UEFA ‘confident’ coronavirus outbreak will not derail Euro 2020 plans

first_imgTopics : UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said Tuesday he was confident European football’s governing body could deal with any worst-case scenario in relation to the upcoming Euro 2020 as the continent battles to contain the spread of the coronavirus.COVID-19 has been detected in 76 countries worldwide, killing over 3,000 people with Italy the worst-hit nation in Europe.The Italian capital Rome is one of 12 venues across the continent set to host matches at the European Championship in June and July. His comments came after FIFA president Gianni Infantino, addressing the Congress, urged authorities “not to panic”.UEFA General Secretary Theodore Theodoridis said European football’s governing body “do not want to overreact” and was dealing with the situation “case by case”. However, Champions League fixtures are a more pressing concern.Mascot Skillzy poses on March 3, 2020 in front of the lettering for the upcoming UEFA EURO 2020 in the Olympia Park in Munich, southern Germany, 100 days ahead of its start. (AFP/Christof STACHE) ‘Prepared for every eventuality’ On Tuesday evening Spain’s health minister, Salvador Illa, said Valencia’s Champions League last 16, second leg at home to Italian side Atalanta next Tuesday, March 10, should be played behind closed doors.In Italy, Juventus had their Serie A game called off at the weekend, while Inter Milan played a Europa League home game behind closed doors last Thursday with the north of the country particularly badly hit by the outbreak.Juventus are due to host Lyon in Turin in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on March 17 and that game could also be played behind closed doors, chiefly because there is little room in a crowded calendar to allow for postponements.Inter are also due to host Spanish side Getafe on March 12 in the Europa League.Theodoridis said: “Inter already have two matches postponed, and they still play in the Italian Cup and the Europa League, so this makes it almost impossible to find dates if we don’t coordinate between the European leagues.”Concerns about the outbreak impacted on the draw for the next UEFA Nations League tournament in Amsterdam on Tuesday evening.Scotland manager Steve Clarke was not present at the draw, with the Scottish FA telling the BBC that decision was made in order to avoid an “unnecessary risk” before his team play Israel in a key Euro 2020 qualifying play-off later this month.Meanwhile, Spain coach Luis Enrique did not travel to Amsterdam due to illness, the Spanish Football Federation said.Asked about the possibility of his team’s scheduled friendly against Italy in London on March 27 being cancelled, England manager Gareth Southgate said it was not the time to speculate.”I think we have to be adaptable and have to make sure that we are prepared for every eventuality, but as we stand we are trying not to get too worried by all the hype, make sensible decisions on hygiene and go from there,” he said.”I don’t want to make light of it, but equally there are dangers everywhere in life that you are aware of and conscious of.”center_img A long list of sports events around the world have been cancelled or postponed in recent days to avoid spreading the virus, including games in Italy’s Serie A. The top two divisions of Swiss football have been postponed until the end of March.”You don’t know how many concerns we have when we organize a big competition,” Ceferin said at a press conference after the UEFA Congress in Amsterdam.”We have security concerns, we have political instability concerns, and one of the concerns is also the virus, and we are dealing with it and we are confident we can deal with it.”This week marks 100 days until the start of the 24-team European Championship, and Ceferin called on organizers to “not just think about dark scenarios, there will be time for that later.”last_img read more

Oil plunges about 30% after Saudi Arabia slashes prices, opens taps

first_imgOil fell by the most since 1991 on Monday after Saudi Arabia started a price war with Russia by slashing its selling prices and pledging to unleash its pent-up supply onto a market reeling from falling demand because of the coronavirus outbreak.Brent crude futures fell by as much as US$14.25, or 31.5 percent, to $31.02 a barrel. That was the biggest percentage drop since Jan. 17, 1991, at the start of the first Gulf War and the lowest since Feb. 12, 2016. It was trading at $35.75 at 0114 GMT.US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell by as much as $11.28, or 27.4 percent, to $30 a barrel. That was also the biggest percentage drop since the first Gulf War in January 1991 and the lowest since Feb. 22, 2016. It was trading at $32.61. Saudi Arabia, Russia, and other major producers last battled for market share like this between 2014 and 2016 to try to squeeze out production from the United States, now the world’s biggest oil producer as flows from shale oil fields doubled the country’s output during the last decade.“Saudi Arabia and Russia are entering into an oil price war that is likely to be limited and tactical,” Eurasia Group said in a note.“The most likely outcome of this crisis is entrenchment into a painful process that lasts several weeks or months, until prices are low enough to … some form of compromise on resumed OPEC+ production restraint,” Eurasia said.Saudi Arabia has opened the war by cutting its official selling prices for April for all crude grades to all destinations by between $6 to $8 a barrel.China’s efforts to curtail the coronavirus outbreak has disrupted the world’s second-largest economy and curtailed shipments to the largest oil importer.The spread to other major economies such as Italy and South Korea and the burgeoning cases in the United States has increased the concerns that oil demand will slump this year.Major banks such as Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs have cut their demand growth forecasts, with Morgan Stanley predicting China will have zero demand growth in 2020 while Goldman is seeing a contraction of global demand of 150,000 barrels per day.In other markets, the dollar was down sharply against the yen, Asian stock markets were set for big falls and gold rose to the highest since 2013 as investors fled to safe havens.Topics : Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, is attempting to punish Russia, the world’s second-largest producer, for balking on Friday at production cuts proposed by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).OPEC and other producers supported the cuts to stabilize falling prices caused by the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.Saudi Arabia plans to boost crude output above 10 million barrels per day (bpd) in April after the current supply deal between OPEC and Russia, – known as OPEC+ – expires at the end of March, two sources told Reuters on Sunday.Brent crude oil prices collapse by most since 1991 as ‘OPEC+’ disintegrates. (Reuters/-)last_img read more

Trump says no need for him to get coronavirus test

first_imgUS President Donald Trump said Tuesday he would be happy to get a coronavirus test but that he has been told there’s no need, despite having had contact with several lawmakers who chose to self-quarantine.”I feel extremely good. I feel very good but I guess it’s not a big deal to get tested and it’s something I would do,” Trump told reporters in Washington.However, the White House doctor declared there was “no reason to do it,” Trump added. “There’s no symptoms, no anything.” Trump’s health has come under the spotlight as the coronavirus spreads in the United States, with three Republican lawmakers who met with the president having being exposed recently to someone who had tested positive.One of those deciding to go into self-imposed quarantine was Trump’s pick for White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, although his test result was negative.Another, Matt Gaetz, who traveled with Trump on Air Force One on Monday, said Tuesday that he had also tested negative.Topics :last_img read more

Softbank to supply 300 mil. face masks per month to combat virus

first_imgSoftBank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son said Saturday his technology conglomerate will supply at cost 300 million face masks per month in Japan from May to help overcome shortages caused by a coronavirus epidemic-driven demand spike.In a Twitter post, Son said his group has teamed up with a major Chinese auto and electronics group BYD, which has started making masks.”Softbank will work with the government to supply masks to the medical community, and to as many people as possible,” he said. The deliveries will include 100 million medical or surgical masks to support health care workers fighting the virus on the front lines.Last month, he tweeted that he would donate coronavirus testing kits to 1 million people, but he later said he would donate 1 million masks instead.Topics :last_img read more

Indonesian veteran swimmer Lukman Niode dies of COVID-19

first_img“We are deeply sorry to hear about the death of Lukman Niode, who was one of our prominent athletes in the swimming field,” Gatot said on Friday.Lukman was a gold medalists at the 1983 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore and participated in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, the United States. Following his retirement from the sport, he became an official at the National Sports Council (KONI).According to Gatot, Lukman’s wife had requested to bury him in the Jeruk Purut public cemetery (TPU) in South Jakarta.“I have already delivered the request to the minister and he agreed to help. The final decision depends on the hospital,” Gatot added.KONI head Marciano Norman expressed his condolences. “Indonesia has lost one of its greatest swimming athletes who changed our history thanks to his excellent achievements,” Marciano said in a written statement received by The Jakarta Post on Friday. (dpk)Topics : However, kompas.com reported that he had tested positive for COVID-19.“He underwent a swab test at the hospital on Wednesday and the result came out positive, even though previous two tests [at a different hospital] showed negative results,” Lukman’s brother Idrus Niode said on Friday as quoted by kompas.com.He added that his family was wondering where Lukman had contracted the disease as he showed no symptoms.Youth and Sports Ministry secretary Gatot S. Dewa Broto confirmed the death of the former athlete. Olympian swimmer Lukman Niode passed away in Pelni Hospital, Jakarta, at 12:58 p.m. on Friday at the age of 56.Lukman had been treated at Pelni Hospital since Wednesday because of a pulmonary nodule.last_img read more

Govt disburses $202 million for 5 million poor families via village funds program

first_img“Some regions have yet to disburse the funds because of difficulties in reaching households, such as in Papua and East Kalimantan, as well as because of changes in village administrations,” he said. “These are the main factors that have made the disbursement relatively slow.”The government expects 1.89 million to 4.89 million individuals to fall below the poverty line amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Meanwhile, 3 million to 5.23 million individuals may lose their jobs as the pandemic brings economic activity to a standstill, according to official estimates.In a fourth stimulus package announced on May 19, the government will roll out a Rp 641.17 trillion economic recovery stimulus to strengthen social safety net programs, help micro, small and medium businesses (MSMEs) and bail out state-owned enterprises (SOEs).“We hope it will soften the economic impacts of the crisis but it will not be sufficient to substitute for all losses in spending,” Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said recently.The government plans to increase its spending on village fund cash assistance to Rp 31.8 trillion, after previously allocating Rp 21.2 trillion. It will provide Rp 600,000 per month for three months to families that meet certain criteria, such as having a family member who has lost their job and having not received assistance via the Family Hope Program (PKH) or the staple-food card program. An additional Rp 300,000 may be provided to families for another three months.“We are still considering whether to boost the village funds,” Abdul said. “The regulation has been prepared but we are still waiting for the green light from the President.”Abdul added that the cash assistance would be received by 8 million families in total, far lower than the previous estimate of 12 million families.Topics : The government has disbursed around Rp 2.99 trillion (US$202 million) in cash assistance to almost 5 million families through the village funds program as it mulls increasing the village fund budget to protect households at greatest risk of falling into poverty amid the COVID-19 outbreak.Villages, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Minister Abdul Halim Iskandar said on Wednesday that more than 47,000 villages had disbursed Rp 600,000 to each registered family through both cashless and cash transfers. In total, some 63,000 villages of the nearly 75,000 villages in Indonesia have received village funds from the government, he added.“We will continue to disburse cash transfers despite Idul Fitri [holiday break],” Abdul told reporters during a media briefing. Several challenges had prevented more rapid disbursement, including a lack of infrastructure and changes in village administrations, he said.last_img read more

Pandemic hit to Japan’s first-quarter business spending worse than first thought

first_img“There’s no mistake that there will be a downward revision (of GDP),” said Takeshi Minami, chief economist at Norinchukin Research Institute.“Demand conditions are likely to remain depressed for a longer time. Overall capital spending will likely remain weak as there are moves to stop investments to achieve labour savings,” he said.The government reported the second preliminary GDP data last month based on a MOF survey which had to be revised as the ministry could not collect sufficient data for the preliminary capex figures due to coronavirus disruptions.The government will announce further revisions to the first-quarter GDP figures on Aug. 3 reflecting the revised capital spending data. Japan’s economy shrank a revised 2.2 percent in the first quarter and remains on course for a much deeper slump in April-June.Manufacturers’ spending shrank by 5.3 percent in January-March from the same period a year earlier, compared with an initial estimate of a 0.6 percent increase, while non-manufacturing spending rose 2.9 percent, down from 6.2 percent seen originally.On a seasonally adjusted basis, capital expenditure rose 3.6 percent quarter-on-quarter, also lower than an originally-estimated 6.7 percent increase.Topics : Japan’s companies spent less than initially estimated in the first quarter of the year, revised data showed on Monday, suggesting the coronavirus pandemic’s hit to the economy was deeper than first thought.Capital expenditure rose just 0.1 percent in January-March from the same period a year earlier, government data showed, much lower than the preliminary reading of 4.3 percent growth reported last month.The weaker data, which is used to calculate revised gross domestic figures (GDP) due next Monday, signalled the world’s third-largest economy shrank at a faster pace than initially estimated in the first quarter, said analysts.last_img read more

Russia vows ‘promising’ virus vaccines in September

first_imgTopics : Russia said Wednesday that it plans to begin production of two “promising” coronavirus vaccines in September and October as Moscow races to develop a formula before Western countries.At a meeting chaired by President Vladimir Putin, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova singled out two vaccines under development by a research institute in Moscow and a lab in Siberia.”Today there are two vaccines that are the most promising,” Golikova said. Production of the first, which is being tested by the Moscow-based Gamaleya institute and the defense ministry, is set for September, Golikova said.Another vaccine being developed by the Vektor State laboratory near the Siberian city of Novosibirsk should be launched in October, she added.Russia, which has the world’s fourth-largest coronavirus caseload, hopes to be the first country to produce a vaccine.Scientists in the West have raised concerns about the speed of development of Russian vaccines, suggesting that researchers might be cutting corners after coming under pressure from the authorities to deliver.center_img Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said it was important to achieve a finished product in a “careful and balanced way.””One should be absolutely certain in a vaccine,” he said.Kirill Dmitriev, the head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund which is financing the Gamaleya trials, said the country hoped to be the first to approve a vaccine.”It’s a Sputnik moment,” he told US broadcaster CNN, referring to the launch in 1957 of the world’s first space satellite by Russia. “Russia will have got there first,” Dmitriev forecast.Russia has reported more than 828,000 coronavirus cases and 13,600 deaths so far.last_img read more

High capital requirement poses challenge for Indonesia’s battery industry: Expert

first_imgThe sizeable initial investment required to establish a lithium battery manufacturing facility is one of the primary challenges in developing the country’s battery industry, an expert has stated.Sebelas Maret State University (UNS) School of Engineering professor Muhammad Nizam on Aug. 21 said that while Indonesia had an abundance of nickel, the primary material for lithium batteries, the industry required a huge amount of investment to start producing batteries for electric vehicles (EV).“The million-dollar question is, who would put their money on that sector?” he said during a streamed webinar held by the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN). Industry Ministry director of maritime industry, transportation equipment and defense equipment, Putu Juli Ardika, previously also said the government was vying to attract investment in EV battery production facilities.“EV battery technology is Indonesia’s key to becoming the main player in the [global] EV sector. Therefore, we are pushing for more investment in the EV battery development sector,” he said on July 29, as quoted by kompas.com.The government announced last year the start of development of an approximately $3.2 billion car battery factory in Morowali, Central Sulawesi, backed by Chinese battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), among others.Battery-maker PT International Chemical Industry, widely known for its ABC battery product, has also committed to pouring Rp 207.5 billion ($14 million) worth of investment to build lithium ion battery production facilities, commercial production of which is to commence by 2021, according to the Industry Ministry.The company aims to produce 25 million lithium ion cell batteries per year, equivalent to 256 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity.Besides its capital-intensive nature, the lack of standardization in the EV sector might also be a problem for the future mass use of lithium batteries, as each type of battery would require a different type of charger and treatment due to its electric current and power difference, Nizam of UNS added.“In the future, the main problem with charging stations would be the different types of batteries that EVs use. Each type of battery requires a different plug, capacity and other factors that need to be standardized,” he said.Despite the challenges, Nizam said Indonesia had a huge potential for EV battery demand in the future due to its population size, the growth of the global EV industry and the government’s support for low-emission vehicles.According to his calculation, if 10 percent of scooters and motorcycles in Indonesia were converted into electric scooters, the demand for electric power through batteries would reach 15 gigawatts, adding that electric scooters could become the primary choice for short-haul vehicles in the future.“Electric motorcycles and battery producers should aim to reach a range of 100 kilometers per charge for the motorcycle to reach its economic factor,” he said.Topics : As the world’s largest producer of nickel, Indonesia has been eyeing a more strategic position in the global supply chain for the development of lithium batteries and eventually, electric cars.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, in his state of the nation address on Aug. 14, reiterated the government’s commitment to develop the downstream industry, including for nickel ore, which is expected to be developed as the main material of lithium batteries. Indonesia applied a ban on the export of the commodity in January.“This will place Indonesia in an even more strategic position in the development of lithium batteries, as the world’s electric vehicle and future technology producer,” Jokowi said.Read also: Jokowi reaffirms Indonesia’s ‘massive downstreaming’ of natural resourceslast_img read more

New York probing whether Donald Trump and the Trump Organization manipulated asset values

first_imgAlan Garten, chief legal officer for the Trump Organization, where Eric Trump is an executive vice president, said the company has tried to cooperate with James, a Democrat, as the Republican Trump seeks a second term in office.”The Trump Organization has done nothing wrong,” Garten said. “The NYAG’s continued harassment of the company as we approach the election (and filing of this motion on the first day of the Republican National Convention) once again confirms that this investigation is all about politics.”James said she began her probe after Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen said in Congressional testimony that the president’s financial statements inflated some asset values to save money on loans and insurance, and deflated other asset values to reduce real estate taxes.She also said Eric Trump was “intimately involved” in one or more transactions being reviewed, and had “no plausible basis” to refuse to testify pursuant to a subpoena. The New York state attorney general is investigating whether Donald Trump and the Trump Organization improperly manipulated the value of the US president’s assets to secure loans and obtain economic and tax benefits, and said Trump’s son Eric has been uncooperative in the civil probe.The disclosure was made in a filing on Monday with a New York state court in Manhattan, where Attorney General Letitia James is demanding that the Trump Organization, Eric Trump and others comply with subpoenas from her office.Lawyers for the attorney general said the subpoenas were issued as part of her “ongoing confidential civil investigation into potential fraud or illegality,” adding there has been no determination that any laws were broken. Four properties are being probed, with a particular focus on a 212-acre (85.8 hectare) property in northern Westchester County, north of New York City, called the Seven Springs Estate.James is examining an apparent $21.1 million tax deduction for Seven Springs for 2015 from the donation of a “conservation easement,” following Donald Trump’s two-decade failure to build a golf course or residential housing on the property.Other properties being probed include 40 Wall Street in downtown Manhattan, the Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles, and the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago.The attorney general said the latter property, which towers a quarter-mile over the Chicago River, has been “omitted” from Donald Trump’s “Statement of Financial Condition” since 2009.James said “significant amounts” of subpoenaed materials have been produced but there is an impasse over other materials.”For months, the Trump Organization has made baseless claims in an effort to shield evidence from a lawful investigation into its financial dealings,” James said. “They have stalled, withheld documents, and instructed witnesses, including Eric Trump, to refuse to answer questions under oath.”In separate litigation, Donald Trump for a year has been fighting to block Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance from enforcing a subpoena seeking eight years of his tax returns, in connection with a criminal probe.A federal appeals court will hear Trump’s arguments on Sept. 1, after a judge refused to void Vance’s subpoena. The US Supreme Court ruled last month that Trump does not deserve immunity from Vance’s probe. center_img Topics :last_img read more