether the strategy is working and protesters called for the state of siege to be re-evaluated.


The protesters also said they " categorically oppose the entry of Rwandan policemen in Goma " after the two (2) countries last week signed a deal to combat cross-border trafficking.


" We are not going to support the arrival of the Rwandan police in Goma. What are they hiding from us?" said Paluku Issa, one of the demonstrators.


But DRC officials have insisted any suggestion Rwandan soldiers would be charged with maintaining law and order in Goma was not true.


" This DRC officials have insisted any suggestion Rwandan soldiers would be charged with maintaining law and order in Goma was not true.


" This Rwandan police presence in Goma exists only in the imagination of the salesmen of illusions and the manipulators, as well as people of bad faith, who are ready to jump on any rumour to cause disorder," said Ekenge, the spokesman for the military governor.


The two (2) countries' relations have been fraught over the past 30 years, with Rwanda accusing the DRC of giving shelter to ethnic Hutus responsible for carrying out the 1994 Rwandan genocide.


Rwanda was later among the neighbouring countries that invaded the DRC during its back-to-back civil wars, and in the years since the two (2) countries have accused each other of supporting opposing armed militias.


Many Goma residents view the recently signed agreement with suspicion, fearing it could lead to Rwanda annexing portions of eastern DRC.


" We do not want Rwandans in our country," protester Tommy Mashauri said.

Earlier this month, the DRC launched a joint military operation with Uganda under which at least 1,700 Ugandan troops have crossed into eastern DRC to battle the Allied Democratic Forces, considered the deadliest of many armed groups that roam the mineral-rich-region.



@ Jackie San 

Sunday, 26 December 2021

Terbang Tinggi Bendera Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS)





TOKYO: As the United States works on a new Indo-Pacific initiative to fill the economic void left by its exit from the former Trans - Pacific Partnership, countries worried about the widening rift between Washington and China are counting on Japan to help steer the effort.


Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai embarked on Asian tours in November to sell the planned " Indo - Pacific economic framework ".


Secretary of State Antony Blinken laid groundwork as well during his visit to Southeast Asia this month, though he cut the trip short when a journalist in his delegation tested positive for COVID-19.


The effort is largely a response to China. It aims to make supply chains less reliant on the country, while tightening oversight of exports to avoid leaks of critical technology.


The framework would also cover common rules for data and artificial intelligence, as well as promote cooperation on infrastructure, an area where Beijing has moved aggressively.


Commerce Secretary Raimondo said the new framework would not be a traditional trade agreement, but the details are unclear, for example as to whether the agreement would be legally binding or not.


" The idea really hasn't been fully thought through, " a Japanese government insider said.


The United States rush to put something on the table comes as China gains ground in the international trade arena, in developments that threaten to reshape the region's economic order in Washington's absence.


China has applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans - Pacific Partnership, followed closely by Taiwan. More recently, South Korea said it will begin the process to join the pact.


The 15-member Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is set to take effect in January for most countries involved.


The Biden administration has been under pressure to respond somehow, and given the deep suspicion toward trade agreements in much of the US, conceived the Indo-Pacific framework which excludes traditional market -opening negotiations.


There are no real new ideas to be found in the plan.


The Quad - the security grouping consisting of the United States, Japan, India and Australia - is already working to shore up supply chains for semiconductors and other products, and there have been multiple moves to create shared digital rules for the region such as the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement concluded between Singapore, Chile and New Zealand.


In infrastructure, the Group of Seven in June agreed to work together on the US-proposed Build Back Better World initiative, a counterweight to China's Belt and Road.


The purpose of Washington's new framework is essentially to bundle various regional initiatives together and expand them throughout the Indo-Pacific.


Yet many countries are not keen on being forced to pick a side between the United States and China. Overly tight oversight on exports of advanced technology, for example, would hurt countries that trade heavily with China.


Asian trade officials say they expect to see Japan Country play a coordinating role. The hope is that Tokyo would steer the effort away from unnecessary decoupling from China, such as by narrowing the scope of export screenings.


In the early days of TPP negotiations, the prospect of increased access for exports to the US market encouraged many countries to participate. A similar carrot will be needed for this new effort.


During her trip to Malaysia, Raimondo visited a semiconductor factory that had at one point shut down due to the pandemic, and announced a plan to collaborate on supply chain security and resilience.


Asian countries will welcome this if it means more outside investment.


The same goes for infrastructure. In telecommunications, for example, less-affluent countries buy inexpensive Chinese equipment despite fears of data leaking to Beijing.


Providing support for construction of secure infrastructure would boost the appeal of the new framework.


There are some sceptics. Scott Miller, a former State Department adviser on international economic policy now with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, questions how much a framework that would not require even legislative approval could do.


" What American firms and farmers and workers really care about is market access, and nobody is trying to achieve better market access for American export," Millar said.


Tetsuya Watababe, vice-president at Japan's Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry, argues that United States engagement in Asia is beneficial in and of itself.


" Japan should take every opportunity it can to boost United States presence in Asia. Maintaining the balance with China is key to regional stability and therefore should be our consistent policy goal," he said.


Beijing is taking a wait - and - see stance for now. But Song Guoyou, deputy director of the Center for American Studies at China's Fudan University, mocked the effort in an English - language commentary for the state - backed Global Times.


" When the United States pitches an economic initiative, it always uses language and spin to persuade regional countries, but it always (falls) short in actual investment," Song said.


With midterm elections coming up next November, the Biden administration is scrambling to deliver results to voters. Tokyo will have little choice but to respond to Washington's actions.



@ Jackie San

Saturday, 25 December 2021



New Cases of Coronavirus in Britain hit a record high for the second day running on Thursday, December 16, 2021 as England's chief medical officer warned daily hospital admissions could also hit new peaks due to the fast-spreading Omicron coronavirus variant.


Britain now reported 88,376 new infections, the highest since the start of the pandemic and up around 10,000 since the previous record set on Wednesday, December 15, 2021.


The surge in cases was piling pressure on a health service struggling with staff sickness, England's chief medical officer Chris Whitty announced on Thursday, December 16, 2021.


Omicron is so transmissible that even if it proves to be milder than other variants, it could still cause a surge in hospital admissions, Whitty told lawmakers.


" It is possible, because this is going to be very concentrated over a short period of time, even if it's milder, you could end up with a higher number than that going into hospital on a single day," he said.


However, he said vaccinations could cut the numbers admitted to intensive care and shorten the time spent in hospital. On Thursday, December 17, 2021 there were 849 admissions reported.


Susan Hopkins, the chief medical adviser at the UK Health Security Agency, said there were 15 proven cases of Omicron in hospitals but that the number was likely to be much higher.


Although new cases were at a record high according to official data, Britain did not have mass testing capacity in March 2020 when the pandemic first hit the country, and so the scale of infections at that point is unknown.


A senior emergency doctor said hospitals, particularly in London, were struggling to maintain staffing levels due to the number who are having to isolate with COVID-19.


" Even if we are not seeing a big rise in hospitalisations yet, we are already seeing the effect on not having the staff to run shifts properly and safely," Katherine Henderson an emergency consultant in London and president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, told BBC Radio.


" So we are worried about patient harm coming about because we just don't have the staff."


The education minister also warned of problems with staff shortages, and said his department would work with ex teachers who wanted to return the profession to help.


Britain is betting that vaccine boosters will prevent serious illness from Omicron.


The government has also advised people to work from home, mandated mask wearing in public places and has introduced COVID-19 passes to enter some venues and events in England, but has stopped short of previous lockdown measures.


" If it looked as if the vaccines were less effective than we were expecting, that for example would be a material change to how ministers viewed the risks going forward," Whitty said.



@ Jackie San

Sungai Mentawai Ulu Limbang

Friday, 24 December 2021

Sungai Adang & Sungai Limbang




IPOH PERAK : A policeman did not expect that he would find an infant during the search and rescue (SAR) operation for flood victims in Taman Sri Muda, Shah Alam, Selangor Darul Ehsan, recently.


Sarjan Awang Abdullah Sani Awang Alehan, 42 years old, from the General Operations Force (GOF) in Hulu Kinta Perak, here said the four-month-old baby girl, along with her parents and another child, were trapped on the top floor or a two-storey terrace house after the ground floor was flooded.


" That afternoon, I drove a boat with three (3) other rescuers and two (2) of us had to climb up the roof of the house before rescuing the family through the window, while another rescuer and I waited in the boat to receive them," he said when contacted.


On Tuesday, December 21, 2021, a photo of Sarjan Awang Abdullah Sani holding the baby girl who was wearing a pink hat went viral on social media and was also shared on the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) Facebook page and Instagram account.


The photo gained positive response from people online who expressed relief and gratitude that the baby had been rescued.


Sarjan Awang Abdullah Sani said he was among 128 GOF officers and personnel members from Perak who were deployed to join the SAR mission in Selangor Darul Ehsan since Sunday, December 19, 2021.


Commenting further, the assistant coach of the Hulu Kinta GOF Training Centre who had served fro 21 years described the SAR operation as meaningful work for his team as they were able to assist many flood victims despite the physical fatigue.


" We have been busy since Sunday, December 19, 2021 and we are also willing to forgo our sleep in order to rescue the flood victims," he added.


Sarjan Awang Abdullah Sani Said he was surprised to find out that his photo was shared on PDRM's Facebook and Instagram page.



@ Jackie San 


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