TheStatehouseFile.comINDIANAPOLIS- People under the age of 21 could no longer buy tobacco products under a bill approved 12-1 Wednesday by the House Public Health Committee.House Bill 1006, which raises the minimum age to 21 from the current age of 18, follows the federal government’s move on Dec. 20 to bar younger people from buying the products.Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer, the Beech Grove Republican who authored the bill, said that even with the federal law, Indiana needs to set in place specific prosecution procedures “to discuss how we treat anyone who may be an offender.”Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer, R-Beech Grove, describes HB 1006, raising the age to purchase or use tobacco products to age 21. Photo by Haley Carney, TheStatehouseFile.comKirchhofer also said the bill provides definitions of “tobacco products” which includes cigarettes, chewing tobacco, electronic cigarettes and vape pens.The bill repeals current statues that fine underage people who possess tobacco products and instead puts the onus on businesses who can lose their licenses for selling to minors.Kevin Brinegar, president of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, said the bill will prevent those who are underage from using tobacco and nicotine products by also putting a penalty on those who buy the products for underage people. Under HB 1006, people who purchase tobacco products for someone under age 21 can be fined up to $50.Brinegar said it’s important to include vaping and e-cigarettes in the measure.“The youth are more likely to begin using regular cigarettes after using e-cigarettes,” he said.While medical professionals who testified supported the bill, some witnesses connected to convenience stores said they’d like to see a few changes.Joe Lackey, president of the Indiana Grocery and Convenience Store Association, said the bill’s requirement that convenience store workers request an I.D. if the buyer appears under the age of 30 should be changed so that workers always card for tobacco purchases.“If you require it to be shown at every transaction, you will get much better enforcement,” he said.Under the bill, a retailer who is caught up to three times selling tobacco products to someone under age 21 will have their retail license suspended. If there are four violations in three years, the license is revoked.Lackey also asked for the bill to be amended so that possession of tobacco products by someone under the age of 21 is also illegal.The lone “no” vote on the bill came from Rep. Shane Lindauer, R-Jasper, who did not explain his objections.The bill, backed by Gov. Eric Holcomb, has been proposed in past sessions but has failed each time.FOOTNOTE: Victoria Ratliff is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students. By Victoria Ratliff FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
THE PROJECTArchitect Bruce Englebaugh showed the board plans for a six-story complex that includes a four-deck parking garage, a deli/restaurant, a rental/sales office, a lobby and a rooftop pool.The four-bedroom units would cover 1,570 square feet and four three-bedroom units would be 1,175 square feet.On the Boardwalk skyline, he said The Soleil (at 74.2 feet tall) would step down from the Flanders (at 117 feet) to the Surf Mall to the south. Cupolas would extend above the ridge line of 74.2 feet.An L-shaped six-story building along Ocean Avenue and 11th Street would shield a four-story parking garage with a rooftop pool. A narrow area of open space would separate the main building from the parking deck (which would include four residential units).The property covers 1.98 acres. The proposed parking deck would include 388 spaces, including the 152 designated for the Flanders. The existing surface lot at 11th and Ocean includes 220 spaces. An architect’s drawing shows how the proposed Soleil condominium complex might look at 11th Street and Ocean Avenue in Ocean City, NJ.The Ocean City Planning Board on Wednesday dismissed the idea of allowing a six-story condominium complex to be built on a parking lot next to the historic Flanders Hotel at 11th Street and Ocean Avenue.In a 1-to-5 vote with two abstentions, the board decided not to recommend to City Council changes to a redevelopment plan that would allow the project to proceed.A redevelopment plan approved in 2005 calls for a hotel and spa at the same location. But owners of the lot say construction of a new hotel is not financially feasible. They sought an amended plan that would allow residential use in a six-story building housing 92 condominium units._____Sign up for free daily news updates from Ocean City._____The Planning Board vote essentially kills the proposal in its current form. City Council will not likely consider amending the redevelopment plan without the board’s recommendation.Ocean City continues to thrive as a market for vacation homes. The vote marks a willingness of the board to wait out market conditions to achieve its objectives — in this case more hotel rooms for “transient” visitors interested in short stays in Ocean City. THE PUBLICBriglia, the owner/broker of Jesse Real Estate, said he owns 12 properties on Ocean Avenue and five boardwalk stores in front of the Flanders — all “in the sweet spot of this project.”“I can’t think of any reason why the panel would not let this project go forward,” Briglia said.He said Realtors are “starving for new, fresh inventory in center city” — not the dated one-bedroom units that prevail.“I have the ability to sell these and rent them,” Briglia said of the proposed new four-bedroom units. “We should embrace this project.”Stanley Wirpsza, a resident of the 1200 block of Ocean Avenue and an architect and planner, said he had a different view.“Over-density does not help this city,” Wirpsza said. “The reason people come to this city is being reduced,” he said of any potential decrease in open space.Several other people spoke for and against the proposal. THE VOTEPlanning Board members Mike Dattilo, Gary Jessel, Antwan McClellan, Ken Jones and John Loeper voted against the amended plan. Dean Adams voted in favor. Newly sworn-in members Pat McCaffrey and Matthew Vanderschuere abstained because they knew too little about the history of the proposal, they said.Dattilo said that while the applicants made a compelling presentation, they failed to address the goal of the redevelopment plan: more hotel rooms.Dattilo said “Ocean City, as a community, decided that it didn’t want a lot of height and bulk along the boardwalk,” and that the public was resigned to allowing a tall new building there only in exchange for a new hotel.Jessel spoke of the “tourism cycle” preached to him by former Councilman Andy Jernee. He said the cycle starts with a short-term stay, then moves to a weekly rental, purchase of a vacation property, and ultimately to establishment of a primary residence.“We need and want that short-term occupancy to occur,” he said.“There is that cycle,” Loeper said, noting that Ocean City has “maybe 1,000 overnight rooms.”“That’s the cycle of Ocean City,” he said. “That’s how people come here.”“You just can’t pull in and stay for two nights,” said Jones, who said the city needs both transient lodging and a commercial parking lot.McClellan also addressed parking and suggested the applicants’ estimation that a parking deck in the proposed condominium complex could accommodate 60 to 70 public spaces would not be sufficient to satisfy the demands of the hundreds of cars searching for spaces on any night in-season or during big off-season events.Adams voted yes, saying the current plan is outdated and the proposed building is a “beautiful piece of architecture.”He said Ocean City “certainly doesn’t need a closed-up building like the Revel (in Atlantic City).”Adams also said the testimony of Jesse Briglia was convincing. THE PITCHNicholas Talvacchia, an Atlantic City attorney representing Select Properties, told the board that the property has been unsuccessfully marketed for years as a hotel site — a use first approved in a June 2005 redevelopment plan.The property includes a deed restriction that requires the owner to maintain 152 parking spaces for the Flanders Hotel. The requirement forces construction of a parking deck, if a developer hopes to use any substantial portion of the property for a building.“After extensive market testing and analysis, a hotel cannot be financed and cannot make money,” he said.He said owners envision 92 units individually owned as second homes or investment properties. The complex would include a lobby area, a deli/restaurant and a pool. He suggested that individual owners could rent the units by the week.He said the project would bring an economic boost to the city in the summer, and owners visiting their properties in the off-season would provide an additional benefit.“There’s market demand here,” he said. “The second home market here is one of the strongest in the nation.”Clayton Heckler, president of Select Properties of Colmar, Pa., said he purchased the property as an investment more than three years ago.He said he then looked at all options, including a hotel and retail, ultimately deciding that residential property would be the only one that would sell.Russell Trier bought the Ocean City property, used as a parking lot for the Flanders and public, in 2003 and with partner Joe Ernst won approvals for the Soleil Hotel & Spa in 2009. But the investors never found the financing to complete the project.The property has remained as a parking lot ever since.The last hotels to be built in Ocean City were the Biscayne and Watson’s Regency in 1990.Anthony Graziano, executive director of Integra Realty Resources, said he completed a full analysis of the project’s viability as a hotel, and said it would never make a return on any lender’s investment.He called the Flanders deed restriction for maintaining the 152 parking spaces “the big elephant in the room” that makes the project cost-prohibitive. He also said any new hotel would never see a convention trade without a liquor license.
The dredge Illinois is moored a short distance off Surf Road Beach in Ocean City, and a $9 million beach replenishment project is underway.Bulldozers begin to shape the new beach at North Street in Ocean City on Tuesday morning.The dredging project will pump 700,000 cubic yards of new sand to rebuild eroded beaches from the “terminal groin” (the first jetty at Seaspray Road) to the area around 15th Street. The project is expected to take between 45 and 60 days.The dredge will pump sand through an underwater feeder pipeline from an offshore borrow area to the beach at North Street.The work will begin at North Street then proceed northward toward Seaspray in the first phase over the course of about 10 days, according to Richard Pearsall, spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District. A second phase would then cover the area from North Street south to 15th Street._______ Sand and mud are flying at North Street Beach on Tuesday morning (Nov. 3) as the north end beach replenishment project kicks into high gear in Ocean City, NJ. Get the Daily. Sign up for free email updates._______The beach entrances at North Street and along Beach Road were closed on Monday and Tuesday as work commenced.Work is continuing around the clock with spotlights on the beach and the offshore dredge lit up on the horizon.The dredge Illinois sits offshore at the north end of Ocean City on Monday afternoon (Nov. 2) and will begin to pump 700,000 cubic yards of new sand to help rebuild eroded beaches.
Madame President,On behalf of the UK, I congratulate you on your election as President of the 62nd General Conference. May I say at the outset that we fully align ourselves with the statement, which has just been made on behalf of the European Union.This year, of all years, my Government wanted to send a strong signal of support for the Agency. That is why, as the responsible Minister at the Foreign Office, I have the honour to represent the United Kingdom today.We live in an increasingly uncertain and dangerous world. We have seen the destabilising consequences when States pursue nuclear weapons. And we have worked together to prevent terrorists acquiring nuclear material.This Agency plays a vital role in addressing such threats. It also helps States reap the enormous benefits of civil nuclear technologies.One of the most important moments of diplomatic success was the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. It stands to achieve lasting advances for international security. The crucial work of monitoring and verifying the deal is a clear example of the Agency’s role. The United Kingdom remains committed to the Iran deal. We welcome and applaud the Director-General’s report confirming Iran’s compliance with its nuclear commitments.It is important that all remaining parties continue to implement the agreement in full, and that Iran continues to cooperate fully with the Agency.With regard to North Korea, the United Kingdom welcomes progress made at the Singapore Summit, but we are clear that existing sanctions should remain until North Korea takes concrete steps towards the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and the removal of its ballistic missile capability.Meanwhile Syria has failed to meet its safeguards obligations since 2011. We call on both Syria and North Korea to resume full compliance and cooperation with the Agency.The UK supports the Agency’s efforts to strengthen and develop its safeguards work including with the help of UK expertise and resource. Especially in monitoring and auditing a country’s stocks and use of nuclear materials. This underpins the objectives of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.We call on all States to ratify an Additional Protocol, which is the gold standard of safeguards.Madame President,The United Kingdom is grateful to the Agency team and the Board of Governors for their support in our preparations for leaving the EU and Euratom. In June, the UK signed an agreement, the Voluntary Offer Agreement and an Additional Protocol with the Agency, which will maintain a cooperative framework within which we will meet our obligations as a responsible nuclear state when we are no longer a member of the EU.We would like to build on the IAEA’s valuable work to support the civil nuclear sector. This is the aim of the UK’s Nuclear Sector Deal launched this summer, to make the construction and decommissioning of nuclear power stations more straightforward and less expensive.The construction of Hinkley Point C will be the first of our next generation of nuclear power plants. Construction is underway and we continue to engage with sponsors of other new projects.Madame President,Safety, security and non-proliferation go hand in hand with the peaceful use of nuclear technology. We cannot responsibly promote access to nuclear technologies without ensuring that they are safe, secure, and used for the right purpose.Because this matters so much we are proud to remain one of the biggest contributors of financial and technical support, to the Agency across all of its programmes.This week, it is my pleasure to pledge the UK’s contribution of €3.7 million to the Technical Cooperation Fund for 2019. We will continue to pay on time and in full. We call on all Member States to do the same.The UK has already contributed £4.1 million this year to the Nuclear Security Fund. I urge you all to support the Agency’s work to help Member States implement robust nuclear security regimes. We will also continue our financial and technical support to nuclear safety and safeguards activities.If something goes wrong, we have a duty to protect the public, and our neighbours. Effective emergency response must remain a global priority. We urge all Member States to use the information sharing channels between countries and the Agency on a regular basis, as well as in the event of an incident.To conclude, Madame President,The United Kingdom is a committed supporter of the IAEA. We want it to continue to meet its growing challenges, and the growing demands on its resources. We also want it to properly reflect the world it serves. For that to happen, we urge the Secretariat to ensure that the Agency is managed effectively and efficiently within existing resources and as always, we stand ready to help with this.I thank the Director General for his leadership, and the Agency for its impartial work, which undoubtedly makes the world above all more safe and more secure.
A customer whose request for a cake supporting gay marriage was refused is taking his case to the European Court of Human Rights.The incident has already prompted a string of legal battles, most recently in the Supreme Court, which last year ruled Belfast-based Ashers Baking Company did not discriminate against gay rights activist Gareth Lee.Ashers, which is run by owners with Christian beliefs, refused to make a cake showing Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie alongside the motto ‘Support Gay Marriage’. The business was originally found guilty of discrimination, and also later lost an appeal against the decision, but the Supreme Court upheld Ashers’ appeal against claims of discrimination last October. The court found the bakery did not refuse to fulfil the order because of Lee’s sexual orientation, but because it objected to the message on the cake.However, the case is now heading for the European Court of Human Rights after Lee instructed Belfast law firm Phoenix Law.This time, the case is not against Ashers, but against the United Kingdom itself, with lawyers set to argue that the Supreme Court failed to give appropriate weight to Lee’s rights under the European Convention of Human Rights.Phoenix plans to challenge the idea that a business can have religious beliefs, arguing that its owners may, but businesses, brands and companies are separate from their owners and their personal and private views.“I’d fight for the rights of business owners to be able to hold their own religious beliefs, I have my own beliefs,” said Lee. “But that’s not what my case has ever been about. This is about limited companies being somehow able to pick and choose which customers they will serve. It’s such a dangerous precedent.”Human rights solicitor Ciaran Moynagh, who will act for Lee, said he was concerned that the Supreme Court ruling allowed any company, its shareholders or owners to hold religious or political views and those views trumped the rights of its customers.The Christian Institute, which supported Ashers throughout its court cases, said it was surprised anyone would want to overturn the Supreme Court ruling, adding that it protected gay business owners from being forced to promote views they don’t share, just as much as it protected Christian business owners.“The judgment in favour of Ashers was welcomed by lawyers and commentators from across the spectrum because it protects people of all views,” said The Christian Institute deputy director Simon Calvert.“Judges at the UK’s highest court could not have been clearer in their decision: Ashers’ objection to the cake was to the message, not Gareth Lee himself.”
This July, Panorama will return to New York City for a second year with performances from Nine Inch Nails, Frank Ocean, Tame Impala, A Tribe Called Quest, alt-J, Solange, Justice, Nick Murphy, MGMT and more. Part of what makes the music festival so engaging is its massive dedication to art installations.Panorama returns this summer with an all-new lineup of artistry and even more innovation at THE LAB, powered by HP. Building on the success of last year’s debut, THE LAB’s museum-quality exhibition space has been expanded to include additional interactive, experiential digital art installations, fusing technology, art, performance and design at the center of Panorama. Curated exclusively by New York City-based artists, THE LAB puts the city’s unparalleled creativity and innovation on display for a sensory adventure culminating in a massive 360 degree dome theater.HP is once again on board as the official technology sponsor for Panorama and will be setting up in THE LAB, working with digital artists and HP Z Workstations to build out the full scale experience for festival goers.At the heart of THE LAB is The Exhibition, a showcase of New York City’s local talent and innovation with a series of dynamic and immersive art installations driven by technology. Artists designing installations include Prism, SOFTlab, FutureWife, Ekene Ijeoma, Emilie Baltz, and The Windmill Factory. THE LAB is curated by META.IS.Artist Installations included at The Exhibition at THE LAB Future Portrait created by PrismFuture Portrait transforms motion into an amazing dynamic film. Your performance drives uniquely beautiful animation that can be remixed and shared on the fly. Discover a new you defined by movement.Volume created by SOFTlabAn interactive cube of responsive mirrors that redirect light and sound as a volume that reflects the excitement of surrounding festival goers. Volume uses mirrors, light, and sound as fundamental building elements to remix the character of the festival goers and gaze back at them with empathy and exuberance.Boolean Planet created by Future WifeA monolithic sphere beckons nearby entities to form gravity wells with the weight of their bodies, slicing through celestial veils to reveal the unseen worlds beneath the surface.Heartfelt created by Ekene IjeomaHeartfelt is a participatory interactive installation which engages participants in holding hands and letting electricity flow through them to turn on lights and play sounds. It uses participants’ bodies as conductors to close the circuit of socio-political polarization, creating a shared experience of solitary and interconnectivity.Dream Machine created by Unicorns ExistThe Dream Machine is a multi-player, olfactory organ performance that combines smell with sound, touch and light in a single interactive experience.Right Passage created by The Windmill FactoryRight Passage is a room scale sound and light performance installation. You begin in a massive hazed void. A reflective labyrinth emerges, guiding you towards warmth. A rite of passage, a journey from darkness to light, a disorientation of the senses.The Dome – a standout at last year’s festival – is set to return with all-new, original content and 30% bigger this year. Visually produced by Dirt Empire with original music, sound design, and spherical audio spatialization by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans, the 90-foot dome allows more than 250 festivalgoers at a time to experience the 360 degree immersive theater and provides its viewers with an unparalleled collective sensory experience. Proclaimed by the Observer as “the selling point of THE LAB,” The Dome is where Panorama’s synthesis of art, technology, music and design is given its ultimate expression. [photo via Panorama Facebook]
In the summertime growing up it was hard to keep shoes on my feet. I loved to go barefoot.One afternoon I was running barefoot across the yard when I came across a snake. Actually stepped on it. And boy, was I running after that.Snakes in our yard were fairly common. Our farm was out in the country with woods, ponds and creeks all around us, so we were used to seeing them. We would see king snakes, garter snakes, black snakes, rat snakes, rattlesnakes and, when we went to the creek or pond, an occasional cottonmouth.People have incredible fears of snakes, whether they’re poisonous or not. Too many times I’ve heard the saying, “the only good snake is a dead snake.”I’ve also heard too many times the old remedy of applying lime or sulfur to an area to prevent snakes. How this one got started, I’ll never know. But it doesn’t work.40 Species of SnakesGeorgia is home to 40 species of snakes. If you live in an area surrounded by woods, you may encounter one. My advice is to be aware that they’re out there, but remember they’re not out to get you. They’re as afraid of you as you are of them, and given the opportunity, they’ll usually avoid you.Learn how to tell what snake it is. Get a resource that gives a color photo and description to help you learn their markings and color patterns.Teach your children about them and about being safe and aware when out in nature. The University of Georgia Extension Service has a good publication, “Snakes of Georgia and South Carolina,” for just $5. Your county Extension Service office may have a copy. Or you can order one from the Ag Business Office, 203 Conner Hall, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602. Or call (706) 542-8999.Forget the lime and sulfur and remember this: clean up and clean out. Remove objects snakes can hide in and under, such as pieces of lumber, shingles, metal, junk piles and yard debris.Make Habitat UnattractiveThese items will also attract the small insects and rodents snakes prey on. Cleaning up removes the reasons for a snake to be there. Make the habitat unattractive to the unwelcome visitors.Remember, too, as people move into areas where snakes live, their encounters with them may increase. Snakes are important parts of our ecosystem, serving as both predator and prey. They should be afforded the opportunity to coexist with us.Second to the question about how to repel snakes is this one: “How do I tell the difference between a poisonous and nonpoisonous snake?” There’s no single rule to distinguish the two except the presence of fangs.Poisonous snakes do have large, triangular-shaped heads, but so do some nonpoisonous ones. This clue isn’t always accurate.Round Pupils Not FoolproofPoisonous snakes have elliptical pupils, too. All harmless snakes in the eastern United States have round pupils, but so does the poisonous coral snake. So no single rule applies except the presence of fangs.The take-home message is to learn to identify the different snakes. Maintaining a neat, well-kept landscape which isn’t attractive to snakes for food or cover is usually prevention enough.And if you’re running across the yard barefoot and step on one, don’t bother to tell your brothers. They won’t believe you.For more information, contact your county Extension Service office. Photo: Dan Rahn It helps greatly to know when the snake you find in your yard is poisonous. This one isn’t. It’s an albino gray rat snake.
May 25, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Some of the H5N1 avian flu virus samples from human cases that China has promised to send to a World Health Organization (WHO) laboratory have arrived in the United States, apparently ending an almost year-long lapse in sample sharing.A WHO official said two of three promised samples have been sent by China’s health ministry and are awaiting customs clearance, the Associated Press (AP) reported today. Joanna Brent, a spokesperson in the WHO’s Beijing office, said the specimens are from a 2006 case from Xinjiang province in far western China and a 2007 case from Fujian province in the south.Publicity about China’s slowness in sharing H5N1 samples was triggered by a Canadian Press report in April. The story revealed that Indonesia wasn’t the only country dragging its feet about sharing human H5N1 samples with the international community.Indonesia’s reluctance has stemmed from its concern that the country couldn’t afford commercial vaccines derived from the use of its H5N1 strains. The reasons for China’s reluctance have been less clear, but Chinese officials have sometimes complained about how foreign researchers used samples gathered form birds in China. Last November, for example, China complained that investigators used such specimens to conduct and publish studies without properly crediting the country’s contribution.Brent said a third sample China promised—from a 24-year-old soldier who died in 2003—was not part of the shipment, because sample-sharing procedures involving the Chinese military are extremely complex, the AP reported. The soldier’s case was reported in a June 2006 New England Journal of Medicine article after new tests determined he had died of an H5N1 infection.China had previously sent six human H5N1 virus samples to WHO laboratories, said the AP report, which cited Chinese state media reports: two in December 2005 and four in May 2006. Since then, China has reported six new human cases, including that of the soldier, according to the WHO list of confirmed H5N1 cases.In March 2006, China promised to send 20 veterinary H5N1 samples to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for analysis, but their arrival was delayed for several months because of logistical problems. Christine Pearson, a CDC spokesperson, told CIDRAP News today that the lab did receive the promised specimens.The WHO has coordinated the international sharing of flu virus samples for more than 50 years. Samples of both seasonal flu viruses and novel strains like H5N1 are used to monitor viral evolution and drug resistance and to develop vaccines.At the annual World Health Assembly, which ended 2 days ago, the WHO approved a resolution to establish an international stockpile of pandemic vaccines and create a working group to draw up new rules for the sharing of flu viruses by WHO collaborating centers and reference laboratories.In other avian flu news, health officials in Vietnam have confirmed the country’s first H5N1 case since 2005, in a 30-year-old farmer who got sick after he helped slaughter chickens for a wedding.A doctor from the National Institute of Epidemiology in Hanoi told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that two tests on the man were positive for the H5N1 virus. The deputy head of the health ministry’s preventive healthcare department told the state-run Vietnam News Agency that the man’s test results were confirmed, but the health ministry has not “directly confirmed” the case, the AFP report said today.The man, from Vinh Phuc province, is in critical condition in a Hanoi hospital, AFP reported.Meanwhile, Pakistan and Vietnam reported additional outbreaks of H5N1 in poultry today. Pakistani officials reported outbreaks at two more poultry farms in Islamabad, bringing the number of outbreaks this week to five, AFP reported today. Authorities in Vietnam reported an outbreak among ducks at a farm in the northern port city of Haiphong, as well as several outbreaks among ducks and chickens at private farms in Bac Giang, a northern province, the AP reported today.The virus reemerged in both countries recently after earlier outbreaks this year. Pakistan’s last outbreak was in April, and Vietnam had reported a rash of outbreaks that began in late December 2006.See also:Apr 16 CIDRAP News article “China said to be withholding H5N1 virus samples”Nov 10, 2006, CIDRAP News story “Chinese promise H5N1 samples, deny claim of new strain”
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Half a million dollars in government aidThe South Korean government has pledged to provide a US$500,000 in-kind grant to Indonesia. Indonesia is also one of the countries South Korean has prioritized for its exports of medical equipment, alongside the United States and the United Arab Emirates, according to Indonesia’s Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister.“We are also grateful for the South Korean government’s $500,000 in-kind grant to the Indonesian government, which will be used to support the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak,” Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto said on April 6 after a bilateral call with South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee. South Korea will ship aid in the form of COVID-19 test kits and rechargeable power sprayers, with 300 ready to be shipped to Indonesia. The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has been appointed to oversee the shipment.“A true friend is a friend who remains loyal in times of joy and sorrow,” South Korean Ambassador to Indonesia Kim Chang-beom said during a virtual press conference with the BNPB on April 9, as quoted by kompas.id.South Korean conglomerates send suppliesSouth Korean conglomerates LG Group, Hyundai Motor Corporation and CJ Group, which have a strong presence in Indonesia, have also offered support by donating test kits, protective gear, hygiene products and food. LG Group will donate around 50,000 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test kits to Indonesia, with the first batch having arrived on April 5, according to the BKPM. The diagnostic kits were provided by LG Electronics, LG Chem, LG Innotek and LG International Indonesia.”Here, we can see that LG is not only an investor but also Indonesia’s best friend. We certainly hope that the current solid teamwork between Indonesia and South Korea will become stronger,” said BKPM spokesperson Tina Talisa.Read also: LG to donate 50,000 diagnostic test kits to Indonesia from South KoreaExperts consider PCR tests to be more reliable than rapid tests as they can detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2, not just antibodies, which is why PCR testing is recommended in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines. However, PCR tests take longer because samples need to be tested in laboratories, while serology testing, or rapid testing, delivers faster results as it can be used like a pregnancy test. Hyundai through Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Indonesia (HMMI) has pledged to donate 50,000 sets of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks and coveralls, worth Rp 8.2 billion in stages for medical workers.The first 10,000 sets were received by the BNPB at a ceremony on April 10 and another 10,000 will be dispatched to West Java, where HMMI operates. HMMI is also exploring the possibility of supporting the implementation of drive-thru COVID-19 testing in Indonesia, Tempo.co reported.“We really appreciate the medical workers who have fought on the front line to ensure the safety of COVID-19 patients. We hope the PPE aid we have supplied can significantly help medical workers in Indonesia tackle the COVID-19 crisis while also promoting local economic growth,” said Young Tack Lee, president of the Hyundai Motor Asia-Pacific headquarters.Indonesia has also received a donation of rapid test kits from the CJ Corporation, which operates various businesses from food services to pharmacies to media and entertainment under its local arm CJ Indonesia. Read also: South Korean conglomerate donates $255,000 worth of medical equipment to IndonesiaOn April 13, CJ Indonesia, which manages bakery franchise Tous Les Jours, donated Rp 4 billion (US$254,000) worth of rapid test kits, hand sanitizer and goods to state-owned hospitals and community health centers, as well as to app-based ojek (motorcycle taxi) drivers.The donation also included 1,000 bottles of hand sanitizer, 200,000 loaves of bread and 200,000 milk cartons, which will be distributed gradually over the next couple of weeks by the BKPM. Topics : South Korea, meanwhile, has earned praise for its swift response to the COVID-19 pandemic after quickly slowling the rate of infection and deaths. After rapidly establishing testing facilities across the country and imposing physical distancing measures to limit the spread of the virus, the country is now looking to extend help to other countries.“[…] One of the key factors is the ability of the [South Korean] government to organize massive rapid testing, enabling the government to trace and respond quickly to the spread of the coronavirus,” Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartato said on April 6.Read also: Indonesia looks to China, S. Korea for medical suppliesBelow is a recap of the help coming from South Korea during these times of crisis. The South Korean public and private sectors are sending donations of medical equipment, protective gear and testing kits to Indonesia to help the country in its battle against COVID-19.The donations are being channeled through the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) and the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), the spearhead of the country’s COVID-19 response.Indonesia’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 have jumped from zero to 5,136, with 469 deaths, within one and a half months, as of April 15. Scientists have expressed concern that the nation’s limited testing capabilities and hospital capacity could result in more undetected infections and deaths.