Italy injects record 400 bn euros into pandemic-hit economy

first_imgToll shoots back up Italy has seen its novel coronavirus infection rates subside over the past few weeks and its death toll slowly level off.But the number of fatalities shot back up on Monday from its lowest level in more than two weeks.The civil protection service said the daily number of official COVID-19 deaths rose to 636 on Monday from 525 the day before.Sunday’s toll was the lowest since March 19. It also represented a drop of 23 percent from the 681 deaths reported on Saturday.Italy’s leading health officials had called Sunday’s drop an important data point that could potentially lead to an easing of the country’s strict month-long lockdown.But civil protection service chief Angelo Borrelli said Monday that the data were still being carefully assessed and that any definitive ruling was premature.”The technical-scientific committee is currently carrying out its evaluations. Then, it will be up to the political decision makers,” Borrelli told reporters.He said the scientists will draw their conclusions about how to proceed “in due time”.Italy’s current lockdown has been officially extended to April 13.Conte has repeatedly stressed that businesses will only be allowed to open up gradually and that many of the current social distancing measures will stay in place for some time.But he has refrained from saying when this might happen. Some officials have suggested that most of the current measures will be extended until at least the start of May.Yet some of the data released Monday looked encouraging.The daily rise in new infections dropped to a record low of just 2.8 percent.The number of people receiving intensive care treatment for COVID-19 fell for a third successive day. Italy on Monday unveiled a record 400 billion euro ($430 billion) stimulus to help businesses hurt by a month-long national lockdown that is like to run on for many more weeks.Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told the nation to be patient in the face of a pandemic that has now officially claimed 16,523 lives in the Mediterranean country and left millions at least temporarily unemployed”We will soon see a new spring for Italy but for the moment we must stay at home,” the Italian leader said in a television address. The government also announced that it will take steps to protect Italian companies weakened by the economic crisis from being taken over by foreign competitors.”This moment of difficult will not translate into an opportunity to prey on Italian companies,” cabinet undersecretary Riccardo Fraccaro said. The program will add to the 340 billion euros in government-backed loans announced last month.Conte said it represented “the most powerful intervention in the country’s history”.Half of the new package will be earmarked for export-oriented companies whose turnover has imploded over the past month.Italy’s health “emergency is also an economic and social one,” Conte said. Topics :last_img read more

Most customers yet to receive cash refunds for canceled flights

first_imgHowever, she added that travel agents have had difficulties in assisting customers’ cash refund requests as airlines has scrapped their auto-refund scheme, hence prolonging the process, as it requires the agents to manually follow-up the requests.With the auto-refund scheme, airlines usually automatically approved the refund request and transfer the money to travel agents within two to three weeks. However, airlines scrapped the system in March this year.The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has severely battered the travel industry, including airlines, as travel demand slowed and operational costs burden the companies. Airlines have also been forced to cancel flights due to travel restrictions to contain the virus.The International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates a 49 percent drop in passenger numbers and an $8.2 billion drop in revenue for the Indonesian airline industry this year, compared to last year. Topics : Airlines have yet to approve most passengers’ requests for cash refunds of cancelled international flights following the massive number of cancellations amid the pandemic, the Indonesian Travel Agent Association (Astindo) has stated.From Rp 2.45 trillion (US$173.2 million) worth of cash refunds requested for cancelled international flights issued between January to February this year, only Rp 852 billion have been refunded so far, according to Astindo data collected from its members.“This is only for international flights, not to mention domestic flights,” Astindo secretary-general Pauline Soeharno told The Jakarta Post on Thursday, adding that customers still preferred cash refunds over travel vouchers.center_img Astindo travel agents have also reported a 90 percent drop in sales since the pandemic started.The refunding problem also plagues cancelled domestic flights, as travel agents are unable to help by refunding customers from their internal cash due to slumping sales.Airlines have only provided refunds in the form of credits and deposits for future booking to travel agents, which cannot be cashed out.Aviation observer Gerry Soejatman said on Thursday that both airlines and travel agents are in the middle of an unfortunate situation at the moment.“Through travel vouchers, airlines are trying to uphold consumer rights without making themselves bankrupt. If the airline goes bankrupt, the travel agent will also get affected and customers will be upset,” he said. He encouraged customers to use the travel vouchers option for the refunds, considering the current situation.“The best middle ground now is travel voucher as a form of refund,” Gerry said.IATA CEO Alexandre de Juniac said in a statement on April 3 that passengers had the right to get their money, as they had spent money on a service that could not be delivered.However, during this difficult time, airlines were facing an imminent depletion of cash. Providing vouchers as a refund that could be used for future travel would give the industry “vital time to breathe” and eventually survive the crisis, he said.last_img read more

LinkedIn cuts 960 jobs as pandemic puts the brakes on corporate hiring

first_img“I want you to know these are the only layoffs we are planning,” Roslansky said in his message. Affected staff, who have not yet been told, would be able to keep company-issued cell phones, laptops, and recently purchased equipment to help them work from home while making career transitions, he said.As lockdowns to contain the coronavirus have hit businesses around the world, LinkedIn’s business has been hit as companies lay off staff or sharply curtail hiring.LinkedIn said employees affected by its job cuts will be informed this week and they will start receiving invitations in the next few hours to meetings to learn more about next steps.”If you don’t receive a meeting invite, you are not directly impacted by this change,” Roslansky said. Microsoft Corp’s professional networking site LinkedIn said on Tuesday it would cut about 960 jobs, or 6% of its global workforce, as the coronavirus pandemic is having a sustained impact on demand for its recruitment products.California-based LinkedIn helps employers assess a candidate’s suitability for a role and employees use the platform to find new job.Jobs will be cut across sales and hiring divisions of the group globally. Announcing the plan in a message posted on LinkedIn’s website, Chief Executive Ryan Roslansky said the company would provide at least 10 weeks of severance pay as well as health insurance for a year for US employees, and will hire for newly-created roles from laid-off staff. Topics :last_img read more

Swiss first pillar fund halts asset sales on funding reprieve

first_imgSwiss social security buffer fund Compenswiss has halted its asset sale programme and reviewed its investment strategy after Swiss voters last year gave the green light for an additional annual CHF2bn (€1.88bn) in financing for the state pension system.Announcing its investment results for 2019, the fund said the extra money, which is dispensed from this year, will plug the gap between benefit payments and income for around four years.As a result, it has been able to put a halt to its divestment programme, which had been running for about two years, initially at a monthly rate of CHF100m and then CHF125m.It also reviewed its investment strategy in light of the financing reprieve. A spokesperson for Compenswiss told IPE it had only adopted limited shifts for 2020, “reflecting a cautious approach in our overall risk assessment”, although the strategy asset allocation could still be amended in the future given the longer time horizon.For 2020 the fund had decided to switch 1% of its foreign fixed income allocation to real estate, “a market traditionally associated with higher returns but lesser liquidity than fixed income,” the spokesperson said.The allocation to real estate has risen to 10% as a result of the shift.Demographics are weighing on the Swiss state pension system. According to a study carried out in 2019 by UBS in conjunction with researchers at the University of Freiburg in Breisgau, pension promises from the state pension – AHV in short in German – exceed the system’s future income by about 170% of GDP (base year of 2016).The extra yearly cash injection of CHF2bn stems from a tax and AHV financing reform that was approved in a referendum in May last year, and according to the study it cuts the pension funding shortfall by about 20%.Solutions aimed at the long-term funding equilibrium are being discussed in parliament. The government’s reform proposal, known as AHV21/AVS21, aims to secure the financing of the state pension until 2030, which it has calculated as requiring an additional CHF26bn.10.22% gainCompenswiss’s investments gained a net 10.22% in 2019, with total assets going from CHF34.2bn to CHF36.4bn as at the end of the year. The return is the second highest since the first pillar pension system and the buffer fund were established in 1948.Operating and asset management costs amounted to 0.19% of total assets, in line with the previous year.last_img read more

TWD Unveils Monopile Sling Connector

first_imgThe monopile sling connector is diameter adjustable and speeds up the rigging operation, TWD said, adding that it allows for safe rigging attachment on jack-up vessels and floating installation vessels. Source: TWD During lifting, the load is transferred directly from the sling, through link plates, to the rigging. In between lifts or during transport, the monopile sling connector can be sea fastened on either deck or the monopile itself. Temporary Works Design (TWD) has revealed the monopile sling connector, a remote-controlled solution for applying the rigging of monopiles.center_img Once positioned on the monopile, the monopile sling connector will guide the sling around the monopile without the need for human interference, TWD said. According to the Dutch company, as monopiles are getting bigger and slings will need to be attached in more difficult to access locations, the work can become both a challenging and time-demanding job. last_img read more

EC FFA Attends State Livestock Skillathon Contest

first_imgSt. Leon, IN— On Saturday, September 21st, three East Central FFA Members competed in the State Livestock Skillathon Contest. The members identified meat, breeds, and equipment. They took an industry quiz and took a quality assurance quiz, as well as judged hay and wool as individuals. The members then worked as a team to identify feed, evaluate carcass, evaluate a performance and marketing scenario, complete a keep or cull class, and complete another quality assurance quiz.The team consisted of Maddie Dawson, Madison Shumate, and Jacob Kuhn, and placed 18th. Congratulations to all members that participated!last_img

Gold: Hammers ‘close’ to stadium deal

first_imgWest Ham could be days away from agreeing a move to the Olympic Stadium, according to co-chairman David Gold. The 76-year-old stressed that date was not set in stone, though, after the potential agreement – that would see West Ham move to the stadium in 2016 – had suffered late glitches before. “I’m embarrassed because I’ve tweeted 10 times that it’s going to be next week or next month and here’s a date,” he said. “The date comes and goes and then I give another date. But I think we are close.” West Ham were handed ‘preferred bidder’ status in December and talks with the LLDC have since focused on details of the proposed move. One of the key points has centred on how much West Ham would pay towards conversion costs of the Stratford stadium. Part of that conversion could see temporary seating erected for West Ham matches to cover the running track, with Gold saying a move would only go ahead if the stadium was “fit for use”. “There are certain things I can’t share with you because of the confidentiality agreement. We will only go there if it is fit for use,” he said. “I won’t go there if I have to look over a running track. But I believe we are in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Let’s face it. They’ve built a stadium – albeit wrong shape and size.” Part of London’s successful Olympic bid centred on a promise to keep athletics at the Stratford venue in the future. Gold believes, however, that for athletics to remain in the long term it requires a football club to help provide financial support. “Most Olympic Stadiums have failed because they haven’t embraced the legacy and also saying the Olympics is over,” he said. “Athletics needs football to support it. There’s no other way.” The Hammers’ long wait to secure a move to the £429million venue has reportedly moved closer this month following talks with the the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC). London Mayor Boris Johnson described those discussions as “positive” and Gold has revealed an agreement could be secured as early as March 16. “I think we’re close. It’s only what I’m being promised. As we speak I’m being promised March 16,” Gold told talkSPORT. “We would sign the agreement then.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Ideye targets QPR clash

first_img “Somebody kicked me from behind in the Stoke game (on March 14) and since then I’ve been getting pain. “I thought I could be fit for Nigeria. I thought I could even be fit for the game at Manchester City. But I couldn’t run and I have had to stay back instead of risking it by going to internationals. “I just have to rest. The pain is still there but the doctors and physios have been doing their best to make sure I’m fit for the (QPR) game.” Ideye missed the weekend’s 3-0 loss at Manchester City due to a knee problem that has subsequently forced him to pull out of the Nigeria squad. The 26-year-old, Albion’s record signing, told www.wba.co.uk on Wednesday: “I am in rehab now so hopefully I will be better before the QPR game. Press Associationcenter_img West Brom striker Brown Ideye is hopeful of being fit in time for the Barclays Premier League home clash with QPR a week on Saturday.last_img read more

Steven Naismith aims to take his chance and impress with Canaries

first_img The Scotland international completed his switch from Merseyside to Norfolk earlier this week, for fee reported to be around £8million. Although Naismith – who was close to moving to Carrow Road in the last transfer window – netted a hat-trick against Chelsea in September, the forward had not featured since December 28, having recently shaken off an ankle injury. Press Association Canaries boss Neil confirmed both Naismith and Portuguese full-back Ivo Pinto, signed from Dinamo Zagreb earlier in the window, were in his plans for the televised lunchtime kick-off against Liverpool. However, a decision has yet to be made over Swiss defender Timm Klose, who joined from Wolfsburg on Monday but has only had a couple of full training sessions with his new team-mates. Naismith made 123 appearances for the Toffees, scoring 25 goals – including a memorable equaliser against city rivals Liverpool during his first Merseyside derby at Goodison Park in October 2012. The 29-year-old would relish another opportunity to put one past the Reds if given the nod by Neil, whom he played against during their time in Scotland. “Speaking to the manager here, I am going to get an opportunity to play which I need to prove I am worth, then once you get that chance I need to do well to stay in the team and I am relishing that opportunity,” Naismith said at a press conference. “Just being involved is great, it is a nice coincidence that it (his first match) is against Liverpool. “It will be a tough game, one which we need to be ready for from the off, they have some great players, but at home especially Norwich have looked very strong in all their games, so I am looking forward to hopefully being involved in some way. “I scored my first goal (for Everton) against them, so if I could replicate that, it would be another good start.” Naismith added: “The manager knows what my attributes are, so hopefully I will bring an attacking threat, some chances and goals.” Liverpool have struggled for consistency in the league over recent weeks, but have progressed in both cup competitions. Canaries boss Neil, though, is expecting a stern test from Jurgen Klopp’s men as his side aim to arrest a run of three successive league defeats. “It is a team in transition at the moment, with a mixed bag of performances, and they are still trying to find their best line-up,” he said. “Liverpool are more direct now than Brendan Rodgers’ team and they play higher up the pitch, but both teams pose you difficult questions in different ways. We just need to make sure we are prepared for that.” On loan Liverpool defender Andre Wisdom is not eligible to face his parent club. Forward Gary Hooper has, meanwhile, completed a permanent move to Sheffield Wednesday following a loan spell. Former Everton frontman Steven Naismith is ready to help fire new club Norwich to victory against Liverpool should he get the go ahead from manager Alex Neil. last_img read more

Other Sports Did not tell my parents that I was taking part in World Championship: Hima Das

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Other Sports News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. Mumbai: India’s young sprinter Hima Das revealed Friday that she “did not tell” her parents that she was taking part in the IAAF U-20 World Championship in Finland, an event that saw her script history.In July, 18-year-old Hima scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman to win a gold at the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships as she clinched top spot in the women’s 400m final race on the third day of competitions.Also Read | Facebook says personal data of over 50 million users hacked, breach fixed“I did not tell my parents that I was playing such a big tournament. I told them that it was a small game. My parents saw it on television. After I reached the room and called my father, he said ‘I was going to sleep’,” recalled Hima.“I said, I became world champion and you are sleeping, to which my dad said, let’s see in the morning.Apart from winning the gold medal at the in Finland, Hima claimed three medals, including a gold, at the Asian Games. She acknowledged that the road ahead will be difficult.Read More | It’s a fact: Outgoing BSF DG KK Sharma on West Bengal ‘friendly’ towards Rohingyas remark“It will be a challenge, and I will have to train well. It will be a little tough,” she said.Hima said that post her success, her village in Assam has got new roads and electricity has also come up there.“There are changes which I noticed, there is a new road and lights have come up in the village,” she said. last_img read more