Claims losses from massive wildfires top $3 billion

In euismod nisl augue, sed iaculis justo pharetra vel. Integer tincidunt euismod lorem at suscipit. Mauris mattis nunc ipsum, nec molestie augue cursus eget. Sed sagittis tempor sapien, et congue ligula. Nullam eu tellus eget metus luctus elementum nec non metus. Etiam quis libero felis. Nam placerat pharetra metus, et laoreet dui volutpat vitae.

Duis scelerisque tortor ut nulla consectetur, at placerat urna volutpat. Phasellus porttitor diam magna, nec mattis enim semper vel. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Nam sit amet congue metus. Curabitur pharetra leo magna, quis aliquet orci viverra id. Curabitur nisl nunc, mollis eget turpis vel, mattis consectetur mi. Sed lacus neque, dictum id tortor a, auctor ultricies urna. Aliquam ut odio porttitor, mollis risus nec, pulvinar urna. Curabitur lacinia nisl quis ultrices viverra. Donec sed placerat magna.


E-Commerce: Raising Pay And Creating Jobs Around The Country

Duis scelerisque tortor ut nulla consectetur, at placerat urna volutpat. Phasellus porttitor diam magna, nec mattis enim semper vel. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Nam sit amet congue metus. Curabitur pharetra leo magna, quis aliquet orci viverra id. Curabitur nisl nunc, mollis eget turpis vel, mattis consectetur mi. Sed lacus neque, dictum id tortor a, auctor ultricies urna. Aliquam ut odio porttitor, mollis risus nec, pulvinar urna. Curabitur lacinia nisl quis ultrices viverra. Donec sed placerat magna.

Duis scelerisque tortor ut nulla consectetur, at placerat urna volutpat. Phasellus porttitor diam magna, nec mattis enim semper vel. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Nam sit amet congue metus. Curabitur pharetra leo magna, quis aliquet orci viverra id. Curabitur nisl nunc, mollis eget turpis vel, mattis consectetur mi. Sed lacus neque, dictum id tortor a, auctor ultricies urna. Aliquam ut odio porttitor, mollis risus nec, pulvinar urna. Curabitur lacinia nisl quis ultrices viverra. Donec sed placerat magna.


Best annual report for Pear, stock went up rapidly

Donec volutpat odio sit amet arcu egestas, non porttitor ex varius. Mauris eu eros urna. Maecenas quis est nec nibh tempus semper ut in nunc. Vestibulum sit amet elit et leo hendrerit volutpat. Proin viverra diam elit, ut tincidunt ex pellentesque ac. Phasellus placerat sed ligula nec mollis. Fusce luctus purus augue, vitae consequat eros sagittis non.

Suspendisse dapibus hendrerit euismod. Fusce ornare augue a enim dictum ultrices. Maecenas id nisl iaculis, consectetur tortor a, fringilla libero. Donec vel odio in libero tincidunt mollis vel vitae leo. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Donec in magna vestibulum, aliquet lectus in, varius nisl. Fusce nec porta mi.

Etiam tincidunt ut lectus non volutpat. Curabitur elementum eros pretium feugiat tincidunt. Integer a dignissim leo, ac ullamcorper est. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Vestibulum eget diam in tellus blandit lobortis. Aenean a ligula erat. Cras molestie sollicitudin ipsum, eget convallis felis tincidunt sit amet.


How to pay taxes and don’t overpay! Tips and tricks

Duis scelerisque tortor ut nulla consectetur, at placerat urna volutpat. Phasellus porttitor diam magna, nec mattis enim semper vel. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Nam sit amet congue metus. Curabitur pharetra leo magna, quis aliquet orci viverra id. Curabitur nisl nunc, mollis eget turpis vel, mattis consectetur mi. Sed lacus neque, dictum id tortor a, auctor ultricies urna. Aliquam ut odio porttitor, mollis risus nec, pulvinar urna. Curabitur lacinia nisl quis ultrices viverra. Donec sed placerat magna.

Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Nullam consectetur leo at sem posuere, accumsan egestas purus tempus. Quisque nisl velit, finibus eu mollis id, cursus ut augue. Nam placerat neque sodales odio fringilla interdum. Suspendisse mollis cursus volutpat. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Quisque tincidunt ante ac purus fringilla, sed euismod felis molestie. Maecenas laoreet vehicula neque, vel elementum tortor mattis condimentum. Curabitur pharetra facilisis nibh, eget iaculis lectus tempor ut.


Entrepreneurship guidance by the successful businessman

In euismod nisl augue, sed iaculis justo pharetra vel. Integer tincidunt euismod lorem at suscipit. Mauris mattis nunc ipsum, nec molestie augue cursus eget. Sed sagittis tempor sapien, et congue ligula. Nullam eu tellus eget metus luctus elementum nec non metus. Etiam quis libero felis. Nam placerat pharetra metus, et laoreet dui volutpat vitae.

Duis scelerisque tortor ut nulla consectetur, at placerat urna volutpat. Phasellus porttitor diam magna, nec mattis enim semper vel. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Nam sit amet congue metus. Curabitur pharetra leo magna, quis aliquet orci viverra id. Curabitur nisl nunc, mollis eget turpis vel, mattis consectetur mi. Sed lacus neque, dictum id tortor a, auctor ultricies urna. Aliquam ut odio porttitor, mollis risus nec, pulvinar urna. Curabitur lacinia nisl quis ultrices viverra. Donec sed placerat magna.


Workshop for entrepreneurship

In euismod nisl augue, sed iaculis justo pharetra vel. Integer tincidunt euismod lorem at suscipit. Mauris mattis nunc ipsum, nec molestie augue cursus eget. Sed sagittis tempor sapien, et congue ligula. Nullam eu tellus eget metus luctus elementum nec non metus. Etiam quis libero felis. Nam placerat pharetra metus, et laoreet dui volutpat vitae.

Duis scelerisque tortor ut nulla consectetur, at placerat urna volutpat. Phasellus porttitor diam magna, nec mattis enim semper vel. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Nam sit amet congue metus. Curabitur pharetra leo magna, quis aliquet orci viverra id. Curabitur nisl nunc, mollis eget turpis vel, mattis consectetur mi. Sed lacus neque, dictum id tortor a, auctor ultricies urna. Aliquam ut odio porttitor, mollis risus nec, pulvinar urna. Curabitur lacinia nisl quis ultrices viverra. Donec sed placerat magna.


You Need a Personal Brand. Here’s How You Build One.

In euismod nisl augue, sed iaculis justo pharetra vel. Integer tincidunt euismod lorem at suscipit. Mauris mattis nunc ipsum, nec molestie augue cursus eget. Sed sagittis tempor sapien, et congue ligula. Nullam eu tellus eget metus luctus elementum nec non metus. Etiam quis libero felis. Nam placerat pharetra metus, et laoreet dui volutpat vitae.

Duis scelerisque tortor ut nulla consectetur, at placerat urna volutpat. Phasellus porttitor diam magna, nec mattis enim semper vel. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Nam sit amet congue metus. Curabitur pharetra leo magna, quis aliquet orci viverra id. Curabitur nisl nunc, mollis eget turpis vel, mattis consectetur mi. Sed lacus neque, dictum id tortor a, auctor ultricies urna. Aliquam ut odio porttitor, mollis risus nec, pulvinar urna. Curabitur lacinia nisl quis ultrices viverra. Donec sed placerat magna.


Don’t treat BAME communities as second class citizens’

‘Don’t treat BAME communities as second class citizens’

In an open letter to the UK’s First Secretary of State Dominic Raab, Barry Gardiner, Labour MP for Brent North in London,urges a greater level of communication with Britain’s ethnic minority communities vis-à-vis the impact of COVID-19
‘Since the first report of a UK death from COVID -19 in early March, my constituency of Brent North and its hospital at Northwick Park have been at the epi¬centre of the coronavirus crisis.
Our hospital has recorded 200 deaths in a single day and one of our care homes has lost 42 residents in a month.
And as Brent has suffered more than any other community in the UK, it is the various black and Asian communities in our borough – itself the most ethnically diverse in the country – that have suffered more than any other.
The same is true across the UK, where more than half of all the NHS staff deaths have been from BAME communities. The National Audit & Re-search Centre for Intensive Care suggests that although just 14 per cent of the UK population identify as having an ethnic minority background, 34 per cent of those in critical care with COVID-19 are black or Asian.
Given this extraordinary disparity, the government must realise their messages will not reach these communities simply through traditional means, and that they need to develop culturally specific messaging in Asian languages. Why, then, are we yet to see any national campaign in a language other than English?
It is welcome that the government has responded to the call by the chair of the British Medical Association (BMA), Dr Chaand Nagpaul, and the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) for in-depth research into the reasons that ethnic minority patients are so much more susceptible to the disease and are dying in disproportionate numbers. They correctly identify that this is important to help target the most vulnerable groups, and it requires the review to be both wide and deep, looking at genetic and employment profiles, as well as cultural and socio-economic reasons.
Underlying medical conditions are present in up to 80 per cent of COVID-19 victims. And we know that sickle cell disease is prevalent in the African and Caribbean communities, and that diabetes and heart disease is prevalent in the South Asian community. So why has government communication largely ignored the ethnic press, some of which have a strong track record of informing their communities about these conditions? The government must work harder to reassure BAME communities they are not being treated as second-class citizens.
Whatever the underlying genetic predispositions may be that are seeing our minority communities dying disproportionately from COVID-19, there is another reason: poverty. In my street in Brent, many of the houses are in multiple occupation. And yes, many Asian families do tend to live together across the generations, but too many are living in overcrowded accommodation. Analysis by the New Policy Institute has shown that the five most crowded regions of the country have seen 70 per cent more COVID-19 cases than the five least crowded. So do not tell us that coronavirus does not discriminate. It does. It is killing ethnic minority communities and the poor.
When it comes to essential workers, ask yourself: who are they? Who are our pharmacists? Who run our public transport systems? Who run our corner shops? Who sweep our streets and collect our bins? Who are the cleaners, porters and nurses in our hospitals? Remind yourself that one-third of all doctors in the NHS are from a BAME background. And then ask yourself why, when asked for comment last week by one of the UK’s top-selling ethnic newspapers, the Department of Health and Social Care declined to comment?

Incompetence in a government is rarely forgiven. In difference, never.’


NO CLOSURE ON DANIEL PEARL

No closure on Daniel Pearl

In light of a recent court ruling and the disclosure of new information, justice for an American journalist murdered in Pakistan 18 years ago seems an unlikely prospect. Ashis Ray reports
Last month the Sindh High Court in Pakistan reduced the death penalty previously handed down by a trial court to Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who had been found guilty of killing Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl in 2002, to seven years imprisonment for kidnapping. Since Sheikh had already been in detention for 18 years (and it’s rumoured that, having been an asset of the Pakistani spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence [ISI], he has enjoyed a relatively comfortable existence in jail), he was now a free man. However, the Sindh government ordered his incarceration for another three months, andhas now appealed to Pakistan’s Supreme Court against the Sindh High Court order.
The Americans had applied considerable pressure. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo posted on Twitter: ‘The United States will not forget Daniel Pearl. We continue to honour his legacy as a courageous journalist and demand justice for his brutal murder.’ Pearl’s father Judea, a California-based computer scientist, tweeted: ‘It is a mockery of justice’, while Reporters Sans Frontières condemned what it called the court’s ‘incoherent decision’, describing it as ‘a shocking symbol of impunity for crimes of violence against journalists’.
Pearl had been posted to Mumbai as the Journal’s South Asia bureau chief. In January 2002, he went missing in Karachi while probing a possible association between Islamists in that port city and a British terrorist, Richard Reid, branded the ‘shoe bomber’ after he hid bombs in his footwear to blow up a passenger plane. Prosecuting lawyers maintained Sheikh enticed Pearl into a meeting with an Islamic cleric. About a month later, a gruesome video depicting Pearl’s beheading was delivered to the US consulate in Karachi. In July of the same year an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan convicted Sheikh of the crime.

Reporters Sans Frontières condemned what it called the court’s ‘incoherent decision’

Sheikh, now 46, was born in London and grew up in the British capital, where he went to a private school. He thereafter studied at the London School of Economics (LSE), but didn’t complete his degree, following an escapade to aid persecuted Muslims in Bosnia. In 1994, he infiltrated into Indian-controlled Kashmir to kidnap six British and American tourists in a Pakistani jihadi operation. He was tracked down and captured in Delhi, but was released in 1999 in an exchange (along with Masood Azhar, leader of the terrorist outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed) with passengers held hostage in a Pakistani hijack of an Indian Airlines plane.
General Pervez Musharraf, who was president of Pakistan at the time of Pearl’s demise, recorded in his autobiography In the Line of Fire that Sheikh was recruited by the British secret service while at the LSE and despatched to the Balkans, but subsequently turned rogue or became a ‘double agent’. He did not specify who his second employer was. The ISI, reportedly, indirectly paid for his lawyers when he was charged in India with kidnapping the western tourists.
But, contrary to Sheikh’s conviction, Washington’s Georgetown University produced an exhaustive investigative report in a journalistic exercise led by a former colleague of Pearl at the Journal, Asra Nomani, Mumbai-born but of Pakistani origin. Entitled The Pearl Project, the report reached an alternative conclusion. Pearl and his French broadcaster wife Mariane were staying at Nomani’s rented house in Karachi’s Zamzama Street when Pearl left in a taxi for his fateful meeting, never to return. Published in 2010, the report stated that American investigators, based on ‘vein analysis’ – a method of biometric identification – believed the murder was committed by the al-Qaeda mastermind of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, also a Pakistani, who was being held by US authorities at Guantanamo Bay. The UK’s Guardian disclosed: ‘Muhammad confessed to the murder in 2007, but lawyers said his testimony was tainted by torture and he has not been charged.’
The Pearl Project claimed Sheikh crafted Pearl’s kidnapping, but then handed him over to al-Qaeda. It indicated that the US’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) confirmed Mohammad committed the horrific crime, which was filmed by his nephew Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, also an inmate at Guantanamo. Nomani revealed in Washingtonian magazine that Mariane communicated to her as early as 2003 that Mohammad had confessed to killing her husband. She is said to have indicated that Condoleezza Rice, then the US National Security Adviser, told her so. Nomani further professed that in 2007 the US administration released a transcript of a military hearing at Guantanamo which noted Muhammad as stating: ‘I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew, Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi, Pakistan.’
Daniel Pearl went missing in Karachi in Jan. 2002 while investigating a possible link between Islamists in the city and a British terrorist
But regardless of who actually murdered Pearl or what the punishment for Sheikh should be, Pakistani writer Ayesha Siddiqa’s take on the Sindh High Court verdict is intriguing. Siddiqa is a research associate at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and author of Military Inc., a book on her country’s armed forces. Writing in The Print, she revealed that her conversations with the Karachi jail superintendent in 2012 and, earlier, with a former Director-General of Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency suggested Sheikh was confident he would neither be hanged nor handed over to the Americans.
Siddiqa also echoed what Indian intelligence once shared with Reuters, that ‘Sheikh is also reputed to have wired US$100,000 on behalf of ISI DG General Mehmood Ahmed to one of the hijackers of the World Trade Center attack (9/11), Mohammad Atta. Interestingly, this detail was not mentioned by the 9/11 Commission Report, yet was discussed in different publications around the world. Dennis Lormel, director of the FBI’s financial crimes unit also confirmed it.’
In respect of the Sindh High Court acquitting Sheikh of murder, Siddiqa further asserted: ‘It looks very possible from the turn of events in 2020 that someone in the Pakistani state system was eager to let Sheikh go…There is absolutely no mention of the fact that he surrendered himself to the current (Pakistani) interior minister, Ijaz Shah, who was then the head of the Intelligence Bureau in the Musharraf government…It was almost as if the case was deliberately set up to fail.’
And she continued: ‘Notwithstanding absence of evidence, it is also a fact that one of the judges in this case, K.K. Agha, is facing an inquiry by the Supreme Court Judicial Council, which opens up the bench to manipulation…Could it be that the more powerful segments of the state thought it possible to let Sheikh go, as has happened with his mentor, Masood Azhar?’
Ashis Ray has worked for the BBC, the Ananda Bazar Group and the Times of India. He was CNN’s founding South Asia bureau chief in Delhi and is the longest serving Indian foreign correspondent

ANGER AND MISTRUST

Anger and mistrust

The COVID-19 pandemic is deepening divisions between the US and China and dimming hopes for Donald Trump’s re-election. Duncan McCampbell reports
I was overwhelmed by the crowds as I stepped down onto the platform of Wuhan Central Station in December 2019. I could not imagine how the trains could cope with any more passengers. Yet within a few weeks, this Chinese city would become even more heaving, as people took to the road for the Spring Festival – an annual migration of around half a billion people.
I did not realise it at the time, but in the crowded housing estates, just a stone’s throw from the station, the first cases of COVID-19 virus were spreading. We now know that warnings from the physicians in Wuhan’s Central Hospital of a ‘SARS-like virus’ were going unheeded, and indeed were being suppressed.
Unaware of the threat, 40,000 families gathered for their annual Lunar New Year Potluck Dinner in Wuhan in late January. Trains and airlines then carried many of the city’s residents to every corner of China and the world.

Conspiracy theories

As the sickness overwhelmed Wuhan’s hospitals – and China instituted stringent quarantine measures – some US and Chinese officials began floating competing theories as to the origin of the virus. Arch-conspiracist Steve Bannon, once a senior advisor to Donald Trump, claimed that COVID-19 was deliberately created and weaponised by the Chinese government. The Chinese in turn suggested it was released into their country by the American military, although they offered no credible evidence for this. Conspiracy theories thrived online.
Trump took heed of the hawks and banned all flights from China to the United States in January – a move that he claims has saved millions of lives. He later told a White House briefing that he blames China for the global pandemic and its huge economic fallout.
‘It could have been stopped in China before it started and it wasn’t, and the whole world is suffering because of it,’ he said.

China’s image problem

Inevitably, public opinion in the US on China, already affected by the trade war, took a turn for the worse. According to a recent Gallup poll, American perceptions of China are now more negative than they were after the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.
DATE WITH DESTINY: Families gathering in Wuhan in late January this year for the Lunar New Year celebrations
There have been attempts at rapprochement. Mr Trump and the Chinese president Xi Jinping held a phone conversation in late February, each pledging mutual assistance against the pandemic. But on that same day, Trump signed the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI Act), a law vigorously opposed by China.
Taiwan’s January election, in which people overwhelmingly voted to return pro-autonomy president Tsai Ing-wen and her Democratic Progressive Party to power, seemed to blindside China. The Taiwanese appear to have been inspired by the protests in Hong Kong against the Chinese Communist Party and calls for greater democracy in the city.

Dangerous phase

In my view, the US-China relationship has now entered a new and potentially more fraught period, arising from the coronavirus pandemic. Powerful political forces in both countries are pushing leaders to advance nationalistic narratives.
China’s domestic messaging is triumphalist. Propaganda speaks of the ‘People’s War’ on the disease, positioning the government and the Chinese Communist Party as vanquishing an invisible enemy, while the rest of the world dithers and ignores China’s warnings. Chinese officials are eager to claim that their socialist model, and its ability to marshal an effective national response, is superior to western democracy in dealing with an emergency.
Perhaps the next front in this battle of narratives will be fought in the laboratory, with a frantic search for treatments and vaccines. China is focusing its considerable national resources into medical research. It recognises that the first country to produce a cure can expect to receive international prestige.

Economic downturn

Yet China is also coping with the enormous economic fallout from the pandemic. The massive quarantine and lockdown practically shut down large swathes of its economy, so China’s GDP contracted by 6.8% in the first quarter this year – the first ever contraction since China started reporting quarterly GDP data in 1992.
One must remember that China is still feeling the impact of the trade war with the US and a global collapse in demand for Chinese-made goods. The unrest in Hong Kong continues to cause political trouble, as does tension with Taiwan. One cannot help wondering how much of a toll all this is taking on Xi’s base of power. No new date for parliament, known as the National People’s Congress, has been announced, though some sources say it could be held next month.

Unpopular president

Mr Trump’s political problems are mounting, too. He has come under fire both from Democrat and Republican governors for insisting that the US has sufficient capacity to conduct coronavirus tests.
American presidents typically get substantial ‘rally round the flag’ approval bumps during periods of national crisis. According to Business Insider magazine, George H.W. Bush rose to 89% approval during Operation Desert Storm, and his son, George W. Bush, one of the least popular presidents in recent decades, shot up to 90% approval after 9/11. However, polls suggest that almost two-thirds of Americans disapprove of Trump’s handling of the current crisis.

Under pressure

His opponents seek to keep up the pressure.
Joe Biden, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has criticised Mr Trump for his response to COVID-19. ‘The governor of Maryland – a Republican – had to turn to South Korea to get badly needed tests,’ Mr Biden said.
TROUBLED TIES: President Trump (l) and Chinese president Xi Jinping
‘Think about that: a governor had to turn to a country halfway around the world for aid because he couldn’t rely on timely help from a president and a White House that sits just miles from his state’s border.’
President Trump had pinned his re-election hopes on a roaring economy and historically high levels of employment. Yet the IMF has warned that fallout from the global Great Lockdown will be the worst recession since the Great Depression, and far worse than the Global Financial Crisis. If the US enters a deep and prolonged recession, Mr Trump’s chances of re-election will be very much in doubt.
Professor Duncan McCampbell teaches international business at Metropolitan State University in St Paul, Minnesota, and has extensive experience of living and working in China. He is also President of McCampbell Ltd, a consultancy for American businesses seeking growth and new opportunities in overseas markets

Older EntriesNewer Entries