Розділ: Нерухомість

April 22nd, 2021 by Vbiz

The guilty verdict against former police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd marks a rare conviction against a police officer for actions while on duty.  As VOA’s Mike O’Sullivan reports, some legal experts say the case may mark a change in how courts and prosecutors deal with allegations of police misconduct.

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April 21st, 2021 by Vbiz

Cameroon’s agricultural sector employs the majority of the country’s workers, but too many know too little about the soil, resulting in inefficient farming. To help Cameroon’s farmers, a computer engineer created an electronic analysis kit to test soil quality and suitability for crops. Moki Edwin Kindzeka has this report by Anne Nzouankeu in Edéa, Cameroon. Camera: Anne Nzouankeu   Produced by: Jason Godman 
 

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April 21st, 2021 by Vbiz

A new law in the southern U.S. state of Georgia that restricts mail-in voting and strengthens voter identification requirements has sparked a nationwide debate over voting rights for minorities. Democratic Party lawmakers are weighing their options even though voting rights legislation has little chance of passage in the U.S. Senate. VOA’s Congressional correspondent Katherine Gypson has more.

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April 21st, 2021 by Vbiz

The Czech Republic is urging European and NATO allies to take joint retaliatory action against Russia. It follows accusations that Russian spies were behind a huge explosion at a Czech arms depot in 2014 – and were part of a special unit that also carried out an attempted assassination in Britain. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.Camera:  Henry Ridgwell  

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

April 20th, 2021 by Vbiz

A coastal landslide in Wales forced people to evacuate from their homes, Tuesday, April 20. The collapsed cliff is up to 40 meters wide, and people are being warned to stay away. (REUTERS) 

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

April 20th, 2021 by Vbiz

The U.S. ambassador in Moscow said Tuesday he will head home for consultations — a move that comes after the Kremlin prodded him to take a break as Washington and Moscow traded sanctions. Ambassador John Sullivan said in a statement that he is returning to the United States this week to discuss U.S.-Russian ties with members of President Joe Biden’s administration. He emphasized that he would come back to Moscow within weeks. “I believe it is important for me to speak directly with my new colleagues in the Biden administration in Washington about the current state of bilateral relations between the United States and Russia,” Sullivan said in a statement issued by the embassy. “Also, I have not seen my family in well over a year, and that is another important reason for me to return home for a visit.” Sullivan’s departure comes after Russia on Friday stopped short of asking Sullivan to leave the country, but said it “suggested” that he follows the example of the Russian ambassador to Washington who was recalled for consultations last month after President Joe Biden’s description of President Vladimir Putin as a “killer.” Russia has set no time frame for Anatoly Antonov’s return to Washington. On Thursday, the Biden administration announced sanctions on Russia for interfering in the 2020 U.S. presidential election and involvement in the SolarWind hack of federal agencies — activities Moscow has denied. The U.S. ordered 10 Russian diplomats expelled, targeted dozens of companies and people and imposed new curbs on Russia’s ability to borrow money. Russia denounced the U.S. move as “absolutely unfriendly and unprovoked” and retaliated by ordering 10 U.S. diplomats to leave, blacklisting eight current and former U.S. officials and tightening requirements for the U.S. Embassy operations. While ordering the sanctions, Biden also called for de-escalating tensions and held the door open for cooperation with Russia in certain areas. Biden emphasized that he told Putin that he chose not to impose tougher sanctions for now and proposed to meet in a third country in the summer. Russia said it was studying the offer. “I will return to Moscow in the coming weeks before any meeting between Presidents Biden and Putin,” Sullivan said in Tuesday’s statement. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that “we are in the very beginning of analyzing the situation” regarding Biden’s summit proposal and no specifics have been discussed yet. “A big question is what course the U.S. will take,” Ryabkov said in remarks carried by Russian news agencies. While the new U.S. sanctions further limited Russia’s ability to borrow money by banning U.S. financial institutions from buying Russian government bonds directly from state institutions, they didn’t target the secondary market. The Biden administration held the door open for more hard-hitting moves if need be. Fyodor Lukyanov, a leading Moscow-based foreign policy expert, said while the Kremlin’s advice to Sullivan to leave for consultations stopped short of expulsion, it reflected Moscow’s dismay about the new sanctions. “If the political contacts have been reduced to zero, and economic ties never were close enough, why have so many people in the embassies?” Lukyanov said in a commentary. He predicted that ties will continue to deteriorate despite Biden’s offer to hold a summit. “During the past Cold War, the Soviet Union and the United States at least shared a certain mutual respect and a recognition of each other’s political legitimacy, and it’s no longer the case,” Lukyanov observed. “Each party sees the other as heading toward decay and lacking the moral and political right to behave as it does.” 

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

April 18th, 2021 by Vbiz

No one can say with any certainty what will happen in Afghanistan once U.S. President Joe Biden withdraws the remaining 2,500 to 3,500 U.S. troops by September 11 to end the country’s longest war, a top White House official said Sunday.”I can’t make any guarantees about what will happen inside the country. No one can,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told the “Fox News Sunday” show.”All the United States could do is provide the Afghan security forces, the Afghan government and the Afghan people resources and capabilities, training and equipping their forces, providing assistance to their government,” he said. “We have done that and now it is time for American troops to come home and the Afghan people to step up to defend their own country.”Biden’s decision to withdraw the remaining troops has drawn a mixed reaction in Washington. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called it a grave mistake and “a retreat in the face of an enemy.” Senator Lindsey Graham said it was “dumber than dirt and devilishly dangerous.” Even some Democrats were concerned by the decision, including Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, who worried the U.S. may “lost what we were seeking to achieve.”
But other lawmakers say it was long past time for the U.S. to withdraw the troops it sent to Afghanistan to defeat the al-Qaida terrorists who masterminded and carried out the September 11, 2001, attacks in the U.S. that killed nearly 3,000 people. But critics of Biden’s decision to withdraw troops 20 years later say it could lead to creation of a new terrorist haven in Afghanistan.Uncertainty Surrounds US Pullout From AfghanistanPentagon says that planners are still working out the details and a brief surge is possible to ensure a safe, orderly withdrawalAsked in a separate interview on CNN whether the U.S. “won the war” in Afghanistan, Sullivan replied that the U.S. had “achieved its objective” by degrading the presence of al-Qaida and killing al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in a 2011 mission in Pakistan.He said the U.S. troop withdrawal now was a recognition that the U.S. needs to “focus on the battle of the next 20 years, not the last 20 years.”Sullivan, in the Fox News interview, was asked whether the U.S. was risking a repeat of what happened in Iraq in 2011, where Islamic State militants seized territory after U.S. troops withdrew. Then-President Barack Obama sent troops back into Iraq, but Sullivan said Biden had no intention of sending American forces back to Afghanistan once they are withdrawn.As he announced his decision to withdraw U.S. troops, Biden said the United States would monitor any terrorist threats in Afghanistan and keep substantial assets in the region. “He has no intention of taking our eye off the ball,” Sullivan said. “We have the capacity, from repositioning our capabilities over the horizon, to continue to suppress the terrorist threat in Afghanistan.”But CIA Director William Burns told the Senate Intelligence Committee last week that with the departure of U.S. troops, America’s ability to collect intelligence and act against extremist threats in Afghanistan will be diminished.A United Nations report in January said there were as many as 500 al-Qaida fighters in Afghanistan.
 

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April 17th, 2021 by Vbiz

On this edition of Encounter, Ari Davis, Senior Policy Analyst at The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and Nurrah Abdulhaqq, youth leader in the Georgia Chapter of “March for Our Lives” tell host Carol Castiel that despite the surge in gun violence in America, whether mass shootings, homicides or suicides, they are cautiously optimistic that a growing movement for a multi-pronged approach to combating violence, including US President Joe Biden’s recent executive orders, bode well for progress.PROGRAM NOTE: This program was recorded before the FedEx mass killings in Indianapolis 

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April 17th, 2021 by Vbiz

Issues in the News moderator Kim Lewis talks with VOA diplomatic correspondent Cindy Saine and VOA executive editor Steve Redisch about the pros and cons of U. S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, concern over the build-up of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border, challenges facing President Biden’s infrastructure plan, continued tension in Minneapolis over the police killing of another African American man as the defense in the Chauvin trial wraps up and more.

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

April 17th, 2021 by Vbiz

Issues in the News moderator Kim Lewis talks with VOA diplomatic correspondent Cindy Saine and VOA executive editor Steve Redisch about the pros and cons of U. S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, concern over the build-up of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border, challenges facing President Biden’s infrastructure plan, continued tension in Minneapolis over the police killing of another African American man as the defense in the Chauvin trial wraps up and more.

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

April 15th, 2021 by Vbiz

When Americans think of coffee culture, they usually think of Seattle, the home of Starbucks. But some say New York City may have a better claim as the U.S. center of coffee culture. Nina Vishneva examined that part of the city’s history, in this story narrated by Anna Rice.

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

April 11th, 2021 by Vbiz

On this edition of Encounter, host Carol Castiel talks with Johannesburg-based journalist, Gabriele Steinhauser, deputy bureau chief for Africa at The Wall Street Journal and Jon Temin, Director of the Africa Program at Freedom House, about the status of the coronavirus pandemic in Africa and its impact on economic and political life, as well as the roots of the troubling Islamist insurgency in the province of Cabo Delgado, Mozambique.

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

April 11th, 2021 by Vbiz

Rescuers on Sunday were trying to reach 21 coal miners who were trapped by an underground flood in China’s northwest, a state news agency reported.The mine in Hutubi County in the Xinjiang region flooded at about 6:10 p.m. on Saturday, the Xinhua News Agency said. It said eight people were rescued.China’s coal mines are among the world’s deadliest, regularly suffering explosions and gas leaks despite repeated safety crackdowns.

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

April 10th, 2021 by Vbiz

Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin observed the 23rd anniversary of an agreement that ended most of the three decades of sectarian violence over British rule in Northern Ireland Saturday by warning against a return to the prolonged unrest.His warning came after at least 14 police officers were injured in clashes with protesters in Northern Ireland’s capital of Belfast Friday night, the eighth consecutive day of clashes between police and unionists and nationalists in the British province.”We owe it to the agreement generation and indeed future generations not to spiral back to that dark place of sectarian murders and political discord,” Martin said in a statement to commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.Northern Ireland police said protesters in Belfast hurled gasoline bombs and stones at police and hijacked a car that was set on fire and pushed towards police lines.Clashes also took place in the northern town of Coleraine and in Newtownabbey, a northern suburb of Belfast, police said.The violence first erupted more than a week ago amid rising tensions linked to Brexit.On Thursday, the U.S. joined leaders from Northern Ireland, Britain and Ireland in voicing concern over the renewed violence in Northern Ireland. 

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

April 10th, 2021 by Vbiz

At least two people were killed during violent protests Friday against the United Nations peacekeeping mission in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, local officials said. Troops attached to the U.N. mission, known as MONUSCO, killed one person during a protest in the rural area of Oicha, its mayor Nicolas Kikuku told Reuters. “They [the protesters] set fire to two bridges that lead to the [peacekeepers’] base,” Kikuku said. “The MONUSCO peacekeepers did not accept that and opened fire directly on the demonstrators.” Rosette Kavula, the deputy administrator of Beni territory, where Oicha is located, and Philippe Bonane, a local activist, also said peacekeepers had killed a protester. The incident came after days of protests in several eastern Congo cities by young people angered over the 12,000-strong U.N. Mission’s failure to prevent a wave of civilian killings by armed groups. MONUSCO spokesman Mathias Gillmann said the mission was investigating what had happened in Oicha.  The other fatality occurred when protesters closed a road to the city of Beni, blocking the path of an ambulance carrying the body of a man killed earlier in a suspected rebel attack, said local army spokesman Antony Mwalushayi. “That’s how a woman was hit and died on the scene, and her baby was seriously wounded,” Mwalushayi told Reuters. He said an investigation had been opened into the incident.  At least seven people were killed in the suspected rebel attack, which officials blamed on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan Islamist group that has operated on Congolese soil for decades.More than 300 people have been killed so far this year in violence in eastern Congo, which is in part an unresolved legacy of a civil war that officially ended in 2003. U.N. peacekeepers have been deployed to Congo since 1999 at the invitation of the government. 

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

April 10th, 2021 by Vbiz

Issues in the News moderator Kim Lewis talks with VOA diplomatic correspondent Cindy Saine and VOA executive editor Steve Redisch about what’s at stake in talks between the U.S. and Iran, what prosecutors must prove in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin charged in the death of George Floyd, prospects for passing US President Joe Biden’s legislative priorities under the “reconciliation” mechanism and a corporate uproar over the new voting law in the southern state of Georgia.

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

April 10th, 2021 by Vbiz

Issues in the News moderator Kim Lewis talks with VOA diplomatic correspondent Cindy Saine and VOA executive editor Steve Redisch about what’s at stake in talks between the U.S. and Iran, what prosecutors must prove in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin charged in the death of George Floyd, prospects for passing US President Joe Biden’s legislative priorities under the “reconciliation” mechanism and a corporate uproar over the new voting law in the southern state of Georgia.

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

April 7th, 2021 by Vbiz

Fake news about the coronavirus can do real harm. Polygraph.info is spotlighting fact-checks from other reliable sources here​.Daily DebunkClaim: COVID-19 vaccines have led to a 6,000% increase in patient deaths.Verdict: FalseRead the full story at: PolitiFactSocial Media Disinfo ScreenshotCirculating on social media: Claim that “not a single politician in the world” died of Covid-19 except John Magufuli, a former president of Tanzania known for downplaying the scale of the pandemic.Verdict: MisleadingRead the full story at: Agence France-Presse

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

April 7th, 2021 by Vbiz

India has been recording the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases in the world as it grapples with a second wave of the pandemic. As Anjana Pasricha reports from New Delhi, the impact of the massive surge of the virus, in the world’s biggest vaccine maker, will be felt far beyond its shores as India slows vaccine shipments to other countries.    
   
Camera: P. Pallavi   Produced by: Rod James 
 

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

April 7th, 2021 by Vbiz

Amazon.com Inc. supports an increase in the U.S. corporate tax rate as part of an infrastructure overhaul, Jeff Bezos, chief executive of the largest U.S. retailer, said on Tuesday after facing withering criticism from the White House, Congress and on social media. “We support the Biden Administration’s focus on making bold investments in American infrastructure,” Bezos said in a blog post. “We recognize this investment will require concessions from all sides — both on the specifics of what’s included as well as how it gets paid for (we’re supportive of a rise in the corporate tax rate).”   The largest online U.S. retailer, which has been widely criticized in recent years for paying little or no U.S. federal income tax, did not endorse raising rates to a specific figure.   The White House did not immediately comment. Biden’s infrastructure plan proposes increasing the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21% and would revise the tax code to close loopholes that allow companies to move profits overseas.In this Oct. 1, 2020, photo an Amazon worker wears a mask and gloves as he delivers boxes downtown Los Angeles.Biden said last week Amazon was one of 91 Fortune 500 companies that “use various loopholes where they pay not a single solitary penny in federal income tax,” in sharp contrast to middle-class families paying over 20% tax rates.   Bezos is stepping down from the CEO role during third quarter of 2021. After paying no federal income tax in 2017 or 2018, Amazon reported a $162 million current U.S. federal tax liability for 2019 and $1.835 billion U.S. federal tax liability for 2020. Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, and Republican lawmakers cut the corporate rate to 21% in 2017 from 35%. Trump repeatedly promised to tackle the nation’s crumbling infrastructure during his presidency but never delivered on that. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the largest U.S. business group, last month called Biden’s proposed hike in corporate taxes “dangerously misguided” and warned it would “slow the economic recovery and make the U.S. less competitive globally.”   In June 2019, Biden named Amazon and said no company making billions in profits should pay a lower tax rate than firefighters and teachers. 

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April 7th, 2021 by Vbiz

Those involved in a naked photo shoot on a high-rise balcony in Dubai will be deported, authorities said Tuesday, after the footage went viral and prompted a crackdown in the Gulf Arab sheikhdom.  Dubai authorities detained at least 11 Ukrainian women who posed naked in broad daylight along with a male Russian photographer on charges of public debauchery and producing pornography. Earlier this week, images and videos of the naked women splattered across social media and sent a wave of shock through the emirate, where a legal code based on Islamic law, or Shariah, has landed foreigners in jail for tamer offenses.  After an unusually speedy investigation, Dubai’s Attorney General Essam Issa al-Humaidan announced that those behind the photo shoot would be sent back to their countries, without elaborating further. Dubai police have declined to identify those detained. More than a dozen women appeared in the widely shared video. Ukrainian and Russian authorities confirmed the arrest of their citizens Tuesday, but the nationalities of the others detained were not immediately known. The swift deportation is rare for the legal system in Dubai, an absolutely ruled sheikhdom. Such cases typically go to trial or are otherwise adjudicated before deportation. “The public prosecutor ordered the deportation of the accused for their behavior contrary to public morals,” al-Humaidan said, adding that the group of women had been charged with violating the country’s public decency law.  Dubai is a top destination for the world’s Instagram influencers and models, who fill their social media feeds with slick bikini-clad selfies from the coastal emirate’s luxury hotels and artificial islands. But the city’s brand as a glitzy foreign tourist destination has at times provoked controversy and collided with the sheikhdom’s strict rules governing public behavior and expression.  The nude photo shoot scandal came just days before Ramadan, the holiest month of the Muslim calendar, and as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky landed in nearby Doha, Qatar, for an official state visit. Over the years, Dubai increasingly has promoted itself as a popular destination for Russians on holiday. Signs in Cyrillic are a common sight at the city’s major malls. The generally pro-Kremlin tabloid Life identified the Russian man arrested as the head of an information technology firm in Russia’s Ivanovo region, though his firm denied he had anything to do with the photo shoot. The Associated Press was not able to determine if those arrested had legal representation or reach a lawyer for them. Stanislav Voskresensky, the governor of Ivanovo, asked the Russian Foreign Ministry and Russia’s ambassador to the UAE to offer the Russian man their support. “We don’t abandon our own,” Voskresensky wrote on social media. It’s not the first time that foreign social media influencers, amateur and pro, have drawn unwanted scrutiny in the United Arab Emirates. Earlier this year, as Dubai promoted itself as a major pandemic-friendly party haven for travelers fleeing tough lockdowns elsewhere, European reality TV show stars came under fire for flaunting their poolside Dubai vacations on social media and for bringing the coronavirus back home. Denmark and the United Kingdom later banned flights to the UAE as virus cases surged in the federation of seven sheikhdoms. Although the UAE has recently made legal changes to attract foreign tourists and investors, allowing unmarried couples to share hotel rooms and residents to drink alcohol without a license, the Gulf Arab country’s justice system retains harsh penalties for violations of the public decency law. Nudity and other “lewd behavior,” carry penalties of up to six months in prison and a fine of 5,000 dirhams ($1,360). The sharing of pornographic material is also punishable with prison time and hefty fines. The country’s majority state-owned telecom companies block access to pornographic websites. Foreigners, who make up some 90% of the UAE’s population of over 9 million, have been imprisoned for comments and videos online, as well as for offenses considered benign in the West, like kissing in public. The United Arab Emirates is considered one of the most permissive Gulf nations, but pornography and “anything else that can undermine public morals” is illegal. 

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April 6th, 2021 by Vbiz

Haiti does not have a single vaccine to offer its more than 11 million people over a year after the pandemic began, raising concerns among health experts that the well-being of Haitians is being pushed aside as violence and political instability across the country deepen.So far, Haiti is slated to receive only 756,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through a United Nations program aimed at ensuring the neediest countries get COVID-19 shots. The free doses were scheduled to arrive in May at the latest, but delays are expected because Haiti missed a deadline and the key Indian manufacturer is now prioritizing an increase in domestic demand.
“Haiti has only recently completed some of the essential documentation that are prerequisites for processing of a shipping order,” said Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, a Geneva-based public-private partnership that is co-managing the U.N.-backed COVAX effort.
The country also didn’t apply for a pilot program in which it would have received some of its allotted doses early, according to the Pan American Health Organization. However, a spokeswoman commended its other pandemic efforts, including reinforcing hospital preparedness.
Meanwhile, a human rights research center cited in a new U.S. State Department report found Haiti’s government misappropriated more than $1 million worth of coronavirus aid. The report also accused government officials of spending $34 million in the “greatest opacity,” bypassing an agency charged with approving state contracts.
Lauré Adrien, general director of Haiti’s Health Ministry, blamed the vaccine delay on scrutiny of the AstraZeneca shots and concerns that the country lacks the necessary infrastructure to ensure proper vaccine storage, adding that his agency prefers a single-dose vaccine. AstraZeneca requires two doses.
“It’s no secret that we don’t have excellent conservation facilities,” he said. “We wanted to be sure that we had all the parameters under control before we received vaccine stocks.”
Adrien also noted all the money his agency received has been properly spent, but said he could not speak for other agencies. A presidential spokesman did not return calls for comment.
Many poorer countries have experienced long waits in getting COVAX vaccines as richer countries snapped up supplies, though most have received at least an initial shipment. Some took matters into their own hands, securing shots through donations and private deals.
Haiti’s lack of vaccines comes as it reports more than 12,700 cases and 250 deaths, numbers that experts believe are underreported.
Perceptions also remain a big challenge.In this March 14, 2020 file photo, boxes of rum are stacked as a duty free employee wears a mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic while working at Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.While face masks remain mandatory at Haiti businesses, airport closures and curfews have long since been lifted, and other precautions are rare.
“People don’t really believe in the coronavirus,” said Esther Racine, a 26-year-old mother of two boys whose father died in the catastrophic 2010 earthquake.
Racine once worked as a maid but began selling face masks at the beginning of the pandemic, making brisk business with some 800 sales a month. Now, she barely sells 200.
“Look around,” she said, waving at a maskless crowd bustling around her in downtown Port-au-Prince. The only customers nowadays are those who need a mask to enter a nearby grocery store, she said, adding that Haitians have other problems on their mind: “People worry more about violence than the virus.”
Ongoing protests and a spike in kidnappings and gang-related killings have some wondering how any vaccine will be administered given the lack of stability coupled with a growing number of people afraid to leave their homes.
Many also fear being inoculated, despite educational campaigns. In addition, some officials have raised concern about the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has recently come under scrutiny in Europe after a very small number of people who received it developed unusual blood clots.
“We can receive the vaccine and then discover with a heavy heart that the stocks expired a couple of months later because no one wanted to be vaccinated,” Adrien said.
Among those in Haiti who say they will not be vaccinated is Dorcelus Perkin, a brick factory owner. On a recent morning, the 60-year-old supervised more than a dozen employees working outdoors. No one was wearing any personal protective equipment.
“We can’t wear masks in the sun. We would be suffocating,” he said, adding that the sun kills the virus, something scientists have not proven.
Perkin also credited drinking a traditional green tea mixed with salt every day for his good health: “I believe more in these remedies than the vaccines. I don’t know what’s in the inside of these vaccines.”
International groups are behind most of the resources and educational campaigns related to COVID-19 in Haiti, with the Pan American Health Organization providing the government 500 test kits, along with instruction on lab diagnosis and virus detection. It also supplied thermometers, PPE and other items including megaphones and batteries as workers fanned out into rural areas. In addition, PAHO trained more than 2,800 health workers in Haiti and met with community leaders including Voodoo priests and traditional birth attendants to share information about protective measures and treatment centers.
In May 2020, the organization’s director said she was particularly concerned about the effects of a potential large-scale outbreak given Haiti’s frail health care system and the fact that many live in overcrowded households and lack access to clean water. But perplexed experts say that anticipated outbreak has not happened.
“It’s a surprise to a lot of people,” said Aline Serin, head of mission in Haiti for the international aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres. “For the moment, there is not enough research and documentation to explain why some countries were less affected by severe COVID-19 cases.”
Meanwhile, it’s unclear exactly when the country’s first vaccines, via COVAX, will arrive.
Haiti is among 92 low-income countries expected to receive them. It’s also among dozens that will be affected by last week’s announcement of a suspension of deliveries in March and April of doses made for the program by the Serum Institute of India – the world’s largest vaccine maker – amid a spike of coronavirus cases in India.
When the shots do become available, experts acknowledge it will be a struggle to get them into arms.
They would have to convince Haitians like Duperval Germain, a 55-year-old carpenter who said neither he nor his children will be getting a vaccine. He worries about falling ill from it and not being able to receive proper medical care.
“All these heads of state who have been here, any time they get sick, they all fly out of here,” he said. “If we get sick, where would we go? They can keep (the vaccines) to themselves. Use it in places that need it. Haiti doesn’t need the vaccine.”

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April 6th, 2021 by Vbiz

Steam and lava spurted Monday from a new fissure at an Icelandic volcano that began erupting last month, prompting the evacuation of hundreds of hikers who had come to see the spectacle. The new fissure, first spotted by a sightseeing helicopter, was about 500 meters (550 yards) long and about a kilometer (around a half-mile) from the original eruption site in the Geldinga Valley.  The Icelandic Department of Emergency Management announced an immediate evacuation of the area. It said there was no imminent danger to life because of the site’s distance from popular hiking paths. The Icelandic Meteorological Office said the new volcanic activity wasn’t expected to affect traffic at nearby Keflavik Airport. The long-dormant volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwest Iceland flared to life March 20 after tens of thousands of earthquakes were recorded in the area in the past three weeks. It was the area’s first volcanic eruption in nearly 800 years.People watch as lava flows from an eruption of a volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland late on March 24, 2021.The volcano’s proximity to Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík, about 32 kilometers (20 miles) away, has brought a steady stream of tourists to the area, even with the country in partial lockdown to combat the coronavirus. Around 30,000 people have visited the area since the eruption began, according to the Icelandic Tourist Board. Live footage from the area showed small spouts of lava coming from the new fissure. Geophysicist Magnus Gudmundsson said the volcanic eruption could be moving north from its original location. “We now see less lava coming from the two original craters,” he told The Associated Press. “This could be the beginning of second stage.” Iceland, which sits above a volcanic hot spot in the North Atlantic, averages one volcanic eruption every four to five years. The last one was at Holuhraun in 2014, when a fissure eruption spread lava the size of Manhattan over the interior highland region.  In 2010, ash from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano shut down much international air travel for several days. 

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April 5th, 2021 by Vbiz

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Sunday that crews are working to prevent the collapse of a large wastewater pond near Tampa Bay while evacuating the area to avoid a “catastrophic flood.”Manatee County officials said earlier Sunday that the latest models showed that a breach at the old phosphate plant reservoir had the potential to gush out 340 million gallons of water in a matter of minutes, risking a 6-meter-high (about 20-foot) wall of water. Throughout the day the volume had decreased to less than 300 million.”What we are looking at now is trying to prevent and respond to, if need be, a real catastrophic flood situation,” DeSantis said at a press conference after flying over the old Piney Point phosphate mine.Authorities have closed off portions of the U.S. Highway 41 and ordered evacuations of 316 homes. Some families were placed in local hotels.A local jail 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) away from the 33-hectare (77-acre) pond is not being evacuated, but officials are moving inmates and staff to the second story and putting sandbags on the ground floor. Manatee County Administrator Scott Hopes said the models show the area could be covered with between 30 centimeters (1 foot) to 1.5 meters (1.5 feet) of water, and the second floor is 10 feet above ground.County officials say well water remains unaffected and there is no threat to Lake Manatee, the area’s primary source of drinking water.The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) says the water in the pond is primarily salt water mixed with wastewater and storm water. It has elevated levels of phosphorous and nitrogen and is acidic, but not expected to be toxic, the agency says.Crews have been discharging water since the pond began leaking in late March. On Friday, a significant leak was detected. That discovery escalated the response and prompted the first evacuations and a declaration of a state of emergency on Saturday. A portion of the containment wall in the reservoir shifted, leading officials to think a collapse could occur at any time.Hopes, the county administrator, said Sunday that with new state resources, crews will be nearly doubling the amount of water being pumped out of the pond and taken to Port Manatee. Currently about 22,000 gallons of water are being discharged per minute, and Hopes said he expects the risk of collapse to decrease by Tuesday.Early Sunday, officials saw an increase in the water leaking out, but Hopes says it seems to have plateaued. The water running out on its own is flowing to a creek that leads to Cockroach Bay, an aquatic preserve in the Tampa Bay north of the facility.  “Looking at the water that has been removed and the somewhat stability of the current breach, I think the team is much more comfortable today than we were yesterday,” he said. “We are not out of the critical area yet.”Hopes said he could not rule out that a full breach could destabilize the walls of the other ponds at the Piney Point site.The Florida DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein said another pond has higher levels of metals.”The radiologicals are still below surface water discharge standards. So, again this is not water we want to see leaving the site,” he said.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a coordinator on the scene to work with emergency management and provide support as necessary, said EPA spokeswoman Brandi Jenkins.  “We are closely monitoring the ongoing situation and are in close communication with Governor DeSantis’ office, as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection,” she said in an email.  Calls to the owner of the site, HRK Holdings, for comments went unanswered Saturday and Sunday.The ponds sit in stacks of phosphogypsum, a solid, radioactive byproduct from manufacturing fertilizer. State authorities say the water in the breached pond is not radioactive.But the EPA says too much nitrogen in the wastewater causes algae to grow faster, leading to fish kills. Some algal blooms can also harm people who come into contact with polluted waters or eat tainted fish.Environmental groups urged the federal government this weekend to step in to halt sending more wastewater to the existing so-called gypsum stacks and halting the creation of more phosphogypsum, which is left behind when phosphate rock is mined to produce fertilizer.”We hope the contamination is not as bad as we fear but are preparing for significant damage to Tampa Bay and the communities that rely on this precious resource,” Justin Bloom, founder of the Sarasota-based nonprofit organization Suncoast Waterkeeper, said in a statement.

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

April 4th, 2021 by Vbiz

North Atlantic right whales gave birth over the winter in greater numbers than scientists have seen since 2015, an encouraging sign for researchers who became alarmed three years ago when the critically endangered species produced no known offspring at all.Survey teams spotted 17 newborn right whale calves swimming with their mothers offshore between Florida and North Carolina from December through March. One of those calves soon died after being hit by a boat, a reminder of the high death rate for right whales that experts fear is outpacing births.The overall calf count equals the combined total for the previous three years. That includes the dismal 2018 calving season, when scientists saw zero right whale births for the first time in three decades. Still, researchers say greater numbers are needed in the coming years for North Atlantic right whales to rebound from an estimated population that’s dwindled to about 360.”What we are seeing is what we hope will be the beginning of an upward climb in calving that’s going to continue for the next few years,” said Clay George, a wildlife biologist who oversees right whale surveys for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. “They need to be producing about two dozen calves per year for the population to stabilize and continue to grow again.”Warmer waters for reproducingRight whales migrate each winter to the warmer Atlantic waters off the Southeastern U.S. to give birth. Trained spotters fly over the coastline almost daily during the calving season, scanning the water for mothers with newborns.Survey flights over Georgia and Florida ended Wednesday, the last day of March, typically the season’s end. Spotters will monitor waters off the Carolinas through April 15, hoping to pick up any overlooked newborns as the whales head north to their feeding grounds.This season’s calf count matches the 17 births recorded in 2015. Right whale experts consider that number fairly average, considering the record is 39 births confirmed in 2009.FILE – This Georgia Department of Natural Resources photo shows a North Atlantic right whale mother and calf in waters near Cumberland Island, Ga., March 11, 2021.Scientists suspect a calving slump in recent years may have been caused by a shortage of zooplankton to feed right whales in the Gulf of Maine and the Bay of Fundy off Nova Scotia. They say the uptick in births this season could be a result of whales being healthier after shifting to waters with more abundant food sources.”It’s a somewhat hopeful sign that they are starting to adjust to this new regime where females are in good enough condition to give birth,” said Philip Hamilton, a right whale researcher at the New England Aquarium in Boston.Regardless, conservationists worry that right whales are dying — largely from manmade causes — at a faster rate than they can reproduce.Since 2017, scientists have confirmed 34 right whale deaths in waters off the U.S. and Canada — with the leading causes being entanglement in fishing gear and collisions with boats and ships. Considering additional whales were documented in the same period with serious injuries they were unlikely to survive, researchers fear the real death toll could be at least 49.That would exceed the 39 right whale births recorded since 2017.”If we reduced or eliminated the human-caused death rate, their birth rate would be fine,” Hamilton said. “The onus should not be on them to reproduce at a rate that can sustain the rate at which we kill them. The onus should be on us to stop killing.”New rulesThe federal government is expected to finalize new rules soon aimed at decreasing the number of right whales tangled up in fishing gear used to catch lobster and crabs in the Northeast. Proposals to reduce vertical fishing lines in the water and modify seasonal restricted areas have been met with heated debate. Fishermen say the proposed rules could put them out of businesses, while conservation groups insist they aren’t strict enough.Allison Garrett, a spokeswoman for the National Marine Fisheries Service, said the agency is also considering adjustments to federal rules that since 2008 have imposed speed limits on larger vessels in certain Atlantic waters during seasonal periods when right whales are frequently seen. An agency report in January found mariners’ compliance with the speed rules have improved overall, but still lagged below 25% for large commercial vessels at four ports in the Southeast. 

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April 3rd, 2021 by Vbiz

On this edition of Encounter, host Carol Castiel talks with Doris Meissner, senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute and Cynthia (Cindy) Arnson, Director of the Latin American Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars about the causes and consequences of the large influx of Central American migrants at the US southern border including urgent humanitarian needs of unaccompanied minors, reasons why so many make the treacherous journey from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, and major shortcomings of outmoded US immigration laws.

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

April 3rd, 2021 by Vbiz

Issues in the News moderator Kim Lewis talks with senior reporter for Marketplace Nancy Marshall-Genzer and VOA senior TV correspondent Chris Simkins about the significance of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin charged in the death of George Floyd, U.S. President Joe Biden’s revealed infrastructure plan, the economic ramifications of the delayed ships in the Suez Canal during a pandemic and the escalating violence in Myanmar.

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

April 3rd, 2021 by Vbiz

Issues in the News moderator Kim Lewis talks with senior reporter for Marketplace Nancy Marshall-Genzer and VOA senior TV correspondent Chris Simkins about the significance of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin charged in the death of George Floyd, U.S. President Joe Biden’s revealed infrastructure plan, the economic ramifications of the delayed ships in the Suez Canal during a pandemic and the escalating violence in Myanmar.

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

April 2nd, 2021 by Vbiz

Prosecutors make their case on Day 4 in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer charged in the death of George Floyd. VOA’s Jesusemen Oni has more.

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

April 1st, 2021 by Vbiz

A group of female artists in Afghanistan’s central province of Bamyan has recently opened a small pyrography and engraving studio to promote fine arts in the region. VOA’s Zafar Bamiyani has more from Bamyan in this report narrated by Bezhan Hamdard.
Camera: Zafar Bamiyani      Producer: Zafar Bamiyani

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

April 1st, 2021 by Vbiz

A parolee convicted of killing his mother nearly two decades ago was arrested on assault and hate crime charges in an attack on an Asian American woman in New York City, police said Wednesday.Police said Brandon Elliot, 38, is the man seen on surveillance video kicking and stomping the woman near Times Square on Monday. The woman was attacked in front of an apartment building.Two lobby workers witnessed the violence, but no one intervened or called 911, police said. Their union said Wednesday they told a union representative that they waited until the attacker left because he had a knife and then flagged down a police car.Elliot lived at a hotel that serves as a homeless shelter a few blocks from the attack scene, police said. He was taken into custody at the hotel around midnight. Tips from the public led to his apprehension, police said.’We need real safety nets’Elliot was convicted of stabbing his mother to death in the Bronx in 2002, when he was 19. He was released from prison in 2019 and is on lifetime parole. The parole board had previously twice denied his release. His record also included an arrest for robbery in 2000.”For the life of me, I don’t understand why we are releasing or pushing people out of prison — not to give them second chances, but to put them into homeless facilities or shelters, or in this case a hotel — and expect good outcomes,” Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said at a news conference Wednesday. “We need real opportunities. We need real safety nets.”Elliot, who is Black, faces charges of assault as a hate crime, attempted assault as a hate crime, assault and attempted assault. It wasn’t immediately known whether he had a lawyer who could speak on his behalf. He was expected to be arraigned by video Wednesday.Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said prosecutors will seek to have Elliot jailed without bail pending trial. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted, Vance said.A law enforcement official identified the victim as 65-year-old Vilma Kari. The official was not authorized to speak publicly and did so on condition of anonymity. Kari’s daughter told The New York Times that she emigrated from the Philippines several decades ago.Kari, who was repeatedly kicked and stomped, suffered serious injuries including a fractured pelvis, the law enforcement official said. She was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday, a hospital spokesperson said. Kari has been speaking to police, Shea said.Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Manuel Romualdez said the victim is Filipina American.The country’s foreign secretary, Teodoro Locsin Jr., condemned the attack, writing on Twitter: “This is gravely noted and will influence Philippine foreign policy.” He didn’t elaborate how.The Philippines and United States are longtime treaty allies, but Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte is a vocal critic of U.S. security policies who has moved to terminate a key agreement that allows largescale military exercises with U.S. forces in the Philippines.”I might as well say it, so no one on the other side can say, ‘We didn’t know you took racial brutality against Filipinos at all seriously.’ We do,” Locsin said.’You don’t belong here’Kari was walking to church when police say Elliot kicked her in the stomach, knocked her to the ground, stomped on her face, shouted anti-Asian slurs and told her, “You don’t belong here” before casually walking away as onlookers watched. Shea called it a “completely unprovoked violent attack on an innocent, defenseless woman.”Monday’s attack, among the latest in a national spike in anti-Asian hate crimes, drew widespread condemnation and concerns about the failure of bystanders to intervene. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the attack “absolutely disgusting and outrageous” and said it was “absolutely unacceptable” that witnesses didn’t help the woman.The attack happened just weeks after a mass shooting in Atlanta that left eight people dead, six of them women of Asian descent, and just a few days after a 65-year-old Asian American woman in the same midtown Manhattan neighborhood was threatened and heckled with anti-Asian slurs.The surge in violence has been linked in part to misplaced blame for the coronavirus pandemic and former President Donald Trump’s use of terms like “Chinese virus.””This brave woman belongs here,” Vance said. “Asian American New Yorkers belong here. Everyone belongs here.”The late morning attack happened in front of a luxury apartment building in Hell’s Kitchen, west of Times Square. Two lobby workers, described by their union as doormen, were seen on video witnessing the attack but failing to help Kari. One of them was seen closing the building’s door as she was on the ground.The building’s management company said the workers were suspended pending an investigation. The workers’ union, SEIU 32BJ, initially said that they immediately called for help. A spokesperson clarified Wednesday that the workers waited until the assailant walked away to check on Kari and flag down a nearby patrol car.Residents of the building also defended the workers, saying in a letter Wednesday that a widely seen video clip focusing on the assault cut off before they could be seen giving the victim aid and alerting medics.Detective Michael Rodriguez said Wednesday that patrol officers driving by came upon the victim after she was assaulted.The Associated Press has requested the full video from the building’s management company. The company has not responded.Increasing attacksThis year in New York City, there have been 33 hate crimes with an Asian victim as of Sunday, police said. There were 11 such attacks by the same time last year. The NYPD last week said it was increasing patrols in Asian neighborhoods, including using undercover officers to prevent and disrupt attacks.Joo Han, the deputy director of the Asian American Federation, called the plainclothes patrols a “knee-jerk response” that ignored misgivings she said many people in Asian communities have about law enforcement.”That wasn’t something that was done in conversation with community leaders,” Han said. “That’s not something that we would have recommended. That’s not safe for a lot of folks who may not have status, who don’t have comfortable interactions with NYPD.” 

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March 29th, 2021 by Vbiz

Before the pandemic hit, 82 percent of clinics in the landlocked Southern African nation of eSwatini lacked hot running water. That has changed in the last 6 months, with the installation of solar-powered water heaters in every single government clinic, opening up clean health facilities to up to 10,000 people a day in a nation that has long struggled with building up infrastructure. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Lobamba, eSwatini. 

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March 29th, 2021 by Vbiz

Australia’s multi-billion-dollar wage subsidy credited with saving hundreds of thousands of jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic has ended. A cluster of infections has forced the Queensland city of Brisbane into a snap three-day lockdown. The U.S. $53 billion JobKeeper program was the biggest economic package in Australian history. It guaranteed workers a paycheck even when businesses were forced to close during lockdowns.  In Canberra, the government has said with the recovery underway, it is time for the economy to support itself. Senior officials have said JobKeeper would be replaced by targeted stimulus programs, the first stage of which will be an expansion of the scheme to pay part of the wages of apprentices.  But critics believe the move is premature, and the end of the wage subsidy scheme will put many jobs in jeopardy.A snap three-day coronavirus disease lockdown takes effect in Brisbane, March 29, 2021.Leanne Harwood is the managing director for Japan, Australasia & Pacific at IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) Hotels & Resorts. She had hoped JobKeeper would be expanded to help the tourism industry. “Without it we would have had to make a lot more people redundant. Sadly, we would have lost a lot more people and we probably would have had to close a lot more doors of our hotels and right now we have been able to keep most of them open, which has been quite frankly a godsend having that JobKeeper to be able to do that. You know, we have been able to keep people employed, which has made such a difference in so many people’s lives, and I am incredibly worried about what is going to happen when that JobKeeper goes away,” Harwood said.The pandemic sent Australia into recession for the first time since the 1990s. But there is evidence the economy is rebounding strongly. Recent figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics have shown Australia’s jobless rate dropped from 6.6% in December 2020 to 6.4% in January.  Australia has mostly contained the virus, but a small, but growing cluster of infections in Brisbane has forced the authorities to order a three-day lockdown starting Monday, and stay-at-home orders will apply. The Queensland state premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was “very concerned.”   However, in neighboring New South Wales more COVID-19 restrictions are being eased on Monday. Singing and dancing is now permitted, allowing nightclubs to reopen. Sports stadiums and theaters can also operate with 100 per cent capacity, and masks are no longer mandatory on public transport. A nationwide mass vaccination program is also underway. Australia has recorded just over 29,200 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began. 909 people have died, according to the Health Department. 

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March 29th, 2021 by Vbiz

With more powerful tugboats to help, Egyptian authorities said they would focus on trying again Monday evening to remove from the Suez Canal one of the world’s largest container ships, which has blocked the key shipping trade route for nearly a week. The canal, which connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, will experience a high tide then. Diggers worked Sunday night into Monday morning to remove part of the canal’s bank to help free the giant container ship, the Ever Given. Dredging continued as well with Reuters reporting that a rock may be under the ship’s bow. So far, 27,000 cubic meters of sand and mud have been removed from around the ship.  
 
Since it created a diagonal block across the canal, the 400-meter Ever Given has been the focus of international attention as salvage teams alternate between tugging the ship and dredging the area around it.  
 
But patience for freeing the vessel may be running out. With more than 360 ships waiting to enter the canal, which handles around 10% of international maritime trade, Egypt President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi ordered preparations to begin to remove some of the 18,300 containers from the vessel.On Sunday, Leth Agencies, the maritime service provider, tweeted the operation was postponed until sufficient “tug power” was in place.Egypt is eager to resume traffic along the Suez Canal, which brings in between $5 billion and $6 billion in revenue each year. According to a study by German insurer Allianz, each day of the blockage in the canal could cost global trade between $6 billion and $10 billion.  Hundreds of Ships Wait as Suez Canal Remains Blocked’The longer this goes on, the longer the canal will not be available for vessels related to world security,’ one expert notesSeveral countries, including the U.S. and Russia, have offered Egypt help. There have already been consequences from the blockage. Syria on Saturday said it had started rationing fuels as it awaited the delivery of oil cargo. Also affected are 11 ships from Romania carrying 130,000 sheep. Some maritime firms have decided to divert ships through the Cape of Good Hope, around the African continent. 

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March 29th, 2021 by Vbiz

An Aladdin’s cave of goods, from IKEA furnishings to tens of thousands of livestock, is stuck in a maritime traffic jam caused by the Suez Canal blockage.  More than 360 vessels have been stranded in the Mediterranean to the north and in the Red Sea to the south as well as in holding zones since giant container ship MV Ever Given was wedged diagonally Tuesday across the Suez, a lifeline for world trade.Industry experts have estimated the total value of goods marooned at sea at between $3 billion and $9.6 billion. Suez Blockage Sets Shipping Rates Racing, Oil And Gas Tankers Diverted Suspension of traffic through narrow channel linking Europe and Asia has deepened problems for shipping lines About 1.74 million barrels of oil a day is normally shipped through the canal, but 80% of Gulf exports to Europe pass through the Sumed pipeline that crosses Egypt, according to Paola Rodriguez Masiu of Rystad Energy.According to MarineTraffic, about 100 ships laden with oil or refined products were in holding areas Sunday.Crude prices shot up Wednesday in response to the Suez blockage before dropping the next day.Sanctions-hit Syria, however, on Saturday announced a new round of fuel rationing after the hold-up delayed a shipment of oil products from ally Iran.Apart from goods, about 130,000 head of livestock on 11 ships sent from Romania have also been held up.”My greatest fear is that animals run out of food and water and they get stuck on the ships because they cannot be unloaded somewhere else for paperwork reasons,” Gerit Weidinger, EU coordinator for NGO Animals International, told British newspaper The Guardian.Egypt, for its part, has sent fodder and three teams of vets to examine livestock stuck at sea, some bound for Jordan.Sweden’s IKEA said it has 110 containers on the stricken Ever Given and other ships in the pileup.”The blockage of the Suez Canal is an additional constraint to an already challenging and volatile situation for global supply chains brought on by the pandemic,” an IKEA spokesperson said.The Van Rees Group, based in Rotterdam, said 80 containers of tea were trapped at sea on 15 vessels and said there could be chaos for the company as supplies dried up.Dave Hinton, owner of a timber company in northwest England, said he had a consignment of French oak stuck on a ship.The oak had been sent from France for reprocessing into veneered flooring in China and was on its way back to a customer in Britain, Hinton said.”I’ve spoken to my customer and told him the bad news that his floor was blocking the Suez Canal. He didn’t believe me, he thought I was pulling his leg,” he told BBC radio Friday.Shipping giants such as Denmark’s Maersk have rerouted ships to the longer journey around South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, adding at least seven days to the travel time.Even if the Ever Given were dislodged, Maersk estimated Saturday it would take between three and six days for the stranded ships to pass through the canal.The company said that 32 Maersk and partner vessels would be directly affected by the end of the weekend, with 15 rerouted, and the numbers could increase unless the canal was reopened.According to Lloyd’s List, up to 90% of the affected cargo is not insured against delays.

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March 28th, 2021 by Vbiz

Lawmakers reached an agreement late Saturday to legalize recreational marijuana sales in New York.  At least 14 other states already allow residents to buy marijuana for recreational and not just medical use, but New York’s past efforts to pass marijuana legalization have failed in recent years. Democrats who now wield a veto-proof majority in the state Legislature have made passing it a priority this year, and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration has estimated legalization could eventually bring the state about $350 million annually.  “My goal in carrying this legislation has always been to end the racially disparate enforcement of marijuana prohibition that has taken such a toll on communities of color across our state, and to use the economic windfall of legalization to help heal and repair those same communities,” Sen. Liz Krueger, Senate sponsor of the bill and chair of the Senate’s finance committee, said.  The legislation would allow recreational marijuana sales to adults over the age of 21, and set up a licensing process for the delivery of cannabis products to customers. Individual New Yorkers could grow up to three mature and three immature plants for personal consumption, and local governments could opt out of retail sales.  The legislation would take effect immediately if passed, though sales wouldn’t start immediately as New York sets up rules and a proposed cannabis board. Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes estimated Friday it could take 18 months to two years for sales to start.  Adam Goers, a vice president of Columbia Care, a New York medical marijuana provider that’s interested in getting into the recreational market, said New York’s proposed system would “ensure newcomers have a crack at the marketplace” alongside the state’s existing medical marijuana providers.  “There’s a big pie in which a lot of different folks are going to be able to be a part of it,” Goers said.  New York would set a 9% sales tax on cannabis, plus an additional 4% tax split between the county and local government. It would also impose an additional tax based on the level of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, ranging from 0.5 cents per milligram for flower to 3 cents per milligram for edibles.  New York would eliminate penalties for possession of less than three ounces of cannabis, and automatically expunge records of people with past convictions for marijuana-related offenses that would no longer be criminalized. That’s a step beyond a 2019 law that expunged many past convictions for marijuana possession and reduced the penalty for possessing small amounts.  And New York would provide loans, grants and incubator programs to encourage participation in the cannabis industry by people from minority communities, as well as small farmers, women and disabled veterans.  Proponents have said the move could create thousands of jobs and begin to address the racial injustice of a decades-long drug war that disproportionately targeted minority and poor communities. “Police, prosecutors, child services and ICE have used criminalization as a weapon against them, and the impact this bill will have on the lives of our oversurveiled clients cannot be overstated,” Alice Fontier, managing director of Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, said in a statement Saturday.  New York’s Legal Aid Society also hailed the agreement. “This landmark legislation brings justice to New York State by ending prohibition, expunging conviction records that have curtailed the opportunities of countless predominately young Black and Latinx New Yorkers, and delivers economic justice to ensure that communities who have suffered the brunt of aggressive and disparate marijuana enforcement are first in line to reap the economic gain,” the group said in a news release Sunday.  Melissa Moore, the Drug Policy Alliance’s director for New York state, said the bill “really puts a nail in the coffin of the drug war that’s been so devastating to communities across New York, and puts in place comprehensive policies that are really grounded in community reinvestment.”  Cuomo has pointed to growing acceptance of legalization in the Northeast, including in Massachusetts, Maine and most recently, New Jersey.  Past efforts to legalize recreational use have been hurt by a lack of support from suburban Democrats, disagreements over how to distribute marijuana sales tax revenue and questions over how to address drivers suspected of driving high.  It also has run into opposition from law enforcement, school and community advocates, who warn legalization would further strain a health care system already overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic and send mixed messages to young people. “We are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with the serious crisis of youth vaping and the continuing opioid epidemic, this harmful legislation is counterintuitive,” said an open letter signed by the Medical Society of the State of NY, New York State Parent Teacher Association, New York Sheriff’s Association and several other organizations March 11.  New York officials plan to launch an education and prevention campaign aimed at reducing the risk of cannabis among school-aged children, and schools could get grants for anti-vaping and drug prevention and awareness programs. And the state will also launch a study due by Dec. 31, 2022, that examines the extent that cannabis impairs driving, and whether it depends on factors like time and metabolism.  “One of the things that no country in the world has and everybody wants is a way to quickly and easily figure out if someone’s high or impaired on cannabis,” University of Buffalo psychologist and professor of community health and health behavior R. Lorraine Collins said. “Research is being done to find systems that can do that. But I think those efforts will not come to fruition for awhile.”  The bill also sets aside revenues to cover the costs of everything from regulating marijuana, to substance abuse prevention.  State police could also get funding to hire and train more so-called “drug recognition experts.”  But there’s no evidence that drug recognition experts can tell whether someone is high or not, according to Collins, who was appointed to Cuomo’s 2018 working group tasked with drafting cannabis regulations.  “I think it’s very important that we approach that challenge using science and research and not wishes or unsubstantiated claims,” Collins said.  Collins pointed to a 2020 report from the American Civil Liberties Union that found that Blacks are almost four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession compared to Whites, based on FBI statistics.  “Every New York should be concerned about how these laws will be implemented or how those ways of examining drivers will be implemented in different communities,” Collins said. “It’s not likely to be equal.”  The bill allows cities, towns and villages to opt out of allowing adult-use cannabis retail dispensaries or on-site consumption licenses by passing a local law by Dec. 31, 2021 or nine months after the effective date of the legislation. They cannot opt out of legalization. 

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси