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Covid-19 update Wednesday 15th April

Good morning from the UK. It’s Wednesday 15th April.

The fire that severely damaged Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris caught fire 1 year ago today on April 15 2019, Holy Monday and by the time it was finally put out it had destroyed the building’s spire and most of the roof. The stone vaults survived mostly intact, as did most of the cathedral’s artwork and relics. Covid-19 has delayed reconstruction efforts at Notre-Dame de Paris because removal of the melted scaffolding on the cathedral’s roof (scheduled to begin March 23) cannot take place whilst the country remains under coronavirus measures.

On Good Friday Archbishop Michel Aupetit of Paris venerated Notre Dame Cathedral’s relic of Christ’s crown of thorns from inside the badly damaged cathedral. The archbishop prayed: “Lord Jesus, a year ago, this cathedral in which we are, was burning, causing astonishment and a worldwide impetus for it to be rebuilt, restored. Today we are in this half-collapsed cathedral to say that life is still there. The whole world is struck down by a pandemic that spreads death and paralyzes us. This crown of thorns was saved on the evening of the fire by the firefighters. It is the sign of what you suffered from the derision of men. But it is also the magnificent sign that tells us that you are joining us at the height of our suffering, that we are not alone and that you are with us always,” Aupetit said.

Tonight though the Cathedral’s 339 year old 13 tonne bourdon bell (which is called Emmanuel and tuned to F#) will ring out to applaud the hard work of France’s medical workers engaged in the fight against Covid-19 (Source Liberation, in French and the Catholic News Agency).

How much our lives can change in just one year.

Virus news in depth


Trump suspends funding of the world health organisation - the biggest Covid-19 story this morning is the decision by US President Donald Trump to suspend funding of the World Health Organisation pending a review. "Had the WHO done its job to get medical experts into China to objectively assess the situation on the ground and to call out China's lack of transparency, the outbreak could have been contained at its source with very little death," Trump said. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that the WHO "declined to call this a pandemic for an awfully long time because frankly the Chinese Communist Party didn't want that to happen." CNN reports that the US funds $400 million to $500 million to the WHO each year, Trump said, noting that China "contributes roughly $40 million." Another article from CNN points out that the UK announced an additional £65 million contribution to the WHO only a few days ago.
Reaction to Trump's decision has been swift. Al Jazeera quotes Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian during a daily briefing on the situation with the pandemic saying that the pandemic was at a critical stage and that the US' decision would affect all countries of the world. The news agency also quotes Dr Patrice Harris, president of the American Medical Association, who called it "a dangerous step in the wrong direction that will not make defeating COVID-19 easier". Bill Gates has tweeted “Halting funding for the World Health Organization during a world health crisis is as dangerous as it sounds. Their work is slowing the spread of COVID-19 and if that work is stopped no other organization can replace them. The world needs u/WHO now more than ever”. The Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney tweeted “This is indefensible decision, in midst of global pandemic. So many vulnerable populations rely on ⁦@WHO⁩ - deliberately undermining funding & trust now is shocking. Now is a time for global leadership & unity to save lives, not division and blame!” whilst Richard Horton, the editor-in-chief of the influential Lancet medical journal, wrote that Trump’s decision was “a crime against humanity … Every scientist, every health worker, every citizen must resist and rebel against this appalling betrayal of global solidarity”.

Chile counts those who died of coronavirus as recovered because they're 'no longer contagious,' health minister says - News Week reports that cases of the novel coronavirus in Chile have climbed past 7,500, including 82 deaths, while over 2,300 have recovered from infection as of Tuesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University but coronavirus patients in Chile who have died are being counted among the country's recovered population because they are "no longer contagious," Chile's Health Minister Jaime Mañalich said this week. "We have 898 patients who are no longer contagious, who are not a source of contagion for others and we include them as recovered. These are the people who have completed 14 days of diagnosis or who unfortunately have passed away," Mañalich announced at a press conference. It is unknown when Chile began including the dead among the number of people who have recovered. But the calculation has reportedly been adopted following validation by international health experts, the government claims. (Personal note: I just checked, as of 9am UK time Johns Hopkins has Chile down as 7912 cases with 92 deaths. Hat tip to chomponthebit for this rather odd story).

Virus news in brief


Source; Today’s Guardian live blog unless otherwise stated











Supply chain news in depth


Heathrow cargo flights rise 500% as airport restyles itself as ‘vital airbridge’ - The Guardian says that the number of cargo-only flights at Heathrow has surged to five times normal levels, with the airport now saying it is prioritising medical supplies as passenger travel grinds to a halt. Britain’s biggest airport expects passenger traffic expected to plunge by 90% in April, with remaining flights mainly limited to repatriating citizens stranded abroad during the coronavirus outbreak. Instead, the hub airport is restyling itself as a “vital airbridge” for supplies and medical essentials during the coronavirus crisis. The number of cargo-only flights has jumped significantly; Heathrow’s busiest day for cargo so far was on 31 March, when it handled 38 cargo flights in only one day (the airport usually deals with 47 cargo flights per week). In a related article, the Independent reports that whilst the UK’s East Midlands airport has experienced “only” a 54% drop in total air movements, it’s nevertheless experienced a 7.4% rise in cargo flights with the result that it’s now the tenth busiest airport in Europe putting it ahead of major hubs such as Rome, Munich and Madrid. (Personal note: I live close to East Midlands airport and have definitely noticed there’s still a fair bit of traffic coming and going; it helps that DHL Express have a decent presence there too).

Global Airline Traffic Will Nearly Halve in 2020 - The Wall Street Journal reports that global airline traffic is expected to almost halve this year because of travel restrictions, with no recovery expected until the third quarter, according to an industry trade group. The International Air Transport Association forecast airlines would lose $314 billion in revenue this year, 25% more than its previous estimate as it incorporated more pessimistic assumptions about the hit to the global economy and the relaxation of travel restrictions. (Personal note: for contrast the drop in revenue for the global aviation industry after the 9/11 attacks was about $23bn according to an article in the Guardian; disruption in the industry from that event caused the bankruptcy of Swissair, Belgium's Sabena and Australia's Ansett whilst he American airlines United, US Airways, Northwest and Delta all filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from creditors).

Amazon faces having its operations reduced to a bare minimum in France - a court has ruled the e-commerce giant can deliver only essential goods while the company evaluates its workers’ risk of coronavirus exposure says today’s Guardian live blog (link above). The court in Nanterre, outside Paris, said Amazon France had “failed to recognise its obligations regarding the security and health of its workers,” according to a ruling seen by AFP. While carrying out the health evaluation, Amazon can prepare and deliver only “food, hygiene and medical products,” the court said. The injunction must be carried out within 24 hours, or Amazon France could face fines of €1m (£873,500) per day. Amazon has one month to carry out the evaluation. Concern has grown over the safety precautions taken by the company; dozens of workers protested in the United States last month.

Pandemic breaks Vietnam supply chains; loss of exports may be permanent - The Loadstar reports that Freight forwarders in Vietnam have seen cargo volumes down by up to 70% on pre-coronavirus levels, as their key markets remain under lockdown. According to Ho Chi Minh City-based supply chain consultant CEL, the world has entered a consumer demand crisis which could permanently alter its supply chains. “As we speak, the American consumer is currently already reducing expenditure on shoes, phones, appliances, clothes, cars and tools, for example,” said CEL managing partner Julien Brun. “Most of which are made in Asia, and a large portion in Vietnam.” When the coronavirus pandemic started in Wuhan in January, the crisis was seen as a China-specific problem from a supply chain perspective, and prompted a frantic search for alternative production and transport capacity in Vietnam, Mr Brun explained. Vietnam’s own reliance on China for raw materials and components quickly materialised, however, resulting in the start of delays and production challenges. “In a survey conducted by CEL at the end of March, 83% of companies in the physical value chain in Vietnam, including retailers, transporters, traders and manufacturers, had suffered supply issues over the past two months,” he said. “And 47% of them had issues specifically with Chinese suppliers, a large majority of which was over missing raw materials.” Mr Brun said manufacturers and retailers’ current sales volumes were too low to absorb fixed costs, leaving thousands of businesses with negative margins and thinning cash reserves.

Supply chain news in brief








Good news section


99 year old world war 2 veteran Capt. Tom Moore has so far managed to raise £5m ($6.25m USD, €5.72m EUR) in donations to the NHS - the BBC says that Capt. Tom Moore is currently in the middle of completing 100 laps of his garden (25 metres in length) before his 100th birthday at the end of April. Mr Moore was born in Keighley, West Yorkshire and trained as a civil engineer before enlisting in the army for World War Two, rising to captain and serving in India and Burma. NHS Charities Together, which will benefit from the funds, said it was "truly inspired and humbled". Nearly 170,000 people from around the world have donated money to his fundraising page since it was set up last week. Mr Moore began raising funds to thank the "magnificent" NHS staff who helped him with treatment for cancer and a broken hip. If you’re interested in supporting him his fundraising page is here.

Donations


Several asked if they can send me $/£/€ via Patreon (in some cases because I've saved them time or money, others for no reason at all). I don't need the cash (that's lovely though) but food bank charities are getting really hit hard with all this panic buying. Please consider giving whatever you'd have given me to a foodbank charity instead:
UK: https://www.trusselltrust.org/
France: https://www.banquealimentaire.org/
Germany: https://www.tafel.de/
Netherlands: https://www.voedselbankennederland.nl/steun-ons/steun-voedselbank-donatie/
Italy: https://www.bancoalimentare.it/it/node/1
Spain: https://www.fesbal.org/
Australia: https://www.foodbank.org.au/
Canada: https://www.foodbankscanada.ca/
USA: https://www.feedingamerica.org/
Thanks in advance for any donations you give. If there's foodbank charities in your country and it's not listed above, please suggest it and I will include it going forward.
submitted by Fwoggie2 to supplychain [link] [comments]

Covid-19 update Friday 24th April

Good morning from the UK. It’s Friday 24th April. My marigold seeds have taken off and are starting to sprout secondary stage leaves (marigolds are good companion plants; they ward off various pests in a vegetable garden whilst they can also be good sacrificial plants should a slug manage to somehow breach our electric barrier). Meanwhile, the first of my wife’s radishes seeds is starting to emerge from the compost she put in a recycled milk carton tetrapak a few days ago; she’s very excited by this. Advance warning, today’s post is a bit food supply chain heavy. Happy Friday everybody.

Virus news in depth


AP Story from Tuesday 21st April: UN food agency chief: World on brink of `a hunger pandemic’ - The head of the U.N. food agency warned Tuesday that, as the world is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, it is also “on the brink of a hunger pandemic” that could lead to “multiple famines of biblical proportions” within a few months if immediate action isn’t taken. World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley told the U.N. Security Council that even before COVID-19 became an issue, he was telling world leaders that “2020 would be facing the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.” That’s because of wars in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere, locust swarms in Africa, frequent natural disasters and economic crises including in Lebanon, Congo, Sudan and Ethiopia, he said. Beasley said today 821 million people go to bed hungry every night all over the world, a further 135 million people are facing “crisis levels of hunger or worse,” and a new World Food Program analysis shows that as a result of COVID-19 an additional 130 million people “could be pushed to the brink of starvation by the end of 2020.” He said in the video briefing that WFP is providing food to nearly 100 million people on any given day, including “about 30 million people who literally depend on us to stay alive.”
(Cont’d) Beasley, who is recovering from COVID-19, said if those 30 million people can’t be reached, “our analysis shows that 300,000 people could starve to death every single day over a three-month period” — and that doesn’t include increased starvation due to the coronavirus. “In a worst-case scenario, we could be looking at famine in about three dozen countries, and in fact, in 10 of these countries we already have more than one million people per country who are on the verge of starvation,” he said. According to WFP, the 10 countries with the worst food crises in 2019 were Yemen, Congo, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Syria, Sudan, Nigeria and Haiti. He pointed to a sharp drop in overseas remittances that will hurt countries such as Haiti, Nepal and Somalia; a loss of tourism revenue which, for example, will damage Ethiopia where it accounts for 47 percent of total exports; and the collapse of oil prices which will have a significant impact in lower-income countries like South Sudan where oil accounts for almost 99 percent of total exports.

The Gulf Times takes a different slant on the story: ‘Instead of coronavirus, the hunger will kill us’; COVID-19 brings fears of a global food crisis - In Kibera, the largest slum in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, people desperate to eat set off a stampede during a recent giveaway of flour and cooking oil, leaving scores injured and two people dead. The coronavirus has sometimes been called an equaliser because it has sickened both rich and poor, but when it comes to food, the commonality ends. It is poor people, including large segments of poorer nations, who are now going hungry and facing the prospect of starving. “The coronavirus has been anything but a great equaliser,” said Asha Jaffar, a volunteer who brought food to families in the Nairobi slum of Kibera after the fatal stampede. “It’s been the great revealer, pulling the curtain back on the class divide and exposing how deeply unequal this country is.” Already, 135 million people had been facing acute food shortages, but now with the pandemic, 130 million more could go hungry in 2020, said Arif Husain, chief economist at the World Food Program, a UN agency. Altogether, an estimated 265 million people could be pushed to the brink of starvation by year’s end. “We’ve never seen anything like this before,” Husain said. “It wasn’t a pretty picture to begin with, but this makes it truly unprecedented and uncharted territory.”
(Cont’d) There is no shortage of food globally, or mass starvation from the pandemic yet continues the Gulf Times article. But logistical problems in planting, harvesting and transporting food will leave poor countries exposed in the coming months, especially those reliant on imports, said Johan Swinnen, director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington. While the system of food distribution and retailing in rich nations is organised and automated, he said, systems in developing countries are “labour intensive,” making “these supply chains much more vulnerable to COVID-19 and social distancing regulations.” On a recent evening, hundreds of migrant workers, who have been stuck in New Delhi after a lockdown was imposed in March with little warning, sat under the shade of a bridge waiting for food to arrive. The Delhi government has set up soup kitchens, yet workers like Nihal Singh go hungry as the throngs at these centres have increased in recent days. “Instead of coronavirus, the hunger will kill us,” said Singh, who was hoping to eat his first meal in a day.

Coronavirus-driven CO2 shortage threatens US food, water and beer supply, officials say - The Guardian reports that there is an emerging shortage of carbon dioxide gas (CO2) according to a Washington state emergency planning document. The document, a Covid-19 situation report produced by the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC), contains a warning from the state’s office of drinking water (ODW) about difficulties in obtaining CO2, which is essential for the process of water treatment. The document says that the ODW is “still responding to [that day’s] notification of a national shortage of CO2”. It continues: “Several [water plants] had received initial notification from their vendors that their supply would be restricted to 33% of normal.” It further warns: “So far utilities have been able to make the case that they are considered essential to critical infrastructure and have been returned to full supply. However, we want to ask if CISA [the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency] can assess this through their contacts, if this is sustainable given the national shortage.”
(Cont’d) Asked to clarify the nature of this problem, ODW director Mike Means said in an email that his agency had first learned of potential problems when Seattle public utilities were “contacted by their vendor Airgas who supplied a copy of a Force Majeure notice”, warning them that their CO2 order would be reduced due to pandemic-related shortages. Force majeure is a contractual defense that allows parties to escape liability for contracts in the case of events – such as a pandemic – that could not be reasonably foreseen. In this case, Means wrote, “Airgas informed in their notice that they would only be able to do 80% of their normal service but subsequent discussions said to expect more like 33%”. At this point, he added, “we reached out to understand if this was a WA specific problem or national. We quickly understood it to be a national issue.”
(Cont’d) ODW had then contacted federal agencies such as CISA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) and industry bodies such as the Association of State Drinking Water Authorities (ASDWA). The main reason for national shortages, according to the CEO of the Compressed Gas Association (CGA), Rich Gottwald, is a ramping down of ethanol production. “Back in the summertime, the [Trump] administration exempted some gasoline manufacturers from using ethanol. Then we had Russia and Saudi Arabia flooding the market with cheap gasoline. All of that led to an oversupply of ethanol,” Gottwald said. “As ethanol manufacturers were ramping down because there wasn’t a market for their product, along comes Covid-19, which meant people weren’t driving anywhere”, he added. This led to plant closures, including among the 50 specialized plants that collect CO2 for the food and beverage market. Gottwald’s association, along with a number of associations representing food and beverage industries, which together use 77% of food-grade CO2, issued a joint warning to the federal government about the shortage. In an open letter to the vice-president, Mike Pence, the coalition warns: “Preliminary data show that production of CO2 has decreased by approximately 20%, and experts predict that CO2 production may be reduced by 50% by mid-April.” It continues: “A shortage in CO2 would impact the US availability of fresh food, preserved food and beverages, including beer production.”

The 'land army' needed to keep the UK's food supply chain going as thousands of tonnes of food risks going to waste - ITV has done a piece on the UK farming supply chain. Farmers are desperate for help. Without their usual influx of migrant workers from the EU, thousands of tonnes of food risk going to waste in fields up and down the country, just as the summer crops come into season. Every year our farming industry needs 90,000 seasonal workers. Like Robyn, many have put themselves forward - but in no way near the numbers needed. Others are finding the application process hard to navigate. Mark Thorogood, whose family have run the Essex farm for three generations, says it’s a perilous time for the food supply chain. "If we can't get the labour – it doesn’t get picked. That’s the crux of it", he said. Meanwhile, the charity The Food Foundation claims more than one and a half million Britons are going without food for at least a day because of the pandemic and three million have experienced hunger since the lockdown. On top of all that - the reality that nearly 50% of our food comes from abroad. With the numbers of ships crossing the Channel reduced and port workers hit by the virus, this is now under threat too. So could this crisis see a permanent change in how we feed our nation? The country's leading voice on food security, Professor Tim Lang gave us a grave warning: "The entire world food system is being disrupted. More disruptions are coming. Plantings not happening, food being wasted. "Britain only produces about 50% of its food - the country that can only half feed itself has got to wake up". (Personal note: this is why I’m putting effort into growing veg)

Virus news in brief


Sources: The Guardian, CNN or (to get an alternative spin) Radio New Zealand









Supply chain news in depth


Hidden threat: Japan only has a 2-week stockpile of LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) - If supplies stop, it will cause major power supply problems in the country says Nikkei’s Asian review which has an article highlighting the continuing energy supply chain vulnerability in Japan ever since the Fukushima nuclear disaster. It takes about one month to ship LNG from the Middle East to Japan explains the article but if the coronavirus outbreak prevents ships from docking in Japan it could have a big impact on the country's power supply. The physical properties of LNG mean it is poorly suited for long-term storage hence the country only holding a two-week stockpile. Despite this, the country depends on the fuel for 40% of its electric power generation needs, and all of the LNG it uses is imported from the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Tokyo Bay, which stretches across the prefectures of Chiba, Tokyo and Kanagawa, is Japan's most important LNG power generation hub. JERA operates many of the power plants there, all of which run on LNG. Accounting for about 30% of Japan's total LNG power generation, these plants produce 26 million kilowatts of electricity. If, for instance, the coronavirus was to force these plants to stop, the Greater Tokyo area would immediately lose its power supply (Personal note: that’s a population of approx 38.5m people).
(Cont’d) Today, LNG is a pillar of Japan's electricity. Before the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami in Japan, LNG made up 28% of the country's power generation. That increased to 40% in fiscal 2017 as the nation's nuclear power plants went off grid, one after the other, following the Fukushima nuclear crisis. While some of Japan's nuclear plants have come back online, based on the strictest standards in the world, only three of the 10 electric power companies have been able to do so. Moreover, the coronavirus is inching closer and closer to the nuclear plants. Recently, a contractor working at the Genkai Nuclear Power Plant in the southern prefecture of Saga tested positive for the virus and construction at the site was stopped temporarily. Japan has traditionally tried to maintain a diverse mixture of power sources -- including nuclear, LNG, fossil fuels and renewable energy -- due to its reliance on imports as an island nation. "It is highly unbalanced to depend close to half of our energy on LNG alone," an official at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry concedes. With shipments arriving constantly, a few missed shipments will not immediately signal a crisis. But an extended cutoff will spell trouble for the country.
(Cont’d) Japan was already facing a power shortage this year, "so the timing is very bad," said a power industry source. The Sendai nuclear power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture was shut down last month because it failed to meet antiterrorism standards. The No. 3 reactor at the Ikata nuclear power plant in Ehime Prefecture is offline following a court injunction. The number of nuclear reactors in operation this year is expected to temporarily fall by half from nine, so Japan cannot rely heavily on nuclear power. Japan's energy self-sufficiency stands at about 10%, well below the 40% for food. The movement to shift away from carbon has led to a backlash against domestic coal-fired power plants, so dependence on LNG could rise further. One reason that Tokyo Electric is rushing to restart its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture is because "heavy concentration in LNG power in Tokyo Bay is a major risk to the stable supply of power," according to an official at the utility. The coronavirus pandemic is testing whether Japan's government and utilities can diversify energy sources to prepare against the risks that threaten supplies.

USA meat packing plant Covid-19 problems worse than originally thought - A rash of coronavirus outbreaks at dozens of meatpacking plants across the nation is far more extensive than previously thought, according to an exclusive review of cases by USA TODAY and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting. More than 150 of America’s largest meat processing plants operate in counties where the rate of coronavirus infection is already among the nation’s highest, based on the media outlets’ analysis of slaughterhouse locations and county-level COVID-19 infection rates. These facilities represent more than 1 in 3 of the nation’s biggest beef, pork and poultry processing plants. Rates of infection around these plants are higher than those of 75% of other U.S. counties, the analysis found.
(Cont’d) While experts say the industry has thus far maintained sufficient production despite infections in at least 2,200 workers at 48 plants, there are fears that the number of cases could continue to rise and that meatpacking plants will become the next disaster zones. "Initially our concern was long-term care facilities," said Gary Anthone, Nebraska's chief medical officer, in a Facebook Live video Sunday. “If there's one thing that might keep me up at night, it's the meat processing plants and the manufacturing plants." Factory workers, unions, and even managers say the federal government – including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration – has done little more than issue non-enforceable guidance. On its website, for example, the CDC has released safety guidelines for critical workers and businesses, which primarily promote common-sense measures of sanitization and personal distancing. USA Today says that state health departments have also taken a backseat role in all but a few places. There’s more in the article here.

Supply chain news in brief









Good news


Meet the 12-year-old who rode 36 hours on Zwift alongside Geraint Thomas - The Tour De France winner and double Olympic gold medalist earlier this week did 3 12 hour cycling sessions to raise money for the UK’s NHS (National Health Service), eventually earning £350,000. Alongside him rode a 12 year old Mak Larkin who by the end of the 36 hours of cycling had managed to cycle 740km (460 miles). Proud mum Lynsey told Cycling Weekly: “Lockdown was really getting to Mak, being that he was so eager to race this season as it was his first year at national level road and mountain bike cross country. “He saw Geraint’s 36-hour challenge and told us he wanted to do some of it with him for something to do and to support the NHS. He then told us a few hours later that he wanted to do the full challenge and wanted to raise some money himself. At time of writing his fundraising page (also for the NHS) stands at £5,772 (approx €6,605 or $7,111 USD). Cycling weekly has more here.

A toddler has been able to hear for the first time after a groundbreaking remote switch-on of her cochlear implants - The BBC reports that audiologists in Southampton activated the devices for 18-month-old Margarida Cibrao-Roque via the internet as they are unable to see patients in person due to Covid-19 measures. Professor Helen Cullington said the procedure took "technical creativity". Margarida's father said it had "opened a big window" for his daughter. Margarida, who has been deaf since birth because she has Ushers Syndrome Type One, had received her cochlear implants in an earlier operation. Staff at the University of Southampton's Auditory Implant Service (USAIS) used specialist software and were able to monitor progress via videolink to the family's home in Camberley, Surrey. During the switch-on levels of electrical stimulation were gradually built up and Margarida's responses were constantly monitored. It is hoped her new cochlear implants will, over time, help her to hear and to communicate more easily. Margarida's mother, Joana Cibrao said the team were "just brilliant and made it happen" despite the lockdown restrictions. "The possibility of Margarida calling me mummy one day would mean the world," she said.

Donations


Several asked if they can send me $/£/€ via Patreon (in some cases because I've saved them time or money, others for no reason at all). I don't need the cash (that's lovely though) but as you may have read above, food bank charities are getting really hit hard with all this panic buying. Please consider giving whatever you'd have given me to a foodbank charity instead:
UK: https://www.trusselltrust.org/
France: https://www.banquealimentaire.org/
Germany: https://www.tafel.de/
Netherlands: https://www.voedselbankennederland.nl/steun-ons/steun-voedselbank-donatie/
Italy: https://www.bancoalimentare.it/it/node/1
Spain: https://www.fesbal.org/
Australia: https://www.foodbank.org.au/
Canada: https://www.foodbankscanada.ca/
USA: https://www.feedingamerica.org/
Thanks in advance for any donations you give. If there's foodbank charities in your country and it's not listed above, please suggest it and I will include it going forward.
submitted by Fwoggie2 to supplychain [link] [comments]

Masterpost on the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

Introduction
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was a key player in 20th century geopolitics, yet many people in the West know remarkably little about it. Socialists and non-socialists alike are often extremely uneducated about this particular country, and its various achievements; often all that is known is that it was led by Tito, one of the most popular heads of state in the 20th century. While this is a useful piece of information, it is hardly a sufficient socialist analysis of this great nation. Let us thus examine Yugoslavia in detail, and make a proper analysis.
All sources are included at the end, to avoid scattering links throughout the post. Whenever I quote from one of these sources, I will indicate which source I am referencing, so that you can check the original if you would like to.
Summary
The University of Rochester gives the following overall assessment of the communist era in Yugoslavia:
The history of Yugoslavia since 1945 embraces a period of rapid economic, political, and social modernization reflected in urban and industrial growth, improvements in literacy and economic well-being, changes in the traditional patriarchal family structure, moderation of ethnic hostilities, and integration into the international economy. However, in dialectical fashion, it also embraces a period of economic decline and intense ethnic reaction. In a very real sense, the route to the collapse of the Yugoslav federation, like the collapse of the Soviet federation, was paved by the policy toward nationalities that each had pursued, but it was precipitated by involvement in the global economy.
Now that we have a brief impression of the rise and fall of the nation, let us go into a bit more detail.
A Brief Look at Pre-War Yugoslavia
In order to understand the achievements of socialism in Yugoslavia, we must first understand what conditions were like before socialism. The University of Rochester gives this assessment of pre-war Yugoslavia:
The country remained largely undeveloped throughout the interwar years. Seventy-seven percent of the population were peasants. Illiteracy rates of those older than 10 ranged between 83.8% in Macedonia and 8.8% in Slovenia, with the national figure being 51.5% in 1921. Mortality and fertility were both high, epidemics were common despite innovative programs created by Andrija Stampar, the Croatian public health leader, and the government was ineffective in providing preventive and curative health services as well as needed infrastructure. High taxes and declining agricultural prices during the depression years of the 1930's may have contributed to the peasants’ hostility to the government and to their support for the Partisans during World War II, which was as much a civil war as a war against the German invaders.
According to the Helsinki Committee:
The overall social development of Yugoslavia from 1918 to 1941 was overwhelmingly slow, so that the country was at the lower end of European trends (population poverty, illiteracy, low level of health culture, poor mobility, etc.), with a rather closed perspective... In the inter-war period, the housing infrastructure outside cities was either poor or non-existent, lacking electricity, water and sewage connections. Living conditions in municipal workers’ or peripheral settlements were poor.
In short, pre-war Yugoslavia was an economically underdeveloped nation, plagued by high levels of illiteracy, high mortality rates, low life expectancy, and epidemics of disease. Now that we understand a bit more about the state of things when the communists took over, let us now look at what they made of this situation.
Economic and Infrastructure Development
Before WWII (and the communist takeover), the economy in Yugoslavia was stagnant. According to the Helsinki Committee:
From 1921 to the outbreak of World War II, the country was not characterized by any exceptional economic progress. In that, however, it was no different from the majority of neighboring countries, whether it be, for example, Greece, Hungary or Bulgaria. Partly this was the consequence of demographic growth, but since we are talking about several decades, it is clear that on the whole the economy was stagnant and that it is not possible to talk about any significant progress in relation to economic development on Yugoslav territory in the time before the establishment of the common state.
After the communist takeover, a new economic system was set up, based on workers' self-management within state-owned enterprises. This system is described by the Encyclopedia Britannica in their article on Yugoslavia:
After 1945 the communist government nationalized large landholdings, industrial enterprises, public utilities, and other resources and launched a strenuous process of industrialization. After a split with the Soviet Union in 1948, Yugoslavia had by the 1960's come to place greater reliance on market mechanisms. A distinctive feature of this new “Yugoslav system” was "workers' self-management" which reached its fullest form in the 1976 Law on Associated Labour. Under this law, individuals participated in Yugoslav enterprise management through the work organizations into which they were divided. Work organizations might be either “Basic Organizations of Associated Labour” (the subdivisions of a single enterprise) or “Complex Organizations of Associated Labour” uniting different segments of an overall activity (e.g., manufacture and distribution). Each work organization was governed by a workers’ council, which elected a board of management to run the enterprise.
This system led to dramatic economic growth. According to the Helsinki Committee:
Development in the years after World War II, if we put aside the years of the Soviet blockade, is characterized by significant economic growth and development, if the latter is expressed, again, by the per capita GDP. While in the first twenty years or so the GDP per capita increased just under 40 percent, in the period from 1952 to 1979 it increased just under 5 times. As in both cases it was a matter of rebuilding the country after great war devastation, there is no doubt that Yugoslavia after World War II achieved an incomparably better economic development than it did after World War I.
The country underwent a great process of urbanization under the communists:
A great wave of urbanization took place in the second half of the century when settlements with larger residential buildings and skyscrapers were built. New cities or larger urban complexes, such as New Belgrade, New Zagreb, New Gorica, Velenje and Split 3, were also built. From the aspect of urban planning, the reconstruction of Skopje after the disastrous earthquake of 1963 was especially successful. These new settlements were based on contemporary urban planning and architectural concepts such as residential buildings with social amenities, surrounded by green areas and having no direct access to major roads. Kindergartens and schools, parks, health centers, trading and small-scale craft facilities were also built according to plan.
The dismal housing situation was improved dramatically, as was access to essential services (electricity, water, sanitation, etc.):
Each year, from the early 1960's through the 1980's, 100–150 thousand apartments were built and one third of them was built by the socially-owned sector. These apartments were given to workers on the basis of their occupancy right acquired in the enterprises and institutions where they were employed. A survey shows that in the years of peak housing construction, that is, during the late 1970's and early 1980's, all three-member worker households had electricity, almost all of them had water and sewage connections, one third had central heating and eight out of ten had a bathroom and toilet in the apartment.
Unfortunately, the Yugoslav economy eventually began to stagnate, a problem which was made worse by the interference of the IMF, as well as the inflamed regional tensions which resurfaced after the death of Tito. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica:
Inflation and unemployment emerged as serious problems, particularly during the 1980's, and productivity remained low. Such defects in the system were patched over by massive and uncoordinated foreign borrowing, but after 1983 the International Monetary Fund demanded extensive economic restructuring as a precondition for further support. The conflict over how to meet this demand resurrected old animosities between the wealthier northern and western regions, which were required to contribute funds to federally administered development programs, and the poorer southern and eastern regions, where these funds were frequently invested in relatively inefficient enterprises or in unproductive prestige projects. Such differences contributed directly to the disintegration of the second Yugoslavia.
Despite this, the rapid economic growth generated by the socialist system in Yugoslavia remains impressive, and its eventual fall serves a warning about the terrible dangers of relying excessively on foreign investment, especially from bourgeois institutions.
Healthcare Achievements
Pre-war Yugoslavia was beset by terrible healthcare conditions, a situation which was only made worse by WWII. According to the Helsinki Committee:
As regards the health care of the population in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, it was at the lowest level according to the European standards. According to 1930 data, there were 12,204 medical personnel members, including 4,545 doctors and 208 dentists. There were also 172 hospitals and 22,895 hospital beds. In Yugoslavia up to 1939, there were 18,193 medical personnel members, including 5,131 doctors and 380 dentists, implying that there was one doctor per 3,060 inhabitants and one dentist per 41,324 inhabitants. Of this number of doctors, 927 worked in 169 hospitals with 23,534 beds (only 429 more than twenty or so years earlier).
As a result, the communists made the provision of healthcare a key aspect of their policy. According to NYU:
Health policy in the former Yugoslavia was based on the promise of growth: expansion of existing health facilities and construction of new ones, an increase in the supply of health care workers and drugs and, ultimately, an improvement in health status. The promise was repeated so often that people came to consider such social benefits "to be their natural due," a major premise of socialism.
This resulted in enormous increases in the health conditions of the country:
By 1978, the number of hospital beds, in comparison to 1939, tripled from 19 to 60 beds per 10,000 population; the number of medical schools rose from three to eleven, resulting in a five-fold increase in the number of physicians; and health insurance was extended to cover 82 percent of the population. The infant mortality rate of 35.6 per 1,000 population in 1978 was only one-fourth of the pre-World War II figure. Moreover, diphtheria, malaria and typhus had been eliminated.
These improvements are also discussed by the Helsinki Committee:
In socialist Yugoslavia, the situation radically improved. Up to 1950, there were only 5,138 doctors and 196 dentists, while already in 1952 there were 6,548 doctors (since the first generations of post-war medical students had graduated), while the number of dentists decreased to 184. Until 1987, the Yugoslav population was treated by 43,869 doctors and 9,232 dentists, which means that there was one doctor per 533 inhabitants and one dentist per 2,535 inhabitants. In 1950, compared to 1939, the number of hospital beds increased more than twofold – there were 53,760 hospital beds. By 1960, this number had also increased more than twofold, so that there were 102,329 hospital beds, while until 1988 this number increased to 142,957.
Healthcare access was expanded across the entire country:
In addition, thanks to the development of the road network, better communications and different social policy, health care became accessible to a significantly greater number of people. Apart from doctors, the number of other medical personnel also increased. According to the 1962 data, there was a total of 112,946 medical workers; in 1975 – 193,374, and in 1987 – 303,105... Understandably, the most advanced medical services were provided in urban centers, but spa rehabilitation centers were being developed and basic health care also reached rural areas. Until 1989, in addition to hospitals, 8,384 general and specialist medical centers and 4, 425 dental surgeries were opened.
Infant and child mortality were significantly reduced:
The improvement of state-sponsored social care for the population also resulted in a great decline of infant and child mortality rates due to which the Kingdom of Yugoslavia had ranked among the most backward European countries.
Life expectancy was increased dramatically:
Life expectancy was also significantly increasing. In 1931, the life expectancy for females and males was 46.1 and 45.1 years respectively. Already in 1948, the life expectancy levels had increased to 53 years for females and 48.6 years for males... Up to 1981, the life expectancy at the Yugoslav level increased to 73.2 for females and 67.7 for males. Its increase continued, so that in 1990 the expected life expectancy for females in Yugoslavia was 74.9 and for males 69.1 years, whereby regional differences were reduced.
The mortality rate declined rapidly under the communists; eventually, mortality rates in Yugoslavia became lower than those in Western Europe:
Finally, the mortality rate also declined: from 21 deaths per 1,000 inhabitants in 1921 to 15 deaths per 1,000 inhabitants until 1939. After 1945, the mortality rate continued to decline from the maximum 14.2 deaths per 1,000 inhabitants to the minimum 8.1 deaths per 1,000 inhabitants in 1966. At the end of the observation period, the mortality rate was 9 deaths per 1,000 inhabitants, thus being lower than in Germany (9.2), France (9.3) or Britain (11.2).
Note that although there had been some reduction in the mortality rate under the pre-communist government, the improvement was much faster under the communists, and it coincided with drastic improvements to infant mortality and life expectancy when compared to the pre-communist period.
To summarize, the Helsinki Committee says:
Nutrition and hygiene greatly influenced the health of the population... The post-war development of medicine and health institutions made possible a greater availability of doctors and an almost five-fold increase in the number of hospital beds (in 1986 there were about 143,000), while all services were covered by mandatory health insurance. Regular medical check-ups and mandatory vaccination of the population were also organised. Occupational medicine and an occupational safety system provided greater security for the employed. Pensions and homes for the elderly instilled confidence in end-of-life care. Thanks to better health and hygiene as well as improved socio-economic conditions, the estimated life expectancy for those born in the early 1980's was 68 years for men and 73 for women, that is, twenty or so years longer than that for the generations born in the 1940's. For the same reasons, infant mortality declined from 143 per thousand in the 1930's to 27 per thousand in the mid-1980's, ranging from 12.6 per thousand in Slovenia to 54.3 per thousand in Kosovo.
The overall advances made by the communist government in Yugoslavia are remarkable.
Educational Achievements
Another area in which the communists dramatically improved Yugoslavia is that of education. Pre-war Yugoslavia was extremely backwards with regards to education. According to the Helsinki Committee:
In the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, despite specific efforts to raise the educational level of the population, no significant breakthroughs in this field were made. In 1921, the number of illiterate persons older than 10 years was even 4,402,059 (50.5 percent of the population), while by the 1931 census their number had increased to 4,408,471 (44.6 percent of the population older than 10 years).
After the communists took over during WWII, the situation rapidly and dramatically improved:
According to the 1948 census already, this number was considerably smaller – 3,162,941 (25.4 percent of the population). This decrease was the result of a mass literacy campaign during the war and in its aftermath... considerable efforts were made towards educating the population, so that the number of illiterate persons older than 10 years continually declined, accompanied by an increase in the total population, so that in 1961 there were 3,066,165 (21 percent) such persons; in 1971 – 2,549,571 (15.1 percent) and in 1981 – 1,780,902 (9.5 percent). Of this number 1,576,238 were aged over 39 or, in other words, born before 1945.
Access to education was drastically expanded by the communists:
After 1945, the educational network expanded rapidly, both in terms of the number of schools and in terms of teaching diversity, while the number of compulsory years of elementary education increased and in 1958 compulsory eight-year elementary education was introduced. In the territory of Yugoslavia in 1946, there were 10,666 elementary schools with 1,441,679 students and 23,270 teachers which, considering the number of teachers, was a big decline compared to 1939. By 1975/78, the number of elementary schools in Yugoslavia had grown to 13,442, but after that it started to decline, mostly due to the merger of smaller schools, which was made possible thanks to improved transport and greater student mobility.
In short, the educational situation in Yugoslavia was dramatically improved during the socialist period, with a drastic reduction in illiteracy and a massive expansion in the educational network across the country.
Women's Rights in Yugoslavia
Pre-war Yugoslavia held a strongly reactionary view of women's rights, which was rapidly changed in the socialist period. According to the Helsinki Committee:
Women’s emancipation in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was the result of individual efforts, while in socialist Yugoslavia it was the result of an organized policy. Although a feminist movement existed in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, it remained on the margins of social influence, while the status of women was best expressed in the Civil Code under which a married woman was denied legal capacity. This anachronous legal provision was abolished as early as 1946, with termination of the validity of the Civil Code.
The communists actively promoted women's emancipation:
Women understandably obtained the right to vote, marital relations were liberalized, the political activism of women was promoted through the Anti-Fascist Womens’ Front and other mass organizations, and women were increasingly assuming social and political functions, while the legal solutions in all spheres of life tried to ensure gender equality. A considerable increase in the number of divorces can also be considered an expression of women’s emancipation.
Women's educational access improved dramatically:
At literacy courses conducted during the period 1948–1950 as much as 70 percent of attendees were women, although the literacy and schooling of female children met with resistance in conservative environments, mostly for religious and patriarchal reasons. From 1921 to 1981, the percentage of illiterate women declined from 60 percent to 14.7 percent.
Women were integrated into the economy, from which they had previously been largely excluded:
After 1945, the share of the male population in the economically active population was decreasing, while the rate of the economically active population within the female population was relatively stable and ranged from 30.7 percent to 35.1 percent. This means that the absolute number of the economically active female population (and thus the share of the economically active population) was increasing in proportion to an increase in the share of the female population in the total population. However, this was not the case with the male population. This is a very credible testimony to women’s emancipation compared to the prewar period, which was especially evident after 1961.
The communists thus made a number of enormous improvements to the status of women's rights in Yugoslavia.
Conclusion
The communists in Yugoslavia succeeded in drastically improving life for the people. The economy was greatly developed, infrastructure was expanded dramatically, and social policy was greatly advanced. The socialist era was a time of tremendous improvement and hope for the people. As the Helsinki Committee puts it:
This picture of the increase in the standard of living will become more complete if one takes into account the achieved level of technological development, high health and hygiene standards and higher educational level of the population. Should the question of progress be posed from the aspect of everyday life, it would be reflected in the wish for electricity, paved roads, a comfortable apartment or house, a marriage of love and not an arranged marriage, fertile land, job security, as well as the wish for the children to be better off in the future. It is precisely these issues that are conversation topics in the prize-winning feature film Train Without a Timetable (Veljko Bulajić, 1959): “There is also electricity and a state road over there, and you can have a radio in the house. It can play and sing for you all day long! Just like in a dream...” This dream was part of the changes brought by the 20th century to everyday life, including increased opportunities and needs. Yugoslavia was attuning the rhythm of the century to its own development level and political priorities.
That's something which we can all appreciate.
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i don't like doing this but here we are

this should be 10 thousand words
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Khiron Life Sciences Reports 2018 Fiscal Year End Results and Provides Corporate Update

Khiron Life Sciences Reports 2018 Fiscal Year End Results and Provides Corporate Update
Canada NewsWire
TORONTO, May 1, 2019
TORONTO, May 1, 2019 /CNW/ - Khiron Life Sciences Corp. ("Khiron" or the "Company") (TSXV: KHRN), (OTCQB: KHRNF), (Frankfurt: A2JMZC), is pleased to report its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2018. Khiron has filed today its audited consolidated financial statements and related management's discussion and analysis, both of which are available on Khiron's profile at www.sedar.com. All financial information in this press release is reported in Canadian dollars, unless otherwise indicated.
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Quarterly Summary of Financial Results
Q1 2018
Q2 2018
Q3 2018
Q4 2018
Revenues
$
-
$
-
$
-
$
891,677
Comprehensive Loss
2,031,848
6,203,970
5,829,913
6,165,034
Weighted avg. shares
33,042,295
40,566,495
49,851,687
70,187,318
Total assets
2,345,202
8,601,765
18,775,679
40,348,817
Total non-current financial liabilities
-
-
-
2,353,080
December 31, 2018
Revenues
$
891,677
Comprehensive Loss
20,230,765
Weighted avg. shares
48,518,873
Total assets
$40,348,817
Total non-current financial liabilities
2,353,080
Financial Highlights
Khiron achieves first sales during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018. Sales totalled $891,677 and were attributable to the commercialization of Kuida branded cosmeceutical products, and the acquisition of ILANS, a network of medical clinics in Bogota, Colombia. These initial sales represent an initial market entrance in advance of any other licenced producer in Colombia. Gross margin on sales was 33.3%. Management anticipates gross margin to increase with the introduction of higher margin medical cannabis products.
Operating costs were consistent with management expectations and totalled to $20,093,697. The majority of these expenditures were comprised of general and administrative expenses of $9,560,797. The total comprehensive loss for the period was $20,230,765.
Cash and cash equivalents as at year-end were $18,963,272. These amounts are reflective of equity capital and warrant exercises completed during the period. Cash resources have enabled the Company to accelerate its business plan and expand its team across markets. Subsequent to the reporting period, the Company also completed a bought deal financing for gross proceeds of $28,842,000 in Q1 2019.
Year-end accounts receivable and accounts payable were, respectively, $4,323,771 and $6,817,235. These amounts are directly attributable to the commercial operations of the Company, including accounts receivable and payables associated with the ILANS acquisition. The Company had total working capital of $17,493,835 as at December 31, 2018.
Management Commentary
Alvaro Torres, Khiron CEO and Director, commented: "Fiscal 2018 marked an important year for Khiron as we accomplished a number of significant objectives towards delivering on our strategy of becoming an internationally recognized, market-leading cannabis company. From a start-up to a team over 250, we have established operations and activity in multiple jurisdictions, acquired medical clinics, developed a market-leading skincare brand, entered into research partnerships, set up educational programs and received patient association endorsements."
Mr. Torres continued, "We operate in a complex, fast-moving industry, and I would like to recognize our incredible team who have worked hard to bring the Khiron vision to life. It has been their passion and commitment that has made our significant progress possible."
Mr. Torres concluded, "We have much work to do in growing the Company and remain focused on executing all aspects of our business to generate value for our shareholders and bring medical cannabis products to people in Latin America and globally."
2018 Highlights
Listing
Capital
Geographic Expansion
Patient Association Endorsements
Product Development and Portfolio
Revenue Generation and Product Distribution
Grow Status – Regulatory and Capacity
Merger and Acquisitions
Key Board and Management Appointments
About Khiron
Khiron Life Sciences Corp. is positioned to be the dominant integrated cannabis company in Latin America. Khiron has core operations in Latin America and is fully licensed for the cultivation, production, domestic distribution, and international export of both THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) medical cannabis. In May 2018, Khiron listed on the TSX Venture Exchange, becoming the first Colombian based medical cannabis company to trade on any exchange globally.
With a focused regional strategy and patient oriented approach, the Company combines global scientific expertise, agricultural advantages, branded product market entrance experience and education to drive prescription and brand loyalty to address priority medical conditions such as chronic pain, epilepsy, depression and anxiety in the Latin American market of over 620 million people. Khiron is led by Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Alvaro Torres, together with an experienced executive team, and a knowledgeable Board of Directors that includes former President of Mexico, Vicente Fox. Further information on Khiron Life Sciences can be found at https://investors.khiron.ca/
To be added to the distribution list, please email [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) with "Khiron" in the subject line.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements This news release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian and United Statessecurities laws. Often, but not always, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "estimates", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Khiron or its subsidiaries to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking information contained in this news release. Examples of such statements include statements with respect the future market share, product development, build out of facilities, the proposed acquisitions of NettaGrowth and CanapaLife Group, and additional market and product expansion, among others. Risks, uncertainties and other factors involved with forward-looking information could cause actual events, results, performance, prospects and opportunities to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including risks contained in the Company's annual information form filed with Canadian securities regulators available on the Company's issuer profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Although the Company believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing the forward-looking information in this news release are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on such information and no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed time frames or at all. The forward-looking information included in this news release are made as of the date of this news release and the Company does not undertake an obligation to publicly update such forward-looking information to reflect new information, subsequent events or otherwise unless required by applicable securities legislation.
Neither the TSXV nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSXV) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.
SOURCE Khiron Life Sciences Corp.
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View original content to download multimedia: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/May2019/01/c0943.html
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Some news you may have missed out on part 41.

-PTI government to present NAP - 2 which would have important element of cyber security
The new version of Pakistan’s National Action Plan includes cyber security. The Ministry of Interior recently announced it would introduce NAP-2 and restructure the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA).
-Complete ban on purchase of motor vehicles by government authorities
The government has put a complete ban on purchase of motor vehicles (except motorcycles) by all ministries, divisions and departments during current fiscal year. The decision has been taken under austerity measures by PTI government, according to a notification dated December 03, 2018 issued by Finance Division.
-New gas and condensate reserves discovered in Pakistan A new Gas and Condensate discovery has been been reported in Sindh, Pakistan. As per media report, Pakistan Petroleum Limited has made a gas and condensate discovery at its exploration well Hadaf X-1 in Sindh’s Sanghar district.
According to the press statement, after drilling to a depth of 3,700m to find hydrocarbon potential, following observations were made:
-Federal government hints at reopening Swiss bank accounts case against Asif Ali Zardari
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar on Wednesday has hinted about reopening the Swiss bank accounts case against former president Asif Ali Zardari. He said that an agreement has been signed between Pakistan and Switzerland on sharing of bank accounts details.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Wednesday, he said that following the agreement with Switzerland, the government could get bank accounts details.
-Federal cabinet to decide subsidy for captive power plants tomorrow
In an apparent bid to provide a subsidy to “influential” owners of captive power plants, the Petroleum Division, on the advice of the Finance Division, has put Prime Minister Imran Khan and his federal cabinet in a test, it was learnt on Wednesday. The Petroleum Division has sought from the federal cabinet an approval to a subsidy worth approximately Rs18 billion and a change in the priority list for gas supply to various categories of consumers. The Petroleum Division has prepared a summary for the federal cabinet on the advice of the Finance Division. The federal cabinet is likely to take a decision on the summary of petroleum ministry in its meeting to be chaired by PM Imran Khan today (Thursday), said sources.
-Finance Minister Asad Umar gives a deadline for economic revival
Finance Minister Asad Umer has given a two years deadline for economic revival of the country. Responding to a question, the minister said that the government imposed tax on people having income above Rs200,000, adding that the poor people were not burdened.
2 years >>>>> 100 days.
-Temporary shelter homes built in Peshawar
-Azerbaijan to buy JF-17 Blok II combat aircraft from Pakistan
Negotiations between Azerbaijan and Pakistan on the purchase of JF-17 Block II combat aircraft are coming to the end, the representative of the company "Pakistan Aeronautical Complex" (PAC) informed Azeri Defense at the international exhibition İDEAS-2018 in Karachi. It is assumed that 24 such aircraft will be delivered to Azerbaijan, with a total value of $500 million
-Kanupp-II to commence operations in December 2020
Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Muhammad Naeem on Monday said the 1,100-megawatt (MW) Karachi Nuclear Power Complex-II (KANUPP-2) will commence operations in December 2020 and KANNUPP-3 in October 2021. While speaking at a seminar organized by the Centre for Peace, Security and Development Studies (CPSD) on Monday, Mr Naeem stated once the 100MW Chashma-5 is completed, Pakistan intends to generate 8,800MW nuclear energy by 2030, reports The News. PAEC chairman told that both the plants had a workable life of sixty-years, which could be elongated to eighty-years. He added, “Nuclear power plants are reliable having high availability and capacity factor, relatively environmentally friendly, and provide sustainability of electricity price having a low share of fuel cost.”
-Germany Is Offering 3 Million Jobs to Pakistanis
German foreign ministry has written a letter to Pakistan asking to develop a plan to provide skilled labor for the country. As per details, a German news agency Katholische Nachrichten-Agentur (KNA) has reported citing Spegiel Online that the German foreign office’s Europe Wing has written a letter to the Pakistani foreign mission requesting it for the provision of skilled labor. The letter specifically mentions the fields for which they expect labor for. The report claims that the European country has demanded 3 million skilled workers from Pakistan, including IT experts and engineers.
-https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/402008-pakistan-to-export-electricity-to-tajikistan-in-winter-through-casa-1000
Pakistan has decided to export electricity to Tajikistan in winter season through CASA-1000 project as in the power purchase agreement (PPA), a reverse flow of electricity clause was included and to this effect the authorities in Power Division would soon engage their counterparts in Tajikistan, a senior official of Power Division told The News. Under the agreement, the official said, once the CASA-1000 project is completed, Pakistan will import 1,000MW electricity from Tajikistan at 9 cents per unit in summer season for 5 months from May to September, but now authorities in Islamabad have made up their mind to export 1,000MW electricity to Tajikistan through the same project in winter as hydro generation in Tajikistan turns zero.
-Pakistan & Italy Sign MoU for Multi-Sector Trade Cooperation
Pakistan and Italy Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance economic and trade cooperation in different sectors, stated a press release. Federal Secretary for Commerce Mohammad Younus Dhaga, while addressing as chief guest at the MoU signing ceremony between ICE, Italian Trade Agency and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, informed that both countries agreed to extend the cooperation in infrastructure and construction, energy, logistics, transport, telecoms, water, machinery and equipment for manufacturing marble and stones, textile, clothing, leather, shoes, rubber, metal and chemical products. Both sides also agreed to increase cooperation in agriculture and food equipment, machinery and equipment for health and pharmaceutical sector, automotive, consumer goods, food, furniture, clothing and apparel, he added.
-Over 200 Hindu pilgrims cross Wagah border on 10-day religious tour
Pakistani officials accorded a warm welcome to 209 Hindu pilgrims from India, who crossed the Wagah Border on Wednesday to pay their respect at different temples situated inside Pakistan. Most of the Indian pilgrims, who were visiting the country for the first, expressed their joy for the goodwill gesture extended by the officials of Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) at the Pakistan-India border. The visitors were welcomed with garlands and their favourite food. Overjoyed with the love and respect, they said they did not feel like strangers in Pakistan.
-PM Imran, Bill Gates discuss cooperation in social, IT sectors
Prime Minister Imran Khan and Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation Co-chairman Bill Gates held a telephonic conversation on Wednesday. Bill Gates, one of the world’s leading businessmen, felicitated Imran Khan on being elected as the prime minister of Pakistan and appreciated his efforts towards polio eradication. The Microsoft co-founder assured the prime minister of continued cooperation in various fields, including the strengthening of IT sector. The prime minister thanked Bill Gates for cooperation in the social sector.
-LMKT, Microsoft join hands to launch AppFactory in Pakistan
LMKT, a local technology company, has joined forces with Microsoft to launch the first AppFactory (Apprenticeship Factory) in Pakistan, which will develop the digital skills, coding capabilities and employability of young ICT graduates. Forming part of its new LMKT SPARK programme, the AppFactory will recruit up to 30 apprentices every six months, and place them alongside senior software technicians to work on real-world industry projects. After graduating from the programme, apprentices will be able to fully design and implement modern software solutions and have access to jobs through both LMKT and the Microsoft Partner Network. The AppFactory will recruit up to 30 apprentices every six months, and place them alongside senior software technicians to work on real-world industry projects
-Pakistan negotiating $2 billion commercial loans with China: Report
After the refusal of China to provide balance of payment (BoP) support to Pakistan, the country is said to be negotiating $2 billion worth of commercial loans with Beijing. According to well-informed sources, a technical team of the State Bank of Pakistan and Finance Ministry paid a visit to China recently to talk about various modalities of loans and interest rate, however, an agreement wasn’t inked because of differences and conditions imposed, reports Business Recorder. Islamabad had reached out to Beijing for $3 billion BoP support and after the conclusion of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit a technical team including Secretary Finance Arif Khan and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Tariq Bajwa held talks with Chinese authorities but the result of the negotiations bore no fruit.
-IMF at initial stage of assessing how much funding Pakistan requires for a bailout: Report
The International Monetary Fund’s resident representative in Pakistan, Teresa Sanchez has said they are at initial stages of assessing how much resources Islamabad would require for a bailout. Pakistan hasn’t only approached for financial assistance but also for policy advice, which constitutes a usual part of its service to member countries, said Ms Sanchez.
-Railways minister vows Rs10bn profit in FY19
Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed on Wednesday said that the department has set a target of receiving Rs10 billion in profit margins for the Financial Year 2018-19. Talking to media at the Rawalpindi Railway Hospital, Rasheed vowed that the task given to him by Prime Minister Imran Khan as focal person for Leh Expressway Project would be completed soon. He announced that a new train would commence its operations from Karachi to Peshawar, covering the distance of 1,760km in eight hours at the speed of 160km per hour. Rasheed linked the benefits of the construction of China Pakistan Economic Corridor with the development of the railways’ department. “CPEC is the backbone of the economy and revolutionary changes would be carried out in the rehabilitation of railways with the support of China,” he added.
-CPEC must be materialised without further delay: Sartaj Aziz
Former finance minister Sartaj Aziz has said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a win-win arrangement for both Pakistan and China and that all the projects under CPEC must be materialised without any delay, as it would lead to industrialisation in Pakistan. He was speaking at the Opening Plenary of 21st Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on Wednesday.
-Govt slashes non-salary budget by 10%
The federal government has decided to cut non-salary current budget of the civilian setup by 10% as part of its austerity drive –a move that will help save nearly Rs10 billion in the remainder period of fiscal year but would not address core fiscal problems. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has also decided to continue with a ban imposed on creation of new posts excepts where the posts are required to be created under development projects. The Ministry of Finance has issued an office memorandum to give effect to the austerity measures for fiscal year 2018-19. Effectively, the cut in current non-salary expenditure will be on the budget allocations for the period of December 2018 to June 2019.
-Tracking Devices Are Now Compulsory for All Motorcycles in Sindh
Sindh has decided to make it compulsory for motorcycle owners to install a tracking device in their bikes. For this purpose, the provincial government will be amending the Motor Vehicle Ordinance. After the proposed amendment, it will be mandatory for motorcyclists to install tracking devices in their two-wheelers.
-Pakistan Railways to launch yet another new train
The Pakistan Railways will launch a new passenger train from Peshawar to Karachi on December 23, Sunday. “Around 90% work has been completed, while the work left will be completed before the launch,” a Railways official said. According to Radio Pakistan link, the fare of Rehman Baba Express will be Rs1,350.
-Pakistan’s Trade with South Asia Can Increase Eight-fold: World Bank
Pakistan’s trade with South Asia can go up by eight-fold if the trade barriers with regional countries are removed, said a new report of the World Bank. Pakistan’s trade with South Asia accounts for only 8 percent of its global trade, despite the region being the world’s fastest growing. However, intraregional trade in South Asia is among the lowest at about 5 percent of total trade, compared with 50 percent in East Asia and the Pacific.
Regional trade can create many more jobs and make the country prosperous, the report said. The recently-launched Glass Half Full: The Promise of Regional Trade in South Asia report documents what needs to be done to realize the full trading potential in South Asia. It was launched at the 11th South Asia Economic Summit, hosted by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute in Islamabad.
-PM expresses satisfaction over cordial ties between Pakistan, Japan
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday acknowledged the importance of Japan as a development and investment partner of Pakistan, and expressed satisfaction over the cordial relations between the two countries.
He also looked forward to a greater level of cooperation between the two countries, particularly in the area of trade, investment, infrastructure and human resource development. The prime minister was talking to National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of Japan, Kentaro Sonoura, who called on him here. Welcoming Sonoura and members of his delegation, the prime minister appreciated the positive momentum of bilateral relationship between the two countries.
The prime minister encouraged Japanese investment in Pakistan, which had immense economic potential, having young population and unexplored mineral wealth.
JETRO survey on Japanese business in Asia had declared Pakistan as the top country for positive sale profits and future business expansion.
-Over One Million Pakistanis Have Signed Up to Donate Blood Using Facebook
More than one million donors have signed up to donate blood in Pakistan using Facebook’s feature of blood donations since its launch in March this year, according to the official data of Facebook. Facebook launched Blood Donations in Pakistan earlier this year to help make safe blood more accessible in Pakistan to all licensed blood banks and hospitals. With the blood donations tool, people can sign up to be blood donors on Facebook and get notified when people, blood banks, and hospitals near them need blood. It has an ongoing partnership with SBTP (Safe Blood Authority) to train blood banks on how to find volunteers donors through Facebook.
-Pakistan Railways is Now Offering 5 Percent Discount on 90-Day Advance Booking
The people intending to travel through Pakistan Railways will now have the facility of advance booking of seats 90 days prior to the travel date. A spokesman of Pakistan Railways said that the department has decided to facilitate passengers by offering 90-day advance booking facility. He said that a five percent discount will be offered on advance booking of seats. The discount on the advance booking will be effective in all trains and classes.
-A restaurant introduces it's menu in Braille on International Day of Disabled Persons for it's visually impaired customers
-Construction work on Kartarpur corridor initiates
The longstanding dream is finally being materialized in a literal sense as heavy machinery reached Kartarpur area of the district to start construction work on the corridor linking Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur to Dera Baba Nanak in India’s Gurdaspur district. According to details, the construction company, in charge of the whole project, has shifted heavy machinery and raw material to Kartarpur to start building a four-kilometer road from the Gurdwara to the border.
-Pakistan invites World’s leading economic country to join CPEC projects
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has invited the Japanese businessmen to invest in Special Economic Zones created under China Pakistan Economic Corridor. He was talking to the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of Japan Kentaro Sonoura who called on him in Islamabad on Wednesday. The Foreign Minister briefed the Japanese side on CPEC and assured that Japanese investors will be facilitated in all fields of interest. Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan regards Japan as a close friend and a key economic partner. He said that government was focusing on socio-economic uplift of the people of Pakistan and furthering regional peace and stability. The Japanese National Security Advisor expressed his earnest desire to further strengthen bilateral relations between Pakistan and his country in the days to come.
-Economic benefits of low-income housing highlighted
Investment in low-income housing would bring “massive” economic benefits to Pakistan, according to a new study published by Karandaaz Pakistan and funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID). The new study, ‘Enhancing Builder Finance in Pakistan’, was launched at an event in Islamabad. With this study, Karandaaz Pakistan aims to show the wide benefits of building more affordable housing, but also help boost the businesses of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that work on the building sector. The study estimates that the construction of 100,000 more houses each year will lead to economic growth as well as increased employment opportunities. According to the study, Pakistan’s economy will benefit massively if affordable housing were to be increased.
-‘Pakistan can achieve 30pc renewable energy generation by 2030’
As renewable energy is now the cheapest form of electricity generation in Pakistan, the government could reduce its reliance on expensive power plants and fossil fuel imports in favour of cleaner, more accessible electricity for people and businesses. A report, “Pakistan’s Power Future: Renewable Energy Provides a More Diverse, Secure and Cost-Effective Alternative,” produced by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), examines the current energy system in Pakistan while suggesting an alternative energy model for 2030. The report finds that Pakistan’s current power mix has an over-reliance on outdated fossil fuels technology and seasonal hydro-power generation, roughly split in a ratio of 70:20:10, being 70pc thermal and 20pc hydro, with nuclear power making up most of the rest.
-Pakistan’s IT Sector Will Produce 18,000 New Jobs in 2019: Report
The IT industry in Pakistan has been growing phenomenally for the past 10-12 years. Its tremendous growth can be identified from its contribution to the economy. IT sector’s share in the total exports accounts for 3.5 percent, which is more than double from 2006, which was 1.3 percent. The industry is projected to expand and grow across different categories. Along with contributing to the country’s exports, it has been generating numerous jobs for people. According to the Pakistan Technology Industry Survey 2018, the IT community is going to hire between 12,000 and 18,000 employees in 2019.
-Punjab Govt to Launch Health App for School Children
Punjab government is planning to launch a customized school app to promote health and hygiene among school-going children. The announcement has come from none other than Punjab Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid in a media talk outside Punjab Assembly. As per the details, the app will launch in 12 selected schools. In the first phase, students of six girls and six boys schools will be screened. They will undergo medical tests of nose, ear, throat, teeth, eyes, and skin.
Part 33
Part 34
Part 35
Part 36
Part 37
Part 38
Part 39
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