Founders backed freedom to worship

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionOn Jan. 20, Paul Deierlein commented that separation between church and state were a good thing because it would keep “each institution functioning fully independently of one another. …”  He quoted John Adams saying that the government of the United States was not “in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” Where these statements are correct, it would be wise not to conflate a secular government with a secular society. Adams and the founders had experienced the abuses to society wrought by King George because religion and the state were entwined in England. Our First Amendment was intended to prevent such abuses, with a secular government ruling and guiding a religious people. Thomas Jefferson himself worshiped in the “Hall of Representatives” and in the Supreme Court building.Establishment of religion, often called “endorsement” today, was forbidden only to Congress through enacted laws. There was never any prohibition against a display of religion in a statesman.In fact, the same letter mentioning “a wall of separation” has Jefferson admit that he only occasionally presented “performances of devotion, presented indeed legally … but subject here, as religious exercise, only to the voluntary regulations and disciplines of each respective sect “ In other words, he was free to worship subject only to the “disciplines” of his own church.  Adams also said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams, our second president, also served as chairman of the American Bible Society.Dave HartLathamMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesAlbany County warns of COVID increaseEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img read more

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Getting in on the act

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Receding airlines

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The ascent of Man

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Indonesian weightlifters bring home six gold medals from Olympic qualifier event in Iran

first_imgFolliowing the Iranian qualifier event, Indonesian weightlifters are to participate in competitions in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Romania as the weightlifting qualifier events for the Olympics run until April. Topics : Indonesia’s weightlifting team is bringing home six gold and three silver medals from the fifth International Fajr Cup (Namjou Cup), held on Feb. 2 in Rasht, Gilan province, Iran.The event, which runs from Feb. 1 to 5, is one of the qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.Veteran weightlifter Eko Yuli Irawan snatched three gold in the 67 kilogram category, Deni won two silver and a bronze in 67 kg and Triyatno secured the remaining three gold in the 73 kg category, the Indonesian Embassy in Tehran said in a statement on Monday.last_img read more

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Jakarta-Semarang high-speed railway in pipeline, to cut travel time to 3.5 hours

first_imgThe government has planned on finishing construction of a new high-speed railway connecting the capital Jakarta with Central Java’s provincial capital Semarang in 2024 to cut travel time to three-and-a-half hours from five hours at present.According to the 2020-2024 National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN) signed by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Jan. 20, the 435-kilometer Jakarta-Semarang high-speed railway will begin construction in 2023.“High levels of urbanization in major cities [Jakarta, Surabaya, Semarang and Bandung] have not been complemented with high-speed rail connectivity to improve mobility between the metropolises,” the RPJMN reads. Topics : The development of the Jakarta-Semarang railway is still in its preparation phase at present, while the Jakarta-Bandung semi-high-speed railway was 50 percent complete as of 2019 with its operations to begin in 2022.A business consortium of Indonesian and Chinese companies called PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia-China (KCIC) will invest an overall US$6.07 billion to build the 142-km Jakarta-Bandung railway, which will cut travel time from three hours to just 40 minutes.The two railway projects in Java are estimated to cost a combined Rp 63.6 trillion (US$4.6 billion) over five years. Public-private partnerships are expected to cover about two-thirds, or Rp 42 trillion, of the funds needed.The projects are among the 41 priority projects under the RPJMN, which all together will cost an estimated Rp 7.4 quadrillion between 2020 and 2024.The development plan is expected to help transform the Indonesian economy as the President hopes to achieve his goal of becoming one of the top five largest economies by 2045 with a poverty rate of almost zero percent. (mpr)last_img read more

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ONE Championship to launch its version of ‘The Apprentice’ in Asia

first_imgOne of Asia’s leading media property, ONE Championship has announced the launch of its new tv series,  ‘The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition’ under license from MGM Television.This brand new edition of ‘The Apprentice’ will feature 16 contestants handpicked from around the world in a high-stakes game of business competitions and physical challenges where the winner will receive a US$250,000 job offer to work for a year directly under ONE Championship founder Chatri Sityodtong as his protégé at the ONE Championship Global Headquarters in Singapore.“This brand new concept brings a completely unique and original dimension to ‘The Apprentice’ with the high-stakes drama of real-life business competitions, coupled with herculean physical challenges, featuring some of Asia’s top CEOs, the world’s greatest martial arts world champions, and a-list celebrities from across the continent” sityodtong said in a press statement sent to The Jakarta Post on Friday. In addition, a total of 12 of Asia’s top CEOs (1 CEO per episode) will be featured as guest judges alongside Sityodtong. The business competitions will focus on a variety of real-world problems and industries. Meanwhile, the physical challenges will be graced by the One Championship world champions where contestants will aim to outshine them in feats of athletic ability and cardio endurance.’The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition’ will be produced by ONE Championship’s production arm, ONE Studios, and will run on both streaming and linear platforms across the Pan Asian region in the second half of 2020. Specific market-by-market distribution and launch details will be announced at a later date. The program is slated for distribution on major television networks and digital channels worldwide.Topics :last_img read more

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House starts deliberation of job creation bill as protesting unions forced to stay at home

first_imgHowever, according to Saan, the House leadership has yet to decide whether the bill will be handled by the House’s Legislation Body (Baleg) or a special House committee (Pansus).Read also: House members lead campaign to donate salary to COVID-19 victims“We’ve suggested that it be handled by the Baleg,” he said.Speaking at the House’s plenary meeting on Monday, Saan said the bill was needed to mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19. The House of Representatives will begin its deliberation of the controversial omnibus bill on job creation despite the coronavirus pandemic.The secretary of the NasDem Party faction at the House, Saan Mustopa, told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday that the House leadership had agreed to read the presidential letter to begin the bill’s deliberation at a plenary session on Thursday.”Yes, it has been decided in a meeting with the House’s [steering committee] on Wednesday to announce [the deliberation] in the plenary session,” he said, adding that the meeting had also been attended by representatives of all House factions and commissions. “We need to prepare for [economic] recovery […]. We should start deliberating the omnibus bills on job creation and taxation to prepare for the post-outbreak situation. We need to recover quickly,” he said.House Speaker Puan Maharani, who is from Jokowi’s Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), has appeared reluctant to process the bill. Of the six political parties in the government coalition, the PDI-P has been the only one to urge lawmakers not to rush, citing public objections to the bill.Responding to Saan’s statement, Puan said during Monday’s plenary session that the House would focus on emergency measures for COVID-19 at this time.Read also: House ready to support 2020 budget revisions to account for COVID-19Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) president Said Iqbal said deliberating the omnibus bill at a time like this showed that the lawmakers had no empathy for the people that currently were facing a difficult situation due to the pandemic.He said the House should prioritize the coronavirus handling rather than the omnibus bill.”The omnibus bill is not a solution to the layoff phenomenon following the pandemic. It’s not a solution for Indonesia’s economic growth problem due to the pandemic too. It is clear that the omnibus bill is not being prepared to anticipate COVID-19,” he said.Civil society organizations, major labor unions and student organizations had prepared for street rallies to protest against articles in the omnibus bill on job creation that — if passed — would harm labor rights, the environment and democracy. They also protested against the bill’s less-than-transparent drafting process.center_img Topics :last_img read more

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Formula One unveils eight-race schedule in Europe from July 5

first_img“But we know the return of Formula 1 will be a welcome boost to sports fans around the world.”F1 managing director Ross Brawn last month said the Red Bull Ring circuit’s remote location made it a “logical” choice to stage the season’s first two races. ‘Blueprint to follow’With a local airport, the races can be held in an isolated environment, essential in the fight against the pandemic that has killed less than 700 people in Austria, and more than over 375,000 worldwide.”Red Bull have pulled out all the stops to get the Austrian Grand Prix up and running, in order to support a safe start to the Formula One season,” said team principal Christian Horner. “It has been a huge effort by all involved and the two events at the Red Bull Ring will be a blueprint for all other races to follow.He added: “With the first eight races of the calendar now confirmed we have some positive momentum. As a race team and racers, we are excited to get going again and put on a show for our fans.”Silverstone will host two races in Britain on August 2 and 9, with the Spanish Grand Prix set for Barcelona on August 16.The Belgian and Italian Grands Prix will take place on their original dates of August 30 and September 6, completing the European part of the season. Each event will also include the Formula 2 and Formula 3 categories.The blueprint for the rehashed season features further races in Asia and the Americas in September, October and November before finishing in the Gulf in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in December.Officials in Mexico City on Tuesday said the revised program would see the Mexican Grand Prix take place in its scheduled slot between October 30 and November 1.The 2020 season was to have featured a record 22 races, now it is set to be the shortest campaign since 2009 with races in Australia, Monaco, France and the Netherlands cancelled.MotoGP is also expected to release an updated schedule shortly.The first 11 races of the season have been either postponed or cancelled due to the global health crisis. MotoGP organizers Dorna are awaiting Spanish government approval to start the truncated season with back-to-back races at the Jerez circuit in Spain on July 19 and 26.Revised F1 calendar:July 3-5: Austrian Grand Prix (Spielberg)July 10-12: Styrian Grand Prix (Spielberg)July 17-19: Hungarian Grand Prix (Budapest)July 31-August 2: British Grand Prix (Silverstone)August 7-9: 70th Anniversary Grand Prix (Silverstone)August 14-16: Spanish Grand Prix (Barcelona)August 28-30: Belgian Grand Prix (Spa-Francorchamps)September 4-6: Italian Grand Prix (Monza) Last week, the Austrian government sanctioned the season-opening double-header at the Spielberg circuit after F1 organizers “presented a complete and professional plan” to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.The Hungarian Grand Prix will be brought forward to July 19 before a two-week break, followed by consecutive races in Britain and events in Spain, Italy and Belgium. All will likely be run without spectators while participants must adhere to strict safety protocols.Regular health tests will be conducted with the number of team members and race staff at the venue also reduced.”While we currently expect the season to commence without fans at our races we hope that over the coming months the situation will allow us to welcome them back once it is safe to do,” said F1 chief executive Chase Carey. The curtailed Formula One season will start with two races behind closed doors in Austria on July 5 and July 12 followed by six other grands prix in Europe, the organizers said on Tuesday.Formula One said it hoped to have between 15 and 18 races in total, with the season being completed in December.The F1 season was thrown into chaos with the cancellation of the traditional curtain-raising Australian Grand Prix in March only hours before practice was due to begin as the coronavirus pandemic spread across the world. Topics :last_img read more

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UK retail warns shoppers face higher prices if no EU trade deal

first_imgLast week’s round of talks was cut short, with both sides saying that, while they wanted an agreement, they had yet to overcome the gulf in positions that could see Britain leaving the transition period without a trade deal.Four-fifths of UK food imports come from the EU and EU imports also play a major role in supply chains for fashion, homeware, and other retail sectors.In May, the UK government published its new tariff schedule, which would apply from Jan. 1 2021 if a deal was not agreed.Under the schedule, 85 percent of foods imported from the EU will face tariffs of more than 5 percent, including 48 percent on beef mince and 16 percent on cucumbers. The average tariff on food imported from the EU would be over 20 percent. Given the highly competitive nature of retail, the industry could not absorb all these increased costs, meaning the public would face higher prices, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said.“Many UK shoppers experienced disruption in the run up to (coronavirus) lockdown; without a deal, the public may face an even bigger challenge at the end of the transition period,” said Andrew Opie, the BRC’s director of food and sustainability.“With the clock ticking down to 31st December, the government must put consumers first and agree a deal that avoids tariffs and minimises the impact of non-tariff barriers.”UK retailers, already struggling with high rents, business taxes, tight margins and online competition, were particularly hammered by the lockdown and data shows shoppers are reluctant to enter stores even as restrictions ease.Topics : Britain’s retail industry on Friday urged UK and European negotiators to reach a post-Brexit trade deal, warning that without tariff-free trade, consumers face higher prices from next year.The sector has already announced thousands of job losses due the coronavirus pandemic as wary shoppers stay away from the high street, and the next stage of the Brexit process poses a further challenge.Britain left the EU in January and is currently in a standstill transition period with the bloc to give the two sides time to fix a new relationship in everything from trade to security.last_img read more

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