Indonesia’s Ramadan school moves online amid coronavirus epidemic

first_img“The chemistry is absolutely different as we don’t meet in person,” Winardi said of the online lessons. “But we try some ice-breaking activities, such as shouting ‘God is greatest’. Hopefully it encourages them to memorize the Quran.”Joining the class from the capital, Jakarta, alongside classmates from South Sumatra and West Java, Muhammad Umar Abdurrahman, 11, said he enjoyed the lesson, although his father saw room for improvement, such as more comprehensive course material.Most residents of Jakarta have been staying home since March 20 as part of social distancing measures, which have seen schools and businesses close, and gatherings of more than five people banned until May 22.Indonesia, which has the highest coronavirus death toll in East Asia outside China, has reported more than 12,000 coronavirus cases and 872 deaths, as of on Tuesday.Topics : “Due to COVID-19, we’re restricted from activities outside our houses so we started the online Islamic course,” said Gemia Indria, one of the organizers.”And it turns out online teaching removes geographical barriers, so we can reach out to more participants.”Known as pesantren kilat, which loosely translates as “intensive Islamic boarding school”, the course teaches students about Islam, as well as creative ways to recite the Quran, such as through hand gestures.The gestures, Winardi explained, can act as fun prompts to help primary school students, most aged from 6 to 12 years old, recall religious verses. Each year during the fasting month of Ramadan, Indonesian tutor Ahmad Winardi has taught a special course for students in the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country to deepen their knowledge of Islam.But this year, the novel coronavirus has brought a Ramadan like never before, with shuttered mosques and strict physical distancing regulations, and so Winardi has moved his Islamic studies online.One consequence is that the courses, previously held only in cities on the islands of Java and Sumatra, have this year attracted a wider range of students in the archipelago, including from Kalimantan.last_img read more

We’re making the DMV faster in PA. Here’s how.

first_img Efficiency,  GO-TIME,  Innovation,  The Blog One of the biggest priorities for Governor Wolf is improving customer service at the front-lines of state government. Through GO-TIME and other initiatives in our agencies, we’re finding places where we can both save taxpayers’ money and deliver much better customer service and reduce the time taxpayers’ wait for services.There are few points where state government interacts with more Pennsylvanians that at ‘the DMV.’ (Note: Pennsylvania technically has DLCs – Driver’s License Centers – but DMV is a common term for the same place)PennDOT and Secretary of Transportation Leslie Richards are working diligently to bring DLCs into the 21st Century and make the customer experience the best it can be.Back in December, PennDOT deployed new software to reduce wait times for drivers. And we learned that something as simple as a software upgrade can not only improve the customer experience, but help agencies such as PennDOT operate more efficiently and transparently.Now at many Driver License Centers, PennDOT can monitor wait times around the state in real time and deploy additional resources in response.When people come to PennDOT, they want a quick, no-hassle experience. This new system to monitor wait times was one way we are delivering that kind of quality service.At one of PennDOT’s busiest centers in Malvern, Chester County, not far from here, the new system prompted PennDOT to add an extra camera to its photo license operation and expand hours of operation. As a result, wait times were cut from 90 minutes to less than 30 minutes. At PennDOT’s new DLC in Norristown, we’re taking innovations to the next level. This new center relies on new technology and many other upgrades to deliver better customer service and experience, including:Customer feedback units at every counter station, giving real-time data on our customers’ satisfaction and allowing for intervention at the time of service.Customers can opt for queuing text notifications to their mobile phone, so they have the freedom to run errands nearby or enjoy the outdoor seating area without losing their place in line.Norristown will be the first location that will allow customers to make an appointment for a service at the driver’s license center, and be placed in the queue in advance of their arrival.Additionally, the website will also include average wait times, which will help customers to plan their visits accordingly.These are just a few of the innovations being piloted here. And these innovations are another example of the work my administration is doing to deliver better services in a more efficient way.Whether it is making it easier to register to vote by putting the application online or making it easier to go to the DMV, the Wolf Administration is committed to making a government that works efficiently, effectively and with innovation that the people of Pennsylvania both demand and have come to expect in the private sector.   SHARE  TWEET By: J.J. Abbott, Deputy Press Secretary We’re making the DMV faster in PA. Here’s how.center_img August 26, 2016 Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Picture of the day: Pakistan’s second LNG import terminal

first_imgImage courtesy of Pakistan LNG TerminalsPakistan GasPort’s LNG import terminal at Mazhar Point, Port Qasim, Karachi has recently been inaugurated, and according to local media reports, the facility started receiving commercial cargoes. The project, worth around $500 million includes a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), BW’s FSRU BW Integrity with a storage capacity in excess of 170,000 cubic meters and a peak regasification capacity of 750 million standard cubic feet per day.It is connected to the national gas grid via a 12.3 kilometer subsea and onshore pipeline.The import facility provides LNG storage and regasification services to the state-owned Pakistan LNG Terminals of up to 600mmscfd for 15 years.The terminal’s surplus regas capacity of 90mmscfd is, under the prevailing policy and rules, be made available to the private sector in collaboration with PGPC’s equity partner Trafigura.It provides fuel for 3,600 megawatts of power generation plants set up by the government of Pakistan.last_img read more

Gay Loneliness

first_imgHighLine – The Huffington Post 2 March 2017Family First Comment: This is a fascinating read – by a gay man. The argument pushed by the media and political elite is that all the adversity and negative social statistics and health issues that gays face is due to ‘homophobia’. But this article contradicts that completely.“…even as we celebrate the scale and speed of this change, the rates of depression, loneliness and substance abuse in the gay community remain stuck in the same place they’ve been for decades… In the Netherlands, where gay marriage has been legal since 2001, gay men remain three times more likely to suffer from a mood disorder than straight men, and 10 times more likely to engage in “suicidal self-harm.” In Sweden, which has had civil unions since 1995 and full marriage since 2009, men married to men have triple the suicide rate of men married to women.”Jeremy is not my only gay friend who’s struggling. There’s Malcolm, who barely leaves the house except for work because his anxiety is so bad. There’s Jared, whose depression and body dysmorphia have steadily shrunk his social life down to me, the gym and Internet hookups. And there was Christian, the second guy I ever kissed, who killed himself at 32, two weeks after his boyfriend broke up with him. Christian went to a party store, rented a helium tank, started inhaling it, then texted his ex and told him to come over, to make sure he’d find the body.1.That’s not his real name. Only a few of the names of the gay men in this article are real.For years I’ve noticed the divergence between my straight friends and my gay friends. While one half of my social circle has disappeared into relationships, kids and suburbs, the other has struggled through isolation and anxiety, hard drugs and risky sex.None of this fits the narrative I have been told, the one I have told myself. Like me, Jeremy did not grow up bullied by his peers or rejected by his family. He can’t remember ever being called a faggot. He was raised in a West Coast suburb by a lesbian mom. “She came out to me when I was 12,” he says. “And told me two sentences later that she knew I was gay. I barely knew at that point.”Jeremy and I are 34. In our lifetime, the gay community has made more progress on legal and social acceptance than any other demographic group in history. As recently as my own adolescence, gay marriage was a distant aspiration, something newspapers still put in scare quotes. Now, it’s been enshrined in law by the Supreme Court. Public support for gay marriage has climbed from 27 percent in 1996 to 61 percent in 2016. In pop culture, we’ve gone from “Cruising” to “Queer Eye” to “Moonlight.” Gay characters these days are so commonplace they’re even allowed to have flaws.Still, even as we celebrate the scale and speed of this change, the rates of depression, loneliness and substance abuse in the gay community remain stuck in the same place they’ve been for decades. Gay people are now, depending on the study, between 2 and 10 times more likely than straight people to take their own lives. We’re twice as likely to have a major depressive episode. And just like the last epidemic we lived through, the trauma appears to be concentrated among men. In a survey of gay men who recently arrived in New York City, three-quarters suffered from anxiety or depression, abused drugs or alcohol or were having risky sex—or some combination of the three. Despite all the talk of our “chosen families,” gay men have fewer close friends than straight people or gay women. In a survey of care-providers at HIV clinics, one respondent told researchers: “It’s not a question of them not knowing how to save their lives. It’s a question of them knowing if their lives are worth saving.”I’m not going to pretend to be objective about any of this. I’m a perpetually single gay guy who was raised in a bright blue city by PFLAG parents. I’ve never known anyone who died of AIDS, I’ve never experienced direct discrimination and I came out of the closet into a world where marriage, a picket fence and a golden retriever were not just feasible, but expected. I’ve also been in and out of therapy more times than I’ve downloaded and deleted Grindr.“Marriage equality and the changes in legal status were an improvement for some gay men,” says Christopher Stults, a researcher at New York University who studies the differences in mental health between gay and straight men. “But for a lot of other people, it was a letdown. Like, we have this legal status, and yet there’s still something unfulfilled.”This feeling of emptiness, it turns out, is not just an American phenomenon. In the Netherlands, where gay marriage has been legal since 2001, gay men remain three times more likely to suffer from a mood disorder than straight men, and 10 times more likely to engage in “suicidal self-harm.” In Sweden, which has had civil unions since 1995 and full marriage since 2009, men married to men have triple the suicide rate of men married to women.All of these unbearable statistics lead to the same conclusion: It is still dangerously alienating to go through life as a man attracted to other men. The good news, though, is that epidemiologists and social scientists are closer than ever to understanding all the reasons why.READ MORE: read more

Stolen car leads troopers in multi county pursuit

first_imgOn Thursday, September 12, Officers recovered a vehicle reported stolen out of Bartholomew County after a 10-mile pursuit crossed county lines and ended when the car was remotely disabled.Around 2:30, a Clark County Sheriff’s Deputy advised he was northbound on I-65 near the 18 mile-marker and behind a red Chevrolet Malibu which was reported stolen earlier in the day.  When the Deputy attempted to stop the vehicle, the car increased speed and tried to flee from the officer.  Numerous officers were in the area and joined in the pursuit including officers from the Indiana State Police in Sellersburg and the Clarksville Police Department. The vehicle continued north on I-65 and into Scott County, eluding officers attempts to use Stop Sticks along the way.  The passenger was also observed throwing an unknown substance out of the passenger window of the car.  Realizing the car was equipped with a subscription-based navigation and security service, Indiana State Police Dispatch contacted the service and requested the vehicle be remotely disabled.  Once the vehicle was disabled, it began to slow down and safely stopped on the side of the roadway.  After officers detained both occupants, the investigation also revealed meth and paraphernalia inside the car. The driver, Ryan Andrew Moody, 40, of Columbus, and the passenger, Audrey Fay Crank, 20, of Hope, were taken into custody without incident and remanded into the Clark County Jail.  They are both charged with Possession of Methamphetamine, and Possession of Paraphernalia.  Moody is also charged with Auto Theft and Reckless Driving.last_img read more

Kinnear: Cabaye was desperate to go

first_imgJoe Kinnear has insisted Newcastle only sold Yohan Cabaye to Paris St-Germain because he was desperate to leave. Press Association The Magpies’ director of football has once again become the target of fans’ fury after the club sold Cabaye, arguably manager Alan Pardew’s best player, to the big-spending Ligue 1 outfit earlier this week and failed to replace him before Friday night’s transfer deadline. But writing in his programme notes ahead of Saturday’s derby clash with Sunderland, Kinnear said: “Of course it is disappointing that Yohan Cabaye has moved on after two and a half seasons at St James’ Park. center_img “We didn’t want to sell him, make no bones about that, but Yohan made it very clear to us that the opportunity of playing Champions League football and being part of the sporting project at PSG was something he wanted. “On that basis, we felt that if we received an acceptable bid for him, then it was the right decision for the club to do business. “Yohan benefited hugely from his time with us. He flourished as a player and his move to PSG comes as a result of the performances he put in during his time at the club. “But for us, now is the time to look forward, not back. We have a number of highly talented midfielders within our ranks.” Kinnear was appointed to his post in June last year and is yet to make a permanent signing, with on-loan strikers Loic Remy and Luuk de Jong the only two men to arrive at the club since. last_img read more

Everton can bounce back – Howard

first_img Howard said the priority was to get themselves back on track after the disappointment at St Mary’s Stadium. “Hopefully we’ll brush it aside as a one-off and we’ll have it all to do against Manchester City,” he told the Liverpool Echo. “It will be wide open, a tactical battle with top players on display. “Those games take care of themselves. Those are the easy games to play in. “Gareth Barry (on loan from City) won’t be there but we can cope.” Howard is confident there will be no hangover from a second defeat in three games. “The manager has been brilliant in that regard. He dismisses things very quickly, both brilliant performances and bad ones. “We’ll get it out of the way and have a good week of training again. Press Association Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard insists Saturday’s visit of Manchester City will be an easy game to play in simply because of the quality of opposition. “We’ll be focused from Monday to deal with what City have to throw at us.” Captain Phil Jagielka, who has not played since the end of February because of a hamstring problem, is expected to return to face City as Everton’s injury list continues to grow. Martinez had eight players unavailable through injury against Southampton and with Barry ineligible against his parent club this weekend the Spaniard has recalled forward Apostolos Vellios from Blackpool after just two appearances since joining them at the end of last month. But Everton received some good news on Leighton Baines late on Monday, with the England defender likely to face City. “Leighton Baines is set to be fit for this weekend’s game against Manchester City,” said a statement on “The England international was assessed over the weekend, but has reacted well to the problem, meaning he should be fit for Saturday’s crunch Goodison clash.” The self-inflicted 2-0 defeat at Southampton damaged the Toffees’ dreams of Champions League football but a point against Manuel Pellegrini’s team will at least guarantee a return to the Europa League for the first time since 2009. They could also do neighbours Liverpool a huge favour by taking points off City, which would give the Reds renewed hope of winning the title for the first time in 24 years. last_img read more

The Latest: 2 more badminton tournaments canceled

first_img Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Two more badminton tournaments have been canceled in the revamped calendar because of the coronavirus pandemic. Associated Press The Latest: 2 more badminton tournaments canceled July 7, 2020 The China Masters in Lingshui was canceled after already being moved from February to May and then to August.It was to be the first comeback event but that’s now expected to be the Chinese Taipei Open in Taipei from Sept. 1-6.The Dutch Open in Almere in October was also put off for this year.___More AP sports: and

WLAX : Needing win, Syracuse returns home for 1st time since February

first_img Published on April 6, 2011 at 12:00 pm Syracuse has been a little homesick. After limping through a six-game road trip with a 2-4 record, the separation from its home environment was evident.‘It’s always sunny and 70 in the Dome,’ SU senior attack Tee Ladouceur said, ‘instead of other places, where weather ailments can sometimes affect the outcome of a game. The Dome is nice.’The Orange (3-6, 1-0 Big East) has only played two of its nine games at home this season, and its subpar overall record demonstrates the effects. In his three years as head coach, Gary Gait has led his Syracuse teams to a .793 winning percentage in the Carrier Dome. And with this year’s squad in desperate need of a win, it’s a better time than ever to be back in Syracuse.Friday, SU takes on Connecticut (6-4, 0-2) in its first home game since Feb. 27.Since Gait began his tenure in 2008, Syracuse has compiled Dome records of 10-1, 7-2 and 6-3. This year, SU is 1-1. Never before has a Gait-led team lost more than two games on the road. So far this year, it has lost five.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn its two games at home, SU is averaging 15 scores per game. In its seven on the road, SU is averaging 9.4.‘I think it’s a whole mixture of things,’ Ladouceur said of the road struggles. ‘We’re not always on the same page together. Obviously, we’re looking to win games, even when we are on the road.’As far as winning games in the postseason, there is a definite advantage for the team that owns the road-warrior mentality, Gait said earlier this season. But as far as winning games — and more importantly, building chemistry — in the regular season, playing a few within the friendly confines can’t hurt.SU’s backup goaltender Alyssa Costantino, in her first season with the Orange, still vividly recalls the first time she set foot inside.‘I remember the first time I saw it. I actually got goose bumps,’ Costantino said. ‘It feels like a professional field, so when you walk in, you’re like, ‘Wow, this is big time.”Perhaps the setting the Dome provides creates a sense of intimidation for the Orange’s opponents. And after SU dominated the Huskies last season on the road, the friendly confines of the Dome are only an added advantage.When the two teams met in Storrs, Conn., last season, the Syracuse defense forced 17 turnovers and allowed just one goal in each half en route to an 11-2 win. SU has won all 13 of its previous matchups with the Huskies and is a perfect 6-0 at home.‘All the other teams come in here and have big eyes and are like, ‘Wow, this is it,” said SU starting goaltender Liz Hogan. ‘And we get to be here every day.’Since losing to top-ranked Maryland on March 12, Syracuse has been outscored by only three goals in a five-game stretch (54-51). It has won two of the five, but both wins came against unranked teams in Towson and Rutgers. The three losses have all come against ranked opponents in Florida, Northwestern and Dartmouth.The question now becomes whether Syracuse is losing because it has been playing games on the road or because it is being outplayed.Come Friday, the answer will materialize. Perhaps the answer to resolving the struggle is as simple as returning back home.Syracuse now has that opportunity, and when the Huskies visit the Dome this Friday, SU will look to get over the homesickness that has come with a 2-5 road trip.‘There are no excuses for losing these games when we’re away,’ Ladouceur said. ‘Those are games that we should have won, but obviously here, there is a comfort zone.’ Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more