#AceNewsReport – Apr.16: On the day of the funeral, the Land Rover Defender will be used to carry his coffin to St George’s Chapel:
Land Rover hearse designed by Prince Philip unveiled: ‘The duke, who died at the age of 99 last week, worked on creating the bespoke hearse for 16 years, starting in 2003’ The Land Rover hearse was among the details of the ceremonial royal funeral released by Buckingham Palace on Thursday.
Prince Philip’s funeral will take place in the chapel at Windsor Castle at 15:00 BST on Saturday.
Images of a modified Land Rover designed by the Duke of Edinburgh to carry his coffin have been revealed: His modifications include the open top rear section, where his coffin will rest, and the military green colour.
How to follow the funeral on the BBC TV and radio details below:
The Funeral of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh: BBC One, Saturday 17 April, 12:30-16:20 and 20:10-21:10: The funeral will also be broadcast on Saturday 17 April from 14:00-16:10 on Radio 4 and Radio 5 Live, BBC World Service English, BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Radio Ulster: It will also be broadcast on BBC Radio Wales and BBC local radio with some variation in start times.
Codenamed Operation Forth Bridge – for the aftermath of Philip’s death have had to change due to the #coronavirus#pandemic, with the ban on mass gatherings and England in national lockdown, means the exact plans
Prince Philip dead:Duke of Edinburgh won’t have state funeral as he didn’t want ‘the fuss’ this is expected to have a royal ceremonial funeral in a socially-distanced service in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
The duke’s four children – the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex – as well as grandsons the Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex, will follow the vehicle in a procession.
The Duke of Edinburgh began creating his own hearse in collaboration with Land Rover in 2003, the year he turned 82.
The duke, who served in the Royal Navy in World War Two, requested that the original Belize Green bodywork be switched to Dark Bronze Green, a colour used for many military Land Rovers.
He also designed the open top rear section where his coffin will rest, made to his exact specifications, including the rubber grips on silver metal pins known as the “stops” or “stoppers” which prevent the coffin from moving.
The vehicle also has matching green wheel hubs, a black front grille, a single cab and no registration plates.
The Defender was made at Land Rover’s factory in Solihull and the duke oversaw the modifications for several years, making the final adjustments in 2019, the year he turned 98.
Reuters: Defender was made at Land Rover’s factory in Solihull in 2003
The vehicle’s original role would have been to transport the duke from Wellington Arch in central London to Windsor, 22 miles away, but the coronavirus pandemic curtailed those long-held plans.
The duke used Land Rovers throughout his adult life and granted his Royal Warrant to Land Rover more than 40 years ago.
Tim GrahamPrince Philip was regularly pictured driving his Land Rovers
WPA PoolFormer US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle have been among Prince Philip’s passengers
Prince Philip died at Windsor Castle on Friday 9 April. His body is now resting in the castle’s private chapel.
According to Buckingham Palace, the ceremonial parts of the funeral are in line with the duke’s wishes.
Coronavirus restrictions in England mean only 30 people, socially distanced, are allowed to attend funerals.
The mourners will be members of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh’s families, including three of his German relatives. The procession and service will be televised.
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh Remembered: BBC One, Friday 16 April, 19:00-20:05
#AceNewsReport – Apr.07: Argentina has approved an extraordinary levy on large personal wealth. The measure is meant to raise some $3.6 billion to fund recovery after the #Covid19#pandemic. Critics say it’s not an option for the stagnant economy:
The so-called “millionaires’ tax” was approved in the Senate late on Friday in a 42 to 26 vote. The measure targets Argentinian citizens with declared personal wealth of over 200 million pesos ($2.5 million). It will apply a progressive tax rate of at least 2 percent on their total fortunes, including assets they may hold outside the country.
The tax was earlier passed by the lower chamber of the Argentine parliament, with 133 votes for it and 115 against.
Proponents say almost 12,000 people qualify to pay the levy, with the 380 richest taxpayers expected to cover over half of the total sum.
The government hopes to raise as much as $3.6 billion, which is to be spent on medical supplies, support of small and medium-sized businesses, social projects, student scholarships and exploration of natural gas
The tax was floated by the leftist government of Alberto Fernandez and his Frente de Todos (Everybody’s Front) coalition and was described as an opportunity for rich individuals to show “solidarity and extraordinary contribution” to the nation. The spending will boost the ailing national economy, they argued.
Argentina went into recession in 2018, which was a major factor in why Fernandez last year managed to unseat his predecessor, Mauricio Macri, in a general election. The Covid-19 pandemic, which has caused almost 40,000 deaths in Argentina, further aggravated its economic woes.
Critics from Macri’s Juntos por el Cambio (Together for Change) coalition said the move was “anti-investment, confiscatory and discriminatory”, and voiced concern that instead of being a one-time measure it would persist in some form.
#AceHealthReport – Apr.04: Figures show that 23.5% experienced harassment, bullying or abuse during the #Covid19#pandemic: The report added that 3.5% of staff also reported abuse from colleagues:
#CoronavirusNewsDesk – ‘Nearly a quarter of hospital staff in North Yorkshire have been abused by patients in the past 12 months, according to David Watson, from the York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, told a meeting that safety had become a priority in the wake of the Sarah Everard case, the Local Democracy Reporting Services said’
1 day ago
Hospital bosses in York said they were looking at what they can do to improve staff safety both at work and on journeys to and from hospital sites.
“I think it’s an important issue for our staff,” he said.
“We are looking at what we can do to enhance the safety of our staff, both at work and where we have some control on their commute – lighting of pavements between a car park and hospital premises, if there are cycle racks we will look at what can be done to make those safer.”
Nearly a third of employee sickness at the trust is down to mental health, the meeting also heard.
The reports said there had been a “very slight decrease in the number of absences due to mental health in January”, but added: “Although with a recorded absence rate of 28.8 per cent, mental health continues to dominate the primary reason for absences across the trust.
“The trust continues its programme of interventions to support staff mental health and wellbeing.”
#CoronavirusNewsDesk – #COVID19#pandemic has taken an extraordinary toll on the global economy and has strained financial liquidity. Global growth contracted 3.5% in 2020—the worst peace-time recession since the Great Depression—and will likely inflict long-term scars on the global economy
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned of a stark divergence in economic growth prospects for advanced economies versus low-income and developing countries. Overall, the IMF projects that 150 economies will have per-capita incomes below their 2019 levels in 2021.
An allocation of IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) would help build reserve buffers, smooth adjustments, and mitigate the risks of economic stagnation in global growth. Importantly, it could also enhance liquidity for low-income and developing countries to facilitate their much-needed health recovery efforts.
Containing the pandemic across the globe is paramount to a robust economic recovery. To this end, Treasury is working with IMF management and other members toward a $650 billion general allocation of SDRs to IMF member countries. Addressing the long-term global need for reserve assets would help support the global recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. A strong global recovery would also increase demand for U.S. exports of goods and services—creating U.S. jobs and supporting U.S. firms.
An SDR allocation is not a catch-all solution. It is part of a package of broader international efforts to support the global recovery. This package also includes robust support from the IMF, multilateral development banks, and debt relief in some cases—all alongside countries taking necessary reform steps. Bilateral assistance and debt relief under the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative and Common Framework, as well as financial support to the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility, all remain integral to help prevent long-term scarring from the pandemic and worsening global wealth divergence.
As part of our support for an SDR allocation, Treasury is working with the IMF and other member countries to maximize the benefits and limit the possible downsides of an allocation by enhancing transparency, accountability, and equitable burden sharing.
Below are some common questions about the nature and uses of SDRs and the mechanics of an SDR allocation. For more information on SDRs please see the IMF’s Factsheet available here.
Question: Is the Administration trying to bypass Congress in approving an SDR allocation?
Answer: As required by U.S. law, the Administration is consulting Congress on our proposed support for an SDR allocation. Under the Special Drawing Rights Act, Congress has authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to support an SDR allocation without additional legislation where the amount allocated to the United States does not exceed the current U.S. quota in the IMF in the applicable five-year basic period. The proposed SDR allocation is below this level.Based on current global liquidity conditions, Treasury does not support an additional SDR allocation beyond the proposed $650 billion at this time. Treasury would only consider an additional SDR allocation beyond the proposed $650 billion at some point in the future if circumstances justify it at that time.
Question:Does an SDR allocation impose a large financial burden on the United States?
Answer: An allocation itself imposes no direct cost on the United States. Based on a $650 billion allocation, the United States will receive about $113 billion in SDRs. The idea that an SDR allocation imposes a financial burden arises from potential exchanges of SDRs for U.S. dollars. If countries wish to sell their SDRs to the United States in exchange for dollars, Treasury would exchange SDRs for dollars held in the Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF). The U.S. cash position would decline, and federal borrowing requirements would increase. However, the United States would also earn interest on the SDRs we purchased, largely (and perhaps entirely) offsetting any increase in Treasury’s borrowing costs. This is the case with our existing SDR resources, and the same process would occur with a new allocation. The differential between the SDR interest rate and the interest rate on Treasuries varies over time, so at times there is a small cost and at other times a small benefit to Treasury. This potential implicit cost is much lower than the benefits of a strong global recovery.
Question:Will the United States be required to exchange dollars for SDRs with any IMF member on demand?
Answer: Treasury has agreed to voluntarily purchase SDRs up to a certain level from other IMF members to promote an orderly system of exchange rates and to help provide liquidity support to our global partners. The United States retains the right to refuse to purchase SDRs from any country whose policies run counter to U.S. interests. Many large countries, such as most advanced economies and China, already hold excess SDRs and are very unlikely to request to exchange their new SDRs for hard currency.
Even if there is strong demand for dollars after the potential allocation, the United States is not alone in voluntarily agreeing to purchase SDRs. The IMF spreads the transactions across 32 members who have similar voluntary arrangements. We are working with the IMF to further ensure our potential transactions are proportional to others’ commitments.
Question:Is there a need for an SDR allocation to support global reserves?
Answer:In 2016, the IMF estimated the global reserves gap to be $430 billion to $1.4 trillion. This shortfall of international reserves is likely larger now. In addition, many low-income and developing countries remain constrained in their ability to issue debt in international markets, either to replenish reserves or to finance fiscal spending. Providing reserves will help prevent countries from engaging in FX purchases that could weaken their currencies and lead to a further buildup of the U.S. trade and current account deficits.
Question: Is there a need for an SDR allocation given the global economy is recovering?
Answer:After contracting 3.5% in 2020, the IMF projects a partial recovery in economic growth in 2021 of 5.5%. Yet, this recovery faces significant downside risks, is uneven, and will leave global output below the pre-crisis level over the medium term. Moreover, the global recession has strained central bank foreign exchange reserves in many countries. The proposed SDR allocation will help buffer reserves, supporting governments’ efforts to address the health and economic crises. Importantly, an SDR allocation will increase confidence and liquidity needed to promote a global recovery that benefits the American worker and U.S. economic growth.
Low-income and developing countries have been particularly hard hit in this crisis, and we face a critical window to prevent a permanent global divergence between rich and poor countries. The pandemic is expected to reverse the progress made in poverty reduction across the past two decades with close to 90 million people expected to fall below the extreme poverty threshold during 2020-21. Low-income countries have seen their real annual GDP growth decline by about 5% in 2020. The IMF estimates that low-income countries will need to deploy around $200 billion over the next five years just to fight the pandemic and an additional $250 billion to return to the path of catching up with advanced economies. The IMF forecasts the medium-term output losses for low-income countries will be about 6%, compared to 1% for advance economies. The proposed SDR allocation, by providing liquidity and potential fiscal space, could help low-income and developing countries finance vaccines and other COVID-19 related spending.
For more information see the IMF’s blog post on the pandemic’s legacy here.
Question: Is an SDR allocation a cash giveaway?
Answer: SDRs are neither money nor currency, but an international reserve asset. SDRs are allocated by the IMF and only to IMF members and a limited number of international institutions. SDRs cannot be exchanged by private entities, and all transactions involving SDRs must go through the IMF’s SDR Department. To use SDRs, a country must find an IMF member willing to provide a usable currency (generally, dollars, euros, or yen) in exchange for SDRs. The transaction is thus an exchange of assets. The country pays an interest rate to the IMF if their SDR holdings are below its allocation.
Question:Does an SDR allocation only benefit rich countries, as opposed to the countries that need it?
Answer: A $650 billion SDR allocation would provide about $21 billion worth of SDRs in liquidity support to low-income countries and about $212 billion to other emerging market and developing countries (excluding China), complementing existing multilateral efforts to assist countries in need. By comparison, the G20/Paris Club Debt Service Suspension Initiative has delivered about $5 billion in liquidity relief to more than 40 eligible countries as of March 2021. The IMF’s concessional lending provided about $13 billion in emergency financing in 2020.
We are working with our international partners to pursue ways for advanced economies to lend a portion of their SDR allocation to support low-income countries. For instance, during the current crisis, several countries have used part of their existing SDR holdings to expand the IMF’s concessional financing through loans to the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust’s (PRGT). Total new PRGT loan resources mobilized since the start of the crisis amount to about $24 billion, of which about $15 billion is from existing SDRs.
Question:Is theretransparency and accountability in how SDRs are used?
Answer: The IMF already reports the SDR holdings of each of its members on a monthly basis. As part of our support for a new SDR allocation, Treasury is working with our international partners and the IMF on a number of initiatives to improve the transparency of SDR transactions and the effectiveness of how countries use SDRs. For example, the IMF could expand quarterly country-level data on SDR transactions, breaking out the transactions that occurred each quarter by major categories (e.g., IMF operations and exchanges with other SDR holders). Moreover, we are encouraging the IMF to publish an ex-ante guidance note on how countries could use and account for SDRs, consistent with macroeconomic and debt sustainability and good governance. We are also urging the IMF to conduct an ex-post review of the results two years after the allocation to describe the various uses. We are working closely with the IMF and other members to advance these initiatives.
Question: Is an SDR allocation a lifeline for dictators?
Answer: The United States retains the right to refuse to purchase SDRs from any countries that we choose, including those under U.S. sanction regimes, and we are working to coordinate with other countries to do the same. Because all IMF members receive an SDR allocation proportionate to their quota share, some countries whose policies the United States opposes will receive an SDR allocation. However, these countries will not necessarily be able to exchange their SDRs for hard currencies. First, the country’s authorities must be recognized by the IMF membership. Then, the country would need to find a willing country to provide them with hard currency in exchange for their SDRs. We are working to increase transparency around SDR exchanges.
Question: Will an SDR allocation put at risk the dollar’s reserve currency status?
Answer: The dollar currently makes up 57% of global reserves, while SDRs only make up 2%. After the proposed allocation, SDRs as a share of global reserves would only grow to around 7%, while dollars would comprise about 54%, more than three times the next most significant currency. Additionally, restrictions on who can hold and transact SDRs and the IMF’s role in clearing all SDR transactions significantly limits the ability of the SDR to function as a replacement for the dollars’ reserve currency status.
#AceHealthReport – Mar.26: In total, more than 29 million people have now had their first dose of one of the available vaccines, while the number having gone on to receive their second has now passed three million:
#CoronavirusNewsDesk – Another 70 people die as 6,187 test positive for #Covid19 over the last 24 hours, the latest figures from the Department of Health show. This brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases to 4,325,315 with over half U.K.population now had there first jab according to the MetroUK today’
Friday: 26 Mar 2021 4:30 pm
The update comes after the Government insisted it has absolute confidence in UK vaccine supplies, with all adults still on track to receive a first dose by the end of July.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said the UK’s vaccine programme will continue to be ‘world-leading’, despite a row with Europe over vaccine exports.
He told Good Morning Britain on Friday: ‘We are confident we have got the supplies that we need both to meet our mid-April target of vaccinating all the over-50s and those people with clinical vulnerabilities, and the bigger target, which is that every adult at least has had their first jab by the end of July.
‘Of course, anyone who has an appointment for a jab, either their first one or second one, there is no need to worry – those appointments will be honoured.’
Meanwhile, the Government has denied reports from France that the UK could struggle to secure second doses due to the row in the EU.
A spokesman said: ‘We’re on track to meet our vaccination targets and everyone will get their second dose within 12 weeks of their first.’
It comes as new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimate around one in 340 people in private households in England had Covid-19 in the week to March 20 – unchanged on the previous week, suggesting a levelling off.
The picture remains broadly similar in Wales and Northern Ireland, with a slight rise in infections in Scotland.
According to the latest Government figures, the reproduction number – the R value – across the UK is between 0.7 and 0.9. This is compared to 0.6 to 0.9 last week.
#AceNewsReport – Mar.25: We’ve been looking forward to so many ways we could return to normal, to the way things were before the pandemic,” tweeted Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla. “Mass shootings were not what anyone had in mind.”
Politifact: Gun violence spiked during pandemic, even as the deadliest mass shootings waned: ‘After a year of social distancing and closures from the #COVID19 pandemic, the tragedy of two mass shootings, less than a week apart, has led people to worry what a return to everyday American life will really be like’
Is it true that mass shootings tapered off during the pandemic? …….Large-scale public mass shootings, like those that just occurred in Georgia and Colorado, did indeed decline throughout the pandemic. However, other forms of gun violence rose dramatically over the past year.
Competing definitions of mass shootings: One common definition of a mass shooting is based on the old FBI definition of a “mass murder” — an incident in which four victims are shot and killed. Gun violence databases that abide by this definition have reported that the number of large-scale public mass shootings declined sharply during the pandemic.
One such database, compiled by the Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University, found that two mass shootings occurred in 2020, down from eight or nine per year during the previous three years. And both of the 2020 shootings took place before pandemic lockdowns were instituted in the U.S.
However, some researchers prefer a more expansive definition, defining a mass shooting as a firearm-related incident that results in four or more individuals shot, rather than killed.
The Gun Violence Archive, a research group that monitors gun violence, uses the broader definition. This allows the organization to track shootings typically excluded from other mass shooting statistics, such as domestic shootings, as well as forms of gun violence that occur disproportionately in predominantly Black neighborhoods.
By this definition, 2020 was the most violent year since the Gun Violence Archive first started tracking gun deaths in 2013. According to the organization, 611 mass shootings took place in 2020, exceeding any other recent year by more than 50%.
In fact, many forms of gun violence spiked during the coronavirus pandemic, with the number of overall gun homicides at its highest rate in over 20 years. Much of the violence was centered in major cities such as New York, Houston and Philadelphia.
However, many of these shootings, which disproportionately featured Black victims, tend to receive less coverage in the media.
The reasons for this are varied and complex. University of Texas-Austin professor Michael Sierra-Arévalo said that the phenomenon is rooted in the way that the media often devalues the lives of Black and brown people. As evidence, he pointed to a study that analyzed homicides in Chicago and matched them to media stories to analyze which got the most coverage. The study found that Black victims were less likely to receive media coverage than white victims. It also found that the Black victims who were covered were far less likely to be discussed as complex and sympathetic people than white victims.
Nicole Kravitz-Wirtz, an assistant professor who researches violence prevention at the University of California, Davis said that the COVID-19 pandemic likely played a major role in contributing to rising violence.
“The COVID-19 pandemic worsened many of the underlying conditions that contribute to community gun violence risk — poverty, unemployment, food and housing insecurity — while also taxing many of the systems and interpersonal networks of support in communities that foster safety, health and wellbeing,” she said. “These, in combination with the pandemic’s unique effects on feelings of uncertainty and hopelessness, likely had an impact on the increase in interpersonal community gun violence over the past year.”
#AceHealthReport – Nov.22: In an interview on Saturday with Swiss newspaper Solothurner Zeitung, Nabarro said that European governments failed to build up the “necessary infrastructure” to keep the virus under control after the first wave of infections this spring:
#Coronavirus Report: #WHO Covid envoy warns of third wave of virus in Europe next spring
AWorld Health Organization(WHO) envoy warned thatEuropecould face a third wave of infections in early 2021 if governments do not implement preventive measures missing this summer: Speaking to Swiss newspapers,David Nabarrosaid that infections could boom again if countries repeat what he said was a failure to prevent the second wave.
Now we have the second wave. If they don’t build the necessary infrastructure, we’ll have a third wave early next year.
Infections are once again surging throughout Europe, after a lull this summer: France and Germany recorded some 33,000 new cases combined on Saturday, while the UK reported nearly 20,000 cases on the same day, and Spain announced more than 15,000 on Friday. Deaths remain proportionally lower throughout Europe than during the first wave, however:
Despite Nabarro’s stark prediction, the WHO has cautioned against responding too heavy-handedly to the #pandemic In a briefing on Thursday, the organization’s European director, Hans Kluge, called for “systematic and general mask-wearing” and “strict controls on social gatherings,” but described national lockdowns as a “last resort” policy:
#AceNewsReport – Nov.20: Last year, electric scooters were booming in big cities across the United States and other countries as urbanites embraced a relatively novel way of getting around town. The rentable, battery-boosted rides also brought a rising number of pedestrian-involved crashes as some riders illegally zipped down sidewalks and darted around traffic before the craze was interrupted by the #pandemic
Downtowns became ghost towns when businesses told workers to stay home, and e-scooter business slowed, dropping as much as 70 percent: As people reemerge from shutdowns, wary of congested trains and buses, the micromobility industry may enjoy a post-pandemic renaissance, analysts say. People are buying more of the two-wheelers in some markets. China-based Niu saw sales rise sales 6.3 percent internationally as cities such as Boston, New York and Minneapolis expanded bike lanes to encourage social distancing, setting the framework for a potential e-scooter comeback:
By the time the novel coronavirus is in the rearview mirror, riders could be encountering a new type of e-scooter, one that picks up safety tools from modern cars. Last week, micromobility companies Luna and Voi Technology came together to kick off a test fleet of e-scooters with pedestrian detection: The test scooters are deployed in Northampton, England. Luna, a Dublin-based start-up, developed the system of cameras and sensors that it says will enable the scooters to learn and respond to their environments. Voi, a Swedish e-scooter manufacturer, integrated Luna’s computer vision system into 50 of its e-scooters. […]
The immediate goal for Voi and Luna is to have the devices detect people and objects in a scooter’s path, even if the rider doesn’t see them: The idea is to make scooter users and pedestrians feel safe as they navigate busy streets, which is the most significant issue plaguing cities with legalized shared e-scooters, according to Fredrik Hjelm, CEO of Voi…..
#AceHealthReport – Oct.22: Tuesday saw 10,874 new cases of the highly contagious #coronavirus the health ministry reported 127-deaths on Wednesday, up from 89 the day before but still far fewer than at the height of the #pandemic in March and April, when a daily peak of more than 900 fatalities was reached:
After declining over the summer, infections have steadily accelerated in the last few months: They are now far more widely distributed around the country than during Italy’s first wave, but the hardest hit region is once again Lombardy, around the financial capital Milan: On Wednesday, Lombardy accounted for 4,125 of the country’s new cases, with Milan alone recording more than 1,000 infections over the last 24 hours:
#AceNewsReport – Oct.19: U.S. judge strikes down USDA rule on food benefits during #COVID19#pandemic: The judge, in a court filing, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been “icily silent” about how many people would have been denied the benefits with the changes: The pandemic has left millions of U.S. residents without jobs, sending thousands into lines at food banks:
SNAP Court Report: Judge strikes down Trump ruling on cutting ‘ food stamps provisions (SNAP) giving ‘ free-food ‘ to around 36-million people
In 2019, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, provided stamps giving free food to about 36 million Americans: “The Final Rule at issue in this litigation radically and abruptly alters decades of regulatory practice, leaving States scrambling and exponentially increasing food insecurity for tens of thousands of Americans,” chief judge Beryl Howell of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. said in the ruling:
The USDA announced the rule in December and President Donald Trump said at the time many Americans receiving food stamps do not need them given the strong economy and low unemployment: A coalition of attorneys general from several states, the city of New York and the District of Columbia challenged the USDA rule in January:
In March, the judge had granted a preliminary injunction and a stay on part of the rule, which was scheduled to take effect on April 1, noting food needs during the pandemic: USDA filed a notice in May appealing the order: Its rule would have limited each state’s ability to waive work mandates, effectively requiring more food stamp recipients to work: The judge added that the rosters of the SNAP program have grown by over 17% in the pandemic’s wake, with over 6 million new enrollees as of May:
#AceNewsReport – Oct.15: The extraordinary development came after doctors, Covid-19 patients, police officers and others filed an unprecedented number of complaints about equipment shortages and other issues, prompting a special court to order an investigation into how the government managed the crisis.The French health ministry confirmed that the home and offices of health minister Olivier Veran, as well as the homes of former prime minister Edouard Philippe and Veran’s predecessor Agnès Buzyn, were searched on Thursday morning:
Police carry out dawn raids on politicians homes including former PM as part of an inquiry into governments handling of the #pandemic and equipment shortages ..
On Wednesday night Macron announced nightly curfews –9pm and 6am– in Paris and eight other cities in a bid to clamp down on the rising number of new Covid-19 cases: Almost a third of the country’s population will be impacted when the curfews come into effect from Saturday………………..“We cannot get through this if everyone doesn’t play their part, doesn’t do their bit. So I am saying very clearly the message I have come to convey this evening……………………I need every one of you, we need each one of us,” Macron said in a TV address announcing the new measures:
A host of other prominent persons were also targeted by investigators, including Sibeth Ndiaye, a former spokesperson for President Emmanuel Macron, Geneviève Chêne, director general of the French public health agency, and Jérôme Salomon, France’s top health ministry official:
#AceHealthReport – Oct.10: Spain, Portugal announce cross-border access to health for citizens: Following an annual summit in Guarda, Portugal, the prime ministers of both countries said a new identity card would allow people working on the other side of the border to access health services there: The measures are aimed at helping 1.6 million Portuguese and 3.4 Spanish inhabitants along the border, which comprises some of the poorest districts in both countries:
Spain & Portugal PM’s Agree cross-border cooperation including better access to ‘ health & social services ‘ including a new identity card
At a press conference after the summit, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said ambulance services would operate across both countries so that patients could be served by the nearest vehicle, whether from Portugal or Spain: Other measures expected include bilingual schools and a joint centre for combating fires: A full package will be announced by the end of the day on Saturday.
The border has remained open to workers and transport of goods between mid-March to July 1, despite the #coronarivus#pandemic: But it was closed to tourists, hurting local businesses reliant on tourism. [L8N2E826K]
“ I am in Portugal every day ………………..Everyone knows me,” said Florencio Ramos Ramos from Spain who sells wild mushrooms in his shop in the tiny municipality of Salamanca: “But we’ve always been a disadvantaged zone – both the Portuguese side, and the Spanish,” he told Portuguese broadcaster RTP:
#AceHealthReport – Sept.29: Now we have reached over 1-million global deaths overnight on September 28th 2020: as a milestone that confirms this #pandemic is far from over and restrictions will continue to remain for sometime ………
#AceHealthReport – July.04: For years, EFF has been monitoring a dangerous situation in Egypt: journalists, bloggers, and activists have been harassed, detained, arrested, and jailed, sometimes without trial, in increasing numbers by the Sisi regime: Since the #COVID19 pandemic began, these incidents have skyrocketed, affecting free expression both online and offline:
Egypt has confirmed 1,566 new coronavirus cases and 83 new deaths today, raising the country’s total to 66,754 with 2,872 confirmed deaths: DataTrackers Covid19 Coronavirus Updates, [Jun 30, 2020 at 06:09] https://t.me/datatrackers/19457:
Despite the WHO’S dire warning of the Middle East’s “critical threshold”, Egypt has restarted international flights and reopened major tourist attractions including the Great Pyramids of Giza after more than three months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic Reuters reports:
The country closed its airports to scheduled international flights and shut famous historical sites in mid-March as the government looked to curb the spread of the virus 12.41am BST:The Middle East has recorded a million cases of Covid-19, and is at a “critical threshold”, the World Health Organisation has warned: https://clck.ru/PPQUT
#Coronavirus Report: Egypt’s Crackdown on ‘ Free Expression Will Cost Lives ‘ during the #pandemic and revealing the #Truth including number of cases, deaths or situation is banned:
As we’ve said before, this crisis means it is more important than ever for individuals to be able to speak out and share information with one another online: Free expression and access to information are particularly critical under authoritarian rulers and governments that dismiss or distort scientific data: But at a time when true information about the pandemic may save lives, instead, the Egyptian government has expelled journalists from the country for their reporting on the pandemic, and arrested otherson spurious charges for seeking information about prison conditions. Shortly after the coronavirus crisis began, a reporter for The Guardian was deported, while a reporter for the The New York Times was issued a warning.. Just last week the editor of Al Manassa, Nora Younis, was arrested on cybercrime charges (and later released). And the Committee to Protect Journalists reported today that at least four journalists arrested during the pandemic remain imprisoned.
Social media is also being monitored more closely than ever, with disastrous results:the Supreme Council for Media Regulation has banned the publishing of any data that contradicts the Ministry of Health’s official data. It has sent warning letters to news websites and social networks’ accounts it claims are sharing false news, and has arrested individuals for posting about the virus. Claiming national security interests, the far-reaching ban, which also limits the use of pseudonyms by journalists and criminalizes discussion of other “sensitive” topics, such as Libya, is being seen (rightfully) as censorship across the country. At a moment when obtaining true information is extremely important, the fact that Egypt’s government is increasing its attack on free expression is especially dangerous.
The government’s attacks on expression aren’t only damaging free speech online:rather than limiting the number of individuals in prison who are potentially exposed to the virus, Egyptian police have made matters worse, by harassing, beating, and even arresting protestors who are demanding the release of prisoners in dangerously overcrowded cells or simply ask for information on their arrested loved ones. Just last week, the family of Alaa Abd El Fattah, a leading Egyptian coder, blogger and activist who we’ve profiled in our Offline campaign, was attacked by police while protesting in front of Tora Prison. The next day, Alaa’s sister, Sanaa Seif, was forced into an unmarked car in front of the Prosecutor-General’s office as she arrived to submit a complaint regarding the assault and Alaa’s detention. She is now being held in pre-trial detention on charges of “broadcast[ing] fake news and rumors about the country’s deteriorating health conditions and the spread of the coronavirus in prisons” on Facebook, among others—according to police, for a fifteen day period, though there is no way to know for sure that it will end then.
All of these actions put the health and safety of the Egyptian population at risk: We join the international coalition of human rights and civil liberties organizations demanding both Alaa and Sanaa be released, and asking Egypt’s government to immediately halt its assault on free speech and free expression. We must lift up the voices of those who are being silenced to ensure the safety of everyone throughout the country.
#AceHealthReport – June.08: Editor says this truly depends on individual homes and their management as such and my personal research as a carer provides a very different picture from here in West Midlands to North West as in ……One home has PPE and cares for its workers and another does not and these are Private homes and received huge fees in many cases and will not now payout and these are my findings and discussions with two care workers: As regards other comments I have dealt with Age U.K. who both collect donations from the public purse as a corporation and also the public more widely and also charge up to £20.00 per hour for any care in the community such as shopping or even repairs to their home. This needs to be over hauled and an umbrella provided from the NHS to cover all aspects of social care in homes and also in the community and the sooner the better:
#Coronavirus Report: Residents of For-Profit Care Homes Foot £100 Extra in Weekly Fees to Cover Rising #Coronavirus Costs:
This is the report ………….Residents of some care homes in Britain are being asked to pay over £100 extra in weekly fees in order to cover rising costs of the #coronavirus#pandemic: According to Age UK, a leading charity for elderly people, residents who have been fronting their own fees have seen costs increase to pay for personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as rising staff costs:
One of the charity directors, Caroline Abrahams, said on Saturday that older people and their families have “been through the mill” during the pandemic as 1 in 3 care homes in the UK have seen coronavirus outbreaks:
“It is adding insult to injury that after going through so much, some residents who pay for their own care are now facing a big extra bill – on top of already expensive fees,” she said.
Abrahams called on the government to take action and cover the additional costs, warning that some homes are at a cliff-edge and risk having to close, leaving residents homeless: The government has so far given £600 million worth of funds to infection control in care homes, with an additional £3.2 billion for other council services.
Cos it’s the weekend it isn’t up on our website yet but will be Monday I expect. Meanwhile here’s an excerpt pic.twitter.com/NbttRQYXE9
Those who self-fund their stay have had to pay extra costs than those being supported by local authorities, providing an effective subsidy to the system for years: According to Age UK, these residents pay around £850 a week on average. These already high costs have now surged by 15% as a result of spending introduced to combat the pandemic: Residential homes aren’t just facing rising costs due to the recruitment of extra agency staff when regular staff are off, but the increased spending on PPE and sanitising equipment.
The total number of homes experiencing rising costs of self-funding residents is currently not known: Of the 400,000 residents in England living in care homes, around 167,000 are self-funding, with an extra 45,000 partly-funding their stay.
A Private Problem?
Care homes in the United Kingdom have been at the forefront of the coronavirus pandemic: As of May, more than 20,000 residents have died as a result of the pandemic, according to the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS), while the national death tolls stand at 40,261 from Saturday.
Care homes in the United Kingdom do not fall under the country’s National Health Service (NHS) as a public provision but are instead owned privately:
In April, Age UK said that there was a “degree of hesitation” over who bears responsibility for the crisis due to their private status. Caroline Abrahams explained that while care homes fall outside of the NHS, they are not “part of the community” either………….Age UK has clarified that it does not blame individual care homes for the funding crisis, however.
A report released in May by think-tank Common Weal outlined that privatisation of care facilities in Scotland – where more than half of Covid-19 deaths have been counted, has “minimised” the necessary medical services and led to a decline in capacity:
Director Robin McAlpine said the report “makes painful reading”.
“But the problem is more fundamental. Scotland’s care sector is almost all privatised and is run largely like a property speculation industry, which has minimised the more expensive medical services it provides”.
In a survey by Community Care in April 2011, two-thirds of adult social care workers said that the quality of adult care has declined since the widespread outsourcing since the 1990s to private providers:
#AceHealthReport – June.02: Editor says as of June.01: these are the number of tests carried out and those that were tested positive and sadly the number of deaths up to and including 17:00hrs on 31:May: God Bless Friends, Followers & Readers 🙏’s
The number of people dying each week linked to #coronavirus has dropped to its lowest levels in England and Wales since March, figures show: The Office for National Statistics review of death certificates showed 2,589 cases where the virus was mentioned in the week ending 22 May: Overall there were nearly 12,300 deaths in that week – 2,300 more than normal at this time of the year: At the peak of the #pandemic double the number were dying than expected.
Overall, there have been 286,700 deaths this year – 51,400 above what would be expected: Some 43,800 have been attributed to coronavirus.
Nick Stripe, of the ONS, said despite the number of overall deaths falling, we were effectively seeing the same number of deaths we would expect in winter: He also said there were considerable regional variations with the north east currently seeing the highest rates of excess deaths.
The #pandemic has opened up a bio-based-weapon that can be used to politicise a story on peoples heartache over the death of a loved or to enable ‘ hard hearted ‘ journalists who want the story first to leave no stone unturned even if their intentions are not honourable……
So what of #truth this concept that alludes the media just to create sensationalism and lead people like the shepherd …herding their flock to the edge of the cliff and offering advice of what to do when the hit the bottom ….followed by blaming their stupidly of being lemmings ……
The news should be informative and place before its readers …advice and guidance to enable the public to become to form an opinion and not to place before their audience a convoluted message of misleading information ..that neither informs or provides anything but hollow words ……
People deserve better than the sum of what the media call news …..and we need to become the purveyors of #truth and not publish as bloggers what they wheel out and call the daily news …….
Be safe my friends, followers and readers God Bless 🙏’s
#AceHealthReport – May.17: “Robert Chote, chairman of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), said April was probably the bottom of the crash as the government is now moving to gradually ease its lockdown restrictions.” Reuters Business reports: https://t.co/ev8JYUOhIE
#Coronavirus Report: Returning to work as lockdown lifted but after the law was changed to allow extra powers during the #pandemic what does this mean to employers and employees Now !
Published Monday, May 11, 2020: By House of Common Law
Has the law changed?
No, and the Prime Minister’s announcement does not indicate that there will be fundamental changes to the law at this stage.
The Government guidance will not take the place of legislation. It would simply give guidance to employers on how they can fulfil their health and safety obligations in the context of Covid-19. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) notes that employers who follow guidance will “normally be doing enough to comply with the law.” However, it is ultimately for employers to assess and comply with their legal duties.
Health and safety legislation sets out a range of obligations that are relevant in the context of Covid-19. These include:
Carrying out risk assessments for coronavirus-related risks;
Setting up safe systems of work, informed by the risk assessment;
Providing information about health and safety risks;
Cleaning and ventilating the workplace;
Preventing, or adequately controlling, exposure to infectious diseases or, failing that, providing suitable PPE.
All workers have an obligation to follow lawful and reasonable instructions given by their employers. However, under Employment Rights Act 1996an employee cannot suffer a detriment (e.g. loss of pay) or be dismissed if they leave or refuse to attend the workplace because they believe that there is a serious and imminent danger that they cannot reasonably avoid. Employees are also protected if they take reasonable steps to protect themselves or others from imminent danger.
The term ‘danger’ has been interpreted broadly. What matters is whether the employee reasonably believed there was a danger, regardless of whether the employer disagreed. An employee’s right to take steps to protect ‘others’ is not limited to other workers.
Whether, in the current context, an employee could refuse to attend the workplace will depend on the facts. An Employment Tribunal would be likely to give due weight to an employer complying with Government health and safety guidance. It is also possible that other factors, such the risk from taking public transport or a worker living with clinically vulnerable people, could be relevant.
The Prime Minister said that pupils might be able to begin returning to school from June. He suggested the process will be phased, with certain year groups restarting school before others.
There is no statutory right for workers to refuse to go to work because of caring responsibilities. While employees do have a right to a ‘reasonable amount’ of time off for dependents, this is only available for unexpected emergencies and is unpaid. It may be possible for workers in this position to ask to be furloughed or to take annual leave. As childcare responsibilities disproportionately fall on women, there may also be questions about indirect sex discrimination.
While the Prime Minister has said that workers should be “encouraged” to go to work he did not suggest that the rules on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme have changed. Under the CJRS, employers can furlough workers and claim for 80% of their wages (up to £2,500 per month) from HMRC. The Scheme is set to last until at least the end of June 2020. Employers can furlough employees because of a “circumstance arising as a result of coronavirus”.
Employers whose work has reduced may choose to keep some or all of its workforce on furlough. However, this is a decision for the employer. An employer can instruct a worker to return to work provided it is in accordance with the employment contract and any furlough agreement.
#AceNewsReport – May.11: As the #Coronavirus continues to affect people’s lives, more and more people are purchasing cleaning supplies online: However, smugglers are using this #pandemic to conceal nefarious activities:
CBP Report: Officers in Cincinnati Seize Disinfecting Wipes Containing 4Lbs of Marijuana
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Cincinnati seized a shipment of disinfecting wipes that contained a little bit more than what you can find on your store shelf: On May 6, 2020 CBP Officers inspected a shipment arriving from Canada and heading to a doctor in Barbados: Officers held the package for inspection based on their experience, x-ray anomalies and a drug detector canine alerted to the parcel. Inside officers found disinfecting wipe canisters and other cleaning products. However, inside those canisters and other packages was four pounds of Marijuana:
“The dedication and vigilance of our officers at our express consignment facilities continues to prevent a substantial amount of drugs from reaching their destination,” said Richard Gillespie, Port Director, Cincinnati: “This is another excellent example of what U.S. Customs and Border Protection does each and every day.”
CBP officers screen international travelers and cargo and search for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality:
CBP seized an average of 3,707 pounds of illicit narcotics every day during 2019 across the United States:
#AceHealthReport – Apr.30: Gov. Andrew Cuomo has come under increasing scrutiny for a March 25 directive ordering nursing homes to accept #coronavirus patients: The text of the directive stated (original emphasis): “No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the NH [nursing home] solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19. NHs are prohibited from requiring a hospitalised resident who is determined medically stable to be tested for #COVID19 prior to admission or readmission.”
#Coronavirus Report: Gov.Cuomo orders nursing home to take infected patients after recently allowing employees to work and treat residents with #cornavirus at Hornell Gardens
“Cuomo has since said that nursing homes could tell the state Department of Public Health they could not accept such patients, or transfer them to other facilities: However, some homes have said that the state was unresponsive when they reached out, and that they felt intense pressure to accept the patients — despite the unique risk coronavirus generally poses to elderly people.”
The state Health Department allowed nurses and other staff who tested positive for the coronavirus to continue treating COVID-19 patients at an upstate nursing home, The Post has learned: State officials signed off on the move during an April 10 conference call that excluded local officials from Steuben County, who protested the move, according to a document provided by the county government’s top administrator, Jack Wheeler. At least 15 people have died at the Hornell Gardens nursing home in the tiny town of Hornell since the outbreak, according to county tallies. State records show just seven deaths across the county and include no data about this home.
“Roughly one third of the staff and residents at the home have contracted the virus, the New York Post added.”