The Solomon Islands’ most populous province, the source of anti-government protesters who waged a fiery protest in the capital Honiara last week, is unhappy Australia has sent in police and soldiers at the request of the Pacific island nation’s prime minister, a provincial political aide has told Reuters.Dozens of buildings were burned down and shops looted in the capital’s Chinatown as protests against Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare turned to rioting in which three people died.The arrival of…
- UN’s tourism body has said that the global tourism sector has bled $2.0 trillion in revenue in 2021.
- The global tourism sector already lost $2.0 trillion in revenues last year due to the pandemic.
- A total of 46 destinations – 21 percent of all destinations worldwide – currently have their borders completely closed to tourists, according to the UNWTO.
The coronavirus pandemic will cost the global tourism sector $2.0 trillion in lost revenue in 2021, the UN’s tourism body said Monday, calling the sector’s recovery “fragile” and “slow”.
The forecast from the Madrid-based World Tourism Organization comes as Europe is grappling with a surge in infections and as a new heavily mutated Covid-19 variant, dubbed Omicron, spreads across the globe.
International tourist arrivals will this year remain 70-75 percent below the 1.5 billion arrivals recorded in 2019 before the pandemic hit, a similar decline as in 2020, according to the body.
The global tourism sector already lost $2.0 trillion (1.78 trillion euros) in revenues last year due to the pandemic, according to the UNWTO, making it one of sectors hit hardest by the health crisis.
While the UN body charged with promoting tourism does not have an estimate for how the sector will perform next year, its medium-term outlook is not encouraging.
“Despite the recent improvements, uneven vaccination rates around the world and new Covid-19 strains” such as the Delta variant and Omicron “could impact the already slow and fragile recovery,” it said in a statement.
The introduction of fresh virus restrictions and lockdowns in several nations in recent weeks shows how “it’s a very unpredictable situation,” UNWTO head Zurab Pololikashvili told AFP.
“It’s a historical crisis in the tourism industry but again tourism has the power to recover quite fast,” he added ahead of the start of the WTO’s annual general assembly in Madrid on Tuesday.
“I really hope that 2022 will be much better than 2021.”
While international tourism has taken a hit from the outbreak of disease in the past, the coronavirus is unprecedented in its geographical spread.
In addition to virus-related travel restrictions, the sector is also grappling with the economic strain caused by the pandemic, the spike in oils prices and the disruption of supply chains, the UNWTO said.
Pololikashvili urged nations to harmonise their virus protocols and restrictions because tourists “are confused and they don’t know how to travel”.
International tourist arrivals “rebounded” during the summer season in the Northern Hemisphere thanks to increased travel confidence, rapid vaccination and the easing of entry restrictions in many nations, the UNWTO said.
“Despite the improvement in the third quarter, the pace of recovery remains uneven across world regions due to varying degrees of mobility restrictions, vaccination rates and traveller confidence,” it added.
Arrivals in some islands in the Caribbean and South Asia, and well as some destinations in southern Europe, came close to, or sometimes exceeded pre-pandemic levels in the third quarter.
Other countries however hardly saw any tourists at all, particularly in Asia and the Pacific, where arrivals were down 95 percent compared to 2019 as many destinations remained closed to non-essential travel.
A total of 46 destinations – 21 percent of all destinations worldwide – currently have their borders completely closed to tourists, according to the UNWTO.
A further 55 have their borders partially closed to foreign visitors, while just four nations have lifted all virus-related restrictions – Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and Mexico.
The future of the travel sector will be in focus at the WTO annual general assembly, which will run until Friday.
The event – which brings together representatives from 159 members states of the UN body – was original scheduled to be held in Marrakesh.
But Morocco in late October decided not to host the event due to the rise in Covid-19 cases in many countries.
Before the pandemic, the tourism sector accounted for about 10 percent of the world’s gross domestic product and jobs.
Even as the digital payments conglomerate Visa pooh-poohs any threat to its leadership position in the Indian market by the indigenously developed payments solution provider RuPay, privately, it has complained to the US government that the Indian government’s “informal and formal” promotion of RuPay is hurting its market share, according to a report by Reuters citing US government memos.
According to the memos, Visa’s grudge stems from the push RuPay has received from none other than PM Narendra Modi who has likened its use to national service, saying in a 2018 speech that since “everyone cannot go to the border to protect the country, we can use RuPay card to serve the nation.” Visa, which asked for a “level playing field” during a meeting with USTR Katherine Tai, which included Visa CEO Alfred Kelly, cited Modi’s speech to support its charges.
The push by the government has seen Rupay’s share zoom from 15% in 2017 to 63% of the 95.2 crore debit and credit cards — amounting to 60.36 crore — issued till November last year, as per an RBI report. In fact, a brute majority of these were debit cards since only 970,000 Rupay credit cards were issued. In the credit card business though, Visa leads with a 44% market share followed by Mastercard, with a 37% share.
Visa’s grudges against RuPay were similarly echoed earlier by Mastercard in 2018, which had privately raised the issue with the USTR, alleging that Modi was using nationalism to promote RuPay. The company in fact was handed a ban on issuing new cards for not complying with a 2018 directive by the RBI asking it to store all payments data from India “only in India” for “unfettered supervisory access” — a ban that was labelled “draconian by a USTR official in private.
We are saddened to report on the passing of one of the biggest names in fashion, Virgil Abloh. The news was announced suddenly in a post on Virgil’s Instagram account.
While Virgil was still actively working on his business endeavors as recently as November 5th, where he spoke publicly at the National Museum of Qatar, his team revealed he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer back in 2019 called cardiac angiosarcoma. Unfortunately Virgil lost the battle on Sunday.
“We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend,” the announcement read. “For two years, Virgil valiantly battled a rare, aggressive form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma. He chose to endure his battle privately since his diagnosis in 2019, undergoing numerous challenging treatments, all while helming several significant institutions that span fashion, art, and culture.”
LVMH, Louis Vuitton and Off White released a statement about Virgil Abloh, who served as fashion director at LV and CEO of Off-White.
“We are all shocked after this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom,” the statement read. “The LVMH family joins me in this moment of great sorrow, and we are all thinking of his loved ones after the passing f their husband, their father, their brother or their friend.”
Virgil will be remembered for the mark he made on the fashion industry and the bold statement pieces he produced for some of the biggest stars. He was only 41 years old and is survived by his wife, Shannon Abloh and his two children Lowe and Grey Abloh.
Please keep Virgil’s family and loved ones in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time, Roomies.
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WASHINGTON — President Biden’s top economists have worried from the beginning of his administration that rising inflation could hamstring the economy’s recovery from recession, along with his presidency. Last spring, Mr. Biden’s advisers made a forecasting error that helped turn their fears into reality.
Administration officials overestimated how quickly Americans would start spending money in restaurants and theme parks, and they underestimated how many people wanted to order new cars and couches.
Mr. Biden’s advisers, along with economists and some scientists, believed that widespread availability of coronavirus vaccinations would speed the return to prepandemic life, one in which people dined out and filled hotel rooms for conferences, weddings and other in-person events.
Instead, the emergence of the Delta variant of the virus over the summer and fall slowed that return to normalcy. Americans stayed at home, where they continued to buy goods online, straining global supply chains and sending the price of almost everything in the economy skyward.
“Because of the strength of our economic recovery, American families have been able to buy more products,” Mr. Biden said this month at the Port of Baltimore. “And — but guess what? They’re not going out to dinner and lunch and going to the local bars because of Covid. So what are they doing? They’re staying home, they’re ordering online, and they’re buying product.”
That view is the closest thing the administration has offered to an explanation for why the White House was surprised by the size and durability of a price surge that has hurt Mr. Biden’s poll numbers and imperiled part of his economic agenda in Congress. From the administration’s perspective, the problem is not that there is too much money sloshing around, as Republicans and some economists insist, but that consumers are throwing an unexpectedly large amount of that money at a narrow set of things to buy.
To illustrate the point: If Mr. Biden had sent people travel vouchers or DoorDash gift cards for services instead of giving Americans direct payments as part of his $1.9 trillion rescue plan in March — something that was never a live option — the inflation picture might look different right now.
What to Know About Inflation in the U.S.
Inflation has risen across wealthy nations over the past year, but it has risen faster in the United States, where prices rose 6.2 percent in October from the year before. America’s inflation has been exacerbated, in part, by Mr. Biden and his predecessor, Donald J. Trump, pouring more fiscal support into the U.S. economy than their counterparts did elsewhere, at a time when consumption patterns shifted and did not rapidly snap back to normal.
Republicans, and even some left-leaning economists such as the former Obama administration officials Lawrence H. Summers and Jason Furman, have blamed the rapid price increases across the economy on the aid package that Mr. Biden signed in the spring. They say the package’s direct assistance to Americans, including $1,400 checks to individuals and enhanced benefits for the unemployed, fueled more consumer demand than the economy could bear, driving prices skyward.
Mr. Biden is betting that those critiques are largely wrong — and that the Fed would be wrong to follow their advice. His aides say excess consumer demand is not the driver of the fastest price increases America has seen in decades, and that the economy needs more fuel, not less, to complete the job of delivering wage and employment gains to historically marginalized workers.
The president wants Fed Chairman Jerome H. Powell, whom he reappointed this week for a second term, to join him in that wager — by avoiding quick increases in interest rates that could choke off growth, and which would not address what White House officials see as the real cause of inflation: the virus.
“We’re still dealing with the difficult challenges and complications caused by Covid-19 that are driving up costs for American families,” Mr. Biden said on Monday at the White House, in announcing Mr. Powell’s reappointment and laying the blame for inflation at the feet of the resurgent virus.
While prices are up broadly across industries and sectors of the economy, there is a wide gulf in the inflation rates of physical things people buy and the services they consume. The Consumer Price Index for services is up 3.6 percent from the previous year. For durable goods, it is up 13.2 percent. And those goods represent a much larger share of America’s consumer spending than they did before Covid-19 hit.
On the eve of the pandemic, about 31 percent of American consumer spending went toward goods, and the rest toward services. In October, that share had risen to about 35 percent, down just slightly from its pandemic highs. Those few percentage points made a huge difference for supply chains, which were suddenly carrying record-shattering levels of toys, electronics and other goods from country to country, and straining under the load.
The $1.9 trillion rescue plan “juiced demand, and importantly for the inflation story, much of that demand played out in reduced consumption of in-person services and increased demand for manufactured goods,” Jared Bernstein, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said in a speech this week.
“That, in tandem with the impact of the virus on transportation logistics, has played a role in elevated price growth.”
Mr. Powell offered a similar diagnosis at the White House on Monday. “The economy is expanding at its fastest pace in many years, carrying the promise of a return to maximum employment,” he said. “Challenges and opportunities remain as always. The unprecedented reopening of the economy, along with the continuing effects of the pandemic, led to supply and demand imbalances, bottlenecks and a burst of inflation.”
Understand the Supply Chain Crisis
Mr. Bernstein, his White House colleagues and many liberal economists say the price increases should fade by next year. The current bout, while painful for consumers, is better than an alternative scenario where no rescue package was passed and the economy rebounded more slowly this year, they say.
“Avoiding a deep recession is a huge positive that needs to be set in the balance against the inflation we’re seeing now. There’s a deep denial about that,” said J.W. Mason, an economist at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, who is a fellow at the liberal Roosevelt Institute. He added, “I don’t think there’s a world where you get substantially less inflation where you also don’t get substantially more economic hardship.”
That tension has left White House officials to attempt to soothe rising prices largely by trying to relieve supply problems. In the spring, they formed a supply chain task force to cope with the continued high demand for products including semiconductors (which were crippling automotive production and sending car prices up), lumber (which was raising the costs of building homes) and food.
The administration has stepped up those efforts over the past month, announcing new actions and spending to reduce backlogs at ports and attempt to speed the gummed-up global flow of products, which has contributed to inflation increases through much of the wealthy world. On Tuesday, Mr. Biden announced he would release 50 million barrels of oil from the nation’s strategic reserve, in a concerted move with five other nations meant to drive down gasoline prices, which have surged as drivers return to the roads in recent months.
Officials are also betting that inflationary pressures will be eased by workers flocking back to the job market in the coming months, as they deplete the savings they built from pandemic government assistance. They were buoyed Wednesday when the Labor Department reported new claims for unemployment benefits fell dramatically last week, to their lowest level in a half century.
Yet annual inflation continued to climb at its fastest pace in three decades, according to fresh data released Wednesday, with soaring energy prices and strong demand for goods and services pushing prices up by 5 percent in the year through October.
The administration has found few large levers that it can quickly pull to ease the shipping delays that have helped push up the price of goods. Administration economists say they are considering all options for more action and are promoting some recent progress in reducing backlogs at ports. The lack of specific details — or even floated ideas from business groups or elsewhere — on what other policies could quickly clear supply chains is telling. Mr. Biden’s recent meeting on the subject with leaders of 14 countries at the Group of 20 summit in Rome produced no game-changing agreements on actions to pursue.
In the meantime, Mr. Biden’s team is hopeful that the Fed will maintain its patience with the recovery, and not pull back too quickly on its efforts to continue powering economic growth. One of the reasons Mr. Biden tapped Mr. Powell for another term, instead of elevating Lael Brainard, the Fed governor he chose to be vice chair, was the belief that Mr. Powell — a Republican appointee — carries a unique bipartisan credibility for his actions at a time when Republicans are hammering Mr. Biden over rising prices.
“In times like these, we need steady, tested, principled leadership at the Fed,” Mr. Biden said Monday. He added, without elaboration but with a clear intent: “And we need people of character and integrity who can be trusted to keep their focus on the right long-term goals of our country — for our country.”
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Los hondureños buscan un alivio de la desesperación en unas elecciones con repercusiones para EE. UU.
Tegucigalpa, HONDURAS — Los hondureños votaron hoy en unas elecciones generales tensas, cuyas repercusiones podrían ir mucho más allá del país centroamericano.
Para la oposición, las elecciones representan una oportunidad de restablecer el Estado de derecho tras ocho años de desmantelamiento sistemático de las instituciones democráticas por parte del presidente saliente, Juan Orlando Hernández.
Pero lo que está en juego es aún más importante para los dirigentes del partido en el poder. Si pierden las protecciones que les da estar en el cargo, podrían enfrentar cargos de corrupción y tráfico de drogas en investigaciones realizadas por fiscales de Estados Unidos y Honduras.
Washington también está muy atento a las elecciones.
Después de haber convertido a Centroamérica en una prioridad de la política exterior, el gobierno de Joe Biden no ha podido frenar la ola de autoritarismo y corrupción en la región. El malestar económico y político del país, así como la violencia crónica, están haciendo que los hondureños se unan a las decenas de miles de centroamericanos que llegan cada mes a la frontera sur de Estados Unidos, lo que provoca ataques de los republicanos y puede perjudicar las posibilidades de los demócratas en las próximas elecciones intermedias.
Las encuestas muestran una reñida contienda entre el candidato del gobernante Partido Nacional, Nasry Asfura, el carismático alcalde de la capital, Tegucigalpa; y Xiomara Castro, la esposa de Manuel Zelaya, un expresidente de izquierda que fue depuesto en un golpe de Estado en 2009. Ambos candidatos prometen, de manera diferente, una ruptura con el gobierno tan impopular de Hernández.
Para ambas partes, las elecciones son una batalla decisiva por el destino del país. Pero las perspectivas de cambio radical son escasas: los principales partidos de Honduras han sido acusados de corrupción o de tener vínculos con la delincuencia organizada.
“En el mejor de los casos, se obtendrá un resultado que no será espectacular”, dijo Daniel Restrepo, miembro del Centro para el Progreso Estadounidense, un grupo de expertos de Washington D. C., quien fue asesor principal sobre Latinoamérica durante la presidencia de Barack Obama. “La esperanza es inyectarle más legitimidad al sistema”.
Un gobierno más receptivo con un fuerte mandato popular, agregó, también podría ayudar a frenar la migración.
“Si la gente cree que su voz no es escuchada, es más probable que se vaya”, dijo.
Un nuevo presidente elegido de manera legítima podría proporcionar al gobierno de Biden un socio muy necesario en una región cuyos líderes desafían cada vez más la influencia económica y política de Washington.
Los gobiernos de las tres naciones vecinas de Honduras han desmantelado aún más los controles democráticos respaldados por Estados Unidos sobre su poder desde que el presidente Biden asumió el cargo, a pesar de la promesa de su gobierno de gastar 4000 millones de dólares para combatir la corrupción y la impunidad como dos de las causas fundamentales de la migración.
El presidente autoritario de Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, encarceló a todos los candidatos creíbles de la oposición que podrían haberlo desafiado, lo que le permitió ganar un cuarto mandato consecutivo casi sin oposición en las elecciones de este mes.
En Guatemala, el gobierno disolvió un organismo de investigación anticorrupción y arrestó a algunos de sus fiscales después de que empezaran a investigar las acusaciones de soborno que implicaban al presidente Alejandro Giammattei.
Y el presidente de El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, está silenciando las voces independientes y desafiando de manera abierta a Estados Unidos a medida que se hace de más poder, lo cual motivó al principal diplomático de Washington a abandonar el país este mes por falta de cooperación del gobierno salvadoreño.
En Honduras, los fiscales estadounidenses y hondureños acusan a Hernández de crear un sistema de corrupción generalizado que permite a las organizaciones dedicadas al tráfico de drogas penetrar en todos los niveles de su gobierno. Su hermano, Tony Hernández, cumple una cadena perpetua en Estados Unidos por ayudar a enviar toneladas de cocaína, en un caso en el que también se ha nombrado al presidente como cómplice.
El presidente Hernández negó todas las acusaciones en su contra y no ha sido acusado de cometer ningún delito.
The world responds to Omicron
The new coronavirus variant named Omicron by the W.H.O. is showing up across the world, prompting stock market tumbles and border closures. It has so far been identified in Britain, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, the Netherlands and other places, usually in people who had recently returned from southern Africa. Here’s a map of cases.
Nations in southern Africa protested bitterly as more of the world’s wealthiest countries cut them off from travel, renewing a debate over pandemic border closings and compounding the problems facing poorly vaccinated countries. Australia, Britain and the E.U. were among those that barred travelers from South Africa and nearby countries.
Scientists scrambled to gather data on the variant. Early findings suggest Omicron may be more transmissible and better able to evade the body’s immune responses than previous versions of the virus. But vaccines may well continue to ward off severe illness and death. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are preparing to reformulate their shots if necessary.
What’s in a name: The W.H.O. skipped two Greek letters in naming the variant, avoiding Nu, too easily confused with “new,” and Xi, a common Chinese surname and the name of China’s leader.
Britain battles shortages
Supply shortages continue to bedevil Britain, causing the government to fret about disruptions to the holidays. A lack of truck drivers, combined with global shipping delays, product shortages, the pandemic and Brexit restrictions, has left some supermarket shelves bare and retailers warning that not every Christmas gift will be available.
An offer by the British government to grant 5,000 temporary visas to truck drivers from continental Europe has had little appeal to Polish drivers, who say they can make comparable money in less-xenophobic European countries closer to home. As of mid-October, a Conservative Party official said that a little more than 20 applications had been approved.
To reduce the reliance on truck drivers, some have come up with creative solutions. Every weekend, a 32-car, 1,600-foot “wine train” travels 100 miles between the port of Tilbury and Daventry, carrying almost 650,000 bottles of wine to distribute to stores. Britons might at least have a decent stock of alcohol during Christmas.
Talking turkey: Companies in the Food and Drink Federation had been used to 97 percent of their orders arriving on time. Now, one-fifth of items will not show up when expected — and which ones will be missing from the holiday table is anyone’s guess, the group’s chief executive said.
A broadening cyberwar between Israel and Iran
The longstanding covert cyberwar between Israel and Iran is expanding past military targets, as millions of civilians bear the brunt of the shadow campaign. No one has died in the latest attacks, but if their goal was to create chaos, anger and emotional distress on a large scale, they succeeded wildly.
In recent weeks, a cyberattack on Iran’s nationwide fuel distribution system paralyzed the country’s 4,300 gas stations, which took 12 days to have service fully restored. And in Israel, the intimate details of hundreds of thousands of people’s sex lives were stolen from an L.G.B.T.Q. dating site and uploaded on social media.
As hopes fade for a diplomatic resurrection of the Iranian nuclear agreement, such attacks are likely to proliferate. Nondefense computer networks are generally less secure than those tied to state security assets.
News from the region: Iran violently cracked down on protests against growing water shortages as the vast majority of the country confronted drought.
THE LATEST NEWS
Other Big Stories
The woman on the bridge: The police and prosecutors spent five years chasing a domestic violence case. Would it be enough?
The arts and fashion worlds this weekend lost two greats. Stephen Sondheim, one of the most influential songwriters in the history of musical theater, died at 91 early Friday. And on Sunday, Virgil Abloh, the barrier-breaking Black fashion designer, died at 41 after a two-year battle with a rare cancer.
Star turns by pint-size actors
Several youngsters are winning praise this season for their roles in prestige drama — among them Jude Hill, who stars as Buddy in “Belfast”; Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton, who play Venus and Serena Williams in “King Richard”; Woody Norman, who appears with Joaquin Phoenix in “C’mon C’mon”; and Daniel Ranieri in the George Clooney-directed drama “The Tender Bar.”
For The Times, Sarah Bahr spoke to these young stars about their time in the limelight. Here are edited extracts from their conversations.
Jude Hill, 11: The first time I saw my face on a poster I thought, “That’s not real.” I’m still just a normal kid, and this is my first film, but I think if you work hard, then you can achieve anything.
Demi Singleton, 14: Any role that highlights how powerful women can be is a role I want to be in. I also really want to do an action movie like “Wonder Woman” or “Black Widow,” because that’s been my dream ever since I was a little girl.
Daniel Ranieri, 10: I didn’t always want to be an actor. I wanted to be a race driver, and then I changed my mind and wanted to be a firefighter, but now I’m really stuck on being an actor.
Woody Norman, 12: What I want people watching the film to take away is that young people are humans with opinions just as valid as yours. We are not children or babies.
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to Cook
The Union Health Ministry has issued new guidelines for pregnant women to get the COVID-19 vaccine and said that pregnancy does not increase the risk of infection. Like any medicine, a vaccine can have side effects that are usually mild.
केंद्रीय स्वास्थ्य मंत्रालय ने गर्भवती महिलाओं को COVID-19 वैक्सीन लगवाने के लिए नए दिशा-निर्देश जारी किए हैं और कहा कि गर्भावस्था से संक्रमण का खतरा नहीं बढ़ता है। किसी भी दवा की तरह, एक टीके के भी दुष्प्रभाव हो सकते हैं जो आमतौर पर हल्के होते हैं।
#PregnanatWomen #COVID19Vaccine #CoronavirusVaccine
ज़ी न्यूज़ देश का सबसे भरोसेमंद हिंदी न्यूज़ चैनल है। जो 24 घंटे लगातार भारत और दुनिया से जुड़ी हर ब्रेकिंग न्यूज़, नवीनतम समाचार, राजनीति, मनोरंजन और खेल से जुड़ी खबरे आपके लिए लेकर आता है। इसलिए बने रहें ज़ी न्यूज़ के साथ और सब्सक्राइब करें |
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#AskWHO series: This was the live discussion about the COVID-19 pandemic of 28 October 2020 about diagnostics & essential health services with Professor Hanan H. Balkhy, Assistant Director-General, Antimicrobial resistance and Edward Kelley, Director of the Department of Integrated Health Services.