By Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaCharlie Brummer believes there is room for improvement – at least when it comes to plants.“I’m a plant breeder, which means my job is to develop new plant varieties with improved traits,” said Brummer, a crop and soil sciences professor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Whether creating better crops to fuel the United States in the future, ones to help farmers make more money – or just one with a prettier bloom, plant breeding is basically a simple concept, he said. Man’s been doing it for 10,000 years. “What we do, and what those early humans did, is to select among a population of plants for the ones that have the traits we want – large seed size, green leaves, big red flowers, etc.,” he said. “We look for good plants, cross them together and get even better plants.”Brummer started his career as an undergraduate potato breeder at Penn State in 1985. As the director of the UGA Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics, he now breeds alfalfa, white and red clover, tall fescue, orchard grass and perennial ryegrass. He is also part of some major grants award to UGA to develop bioenergy crops such as switch grass.Biofuel is a political topic that’s tough to predict, he said. When or whether the alternative energy industry strengthens in the U.S. depends on what kinds of programs are put in place now and in the future.“We can manipulate plants in various ways just through breeding to make better feedstock for whatever biofuel platform ultimately develops,” he said.From his perspective as a breeder, it’s hard to select for one trait one year and another trait the next. The process takes time and needs consistent goals or targets to work.“I don’t think breeding will be the deciding factor, though, in whether a biofuel industry develops or not,” he said. “Breeding can certainly tailor better biofuels to that industry, but some combination of government and private enterprise nurturing the industry as it gets going has to occur for us so that growing biofuels in the first place is economically feasible. Once that happens, we (the breeders) can work our magic and further increase the productivity and profitability of the sector.”Plant breeding has undergone huge changes since the early part of the 20th century when it was formalized as a discipline, he said. Gregor Mendel and Charles Darwin crossed plants to produce new varieties. But the later application of genetic principles to the plant breeding process opened up the discipline’s possibilities and helped the breeder predict what could be.“More recently, the application of biotechnolgy and genomics has given plant breeders a much more precise understanding of the crops or plants they work with and presents opportunities to manipulate traits more efficiently and effectively,” he said. “The use of these tools is rapidly expanding, and together with more sophisticated statistical tools, really opens up many possibilities to develop superior plant varieties in the future.”One thing hasn’t changed, though. A good plant breeder still has to be a kind of Jack-of-all-trades, so to speak, he said. From pathology, entomology and agronomy to biology and statistics, he has many tools to use in the toolbox. “We apply all this different technology to the actual plants that people grow.”
The back of a juice bottle contains all kinds of information about your favorite breakfast beverage: calorie content, grams of sugar and the amount of antioxidants in the mix. But what you don’t see on the nutrition label is how your body processes those nutrients-how much of the juice’s sugar and vitamin content is absorbed by your digestive system. Fanbin Kong, a researcher in the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Department of Food Science Technology, has spent his career working to understand how the human body reacts to different kinds of food. “We want to know the ingredients and the structure of the food,” Kong said. “How this will affect the digestion and also the absorption of the nutrients, and how that relates to your health.” Kong has spent the past several years developing models of the human stomach that realistically demonstrate the way the food breakdown in the stomach is affected by contraction forces from peristaltic movement of stomach walls. “We’re not talking about a set of beakers here,” he said. The model stomach crushes, churns and provides the same steady stream of digestive enzymes and acids that are present in the human stomach. Working with the UGA Instrument Shop, he is creating a novel model for an artificial intestine. He also is designing a new, more advanced artificial stomach model. The models are a way to test the efficacy of functional foods and develop foods that help solve some health concerns people face today. “One of the things that I’ve done is studied how food is digested from an engineering perspective because, basically, I’m a food engineer,” Kong said. “So we look at food as a material. How does food’s microstructure affect its digestion? How will hydrodynamic and mechanical forces present in the gastrointestinal tract affect food breakdown and nutrient release? “This information is very useful in the way we design foods, especially functional foods,” Kong also said. “You can see nothing from their labels. You can see the content, but you don’t know how it’s going to be absorbed by your body.” Functional foods are products like energy bars, vitamin-fortified juices, nourishment shakes for the elderly and children or milk for people who are lactose intolerant. Currently, Kong is focused on how the body extracts phytochemicals-like tannin-from food and how these chemicals affect the way the body absorbs other nutrients. One project involves tannic acid, one type of tannin. The acids have antioxidant properties that are good for humans, but they also affect the way the body absorbs sugar. Tannic acid inhibits the enzyme that allows the body to absorb sugar. “We are eating tannins every day, but it doesn’t work like we would like it to because the concentrations are low,” Kong said. “Second, when the tannins go through your stomach and intestines, you don’t know how much is released. And third, even when the tannin is released in your stomach, it reacts with the proteins and the enzymes there and you lose that action.” Kong has developed a way to create tiny beads of tannic acid that can be incorporated into breads and carbohydrate-rich foods. The beads are designed to dissolve in the neutral pH environment of the intestine where 80 to 90 percent of the digestion of carbohydrates takes place. The tannic acid will inhibit some digestion, so that less simple sugars are produced for absorption, allowing people on sugar-restricted diets to eat carbohydrates without having their blood sugar spike.
Seeking to prevent tragedy and raise awareness of improper heatingsystems, local Concord Group Insurance Companies is giving $500,000 totheir policyholders for the purchase of home heating fuel this winterseason. Thousands of individuals and families across the state ofVermont are eligible for Concord Group’s one-time “A Warm Hand:Policyholder Heating Lottery” program.According to Joseph A. Desmond, Chairman and CEO of Concord Group, “Werecognize the unique challenge the economy causes for many families thisholiday season. We have seen our policyholders through the GreatDepression, oil embargo and other economic challenges. This is one ofthe ways we can show our policyholders – in a way that touches theirlives – how we value their trust.”All Concord Group Insurance homeowner and mobile homeowner policyholdersof record as of October 31, 2008 are eligible in the state of Vermont. Concord Group Insurance will award fuel voucher checks in a lotteryformat. Policyholders who wish to participate can register one of threeways: . Directly on Concord Group’s web site located atwww.concordgroupinsurance.com(link is external).. Through their local Independent Insurance Agent who willregister them with Concord Group.. Or walk into one of Concord Group’s local offices in Concord,NH; Berlin, VT or Auburn, ME and register directly with the company. “Unlike some other companies, we’ve been prudent in our investments and in our daily operations,” said Concord Group President Linda J. Day. “We felt that this was the best way to offer safety and security to thethousands of New England families who turn to us for peace of mind.”Each fuel voucher check will be awarded at $250 each. Four drawings are scheduled: December 15, 2008; January 15, 2009; February 16, 2009 andMarch 16, 2009. All fuel voucher checks will be distributed by the end of March, 2009.Fuel sources eligible for the fuel assistance check include heating oil;natural gas; electric; propane (LPG); wood pellets; fire wood.
Fun fact: Olympians often eat chocolate covered waffles between Super G runs.At least, that’s what I tell my kids, Cooper and Addie, when we reach the top of Snowshoe Mountain and I spy the Waffle Cabin just to the right of the lift. I’ve come to believe that family ski trips are as much about the chocolate breaks as finding powder stashes. They typically need the combo of carbs and high fructose corn syrup to stay energetic on the mountain, but this time, they shrug off my suggestion for a waffle break. They want to keep skiing.“Sarah’s gonna show us some moguls,” my daughter says, before scooting off towards the sign that suggests only experts should keep going.We’re half way through a day of private lessons at West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain and it’s going better than I expected.My kids, at the ripe old age of nine, have reached the point where they know everything and no longer need my help. Every father outlives his usefulness, but I was hoping it would take longer than nine years in my case. While they might not take advice from their dad anymore, my kids still need ski lessons. They’re solid skiers, able to handle every blue slope and some black diamonds they come across, but they have the same bad habits that plague most skiers who’ve never been taught by professionals.They sit in the back seat. They’re not aggressive. I could use a little help myself, and my wife is always game for improving her form, so I figured hiring a private instructor to ski with us for a day could be the key to a successful family ski trip. We could spend the day ripping powder together, but also improve together. Kind of like a family therapy session.But on skis. I envision learning how to do backflips off of tabletops while my kids realize they still have much to learn from their dear old dad. In this fantasy, they’d ultimately beg me to teach them how to do backflips off of tabletops and promise to keep skiing with me even when they’re in high school and all of their friends refuse to hang out with their parents. In short, I’m trying to ensure family solidarity through downhill improvement. I’m playing the long-con here.Our instructor’s name is Sarah.She’s from Ohio and she has an almost supernatural ability to see straight through all of my posturing to reveal my faults. When we met, she asked each of us what aspects of our skiing we’d like to improve. My kids want to ski moguls better. My wife wants to ski steeps more aggressively. I told her I wanted to learn how to do a Double McTwist 1260—Shaun White’s signature trick. Never mind that it’s a snowboarding trick and I’m a skier, or that it’s a half pipe trick and I’ve never skied a half pipe in my life.I want to be a badass and I want Sarah to help me.After watching me take turns down a blue slope, Sarah has different plans. She strips me down to the basics. My feet are too close together (because I was raised in the ‘80s and that’s how people skied back then). I’m too far in the backseat. I need to push my shins forward, but loosen up my upper body. Be more aggressive, but relax. It’s like some sort of Zen Buddhist riddle.Sarah is really good at small talk. Within a few runs, she knows all about our dogs and the other sports the kids play and their favorite music. And she’s killing it with the kids, taking them through the basics of an aggressive ski stance—knees forward, shins against the boots, hands out front. I notice a difference with the kids after just a few short runs. They’re focused and taking the lessons seriously, engaged in a way that they rarely are when I’m trying to teach them something on our local hill.Sarah has us ski backwards to reinforce the aggressive position.She has us play follow the leader. She has us skiing on one ski to highlight any weaknesses in our stance. At one point, I watch my kids ski backwards through a small stand of trees, and a vision of their future flitters through my mind. I see my kids’ double podium finish in the Olympics (twin golds!). I see a life of World Cup glory. I see them starring in the occasional segment for Teton Gravity Research, or Warren Miller.I’m kidding. I don’t want that life for either of my children—I just want them to be confident on the hill and love skiing. I want family ski trips to be a tradition for years to come. I just want them to be as stoked as I am when there’s fresh powder in the forecast.Sarah has the kids skiing like pros in a couple of hours, but the best part of having an instructor is that she gets to be the bad guy, which frees me up to joke around. While Sarah gives them drills and techniques to work on, I can throw snowballs and suggest we take chocolate-covered waffle breaks.The mogul run is a sheet of ice.It’s been a rough winter, even in the typically snowy mountains of West Virginia, so Sarah makes an adjustment on the fly, teaching us how to set an edge on a steep, icy slope. It’s a tough lesson for kids to learn because they have to abandon the wedge and move to a completely parallel stance, while basically putting all of their weight on the thin edge of one ski. No more pizza, all French fry. And they have to do it on a steep, black diamond slope that’s basically become a vertical ice skating rink.Addie goes first, followed quickly by Cooper, who has a knack for letting his sister enter perilous scenarios ahead of him. Whether it’s riding a bike or jumping off a rock into a river, he’ll suggest Addie take the first plunge and then make the appropriate course corrections if there’s an accident. But this time, there’s no accident. Addie sends the ice beautifully, setting an edge and sticking with the parallel stance through the icy section. Then she seamlessly hits the moguls as the slope mellows out. Cooper does the same.I’m beaming with pride as I tackle the ice myself, thinking of the far-off lands we’ll now be able to ski as a family.In my mind, I’m booking our next ski trip to Jackson Hole. And then I lose my edge and slide down most of the slope on my back and a bruised hip.Sarah leaves us towards the end of the day—she has another client to teach, another family to set on the right track—so we take a break at the Boat House, a restaurant at the bottom of Snowshoe’s main slope that has a deck hanging over Shaver’s Lake. Before I let Sarah go, I ask her for advice on helping the kids improve after we get back to our little home resort and don’t have a private coach. I’m looking for tips and drills, maybe some dry land training suggestions for the offseason, but again, she takes me back to the basics.“Don’t forget, skiing is supposed to be fun, right?” she says. “Make sure they’re having fun. That’s how they’ll improve the fastest. And that’s what will keep them wanting more.”I think about her advice as my wife and I share a beer on the boathouse deck while the kids slide down a snowy slope below the lift line on their bellies, pretending to be a couple of penguins. I remember when most of our ski days looked like this. Snowball fights and hot cocoa breaks. We started the kids skiing early but made sure it was more about having fun than learning how to ski. Along the way, it got serious. I got serious. I started focusing less on fun and more on improvement. Mistakes. Progression. Perfection.The next day, there is no Sarah. No lessons. No drills. Just the family skiing together.If it were up to me, we’d progress through the entire mountain, hitting increasingly difficult terrain and working on the tools that Sarah has given us to make us more efficient, better equipped skiers. We’d tackle the day like robots working through a program, maybe work on putting together a highlight reel the family could shop around to potential sponsors. But I’m trying to take Sarah’s advice to heart, so I let the kids lead us. Every once in a while, I’ll remind them to push their shins forward, or weight the edge of their ski, but mostly the kids set the agenda. We ski where they want to ski, eat when they want to eat. As a result, we spend most of the day doing laps in Snowshoe’s progression park.Typically, I avoid the terrain park for a couple of reasons.First: I’m old and terrain parks are full of annoyingly young people. People with energy who bounce when they hit the snow. Second: I don’t bounce when I hit the snow, so the idea of hitting a jump or rail and not landing it terrifies me. I can hear my brittle bones cracking as we drop into the first jump. But Snowshoe’s Progression Park is full of mellow hits—table tops and step ups, a few boxes and a mini half pipe. The entire park is designed to allow you to take each obstacle at your own pace. If you want to go big and catch huge air, you can. If you want to take it mellow and roll over everything, that works too.My kids start mellow, but after a few laps they’re getting legitimate air, hitting the tabletops and landing on the downhill side with grace. Because they’re going higher on each jump, I’m going higher and higher on each jump. The kids are pushing me. Not on purpose, but they are. I can’t let my nine-year-olds get bigger air than me. I can’t let them become better skiers than me. Not yet. Suddenly, the roles are reversed. I started this family ski camp with the hopes that we’d all improve, but the kids would find new reason to look up to me for guidance. Here I am struggling to keep up with them. The students have become the masters.Parenthood is baffling.I’m having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that my kids can handle themselves with confidence on terrain that’s giving me pause, but I still have to cut their PBJ sandwiches diagonal, or they’ll get jelly all over their faces.By the afternoon, my wife and daughter have called it quits, and my legs are getting weak. Cooper is still going strong, squeezing the most out of our time on the mountain, but I’m spent. After a few wobbly landings, I eat it in the half pipe, catching an edge on the rim and sliding to the center of the tube. Cooper does what all skiers do when they see a partner has fallen. He skies right up to me as fast as he can and sprays snow in my face. It’s a tradition.“That’s it,” I say, laughing. “I’m done. We’re getting chocolate covered waffles now.”
Nominations sought for annual pro bono awards September 1, 2002 Regular News Nominations sought for annual pro bono awards Lawyers who donate services to the needy are being sought for public recognition by the Florida Supreme Court and The Florida Bar.One lawyer from each judicial circuit and an out-of-state recipient will receive the Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award. The chief justice will give the Tobias Simon Pro Bono Service Award to the lawyer who is deemed an outstanding example of dedication to the legal needs of the poor.Nominations also are being solicited for the Chief Justice’s Law Firm Commendation and the Voluntary Bar Association Pro Bono Service Award. The awards recognize a firm and a voluntary bar association that have provided significant pro bono legal assistance to individuals or groups which cannot otherwise afford legal services.Nominations may be made by any person or organization by contacting the circuit representative shown below. Nomination forms are available from the Bar’s Public Service Programs Department, telephone (800) 342-8060, ext. 5810 or via e-mail at email@example.com. Eligible lawyers must be licensed to practice in Florida and not be employed by an organization which primarily delivers free legal services to the poor. The nominee should be a lawyer who, with no expectation of receiving a fee, provides direct delivery of legal services in civil or criminal matters to a client or group that does not have the resources to hire counsel.The deadline is September 20.The Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Awards were established in 1981 to recognize individual service in specific Florida judicial circuits.The Tobias Simon Pro Bono Service Award commemorates Miami civil rights lawyer Tobias Simon, who died in 1982.The chief justice’s awards are believed to be the first of their kind in the nation conferring recognition of a state’s highest court on a firm and voluntary bar for pro bono services. Florida Bar president’s pro bono award circuit committee chairs FIRST JUDICIAL CIRCUIT Alan Bart Bookman P. O. Drawer 1271 30 S. Spring St. Pensacola, Florida 32501-5612 (850)433-6581 Fax: (850)434-7163 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org SECOND JUDICIAL CIRCUIT Kelly Overstreet Johnson Broad & Cassel P.O. Box 11300 Tallahassee, Florida 32302-3300 (850)681-6810 Fax: (850)681-9792 Email: email@example.com THIRD JUDICIAL CIRCUIT Gregory Stuart Parker P.O. Box 509 Perry, Florida 32348-0509 (850)223-1990 Fax: (850)223-1991 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org FOURTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT Henry Matson Coxe III Bedell Dittmar Devault, et al. 101 E. Adams St. Jacksonville, Florida 32202-3303 (904)353-0211 Fax: (904)353-9307 Email: email@example.com FIFTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT William Harper Phelan Jr. Bond, Arnett & Phelan, P.A. 101 S.W. 3rd St. Ocala, Florida 34474-4132 (352)622-1188 Fax: (352)622-1125 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT John Allen Yanchunis 100 2nd Ave. S., Ste. 1201 Saint Petersburg, Florida 33701-4338 (727)823-3837 Fax: (727)822-2969 Email: email@example.com SEVENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT Charles Chobee Ebbets Ebbetts, Armstrong & Traster 210 S. Beach St., Ste. 200 Daytona Beach, Florida 32114-4404 (386)253-2288 Fax: (386)257-1253 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org EIGHTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT Robert Anthony Rush 726 N.E. 1st St. Gainesville, Florida 32601-5374 (352)373-7566 Email: email@example.com NINTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT Russell W. Divine Divine & Estes, P.A. P.O. Box 3629 Orlando, Florida 32802-3629 (407)426-9500 Fax: (407)426-8030 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org TENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT Robert Michael Brush Brush & Pujol, P.A. 825 E. Main St. Lakeland, Florida 33801-5151 (863)603-0563 Fax: (863)603-0884 Email: email@example.com ELEVENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT Arthur Halsey Rice Rice Pugatch Robinson & Schil 848 Brickell Ave., Ste. 1100 Miami, Florida 33131-2943 (305)379-3121 Fax: (305)379-4119 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org TWELFTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT Anthony J. Abate Abel Band, et al. P.O. Box 49948 Sarasota, Florida 34230-6948 (941)366-6660 Fax: (941)366-3999 Email: email@example.com THIRTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT Richard Allen Gilbert De La Parte & Gilbert 101 E. Kennedy Blvd., Ste. 3400 Tampa, Florida 33602-5195 (813)229-2775 Fax: (813)229-2712 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org FOURTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT Robert Clarence Blue Jr. 221 McKenzie Ave. P.O. Box 70 Panama City, Florida 32402-0070 (850)769-1414 Fax: (850)784-0857 Email: email@example.com FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT Jerald S. Beer Boose Casey, et al. 515 N. Flagler Dr., Ste. 1800 West Palm Beach, Florida 33401-4330 (561)832-5900 Fax: (561)820-0389 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org SIXTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT James Samuel Lupino Hershoff, Lupino & Mulick LLP 90130 Old Hwy. Tavernier, Florida 33070-2348 (305)852-8440 Fax: (305)852-8848 Jim_Lupino@tropicalaw.com SEVENTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT Henry Latimer Greenberg, Traurig 515 E. Las Olas Blvd. Fl. 14 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301-2296 (954)468-1729 Fax: (954)765-1477 Email: email@example.com EIGHTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT Clifton Adamson McClelland Jr. Holland & Knight L. L. P. 1499 S. Harbor City Blvd., Ste. 2 Melbourne, Florida 32901-3245 (321)951-1776 Fax: (321)723-4092 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org NINETEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT Louis B. Vocelle Jr. Clem Polackwich, Vocelle et 3333 20th St. Vero Beach, Florida 32960-2469 (772)562-8111 Fax: (772)562-2870 Email: email@example.com TWENTIETH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT James Christopher Lombardo Woodward Pires & Lombardo 3200 Tamiami Trl., N., Ste. 200 Naples, Florida 34103-4105 (941)649-6555 Fax: (941)649-7342 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org OUT-OF-STATE Richard Arthur Tanner 250 Bellevue Ave. Montclair, NJ 07043-1318 (973)744-2100 Fax: (973)509-9521 Email: email@example.com
Carpentry, auto tech, welding and animal care were just a few of the fields students were able to check out. (WBNG) — 5th graders from across the Southern Tier made the trip to Broome-Tioga BOCES Thursday morning. All for a sneak peak into a wide array of careers. Educators say its important to show students all of their options. “I think letting kids know what an electrician does makes a difference and how to become one,” says Principal at the Center for Career and Technical Excellence Matt Sheehan. “Or how to become a carpenter for kids who really like working with their hands. Let’s change their philosophy as they get older,” he said. Over the two-day program more than 1,100 students will make the trip to BOCES to learn about potential careers.
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Singapore has donated safety equipment and ventilators to Batam hospitals in Riau Islands province to help treat COVID-19 patients. Singaporean Consul General in Batam Mark Low handed over 50 hazmat suits and two ventilators to Batam Mayor Muhammad Rudi on Friday as the city braces for a surge of infections.While Singapore has established a protocol and heightened border surveillance to prevent the further spread of the disease, Indonesia has only started testing suspected patience and taking measures to minimize close contact between people. “We appreciate the help from the Singapore government. Batam and Singapore have enjoyed a long relationship,” Rudi said at the consulate general office in Batam, which is a mere 70-minute ferry ride from the city-state.Singapore has mandated quick tests for travelers who arrive at the country’s air, land and water ports with symptoms, as reported by The Straits Times. They must undergo the test even if they do not meet the clinical definition of being a suspected case. The two countries were recently involved in a dispute over Indonesians who tested positive for COVID-19 in Singapore. Jakarta accused its neighbor of withholding information about the patient, while the latter insisted in had passed on all the pertinent details to Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry.Rudi said Singapore was more advanced in its response to the pandemic, while Indonesia had just started plan to construct a hospital exclusively for COVID-19 patients on Galang Island, also located in Riau Islands province. Low urged the public to remain on alert as the pandemic seemed to be far from over.“Life is normal but [people] should be careful and follow instructions from governments,” he said.Topics :
Mass Idul Fitri prayers, such as those in mosques or public squares, are currently prohibited by public health laws, Coordinating Legal, Political and Human Rights Minister Mahfud MD said on Tuesday.Mahfud said that all mass religious activities, including congregational prayers, were banned for the time being under the Health Ministry’s regulation on large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) and the 2018 Health Quarantine Law.“The government strongly asks that [the public] does not violate these provisions,” Mahfud said after a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. “The government requests and invites religious leaders, organizations and traditional community leaders to convince the community that mass congregational prayers are prohibited by law, not because of the prayer itself but because it is part of the effort to avoid disaster,” he added.Mahfud said that the country’s largest mass religious organizations, namely the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), Nadhlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah, were encouraging Muslims to pray at home during the COVID-19 outbreak.The MUI, chaired by Vice President Ma’ruf Amin, has issued several fatwas on Islamic prayer during the COVID-19 outbreak, including one on how to perform Idul Fitri prayers at home issued on May 13.Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi said that while the government had initially only advised against mass Idul Fitri prayers, its level of enforcement had changed because the country was still seeing a virus reproduction rate (R0) of 1.11.Fachrul added that, according to a prediction by the National Intelligence Agency, congregational Idul Fitri prayers would cause COVID-19 transmission to spike.“So we took out the word ‘advice’, just like the Coordinating Legal, Political and Human Rights Minister. We should follow the laws and regulations,” he said.As of Tuesday, Indonesia had recorded 18,496 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 1,221 deaths.Topics :