Edinburgh full house

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Russia shuts state hotels, resorts as coronavirus cases rise past 1,000

first_imgTopics : Russia ordered its vast network of state-run hotels, resorts and recreational facilities to shut down from March 28 until June 1, as its number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose past 1,000.The official tally of confirmed cases jumped by a record daily amount for the third day in a row on Friday, bringing Russia’s total to 1,036 a day after it moved to suspend all international flights. Four people have died.Russia’s mass domestic tourism and recreation sector is still dominated by the state, a legacy from Soviet times. Millions of Russians still holiday each year at vast state-run hotels, resorts, health spas and children’s camps. President Vladimir Putin has declared next week a non-working week, and Moscow, the country’s worst-affected area, will this weekend close all cafes, restaurants and shops apart from those selling food and medicine, until April 5.The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Russia remains much lower than in many European countries, but the mayor of Moscow told Putin on Tuesday that the real scale of the problem in the capital far exceeded official figures.An opinion poll by the Moscow-based Levada Centre showed the majority of Russians, some 59 percent, do not believe the official figures. Twenty-four percent said they “absolutely” did not believe them and 35 percent said they only partially believed them, the poll showed.Putin said on Thursday he hoped Russia would defeat coronavirus in 2-3 months if it imposed tough measures quickly.On Friday, Putin signed legislation allowing the government to intervene to regulate some retail and wholesale medicine prices. last_img read more

Irish PM says good chance social distancing rule can be relaxed

first_imgTopics : The daily number of new COVID-19 cases has stayed below 100 for 13 of the last 14 days and the so-called “reproduction rate” narrowed further to 0.4 to 0.5 this week, a trend the country’s top epidemiologist described as “astonishingly stable.”Ireland partially eased stay-at-home restrictions last week, the first of a five-stage plan that currently only sees restaurants opening in late June, hotels in July and finally pubs in August, far later than many European countries.Restaurants in Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Germany have reopened with looser 1 to 1.5 meter guidelines. Operators in the Czech Republic, Iceland and Switzerland that have had to stick to 2 meters have had the benefit of being open since May to try to salvage some of the busy summer season.Varadkar said on Wednesday that he hoped to be in a position to speed up the reopening plan next week.”I certainly want to accelerate it. It’s really the numbers next week that tell us whether we’re still going in the right direction,” he added on Friday. Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar raised the prospect on Friday of halving social distancing rules from two meters to one if the rate of coronavirus infections comes down further in a potential boost to still shuttered restaurants and pubs.Facing one of the longest shutdowns in Europe, Ireland’s hospitality sector has called for the guidelines to be eased in line with a number of other European countries, saying it could be the difference between some operators reopening or not.”Before we can relax that rule and maybe reduce it to 1 [meter], which I know a lot of people would like, we just need to see the virus come down a bit more. We’re not at that point yet but I think there’s a good chance we get there, just not quite yet,” Varadkar told Ireland’s FM104 radio station.last_img read more

Japan’s GPIF turns global in hunt for environmental equity index

first_imgEarlier this year GPIF selected three ESG domestic equity indices, two broad ones and one geared towards empowering women. At the time it said an index with an environmental theme was being examined.GPIF president Norihiro Takahashi said: “As a universal owner and long-term investor, GPIF understands that environmental issues such as climate change are an important ESG factor.”Most existing environmental stock indices, however, sought to decarbonise portfolios by excluding certain industries, he said.“Consequently, few indices aim to build a green economy, evaluating companies across the board that contribute to sustainable environment,” Takahashi continued. “Therefore, we have decided to request proposals for global environmental stock indices.”GPIF requested innovative ideas from applicants based on their “abundant” expertise in evaluation and index construction methodology.For example, it expressed an interest in indices that “may help lift overall stock markets both in Japan and worldwide”.GPIF asked vendors to propose two indices based on the same concept: one for international equities excluding Japan and one for Japanese equities. They should ideally also submit an index of global equities including Japan “for the purpose of comparative analysis”.The proposed indices should provide the same levels of return as their capitalisation-weighted parent index and improve risk-adjusted returns in the long run.This should be proven through past performance and a back test, according to the GPIF.The vendors should “disclose data necessary for passive investment” and the indices should have “a capacity for considerable investment”.As part of the selection process GPIF will carry out “field research” to assess long-listed applicants’ governance system. The pension fund’s CIO has previously argued that investors should pay more attention to index vendors’ operations and governance given the influence they can wield. GPIF has appointed transition managers for its domestic and foreign equity portfolios, it announced today. Russell Investments Japan was selected for domestic equities, and BlackRock Japan for foreign equities.GPIF recently announced performance results for the second quarter of its 2017 fiscal year. Its portfolio gained ¥4.45trn, roughly 3%. On annualised basis from fiscal year 2001it has gained 3.2%. The world’s biggest pension fund wants to track its investments against an innovative global equities index that selects companies contributing to solving environmental issues.In a tender notice, Japan’s ¥157trn (€1.2trn) Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) said the index should select equities based solely on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, focusing on the environment.The fund is looking to make a positive impact on the environment, and said the index should be based on “the concept that encourages to seek the solution of environmental issues, rather than uniformly excluding companies in specific industries or types of business (so-called negative screening)”.Citing the cross-border nature of environmental challenges, the fund said it had put on hold the selection of an environmental index for domestic equities to prioritise the search for one for global stocks.last_img read more

James Fisher Subsea Excavation Teams Up with Ocean Team Asia Pacific

first_imgJames Fisher Subsea Excavation (JFSE), part of James Fisher and Sons, has formed a joint venture with Ocean Team Asia Pacific (OTAP), a specialist Chinese offshore project, vessel and marine equipment provider.James Fisher Ocean Team has been formed to provide an enhanced service to clients in China.As well as developing opportunities in the oil and gas sector, the new company will be focused on establishing M/CFE as a time and cost-effective solution for projects in the developing offshore renewables sector.Richard Beattie, regional director Asia Pacific at JFSE, said: “Establishing this new venture shows our level of commitment to clients in China and significantly enhances the services we can provide. We are confident our M/CFE tools and expertise will play a vital role in increasing the time and cost-efficiencies on a wide range of projects emerging in the oil & gas and renewables sectors.“China is an important and growing marketplace. Increasing our presence here is part of our strategic development plan for the continued growth of our business. We are delighted to have officially joined forces with OTAP.”Roger Wang, CEO of OTAP, added: “This is an important step for us to increase and enhance how we can develop JFSE’s M/CFE offering in China. Establishing a local company, contacts and equipment base in China is vitally important to truly realize the potential of our growing marketplace.”last_img read more

Stock checkers fly for Oliver, Smith

first_imgJohn Oliver Jr. will his start his career-first IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s main event, after winning the first of two Stock Car qualifying features at Boone Speedway Friday evening. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography) BOONE, Iowa (Sept. 8) – A first-time qualifier and a former champion both made their way to victory lane following Friday night Stock Car features at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s.John Oliver Jr. of Danville passed Webster City’s Reid Keller on the 10th of 25 laps and led to the finish in topping the first qualifier at Boone Speedway.“I have had the best season I’ve ever had in my life. This feels great,” Oliver said. “This has been a dream come true.”Keller, 13th starting Shaun Bruns of Danube, Minn., and Norman Chesmore of Rowley rounded out the top four behind Oliver.Devin Smith of Lake City, a driver who’s dream came true with the 2014 Super Nationals crown, took charge up front early in the second qualifier and outran persistent Abe Huls of Carthage, Ill., in lapped traffic in winning the second qualifier.Jason See of Albia and 2001 champion Brian Blessington of Breda were third and fourth, respectively.Devin Smith collected the checkers in Friday’s second IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s Stock Car qualifying feature. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography)Top four drivers from each qualifier will line up on the outside row of the championship grid.Joining Oliver in making first main event starts are Keller and See. Smith is in for the second time, Bruns and Chesmore both for the fourth and Huls for the fifth.Blessington has now qualified for the big dance 13 times. His first Saturday start at Super Nationals was in 1993.1st qualifying feature – 1. John Oliver Jr., Danville; 2. Reid Keller, Webster City; 3. Shaun Bruns, Danube, Minn.; 4. Norman Chesmore, Rowley; 5. Bryan Rigsby, Topeka, Kan.; 6. Robert Stofer, Jefferson; 7. Aaron Stolp, Suamico, Wis.; 8. Travis Van Straten, Hortonville, Wis.; 9. Gary Mattison, Lamberton, Minn.; 10. Randy Brands, Boyden; 11. Casey Jones, Sioux City; 12. Ned Kalis, Wells, Minn.; 13. Brandon Conkwright, Wamego, Kan.; 14. Nick Tubbs, Colby, Kan.; 15. Kyle Everts, Holland; 16. Jason York, Boone; 17. Jason Ward, Sioux City; 18. Michael Albertsen, Audubon; 19. Rodney Richards, Madrid; 20. Chad Palmer, Renwick; 21. Greg Taylor, Sioux City; 22. Zach Ankrum, Sioux City; 23. Stefan Sybesma, Sanborn; 24. Sterling Sorensen, Portsmouth; 25. Dan Day, Princeton, Texas; 26. Westin Abbey, Comanche, Texas; 27. Michael Murphy, Jefferson; 28. John Heinz, Green Bay, Wis.; 29. Angel Munoz, Lamar, Colo.; 30. Ron Hartman, Ulysses, Kan.2nd qualifying feature – 1. Devin Smith, Lake City; 2. Abe Huls, Carthage, Ill.; 3. Jason See, Albia; 4. Brian Blessington, Breda; 5. Heath Tulp, Belmond; 6. Todd Reitzler, Grinnell; 7. Kyle Vanover, Beatrice, Neb.; 8. David Smith, Lake City; 9. Ryan Harris, Hubbard, Neb.; 10. Justin Nehring, Storm Lake; 11. Kevin Opheim, Mason City; 12. Michael Dancer, North Platte, Neb.; 13. Russell Damme Jr., Waterloo; 14. William Wade, San Angelo, Texas; 15. Kyle Clough, Wallace, Neb.; 16. Jerry Leary, Little Suamico, Wis.; 17. Gary Goudy Jr., Stoughton, Sask.; 18. Blake Peeler, Trimble, Mo.; 19. Greg Keuhn, Trenton, Mo.; 20. Derek Moede, Casco, Wis.; 21. Donnie Pearson, Oskaloosa; 22. Jeremy Christians, Horicon, Wis.; 23. Jayden Bears, Smithville, Mo.; 24. Aaron Olson, Mekinock, N.D.; 25. Pete Alexander, Albert Lea, Minn.; 26. Wayne Gifford, Boone; 27. Mitch Hovden, Decorah; 28. Les Lundquist, Sioux City; 29. Kevin Mattox, Ray, N.D.; 30. Brett Woznicki, Minot, N.D.last_img read more

Private hospitals accuse NHIF of refusing to remit Ksh 5.6B

first_imgPrivate hospitals are accusing NHIF of failing to remit close to Ksh 5.6 billion owed to them which is threatening to ground their operations.The Private Hospital Association is now demanding payment saying that hundreds of staff have been sent packing owing to lack of funds as the hospitals struggle to stay afloat particularly in the face of the pandemic.The Association Chair Brian Lishenga says hospitals are also facing challenges in paying their suppliers and purchasing medicines as well as other health requirements owing to the financial constraints. Some hospitals have started home delivery services where they have taken lab and pharmaceutical services to the patients.Also Read Teachers to report back to school on MondayOthers are also offering tele-health services to their patients.This comes as the Ministry of Health expressed concern in the drop in the number of Kenyans visiting hospitals owing to the fear of contracting COVID-19.As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise, Kenyans suffering from other ailments are apparently steering clear of hospitals for fear of contracting the deadly disease.Also Read Kenya marks World Alzheimer’s day amid renewed hopeThe decision by the sick to shun medical facilities has left many private hospitals across the country in a precarious position because many depend on patient fees for their survival.The problem, however, is not consigned to private hospitals as many government health facilities experiencing a similar trend.Physicians and medical practitioners across the country are now worried that patients with severe illnesses may suffer permanent damage by avoiding hospitals due to the coronavirus phobia.It also emerged that many Kenyans were resorting to self-medication, with some running to pharmacies or using herbal medicines while others are enduring the pain at home.Also Read COVID-19: Kenya records 98 new cases, 62 recoveries, 2 deathsHealth experts say failure to seek treatment could jeopardise survival rates and potentially cause long-term damage to non-coronavirus patients.It could also hurt the fight against chronic diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV/Aids, among others.Separately the Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Secretary-General Seth Panyako wants those propagating corruption in the Ministry of Health held to accountPanyako is demanding the arrest and prosecution of those behind dubious procurements in the ministry resulting in loss of funds. With pending NHIF payments, hospitals are now in dire need of funding which has led some of them to diversify and become innovative in their services.Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153last_img read more

Update on the latest in sports:

first_imgWhen such changes will occur is unclear. With feedback and research, it could take more than a year to find a solution. Click says he’s “trying to bring a fresh look” to the team and his goal is to “win this year, nothing less.” He says he’s confident has the talent in the front office and on the field to be competitive for years to come.In other Major League Baseball news:— The Philadelphia Phillies will retire the late Hall of Fame pitcher Roy Halladay’s No. 34 this season. The Phillies will pay tribute to Halladay on May 29, 2020, the 10th anniversary of his perfect game against the Marlins. It was the 20th perfect game in MLB history. Halladay was 40 when he was killed in a plane crash in November 2017. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2019.— The Arizona Diamondbacks have signed four players to minor league contracts, including outfielder Jon Jay and pitcher Edwin Jackson. The other two are catcher John Hicks and outfielder Trayce Thompson. All four have experience in the majors and were invited to big league camp.— The lone baseball writer who did not vote for Derek Jeter for the Hall of Fame chose to keep his or her ballot private. The Baseball Writers’ Association of America released the ballots of 315 Hall voters, and all public ballots included the longtime New York Yankees captain. Jeter was on 396 of 397 ballots in voting announced Jan. 21. He and Larry Walker will be inducted into the Hall at Cooperstown on July 26. UNDATED (AP) — It is the time of year in the NBA when every injury report causes eyebrows to raise. The trade deadline is Thursday at 3 p.m. EST, and teams need to be careful with the health of players they might be trying to deal.D’Angelo Russell was not in Golden State’s lineup at Washington last night, and the Cleveland Cavaliers scratched Tristan Thompson for their game against the Knicks.A former Warriors player could be another trade candidate. Andre Iguodala (ihg-ah-DAH’-lah), the 2015 NBA Finals MVP, is still on the roster of the Memphis Grizzlies. They haven’t played him this season.It’s unclear if any big moves are left for February after nearly half the players in the league changed teams in the summer. But, without a clear-cut favorite like the Warriors of recent years, more teams who believe they are contenders could be enticed to swing a deal.In other NBA news: Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNBA SCHEDULEGiannis versus Zion highlights 4-game NBA scheduleUNDATED (AP) — With Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh) and Zion Williamson, there might not be this much athleticism again in one place until the Olympics. They’ll be on the court tonight in New Orleans, when the Pelicans get a visit from the Milwaukee Bucks. The move is expected to increase revenue and strengthen the franchise’s foothold in an overseas market the NFL is eager to expand.The Jaguars will play at historic Wembley Stadium, where they have played a “home game” every year since 2013. Owner Shad Khan and team president Mark Lamping expect to extend a contract that runs through 2020. It’s unclear whether the next deal will include two games annually abroad.Dates and opponents have not been announced.In other NFL news:— The Jacksonville Jaguars have hired former San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke as their director of player personnel. Baalke replaces Chris Polian, who was fired last month after seven seasons in Jacksonville. Baalke spent the last three years working for the NFL as a football operations consultant. UNDATED (AP) — A pair of division leaders face-off in Boston tonight. The Atlantic-leading Bruins host a young, surprisingly successful Vancouver team. The Canucks sit atop the Pacific Division.In another tough cross-conference matchup, the Islanders host the Dallas Stars.Meanwhile, Florida gets straight back to work after beating the Maple Leafs in Toronto last night. The Panthers travel on to Columbus to face a Blue Jackets team that’s been on a roll themselves. Both teams have won eight of their last 10 games.Another team that’s gotten its game together of late is Tampa Bay. The Lightning host the Vegas Golden Knights this evening. Vegas has had its struggles but is coming off back-to-back wins.The rest of the schedule has Colorado at Buffalo, the Capitals host the Kings and the Canadiens are in New Jersey to play the Devils. GOLF NEWSGolf rulers says increased distance must be slowedPEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Golf’s governing bodies have released a two-year project showing that golfers at all levels keep hitting the ball so far that it’s hurting the game.The R&A and USGA plan to stop the cycle of golf courses expanding to accommodate the long ball of the modern game. The governing bodies are looking at equipment standards for clubs and golf balls.The report says it will not consider other factors like athleticism and training and swing technique. COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWSMichigan State’s Dantonio announces retirementUNDATED (AP) — Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio is retiring after a 13-year run.Defensive coordinator Mike Tressel will be the acting head coach while Michigan State seeks a replacement.Dantonio went 114-57 as Michigan State’s coach. He won Big Ten titles in 2010, 2013 and 2015. The last of those three seasons included a trip to the College Football Playoff. — The New York Knicks have fired President Steve Mills. General manager Scott Perry will take control of the basketball operations. The team announced it would begin an immediate search for a new president. The shakeup comes two days before the NBA’s trade deadline and is the second major change for the Knicks this season. They fired coach David Fizdale just 22 games into the season. The Knicks are 15-36 this season.T25 MEN’S BASKETBALL-SCHEDULESix Top-25 teams in five gamesUNDATED (AP) — Duke has climbed up to No. 7 in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll. The Blue Devils have been in the top 10 for 37 consecutive weeks. They are on the road tonight to play Boston College.Maryland has reeled off four straight wins and leaped six spots to No. 9 in the AP poll. They host Rutgers.center_img The Anaheim Ducks are in Canada’s capital to play the Ottawa Senators, while Carolina has a tough assignment as it battles for points in the Eastern Conference wildcard race. The Hurricanes are in St. Louis to face the West-best Blues.Chicago is at Minnesota, Nashville in Winnipeg, Edmonton visits Arizona, and Calgary hosts San Jose.NFL NEWSJaguars to play consecutive home games in London next seasonJACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars will play consecutive home games in London next season. Portland’s difficult four-game week includes games at Denver and Utah, two of the best in the West. Tonight they take on the Nuggets. Good thing for theTrail Blazers they have basketball’s hottest player to lead them there. Damian Lillard has averaged 45 points and 10 assists the last six games. Lillard has made at least six 3-pointers in six straight games, setting an NBA record, and has been the Western Conference player of the week the last two weeks. Meanwhile, the Blazers have won four straight to pull within a couple games of the final playoff spot in the West.James Harden snapped out of his shooting slump Sunday, pouring in 40 points and finishing an assist shy of a triple-double to lead the Rockets to a win over New Orleans. Harden and the Rockets get a visit from Charlotte tonight. The Hornets are coming off a loss at home last night to Orlando.And the late game has the Lakers hosting the Spurs. Los Angeles has won both games against San Antonio this season.NBA NEWSEyes on Russell, Iguodala, more as NBA trade deadline nears February 4, 2020 Auburn, like the Terps, made a six-spot jump to No. 11 after a weekend win against Kentucky. The Tigers travel to Arkansas tonight.Kentucky dropped to No. 15 after that loss in Auburn. They’ll try to get back on a winning track when they host Mississippi State tonight.And two ranked teams meet in East Lansing, Michigan, where No. 16 Michigan State hosts No. 22 Penn State.NHL SCHEDULEBig, 13-game slate in the NHL Update on the latest in sports: The Spartans declined after that. They went 7-6 this past season.MLB NEWSAstros introduce new GMHOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Astros have introduced James Click as their new general manager.Click joins a scandal-plagued team that was left scrambling to fill two major roles just before the start of spring training. He takes over for Jeff Luhnow, who was suspended for a season by Major League Baseball before being fired in the wake of Houston’s sign-stealing scandal. The Astros last week hired 70-year-old Dusty Baker to take over for AJ Hinch as manager. Associated Press last_img read more

Guyana complete ‘sweep’ of Grenada

first_imgTHE Junior Hercules-coached Guyana National Basketball team defeated Grenada 97 – 73 on Sunday last at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, to end their three-game Goodwill Basketball Series undefeated. It was the most competitive of the three games played between the two countries, since Guyana won the first encounter 90 – 73 and the second 97 – 75.In the final game watched by a small but appreciative crowd at the country’s premier indoor facility, Guyana led 21 – 17 at the end of the first quarter and 56 – 30 at half time. Heading into the final period, Guyana held an 82 – 55 advantage. Ray Victor once again led all scorers with a well-rounded 17 points, while Nikkoli Smith and Travis Belgrave finished the night with 16 and 15 points respectively.For Grenada, G. St John and J Williams both netted 16 points. At the presentation of prizes, where Guyana collected the series trophy, which was sponsored by Trophy Stall, president of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF), Michael Singh, thanked both teams for putting on a nightly show for the fans, especially the home side.According to Singh, the series is the first of many to come for Guyana, the reigning regional champions, as they begin preparation for the 2021 Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) qualifiers. (Rawle Toney)last_img read more

Mandzukic Calls Time on International Career

first_imgNearly a month after playing in the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ Final, Mario Mandzukic has announced his retirement from international football.The forward was a key member of the Croatia side that made history at Russia 2018 by claiming silver – their best finish at the global finals to date.Mandzukic netted three goals for Zlatko Dalic’s side in Russia, including an extra-time winner against England in the semi-finals, as well as a consolation goal in the Final. In an emotional message posted on his social media platforms, the Juventus star said: “World Cup silver has given me new energy, but it has also made this incredibly difficult decision a bit easier. We have made our dreams come true, achieved a historic success, and experienced an unbelievable fan support.“That month, including the welcome in Zagreb, Slavonski Brod, and the entire Croatia, will remain the most important memory of my career. This has been the most beautiful national team journey, and my favourite return to the homeland.“I am more than happy, fulfilled, and extremely proud of this silver, that has been forged through years, through pain, effort, work, disappointment, and difficult moments.”He continued: “There is no ideal moment to retire. If possible, we would all play for Croatia until we die, since there is no prouder feeling, but I feel this moment has come for me – now. I’ve given my best for Croatia, I have contributed to the biggest success of Croatian football.”Mandzukic made his senior international debut in 2007 and went on to represent his country at two World Cups: Brazil 2014 and Russia 2018. Prolific in front of goal, Mandzukic is Croatia’s joint-second top goalscorer after national icon Davor Suker.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more