World pledges aid for Lebanon, to be delivered ‘directly’ to population

first_imgCalls for calm Trump also called for calm, according to the White House, which said he agreed with other leaders to “work closely together in international response efforts.””President Trump also urged the government of Lebanon to conduct a full and transparent investigation, in which the United States stands ready to assist,” it said.”The President called for calm in Lebanon and acknowledged the legitimate calls of peaceful protestors for transparency, reform, and accountability.”Apart from heads of state and government ministers, Sunday’s conference was attended by UN aid coordinator Mark Lowcock, representatives of the World Bank, the Red Cross, the IMF, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.Israel, with whom Lebanon has no diplomatic relations, did not participate, though Macron said it had expressed a wish to contribute, nor did Iran which wields huge influence in Lebanon through the Shiite group Hezbollah.Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq and the UAE were represented, as were Britain, China, Jordan and Egypt.Macron said Russia and Turkey, with which France’s diplomatic ties have been icy over the Libyan conflict, had indicated their support for the initiative, though they did not take part in the conference.According to the UN, at least 15 medical facilities, including three major hospitals, sustained structural damage in the blast, and extensive damage was caused to more than 120 schools.Thousands of people need food and the blast interrupted basic water and sanitation to many neighborhoods.Pope Francis called Sunday appealed for “generous help” from the international community.France has been sending tons of medical and food aid, dozens of search and rescue personnel and forensic experts to aid the investigation, as well as reconstruction materials.On top of cash aid pledged by nations, Egypt and Qatar have promised field hospitals, Brazil said it would send 4,000 tons of rice, and Spain 10 tons of wheat.”In these horrendous times, Lebanon is not alone,” concluded the conference statement. “The participants agreed that their assistance should be timely, sufficient and consistent with the needs of the Lebanese people, well-coordinated under the leadership of the United Nations, and directly delivered to the Lebanese population, with utmost efficiency and transparency,” it said.USAID acting administrator John Barsa also said Sunday that American help, some $15 million announced so far, “is absolutely not going to the government” of Lebanon.Donor nations urged Lebanon’s authorities to “fully commit themselves to timely measures and reforms”, both politically and economically, in order to unlock longer-term support for the country’s economic and financial recovery.And they said assistance for “an impartial, credible and independent inquiry” into Tuesday’s explosion “is immediately needed and available, upon request of Lebanon.” Topics : Lebanon’s future ‘at stake’ The UN said some $117 million will be needed for an emergency response over the next three months, for health services, emergency shelter, food distribution and programs to prevent further spread of COVID-19, among other interventions.Lebanese President Michel Aoun, who was on Sunday’s group call, thanked Macron for the initiative.”Much is needed to rebuild what has been destroyed and to restore Beirut’s luster,” the Lebanese presidency quoted him on Twitter as saying.”The needs are many and we need to address them quickly, especially before the arrival of winter, which will accentuate the suffering of homeless citizens.”Macron was the first world leader to visit the former French colony after Tuesday’s devastating explosion which killed more than 150 people, wounded some 6,000 and left an estimated 300,000 homeless.While it is not known what started the fire that set off a huge stockpile of ammonium nitrate, protesters say the disaster could not have happened without the corruption and incompetence that have come to define Lebanon’s ruling class.At least 21 people are still missing, and the Lebanese army said Sunday hopes of finding survivors are dwindling.Lebanese people enraged by official negligence blamed for the explosion have taken to the streets in anti-government protests that have resulted in clashes with the army.Macron said it was now up to the authorities of Lebanon “to act so that the country does not sink, and to respond to the aspirations that the Lebanese people are expressing right now, legitimately, in the streets of Beirut.””We must all work together to ensure that neither violence nor chaos prevails,” he added. “It is the future of Lebanon that is at stake.” World leaders on Sunday pledged “timely, sufficient” emergency aid for disaster-struck Lebanon which they vowed to deliver “directly” to a population reeling from the deadly port blast in Beirut.Fifteen government leaders including US President Donald Trump took part in a virtual conference hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron and the UN, pledging solidarity with the Lebanese people and promising to muster “major resources” in the coming days and weeks.A joint statement issued after the emergency meeting in which nearly 30 countries as well as the EU and Arab League participated, did not mention a global amount, but individual nations announced pledges amounting to tens of millions of dollars.last_img read more

Read More

Asset managers see protracted uncertainty plaguing markets

first_imgIn early analyses of the UK’s shock vote to leave the European Union (EU), asset managers stress the uncharted nature of the political process Britain is about to embark on and the prolonged uncertainty this may mean for financial markets.While some firms point to the emergence of buying opportunities following initial market tumbles, others are revising down growth forecasts for the UK.In particular, the UK referendum result – which last night saw 52% of votes cast in favour of leaving the EU against 48% to remain in – heightens the risk of further disintegration of the union by fuelling exit pressure within other countries including Italy, Germany and France, to exit, they say.Strategists and portfolio teams at BlackRock said: “We expect the UK divorce to be messy, drawn out and costly.” It will involve unpacking UK and EU laws and striking trade deals with a spurned EU and the rest of the world, they said.“We expect potential losses in services exports and investment flows to overwhelm any benefits of lower payments to the EU,” BlackRock said.The vote to leave is likely to be a catalyst for a series of highly unpredictable political dynamics, according to Legal and General Investment Management (LGIM)’s Hetal Mehta, European economist, and strategist Christopher Jeffery.They pointed out that UK prime minister David Cameron has so far said that the decision on when to trigger that withdrawal process will be a matter for his successor. “The referendum result is only politically, not legally, binding on the UK government,” the pair said in a commentary. “It is unclear, at this stage, whether the UK’s decision to leave will require ratification by Parliament in the coming weeks.”Since more than two-thirds of members of Parliament supported the ‘remain’ campaign, this is unlikely to be a particularly harmonious process, and a fresh general election cannot be ruled out, Mehta and Jeffery said.Candriam said that, even though the Lisbon Treaty of 2007 clarified the process for a member state to exit the EU, what would actually happen now was far from clear.“The referendum is, indeed, only an advisory referendum,” it said, adding that it could be weeks or months before formal approval comes from Parliament.It pointed out that, when Greenland decided to leave the European Community in 1982, it took three years to reach a deal. “The UK has 65m inhabitants, it exports a myriad of goods and services to the EU – 40% of its exports – and is financially deeply integrated with the EU,” Candriam said.The negotiation process between the EU and the UK is bound to be long and complex, with numerous political and legal hurdles, and the effect of this on the economy will be difficult to assess, it said.At State Street Global Advisors, global CIO Rick Lacaille, said: “While the vote to leave has immediate market implications, over the longer term, observers will be wary of the impact the vote has on other nationalist and protectionist movements – both in Europe and elsewhere.”Nationalist parties will feature prominently in elections next year in Germany and France, he predicted.“There is the potential for knock-on consequences for market-moving issues like trade, labour mobility and foreign investment,” Lacaille said, adding that just how the EU balanced facilitating a swift UK exit to reduce risk as quickly as possible, and discouraging similar movements in other countries, was key.David Page, senior economist at AXA Investment Managers, said the referendum result had prompted it to revise down its UK GDP forecast for 2017 to 0.4% from 1.9%.The UK economic outlook is likely to be hit severely by the decision to leave, and the economy seems to have sagged under the uncertainty of the referendum itself, with deferral of activity, he said.“The decision to leave the EU looks likely to make much of this deferral permanent,” Page said. Rory Bateman, fund manager and head of UK and European equities at Schroders, said the sharp fall seen in the UK stock market was a de-rating and not a fundamental earnings decline.“Given that over 78% of FTSE 100 revenues are derived overseas, as well as the incremental effect from weaker sterling, it seems unlikely there will be a significant earnings hit, despite the expectations the UK economy will suffer post the Brexit result,” he said.Value opportunities could emerge, and firms with global exposure may outperform, Bateman said.“At some point, there will be a compelling value opportunity for European equities, induced by the market rapidly pricing in a worst-case scenario driven by Brexit,” he said.Bateman said that, even though there appeared to be no Brussels ‘Plan B’ for the Brexit outcome, EU authorities may quickly say that a Free Trade Arrangement is unacceptable without free movement of people.“However, the UK is unlikely to accept free movement of people given that immigration has been the central tenet of the Brexit campaign,” he said.On the manufacturing side, the UK could well adopt World Trade Organisation (WTO) tariff arrangements, which would at least be quantifiable across different sectors, he said – for example, 10% for the car industry.The market would quickly price the consequences of the tariff change in, he predicted.Neuberger Berman struck a calming note in its commentary, cautioning against reacting as if this were a second “Lehman moment”.“The likelihood of at least medium-term damage to the UK economy from a leave vote, as well as pronounced market volatility on the back of political uncertainty for the UK and the EU as a whole, did lead us to adopt a relatively neutral stance in portfolios coming into the vote,” it said.But it had also positioned neutrally, partly to make sure investors were in a position to take advantage — potentially by adding to riskier assets based on a longer-term view of fundamentals, the firm said.The European Central Bank (ECB) said it was closely monitoring financial markets in the wake of the referendum result and was in close contact with other central banks.“The ECB stands ready to provide additional liquidity, if needed, in euro and foreign currencies,” it said in a statement.The bank said it had prepared for this contingency in close contact with the banks it supervises and considered the euro area banking system to be resilient in terms of capital and liquidity.Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, said this morning that, as a backstop, and to support market functioning, the UK central bank was ready to provide more than £250bn (€326bn) of additional funds through its normal facilities.“In the coming weeks, the Bank will assess economic conditions and will consider any additional policy responses,” he said.BlackRock said the magnitude and volatility of the British pound’s fall would probably trigger further responses from the Bank of England. “We expect the central bank to cut its 0.5% policy interest rate to zero soon, and see it returning to quantitative easing rather than pushing rates into negative territory,” it said.Credit rating agencies are expected to adopt negative outlooks for UK government bonds, with downgrades to follow quickly, according to BlackRock.last_img read more

Read More

Firework show is extinguished for 2020

first_imgGreensburg, IN—The Decatur County Parks and Rec Department Fireworks display that was scheduled for July 3 is canceled.  Parks Department Superintendent Bob Barker noted that it did not seem appropriate to seek funding for the event from area businesses that are already struggling themselves from the pandemic. They also noted that it was necessary to make the decision early to give notice to the company that puts on the show.  They hope to be able to reschedule the event for the future.last_img

Read More

Kim Kardashian announces name of fourth child

first_imgKanye West and Kim Kardashian have named their fourth child.The rapper and reality-TV star introduced Psalm West on Instagram Friday with the first public photo of the baby boy.Recently the family has delved deeper into their faith by hosting a Sunday Service with a gospel choir led by Kanye.Psalm joins siblings Chicago, Saint and North.last_img

Read More

The Latest: Azerbaijan GP becomes latest F1 race called off

first_imgThe Athletics Association’s statement comes a day after the International Olympic Committee set itself a four-week deadline to decide on a delay.Athletics Association president Christian Taylor and vice president Emma Coburn say “we’re imploring the IOC to announce the postponement of Tokyo 2020 Olympics much sooner than in four weeks’ time.”Taylor is a long jumper and Coburn is a runner. Both competed for the United States at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.The group says more than 4,000 athletes have responded to a survey it conducted, with a large majority favoring postponement.Dina Asher-Smith, the world champion in the 200 meters, has also called for a quicker decision by the IOC. March 23, 2020 The latest postponement means there will be no Formula One races until the middle of June at the earliest.The race at the Baku City Circuit was scheduled for June 7.The first seven races of the Formula One season have either been postponed or canceled.___A group representing track and field athletes has called for the Tokyo Olympics to be postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak. The Latest: Azerbaijan GP becomes latest F1 race called off The British sprinter writes on Twitter “does this mean that athletes face up to another FOUR weeks of finding ways to fit in training – whilst potentially putting ourselves, coaches, support staff and loved ones at risk just to find out they were going to be postponed anyway.”___The Australian Olympic Committee has advised its athletes to prepare for an Olympics in 2021.Ian Chesterman, Australia’s team leader for Tokyo, says “it’s clear the games can’t be held in July.”“Our athletes have been magnificent in their positive attitude to training and preparing, but the stress and uncertainty has been extremely challenging for them,” Chesterman said in a statement released Monday by the Australian Olympic Committee. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effect of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Azerbaijan Grand Prix has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.center_img ___Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says a postponement of the Tokyo Olympics would be unavoidable if the games cannot be held in a complete way because of the coronavirus impact.He was commenting on the International Olympic Committee plan to examine the situation over the next few weeks and make a decision, which could include a postponement.Abe, speaking at a parliamentary session, ruled out the possibility of a cancellation.Whether Tokyo can hold the Olympics as planned from July 24 has been a major international concern as the COVID-19 pandemic has spread globally. AOC chief executive Matt Carroll says Australia has athletes based overseas and training in central locations around the country.“With travel and other restrictions this becomes an untenable situation,” Carroll said.The Canadian Olympic Committee earlier said it won’t send athletes to the Tokyo Games unless they are postponed for a year, becoming the first country to threaten such a move in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.The committee sent out a statement Sunday evening saying it was willing to help the IOC search for alternatives, but that it was not safe for athletes, “their families and the broader Canadian community for athletes to continue training for these games.”The IOC says it is considering all options. The Tokyo Games are scheduled to start July 24. ____More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 Associated Press last_img read more

Read More

Jaguars batting woeful, concedes skipper Johnson

first_imgGEORGETOWN, Guyana, (CMC) – Guyana Jaguars captain Leon Johnson has slammed his side’s batting as “woeful” following their 235-run defeat to leaders Barbados Pride last weekend.The hosts were rolled over for a historic low 55 in their first innings and 94 in their second innings as they slumped to a heavy defeat – their third of the season early on the third day at the Guyana National Stadium.“[It was] not the best of performance with the bat,” Johnson lamented to the Guyana Times.“We were not able to put up 100 in either of the innings, so it was a woeful showing with the bat. You must give credit to Jason (Holder) and Kemar (Roach) for the way they bowled, especially in the first innings. “Having said that, I think our bowlers did a good job bowling out Barbados for 174 and 206. We just let ourselves down with the ball, and in the field, where we put down about four catches in the game.”Jaguars’ highest score in the game was an unbeaten 36 from all-rounder Keemo Paul in the second innings, coming when the number eight counter-attacked with the game already lost.Overall, the season has been a poor one batting-wise for the five-time reigning champions, with just two batsmen – Johnson and Chris Barnwell – managing centuries.Both those hundreds came in the same match against Windward Islands Volcanoes in the fifth round in Grenada.Johnson, his side’s leading scorer this season with 472 runs at an average of 36, conceded Jaguars’ batting had not lived up to expectations.“We had set our goal to score a century a game. We got a couple of half-centuries this season, and the conversion has not been great,” Johnson said.Jaguars batting form has cost them dearly this season. Starting the campaign as five-time reigning champions and the only side to win the first class title since the start of the professional era, Jaguars have slumped to third in the standings on 91.8 points, virtually ruling them out of the title race.Barbados Pride top the standings on 134.8 points, with the championship now suspended for the next 30 days because of the coronavirus pandemic.last_img read more

Read More

Women’s soccer ties, wins in weekend tournament

first_imgAfter a weekend in the Lone Star State, the Women of Troy squared off against two more out-of-state opponents, No. 18 UNC Greensboro and Purdue, at the Under Armour Invitational in Fullerton, Calif.In their first game against a ranked opponent this year, the Women of Troy (1-1-2) played to a scoreless tie against UNC Greensboro (3-0-1).“We weren’t worried about their ranking and we don’t worry about those types of things,” associate head coach Harold Warren said. “I think we did well enough to win the game, but we overcame a lot of things. It’s early in the season, so we’ll be fine.”For most of the game, the Women of Troy controlled possession, but Greensboro goalkeeper Kelsey Kearney made a few of key saves that denied them from taking the lead.The teams played two scoreless overtimes, and though the Women of Troy had three opportunities to score in the second frame, they  couldn’t find the back of the net.“We came out a little slow, but we started to pick it up a bit,” Warren said. “We created plenty of opportunities to win the game, but we just got to work on finishing.”Freshman goalkeeper Shelby Church recorded her second shutout of the season, while the backline for the Women of Troy held the UNC Greensboro offense scoreless for the first time this year.In the second game of the tournament, the Women of Troy (2-1-2) scored early and never looked back as they notched a 1-0 victory over the Purdue Boilermakers (3-2-1).“It was a good team effort and we came out, defended hard, attacked hard and we converted on our chances that were necessary to put the game away,” senior defender Karter Haug said.It was Haug who set up the only goal of the game as she placed the ball off a free kick for senior forward Megan Ohai, who headed it over Purdue goalkeeper Carianne Betts for the score.The goal was the 15th of Ohai’s career, placing the forward on USC’s all-time top 10 scoring list.The Women of Troy had multiple opportunities to add to their lead as they kept the pressure on the Boilermaker defense all day long. Betts stayed busy in goal, stopping five shots on net that kept the Women of Troy stuck at a one-goal advantage.But, in the end, Ohai’s goal would be the difference in this game.Church recorded her third shutout of the season and again, the USC defense held strong in shutting down the Purdue offense.“We like to think of our defense as the entire team because we want to defend as an entire unit,” Ohai said. “Defensively, we have Haug in the back holding it down for us with [junior defender Claire Schloemer], and they’ve done a great job of leading us. As a team, we did a great job on the defensive end.”last_img read more

Read More

Senior Day derailed: No. 17 Badgers fall to Boilermakers, 69-56

first_imgView Gallery (3 Photos)Senior Day is always supposed to be bittersweet.But, for the first time ever under head coach Bo Ryan, Wisconsin sent its seniors off the Kohl Center floor for the final time in their careers with a feeling that was just bitter.Playing the role of spoiler, Purdue (14-15, 7-9) steamrolled back from a five-point halftime deficit, outscoring No. 17 Wisconsin (20-9, 11-5) by 18 points in the second half, propelling the Boilermakers to a 69-56 victory over the Badgers Sunday afternoon.Purdue’s D.J. Byrd finished the game with 22 points – bolstering his team’s second half surge with a 6-for-9 shooting performance from outside – to lead all scorers, while Wisconsin’s Jared Berggren led his team with a 13-point, eight-rebound effort. “I’ve been through a lot of these over the years atdifferent places,” Ryan said. “We’ve gone in and knocked people off on theirsenior days. You just never know.”“It’s tough,” Berggren said. “For it to come to an end playing at the Kohl Center like this, it’s an emotional moment, especially after a loss. I was probably hurting more about [the loss] to be honest; this is a pretty big loss for us.”The loss was a crippling blow to the Big Ten title hopes of Wisconsin, who now move to third place in the Big Ten and two games behind first place Indiana with just two games remaining.The key turning point of the game came with the Badgers up 42-33 with a little more than 17 minutes left to play when Wisconsin redshirt senior forward Ryan Evans picked up his third foul, sending him to the bench.After that, it was all Boilermakers, as the team went on an 11-0 run with Evans out of the lineup and outrebounded the Badgers 7-0 during the stretch. Terone Johnson, who finished with 16 points, soon found enough space to make a pair of runners in the lane, while Byrd hit two threes to give Purdue their first lead since the 15-minute mark in the first half.“We did a poor job of defending Byrd,” Berggren said. “He hurt us pretty bad with some of those threes he hit. [Johnson’s] floaters, we gave them a little bit too much space off the screen and rolls. We didn’t do a good enough job of squeezing them.An 11-0 run soon turned to a 20-2 run, as Johnson continued to terrorize the Badgers inside with his penetration, scoring eight points over the Boilermakers’ scoring outburst.“We thought if Terone Johnson could get in the lane against them and get deep enough he could be able to make some plays there,” Purdue head coach Matt Painter said. “We tried to just stay with it.”Down 52-43, Wisconsin and the Kohl Center crowd got a booster shot in the arm from an alley-oop from Evans to Berggren, sparking five unanswered points for the Badgers, cutting their opponent’s lead to five.But, Johnson and Byrd had an answer that effectively ended any hopes of a Wisconsin comeback. Johnson got into the paint for another leaner in the lane, while on the next possession Byrd hit a three, this time curling off of a double screen from Rapheal Davis and Terone Johnson, putting Purdue comfortably in control with a 59-50 lead.The first half saw both teams shoot more than 45 percent from the field, with Wisconsin shooting 51.9 and Purdue converting 46.4 of their shots from the floor.Evans, who entered the game shooting just 39 percent from the field, started off the game on a tear, converting 4-of-5 shots, all 15-foot jumpers from around the perimeter.Byrd hit a pull-up three on the left wing off a screen from Travis Carroll to give Purdue an 11-9 lead early in the half, but it would prove to be the last lead the Boilermakers would hold in the game’s first 20 minutes.A pull-up jumper from Traveon Jackson off an assist from Sam Dekker tied the game, and on the following possession Ben Brust squared up a closing-out Carroll and pulled the string on a deep-three, hitting nothing but net.The Badgers then benefitted from a bit of a lucky bounce from Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year hopeful Dekker, who banked in a three from the top of the key to extend the Wisconsin lead to 17-13.The Badgers jumped out in front even further with a 10-0 run thanks to another three from Dekker and two back-to-back jumpers from a red-hot Evans.But, the Boilermakers found a way to claw back with a 7-0 run of their own, as a three from Byrd and four quick points from Johnson brought the score to a 36-31 Badger lead at half after Purdue trailed at one point by 12.The momentum and confidence of the Boilermakers proved too much for the Badgers as did their own poor performance from the field, shooting a measly 30 percent in the second half and failing to convert on any of their 12 attempts in the second half from deep.“It’s tough, just thinking of all the time you’ve put in with these guys and all the memories we’ve made,” Berggren said. “For it to come at an end playing at the Kohl Center, it’s an emotional moment, especially after a loss.”Notes: Entering Sunday’s game, the Badgers had never lost on Senior Day under Bo Ryan. UW’s streak of 11-straight wins in home finales was the record in the Big Ten. … UW lost to an unranked Big Ten opponent at the Kohl Center for just the third time in Bo Ryan’s 12 seasons, falling to 69-3 in such games. … The Badgers fell to 8-10 against Purdue in the Bo Ryan era. The Boilermakers are the only team in the conference to own a winning record against the Badgers’ head coach during his time with the program.last_img read more

Read More

Rodgers focusing on getting results

first_imgThe Merseysiders have struggled to get results this season and havent replaced key squad members who left in recent seasons.Speculation has linked Jurgen Klopp to the managers job in recent days after a poor start to the season by the Reds.Rodgers says he’s used to gossip and will stand firm.last_img

Read More