Bustling Jakarta returns with vengeance as lockdown eases

first_img“[Thank God], based on our supervision, 100 percent of public transportation passengers wore face masks.”Anies said that although the number of people commuting using personal vehicles was higher than the relatively low number of people using public transportation, he acknowledged that there were still passenger pileups, especially at Transjakarta stations, as workers returned to their office.The odd-even traffic policy will not be in place during the transition period, he added.“If there is no circular or notice from the governor regarding the implementation of the odd-even policy, then there is no such [rule],” he said, adding that the policy would be implemented if it became necessary to once again limit the number of people traveling throughout the capital. Read also: 50 days of Indonesia’s partial lockdown. Is it enough for the ‘new normal’?Anies decided on Thursday to extend Jakarta’s large-scale social restriction (PSBB) period to the end of June while easing measures for several sectors.The first 14-day PSBB period, also known as partial lockdown, was implemented on April 10 and effectively closed down schools and places of worship while restricting people’s movements and encouraging companies to allow their employees to work from home. The PSBB has been extended three times.As of Sunday, Jakarta has reported 7,946 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 537 deaths linked to the disease.Meanwhile, commuters have also packed train stations across Jakarta and its satellite cities as they head to their respective workplaces for the first time since the work-from-home policy was issued over two months ago.Dozens of Instagram users posted a series of photos showing long lines at train stations in Bogor and Bekasi in West Java.Despite the high-spirited return to a typical workday in Jakarta, however, some commuters have also taken to social media to express concerns over their safety as crowded stations and trains could potentially lead to a new wave of COVID-19 infections.PT Kereta Commuter Indonesia (KCI) spokesperson Anne Purba said the company recorded 150,000 commuters using its services on Monday morning, up from 80,000 recorded per day on average during the PSBB period.In anticipation of a significant increase in passengers, the company resumed normal operations with 935 trips per day.Anne emphasized that KCI had complied with a Transportation Ministry’s regulation that limited the number of passengers on each train to 35 to 40 percent of total capacity.“We are now able to serve 74 passengers per train, whereas during the PSBB period, we could have 60 passengers per train,” Anne said in a statement.KCI will continue to implement strict health protocols, such as conducting temperature checks and ensuring physical distancing among passengers, during the transition to a new normal, she added.Read also: Greater Jakarta in dark about ‘new normal’ commuteTransportation Ministry spokesperson Budi Rahardjo said the government would once again provide five transit buses for commuter-line passengers headed for Jakarta from Bogor between 5 a.m. to 6 a.m., with a 15-minute headway.The free service, which transfers commuters from Bogor Station to Dukuh Atas Station in South Jakarta, will be limited to 25 people per bus in compliance with prevailing COVID-19 protocols.Amid the hullabaloo surrounding people’s return to work, Transportation Study Institute (INSTRAN) executive director Deddy Herlambang urged the public to maintain a safe physical distance during their commute, underlining that it was crucial to minimize the risks of COVID-19 infection.However, he acknowledged this would be a challenge considering Jakartans’ habit of forcing themselves into packed trains during rush hour, for example.“Passengers often argue after being reminded [to keep a safe distance] because they feel that they have the same rights as [other public transportation users],” he said, suggesting that more officers be deployed at stations to ensure that passengers maintain a safe physical distance between one another.A survey conducted by the LaporCOVID-19 community reportedly revealed that Jakarta was not ready to transition into a new normal, citing low-risk perception of the disease among residents, which could lead to a spike in transmission.Topics : The sight of busy roads, crowded bus shelters and train stations that have long defined capital Jakarta as a business hub returned with a vengeance on Monday, which marked the reopening of several sectors, including offices, as the city transitions to a “new normal”.Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said he had received reports of increased traffic and long lines at several shelters of city-owned bus service Transjakarta from the administration’s field inspections on Monday morning.“The outbreak in Jakarta is not yet over, but today marks a period of transition in which several sectors are allowed to resume their activities,” he told reporters at the Kendal tunnel in Central Jakarta while conducting his morning inspection.last_img read more

Lacazette, Morata in unexpected showdown

first_imgLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | Had the close season panned out as initially expected, Alexandre Lacazette and Alvaro Morata would not be lining up for Arsenal and Chelsea in Sunday’s Community Shield at Wembley.After 14 years at Lyon, Lacazette decided it was time to move on and was reported to have agreed to join up with his France team-mate Antoine Griezmann at Atletico Madrid.However, Atletico then had a transfer ban upheld over the signing of foreign minors and with the Madrid club barred from registering new players until January 2018, Arsenal stepped in.Arsenal’s fans have been crying out for a top-rank striker ever since Robin van Persie was sold to Manchester United in 2012 and in Lacazette their wish appears to have been granted.A dead-eyed finisher, the 26-year-old was the top-scoring Frenchman in each of the last three Ligue 1 seasons and left Lyon having scored 113 goals in his last four campaigns.He cost Arsenal an initial fee of £46.5 million ($60.6 million, 51.6 million euros), making him both Arsenal’s biggest ever signing and Lyon’s biggest ever sale.Lacazette will form a potentially devastating attacking trident with Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, but manager Arsene Wenger has warned that he will need time to find his feet in north London.“Sometimes it takes a few months, sometimes it takes very little time,” Wenger said.“The only thing I must say with Lacazette is that week after week, he looks to adapt quickly. But overall I think it will take him one or two months.”Morata’s move to England was no surprise, but the Spain international had been earmarked for a move to Manchester United.Instead, United hijacked Chelsea’s attempt to bring Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge and the champions switched their attentions to Morata.The 24-year-old cost Chelsea £58 million and is due to take the place of Diego Costa, who — completing the love triangle — is at loggerheads with the club over his desire to return to Atletico.– Hazard out – Morata has scored in a Champions League final, netting for Juventus in their 2015 loss to Barcelona, but arrives after a frustrating season as a back-up player at Real Madrid.Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has claimed Morata was deterred from joining Spurs two years ago due to his fears about the competition he would face from Harry Kane.But despite the striker’s inability to dislodge Karim Benzema from the Madrid starting XI, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte believes he can reach the very top.“He is a young player and my task is to help him improve and exploit his quality,” said the Italian.“I know he has great quality to become one of the best strikers in the world.”Sunday’s game, the traditional curtain-raiser to the English season, is a repeat of last season’s FA Cup final.Having streaked to the title, Conte was seeking to emulate his compatriot Carlo Ancelotti by winning a league and FA Cup Double in his first maiden Chelsea season.But Arsenal blew Chelsea away with a sensational display, Aaron Ramsey’s 79th-minute winner securing a 2-1 win that brought the beleaguered Wenger a record seventh success in the competition.Sanchez could start on the bench for Arsenal, having only returned to training on Tuesday after being given an extended break following his exertions with Chile at the Confederations Cup in Russia.Centre-back Shkodran Mustafi, likewise, is short of fitness, after also playing at the tournament, while defender Gabriel and midfield pair Francis Coquelin and Jack Wilshere are definitely out.With Costa frozen out and Eden Hazard absent due to a broken ankle, Conte could try out a new-look strike-force of Morata and Michy Batshuayi.New recruit Tiemoue Bakayoko, formerly of Monaco, has a knee injury, but Victor Moses could play as the suspension incurred by his dismissal in the FA Cup final does not apply in Sunday’s game.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Worth of athletic scholarship can go beyond degree

first_imgIn this Dec. 7, 1988, file photo, Auburn’s Tracy Rocker, center, the winner of the 1988 Outland Trophy, gets a congratulatory handshake from runner-up Tony Mandarich, right, of Michigan State, at a ceremony in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Stoltman, File)Playing football at Michigan got Joe Holland more than an education.It got him a job. Two, in fact.The linebacker on the Wolverines’ 1988 Big Ten championship team was hired out of college by a fellow Michigan alum, with his football connections landing him the initial interview. That he’d worn the famed winged helmet caught the eye of his second employer, too.“The president of this startup was a huge Michigan fan and lived in Ann Arbor and was a good friend of Bo Schembechler. I’m going to potentially go work for these guys and he’s a Michigan fan? That didn’t hurt me,” said Holland, now the co-owner of an Internet software company.“So yes, it’s absolutely been helpful.”The debate over paying college athletes has clouded this entire football season, beginning with allegations in August that 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel received money for signing autographs. Johnny Football was eventually cleared, but the NCAA is still fighting an antitrust lawsuit by former players who believe they’re owed billions of dollars in compensation.At the NCAA’s annual convention later this month, restructuring proposals driven, in part, by larger schools wanting more autonomy — including the ability to give athletes stipends — will top the agenda.“We’re not talking about pay for play,” Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said. “We are talking about the cost of education.”But what, exactly, is a college education worth?Using public and telephone records and social media, The Associated Press traced 90 players who were listed as seniors on the 1988 teams at four schools — Michigan, SEC co-champion Auburn, Akron and Wake Forest. The 23 — enough for a starting offense and defense — who could be reached by phone were asked if they got their degrees, what role their educations have played in their lives and, looking back 25 years later, whether they think the tradeoff was worth it.(One player is dead, and another five had names too common to be traced.)The AP’s findings:— Each of the 23 had earned his diploma.— All said their educations have played pivotal roles in their lives.— Though almost all said players should receive increased stipends — enough to get a pizza with friends or take their girlfriend out to dinner, not buy a new Escalade — only two questioned whether the scholarship they got for playing football was a fair tradeoff.— Only one would make a different choice if given the chance to do it over or would advise his child to take a different path.“You’ve got a unique experience that millions of people would die to have. To put on the uniform, to go into the largest stadium in the country and to get a free education,” said J.J. Grant, one of Michigan’s starting linebackers in 1988 and now a shipping team leader for MillerCoors.“It’s a huge opportunity to put your foot into a door and open a conversation into just about anything you want to do.”For some players, an athletic scholarship was their only means of going to college. Tuition, even at a state school, was too expensive, and that scholarship meant the difference between higher education and a blue-collar job or a career in the military.More than that, however, were the experiences and contacts their education provided — opportunities that helped shape their adult lives.For some, college was their first time away from home; one player said he wasn’t sure if he’d ever have ventured beyond the state where he grew up otherwise. For others, their status as a college football player gave them entree to a future employer, be it through a direct connection or the affection the large network of alumni and fans have for anyone who wore their favorite team’s jersey.“The first couple years, I knew people who were interested in what I did,” said Jim Thompson, an offensive lineman at Auburn. “I write big-truck insurance. It’s not like car insurance. It’s a specialized market. I don’t think playing college football hurt me.”When Tennessee Titans defensive line coach Tracy Rocker got into coaching, he already had a long list of contacts from his days at Auburn, where he was a two-time All-American and the SEC player of the year in 1988.Grant’s former Michigan teammates are now a “Who’s Who” of athletic administrators, business executives and coaches, San Francisco’s Jim Harbaugh among them.While his friends don’t play a pivotal role in his career, they might for his son Derek, a college junior who ultimately wants to get into sports management.“I’ve got unique connections that can help him,” Grant said. “You’ve got to use those connections. It comes back to not what you know, it’s who you know, and I’m using the hell out of them.”A number of players also said the goal-oriented nature of a football team made them attractive candidates for potential employers, some of whom told them they figured that if a man had enough focus and drive to earn a football scholarship, that work ethic would translate to his next job.“Certain characteristics that I developed during football … were lifelong skills,” said Alvin Mitchell, who started at outside linebacker for Auburn and is now a minister and a sergeant in the Polk County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office. “I still use them every day. Every. Day.”But Shan Morris, who played safety at Auburn, said he’s done the math on his scholarship, and it doesn’t quite add up.Yes, athletes get a free education, along with room and board. That’s no small thing considering tuition and room and board averaged $17,860 for in-state students at public universities in 2012-13, and $39,518 for students at private schools, according to the College Board.But even with limits on practice that were imposed in 1991, playing a college sport is the equivalent of having a full-time job. And then some.“My scholarship was not worth the amount of hours,” said Morris, now the principal at his own commercial real estate firm in Atlanta. “We were probably working for somewhere between $3 and $5 when you work it out.“I could have worked at McDonald’s and paid my tuition with the money I got.”Even those who think the tradeoff is fair believe players should be getting more than they do.When clothing, transportation and other “miscellaneous” expenses are tallied, the difference between the value of a scholarship and the total cost of an education can be as much as $6,000. Athletes already miss out on part of the college experience because of the time commitments their sports demand.Not having the spending money to take part in the kinds of activities that make college college — parties, dances, the occasional meal off-campus — only deepens the divide.“I knew several people that were from poverty level families, coming to college. It was almost worse for them,” said Shawn Fagan, who was an offensive lineman at Akron. “They got a free education and meals, but they had no money to basically live.“Back then, I’d get maybe $20 from my parents now and then,” Fagan continued. “That’s food. But it’s not much when you’re a young adult trying to have some fun.”Particularly with what the universities are getting in return.College sports generate about $6.1 billion in revenue each year, according to the latest NCAA research. The broadcast deal for the NCAA basketball tournament alone is worth $10.8 billion over 14 years; the combined deals for the new college football playoff system and other top bowls will bring in another $7 billion over 12 years.“They’re creating the revenue, I definitely think they should be able to reap a little bit the benefit of the rewards,” said Brent White, who started at defensive tackle for the Wolverines. “I’m not saying they should be getting paid off like boosters, getting new Mercedes-Benzes to drive around. But it would be nice for them to have enough money to go out and get groceries without having to get it from the training table and bring it home.”A little money in their pockets might help some players avoid the temptation of unscrupulous agents and boosters, too.“You come from a family that doesn’t have anything, someone puts something out there and you can think, ‘It’d be easy. Nobody will find out. I’ll take this money,’” Fagan said. “That’s the reality of life.”The NCAA’s Division I Board of Directors approved a rules change in October 2011 that would have given athletes a $2,000 stipend for expenses not covered by their scholarships, only to have it tabled after smaller schools objected.That irritated the larger schools of the BCS conferences, who are now the driving force in efforts to restructure the NCAA’s governance. The big schools — and their conferences — want the power to make decisions on matters that directly affect them, particularly financial issues.“If we think things are stuck in 1975 for the student-athletes, we’d like to get to the 21st century,” Delany said. “And we think connecting the structuring to the needs of the 21st century, consistent with the resources we have, is the right thing to do.”last_img read more