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Australia begins vaccination against COVID-19, with PM in first half | National | Instant News


TOKYO – Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination program kicked off on Sunday, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison joining a group of nursing home residents and staff to receive the first injection.

Morrison and the country’s chief medical officer and nurse were among a small group to receive the first Pfizer / BioNTech injection to help build public confidence in program safety.

The broader rollout will begin on Monday, with Australia prioritizing hotel quarantine and border workers, front-line health care workers and nursing home residents and staff.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said on February 15 that Australia’s first vaccine had arrived, when more than 142,000 doses of Pfizer / BioNTech injections landed at Sydney airport.

It is hoped that a larger portion of the dose given in Australia will come from the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is produced onshore by CSL Ltd. based in Melbourne.

Separately, the health department said “Green Zone” flights to Australia from New Zealand could resume on Sunday. The situation in New Zealand has now improved after flights were suspended due to cases of community transmission of COVID-19 in Auckland.

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Germany remembers victims one year after racist killings National | Instant News


HANAU, Germany – Germany is commemorating victims of a racist shooting in Hanau, near Frankfurt, on Friday, one year after 10 people were shot dead by an extremist in a city near Frankfurt.

The assailant, identified as Tobias R, went on a rampage on the night of 19 February 2020, targeting nine people of foreign descent before killing his mother and then shooting himself.

The attack left a grieving community as well as criticism from the authorities, who are accused of not doing enough to prevent the attacks or support the family afterwards.

“Clarification and reckoning of the past is … the responsibility of the state to the public and especially to relatives,” said German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in a speech to mark the event.

Steinmeier acknowledged that a mistake had been made by the authorities, saying he was “deeply depressed that our country could not fulfill its promises for protection, security and freedom.”

He challenged the public not to “let evil acts divide us.”

“Let us not ignore the evil forces in our midst – hatred, marginalization, indifference. But let us believe … in our strength to stand together,” he said.

The 43-year-old gunman published pamphlets online before the shooting accompanied by conspiracy theories and racist slander.

Armin Kurtovic, whose son Hamzah was killed, said he grapples daily with questions about how the crime happened and why it was not prevented.

“Since then, the world around us has not moved. Nothing is like it used to be,” he said.

He called for the crime to be investigated but said there was a lack of will to do so. “During this year, we have been trying to find answers to our own questions, because we were not listened to by the authorities and were rejected many times.”

Another victim’s relative sent a video message echoing his calls, saying questions urgently needed to be answered and further efforts were made to fight racism.

Church bells rung in Hanau and the surrounding city and district at night to mark the attack.

Former national football star Rudi Voeller opened a memorial and lit candles while reading the names of the victims: Ferhat Unvar, Hamza Kurtovic, Said Nesar Hashemi, Mercedes Kierpacz, Sedat Gurbuz, Gokhan Gultekin, Kaloyan Velkov, Vili Viorel Paun and Fatih Saracoglu.

Speaking on the eve of the memorial, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that no one could argue that they did not see the Hanau attacks coming given the statistics gathered by domestic intelligence in previous years.

He noted that more than 33,000 far-right extremists live in Germany, 13,000 of whom are willing to use violence, and the trend is increasing.

“Why don’t we hear the alarm bells?” the foreign minister asked.

Maas spoke of “everyday racism in government and city offices, in shops, in schools, buses and trains” that must be stopped.

On Friday, demonstrations took place across the country, including in big cities such as Berlin, Hamburg and Munich.

In Hamburg, 2,000 people attended several rallies under the banner “Solidarity from Hamburg to Hanau,” calling for an investigation into the incident.

In Hanau itself, demonstrations to commemorate this one year anniversary were organized by an alliance of local youth groups under the banner of “Don’t forgive, don’t forget. Together fight racism.”

(c) 2021 Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)

Visit Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany) at www.dpa.de/English.82.0.html

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Brazil presents a disputed nature conservation scheme for the Amazon region | National | Instant News


RIO DE JANEIRO – Following harsh criticism of its environmental and climate policies, the Brazilian government on Wednesday presented a controversial program for the preservation of nature reserves in the Amazon region.

The scheme dubbed “Park Adoption” allows individuals or companies to sponsor national parks in the Amazon region for a fee of 50 reais (9 dollars) per hectare per year, according to a government statement.

The area of ​​the reserve varies between 2,574 and 3,865,172 hectares. However, it is only possible to “adopt” the entire garden.

French company Carrefour was the first to declare sponsoring a 75,000-hectare “Reserva Extrativista do Lago do Cunia” reserve in the northern state of Rondonia.

Carrefour is currently trying to improve his image in Brazil after the cruel death of a black man in one of his supermarkets in Rio de Janeiro in November.

Greenpeace Brazil has criticized the park initiative as an attempt to disguise reality, accusing the government of shifting responsibility for funding part of the country’s environmental protection to companies.

Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourao, chairman of the Amazon Council, told the World Economic Forum in Davos that the country would have no funds left for spending in the Amazon region after the pandemic.

Greenpeace, however, is referring to the Amazon Fund, a private fund that aims to fight deforestation and for the conservation of the Amazon rainforest, and which has been paralyzed since disagreements over its use.

Brazil has faced growing criticism for its management of the Amazon, especially under hardline President Jair Bolsonaro.

Rainforest deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon region has reached its highest point in 12 years, said space agency Inpe, which is responsible for monitoring rainforests, as recently as December.

Between August 2019 and July 2020, 11,088 square kilometers of forest were cut in the area, according to Inpe, which represents the largest area displaced since 2008.

This is equivalent to about 4,340 football fields per day or three soccer fields per minute and compared to the same period last year, deforestation increased by 9.5%.

Bolsonaro sees the region primarily as untapped economic potential and wants to develop more land for agriculture, mining and energy production. He has dismissed international criticism of his environmental policies as meddling in domestic affairs.

(c) 2021 Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)

Visit Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany) at www.dpa.de/English.82.0.html

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New Zealand is ranked No. 1 in tackling COVID-19, US in bottom 5, says survey | National | Instant News


In terms of handling the COVID-19 crisis, the United States received an F.

That’s the assessment of the Lowy Institute, an Australian think tank that released Thursday a detailed ranking of 98 countries’ responses to the pandemic.

America, with 431,000 deaths from coronavirus, hit the chart at No. 94 – fifth from the bottom.

The only countries that received lower COVID-19 scores were Iran, Colombia, Mexico and Brazil, which came in last with 220,000 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University health tracker.

In the case of America and Brazil, its presidents, Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro, underestimated the severity of the disease before catching it themselves.

Among the testing metrics implemented by the institute are confirmed cases, COVID-19 deaths and tests per thousand people.

“Collectively, these indicators show how well or badly countries are coping with the pandemic,” the study said.

At the top of the list is New Zealand, which limits the number of victims to just 25 – in a country of 5 million.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been praised on a global scale for implementing strict border locks and important coronavirus testing practices.

Vietnam is ranked No. 2 because the Asian country of 96 million people has recorded a small number of deaths from COVID-19 of 35 people.

Also scored in the top 10, in descending order of No. 3, are Taiwan, Thailand, Cyprus, Rwanda, Iceland, Australia, Latvia and Sri Lanka.

“The degree of economic development or differences in political systems between countries had less impact on outcomes than is often assumed or published,” the Lowy Institute articulated in its analysis.

Worldwide, more than 101 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed and the death toll is approaching 2.2 million.

Nearly one in five of all deaths from COVID-19 on Earth are Americans.

© 2021 New York Daily News. Visit at nydailynews.com. Distributed by the Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Copyright 2021 Tribune Content Agency.

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AmTrav Launches Innovative Flight Buying Experience for Business Travelers and Travel Managers | national | Instant News


AGOURA HILLS, Calif., Jan.26, 2021 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) – AmTrav, the one-stop platform for business travel, today announced the launch of its all-new flight shopping experience in its a2b booking tool premium. The travel industry has been talking and talking about how to fill content gaps and improve airline purchases for almost a decade, ”said AmTrav CEO Jeff Klee. “But, despite countless task forces and forums, more three-letter acronyms have emerged than customer benefits.” Referring to the industry’s brand new New Distribution Capability (NDC) initiative, Klee added, “Most TMCs are waiting for others in the industry to solve their travelers’ issues, but we are committed to addressing these challenges. themselves, without waiting for the NDC ready for production. We’ve spent 2020 iterating, tapping into different data sources, and curating our own content to deliver tangible benefits now. We’re still a long way from the finish line, but we’re way ahead of everyone else in the race to help customers easily find the flights and fares they need. Although AmTrav has shown travelers all of the fare brands available on every flight since 2017 and was the first TMC to go live with a Basic Next Generation Showcase (NGS) display in 2019, the new experience has been reconstructed and redesigned based on changing fashions. that airlines are offering their products, the resulting frustration for travelers who are not presented with all the options or who are unable to adequately compare them. Start with a new slate, colors and fonts fresh, a2b’s new design allows customers to compare flights and fares, quickly find the right option: Inspired by the latest NGS standard, the new flight display shows all available fares aligned vertically, so that Customers don’t accidentally compare a Basic Economy fare to a Regular Economy fare, may find cheaper options for similar products, and may spot when more legroom or a premium seat is available for a small purchase. Since fare brands are complicated and confusing – what’s the difference between t its base fare and that base fare, and what is a blue fare? – Travelers can quickly compare fares on the same flight or across multiple flights to see seat details, flight amenities, baggage allowances and change policies side-by-side for an easy apples-to-apples comparison. Does AmTrav show an overview of available seats on the seating map as well as details about the seats such as width, legroom and whether it is flat access or even in all lanes, but customers can also see onboard footage curated by AmTrav and detailed reviews for 83 different airlines / aircraft combinations, and more are added. Road warriors know equipment in flight are not all created the same, so AmTrav allows travelers to go beyond standard WiFi and in-flight entertainment icons to answer questions like “How fast is this WiFi?” , “Does it work door to door?”, “How good is this video screen and what can I watch on it – live TV, movies on demand and more?” While it is not uncommon for booking tools to allow travelers to filter flights by time, airli nes, airports, or number of stops, AmTrav now also allows you to filter by amenities, so you can only see flights with fast Wi-Fi, seat power, blocked middle seats, or all aisle access in business class, to name a few. New flight shopping experience includes full support for AmTrav-negotiated or company-negotiated bundles to streamline the purchase of seat upgrades, baggage, wifi and more – travelers can see clearly what’s included and book these new offers directly in the tool. AmTrav’s new flight purchase display automatically enforces corporate travel policies, pre-travel approvals, and negotiated discounts so customers can easily choose fares that suit both the traveler and the business. Content sources used in the new flight display include Routehappy by ATPCO, NDC content from 3 airlines (and more to come), several GDS, and content developed and collected by AmTrav. “With AmTrav, you can have it all in one package designed for you: consumer grade booking one tool, expert travel counselors and relationship managers ready to help, and flexible and accurate reporting and controls,” said Craig Fichtelberg, president of AmTrav. “Traditionally, companies had to choose between a slow, outdated booking tool that customers dread using or an unchecked Wild West approach that left travel administrators to collect spend data and track travelers in sheets. Calculation.” About AmTrav Corporate TravelAmTrav is a new kind of technology and service platform that is propelling business travel into a bold new era. Our easy-to-use solution empowers travelers and tour operators to be more productive. Businesses of all sizes use AmTrav to book travel, find savings, set travel policies, manage payments and expenses, and keep their travelers safe. Travelers love AmTrav because our unique connected platform provides a seamless experience across the travel ecosystem, and our travel experts and relationship managers are always ready to help. Over 1000 companies use AmTrav to get around, meet people, build meaningful relationships and get the most out of every trip. This press release has been issued on behalf of the news source (AmTrav) which is solely responsible for its accuracy, by Send2Press ® Newswire. The information is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed. Story ID: 67759 APDF-R8.2 © 2021 Send2Press®, a press release and email marketing service of NEOTROPE®, California, U.S.Disclaimer: The contents of this press release are not was created by Associated Press (AP). Copyright 2021 Send2Press Newswire.



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