Tag Archives: Wuhan

Corona virus pandemic: Germany warns against traveling to ski areas in Austria, Switzerland, Italy – travel | Instant News


Germany has issued travel warnings for popular ski areas in Austria, Italy and Switzerland, struggling to contain the spread of the virus corona virus as the rate of new infections rose above 10,000 a day for the first time. While the infection rates in Germany are lower than in much of Europe, they are steadily increasing, with a daily increase of 11,287 cases bringing the total to 392,049. The German death toll stood at 9,905. “The situation has become very serious overall,” Lothar Wieler, head of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases, said.

“We still have a chance to slow the spread of the pandemic,” he said. But he said people should stick to the rules and that Germany must prepare for an uncontrolled spread of the virus. On Wednesday, German Health Minister Jens Spahn became the latest leading politician to test positive for the virus. His spokesman said he had cold symptoms but had no fever. Government sources said he was fit for work. Berlin issued new travel warnings for Switzerland, Ireland, Poland, much of Austria and parts of Italy including the popular South Tyrol ski area.

The UK, with the exception of the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and overseas territories, is also seen as a high risk region. Under the warning, which takes effect from Saturday, travelers returning to Germany must be quarantined for 10 days. Quarantine can be lifted early, if tests carried out after five days turn out to be negative. The surge in Germany also prompted the Danish government to warn its citizens against traveling to and from Germany, except for the border state of Schleswig Holstein.

Germany’s move could have a significant impact on ski seasons in the Alpine countries. Especially Austria, which reported a record 2,435 new daily infections on Thursday, is a popular destination for Germans. Swiss Tourism spokesman Markus Berger said the news from Germany was definitely not good. The industry hopes that the situation will improve in the next month or two. “We assume that winter can continue,” he said. However, there is positive news for Spain’s Canary Islands as the RKI removed them from its risk list, raising hopes for German tourists over Christmas and New Year.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed with no modifications to the text. Only the title has been changed.)

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China’s ban on coal could cost Australia $ 15 billion a year | Instant News


In June last year, Sydney residents woke up to the unexpected sight of the Chinese Navy at the harbor. For some, it is a worrying sign that the Morrison government may allow Australia to be pulled too far into Beijing’s orbit.

At that time the Prime Minister Scott Morrison said an unannounced warship arrival had been planned for some time and it was a “reciprocal visit” after an Australian naval vessel visited China.

Now, less than 18 months later, things are very different between Canberra and Beijing, with diplomatic and trade relations seemingly deteriorating with each passing day.

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And it’s not just relations between Australia and China that have changed dramatically since the COVID-19 pandemic began in Wuhan, China in January.

India, Japan and the United States have all pressed for increased cooperation with Australia on everything from supply chain security to cementing a potential alliance such as NATO in the Indo-Pacific.

The ongoing transformation of the Indo-Pacific geo-strategic balance is likely to have played a role in further accelerating Canberra’s deterioration in trade relations with Beijing.

To date Beijing has chosen to target a number of Australian exports to China, including but not limited to, barley, wine, wheat and beef.

This trade action undoubtedly damaged the affected industries and businesses, but at the same time when compared to the large volume of Australian exports to China, it is actually relatively small.

However, in recent weeks, there have been worrying signs that Beijing may add a much larger and economically vital industry to its list of targets, our coal exports.

According to a report from shipping news website Splash, in late September, there were more than 20 large bulk carriers with cargo spaces filled with Australian coal waiting to be unloaded at Tangshan Jingtang Port in Northeast China.

RELATED: ‘Stop immediately’: China’s warning to the US

Delays in loading and unloading goods are not uncommon at Chinese ports, either because of the monthly import quotas imposed by the Chinese Communist Party or simply because of logistical challenges due to heavy traffic volume.

But this time was different. Instead of a delay of up to 45 days, a shipment of Australian coal exports was forced to take place last year, in which case most of these ships have been waiting to unload for more than three months.

This problem is not limited to Jingtang port, there are many other ships experiencing the same problem at several other ports in the industrial heart of Northeast China.

In recent days the possible reasons for this delay have become clear, Chinese authorities have reportedly banned imports of Australian coal indefinitely.

Amid the backdrop of the ongoing unilateral trade war between Beijing and Canberra, Australia’s coal import ban will mark the biggest escalation in the conflict so far.

By banning Australian coal imports, Beijing will effectively spend $ 15 billion annually in the Australian economy, just as it is trying to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to analysts, the ban could be imposed for the long term.

“China is less dependent on Australian coal imports than it is to, say, iron ore, therefore we have little reason to doubt that this oral warning can last indefinitely as an act of potential retaliation for recent political tensions, “Navigate Commodities managing director Atilla said Widnell.

Although there has been no official written notification of the ban, Beijing has already passed word of the ban verbally across China’s shipping industry, possibly to avoid potential complaints by Australia to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Outside of China, worldwide demand for coal is still not recovering to pre-pandemic levels. As the global economic recovery is progressing more slowly than economists anticipated, it is now also facing further challenges in the form of second and third waves of the virus in much of the world.

Unfortunately for Australia in today’s global economic environment, its influence on the coal trade with Beijing has effectively evaporated.

Global steel production has collapsed, with Japanese steel manufacturing dropping to its lowest level in 52 years and European unions warning 50 percent of European steelmaking capacity could be lost by the time the pandemic ends.

With demand for thermal and metallurgical coal (steelmaking) likely to remain well below pre-pandemic levels for years to come, Beijing has chosen the right time to strike.

With the global economy set to remain weak for years to come, it is very likely that China’s ban on Australian coal exports will be enforced in the future.

While exporting coal may be viewed by some as an insignificant relic of the past, for our economy the reality is a little different. China currently consumes about $ 15 billion worth of Australian coal exports a year.

As the country struggles to recover from the pandemic and the ensuing recession, the potential loss of coal exports to China in the current economic environment could add months or even a year to the length of the country’s economic recovery.

With Beijing pledging to become carbon neutral by 2060 and renewable energy gaining popularity, the decline in coal exports is a reality Australia will have to face sooner or later.

But as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc abroad and at home, many never imagined that China’s thirst for Australian coal could effectively stop overnight.

The Morrison government reserves the right to assert Australia’s sovereignty and freedom from Beijing’s growing influence. However, it should also be acknowledged that this independence has a significant cost.

Ultimately, this is one we as a nation should be willing to pay for, but the frustrated Chinese Communist Party has ensured that Australia can pay the hefty costs of its defiance far faster than many thought.

Tarric Brooker is a freelance journalist and social commentator @Avidator

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Faces meet fashion in a selection of New Yorkers’ masks in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic – fashions and trends | Instant News


New Yorkers are increasingly embracing the use of masks to slow its spread corona virus since the pandemic started earlier this year. With no end in sight, many have gone beyond standard surgical masks and are choosing to express themselves with more fashionable colors, patterns, flags and messages. Children arrive on the first day of school wearing masks with hearts, books, watermelons and musical notes written on them. A school assistant has a line of crayons on her mask, a friendly design for nervous kindergarten kids. On Madison Avenue, a woman wearing a matching designer mask and scarf walks quickly past an upscale clothing store. And behind it, there is another mask with a skull.

In Harlem, Hana Teferi walked out of a shop wearing a gold, black and silver Ethiopian mask which she wore in honor of her Ethiopian family. And actor Fredric Michaels wears a kente mask that reflects his African heritage. Camouflage masks are commonly used. An outdoor man dressed in camouflage from head to toe in a mask to match. A construction worker chooses camouflage, and two of her friends, Samantha Fernandez and Unique Corella, wear matching blue camouflage masks. Senior citizen Doris Shapiro wears an orange sequined mask and hat. The bright colors match her view: “I want to dance. I want to have fun, “he said.

Kai Waithe, in a fuchsia mask and purple hair extensions posing for a portrait: “I think being a creative person, through music and speech, and living in NYC has helped me with my fashion sense. I only wear what I feel, “he said. Retired Gil Gainey, who worked for many years in the human resources department at the hospital, wearing a paisley mask: “I’m very health conscious,” he said. We don’t know when this will go away, so we’d better be fashionable. “Teacher Amanda Clarke rushes to Brooklyn high school with a message on her mask, and on the minds of many people:” CHOOSE! “

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed with no modifications to the text. Only the title has been changed.)

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UN and back away from multilateralism | Instant News


The capacity of the UN to meet these challenges depends on countries acting collectively

That The United Nations celebrates its 75th anniversary on September 21, 2020 by adopting the Declaration. The warning comes at a time when the world is witnessing a retreat from multilateralism. It is also facing an unprecedented pandemic. In a speech at the UN on September 22, the UN Secretary-General called the pandemic the “fifth rider on the horse”. No one can predict it. It also brought about the deepest recession the world has seen since the 1930s. This makes it even more difficult to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations. The Secretary General said the world was “off track” in achieving the SDGs.

Also read: The new world order: On UN reform

The challenge of multilateralism

The challenges of multilateralism do not come from the poor, but from the system’s key stakeholders. The US is not alone in withdrawing from multilateralism. Brexit has shown that nationalism remains strong in Europe. This has dealt a blow to the European idea, united and whole. However, the most important development is the position of the US. As French President Emmanuel Macron said in his speech at the UN General Assembly, the US, which created the international system as we know it today, is no longer willing to be its “guarantor”. The last resort. “US President Donald Trump emphasized” America First “in his speech, and suggested that others should put their country first.

Also read: India called Imran Khan’s speech at UNGA “harsh words”

China has taken advantage of the West’s withdrawal from multilateralism. But China’s statement about a role on the world stage does not embrace the idea of ​​multilateralism. Its flagship Belt and Road Initiative consists of a series of bilateral credit agreements with recipient countries without a mechanism for multilateral consultation or oversight. Surprisingly, President Xi Jinping’s speech at the UN General Assembly did not mention it. EU and US sanctions on Russia have pushed it closer to China. The rift between the permanent members of the Security Council has begun to affect the work of the UN Security Council.

Speech at the regular session of the UN General Assembly on September 22 exposed perspectives of clashes between the US and China. President Trump highlighted China’s mistakes in the spread of the pandemic. He pointed out that China has banned internal flights but allowed international flights from Wuhan to continue. This sets the stage for the spread of COVID-19. The World Health Organization also failed to provide early warning. President Xi’s speech seeks to project the fight against COVID-19 as a matter of collective responsibility for the international community. He said China would “honor” its commitment to provide $ 2 billion in aid to developing countries over two years. This clearly refers to the pledge that stands without bringing in additional resources to tackle the crisis that has plunged the world economy into recession. This is not a huge number considering the scale. The actual aid committed to the UN’s COVID-19 response fund was a whopping $ 50 million in addition to a similar amount previously promised.

Also read: Modi proposed a bigger role for India at the United Nations

President Macron pointed out that while the US is pulling away, the world is facing Chinese projections beyond its borders. He also highlighted the problems closer to home posed by Turkey’s intervention in Syria, Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean, which was a violation of international law. The latter is a reference to Turkey sending drill ships in the exclusive economic zones of Greece and Cyprus. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made detailed references on the Jammu and Kashmir issue. Although Erdogan’s remarks may not be important, Turkey has taken the position of President of the UN General Assembly.

Also read: PM Modi delivers virtual speech at the UN General Assembly | 26 September 2020

Several hurdles

The UN Secretary General’s report on the organization’s work highlights some of the achievements and challenges facing the world body. More than 40 UN political missions and peacekeeping operations involve 95,000 soldiers, police and civilian personnel. To be effective, they must have a sound financial basis. The UN peacekeeping budget, at just over $ 8 billion, is a fraction of the $ 1.9 trillion military expenditure the government made in 2019. However, it is under-resourced. There was an outstanding contribution valued at $ 1.7 billion to peacekeeping activities at the end of the financial year. Likewise, there was an outstanding $ 711 million in assessed contributions to the general budget. Most of the humanitarian assistance, development work, and budgets of specialized agencies are based on voluntary contributions. There are calls for increased public-private partnerships. This is not a satisfying arrangement. The United Nations provides a ‘public good’ for peace and development that is often in remote parts of the world. There may not be enough appetite on the company side. The United Nations remains an intergovernmental body.

Also read: News Analysis | A draft UN declaration for the 75th anniversary is running soft on India’s request for reform

Most of the world leaders are talking about climate change. President Trump mentioned that China’s emissions are almost double that of the US, and although it has withdrawn from the Paris Agreement, the US has reduced its carbon emissions more than any other country in the world. President Xi said that after reaching peak emissions in 2030, China will achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. President Macron said he is determined to see the European Union agree on a target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, in his speech made extensive mention of Jammu and Kashmir. Although this is a custom for Pakistani leaders, he carries a very disrespectful tone to the discourse. Meanwhile, the country slipped to 134 in the UN SDG index, the lowest for any country in South Asia.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is focused on UN reform and India’s contribution to UN Peacekeeping of which we can be proud. What is the UN bringing to developing countries? This gives them more political space. We need to support reforms not only to expand the category of permanent members of the Security Council but also to revitalize the role of the General Assembly. Quitting multilateralism will undermine the UN’s ability to meet multiple challenges.

DP Srivastava is a former Ambassador to Iran. He handled United Nations matters for eight years at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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‘COVID-19 particles can remain infectious in the air over the staff’ | Instant News


London: Wendy Barclay, chair in influenza Virology at Imperial College London, said that the coronavirus particles may remain infectious in the air for more than an hour. Speaking on the BBC on Sunday, Barclay said, “”This is the first time that the world Health Organization recognized that airborne droplets, contributes to the spread of the disease.

“Of course, there are other routes as well… but what this new evidence means that the route through the air probably helps too in some cases.”

Barclay said that the virus can remain suspended in the air and travel some distance from the person who inhaled them, with laboratory studies showing it can remain infectious in the air for more than an hour. She added that to replenish the air in the room was important to avoid the spread of the virus and not the recirculating air, as in some air conditioning systems to do.

Barclay’s comments came after the world health organization (who) last week recognized that there is new evidence that COVID-19 may extend to the smallest particles suspended in the air, reports the BBC.

On airborne transmission cannot be ruled out in a crowded, enclosed or poorly ventilated areas, the official said. Who officials warn that the evidence is preliminary and requires further evaluation.

If the readings are confirmed, it may affect the guidance for indoor spaces.As of Sunday, the total number of cases of the syndrome were 12,735,924 with 565,489 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

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