Credit unions ARE different than banks, and they’re sure as heck different than Wells Fargo. It’s true that any financial institution could get caught missing a disclosure or committing some other compliance oversight, but what I’m referring to here are big-picture differences – systemic differences. A collapse of leadership.Wells Fargo’s fraudulent creation of 2 million “ghost” accounts wasn’t a scheme involving two people or even two dozen people – but 5,300 people. I’ll note that last part again: 5,300 people. For something of this magnitude to occur over a period of years, there was a clear focus on profit over people and a complete lack of respect for customers. This is the leadership collapse I’m referring to. continue reading » 22SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
As people across the country are forced to stay inside their homes to flatten Indonesia’s COVID-19 curve, many seek solace in urban farming amid the waves of bad news of increasing deaths and infections by the disease.One of them is Asmara Wreksono, a Jakarta-based media professional who has recently started indulging in urban farming. Since she started to go on self-isolation due to COVID-19, she has grown a number of vegetables, such as water spinach, red spinach and Chinese cabbage, in her house.Asmara explained that she initially started her own small vegetable garden for self-sustaining purposes, as consuming home-grown vegetables had always been her interest. Urban farming is popular in other cities as well. Yogyakarta resident Arsih echoed Asmara, saying she started her own vegetable garden to fulfill her personal consumption as well as for stress healing.Read also: South Jakarta’s ‘orange troops’ spread joy with urban farm“A number of villages in Yogyakarta have already closed down access to their area, hindering vegetable seller from stopping at my place. Therefore, I started to grow my own vegetables,” said Arsih.Venda Pratama, a graduate student also residing in Yogyakarta, went the extra mile as urban farming had become his additional source of income. Venda, who has been practicing urban farming since 2017, has not only fed his family with home-grown vegetables but is also selling them to his neighbors.Urban farming and community gardens have been praised as an effort to reduce negative the environmental impacts caused by conventional farming and as a form of therapy.Landscape architect Kotchakorn Voraakhom, who designed Asia’s largest urban rooftop farm in Bangkok, said urban farming helped improve food security and nutrition while reducing the impacts of climate change and lowering stress levels, as reported by Reuters.A 2018 study published in scientific journal Earth’s Future highlighted that urban agriculture would play a crucial role in feeding two-thirds of the world’s population living in cities by 2050, as urban farming practices could produce as much as 180 million tons of food annually.This comes in handy amid the COVID-19 outbreak, as cities started closing off their borders to restrict people’s movements in preventing the disease’s spread. Concerns have risen that the transportation of supplies and staple foods will be disrupted by the policy.A vegetable garden owned Venda Pratama, a graduate student from Yogyakarta who created his own small garden at home that has been enjoyed by his family and neighbors. (Courtesy of /Venda Pratama)Singapore has been tapping into the potential of urban farming amid concerns that the pandemic would disrupt global supply chains. Reuters reported that the city-state announced on Wednesday several new measures to support local food production, including a plan to turn car park rooftops into urban farms.The government will provide a S$30 million (US$21 million) grant to assist the production of eggs, leafy vegetables and fish, as well as to identify alternative farming spaces.Similar initiatives of support for urban farming from authorities, however, have yet been observed in Indonesia — even though the trend had been blooming in the country since the early 2010s.Read also: Urban farmers withstand floods, pests in Jakarta’s surviving paddy fieldsFarming and gardening might not be many urbanites’ forte, but that does not mean it’s impossible to be done.“To avoid frustration, research and choose some of the easiest and most prolific vegetables to grow in your area,” wrote New York-based Recyclebank on its website.The company also suggested new gardeners possessing limited space in their home or community to consider planting in plastic containers or raised beds, as they would allow gardeners to control the soil quality.Tifa Asrianti, a resident of Bekasi, West Java, who started her own community garden in 2011, said urban farming also depended on someone’s beliefs on the practice: “We have to put our faith in your vegetables if we want them to grow nicely.”Topics : The garden has served an additional purpose in the past few weeks of diverting Asmara’s attention from news and information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.“I treated hydroponics as a fun hobby. It keeps me sane amid the stay-at-home period in this time of crisis,” Asmara told The Jakarta Post recently.“It was also a delight for me to find that there are a lot of people doing this in Jakarta.”Plastic cups are used to house plants and are placed on top of a makeshift catfish pond owned by Yogyakarta resident Arsih, who started her own small garden as a way to cope with the stress of the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as to provide food for her family. (Courtesy of/Arsih)
Asante Kotoko striker Kofi Nti-Bokaye is a major doubt for Sunday’s Super Clash against Hearts of Oak.The 26-year-old is battling an unspecified illness with just two days to the big game at the Accra Sports Stadium.Coach Mas-Ud Dramani will wait on a report from the Kotoko medical team on Friday before taking a final decision on the striker.Nti-Boakye only returned to training on Monday after surviving a car crash a two weeks ago.His absence will be a major blow to the Premier League champions who are looking to get one over their arch rivals on Sunday.
Several ranks of the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) are expected to be transferred or even have their services terminated following the findings of the recently concluded audit report into the unit.This is according to Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan, who on Friday during a media briefing stated that action will be taken by Police Commissioner Leslie James with regard to the damning discoveries.“The Commissioner is the head of SOCU as you know. I have seen the report, it is not a very nice report and the Commissioner has told me that he is going to take action. Operational matters, a Minister must not indulge in and that is an operational matter.”Police Commissioner Leslie JamesAlmost three weeks ago, the audit into the financial operations of the SOCU was completed and handed over to James for further action, and according to Ramjattan, the unit will be restructured.“He ordered an audit after coming by information, the audit has been completed and he will take action, he told me. I am hoping that it will be action taken very early. Certainly [there] will have to be shifting around, probably some terminations too. I don’t know what his decision will be but that is going to be the Commissioner’s decision.”The Public Security Minister, who is the first Government official to speak about the findings of the audit report, explained that by having changes in a system that is flawed, or in this case, an agency where it is revealed that persons are not serving the purposes that they were contracted to function in, then this is the first key step in rebranding SOCU’s image.“This is exactly what you do. Institutions can get rotten. What a Government does is through its leadership at the various units, ask for audits, get the things right and move on and put the correct people in places that can remedy the defects that were occurring and that is what you do in any institution. That is what the people do with Governments and that is the self-redeeming feature of democracy and that is the self-redeeming feature of institutional democracy. You call for the audits, and the audits prove that he is wrong, this is wrong and whatever, and so on and then you make the remedial action,” he posited.According to recent media reports, the audit of the financial records of SOCU has uncovered serious irregularities, including the falsification of records, and it has recommended immediate transfers and a fraud investigation of several of the discrepancies, sources say.An audit of SOCU, which is a branch of the Guyana Police Force (GPF), was ordered by Police Commissioner Leslie James in February following claims of grave mismanagement which included the misuse of its operational fund.