Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The Force will be with you, always, especially since Disney-controlled Star Wars’ marketing campaign has become the ultimate power in the galaxy. Hype leading up to Episode VII: The Force Awakens, in theaters Dec. 18, covers every parsec of the media. Monday night was no exception as ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live dedicated a full episode to that galaxy far, far away.From a certain point of view, the highlights were few and far between. Ewok-sized bits of information, most of which fanboys probably already knew, were casually mentioned during the hour-long show.The biggest news was from director J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Lost). Though reported two days prior, Abrams confirmed with Jimmy Kimmel that The Force Awakens was fully armed and operational as of early Saturday morning.That still left anxious fans to count down 25 days and 10 minutes until the premiere, which may be worse than being slowly digested for over 1,000 years inside a Sarlacc. Kimmel pressed for even a word of new information, which turned out to be the first spoken word in the new film.Here it is.Get ready.“This.”To the roar of the crowd, the mundane pronoun exploded onto a screen in Star Wars’ iconic yellow font, as seen in the film’s opening crawls. Now fans have 25 days to ponder, “’This’ what?”Abrams also brought a never-before-seen 16-second clip, which can be viewed at the end of the Youtube video below.Kimmel and Abrams were later joined by some of the cast members. Daisey Ridley plays Rey, a scavenger living on a desolate planet. John Boyega (Attack the Block) crashes into Rey’s life as Finn, an AWOL stormtrooper. The duo will cross paths with Adam Driver (HBO’s Girls), who wields a three-bladed lightsaber as Kylo Ren. And Carrie Fisher reprises her role as Princess – sorry, General – Leia.The new leads detailed the moments they found out they had been cast in Star Wars.“I was, like, 19,” Carrie Fisher joked, referring to her days of cinnamon-bun hairstyles and underwear-less outfits beginning in 1976.Ridley was at a play, Boyega’s dad didn’t know what Star Wars even was, and Abrams accidentally spoiled Driver’s surprise to his wife, but each shared cute moments that would warm even Darth Vader’s cold, mechanized heart. After all, who wouldn’t be excited to be in a Star Wars film?The cast also emphasized the secrecy surrounding their roles and the film’s production. When asked if it was always him acting beneath his helmeted character, Adam Driver nervously looked at Abrams.The director is known for keeping his projects, especially major productions like Star Trek and now Star Wars, under lock and key. According to Boyega, the cast could only practice their lines at Pinewood Studios in England, where the scripts were not allowed to leave the premises in order to reduce spoiler leaks.Other brief appearances included R2-D2, who whistled and beeped around the set, as well as Harrison Ford, who will return as an aged Han Solo alongside his furry sidekick Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew).We would be honored if Mark Hamill would join us, but the one and only Luke Skywalker was yet again absent.“Where’s Luke?” has become one of the latest questions trending among Star Wars fans, opening the blast doors to speculation about the iconic Jedi’s whereabouts in The Force Awakens as well as his allegiance to the Light and Dark Sides of the Force.It’s got fans talking, though, looking to the future, to the horizon. The hype train isn’t stopping. Last week, EA DICE released a rebooted Star Wars Battlefront to video game consoles. HP unveiled an Empire-themed notebook laptop. Google encouraged users to choose between the Light and Dark Side, the decision altering several Google apps. And North American film fans topped it all off with record-breaking advance ticket presales exceeding $50 million, with a month still left to go.Everything is proceeding as Disney has foreseen.
The Financial Services Authority (OJK) says the case of savings and loans cooperative KSP Indosurya, which has failed to repay customer funds, lies outside of its supervision.OJK spokeswoman Sekar Putih Djarot said in a statement on Sunday that the authority was in close contact with the Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises Ministry on handling the situation, as KSP Indosurya fell under the ministry’s authority. The OJK was also coordinating with the Investment Alert Task Force on handling the institution’s inability to repay customers, she said.KSP Indosurya customers reportedly came forward in February and complained that the cooperative had failed to return customer funds citing “unfavorable economic conditions” that affected its financial performance. The cooperative also said it needed to take strategic steps to improve its financial situation, according to a letter issued by KSP Indosurya to its customers on Feb. 20.“One of the strategic steps we are taking is to automatically extend timed savings that fell on Feb. 10,” KSP Indosurya wrote in the letter. The management also said that it would pay all of its obligations to its customers “when the situation improves”.The situation, however, failed to improve as KSP Indosurya filed for a debt service postponement with the Central Jakarta Commercial Court on March 6. The filing document does not provide many details, stating only that the cooperative had debts that had reached the due date, and the company could postpone debt repayment for 45 days following the court’s ruling.Former employees of the cooperative have also come forward after media reported that the cooperative was laying off a majority of its employees without severance pay. The reports said KSP Indosurya could lose up to Rp 10 trillion (US$636 million) in customer funds. Multiple efforts by The Jakarta Post to contact KSP Indosurya for clarification were to no avail.Sekar of the OJK said the cooperative was not legally related to financial holding Indosurya Group, despite the same name.“Indosurya Group is a financial conglomerate supervised by the OJK,” she said in the statement.The conglomerate consisted of PT Indosurya Inti Finance as the main entity, securities firm PT Indosurya Bersinar Sekuritas, investment management firm PT Indosurya Asset Management, life insurer PT Asuransi Jiwa Indosurya Sukses and several Bank Perkreditan Rakyat (BPR) or secondary banks.Indosurya Inti Finance spokesperson Sarastika Putri also said in February that her company was not related to the cooperative.Topics :
William Saliba will spend the 2019-20 season on loan at Saint-Etienne (Picture: Getty)With Laurent Koscielny entering his mid-30s, Rob Holding returning from a serious knee injury and Shkodran Mustafi hardly a reliable option, there is every chance that Saliba would have been given first-team opportunities in north London, perhaps alongside Sokratis Papastathopolous.Another pressing concern for Emery is that the initial €25m (approximately £22.5m) takes a sizable chunk out of his summer budget. There is a general consensus that Emery has just £40-45m to work with this summer before raising additional funds through player sales.Committing half a budget towards a player who won’t be available for another year is a risk considering there are numerous areas of Arsenal’s squad that requires strengthening and few existing players who would raise sufficient income if moved on.Long-term planningOn the flip side, Arsenal’s desire to get the deal done quickly indicates that they are willing to accept short-term pain for long-term gain, such is their confidence in Saliba’s potential to make the necessary step-up once he does finally join.It is precisely this kind of forward planning that Arsenal have been accused of lacking in the past. After all, the decision to hand Mesut Ozil a three-year deal worth £350,000 per week despite seemingly little interest in his services elsewhere occurred less than 18-months ago.AdvertisementAdvertisementArsenal have also committed big money – both in terms of transfer fees and wages – to more established players with little resale value, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (30), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (30), Sokratis Papastathopolous (31) and to a lesser extent, Stephan Lichsteiner (35) all joining in the previous three transfer windows.Although there has been worth to those signings, particularly with Aubameyang who shared the Premier League golden boot last season, there aren’t many big clubs who have directed so much of their budget towards older rather than younger players. Oliver Young-MylesThursday 27 Jun 2019 8:45 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link69Shares Advertisement Why Arsenal transfer target William Saliba will be worth the wait Comment Celtic defender Kieran Tierney is another young player on Unai Emery’s transfer wishlist (Picture: Getty)That Arsenal are signing Saliba and generally targetting players under the age of 25 this summer, such as Celtic’s 22-year-old left-back Kieran Tierney, suggests that they are beginning to modernise their transfer policy.Another factor in Arsenal securing Saliba’s signature early is that they could well have ended up being priced out of a move for him had they waited. Considering Saliba is already worth €25m after only 19 senior games for Saint-Etienne, his valuation is only likely to raise over the course of another season.Arsenal cannot compete with the likes of Manchester City, Real Madrid or Juventus in the transfer market meaning they have to be more creative in the transfer market. Signing talented players yet to really explode onto the scene, is a smart way of doing so.Promising performances last seasonDespite only turning 18 on March 24, Saliba racked up 16 appearances in Ligue 1 last season – 13 of which were starts – and he certainly didn’t seem fazed when taking his first steps in professional football.Saliba averaged more tackles per game than any of his defensive colleagues with two, while only one-time Arsenal full-back Mathieu Debuchy averaged more interceptions with two to the youngster’s 1.8. He also won 1.8 aerial duels per game, which ranked third in Saint-Etienne’s squad.AdvertisementDespite his age, Saliba was able to physically dominate opponents in one-on-one duels, using his body to his advantage extremely well. Not only that, he reads the game exceptionally too given his lack of experience and his pace enables him to eat up lost ground if he does find himself out of position. Saliba demonstrated his versatility by filling in at right-back (Picture: Getty)As well as being solid defensively, Saliba also displayed good temperament and composure, picking up only one yellow card and completing 85.6% of his passes, highlighting his ability to distribute the ball effectively from defence.Something else that might have caught the eye of Emery and his watching scouts is that Saliba was used at right-back as well as in his natural position in the middle. Emery is a tactically flexible coach and having adaptable players capable of playing in different positions is something he would welcome.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Advertisement Arsenal are hopeful of making Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba their first summer signing (Picture: Getty)Arsenal are closing in on their first summer signing with Saint-Etienne’s highly-rated teenage defender William Saliba reportedly close to completing a €25m switch to the Emirates.The 18-year-old has emerged as one of France’s brightest young talents since debuting for Les Verts last September and Arsenal faced competition from PSG, Napoli and Spurs for his signature.Although Arsenal have won the race to sign the France Under-20 international, they will have to wait a while for him to officially join as he is set to spend the 2019-20 season on loan at Saint-Etienne.Unai Emery had been keen on getting Saliba on board quickly to help ease Arsenal’s central defensive woes but Saint-Etienne are determined to keep the youngster for another year.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTFurthermore, reports in France suggest that Saliba himself is keen to remain where he is for the time being over concerns about his immediate playing time in north London.It is a testament to how highly Arsenal rate Saliba, though, that they are content to play a waiting game for him despite their ongoing defensive issues.A blow to Emery’s immediate plansSince Arsenal’s stuttering end to last season, the club has been linked to a plethora of central defenders across Europe ranging from established stars such as Samuel Umtiti to younger players like Saliba and Sampdoria’s Joachim Andersen.Having identified Saliba as a player whom Arsenal can build around for the foreseeable future, Emery will be disappointed not to be able to work alongside him for a further 12-months, particularly given his strong track record with young players.Similarly to Saliba, Matteo Guendouzi was an unknown quantity outside of his homeland prior to his move to Arsenal last summer, but Emery trusted him implicitly from the moment he arrived from FC Lorient, handing the midfielder 48 appearances across all competitions in his debut campaign.