Tag Archives: ECONOMY

United Airlines shares fell after another big loss | Instant News


United Airlines shares have fallen 8.5% after the company reported another big loss

United reported a first-quarter loss of $ 1.36 billion after markets closed on Monday. International business and travel is still down about 80% from pre-pandemic levels.

“There’s no way that will change tomorrow,” said CEO Scott Kirby during a phone call with investors Tuesday. “They will gradually get better as business travel returns and borders reopen.”

Kirby predicts that business travel will start picking up in the fall as people return to office buildings but won’t hit full speed until January – after the company “re-incorporates business travel – not in the budget for this year”.

International travel, Kirby said, will depend on lifting restrictions related to the virus. It also probably won’t happen until next year, he said.

This week United announced new flights to Greece, Croatia and Iceland, and Kirby hopes the restrictions between the US and UK will be relaxed in the summer for vaccinated passengers. On the other hand, the State Department said on Monday that Americans should reconsider overseas travel due to high levels of COVID-19 in most countries.

Chicago-based United’s first-quarter losses, excluding federal salary aid and other temporary items, were slightly larger than analysts had expected. The airline said, however, that it turned cash flow positive in March, excluding certain expenses, and would benefit when business and international long-distance travel returned to 65% of their 2019 levels, up from 20% currently.

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‘No food in the fridge’: exhausting Ramadan in Lebanon | Business and Economic News | Instant News


Beirut, Lebanon – Over the past decade, Sawa For Development and Aid has delivered iftar evening meals to about 4,000 families who break their fast every day during Ramadan in the Bekaa Valley east of Lebanon.

But this year the NGO’s busy kitchen has had to work non-stop, cooking for at least 7,000 Syrian refugees and Lebanese families.

“This year is a little different,” Doha Adi, NGO program manager, told Al Jazeera with a sigh.

“We provide hot food to areas far from our kitchens [in the Bekaa Valley], sending food parcels to homes in Beirut and Tripoli – we never thought we should intervene in Beirut, ”he said.

But it’s not just Syrian refugees and vulnerable Lebanese across the country who are asking Sawa for Development and Aid to eat this Ramadan.

“We are being contacted by cities in Bekaa Governorate to support Lebanese households this year,” Adi said.

“They sent us lists of vulnerable households, asking if we could support them.”

The Lebanese pound is gone about 90 percent value since late 2019 and continues to decline.

Over the past 18 months, more than half of Lebanon’s population has fallen into poverty.

In addition, food prices have skyrocketed – for even the simplest basic household needs.

Lebanon imports most of its goods, including food, and food inflation in Lebanon is the highest in the world, according to the United Nations – as food prices soar. above 400 percent.

‘What can you get with that?’

Calculations by Nasser Yassin, professor of policy and planning at the American University of Beirut, have revealed that a common fattoush salad – consisting of ingredients such as lettuce, tomato, radish and parsley – is 210 percent more expensive to prepare this year.

Yassin has dismissed tabloid speculation that Lebanon could witness famine, but is still concerned about the country’s food security crisis and said Lebanese households are likely to switch to a less nutritious and diverse diet, as many of the country’s 1.5 million Syrian refugees have already forced. To do.

“Instead of eating three times [a day], they will eat twice, but most of them will choose the cheaper option, so more carbohydrates, less meat and protein, “said Yassin.

Sawa for Development and Aid has so far raised more than $ 12,000 in donations for this year’s Ramadan food service, but the charity has been feeling the effects of high food prices.

Preparing food parcels to feed a family for over a month usually costs 100,000 Lebanese pounds ($ 66).

“But now, what can you get with that?” Adi said. “A can of oil, maybe?”

Assembling the same food package now costs more than six times as much.

“This year, we are adding food supplies to our cash transfer program,” said Adi.

“You literally can go into a house and not find food in the refrigerator or in the kitchen.”

An unclosed grocery store has seen the commotion break out, as anxious customers quarrel over subsidized cooking oil, powdered milk and other foods.

Some shops have provided food rations to stop people hoarding, but that has not eased tensions. In some cases, the security forces had to intervene.

World Food Program spokeswoman Rasha Abou Dargham also told Al Jazeera that more and more people in Lebanon were no longer able to secure the necessary amount of food.

“At least 22 percent of Lebanese citizens, 50 percent of Syrian refugees, and 33 percent of refugees from other countries are currently experiencing food insecurity,” said Abou Dargham.

“The price of a WFP food basket, at least for survival, has more than doubled in 2020 and continues to increase in 2021.”

The UN agency assists nearly 1.5 million people in Lebanon. That’s about one in six people.

There is no solution in sight

A source from Lebanon’s economy ministry, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Al Jazeera that it was doing all it could to respond to the food inflation crisis, including monitoring excessive price increases at supermarkets and suppliers stockpiling goods.

“We are monitoring on the ground, with the ministry’s Consumer Protection Directorate mobilizing every day,” said the source. “But we don’t have enough supervisors to maximize our effectiveness.”

The source added that the ministry had tried to push the government to implement antitrust laws – to prevent monopolies and promote a more diverse market – but with no success.

The Lebanese government is currently operating in a governing capacity after Prime Minister Hassan Diab stepped down last August.

President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister-appoint Saad Hariri remain at loggerheads, without the formation of a new government in sight.

Economy Minister Raoul Nehme introduced subsidies for various types of staple foods in May 2020. But that may end soon, as Lebanon is also preparing to remove subsidies for fuel, flour and medicines.

“Food subsidies have never been the solution,” an economics ministry source told Al Jazeera.

“We need a holistic plan to solve the whole subsidy problem, and the minister has lobbied for this.”

Overcoming Lebanon’s devastating economic crisis is no small feat, especially in a country ruled by famous people the corrupt ruling class.

Meanwhile, Adi said organizations like Sawa for Development and Aid hope to entertain families with iftar meals that remind us of life before the economic crash.

“The Ramadan kitchen is something that the community anticipates,” he said, “and it revives the spirit of Ramadan which is essential for community well-being, for solidarity, to stay connected to the culture and roots of our home country.”

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Lebanon faces a difficult Ramadan amid ‘crazy’ food prices | Business and Economic News | Instant News


Food prices in Lebanon soared at a time when the country was experiencing its worst economic crisis in decades.

Many Muslim families in Lebanon struggle to buy iftar meals, a dinner that breaks the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan, when food prices soar amid the country’s worst conditions. economy Crysis in a few decades.

“The prices are insane and go up even more during Ramadan … a plate of salad will cost six times as much this year,” Beirut resident Um Ahmed told Al Jazeera.

“What are we doing? Are we begging? We are not used to begging.”

Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr, reporting from Beirut, said that “for millions of people in Lebanon, food has become a luxury”.

He said that while Ramadan is an important event for Muslims, there are “several signs” marking the event in many Beirut neighborhoods.

“The lights, decorations, and traditional drink stalls that were staple items at the iftar table are up.”

The Lebanese economy and currency are in freefall, reducing people’s purchasing power.

The Lebanese pound fell to 10,000 against the US dollar in early March, and later that month, it fell to unprecedented 15,000. The currency has lost about 90 percent of its value since late 2019.

“Those who used to buy a kilo of vegetables now buy half, while others buy by piece… some just walk away after finding out the price,” said Ahmed, a vegetable seller.

‘Prices have shot up’

One month of iftar meal for a family of five is now estimated to cost two and a half times the $ 60 minimum wage on the black market.

Lebanon imports most of its food and is running out of shortages as the government runs out of dollars.

“Our salaries have not changed but prices have gone up,” said resident Hana Sader.

Although wheat is subsidized by the government, the price of bread has also increased.

Buying one packet of bread a day for a month costs more than 10 percent of the minimum wage.

Charities must expand their efforts to help those in need, as unemployment in a country of five million people increases.

Maya Terro is the co-founder of FoodBlessed, an organization that feeds approximately 1,600 families every month.

“They say if they don’t receive a box of food this month, it might mean we may not break our fast or we have to eat half that amount,” he told Al Jazeera.

The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated socio-economic inequality, with more than half of Lebanese families living in poverty.

Last month, protests struck crossing cities and towns in Lebanon, with demonstrators erecting roadblocks on major highways.

In addition, a political deadlock adding to Lebanon’s woes as Prime Minister Saad Hariri and President Michel Aoun continue to clash over the formation of a new government and how ministries will be allocated.

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How My Travel Credit Card Benefit Saved Me Over $ 1,000 | Investment | Instant News



Trip Cancellation Insurance can reimburse prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses such as airline tickets, hotels, cruises, tours and passenger fares, depending on the terms of the card. Trip Interruption may reimburse the unused portion of your trip for certain covered reasons. Conditions vary; to be eligible, you must pay the eligible travel expenses with the card that offers the benefit. If you use credit card rewards to pay for travel, purchases may still be covered, depending on the card. With Chase, for example, a spokesperson confirms that trip cancellation insurance covers qualifying purchases booked with rewards earned on a qualifying credit card. booking a trip. Circumstances that may be eligible Credit card insurance covers a number of different circumstances. For example, unexpected illness and accidental bodily injury are the root cause of travel cancellation and interruption requests on qualifying Mastercards, said Ralf Riehl, director of loyalty solutions for Mastercard, in an email. .



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How Does New Zealand Tame the Climate Change Animals? | Instant News



Summary

  • New Zealand has taken active and innovative steps to transition the country to a lower emissions future.
  • The recently introduced climate change laws for banks, a ban on new coal-fired boilers and the launch of the first zero carbon itinerary reflect NZ efforts to combat climate change.
  • The country intends to make its public sector carbon neutral by 2025 and achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Of late, climate change has emerged as a hot topic in New Zealand, with the country accelerating its steps towards achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. Recognizing the security threat posed by climate change, policymakers have made all efforts to make the country’s transition towards the future. lower emission front.

Climate change is a long-standing problem in Aotearoa, which is made worse by changing rainfall patterns, rising sea levels, decreasing glacier volume and ocean acidification. A recently released Ministry of Environment report found that the country’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions increased 2 percent in 2019, marking one of the biggest annual increases in this century.

However, it is the increased lockdown of coronavirus prior to date and associated border closings in 2020, leading to a reduction in the country’s overall GHG emissions. The latest Stats NZ data shows a 4.8 percent reduction in GHG emissions over 2020, supported by reduced transportation emissions amid COVID-19.

Even though gross emissions drop substantially in 2020, the impact of the coronavirus is likely to remain short-lived. This requires the adoption of new, effective mitigation measures by policy makers to eliminate fossil fuels and tackle the difficulties of climate change.

Therefore, let’s explore three important changes that have recently been announced by governments and other regulatory authorities to help fight climate change:

Climate Change Law for Banks

For the first time in the world, New Zealand plans to introduce new laws requiring banks, investment managers and insurance companies to report on the impacts of climate change on their businesses. The law aims to ensure that financial companies disclose and ultimately act against climate-related risks and opportunities.

The bill has already been introduced to parliament and is anticipated to receive its first reading soon. If passed, it would make climate reporting mandatory for financial companies by 2023. Entities required to make disclosures under the new law include banks with total assets exceeding NZD 1 billion; equity and debt issuers listed on the state stock exchange; and insurance companies with total assets under management of more than NZD1 billion.

The world’s first law intends to make the environmental records of financial companies transparent, enabling the public to assess their performance. In addition, the law seeks to bring climate resilience and risk to the heart of business and financial decision making.

Prohibition on New Coal Fired Boilers

To encourage the transition from fossil fuels, the government recently banned the installation of new coal fired boilers after the end of 2021. In particular, coal fired boilers are New Zealand’s second largest source of energy-related emissions after transport.

The ban has been imposed on medium and low temperature coal-fired boilers, which are typically used for heating in horticulture and for tasks such as drying powdered milk and wood. However, the ban does not include the high temperature coil boilers commonly used in the steel industry. The government further proposes to phase out existing coal boilers by 2037 and stop using other new fossil fuel boilers.

The ban on coal fired boilers has recently developed as a significant driver for the clean energy sector and is expected to make a real difference to the emission profile of the country. In addition, this coal boiler initiative has placed Kiwi Land in a good position to achieve its carbon neutral public sector goals by 2025.

First Zero Carbon Itinerary

Giving visitors the opportunity to enjoy a ‘vacation from guilt’, Kiwi Land’s first carbonless itinerary has been introduced in the Nelson Tasman region. Launched by the Nelson Regional Development Agency (NRDA), the four-day itinerary brings together delicious cuisine, extraordinary experiences, spectacular views and comfortable accommodation in one place.

Interestingly, the 14 businesses on the travel itinerary have been given a carbon-free seal of approval. This committed zero-carbon business operator will take responsibility for carbon emissions on behalf of travelers, helping them have a guilt-free vacation.

In a country where every little carbon footprint counts, this move is a great way to embrace conscious travel through responsible business operators.

Undoubtedly, New Zealand is taking unique and innovative actions to tackle the difficulties of climate change, in line with its zero carbon goals. However, this policy action is unlikely to produce favorable results in the short term due to the slow reaction process. Hence, the current scenario calls for implementing more radical and swift action on the part of policymakers to manage risks around climate change.

© Scoop Media

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