Розділ: Фінанси

November 25th, 2020 by Vbiz

With coronavirus cases surging across the U.S., more people who want to travel to be with family for the Thanksgiving holiday are getting tested for the virus.  Lines are so long now that people wait for hours to be swabbed, as Mariama Diallo reports.

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

November 23rd, 2020 by Vbiz

U.S. national security advisor Robert O’Brien is visiting Vietnam and the Philippines this month to help bulk up international resistance against Chinese maritime expansion, a sore spot between the superpowers, in ways that outlast President Donald Trump’s term in office, analysts say.   O’Brien met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc during a November 20-22 trip. The national security advisor “reaffirmed U.S. support for a strong, prosperous, and independent Vietnam that contributes to international security and respects the rule of law,” the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam said in a statement.   U.S. officials often cite rule of law and security cooperation to contrast what they like about Southeast Asian states against Washington’s view of China as a country that does things its own way.  The U.S. official’s trip following a Vietnam U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo poses for a photo with Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc after their meeting at the Government Office in Hanoi, Vietnam, Oct. 30, 2020.Vietnam and the Philippines have faced off over the years against Chinese fishing, energy exploration and military activities in the contested South China Sea. Both say China is operating in their exclusive economic zones, which extend 370 kilometers offshore.   “Hanoi and Manila are the only claimants to have ever really stood up to Beijing on the South China Sea, so it stands to reason these are the two countries O’Brien’s chosen to visit,” said Sean King, vice president of the Park Strategies political consultancy in New York. Pompeo set the tone for visits such as O’Brien’s in July by calling the Chinese maritime claims illegal and vowing support for countries that dispute sovereignty with China. Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam each call all or part of the South China Sea their own in the search for fish and undersea energy reserves.    Vietnam’s prime minister and his guest agreed to continue cooperating “in order to cope with common challenges, thus significantly contributing to peace” in Asia, the Communist Party of Vietnam’s news website Nhan Dan Online reported Sunday.   People in Vietnam saw the O’Brien visit as one in a series by American officials, but hope it helps lock in a U.S. foreign policy that continues after Joe Biden takes office as U.S. president, said Jack Nguyen, a partner with the business advisory firm Mazars in Ho Chi Minh City.   The visit had probably been on the books for a while and will inspire the U.S. Congress into next year rather than influencing Biden, said Nguyen Thanh Trung, Center for International Studies director at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City. Biden will focus on domestic U.S. issues rather than Asia at the start, he predicted. Congress has been aligned with Trump on Asia policy over the current presidential term. “I think [the impetus for the O’Brien trip] comes from the bipartisan policy on China and also on the South China Sea,” he said. “I think it mainly comes from the Congress rather than from the (Trump) Administration.”National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien speaks during a news conference on Sept. 21, 2020, at the U.S. State Department in Washington, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, right, listen.China has alarmed Southeast Asian claimants to the 3.5 million-square-kilometer sea by landfilling disputed islets for its own use, including military purposes.  Trump’s government regularly sends Navy vessels into the sea, sells arms to countries that have disputes with China and confers with pro-Western allies such as Australia and Japan on China matters. China cites historic documents to back its maritime claims and accuses the United States of trying to contain Chinese expansion.  Washington is separately vying with Beijing over trade and the sharing of technology — all hallmarks of the Trump years. Trump is due to leave office in January.  Vietnam has clashed with China at sea since the 1970s and and in April  a Chinese surveillance vessel caused a Vietnamese fishing boat to capsize. Despite the U.S.’s wartime history with Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s, the two sides began collaborating more on defense in 2016.   Manila and Beijing got into a standoff in 2012 over the disputed sea’s Scarborough Shoal, where Chinese ships pushed Philippine vessels out of a rich fishing ground. Manila won world court arbitration four years later, but China snubbed the outcome and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte looks to Beijing today for development aid.    The Philippines has sent “contradictory messages on the South China Sea” though the population and military “remain pro-American”, King said. A U.S.-Philippine Visiting Forces Agreement still hangs in the balance after Duterte’s government said earlier this year that Manila would cancel it – but announced this month a second six-month extension.    “Relations thus, need to be kept up and maintained,” King said. “After all, Manila’s a U.S. treaty ally.” The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs had not posted information on O’Brien’s visit as of mid-Monday. 

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November 20th, 2020 by Vbiz

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday urged Canadians to stay home, avoid contact with others and follow public health rules to help slow the spread of COVID-19, after health officials warned of a possible explosive surge in virus cases.
 
In a televised news conference outside his residence at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Trudeau asked Canadians to resist the temptation to let their guard down after 10 months of making sacrifices.  
 
Trudeau said, “We are facing [a] winter that’s going to drive people inside more and more, and we’re really at risk of seeing caseloads go up, and hospitals get overwhelmed, and more loved ones dying.” He said people must do everything they can to slow the spread of the virus.
 
The prime minister’s plea follows grim news earlier Friday from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said she expects the number of new daily cases to reach 20,000 per day — up from just under 5,000 per day currently — if Canadians maintain their current number of personal contacts.
 
But she warned that number could spike to 60,000 a day by the end of December if Canadians increase their current level of contact with other people, a possible scenario with the Christmas holiday season looming.  
 
Tam said if people limit their interactions to essential activities while maintaining physical distancing and adhering to other public health guidelines, the number could be reduced to less than 10,000 daily.
 
Trudeau said “a normal Christmas is quite frankly right out of the question.”
 
As of Friday, Canada had recorded a total of 319,229 cases and 11,314 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
 

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November 20th, 2020 by Vbiz

Tigray forces fired rockets Friday into a neighboring Ethiopian state, heightening fears the internal conflict could spread to other parts of the country, a day after the federal government said its forces were closing in on the dissident region’s capital.Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, last year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, unleashed a military campaign in the Tigray region on November 4 with the declared aim of unseating its ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which he accuses of defying his government and seeking to destabilize it.Hundreds of people are reported to have been killed in the conflict in Africa’s second most populous country, while tens of thousands have fled fighting and airstrikes in Tigray, crossing to neighboring Sudan.Earlier this week, Abiy said the military operation was in its final phase.Redwan Hussein, spokesman for an Ethiopian committee handling the conflict, said that “our defense forces are moving forward and closing in on Mekele,” Tigray’s regional capital.On Friday, the government claimed to have captured a string of towns in Tigray. A communications blackout in the region has made such claims difficult to verify.Rocket fireAn official in Ethiopia’s Amhara state said TPLF forces fired rockets at its regional capital, Bahir Dar, early Friday morning.Last week, the TPLF also fired rockets at Asmara, the capital of neighboring Eritrea, which it accuses of backing the Ethiopian advance. Both Eritrea and Ethiopia deny the allegation.Amhara communications official Gizachew Muluneh said the three TPLF rockets all missed their targets, resulting in neither casualties nor damage, with two rockets striking near the airport and a third hitting a maize field.For its part, the TPLF on Friday accused government forces of an attack on Mekele’s university that injured an unspecified number of students.Tigray President Debretsion Gebremichael told AFP the rocket strike aimed at Bahir Dar airport was in retaliation for that attack.There was no immediate response from the government in Addis Ababa, which has insisted all its airstrikes are aimed at military targets.Ethiopian refugees who fled fighting in Tigray province are pictured at the Um Rakuba camp in Sudan’s eastern Gedaref province, Nov. 19, 2020.From feuding to fightingThe TPLF led the overthrow of Mengistu Hailemariam, head of Ethiopia’s military Derg regime, in 1991 and dominated the country’s politics until Abiy became prime minister in 2018.The party has complained of being sidelined and blamed for the country’s woes. The bitter feud with the central government led the TPLF to hold its own elections this year in defiance of a postponement due to the coronavirus pandemic.International calls for peace have escalated along with the fighting.U.S. officials said they had urged de-escalation from both Abiy and the TPLF leadership but saw little prospect for negotiations.”At this point neither party, from everything we hear, is interested in mediation,” said Tibor Nagy, the top U.S. diplomat for Africa.Abiy has insisted the military operation’s narrow target is the “reactionary and rogue” members of the TPLF, not ordinary Tigrayan civilians.But observers have voiced concern about Tigrayans losing their jobs or being arrested for their ethnicity.Ethiopia’s army head, Berhanu Jula, has accused World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, a Tigrayan who served as health minister under TPLF leader Meles Zenawi, of working on behalf of the party.”He has worked for them to get weapons,” said Berhanu on Thursday, without offering evidence.Tedros denied the accusation, tweeting: “I am on only one side and that is the side of peace.”Ethiopian refugees who fled fighting in Tigray province lie in a hut at the Um Rakuba camp in Sudan’s eastern Gedaref province, Nov. 18, 2020.Casualties and refugeesThe conflict started when Abiy accused TPLF forces of attacking two federal military camps in the region.Since then, his campaign has seen warplanes bombing Tigray and heavy fighting, while Amnesty International has documented a gruesome massacre in which “scores, and likely hundreds, of people were stabbed or hacked to death” in the southwest town of Mai-Kadra.Air Force chief Yilma Merdasa told state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corp. that they were also deploying drones but denied Tigray’s claims they were coming from abroad.Meanwhile, the U.N. said a “full-scale humanitarian crisis” was unfolding, with 36,000 people having streamed into neighboring Sudan.U.N. officials in Geneva said that around $200 million would be needed to provide assistance to as many as 200,000 people who could flee unrest over the next six months.The U.N.’s children’s agency, UNICEF, said there were already 12,000 children among the refugees.”Restricted access and the ongoing communication blackout have left an estimated 2.3 million children in need of humanitarian assistance and out of reach” in Tigray, executive director Henrietta Fore said.The Norwegian Refugee Council, which is operating in eastern Sudan, warned up to 5,000 people were crossing from Ethiopia every day.”People are sleeping out in the open. There are no tents, just blankets,” country director Will Carter said.”They are essentially moving with nothing, to nothing.”

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November 19th, 2020 by Vbiz

U.S. unemployment benefit claims increased last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday, with the country’s recent surge in coronavirus cases posing a new threat to the world’s biggest economy.   Seasonally adjusted, a total of 742,000 jobless workers filed new applications for unemployment compensation, up 31,000 from the revised figure of the week before. It was the fifth straight week the number fell below 800,000 but remained above the highest pre-pandemic figure on record that dates back to the 1960s.   A total of 6.4 million workers remain unemployed, a 4.3% jobless rate for the first week in November, the Labor Department said.Nearly 900,000 Americans File for Unemployment BenefitsFigure is highest in nearly two months, according to US Labor Department The unemployment rate is a marked improvement from the pandemic low point — a 14.7% jobless rate in April — but with at least 170,000 new coronavirus cases being recorded in the U.S. day after day, state governors and municipal officials have been imposing new restrictions on business activity after months ago lifting similar curbs as the advance of the virus seemed to ebb.The new restrictions could portend more U.S. workers being laid off in the coming weeks as retail stores cut the hours they are open, restaurants close and entertainment and arts centers cancel live shows. The approaching colder winter weather in the U.S. also means that fewer outdoor gatherings are possible.Numerous health officials are urging Americans to stay home next week in advance of next Thursday’s annual Thanksgiving holiday, normally a time when millions of people travel long distances to visit relatives.About a third of unemployed workers have been without a job for 27 weeks or more, compared with 4.1% in April before the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic impacted the U.S. economy.  The country’s Commerce Department reported three weeks ago that the U.S. economy surged 7.4% from July to September.    
     
But analysts believe that U.S. economic growth will end up being slower in the last three months of the year, especially if business restrictions are markedly increased, such as renewed limitations on indoor seating at restaurants.   
     US Unemployment Benefit Claims Improve But Remain HighMillions of workers remain unemployed with jobless rate at 8.1% in mid-SeptemberGovernment officials have been reluctant to curtail business activity as much as occurred in the March-to-June period during an earlier period of rising infections. Even so, some consumers have shunned in-store shopping or eating in restaurants, and many entertainment events have been canceled for months, leading to continued layoffs.Live theater performances at Washington’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts were canceled this week through April 2021.Congress has reconvened after the November 3 national presidential and congressional elections. But there has been no evidence on movement toward a new estimated $2 trillion coronavirus relief aid package, including federal boosts to less generous state unemployment compensation.  It is not clear whether Congress and President Donald Trump, who is contesting election results showing him losing to Democrat Joe Biden, will reach agreement before he is set to leave office on January 20.    It is also uncertain what role Biden might take in shaping a relief package before he takes office. He has called for immediate passage of a relief deal approved months ago by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, but the Republican-controlled Senate has not considered it.Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who won reelection, said he hopes Congress will approve more aid by the end of 2020, but it’s a much more limited relief deal than Democrats want.

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November 19th, 2020 by Vbiz

Three U.S. senators said Wednesday that they would introduce legislation seeking to stop the Trump administration’s effort to sell more than $23 billion of drones and other weapons systems to the United Arab Emirates, setting up a showdown with the president just weeks before he is due to leave office.Democratic Senators Bob Menendez and Chris Murphy and Republican Senator Rand Paul will introduce four separate resolutions of disapproval of President Donald Trump’s plan to sell more than $23 billion worth of Reaper drones, F-35 fighter aircraft and air-to-air missiles, and other munitions to the UAE.The huge sale could alter the balance of power in the Middle East, and members of Congress have chafed at the administration’s attempt to rush it through, having sent a formal notice to Congress only last week.Many lawmakers also worry about whether the UAE would use the weapons in attacks that would harm civilians in Yemen, whose civil war is considered one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters.When the deal was announced, Amnesty International warned that the weapons would be used for “attacks that violate international humanitarian law and kill, as well as injure, thousands of Yemeni civilians.”FILE – Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., speaks during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 24, 2020.The sale includes products from General Atomics, Lockheed Martin Corp. and Raytheon.While the resolutions bring attention to lawmakers’ questions about the massive sales, and could delay them, they are unlikely to stop them.U.S. law covering major arms deals lets senators force votes on resolutions of disapproval. However, to go into effect the resolutions must pass the Republican-led Senate, which rarely breaks from Trump. They also must pass the Democratic-led House of Representatives and survive Trump vetoes.But the incoming president, Joe Biden, could ultimately stop them for reasons of national security, making a prediction on the outcome difficult.The senators said the Trump administration, seeking to rush the sale as it brokered a peace deal between the UAE and Israel, circumvented the normal review process. They said the State Department and the Pentagon failed to respond to their inquiries.Weaponry involved includes the world’s most advanced fighter jet, more than 14,000 bombs and munitions, and the second-largest sale of U.S. drones to a single country.FILE – Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks on the Senate floor at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, March 18, 2020.The Senate Foreign Relations and House Foreign Affairs committees have the right to review and attempt to block weapons sales.Past measures to block arms sales over concerns about Yemeni casualties passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support but failed to get enough Republican backing to override Trump’s vetoes.Lawmakers have also expressed concern about whether the UAE sales would violate a long-standing agreement with Israel that any U.S. weapons sold in the Middle East would not impair its “quantitative military edge” over neighboring states.Menendez is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Paul and Murphy are also members of the committee.

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November 18th, 2020 by Vbiz

Taiwan’s air force has grounded its F-16 fleet after losing a plane on a training mission, President Tsai Ing-wen said on Wednesday, the second loss of a fighter jet in less than a month at a time of increased missions to intercept Chinese aircraft. While Taiwan’s air force is well trained and well equipped, mostly with U.S.-made equipment, it is dwarfed by China’s. Beijing claims the democratic island as its own and has never renounced the use of force to bring it under Chinese control.Last month, Taiwan’s defense minister said nearly $900 million had been spent this year on scrambling the air force against Chinese incursions, describing the pressure they are facing as “great.” Late Tuesday, Taiwan’s air force said a U.S.-built F-16 vanished shortly after taking off from the Hualien air base on the east coast on a routine training mission. That followed the crash of an F-5 — a jet which first entered service in Taiwan in the 1970s — in late October. Speaking to reporters, Tsai said the air force had already grounded the F-16 fleet for checks.Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, center left, poses for photos with airmen near a Taiwan Indigenous Defense Fighter jet displayed during a visit to the Penghu Magong military air base in outlying Penghu Island, Taiwan, Sept. 22, 2020.”I have asked the defense ministry not to relax a bit on defense and combat readiness to ensure national security,” she added. The defense ministry called on media not to speculate on what happened to the F-16, adding that missions needed to continue considering the ongoing threat from China.   “In response to the increasingly severe situation in the Taiwan Strait, the military has continued to strengthen combat readiness training to ensure national security,” it said. The loss of the F-16 is Taiwan’s fourth military crash this year. In January, Taiwan’s top military official was among eight people killed after a helicopter carrying them to visit soldiers crashed in a mountainous area near the capital Taipei. The United States last year approved an $8 billion sale of F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan, a deal that would take the island’s F-16 fleet to more than 200 jets, the largest in Asia. 

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November 17th, 2020 by Vbiz

A Chinese official says Beijing is considering changes to Hong Kong’s mini-constitution after imposing a series of moves tightening its control on the semi-autonomous city. Zhang Xiaoming, a deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, said Tuesday during a seminar in Hong Kong that the goal was “to see the Basic Law as something that is alive” in order to make it open to interpretation.  Hong Kong’s Basic Law was enacted after control of the financial hub was returned to China from British colonial rule in 1997, guided by the concept of “one country, two systems” that guaranteed the city an unusually high degree of freedom, as well as an independent judiciary.   The Chinese government approved a sweeping new national security law back in June in response to massive pro-democracy demonstrations that engulfed Hong Kong last year.  The new security law includes a requirement for lawmakers and civil servants to pledge allegiance to the Basic Law.Zhang’s comments come nearly a week after four Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers were ousted from the Legislative Council after a Chinese legislative committee ruled that Hong Kong’s government could disqualify any lawmaker believed to be a threat to national security without going through the courts.  The ouster led the other 15 pro-democracy lawmakers to resign their seats en masse, leaving the 70-seat Council with only pro-Beijing lawmakers. 

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November 17th, 2020 by Vbiz

Former South African president Jacob Zuma appeared Monday before a commission investigating corruption allegations during his presidency. It was the first time Zuma had appeared before the judicial inquiry since he abandoned his testimony at the hearing more than a year ago. The 78-year-old did not give any evidence on the graft allegations but lodged an application requesting the head of the judicial commission recuse himself, accusing him of prejudice. Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo rejected Zuma’s claim he was biased against him because they used to be close friends. Zondo said he only had a cordial relationship with Zuma, but they were not friends. The commission has no authority to prosecute, however testimony made during the hearing can be used by law enforcement agencies. The fraud and corruption allegedly occurred from 2009 to 2018 before Zuma was forced to resign by his African National Congress party. Zuma is also awaiting trial for allegedly taking bribes from French arms manufacturer Thales more than 20 years ago. 

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November 16th, 2020 by Vbiz

“Blackfeet Boxing: Not Invisible” is a documentary that shows how Native American women at the Blackfeet reservation in Browning, Montana, take up boxing to defend themselves from abduction, rape and domestic abuse – an epidemic in Native American communities. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.Camera and Produced by:  Penelope Poulou 

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November 15th, 2020 by Vbiz

There are nearly 54 million coronavirus cases around the world, the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported early Sunday.The U.S., India, and Brazil continue to top the list as the places with the most infections. The U.S. has almost 11 million cases, while India and Brazil have 8.8 million and 5.8 million, respectively.On Sunday, India reported 41,100 new infections in the previous 24-hour period.An uptick in cases in the U.S. has prompted the Navajo Nation to impose a three-week lockdown, beginning Monday.“The Navajo Nation is experiencing an alarming rise in positive COVID-19 cases and uncontrolled spread in 34 communities across the Navajo Nation,” the reservation’s Department of Health said in a public health order announcing the lockdown. “These cluster cases are a direct result of family gatherings and off-Reservation travel.”The Navajo health department reported Saturday that there are 13,249 COVID-19 infections on the massive reservation where almost 600 people have died from the virus.Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown says the world may be on the brink of a child mortality crisis as developing countries struggle in the battle against the coronavirus and struggle to pay their Western and Chinese creditors.Brown’s comments in The Observer, a British publication, come as the G-20 nations prepare to meet in a few days in Saudi Arabia. The nations may consider a temporary debt freeze for eligible countries as they fight the coronavirus.In Europe, the continent is facing another surge of the coronavirus and several countries have imposed tighter COVID-19 restrictions. Poland on Saturday reported a new daily record of about 550 coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the country’s total to more than 10,000.Lebanon began a two-week lockdown Saturday to contain the spread of the virus, which has increased sharply in recent weeks and killed dozens over the past few days. A nighttime curfew has been expanded from sunset to sunrise, and driving has been prohibited on Sundays.

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November 15th, 2020 by Vbiz

We’re closing in on a year with a viral pandemic that has affected more than 47 million people and has claimed the lives of more than 1 million, according to the World Health Organization. As VOA’s Carol Pearson reports, people are now suffering from what’s being called “pandemic fatigue.” 

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November 14th, 2020 by Vbiz

Demonstrators on the Canary Islands on Saturday demanded better living conditions for thousands of migrants who have reached the Spanish archipelago from Africa.A slow procession of hundreds of demonstrators, some on foot and some in cars, crossed the island of Gran Canaria before reaching the Arguineguin dock in the town of Mogan, where nearly 2,000 migrants are living in tents in conditions that an immigration judge has called “inhumane and degrading.”Over 700 migrants in small boats were rescued Saturday, coast guards said, bringing the number of people who have reached the islands by the dangerous Atlantic route from Africa to nearly 17,000 this year — more than 10 times last year’s total.Deepening economic hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic is pushing more people in developing nations to seek better lives elsewhere, while tightened security in the Mediterranean means more migrants are attempting the Atlantic crossing, with many dying along the way.”We are here fighting for a more dignified reception for these people who arrive in our island to find a better life,” said one demonstrator, teacher Famara Brito.Aid groups estimate about 4,000 migrants are living in tourist hotels because of the lack of refugee reception centers. The Federation of Hospitality and Tourism Enterprises of Gran Canaria called on the government Saturday to act so hotels could be used again for tourists.Spain’s regional policy minister said Friday that it would expand naval patrols around the Canary Islands and set up more migrant centers in response to the surge in arrivals.

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November 14th, 2020 by Vbiz

Although projected to lose the U.S. election, President Donald Trump made the race closer than expected, in part by gaining a higher percentage of minority voters than in 2016, especially among in the growing Latino or Hispanic population. VOA’s Brian Padden reports on increasing political diversity of this rapidly growing ethnic minority, which has increased from 16% to 18% of the U.S. population in the last decade according to the Pew Research Center. 
Camera: Vero Balderas Iglesias     Producer: Brian Padden

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November 11th, 2020 by Vbiz

Asian markets posted another day of solid gains Wednesday due to rising optimism over U.S. drugmaker Pfizer’s potential COVID-19 vaccine. The Nikkei in Tokyo finished 1.7% higher.  Sydney’s S&P/ASX index also closed 1.7% higher. Seoul’s KOSPI index and the TSEC index in Taipei both ended up 1.3%, while Shanghai’s Composite index lost 0.5%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index is down 0.4% in late afternoon trading, while Mumbai’s Sensex is 0.2% lower. In commodities trading, gold is selling at $1,874.20 per ounce, dropping 0.1%. U.S. crude oil is up 2.3%, selling at $42.35 per barrel, while Brent crude oil is selling at $44.62 per barrel, also 2.3% higher.   In futures trading, the Dow and S&P 500 were trending higher, while the Nasdaq is trending lower. 

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November 11th, 2020 by Vbiz

Four Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers were expelled from the city’s legislature Wednesday. The four politicians were ousted immediately after a Chinese legislative committee ruled that Hong Kong’s government could disqualify any lawmaker believed to be a threat to national security without going through the courts.   The dismissals of Alvin Yeung, Denis Kwok, Kwok Ka-ki and Kenneth Leung comes just two days after 19 pro-democracy lawmakers in the city’s 70-seat legislature threatened to quit en masse if any of them were disqualified. A mass resignation would leave the body with only pro-Beijing lawmakers. Dennis Kwok told reporters Wednesday the quartet’s disqualification violated the city’s Basic Law and he and his colleagues’ right to due process. The four disqualified lawmakers were also among 12 legislators barred from running in elections initially scheduled to be held in September. The government has postponed the elections for a year, citing the novel coronavirus pandemic.   The disqualifications appear to be the latest effort by Beijing to quell pro-democracy forces in the semi-autonomous city, which was engulfed by massive and often violent pro-democracy demonstrations in the last half of 2019.   The mainland’s communist government passed a sweeping new security law back in June in response to the demonstrations, under which anyone in Hong Kong believed to be carrying out terrorism, separatism, subversion of state power or collusion with foreign forces could be tried and face life in prison if convicted. Western governments and human rights advocates say the measure effectively ends the self-autonomy guaranteed under the pact that switched control of Hong Kong from Britain to China in 1997. 

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November 10th, 2020 by Vbiz

As severe weather events increase in frequency and intensity across the U.S. and around the world, scientists and forecasters are seeking more effective weather-mapping programs. VOA’s Julie Taboh has more.
Camera: Adam Greenbaum   Produced by: JulieTaboh/Adam Greenbaum
 

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November 10th, 2020 by Vbiz

Peruvian government officials released about 1,040 baby Taricaya Turtles – of some 850,000 expected to be released this year – into the Nanay River in Peru’s Amazon region, Saturday, November 7. ”In the Pacaya Samiria for this year 2020, we are planning the release of approximately 850,000 baby turtles. The release is made on behalf of all the ecosystems of Pacaya Samiria in the main basins. In the last two years we have freed some 2.5 million Taricayas,” said the head of Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, Alfredo Neyra. The Taricaya Turtle or Yellow-Spotted River Turtle, has become vulnerable due to poaching and human activities. According to local media, thousands of eggs were incubated by Peruvian environmental authorities starting in August, in order to carry out Friday’s massive release. (Reuters)  

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November 9th, 2020 by Vbiz

An attack by an Islamic State group on a lookout point west of Baghdad manned by a state-sponsored tribal force left 11 people dead late Sunday, security sources and medics told AFP. The jihadists threw grenades and fired on the tribal Hashed forces stationed at Al-Radwaniyah, on the southern outskirts of the Iraqi capital, near the Baghdad airport.  “IS attacked the monitoring tower, killing five members of the tribal Hashed and six local people who had come to help repel the attack,” a security source said. A medic confirmed the toll to AFP and said eight wounded were transferred to a hospital in central Baghdad. There was no immediate claim of responsibility from IS. IS swept across a third of Iraq in 2014, seizing major cities across the north and west and reaching the suburbs of the capital Baghdad.  After a fierce three-year fight backed by the U.S.-led coalition, Iraq declared IS defeated in late 2017. The coalition has significantly drawn down its troops this year, consolidating them to three main bases in Baghdad, Ain al-Asad in the west and Arbil in the north.  But IS’s sleeper cells have continued to wage hit-and-run attacks on security forces and state infrastructure, particularly in desert areas where troops are stretched thin. Attacks with such high tolls and so close to the capital have been rare, however. 

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November 8th, 2020 by Vbiz

“Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek died Sunday after battling pancreatic cancer for nearly two years. He was 80.  Trebek died at home early Sunday with family and friends surrounding him, “Jeopardy!” studio Sony said in a statement.Trebek presided over the beloved quiz show for more than 30 years.He was a master of the format, engaging in friendly banter with contestants and appearing genuinely pleased when they answered correctly.He was also able to move the game along in a brisk no-nonsense fashion whenever people struggled for answers.The Canadian-born Trebek was more than qualified for the job, having started his game show career on “Reach for the Top” in his native country.  Moving to the U.S. in 1973, he appeared on “The Wizard of Odds,” “Classic Concentration,” “To Tell the Truth,” “High Rollers,” “The $128,000 Question” and “Double Dare.” 

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November 7th, 2020 by Vbiz

Ethiopia’s stability is on the line as the recent outburst of fierce fighting in the country’s Tigray and Oromia regions risks getting out of hand. U.N. rights chief Michelle Bachelet called Saturday for a de-escalation of violence and for grievances in these separate but equally destructive conflicts to be settled peacefully.Heavy clashes broke out Wednesday in the northern region of Tigray between federal and regional troops, prompting declaration of a six-month state of emergency.  The Ethiopian government announced it had deployed federal troops in response to an alleged attack by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front on a military base.Bachelet spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told VOA the eruption of fighting followed months of growing tensions between the federal government and authorities of the Tigray regional state.“This is really quite an alarming flare-up of these tensions, which have now entered into a phase of violence. … Since then, it has been very difficult to get information exactly about what is happening on the ground, because there has been an internet shutdown and phone lines have also been cut,” Shamdasani said. “So we are very worried, especially as we are not able to access information about the impact of the clashes on civilians.”Bachelet also deplored an attack by a group of armed men against members of the Amhara ethnic group in the Oromia region on Sunday. The government said 32 people were killed, although other sources reported many more casualties.Shamdasani said Bachelet was concerned about the lack of proper investigations and accountability into past similarly deadly incidents.“What that means is that, you know, people are left desolate,” Shamdasani said. “They are left feeling like there are entire communities that are pitted against each other and that this then provides fertile ground for further intercommunal clashes, more casualties.”Shamdasani said Bachelet was calling on the government this time around to ensure prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigations into these incidents and to ensure that those responsible are held individually accountable.

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November 7th, 2020 by Vbiz

This week gunmen stormed Kabul University in the Afghan capital, killing at least 19 people and wounding more than 20 others. Monday’s deadly attack is just the latest example of how violence is on the rise in Afghanistan, as its government tries to negotiate a peace deal with the Taliban insurgency. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has more.
Camera: Ahmad Javed            Producer: Carla Babb

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November 5th, 2020 by Vbiz

The world’s biggest iceberg is on course to collide with the island of South Georgia – a key haven for wildlife in the south Atlantic Ocean. Scientists say it could have a grave impact on the ecology and economy of the island, as Henry Ridgwell reports.
Camera: Henry Ridgwell   Produced by: Marcus Harton 
 

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November 3rd, 2020 by Vbiz

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November 2nd, 2020 by Vbiz

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November 2nd, 2020 by Vbiz

Several gunmen entered Kabul university Monday morning and opened fire, creating chaos and a mass exodus from the university as students and faculty tried to escape. A video uploaded to Twitter by Afghan TV channel Tolo news shows confusion and students running as gun shots are heard in the background.  “My students and I tried to leave the university. The situation was very tense. Everyone was running,” said one professor who did not want to be named.    Security forces soon surrounded the area and cordoned it off. Several armored security vehicles could be seen outside the university. Tariq Arian, a spokesman for the ministry of interior, said the security forces were combing the university but moving slowly to avoid civilian casualties.    Eyewitnesses said they saw several gunmen open fire on students inside the campus. The ministry of interior confirmed that eight people were wounded.Afghan police arrive at the site of an attack at Kabul University in Kabul, Afghanistan, Nov. 2, 2020. Gunfire erupted at the university in the Afghan capital early Monday and police have surrounded the sprawling campus, authorities said.Most students, staff, and faculty members were evacuated, according to Hamed Obaidi, a spokesman for the ministry of higher education. Security personnel were seen distributing water to those who escaped and helping the wounded into ambulances. Obaidi said the shots were heard near the schools of law and political science.   However, Tolo news shared videos from some students who said the gunmen  were still inside the compound.  In one of the videos, a student described how he was rushed out from the playground.    “We were playing football . . .  when we heard gun shots. Meanwhile, police came and told us to run since there was an attack,” the student Safiullah said.    Afghan Taliban have denied responsibility for the attack.    While the reason for the attack is not clear, today was the inauguration of an Afghan-Iran book exhibition at the university. Several senior Afghan officials and Iran’s ambassador to Afghanistan was expected to be there. It was not clear whether any officials were on campus at the time of the attack.  

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November 2nd, 2020 by Vbiz

Asian markets are mostly higher on the eve of the U.S. presidential election amid more positive economic news from China. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei index closed 1.3% higher.  The S&P/ASX index in Australia gained 0.2%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 1.4%. The KOSPI index in South Korea also rose 1.4%, while Taiwan’s TSEC gained 0.3%.   Shanghai’s Composite index was essentially unchanged.  In late afternoon trading, Mumbai’s Sensex was also unchanged percentage-wise. Investors came back into the markets after data from the privately-run Caixin China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index showed an increase for October.  In commodities trading, gold is selling at $1,882.90 per ounce, up 0.1%.  U.S crude oil is at $34.55 per barrel, down 3.4%, and Brent oil is selling at $37.48 per barrel, unchanged percentage-wise. All three major U.S. indices are in positive territory in futures trading. 

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October 31st, 2020 by Vbiz

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October 31st, 2020 by Vbiz

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

October 31st, 2020 by Vbiz

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

October 31st, 2020 by Vbiz

An Illinois judge on Friday ordered the extradition of a 17-year-old accused in the fatal shooting of two demonstrators in Kenosha, Wisconsin.The ruling in Kyle Rittenhouse’s case came after a hearing at the Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan, Illinois. Defense lawyers sought to persuade Judge Paul Novak to block their client’s transfer to Wisconsin to face homicide charges.Rittenhouse’s attorneys argued the teen acted in self-defense on Aug. 25 when he opened fire during unrest after the shooting of a Black man by a white police officer in Kenosha. They said the charges are politically motivated and that extraditing the teenager would violate his constitutional rights.Lake County prosecutors have said those arguments were irrelevant on the question of extradition and that it’s the role of a Wisconsin judge, not one in Illinois, to decide whether there are sufficient grounds for charges.In Wisconsin, Rittenhouse faces first-degree intentional homicide in the fatally shooting of two protesters, which carries a life prison sentence. He is also charged with attempted intentional homicide in the wounding of a third protester.Rittenhouse’s case has become a rallying point for some conservatives who see him as a patriot who was exercising his right to bear arms during unrest. Others portray him as a domestic terrorist who incited protesters by showing up wielding a rifle.

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October 31st, 2020 by Vbiz

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October 30th, 2020 by Vbiz

Fake news about the coronavirus can do real harm. Polygraph.info is spotlighting fact-checks from other reliable sources here​.Daily DebunkClaim: Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque claimed that the Philippines has the “best” COVID-19 testing policy in Asia and “probably in the whole world.”Verdict: FalseRead the full story at: FactRakersSocial Media DisinfoCirculating on social media: “A video shared on Twitter claims to show President Uhuru Kenyatta dancing in a crowd without a face mask in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.”Verdict: FalseRead the full story at: PesaCheckFactual Reads on CoronavirusThe race to make COVID antibody therapies cheaper and more potent
Injections of antibodies might prevent mild COVID-19 from becoming severe, but the treatments are expensive and difficult to make.
— Nature, October 28Confronting Misinformation
How to protect society from fear, lies and division.
— Scientific American, November 1 issue

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October 30th, 2020 by Vbiz

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

October 30th, 2020 by Vbiz

In South Korea, one of the main ways the coronavirus has spread is through cluster infections in religious communities. That has forced many religious groups to adapt to new ways of worship, as VOA’s Bill Gallo reports from Seoul.

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October 30th, 2020 by Vbiz

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