VW boss: ‘We have no forced labour’

first_imgVolkswagen has defended its decision to continue operating a car plant in Xinjiang, a Chinese region mired in allegations of large-scale human rights abuses by the state.Evidence that hundreds of thousands of Uighurs and other minorities are being detained in camps, or used as forced labour in factories, has led some multinational companies to cut ties with the region, despite China’s insistence that the claims are untrue.- Advertisement – The BBC’s John Sudworth spoke to VW’s CEO Stephan Wollenstein, who said they do “not have forced labour” at their factory in Uruqmi.Read more: – Advertisement – China Muslims: Volkswagen says ‘no forced labour’ at Xinjiang plantcenter_img – Advertisement –last_img read more

Don’t ‘misinterpret new normal’: Govt expects new team to meet health, economic goals

first_imgThe Industry Ministry also issued its own coronavirus guidelines that allowed factories to open amid the large-scale social restrictions, when the Quarantine Law actually stipulated a suspension of workplace activities.“There is no synergy between government ministries or agencies,” Enny said in a phone interview. “This is evident in the fact that very little of [the COVID-19 response budget] has been spent.”As the pandemic worsens, Bank Indonesia (BI) has forecast that domestic economic growth will contract by 4.8 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2020. The Finance Ministry expects the country to fall into recession in the third quarter of the year. Indonesia’s GDP growth fell to a 21-year low in the first quarter, at 2.97 percent year-on-year.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo signed on Monday a presidential regulation to establish the team to optimize coordination between government ministries and agencies, said Airlangga.The team also comprises the Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investment, the Coordinating Legal, Political and Security Affairs Minister, the Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister, the Finance Minister and Home Minister.“The task is to oversee the national economic situation and COVID-19 developments, including the availability of test kits, vaccine and antibody production, as well as multilayered economic programs,” said Airlangga. Economic recovery “will take time”, he added.The economic recovery task force will map out sectors hit hardest by the pandemic and consult with other government ministries and regional administrations to design a program in response, said Budi, who also serves as deputy SOEs minster.Budi said on Monday the government would maintain the current national economic recovery policy, including social assistance. The government has allocated Rp 695.2 trillion (US$47.6 billion) for its COVID-19 response. The largest chunk of the budget is allocated for social safety net programs.“One of our main tasks is maintaining Indonesia’s economic growth,” said Budi. “We will maintain it by protecting jobs and people’s purchasing power.”With additional support from the team, the government is planning to step up its testing capacity to 30,000 specimens per day, according to Doni, who also serves as the head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB). The government is currently testing around 20,000 specimens every day.The plan to increase testing is designed to better detect infected people as regional administrations have reported that 80 percent of confirmed cases show no symptoms.“We hope this collaboration can increase collective awareness and public compliance,” said Doni. “If compliance can improve, we hope the cases will decline.”Bhima Yudhistira, an economist at Indef, said on Monday that there should be no trade-off between public health and the economy if the government could speed up the disbursement of the COVID-19 stimulus, especially the social aid.“It is somewhat nonsensical to expect people to return to grocery stores and offices when the confirmed cases are still rising,” Bhima told the Post in a phone interview. “The urgent thing to do is to strike a balance between public health and the economy by getting the pandemic under control.”Topics : The government launched on Monday a new team to tackle both the public health and economic aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic as the country’s economy restarts amid a surge in cases.The National Economic Recovery and COVID-19 Response Team will be led by Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartato as chairperson and State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir as executive chairperson.“We do not want the public to misinterpret the ‘new normal’ term by returning to their activities freely without complying with [public health] protocols. At the end of the day, the economy will suffer,” Erick told a virtual press briefing. The team will come up with an outline of a plan by Tuesday and submit it by Wednesday to the team chairman. Head of the economic recovery task force Budi Gunadi Sadikin and head of the COVID-19 response task force Doni Monardo will join the team to coordinate and integrate the country’s policies on handling the pandemic from the public health and economic aspects.The establishment of the new team comes at a time when Indonesia’s confirmed COVID-19 cases surged following the government’s decision to reopen the economy. Indonesia’s confirmed COVID-19 cases surpassed the official toll in China on Saturday, reaching 88,214 on Monday, with 4,239 dead.Enny Sri Hartati, an economist at the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (Indef), said Indonesia needed better leadership rather than a new government team. The main problem hindering the country’s COVID-19 response was miscoordination between government ministries and regional administrations, she added.When the Jakarta administration was planning to suspend intercity and interprovincial buses in late March, for example, the then acting transportation minister Luhut Pandjaitan blocked the plan.last_img read more

UK Pensions Regulator launches probe into BHS scheme

first_imgSuch action might include issuing contribution notices, financial support directions or restoration orders.The collapsed company has two defined benefit pension schemes, with the larger of the two having a pension deficit of £571m (€734m).BHS had been sold to Retail Acquisition by its long-term owner businessman Philip Green in 2015.TPR warned that its investigation into the BHS pension scheme could take a considerable amount of time.“Such cases are complex,” the spokesperson said.Frank Field, chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, announced the parliamentary committee would now be inquiring into the PPF, and in particular, how the receipt of pension liabilities from BHS would affect the fund and its users.“We need as a committee to look at the Pension Protection Fund and how the receipt of pension liabilities of BHS will impact on the increases in the levy that will now be placed on all other eligible employers to finance the scheme,” he said.Field said the committee would then need to judge whether the law was “strong enough to protect future pensioners’ contracts in occupational schemes”.The PPF had already been working with the pension scheme since 3 March when the company was in financial difficulties, but these discussions are now at an end because of the newly launched administration process.Malcolm Weir, head of restructuring and insolvency at the PPF, said: “Following the BHS CVA last month, we had been in discussions to find a solution that was in the best interests of the pension schemes and the company.  “However, following the BHS announcement that it has filed for administration, the PPF will now work with the Pensions Regulator and other parties to secure the best outcome for the pension schemes.”Scheme members can be assured they are protected, Weir said.Meanwhile, the scheme is continuing to pay benefits to its pensioners at PPF levels. On a PPF basis, the larger of the pension schemes has a shortfall of between £200m and £300m.Duff & Phelps, which has been appointed as administrators of the BHS group, said recent negotiations by the company’s shareholders to find a buyer from the business had been unsuccessful and that property sales had not materialised as expected.“Consequently, as a result of a lower-than-expected cash balance, the group is very unlikely to meet all contractual payments,” he said.Duff & Phelps said BHS would continue to trade as usual while the company sought to sell it as a going concern. The company is understood to have received more than 30 expressions of interest in buying the company, with a few of these from potential buyers that could be considered serious.At this stage, it is still possible that the company could be sold to a party that would take on the pension liabilities, but all depends on complex negotiations including many stakeholders. The UK Pensions Regulator (TPR) has confirmed it is investigating the case of the pension scheme of the collapsed department store chain BHS.A TPR spokesperson said: “We can confirm we are undertaking an investigation into the BHS pensions scheme to determine whether it would be appropriate to use our anti-avoidance powers.”BHS, which was owned by Retail Acquisition, was put into administration yesterday after attempts by shareholders to find a buyer fell through.TPR has the power to act where it believes an employer is deliberately attempting to avoid its pension obligations, leaving the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) to take on these liabilities. last_img read more

Russian Divers Reach 416 Meters Record in Sea of Japan

first_imgRussian military divers have successfully carried out a dive to a depth of 416 meters for the first time in the history of the Russian Navy.The Navy Research Institute and a separate expedition detachment of divers aboard the Igor Belousov Pacific Fleet rescue ship descended into the deep sea of the Sea of Japan.The dive was carried out using a GVK-450 deep-water diving complex, located on board the vessel. The GvK-450 is aimed at expanding the Russian Navy’s capabilities to carry out search-and-rescue operations for submarines in distress.For three days, the divers, under the control of specialists, underwent compression in the pressure chambers, then with the help of a diving complex they went into the depth, where they examined the underwater water area and deployed the national flag of Russia, and also conducted a training session on connecting the air supply hoses.Now the divers are said to be undergoing a decompression process. They are to leave the diving chamber on November 18, according to reports.last_img read more

URSS Rebels prepare for Nebraska doubleheader weekend

first_imgNORTH PLATTE, Neb. – The United Rebel Sprint Series will make the trek to the Cornhusker State this weekend as the third race of the Myers Racing Engines National Points Championship kicks off the weekend Saturday at Lincoln County Raceway in North Platte and a Sunday trip to the lightning fast Dawson County Speedway in Lexington for a regional show.Look for many Sprint Series of Nebraska drivers to bolster the fields for both races as it is an opportunity to pick up valuable URSS/IMCA RaceSaver points as well. With the recent rescheduling of the Valentine Speedway show to Aug. 20 in Glen Rock, Wyo., look for some of the Colorado Region drivers to run for national and regional points as well.So far out of the 13 races run, 10 different drivers have made their way to victory lane. Only two drivers have multiple wins, Luke Cranston with three and Zach Blurton with two. The parity the series has enjoyed over the last few seasons is once again its biggest drawing card. The intent was to create a balanced field and it has proven to be just that.Saturday’s Ron Williams/Dick (Snoose) Myers Memorial at North Platte was originally scheduled as a regional point race. But through the efforts of North Platte racer John Webster it blossomed into a stop on the national points schedule. The race will pay $1,500 to win with increased payouts throughout the field. Also, numerous contingency awards will be given out to the racers at the event to make it a race to attend.Sunday night, the Rebels return to Lexington to tackle the always racy Lexington Speedway. This track has been a driver’s favorite since the birth on the series. Look for McCook drivers Darren Berry and Nate Berry and last week’s Boothill Shootout winner Jason Martin, Jack Dover and other drivers from Nebraska to battle for bragging rights both nights.last_img read more

Rodgers: Suarez is player of the year

first_img Rodgers continued: “He has been phenomenal – that is not just an opinion as his manager. If I look across the board this is a guy who had to play alone up front because he was the only striker we had for nearly six months and never missed a day’s training and played every minute of every game. “His performances have spoken for themselves. There’s many great players in this league but for me he has been absolutely outstanding.” The goalscoring burden on Suarez has been eased by last month’s £12million signing of Daniel Sturridge, who should he score at the weekend will reach five Premier League goals in six matches. Rodgers thinks the strike duo’s partnership, which has blossomed incredibly quickly, will make a difference to Liverpool in the final three months of the campaign. “They are two top players but they have got different qualities and different strengths,” he added. “You have seen Luis’ all season – his cleverness and his movement and his intensity in his game. “When I came in everyone was talking about his finishing, how many chances he missed and whatnot but you look at his conversion rate this year, his chances and the goals he has put away, he has been brilliant. “He is a terrific focal point for the team. Daniel is a different type. He is hungry for goals, wants to play on the shoulder and his movement is really good. People will associate him with pace and power and running ability and shooing ability but when both of them play in and around each other, they find space really well. “With Daniel, you have got that possibility to play in behind and penetrate and go over the top and in between and when he is away he is very hard to catch because he is so fast. They are a real potent threat so that partnership and that cohesion is growing all the time and it is pleasing to see.” Press Association Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes he has the player of the year in Luis Suarez and hopes the striker can lead the Reds on a late-season charge.center_img Suarez has 25 goals this season, 18 of which have come in the league, to put him one behind Manchester United’s Robin van Persie and three ahead of Tottenham’s Gareth Bale – both fellow contenders for this season’s star man award. He is two away from becoming the first Liverpool player to score 20 league goals in a campaign since Fernando Torres five seasons ago. Suarez will start his 90th match for the Reds against Wigan on Saturday and Rodgers believes the player’s recent record compares to the best. Asked who he would pick as player of the year, Rodgers’ choice was obvious. He said: “I couldn’t look much further than Luis.” last_img read more

Berbatov joins Monaco

first_img The 33-year-old arrived in west London from Manchester United in August 2012 and quickly made an impact, netting 15 goals and being named player of the season. However, Berbatov has failed to hit the same heights this term and his agent, Emil Dantchev, last month claimed he wanted to leave Craven Cottage. Press Association The Bulgarian forward has now got his wish, Monaco announcing his signing on loan until the end of the season. “I’m happy, excited and a little bit nervous to be honest,” Berbatov told Monaco’s official website, www.asm-fc.com. “I look forward to starting training with my new team-mates and open a new chapter in my career.” Berbatov will wear the number 15 at Stade Louis II, where he will stay until the end of the season, when his contract with the Cottagers expires. The forward had been linked with a return to former club Tottenham, but will instead join up with a Monaco side second in Ligue 1 and without Colombia star Radamel Falcao for the rest of the campaign due to injury. Speaking about the addition of Berbatov, Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev said: “Dimitar will bring us all his experience and talent. “His coming is of course connected to Radamel Falcao’s injury. He played in big clubs such as Manchester United and he’s a big striker. “We still have two competitions to play and he will be an asset with Emmanuel Riviere, Valere Germain and Anthony Martial. He has a different profile than our other forwards.” center_img Dimitar Berbatov has swapped relegation-threatened Fulham for Ligue 1 title challengers Monaco, penning a loan deal until the end of the season.last_img read more

Persaud edges competitors in GuyanaNRA recorded shoot

first_imgFULLBORE captain Mahendra Persaud edged his competitors last Sunday as the Guyana National Rifle Association (GuyanaNRA) held another recorded shoot at the Timehri Rifle and Pistol Ranges.The competition was held over the 300-, 500- and 900-yard distances after which a grand aggregate was taken.Captain Persaud, who is just back from the Canadian Fullbore National Championship, was in excellent form at the first two ranges, having shot possible scores of 50.4 at the 300 yards and 35.4 at the 500 yards.Ryan Sampson was second at the 300 yards with a score of 49.4. The 500 yards saw Sherwin Felicien also shoot a possible with 35.4.The 900 yards proved to be the most exciting range with heavy winds, causing much distress for the shooters.When the last shot was fired in fading light, many shooters were left in disbelief as the day was won by Mahendra Persaud with an overall score of 117.9 followed by Peter Persaud with 115.7, Sherwin Felicien 112.9 and Ryan Sampson 111.8.The day’s scores saw an overall improvement by shooters as noted by the Full-bore captain when announcing the final results.He stated that this augurs well for the defence of the team-matches at the Championship in October.The full-bore shooters, in remembrance of their late colleague, Mr Richard Fields, who was laid to rest last Wednesday, observed a one minute’s silence on the 900 yards bank.Last Thursday, GuyanaNRA president Brig. Patrick West and the Executive Council also paid their respects to their late vice-president during their Council meeting.Fields was at the time the longest serving Council member.last_img read more

BCB/RHTYSC/GBTI Inter-Secondary School Cricket Tournament

first_imgBerbice High, Port Mourant Secondary advancePLAY in the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB)-organised Rose Hall Town Youth & Sports Club (RHTY&SC)/Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) Region 6 Inter-Secondary School cricket tournament continued recently with several schools advancing to the next round.The tournament is being played between 17 secondary schools in the region and forms part of the BCB’s well-structured developmental programme for youth cricketers.The RHTY&SC is also using the tournament to promote its highly successful ‘Say No to Drugs, Suicide, Crime, Alcohol and Tobacco’ message to schools.The RHTY&SC/GBTI Inter-Secondary School tournament started five years ago but was limited to teams in the Lower/Central Corentyne area.This year, the tournament will include all Secondary Schools in Region 6 and hopefully in 2020 would add schools in Region 5.Scores from matches played:Berbice High defeated Lower Corentyne Secondary by six wickets. Lower Corentyne scored 85 for 6 in 20 overs with Leon Cecil 12, Tameshwar Mahadeo 20, Neil Tilkaram 12.Rajendra Beharry bagged 3 for 13. Berbice High, in response, reached 86 for 4 in 17.5 overs with Zeymul Ramsammy 23, Abdul Ramsammy 25. Leon Cecil got 2 for 16.At Port Mourant ground, Corentyne Comprehensive thrashed Black Bush Secondary by 153 runs. Corentyne Comprehensive made 211 for 4 in 20 overs with Gourav Ramesh top-scoring with 71 and Tyrese Sealey adding 57. Latchman Chandradeo snatched 2 for 33. In response, Black Bush crumbled for 58 all out in 12 overs thanks to Sealey’s 4 for 13 and Ramesh’s 4 for 9.In the other game there, Port Mourant created a huge upset by defeating Corentyne Comprehensive by 4 wickets. Corentyne Comprehensive made 100 all out in 18.2 overs thanks to Mahendra Gopilall, 22, and Hemendra Gurdyal 18. Matthew Pottaya’s 3 for 18 and Rampertab Ramnauth 2 for 1 led the home side’s bowling. In response, Port Mourant got to 101 for 6 in 17.3 overs with Ramnauth’s unbeaten 50, Jai Tika’s 24 and Naresh Veerasammy’s 12 not out.At Albion ground, Lower Corentyne Secondary defeated Winifred Gaskin Secondary by 112 runs. Lower Corentyne piled on 178 for 4 in 20 overs with Leon Cecil 50, G. Harris 23 and Neil Tilkaram 23.Winifred Gaskin were all out for 56 in 12.4 overs, with Dwayne Matheson 21 and D. Hunte 10. Cecil’s 3 for 18 and Vijay Gopilall 2 for 14, along with Neil Tilkaram 3 for 18, destroyed Winifred Gaskin Secondary.last_img read more

Solvay boys basketball tops Skaneateles, 56-46

first_imgWhen the Solvay boys basketball team lost at Christian Brothers Academy on Jan. 11, it seemed, at the time, like an alarming situation.Without leading scorer Justin Scott in the lineup, the Bearcats struggled, at times, to generate consistent production from its other starters, and would have to correct that situation in a hurry.That was because Solvay’s next game was at Skaneateles last Tuesday night, a showdown between two top sectional Class B contenders.The Lakers were 10-1, and even with a loss to Homer the week before it still held the no. 15 spot in the state Class B rankings, fully expecting to assert itself against the Bearcats.Instead, it turned into the most impressive victory of Solvay’s season so far.By a 56-46 margin, the Bearcats controlled matters on both ends of the floor, clamping down on defense, especially in the first half where it never let Skaneateles have many open looks.Building a 32-18 advantage by intermission, Solvay then maintained its lead the rest of the way, answering every Lakers scoring run with one of its own and overcoming Nate Fouts’ 23 points as Jack Whirtley and Tyler Delfavero got eight points apiece.What happened that night carried over into games on Thursday night, with Solvay defeating Hannibal 71-55 and Skaneateles taking its second straight defeat to Syracuse Academy of Science 78-68.Against SAS, the Lakers trailed early, only to tie it 32-32 by halftime before the Atoms outscored them 26-15 in the third quarter to pull in front for good.Nate Fouts did all he could, pouring in 28 points as Jack Whirtley got 15 points and Andrew Neumann had 12 points. But SAS had four players score in double figures, Dale McMillan getting 25 points and Zaccheaus Smith 18 points as Augustine Jusu and Marcus Pasha had 11 points apiece.As this went on, Solvay was at Hannibal and got off to a rough start, trailing 16-10 before a second quarter where it nearly shut out the Warriors during an 18-2 spurt.Able to get away late, the Bearcats saw Brock Bagozzi and Elijah Wright go to the forefront, each getting 20 points as Jaimen Bliss added nine points. Blaine Franklin had six points as Will Evans and Antonio Gonzalez each got five points. In defeat, Hannibal’s Kyle Dixon earned 24 points.It wasn’t until Saturday that Skaneateles broke it skid, outscoring PSLA-Fowler 73-66. Fouts finished with 27 points, helped by Neumann and Miller Weir with 13 points apiece as Tyler DelFavero got nine points and Nick Wamp had eight points.Not to be forgotten in the Class B mix, Marcellus traveled to Chittenango last Tuesday night and found itself in some trouble until rallying late to beat the Bears 62-53.It was a rough start for the Mustangs, who trailed 31-25 at halftime but then slowly made its way back, ultimately relying on a balanced attack to take control late.Matt Kershaw, with 16 points, was one of four Marcellus players to reach double figures. Luke Ingianni had 12 points, with Jared Sammon adding 11 points and Cory Cangemi 10 points as Tristan Jarvi got six points.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story Tags: boys basketballskaneatelesSolvaylast_img read more