Outbreak on North Korea border raises doubts over toll

first_imgA crumbling medical system, trade sanctions and decades of economic mismanagement have left more than 40% of North Korea’s population chronically undernourished and vulnerable to disease. That risks any wider coronavirus outbreak turning into a humanitarian disaster that could lead to mass deaths: In the 1990s, a famine killed an estimated 240,000 to 3.5 million people.Porous borderUnlike North Korea’s heavily militarized border with South Korea, the country’s 880-mile (1,420-kilometer) border with China is porous — and the black-market traders who have crossed for years from both sides could be a source bringing the virus into North Korea. The confirmed case count in the two biggest Chinese provinces bordering North Korea — Liaoning and Jilin — have been relatively low so far to total less than 300.On Sunday, China reported an increase in both new and asymptomatic cases. There were 14 new coronavirus cases on May 9, including those in Shulan, the largest daily increase this month for the nation, according to Bloomberg calculations based on official data. As of Saturday, Jilin province has reported a total of 105 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and 19 imported ones.There were 11 new coronavirus cases in Shulan on Saturday, local health authorities said. The city is investigating the source of the infection after a police employee came down with COVID-19, the South China Morning Post said in a separate report Saturday.The 12 locally transmitted cases reported on May 9 were the highest since March 11, Mi Feng, a spokesman for National Health Commission, said at a briefing on Sunday. The commission said the country should keep stay on high alert and avoid gatherings. China put a city near the North Korea border under lockdown due to an increase in coronavirus infections, raising more questions about an outbreak in the isolated country.Chinese authorities banned all non-essential transportation in the city of Shulan in the northeastern province of Jilin, while residential compounds and villages were closed, official China Central Television reported Sunday. Students who had already returned to schools were required to study from home. The city raised its virus threat alert level to high risk from medium, Jilin province said.North Korea shut its borders in January when cases surged in China, and has yet to confirm any COVID-19 infections. Yet the US military said it suspects North Korea has cases, and Kim Jong Un’s regime has accepted help from other nations to fight the virus. President Xi Jinping over the weekend expressed his willingness to provide support to North Korea in fighting the pandemic in reply to a verbal message from North Korea’s leader, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Saturday, without offering details. China has sent an unspecified number of COVID-19 test kits to its neighbor, according to NK News, which specializes in reporting on North Korea. Russia has also offered help, in addition to aid organizations who have brought in medical supplies.Last week Kim sent his first formal message to China since reemerging from an almost three-week public absence that raised questions about his health, with some reports saying that he was social distancing to avoid catching COVID-19. In his visit to a fertilizer plant on May 1, a few of his guards could be seen wearing protective masks.Kim praised Xi Jinping for his “success” in managing the coronavirus, saying the Chinese leader was “seizing a chance of victory in the war against the unprecedented epidemic.” North Korea’s state media reported Sunday that its leader Kim received a message from Xi, pledging cooperation in “combating the pandemic.”While little is known about North Korea’s efforts to combat COVID-19, some signs have emerged over the months. North Korea has reported more than 5,400 people were released from quarantine as of March. In late April consumers in Pyongyang were “panic buying” food staples, causing some store shelves to empty, according to NK News, which said the purchases may be due to stricter coronavirus measures.center_img Topics :last_img read more

This Cornubia home is a spacious family retreat

first_img68 Green Trees Drive, Cornubia.This near-new home in Cornubia was built with family in mind.Owners Courtney and John Thornton had their hearts set on the spacious and versatile design for years before they transformed it into their four-bedroom home at 68 Green Trees Drive.Mrs Thornton said it was almost split in two, with space for the children to play at one end of the house, while the other was for parents.“It’s a design that we’ve loved for years,” Mrs Thornton said.“It’s just a really practical layout for a family.“We made a few modifications, like the ensuite.”She said they added a 3m shower with two shower heads.An open kitchen, family and dining area is at the heart of the modern home.Three bedrooms, each with built-in wardrobes, a bathroom, laundry and media room are located at the back half of the house.More from newsCrowd expected as mega estate goes under the hammer7 Aug 2020Hard work, resourcefulness and $17k bring old Ipswich home back to life20 Apr 2020The master bedroom, a closed-off loungeroom and study are in the front half.There is a large outdoor entertaining deck in the backyard.The home also has a double remote lockup garage, garden shed and gate access to Kilkenny Park.Mrs Thornton said they chose to live in the suburb because it was considered safe – the ideal place to bring up their two daughters.“We loved the area and we’ve got young kids so it just seemed like a nice area for families,” she said.“I couldn’t think of a better neighbourhood to bring kids up in.“We’ll be sad to leave the street, that’s for sure.”The property is close to schools, shops, bike and walking trails, and Riverlakes Golf Course.The airport, Brisbane city, the Gold Coast and Ipswich are all within a 30-minute drive.last_img read more

New Dutch pensions system facing further delays

first_imgThe introduction of a new pensions contract in the Netherlands is facing further delay, according to several members of the Social and Economic Council (SER).The contract is supposed to be the key element of a new, more sustainable pensions system. Speaking at an industry event yesterday, Kees Goudswaard, chair of the SER’s committee for system reform, said that completing necessary legislation and implementing the transition to the new system by 2020 was going to be “a challenge”.Doing this in a hurry would not be sensible because of the complexity of the issues involved, he said. According to Chris Driessen, pensions strategist at workers’ union FNV, the target date of 2020 set by the Netherlands’ new government was “just symbolic”.“This is unrealistically ambitious, as we just need this time for completing legislation,” he said. “Experience tells us that passing these things through parliament takes much longer usually.”“It would be good if the foundation for a transition was in place in 2020,” added Hedda Renooij, pension secretary of employer organisations VNO-NCW and MKB Nederland.She said that the transition would not be a “big bang” but a “very gradual process which would take up several years”.However, none of the SER committee members wanted to elaborate on when the new system could be introduced.In September, the government coalition partners granted employers and workers – who have been discussing the issue for several years now – additional time to come up with their own proposal for a new pensions contract.The members of the SER committee confirmed the earlier prediction of Gerard Riemen, director of the Pensions Federation, that an introduction in 2020 seemed to be impossible.In Riemen’s opinion, the transition process would take up at least five years, and possibly even 10.Currently, the SER is fleshing out a new pensions contract involving individual pensions accrual combined with collective risk sharing, as an alternative for the predominantly defined benefit arrangements which are increasingly seen as unsustainable.Goudswaard, a professor of economics at Leiden University, said his committee still needed to negotiate several hurdles, including clarifying the effects of such a contract on the volatility and stability of future pensions, in order to prevent some generations of pensioners losing out as a result of economic conditions in the accrual phase.He also said that a decision needed to be taken about what level of volatility would be acceptable, and what the desired scale was for financial buffers as part of the new pensions contract.Also during the event, Erik Lutjens, pensions lawyer and professor of pensions legislation at Amsterdam’s Free University, emphasised that second-pillar pensions were the prerogative of employers and workers, and that it would be difficult for the government to issue legislation.“However, the cabinet could indirectly steer the process, for example through fiscally facilitating a pensions contract, a retirement age, or the percentage of tax-facilitated pensions accrual,” he said.last_img read more

Asset managers urged to ‘talk openly’ in support of LGBT+ staff

first_imgThe ‘+’ after the LGBT acronym is intended to capture the other ways in which people can define their gender and sexuality, such as asexual, intersex or questioning. Investment management employers should talk openly about themselves to encourage a positive work environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) staff, according to the Investment Association (IA).The UK asset management trade body set out a number of actions to help companies recruit, support and retain LGBT+ staff, in a new report published this week. “For young people, starting their professional lives can be a steep and challenging learning curve,” the IA said. “One judgment they will make is whether to share their non-work life with colleagues.“Whether LGBT+ or not, employers should set a positive example by talking openly about themselves and their life outside work, and take an interest if someone says they are LGBT+.” Credit: Matias AltbachThe Pride celebrations in LondonPublished just a few days before the Pride in London march this weekend, the report – titled Do you remember the first time? – drew on the experiences of LGBT+ professionals who were asked about their first time coming out in the investment management industry and what encouraged them to come out.In the parade this weekend firms from across the investment management industry will for the first time march together under an IA banner, the association said.Other recommendations in the IA’s report included that companies should “hardwire” diversity into the recruitment process by being “clear and unambiguous” in job adverts about welcoming LGBT+ applicants specifically, and take LGBT+ people seriously at work by ensuring they have policies on the issues affecting them, including a dedicated one for trans inclusion. Employers should also publicly pledge to honour LGBT+ inclusion as part of company culture, the association said.Chris Cummings, chief executive of the IA, said: “Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people make an immeasurable contribution to society, the City and investment management. Their lived experiences enrich our industry and their voices, opinions and experiences help investment performance, widen horizons and discourage groupthink.“Our new report showcases some investment managers’ pioneering work in LGBT+ inclusion and encouraging LGBT+ people to feel welcome and celebrate being unashamedly themselves at work.”The report builds on experiences and observations conveyed in ‘Bringing Our Whole Selves to Work’, a report the IA published last year on the LGBT+ experience in asset management.The association is also working to improve representation of black people in the industry, with fewer than 1% of asset managers in the UK identifying as black, African or Caribbean. Last month Willis Towers Watson’s Thinking Ahead institute said that diversity and inclusion would be the main factor in shaping working environments in the asset management sector in years to come.Do you know these terms?Ally: An ally is somebody who does not identify as LGBT+ but supports equal civil rights, gender equality, LGBT+ social movements, and challenges homophobia and transphobia.Cisgender: Cisgender is a term for people who identify as the gender they were assigned at birth.Intersectionality: This term considers various characteristics, such as sexual orientation, gender and ethnicity do not exist separately from each other but are interwoven.Transgender: A term for an individual who does not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth.last_img read more

UK’s USS adds to investor disapproval of SEC proxy rule proposals

first_imgA group of large Dutch and Nordic pension investors has also backed this letter, expressing “strong” support for the views it contained.“It is important to remind the SEC that as asset owners we take the final decision on how to vote”“It is important to remind the SEC that as asset owners we take the final decision on how to vote,” added senior representatives of APG, MN and PGGM in the Netherlands, and of Swedish buffer funds AP1, AP2, AP3 and AP4.“We have developed detailed custom voting policies and proxy advisors provide independent research that feeds into our independent decision making process,” they wrote in a comment submitted last month.Kempen Capital Management, another Dutch investor, also registered concerns about the rules, calling on the SEC to reconsider them.Unveiled in November, the SEC’s proposed rule amendments, and the lead-up to them, are complex and controversial.For example, the CII has argued that there is scant evidence for claims of errors in proxy advisors’ voting recommendations, which champions of the SEC’s proposals have made. Most of the alleged errors are cases where the company disagrees with the analysis and methodologies, it argues.The association recently appealed for dispute resolution services regarding its request for copies of SEC staff analysis and related documents pertaining to a presentation of data on proxy advisor errors included in the SEC’s November proposal.Konstantin Sergakis, professor of capital markets law and corporate governance at the University of Glasgow, said the objectives of the proposed reform were laudable but that the SEC’s proposals “frame the dialogue with investee companies in a formalistic, stringent and counter-producive fashion”, which would reduce their overall utility and efficiency.The proposals would have negative implications for competition in a market that was already “largely” dominated by two firms, according to the academic.Shareholder resolution ESG brakeUSS also registered its concerns about proposed changes to a rule governing shareholder resolutions, citing their role with regard to environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters.“If finalised, the SEC’s proposed amendments would in many cases hinder discussion of emerging ESG issues”Patrick O’Hara, senior responsible investment analyst at USS“We consider that such shareholder resolutions have played an important role in encouraging better corporate disclosure on material ESG issues and if finalised, the SEC’s proposed amendments […] would in many cases hinder discussion of emerging ESG issues,” wrote senior analyst O’Hara.A group of 15 of the most frequent filers of shareholder proposals this week argued that the SEC’s “dramatic” proposed rule changes would undermine shareholders’ rights to hold companies accountable for “risk mitigation and crisis management”.“The proposed rule changes would make the path of investor engagement steeper and more convoluted, adding unnecessary costs and red tape, and making it more difficult for investors to foster sustainability, risk management, and governance improvements at their companies,” wrote Sanford Lewis, director of the Shareholder Rights Group in a letter to the SEC.“It would block the most established and effective path for improving ESG disclosure and performance of the market.”The regulator’s proposed rule changes would increase the stock ownership requirements for submitting a resolution and increase the level of support the proposal must have received in order for it to be resubmitted in subsequent years.The Shareholder Rights Group is made up of smaller US asset managers such as Arjuna Capital and Boston Common Asset Management, which have a strong sustainability stance.The deadline for feedback to the SEC is 3 February, which several institutional investors have said does not give enough time. The UK’s largest pension fund has added its voice to those expressing concern about rule changes proposed by the US securities regulator that affect the shareholder voting process.In a letter submitted last week to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the £70.1bn (€78.2bn) Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) criticised a proposed requirement that proxy advisors share advance copies of voting recommendations with companies before passing them on to the investors that are their clients.“In our view, any Commission regulation that has the potential to compromise the independence of the research produced by proxy advisors and impinge upon the agency relationship with institutional investors would be detrimental to the execution of shareholder rights and would be incompatible with SEC’s historic role of investor protection,” wrote Patrick O’Hara, senior responsible investment analyst at USS.Large US institutional investors have been concerned about the SEC’s actions with regard to the shareholder voting process for some time, and O’Hara expressed USS’s support for the views set out in an October letter from the Council of Institutional Investors (CII), a US asset owner association, and a coalition of investors including major US pension funds such as CalPERS and CalSTRS.last_img read more

RAM Clutches marks fifth season as IMCA sponsor

first_imgCOLUMBIA, S.C. – RAM Clutches rewards drivers in four divisions in 2017, its fifth season of IMCA sponsorship.IMCA Sunoco Stock Car, IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock, Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod and Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center Southern SportMod competitors all are in line for $50 product certificates from the Columbia, S.C., manufacturer.Certificates go to top five eligible drivers in the EQ Cylinder Heads Northern and Southern regions for Stock Cars, Big Daddy Race Cars Northern and Southern regions for Hobby Stocks, and in both national Northern and Southern SportMod standings.“RAM Clutches is proud to be a part of the growing IMCA program. It has allowed us to expand our product offerings to tailor clutch systems to fit each class,” said RAM Marketing Manager Mike Norcia. “We look forward to continuing support of the IMCA over the next five years!”Certificates will be presented during the national awards banquet in November or mailed begin­ning the following week from the IMCA home office.Drivers in all four divisions are required to display two RAM decals on their race car, compete with a RAM manual transmission and return a com­pleted sign-up form to the IMCA home office by Aug. 1 to be eligible for those contingencies.Other products with IMCA applications manufactured by RAM include flywheels, hydraulic bear­ings and repair parts.More information about those products is available by calling 803 788-6034, on Facebook and at the www.ramclutches.com website.“Five years of support is always a milestone and this year we’re proud to reach that with RAM Clutches,” emphasized IMCA Marketing Director Kevin Yoder. “Their support of IMCA racers has been steady and we encourage our racers to explore their product line.”last_img read more

Women’s World Cup winning coach Ellis ponders switching to men’s game

first_imgRelatedPosts Quadri Aruna leads Africa to World Cup Buhari yet to tackle insecurity in North East — Borno Traditional Chief I will see out my contract at Arsenal, Oezil says United States women’s World Cup winning coach Jill Ellis says she is not ruling out a switch to the men’s game after she stands down from her role next month.Ellis, who clinched her second World Cup with the win over the Netherlands in July, will take charge of the US team for the final time in a friendly against South Korea in Chicago on October 6.The 53-year-old said she has not made any decision on her future career path but if she does make the switch, she would become the highest profile female coach to take charge of a men’s team.Oon the margins of a FIFA conference, Ellis said she wanted a “challenge that is going to motivate me”.“I love challenges, at every juncture in my career I have sort of taken the road less traveled. I love to build things, so we will see,” she said.“At this point you don’t rule out anything, I think with the men’s game, there are lot of differences, a lot of similarities.“The financial part is much, much bigger but the game is the game,” she said.France’s national women’s team coach, Corinne Diacre, coached in the men’s second division in her homeland with Clermont Foot.Ellis said Diacre’s experience, along with women taking differing coaching roles in various sports, showed that the barriers were coming down.“We have had Corinne, we have had women who have coached men’s teams.“I don’t think it will be anything out of the realm of comprehension, we have female coaches in the States, in the NBA, in the NFL. I think it is about ability and proficiency not gender,” she said.The English-born coach, who has been part of the US Soccer Federation’s coaching system since 2000, having previously worked at college-level, said she expected her farewell to be moving.“I am sure, it will be emotional, I will have a lot of friends and family coming, it will mean a lot.“It will be moving. I will always have a connection with the players and the staff.“It will be tough though, there will be a couple of tears maybe. I was always a fan before I took over with this team and I will continue to be so.”Tags: United StateWorld Cuplast_img read more

Mata backs Ighalo to shine at Man U

first_imgRelatedPosts Martins joins Wuhan Zall Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ EPL: Crystal Palace stun sloppy Man U Juan Mata has backed January recruits Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo to hit the ground running at Old Trafford. The Red Devils signed Fernandes from Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon for £67.6 million, with the midfielder already providing his first assist in the 2-0 Premier League win over Chelsea. Nigerian Ighalo is on a season-long loan from Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua, and revealed he had to take a pay cut to join United. Mata said: “We welcomed them both. Bruno is a very good player, we all know that, and a very nice guy also. “We have been in contact a lot. He speaks Spanish mixed with Portuguese which is not very different. So he’s a good guy and I think he’s settling in very well. “He’s found his place in Manchester [to live] and also with the help of Fred, Andreas and Diogo (Dalot) he’s enjoying it. They’ve helped him a lot. “Hopefully he can help us in this second part of the season and I’m sure he will because he’s a quality player.” Former Watford striker Ighalo has come off the bench for two short stints in United’s last two games, and Mata believes his time at Vicarage Road will help him settle in quickly. He added: “Odion has experience of playing in the Premier League and hopefully he will score many goals for us from now until the end of the season. “As the manager said, he’s a good character as well and he’s got a good personality which has fitted straight into the dressing room. “The better he does, then the better for us – and I wish him all the best.”Tags: Bruno FernandesChinese Super LeagueJuan MataOdion IghaloOld TraffordRed Devilslast_img read more

Cricket News ‘Hello World! Let’s have a great 2019’ – Rohit Sharma’s post with new-born daughter melts hearts

first_imgNew Delhi: For Rohit Sharma, the New Year has given him plenty of joy. The Indian right-hander missed the Sydney Test against Australia as he had flown back home to welcome the birth of his baby daughter. On Thursday, Rohit shared an adorable post on his social media accounts and gave a glimpse of his new-born child with the caption, “Hello World! Let’s all have a great 2019”. Before leaving for India, Rohit had told in an interview to former Australia skipper Michael Clarke that he could not wait to become a father, saying it would be a moment that would change their lives. Rohit married Ritika Sajdeh in December 2015.Rohit, who did not contribute much in the Adelaide Test, scored a gritty fifty on a tough Melbourne wicket as India won the match by 137 runs to take an unassailable 2-1 lead in the series. With the win in Melbourne, India retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and are on course to become the first Asian side to register a Test series win in Australia. Rohit will be back with the Indian team on January 8 ahead of the three-match ODI series against Australia starting on January 12.Read More | Guptill enters special club, goes past 6000 ODI runs for New Zealand For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. The Indian batsman, who is a three-time IPL winner for Mumbai Indians and has captained the Indian cricket team to wins in the Asia Cup and in the Nidahas Trophy tri-series in Sri Lanka, holds several records in ODIs. He holds the record for the highest individual score in this format, blasting 264 against Sri Lanka in Kolkata in 2014. Rohit is the only batsman in history to hit three double centuries in ODIs, having smashed 209 and 208 against Australia and Sri Lanka in Bengaluru and Mohali respectively in 2013 and 2017.Read More | Here’s a special request for Virat Kohli: ‘Eat Kadaknath chicken’Rohit has been touted as a permanent captain in the near future and not as a stop-gap arrangement in Virat Kohli’s absence. When India won the Asia Cup in September 2018, Rohit was more positive of a leadership role in the near future. “We have just won so I will surely be ready (for captaincy). Whenever the opportunity comes, I will be ready,” Rohit said at that time.Following the three-match ODI series, India then embarks on a tour to New Zealand where they will play five ODIs and three Twenty20 Internationals. After that, a five-match ODI series is slated to be played against Australia at home following which the Indian Premier League will take place followed by the World Cup which will be played in England in 2019. last_img read more

Cricket News Bangladesh Women’s Team India Staff Will Not Travel To Pakistan: Cricket Board

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: The Bangladesh women’s cricket team will be touring Pakistan for the first time since 2015 and this follows on the heels of the Sri Lanka men’s team currently touring the country for three ODIs and three Twenty20 Internationals. The women’s team will be playing three Twenty20 Internationals and two ODIs at the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore starting on October 4. However, the Bangladesh women cricket team’s Indian members of the coaching staff will not travel to the country amidst rising tensions between India and Pakistan.The tour is still subject to security checks by Bangladesh’s government before it can take place. The governing body’s chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury told AFP that if it goes ahead, head coach Anju Jain, assistant coach Devika Palshikar, and trainer Kavita Pandey will not accompany the side in Pakistan. But they will travel with the Bangladesh team when they play the ACC Emerging Women’s Asia Cup in Sri Lanka from October 20 to 28.  “We will have another team travelling to Sri Lanka almost at the same period. We’ve decided to send our Indian coaching staff to Sri Lanka instead of Pakistan to avoid any travel complications,” Nizamuddin said. “We have started the process. Before confirming the series we are also planning to send someone to see the security arrangement for the Sri Lanka team in their ongoing series.”Also Read | World Needs To Help Pakistan To Revive Cricket After Decade Of Terrorism: Misbah-ul-HaqThe ongoing series against Sri Lanka is the first for Pakistan under Misbah-ul-Haq, the new head coach and chief selector. Misbah captained Pakistan for close to six years and in 56 Tests but he never managed to do that at home in Pakistan. Misbah played just five Tests in Pakistan and ahead of the first match, he has urged the world to help Pakistan revive their international cricket.Also Read | Karachi Ends 10-Year Wait For International Cricket, But Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Game Rained Off”Cricket world need to do more, not only for Pakistan but for any country where it is hit. Pakistan is a cricket-loving country and it would be injustice to deprive them of international cricket, so I hope that the world will support us more and more. Otherwise the survival of cricket will be difficult,” Misbah said. last_img read more