Hilal Tak Terlihat, 1 Ramadhan Diprediksi Selasa 12 Maret 2024

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Petugas dari Badan Hisab Rukiyat memantau hilal 1 Ramadan 1443 H di Gedung Kanwil Kemenag DKI, Jakarta, Jumat 1/4/2022). Indonesia menggunakan metode Hisab dan Rukyat dalam menentukan awal bulan pada Kalender Hijriyah.  (CNBC Indonesia/ Muhammad Sabki) Foto: Petugas dari Badan Hisab Rukiyat memantau hilal 1 Ramadan (CNBC Indonesia/ Muhammad Sabki)

Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Kementerian Agama telah melakukan pemantauan bulan atau hilal di 134 titik di Indonesia pada Minggu (10/3/2024). Hasilnya, ada 11 titik di Indonesia di mana hilal tidak terlihat, termasuk di Bandung dan Makassar. 

Ada sejumlah faktor yang membuat hilal tak terlihat, salah satunya karena langit yang berkabut.

Kesimpulannya, hilal tak bisa diamati sehingga 1 Ramadan 1445 H diprediksi jatuh pada Selasa 12 Maret 2024.

Perlu diketahui, pemerintah menggunakan metode rukyatul hilal atau pengamatan bulan menentukan awal bulan baru. Metode tersebut mempertimbangkan hasil hisab posisi hilal yang dikonfirmasi lagi lewat pengamatan hilal dengan kriteria MABIMS (Menteri Agama Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, dan Singapura).

Anggota Tim Hisab Rukyat Kemenag, Cecep Nurwendaya, di kantor Kemenag, mengatakan berdasarkan hasil kesepakatan MABIMS, kriteria visibilitas hilal berubah menjadi ketinggian hilal 3 derajat dan elongasi 6,4 derajat. Berdasarkan kriteria tersebut, hilal di Indonesia sore ini tidak bisa diamati.

Saat ini, Kementerian Agama masih melakukan sidang tertutup untuk menentukan awal Ramadhan 2024. Penetapan awal bulan puasa akan diumumkan dalam konferensi pers padahttps://merupakan.com/ malam ini. 

Berkah Ramadan, Transmart Jual Kurma Berkualitas Harga Bersahabat!

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Suasana Transmart Full Day Sale di Transmart Yasmin Bogor, Jawa Barat, Minggu (3/3/2024). (CNBC Indonesia/Martya Rizky) Foto: Suasana Transmart Full Day Sale di Transmart Yasmin Bogor, Jawa Barat, Minggu (3/3/2024). (CNBC Indonesia/Martya Rizky)

Jakarta, CNBC IndonesiaBulan Suci Ramadan 1445 Hijriah tinggal menghitung hari. Biasanya, hampir seluruh masyarakat Muslim di dunia mulai “berburu” kurma untuk disantap saat sahur dan buka puasa.

Untuk memenuhi permintaan kurma dengan harga bersahabat bagi masyarakat Indonesia, Transmart kembali menggelar program diskon besar-besaran Transmart Full Day Sale, besok, hari Minggu 10 Maret 2024. Program diskon ini berlaku mulai dari toko buka hingga tutup pukul 22.00 waktu setempat.

Dalam kesempatan Transmart Full Day Sale ini, konsumen bisa mendapatkan berbagai produk kurma dengan harga miring. Pertama ada produk kurma curah yang bisa didapatkan dengan Rp 35,920 dari harga normal Rp 44,900 per kg untuk di daerah Kupang.

Kemudian ada produk Kurma Palm Fruit 500gr yang bisa didapatkan dengan harga Rp 57,000 dari harga normal Rp 71,250 untuk wilayah Mataram. Sedangkan untuk wilayah Jabodetabek dan Karawang, produk ini bisa didapatkan dengan harga Rp 63,200 dari harga normal Rp 79,000.

Baca: Jelang Ramadhan Enaknya Beli Camilan di Transmart! ada Diskon 50%+20%

Lalu untuk wilayah Bandung, Kurma Palm Fruit 500gr dibanderol dengan harga Rp 55,000 dari harga normal Rp 68,750. Sedangkan untuk Jawa Timur, produk ini dibanderol dengan harga Rp 54,000 dari harga normal Rp 67,500.

Sementara di wilayah Jawa Tengah, Kurma Palm Fruit 500gr dibanderol dengan harga Rp 55,920 dari harga normal Rp 69,900. Sedangkan di Banjarmasin, produk ini dibanderol dengan harga Rp 47,120 dari harga normal Rp 58,900.

Terakhir ada Kurma Tunisia yang dibanderol dengan harga Rp 51,200 dari harga normal Rp 64,000 per kg untuk wilayah Denpasar. Kemudian untuk wilayah Pontianak dan Balikpapan, produk ini dibanderol dengan harga masing-masing Rp 56,800 dan Rp 55,920.

Seperti biasa, pada program ini pengunjung bisa menikmati diskon 50% plus 20% bagi mereka yang menggunakan kartu kredit Bank Mega, kartu kredit Bank Mega Syariah, dan aplikasi Allo Bank, Allo Prime termasuk Allo Paylater.

Di samping produk kurma, Transmart Full Day Sale menghadirkan berbagai penawaran menarik untuk kebutuhan sehari-hari, elektronik, departemen store, hingga sepeda.

Tunggu apalagi? Yuk serbu di Transmart Full Day Sale di https://merupakan.com/kota kamu!

AI could make the four-day workweek inevitable

(Image credit: Alamy)

woman reclined in office with feet on desk (Credit: Alamy)

By Elizabeth Bennett26th February 2024

As artificial intelligence gains traction in office operations, some companies are giving employees a day to step back.

W

Working four days while getting paid for five is a dream for many employees. Yet the dramatic shifts in the pandemic-era workplace have turned this once unfathomable idea into a reality for some workers. And as more global data emerges, an increasing number of companies are courting the approach after positive trial-run results across countries including the UK, Iceland, Portugal and more.

Now, as pilots continue – in Germany, a trial of 45 companies has just begun, for instance – another factor has entered the mix. Artificial intelligence (AI) is gathering pace in the workplace, and some experts believe it could accelerate the adoption of the four-day workweek.

Data from London-based news-and-events resource Tech.co collected in late 2023 lends credence to this idea. For their 2024 Impact of Technology on the Workplace, the company surveyed more than 1,000 US business leaders. The researchers found 29% of organisations with four-day workweeks use AI extensively in their firms’ operations, implementing generative AI tools such as ChatGPT as well as other programmes to streamline operations. In comparison, only 8% of five-day working week organisations use AI to this extent. And 93% of businesses using AI are open to a four-day work week, whereas for those who don’t, fewer than half are open to working shorter weeks.

By handing over simple tasks to AI tools, we gain invaluable time previously lost to slow aspects of the process – Abb-d Taiyo

At London-based digital design agency Driftime, adopting AI technology has been crucial to enable the business to operate a flexible four-day work week. “By handing over simple tasks to AI tools, we gain invaluable time previously lost to slow aspects of the process,” says co-founder Abb-d Taiyo. “With tools like Modyfi, the graphics are all live and modifiable, making it so much easier and quicker for our designers to create concepts and ideas.”

Taiyo believes it makes sense for both his employees and his bottom line to work the condensed week. “Instead of a dip in the quantity of work created over just four days, we’ve seen a remarkably high quality of work matched by a high staff satisfaction return. The health and happiness of our team is in direct correlation to the high standard of work produced,” he says.The mainstreaming of AI tech may mean workers get an extra day off (Credit: Alamy)

The mainstreaming of AI tech may mean workers get an extra day off (Credit: Alamy)

Shayne Simpson, group managing director of UK-based TechNET IT Recruitment, also believes AI has been fundamental to the success of the company’s four-day work week policy. The firm has found AI tools save each of their recruitment consultants 21 hours per week, primarily by automating previously manual tasks like data input, confirmation emails, resume screening and candidate outreach. This has reduced the time to fill permanent roles at the company by an average of 10 days. “This timesaving allows our team to achieve their weekly goals earlier in the week and the flexibility liberates our consultants from being tethered to their desks, enabling them to enjoy a well-deserved Friday off,” says Simpson.

Not only has the company’s abridged workweek boosted productivity and morale, Simpson says it’s also been key to attracting talent to work within the company itself. “Seasoned recruitment professionals are enticed by our streamlined processes while entry-level talent is eager to embrace new tools.” It’s lifted the entire business, he adds.

Rather than becoming mere caretakers or servants of machines, human workers need to develop new skills that can leverage, complement and lead AI, achieving the enhanced outcomes – Na Fu

While AI tools are certainly paving the way for a four-day work week within some industries, the technology can’t usher in the change alone. Organisational culture within a business is also fundamental, says Na Fu, a professor in human resource management at Trinity Business School, Ireland. “An openness to innovative work structures, an experimental mindset and, importantly, a culture grounded in high levels of trust are all important for the four-day work week to be successfully adopted,” she says.

As the digital transformation with AI progresses, employees themselves also must be willing to level up, she adds: “Rather than becoming mere caretakers or servants of machines, human workers need to develop new skills that can leverage, complement and lead AI, achieving the enhanced outcomes.”

Some industries will benefit from AI more than others, however – notably those who are able to use generative AI tools for such tasks including software development, content creation, marketing and legal services, says Fu. Plus, artificial intelligence development still has a way to go if it is to substantially reduce human working hours across the board.

What may drive the shift to a four-day workweek in an AI-powered business landscape may not ultimately be up to the robots, however. Executive buy-in is required, and whether leaders will embrace the unconventional concept will vary depending on a firm’s overarching purpose and values, says Fu. Instead of letting AI supplement the work of humans, for instance, some businesses could use it to automate certain tasks while piling other work on employees to fill newly open hours.

Still, despite some reservation, an increasing number of business leaders – including those from some of the world’s highest-earning companies – see a technology-driven shortened workweek as an inevitable future. In October 2023, JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon told Bloomberg TV: “Your children are going to live to 100, and they’ll https://merupakan.com/ probably be working three-and-a-half days a week.” Employees will have to wait and see.

Six of the best hikes in and around Sydney

(Image credit: Hamilton Lund/Destination NSW)

Coastal walk from Coogee to Bondi, with Bondi in the distance

By Caro Ryan25th February 2024

From the iconic Bondi to Coogee walk to coastal camping on the Royal Coast Track, these hikes will take you to secluded beaches, rainforest oases and bushland swimming holes.

Australia’s iconic city, Sydney, lures visitors with promises of a harbour that pours out to the jewelled Pacific Ocean, lined with beaches and communities buzzing with culture and diversity. Woven throughout the city and its surrounds is a web of trails that leads both the ambler and experienced adventurer to some of Sydney’s most outstanding natural delights.

Getting started is easy with the free NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service app; the digital maps will keep you on track. Throw the essentials of water, snacks, lunch, hat, sunscreen and first-aid kit into your backpack and let your comfy walking shoes lead you on an adventure. Whether on a bustling coastal path or quiet mountain track where you can hear nature whisper, Sydney’s best hiking trails can take you there.

With 50 national park reserves in the Sydney region and hundreds of trails to choose from, these six walks pass secluded beaches, oases of verdant rainforest, thundering waterfalls and bushland swimming holes – and all are made even easier with nearby public transport links to trailheads.The Bondi to Coogee walk is a quintessential experience for both locals and visitors (Credit: Ampueroleonardo/Getty Images)

The Bondi to Coogee walk is a quintessential experience for both locals and visitors (Credit: Ampueroleonardo/Getty Images)

1. Best for beach culture: Bondi to Coogee

There’s a reason that the 6km (2.5-3 hour) Bondi to Coogee walk has become a rite-of-passage among residents of and visitors to Sydney. By kickstarting your walk with a coffee from one of Bondi‘s famous cafes and then rewarding yourself with a meal or drink at Coogee, you’ll be opening your heart to the quintessential eastern suburbs experience – one that demands exercising and exceptional coffee to see and be seen.

THE SPECIALIST

Passionate hiker and search & rescue volunteer, Caro Ryan started LotsaFreshAir.com to inspire, teach and encourage people to get into hiking and the outdoors safely. She teaches wilderness navigation, authored the book How to Navigate – the art of traditional map & compass navigation in an Australian context and hosts Rescued – an Outdoor Podcast for Hikers and Adventurers.

Locals can be found jogging, walking and saluting the sun along the concrete pathway that winds around the golden sandstone headlands. Thank me later if you choose to wear your swimwear (that’s “cossie” to Aussies) under your clothes for a baptism into Sydney’s beach-swimming culture. Choose between the natural Pacific waves or a quintessentially Australian ocean pool, washed clean with every tide. You’ll pass five beaches and pools on your journey, so why not try them all?

To add a creative edge to your walk, visit during the annual Sculpture by the Sea exhibition (late Oct-early Nov) when 2km of the route is transformed into an immense outdoor art gallery. Whale-watching season runs from May to November, with humpbacks at the peak of their annual migration in June-July.

Website: https://www.bonditocoogeewalk.com/The 10km Manly Scenic Walkway has epic views back onto the city (Credit: John Spencer/DPE)

The 10km Manly Scenic Walkway has epic views back onto the city (Credit: John Spencer/DPE)

2. Best for harbourside bushland: Manly Scenic Walkway

Starting from the north side of the Spit Bridge in the well-to-do northern suburb of Mosman, this grade three walking track is one that, depending on the time of day, still feels a bit of a local secret. The 10km Manly Scenic Walkway (also known as The Spit to Manly Walk) meanders in and out of quiet coves, picnic-friendly parks, lonely beaches and bush-covered headlands.

If the thought of a hidden beach, with views straight out of the Sydney Heads appeals to you, some extra research could reward you with a little-known side track that leads down to Washaway Beach and the feeling like you’ve been teleported to the Mediterranean.

Views over Middle Harbour and some of Sydney’s priciest real estate dominate the first third of the walk, before the mood changes as you dive under the canopy of bushland in the Sydney Harbour National Park near Castle Rock Beach. Slow down as you climb Dobroyd Head and connect to some of Sydney’s Indigenous heritage at the Grotto Point Aboriginal engraving site where you’ll see petroglyphic images of humans and animals etched into the sandstone.

On weekends you may find an ice-cream truck as you pass Tania Park; enjoy a soft-serve cone while gazing over the Crater Cove huts below, where a handful of people came to live rent-free, building shacks from driftwood and stone from the 1920s-60s. Pull yourself away from the scene and make the final push onto well-earned refreshments at beloved beach-side suburb, Manly. Here, you’ll appreciate the 1920s ferry advertising slogan, “Manly: seven miles from Sydney and 1,000 miles from care.”

Website: https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/walking-tracks/manly-scenic-walkwayJerusalem Bay is a great place to stop for a swim on the Cowan to Brooklyn track (Credit: Caro Ryan)

Jerusalem Bay is a great place to stop for a swim on the Cowan to Brooklyn track (Credit: Caro Ryan)

3. Best for fit adventurers: Jerusalem Bay Track

The Jerusalem Bay Track (also known as “Cowan to Brooklyn”) is a sweet 11km snippet of the epic Great North Walk that stretches 250km from Sydney to the port city of Newcastle. Like much of the full two-week adventure, this perfectly formed half-day section begins and ends at public transport, linking Cowan and Hawkesbury River railway stations. It also delivers a teaser of the full expedition along undulating and forested tracks.

Starting at Cowan, about an hour by train from Sydney’s Central Station, your knees will immediately get a workout as you wind your way downhill alongside the sing-song babble of Jerusalem Creek. Enjoy a break at Jerusalem Bay and snap a shot of the iconic palm tree planted by the Rhodes family who built a home and boatshed here in the late 1800s: this stand-alone introduced species is in stark contrast to the surrounding native eucalypts.

Jerusalem Bay makes for a great swimming spot – and you’ll appreciate cooling off before you begin the ascent up to the Brooklyn Dam campsite – but plan your day with the 1.5m tide of this branch of the Hawkesbury River in mind. A popular swimming spot for the 700 locals who call the oyster-farming community of Brooklyn home, this picturesque reservoir was originally built in 1885 to support steam trains, powering them up the hill to Cowan.

From here, it’s a gentle downhill into Brooklyn, where you can celebrate with a cooling ale and a dozen of Sydney’s freshest rock oysters at the Anglers Rest.

Website: https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/walking-tracks/great-north-walk-in-kuringgai-chase-national-parkThe Overcliff/Undercliff track takes hikers into the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area (Credit: Caro Ryan)

The Overcliff/Undercliff track takes hikers into the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area (Credit: Caro Ryan)

4. Best for mountain lovers: Overcliff/Undercliff

The most visited national park in New South Wales, the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area is a hiker’s and nature-lover’s paradise. The challenge of its diverse walking trail system is choosing the track that’s right for you. Whispered about by locals and visitors alike, the Overcliff/Undercliff track encompasses all I love about this region: immense, panoramic views, a variety of habitats, quiet spots to be drawn into nature’s embrace and a great cafe.

This hike forms part of the Blue Mountains’ new Grand Cliff Top Walk, a two-day, 20km village-to-village hike from Wentworth Falls and Leura to Katoomba. Opening in March 2024, it draws walkers along the southern escarpment of the Jamison Valley, with accommodation, dining and leisure activities in the local communities.

Just two hours west by train from Sydney’s Central Station, you’ll find yourself at the tidy village of Wentworth Falls. Here, you can follow in Charles Darwin’s 1836 footsteps and understand his struggle to describe the “quite novel” scene before him of the “immense gulf” and “absolutely vertical sandstone cliffs” Perched above Wentworth Falls’ 187m drop at Fletchers Lookout, a clear day brings the Southern Highlands region into focus, more than 80km to the south across a vast expanse of wilderness.

This recently upgraded 3.5km track from Wentworth Falls Picnic Area to the Conservation Hut Cafe  (complete the loop by returning via the short and easy Short Cut Track) will take 1-2 hours and leave you feeling like you’ve discovered a hidden gem. Cut into the side of a 200m high cliff face, this exhilarating walk is jam-packed with expansive vistas across the Jamison and Kedumba valleys and you’ll pass through a variety of Blue Mountains habitats, including rainforest, heathland, eucalyptus forest and swamp; home to myriad fauna and birdlife.

Website: https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/walking-tracks/overcliffundercliff-trackRoyal National Park is home to more than 650 Aboriginal archaeological sites (Credit: Natasha Webb/DPE)

Royal National Park is home to more than 650 Aboriginal archaeological sites (Credit: Natasha Webb/DPE)

5. Best for Aboriginal heritage: Jibbon Loop Track and Aboriginal Carvings

The Aboriginal lands of the Dharawal People extend around 120km from southern Sydney to Jervis Bay on the NSW South Coast. Like many First Nations communities, they were brutally cleared from their land in the early 1800s under Governor Macquarie, but the landscape of the Royal National Park still bears witness to 8,000-9,000 years of Dharawal living history in more than 650 known Aboriginal archaeological sites – including 218 rock engravings that depict food sources like eels or animals such as whales, a major totem of the Dharawal.

A 5km return walk from the sleepy seaside village of Bundeena (get here via a 40-minute ferry trip south from Cronulla) will lead you to Jibbon (Djeeban in Dharawal), meaning “sandbars at low tide”. Jibbon Head is the most extensive engraving site in the entire park and includes images of whales, kangaroos and Ancestral Beings.

An incredibly significant and spiritual site for Dharawal, this open-air museum is where their foundational stories, the Dreaming, come from. Walk up from Jibbon Beach and visualise this place 250 years ago: women with their morning catch, men returning from the hunt and life before everything changed with the arrival of British colonists in 1788. To protect the site from erosion or damage, National Parks worked closely with the Dharawal to create a viewing platform and walkway. Pause here and ponder, paying your respects to their Elders.

Website: https://www.sydneycoastwalks.com.au/jibbon-aboriginal-carvings/The heath-framed walking trails of the Royal Coast Track extend for 30km along the coast (Credit: Peter Sherratt/DPE)

The heath-framed walking trails of the Royal Coast Track extend for 30km along the coast (Credit: Peter Sherratt/DPE)

6. Best for coastal camping: Royal Coast Track

Sydney’s Royal National Park was dedicated in 1879, becoming the second national park in the world after Yellowstone in the US. Only 25km from the city, this 16,000-hectare expanse is the first park that many visitors see as they land at Sydney’s Mascot Airport.

Stretching 30km south along the coast, The Royal (or “Nasho” to locals) is popular with Sydneysiders looking for a daytrip to wild beaches, well-maintained picnic areas and coastal heath-framed walking trails.

Its best-known hike is the classic Royal Coast Track, a challenging two-day stretch stopping at a walk-in-only campground at North Era beach. Fall asleep to the lullaby of the waves, wake to the sound of kangaroos munching on grass and stride out along beaches with no one else around (especially mid-week).

If you’re ready to step up and try a two-day hike with camping, carrying everything you need, this public transport-friendly track is a great choice. Create your own walking holiday by catching the quaint local ferry from Cronulla across Port Hacking to Bundeena. At the end of the hike in Otford, hop the train back to https://merupakan.com/ Cronulla.

Website: https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/walking-tracks/the-coast-track

BBC Travel’s The SpeciaList is a series of guides to popular and emerging destinations around the world, as seen through the eyes of local experts and tastemakers.

The blind Ukrainian amputee whose wife’s voice kept him alive

Serhiy and his wife in front of a city skyline

By Keiligh Baker

BBC News

As Serhiy slowly began to regain consciousness in his hospital bed in Kyiv, he realised he couldn’t see, speak, or feel his legs – but he could hear his wife Valeria’s voice. Comforted, he lost consciousness again.

It was a pattern that lasted weeks. The severely injured Ukrainian soldier would wake up to darkness and panic, unable to communicate because of the tube down his throat – but every time he heard Valeria, he settled down.

“That’s what kept me fighting,” he tells the BBC’s Ukrainecast podcast.

“Until then, I only had nightmares. Terrible dreams in which I was being demolished, destroyed, chewed over – and then the light in regaining consciousness was her voice… Because I wanted to come back to her. To fight through this, to be with her.”

Serhiy, 27, suffered catastrophic injuries when his vehicle hit a Russian anti-tank mine on Ukraine’s frontline near Mariinka, nine months after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of his country.

As a soldier already serving before the war, he had been thrown straight into the thick of the fighting from its first day, in February 2022. He often went weeks without speaking to Valeria, who remained in their home city of Kyiv.

Serhiy pictured in military clothing
Image caption,Serhiy pictured before his injuries

He was travelling with seven other soldiers on November 2022 when the vehicle was hit. The force of the blast broke his spine, pelvis, nose, eye sockets, gave him an open-skull brain injury, severe burns to his face and body, fractured his thigh and blew off both his lower legs. The flames from the blast cauterised his wounds, inadvertently saving his life.

He can’t remember anything from that day – but Valeria will never forget it.

“I didn’t expect he would come back from the war with both his legs,” Valeria says. “But even I wasn’t prepared for the extent of his wounds when I saw him.”

“My first thought was just relief that he was alive because, by the description of what happened to him, it was not clear that he would ever regain consciousness. So I went to the hospital and I saw my beloved, full of different tubes, totally unresponsive. And that was scariest part.”

Serhiy and his wife, Valeria, before his injuries

Serhiy regained consciousness after 20 days in a coma. He then spent another week in intensive care, another two weeks in the traumatic injuries unit and then months in rehabilitation.

He has a stoic approach to his injuries, and says that, for him, losing two legs is better than losing one arm. Valeria takes a similarly pragmatic approach: “A blind, legless husband – it’s not so bad,” she laughs, adding that as a former dentist she’s just relieved he didn’t lose his teeth.

Last week, after travelling to the US in the hope of saving a fraction of the sight in his remaining eye, he was told the devastating news that it couldn’t be saved – that he had fully lost his eyesight.

Although the couple were disappointed, they remain hopeful for the future and Serhiy now wants to spend his life advocating for and helping his fellow injured soldiers.

“I have so many plans that one lifetime isn’t enough for all of it,” he says. “I definitely will go back to Ukraine. That’s my country. I fought for it. I sustained [my] wounds for it.”

Serhiy in front of water
Image caption,Serhiy has vowed to launch organisations that help injured veterans

He plans to launch two organisations, he says, both aimed at helping wounded veterans, including one to build infrastructure for their life after the war.

Both Ukraine and Russia refuse to release figures of their wounded and dead soldiers, but US officials, quoted by the New York Times, put the number at 70,000 dead and as many as 120,000 injured, as of August 2023.

While Serhiy maintains that his injuries haven’t changed him, Valeria disagrees.

“He has become more responsible. He was responsible before, but it was his family, his military unit,” she explains.

“But now he feels responsible https://merupakan.com/ for the whole country, for all of Ukraine.”

FRI 23 FEB 2024WOMEN’S INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES

England7Austria2

  • Russo (3’minutes, 61’minutes), 
  • Clinton (19’minutes), 
  • Mead (37’minutes, 89’minutes), 
  • Carter (70’minutes), 
  • Daly (90’+3minutes)

FTHT 3-1

  • Kirchberger (30’minutes, 88’minutes)
  • Hemp (19’minutes), 
  • Russo (37’minutes), 
  • Wubben-Moy (70’minutes), 
  • Le Tissier (90’+3minutes)

Assists

  • Naschenweng (30’minutes), 
  • Dunst (88’minutes)
Grace Clinton celebrates
Grace Clinton has four goals and two assists in 13 appearances for Tottenham this season

Grace Clinton had a “dream debut” as she scored for England in their thrashing of Austria in a friendly match, said manager Sarina Wiegman.

Midfielder Clinton, on loan at Tottenham from Manchester United this season, headed in England’s second goal having struck the post minutes earlier.

“I think that’s a dream debut for her,” Wiegman told ITV Sport. “She played well and has done really well in training. She was enjoying herself and it was a very good goal. I’m very happy for her.”

On an impressive night for the Lionesses in Spain, Alessia Russo scored twice, as did Beth Mead, while Jess Carter and Rachel Daly added to England’s tally.

Austria scored twice from set-pieces, which will frustrate England, but it was a good display overall.

Having failed to qualify for this summer’s Olympic Games on behalf of Great Britain – meaning they had no competitive fixtures scheduled this month – the Lionesses opted for a warm-weather training camp in Marbella.

They hoped to be tested by Austria, who they beat 1-0 in the opening match at Euro 2022, but Wiegman’s side could easily have had even more than the seven they did get.

Russo capitalised on a rapid start with the opener, then Clinton’s header landed before the rain began to fall at Estadio Nuevo Mirador.

A brief lapse in concentration allowed Virginia Kirchberger to head in Austria’s first corner.

But Russo ensured England’s pressure in the second half was rewarded with a cool finish from close range after Georgia Stanway, Maya Le Tissier and Ella Toone all had chances.

Carter’s instinctive flick made it five and – despite another Kirchberger header – Mead’s strike when Lauren James’ effort bounced back off the post and Daly’s late goal capped off a strong performance.

England face Italy in a second friendly match on Tuesday, hoping to continue preparations for the defence of their European title at the 2025 finals, which they hope to qualify for this summer.

“Going into the game, it was probably the biggest one of my career so far, so for it to go like thatz, I’m very happy,” said Clinton.

“Sarina told me at the start of the week that she was going to try me in the number eight position. I’m open to a challenge. It’s nice to be deeper and get on the ball more.

“To be in there playing with [Georgia] Stanway and Toone – they really helped me out a lot. It’s so competitive. There are so many great players and to be around them is unbelievable experience.

“My mum and dad flew out this morning to come and watch the game. I can’t wait to go and see them.”

Clinton takes her chance as England show superiority

England celebrate
Alessia Russo and Beth Mead both scored twice in Spain

Wiegman had always intended to make changes to the side, and injuries to centre-backs Leah Williamson and Millie Bright opened the door for young defenders Le Tissier and Esme Morgan.

They were keen to take their opportunity, as was Manchester City’s Jess Park, who came on as a substitute in a midfield role she has performed well in for her club this month.

Toone was drafted into the starting XI minutes before kick-off when Chelsea’s Fran Kirby hobbled out of the warm-up with a ‘minor knee irritation’, which the medical staff did not want to take any risks with.

Chloe Kelly, who suffered a minor injury in training on Thursday, was also absent.

“Fran had some little irritation on her knee,” said Wiegman. “In this moment, we’re not going to take any risks with anyone. We just said: ‘We’ll take you off and assess it tomorrow.’

“Hopefully it’s just a little bit of irritation and we can move on. Chloe is doing better and we hope she will be back for Tuesday.”

But there were no signs of disruption as England were fluid from the start, linking up nicely all over the pitch and taking advantage of space left in behind Austria’s defence.

Le Tissier had a good chance from a corner in the second half but her header was well-saved by Austria goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger, while Morgan looked comfortable at centre-back.

Arsenal striker Russo was heavily involved, starting and finishing the move which put England 1-0 up, before slotting in her second after the break.

Mead found herself in good positions to capitalise on rebounds too and Clinton’s goal was just reward for a strong individual display.

Clinton’s form while on loan at Tottenham this season has thrust her into the limelight and she will be hoping a strong 12 months will help her cement a place in Wiegman’s squad for Euro 2025.

She certainly did enough here to merit another opportunity, as did Le Tissier, which will please Wiegman and shows England’s strength in depth.

All in all, it was a very comfortable evening for England, who were keen to put behind them the disappointment of their Women’s Nations League campaign.

“I’m just really happy with this game, the way we played, the intentions we had,” added Wiegman.

“We scored seven goals which is really good and created a lot of chances. I’m happy with the performance, but there’s also a little thing that you’re not happy with. We conceded two goals out of corners.

“We want to do that better on Tuesday https://merupakan.com/ [against Italy] and there’s always something to learn.”

Plov: Uzbekistan’s rice dish with ‘sexual power’

(Image credit: Simon Urwin)

Close up of a bowl of plov

By Simon Urwin22nd February 2024

Uzbekistan’s beloved national dish, plov, is widely believed to have aphrodisiac qualities and so it’s traditionally eaten on Thursdays – a popular day for conceiving children.

Plov – a medley of rice, vegetables, meat and spices – is popular throughout the countries of the Silk Road, but it’s most closely associated with Uzbekistan. Widely consumed at least once a week, it’s the country’s national dish and is considered an indispensable part of family celebrations, served at births, weddings and funerals and to honour Muslims returning from Hajj.

According to legend, plov was first invented for Alexander the Great, who ordered the creation of a satisfying meal to sustain his army during their campaigns in Central Asia. “We don’t have historical records to prove that, but what we do know is that by the 9th and 10th Centuries, plov had become very popular here,” said Nilufar Nuriddinova, an Uzbek tour guide who is passionate about food history. “Rice has been a staple crop in this region for more than 1,000 years. It requires hard physical work to grow, as does harvesting crops and raising livestock. So, plov would’ve been an ideal high-calorie, nutrient-rich dish for the largely agricultural society.”

Plov is now considered such a vital part of the country’s culinary traditions that it was recently inscribed on Unesco’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity List. “It is more than just a meal,” Nuriddinova explained. “It creates social bonds and encourages friendship; it brings our nation together.”

She told me even the word is an important part of the Uzbek language. “It appears in many everyday expressions such as, ‘If you know you have only one day left on Earth, spend it eating plov,'” she said. “It means that afterwards you can die happy. In Uzbekistan, life without plov is unthinkable.”(Credit: Simon Urwin)

(Credit: Simon Urwin)

There are more than 100 types of plov in Uzbekistan. Recipes differ according to the region and the season, but each variation contains key ingredients whose initials gave the dish its full name, osh palov: “o” for ob (water in Persian), “sh” for sholi (rice), “p” for piyoz (onion), “a” for ayoz (carrot), “l” for lamh (meat), “o” for olio (fat or oil), and “v” for vet (salt).(Credit: Simon Urwin)

(Credit: Simon Urwin)

The country’s most famous plov restaurant is Besh Qozon (also known as the Central Asian Plov Centre), located in the Yunusabad neighbourhood of the capital, Tashkent. Thought to be one of the largest plov restaurants in Central Asia, Besh Qozon serves between 5,000 and 8,000 customers daily, with plov made in nine vast wood-fired cauldrons known as kazan.(Credit: Simon Urwin)

(Credit: Simon Urwin)

According to Uzbek tradition, every plate of plov must be accompanied by non (bread). Besh Qozon’s resident nonvoy (baker) is Shokirjon Nurmatov. Like all kitchen staff, he performs a special ritual before beginning work: he purifies himself, joins his hands together in the shape of a bowl and asks for a dua (blessing from Allah) to do his job successfully. Only then can he begin producing his daily batch of more than 3,000 loaves.(Credit: Simon Urwin)

(Credit: Simon Urwin)

In the family home, plov is traditionally made by women; in restaurants (and on special occasions), it’s the reserve of a male chef known as an oshpaz. “That’s because it’s tough physical work to produce huge quantities,” said Fayzullah Sagdiyev, the oshpaz at Besh Qozon. “My largest kazan can hold up to three tonnes of food.” He told me he faces other even greater pressures. “If a guest doesn’t finish their plov because they don’t like the taste, it’s considered so shameful that the oshpaz may consider taking their own life,” he said. “Thankfully, it’s never happened to me.”(Credit: Simon Urwin)

(Credit: Simon Urwin)

The process of cooking plov follows a strict order: it begins with the browning of meat (a mix of mutton and beef), before the addition of white and yellow carrots, onion, rice, water and spices. Sagdiyev uses a mix of salt, pepper, turmeric and principally cumin – which first arrived in Uzbekistan from India along the Silk Road. A local touch to Besh Qozon’s chaykhana plov is the addition of chickpeas and kishmish (a sour raisin)before it is slow-cooked for four hours.(Credit: Simon Urwin)

(Credit: Simon Urwin)

Thursdays and Sundays are considered the most popular days to make and eat plov in Uzbekistan. “It’s likely because in ancient times, people from the countryside could only travel to the city bazaars to sell their goods twice a week,” Nuriddinova explained. “So, they had more money on Thursdays and Sundays to be able to afford to buy all the necessary ingredients.”(Credit: Simon Urwin)

(Credit: Simon Urwin)

Sagdiyev told me that plov’s prevalence on a Thursday is also because it is thought to have strong qualities as an aphrodisiac, and so is perfect to eat on what is a popular day for conceiving children. He went on to tell me that some men joke that the word plov actually means foreplay, that oil from the bottom of the kazan is sometimes drunk as a form of natural Viagra and that many oshpaz will reserve the best meat for Thursdays to give male https://merupakan.com/ customers extra sexual power.

(Credit: Simon Urwin)

Japanese mafia boss conspired to traffic nuclear materials, says US

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Takeshi Ebisawa
Image caption,US authorities claim that Takeshi Ebisawa is a senior figure in a sprawling Japanese organised crime group.

By Bernd Debusmann Jr

BBC News, Washington

US prosecutors have charged an alleged member of the Japanese mafia with conspiring to traffic nuclear materials.

Takeshi Ebisawa, 60, tried to sell uranium and plutonium that he believed would be transferred to Iran to build a nuclear bomb, it is alleged.

Mr Ebisawa and a Thai co-defendant were previously hit with weapons and drug charges in April 2022.

He faces life imprisonment if convicted of the latest charges.

US authorities say Mr Ebisawa – who is being held in a Brooklyn jail – is a senior figure in the Japanese organised crime syndicate, known as the Yakuza, with operations in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand and the US.

The US Department of Justice said Mr Ebisawa and his “confederates showed samples of nuclear materials in Thailand” to an undercover agent from the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

The agent was posing as a drugs and weapons trafficker with links to an Iranian general.

The nuclear samples – which came from Myanmar – were seized by Thai authorities and transferred to US investigators. A US laboratory confirmed the material contained uranium and weapons-grade plutonium.

Prosecutors also allege that Mr Ebisawa sought to acquire large quantities of military-grade weapons on behalf of an unspecified rebel group in Myanmar.

The weapons included surface-to-air missiles, assault and sniper rifles, machine guns, rockets of various calibres and a variety of tactical gear.

“It is chilling to imagine the consequences had these efforts succeeded, and the justice department will hold accountable those who traffic in these materials and threaten US national security and international stability,” assistant attorney general Matthew G Olden said in a statement on Wednesday.

In February 2020, Mr Ebisawa allegedly contacted the DEA agent about selling nuclear materials. According to US prosecutors, he explained via encrypted communications that uranium is “not good for your health”.

In September that year, Mr Ebisawa allegedly emailed the undercover DEA agent a letter bearing the name of a mining company. He offered to sell 50 tonnes of uranium and thorium for $6.85m (£5.4m).

Prosecutors also say he sent photographs showing “a dark rocky material” with a Geiger counter, which is used to measure levels of radiation.

Mr Ebisawa faces charges including conspiracy to commit international trafficking of nuclear materials, narcotics importation conspiracy, conspiracy to acquire, transfer and possess anti-aircraft missiles and money laundering.

His co-conspirator in the case – 61-year-old Thai national Somphop Singhasiri – is facing drugs and weapons charges.

Both are facing life in prison if convicted.

The pair will be arraigned in a New York https://merupakan.com/ federal courtroom on Thursday.

How Christopher Nolan’s ‘British sensibility’ revitalised Robert Downey Jr in Oppenheimer

Oppenheimer director Christopher Nolan and Robert Downey Jr

By Nicholas Barber20th February 2024

Robert Downey Jr is the favourite to win a best supporting actor Oscar – but back in 2020, his career had dipped to a low with Dolittle. Oppenheimer hasn’t just reminded the world that Robert Downey Jr is a gifted dramatic actor, it’s reminded him, too.

W

When someone wins an award for acting in a film, they usually thank the film’s director. But on Sunday, when Robert Downey Jr picked up a Bafta for best supporting actor in Oppenheimer, his thanks to Christopher Nolan were especially effusive. In particular, he paid tribute to “that dude Chris Nolan” for encouraging him to take “an understated approach, perhaps as a last-ditch effort to resurrect my dwindling credibility”.

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This remark raised an obvious question: why did Downey Jr think his credibility was dwindling? Thanks to his long stint as Iron Man / Tony Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he was one of the highest-paid paid A-listers in Hollywood, and he was credited for bringing a mature and relaxed sensibility to the superhero genre – not least by Nolan himself. “He has such charisma as Tony Stark,” the director said on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. “Him playing Iron Man is one of the most consequential casting decisions that’s ever been made in the history of the movie business.”Nolan and Downey Jr have been full of praise for each other during awards season (Credit: Getty Images)

Nolan and Downey Jr have been full of praise for each other during awards season (Credit: Getty Images)

So why did Downey Jr feel that his credibility needed a boost? The answer can be found on his CV, which shows that in the four years between the release of his Marvel swan song, Avengers: Endgame, in 2019, and Oppenheimer in 2023, he had acted in just one film – and that film was Dolittle, a disastrous pile-up of bad jokes, gaping plot holes, painful accents, CGI animals, and obvious reshoots.

The film, which was co-produced by his wife, Susan Downey, was a flop, much to the horror of someone who had come to see big-budget family adventure films as his comfort zone. “At that point I was bulletproof. I was the guru of all genre movies,” Downey Jr said in The New York Times Magazine last July. Dolittle was, he continued, “a two-and-a-half-year wound of squandered opportunity”.

This wasn’t the first time that Nolan had persuaded a mainstream superstar to stretch the acting muscles they hadn’t used in a while

It was also a wake-up call – or as he put it, a “reset of priorities”. Downey Jr was in his mid-50s, coming to the end of his action hero years. But since 2008, he had been in 10 Marvel films, two Sherlock Holmes films, and not much else. If he couldn’t launch a new blockbuster franchise, then what could he do? “I was at a place in my life, in my career, where I needed someone to have a vision of what was possible for me that I couldn’t see for myself,” he said at a Q&A in February. That someone was Nolan.

When the director was casting Oppenheimer, Downey Jr’s box-office appeal might well have been a factor, but this wasn’t the first time that he had persuaded a mainstream superstar to stretch the acting muscles they hadn’t used in a while: he’d cast Matthew McConaughey in Interstellar just as the “McConaissance” was beginning. “You’re always looking to work with great actors,” he said in the New York Times in February, “but you’re also looking to catch them in a moment in their lives and careers where you’ve got something to offer them that they haven’t done before, or haven’t done in a long time.”

And so he coaxed Downey Jr to shrug off the armour of wisecracking, swaggering Tony Stark and to immerse himself in Lewis Strauss, the bitter chairman of the Atomic Enemy Commission who opposes J Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy). “I just really wanted to see this incredible movie star put down all of that baggage, that charisma, and just lose himself in a dramatic portrayal of a very complicated man.”

A spartan approach

The timing was perfect. Nolan wanted Downey Jr to bring some restraint and complexity to his portrayal of Strauss, and Downey Jr was ready to venture into uncharted territory. Emily Blunt recalled warning Downey Jr that the reserved and cerebral British director’s methods would be quite a contrast with what he had been used to at Marvel. “I said, ‘You’re going to just love it so much and the screws are going to get tightened on you so much and it’s just the most focused, wonderful, unchaotic set. But you’re going to get some very British compliments. There will be no smoke blown up your ass, and you’re going to have to be all right with it.'”

Downey Jr was more than all right with it. “Getting to see the spartan, almost monastic way he approaches this art form,” he said, “it was like going to the other side of the Moon.” At the Baftas, he said that he owed his award in part to Oppenheimer director Christopher Nolan’s “British sensibility”.

The smart money is on the revitalised Downey Jr following his Bafta win with a victory at the Oscars. But even if that doesn’t happen, Oppenheimer has brought about a new phase of his career. The film hasn’t just reminded the world that he is a gifted dramatic actor, it’s reminded him, too. There’s a good chance that he’ll appear in more of Nolan’s films in the future. There’s an even better chance that he won’t appear in anything as excruciating https://merupakan.com/ as Dolittle ever again.

Munich security talks marked by global ‘lose-lose’ anxiety

UN Secretary General António Guterres and EU top diplomat Josep Borrell sit around a table during a meeting
Image caption,UN Secretary General António Guterres (second left) and EU top diplomat Josep Borrell (first right) had a lot to discuss

By Lyse Doucet

Chief international correspondent in Munich

It’s called the Munich Rule: engage and interact; don’t lecture or ignore one another.

But this year, at the 60th Munich Security Conference (MSC), two of the most talked-about people weren’t even here.

That included former US President Donald Trump, whose possible return to the White House could throw a spanner in the work of the transatlantic relationship, which lies at the heart of this premier international forum.

And Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who was vehemently blamed by one world leader after another for the death of his most prominent critic Alexei Navalny, not to mention his full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which continues to cast a long dark shadow across Europe and far beyond.

The staggering news of Navalny’s death, which broke just hours before the conference kicked off on Friday, underlined again the perilous unpredictability of a world carved up by multiple fault lines and entrenched interests.

“We live in a world where there is more and more confrontation and less co-operation,” regretted the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell. “The world has become a much more dangerous place,” he told me as the conference drew to a close on Sunday.

“Lose-Lose?” was the maxim of this year’s gathering, at a time of deepening geopolitical tensions and jarring economic uncertainties.

The MSC’s annual report warned that it could give rise to “lose-lose” dynamics among governments, “a downwards spiral that jeopardises co-operation and undermines the existing international order”.

“I think this has been the conference of a disordered world,” reflected David Miliband, the CEO and president of the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

“It’s a world dominated by impunity, where the guardrail stabilisers are not working and that’s why there’s so much disorder, not just in Ukraine and in Gaza and Israel, but more widely in places like Sudan, whose humanitarian crisis isn’t even getting on the agenda,” he said.

https://emp.bbc.com/emp/SMPj/2.51.0/iframe.htmlMedia caption,

Watch Yulia Navalnaya speak following report of husband’s death

This issue of impunity, one of the toughest of political challenges, was suddenly transformed into a poignant personal story when Navalny’s wife, Yulia Navalnaya, unexpectedly appeared on the conference’s main stage in the grand Bayerischer Hof hotel to condemn Russia’s president and urge the assembled presidents, prime ministers, defence chiefs and top diplomats to bring him to justice.

Her remarkable composure and clarity stunned the packed hall, which gave her a sustained standing ovation before and after she spoke with palpable pain.

This year Russia, as well as Iran, weren’t invited to Munich because the organisers assessed they weren’t “interested in meaningful dialogue”.

A protester against Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine demonstrates in Munich, Germany. Photo: 17 February 2024
Image caption,Protesters against Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine made their voices heard during the Munich conference

In MSC forums gone by, vitriolic speeches by Russia’s veteran Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov angered and electrified the main hall, and Iran’s visible presence highlighted the rivalries and risks in urgent need of resolution.

The imperative of continuing hefty Western military and financial assistance to Ukraine was underscored repeatedly by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, who exhorted participants to act, as he rushed from one high-level meeting to the next.

“The year of 2024 demands your response – from everyone in the world,” he beseeched delegates when he spoke from the top podium.

The US’s pivotal support was uppermost in his mind as a vital security package, amounting to $60bn (£48bn), is being held up by a US Congress where Republican lawmakers are increasingly divided over whether to keep backing Kyiv in its fight.

Back home in Ukraine, soldiers are even running out of bullets on front lines.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh debates at Munich's conference
Image caption,Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh argued that a “serious ceasefire” was urgently needed in Gaza

US delegates in Munich, including Vice-President Kamala Harris, were at pains to insist that she and President Joe Biden would not abandon Ukraine, nor America’s leadership in global affairs.

But with US elections just nine months away, Mr Trump is already shaping the polarised political debate in Washington and reviving anxiety that he could pull the US out of the Nato military alliance and other international commitments.

“They know what they need to do but they can’t get it done, and that’s the gap that has to be filled,” was how Mr Miliband assessed pledges voiced by the US and European allies in Munich.

Others were even more stinging in their criticism.

“Lots of words. No concrete commitments,” posted Nathalie Tocci, Director of the Institute of International Affairs, on X, formerly known as Twitter. “It’s a sad MSC2024.”

The gaps were even more glaring when it came to the devastating Israel-Gaza war, which erupted after Hamas’s murderous assault on southern Israel on 7 October.

Israel’s military operations are causing a staggering number of civilian casualties and have ravaged much of this coastal strip.

“We have seen a really great interest from the international community and the world leaders who have gathered here in Munich that they would like to see a serious ceasefire and a substantial amount of international aid into Gaza,” Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh remarked in an interview.

But Israeli delegates, including former peace negotiator Tzipi Livni, doubled down on the need to keep pressing forward.

“I’m a political opponent of [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, but I support the war in Gaza,” she emphasised in a session, which also included Mr Shtayyeh and the Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi.

“I support the strategic need to eliminate Hamas as a terrorist organisation and as a regime,” Ms Livni said.

This year’s MSC marked a record attendance: more than 900 participants including some 50 heads of state and government from around the world, more than 100 ministers, as well as representatives of think-tanks, non-governmental organisations and leading businesses.

Top spooks, feminist foreign ministers, climate warriors, Iranian activists, weapons experts, technology wizards and more – all gathered for their own get-togethers on public stages and in private rendezvous and hushed huddles.

It all underlined how the world’s understanding of “global security” keeps shifting shape.

Over the decades, this forum – born in 1963 in a Cold War quest for peace and prosperity – has often been a venue for real-time diplomacy, too.

But in a year marked by worry over “lose-lose dynamics” Munich was a place for a lot of talking and taking stock as the world nervously https://merupakan.com/ wonders where the next blows will fall.