Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 316

Posts Tagged ‘killed’

Has covid-19 killed globalisation?

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 20 Maggio 2020

The open system of trade that had dominated the world economy for decades had been damaged by the financial crash and the Sino-American trade war. Now it is reeling from its third body-blow in a dozen years as lockdowns have sealed borders and disrupted commerce (see Briefing). The number of passengers at Heathrow has dropped by 97% year-on-year; Mexican car exports fell by 90% in April; 21% of transpacific container-sailings in May have been cancelled. As economies reopen, activity will recover, but don’t expect a quick return to a carefree world of unfettered movement and free trade. The pandemic will politicise travel and migration and entrench a bias towards self-reliance. This inward-looking lurch will enfeeble the recovery, leave the economy vulnerable and spread geopolitical instability.The world has had several epochs of integration, but the trading system that emerged in the 1990s went further than ever before. China became the world’s factory and borders opened to people, goods, capital and information (see Chaguan). After Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008 most banks and some multinational firms pulled back. Trade and foreign investment stagnated relative to gdp, a process this newspaper later called slowbalisation. Then came President Donald Trump’s trade wars, which mixed worries about blue-collar jobs and China’s autocratic capitalism with a broader agenda of chauvinism and contempt for alliances. At the moment when the virus first started to spread in Wuhan last year, America’s tariff rate on imports was back to its highest level since 1993 and both America and China had begun to decouple their technology industries.Since January a new wave of disruption has spread westward from Asia. Factory, shop and office closures have caused demand to tumble and prevented suppliers from reaching customers. The damage is not universal. Food is still getting through, Apple insists it can still make iPhones and China’s exports have held up so far, buoyed by sales of medical gear. But the overall effect is savage. World goods trade may shrink by 10-30% this year. In the first ten days of May exports from South Korea, a trade powerhouse, fell by 46% year-on-year, probably the worst decline since records began in 1967.The underlying anarchy of global governance is being exposed. France and Britain have squabbled over quarantine rules, China is threatening Australia with punitive tariffs for demanding an investigation into the virus’s origins and the White House remains on the warpath about trade. Despite some instances of co-operation during the pandemic, such as the Federal Reserve’s loans to other central banks, America has been reluctant to act as the world’s leader. Chaos and division at home have damaged its prestige. China’s secrecy and bullying have confirmed that it is unwilling—and unfit—to pick up the mantle. Around the world, public opinion is shifting away from globalisation. People have been disturbed to find that their health depends on a brawl to import protective equipment and on the migrant workers who work in care homes and harvest crops.
This is just the start. Although the flow of information is largely free outside China, the movement of people, goods and capital is not. Consider people first. The Trump administration is proposing to curtail immigration further, arguing that jobs should go to Americans instead. Other countries are likely to follow. Travel is restricted, limiting the scope to find work, inspect plants and drum up orders. Some 90% of people live in countries with largely closed borders. Many governments will open up only to countries with similar health protocols: one such “travel bubble” is mooted to include Australia and New Zealand and, perhaps, Taiwan and Singapore (see article). The industry is signalling that the disruption to travel will be lasting. Airbus has cut production by a third and Emirates, a symbol of globalisation, expects no recovery until 2022.Trade will suffer as countries abandon the idea that firms and goods are treated equally regardless of where they come from. Governments and central banks are asking taxpayers to underwrite national firms through their stimulus packages, creating a huge and ongoing incentive to favour them. And the push to bring supply chains back home in the name of resilience is accelerating. On May 12th Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, told the nation that a new era of economic self-reliance has begun. Japan’s covid-19 stimulus includes subsidies for firms that repatriate factories; European Union officials talk of “strategic autonomy” and are creating a fund to buy stakes in firms. America is urging Intel to build plants at home. Digital trade is thriving but its scale is still modest. The sales abroad of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft are equivalent to just 1.3% of world exports.The flow of capital is also suffering, as long-term investment sinks. Chinese venture-capital investment in America dropped to $400m in the first quarter of this year, 60% below its level two years ago. Multinational firms may cut their cross-border investment by a third this year. America has just instructed its main federal pension fund to stop buying Chinese shares, and so far this year countries representing 59% of world gdp have tightened their rules on foreign investment. As governments try to pay down their new debts by taxing firms and investors, some countries may be tempted to further restrict the flow of capital across borders.Don’t be fooled that a trading system with an unstable web of national controls will be more humane or safer. Poorer countries will find it harder to catch up and, in the rich world, life will be more expensive and less free. The way to make supply chains more resilient is not to domesticate them, which concentrates risk and forfeits economies of scale, but to diversify them. Moreover, a fractured world will make solving global problems harder, including finding a vaccine and securing an economic recovery.Tragically, this logic is no longer fashionable. Those three body-blows have so wounded the open system of trade that the powerful arguments in its favour are being neglected. Wave goodbye to the greatest era of globalisation—and worry about what is going to take its place. (font: The Economist)

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At least 58 people are killed and 515 injured in a shooting in Las Vegas

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 3 ottobre 2017

las vegasLas Vagas FOR the past four years, country-music fans have gathered on a 15-acre lot across from the Mandalay Bay Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip for the Route 91 music festival. On October 1st Jason Aldean, a honey-voiced singer from central Georgia, was closing out the festival when a shooter opened fire on the crowd from the 32nd storey of the hotel. Social-media videos showed revellers ducking, hiding and running from bursts of automatic-weapon fire.
The horrific event lasted just a couple of hours: Las Vegas police received their first report of gunfire at 10.08pm; shortly before midnight police announced that their sole suspect was dead; he is believed to have committed suicide. The suspect was Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old resident of Mesquite, Nevada, a small town about 80 miles north-east of Las Vegas, on the Nevada-Arizona border.
Joe Lombardo, sheriff of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, said the shooting was the act of “a solo actor…a lone wolf”. Police found a number of guns in Mr Paddock’s hotel room. He appears to have killed at least 58 people and wounded at least 515, making this the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
American politicians routinely warn against “politicising” mass shootings. Although they take to the airwaves to discuss airline safety in the wake of a plane crash or security measures after a terrorist attack, discussing gun laws after a lunatic shoots scores of people to death—asking whether, perhaps, the ease of obtaining weapons in America might have something to do with the frequency with which mass murderers kill people with firearms—is understood to somehow be in bad taste. So let’s not mention the massacres at Port Arthur and Dunblane, which prompted Australia and Britain to pass more restrictive gun laws that dramatically reduced the risk of dying by gunshot in both countries.This week the House of Representatives could pass the “Hearing Protection Act”, which rolls back restrictions on gun silencers. It was supposed to be taken up in June, but was postponed after a gunman opened fire on a congressional softball game. Separate legislation in the House would allow holders of concealed-carry permits to carry their weapons in other states with more restrictive licensing—effectively gutting state-level concealment restrictions. As Barack Obama said after a married couple slaughtered 14 people in San Bernardino, California with legally bought guns, “We’ve become numb to this…This is a political choice we make to allow this to happen every few months in America.” (By The Economist)

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Campaign for justice

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 5 aprile 2012

Sanford, FL – More than 50 new campaigns have been started on in recent weeks, calling for the repeal of state “Stand Your Ground” laws. The petitions appeared on the site after Trayvon Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, launched a petition calling for justice for their son. More than 2.2 million people worldwide have signed their petition. The “Stand Your Ground” measures, versions of which have been adopted in Florida and 24 other states, allow someone in reasonable fear of serious bodily harm to employ deadly force in their own defense, with no obligation to retreat first.The laws have been subject to increased scrutiny following the death of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin at the hands of self-appointed neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman in Sanford, FL. Since the launch of Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin’s petition in early March, dozens of new petitions have been created on calling for Zimmerman’s arrest. At least 58 campaigns call for major changes to “Stand Your Ground” laws in Florida and other states.One petition is calling for justice for Brandon Baker, a Florida man shot and killed soon after Trayvon by a man using the “Stand Your Ground” law as a defense. It has received over 2,000 signatures. In Wisconsin, the family of Bo Morrison started a petition on calling on the state to repeal its “Castle Doctine” law, which allegedy allowed a man to shoot and kill the unarmed 20-year-old in early March. According to reports, Morrison was hiding under a porch after a party was broken up when the homeowner legally shot and killed Morrison.

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Hostages killed in Baghdad church raid

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 2 novembre 2010

Baghdad, Iraq – The Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) has claimed responsibility for an attack on a Catholic church in Baghdad which claimed the lives of at least 52 civilians. Our Lady of Salvation church in the Karrada neighbourhood of central Baghdad was stormed on Sunday by the ISI, the name that Al Qaeda in Iraq now operates under. Around 100 members of the congregation held hostage for 2 hours while attackers demanded release of Al Qaeda prisoners in Iraqi and Egyptian jails. Iraqi police entered church after 2 hours; but many hostages had already been killed; all 8 terrorists reported to have detonated suicide vests. Attack follows pattern of recent threats and ongoing persecution of Iraq’s Christian community. Analysts available for comment:
Michael O’hanlon is senior author of the Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan Index projects at the Brookings Institution. He has commented frequently for the media on developments in the Kurdistan region.
Mark Fowler is an Associate at Booz Allen Hamilton and a former senior CIA officer. He is a Middle East specialist and served numerous tours overseas and in Washington DC. He has particular expertise on Iran and Iraq, and speaks Farsi.
Abdallah Schleifer is a veteran journalist who has covered the Middle East for American and Arab media for more than thirty years. From 2006 to 2007, he was Washington Bureau Chief for the Al Arabiya TV network, and has previously worked for NBC, The New York Times, and The Jerusalem Star. He currently serves as Professor Emeritus at the American University in Cairo.
Meir Javedanfar is Director of the Middle East Economic and Political Analysis Company, which carries out analysis of 16 Middle Eastern countries from its offices in Tel Aviv, Israel. He is co-author of The Nuclear Sphinx of Tehran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and The State of Iran, an investigation into the state of the Iranian nuclear program.
Rene Guitton is an acclaimed author and scholar focusing on the subject of interfaith relations and social integration. He has frequently commented on issues relating to Christian communities in the Middle East. He grew up in North Africa and today lives in Paris

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Killing of United Nations staff in Kabul

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 19 agosto 2009

The following statement was issued by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: The Secretary-General is deeply distressed by the news that two Afghan United Nations staff members were killed, and a third injured, in a suicide attack in Kabul earlier yesterday, which reportedly killed seven people and wounded many more.  The Secretary-General offers his deepest condolences to the families of those killed and his best wishes for a rapid recovery to those who were injured.

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