Letters to the Editor for Thursday, June 27

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionAutomatic Voter Registration neededNew York state is considering passing an Automatic Voter Registration bill.This bill acknowledges the obligation of our government to help our citizens gain access to their ballots.Regardless of political party control, Automatic Voter Registration is either fully implemented or will be soon in 15 states: Alaska, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhodes Island, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia. The reason why automatic voter registration is needed is that our citizens struggle to apply for and maintain their voter registration status.The bill wasn’t passed this year. But when enacted sometime next year, it will help citizens by removing an unnecessary barrier that stands between them and their ballot box.When a citizen updates their information with the DMV, their information automatically is transmitted to the Board of Elections.When a citizen applies for a license at DMV they will be automatically registered to vote and will then be contacted by the Board of Elections to inform them of their polling place. Currently, the DMV checks the citizenship of all who seek a driver’s license and asks if the citizen wants to register to vote. This system protects our elections system from those who are not eligible to vote. As citizens, it is our fundamental right to vote and it is the fundamental obligation of our government to provide us with access to the ballot box.William B. CookSchenectadyThe writer is Director of Legislation for the New York State Association of Letter Carriers, AFL-CIO.Give Lady Liberty a place of honor in cityWe’ve all heard the expression “Where does the time go?” Here it is June 2019. The campaign for returning the Statue of Liberty to her rightful place started about March 26, 2018.Now, we hear that the mayor will make a decision around July 4, 2019.We, the People could not have picked a better day to finally put this problem to bed and bring a smile to Lady Liberty as she returns home.On Nov. 9, 1950, The Gazette wrote about the dedication of the statue after a parade of 2,500 Boy Scouts observed by 3,500 watchers as the statue found a “permanent” home as the gateway to Schenectady.When the mayor decides that Gateway Plaza is the best place for the Statue of Liberty to rest, many more citizens can view her and thank her for being our sign of “Liberty and Freedom for all.”The only other better suited place for the statue would be in Veteran’s Park, which would be a proper place with all the respect she deserves from the many veterans that respect her.James A. WilsonSchenectadyGrateful for support of Holocaust projectI would like to sincerely thank the Niskayuna Town Board for its unanimous vote of support granting a Special Use Permit enabling the development of the Capital District Jewish Holocaust Memorial.We will continue to work with the Niskayuna community to make this memorial a meaningful expression of their care and concern for human dignity and a message against hate and bigotry.Neil Golub and Rabbi Matt Cutler contributed significantly, and everyone working as a team brought us to this moment of achievement.Dr. Michael LozmanLathamThe writer is president and founder of Capital District Jewish Holocaust Memorial.More from The Daily Gazette:Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

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Gilts ‘better than shares’ since 1990

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DevSecs poised to challenge Merivale in takeover battle

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Holborn move for Kinney Green

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Israel ex-PM Olmert defiantly rallies behind Palestinian leader

first_img“He is a man of peace, he is opposed to terror, and therefore he is the only partner that we can deal with,” Olmert told reporters with Abbas at his side.”It will take some time but these negotiations will take place, and the partner of Israel to these negotiations will be Mahmud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority,” he said.Hinting at Netanyahu’s political woes, Olmert said: “Who will be the partner on the Israeli side? We will know later this year.”Abbas, who succeeded Yasser Arafat in 2005, called Olmert “my dear friend” and said he wanted to “extend my hand to the Israeli people.” Israel’s former prime minister Ehud Olmert on Tuesday called Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas a partner for peace, defiantly rejecting efforts by Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to sideline the veteran leader.Olmert, Netanyahu’s centrist predecessor who led Israel from 2006 to 2009, met with Abbas in New York hours after the Palestinian leader went before the UN Security Council to denounce US President Donald Trump’s Middle East plan.The former prime minister did not criticize Trump’s plan, which paves the way for Israel to annex much of the West Bank, but said that any future negotiations needed to involve Abbas, an 84-year-old considered a moderate. “We want to achieve peace through peaceful means and negotiations,” he said. “Let me reiterate again, we are against and do not want violence.”Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, had warned Olmert against meeting Abbas, whom Netanyahu’s government accuses of inciting unrest.Danon told the Security Council that the Palestinians needed a new leader, saying that Abbas was unable to consider the “realistic” proposals of Trump.Olmert “is endorsing diplomatic terrorism against Israel. It is shameful,” Danon said after Olmert met Abbas.Olmert is close to Netanyahu’s centrist rival Benny Gantz who went neck-and-neck with the prime minister in two inconclusive elections last year, with a third vote scheduled for March 2.Olmert, however, said he was not speaking for Gantz.Olmert stepped down under a cloud of corruption scandals. Netanyahu in November was also indicted on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.Topics :last_img read more

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America closes down: A third of citizens told to stay home

first_imgThe unprecedented intrusion on Americans’ constitutional right to assemble is intended to slow the growth of the novel coronavirus, emulating places like China and South Korea where strict governmental controls helped stymie the infection that has killed more than 10,000 people worldwide.Slow-to-respond Italy, by comparison, has reported more than 3,400 deaths — more than China’s official tally — including at least a dozen physicians.The American governors, lacking strong direction from the White House, acted on their own on a day when US cases surpassed 15,000 and more than 200 people had died. President Donald Trump refused to address the anxieties of millions of Americans fearful for their health, homes and livelihoods.U.S. President Donald Trump takes questions during a coronavirus (COVID-19) task force briefing with reporters at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 16, 2020. ( REUTERS/Leah Millis)“You’re doing sensationalism,” Trump told an NBC News reporter who asked for the president’s message to a “scared” nation during a White House press conference.Some governors said the stay-at-home order was the step they had dreaded most. Murphy, of New Jersey, declined to detail just what he had in mind for Saturday’s announcement, saying it was important “to get it right.”Hanging LooseThough the limitations were startling by American standards, they reflect the more open nature of US society: Residents aren’t ordered off the streets totally, as they were in Asia, nor will there be house-to-house searches for people with fevers. But governors said they could accomplish the most with social separation.“The only way we’re going to beat this darn virus is if we literally stay home and stay away from each other,” Murphy said at a news conference in Paramus, where more than 650 people were swabbed at the state’s first drive-through testing center. Hundreds of others were turned away to ensure enough test kits to run a seven-day-a-week operation.Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, standing with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, on Friday issued a “stay at home” order to take effect Saturday at 5 p.m. and extended school closings through at least April 8.“We don’t know yet all the steps we are going to have to take to get this virus under control,” Pritzker said. Illinois confirmed 585 cases and five deaths.Essential Illinois services, such as grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations, will be allowed to operate for almost 13 million residents. Mass transit will run and garbage be collected. Residents also can go outside and travel open roads.Lightfoot said the directive wasn’t a lockdown, but said it was “time to do more to flatten the curve,” a reference to the cases’ steep surge in a short time, far more taxing to treat than cases over a prolonged period.Clampdown RumorsCalifornia Governor Gavin Newsom announced Thursday that the shelter-in-place mandate would be expanded statewide, from 20 counties initially.“We need some tough decisions,” Newsom said. “We need some straight talk.”A banner saying that “it will be OK” hangs from an overpass along Interstate 80 in Berkeley on March 17, 2020. (AFP/Getty Images/Justin Sullivan)The San Francisco Police Department, meanwhile, debunked rumors that officers were issuing $400 tickets to people not keeping social distance or leaving home without an allowable purpose.“The SFPD has not issued any citations related to the public health order,” Adam Lobsinger, a spokesman, said in an email. “As always, we continue to educate individuals about these critical protocols designed to help slow the spread of Covid-19.”Topics : In this Dec. 9, 2016 file photo provided by the Office of New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, work continues on the Second Avenue subway station at 72nd Street in New York. After a near 45 year wait, straphangers can take their first ride on the new subway at noon on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017. (Office of New York Gov. Cuomo via AP/Kevin P. Coughlin)“The No. 1 opportunity to make a difference here is to flatten the curve,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters in Albany. “The best way to do that is by reducing density — density control, density control valve, right?”“We’re going to take it to the ultimate step, which is we’re going to close the valve.”Emulating Asia Governors from coast to coast Friday told Americans not to leave home except for dire circumstances and ordered nonessential business to shut their doors.New Yorkers and Illinoisans were told that their freedom of movement, and motives for it, would be curtailed drastically: nonessential businesses must close and all but emergency travel is discouraged. Those residents — plus those in California, Connecticut, Nevada and Pennsylvania, all with strict orders of some kind put in place Thursday — compose about one-third of the US population of 328 million.Governor Jay Inslee of Washington, where early nursing home deaths gripped the nation and cases have climbed to almost 1,400, is set to speak late Friday. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said he would issue an order Saturday to close most businesses and potentially drop the 50-person limit on gatherings or perhaps ban them outright.last_img read more

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Indonesian COVID-19 cases top 1,000

first_imgJakarta still has the majority of cases with 598 positives – an increase of 83. Other provinces with a significant number of cases include West Java with 98 cases, Banten (84), East Java (66) and Central Java (43).South Sulawesi is now the hardest-hit region outside Java island with 29 positive cases.While experts had called on the government to impose a lockdown on regions with a high infection rate to reduce the spread, Yurianto said, citizens should increase their awareness and comply with the government’s appeal to stay at home and maintain physical distance in social interactions.“I am optimistic and really believe [we can overcome the virus] because we actually work together, which is our basic modality as a nation,” Yurianto said.The government is also continuing its efforts to trace people that have come into close contact with people who have contracted the disease, as well as launching rapid testing. (mfp)Topics : Indonesian health authorities have confirmed 1,046 COVID-19 positive cases as of Friday, an increase of 153 from the previous count a day earlier.The number of fatalities caused by the disease has also risen by nine cases to 87. Meanwhile, the number of people having recovered from COVID-19 has also increased to 46.“There was a significant addition of cases with 153 new cases. This illustrates that there are still transmissions of this disease within the community due to close contact with sources of the disease,” said Achmad Yurianto, the government’s spokesperson for COVID-19-related matters, during a press briefing on Friday.last_img read more

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Liverpool blasted over furlough, players in wage cut warning

first_img“That’s not what the scheme was designed for. Contrary to the morals and values of the club I got to know.”Liverpool said staff would be paid 100 percent of their salaries to ensure nobody was financially disadvantaged.A statement from the club said: “Even prior to the decision on staff furloughing, there was a collective commitment at senior levels of the club — on and off the pitch — with everyone working towards a solution that secures jobs for employees of the club during this unprecedented crisis.”‘Effect on Health Service’ Meanwhile, the Professional Footballers’ Association warned of a £200 million shortfall in British government tax revenues if a 30% pay cut was introduced for players.”All Premier League players want to, and will, play their part in making significant financial contributions in these unprecedented times,” said a PFA statement after a meeting with the Premier League.”We welcomed the opportunity to discuss this and we are happy to continue talks.”However, the PFA insisted it was too simplistic to criticise multi-millionaire players for not easily agreeing to salary cuts.”The proposed 30 percent salary deduction over a 12-month period equates to over £500m in wage reductions and a loss in tax contributions of over £200m to the government,” the PFA statement added.”What effect does this loss of earning to the government mean for the National Health Service?”The Premier League has been seen as lagging behind other European leagues in its response to coronavirus and was accused by one British lawmaker of operating in a “moral vacuum”.In Spain, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid players have already agreed to pay cuts of 70% while the stars of Italian champions Juventus will be paid a reduced amount for the next four months.England defender Danny Rose, on loan at Newcastle from Tottenham, told the BBC players were “keen to make something happen”.”I can only speak for myself but I would have no problems whatsoever contributing some of my wages to people who are fighting this on the front line and to people who have been affected by what’s happening at the minute,” he said.On Friday, a hospital in London identified Rose as the individual behind a £19,000 donation.Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson has led talks between Premier League club captains over what action they could take, a move that began before Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Thursday joined those singling out footballers.”It was just not needed for people who are not involved in football to tell footballers what they should do with their money,” added Rose. “I found that so bizarre.”‘Safe and appropriate’ Burnley issued a stark warning on Saturday about the potential financial fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, claiming they would face a shortfall of up to £50 million ($61 million) if it were not possible to complete the season.The English top-flight said on Friday the 2019/20 season would only return when it was “safe and appropriate to do so”.The league agreed to provide a £125 million fund for the English Football League and National League and pledged £20 million in charitable support for the National Health Service and other groups.Topics : But former Reds players Jamie Carragher and Stan Collymore strongly criticised the move by the European champions, who in February announced pre-tax profits of £42 million ($51 million) for 2018/19.”(Manager) Jurgen Klopp showed compassion for all at the start of this pandemic, senior players heavily involved in @premierleague players taking wage cuts. Then all that respect & goodwill is lost, poor this @LFC,” tweeted Carragher.Collymore was even more forthright, tweeting: “I don’t know of any Liverpool fan of any standing that won’t be anything other than disgusted at the club for furloughing staff.”Another former Anfield star, Germany’s Dietmar Hamann tweeted: “Astonished by the news that @LFC takes advantage of the furlough scheme to claim 80% of non-playing staff wages back off the government.  Liverpool were accused of betraying their “morals and values” on Saturday for their move to furlough non-playing staff during the coronavirus pandemic as Premier League stars warned of a £200 million ($245 million) shortfall in government coffers if 30 percent wage cuts were introduced.Premier League leaders Liverpool said they would top up the public money made available from the government to ensure staff on temporary leave received their full salaries.It follows similar moves by Newcastle, Tottenham, Bournemouth and Norwich to take advantage of the scheme, under which employers can claim for 80 percent of furloughed employees’ wages.last_img read more

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Coronavirus came to New York from Europe, not China: Governor

first_imgBut Cuomo took aim at what he described as a slow reaction by the country’s leaders, even as increasingly disturbing reports emerged out of China in January and February about how quickly the virus was spreading and killing people.Read also: NY’s Cuomo says Trump agrees to help expand coronavirus testingCuomo said as many as 2.2 million people took flights from Europe to New York and New Jersey airports in those two months, many of them likely carrying the highly contagious respiratory illness COVID-19.”We acted two months after the China outbreak. When you look back, does anyone think the virus was still in China waiting for us to act two months later?” Cuomo said. “The horse had already left the barn by the time we moved.”Cuomo said it was important that the country learns from the mistakes that were made because the virus could surge again in autumn or a new virus could emerge. “It will happen again. Bank on it. Let’s not put our head in the sand,” he said.He said it was too early to reopen his state, which is in lockdown until at least May 15. He said the three-day rolling average for people newly admitted for COVID-19 was holding stubbornly around 1,300 per day, a worrisome sign.But on a positive note, he said hospitalizations for COVID-19 totaled 14,258 on Thursday, declining for the tenth straight day. He reported 422 additional deaths, the lowest daily total since March 31.  Topics : “We closed the front door with the China travel ban, which was right,” Cuomo told a briefing. “But we left the back door open because the virus had left China by the time we did the China travel ban.”With his comments, Cuomo thrust himself into a heated and politically fraught debate about when and how the virus first entered the United States and whether officials like Trump and himself could have saved more lives if they had acted sooner.Cuomo defended his own actions by pointing to the 19 days between New York’s first confirmed case and his lockdown order, arguing that he had moved faster than any other state.He also said Trump, who last week halted US contributions to the World Health Organization after accusing it of promoting China’s “disinformation” about the outbreak, was right to question whether the WHO responded properly to the crisis. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday pointed to research showing that strains of the novel coronavirus entered his state from Europe, not China, and said that travel bans enacted by US President Donald Trump were too late to halt its spread.Cuomo cited research from Northeastern University estimating that more than 10,000 New Yorkers may have contracted the disease by the time the state had its first confirmed case on March 1. He said he believed Italy was the likely source.The governor noted that Trump ordered a ban on travel from China on Feb. 2, more than a month after news reports had emerged about an outbreak in the city of Wuhan, and decided to restrict travel from Europe the following month. By that time, the virus had spread widely in the United States, he said.last_img read more

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Trump to withdraw US from ‘Open Skies’ treaty

first_imgTopics : President Donald Trump announced Thursday he plans to withdraw the United States from the Open Skies Treaty with Russia, the third arms control pact Trump has abrogated since coming to office.The US leader said Moscow had not stuck to its commitments under the 18-year-old pact, which was designed to improve military transparency and confidence between the superpowers.”Russia did not adhere to the treaty,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “So until they adhere, we will pull out.”The New York Times reported that Trump plans to inform Moscow of the move on Friday, and that it could be a prelude to Washington also withdrawing from the New START Treaty, which limits the number of nuclear missiles the United States and Russia can deploy.The Open Skies agreement between Russia, the United States and 32 other countries, mostly members of the NATO alliance, permits one country’s military to conduct a certain number of surveillance flights over another each year on short notice.The aircraft can survey the territory below, collecting information and pictures of military installations and activities.center_img The idea is that the more rival militaries know about each other, the less the chance of conflict between them. But the sides also use the flights to examine vulnerabilities of their opponent. The United States has been frustrated that Russia will not permit US flights over areas where Washington believes Moscow is deploying medium-range nuclear weapons that threaten Europe.Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said Russia “flagrantly, continuously violates its obligations” under the pact.Moscow “implements the treaty in ways that contribute to military threats against the United States and our allies and partners,” he said.He cited Russia’s refusal to allow flights over areas where Washington believes Moscow is deploying medium-range nuclear weapons, including the Baltic Sea city of Kaliningrad and near the Russia-Georgia border.Last year Moscow also blocked flights meant to survey Russian military exercises, normally allowed under the pact.The New York Times said Trump was also unhappy about a Russian flight over his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey three years ago.”In this era of great power competition, we are looking to advocate for agreements that benefit all sides, and that include partners who comply responsibly with their obligations,” Hoffman said.Since coming to office in January 2017, Trump has withdrawn from two other major arms control pacts, the 2015 JCPOA agreement to prevent Iran from advancing its nuclear weapons program, and the 1988 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia.In both cases Trump accused the other side of violating treaty requirements.last_img read more

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