Thunder From Under Thu, 22 Jul 2021 16:57:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Thunder From Under 32 32 Yang Huaiding died on June 13 Thu, 22 Jul 2021 16:32:54 +0000

IF YOU HAVE Rode one of China’s crowded and rickety green trains in 1989, bouncing in a hard-seat car, you might have noticed Yang Huaiding sitting nearby. Or maybe not. He had been careful not to stand out, wearing drab clothes and a faded faux leather duffel bag. The black-rimmed glasses, disheveled hair and stained teeth were her usual look. If he smoked more than usual and wiped off more sweat, it was because in the bag, covered with newspaper, there were thousands of yuan in ten yuan bills. He needed a police escort and sometimes he hired one.

He was traveling to Hefei, Anhui Province, from his hometown Shanghai, to buy Chinese government bonds. In 1988, the communist regime, needing to rebuild the economy and consolidate its state-owned enterprises, made limited decisions to let the public become investors. Bonds could be freely traded, initially, in just seven cities. But Shanghai and Hefei, two of the seven, were only a night’s train ride apart. And Mr. Yang had learned, by perusing the local papers in the public library extensively, that bonds priced at 94 yuan in relatively poor Anhui, where collective farmers received them as part of their wages, sold for much more. expensive in Shanghai. Hence the travel bag, containing (since he did not have a checkbook) a large part of his savings.

He was the first man in China to conduct long-distance bulk transactions in government bonds, earning one million yuan, his first “bucket of gold”. And he had also been the first to buy them. Most of the others were suspicious, even scared, of this strange capitalist enterprise, but not him. He loved the old adage that the first man to assume that a crab could be edible was either very far-sighted or very hungry. He was both, and later when he became a big name in investing, his business card read, “Learn from those who are brave enough to eat crab … and befriend them!”

On April 21, 1988, he was therefore on the verge of the start of the bond sale, with 20,000 yuan (then $ 5,400) saved on his job as a storekeeper at the Shanghai ferroalloy plant and on his wife’s trading enterprises. . That morning he put his money in one bond; in the afternoon, he sold it with a profit of 800 yuan, more than his annual salary. He was addicted. When in 1990 the government ordered transactions to be conducted through two national stock exchanges, it navigated the Shanghai securities market as if it had been born there. His first purchase was 2,000 shares in a TV tube maker, bought 100 yuan each and sold in six months for over 800. Another bucket of gold. He had long since left the factory for a private trading room in an investment firm where, fortified by giant tea pots and countless Double Happiness cigarettes, he watched and played the market all day.

Now his name was Yang Baiwan, Millions Yang, and crowds of impatient Chinese gamblers were jostling to follow his lead. If a storekeeper with only elementary education, living in a one-room apartment, could make such a fortune in the markets, so could they. They clung to his advice, besieged him in the streets and at his office door during lunch breaks, demanded tips. He had plenty of them: “When the front of the purse is full of bikes, sell. “” The only money you really have is in your pocket. “Hunt the bottom, avoid the top.” He wrote five books, lectured, and in 1993 – when the Shanghai market got too foamy and he cautiously dropped out when the index hit 1,500, missing the inevitable crash – was hired as a teacher. Although institutional investors quickly took over from amateur traders, China’s leap to become the world’s second-largest stock market was largely driven by people like him.

Wealth didn’t seem to change him much. After his first windfall, he bought himself luxury foreign cigarettes and shared them around the factory. He bought a pointy suit or two. But a polo shirt or anorak was more his style, and he continued to live for some time with his wife and son in the studio where, very early on, he had spread his profits in bundles all over the bed.

His fans called him the god of the stock, roaming the markets like a rising tide or walking boldly through his ravenous flames. He saw it more as ordinary life (his entire life), with its ups and downs. A large set of worry beads was also on his desk. When in 2007 on the state TV he recommended PetroChina stocks, which then plunged, he vowed not to tip so casually again. When some people complained, as they loudly did, that his Millions software was not working and his investment system was not making them money, he shrugged. It was not good to treat the market like a casino. You had to study it constantly, the companies, the conditions, the atmosphere, before jumping.

He also closely monitored what the government was doing. His big break in 1988 came from a surprising change in policy. Another could appear in the very next communiqué from a plenary session of the Central Committee. And he wanted to be sure that his creeping capitalist actions stayed within Communist rules. As a teenager, born in the “new China” under the red flag, he had been a red guard, fighting fiercely to enforce a traffic law in Shanghai according to which revolutionary red meant “Go”, not “Stop”. Now he was worried that what he was doing, urging the economy to buy cheap and sell dear, was profit and therefore a crime. Among his many firsts was a Chinese man’s first voluntary trip to a tax office (his father had worked in an office), to ask him if he owed tax on his bond sales. The soft answer was no.

In fact, he was pretty sure he was a people’s hero. Chinese state TV said so in 1998, when he was named “Man of the 20th Anniversary of China’s Reform and Opening-Up.” And he made the case himself. The purpose of the revolution, he said, was to make people rich, and that’s what a stock market did. It was a socialist university of finance without walls; anyone could play it, learn from it, and become as rich as him, or richer. He had set the example, picked up the crab, boiled it, opened it and feasted on it. Then all of China shared it and immediately decided that they liked it too.

This article appeared in the Obituary section of the print edition under the title “Manger le crab”

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Revenue unveils new 2 million euro scanner to fight drug trafficking and smuggling Thu, 22 Jul 2021 15:18:00 +0000 A new mobile x-ray scanner has been unveiled by Revenue as part of its device to detect drugs and contraband entering the country’s ports.

The high-tech scanner cost 2.16 million euros, but it was largely funded by a grant of 1.73 million euros from the European Anti-Fraud Agency (OLAF).

Revenue’s x-ray scanners have been implicated in some of the country’s largest contraband and drug seizures, including the gigantic seizure of half a ton of cocaine in Dublin port last week and the transport of 172 kg of cocaine at Ringaskiddy port, Cork, last February.

The new scanner replaces an old scanner and maintains Revenue’s complement of three scanners.

The new machine, which was first deployed at Rosslare Europort earlier this year, will be used to target tax evasion, fuel fraud and the supply of illicit drugs and tobacco products.

Revenue said it was for the purpose of disrupting the supply chain, seizing illicit goods and prosecuting those responsible.

During the unveiling of the new scanner, the Commissioner of Revenue and Director General of Customs, Gerry Harrahill, thanked OLAF for its financial support in the acquisition of the new scanner.

The Nuctech MT1213DE scanner was selected following a call for tenders and is expected to operate until at least 2030.

“Revenue implements customs controls in a way that supports legitimate trade, while effectively managing compliance risks and tackling illegitimate trade,” he said. “At all times, Revenue remains proactive, vigilant and agile in the fight against all forms of contraband. ”

He said Revenue’s strategy to combat smuggling and the underground economy was underpinned by data analysis, intelligence and risk profiling.

“The resulting actions, including the deployment of modern digitization technology, help fight organized criminal activity,” said Mr. Harrahill.

“This new high-energy mobile X-ray container scanner is an important part of our resources and our continued determination to target all forms of the underground economy and illegal activity.”

The Nuctech MT1213DE scanner replaces an older scanner that had reached the end of its operational life.

The new scanner replaces an old scanner and maintains Revenue's complement of three scanners.
The new scanner replaces an old scanner and maintains Revenue’s complement of three scanners.

Revenue said it was selected after a competitive bidding process and is expected to operate until at least 2030.

Its acquisition maintains Revenue’s available x-ray container scanning capacity of three mobile units.

Revenue said they can be deployed at any port or other relevant location, such as warehouses, across the country.

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Optimism is here to stay Thu, 22 Jul 2021 10:53:31 +0000

Stock markets once again made small gains on Thursday as investors continue to reap the rewards of staying positive despite Monday’s worrying sell-off.

The European indices are all making decent gains, with the FTSE rising above 7,000 despite underperforming the rest of the region. It looks like investors are yet to buy into Monday’s grim tale that the recent surge in delta cases will weigh on the recovery in the last quarter.

Instead, bullish earnings reports give investors a sense of optimism, and while disruption is likely due to the upside, belief remains that the best is yet to come. Whether that continues if countries impose tighter restrictions is another thing, but for now, optimism remains.

A game changer for the ECB?

The ECB meeting has probably been the most anticipated event this week, but it looks unlikely to be a game-changer the bloc needs. While inflation has returned this year, its sustainability is open to debate and is expected to fall back over time, again leaving the ECB below its target.

The strategic review was clearly aimed at resolving the persistent problem of significantly under-exceeding its inflation target for more than a decade. I’m just wondering if the changes to his mandate will make a difference. This may allow for a bit more easing that could weigh on the currency, but whether it will actually make a difference is another thing.

Not to mention the question of how many exceedances the committee will tolerate if that moment were to come and for how long. The adjustments made by the central bank seem to me to be very minor in reality. The central bank’s reaction today and at its next meeting in September will tell us a lot more about whether this is the game-changing moment or just the same old ECB.

Oil on the rise to improve optimism

Oil is enjoying another day in the green as WTI is firmly back above $ 70 and the mid-July malaise seems to be behind us. Climbing back above $ 70 so quickly after Monday’s sell-off was impressive and says a lot about how traders view dips, which can be applied more broadly to risky assets.

Even China’s reported efforts to take the breath away from the rise in oil prices appear to be failing, with crude only about 5% since its peak in early July. The recovery trade is clearly still on the move and prices are expected to stay high for some time.

Gold falls under pressure from rising yields

Gold is slightly lower in these risky markets, with the yellow metal falling below $ 1,800. Overall, not much has changed, it continues to consolidate around $ 1,800 and shows little sign of bursting either way. Should we continue to see a risk appetite that may change, with the focus remaining on US yields continuing to climb. The US 10-year is approaching 1.3% and could target 1.4% soon. A move above here would be bad news for gold.

Super Elon

Elon has come to Bitcoin’s rescue once again, helping to protect the high-profile $ 30,000 level and spur a strong rally in cryptos. I’m sure crypto enthusiasts around the world were hoping Musk’s appearance at the B Word conference would stop the prices from falling and they won’t be disappointed.

In stating that he personally owns bitcoin, ethereum, and dogecoin, and that Tesla would likely accept bitcoin again, after reversing the decision a few months ago, Musk told the public exactly what he wanted to hear. Obviously, his voice is more powerful than ever and in the future when Elon speaks, the crypto universe will be tuned in.

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Rising cost of cooking gas pushes Nigerian households to alternative fuel sources Thu, 22 Jul 2021 05:13:29 +0000

Nigeria has not been able to deepen the penetration and use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in the country although it is theoretically able to produce enough LPG to meet local demand.

Although LPG is a safer and more environmentally friendly fuel for cooking food compared to kerosene and charcoal, many Nigerian households, especially in rural areas, still do not have access to it. this source of energy for various reasons ranging from the lack of distribution and storage infrastructure to high costs, insecurity and logistical bottlenecks.

Recently, the price of a 12.5kg cooking gas cylinder has jumped to over N5,000 in parts of Lagos, prompting bitter complaints from domestic consumers who helplessly watch inflation and demand. other economic realities deal a decreasing blow to their purchasing power.

READ: NCDMB launches LPG composite cylinder manufacturing plant in Bayelsa

What the experts say, the FG and the NLNG

Omono Okonkowo, a natural gas analyst, in an interview with Arise TV on Tuesday, spoke about some of the reasons for the difficulty in achieving optimal penetration of liquefied petroleum gas in Nigeria.

She cited factors such as lack of sufficient investment in distribution and storage facilities, especially in rural areas, lack of clear government policies to promote LPG penetration, insufficient stakeholder collaboration, the high cost of cooking gas and the growing insecurity in the country. as being responsible for the sub-optimal adoption of LPG in Nigeria.

“Many Nigerians in rural areas do not have access to [to cooking gas] due to lack of storage, distribution facilities and poor transport infrastructure to rural areas’, she said.

READ: Techno Oil begins mass production of locally manufactured gas cylinders

She also said that some industry players are importing LPG into the country based on high dollar exchange rates from the parallel market, which further increases the cost of cooking gas for end users, making it notably unaffordable for low income people.

“For LPG penetration in sub-Saharan Africa to be successful, we must establish a good foundation, including distribution and storage, as well as policies to ensure that we have an enabling environment for investment to prosper.” she said.

“We have a lot of gas but no infrastructure around gas resources”, she said further. “To reduce imports, adequate investments are needed. Gas suppliers import LPG, pay in dollars, and due to inflation it affects retail prices. “

READ: Oil traders start converting 7,000 outlets into gas stations with N250 billion loan

She argued that despite resources, investments are lacking due to a lack of clear policies for LPG on the part of the government.

For its part, the federal government reaffirmed its commitment to promote the adoption and penetration of LPG in the country. In February of this year, the FG revealed its intention to convert a million cars to gas at no cost, in its autogas initiative. Little has been done in this regard since.

Also in April this year, the FG announced its intention to launch liquefied petroleum gas distribution channels in every local government in Nigeria. Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Timipre Sylva said:

“The ministry aims to improve the energy challenge in Nigeria and clean cooking gas is essential in this regard, as 70% of greenhouse emissions are caused by deforestation.

This LPG project will enable us to empower rural women to use a cleaner source of energy for cooking.

READ: Sahara Gas Vessel increases LPG availability with historic 7,000 MT delivery to Nigeria

Again, little has been done with respect to the execution of this policy statement.

Also in April of this year, the FG announced its intention to inject 5 to 10 million bottles of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) into the market by 2022. The program manager, National Implementation Plan LPG expansion, Mr. Dayo Adeshina, revealed during an awareness workshop. on the adoption and implementation of LPG for industry stakeholders, in Lagos, stating:

“The federal government is working to get five to 10 million bottles of cooking gas into the market within a year. We start the injection of the cylinders under the first phase in 11 pilot and FCT states, with two states each of the geopolitical zones.

The states are Lagos, Ogun, Bauchi, Gombe, Katsina, Sokoto, Delta, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Enugu, Niger and the Federal Capital Territory. The cylinders will be injected by the distributors. The traders will be responsible for the bottles and the exchange will take place in homes and not at gas stations. “

Despite these policies, it is increasingly difficult for Nigerians to continue purchasing cooking gas due to its rising cost.

READ: How to access the CBN’s 250 billion naira intervention fund for the gas sector

How Nigerians Respond

The rising cost of LPG is wreaking havoc on many Nigerians. Some respondents who spoke to Nairametrics said this:

“I had to go back to using kerosene and sometimes my charcoal barbecue to cook for my family. At over 5,000 N for a 12.5 kg LPG cylinder, cooking gas turns gold in Nigeria. While kerosene isn’t cheap either, I can at least buy it in small portions daily to meet my needs. – Chioma Agu

“It is getting harder and harder to fill my gas cylinder. Everything is so expensive now. Wages have remained fixed, but the rising cost of basic commodities is impoverishing Nigerians. We were complaining when the price of cooking gas hit 4000N. Now it has gone up again and is sometimes unavailable at gas stations. The government must do more to alleviate the suffering of Nigerians. “ – Kenneth Audu

“I am now switching between my electric burner and my gas stove. Although the cost of electricity is high, we still use the old metering system in my enclosure, so I do more of my cooking with the electric burner to save gas. If they end up installing prepaid meters, I don’t know what I’ll do. I may come back to the use of kerosene if the price of cooking gas continues to rise.“- Emmanuela Jean

“The situation in this country is getting crazier and crazier. The government must do something about the rising cost of basic commodities. Cooking gas is slipping out of the reach of the average Nigerian and this goes against all their talk about deepening LPG adoption in the country. “ – Sope Dairo


Although much is planned and said about deepening the adoption of LPG in the country, the government must match the discussions with the actions to ensure that these noble policies are carried out.

Last month, Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Ltd said it was meeting around 40% of the demand for the domestic LPG market with the supply of around 370,000 metric tons (MT) of liquefied petroleum gas. (LPG) in the domestic market. in 2020. We are still far from where Nigeria should be in terms of meeting national LPG demands.

If it continues unchecked, the rising cost of LPG can become a brake on the government’s willingness to massively adopt LPG in the country. Much remains to be done not only to provide the infrastructure necessary to meet LPG targets, but also to restore the value of the naira and reverse inflationary pressures that have seen Nigerians become poorer while working harder.

Analysis: Biogen Alzheimer drug slow to take off as US Medicare struggles with coverage Wed, 21 Jul 2021 10:48:00 +0000 Aduhelm, Biogen’s recently approved controversial drug for the treatment of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, is seen at Butler Hospital, one of the clinical research sites in Providence, Rhode Island, United States, June 16, 2021 Jessica Rinaldi / Pool via REUTERS.

July 21 (Reuters) – US hospitals slated to be the first to adopt Biogen’s Alzheimer’s disease drug (BIIB.O) have only treated a handful of patients since its approval in early June as they await the first payments from the government Medicare program for people aged 65 and over.

The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved the drug, called Aduhelm, based on limited evidence that it may slow the decline of cognitive function in people with the disease that steals memory. Read more

Some leading doctors, hospitals and health insurers have criticized the FDA’s decision and said they will not offer the drug. The agency itself has invited an external investigation into its decision-making process.

Other leading institutions, including Michigan, Florida and Rhode Island, were eager to make the therapy available to patients in the hopes it will provide a benefit, but told Reuters this week that ‘They were moving slowly as Medicare determines how it will cover Aduhelm, initially at a cost of around $ 56,000 per year.

Medicare has launched a nine-month process to define standardized national conditions for Aduhelm coverage that may seek to limit its use.

For now, the government health plan processes drug requests on a case-by-case basis. The first centers to use the drug as a commercial product said those claims had not yet been paid.

“Medicare does this very, very rarely for drugs and issues these coverage restrictions, again, very rarely,” said Dr Aaron Kesselheim of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in a co-presented online interview. by The Forum at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and Reuters. Kesselheim resigned as a member of the FDA advisory board that reviewed Biogen’s drug after the agency chose not to follow its recommendation against approval.

The slow adoption raises questions about the 2021 sales potential for the treatment ahead of Biogen’s second quarter earnings report on Thursday.


The Michigan Institute for Neurological Disorders (MIND) said it had only treated one patient with Aduhelm.

Sonda Rossman, head of state disease, therapeutics and clinical research initiatives at MIND, said the institute was testing more patients for eligibility for Aduhelm, but was “very cautious.” with regard to financial and medical risks.

Florida’s First Choice Neurology program and Butler Hospital’s Memory and Aging program in Providence, Rhode Island, treated three patients each. Butler’s program is led by Dr. Steven Salloway, an Aduhelm supporter who called the drug’s approval “a turning point in Alzheimer’s disease research.”

The Mayo Clinic, which has partnered with Biogen to provide clinical tests to diagnose whether a person is eligible for the new drug, said it is still considering whether to offer Aduhelm to its own patients.

The FDA approved Aduhelm for patients who test positive for a component of amyloid plaques in the brain, but then reduced that number to those in the early stages of the disease – the group has tested in clinical trials.

UCLA Health System said none of its vendors have requested to use Aduhelm, with many awaiting additional data before making a final decision.

Biogen declined to comment on the number of centers using its drug, but said it expects the rollout to be gradual.


Because Alzheimer’s disease is an age-related condition, about 85% of people eligible for Aduhelm are covered by Medicare, which could lead to an increase in annual spending of $ 29 billion, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Experts say Medicare could seek to lower the cost of therapy to taxpayers by limiting access to treatment, tying coverage to actual evidence of patient outcomes, or setting a fixed payment that combines drug reimbursement with other costs related to treatment.

“Given the potential budgetary impact, things could be deviating from normal,” said Dan Ollendorf, of the Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health at Tufts University Medical Center in Boston.

Tufts and others have called on Medicare to move beyond a national coverage determination and institute a policy known as coverage with evidence development.

As part of such a program, data on the effectiveness and safety of Aduhelm in the real world would be compiled into a Medicare patient registry, quickly providing new data for analysis.

Medicare could also institute a more stringent “demonstration project” for Aduhelm that would pay for the use of the drug in a limited number of medical centers and for a fixed amount that includes the costs of testing, tracking and monitoring side effects. .

While Medicare is prevented by law from negotiating drug prices, this type of approach could limit reimbursement to hospitals, possibly to an amount below Aduhelm’s list price. This could put pressure on Biogen to lower the price if it wants Aduhelm to be used, said Chris Meekins, analyst at Raymond James.

Reporting by Deena Beasley Editing by Caroline Humer and Bill Berkrot

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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The virus is skyrocketing and yields are dropping; is inflation already yesterday’s news? Wed, 21 Jul 2021 09:42:18 +0000

The last time there was so much panic in the markets over higher inflation was probably in the 1970s, when oil shocks were a common occurrence. While inflation isn’t as likely to hit double digits this time around, major central banks have for the first time in decades been faced with the prospect of missing their top price targets by a substantial margin. However, all the excitement may still turn out to have been for nothing as the global recovery is suddenly threatened by a new strain of Covid and optimism for a full economic reopening weakens..

Inflation, an unintended consequence?

One of the unintended consequences of lockdowns during the pandemic has been the severity of disruptions to production and supply chains, which have led to global shortages of key components, bottlenecks and pushed up raw materials prices. raw. Add to that the pent-up demand that has been unleashed with the reopening of economies, and it’s no wonder the prices of the goods and services most affected by the closures are skyrocketing.

Central banks, including the Federal Reserve, insist that these effects will be transient and that once the supply-side issues are resolved and the upturn in demand from the reopening wears off, l inflation will fall. But the big question for markets has always been how quickly these supply disruptions will subside, and with the added threat of wage inflation, investors are more concerned that these price increases will become “sticky.” as policy makers.

Another day, another fear of the virus

However, the inflation jitters seem to have faded of late as fears that the rapid spread of the Delta variant around the world could derail the full reopening of major economies are now seen as a bigger headwind. Investors have been flocking to safe havens regularly since June, but that trend has accelerated this week as the Delta outbreak shows no signs of abating.

After crossing Asia for the first time, this new, more dangerous strain is now spreading across Europe and infections are on the rise in the United States as well. Some traders are already predicting closures will become necessary again by September and the narrative that vaccines will end the pandemic is starting to crumble.

All of this sparked a reversal of the reflation trade that had boosted riskier assets while hammering sovereign bonds. But bonds are now rallying at their strongest since the peak of the viral crisis and Treasury yields are falling; the US 10-year rate fell to a 5-month low, falling below 1.20%.

Falling yields signal ominous clouds are gathering

Falling yields indicate investors are more wary of the outlook, lowering their earlier optimistic growth expectations as the latest escalation of the virus looks set to hamper recovery in a growing list of countries. Safe-haven currencies such as the Japanese yen and Swiss franc are also benefiting from a recovery thanks to risk-free trading. But the most impressive rally was that of the US dollar, which surged even as US nominal and real yields plunged.

The dollar index broke above the 93.0 level for the first time since early April and its 50 and 200 day moving averages look set for a bullish cross. If the bullish momentum continues, the index could soon surpass the March 31 peak at 93.437 and head towards the 123.6% Fibonacci extension of the March-May downtrend at 94.358.

When it comes to major dollar crosses, the $ 1.17 handle is at risk for the euro, the $ 1.3530 Fibonacci level for the pound, and the $ 0.7230 Fibonacci mark for the dollar. Australian, if the greenback continues to attract safe haven flows.

The worst could be over for the euro, not so much for the pound sterling and the aussie

Interestingly, after already being hit hard in June by divergent monetary policy stances between the Eurozone and America, the euro’s decline could be more moderate than that of the British Pound and the Aussie if the latest wave of virus is not receding quickly.

Indeed, investors had placed more hawkish bets for the Bank of England and Reserve Bank of Australia than for the European Central Bank, which was on a more accommodating path even before the Delta variant unleashed itself in the whole world. How the UK, in particular, is coping with the new spike in infections will be watched by the rest of the world.

A dangerous experience

Britain has lifted almost all restrictions despite skyrocketing daily virus cases to the highest since January, with the government banking on the country’s high vaccination rate to keep hospitalizations and deaths low. However, scientists accused the government of a “dangerous and unethical experiment” because letting the virus run rampant could create the perfect breeding ground for vaccine-resistant mutations.

But other than that, the uncontrollable spread of the Delta strain has already started to put pressure on hospitals, suggesting that even with vaccines, some degree of social distancing is needed. If in the coming weeks the UK government is forced to renege on its ‘Freedom Day’ promise, this could be a sell signal not only for sterling but for risky assets in general such as stocks. because that would be a warning to other countries too.

Will blockages force RBA to turn around?

In Australia, the situation is somewhat different as the nation had until recently been able to avoid prolonged lockdowns. But the highly contagious Delta variant emerged at a time when Australia was just beginning to roll out its vaccine. The longer it takes for the final locks to be lifted, the more likely it is that the RBA will maintain its quantitative easing program longer and perhaps even reverse the recently announced cut in bond purchases. It could be a disaster for the Aussie.

To hit or not, the dollar is safe

However, for the greenback, more negative headlines on viruses would likely strengthen it further, even if the Fed’s plan to start reduction talks in the summer is also rejected, as its safe-haven status should protect it. The biggest downside risk to the dollar right now is that infection rates in Europe and Asia are starting to slow, allaying fears about the growth outlook, and markets can breathe a sigh of relief. Then the focus would turn back to US inflation and how soon and at what level it will peak.

The return of stagflation?

But what if the Delta epidemic worsens in the coming months and the global economic rebound is significantly slowed down? Demand would be suppressed again and the inflation problem might go away, but only temporarily. The problem is, more blockages could make long-term supply chain problems even worse. This can then create the ideal conditions for stagflation as governments reach the limits of their fiscal strings and economic growth is unable to rebound so strongly.

Such a scenario would pose an even bigger headache for central banks than the current balancing act of supporting the recovery without fueling inflation. But for the Fed, it will likely continue the debate on reducing its asset purchases, and the uncertainty as a possible signaling of a decision at the Jackson Hole summit in late August looms could itself help. the volatility of the bond. markets.

Either way, the next few weeks will be crucial on three fronts: first, whether the Fed will go ahead and gradually decline and how much will it gradually do so, and second, whether inflationary pressures will show any signs. decrease, and finally, if the number of viruses will increase continues to climb at an alarming rate.

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Three health department drivers questioned for allegedly using government vehicles to smuggle people into Sabah Wed, 21 Jul 2021 07:35:00 +0000

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah police are investigating three Ministry of Health drivers for alleged involvement in human trafficking using government vehicles.

The drivers were arrested for ignoring police orders to stop at three roadblocks on the east coast of Sabah.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hazani Ghazali said on Wednesday (July 21) that the suspects were under investigation under the Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants Act (Atipsom) for their alleged involvement in the smuggling of migrants from Lahad Datu to Tawau.

He said they are also exploring the possibility of using the crime prevention law against the three suspects who were arrested after passing three inter-district roadblocks on July 13.

“He is still under investigation,” said Comm. Hazani.

Photos of suspects and seized vehicles have gone viral on social media in the past two days.

The three suspects, aged 39 to 48, from Kunak district, were initially arrested for obstructing a police officer in the performance of his duties as well as failing to stop at a roadblock at KM38 Kunak-Lahad Datu around 8 p.m. on July 13.

It was learned that the suspects, in two vehicles registered by the Ministry of Health, ignored orders to stop at the KM38 roadblock when something was spotted among the luggage inside the vehicles.

The drivers passed the roadblock and two others on the road to Tawau despite being ordered to stop.

The police found them and arrested them in Tawau.

It is learned that the suspects were transporting 15 illegal immigrants from Lahad Datu to a disembarkation point in Tawau.

When the suspects were arrested, the illegal immigrants were no longer in the vehicles.

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Big Bend Federal Prosecutors Help Fight Human Trafficking, Drug Trafficking Tue, 20 Jul 2021 21:30:46 +0000


ALPINE, Texas (Nexstar) – Federal prosecutors have secured indictments against 89 defendants during the month of July in cases of human trafficking, illegal return to the United States and drug trafficking, according to a statement.

“Our Assistant US Prosecutors at Alpine are working exceptionally hard to help protect our West Texas border communities from crime occurring in this remote transnational corridor,” said US Attorney Ashley C. Hoff. “The incredible workload demonstrates our commitment to vigorous law enforcement alongside our local, state and federal law enforcement partners.”

Of the 89 defendants indicted, two dozen have been charged with human trafficking. Sixty-seven have been charged with returning illegally to the United States after being previously deported.

According to the statement, some of the defendants have already been convicted in the United States for offenses including rape, lewd and lascivious acts with children, transporting firearms, distributing drugs, human trafficking. humans and domestic violence.

“The serious charges detailed here reflect the significant dangers human smugglers pose to vulnerable individuals and communities,” said Big Bend Area Chief Patrol Officer Sean L. McGoffin. “We must provide solid consequences for criminals while suppressing their profits.”

Other indictments related to violations of federal drug smuggling and importation laws.

Here are the cases heard this month:

  • United States v. Javier Jaquez – During a vehicle inspection at the Presidio, Texas port of entry on June 11, U.S. customs and border officials discovered 15.8 kilograms of cocaine in packages packed. The 14 packages were hidden in a spare compartment covering the entire front of a pickup driven by Jaquez. Jaquez was charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and one count of importing cocaine. If convicted, he faces up to a minimum of 10 years in life in prison on each count.
  • United States v. Ernesto Alvarez-Zubia – On June 14, U.S. Border Patrol officers from the Van Horn Border Patrol Station stopped a pickup truck towing a horse trailer driven by Alvarez-Zubia. Agents discovered 41 undocumented non-citizens (UNCs), including Alvarez-Zubia, in the trailer. All UNCs are Mexican citizens. Alvarez-Zubia is charged with one count of conspiracy to transport illegal aliens and one count of transporting illegal aliens. If found guilty, he faces up to 10 years in prison. Alvarez-Zubia has remained in federal custody since his arrest on June 14.
  • United States v. Marco Antonio Mendoza-Bejarano and Victor Adrian Lujan-Garcia – On June 17, US Border Patrol officers from the Van Horn Border Patrol Station arrested Mendoza-Bejarano while driving a truck towing a horse trailer. Lujan-Garcia was in the passenger seat. Officers saw 39 other people in the truck and trailer. The 41 people are NCUs from various countries including Mexico, Peru, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Ecuador. Mendoza-Bejarano and Lujan-Garcia were charged with one count of conspiracy to transport illegal aliens and one count of complicity in the transport of illegal aliens. If found guilty, they face up to 10 years in prison for each count of transport and five years in prison for the count of complicity. Mendoza-Bejarano and Lujan-Garcia have remained in federal detention since their arrest on June 17.
  • United States v. Pedro Ramirez-Urbina – On June 27, U.S. Border Patrol officers from the Van Horn Border Patrol Station responded to a call from a concerned citizen about a deceased man found by the side of the road. Officers located the deceased with another man waiting next to the body. The two UNCs were from Mexico. About an hour later, another concerned citizen alerted US Border Patrol agents to seven men marching north on Chispa Road near Needle Peak. They were arrested and transported to the Van Horn Border Patrol Station for processing, where officers determined that all NCUs, including the deceased, were all part of a group smuggled into the United States from from Mexico. Pedro Ramirez-Urbina has been identified as the group’s responsible walking guide and is charged with one count of conspiracy to transport illegal aliens and one count of transporting illegal aliens. If found guilty, he faces up to 10 years in prison on each count. Ramirez-Urbina has remained in federal detention since his arrest on June 27.
  • United States v. Stephen Ray Pinson and Pablo Emilio Vinas-Gonzales – On June 21, a Brewster County Sheriff’s Deputy stopped an recreational vehicle (RV) for traffic violation. The camper van was driven by Pinson with Vinas-Gonzalez as a passenger. During the stop, the deputy identified 48 NCUs in the RV who were citizens of Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Honduras and Ecuador. Pinson and Vinas-Gonzales are charged with one count of conspiracy to transport illegal aliens and one count of transporting illegal aliens. If found guilty, they face up to 10 years in prison on each count. Pinson and Vinas-Gonzales have remained in federal custody since their arrest on June 21.

The United States Attorney’s Office works closely with Homeland Security Investigations, the US Border Patrol, and local law enforcement authorities to ensure public safety by prosecuting individuals who violate federal law.

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Kansas debate intensifies over nursing home visitor rules Tue, 20 Jul 2021 20:25:06 +0000

TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) – Families and advocates for the elderly in Kansas argue that with most nursing home residents vaccinated against COVID-19, visitation rules for some facilities must be relaxed, although the spread of the delta variant makes operators nervous.

State official investigating complaints against Kansas nursing homes and advocates focused on elderly care is calling on the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services to crack down on homes that fail are not open enough. They fear that the delta variant will cause further blockages.

The Department of Aging says it works to ensure residents and families have a say in visitation policies, although some industry officials still see the need to proceed with caution.

The debate shows how operators believe they still face tough choices after nursing homes were hotspots for COVID-19 at the start of the pandemic. It also shows how the anguish and anger of residents and families persists.

“We’re hearing about the threat of COVID and the death of COVID, and it’s real,” Camille Russell, the state’s long-term care ombudsman, said Tuesday. “What we don’t understand is the pain and suffering, neglect and death that occurs when there are no other people in the building.”

Clusters of COVID-19 cases in nursing homes accounted for less than 5% of the 324,000 cases reported by Kansas on Monday, but nearly 39% of the 5,200 deaths reported by the state – more than 2,000 of between them.

More than 90% of those cases and deaths happened before May 4, but they still happen, with nine clusters active last week. Meanwhile, confirmed cases of the delta variant rose 84% in the 10-day period that ended on Monday.

“Now is not the time to open doors without guidance,” said Debra Zehr, CEO of LeadingAge Kansas, which represents nonprofit aging service providers.

Limits on visitors, including closures at the start of the pandemic, were aimed at preventing people from bringing COVID-19 into nursing homes, where elderly residents were particularly vulnerable to serious complications.

“Our families – our base – have been basically very, very supportive for the most part,” said Elizabeth Howarth, administrator of the Homestead Health Center in southwest Wichita.

State and industry officials have said current home visitation policies are dictated by guidelines federal and state regulators and health officials. The guidelines call for restricting visitors when more than 10% of a county’s COVID-19 tests are positive and less than 70% of a home’s residents are vaccinated.

The state said its overall positivity rate was 8.1% on Friday, but the figure rose to 11.2% this month. The federal government says more than 84% of Kansas nursing home residents have been fully immunized, while the rate for staff is 55%.

Homestead Health in Wichita does not limit the number of times family members can visit residents each week. But it requires appointments, limits visits to 45 minutes, and allows two adult visitors per capita.

These policies came into effect in March, when about 90% of residents had been vaccinated. Howarth said most of the family did not want to visit without being vaccinated themselves.

And, she added, “This pandemic train is still going down the track. “

The Department of Aging says it has received 40 calls about home visitation rules on a hotline this year through July 13, without any citation. Assistant Secretary Scott Brunner said the agency told the homes in December that they need to discuss with all residents what they want and what is possible with visitors.

As for becoming more aggressive in cracking down on homes that restrict visitors, he said, “We have to weigh more than one consideration at a time.”

Russell said the long-term care ombudsman’s office handled 40 complaints from May 10 to July 10 and received hundreds of calls.

“Some establishments may have become accustomed to determining when residents can receive visitors,” said Margaret Farley, executive director of Kansas Advocates for Better. Care. “COVID persists as a good excuse. “

In Ness City, Tatum Lee’s frustration with the rules at the county-run retirement home where her grandfather lives led her to seek a seat at Kansas House last year. Once in power, Lee, a Republican, sponsored a bill to prevent county-run hostels from restricting visitation. It has not happened.

She is still frustrated that visits with “my dad” are limited to one hour. Lee said family members are monitoring conditions and home care.

She said that last year she had to ask the workers at the local house when she saw them in the community to hug her grandfather for her. Lee said she and others feared the homes would block visitors again if the area saw another spate of cases.

Lee also said that families are monitoring the care of their loved ones and that “it is important for the health of these residents. “

Ken Kennedy, a retired educator, said his mother’s isolation at the start of the pandemic at Prairie Sunset Home in Pretty Prairie, west of Wichita, was “the worst of it all.” In the fall, the home began pitching a tent in her yard for in-person visits, allowing her and other family members to see her mother regularly before her death in December.

Home administrator Aaron Kelley said residents thrived once restrictions were lifted. Prairie Sunset publishes regulators’ advice for tours on its website, but Kelley said it does not have employees who strictly monitor them, adding that “someone is going to kiss someone.”

“We have to get back to humanity,” Kelley said.


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Live news, news, company news, company news, industry news, economic news, results analysis news, CEO interviews, interview with a fund manager, interview with an advisor, market news, bazaar talk, stock news, IPO news, commodities news, mutual funds news, insurance news, newswire Tue, 20 Jul 2021 14:05:50 +0000

The equity market opened negative and turned deep red during the first half of the session. He had some recovery from lower levels in the second half of the session, but failed to hold on and ended the day in the red for the 3rd day in a row. NIFTY / Sensex lost 120/355 points (-0.8% / 0.7%) to close at 15,632/52,199 respectively. The broader market significantly underperformed, with both Nifty Midcap 100 / Nifty Smallcap 100 falling -1.4% each. With the exception of consumer goods (+ 0.14%), all other sectors finished in the red. Massive sales in media (-2.6%), real estate (-2.5%), metals (-2.3%) and banking and financial services (-1.9%) led to the walked down. India VIX advanced 4.1% to close at 13.21, as the market declined.

Globally, markets continued to witness massive sell-offs, with the Dow Jones posting its worst day in nine months as COVID-19 deaths increased in the United States. The US 10-year bond fell to a 5-month low of 1.18%. European stocks rebounded from their worst day of the year on Tuesday, but Asian stocks were down as the fast-spreading Delta variant raised fears of further lockdowns that could disrupt the economic recovery.

Back home, domestic factors remained positive due to improving inflation data, good quarterly results and oil prices falling by around 10% over the past two days. However, continued sales of FIIs and weak global indices have had a negative impact on the domestic market.

Additionally, traders have been seen to book profits ahead of Wednesday’s holiday to avoid global volatility. Banking, auto, metals and real estate stocks were the biggest losers today, while cement and consumer goods stocks rebounded intelligently after ACC and Asian Paints reported impressive quarterly results. ACC’s 2QCY21 result positively surprised thanks to tight cost control. Moreover, coupled with a better pricing environment, this led to an EBITDA / t of Rs 1,279 – the highest since CY10 – despite higher energy costs.

Commenting on the market outlook, Siddhartha Khemka, Retail Research Manager, Motilal Oswal Financial Services said: “Technically, Nifty has formed a bearish candle on the daily scale and continued its lower highs – forming lower lows of the past two sessions. Key support now stands at around 15,500 zones while at On the upside, the index may face resistance around 15,800 levels. “

“The first quarter earnings season has so far been better than expected – leading to industry / equity specific action – which is also expected to continue in the near term. Additionally, it may provide investors with insight into the future. Magnitude of economic recovery through management commentary. Market has seen a selloff from recent life highs due to weakness in global indices. While declines are factored in, tracking is lacking higher levels, suggesting a certain fatigue setting in.

Overall, the equity markets have shown strong resilience even as they face headwinds related to the advent of a possible third wave of COVID and persistent inflation readings leading to a potential rate hike. This time around, restrictions were localized and less stringent compared to the CY20 lockdown, leading to positive macro data points on both the global and domestic front, giving investors confidence for the economic rebound. . Therefore, it would be a tough fight between the Bulls and Bears in the next few days and we must remain vigilant on possible movements in both directions, “he added.

Disclaimer: IRIS has used diligence and caution in compiling data for its website. The information was obtained by IRIS from sources it considers reliable. However, IRIS does not guarantee the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of the information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or the results obtained from the use of this information. IRIS specifies in particular that it assumes no financial responsibility of any kind towards any user as a result of the use of the information provided on its website.

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