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Biden Covid advisor says U.S. lockdown of 4 to 6 weeks could control pandemic and revive economy

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first_imgOn Wednesday, Osterholm said such a lockdown would help the country bring the virus under control, “like they did in New Zealand and Australia.” Epidemiologists have repeatedly pointed to New Zealand, Australia and other parts of Asia that have brought the number of daily new cases to under 10 as an example of how to contain the virus.“We could really watch ourselves cruising into the vaccine availability in the first and second quarter of next year while bringing back the economy long before that,” he said Wednesday.On the current trajectory, Osterholm said the U.S. is headed for dark days before a vaccine becomes available. He said health-care systems across the country are already overwhelmed in places like El Paso, Texas, where local officials have already closed businesses and the federal government is sending resources to handle a surge in deaths caused by Covid-19.Osterholm said the country needs leadership. The president-elect is up to the task of providing that leadership, Osterholm said, adding that it could also come from local and state officials or those in the medical community. He referenced the fireside chats broadcast over radio during former President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s terms, through which Roosevelt addressed the country on issues ranging from the Great Depression to World War II.“People don’t want to hear that El Paso isn’t an isolated event. El Paso, in many instances, will become the norm,” he said. “I think that the message is how do we get through this. We need FDR moments right now. We need fireside chats. We need somebody to tell America, ‘this is what in the hell is going to happen.’” Shutting down businesses and paying people for lost wages for four to six weeks could help keep the coronavirus pandemic in check and get the economy on track until a vaccine is approved and distributed, said Dr. Michael Osterholm, a coronavirus advisor to President-elect Joe Biden.Osterholm, who serves as director of the Center of Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said earlier this week that the country is headed toward “Covid hell.” Cases are rising as more people grow tired of wearing masks and social distancing, suffering from so-called “pandemic fatigue,” he said Wednesday. Colder weather is also driving people indoors where the virus can spread more easily.A nationwide lockdown would drive the number of new cases and hospitalizations down to manageable levels while the world awaits a vaccine, he told Yahoo Finance on Wednesday.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Dr. Michael Osterholm, Regents Professor, McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in Public Health, and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, announced advances for COVID-19 testing in Minnesota, Wednesday, April 22, 2020 in St. Paul, MN.Glen Stubbe | Star Tribune | Getty Imagescenter_img “We could pay for a package right now to cover all of the wages, lost wages for individual workers for losses to small companies to medium-sized companies or city, state, county governments. We could do all of that,” he said. “If we did that, then we could lockdown for four-to-six weeks.”He referenced an August op-ed he wrote with Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari in which the two argued for more restrictive and uniform lockdowns across the nation.“The problem with the March-to-May lockdown was that it was not uniformly stringent across the country. For example, Minnesota deemed 78 percent of its workers essential,” they wrote in the New York Times. “To be effective, the lockdown has to be as comprehensive and strict as possible.”- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

Franbo Lines Buys Supramax from Taiwan Navigation

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first_imgTaiwanese shipping company Franbo Lines Corp has inked a contract to buy a 51,000 dwt bulk carrier from compatriot company Taiwan Navigation. Scheduled to be delivered by the end of November 2017, the unnamed bulker will become the company’s largest ship.Franbo Lines will pay USD 8.55 million for the 15-year-old Supramax which is expected to increase the company’s profit margins.Although its name was not disclosed, the ship is likely to be the 51,000 dwt Tai Harvest. Built at Oshima shipyard in Japan in 2002, Tai Harvest was sold by Taiwan Navigation to an unknown party in late September, VesselsValue’s data shows.The newest purchase brings Franbo Lines’ fleet to twelve vessels ranging from 7,000 dwt to 46,500 dwt.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

US funds $500,000 project to promote transparency in extractive sectors

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first_imgThe United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has funded an Extractive Industries Transparency Project, expected to aid in the proper management and operations of the entire extractive industry. This initiative, pegged at a whopping US$500,000, would have birthed after partnerships from the Guyana Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) Secretariat, the Multi-Stakeholder Group and the industry and civil societies. Expected to commence in September 2020, the entire programme will be implemented through the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF).In a statement issued by the US Embassy in Georgetown, it was stated that efforts behind this project are linked to building capacity for administration and management of these resources and filling the gaps which currently exist.“Programme support will also address required changes in data collection, monitoring and reporting systems that support Guyana’s attainment of the EITI standard. Activities will include streamlining systematic public disclosure of data from the oil, gas, mining, forestry and fishery sectors, and raising awareness among citizens about the importance of transparency and accountability in the extractives sector”.According to USAID, the discovery of oil heightens the need for such initiative, in ensuring accountability and responsible management.“The discovery of vast offshore oil reserves in 2017 constituted a milestone for Guyana’s economic prospects and is expected to rapidly propel Guyana’s economy upward. During this transition period, transparency, accountability and good governance will determine Guyana’s ability to responsibly manage its extractive resources and ensure revenues benefit the Guyanese people, and this programme supports attainment of these standards”.The EITI is a global standard for the good governance of oil, gas and mineral resources. Guyana will be producing first oil in a matter of months, making this a crucial project at this time.The country has been EITI compliant since 2017 and its first report was submitted in April this year ahead of the deadline that was set. In the report, it was revealed that the extractive industry in Guyana, particularly gold mining, has contributed to 65.1 per cent of Guyana’s total exports for 2017.According to the report, total revenues from the sector in the 2017 fiscal year amounted to $20.8 billion. The Guyana Gold Board, to which gold declarations are made, accounted for 33 per cent of this revenue. This is followed by the Guyana Revenue Authority, 32 per cent and the Ministry of Finance, 18 per cent.Gold and other minerals contributed $17.4 billion or 84 per cent of revenue from the extractive industries. On the other hand, oil and gas contributed $2.8 billion or 14 per cent. Bauxite, one of Guyana’s oldest industries, contributed $479 million or 2 per cent.The extractive industries’ contribution to exports has a dollar value of 193.2 billion. Besides the sector’s contribution to exports, it contributed 9.3 per cent to total Government revenues and 4.2 per cent to Guyana’s total employment. Its contribution to Guyana’s overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was 20 per cent.The document also consisted of a number of recommendations inked by the crafters, one of which called for an independent audit for all financial data presented in the extractive sector.It stated that routine disclosure of the data required by the EITI Standard and the financial data should be subjected to “credible, independent audit, applying international standards”. This was given from the fact that while state agencies provided requisite data, it was not independently audited, as stated in the EITI standard.Adding to that, the report contended that much of the data on the number of revenues collected or budgetary allocations were not electronically preserved. As such, if total transparency is to be addressed, systems would have to be implemented to change the format of the data.One of the key ideas was to develop an EITI database within Government agencies to enhance the management information systems. These agencies included the Guyana Revenue Authority, the Guyana Gold Board, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, the National Insurance Scheme, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Finance Ministry.last_img read more