English Trust aims to round up the small fry

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Trump warned about virus repeatedly in Jan. and Feb.: Report

first_imgFor weeks, the Daily Briefs traced the spread of the virus, said that China was suppressing information about the virus’ lethality and ease of transmission, and mentioned the frightful political and economic consequences, the Post said.The president, who officials told the Post often does not read the briefings and bristles at having to listen to oral summaries, failed to mobilize for a major pandemic.Trump did restrict travel between the United States and China in late January, but he spent most of the following month downplaying the threat.He did not declare a national emergency over the coronavirus pandemic until March 13, as the stock market plummeted and virus cases were on the rise in New York.As of late Monday, the United States recorded an overall coronavirus death toll of 56,144, with 988,197 confirmed infections, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. US President Donald Trump was repeatedly warned about the dangers of the novel coronavirus in intelligence briefings in January and February, The Washington Post reported late Monday.The warnings — more than a dozen included in classified briefings known as the President’s Daily Brief — came during a time the president was mostly downplaying the threat of a COVID-19 pandemic.The Post, citing unnamed current and former US officials, said the warnings were contained in the daily classified summary of the most important global issues and security threats. Topics :last_img read more

‘Rely on God’: A prescription for India’s poor in pandemic

first_imgWith scant supplies and underpaid staff, one of India’s poorest states is scrambling to prevent a “blast” in coronavirus cases that medics say could cripple its precarious health system.The pandemic has already overwhelmed the medical network in the eastern state of Bihar, which has recorded more than 62,000 infections and nearly 350 deaths.But locals fear the worst is yet to come. Topics : “We got frightened and … our family members started crying out of helplessness. [Then] hospital authorities called us and – admitted him,” his brother-in-law Manoj Kumar said by phone from his village in Madhubani town.But it was too late.”We were told that he was severely breathless overnight and other patients tried to call the doctor for him but nobody came. Finally he fell from his bed and died due to a lack of oxygen,” Kumar told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.Health experts say the death toll is set to rise, especially as annual floods complicate efforts to enforce social distancing and strain resources.”The floods have decreased mobility. People can’t leave … testing teams are also unable to reach these areas,” said S.R. Jha, a doctor in impoverished Araria district.”The cases will spike a lot more. There will be a kind of blast.”Neither the state’s health secretary and health minister nor the federal health ministry responded to repeated phone calls, text messages and emails over a week seeking their comment.’Missed the boat’India’s coronavirus outbreak is the third worst in the world behind the United States and Brazil, with more than 1.9 million confirmed cases and about 40,700 deaths, according to a tally by the Johns Hopkins University.The virus travelled from crowded cities to rural hinterland as millions of workers returned home under a strict lockdown, with Bihar receiving one of the largest migrant influxes.Bihar lacks good hospitals, with facilities outside Patna woefully short on resources, doctors and medical experts say.In Darbhanga district – which bore the brunt of floods – a coronavirus patient even staged a protest inside a local hospital, claiming medical negligence.”No doctor has come to see me for 10 days. The situation is so bad the oxygen cylinder that they gave me ran out of gas … I asked them for a replacement, but there’s no response,” Shailendra Sinha told local media.Medical observers say the government failed to prepare.Sunil Kumar, Bihar secretary of the Indian Medical Association that represents 325,000 doctors, said more than 40% of state healthcare posts were vacant. This, he said, despite doctors’ requests to the government to fill the openings.”The government missed the boat on preparation and planning and now you can see the fallout,” said Kumar.Officials had no response after a week of requests for comment. Yet Kumar said medics’ pay was pitiful and that staff lacked basic kit such as protective suits, masks and gloves.”How can you expect medical staff to work for 8,000 or 10,000 rupees ($133) in COVID-19 wards in such conditions – only to risk their lives?,” he said.The state government says it will give health workers an “encouragement incentive” worth a month’s salary.’Rely on god’Home to 120 million people, Bihar is testing about 38,000 samples a day – compared to some 100,000 in India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh.Kumar said the virus was spreading undetected, with few people wearing masks or keeping a safe distance, despite a lockdown until Aug 16.State Chief Minister Nitish Kumar says the virus is “definitely a threat to Bihar” given it has the top population density in the country – three times the national average.Bihar’s principal health secretary, Pratyaya Amrit was not available for comment, but has told local media that his top priority was to ramp up testing to 50,000 a day.He has vowed to make changes, including increasing the number of beds with oxygen support, ambulance services, round-the-clock availability of doctors and nurses and filling vacancies by appointing 1,000 specialist doctors.Dr. Shakeel, who goes by one name and heads the People’s Health Movement in Bihar, a network of medical and civil society organizations, said private hospitals were out of reach for most people since they could charge up to 15,000 rupees a day – in a state where the daily per capita income is $1.50.Instead, ordinary people would have to make do with local “hospitals that are dirty, where beds are very few and any treatment for (the) coronavirus is not even available,” said Jha, the doctor from Araria.”The poor … they have to rely on God.”center_img Fuelling their anxiety – a slew of media reports and images of people struggling to access healthcare, including coronavirus patients languishing on oxygen support in hospital corridors.The list of patient complaints – worse outside the capital city of Patna – is long: too few beds, faulty oxygen cylinders, no doctors, zero tests and a dearth of effective medicine.When village pharmacist Om Prakash Gupta became breathless last week, he waded through swirling flood waters to reach a local, district hospital only to wait hours for a coronavirus test – and a whole day for oxygen support.The 42-year-old tested positive, and got a bed after his family faced initial apathy from hospital staff, threats from doctors and rejection from politicians.last_img read more

Gripped by virus resurgence, Spain reports 3,594 new cases

first_imgSpain reported 3,594 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday as it struggled to contain a second wave of contagion that hit a peak of some 8,000 cases last Friday.The country has registered the largest number of cases in western Europe since the pandemic began six months ago and the biggest resurgence after lifting one of the continent’s strictest lockdowns against the spread of COVID-19.The latest daily increase was below the roughly 4,000 cases recorded a day earlier, according to updated health ministry data, and brought the cumulative total to 419,849. Seven more deaths were recorded, pushing the overall toll to 28,971. Daily numbers can still be retroactively updated.Accounting for 1,513 cases, the Madrid capital region was by far the hardest hit region. Separate data from regional authorities showed several municipalities with more than 700 cases per 100,000 people – more than seven times the national average for the past week.While officials have advised residents in some areas to stay at home, the Madrid region’s deputy leader said there were no plans to request a localized state of emergency under new powers granted by the central government.”Generally speaking I’m not in favor of more lockdowns, of repeating the steps from March and April…That ended in economic ruin,” Ignacio Aguado told a news conference.He also hit out at the central government’s lack of a strategy to safely reopen schools, accusing the education ministry of leaving local authorities to fend for themselves.In the absence of national guidelines, Spain’s 17 regions have been left to develop their own plans, frustrating parents and teachers and prompting students to call for three days of strikes in September.”We’re here to demand that the ministry of education does something, because we’re pulling our hair out here to see they’ve done absolutely nothing over the past five months,” student union leader Coral Latorre told state broadcaster TVE. Topics :last_img read more

People moves: Barnett Waddingham appoints senior data scientist

first_imgPGGM – Dutch pensions administrator and asset manager PGGM has appointed Gerko Baarslag in the newly created role of chief information officer, effective 1 November. He will focus on taking the company’s IT organisation to a new level, the group said.Previously, IT was the responsibility of PGGM’s chief finance and risk officer, but the company said it was splitting the responsibility as IT was of “great strategic importance for possible future scenarios” in the pensions sector.Baarslag joins from ground research firm Fugro, where he was responsible for IT and digital innovation. He is also supervisor at the Dutch government’s bureau for IT examination, which assesses the chances of government IT projects succeeding.Earlier this year, PGGM said it would require an entirely new IT system if the Netherlands opts for a new pension system based on individual accrual.Lazard Asset Management – The $238bn (€202.5bn) investment house has opened its first office in the Netherlands. Marcel van Ostaden will run the Amsterdam base as director of sales. He was previously head of sales for the Benelux region at Lombard Odier Investment Managers, and has also held sales roles at BlackRock and BMO Global Asset Management.Jeremy Taylor, Lazard’s CEO, said the Netherlands was “an important and growing market for us”.LifeSight – Willis Towers Watson’s UK defined contribution master trust has named Mark Bennett as director of sales. LifeSight runs more than £2bn (€2.2bn) of assets but aims to grow further and “capitalise on the significant market opportunity in the master trust sector”, it said. Bennett joins from Legal & General’s workplace pensions team where he was a key account director.Actuarial Association of Europe – Esko Kivisaari has been elected chair of the AAE for the year to October 2019, succeeding Thomas Béhar. Kivisaari is a former president of Finland’s actuarial association, and chaired the AAE’s insurance committee for five years to 2017. He is also a member of the EU’s High Level Expert Group on Sustainability.“With a new strategic plan and a new governance, we are ready to address the fascinating challenges that Europe and our profession face today,” Kivisaari said.“Our special focus will remain on the new European regulations and the review of the existing ones. We will also open our work to the wider fields, meaning notably the impact of the fintech world and the new technology in our European practices.”Falco Valkenburg was elected vice-chair.Tesco – The €15bn pension fund for the Tesco supermarket chain has hired David Linehan as a fund manager for its internal investment team. Linehan joined this month, according to his LinkedIn profile. He was previously a senior investment manager at Ireland’s National Treasury Management Agency where he worked on the country’s €22bn sovereign wealth fund.De Nationale APF – Henk de Bruijne is to depart as executive board member of De Nationale APF, the general pension fund of Dutch asset manager Nationale Nederlanden Investment Partners and its administrative subsidiary AZL.De Bruijne has been responsible for asset management and finance since the scheme’s inception, but said he wanted to focus on the content of asset management. He is due to leave on 1 November but will stay on for up to two months if the board fails to find a successor in time.QMA – Quantitative Management Associates, part of US asset management giant PGIM, has hired Liisa Juntunen as head of UK consultant relations. She will join on 1 October from Legal & General Investment Management, where she was head of the strategic client team. She has also worked at Rogge Global Partners, Ignis Asset Management and AllianceBernstein. QMA opened its London office earlier this year, its first presence outside of the US.Aegon AM – Aegon Asset Management has appointed Marianne Hamerslag as institutional business development manager, tasked with extending the business towards investment solutions as well as alternative and illiquid strategies. She joins from Robeco, where she focused on investment solutions. Schroders – Ped Phrompechrut has joined the FTSE-listed asset manager’s multi-asset solutions team to provide specialist advice on private markets. He was previously head of private market solutions at Willis Towers Watson, overseeing the consultancy giant’s advice on private equity, real estate, infrastructure and private credit.Neil Walton, head of investment solutions, said Phrompechrut’s expertise was important “as more of our clients look beyond traditional asset classes to help them deliver the returns they require to meet their liabilities”.Unigestion – The Swiss asset manager has hired Salman Baig and Joshua Seager as investment managers on its multi-asset team. Baig was previously an investment associate at Bridgewater, and at Unigestion will focus primarily on the company’s Cross-Asset Navigator strategy. Seager joins from EQ Investors and will primarily focus on the alternative risk premia strategy.GAM Investments – Juan Landazabal has joined the Swiss asset manager’s London office as global head of trading, a newly created role. He was previously head of fixed income and foreign exchange trading at DWS, and has also led fixed income trading at Fidelity.Cairn Capital – The specialist credit asset manager has appointed Mark Stieler as head of fundamental credit research. He joined Cairn in 2007 and is currently head of loan research, a role he will continue alongside his new position. The company has also appointed Tina De Baere as head of ESG and macro strategy. She has worked at Cairn since 2008, and provides macro strategy input for the firm’s multi-asset credit and managed accounts.Invesco – Invesco’s exchange-traded fund (ETF) business has hired two fixed income specialists to its portfolio management team in response to “strong investor demand” for fixed income ETFs.Wayne Parker joins from FinEx London where he was an ETF portfolio manager and trader, and in his new role he will oversee fixed income and multi-asset products. Deepak Bharti was previously a senior equity ETF portfolio manager at DWS’s DB X-trackers ETF business. At Invesco Bharti will manage fixed income funds in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as working on US equity products. Barnett Waddingham, PGGM, Lazard, LifeSight, Actuarial Association of Europe, Tesco, De Nationale APF, QMA, Aegon AM, Schroders, Unigestion, GAM, Cairn Capital, InvescoBarnett Waddingham – The UK actuarial and consultancy group has appointed a head of data science “to widen its expertise in line with the changing expectations of its clients”, according to a press release.Filip Deryckere has taken on the newly created role. He joined Barnett Waddingham last month from NoisyChannels, a Belgian advisory firm he set up in 2015.“The uses for data science in businesses are manifold and it is an exhilarating time for companies able to harness this,” Deryckere said. “Barnett Waddingham’s large and diverse set of services allows us to go further for our clients, we aim to continuously enhance our offering in the area of data visualisation, machine learning and practical applications based on data science, to the benefit of our clients.”last_img read more

ION in Panama 2D Shoot

first_imgION Geophysical has said that a new 2D multi-client program acquisition is in progress offshore Panama. Supported by industry funding, this is the first seismic survey acquired there in approximately 30 years. PanamaSPAN is designed to provide the framework to evaluate the hydrocarbon potential of this unexplored area ahead of the anticipated inaugural license round.According to ION, initial results will be available in Q4 2017 and complete interpretation of the data will be available by mid-2018 to guide investment strategies.The National Energy Secretary of Panama, Víctor Urrutia, said: “Hydrocarbon exploration in Panama has identified various sedimentary basins, proving the existence of geological structures that may contain oil and gas, although there hasn’t been a commercially exploitable discovery. Today, through the use of new and more sophisticated techniques, it is possible to identify prospective areas that previously were not considered economically viable, such as deep water deposits and/or those that are geologically more difficult to locate. The initiation of this seismic survey will provide high-value information to help assess Panama’s oil and natural gas prospectivity. We value the geological and geophysical expertise ION is providing to this process and are confident they will deliver the products and understanding required for proper evaluation. We look forward to working with them throughout this process.”“The unique survey design will provide a better understanding of the hydrocarbon potential offshore Panama,” commented Joe Gagliardi, SVP of ION’s Ventures group. “We will deliver the highest quality products and geologic insight to properly evaluate the exploration potential offshore Panama that our clients have come to expect from BasinSPAN programs.”last_img read more

SeaRoc Expands Team

first_imgUK-based SeaRoc Group has announced the expansion of its team with a number of new hires throughout the second quarter of 2017.SeaRoc Group has taken on additional software developers to support the development roadmap for its marine management system, SeaPlanner.These hires boost the development team to ten people and the additional resource will support the timely delivery of significant product development, the company said.In addition, SeaRoc Group has grown its client support team in response to the increase in the number of projects that the SeaPlanner system supports onshore and offshore. A team of three is now responsible for supporting users of SeaPlanner to deliver appropriate training, gain client feedback and ensure clients maximise the benefits of the system on their projects.As part of its strategy to support effective cost-reduction and optimisation during O&M phases of offshore wind farms, the company has invested in expanding its specialist GIS Asset Management service department. An additional GIS Analyst has joined the team to help support clients in data management and analysis services including seabed monitoring and prediction – all critical services that allow issues to be identified before they pose a substantial financial risk to the project.Steve Pears, SeaRoc Group’s Managing Director, said: “The skills and experience that we have added to our team will be hugely valuable to our end clients and we see these hires as a sign of our commitment to the renewables industry. The boost to our workforce will allow us to leverage our abilities to provide the best possible solutions to our clients, now and in the future.”last_img read more

Tottenham insist on Ndidi

first_imgRelatedPosts Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ EPL: Foxes attack Burnley EPL: Saints tackle Mourinho’s Spurs Leicester City combative midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi, has been identified as a top target for Premier League rivals, Tottenham Hotspur.Ndidi is one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League and he could prove to be a superb signing for the Londoners. The Nigerian is believed will add defensive cover for the back four and allow the creative players to play with more freedom next year.Southampton midfielder, James Ward-Prowse, is also among the shortlisted players for the Jose Mourinho side this summer.It would be quite a surprise if they decide to move for Ndidi and Ward-Prowse, especially after signing Hojbjerg from Southampton.Meanwhile, Ward-Prowse will add passing quality to the side.The 25-year-old’s set-piece expertise will also come in very handy for Mourinho and Tottenham. The Londoners are looking to add to their defence as well and Norwich City’s Max Aarons is thought to be a target.The youngster did very well in the Premier League last season and he is being lined up as a replacement for Aurier.It remains to be seen whether Mourinho can land his preferred targets before the transfer window shuts.Spurs will be hoping to get back into the top four next season and Mourinho will need considerable backing in the transfer market in order to achieve his goals.Tags: Leicester CityNdidiPremier LeagueTottenhamlast_img read more

Wenger: Gunners belief is growing

first_img The French manager is confident the Gunners are becoming increasingly comfortable with their position at the top, and thinks victories over top-four rivals like Liverpool will do his players’ morale no harm whatsoever. “The belief is inside the team,” Wenger said. “I think it creates a bit more belief outside the team as well, and that comes back into the team again. “People start to say, ‘oh maybe Arsenal’ (can win the league), maybe people give us a bit more credit, and that can reinforce the belief. “But it’s down to us how consistent we can be. “We haven’t won the title since 2004 and we were not in contention last year, so I don’t blame people for their views. “It’s down to us to create that belief, and through our performances we can do that.” Mikel Arteta believes Arsenal are now striking fear into the hearts of their opponents after moving clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League with a 2-0 win on Saturday night. The Gunners now head out to Germany for a crunch Champions League Group F showdown with Borussia Dortmund, who ran out 2-1 winners at the Emirates Stadium a fortnight ago. Spain midfielder Arteta, who captained the side again on Saturday, reckons people are now starting to sit up and take notice of what this Arsenal squad is capable of. Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal can convince themselves that a Barclays Premier League title challenge is possible by winning over the sceptics. Press Association “When you are at the top, compared to where we were last season, it is different,” Arteta said. “We have more belief and are starting to create a bit of fear into the opposition. That is giving us a better chance to win the game. “When you are on a good run and the confidence level is high, it makes everything a bit easier.” Arsenal face another stern examination of just what they can achieve in 2014 when they head to the Westfalenstadion for Wednesday night’s clash with Jurgen Klopp’s well-drilled outfit. A late goal from Poland forward Robert Lewandowski gave the German side victory in north London just when it seemed Arsenal had done enough to fight back and earn a draw. Arsenal are determined to get a positive result this time around, according to Arteta. “Dortmund will be a very different game, with the way they play, so we will have to get ready for it,” the 31-year-old said. “We conceded a goal when we were on top in the game, and were likely to score a second to kill the game. “But we know in the Champions League against those teams you are limited to small chances, and it was our fault.” last_img read more

Daehli delight for Ole

first_img Press Association Daehli proved the Welsh club’s most creative player in a 1-1 draw against Stoke that ensured Cardiff retained a fighting chance of avoiding relegation. “He is proving time and time again that he is worth a place in the team,” Solskjaer said of the 19-year-old, who joined Cardiff during the January transfer window this season. “He gets you on the edge of your seat, he does things, the difficult things at times, and he is fantastic at just playing simple when that is required. “He’s a good footballer, and I think he has done fantastic since he has come here.” For all Daehli’s excellence, though, Cardiff were once again left indebted to goalkeeper David Marshall as their saviour. Scotland international Marshall, viewed by many pundits as one of the best keepers in English football’s top flight this season, came to Cardiff’s rescue with a brilliant late point-blank save to deny Stoke substitute Oussama Assaidi a probable winner. “The first 75-80 minutes I thought we deserved more than a draw,” Solskjaer added. “Towards the end, though, you might say we didn’t deserve anything. We have a top, top goalkeeper and he saved a point for us. We thank him again. “He has just signed a (new) contract, and we are going to make sure he doesn’t have the option of going down. We have three games to rescue the season.” Cardiff have three games left in the quest to avoid a quickfire Championship return – away to Sunderland and Newcastle, then at home against Chelsea. “Two wins would be enough, but you never know in this league,” Solskjaer said. “You never know what the outcome is going to be in any of the games. “It is not a miracle needed, but it is two very good performances needed in the next two games to give us a chance in the last game against Chelsea.” Craig Bellamy, meanwhile, could be back in contention for the Sunderland encounter next weekend. He will return to training on Monday after being sidelined because of a virus. Peter Whittingham’s 50th-minute spot-kick cancelled out a Marko Arnautovic strike for Stoke – the first penalty Cardiff have conceded this season – that was converted during the dying seconds of an opening 45 minutes Cardiff shaded with regards to possession and territory. Solskjaer disputed the decision by referee Howard Webb, who punished Kim for his challenge on Stoke’s former Cardiff player Peter Odemwingie. Cardiff also saw a later Juan Cala effort ruled out for offside. “I felt what I felt at the time, that it was not a penalty, but I accept that Howard has got to make a decision there and then,” Solskjaer added. “For us, it galvanised everyone in the dressing room. We felt hard done by. “I didn’t have to say a lot at half-time, apart from maybe trying to control the emotions, because that is important when you get decisions like that against you. You can’t make him change his mind. “The way we came out second-half and put them under pressure, got the goal, got a disallowed goal, got the crowd going – they were fantastic again – and it was just what we wanted.” While Cardiff continue scrapping for points, Stoke can reflect on just one defeat in their last eight games, a run that has helped secure mid-table comfort. “The neutrals in the ground would think they were a couple of soft penalties,” Stoke boss Mark Hughes said. “I am not going to surprise you by saying I thought ours was a valid penalty and rightly given. “My view on Cardiff’s penalty is that it was very soft and the lad has looked for a movement from Steve N’zonzi that would allow him to go down. “In the second half we were in the ascendancy and Assaidi, if he had converted that chance it would have won the game for us. But we will take the point.” Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hailed the impact of his fellow Norwegian Mats Daehli as Cardiff continue their fight for Barclays Premier League survival.last_img read more