Tag: china


Tres Coronas – Venenosas Lyrics (feat. Buju Banton)


Ahh aah
Ja ja jaja
Yeah PNO ,rocca parcero productions
Straight from new york baby jaja!!!
Sucia sucia ja ja ja ja nomas nomas yeah
Tres coronas, no money no Money

Ayo ayo ayo
This chicas be thinking they f*cking free loaded loaded
Conmigo se joden joden si no sueltan el (CULO!!!)
Entre mas fina mas rica menos le gasto le pica ella se muere de envidia
(SE SE SEGURO)quieres plata ,quiere joyas ,quiere ropa ala moda, quiere cruseros en dólar
Todo que a se le acomoda, los guardias hacen la cola pero conmigo no jodas
Estoy arrecho y sin bromas y no te gasto ni un dólar
Ya me entiendes ya me entiendes no me sonria y pela los dientes
Ya me entiendes ya me entiendes lo tuyo refleja muy evidente
Ya me entiendes ya me entiendes la clase de mujer que quiere joderte
Quiere robarte, quiere comerte quiere dejarte vuelto un demente noooo conmigo no vas a poder noooo ningún centavo va a coger

Sucia sucia ja ja ja ja nomas nomas yeah
Tres coronas, no money no Money

Eh eh eh eh eh eh eh
Quien no conoce quien no ha visto una de esa nenas
Que solo con una mirada ya te envenenan
Te dicen papito mi santo y vivo te entierran
Poquito a poquito te van chupando y te PELAN!!!
Son víboras hermana ya son pirañas y te devoran dejando tiarao tus huesos por alla
Con un vistazo te analizan la ropa te miran que perfume que marca tienes que que es lo que brilla ASESINA!!!
Conmigo no puedes (pra) no tienes corazón (cua) como tu te mueves (pra) en la pista bota tu anzuelo
Vamos pa’ la pesca NIÑA
Yo boto mi malla y te llevo conmigo CHINA
Pulpoy no se duerma no se rinda (pra)
Que eso con ella se le cobra en la carne enseguida (pra)

Sucia sucia ja ja ja ja nomas nomas yeah
Tres coronas, no money no Money


Sud Sound System – Solidu Comu Na Petra Lyrics


Treble & Gopher
La utte e’ china e bbete megliu cu nci criti e tuttu quiddhru ca oi cu minti tie la sai ca ete de chiui

E tuttu quiddhru ca stae an funnu sicuramente esse pe urtimu e tuttu quiddhru ca subbra galleggia te la dicu chieu ca esse pe prima percene la utte e’ china …

Ca tocca biessi solidu comu na petra subbra stu munnu ca lu munnu de quai se ite puru megghiu comu quandu e’ giurnu, e lu sule ca dae luce alle cose ca su toi e mie sai ce face rimanire allu squagghiare te la nie ? Rimani tie. Ca t’annu dittu quiddhru ca a dire e quiddhru ca a fare ca stai culla pauta china ma culla capu t’a limitare ca ete culla capu ca sta utte s’a riempire e quandu te parlu de quiddhru ca suntu tie mintite cu me sienti

Percene la utte e’ china…

Quandu la utte e’ china sine la utte e’ china tannu se ite ci sinti e se si lu stessu te prima quandu la utte e’ china, nienti de chiui pecce’ stae china tannu te rendi contu ca nci butu pensare prima ca lu tiempu passa e io none nu su cangiatu ca quiddhru ca fazzu dimostra ca nu m’a futtutu lu mercatu ca liberu su rimastu e la capu nu m’a lassatu e la capu ete la stessa de quandu aggiu ‘ncignatu

A quai nci nnete muta, no comu a sta terra arsa tie a timire perce’ stai subbra te itune subbitu ma se spitterra poi spicci a ‘nterra cheu cittu cittu quetu quetu sempre de cultura te parlu reggae cu mie Treble e Gopher a quai insieme a tie

E sai ca nu me nfocu ci aggiu pigghiata sta posizione cu bbessu sempre sinceru me face te protezione e sai ca nu me nfocu quandu la utte s’a riempita ca suntu sempre io’ ca sta decidu tella mia vita e suntu solidu comu na petra…


The coronavirus symptoms to watch out for, according to the data


Australia

The coronavirus outbreak has made many Australians unsure how to deal with a sniffle or cough they would usually ignore — and perhaps with good reason.

For some patients, without specific testing for COVID-19 it can be difficult to know whether mild signs of illness indicate more than a common cold virus.

For others with coronavirus, the disease’s impact will be much more severe, and sometimes deadly.

The chart below shows the symptoms experienced by more than 55,000 patients in China who tested positive for coronavirus.

External Link:

Signs of coronavirus disease (China)

Coronavirus update: Follow the latest news in our daily wrap

Very few had non-cold-like symptoms, such as aches, vomiting or diarrhoea. The vast majority showed signs that can also be seen in people with a cold.

So while that sniffle is probably just the usual upper respiratory tract infection, you can’t be sure.

The main difference is the likelihood of fever: most people with COVID-19 develop a high temperature.

In contrast, while people with a cold can develop a fever, it happens only rarely, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Your questions on coronavirus answered:

Coronavirus symptoms have even more in common with influenza — that other, sometimes deadly virus often confused with the common cold.

Most people with either COVID-19 or the flu tend to develop a high temperature and many develop muscular aches. And almost all have cold-like symptoms, too.

The limited amount of published Australian COVID-19 data (based on just over 900 cases) shows a similar pattern to what doctors saw in China, though fewer Australian patients report fever and more say they have muscular pain.

External Link:

Signs of coronavirus disease (Australia)

However, health authorities say this may change when more patient data is analysed.

These barely perceptible differences between COVID-19 and common cold viruses are why Australian doctors now see fewer of these patients in person, and advise them over the phone instead.

Respiratory infections are usually the third most common reason people visit a GP.

Stay up-to-date on the coronavirus outbreak

Where can I get help?

  • If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should seek medical advice.
  • If you want to speak to someone about your symptoms first, call the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline at any time on 1800 020 080.
  • You can also use the COVID-19 symptom checker on the Government’s official Health Direct site.
  • Before visiting your local GP or hospital, you need to call ahead and tell them about your symptoms.

What the experts are saying about coronavirus:


Video: The Virus: Jeremy Fernandez updates you on the latest developments on COVID-19 as of April 3

(ABC News)

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


FIFO worker placed in isolation as WA school travel cancelled in wake of coronavirus outbreak


Perth 6000

The WA Health Department has begun preparing the state’s hospitals to ensure they can cope with a local coronavirus outbreak, which is now considered inevitable.

Key points:

  • The risk of coronavirus spreading in WA is set to rise within weeks
  • Hospitals will be reconfigured and “fever clinics” are likely to be set up
  • International travel by schools to all but three countries has been cancelled

Across the state, the number of intensive care beds is set to be dramatically increased to cater for an influx of coronavirus patients and certain wards or entire wings of hospitals may be set aside to keep infected patients isolated.

Mining company Fortescue Metals Group this afternoon placed one of its employees at the Christmas Creek mine site, 1,130 kilometres north-east of Perth, in isolation after they presented with symptoms requiring testing for coronavirus.

Chief executive Elizabeth Gaines said the worker had recently been travelling in Indonesia and their symptoms met the Health Department’s minimum criteria for testing.

“The employee has been isolated pending the outcome of the test, which we anticipate receiving within 48 hours,” Ms Gaines said.

“At this stage we do not anticipate any impact to production schedules and continue to monitor the situation closely.”



Photo:

WA chief health officer Andrew Robertson says a coronavirus outbreak is “probably inevitable”. (ABC News: James Carmody)

The virus has begun to spread rapidly outside of China and yesterday Australia reported its first cases of infection in patients who had not travelled overseas.

The latest Health Department modelling indicated there would be a higher risk of COVID-19 spreading through WA by late April or mid-May, while August was forecast to be the most dangerous period.

WA’s chief medical officer Andrew Robertson said an outbreak in the state was now “probably inevitable”.

“There are measures that could help delay it, certainly some of the border measures, [plus] self isolation and possibly quarantine if needed,” he said.

“And we will continue to try and contain this disease. But we accept that we have to prepare for the next stage and make sure that our systems are best prepared for the likely pandemic.”

‘We may not have the resources’: Minister

North Metropolitan Health Service chief executive Robin Lawrence has been appointed deputy chief health officer for clinical services, tasked with overseeing the reconfiguration of WA’s hospital systems.



Photo:

Robin Lawrence has been appointed deputy chief health officer in WA to help prepare for an outbreak. (ABC News: James Carmody)

Many non-emergency elective surgeries are expected to be cancelled and doctors and nurses working desk jobs may be redeployed to treat patients on busy hospital wards.

“I don’t want to sugar-coat it — moving to a pandemic mode is a very serious set of circumstances,” WA Health Minister Roger Cook said.



Photo:

Roger Cook says the state needs to significantly increase its intensive care capacity. (ABC News: James Carmody)

“We may simply not have the physical resources to deal with this particular outbreak.”

Senior meetings and talks convened

Specialised “fever clinics” and “respiratory clinics” are likely to be established as places where patients with less serious cases of coronavirus can receive more basic treatment, to take the load off hospitals.

“Part of the reason fever clinics may be so important is that we expect about 80 per cent of cases will be mild, and many of these people can go home and just be isolated at home and managed from home,” Dr Robertson said.

What you need to know
Here’s a rundown of all the facts about coronavirus, and how you can make sure you’re protected.

This morning, the state’s most senior public servants from each government department gathered for a Public Sector Leadership Council meeting to plan the wider response to the virus.

Cabinet ministers were also briefed by the chief medical officer to better understand what action could be required under their portfolios.

The cancellation of different public events, such as football games or concerts, and the closure of schools and various industries or workplaces could be ordered in the case of an extreme outbreak.

Tomorrow, Premier Mark McGowan will convene the State Emergency Management Committee, including WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson, to plan responses that may be required by emergency services.

Schools cancel travel plans

WA Education Minister Sue Ellery announced international travel by staff and students from public, private and independent schools to most countries would be banned from today until further notice.

An exception has been made for travel to the United States, Canada and New Zealand, but Ms Ellery warned that may be revised if coronavirus became more dangerous in those countries.

“The theory and the principle behind that ban goes to our duty of care while students are travelling,” she said.

“I’ve considered the difficulties for care arrangements for students in an emerging health crisis if, for example, a staff member became ill while travelling.

“I just want to reiterate, this is school-organised trips, this is not people’s private travel that people may choose to take their children on.”

Ms Ellery urged parents to contact schools directly with concerns about recuperating costs of cancelled trips, but she expected insurance policies would cover most bookings.



Photo:

Education Minister Sue Ellery has cancelled most international trips for school students and teachers. (ABC News: Andrew O’Connor)

Schools across the state have already put overseas trips on hold or cancelled them as a result of the WA Government’s ban.

Shenton College, a public high school in Perth’s western suburbs, had student trips planned to Japan, China and France, but all have been postponed.

The school was still planning to go ahead with a geography, history, politics and law trip to the US in July, and a music trip to Rotorua in New Zealand also in July.

A spokesperson for Presbyterian Ladies’ College in Peppermint Grove said it was no longer processing payments for planned tours to France in April and trips to Cambodia, Stanford University in San Francisco and a Singapore sports tour.

Methodist Ladies College in Claremont sent an email to its students saying it did not know how the coronavirus outbreak would impact a planned European music tour.

“We need to continue to prepare for the tour as best we can in the hope that the arrival of spring in Europe brings good news,” the email said.

“I am afraid no guarantees can be given though. Whatever the outcome, patience and a positive outlook will be required from us all.”

Here’s how the coronavirus travel restrictions will affect you
Travelling to China soon? Have friends and family in China planning a trip to Australia? Here’s everything you need to know.

The WA Education Department said there were no public students currently on overseas tours.

The director general of education had contacted the heads of Catholic Education and the Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia (AISWA) to coordinate a plan for dealing with the virus.

That plan was due to be finalised by close of business tomorrow, but would include measures to support online teaching methods if any schools were required to close.

Ms Ellery stressed the trigger point for the closure of any schools had not yet been finalised, but would not come in the very near future.

The State Government had also cancelled any non-critical state-funded overseas travel by public servants.

Premier Mark McGowan said works to upgrade some emergency departments, including at the Peel Health Campus in Mandurah, would be postponed to ensure hospitals remained operational.

“You have to close off part of it while you do the work, so we’ve deferred that until such time as we’re past this crisis,” he said.

“But the work will happen, it’s just that we want to make sure that we maintain the maximum emergency department capability for the public during this period in time.”

More than 600 tested for coronavirus in WA

Coronavirus testing in WA has escalated to the point where 30 to 40 people are being tested per day, but out of more than 600 tests conducted so far there have been no confirmed cases, outside of those who had been aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan.

The only two infected patients in WA were a Perth couple who were brought to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital under quarantine conditions after they were evacuated from the cruise ship to Darwin.

James and Theresa Kwan arrived at the hospital 11 days ago, but 78-year-old Mr Kwan’s condition deteriorated and he died on Sunday as the first Australian fatality recorded from coronavirus.



Photo:

Tributes have been paid to James Kwan after he died in isolation at Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital. (Supplied: Australian Tourism Export Council)

Ms Kwan, 79, remains in a stable condition.

Mr Cook said the death was a tragic reminder the virus should be taken seriously and urged people to practice good hygiene, regularly washing their hands or using hand sanitiser.

He urged against wasting face masks before their use became a necessity and said there was no need to be panic-buying supplies.

“If people want to continue to buy up water and other products and that makes them feel more comfortable then that’s a good thing, but it won’t actually add any further to your protection,” he said.

Health Department modelling indicates a coronavirus outbreak in WA could last up to 6 to 12 months.

What the experts are saying about coronavirus:

External Link:

Ask us your coronavirus questions

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


University of Queensland student is state’s 10th case of coronavirus


QLD

A 20-year-old University of Queensland student from China is the latest case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Queensland.

Key points:

  • The student, who is from China, travelled to Dubai for at least two weeks last month
  • His housemate, who is also a UQ student, is being tested as a precaution but is feeling well
  • The Department of Health says Queensland has now recorded 10 cases of COVID-19

A statement from the Department of Health said the man was in a stable condition and in isolation in the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

The man had travelled to Dubai for at least two weeks before entering Australia, via Brisbane, on February 23 and becoming unwell two days later.

Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said authorities were looking into where the man may have contracted the disease.

“The male has recently returned to Brisbane and we are working closely with relevant authorities to undertake contact tracing,” Dr Young said.

“The male lived with one other housemate in Toowong.

What you need to know
Here’s a rundown of all the facts about coronavirus, and how you can make sure you’re protected.

“Our contact tracing methods are tried and trusted and we will take every opportunity to raise awareness of this case in the community if there has been any community exposure.”

Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles said the man became unwell a week ago but only presented to hospital two nights ago.

“Our understanding is that he has not attended campus at all and so that means the risk of person-to-person transmission is very low,” he said.

“He does however have a housemate who is currently being tested and we expect those results in late tonight.

“The public health unit is currently doing contact tracing with him [the patient] and they are very experienced in that work.”

In a statement, the University of Queensland said it was providing support to the student.

“We extend our best wishes for a speedy recovery,” the statement said.

“At this time, authorities do not believe that the student had visited any UQ campuses after arriving in Australia.

“We understand the student complied with the Federal Government’s travel requirements.

“A flatmate and fellow student is understood to be feeling well, and has been tested for the virus as a precaution.

“The university is in contact with Queensland Health and is working swiftly to assist with any measures necessary.

“All staff and students are advised to practice healthy hygiene habits in line with government advice, including frequent handwashing and staying home if unwell.”

In an email to staff, Metro North’s executive director of medical services Dr Elizabeth Rushbrook said the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital had admitted a patient with COVID-19, along with another person who had been in close contact with him.

“This is not a cause for alarm,” she said.

“As healthcare providers, we are trained to manage these situations and have the experience and knowledge to do it in a calm and professional manner.”

She also urged staff to continue to wash their hands and remember their “cough and sneeze etiquette”.

The Department of Health said Queensland had now recorded 10 cases of COVID-19, including the three people from the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship.

The previous person diagnosed, a 63-year-old woman, remains in isolation in a stable condition at Gold Coast University Hospital.

The other eight patients have been cleared and discharged from hospital.

The Queensland Government urged anyone who had been overseas in the last 14 days and felt unwell to call 13HEALTH, or present to a GP or local hospital.

The ABC has full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak.

What the experts are saying about coronavirus:

External Link:

Ask us your coronavirus questions

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


Masks, antibiotics and hand sanitisers: Amid coronavirus, Australia’s secret medical stockpile is now open


Australia

It could be any warehouse in Australia. In fact, you may travel past it every day and not even know.

In multiple secret locations across Australia, about $100 million worth of medical supplies — including 20 million masks, antibiotics, vaccines and equipment such as basic hand sanitisers — is sitting on huge pallets wrapped in plastic, ready to be deployed.

It has been gradually accumulated over more than a decade in case of a bioterrorist attack, medical emergencies or pandemics.

It’s known as the National Medical Stockpile (NMS).

And with coronavirus almost certain to be declared a pandemic, according to the Prime Minister, the stockpile is now, according to health authorities, set to become a critical element of the response to COVID-19 — its first major use in more than a decade.

What you need to know
Here’s a rundown of all the facts about coronavirus, and how you can make sure you’re protected.

How does it work?

States and territories request access to the stockpile — which is described by the Department of Health as a “strategic reserve of pharmaceuticals and personal protective equipment” — with final approval given by chief medical officer Brendan Murphy.

So far during the coronavirus epidemic, more than 1.4 million surgical masks have been handed to GPs, health workers, pharmacists, and government agencies dealing with “at-risk or high-risk individuals at the border”.

Some stock is pre-positioned in the states and territories to ensure more rapid access to products in emergency situations, a Department of Health spokeswoman said.

The equipment is held in various nondescript warehouse locations across Australia, each one kept secret and under tight security because of concerns of terrorist attacks.

Last month, Health Minister Greg Hunt gave a rare insight into the warehouses, posting a photo on social media that showed hundreds of pallets of face masks stacked up over five levels.



Photo:

Health Minister Greg Hunt touring one of the National Medical Stockpile warehouses in January. (Twitter)

Since the coronavirus became a worldwide medical emergency, the Federal Government has been building up its supplies.

In January, Mr Hunt said they had 12 million facemasks. On Friday he revealed they had 20 million in storage.

“We are well stocked,” he said on Friday.

“The priority is obviously in protecting the frontline clinicians and we will work with states and territories and primary health networks or whatever bodies to make sure that supplies are delivered to where they are needed.

“We do have strong supply chains. As part of our job, that is one of the items that was a specific Commonwealth action item.”

There is no vaccine, but some drugs, such as antiviral medicine remdesivir, have been shown to help. However, Mr Hunt gave no indication that the Federal Government had been stocking up on remdesivir, or any other drugs.

The last high-profile use of the stockpile came during the 2009 swine flu pandemic. More than 900,000 courses of antivirals, valued at about $29 million, were deployed, with 2.1 million pieces of personal protective equipment also handed out.

COVID-19, SARS and the flu
Weeks after the novel coronavirus was first discovered, experts say incomplete data from China is limiting their ability to understand it — but they are seeing some differences between it and other infectious diseases.

Are there shortages of anything now?

Experts have raised concerns over gaps in the supply chain as Chinese factories remain closed because of the COVID-19 threat.

According to the World Health Organisation, China makes up about 20 per cent of the global output of active pharmaceutical ingredients.

However, some experts contest that figure and have gone as far as to describe China as having a “global choke-hold” on the chemical components that make up key pharmaceutical ingredients.

UNSW global biosecurity professor Raina MacIntyre said Australia “will see an impact” in supplies of some medical equipment and drugs in the general public.

“We have just-in-time economies where we don’t have huge stockpiles that’ll keep us going for months and months,” she said.

“It is possible that patients will be affected by shortages, there might be very specific drugs that are made only in China.”

“Although, China is gradually opening up factories and trying to get back to business as normal.”

Australian Medical Association president Tony Bartone said there were “some reports” of certain medications and masks not being available.

“One of the key sources of supply is obviously the Chinese manufacturing sector and clearly they are confronting their own issues regarding logistical supply,” he said.



Photo:

A sign saying face masks have sold out at a pharmacy in Adelaide. (Twitter: Colin Campbell)

On Friday, the president of the Royal Australian College of GPs, Harry Nespolon, said GPs urgently needed more protective equipment — including goggles and protective suits — so they could safely assess people who might have COVID-19.

Reports have already emerged of people panic-buying masks this week, following on from earlier panic-buying when the virus first came to light.

What else is in the National Medical Stockpile?


Video: How coronavirus sparked a global emergency.

(Four Corners)

Over the past 15 years, the total investment in the NMS has been about $900 million.

According to the Department of Health, about 80 per cent of the stockpile’s value was tied up in pharmaceuticals, including antivirals such as Tamiflu and Relenza.

A 2014 auditor-general’s report — one of the few publicly available documents online about the NMS — found as antivirals typically lasted for seven to 10 years, the “significant cost” of the NMS came because most drugs had to be thrown out.

It also holds a limited supply of “highly specialised drugs” which, in an emergency, may not be available elsewhere in the Australian pharmaceutical supply system.

In 2014, it said 14 per cent of items were related to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence including “responses to anthrax and human influenza pandemics”.

More on the coronavirus outbreak:

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


‘Stocks and bonds say we’re doomed’ as share rout worsens, Aussie dollar slides


Australia

Australia’s share market has joined Wall Street in a correction, falling more than 10 per cent since their recent record highs, while the Australian dollar plumbed a fresh 11-year low.

Key points:

  • The benchmark Australian ASX 200 share index closed down 3.25 per cent
  • ASX has had a 10 per cent “correction” in the space of just a week — the biggest weekly decline since the global financial crisis
  • The value of listed companies in Australia is down more than $240 billion from record highs last Thursday

In the space of just a week, the ASX 200 has gone from a record closing high of 7,162 last Thursday to a low of 6,427 in today’s session.

At the close, the ASX 200 was down 3.25 per cent at 6,441 taking the losses to more than 10 per cent since that record, marking the beginning of what traders call a “correction”.

To enter a “crash” or “bear market” share prices will need to lose another 10 per cent from there.

Looking at the broader market, represented by the All Ordinaries index, Australian shares have lost more than $240 billion in value since their highs last week.

It is the biggest weekly drop for both Australian and US share markets since October 2008, during the peak of the global financial crisis market chaos.

The Australian dollar has also again plumbed financial crisis depths, falling to a fresh 11-year low of 65.17 US cents during afternoon trade.

Coronavirus not the only cause of falling Aussie dollar
Interest rates, trade tensions and the recent bushfires are other factors contributing to the fall of the Australian dollar.

At various points during the session the market has attempted to bounce back, however percentage falls since the open remained in the high-2 to low-3 per cent range as buyers have been in short supply.

All sectors of the market finished in the red, but technology, mining, industrial and energy stocks were the worst hit.

The biggest falls among the top 200 companies were Harvey Norman (-14.1 per cent), Gold Road Resources (-14 per cent) and Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals (-10.8 per cent).

A late surge in some firms left 10 out of the top 200 companies in the black by the end of the day.

‘The direction ahead for the economy is straight down’

Wall Street’s main indexes plunged more than 4 per cent overnight Thursday, their worst trading session since 2011.

The major share indices have slumped more than 12 per cent from recent highs confirming US shares are deep into a correction and potentially heading for a bear market.

Global shares are now at a four-month low, having retreated from record highs at a rapid pace.

The indexes have been hit by their steepest weekly pullback since the 2008 global financial crisis, as new coronavirus infections reported around the world surpassed those in mainland China.

While shares are falling, demand for government bonds is at record highs, pushing interest rates on them to record lows.

The yield on 10-year Australian Government bonds was just 0.82 per cent, while returns on 10-year US Treasuries were below 1.25 per cent.

“Stocks and bonds say we’re doomed,” Chris Rupkey, the chief financial economist for MUFG Union Bank, told Bloomberg.

“Anyone who has a better idea for what lies ahead please let us know because right now the direction ahead for the economy is straight down.”

Debt kills in coronavirus contagion
Coronavirus looks set to cause deep global economic disruption, and those companies that have binged on cheap debt are the ones least likely to survive the crisis, writes Ian Verrender.

OANDA’s senior market analyst for the Asia-Pacific region, Jeffrey Halley, said that while much remains unknown, traders have finally begun to appreciate the scale of global economic disruption that is imminent.

“What is clear, is the potential supply and demand shock that may be about to sweep the global economy,” he warned in a note.

“That likely justifies the equity sell-off of this week with a harsh reassessment of delusional valuations in some cases.”

Mr Halley said that while central bank rate cuts and money printing may help somewhat on the demand side, they would do nothing to avert disruptions to the supply of goods and services.

“If global supply chains start freezing up, due to a lack of materials or credit, or both, no amount of rate-cutting will unlock that,” he argued.

“If SME’s [small to medium enterprises] can’t get paid for their invoices, or pay theirs, or secure raw materials, or transport goods, the net effect is shuttered businesses and job losses.”

‘It’s becoming more global’

CommSec market analyst Steven Daghlian said that the falls have been exacerbated because markets were previously so exuberant.

“We had quite a strong start to 2020, and 2019 was actually the best year for the share market in a decade when we were up about 20 per cent, so we are coming off those high levels and that perhaps is making these losses worse than they would’ve been otherwise,” he told ABC News.

“This is obviously a very different situation than the global financial crisis and back in October 2008 … the Aussie market fell in the order of 15.5 per cent in one week.”

US traders were particularly rattled by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention confirming a COVID-19 infection in California in a person who apparently had no relevant travel history or exposure to another known patient.

What you need to know
Here’s a rundown of all the facts about coronavirus, and how you can make sure you’re protected.

“It’s not a China thing, it’s becoming more global … in terms of the spread of the virus and its economic impact,” Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Robert W Baird in Milwaukee told Reuters.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty right now about where that impact lands … it’s also possible that forecasts are over-reacting to the downside.”

‘We haven’t yet hit peak panic’

However, AMP Capital portfolio manager Dermot Ryan said that there is likely to be further panic and downside before markets settle down.

“As so far this has all been driven by offshore infection rates, further escalations over the weekend may see another leg down next week,” he wrote in a note.

“We think the market is late reacting to coronavirus which has been spreading across borders for over a week.

Delayed coronavirus reaction
Share markets have roared blithely higher as the coronavirus outbreak worsened in China, but that complacency appears to have been punctured in the biggest sell-off for two years, writes Ian Verrender.

“We haven’t yet hit peak panic and there may be another leg down for markets.”

Mr Ryan said the spread of coronavirus through Europe and North America will cause further stress on markets, as will the increasingly likely declaration of a pandemic, which he expects from the World Health Organisation (WHO) this weekend.

However, he said the market mayhem also presented opportunities for calm investors.

“Bottom line is we are probably not at peak panic yet, but investors should start thinking about what they would like to add to their portfolios as opportunities present themselves,” Mr Ryan added.

By the close, both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average had slumped 4.4 per cent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell even further, plunging by 4.6 per cent.

European markets had also dropped sharply earlier in the session, with the EuroStoxx 50 off 3.4 per cent and London’s FTSE 100 down 3.5 per cent.


Video: How coronavirus sparked a global emergency

(Four Corners)

More on the coronavirus outbreak:

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


‘It’s absolutely awful’: Scared or bored, hotel guests face four-star lockdown on Spanish island Tenerife


Spain

More than 700 guests are spending a second day in lockdown at a hotel on Spain’s Canary Islands, after four cases of coronavirus were detected there among a group of Italians.

Key points:

  • Authorities relaxed the rules in the hotel to allow guest without symptoms to use hotel common areas
  • The hotel says it is cooperating with authorities but guests complain about a lack of information
  • A group of tourists who did not have contact with the Italian guests who tested positive, may be allowed to leave

“It’s absolutely awful,” Lara Pennington, 45, said from the H10 Adeje Palace hotel in Tenerife.

Ms Pennington, from Manchester in England, is on holiday with her two young sons and her elderly in-laws.

She says she barely slept, worried about contagion after the Italians were sent to hospital.

She said the family was staying in their rooms, even though authorities relaxed the rules on Wednesday so people displaying no symptom of illness could go to the pool and other common areas.

“It’s very scary because everyone is out, in the pool, spreading the virus,” Ms Pennington said.

“I won’t go down to the restaurant and had to ring down and ask them to bring us food up to the room now that the restaurant has re-opened.”

Like other guests, she complained about a lack of information.

What you need to know
Here’s a rundown of all the facts about coronavirus, and how you can make sure you’re protected.

The hotel said in a statement it was cooperating with authorities and did not respond to any questions for comment.

Guests will have to stay in the hotel for 14 days, authorities said on Wednesday, to avoid any risk of spreading the disease — their experience reminiscent of the holidaymakers on board the Diamond Princess cruise liner that spent two weeks in quarantine off Yokohama, near Tokyo.

At first, said Christopher Betts, from Leicestershire in central England, he and his wife spent their time holed up in their room watching TV or surfing the internet, told to stay in despite the sunshine. Picnic breakfasts were brought to their rooms.

“We are fine, but pretty bored. We cannot go anywhere, just to the restaurants to have tea or coffee,” Betts said.

“Everything is very quiet.”

A video he later shot and sent to Reuters showed people enjoying their newfound — if relative — freedom, by the pool after the rules were relaxed, basking in the sun, most of them wearing face masks.

Judge to determine when guests can leave



Photo:

Guests with symptoms have been confined to their rooms, while others have chosen to isolate themselves. (Reuters: Borja Suarez)

Another visitor said they had not been informed the lockdown would last two weeks.

“We receive information by telephone or through staff knocking on our door, but we have no idea how long we are going to stay here,” said Heidi, from Germany.

Here’s how the coronavirus travel restrictions will affect you
Travelling to China soon? Have friends and family in China planning a trip to Australia? Here’s everything you need to know.

“The hotel is really nice. We like it, but we really didn’t have luck with all this.”

A group of 100 tourists who arrived on Monday and did not have contact with the Italians are set to be allowed to leave the hotel, the Canary’s regional authorities said on Tuesday. But there was no sign yet of any of them leaving on Wednesday.

Because people’s freedom is being touched on, the matter is in the hands of a judge, a spokesman for a Canary Island regional court said.

More on the coronavirus outbreak:

The judge will rule on a daily basis whether some of the hotel guests will be allowed to leave.

The coronavirus can spread via droplets in the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes or breathes out, and these can also contaminate surfaces such as door handles and railings.

“Asymptomatic hotel guests can have a normal life inside the hotel, with the required prevention measures, while the guests with symptoms will remain isolated in their rooms,” regional government official Maria Teresa Cruz Oval said.

Stephen Griffin, an expert on infection and immunity at Britain’s University of Leeds, said the best advice for guests was to minimise contact with one another and to remain in their rooms as much as possible.

“Much like the situation on the cruise ships, hotels have numerous communal areas, lifts and access points that could conceivably represent a means by which infection may be passed on,” he said.


Video: How coronavirus sparked a global emergency

(Four Corners)

Reuters

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


Should I cancel my travel plans because of coronavirus?


Australia

As international efforts to contain coronavirus intensify, holidaymakers are being forced to navigate flight disruptions, city lockdowns, travel bans and quarantine rules.

It’s prompted many Australians to wonder whether it’s wise to travel, and what to look out for if they do.

Here’s what you need to know.

What’s happening with flights?

Airlines are cutting back their flight schedules in response to falling demand — especially for flights in the Asian region.

So you may have to factor in changes to your arrival and departure times, as well as delays caused by virus screening at airports.

In general, it’s a good idea to check directly with your airline if your flight is still departing as scheduled.

Below are some of the changes you may have to contend with if you’re flying Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin or Tigerair:

  • Qantas and Jetstar have cut back their flights to China, Hong Kong and Singapore. The Sydney-to-Shanghai Qantas route has been suspended. But Qantas long-haul flights to the US and UK haven’t been affected so far
  • Jetstar Australia flights to mainland China have been suspended, while its airlines in Singapore, Japan, and Vietnam have stopped flights to China and are also reducing their flights across the region
  • Virgin has cut back its flights to holiday destinations, while Tigerair and Virgin have stopped flying to Hong Kong
  • Tiger also quit flying several domestic routes, including Adelaide-Sydney, Sydney-Cairns, and Hobart-Gold Coast, noting coronavirus has had a “weakening effect” on domestic, as well as international, demand

For anyone planning to fly with these airlines domestically, flight schedules within Australia have also been pared back — so your flight may be moved to the next available service.



Photo:

Some commercial international flights are attracting few passengers, like this recent British Airways service from London to Milan. (ABC News: Andrew Greaves)

How and when should I book?

With the travel industry under pressure globally thanks to the virus, the question of where you should lay down your money is all about who you trust.

There’s a small risk companies that can’t cope in the current environment could go under — and take your hard-earned holiday with them.

Keep the phone numbers for your bank, insurer, airline, travel agent and accommodation provider handy so you can check your booking is solid if you need to.

Has your travel been disrupted by coronavirus? Email: Specialist.Team@abc.net.au

The coronavirus outbreak is going to take months to play out — so if you’re booking a flight for later in the year, you need to consider what might change between now and then.

With new outbreak locations being reported all the time, it’s very hard to predict where will be affected next, and what that might mean for travellers.

So, I should probably get travel insurance…

You should check the fine print before you buy your policy.

The exclusions will be listed in the product disclosure statement, which may be a separate document to the policy that you sign.

COVID-19, SARS and the flu
Weeks after the novel coronavirus was first discovered, experts say incomplete data from China is limiting their ability to understand it — but they are seeing some differences between it and other infectious diseases.

There might also be a clear statement on your travel insurer’s website. It could be a good idea to save this statement when you pay for your insurance, in case the online version changes later on.

The Insurance Council of Australia says many insurers have exemptions for infectious diseases and pandemics, but the policies are different for each insurer.

Some policies will cover alternative plans if your trip is disrupted by coronavirus.

Others will cover any medical expenses while you’re travelling.

But this will all depend on when you bought your policy, and when you started your trip.

If you’re already on the road and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) upgrades its travel advice to ‘do not travel’ for your destination, you may also be covered if you have to cancel the rest of your trip.

Before you call your insurer, you should contact your travel agent, airline or hotel to make alternative plans or ask for a refund, the Insurance Council says.

Should I even go overseas?

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has issued travel warnings for a growing number of countries hit by the virus.

But there’s just one place with a ‘do not travel’ warning, and that’s China.

What happens when a pandemic is declared
Coronavirus is now hitting Europe and the Middle East. Experts say we all need to start preparing for things to get worse.

DFAT says there are four countries that have had their travel advice upgraded due to coronavirus, including China, South Korea and Japan.

On Wednesday, Italy was added to that list after 323 cases were identified there, including 10 people who died.

Those cases are concentrated in the north of the country, which is where the travel warning has been issued for.

Fresh cases of the virus have been reported in Austria, Switzerland, and Croatia.

There are also unconfirmed reports of new cases in Brazil.

Here are some measures you can take if you have to travel:

  • Talk to your doctor if you’re travelling with babies or young children, or if you’re pregnant. Likewise if you have a chronic health problem or weak immunity.
  • Check with your airline, travel agent, cruise line, and travel insurance company to work out what your options are if things change.
  • Check with your travel insurance company to see if you’re covered.

Can I still travel through transport hubs in Asia?

The short answer is yes — but expect to be checked for coronavirus on your way through.

And depending on where you’ve come from, you may be quarantined – whether you like it or not.



Photo:

Passengers are subject to temperature checks in many Asian airports. (Reuters: Thomas Peter)

The rules for exit, entry and transit through airports can change at short notice.

DFAT is warning that not all airports or transport companies are applying their policies on coronavirus consistently.

Hong Kong

At Hong Kong airport, all departing passengers will undergo temperature checks — even if they’re just transferring between flights.

This could mean delays getting to your next flight.

If you’ve travelled through mainland China you will be quarantined for two weeks.

And if you’re arriving from Korea, you won’t be allowed to enter Hong Kong.

Kuala Lumpur

Travellers through all Malaysian airports are being told to wear a mask at all times, and anyone who has a cough or fever will be taken to hospital on arrival.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport has set up quarantine bays at its arrival gates for any passengers who appear to be unwell.

Malaysia’s Ministry of Health is distributing Health Alert Cards for passengers to fill in, declaring any medical problems when they arrive.

Singapore

You’ll have to undergo a temperature check on arrival at Changi or Seletar airports.

If you’ve arrived from China, so-called “healthcare teams” will be watching out for passengers who look unwell.

What if I want to go on a cruise?

The cruise ship industry body, the Cruise Lines International Association, says most itineraries outside northern Asia are operating as normal.

But it recommends checking with your travel agent or cruise ship operator.

Anyone boarding a cruise ship, including crew members, will be screened.

If they’re displaying symptoms, they won’t be allowed on board.



Photo:

On the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship, masked passengers were allowed out of their rooms for an hour every couple of days. (AP via Kyodo News: Sadayuki Goto)

The following measures have also been put in place:

  • You won’t be allowed to board a cruise ship if you have come through mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau in the previous 14 days.
  • You won’t be allowed to board a cruise ship if you have had close contact with anyone diagnosed with, or suspected of having, coronavirus or anyone being monitored for exposure to the virus.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


Hong Kong bookseller who sold books critical of Chinese political leaders jailed


Sweden

A Chinese court has sentenced Chinese-born Swedish citizen Gui Minhai to 10 years in jail for illegally providing intelligence overseas, prompting a protest from Stockholm.

Key points:

  • Gui Minhai is one of five booksellers linked to a Hong Kong bookshop who disappeared in late 2015
  • He was awarded a free speech award by Sweden in 2019, which Chinese officials objected to
  • Sweden is demanding consular access to Gui, but Chinese officials say visits have been put on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak

Gui, a bookseller previously based in Hong Kong who sold books critical of China’s political leadership, was detained by mainland police in 2018.

He was seized while with Swedish diplomats on a Beijing-bound train.

Relations between Sweden and China soured in the months leading up to the sentencing, with Chinese officials warning Swedish counterparts against meddling in China’s internal affairs.

Sweden summoned the Chinese ambassador to Stockholm to protest against the sentence and demand Gui’s release.

“We have summoned China’s ambassador to our cabinet secretary and again demanded the release of, and consular access to, our citizen,” a foreign ministry spokesman told Reuters.

Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said Gui should be released, a position Sweden has held throughout.

“We also require access to our citizen to provide the consular support he is entitled to,” Ms Linde said.

“We have not had access to or knowledge of any trial. Thus, we have not been able to review the indictment nor been able to offer access to legal counsel,” she said.



Photo:

Swedish Culture Minister Amanda Lind presented Gui with a literary prize in 2019, despite threats from Chinese officials about “countermeasures”. (Reuters: Fredrik Sandberg/ TT News Agency)

A statement by the Ningbo Intermediate People’s Court, which jailed Gui, said the 55-year-old had stated that he would not appeal the sentence and had asked to have his Chinese citizenship reinstated.

A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry told a news briefing that Gui’s rights and interests had been fully guaranteed. He said consular visits, in general, were put on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Chinese officials objected to Svenska PEN, a literary organisation, awarding Gui the 2019 Tucholsky Prize, praising his services to free speech.

Hong Kong protests explained
The complicated conflict broken down in simple terms to help you get a handle on what’s going on

Swedish Culture Minister Amanda Lind defied Chinese diplomatic threats of “countermeasures” to present the prize.

Gui is the highest-profile of five booksellers who disappeared between October and December 2015, all linked to a Hong Kong bookshop known for its gossipy texts on Chinese political leaders.

Such books are banned on the mainland but their production and sale are legal in Hong Kong under freedoms guaranteed as part of the 1997 handover from British colonial rule to Chinese sovereignty.

Gui was initially abducted in the Thai beach resort of Pattaya in 2015 before surfacing, like the others, in detention in mainland China.

He was released in October 2017, before being arrested in January 2018.

Three of his colleagues were detained in mainland China while another was widely thought to have been abducted in Hong Kong and spirited across the border. Gui is the only one to have remained in detention.

His daughter Angela, along with other supporters, has repeatedly called for his release, saying he is a victim of illegal political persecution.

Reuters

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


First case of coronavirus linked to Bali after report Chinese tourist returned positive test


Perth 6000

The West Australian Government says there is no reason for Australian tourists to avoid travelling to Bali, despite reports of the first case of coronavirus being linked to the popular holiday island.

Key points:

  • The tourist from China reportedly tested positive on his return home
  • It is unclear whether they were exposed in Indonesia or China
  • WA authorities say people should not cancel travel to Bali at this stage

WA Health Minister Roger Cook said Indonesian authorities were aware of a Chinese national who travelled through Bali who may have tested positive for coronavirus.

He said health officials were closely monitoring the situation.

“Now obviously we need to monitor carefully the spread of this disease outside China,” Mr Cook said.

“This is a new situation because obviously Bali represents the playground for a lot of West Australians.”



Photo:

Bali is one of Western Australia’s most popular overseas holiday spots. (ABC News: Gian De Poloni)

It was unclear whether the person potentially contracted the virus in China and then travelled to Indonesia, or whether they may have been exposed to the virus in Indonesia.

The Chinese national is understood to have returned to Shanghai, where the positive diagnosis was made.

Don’t cancel Bali plans: Health Minister

Mr Cook said people should not cancel travel to Bali as a result of the development.

What you need to know
Here’s a rundown of all the facts about coronavirus, and how you can make sure you’re protected.

“We are not saying that people have to curtail their trips to Bali,” he said.

“At the moment DFAT [the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade] has the same travel advisory for Bali, so people shouldn’t be alarmed.

“We are simply providing this information in the interests of transparency to make sure that we continue to provide people with the most up-to-date information as possible.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison today confirmed a travel ban from China to Australia would be extended for another week.

Here’s how the coronavirus travel restrictions will affect you
Travelling to China soon? Have friends and family in China planning a trip to Australia? Here’s everything you need to know.

Mr Cook said Border Force officers would continue to meet all flights arriving into Perth Airport and nurses would continue to be stationed at the Airport around the clock to manage people who may require testing.

WA health officials had tested about 10 people per day for the virus over the past week.

In total, 81 people have so far been tested in WA and all had returned a negative result.

“Our situation at the moment remains a very low risk,” Mr Cook said. “We are on top of this situation.”



Photo:

Dr Paul Armstrong said there were no alarming reasons to increase the risk of travel to Bali. (ABC News: Eliza Laschon)

Communicable Disease Control director Paul Armstrong said there were no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Bali.

“Officially, Indonesia doesn’t have any cases at all,” Dr Armstrong said.

“Neighbouring countries of Indonesia of course have got several cases each but nothing alarming, nothing that would really elevate the risk of people travelling there.”

Dr Armstrong said Australia had offered support to Indonesia for increased testing if required.

More on the coronavirus outbreak:

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


A very hungry caterpillar that decimated crops around the world has arrived in Australia


Thursday Island 4875

A moth that has decimated crops across the world has been detected in Australia for the first time.

A handful of fall armyworms have been caught on the Torres Strait, prompting a biosecurity alert because of their potential to cause major economic damage to the agricultural industry.

The moths’ larvae feed, in large numbers, on more than 350 types of plants, grasses and other crops, including rice, wheat, cotton, sugar cane, sorghum, and many fruit and vegetables.

How to spot a fall armyworm:

  • Adults are 32 to 40mm from wingtip to wingtip, with a brown or grey forewing, and a white hindwing
  • Males have more patterns and a white spot on each forewing
  • Light-coloured larvae with dark head, become browner as they grow, developing white lengthwise lines and dark spots with spines

In areas where the moth has taken hold, including the Americas, China, and South-East Asia, destruction of crops has happened almost overnight.

Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said the armyworms had caused “very alarming” damage to crops in those regions and posed a serious biosecurity threat in Australia.

“At this stage, there’s no detection of any crops that have been damaged,” he said.

“[But] these moths can fly up to 100 kilometres a night and are very destructive.”



Photo:

The armyworm larvae pose a serious threat to many common crops. (Supplied: Biosecurity Queensland)

Biosecurity Queensland’s Malcolm Letts said specialised moth traps would be placed across Queensland to detect and contain any further spread of the pest.

“Destruction of crops can happen almost overnight when population levels are high,” he said.

So far only six have been caught in traps on Erub and Saibai islands. They were captured in late January.

However, Mr Letts is concerned the pest could already have migrated to mainland Australia.

“The traps are primarily used for surveillance purposes, so this is to actually try and find out how far this pest has spread at this point in time,” he said.

“[The traps] have a pheromone lure in them that attracts the male.

“When it goes into the trap, there’s a toxin in the trap that then kills the male.”

Farmers across the state have also been asked to report any potential sightings of the moth and its larvae.

The fall armyworm is native to tropical and sub-tropical areas of the Americas and was first detected outside its native range in 2016.

Since then it has spread to Africa, the Indian subcontinent, China and South-East Asia.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


Matildas maul Thailand in Olympic qualifier thanks to van Egmond hat-trick


Campbelltown 2560

Matildas stalwart Emily van Egmond has scored a maiden international hat-trick to assure Australia a berth in the final stage of Olympic qualification.

Key points:

  • Thailand’s tactics saw them park the bus and try and hit the Matildas on the counter-attack
  • Van Egmond scored two goals before half-time before adding a third in the second half
  • The Matildas play China on Thursday to decide group B

Last Friday’s assist queen turned goalscorer at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Monday night as the Matildas mauled Thailand 6-0 in their group qualifier for Tokyo 2020.

With Chelsea superstar Sam Kerr again limited to a bench cameo, van Egmond broke the deadlock with a quick-fire double just before half-time before adding a third in the 70th minute.

The victory sets up a blockbuster clash with unbeaten China at Parramatta on Thursday night, with the winner topping group B.

Although already out of contention for a top-two finish, the Chaba Kaew frustrated Australia for almost the entire first half.

External Link:

twitter: @thematildas through to the playoffs

Thailand’s tactics were clear from the outset: park the bus and — if possible — hit the Matildas on the counter-attack.

That strategy almost bore fruit two years ago when they led Australia heading into added time of their Asian Cup semi-final before losing in a shootout.

Initially unfazed, the Matildas methodically worked the ball forward looking to pick Thailand apart but struggled to find their usual potency.

Defender Ellie Carpenter ran rampant down the right, teeing up last start hat-trick hero Caitlin Foord and van Egmond for half chances.

Kyah Simon, who made an emotional return in green and gold for the first time since October 2018 in Friday’s 7-0 win over Taiwan, came closest just on the half-hour mark.

But she was denied as a diving Natthakarn Chinwong slammed into the post, with the defender subbed soon after.

Her sacrifice proved in vain, as Australia’s patience was rewarded when Carpenter found van Egmond lurking at the back post for a tap-in.

With the deadlock broken, van Egmond and Carpenter combined again to double their advantage before the break.

After a limp start to the second half, head coach Ante Milicic turned to Kerr and Hayley Raso to provide a spark.

The double change worked a treat as Simon scored and van Egmond followed suit.

Seconds later, Milicic’s substitutes linked up to add a fifth as Raso tucked a low Kerr cross into the top right corner.

Simon completed her double to round out the rout as Australia soared back to the top of group B.

AAP

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


These residents now have coronavirus evacuees for neighbours — and their feelings are mixed


Darwin 0800

Residents in the Darwin suburb of Howard Springs now have a large contingent of new neighbours — 266 people flown in from the coronavirus epicentre.

Key points:

  • Evacuees are currently being screened in Darwin after being evacuated from the Coronavirus epicentre this morning
  • The NT’s acting chief health officer told local residents there is no risk of transmission
  • The flight landed at Darwin’s RAAF base shortly before midday local time

The Australian evacuees, who flew into Darwin on Sunday after delays leaving Wuhan, were transferred to an unused workers’ camp in the suburb, 30 kilometres south-east of Darwin’s CBD.

The cohort was subject to rigorous biomedical screening between China and Australia, with tests conducted before take-off, twice during the flight and once the flight had landed in Darwin.

The 266 people — including 77 children and 11 babies — will be quarantined for 14 days in the facility.

Despite reassurances from health authorities that the community faces no risk from the evacuees, some residents, citing the proximity of the quarantine village to a school and nearby residents, are concerned infection could leak into the community.

External Link:

Birtles tweet

School principal holds information session for parents

The principal at the nearby Good Shepherd Lutheran College, Rachel Boyce, said the reaction from parents at the school had been mixed. Some parents, she said, had opted to keep their children at home.

“We have been overwhelmed in the last few days with messages of support and encouragement for the school,” she said.

“We also have some parents who are concerned and are voicing that.”

External Link:

Health Department FB post

On Monday morning the school live streamed an information session with Dianne Stephens from the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre.

Before the meeting Trevor Willis, a parent of three students at the school, said he was confident his children were safe.

“I think there’s a few unanswered questions from concerned parents, but I’m sure any fears will be allayed [at the meeting],” he said.

“I think we’ve got it under control.”

“We’ve got the facility here, people are in need, and why can’t the Territory help out when it needs to?”



Photo:

Trevor Willis said his three children were attending school on Monday. (ABC News: Kate Ashton)

He said his children had not expressed any apprehension about attending school.

“They’re quite keen to go — they don’t feel as though there’s any threat or anything like that,” he said.

On Monday morning Australia’s deputy chief medical officer Paul Kelly “categorically” reaffirmed the safety of the public and students around the quarantine zone.

“If I had children in the Lutheran college close to the [workers’] site, I would have no hesitation with my kids going to school today or over the next two weeks,” Professor Kelly said.

“And if I was living next door or had a business next door, I would have absolutely no hesitation in going there and working there without any protection at all.



Photo:

266 evacuees, including 77 children and 11 infants, were aboard the Qantas plane. (ABC News: Clara Latter)

‘There’s a worry for the kids’

On Sunday local resident Joan Maddalozzo, whose grandchildren attend a school hundreds of metres away from the village, was aghast authorities had signed off on the plan to house evacuees so close to the school.



Photo:

Residents like Joan Maddalozzo say the safety of nearby schoolchildren is not worth the risk. (ABC News: Matt Garrick)

“I disagree with it totally,” she said.

“There’s a school of kids right next door. Why would you do that? There must be more remote places you could put these people.”

Ms Maddalozzo said the plan was “stupid”.

“My grandchildren go to that school right next door. That’s enough. That says it all for me,” she said.


Video: The Manigurr-ma camp outside Darwin is expected to be used for coronavirus evacuees

(ABC News)

Another resident, Monique Reid, was also concerned for the welfare of schoolchildren.

Although authorities have stated the facility will be guarded and monitored 24 hours a day by police and security staff, Ms Reid said there was a threat those quarantined could break out of the facility and pose a risk.

“They’re saying that they’re being contained [in the camp] but who knows, someone can always break out of it if they have enough of being locked up,” she said.

“They don’t actually know if anyone can break out of the place or not, and they’ve put it next to a school, so if anyone walks out there’s a worry for the kids if they would get infected.”

‘People are sympathetic’

While another resident, Stephen Sewell, conceded he would’ve preferred a more remote quarantine operation, he said he had faith the community would remain safe.

What you need to know
Here’s a rundown of all the facts about coronavirus, and how you can make sure you’re protected.

“They need to go somewhere,” he said.

“I trust that [the Government] know the right thing, knowing the containment areas and everything like that.”

Mr Sewell said people were worried, perhaps unnecessarily, about the quarantine process.

“It’s right next to a school. It’s in Howard Springs. [But] a lot of people don’t know enough about the virus,” he said.

“People are sympathetic that these people need somewhere to be and need to be quarantined but I don’t think they feel adequate measures have been taken.”

Gordon Jabour said the evacuation effort was “without a doubt” a good opportunity for Darwin to play its part in the response to coronavirus.


Video: The vacant Inpex camp south of Darwin

(ABC News)

He said he “didn’t have an issue” with the 266 evacuees nearby.

“I’ve heard concern about it but as far as I understand I don’t think the concern is justified. I don’t think it’s a real issue,” he said.

Ian Campbell said he felt safe in the knowledge evacuees were “fairly well isolated form everybody”.



Photo:

Ian Campbell said he had no concerns about the risk of a potential virus outbreak. (ABC News: Matt Garrick)

“They’re not sick by all accounts, and it’s only a precaution,” he said.

After misinformation spread across social media last week, such as the myth dispelled by medical professionals that coronavirus could spread via mosquitoes, Mr Campbell said there had been an “overreaction” to the dangers of the virus in some pockets of the community.

Willie Coots flagged concern that workers sporadically leaving the quarantine centre could pose a risk, saying “they would need to be scrutinised very strictly” to ensure potential infection is contained.

“That’s about the only other problem that would be, is that anyone who works in that areas is going to have to be well and truly scrutinised in and out,” he said.

“We don’t want them coming in here and working up there and they haven’t been through [screening and testing for the virus].”



Photo:

“It’s just one of those things, we’re the frontier, and we’ve got to look after it,” Mr Coots said. (ABC News: Matt Garrick)

‘No risk to the community’: Chief medical officer

The Australian Government’s chief medical officer, Brendan Murphy, said all of the 266 people aboard the flight had been screened four times before they left China and were “all clinically well”.

Here’s how the coronavirus travel restrictions will affect you
Travelling to China soon? Have friends and family in China planning a trip to Australia? Here’s everything you need to know.

Eight people of the 266 people evacuated are students from the Pacific Islands who were allowed on the plane on humanitarian grounds, and 258 are Australians.

He said he was “absolutely confident that all precautions had been taken to ensure there was no risk to the community”.

“We know that these people who are being quarantined there are actually well at the moment and there’s a very large barrier from where they’ll be and anyone in the community,” he said.

He said anyone who might develop the virus would be immediately transported to Royal Darwin Hospital.

The arrival of Australian evacuees in Darwin came just hours after the coronavirus death toll in mainland China rose to 811, surpassing the number of fatalities in the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak.

The first non-Chinese fatalities from coronavirus also occurred on the weekend: an American in Wuhan and a Japanese man died after contracting the virus.

More on the coronavirus outbreak:

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


Wuhan evacuation flight delay hits hundreds of Australians in coronavirus epicentre


China

A second Qantas flight that was set to arrive in the Chinese city of Wuhan on Friday has been delayed, with hundreds of Australians waiting to be evacuated from the coronavirus epicentre.

Key points:

  • Melbourne teacher Hui Qiu and his family will be on the evacuation flight that was set to leave on Friday but has been pushed back by at least a day
  • His wife and daughters became trapped in Wuhan after the lockdown announcement
  • He was in a neighbouring city at the time, which also went into lockdown

The more than 300 Australians who remain trapped in the locked-down city were asked to register interest in a possible third assisted departure flight earlier this week.

Some of those still stuck in Wuhan were told they had a seat reserved on the Qantas flight set to depart later that day, subject to approval from Chinese authorities, but that evacuation was delayed.

An email from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) was sent to passengers telling them that official clearance for the flight had not been secured.

What you need to know
Here’s a rundown of all the facts about coronavirus, and how you can make sure you’re protected.

The email told passengers to return to where they were staying and wait for further information as DFAT worked with Chinese authorities to reschedule the flight for Saturday.

“As you had a previously confirmed seat/s on the aircraft this evening, your seat is confirmed for the next flight departing Wuhan, which we anticipate will depart on Saturday 8 February. Please only reply to this email if you no longer require the seat/s,” the email read.

“We know that this unexpected delay will cause stress and inconvenience, which we regret.”

When the evacuees do get out of China and touch down in Australia, they will be quarantined at an unused mining camp near Darwin.

Earlier this week, when the first plane landed on Christmas Island, reports highlighted that the conditions were alarming with accounts of a lack of hygiene and cockroaches in the rooms.

But mother of two Belinda Chen has since wanted to alert that there has been a change of heart and conditions were improving.

“I hope to let the world know, how great these volunteers are. They are helping us and living with us together,” she said.

“The conditions have improved and we appreciate the medical staffers and personnel who have volunteered to take care of us.”

Meanwhile, among those expected to be on the second plane out of Wuhan on Saturday is Melbourne teacher Hui Qiu, as well as his wife and two young daughters.

It will be the first time Mr Qiu has seen his loved ones in weeks, after the snap decision to place Wuhan in lockdown saw him cut off from his family in a neighbouring city.

‘Dad, please come back’



Photo:

Hui Qiu’s daughters are trapped in Wuhan with their mother and grandparents. (Supplied)

Mr Qiu was visiting his hometown Huanggang, a city around an hour’s drive from Wuhan, when the lockdown came into effect. His wife Ying was in the virus-struck city with their two daughters, staying with Mr Qiu’s elderly mother and father.

He tried to convince Ying to let him sneak back into Wuhan by taking a route through farm fields, but she insisted on him staying put in Huanggang because of the risk of contracting coronavirus.

Two days later, Huanggang also announced a lockdown, along with 12 other cities, leaving the family separated indefinitely.

Mr Qiu said he felt guilty being away from his family, especially when his children asked him during video chats when he would be back.

“My wife is taking care of my children by herself, and she has to overcome lots of difficulties in such circumstances,” Mr Qiu told the ABC.

Ms Qiu, the children and Mr Qiu’s parents have been stuck inside a small apartment, where food stocks are running low. And with a traffic ban in the city, public transport in the neighbourhood has been overwhelmed.

Meanwhile, supermarkets are quickly running out of supplies every day.



Photo:

Hui Qiu’s daughters have been desperate to see their Dad since the family was split. (Supplied)

“[My father-in-law] bought some frozen dumplings, but we don’t know if they will have more stocks tomorrow,” Ms Qiu said.

“Our daughter used WeChat and said, ‘Dad, please come back. I miss you’.”

The family found out on Thursday night that they had all been accepted for the latest Australian evacuation flight, and they now plan to meet at the airport.

Mr Qiu said his first words to his children will be: “Dad loves you.”

The ABC understands at least 20 families have received a confirmation email from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with their flight information.

Travel ban headaches

Other Australians who found themselves in China during the outbreak are struggling to get themselves and their loved ones home.

While they are not in Wuhan, Australian student Anthony Ange and his Chinese de facto partner Chelsea Yang have had their trip to China upended by Australia’s ban on foreign nationals entering from China.

The couple met at Macquarie University and live together in Sydney.



Photo:

Sydney couple Anthony Ange and Chelsea Yang may not be able to leave China together due to the new travel ban. (Supplied)

She brought him to her home city in central Shanxi province to meet her parents for the Lunar New Year well before the outbreak was widely reported.

Although Australian consular officials have said that foreign nationals who can provide proof that they are part of Australian families will be allowed in, he has been formally advised that Ms Yang is “unlikely” to be permitted to return to Australia.

In an email seen by the ABC, a consular official told Mr Ange documents he provided from September last year proving the couple live together in Sydney did not meet the Department of Home Affairs’ required time period for recognition as a de facto spouse.

Here’s how the coronavirus travel restrictions will affect you
Travelling to China soon? Have friends and family in China planning a trip to Australia? Here’s everything you need to know.

Mr Ange said he was unwilling to leave his partner in China during the outbreak, and they were desperate to head home together.

“We even thought about getting legally married in China, but for that you have to go in person to the Australian embassy in Beijing,” he said.

“And we can’t travel because of the roadblocks and closed transportation at the moment,” he said.

Mr Ange said he was informally advised that the couple should spend 14 days in a third country before coming to Australia.

“They’re trying to protect the borders by letting in married couples but not de factos, it’s all very wishy-washy and creating a lot of confusion,” he said.

Emails seeking clarification of the policy to both Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s office and the Department were not answered.

More on the coronavirus outbreak:

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


‘I’m devastated’: Why many Chinese restaurants are struggling to pull in customers


Australia

At his Chinese restaurant serving hot dumplings and noodle soups in Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast, Charlie Men is still scratching his head over where his regular customers have gone.

Key points:

  • There is no evidence so far of human-to-human transmission in Australia
  • The possibility of the virus spread during the incubation period is still being debated
  • There is no need to wear masks on the street if you’re healthy, experts say

“Normally I have 40 people eating during the peak hours, but yesterday I only had four or five customers,” he told the ABC.

Mr Men said he had seen a dramatic drop in the number of customers since the coronavirus outbreak started in China last month and his business was down by 80 per cent.

“My staff called in sick for weeks over concerns [they might catch] coronavirus. I’m devastated,” he said.

“Now, I’m all by myself — I’m the owner, manager, cook and waiter.”



Photo:

Charlie Men’s Kitchen on the Gold Coast is unusually quiet over coronavirus fears. (Supplied)

Mr Men said the Gold Coast Chinese restaurant community had taken a battering with a 50 per cent drop in business on average.

“My business relies on locals. Can you imagine those who are relying on Chinese tourist groups? Even worse,” Mr Men said, referring to Australia’s recent move to close its borders to Chinese visitors.

“A regular customer told me indirectly he was worried about eating at a Chinese restaurant after having seen people wearing masks in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.

“I was waiting to make money this Chinese New Year, now it’s all over.”

Mr Men’s experience is a familiar story across Australia, with the coronavirus fear factor taking its toll on Chinese restaurants in the Sydney suburbs of Eastwood, Chatswood and Burwood as well as Glen Waverley, Doncaster and Box Hill in Melbourne.

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Bo Zhang, a Glen Waverley hot pot restaurant owner, was notified by the Victorian Health Department that a man infected with coronavirus visited his restaurant on Australia Day.

Authorities said the man had travelled to Wuhan City in Hubei province and first started showing symptoms more than two days after returning to Australia.

“I was worried about my staff and customers catching the virus, so I shut the restaurant. So far we are all OK,” he told the ABC.

“But I have been suffering a lot of financial pressure lately, such as mortgage, rent and wages.”

Mr Zhang has been self-isolating at home for nearly two weeks and he hopes to reopen the restaurant once the incubation period is over.

“I have received a lot of support and care from my friends, I really appreciate that,” he said.



Photo:

The Glen Waverley hot pot restaurant linked to Victoria’s second coronavirus case is closed until February 9. (Supplied)

Meanwhile, a Box Hill restaurant owner, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she made a loss of about $4,000 last week after paying rent for her shop, electricity and her employees among other running costs.

“It’s been very quiet lately. Because of the coronavirus outbreak, people are scared to eat in a restaurant,” she said.

“My business is down by about 40 per cent.”

So why is there so much concern over visiting those suburbs? Is it an overreaction, and is it still safe to dine at your favourite Chinese restaurant?

Can you catch the virus from a Chinese restaurant?



Photo:

Carrington Road in Box Hill was almost empty at lunchtime on Wednesday. (ABC News: Samuel Yang)

Several restaurants in Box Hill have temporarily closed shop or significantly reduced their opening hours to cut costs due to the significantly reduced patronage.

However, medical experts say catching the virus is highly unlikely because all 14 confirmed cases in Australia are currently in quarantine or have recovered and been released.

What you need to know
Here’s a rundown of all the facts about coronavirus, and how you can make sure you’re protected.

Sharon Lewin, director of the Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, said so far every patient who had been diagnosed had recently travelled to Wuhan — the epicentre of the virus — or have been in the Hubei province.

“[China is] at a stage where there is quite a significant amount of human-to-human transmissions, so the number [of cases] in China are far greater than anywhere else in the globe,” she told the ABC.

“We’ve had no human-to-human transmission yet here in Australia, so I would have absolutely no concerns about having a nice Chinese meal in Box Hill.”

Dominic Dwyer, a medical virologist at Westmead Hospital in Sydney, also pointed out that people usually sat next to their friends and family at restaurants and the only risk would be if they were sick.

“Generally, we say you’ve got to be within a metre or two, perhaps a bit more, of people with a disease to catch it,” said Dr Dwyer, who is also a professor at Sydney University.

“It doesn’t make sense to think that you could get infected in the restaurant when the infection, as far as we’re aware, isn’t in the community.”



Photo:

A sign inside a restaurant in Box Hill advises people who have recently been to China to self-isolate for 14 days. (ABC News: Samuel Yang)

But reports that the virus could spread during the 14-day incubation period — even if the individual wasn’t showing symptoms — have heightened anxiety in the Chinese community.

Dr Dwyer said while the incubation period could be up to two weeks, it was in fact usually around five or six days.

“They’re incubating the disease … they don’t have a cough, they don’t have a sneeze, they don’t have a runny nose, then they’re not transmitting the infection,” he said.

“There is some debate that perhaps you can spread the virus before you get symptoms, but there’s still some debate about that, that’s not what normally happens with most other respiratory infections.

“For the most part … you’re generally shedding the virus when you’re symptomatic.

“So if people don’t have symptoms, and are wandering around the community, the likelihood that they’re going to infect anybody else is extremely low, and the likelihood that they’re going to sit in a restaurant and be two tables away and infect you is just not going to happen.”

How does the virus transmit and how do you prevent it?



Photo:

Vincent Liu’s wife working at the family’s grocery store in Box Hill. (ABC News: Samuel Yang)

Dr Dwyer said coronavirus spreads through “respiratory droplets” produced when people cough or sneeze just like the flu and the common cold.

He said the droplets might travel a metre or more, and people could become infected if they inhaled it or touch a contaminated surface and then touched their mouth.

“There’s a lot of debate as to whether there are other methods of transmission, but so far, the evidence is really all about what we call the respiratory route,” he said.

Just like limiting the spread of the cold and flu, people are encouraged to sneeze or cough into a tissue or the crook of their arm and wash their hands regularly.

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The Government has also asked people who returned from China to self-isolate themselves for 14 days, and to seek medical help — but call ahead — if they feel unwell.

While many people are seen wearing masks on the streets — leading to a mask shortage in some places — experts say it’s mostly unwarranted.

“First of all, standard surgical masks actually get wet very quickly just from your breath — breathing quickly in and out — and therefore are not effective,” Dr Lewin said.

“They also don’t block entry of a virus.”



Photo:

Many people are wearing masks even when they’re well. (ABC News)

Dr Dwyer said it would, however, make sense for people who are sick to wear a mask to reduce the spread of big droplets from spraying if they had a cough.

He said that while P2 or N95 masks were effective and worn by health professionals who were in close contact with patients in hospitals, they had to be fitted properly so that it was airtight.

“The other thing, too, is because they have to be quite tightly fitting to prevent air leakage, they’re not terribly comfortable to wear for long periods of time,” he said.

“So you couldn’t spend your whole day walking around wearing them.

“People do it because they’re anxious, but there’s no scientific merit in the ordinary person wearing a mask to be on the street.”

Are only restaurants impacted?



Photo:

Vincent Liu says his Asian grocery store in Box Hill has also experienced a drop in customers. (ABC News: Samuel Yang)

Despite the high level of precautions taken, including Australia closing its borders to visitors from China and advising Australians against travelling there, the Chinese community remains on high alert — steering clear of suburbs with a large Chinese population.

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Local businesses that rely on patronage from Chinese customers like Vincent Liu’s Asian grocery store have also taken a hit.

“Rumour has it that someone who’s infected has been to some places like Box Hill which impacted on residents here, including shop owners and visitors. It’s unfortunate,” said Mr Liu, who is also the honorary chairman of the Melbourne Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce.

“Since the start of the Chinese New Year, commercial activities have halved and the situation continues to deteriorate throughout this week.

“Business in the Box Hill Central precinct is down by 70 to 90 per cent across various businesses.”

He added it was the first time he had seen this situation this bad in 30 years.



Photo:

Tina Liu, councillor for Elgar Ward in the City of Whitehorse, says local businesses have been significantly impacted by fears over coronavirus. (ABC News: Samuel Yang)

Mr Liu’s daughter, Tina Liu, who is a councillor for the City of Whitehorse’s Elgar Ward — which includes Box Hill — said traders and businesses in the area as well as the general community needed support.

“We’re also hearing some restaurants for example, they’ve decided to just close shop rather than operate because they’re making losses, so that is of great concern,” she said.

“With this particular issue, it’s not just a local government issue, obviously it involves the state as well as federal level of government, so I would be very keen to work closely with them in order to address some of these concerns.”

More on the coronavirus outbreak:

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


‘It’s been going for a long, long time’: Family to sell Hobart icon Wing & Co after 60 years


Sandy Bay 7005

A family who has owned an iconic Asian grocery in Hobart for more than 60 years has decided to sell up shop, bringing the legacy of the Foong family to an end.

Key points:

  • The grocery was a popular milk bar and fruit and vegetable shop
  • It has been managed by the Foong family since the 1950s
  • The family hopes whoever buys the shop will continue running it as an Asian grocery

Joseph Chiu See Foong opened Wing & Co in Sandy Bay after he moved to Australia in the 1950s, and it has been owned and managed by the family ever since.

The grocery was a popular milk bar and fruit and vegetable shop in the centre of Hobart, before it moved to Sandy Bay in 1974.

His son Peter worked there as a young boy.

“I was probably more trouble than I [was] worth, mind you,” he said.

“For a while it was just fruit and vegetables, and then dad started importing Chinese canned foods and that just expanded.

“Then I went away to boarding school and I came back and it had turned into a Chinese grocery.

“At that time, he started importing transistors and he was one of the early people to sell transistor radios and small electronic items like that.”

His father was born in Guangzhou in China in 1919 and survived World War II and the Japanese occupation, before migrating to Australia.

He went into a partnership to establish Wing and Co in the mid-1950s and he built a house and married Laraine Henry.

Mr Foong said his father worked hard in the business.

“Dad was never home. He spent just about all of his time there,” he said.

“I didn’t see him in the morning and he would come home quite late for dinner.”

His father worked hard to get his widowed sister, niece and nephew out from China before the Communist Party took over in 1949.

He also worked to get his sister and her family from Vietnam to Tasmania after the fall of Saigon.

He and his wife had six children and sponsored students and relatives at their home.



Photo:

The Asian grocery is based in Sandy Bay. (ABC News: Adam Harding)

Family hopes the shop will remain an Asian grocery

Mr Foong said his brothers and sisters took turns working at the grocery.

“It was to help support members of the family making a living in Hobart,” he said.

He said he hoped whoever bought the business would continue to run it as an Asian grocery.

“It’ll be sad because it’s been going for a long, long time,” he said.

“I went back at Christmas, and looking around it, it’s grown a lot.

“I’ll be a bit disappointed that we can no longer run it for the members of the family.”

He said he has fond memories of working there.

“When people came in to buy fruit and vegetables, we’d have to gather them up and put them in bags and I remember I could never cut the pumpkin because it was too hard,” he said.

“But I was quite proud of myself, when I was able to add up all the costs of each individual item. Mind you, a couple of apples would be five or six cents, oranges the same, and it would all add up to 56 or 57 cents.”

His father died in 1979, and his mother and siblings continued running the business.

Ms Foong was left with paralysis of her right side from a stroke after a life-saving operation for a brain aneurysm in 2001.

She died in 2015 following a short illness.



Photo:

The shop sells Asian produce, as well as fruit and vegetables. (ABC News: Adam Harding)

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


Tokyo Olympics organisers have ‘serious concerns’ over coronavirus threat


China

The spread of a new coronavirus could throw “cold water over the growing momentum of the 2020 Games,” Tokyo Organising Committee chief executive Toshiro Muto said.

Key points:

  • Vaccines for the virus will likely not be ready by the start of the Summer Olympics
  • Japan Sports Agency has started examining the impact on preparations of athletes
  • The Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix may not go ahead this year because of the coronavirus threat

“I am seriously concerned … I hope this will be resolved as soon as possible,” Mr Muto said at a meeting in Tokyo with the organisers of the Paralympic Games.

Japanese Government officials including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have said the Government would work hard to minimise any impact from the virus outbreak on the Games, which start on July 24.

What you need to know
Here’s a rundown of all the facts about coronavirus, and how you can make sure you’re protected.

The death toll from the flu-like virus that originated in China’s central city of Wuhan has passed 500, as two US airlines suspended flights to Hong Kong following the first fatality there and 10 cases were confirmed on a quarantined Japanese cruise ship.

Vaccines against the virus probably will not be ready by the start of the Tokyo Summer Olympics, a professor who looked at health risks ahead of the Games said earlier, adding he hoped there was enough time to build defences.

Saburo Kawabuchi, head of the athletes’ village for the 2020 Olympics, said he hoped the games would proceed smoothly, free from the virus.

Separately, Japan Sports Agency has started examining the impact of the virus on preparations by athletes for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, NHK reported.

Chinese F1 Grand Prix under threat



Photo:

Daniel Ricciardo won in Shanghai in 2018. (AP: Andy Wong)

Meanwhile, Shanghai sports authorities have recommended the suspension of all sporting events in the city due to the coronavirus outbreak, casting further doubt on whether the Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place.

The fourth grand prix of the season is scheduled for April 19 in Shanghai.

The race was expected to be on the agenda at a Formula 1 Strategy Group meeting amid increasing speculation that it could join the growing list of sports events already postponed or cancelled.

The Shanghai Sports General Association called on sports organisers to “strictly abide by the requirement of the Shanghai Sports Bureau to stop organising sports events during the epidemic”.

It said, in a statement, that all sports events should be suspended “until the epidemic is over”.

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Some Formula 1 insiders hold out little hope of the race happening.

“I’m sure they [Formula 1 and the FIA] will take the necessary due diligence before making any commitment about either delaying or postponing or cancelling the race,” said Red Bull team boss Christian Horner ahead of the meeting.

“So we have to trust their judgement, their knowledge.”

The last Formula 1 race to be cancelled was the Bahrain Grand Prix of 2011, due to months of social unrest in the Gulf kingdom.

This year’s calendar has a record 22 races, leaving little chance of any rescheduling. Russia, whose race is in September but has previously been held in April, has already ruled out a date swap.

The outbreak has affected numerous international sports events in China. Among them was the world indoor athletics championships scheduled to be held in Nanjing on March 13-15, which have been postponed until next year.

The all-electric Formula E motor racing series has abandoned plans for a race in Sanya next month.

An LPGA Tour golf tournament has been moved to next year, while women’s football matches have been moved to Australia.

Reuters

More on the coronavirus outbreak:

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


Chinese store fined for price-gouging on protective masks as coronavirus grips the nation


China

Chinese authorities have cracked down on price-gouging vendors who have been charging up to six times the regular amount for protective masks as the country deals with the coronavirus outbreak.

Key points:

  • People in China are queuing in large numbers to get protective masks
  • Boxes of the masks have gone for as much as $181, when they regularly retail for around $30
  • One store has been fined 3 million yuan for marking up its price dramatically

One store in the Chinese capital will be fined 3 million yuan ($639,850) for hiking the price of masks by almost six times the online rate amid the virus outbreak, the Beijing municipal market regulator said on Wednesday.

The outbreak, which started in the central city of Wuhan late last year, has killed over 120 people, with over 4,000 infected in China.

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An administrative penalty notice has been issued to the Beijing Jimin Kangtai Pharmacy for sharply raising the price of N95 masks, the regulator said in a statement on its website.

The store raised the price of a box of 3M-brand masks to 850 yuan ($181) while the online price was just 143 yuan ($30), state television said.

Since Thursday, the regulator has investigated 31 price violation cases as it boosted supervision of prices of protective gear and punished illegal activities, such as hoarding or fabricating information about price hikes.

In the commercial capital of Shanghai, the municipal market regulator has also ordered the closure of a drug store that sold sub-standard masks, according to the city government.

Queues for masks are growing outside stores but those who are looking to buy them are concerned for their own health due to fears of coming into contact with someone suffering from coronavirus.


Video: Scott Morrison says masks have been released from national stockpile

(ABC News)

“I left my place before 8:00 in the morning. I came by bus but I don’t think it’s good to queue here because it’s a large crowd here. I am worried about cross-infection but I have no choice but queue here,” local resident Zhang Dahua said.

There had also been rumours of food shortages but supermarkets in Shanghai showed a good supply of fruits, eggs and vegetables.

Children stuck in Wuhan
The ABC has confirmed that over 100 Australian children are currently trapped in Wuhan, the epicentre of the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

Hubei province and the city of Wuhan continue to be in lockdown to avoid further spread of the virus, although both Japan and the United States have managed to evacuate their citizens from the area.

It was not immediately known whether they were infected because coronavirus symptoms, including cough and fever and in severe cases pneumonia, are similar to many other illnesses.

On Wednesday Australia’s Federal Government said it would evacuate some Australians who were stuck in Hubei province, sending them to Christmas Island for quarantine before being cleared to return to the Australian mainland.

That news came as Victoria and Queensland confirmed more cases of the potentially deadly disease, taking the total number of confirmed cases in Australia to seven.

More on the coronavirus outbreak:

ABC/Reuters

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


ASX bounces back from coronavirus sell-off, but Treasury Wine walloped


Australia

Australian shares are recovering some of Tuesday’s heavy losses as overseas investors took a slightly less pessimistic view of China’s coronavirus outbreak and its economic fallout.

Key points:

  • ASX 200 index is up 0.6 per cent at 7,038
  • The gains are less than half of yesterday’s 1.4 per cent slide
  • Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index had a stronger 1 per cent rise overnight

The benchmark ASX 200 index closed up 0.5 per cent at 7,031 — though the local market still has some way to go before clawing back yesterday’s 1.4 per cent loss, its sharpest fall since the year began.

Around the region, Tokyo’s Nikkei was also 0.7 per cent higher by 4:25pm (AEDT) but Hong Kong’s Hang Seng had dropped 2.3 per cent, having been closed for Lunar New Year during recent negative trading days.

Many of the sectors that were hardest hit yesterday — such as airlines, travel, entertainment and retail — have been posting solid gains today.

However, Treasury Wine Estates backed up a 5.8 per cent coronavirus-related fall yesterday, with a 25.1 per cent slump today, as it announced a significant downgrade to its forecast profit growth.

The company said difficulties in the North American market, which accounts for about 40 per cent of its sales, would lead to earnings growth of 5-10 per cent for 2020, down from a previous forecast of 15-20 per cent.

Treasury is also facing higher production costs as bushfires and drought wiped out a significant part of Australia’s grape crop and the company’s earnings downgrade did not include any forecast on the potential Chinese earnings hit from coronavirus.

The company’s shares closed at $12.50 — their lowest level in around two-and-a-half years.

Wall Street rebounded (somewhat) from the previous day’s heavy sell-off, which saw the blue-chip Dow Jones index tumble by 450 points — its worst trading day in four months.

The Dow closed up 187 points, or 0.6 per cent, at 28,763.

The benchmark S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq lifted by 1 and 1.4 per cent respectively.

Market snapshot at 9:15am (AEDT):

  • ASX SPI futures +0.5pc at 6,977, ASX 200 (Friday’s close) 6,995
  • AUD: 67.61 US cents, 51.89 British pence, 61.34 Euro cents, 73.80 Japanese yen, $NZ1.033
  • US: Dow Jones +0.7pc at 28,723, S&P 500 +1pc at 3,276, Nasdaq +1.4pc at 9,270
  • Europe: FTSE 100 +0.9pc at 7,481, DAX +0.9pc at 13,324, CAC +1.1pc at 5,926, Euro Stoxx 50 +1.1pc at 3,719
  • Commodities: Brent crude +1.2pc at $US60.02/barrel, spot gold flat at $US1,566.81/ounce

Pepperstone’s head of research Chris Weston does not think global markets have seen the last of their coronavirus jitters yet.

“It’s been a session where traders have focused less on the coronavirus (2019-nCov) and more on solid US economics,” he wrote in his morning note.

“I still sit in the camp that there is far more to play out in the 2019-nCov scare, and the impact on Chinese economics will be real.

“It’s the duration of the scare which will dictate confidence and the draw on discretionary spending, although most believe the authorities will meet any worsening of economics with a determined fiscal and monetary response.”

Earnings reporting season is gathering pace, with Apple reporting results for the last three months of 2019 after the US markets closed.

The result beat expectations, with revenues of $US91.8 billion up 9 per cent from the same period a year ago.

Investors were also pleased with a higher-than-expected forecast for revenue in the first quarter of 2020, sending Apple shares up more than 2 per cent in extended trading.

However, investors will continue to keep a close watch on Apple’s earnings amid concerns of a disruption to iPhone production as the coronavirus potentially spreads across major markets and production hubs in China.

Brent crude oil lifted to $US59.64 per barrel, while spot gold dropped sharply to $US1,568.87 an ounce.

The Australian dollar has remained weak at 67.68 US cents, having fallen by 1 per cent since the week started.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


In China, there’s evidence that SARs syndrome has been at play again


China

It is too early to make a definitive judgement about how Beijing has handled the outbreak of the potentially deadly coronavirus in Wuhan, a city of 11 million in central China.

But it is already clear that any assessment will have to take into account not just the medical side of the virus’s spread.

Just as important in a public health crisis is how the authorities manage the disclosure of the information about the virus within the government, and to the public.

So far, the handling of the crisis seems to have underlined one of the ongoing problems with the authoritarian strictures of the party-state, which places a premium on the control of information in the name of maintaining stability.

Beijing’s had a test run in how not to handle a crisis

In such a system, lower-level officials have no incentive to report problems until Beijing allows them to do so. Under the rule of Xi Jinping, such restrictions have only grown tighter.

The difficulties of managing a public health crisis have been accentuated by this one’s timing — on the eve of Lunar New Year, when literally millions of people would have been coming from Wuhan, a transport hub.

Should Australians be worried? Australia has a number of measures to help stop the spread of coronavirus — but with warnings the disease has a week-long incubation period, carriers could already be in the country.

Any official shutting down Wuhan would also have been shutting down the new year, a time when millions of Chinese get to reunite and celebrate as a family.

Beijing has already had a test run in how not to handle a crisis of this kind, when the flu-like SARs (severe acute respiratory syndrome) began spreading in late 2002.

China initially delayed responding to requests for more information from the World Health Organisation when the virus first appeared in southern China in November 2002.

It wasn’t until February 2003 that Beijing told the WHO. As late as April, Beijing was still suppressing the numbers of people who were infected.

It took a courageous doctor at the military hospital in Beijing, who informed the foreign media about the true count of patients, to force Beijing to deal with the issue openly.



Photo:

The difficulties of managing a public health crisis have been accentuated by this one’s timing — on the eve of Lunar New Year. (Reuters via China Daily)

As a result, the epidemic took longer to control, it spread further, both in China and overseas, and more people died.

There was one other lesson for the whistle blowers. No one thanked them later. Just because they did good, they did not do well.

Early signs show SARs syndrome at play again

Fast forward to 2020, and it is instructive to look at what has, and hasn’t, changed.

From all the reports coming out of China, albeit in a haphazard fashion, the medical and public health staff has performed with the skill that you would expect from highly skilled professionals.

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They isolated and identified the virus quickly.

But from that point onwards, the early signs are that the SARs syndrome has been at play again.

In early January, eight people in Wuhan were detained for “spreading rumours” about the virus. The official police report said they had been spreading “fake news” which had harmed social stability.

Various officials in Wuhan continued to downplay the spread of the virus in the opening weeks of the year. As late as Tuesday evening, the Hubei provincial party secretary and governor hosted a lavish Lunar New Year event, despite reports that many of the performers were ill.

Could the virus have been contained?

But by then, the issue could no longer be contained.

With infections and deaths rising, the authorities in Wuhan issued an order on Wednesday effectively quarantining the city, no small thing given its size and importance as a transport hub in central China.

What is a coronavirus?
Here’s what we know about the novel coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, and how worried you should be.

One reason for the order was that so many people in Wuhan had not been able to find a bed in a hospital in the city that they had begun to hop on planes and go elsewhere in the country looking for treatment.

Hospitals in Beijing, Shanghai and Dalian were reporting coronavirus patients, too. Some have been diagnosed in Hong Kong, and as far as the US.

Could the virus have been contained, and its spread limited, if officials in Wuhan had levelled with both their bosses, and the public, earlier?

It is impossible to say, but at the moment, it certainly looks that way.

Richard McGregor is a senior fellow at the Lowy Institute. This piece first appeared on the Lowy Institute’s Interpreter blog.



Photo:

One reason for the order was that so many people in Wuhan had not been able to find a bed in a hospital. (Reuters)

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


Four new pneumonia cases sparks concern ahead of busy Chinese New Year travel period


China

Four more cases have been identified in a viral pneumonia outbreak in the central Chinese city of Wuhan that has killed two people and prompted countries as far away as the United States to take precautionary measures.

Key points:

  • Chinese authorities say the latest cases bring the number of people who have contracted the illness to 45
  • But the London-based Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis says there were likely to be “substantially more cases”
  • Heath experts say it is hard to screen people for the virus as the symptoms are “quite general”

The latest cases bring the number of people who have contracted the illness to 45, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said. Five are in serious condition, two died and 15 have been discharged. The others are in stable condition.

The cause of the pneumonia has been traced to a new type of coronavirus.

Health authorities are keen to avoid a repeat of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, another coronavirus that started in southern China in late 2002 and spread to more than two dozen countries, killing nearly 800 people.

Though experts say the new virus does not appear to be as lethal as SARS, there is little known about its origins and how easily it can spread.

At least a half-dozen countries in Asia have started screening incoming airline passengers from central China.

The list includes Thailand and Japan, which have together reported three cases of the disease in people who had come from Wuhan. It is an unusually busy travel period as people take trips to and from China around Lunar New Year, which falls on January 25 this year.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has also warned that a wider outbreak is possible, though it has advised against any travel restrictions for China.

The US announced it would begin screening passengers at three major airports arriving on flights from Wuhan.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said it would deploy 100 people to take the temperatures and ask about symptoms of incoming passengers at the Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City’s Kennedy airports.

But Alexandra Phelan, global health legal expert at Georgetown University’s Centre for Global Health Science and Security, said such screening may be insufficient in preventing the virus from spreading as its symptoms, which include fever, cough and difficulty in breathing, are “quite general”.

“There are likely to be many individuals with matching symptoms due to an illness that is not 2019-nCoV,” Mr Phelan said, referring to the new virus.

Doctors began seeing a new type of viral pneumonia — fever, cough, difficulty breathing — in people who worked at or visited a food market in the suburbs of Wuhan late last month.

The city’s health commission confirmed a second death this week, a 69-year-old man who fell ill on December 31 and died on Wednesday.

Officials have said the pneumonia probably spread from animals to people but have not been able to rule out the possibility of human-to-human transmission, which would enable it to spread much faster.



Photo:

The outbreak comes ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday when many of China’s 1.4 billion people will be travelling. (Reuters: China Daily CDIC)

No related cases have been found so far among 763 people who had close contact with those diagnosed with the virus in Wuhan. Of them, 665 have been released and 98 remain under medical observation, the Wuhan health authorities said.

A report published by the London Imperial College’s MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis said there were likely to be “substantially more cases” of the new coronavirus than currently announced by Wuhan authorities.

The agency estimates that there would be 1,723 cases showing related symptoms by January 12.

AP/Reuters

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


Phase one of US-China trade deal signed


United States

The United States and China have announced an initial trade deal that will roll back some tariffs and boost Chinese purchases of US goods and services, defusing an 18-month conflict between the world’s two largest economies.

Key points:

  • The centrepiece of the deal is a pledge by China to purchase an additional $US200 billion of US farm products and other goods
  • Mr Trump said China would buy $US40-50 billion in additional US services and $US75 billion more in manufacturing goods
  • The deal fails to address many of the structural differences that led the Trump administration to start the trade war

Beijing and Washington portrayed their “Phase 1” agreement as a momentous step on Wednesday (local time) after months of start-stop talks punctuated by tit-for-tat tariffs that uprooted supply chains and stoked fears of a further slowdown in the global economy.

“Together we are righting the wrongs of the past and delivering a future of economic justice and security for American workers, farmers and families,” US President Donald Trump said as he touted the deal at the White House alongside Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and other officials.

The US-China trade deal is more of a ceasefire
Questions remain as to how Donald Trump’s US-China trade deal will affect the global economy.

The centrepiece of the deal is a pledge by China to purchase at least an additional $US200 billion ($290 billion) of US farm products and other goods and services over two years, over a baseline of $US186 billion in purchases in 2017.

The deal would include $US50 billion in additional orders for US agricultural products, Mr Trump said, adding he was confident that US farmers would be able to meet the greater demand.

He also said China would buy $US40 billion to $US50 billion in additional US services, $US75 billion more in manufacturing goods, and $US50 billion more of energy supplies.

Officials from both countries have touted the deal as ushering in a new era for US-Sino relations, but it fails to address many of the structural differences that led the Trump administration to start the trade war.

These differences include Beijing’s long-standing practice of propping up state-owned companies, and flooding international markets with low-priced goods.

Trump’s trade wars The US-China trade war has been dominating headlines, but Beijing is not the only trading partner in President Donald Trump’s crosshairs.

Mr Trump, who has embraced an “America First” policy aimed at rebalancing global trade in favour of US companies and workers, said China had pledged action to confront the problem of pirated or counterfeited goods, and that the deal included strong protection of intellectual property rights.

Chinese President Xi Jinping told Mr Donald Trump in a letter, read by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at the signing of the deal in Washington, that he welcomes the Phase 1 trade deal reached with the US.

Mr Xi also told Mr Trump in the letter that he is willing to stay in close touch with the American leader and that the agreement shows how the two countries can resolve their differences and find solutions based on dialogue.

Meanwhile, Charles Schumer the Senate Minority Leader, slammed the news of the trade deal saying it “does next to nothing of substance for workers feeling the brutal, merciless weight of China’s trade and industrial abuse.”

Mr Schumer added: “I greatly fear that President Xi is laughing at us behind our backs for having given away so little at the expense of American workers, farmers and businesses.”

‘Radical shift in Chinese spending unlikely’

Earlier, top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Fox News the agreement would add 0.5 percentage points to US gross domestic product growth in both 2020 and 2021.



Photo:

Officials from both countries have touted the deal as ushering in a new era for US-Sino relations. (AP: Steve Helber)

But some analysts have expressed scepticism it will set US-China trade on a new trajectory.

“I find a radical shift in Chinese spending unlikely. I have low expectations for meeting stated goals,” said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Leuthold Group in Minneapolis.

“But I do think the whole negotiation has moved the football forward for both the US and China.”

The deal doesn’t end retaliatory tariffs on American farm exports, makes farmers “increasingly reliant” on Chinese state-controlled purchases, and doesn’t address “big structural changes,” Michelle Erickson-Jones, a wheat farmer and spokeswoman for Farmers for Free Trade, said in a statement.

What next in the US-China trade fight?
The US has now declared China is a “currency manipulator” — but what does that mean and what effect will it have on the trade war?

The Phase 1 deal, reached in December, cancelled planned US tariffs on Chinese-made cell-phones, toys and laptop computers and halved the tariff rate to 7.5 per cent on about $US120 billion worth of other Chinese goods, including flat panel televisions, Bluetooth headphones and footwear.

But it will leave in place 25 per cent tariffs on a vast, $US250 billion array of Chinese industrial goods and components used by US manufacturers, and China’s retaliatory tariffs on over $US100 billion in US goods.

Market turmoil and reduced investment tied to the trade war cut global growth in 2019 to its lowest rate since the 2008-2009 financial crisis, the International Monetary Fund said in October.

Tariffs on Chinese imports have cost US companies $US46 billion. Evidence is mounting that tariffs have raised input costs for US manufacturers, eroding their competitiveness.

Mr Trump, who has been touting the Phase 1 deal as a pillar of his 2020 re-election campaign said he would agree to remove the remaining tariffs once the two sides had negotiated a “Phase 2” agreement.

He added that those negotiations would start soon.

He also said he would visit China in the not-too-distant future.

Reuters

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


Sinkhole swallows bus in China, six dead


China

A bus has plunged through a collapsed section of road in north-western China, killing at least six people, authorities said.

Some 1,000 emergency workers and 30 vehicles were sent to the site, the emergency management bureau in the city of Xining said.

Footage apparently shot by security cameras and posted on social media showed the truck gradually settling into the hole while people nearby scrambled for safety.

The collapse Monday afternoon left 16 people in the hospital. The bureau said the bus had been raised from the collapsed 80-square-metre section into which it had fallen.

Footage posted online showed the bus tipped halfway into the chasm that had opened up at a bus stop just outside a health clinic.



Photo:

The bus plunged through a collapsed section of road in north-western China. (AP: Ma Minyan)

Light and smoke were coming to the surface, possibly as a result of the rupture of gas or electricity lines.

Workers using backhoes, dump trucks and other equipment excavated earth around the collapse.

The hilly city of Xining is the capital of Qinghai province, one of China’s poorest regions that lies atop the Tibetan Plateau.

The expedited building of roads, tunnels, bridges and other infrastructure to keep China’s economy strong has often led to corner-cutting on safety, causing fatal workplace and industrial accidents.

Mining had also caused instability in the ground in many areas after years of barely restricted mineral extraction.

AP

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


In lieu of Facebook and Instagram, the US and Iran are now fighting on Chinese social media


China

The world has been on alert since the United States killed Iran’s revered military general Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad earlier this month.

Key points:

  • Iran and American embassies in China have been sparring on Weibo, a Twitter-like platform
  • Various Chinese users have cheered and condemned Iran in equal measure
  • Facebook and Instagram are removing pro-Iranian content, owing to US sanctions

For the moment, it appears as though Tehran and Washington will not be coming to armed blows in the immediate term, but that has not stopped the countries from trading barbs in the virtual sphere — in places largely unexpected.

In recent days, tensions between the US and Iran have been playing out on Weibo, a Twitter-like social media platform available to Chinese citizens.

“The end of the evil forces of the United States in Western Asia has begun,” read one Weibo post from the Iranian embassy in China.



Photo:

This Iranian Weibo post gives a visual nod to a tweet from President Donald Trump featuring the US flag.
(Weibo: Iranian embassy in China)

“Qassem Soleimani has been supporting terrorism and inciting sectarian violence for decades, resulting in thousands of deaths … and supplying arms to militants acting for the Iranian regime in six countries, including Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain, Yemen and Afghanistan,” reads the US embassy’s Weibo post in reply.

The US embassy also released posts claiming that General Soleimani was responsible for “exporting” terrorism and sectarian violence, “killing thousands”.

It has also released posts quoting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has praised US President Donald Trump for the decision to kill the Iranian general.

Why the killing of General Soleimani is such a big deal
The death of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani is a watershed moment, even in the long and bloody history of Middle East conflict.

In parallel moves, the Iranian embassy released Weibo posts quoting Iranian officials on the tensions, including the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“If the United States retaliates against [Iranian forces], it will surely get the strongest retaliation,” another Weibo post from the Iranian embassy read.

The Iranian embassy has also been taking screenshots of tweets from its Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, and reposting them on Weibo with Chinese translations.

Major Western online platforms, such as Google, Facebook and Twitter are blocked from the Chinese internet, however, some users are able to get around this with the use of virtual private networks (VPNs).

Instagram wipes pro-Soleimani views, while Weibo doesn’t


Video: Mr Trump's imposition of sanctions on Iran have had implications for US social media giants.

(ABC News)

Like everywhere else on the Chinese internet, content on Weibo is heavily censored by censors who take down information deemed critical of the ruling Communist regime, such as details about the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre or the global condemnation of Beijing’s internment of Uyghur Muslims.

But presently, it appears as though China’s censors are letting Iran and the US go at each other in full view of the Chinese internet — a situation that is ironically, not mirrored on some US social media platforms.

Instagram and its parent company, Facebook, told CNN on Friday that it would be censoring posts that voice support for General Soleimani to comply with US sanctions, in addition to posts that voice support for Iranians currently under American sanctions.

Various Iranian officials and industrial sectors of the country are currently subject to US sanctions, which were intensified after Iran’s missile strikes on US military assets in Iraq.

External Link:

@AliRabiei_ir tweet: In an undemocratic and unashmed action,Instagram has blocked an innocence nations' voice protesting to the assesination ofGeneral #Soleimani,while the real terrorists have been given an open voice.The stick behind the democracy and media freedom is displayed in the nick of time

In April, Instagram suspended General Soleimani’s account after Washington designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a terrorist organisation.

Instagram is one of the few Western social media platforms allowed on Iran’s state-censored internet, though users can access Facebook and Twitter through VPNs.

But in recent weeks, it has become clear that Instagram has removed major Iranian accounts, rather than just individual posts.

External Link:

@maasalan tweet: IRGC affiliated Tasnim News Agency ( @Tasnimnews_Fa ) has its Instagram profile removed following Soleimani’s assassination. Unclear if because of Soleimani’s terrorist designation and their coverage of him. Semi-official @FarsNews_Agency remains live, with commemorative posts.

Consequently, numerous Iranian journalists, human rights activists, news organisations and influencers have seen their accounts shut down in recent weeks, according to Coda, an investigative journalism website.

“Every person I saw that posted about Soleimani on Instagram, almost all of their posts have been removed,” Amir Rashidi, an Iranian internet security and digital rights researcher, told Coda.

“The only platform where we could freely express ourselves was Instagram … And now Instagram is censoring us.”

Irony of US and Iran taking to Weibo has not been lost



Photo:

The US has used a number of Weibo posts to criticise the legacy of Iran’s Soleimani. (Weibo: US embassy in China)

Among Chinese social media observers, the online tiff between the Iranian and American embassies has been dubbed “the battle over Liangma Bridge”, as the respective embassies are about 1.5 kilometres apart, separated by the Liangma River in central Beijing.

Under the embassies’ respective posts, there are a variety of views reflected.

On Wechat, I’ll be a silent observer
WeChat is a central part of life in China, used for almost everything from transferring money to booking hotels. But now that I know my private messages are being censored, I am considering quitting.

“Where there is oppression, there is resistance. Great Iranian people, add oil! To expel the fascist America from West Asia!” one Weibo user, Liu Yan Fei Yu, wrote.

Weibo users who wrote posts in support of Iran received a special shout-out last Thursday.

“At this very moment, we deeply feel the warmth from the messages from Chinese netizens,” the post read.

However, Chinese users who were praised for submitting pro-Iranian views last week had shifted their tone, after it was revealed a missile fired by the Islamic Republic struck a Ukrainian commercial airliner, killing all 176 people onboard.

“Iran, an evil country, is a threat to all mankind if it stays on the Earth,” wrote another user.

“If it strikes the United States, it will also notify in advance, but it will strike the flight with their own people in it for real!”

Presently, it is unclear if these Beijing embassies will be drawn into more virtual sparring, but in Iran’s case, Chinese social media might be one of the few places the Islamic Republic might have left to state its case abroad.

External Link:

@DabuekDumbrill tweet: Twitter banned the president of Syria and an Iranian leader. Now an Iranian & American ambassador are arguing with each other on Weibo… In Chinese. The Chinese internet has become the most uncensored environment for international political discussions. #irony

On Saturday, the Weibo account of Iran’s embassy in China said Iran reserved “the right to take further appropriate countermeasures” against Washington, and would “continue to maintain communication and coordination with partners in and outside the region, especially with China”.

For other Weibo users, the irony of Chinese social media — and the Chinese language — becoming the place for an online US-Iran fight, has not been lost.

“Here’s the world’s largest imperialist country and the world’s largest theocratic republic, on a social media platform of the world’s largest socialist nation, using Standard Chinese to engage in a fierce diplomatic fight,” another user wrote.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


There’s a larger epidemic than obesity and we’re not certain what’s causing it


Australia

The number of people with myopia, aka short-sightedness (difficulty seeing objects in the distance), has increased dramatically in recent years in various regions of the world.

For example, in many cities in China, more than 90 per cent of university students are living with myopia. In pure numbers, this is one of the largest epidemics humanity has ever seen, far greater than the obesity epidemic.

The myopia boom was first noted in the 1980s in the cities of East Asian countries such as Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. The cities of China followed soon afterwards, and a similar trend is being noted in Europe.

From blur to blindness

For most people, myopia is merely an inconvenience requiring correction with glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery.

Notably, myopia is associated with an increased risk of blindness from retinal detachment, glaucoma and myopic macular degeneration. Risk of blindness increased with worsening severity of myopia and this is a major public health concern.

Screen time and your eyesight
As kids, we were told TV would give us “square eyes”, so what about the screens we stare at all day every day?

Researchers and parents of children developing myopia have looked for explanations and the latest “suspect” is the use of personal electronic devices.

But the myopia epidemic in Asia preceded the release of smartphones by many years (the first iPhone was released in 2007).

New technologies — televisions in the 1960s, computers in the 1980s, laptops in the 1990s, and currently smartphones and tablets — have all been blamed for causing myopia.

As far back as the 1600s, the German astronomer Johannes Kepler, who first identified concave lenses could correct myopia, is said to have attributed his short-sightedness to all his years of “intense study of astronomical tables and so forth”. But he might well have blamed Gutenberg‘s printed books (the latest technology at the time).

What’s to blame for myopia?

So, what have researchers found so far?

Having parents with myopia increases a child’s risk for myopia. But children can mimic their parents’ potentially myopia-inducing lifestyle — such as near work that requires focusing on close-up objects and studying a lot inside — as well as inherit their genes.

After years of debate over whether myopia is due to genetic or environmental factors (with reading and screen use suggested), we now know it is an interaction of both genes and environment.

Myopia does not result from a single gene defect; more than 160 interacting genes contribute to the risk of myopia.

What are the environmental triggers that would explain an epidemic?

Many studies have looked at possible risk factors but only a few have come out consistently around the world: near work, years in education and lack of time spent outdoors in daylight.

Untangling the interactions is a challenge because these factors are interrelated, with children who study more spending less time outdoors.

Don’t just blame the technology

Despite decades of parents warning children, no study has shown that sitting too close to the television causes myopia.

Blue light at night and your body clock For the past decade, scientists have been exploring whether artificial light poses a risk to human health.

In the past two years, five papers (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5) have looked at myopia and personal electronic devices. Some, but not all, have found an association between the amount of screen use and myopia. But this does not mean screen time itself causes myopia.

Instead of reading from books, children are reading more from screens and changing the nature of their near work. Rising rates of myopia are related to near work behaviours, rather than screen use in particular.

Children are also changing the way they use screens. The simple idea that screen use occurs indoors was completely overthrown by the Pokemon Go craze, as gamers headed outdoors with their smartphones in search of virtual treats.

In addition, we now have children using virtual reality goggles to play games or even study.

Limits on screen time

Australian guidelines recommend:

  • children under two years of age have no screen time
  • two to five-year-old children have a maximum of one hour a day
  • five to 17-year-old children be limited to two hours of recreational screen time per day.

There is no rigorous scientific basis for these time limits in relation to visual health. But a recent study showed a large percentage of children exceeded these time limits.

Potential health issues relating to screen time are diverse. Sleep, posture, level of physical activity and behavioural issues are additional reasons for concern.

Just go outside more

Unlike previous generations, most children today experience a lot of screen time. But we don’t have consistent findings for use of television, computers, tablets, smartphones or even virtual reality goggles themselves as the main cause of myopia.

We clearly need some very large, well-conducted studies where we directly measure the use of screen time across a wide range of health issues from infancy to young adulthood.

Some cities in China are trialling scheduled time spent outdoors at school to see if it prevents or decreases the progression of myopia in children.

In Australia, we need tailored messages to encourage kids to spend more time outdoors if they are inside reading or using screens too much.

David Mackey is Professor of Ophthalmology at University of Western Australia. This article originally appeared on The Conversation.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


Hong Kong rings in 2020 with democracy chants instead of harbour fireworks


Hong Kong

Thousands of Hong Kong revellers have welcomed in 2020 on neon-lit promenades along the picturesque Victoria Harbour, breaking into pro-democracy chants as the clocks struck midnight after more than half a year of unrest.

Key points:

  • Authorities cancelled new year fireworks over security concerns
  • Protesters urged people not to give up the fight for democracy in 2020
  • Chief Executive Carrie Lam called for a “new resolution” to start 2020

Protesters briefly blocked Nathan Road — a key artery leading through Kowloon to the harbour — after forming human chains across the Chinese-ruled city and marching through shopping malls, urging people not to give up the fight for democracy in 2020.

The protesters fled when police came to clear the road of umbrellas, street furniture and debris and a three-metre-tall skeleton of a metal Christmas tree. Several arrests were made.

Authorities had cancelled the popular new year fireworks for the first time in a decade, citing security concerns.

A Symphony of Lights took place instead, involving projections on the city’s tallest skyscrapers after the countdown to midnight.



Photo:

Riot police officers detain an anti-Government protester during a demonstration on New Year’s Eve outside Mong Kok police station. (Reuters: Tyrone Siu)

There were small-scale pyrotechnics on waterfront rooftops, but the grandiose fireworks launched from vessels in the centre of the harbour, broadcast around the world every year, were absent.

The carnival atmosphere on the harbour was interrupted as parts of the crowd of thousands watching the show began chanting protest slogans, such as “Liberate Hong Kong! Revolution of our times” and “Five demands, not one less.”

The latter refers to the goals of the anti-Government movement, which include universal suffrage and an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality.

The protesters are angry at what they see as creeping Beijing influence in the city, which was guaranteed wide-ranging autonomy when it returned from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

Beijing denies interference and blames the West for fomenting the unrest.

“I hope people can continue fighting in 2020,” 28-year-old engineer Eric Wong said.

“We should not forget the people in jail who could not count down to the new year with us.”

New year, new conflict

On Nathan Road, protesters in a chain stretching for several kilometres raised lit-up smartphones as passing cars and buses honked in support and tourists in party hats and 2020-shaped glasses took pictures.

Many protesters held up cards reading “Let’s keep fighting together in 2020”.

The chain later spilled over on to the road, and some protesters built barricades and hid behind umbrellas until police chased them away.

A water cannon truck, flanked by an armoured jeep, patrolled the road at midnight.



Photo:

Protesters demonstrate at Tsim Sha Tsui. (Reuters: Navesh Chitrakar)

“This year there are no fireworks, but there will probably be tear gas somewhere,” said 25-year-old IT worker Sam.

“For us it’s not really New Year’s Eve. We have to resist every day,” he said.

Dozens of people had earlier laid flowers at the Prince Edward metro station, scene of some of the most violent clashes with the police this summer.

The protests began in June in response to a now-withdrawn bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, where courts are controlled by the Communist Party, and have evolved into a broader pro-democracy movement.

Carrie Lam calls for new beginnings in 2020

In a New Year’s Eve video message, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the unrest had caused sadness, anxiety, disappointment and rage.

“Let’s start 2020 with a new resolution, to restore order and harmony in society. So we can begin again, together,” Ms Lam said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping extended his best wishes to Hong Kong residents in a speech carried by state television.

Hong Kong’s countdown to 2047 Hong Kong was handed back to China with no framework for what would happen after the year 2047, leaving the city to carve an identity out of two ideologically opposed empires.

“Without a harmonious and stable environment, how can there be a home where people can live and work happily?” he said.

“We sincerely hope for the best for Hong Kong and Hong Kong compatriots.”

Police, who reject allegations of brutality and say they have shown restraint, have arrested nearly 6,500 people since the protests began escalating in what is the worst political crisis faced by the city in decades.

Protesters have thrown petrol bombs and rocks, with police responding with tear gas, water cannon, pepper spray, rubber bullets and occasional live rounds.

On January 1, tens of thousands of people are expected to join a pro-democracy march, starting from a park downtown and ending in the heart of the central financial district.

The previous march organised by the Civil Human Rights Front drew an estimated 800,000 people in early December.

Reuters/AP

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


I’m sick of the same circular climate change discussion. This is what I’m doing instead


Australia

Imagine for a second that society had a do-over. That we could hop in Marty McFly’s electric DeLorean and go back 40 years to alter how we reacted to climate change. What would we do differently?

It would be nice to think that, armed with worsening facts from “the future” (aka our present), politicians and contributing industries would take it upon themselves to behave differently.

But I don’t buy that. Because self-interest has always been intrinsic to the climate change story.

It might have been an oil company’s self interest in continuing to generate profits, or a political party’s self-interest in telling people what they wanted to hear.

How climate change has impacted the world since your childhood
Global warming is already changing the world before our eyes — let’s see what has happened in your lifetime, and what’s in store for your future.

As world leaders championed their citizens’ interests at global summits, at the other end of the scale sat my individual self-interests: eating steak, plane travel and ambient, air-conditioned temperatures.

If we are to neutralise the threat of climate change, we must first neutralise the power of self-interest. But doing so requires a hard look at ourselves.

Earlier last year I found myself becoming riled up by the same circular discussion we’ve been having for decades now: that Australia alone can’t make a difference to global emissions, and we need to await some magical consensus that includes big emitters like China and the US.

“But we should be setting an example!” I cried.

Then I applied the same logic to my own life. And my hypocrisy was laid bare.

The solution is closer to home than you think

There’s nothing stopping me aiming to cut my own emissions by the recommended 45 per cent. But have I tried? No. Far easier to wait for an agreed, society-wide consensus.

That’s when it hit me: we can’t bemoan passive self interest at a global level while practising the exact same approach in our own lives. Succumbing to the lure of disempowerment is what has cost us most dearly in the response to climate change. That is what I would go back in time to warn people.



Photo:

Conal and his partner Meg are planning to make one new life-long, carbon-reducing resolution every month in 2020. (Supplied: Conal Hanna)

We have to believe we can make a difference. We have to believe we must make a difference.

As climate protests grew louder in 2019, I found myself yearning for a mass movement not of defiance but of sacrifice.

Whereas Extinction Rebellion sought to shame governments into enforcing a top-down solution, sacrifice would aim to inspire large-scale change from the ground up.

It’s hard for opponents to argue in the face of sacrifice. Sacrifice is also not contingent on convincing the rest of society first. Sacrificing voluntarily, and being humble about it, allows room for people to go through their own journeys of acceptance.

To come to the realisation that the lifestyle they’ve become accustomed to — through no fault of their own — is no longer sustainable. It also allows for people’s differing economic and life circumstances.

That doesn’t mean it won’t be effective over the medium term. Humans are inherently social creatures, and positive change can rapidly multiply as social norms shift.

Rather than solving the self-interest puzzle at a global scale first, better to start closer to home.

Ordinary people own this problem

That’s why our family — who have done a bit, but are by no means model citizens — is planning to make one new life-long, carbon-reducing resolution every month in 2020.

We’re going to re-examine all aspects of our lives: from diet and purchasing habits, to leisure activities and super investments. There will be no gimmicky “my year without …” abstinence. Each commitment will be something we’re willing to do forever from that point on.

How spending $200 a year could help prevent climate change
On average, Australians are willing to chip in an extra $200 a year to prevent climate change. It turns out that money could go a long way.

First up is a war on ignorance: I’m going to commit at least one hour a week to reading about the impact I’m having on the planet. It’s not the most dramatic first step, but it will ensure each subsequent resolution is well informed.

We’re also aiming to eliminate (as much as possible) our standby power use. Simple things: switching the TV off at the wall, turning the wi-fi off overnight, etc. Using electricity more mindfully.

We are not seeking immediate perfection, simply to each month become better than we were before. Not only does this stepped approach make it more likely our new habits will stick but, if more people were to follow suit, it would give the economy time to adjust to the effects of large-scale change.

I’m sure critics will call this approach naive. But we are not as powerless as we choose to believe. The carbon economy, like all economies, operates on the principles of supply and demand. And we control the demand.

If there’s one thing that has made climate change seem intractable, it’s that we removed ordinary people’s ownership of the problem.

Individual sacrifice won’t alone be enough; of course it won’t. But it can give us purpose and direction. It can make this all seem real. And it can upend the self-interest narrative once and for all.

Conal Hanna is a media analyst and former journalist. You can follow his resolutions on Twitter.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


Jeezy – Don’t Make Me Lyrics


Play this song

[Intro]
Yeah
Justice League
We’re here now
We’re here
Yeah
Hundred and three plus one, yeah
Don’t make me do it
Yeah‚ ’cause you know I will‚ nigga

[Chorus]
China from China (China from China)
My shit’s designer (My shit designer)
I came from nothin’ (I came from nothin’)
Thought I’d remind ya (Thought I’d remind ya)
My hustle soared (My hustle soared)
Step on the floor (Step on the floor‚ yeah)
My door go up (My door go up, yeah)
Aventador (Woo, let’s go)

[Post-Chorus]
Go get it right (Go get it right)
Break out the ice (Break out the ice)
Go get the money (Go get the money‚ yeah)
And count it twice (And count it twice)

[Verse 1]
Don’t make me get back up on my shit, boy (Shit)
Take a whole thang, break it all down to nicks (Nicks‚ yeah)
Ziploc, nigga, that’s a bag full of tricks (Ha-haa)
And the doors go up (Up), all that’s for kicks (Yeah)
Ten on the floor, nigga, that’s money well-invested (Ayy)
Got it from my dawg, I ain’t even gotta test it (Nah)
Thank God for hustle (Hustle), that’s exactly what I’m blessed with (Blessed with)
Iron out the grind (Woo) ’til you get the shit perfected (Ayy)
True wealth is in your heart, boy (Boy), gotta hustle hard, boy (Yeah)
All the hard times got you doubtin’, then you’re gone, boy

[Chorus]
China from China (China from China)
My shit’s designer (My shit designer)
I came from nothin’ (I came from nothin’)
Thought I’d remind ya (Thought I’d remind ya)
My hustle soared (My hustle soared)
Step on the floor (Step on the floor)
My door go up (My door go up)
Aventador (Yeah, let’s go)

[Verse 2]
Don’t trust a soul, exactly what it told me (Me)
Couldn’t even trust him is what he showed me (Yeah)
When you broke the rules, dawg, you broke my heart (My heart)
Ten-room mansion sittin’ in the dark (Damn)
Ten steps ahead, I’m a visionary (Woo)
Richest place in the world is the cemetery (That’s right)
If the streets a jungle, I’m a fuckin’ lion (Lion)
Shit can be impossible, I’m fuckin’ tryin’ (Yeah)
Went from baggin’ reefer, now we sell tequila (‘Quila)
Mix the water with the soda like a margarita (Ha-haa)
Who ever knew the game of life was so for real?
So many layers in the onions you just gotta peel (Yeah)

[Chorus]
China from China (China from China)
My shit’s designer (My shit designer)
I came from nothin’ (I came from nothin’)
Thought I’d remind ya (Thought I’d remind ya)
My hustle soared (My hustle soared)
Step on the floor (Step on the floor)
My door go up (My door go up)
Aventador (Yeah, let’s go)

[Outro]
Don’t make me do it, nigga
Don’t make me
Yeah
‘Cause you know I will
Yeah
Aventador
My door go up
Aventador
Break out the ice
Go get it right
Safe in the floor
Aventador
Yeah
Go get it right
Break out the ice
Safe in the floor
Yeah
Richest place in the world is the cemetery


GoldLink – Rumble Lyrics


Play this song

[Intro]
Damn, daddy, this shit crank
Exclusive

[Chorus: GoldLink]
I keep my energy calibrated
Only show off so they know I made it
All my diamonds elite, hydrated
When I touch down, oh, they celebratin’
I keep my energy calibrated
Only show off so they know I made it
All my diamonds elite, hydrated
When I touch down, oh, they celebratin’
I keep my energy calibrated
Only show off so they know I made it
All my diamonds elite, hydrated
When I touch down, oh, they celebratin’
I keep my energy calibrated
Only show off so they know I made it
All my diamonds elite, hydrated
When I touch down, oh, they celebratin’

[Verse 1: GoldLink]
Uh, touch down my grid on my shit, I got risk on my bones, huh
This ain’t a rental, I rap it like rentals, my mental make you watch your tone now
Speaking of me, I got blood on my sneakers from runnin’ the game too long, huh
This ain’t a thing that you fond of, pussy niggas wanna play like Juwana
Me and shorty might just bond up, huh

[Refrain: Lil Nei & GoldLink]
That’s the sound of the riot [?], lift off (They be like, I be like, they be like, fuck it)
I break shit then drift off (They be like, I be like)
Look now I’m big dawg, back up, let the fifth off (They be like, fuck it)
Co-come and get drift off (They be like, I be like)
[?] make ’em drop, do the criss-cross (They be like, fuck it)
Shoot from the hip, though (They be like, I be like, ah)

[Chorus: GoldLink]
I keep my energy calibrated
Only show off so they know I made it
All my diamonds elite, hydrated
When I touch down, oh, they celebratin’
I keep my energy calibrated
Only show off so they know I made it
All my diamonds elite, hydrated
When I touch down, oh, they celebratin’
I keep my energy calibrated
Only show off so they know I made it
All my diamonds elite, hydrated
When I touch down, oh, they celebratin’
I keep my energy calibrated
Only show off so they know I made it
All my diamonds elite, hydrated
When I touch down, oh, they celebratin’

[Verse 2: Jackson Wang]
Jackson
Get in, losers (Losers)
I’ll be flyin’ (Flyin’)
On the longest (Longest)
Bottles poppin’ (Poppin’)
In the air (Air), huh
Outfits with the made in China on them tags
Team Wang on the beat, now bring them bags
When I touch down, they gon’ celebrate
Feel the tide ba ba ba, triple eight
Ta men shuo guo juede, wo bao bei
Wo bao bei, double G’s your fit (G’s your fit)
Play at The Forum, I know I’m the one (One)
Giving respect to her, but I feel none (None)
‘Cause you need the booty bae, you rubber band (One)
Journey to the West, I’m ready for the run (Bang)

[Refrain: Lil Nei & GoldLink]
That’s the sound of the riot [?], lift off (They be like, I be like, they be like, fuck it)
I break shit, then drift off (They be like, I be like)
[?] now, pick them back up, let the fifth off (They be like, fuck it)
Co-come and get drift off (They be like, I be like)
[?] make ’em drop, do the criss-cross (They be like, fuck it)
Shoot from the hip, though (They be like, I be like, ah!)