Fighting WHO, Trump hands China a PR opportunity

first_imgThe move came just as the United States was rejoicing that its criticism of China was gaining ground, with several countries questioning China’s made-for-cameras deliveries of medical supplies, France summoning Beijing’s ambassador and African nations furious over Chinese discrimination against their nationals.China — which offers a sliver of the more than $400 million sent to the WHO each year by Washington — said it was “seriously concerned” that the US aid cut would weaken international cooperation, while a senior Russian official called Washington “selfish.”Brett Schaefer, a senior research fellow at Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank that is usually supportive of Trump, agreed with criticism of the WHO response but said the United States had bungled the message.The United States has already delivered most of this year’s WHO contribution, so Trump’s announcement makes other countries believe falsely that the decision will have a major impact, Schaefer said. Topics : “There has been a great deal of frustration and anger expressed by a number of different countries about China’s response and its role in the spread of COVID-19 around the world, and I think the president’s decision diverts attention from that issue onto the decision of the United States,” he said.Schaefer said that the United States would have been better served by conditioning future WHO aid on an investigation into its COVID-19 response, as well as highlighting the $500 million in bilateral aid the United States has already promised over the virus. With his brash move to stop funding the World Health Organization in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump may score points at home but is handing an opportunity that China is delighted to exploit.Critics say Trump is eager to find a scapegoat as thousands of Americans die from COVID-19, even if there is broad agreement in Washington that the WHO was too eager to please China when the virus first emerged in the metropolis of Wuhan.Trump, who has fiercely criticized UN agencies and foreign aid as part of his “America First” philosophy, said Tuesday that the United States was freezing funding to the WHO for “severely mismanaging and covering up the spread” of the virus that has sickened more than two million people.center_img ‘Self-inflicted wound’ The Trump administration accuses the WHO and its leader, Ethiopian doctor turned diplomat Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, of failing to challenge China’s initial assertions that the virus was transmitted between humans. Tedros flew to Beijing in late January and praised China as transparent.But Trump himself had initially praised China in similar terms and in January said his administration had the virus “totally under control.” Since then, COVID-19 has killed more than 25,000 people in the United States.Derek Chollet, executive vice president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, called the WHO announcement a “self-inflicted wound” that symbolically showed the United States stepping back from its historic leadership role.”And to the extent that the world has been paying attention to the US’s own response, the US is not looking like an ally that can be relied upon,” said Chollet, who served in former president Barack Obama’s administration.”Obviously this is an attempt to try to blame China for this. It could end up playing to the Chinese advantage as they use it to make a case to the world that the US is the problem,” he said. ‘Cutting off ammunition’ But Chollet said it was too early to see if China’s efforts would succeed and said that US allies were accustomed to Washington feuds over funding — in which Congress can reverse course.Senator Patrick Leahy, the top Democrat on the subcommittee in charge of State Department funding, said Trump was essentially “cutting off ammunition to an ally as the enemy closes in.””Not wanting to take responsibility as the deaths continue to mount, he blames others,” Leahy said.”WHO could have been more forceful with China and declared a global health emergency sooner, but it is performing an essential function and needs our strong support.” Public health advocates also widely condemned the move. Bill Gates, the Microsoft billionaire who is one of the WHO’s largest private funders, said that the world needed the UN body “now more than ever.””Their work is slowing the spread of COVID-19 and if that work is stopped no other organization can replace them,” Gates said.But Trump, who is gearing up for November elections, enjoyed favorable coverage in conservative media and on the right of his Republican Party.”Good. If the WHO wants to keep getting money from American taxpayers, it shouldn’t be carrying water for the Chinese Communist Party,” tweeted Representative Mark Green of Tennessee.last_img read more

PREMIUMOmnibus bill on shaky ground after layoffs

first_img omnibus-bill omnibus-bill-on-job-creation layoffs DPR house-of-representatives Topics : Forgot Password ? Log in with your social account Google Facebook Linkedin The deliberation of the disputed omnibus bill on job creation has met further resistance as the country is facing massive layoffs due to an economic slowdown during the coronavirus pandemic.The draft bill, which seeks to concurrently amend 79 laws including the 2003 Manpower Law, has been vehemently opposed by labor unions that have condemned the bill for cutting labor rights and instead benefitting employers.As millions have been furloughed and laid off, labor unions plan to hold mass rallies nationwide on April 30 to oppose the bill despite a ban on crowds under large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) that have been implemented in Jakarta and other cities.The massive wave of layoffs has seen several parties in the government coalition at the House of Representatives join the public in opposing the bill.The Indonesian Democr… LOG INDon’t have an account? Register herelast_img read more

Online trade solution program for ASEAN businesses sees few takers

first_img“In the European Union, a similar [trade solution platform] system known as SOLVIT has seen over 10,000 cases compared with 10 cases in ASEAN,” Vergano said.The EU’s SOLVIT is described by the European Commission as “an informal problem-solving network that can help EU citizens or businesses when their rights are breached by public authorities in another EU member state”.In 2019, SOLVIT reported having handled a total of 2,380 cases that fell within its remit, while also receiving an additional 2,977 complaints that were not within its remit.“The concept is trying to minimize long tariff barriers and measures and to have the private sector talk to the government within a system that is free of charge and fully based on the internet,” Vergano said.He added that the platform provided businesses with an anonymity feature in case they were concerned about possible retaliation as a result of filing their complaints.Businesses can expect to have practical solutions within 40 to 60 days upon having their complaint accepted by the central administrator of the ASSIST website. Once a solution is proposed, they can either accept the proposed solution or reject it and look for other channels to resolve their dispute.Vergano noted, however, that the platform was not a silver bullet that could overcome complicated problems such as government inefficiencies or red tape. It is meant to address a specific problem, he said, but it could help build momentum for change.“If we can establish a pattern of 50, 100 requests to the government, with no solution provided, that government will look terrible and there will be further pressure by other ASEAN member states on that government to actually start providing a solution,” Vergano argued.Robert Kwee, the founder of Alfamart Trading Philippines, said during the webinar that there were no specific regulations that served as an obstacle to trading in ASEAN.“But in reality, many players do not open market opportunities,” he said.Trade attache at the Indonesian embassy in Manila, Lazuardi Nasution, cited on July 30 a case where foreign architects working in the Philippines must take a professional exam.The examination, however, was conducted in Filipino, making it harder for Indonesians to work as architects in the Philippines, Lazuardi noted.Topics : An online platform to help business players resolve cross-border trade issues in the Southeast Asia region has been met with a cold shoulder by the region’s economic community, a European Union (EU)-backed facility has shown.In support of the ASEAN regional integration, the EU has helped establish the trade solution platform, dubbed the ASEAN Solutions for Investments, Services and Trade (ASSIST), through its ASEAN Regional Integration Support by the EU (ARISE) Plus technical facility.Paolo Vergano, a trade facilitation expert at ARISE Plus, said the platform only saw 10 cases lodged so far, with five out of the six cases lodged in 2019 being from business councils or business federations.  “ASEAN businesses are not using ASSIST,” Vergano said during a livestreamed outreach event on July 30, as he urged the region’s businesses to utilize the platform.ASSIST is expected to help ASEAN-based enterprises expedite complaint-filing with other ASEAN governments over cross-border trade issues, including non-tariff measures.The increasingly integrated ASEAN economy follows the introduction of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015. As of 2018, ASEAN was the fifth-largest economy in the world with a total combined gross domestic product (GDP) of US$3 trillion.ASEAN economic integration continued to contribute to the region’s emerging position as a global growth driver, with intra-ASEAN activity accounting for the largest share of ASEAN’s total trade and its foreign investment in 2018, standing at 23 percent and 15.9 percent, respectively, according to the 2019 ASEAN Integration Report.last_img read more

Grieg Star Sends First Ship for Recycling under New EU Regulation

first_imgCargo ship Star Gran has become the first Grieg Star-owned vessel to undergo recycling under the new EU recycling regulations.The Norwegian shipping company said the 43,759 dwt vessel started the recycling at LEYAL Ship Recycling Group in Turkey on February 20.Grieg Star noted that the cargo ship was one of the first vessels to be recycled under the EU regulation on Ship Recycling (EU SRR).“Star Gran is 33 years old, and it is time for her to have her last voyage. She has served us well, and it is wistfully we send her to the recycling yard. With Grieg Green’s expertise and the quality of LEYAL Ship Recycling Group, we feel confident in a transparent and high quality process,” said CEO Camilla Grieg.The new EU SRR regulation came into force on December 31, 2018. It mandates the recycling of all large sea-going vessels sailing under an EU flag to take place in yards included in the European list of ship recycling facilities. The European list contains currently 26 yards, most of them located in the EU, but also in Turkey and the USA, and additional yards are expected to be included in the list in the future.According to the European Commission, European ship owners own 35% of the world fleet. A large percentage of these is being dismantled in South Asia, under conditions often harmful to workers’ health and the environment. With the full entry into force of the EU Regulation on ship recycling, this will no longer be possible for EU-flagged vessels, which will have to get dismantled in EU-listed yards.last_img read more

Malawi prostitutes to be compensated for forced HIV tests

first_img Tweet HealthInternationalLifestylePrint Malawi prostitutes to be compensated for forced HIV tests by: Associated Free Press – May 21, 2015 Share Share Sharecenter_img 122 Views   no discussions (Photo:, Malawi (AFP) – A Malawi court has ruled that 11 prostitutes who were forced to take HIV tests by police six years ago will be awarded damages, a court official said Thursday citing a judgement.The sex workers were rounded up in 2009 in the southern city of Mwanza, hauled to a government hospital for HIV testing without their consent and the results were disclosed in an open court.High court judge Dorothy Kamanga ordered that the prostitutes “should be compensated and file for compensation within 14 days,” according to the ruling handed down on Wednesday and read out to AFP by a court clerk.The judge said actions by both police and health workers in subjecting the women to forced HIV tests, and disclosing their status without their consent, were “irrational, unjust, unfair and unreasonable.”“The authorities took advantage of the women being in police custody to force them to undergo the tests,” she said.The sex workers, who all tested positive for HIV and were set free after paying a fine equivalent to $7, sued the government for unfair action and violation of their privacy.Chrispine Sibande, a lawyer who represented the plaintiffs, hailed the ruling as “a victory for sex workers who are usually abused every day.”The group will have to launch a separate court action to claim the damages.Health experts estimate that there are around 20,000 sex workers in Malawi.Up to 10 per cent of Malawi’s 15 million people are HIV-positive and 500,000 of them are receiving free life-saving anti-retroviral drugs. Sharing is caring!last_img read more

Girls Basketball

first_imgThis weekend will conclude another girls’ basketball regular season.  Where have the past 2 1/2 months gone?  All the area schools will enter the sectional tournament next week.  Several of our area schools will be considered potential favorites to win one of the four classes contested in Indiana basketball.The area’s top team is East Central.  The Lady Trojans, unfortunately, are paired with some of Indiana’s best 4A schools.  Columbus North and Bloomington South have dominated the sectional since its inception.  Maybe this is the year the Lady Trojans can break this trend and win their first sectional.Other area schools with a good chance to win a sectional crown are Jac-Cen-Del in 1A, South Ripley in 2A, and Batesville in 3A.  Oldenburg Academy is in the same sectional as JCD and, traditionally, give the Lady Eagles a great battle in the sectional.   Greensburg and Rushville will battle Batesville for the 3A title at South Dearborn.Good luck to all of our area teams.last_img read more

Area Boys Basketball Scores (2-17)

first_imgArea Boys Basketball Scores.Friday  (2-17)Batesville  61     Jennings County  53Bulldogs JV won  54-49Oldenburg  68     Trinity Lutheran  28Connersville  36     Franklin County  29Switz. County  44     Jac-Cen-Del  24South Ripley  64     Rising Sun  39SW Hanover  46     Milan  41Lawrenceburg  66     South Dearborn  48North Decatur  72     SW Shelby  58Edinburgh  52     South Decatur  51Greenfield-Central  70     Rushville  59Knightstown  76     Waldron  62RC Academy  52     Shawe Memorial  33Union County  70     Union City  56last_img read more

EPL: Saints leapfrog Crystal Palace

first_imgRelatedPosts EPL: Saints tackle Mourinho’s Spurs EPL: Crystal Palace stun sloppy Man U EPL: Red Devils attack Palace Southampton continued their revival with a 2-0 victory away to Crystal Palace which saw them leapfrog the hosts and make it six wins from their last eight games in all competitions. Nathan Redmond and Stuart Armstrong were on target for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s team, who are now ninth in the Premier League table and eight points ahead of the bottom three. Palace’s five-match unbeaten run in the division came to an end in disappointing fashion with Roy Hodgson’s men unable to cope with the energy or movement of the visitors at Selhurst Park. Michael Obafemi was handed an opportunity in place of Danny Ings, with the Saints top goalscorer rested ahead of the FA Cup clash with Tottenham at the weekend. Palace, who were unchanged from the 2-2 draw at Manchester City, were on the back foot for much of the opening quarter of an hour, but created the first chance of the match. The returning Jannik Vestergaard tried to dribble past Jordan Ayew deep inside his own half, but was tackled and it allowed Cenk Tosun a free run on goal. He only had Alex McCarthy to beat and yet blazed over from 16-yards with 18 minutes played. Hasenhuttl was forced into a change moments later with Cedric Soares taken off after failing to recover from a strong challenge by Jairo Riedewald and replaced by Oriol Romeu, which saw James Ward-Prowse drop to right-back. Soon after Southampton did fashion an opportunity and, unlike Palace, they were clinical to open the scoring after 22 minutes. Jack Stephens passed into the path of Redmond, who impressively turned away from Martin Kelly and let fly from outside the area – giving Vicente Guaita no chance and finding the top corner for his fourth goal of the season. Armstrong went close on two occasions for the away side not long after before Shane Long could only run the ball out of play when he tried to round Palace’s Spanish stopper as it remained 1-0 at the break. Wilfried Zaha was fortunate to escape punishment after the whistle when he appeared to poke Ward-Prowse in the eye and despite a VAR check, they deemed the action not to be violent conduct. The let-off did not affect Southampton’s focus and instead they doubled their advantage in the 48th minute through Armstrong. Redmond found the Scotland international and he curled in from 25-yards to hand Hasenhuttl’s men a decisive two-goal lead. Palace – and Zaha – continued to be frustrated and Hodgson made a double substitution in the 62nd minute with Max Meyer and Joel Ward introduced. Connor Wickham joined them on the pitch seven minutes later, but he was unable to make the most of two late chances as Southampton bounced back from the weekend defeat to Wolves in style.Tags: Crystal PalaceNathan RedmondRalph HasenhuttlSouthamptonStuart Armstronglast_img read more

Ledley plays down Cardiff rumours

first_img Reports suggest the Bluebirds could be set to make a £3million bid to bring the Wales international back to the club he quit for the Hoops in 2010. Ledley admits the prospect of playing in the Barclays Premier League is a big attraction for some players but insists his focus is on the Scottish champions. Celtic midfielder Joe Ledley has played down speculation linking him with a return to Cardiff. He said: “It’s just rumours at the moment. There has been nothing official. A lot of players want to play in the Premier League and that’s why they have done pretty well with their signings so far. “It does attract people, but at the moment I’m with Celtic and I’m just concentrating on a big week ahead of me.” Ledley is in the final year of his Celtic deal and hopes to begin contract talks in the coming weeks. He said: “We still haven’t actually spoken to the club at the moment. My agent has been away and the club has been pretty busy as well with sorting out new players. “Hopefully I will be next and sort something out. In the next couple of weeks, if we could sort something out, it would be brilliant. At the moment I’m just concentrating on qualifying for Europe and doing brilliantly for the club and playing well.” Ledley has been hampered by injury during pre-season but made his return to action in Saturday’s friendly defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach. And he now hopes to have some part to play in Wednesday’s Champions League qualifier against Elfsborg at Celtic Park. Ledley said: “My fitness is getting there. I played 30 minutes on Saturday, which was a big bonus for me. I’m obviously still not match fit because I’ve only played 30 minutes so far but hopefully I will be in the squad for Wednesday. “It would be brilliant if I could get involved. I’m going to be a little bit rusty as I haven’t played much, but if I am starting I’ll give it my all.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Highland reels in Gordon rivals

first_img “The energy he lost having top hold his position could have cost him at the end, but he was brave. “He ran in the French Derby and Joseph thought he would stay, then he disappointed in the Irish Derby so we were a little bit worried, we didn’t really know what to expect. “I thought looking at him there that maybe he was running a little bit on empty at the end, but Joseph felt that he wasn’t stopping, so obviously what you are looking at and what he felt may be two different things. “I suppose we’ll have to leave it (Leger) open, the lads will talk and decide what they want to do, but he looks like he’s definitely getting a mile and a half so you’d have to be very happy with him. “If he was going he’ll go straight there, but the lads will decide that, have a good chat and see if it’s worth doing it or not. “It’s a little up in the air, but if he’s going he’ll go straight there.” Andrew Balding said of the runner-up: “We were very pleased with that run, obviously. “As he’s a gelding, he won’t be going for the Leger, but he could go for the Great Voltigeur at York if he’s OK. “He’s a lovely horse for the future.” Medrano was slightly disappointing for David Brown. He said: “He stayed on OK and he’ll be better over the Leger trip.” Highland Reel eventually ran out a determined winner of the Neptune Investment Management Gordon Stakes at Goodwood. Aidan O’Brien’s Irish challenger was the 7-4 favourite after finishing fifth in the Irish Derby and tracked the pacesetters into the home straight. Early leader Space Age began to falter inside the last half-mile, but Scottish moved powerfully towards the lead and Highland Reel was briefly short of room after being held in by Disegno. However, once the gap game, Highland Reel knuckled down to his task under Joseph O’Brien and wore down Scottish to score by a length and a half. Disegno was five lengths back in third. The winning jockey said: “I was out early enough and I had plenty of horse. When you have the horse, the gaps come. “He tried his heart out and had a nice position. “I was a bit worried early doors as we went slow, but in fairness to him he tries and he handles this track well.” Asked whether Highland Reel could be a St Leger candidate, O’Brien said: “He definitely could be. I never thought he’d need a mile and six (furlongs). He did well to win off a slow pace today.” O’Brien snr was guarded on a trip to Doncaster, but was not ruling it out. He said: “We always thought a mile and a half was going to be plenty far enough for him. “It was a tough enough race. He relaxed early and then he had to hold his position. Press Associationlast_img read more