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  • What if 17-year-old boys ran the government? 'Boy State' has answers

    Golocal247.com news

    In the summer of 2017, husband-and-wife documentary filmmakers Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine read a news article that seized their attention. Boys State, a summer program sponsored by The American Legion, might be described as the political equivalent of Model U.N. or moot court. Every year, 1,100 teens in states across the country come together to build a mock state legislature, debate mock bills and hold mock elections, culminating in a gubernatorial contest.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 06:00:27 -0400
  • The U.S. can't change China

    Golocal247.com news

    It has not gotten wide attention thanks to the country falling to pieces, but the Trump administration has all but declared a new cold war against China. In a recent hardline speech at the Nixon Library, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that "today China is increasingly authoritarian at home, and more aggressive in its hostility to freedom everywhere else." He argued that economic development had made China more authoritarian, not less, and it had abused the international trade system to steal jobs, production, and intellectual property from the United States.However, it's not just Republicans. Democrats have also taken a much harder line on China of late — indeed, some Biden campaign ads attack Trump from the right. "Trump said he would get tough on China," says one. "He didn't get tough, he got played."It would be a great mistake for American politicians to bluster their way into a high-stakes international conflict. The United States' severe internal problems make a mockery of the idea of standing up to China in the name of freedom, and confrontation would surely lead to disaster. Meanwhile nothing short of the future of the planet is riding on successful diplomatic engagement.On first blush, the Trump administration's stance on China is utterly preposterous. Pompeo raises worries about China's authoritarianism, but he is part of an administration that is straight-up trying to steal the 2020 election. Trump is a classic budding tinpot dictator down to his ill-fitting suits, and the rest of the Republican Party (with a couple minor exceptions) would not object to setting up a Chinese Communist Party-style dictatorship in this country — so long as they were in charge and could prevent poor people from getting any welfare. Trump and the GOP are a million times' greater threat to American freedom than China ever could be. Similarly, Pompeo's complaints about human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims ring hollow given Trump's own Muslim ban and migrant concentration camps. So does his attempt to blame the coronavirus pandemic on CCP misrule, because Trump so obviously screwed up the U.S. response. Most of Western Europe has gotten it under control, just like China — only in America has it been allowed to rage basically unchecked.All that said, Pompeo is right that the last several decades of American diplomatic policy towards China did not work as expected. President Nixon engaged with China with the objective of trying to split off the CCP from the Soviet Union (which did work), and also to coax the CCP towards liberal democracy (which did not). Every following president up to Obama followed a similar path, particularly during the '90s, when credulous faith in neoliberal economics was at its height. China got permanent normal trade relations in 2000 partly on the knee-jerk faith that economic prosperity would lead to political freedom.What actually happened was that the number of U.S. manufacturing jobs plummeted by about 20 percent in just four years after 2000, as manufacturers shipped them to China, and starting about 2013 under President Xi Jinping, the CCP leadership consolidated more and more power at the top. It turns out it is perfectly possible to reconcile fast economic growth with brutal tyranny.Pompeo might be a hypocrite, but he is also not wrong about China's slide towards abject totalitarianism. The CCP really is committing an attempted cultural genocide of the Uighurs in Xinjiang. There are perhaps a million Uighurs in reeducation camps, many have been sent around the country as slave labor, and many Uighur women have been forced to take contraception, had their pregnancies aborted, or been sterilized. Their cities are subject to a staggering level of constant surveillance, and their cultural and religious practices are being stamped out.Across the rest of China, the CCP has developed perhaps the most advanced and intrusive form of Orwellian dragnet surveillance ever created — designed not to catch criminals or terrorists, but to create a nation of cringing, subservient sheep who will obey government demands instantly and turn in their fellow citizens for expressing political dissent.All rather alarming! But that raises the question of just what the United States could do about it, even supposing Joe Biden were to take office in 2020 and restore some semblance of functioning democratic government. The plain fact is that the American government has limited purchase on the internal politics of any large state — and there is none larger or more powerful than China. Its economy is already larger than the U.S. economy, and its state institutions frankly work much better than ours do (which isn't saying much, to be fair). An actual war is out of the question given China's nuclear capacity, and I would not be surprised if even a low-level conflict turned out very badly for the U.S. military, given how thoroughly the Pentagon is infested with corruption, and how U.S. military capacity is built around vulnerable aircraft carriers. In any case, the U.S. is 20 years deep into a spree of imperialist wars of aggression that ruined an entire region of the globe. America is in no position to tell anyone how to conduct their affairs.Indeed, it is fairly plausible to think that America has subtly enabled China's turn towards more sinister authoritarianism simply through its appallingly inept governance. If you were a CCP ideologue looking for evidence that Western democracy and liberal freedoms enable irresponsible, idiotic demagogues who cruise to office by whipping up mob hysteria and then proceed to bungle every single decision they make in office, the United States under George W. Bush and Donald Trump would be Exhibit A.The best thing America could do vis-à-vis China is reform itself, setting a good example while maintaining warm relations with other nations around the Pacific rim — particularly Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, and New Zealand. If the U.S. were not such a shambling basket case and egregious hypocrite, the CCP might feel a bit more shame about its dysfunctional economy, moderately serious corruption, or murderous Islamophobia, and our allied nations would not be having second thoughts about depending on a superpower that is visibly pulsating with rot.However, the U.S. does have one major lever it can and should use to influence China — trade policy. As I have explained before, the Chinese income distribution is hugely unequal, which means that its workers cannot afford to consume all that they produce. America has enabled that inequality by running a huge trade deficit — allowing China to avoid a depression of underconsumption by sending its surplus to the U.S. A President Biden could use trade policy not to incoherently lash out, as Trump has done, but to get China to cut down its inequality and increase American imports. That would help workers in both countries.But as a general matter, the U.S. should abandon any expectation that it can change Chinese politics much from outside. At best America might push here or prod there, but ultimately the fate of China is in the hands of the Chinese people. That does not mean diplomatic engagement is unimportant — on the contrary, as Kate Aronoff argues at The New Republic, we simply cannot avoid negotiating over climate change, because China is by far the largest source of emissions today. It means that instead of conditioning diplomatic talks on trying to force China into undertaking some sweeping change, America should simply look for areas of mutual interest where a deal might be struck. Climate is certainly one of those areas, given how extremely vulnerable most of China is to sea level rise or other problems — the enormous Three Gorges Dam was recently under severe strain due to extreme rain and flooding.Tyrannies have historically not lasted all that long, but it's impossible to say how long the CCP might hold out given its unprecedented techno-dystopia. America has no choice but come to some kind of way to live peacefully with China, and soon. Because we can't live without international action on climate.More stories from theweek.com The case against American truck bloat Trump's payroll tax deferral is confusing, maybe unworkable, top U.S. business group warns Trump has pretty much eliminated daily intelligence briefings. Biden has already started receiving them.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 05:55:02 -0400
  • Mocimboa da Praia: Key Mozambique port 'seized by IS'

    Golocal247.com news

    After days of fighting, IS is said to have driven government forces out of Mocimboa da Praia.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 05:53:39 -0400
  • Buses and trains disinfected as North Korea ramps up virus measures

    Golocal247.com news

    Temperature checks, hand sanitisers, and face masks are being enforced across Pyongyang's public transport system as North Korea intensifies its fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Pyongyang had yet to confirm whether he tested positive, but such a source might be more diplomatically convenient for the North than if the virus arrived from China -- its key ally -- where it first emerged. Pictures Wednesday showed passengers -- all with face coverings -- lining up for hand sanitiser before boarding buses in Pyongyang.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 05:48:13 -0400
  • Chinese diners told to order less and cut food waste

    Golocal247.com news

    Chinese diners are being told to order less food as part of a campaign by President Xi Jinping to tackle waste and embrace thrift. "Operation empty plate" aims to overturn the ingrained cultural habit of ordering extra food for group meals. Xi was quoted in state media this week as saying food waste is "shocking and distressing," adding it was "necessary to maintain crisis awareness regarding food security".

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 05:40:36 -0400
  • Lebanon Parliament meets after blast, government resignation

    Golocal247.com news

    Lebanon's Parliament met Thursday in the first session since the tragic explosion last week that changed the face of the capital and forced the government to resign. It then moved to discuss the resignation of nearly a dozen lawmakers who quit last week in protest of the government's handling of the Aug. 4 blast, which also left more than 6,000 injured. It still was not known what caused the fire responsible for igniting nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in Beirut's port.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 05:39:10 -0400
  • Experts warn Spain is losing the 2nd round in virus fight

    Golocal247.com news

    Not two months after battling back the coronavirus, Spain’s hospitals are beginning to see patients struggling to breathe returning to their wards. The deployment of a military emergency brigade to set up a field hospital in Zaragoza this week is a grim reminder that Spain is far from claiming victory over the coronavirus that devastated the European country in March and April. Authorities said the field hospital is a precaution, but no one has forgotten scenes of hospitals filled to capacity and the daily death toll reaching over 900 fatalities a few months ago.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 04:47:24 -0400
  • Israel successfully tests advanced missile defense system

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    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 03:51:15 -0400
  • Virus exposes economic, racial divide in French health care

    Golocal247.com news

    Festering beneath France’s promise of guaranteed health care for all lie deep disparities across economic and racial lines — differences laid painfully bare by the COVID-19 crisis. After the pandemic broke out, they set up daily food and hygiene kit distribution points, and launched a phone application to coordinate NGOs distributing food — as well as translating public health information into the multiple languages spoken in the diverse communities. Jacqueline Mendy, a Black mother of two, was among the fifty or so people who came to a tent that Banlieues Santé set up last week in her local park in the Paris suburb of Bondy, whose surrounding Seine-Saint-Denis region saw France’s highest mortality rate from the virus.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 03:06:56 -0400
  • Why the Mauritius oil spill is so serious

    Golocal247.com news

    The location of the Mauritian oil spill means the environmental consequences could be long-lasting.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 02:21:59 -0400
  • Abandoned by state after explosion, Lebanese help each other

    Golocal247.com news

    In the southern Lebanese town of Haris, a newlywed couple is living in one of Safy Faqeeh’s apartments for free. The explosion, which was centered on Beirut’s port and ripped across the capital, left around a quarter of a million people with homes unfit to live in. Others like Faqeeh extended a helping hand even farther, taking to social media to spread the word that they have a room to host people free of charge.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 02:10:34 -0400
  • Israel strikes Gaza militant sites after incendiary balloons

    Golocal247.com news

    The Israeli military said it struck Hamas militant sites in the Gaza Strip early Thursday in response to continued launches of explosives-laden balloons from the Palestinian territory into Israel. The military said its targets included a compound used by Hamas' naval force and underground infrastructure and observation posts. Israel and Hamas have fought three wars and numerous smaller flareups since the Islamic militant group seized control of Gaza in 2007.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 01:42:03 -0400
  • 'Impossible': School boards are at heart of reopening debate

    Golocal247.com news

    Helena Miller listened to teachers, terrified to reenter classrooms, and parents, exhausted from trying to make virtual learning work at home. This Board of Trustees in suburban South Carolina is like thousands of school boards nationwide, where members are tackling a simple but hefty question — do we return to school amid a pandemic?

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 01:02:37 -0400
  • Radical or moderate? Trump paints Democratic ticket as both

    Golocal247.com news

    President Donald Trump's campaign is struggling to define California Sen. Kamala Harris, the newly announced running mate for Democratic rival Joe Biden. With Trump lagging in the polls less than 90 days before the election, his team faces a pivotal choice.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 00:27:18 -0400
  • Biden, Harris lash Trump at debut of historic VP choice

    Golocal247.com news

    Joe Biden and Kamala Harris pushed past their one-time political rivalry to deliver an aggressive attack on the character and performance of President Donald Trump in their historic first appearance as running mates. The physical debut of the Democratic ticket on Wednesday was without parallel in recent political annals. The coronavirus prevented Biden and Harris from appearing before the large, adoring crowd that typically greets a presidential nominee and his or her running mate.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 00:25:41 -0400
  • 'One of us': South Asians celebrate Harris as VP choice

    Golocal247.com news

    Two words summed up Tamani Jayasinghe’s exuberance for the first Indian American and Black woman to run for vice president: “Kamala Aunty.” Harris, the daughter of a Jamaican father and an Indian mother, often focuses on her identity as a Black woman. At times during her political career, as she ran for California attorney general and senator, some didn’t realize she was of Indian descent.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 00:23:51 -0400
  • Warning on Russia adds questions about Senate's Biden probe

    Golocal247.com news

    Even before last week's intelligence assessment on foreign election interference, Republican Sen. Ron Johnson was facing criticism from Democrats that his investigation of presidential candidate Joe Biden and Ukraine was politically motivated and advancing Russian interests. The investigation is unfolding as the country, months removed from an impeachment case that had centered on Ukraine, is dealing with a pandemic and confronting the issue of racial injustice.

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 00:21:00 -0400
  • N.Korea nuclear reactor site threatened by recent flooding, U.S. think-tank says

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    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 22:55:30 -0400
  • Harris and Biden make first appearance as running mates and excoriate 'failure' Trump

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    * Democratic pair say president has left America ‘in tatters’ * Biden introduces Harris as ‘the next vice-president of the US’Joe Biden and Kamala Harris accused Donald Trump of leaving the US “in tatters” by failing to lead the country through the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout, as they debuted the Democratic presidential ticket the party hopes will defeat him in November’s election.In their first joint campaign event at a high school in Biden’s home town of Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and his running mate vowed to lead the nation through three major national crises: the pandemic, the struggling economy and a reckoning with systemic racism.“My fellow Americans, let me introduce to you for the first time your next vice-president of the United States – Kamala Harris,” Biden said, in front of just a small gathering of reporters. The usual cheers from supporters were missing due to coronavirus precautions, which meant members of the public could not attend.Biden highlighted her career as a California senator and former prosecutor, and hailed her – the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants – as the first Black woman and first person of Asian descent to join a major party presidential ticket.“This morning, all across the nation, little girls woke up, especially little Black and brown girls, who so often feel overlooked and undervalued. Today, just maybe, they’re seeing themselves for the first time in a new way,” Biden said.“Her story is America’s story. Different from mine in many particulars, but also not so different in the essentials.”The pair soon began to excoriate the Trump administration. Taking the stage after Biden, Harris accused Trump of myriad “failures in leadership” on coronavirus and running a previously successful economy “straight into the ground”.> I am incredibly honored by this responsibility – and I am ready to get to work> > Kamala Harris“I am incredibly honored by this responsibility – and I am ready to get to work,” she said, adding that Biden’s “empathy, his compassion, his sense of duty to care for others … is why I’m so glad to be on this ticket.”She said: “America is crying out for leadership. Yet we have a president who cares more about himself than the people who elected him. A president who is making every challenge we face more difficult to solve.”Pointing to the crises that have gripped the country, Harris said: “This is what happens when we elect a guy who just isn’t up for the job. Our country ends in tatters and so does our reputation around the world.”Biden grew emotional, fighting back tears, as Harris recalled her friendship with his eldest son, Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015. In his remarks, Biden said his son held Harris in high esteem, an opinion he said influenced his final decision. Upended by the pandemicIn another election year, Biden and Harris might have appeared before a roaring crowd in a diverse battleground state like Arizona or Georgia, raising their clasped hands skyward in a projection of victory. But the event on Wednesday, like nearly every aspect of the 2020 race, has been upended by the pandemic.Biden and Harris joined their respective partners, Jill Biden and Doug Emhoff, after finishing their speeches. The couples stood apart on either side of the podium, smiling and waving. Emhoff stretched his hand out toward Jill Biden in a show of affection that was also a sign of the times, as he remained several feet away.Despite a thunderstorm, dozens of supporters arrived at the high school hoping to glimpse the new presidential ticket. Most lived in Delaware and were longtime supporters of the Bidens. Two women sat in lawn chairs holding a sign that said “Delaware loves Biden-Harris”. Some wore Black Lives Matter T-shirts while others wore the signature green and pink of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, which Harris joined as a college student at Howard University in Washington DC.Dina Griffin, who wore a pink dress with a matching blazer and a pin that said “VOTE”, said she had hoped Biden would choose Harris but seeing an image of them together for the first time after the announcement brought “tears of joy”.“A lot of people have lost hope and are feeling upset and depressed about the way this country has gone in the last few years,” said Griffin. “So this moment is just a renewed spark and hope that we can come together to heal our divisions.”Like Clark Benjamin, a retired educator and Delaware resident, most who turned out on Wednesday had already voted for Biden many times over as senator and then as the vice-president – and planned to do so again in 2020. Though Biden already had her vote, Benjamin said choosing Harris added energy and dynamism to the Democratic ticket.“It’s historic,” she said, explaining why she chose to spend her afternoon outside in the summer humidity. “That’s why I had to be here.”But the choice, some said, also revealed something new about the candidate.“It showed that he was listening to the people who are speaking up around the world and asking for equity, justice and fairness,” said Debbie Harrington, another member of the AKA sorority, referring to the nationwide anti-racism protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.“His pick said: I hear you. And not only did I hear you, I understand you and I’m going to do something about it.”In response to the wave of protests this spring against racism and police brutality, Harris emerged as a prominent voice on issues of racial justice. Her advocacy in favor of criminal justice legislation has eased some concerns among progressives over her record.They delivered the speech on the third anniversary of white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, an event that Biden said was, for him, a “call to action”.If they prevail in November, Biden and Harris are likely to inherit a country still reeling from the pandemic that the Trump administration has failed to contain. Young protesters are demanding sweeping change to political and economic power as well as a governing agenda that addresses systemic racism, the climate crisis and economic inequality. Attacks from TrumpThe president’s campaign has launched a scattershot assault on Harris, attacking her as “radical” and leftwing, even though progressives in her party view her as more moderate. On Wednesday, Trump used his press briefing to attack Harris with language that nodded to America’s pejorative “angry Black woman” stereotype.The US president told reporters he had not watched the pair’s campaign event in Delaware, except for “just a moment” of each speech. But recalling the Democratic primary, he said: “I watched her poll numbers go boom, boom, boom down to almost nothing and she left angry, she left mad.“There was nobody more insulting to Biden than she was. She said horrible things about him, including accusations made about him by a woman where she I guess believed the woman. Now all of a sudden she’s running to be vice-president, saying how wonderful he is.”Trump also continued to hammer away at the integrity of the election, in what many see as a tactic to sow distrust in the democratic process. He criticised Democrats for seeking $3.5bn for universal mail-in voting, describing it without evidence as “a system riddled with fraud and corruption”. Five states conduct elections almost entirely by mail and studies have shown the level of fraud is close to 0%.Trump described Democrats as a bigger threat to the election than China, Russia or Iran, adding: “They also want $25bn additional for the post office, so the post office can handle this vast amount of ballots that are being sent at random all over the place. They have no idea where they’re going.”David Smith contributed reporting

    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 21:10:46 -0400
  • 75 years later, 1 million Japanese war dead still missing

    Golocal247.com news

    Seventy-five years after the end of World War II, more than 1 million Japanese war dead are scattered throughout Asia, where the legacy of Japanese aggression still hampers recovery efforts. The missing Japanese make up about half of the 2.4 million soldiers who died overseas during Japan’s military rampage across Asia in the early 20th century. The rest are lost in the sea or buried in areas that can't be reached because of fighting or security or political reasons, according to Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, which is in charge of support measures for bereaved families.

    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 20:37:10 -0400
  • UN chief: pandemic threatens peace and risks new conflicts

    Golocal247.com news

    U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Wednesday that the COVID-19 pandemic not only threatens gains in fighting global poverty and building peace but risks exacerbating existing conflicts and generating new ones. The U.N. chief told a Security Council meeting on the challenge of sustaining peace during the pandemic that his March 23 call for an immediate cease-fire in conflicts around the world to tackle the coronavirus led a number of warring parties to take steps to de-escalate and stop fighting. “Yet, regrettably, in many instances, the pandemic did not move the parties to suspend hostilities or agree to a permanent ceasefire,” Guterres said.

    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 19:14:05 -0400
  • Russia just approved a COVID vaccine—but that’s not necessarily good news

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    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 18:00:00 -0400
  • Let it flow: Trump administration eases showerhead rules

    Golocal247.com news

    The Trump Administration wants to change the definition of a showerhead to let more water flow, addressing a pet peeve of the president who complains he isn't getting wet enough. Publicly talking about the need to keep his hair “perfect,” President Donald Trump has made increasing water flow and dialing back long held appliance conservation standards — from light bulbs to toilets to dishwashers — a personal issue. Since 1992, federal law has dictated that new showerheads shouldn’t pour more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute (9.5 liters).

    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 17:59:35 -0400
  • US commander: Islamic State threat in west Syria growing

    Golocal247.com news

    Elements of the Islamic State group are working to rebuild in western Syria, where the U.S. has little visibility or presence, the top U.S. commander for the Middle East warned on Wednesday. In the region west of the Euphrates River where the Syrian regime is in control “conditions are as bad or worse” than they were leading up to the rise of the Islamic State, said Gen. Frank McKenzie. McKenzie said insurgents are operating with some degree of freedom, and he said the U.S. and its allies have little hope the Syrian regime will do anything to tamp down the group there.

    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 17:48:11 -0400
  • Nigeria court fines pirates for seizing ship in Gulf of Guinea

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    Three men have been ordered to pay about $52,000 (£40,000) each for kidnapping a ship's crew for ransom.

    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 17:12:03 -0400
  • Mauritius oil spill: Almost all fuel oil pumped out of MV Wakashio

    Golocal247.com news

    There has been a race against time to remove the fuel oil, amid fears that the ship will break up.

    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 17:00:54 -0400
  • For Americans waiting on virus aid, no new relief in sight

    Golocal247.com news

    Negotiations over a new virus relief package have all but ended, with the White House and congressional leaders far apart on the size, scope and approach for shoring up households, re-opening schools and launching a national strategy to contain the virus. President Donald Trump's top negotiator, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, tried to revive stalled talks Wednesday, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer dismissed the “overture,” saying the Trump administration is still refusing to meet them halfway. Congressional Republicans are largely sitting out the talks.

    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 16:18:14 -0400
  • Tear gas at Portland protests raises concern about pollution

    Golocal247.com news

    The presence of U.S. agents has diminished in Portland, Oregon, but city officials are still cleaning up tear gas residue from the streets, dirt and possibly the storm drains after the chemical was used frequently by both police and federal officers during more than two months of often-violent protests over racial injustice. The Portland Bureau of Environmental Services cleaned and took samples from six storm drains last week around the federal courthouse and a building with a police station and jail that have been targeted in nightly demonstrations.

    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 15:50:04 -0400
  • Editorial Roundup: US

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    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 15:28:16 -0400
  • Egyptians wrap up voting for Senate seats with no power

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    Egyptian election authorities began counting ballots Wednesday after polls closed in a vote for two-thirds of the seats in the newly restored but powerless Senate, the upper chamber of Parliament. The Senate was restored as part of constitutional amendments approved in a referendum last year. Voters paid little attention since the 300-seat body — unlike the House of Representatives, the lower chamber — has no legislative powers and will have mainly an advisory role.

    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 15:20:21 -0400
  • State Department rejects further probe of diplomat's remarks

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    A report Wednesday by the State Department’s internal watchdog confirms news accounts that staffers at the U.S. Embassy in Britain have accused Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets and the U.S. ambassador, of making “insensitive” and “inappropriate” remarks. Johnson denies the allegations. State Department officials replied to the watchdog office that no further investigation is necessary because Johnson is “well aware of his responsibility to set the right tone for his mission,” according to the report.

    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 15:15:46 -0400
  • How American Guns Are Fueling U.K. Crime

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    NORTHAMPTON, England -- Josh Bains was 28 when he was killed after an argument over a drug debt of about $50 just a few miles from the English village where he grew up -- with a gun that had traveled thousands of miles from America.His was one of a rising number of gun deaths in recent years that have British authorities worried about an expanding smuggling pipeline from the United States. The gun used to kill Bains in October 2018 -- a Taurus Model 85 -- is banned outright in Britain."I think Americans wouldn't believe that something that they produce could affect people like us," said Clare Bains, who was Bains' stepmother. "If there weren't all these guns, they wouldn't be seeping out of America all over the world."Gun deaths remain extremely rare in Britain, and very few people, even police officers, carry firearms. But the growing presence of U.S. weapons on the streets, which has not previously been widely reported, comes as serious violent crime, like murders and stabbings, has risen sharply.Most illegal firearms in Britain still come from Europe. But investigators seized hundreds of smuggled U.S. guns last year, a small figure by international standards, though experts say the number that police do not discover is likely to be far higher.British police have traced some of the smuggled U.S. guns back to loosely regulated gun fairs in states like Florida. Investigators have also seized U.S. weapons being smuggled on a container ship and hidden in car engines.Now authorities fear that after Brexit, when borders with the European Union will be more tightly regulated, the illegal gun trade from the United States could accelerate, especially given the Trump administration's broad support for the gun industry."A major Trump administration goal is to globalize the firearms trade and facilitate exports, and if you're facilitating legal exports, it's almost inevitable that there will be an illegal diversion of weapons into criminal markets in other countries," said Aaron Karp, a senior consultant for the Small Arms Survey in Geneva and a lecturer at Old Dominion University in Virginia.The United States is one of the biggest legal exporters of firearms in the world, but hundreds of thousands of guns also illegally leak out of the country and fuel homicides, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean.In Britain, criminal groups primarily use knives for acts of violence. Knife crime reached a record high last year, accounting for around 2 out of every 5 killings. By comparison, only 33 people were killed with a gun.But the number of illegal guns in circulation is growing. In the last year alone, gun seizures by Britain's national policing body, the National Crime Agency, more than doubled, and firearm offenses have soared by 38% since 2015. Authorities worry that violence could surge if criminal groups switch from knives to guns. A BBC investigation linked a single firearm to 11 different gunmen and multiple murders over a six-year period."The homicide rate is already a problem without easy access to guns," said Robert McLean, a researcher on organized crime in Britain based at the University of the West of Scotland. "Once in circulation, a single firearm can move around criminal networks and can be used in a number of shootings and killings."In many cases, the trade in smuggled guns is driven by gangs who traffic drugs from cities to smaller towns and rural areas -- known as "county lines" gangs -- like Bains' killers.In the last few years, the National Crime Agency has found that gangs favor "cleaner" antique or deactivated weapons that are harder to trace. Those weapons are sold legally at gun shows or by collectors, many in the United States, and are easier to buy because they can only fire if they are illegally reactivated.One former London gang leader and gun trafficker said that he had handled more than 50 firearms and sold many more to gangs across Britain. Sometimes, he said, the smuggled guns had arrived in the country inside boxes containing infant highchairs."I got my first gun from one of my elders when I was like 13, 14," said the former gang leader, now 23, speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid arrest or retribution from his old associates. He stepped away from the gang three years ago with the help of Gangsline, a London-based organization that helps gang members leave crime.He recalled being warned that "if you've got a knife and someone has a gun, he isn't going to hesitate to shoot." His gang trafficked dozens of new and used weapons, including American Glocks, he said, with prices reaching 15,000 pounds, about $20,000. Today, investigators say the smuggling pipeline is well established.At least 782 U.S. guns have been discovered by police since 2017, data obtained by The New York Times shows. The figure is from the National Ballistics Intelligence Service, which tracks illegal firearms in Britain, and includes guns that came directly and indirectly to Britain from the United States.Gun control is one of the few issues that unites a politically divided Britain. Where the United States has had horrific mass school shootings for decades, it took just one such attack in Britain to usher in a ban on private ownership of handguns.That attack -- a shooting in 1996 in which 16 children and their teacher were murdered at Dunblane Primary School in Scotland by a gunman who then killed himself -- remains the deadliest mass shooting in British history. Since then, only one other mass shooting has taken place in Britain.But even with the tougher laws, handguns have still found their way into even some of the quietest corners of the country, like Bains' hometown.He grew up in a red-bricked cottage overlooking golden fields in Rothersthorpe, a small village in England's East Midlands where the biggest event was often sheep escaping the local farm. His father, Dave Bains, says his son fell in with a "bad crowd" after his parents separated and soon began selling cannabis.On the night of his murder on a street corner in Upton, Northampton, Bains fought for his life, according to security camera footage, struggling to disarm an attacker who pointed a Glock at him. As Bains stumbled on the curb, a second attacker pulled out a revolver and shot him through his lung.Bains' parents watched his final moments during the trial of the two men convicted of his murder, Jerome Smikle and Kayongo Shuleko, both in their 20s, who were part of a county lines drug-trafficking gang, police said. They were sentenced to life in prison last summer."I guess the justice is they're in prison, but Josh shouldn't have been killed in the first place," said Bains' mother, Lyn Knott. "If they didn't have a gun, of course he'd still be alive."The gun was discovered three months after the murder, when a dog walker found it in a nearby field. The killers had not removed the serial numbers on the weapon, and police traced it back to Florida."We don't often get people being shot in nice estates in sleepy villages in Northampton," said Alastair White, a senior detective with Northamptonshire Police, who led a team of around 80 on the investigation. "It was headline news."The presence of U.S. guns became even more evident several months later, in July 2019, when officers with the National Crime Agency raided a rusted blue container ship as it arrived at the port of Ambarli in northern Turkey after traveling nearly 6,000 miles from Florida.Inside some of the shipping containers were old American cars, and hidden inside were 57 firearms and 1,230 bullets that investigators say were meant for gangs in Britain and Bulgaria. The guns were purchased legally at antique gun fairs in Florida, the investigators said, and then smuggled to Turkey to be illegally reactivated before sale.Matthew Prefect, who leads the National Crime Agency's firearms unit, said officials were concerned enough about smuggled guns that his unit had almost doubled its staffing in the last two years as the agency tries to suppress the firearms market to try to prevent handguns becoming as common as knives."If suddenly guns became the weapon of choice as opposed to a knife," Prefect said, "we'd be in a really difficult situation."The first high-profile case involving illegal U.S. firearms was in 2010, when a former Marine named Steven Greenoe was prosecuted for smuggling dozens of guns into northwestern England on commercial flights.While gun trafficking is almost always a secondary source of income for gangs, the Greenoe case showed that it could be a highly profitable trade, with guns that he bought for around $400 selling for a "three times markup," according to Gregg Taylor of the National Ballistics Intelligence Service.One of the 70 guns that Greenoe smuggled was used in a murder in Scotland, another in a shooting in Manchester and a third in an attempted shooting near Liverpool, the court heard. Ten years later, the majority of the guns he trafficked to Britain remain missing."Weapons that don't matter in the United States, because America deals in millions, routinely have an enormous impact in the U.K. because of the extraordinary scarcity of handguns," said Karp of the Small Arms Survey. "Dozens can have an enormous impact on British crime."Today, Bains' father and stepmother have turned their home into a tribute to their lost 28-year-old. Framed photographs of Bains are placed throughout the house. His stepmother still can't shake the memory of seeing her seemingly healthy stepson in a coffin."I haven't seen a healthy person in a coffin before," Clare Bains said. "I've always seen ill people or old people, and that was a shock."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 14:40:33 -0400
  • How Belarus' 'booming' IT sector could turn the tide of election protests

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    Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko reportedly likes to take credit for developing Belarus' "booming" information technology sector, although it was reportedly really championed by an opposition candidate, Valery Tsepkalo, who was disqualified from running and fled the country at the end of July. Fast forward a few weeks, and it appears Lukashenko may have incidentally boxed himself in by claiming responsibility.The so-called "last dictator in Europe" is trying to squash protests that have ignited throughout the country following his disputed election victory against challenger Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who is now in Lithuania. Belarusian law enforcement authorities have been shown violently apprehending protesters, and the government cut off internet access to disrupt communication. But on Wednesday, more than 300 CEOs of IT companies and investors signed a letter demanding a new election as well as an end to state-sponsored violence. Otherwise, they claimed, they'll head elsewhere.It's unclear if all those demands would be met by Minsk, but there's seemingly reason to believe the warning could at least force Lukashenko's hand in some capacity, given how he seems to be aware of the industry's importance to the country, which is already dealing with hefty amounts of emigration. > Unlike rentier regimes like Russia and Iran that can rely on oil and gas to sustain their budgets, Belarus is more reliant on human capital. Already 2.5-3.0 million have left. More departures of the best and brightest will do even more damage to the economy. Enough. https://t.co/eQGdHJPxDU> > -- Michael McFaul (@McFaul) August 12, 2020More stories from theweek.com The case against American truck bloat Trump's payroll tax deferral is confusing, maybe unworkable, top U.S. business group warns Trump has pretty much eliminated daily intelligence briefings. Biden has already started receiving them.

    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 14:35:00 -0400
  • WHO keen to review Russian vaccine trials

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    The World Health Organization said on Wednesday it was looking forward to reviewing clinical trials of a potential coronavirus vaccine developed in Russia. President Vladimir Putin declared Russia the first country to approve a vaccine on Tuesday even though final stage testing involving more than 2,000 people was only due to start on Wednesday. Russia's vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya research institute and the defence ministry, is among the 28 in clinical evaluation but is listed by the WHO as only being in Phase 1.

    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 14:20:53 -0400
  • France seeks cooperation from Iran, Russia on Lebanon

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    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 13:35:06 -0400
  • Report: At least 41 children alleged assaults at nonprofit

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    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 13:28:48 -0400
  • Macron warns Iran against 'interference' in Lebanon

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    French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday warned Iran against any interference in Lebanon after the gigantic blast last week that has prompted a political crisis in the country. In telephone talks with President Hassan Rouhani, Macron emphasised the "necessity for all the powers concerned... to avoid any outside interference and to support the putting in place of a government which can manage the emergency," the Elysee said. Lebanon's government under Prime Minister Hassan Diab resigned this week following days of demonstrations demanding accountability over the explosion at the Beirut port last week that devastated entire neighbourhoods of the city.

    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 13:25:15 -0400
  • Can Trump aide Meadows move from deal breaker to deal-maker?

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    Mark Meadows dropped to a knee in then-Speaker John Boehner's office, the still-new congressman apologizing for joining those trying to oust the Republican leader. Two years later, Meadows did it anyway, leading the House Freedom Caucus' push for Boehner's departure in 2015. Now, as President Donald Trump's chief of staff, Meadows is an unorthodox pick for the White House role, trying to negotiate a coronavirus relief package on Capitol Hill.

    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 13:06:57 -0400
  • YVY Life Sciences, A Cannabis Success Story In Uruguay

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    This article was originally written by Hernan Panessi for El Planteo. Published here with permission.Green open spaces and sunshine. The dream of the countryside. The longing for a quiet life: fresh air, slow times, calm. Thus, in that search, a couple of serial entrepreneurs - her an Uruguayan, him a South African - settled in Canelones, in rural Montevideo, and founded YVY Life Science, a medical cannabis company that works with local producers and stands under the regenerative agriculture model.The story is long and has its twists. In 2003, at the age of 18, the young Andrea Kruchik Krell traveled to Israel to study economics. There she founded Microfy, a microfinance organization that helped refugees from Africa to tackle ventures in order to survive."As a result of that experience, I knew that I was going to be an entrepreneur all my life, that I was going to be interested in social impact and that that was my purpose," says Andrea, from her home in Uruguay.Related: Bella Thorne Talks About Her New Cannabis Strains, Shares Exclusive PhotosLater on, in 2005, Andrea met Kevin Nafte, who became her partner both in life and in business. Kevin was born in South Africa and was in Israel studying Government and Diplomacy. During this period, Kevin had created Telalivit, a platform that helped immigrants find a place to live and work in community.Until, suddenly, their projects started mixing: "Someday we have to do something together," they said to each other.A new trip, new adventures and new ventures arrived: they moved to California, United States. More precisely, they went to live in Silicon Valley in order to develop an application to help find parking spots.And, sideways, life, love, pain.Kevin suffers from psoriatic arthritis, a type of inflammatory arthritis whose symptoms include joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. And, for this condition, he approached cannabis. "It did him good," says Andrea.Meanwhile, when the dream of entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley was running smoothly, some talks began to twist destiny again. His cousin joined Flow Kana, one of the largest cannabis companies in America. And, from there, they joined forces and a new opportunity arose.Related: From Humble Origins To M In Annual Revenues: Rebel Spirit Is Poised For Cannabis Growth"His aim was to help small cannabis growers in California," he recalls.And that changed them.Quickly, Kevin joined Flow Kana as head of operations: the company grew (they went from having a staff of 7 to about 70) and, most importantly, this growth allowed them to develop a bond with the farmers of North California.They moved there.What am I doing with my life?, Andrea wondered.Gone was Silicon Valley and ahead they had a new move, a new history to weave."On those farms, Kevin was in his element. In Israel, he lived in a Kibbutz, an agricultural commune, and he always dreamed of returning to that lifestyle. The relaxed atmosphere is very good for him, "recalls Kruchik Krell.Once there, Andrea got together with women who taught her how to make cannabis extract from plants. "We had plenty and we started working a lot. We helped a group of farms to go legal. So we had access to many genetics," he adds.Because of his health issues, Kevin takes a very harmful pharmaceutical drug. "At some point we need something natural," they thought. Therefore, they were using different genetic extracts to find natural relief. "Kevin was like a guinea pig: at first it was trial and error, until we came up with a good dosage, the right levels of cannabinoids that showed results and lowered his inflammations," he comments.Again with the suitcases and once again after the adventure. With that in mind and with the dream of starting a business together, they traveled to Uruguay, the first country in the world to legalize cannabis.He did not picture it, he did not anticipate it, nor did he want to do it at all: "Well, yeah, we're going to Uruguay," he jokes today, while at that time his experience in Silicon Valley was increasingly blurred.In 2017 they settled in Charrua lands. At first, they lived with Andrea's parents and helped each other with savings from their California days. These were times of meetings, of expanding their contacts, of getting together with other entrepreneurs to share experiences, and getting to know IRCA, the Cannabis Regulatory Institute.A year later, YVY Life Science started."At first I didn't know how many years I was going to stay in Uruguay, but my mother was happy that I was going to be around. We were parents with Kevin and, now that I think about it, starting a family and a project at the same time is something very intense. It was quite a challenge," she stirred with emotion.Her first steps were based on the inspiration of the "sustainable farm in the middle of nowhere" model. Then, they received support from Leandro Martinelli, a friend and agronomist who has powerful know-how on the subject and who, according to Andrea, "has the most spectacular plants in the world."Meanwhile, it was Martinelli who trained the Uruguayan farmers, who were used to working with organics but who had never handled cannabis.Time to undertake new challenges, to set the wheel in motion. In this way, they received the first economic boost that came from friends and family funds. "We had a super positive response because they are people who have known us for a lifetime. They know well what kind of people we are." With that boost, they raised about $250,000.Related: Repairing New York's Economy And Community By Legalizing CannabisLater on, the Argentine entrepreneur Facundo Garreton joined in, bringing investors under the concept of smart money. Smart money? "CEOs of companies that have added value for what we do, such as technology, agriculture, health, pharmaceutical, and others," explains Andrea. With this new round, they added another $1,500,000.Their structure of small grower's allowed them to expand without too much investment in infrastructure and they went from growing about 300kg to project about 3 metric tons.In their own words: "Part of the investment goes to the expansion of the crop, which requires basic infrastructure. In addition, we created a hub, a center for collection, storage, and training in regenerative agriculture. We generate the seedlings to give to all the farms. We are starting a research project to develop our own genetics. And with that, we want to have different ratios of CBD and THC. We are also in the process of obtaining another industrialization license for final products. The idea is to be a sustainable brand of medical cannabis."From YVY Life Science they plan to be the example of how agriculture can be different: sustainable, without damaging the ecosystem and that is nourished by biodiversity. In fact, the United Nations even recommends returning to the small farm production system, its main source of inspiration.With things underway, during March and April 2020, YVY Life Science had its first harvest. And now, they are in the process of drying and packaging. They are already negotiating with buyers from Switzerland, Israel, and Australia.In the midst of setting up the business, one of the most outstanding points of recent times resulted from its approach to farms of women's cooperatives in the interior of Uruguay.Andrea stated: "We were looking to partner with farms. We start with one and then we look to add one or two more. We arrived at the Calmañana Cooperative, which began in the 1980s, with a rural crisis in which women took control of the situation. They were meeting and getting their own clients. When I got together with them, It gave me a flash of my microfinance days working with women."Related: Cresco Labs, Curaleaf, Green Thumb, Tilray: Here Are The Cannabis Companies Currently HiringAnd she continued: "They joined the cultivation of medicinal cannabis knowing that they were taking a great risk. For example, last year we did not commit to a sale price. They risked it. And now that we have more possibilities to export, not only will they be compensated according to fair trade, which is one of our values, but their experience helps more women dare to join."In the future, Andrea and Kevin aspire to reach a final product for consumers, based on a model of social and environmental impact. "We are targeting a wellness industry, with several verticals: from medicinal products to general wellness products, such as food supplements," he projects. And she concludes: "We want to develop a lifestyle."Just in case you were wondering, "YVY" means "soil" in Guarani, an indigenous language of Uruguay.Read the original Article at El Planteo.See more from Benzinga * Average Earnings Fall, Consumer Price Index Rises In July * 60 Stocks Moving In Wednesday's Mid-Day Session * Understanding Dynavax Technologies's Unusual Options Activity(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 12:55:43 -0400
  • Global Ceramic Filters Industry

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    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 12:46:00 -0400
  • Radical or moderate? Trump paints Democratic ticket as both

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    President Donald Trump's campaign is struggling to define California Sen. Kamala Harris, the newly announced running mate for Democratic rival Joe Biden. With Trump lagging in the polls less than 90 days before the election, his team faces a pivotal choice.

    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 12:32:09 -0400
  • Russia’s ‘first’ COVID vaccine has health officials concerned

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    As nations and NGOs around the world scramble to develop a safe and effective vaccine against the coronavirus, Russia claimed on Tuesday to already have one. "A vaccine against coronavirus has been registered for the first time in the world this morning," Russian President Vladimir Putin said on state TV during a press conference outside his residence. "One of my own daughters has tested the vaccine," Putin continued.

    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 12:30:19 -0400
  • Global Ceramic Inks Industry

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    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 12:26:00 -0400
  • Russia's coronavirus vaccine 'not certain to work' according to scientists who developed it

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    The Russian coronavirus vaccine hailed by President Vladimir Putin is not certain to work and has side effects including swelling, fever and pain, according to scientists who developed the drug. Mr Putin announced on Tuesday that Russia had approved the world’s first vaccine against the virus, saying his own daughter had taken part in clinical trials. Officials said the vaccine would be offered to medics as early as this month and rolled out to the general population from October. But documents on an official Russian health ministry website said the vaccine had been tested on too few volunteers over too short a time to draw conclusions about its effectiveness, and described a number of side effects. “Adverse events...were met frequently or very frequently,” according to the report from Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, which developed the vaccine. “It is not possible to define the occurrence of adverse events more accurately because of the limited number of participants in the research.” Thirty-eight volunteers took part in the trials over 42 days. Side effects included swelling, hyperthermia, lethargy, headaches, itching at the vaccination site, decreased appetite, diarrhea and cold-like symptoms. Over the course of the trials, 144 “adverse events” were recorded, more than 30 of which were ongoing.

    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 12:17:29 -0400
  • Global Ceramic Membrane Industry

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    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 11:46:00 -0400
  • EXPLAINER-The U.S. push to extend U.N. arms embargo on Iran

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    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 11:33:53 -0400
  • Russia is moving too fast with COVID-19 vaccine, U.S. experts warn

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    American vaccine experts are alarmed by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement that Russia will begin vaccinating against the coronavirus.

    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 11:27:35 -0400
  • UK not 'match fit' for post-Brexit trade talks, claims New Zealand's deputy prime minister

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    Britain attempting multiple Brexit trade deals at once is like a cricketer who hasn't played in 30 years attempting to win the Ashes, New Zealand's deputy prime minister said on Wednesday. New Zealand has blamed Britain for slow progress towards a free trade deal and accused it of not being "match fit" for international negotiations. British officials are currently in formal trade talks with the European Union, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and the US and racing to finalise as many deals as possible before the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31. Winston Peters, New Zealand's deputy PM, said he was "very frustrated" with the progress made on a post-Brexit agreement with Britain, adding: "We just need the British to realise that you can do more than one deal at a time." Mr Peters blamed the UK’s 47-year membership of the EU for it not being ready to pursue multiple trade deals around the world at once. The European Commission negotiates trade deals on behalf of the whole bloc, which means the UK has not negotiated a trade deal since it joined the forerunner of the EU in 1973. New Zealand, which is also in formal trade negotiations with the EU, negotiates its own trade agreements rather than as a bloc with other countries. Mr Peters said: "We've had to look offshore for a long time and so we are seriously match fit when it comes to that, in a way that I don't believe that the UK is because the UK has been locked up in the EU all these years. "In terms of their trading skills and finesse and their firepower – without being critical – they've never had an outing lately."

    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 11:14:53 -0400
  • Global Ceramic Textiles Industry

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    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 11:06:00 -0400
  • Hand Sanitizer Market Size Worth US$ 15.3 Billion by 2026 |CAGR: 9.15%| UnivDatos Market Insights

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    UnivDatos Market Insights released a report titled "Hand Sanitizer Demand Analysis - COVID-19 Impact Market by Product (Gel, Liquid, Foam, Others), End-Users (Hospitals, Households, Restaurants & Hotels, Government & Commercial Offices, Other Public Places), Sales Channel (Pharmacies, Supermarkets/Hypermarkets, Departmental/Convenience Stores, Others (Online, Direct & Institutional Sales, etc.)) and Region (United States, Canada, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, United Kingdom, India, Iran, Turkey, Netherlands, Rest of World) - Current Analysis and Forecast (2020-2026)." Global hand sanitizer Market was valued at US$ 2,615.4 1 million in 2019 and is anticipated to witness very high growth in 2020 and would reach a market size of US$ 15,352.6 million by the end of 2020. Further, the market is expected to witness a CAGR growth of 9.15% during the 2021-2026 period.

    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 11:00:00 -0400
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