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Kamran Afzal new Finance Secretary | Instant News



ISLAMABAD: After Naveed Kamran Baloch resigned his duties as Minister of Finance, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday appointed Kamran Afzal to this pivotal position with the task of steering the economy out of crisis mode.

The newly appointed finance secretary must face the challenge of reviving a stalled IMF program in such a way that it does not burden the voiceless economy and energy sector consumers. The announcement of Kamran Afzal’s appointment as Finance Secretary was issued by the Formation Division on Thursday.

There are several other strong competitors such as Zafar Hassan, Ali Raza Bhutta and Mohsin Chandna. Cabinet Division Secretary Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera was not among the competitors as he had reached the peak of his career.

Without removing any summaries, the government made this important appointment. There is one Secretary Committee and this committee was also not consulted this time.

Finance Secretary Naveed Kamran Baloch has been appointed Executive Director at the World Bank (WB) and he will join his new Washington, DC-based position next week but he will formally join after the New Years holidays. Naveed Kamran Baloch retired from civil service after reaching retirement age.

Kamran Afzal immediately served as Finance Secretary. He has served as Additional Secretary for External Affairs. Currently he is the Special Secretary of the Ministry of Finance for the past several months.

Kamran Afzal obtained his PhD Political Economy from the University of Melbourne, Australia in 2011. He completed his Masters in Public Policy and Management from the University of Melbourne, Australia in 2003. He completed his Masters in Economics from Government College, Lahore in 1995.

He held key positions in various ministries / divisions when he served as Additional Secretary of Finance in the external wing of BS-21 and designed the arrangement and implementation of reform programs in coordination with development partners such as WB, IMF, IFAD, ADB, AIIB, USAID, UNDP; related to SBP in matters relating to foreign exchange reserves, improving finance for the balance of payments position and budget support.

She has served as additional investment finance secretary and additional secretary to the PM’s Office during previous appointments.

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Swiss Edition of the COVID-19 Science Barometer: People Are Seeking a Stronger Voice for Science on the Problem of Pandemic | Instant News


Swiss people’s trust and trust in science and research have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. About 67 percent of the country’s population rated their belief in science as “high” or “very high,” compared with 56 and 57 percent in previous similar surveys in 2019 and 2016. Swiss people’s approval of state support for science also remains strong: while 73 percent “very” or “very strong” agreed with such support in 2019, about 74 percent of the population remained confident by the end of 2020. General interest in science and research is also increasing: while 57 percent of respondents said they were “very” or “very interested “in 2019, about 60 percent gave the same answer this year.

“I am delighted for the unwavering trust in our scientists, many of whom are currently working seven days a week to help fight COVID-19,” said Claudia Appenzeller, Secretary General of the Swiss Academy of Arts and Sciences, which funded the special survey.

Scientists are more trusted than officials, politicians and journalists

Regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, Swiss society believes in scientific views. On a scale from 1 (“absolutely no belief”) to 5 (“absolutely believing”), medical personnel and scientists have the highest ratings at 4.1 and 3.9, respectively, well ahead of federal and state officials (3.3), politicians (2.7) and journalists (2.6).

Seventy-seven percent of the population were also “very” or “very strong” agree that scientific expertise is important in slowing the spread of the coronavirus in Switzerland. And a large majority of the 72 percent “very” or “very strongly” felt that political decisions about a pandemic should be based on scientific findings. “In Switzerland, confidence and interest in science are not only consistently high: they really do increase during this time of the coronavirus,” said Professor Mike S. Schäfer of the University of Zurich, co-head of the Swiss Science Barometer and COVID-19. 19 editions. About 63 percent of Switzerland’s population also want scientists to be actively involved in the political debate about the current pandemic. “However, they have to do it with one voice,” added Professor Schäfer. “While the majority of the population acknowledged that scientific controversy can be productive, 65 percent also said they were uneasy when scientists publicly disagreed.”

The Swiss people accept that controversy can develop in the scientific community, and are generally positive about their communication. More than half of survey respondents (56 percent) “very” or “very strong” believe that the controversy among scientists is invaluable because it helps ensure that the right research results will prevail. Only 32 percent felt that scientists were unable to communicate about the current crisis in an understandable way.

Minorities with more controversial views

The results from the Swiss edition of the Science Barometer on COVID-19 also reveal a more skeptical attitude towards the current pandemic. Twenty-seven percent of respondents “very” or “very strongly” believe that the pandemic is being detonated to be a bigger problem than it really is. And 21 percent believe that the death toll from COVID-19 was deliberately raised by the authorities.

A more extreme view is still rare but held: 16 percent believe the pandemic was planned by the people in power; and nine percent doubt that there is genuine evidence that a new coronavirus exists. “Although a large proportion of the Swiss population does not believe in the coronavirus conspiracy, there is a small group of people who doubt the scientific evidence,” said Professor Julia Metag of the University of Münster, co-head of the Swiss Science Barometer and its COVID. -19 editions. And scientists need to keep this in mind in their pandemic communications.

Television is the main source of information

In 2016 and 2019, it was through television and the internet that the Swiss were most often connected to science and research. In the current pandemic, television is a very popular source of coronavirus information, with the internet and conversations with family, friends and colleagues cited as a further means of engagement with the matter in question.

Mixed feelings at the reporting of the corona virus in the media

Switzerland’s newest Science Barometer also assesses how the country’s population views media coverage of the corona virus phenomenon. “Comprehensive”, “informative”, and “understandable” get special mention here. Yet 43 percent of respondents also described such reporting as “exaggerated” and “annoying”.

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CA Health Secretary Responds To Response From Lawmakers In Hawaii | Instant News



California’s COVID-19 travel advisory and additional guidance on vacation gatherings came a week after some lawmakers flew to Hawaii for an annual conference partially funded by lobbyists. Lawmakers who responded to KCRA 3 have championed Maui travel as essential travel. But it has nonetheless attracted backlash as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise and restrictions tighten. KCRA 3 spoke with California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr Mark Ghaly about the trip, which is part of a larger interview on COVID-19 and the Thanksgiving guidelines. Q: We have a long list of tips for Thanksgiving when it comes to COVID-19, including a travel advisory. But do you think this is overshadowed when state lawmakers travel to Hawaii for a conference, shouldn’t they have more moral responsibility to follow the guidelines you set out? Ghaly: Sure, we want all Californians to follow the travel advisory. We believe this is a key strategy to reduce transmission. We know that so many people are asymptomatic. So they don’t have symptoms or don’t have cold or fever symptoms, but they are infected and they can pass it on. So for these reasons, we ask people to avoid travel altogether if possible. What if they choose to go into quarantine for 14 days before they really start mixing in their communities again. So this extends to all Californians and we think this is an important tool for us to follow Q: But do you think this is the right example because we are realists and we know not everyone will follow not the stated guidelines. throughout the weekend. Ghaly: Sure, we want to keep getting the message out to everyone. So those who haven’t heard it may decide to adopt it, and those who are here for the second or third time will decide not to travel, I hope. And if they do, follow these tips. Again, this applies to everyone at all levels. All over California, north and south, no matter where you are in the state and what you do in that state, we expect this to be how you follow and heed this important notice. Q: You recommend a 14 day quarantine. if people leave the state. Have you had direct communication with those state lawmakers who have been to Hawaii, and are they in fact in quarantine? Ghaly: You know I didn’t. And like I said, I think that’s a recommendation for all Californians coming back to the state. So, I hope that everyone, including these lawmakers, but far beyond these lawmakers, seriously consider taking this direction and truly serving and protecting their communities. KCRA3: What message do you think this sends, considering that it happened right before Ghaly: You know, again, I kind of come back and I really focus on the fact that we all have a chance to to lead by example and to show our communities and our families that if we choose to travel travel advice, quarantine, is an important way to support our communities and to really make a decision that we all hope. Californians will do. SACRAMENTO, Calif .– California’s COVID-19 travel advisory and additional guidance on vacation gatherings came a week after some lawmakers flew to Hawaii for an annual conference partially funded by lobbyists. Lawmakers who responded to KCRA 3 have championed Maui travel as essential travel. But it has nonetheless drawn backlash as cases of COVID-19 continue to grow and restrictions tighten. This content is imported from Facebook. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, on their website. KCRA 3 spoke with California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr Mark Ghaly about the trip, which is part of a larger interview on COVID-19 and the Thanksgiving guidelines. Q: We have a long list of tips for Thanksgiving when it comes to COVID-19, including a travel advisory. But do you think this is overshadowed when state lawmakers travel to Hawaii for a conference, shouldn’t they have more moral responsibility to follow the guidelines you set out? Ghaly: Sure, we want all Californians to follow the travel advisory. We believe this is a key strategy to reduce transmission. We know that so many people are asymptomatic. So they don’t have symptoms or don’t have cold or fever symptoms, but they are infected and they can pass it on. So for these reasons, we ask people to avoid travel altogether if possible. What if they choose to go into quarantine for 14 days before they really start mixing in their communities again. So this extends to all Californians and we think this is an important tool for us to follow Q: But do you think this is the right example because we are realists and we know not everyone will follow not the stated guidelines. throughout the weekend. Ghaly: Sure, we want to keep getting the message out to everyone. So those who haven’t heard it may decide to adopt it, and those who are here for the second or third time will decide not to travel, I hope. And if they do, follow these tips. Again, this applies to everyone at all levels. All over California, north and south, no matter where you are in the state and what you do in that state, we expect this to be how you follow and heed this important notice. Q: You recommend a 14 day quarantine. if people leave the state. Have you had direct communication with these state lawmakers who have been to Hawaii, and are they in fact in quarantine? Ghaly: You know I didn’t. And like I said, I think that’s a recommendation for all Californians coming back to the state. So, I hope that everyone, including these lawmakers, but far beyond these lawmakers, seriously consider taking this direction and truly serving and protecting their communities. KCRA3: What message do you think this sends, considering that it happened right before Ghaly: You know, again, I kind of come back and I really focus on the fact that we all have a chance to to lead by example and to show our communities and our families that if we choose to travel travel advice, quarantine, is an important way to support our communities and to really make a decision that we all hope. Californians will do. .



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United States and United Kingdom Sign Civil Air Transport Agreement | Instant News


On November 17, the Governments of the United States and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland finalized a civil air transport agreement. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and Secretary of Transport Elaine Chao signed the Treaty for the United States on November 10 in Washington. Today, the UK Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps is signing on behalf of the UK, completing the Treaty signing process.

The agreement covers all the essential elements of Open Skies, such as unlimited capacity and frequency, open routes, open code sharing opportunities, liberal charter regime and market-determined pricing. The agreement also provides an extended “seventh freedom” of traffic rights for all cargo carriers and full market access to UK overseas territories and crown dependencies. Awaiting the entry into force of the Agreement through the exchange of diplomatic notes, both parties are prepared to implement its terms of respect and reciprocity as soon as the US-EU Air Transport Agreement ceases to apply to Great Britain.

/ Public Release. Material in this public release comes from the original organization and may be point-in-time, edited for clarity, style and length. view more here.

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About UK Joint Trade – GCC and Investment Overview | Instant News


Secretary General of the Cooperation Council of the Gulf Arab States, HE Dr Nayef Falah M. Al-Hajraf, and the British Minister of International Trade, Ranil Jayawardena, MP, have officially agreed to conduct a Joint Trade and Investment Review (JTIR) between the UK and the Cooperation Council Gulf (GCC), and on November 4 met virtually to formally agree on the Terms of Reference and timetable for this project, its structure and expected outcomes and discuss progress to date.

Dr Abdel Aziz Hamad Aluwaisheg, GCC Assistant Secretary General for Political and Negotiation Affairs, and Simon Penney, His Excellency Trade Commissioner for the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan, participated in the meeting.

This meeting builds on the successful engagement over the last few months. The GCC Secretary General and the Minister for International Trade discussed the principles of the UK-GCC Joint Trade and Investment Review when they met on 15 June 2020, with the first UK-GCC JTIR working group taking place on 24 June between senior officials from the GCC Secretariat and the Department of International Trade English. Economists and analytics met on Sept. 8, where the two sides discussed how to identify priority trade and investment sectors for consideration during the review.

This collaboration marks the further strengthening of trade and investment ties between the GCC and Great Britain. The GCC is already one of the UK’s largest trading partners, with bilateral trade reaching nearly £ 45 billion in 2019.With the UK embarking on a new independent trade policy outside the European Union, and with GCC Member States delivering their diversified economies and vision plans, it is now it is time for the UK and the GCC to build on their historic and deep friendship to develop closer economic ties, thus driving our trade and investment even further. We celebrate the strength of our bilateral relationship, which is more visible than through our ongoing collaboration in the Covid-19 pandemic, and share our ambition to improve our business, provide new investment, create new jobs and ensure prosperity in the years to come.

The Joint Trade and Investment Review is a collaboration between the United Kingdom and the GCC to assess the current state of our trade and investment relations, and identify opportunities to enhance future cooperation. The review will be based on empirical analysis and engagement with businesses operating in both markets. Rapid work will now be undertaken, producing a joint report that will include recommendations for the United Kingdom and the GCC, and will complement ongoing bilateral engagements with each of the GCC Member States.

The two sides agreed to meet again in the near future as we jointly push this work towards closer trade and investment ties.

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