19 Oct

China, US spar over origin of coronavirus

first_imgZhao posted the clip on Twitter.Dali Yang, a political science professor at the University of Chicago, said he believes Zhao was “tweeting in his official capacity”.China’s intention in promoting the conspiracy theory is “to divert from domestic discontent” over the handling of the outbreak, which has killed more than 3,100 people in the country. A Chinese government campaign to cast doubt on the origin of the coronavirus pandemic is fueling a row with the United States, with a Beijing official promoting conspiracy theories and Washington calling it the “Wuhan virus”.The spat comes as China tries to deflect blame for the contagion and reframe itself as a country that took decisive steps to buy the world time by placing huge swathes of its population under quarantine.With cases falling in China and soaring abroad, Beijing is now rejecting the widely held assessment that the city of Wuhan is the birthplace of the outbreak. Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian went a step further on Thursday, saying on Twitter that “it might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan” — without providing evidence.He doubled down on his claim on Friday by posting a link to an article from a website known for publishing conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks.Censors usually vigilant against rumors have also allowed Chinese social media users to spread similar claims about the US being behind the virus.A video showing a US health official saying some flu victims were posthumously diagnosed as having had COVID-19 was among the top searched items on China’s Twitter-like Weibo this week, with some users saying it was evidence the virus originated in the US. Seafood market The push to question the origin of the disease contradicts China’s own initial assessment about the source of the virus, which has now killed nearly 5,000 people worldwide.Gao Fu, head of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said in January “we now know the source of the virus is wild animals sold at the seafood market” in Wuhan.Chinese authorities themselves saw Wuhan and the rest of Hubei province as a threat as they placed the region of 56 million people under strict quarantine to contain the epidemic.But Beijing began sowing doubts in late February, when Zhong Nanshan, a respected expert affiliated with the National Health Commission, told reporters “the epidemic first appeared in China, but didn’t necessarily originate in China.”Scientists, however, have long suspected that the virus jumped from an animal at the Wuhan market to a human before spreading globally.The World Health Organization has said that while the exact path the virus took between its animal source and humans is still unclear, COVID-19 was “unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019”.Christl Donnelly, a professor of statistical epidemiology at Imperial College London, said genetic analysis of coronavirus samples collected from around the world shows a common ancestor in China, “This is not in any way blaming a particular country,” she told AFP.center_img ‘Wuhan virus’ The United States, meanwhile, has angered China by using language to directly link the virus to the country.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called it the “Wuhan virus”, prompting China’s foreign ministry to reject the term as “despicable” and “disrespecting science”.Despite the protests, US President Donald Trump started a televised address to his nation on Wednesday by speaking about the outbreak “that started in China”.The WHO warns against naming infectious diseases in a way that encourages discrimination against ethnic groups.The Trump administration’s emphasis on the virus’ origin in China is “part of his dog-whistling politics,” said Australian National University researcher Yun Jiang.Robert O’Brien, the US national security adviser, on Wednesday insisted that the virus originated in Wuhan.Blaming the pandemic on an initial lack of cooperation from Chinese officials and a cover-up when the outbreak first emerged, O’Brien said this had “cost the world community two months to respond” to the threat.Beijing called his remarks “extremely immoral and also irresponsible”.China’s objections have extended to criticizing anyone suggesting the virus originated in the country.Zhao said last week that journalists using the term “China virus” were “suggesting its origin without any supporting facts or evidence” and had “ulterior motives.”Jiang, the researcher, said that “by sowing doubts into people’s mind about where the virus originated, they’re trying to deflect part of the blame for the outbreak”. Topics :last_img read more

19 Oct

95 aircraft parked at Indonesian airports as virus puts airlines’ operations on halt

first_imgThe I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali, has the most parked planes with a total of 30 aircraft, while Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, East Java, has 19 aircraft parked on its apron. AP I, which manages 15 airports in the central and eastern parts of Indonesia, recorded a total of 17.78 million passengers using its airports in the first quarter of this year, an 8.11 percent drop from 19.3 million in the same period last year. Aircraft traffic also fell by 6 percent to 175,143 flights in the first quarter from 184,085 flights during the same period last year.A combination of flight cancelations, travel restrictions and the sharp drop in air travel demand because of COVID-19 has also forced airports to adjust their operations by reducing their opening hours. AP I has decided to prolong its operational adjustments to deal with the drastic passenger movement at the airport. “Angkasa Pura I is prolonging the adjustments in several airports until May or July, but we are not closed to the possibility that operational adjustments will be extended again if the pandemic shows now positive developments,” said AP I president director Faik Fahmi on Monday. The pandemic has left more than 16,000 passenger jets parked around the world, according to data from Cirium, which provides travel industry data and analytics.Meanwhile, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimated that 25 million jobs in aviation and all related sectors, representing 11.2 million jobs in the Asia Pacific, are at risk due to COVID-19,Topics : A sharp decline in air travel as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced Indonesian airlines to ground more of their fleets.According to state-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura I (AP I), 95 planes from various airlines are parked at its 11 airports across Indonesia for long-stay periods.  National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has the highest number of parked aircraft with 27, followed by Lion Air with 21 planes, AirAsia Indonesia with 19, Wings Air with 11 and Citilink Indonesia with eight aircraft, according to data provided by the operator on Monday.  last_img read more

18 Oct

Robbie Fowler slams Liverpool fans for loving Luis Suarez before Barcelona clash

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Comment Robbie Fowler does not like the love shown to Luis Suarez (BT Sport/Getty)Robbie Fowler admits he has a ‘big problem’ with Liverpool fans who still adore Luis Suarez since his move to Barcelona.The Uruguayan has remained a popular figure with Liverpool supporters following his sublime performances while he was at Anfield.But Fowler, who is Liverpool’s sixth highest scorer of all time, has accused Suarez of improving his performances in order to force through a move to Arsenal or Barcelona.Fowler was also unhappy with Suarez’s conduct during Barcelona’s 3-0 victory over Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final at Camp Nou, claiming that the striker showed his former club ‘no respect’.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘Look, I’m a big fan of him as a player, I thought he was brilliant while he was here. Suarez celebrated against his former club in the first leg at Camp Nou (AP Photo)More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘But I have a big problem with the way the fans love him, I really do.‘Because he left Liverpool, the way he left, he wanted to go and move to Arsenal.‘All of a sudden people go: ‘oh, he stayed, he was still brilliant, he never downed tools’.‘He started playing well because he wanted to leave.‘He wanted to go to Arsenal, if Liverpool would have let him go…’center_img Robbie Fowler slams Liverpool fans for loving Luis Suarez before Barcelona clash Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 7 May 2019 8:25 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link82Shares Fowler accused Suarez of only playing well to force a move away from Liverpool (PA Wire)Asked if he felt Suarez only played well because he wanted to leave, Fowler replied: ‘Yeah, definitely.‘I have a big thing with that, that’s what annoys me about the Liverpool fans, they love him.‘I’m not interesting whether he celebrates or not, but his antics last week, playing against Liverpool showing no respect.‘I thought his behaviour towards the club, the fans, showed no respect whatsoever.‘And he’s coming on now talking about not celebrating. Where was his respect last week? I have a big problem with him.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenallast_img read more

29 Sep

Railways Pension Scheme ramps up exposure to growth assets

first_imgThe Railways Pension Scheme (RPS) increased its exposure to growth assets significantly in 2013 and looked to take advantage of rallying equity and economic markets, according to its annual report.The fund, a multi-employer defined benefit (DB) scheme for the British rail industry, continued to benefit from global equities while reducing its liability-driven investment (LDI) portfolio.After reaching a total of £18bn (€23bn) at the end of 2013, an increase of 6.8%, it now allocates less than 1% to LDI strategies and only 12.5% to its defensive and bond strategies.Over 2013, the fund reduced its LDI exposure by 54%. The fund is also examining its investment beliefs and reviewing the use of pooled funds, which it uses for all asset classes.Derek Scott, chairman of the scheme, said the board was engaging with the pensions committee, employers and stakeholders before proposing a new investment and pooled fund strategy, after also reviewing investment beliefs.RPS made significant shifts in diversification as it reduced its global equities portfolio by 65%, moving the majority of the assets into its mixed-asset growth portfolio.The growth portfolio pooled fund changes allocations depending on the scheme’s risk budget, allocating to equities, corporate bonds, property, commodities, hedge funds and reinsurance.It returned 8.6%, accounting for 61% of total assets, much of which was down to the performance of global equities.Its standalone global equities portfolio, made up of active and passive mandates, returned 23% over the year and now accounts for £1.2bn, or 6.7%, of the fund.This was despite the £1.5bn redemption of assets moving to the lower-returning growth portfolio.Its £1.9bn private equity holdings returned 11.4%, which the fund said was less than the benchmark.“There is often a significant time lag for revised information on underlying investments to flow through to valuation,” RPS said.“Therefore, due to this lag, the return for 2013 has not fully captured the rally in equity markets.”The fund also made positive returns in infrastructure and held £876m in assets at the end of 2013, after returns of 21.3%.Property returned 11.5%.However, the fund’s defensive pool of assets, which it set up in 2012 to “facilitate risk reduction”, lost 1.1% after investing in sovereign and corporate bonds, both which suffered drops in value.Scott said the investment returns were “reasonably strong”, with the growth fund boosted by double-digit equity returns.He also pointed out that the growth fund – which underperformed benchmark – was not designed to match the performance of equities but to “balance the risks and volatile returns”.last_img read more

28 Sep

Cashed-up buyers spend millions on Gold Coast property

first_img Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:51Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:51 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD576p576p432p432p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenStarting your hunt for a dream home00:51 The property at 26 Southern Cross Drive on Cronin Island has sold for $4 million.A WATERFRONT home on one of the Glitter Strip’s most popular islands is among several properties across the Coast that have fetched hefty prices in the past week.A local buyer snapped up the five-bedroom house on a corner position of Cronin Island for $4 million.Ray White Broadbeach agent Sam Guo, who marketed the property with Julia Kuo, said its location and position facing the Surfers Paradise skyline attracted the attention of prospective buyers. It has some of the best views. MORE NEWS: Jetsons house still up for grabs after world-first auction The agent said the house was in one of the island’s best positions.Meanwhile, a towering four-storey Paradise Waters mansion sold for a multimillion-dollar price before its scheduled auction.Marketing agent Jackson Paradise, of Ray White Prestige, sold the Admiralty Drive home for a whopping $5.7 million.“The buyers are local Gold Coast business people and they are thrilled at securing such a landmark property,” he said.A custom-built Cape Cod-style home at Southport also sold hours before auction for an undisclosed price. It was last advertised with a $4.75 million price tag in December. A local buyer snapped up the property.“This is probably one of the best positions on Cronin Island,” he said.“The buyer had been looking for a property for a while.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa12 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago“I had a couple of other interested buyers as well.”Mr Guo has sold nine properties on Southern Cross Drive, which is the island’s only street, and said it was a highly sought after location.The property had been on the market for a total of seven months with various agents before it sold.While it marks a significant sale, property records show it sold for $60,000 less than it last did in 2007. MORE NEWS: Waterfront mansion could mark Coast’s top sale It had been on the market for months with various agencies prior to selling.last_img read more

26 Sep

Europa: Club Brugge fans regret Dennis’ injury

first_img Brugge’s chances of a Europa League giant-killing against Manchester United have been rocked by the news that star striker, will miss out through injury. The Belgian side will also be without captain Ruud Vormer with both players not making the trip to Manchester. Dennis, 22, was the scorer in Belgium after capitalising on Sergio Romero’s horrendous error to put them ahead in the tie. The Nigerian international has scored three times in Europe this season including a Champions League double against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. Midfielder Vormer has been an important figure this season having made 26 starts in the league. Club Brugge are yet to taste victory on English soil having lost ten of their last 12 matches.Advertisement Despite their opponent’s injury concerns, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is likely to take little risk with his team selection by announcing a strong starting XI. The Norwegian has no new fresh injury concerns while also being boosted by the return of midfielder Scott McTominay. Marcus Rashford remains a long-term absentee while Paul Pogba is still a while away from making a full recovery. Solskjaer said of his progress: “He’s not been part of team training yet. “And it will depend on how he feels, or when he feels ready to do that. So he’s not anywhere near that yet.” Read Also:Oliseh: Emmanuel Dennis can play for big clubs in Europe Bruno Fernandes started on the bench in the first leg but could come back into the fold to give United a boost going forward. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Club Brugge fans have expressed their disappointment over Emmanuel Dennis’ inability to play against Manchester United in the return leg of the Europa League. Loading… Promoted Content5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks7 Inventions Created To Start Saving The WorldThe Most Exciting Cities In The World To VisitYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of AnimeLook At Something Beautiful That Wasn’t Made By A Human Being6 Incredibly Strange Facts About HurricanesWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?10 Body Features That Are Extremely Rare But Very Remarkable6 Major TV Characters We Were Relieved To See Leaving The ShowBest Car Manufacturers In The WorldBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeTop Tastiest Foods From All Over The Worldlast_img read more

24 Sep

John (J.P.) Schuerman

first_imgJ. P. Schuerman is the executive vice president of MMW, a public relations firm located in Los Angeles.  He went to the LA office in 2010.  In less than 5 years he has built it into a world-wide organization.  When he joined this firm, they had 7 people working there and now they have 38.  Their biggest client is Air New Zealand.J.P. is the son of John Schuerman, a local lawyer.  He ran cross country for me when he was a student at Batesville High School.  The enthusiasm he showed as a runner for me evidently has carried over into his career.  He recently received the public relations People’s Award which is based on a person’s ability to instill enthusiasm in their employees.This is just another example of a local BHS student excelling in the work force.  Congratulations to J.P. and his family!last_img read more

23 Sep

Baumann is best at BMP

first_imgBy Dru BrownBILLINGS, Mont. (July 11) – Kenny Baumann was best in the Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modi­fied main event Saturday at Billings Motorsports Park, outrunning Zach Olson and Arizona hot­shoe Sean Stewart.Baumann got a slight advantage over pole starter Donovan Sorenson, then took off.Nobody was close until Olson found a line and made up the distance in a hurry. Olson looked low, then slid up and nobody could get close again until after the caution came out.Stewart took the lead following the ensuing restart. Baumann was no rookie, staying patient and storming right back to regain the lead for good.last_img read more

17 Sep

For sports fans, athletes alike, there’s always next year

first_imgThings change. Sports do not. Take comfort in that.In life, you can’t always say, “There’s always next year,” because next year, for better or worse, won’t be the same as this one. There is no guarantee that things will get better.Often times, the good things will be gone next year.Except when you’re talking about sports. That’s something that isn’t going anywhere.“The one constant through all the years,” James Earl Jones says in Field of Dreams, “has been baseball.”Coming from a character based on J.D. Salinger, it carries a lot of weight and truth to it.If there was a change to make to the quotation, though, it is that it’s been more than baseball. It’s baseball, it’s football, and it has been every other sport, too.One hundred years ago, Teddy Roosevelt was the president, the Internet could not have even been a contemplated thought and Cubs fans knew what it felt like to win a World Series.It was a different world, except that baseball was a part of it.There are no guarantees about what the world will look like in another 100 years, but you can bet that as long as people are still living in it, baseball, and the other sports, will be around.That longevity, in a world marked by change, is a comforting thought. And it helps to put things into perspective.It’s why a 40-loss season for the Wisconsin softball team doesn’t matter. It’s how to get over a Super Bowl defeat. It’s a way to deal with 20 consecutive seasons without going to the playoffs.There will be other seasons. There will be next years.And, not only is there always “next year,” but there’s always the year after that too. There’s an infinite amount of next years out there.That’s not to say change is always a good thing. Often it is, but a lack of it can be as well.Sports favor the latter.The idea of change has always been — and will continue to be — linked with the idea of hope.Sports take the opposite approach.The idea that things will never change means that there will be an eternal hope. As long as next year is out there, so too will there be hope.Alexander Pope might have been the one to say that “hope springs eternal in the human breast,” but it was the die-hard fans of the Mudville Nine that took the quotation as their own after its usage in “Casey at the Bat.”That’s because hope did spring eternal for the Mudville Nine when next year, in an even more dire situation than the one in which he famously struck out, Casey connected with a walk-off grand slam.Next year brought joy back to Mudville just as it can to Milwaukee, or Minnesota, or Miami. Losing seasons end; sports, and hope, don’t.All the talk of next year doesn’t mean some things should stay exactly the same, however. In fact, there are plenty of things that could use a little tweaking in sports.Sure, it would be better if athletes didn’t use steroids and if racism and sexism didn’t still play a role in sports, and so on. But those are problems with more clear and fixable solutions than terrorism or world hunger.And yes, some things do eventually come to an end. Brett Favre couldn’t play forever, but even though he retired, Green Bay will still send someone out to play quarterback next year.That’s why it’s fun to be passionate about sports. Even the toughest losses can be overcome pretty quickly.Even after Stephen Curry burned the Badgers in the Sweet 16, Wisconsin will once again field a team next year. Even though the Cubs haven’t won a title since 1908, the World Series is still going to be there for the taking next year.For every knockdown that sports has to offer, there are no knockouts. The fights continue, be it in the next game or the next season or the next year.Next year, I won’t write a weekly sports column. But that’s not because there won’t be sports to write about. In fact, you can bet that the things written next year will be some of the same that I wrote about this year, which were the same as was written 10 years before that. As different as next year might seem in some ways, in the sports world, it will be very much the same.At the end of the semester, it’s easy to think about what next year holds.Maybe the answer is uncertain. One thing isn’t, though: Sports will always be there.Mike is a sophomore majoring in political science. To quote Tupac, “I see no changes.” But if you do, he can be reached at mackerstein@badgerherald.com.last_img read more

17 Sep

Lisa Kudrow interviews director about Friends, comedy

first_imgOn Saturday actress Lisa Kudrow hosted a conversation with veteran director James Burrows. Burrows — who’s earned 10 Emmys, four Directors Guild Awards and a spot in the TV Academy Hall of Fame — received the Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie Masters Award for Comedy during this year’s Comedy@SCA Festival.Burrows has a long list of directorial credits to his name including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Cheers, Will & Grace and Friends. His more recent credits include directing episodes of The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men and Mike & Molly.Both Burrows and Kudrow received scholarship funds in their name through the Okie Foundation. The “Humor is 90 Percent Surprise” award will be given in honor of Burrows and the “Just Stay With it and Keep Working” in honor of Kudrow.  The scholarships will be given to USC School of Cinematic Arts students starting next year.Kudrow spoke of Burrows’ ability to foster familial relationships and creativity. While shooting the first season, Burrows said he took the six Friends cast members to Las Vegas.“I said, ‘This is your last shot at anonymity,’ because the show hadn’t been on the air yet and I wanted them to bond. I wanted them to love one another,” he said. “I wanted them to, if another director came in, have the guts to say, ‘I think for me it would be better if it went this way.’ I knew they were all creative and that would only make the show better.”But according to Kudrow, Burrows’ generosity extended both on and off set. He gave up his dressing room — which was larger than the actors’ — to the cast so they could play poker.“For the actors you create this playground during rehearsal. It’s a very productive rehearsal, and you encourage those who are willing to pitch jokes. You make it really fun and it feels really collaborative,” Kudrow said. “Thanks for the money you fronted us to gamble.”Though Burrow’s ability to direct comedic television might not have changed much over the years, he said the business of television has. With the rise of cable television and networks such as HBO and Showtime, Burrow said there are more shows on television and comedy writers working at the networks are no longer necessarily the best comedy writers.“With the amount of shows being done now — most of them are not any good,” he said. “But there are maybe 10 shows that are really good, which is probably the same as what it was in the ’70s when there were just three networks.”The volume of shows is not the only thing that’s changed, Burrows said. Starting in the 1990s when Burrows worked on Friends and Will & Grace, networks began to meddle with the plots, claiming that Will & Grace had too many gay jokes and that Monica — one of the Friends — shouldn’t sleep with someone on a first date, as she did in the pilot. Kudrow said that on the night of the pilot taping they did a survey and the audience approved of the plotline.“[The network] didn’t really trust that [writer/creator] David [Crane] and Marta [Kauffman] knew what they were writing about or new the people they were writing about and the network didn’t trust that the audience were the same people,” Kudrow said. “They also wanted an adult on Friends because there hadn’t been a show with just 20-somethings and who’s going to watch that or be interested in those people?”The importance of being innovative and persistent was a key takeaway for students who came to the event.“These two are both very important people in our field and I think the important thing they said was just keep at it,” said Thomas Truax, a freshman majoring in writing for screen and television.David Himelfarb, executive producer of My Wife and Kids and Kyle XY, said he came to the event to see the legendary Burrows, but was excited to see so many eager students.“It’s a business in which training and knowledge is passed on a verbal basis,” Himelfarb said. “There’s a living tree of memories and tradition and ideas and thoughts that are passed along and that’s how the business grows.”Ultimately, Burrows said the most important thing is to have fun with what you’re doing.“I tell actors, ‘Check your ego at the door,’” he said. “I have a fun clause in my contract.”last_img read more