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Brexit victory: EU’s power ‘crippled’ without London in ‘massive blow to Brussels’

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BREXIT has dealt a “massive blow” to the EU as London was crucial to its financial appeal, experts have said.

By Charlie Bradley Fri, Jun 4, 2021

Brexit minister Lord David Frost urged the City of London last month to “get on and do its own thing” as a deal for equivalence with the EU looks out of reach. UK financial firms lost their wide-ranging access to EU markets when the Brexit transition period ended on December 31 and now have to navigate a patchwork of regulations from individual member states. Former chancellor Lord Norman Lamont asked Lord Frost at a Lords committee meeting about progress on equivalence and added that “increasingly in the financial services sector people are not looking with great hope for equivalence”.

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Lord Frost said the EU was still mulling over documents of equivalence assessments sent by the UK almost a year ago.ADVERTISING

He added: “We’re still waiting for the EU to complete those processes.

“Obviously the City needs to get on and do its own thing pending that and increasingly that is what has happened.”

It appears the EU is also facing challenges, however, as Politico reported in December that Brexit has “crippled” Brussels’ soft power over financial rules.

Brexit news:
London remains a sticking point (Image: getty)
Brexit news:
The City of London was crucial for the EU (Image: getty)

Simon Gleeson, a lawyer specialising in international capital markets at British firm Clifford Chance, said that when Hong Kong and Singapore both adopted EU-compliant market regulations, they were interested primarily in London.

He told Politico: “If you look at it from their perspective, it was clear they wanted access to London.

“The question now will be, will they really care about access to Frankfurt and Paris enough to change their rules in the future?”

He added that “Brexit is a massive blow to the EU’s extraterritorial ambitions, especially in financial regulation”.

READ MORE: Von der leyen condemned for ‘disgusting and reprehensible’ move

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Brexit news:
Johnson and VDL during trade talks (Image: getty)

The EU has not granted the UK equivalence – something the bloc is using as a “soft power tool” according to Michael McKee, a partner specialised in financial regulation at law firm DLA Piper.

He also said that the EU wants to exert pressure on smaller countries, but is not less competitive without the UK.

Mr. McKee continued: “Particularly with smaller countries it’s easier for the EU to exert pressure to change their laws.

“The EU without the UK is nowhere near as large and developed a financial market. In some respects, the UK is better placed to take on Europe competitively.”

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Von der leyen condemned for ‘disgusting and reprehensible’ move [INSIGHT]
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Brexit news:
Frankfurt is Europe’s finance capital (Image: getty)
Brexit news:
The EU uses equivalence for ‘soft power’ (Image: getty)

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Professor Iain Begg of the London School of Economics has told Express.co.uk that, while money is being “sucked” out of London into EU capitals, there isn’t need for major concern just yet.

He said: “It is certainly the case that jobs are to not just Amsterdam but also Paris and Frankfurt and Dublin has been a major winner too.

“That’s financial activity that needs to be inside the eurozone being sucked away from London, at the same time the City is reinventing itself and looking at where it has markets globally.

“As yet, I don’t think there is any clear indication that the City is a loser from Brexit, but it may be that some European centres are marginal winners. If the trickle turns into a flow then we can say this is something damaging for the British economy.”

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Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, International, Local, News, Regional, UK - Brexit0 Comments

Nearly 18 months, have they learnt yet financial responsibilities?

Nearly 18 months, have they learnt yet financial responsibilities?

June 4,2021

We dare to expect surprises in that 2021 Budget address

Coming up, far much later that it could have at least been expected, rather than ought to be, will be the budget presentation which is predicted to be perhaps the worst, if not merely backward in the last twenty (20) years.

After H E Governor Pearce had been accused in April to have affected (adversely) the presentation of a request to the UKG for COVID-19 pandemic support, he early this year told us, admitting that the then five-month-old ‘new’ MCAP government did not start out too well with the pandemic, they did well soon afterward. He suggested they deserved some credit, which was not forthcoming from here.

The government even after earlier announcing they received some $3 million after the $8 million support (which we believe should have been at least $8.25) seem unwilling to account for the $3 million. In fact, the whole matter surrounding that money and the amazing ‘deficit budget’ is still yet to satisfactorily explained to the public as emphasised by the Opposition

As Montserrat tries to find its place in a world that is beginning to believe it Is not the only living planet, life and all its assortments and departments of thrills and disappointments for the past twenty-plus years, may have its starts and stops, but as of today, it continues to retrogress.

The feeling is that it is difficult trying to be positive as much as negativity surrounds us. For just about any venture or relationship pursued, it has been stressed inexhaustibly that without good or proper communication success will be remote. Today, it is a course that must form part of almost every discipline. But isn’t it strange that the majority of our graduating students do not have a clue about its necessity, its essentialism, or its practice?

This government has at the head of it, Ministers who were part of the government who were given the golden opportunity to carry on from the change about of the hopes for a new Montserrat from 2008. A 2008-2020 Sustainable Development plan they began to manage from early 2009.

After changes to the (development) plan smart or otherwise, they were given the green light, maybe reluctantly, but May 1, 2012, HMG said yes; it is a day that today should be celebrated, but up to now some of the same people, maybe out of shame seem not to remember.

Through their own undoing, they lost the management seats in September, 2014 while two of them remained in Opposition, only one came over in this new MCAP government but the replacement and one former Minister sit with them in the management seats, with two popular newcomers. How that came about will feature in the not too far distant future.

All that background to say that there ought to have been enough experience, that even after shockingly declaring in January 2020, that they were onlookers at the Financial Aid Mission (FAM) and ‘learning’.

“Surely, it was a very full experience for us as a new government. My ministers and I certainly enjoyed the exposure that we have had…but we have learned a lot.” He said they had attended most of the sessions, “and the only reason why we did that is because we want to be familiar with how it works…we had no great expectations because we knew that the talks were about finalising this round of talks for the recurrent budget 2020-2021…”

(See: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/fam-budget-discussions-friendly/)

The Premier and Minister of Finance like Minister Kirnon have 14 years experience in the Legislature. Farrell’s tenure has been continuous from 2006, while Kirnon served five, 1991-1996; 2006-2015.

After the shock, up came another. And having a budget in 2021 in June is difficult to understand, although we can think of some undesirable phrases to express what the most likely reason might be.

How is, the pandemic notwithstanding, with the fact that they managed to prevent many from enjoying a livelihood, even after their poor representation at the FAM, receiving what they expected, saying he is pleased with this outcome, did not have a budget ready to roll out immediately since April. Although he feigned ignorance about the Financial matters of the country, did he really learned nothing from 2009-14-20? Or is it that he is really just as all the whispers are about his leadership?

Recall that there was a time when the Council Chamber (wherever Budget presentations were held in the Legislative Assembly) was full and overcrowded along with ears perked to the radio everywhere. There was always much to look forward to, the hints, possible tax increases, where the new jobs would come from, and more and more.

In short. we the people all deserve (never mind those who feel fattened just by their presence) to understand why the standstill and nothing to energise some semblance of economic if not just mere existence activity. The excuses about ‘opening the borders’ and the suspicious push for a total of 70% vaccination coverage as a requirement are really lame and show up a government with no plan. Surely, they have not expressed any?

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, COVID-19, Editorial, Local, News, Opinions, Politics, Regional0 Comments

Grenada-to-SVD

St. Vincent and the Grenadines volcano erupts – thousands evacuate

by Bennette Roach

This is La Soufriere, St. Vincent – may remind of Soufriere Hills, Montserrat

The largest volcano on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent is home to La Soufrière erupted beginning at about 8.30 a.m. “Four days shy of its anniversary on the second Friday on April 9, 2021, in spectacular fashion, sending an ash plume shooting an estimated 52,000 feet into the atmosphere and forcing the evacuation of thousands.

Later, what University of the West Indies (UWI) Seismic Research Center scientists called an “explosive eruption,” reportedly sent plumes over 100,000 feet.

The explosion of ash was so large that it was visible from space on weather satellites. Southwesterly winds carried the cloud of ash over northern parts of St. Vincent and over the waters of the western Atlantic Ocean between the islands of Saint Lucia and Barbados, as seen from a photo on the front page.

Throughout the weekend, much of the island was covered in ash from the eruptions that continued on through Friday night. By Sunday night, eruptions were firing up again as conditions worsened,

Dozens of residents required rescuing from the northern part of the island as the new dangers place even more islanders at risk.

Richard Robertson, a geologist with the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre, very well known and remembered having worked for long stints in Montserrat, eventually heading the Montserrat Volcano Observatory, said during a Sunday night news conference that there is evidence of pyroclastic flows, the rush of super-heated gas and debris traveling down the mountainside as fast as 120 miles per hour, in the areas around the volcano.

“These flows are really moving masses of destruction,” Robertson said. “They just destroy everything in its path. Even if you have the strongest house in the world, they will just bulldoze it off the ground.”

The abrupt eruptions continued to launch debris and a cloud of ash into the air throughout Sunday night, leaving its remnants scattered throughout the island.

On Saturday, he said the roughly 110,000 residents of St. Vincent, many of whom have already sought refuge on other islands, should expect to see the largest blast of their lifetimes in the coming days

“The explosive eruption has started and it is possible you could have more explosions like these,” he said during a press conference on Saturday, according to NPR. “The first one is not necessarily the worst one, the first bang is not necessarily the biggest bang.

Very early Sunday morning, the National Emergency Management Organization of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (NEMO SVG) said on Twitter that a “massive power outage” was underway following another “explosive event” of the volcano. The island-wide power outage began just after 1.00 a.m., local time, on Sunday morning as loud rumblings continued to emit from the volcano, according to News 784 in St. Vincent.

Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves said water supplies to most of the island had been cut off and its airspace had been closed due to the smoke and plumes of volcanic ash moving through the atmosphere,

The NEMO SVG reported later in the morning that the ash plume had fallen at Argyle International Airport.

The island had been preparing for the eruption, but not the magnitude of it. Around 6:00 p.m. Thursday, Gonsalves announced in a press conference the evacuation order for residents in “red zones” on the northeast and northwest sides of the island.

This evacuation includes roughly 16,000 people on the island, Ralph Gonsalves @ComradeRalph  said:

I have issued an evacuation order to all residents living in the RED ZONES on the North East and the North West of the island. All residents are asked to act accordingly with immediate effect to ensure their safety and that of their families.

The Government-led evacuations immediately began, but they were to be assisted by nearby cruise line ships, arriving Friday, to help get people to safety.

However, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, evacuations are more complicated than usual.

Gonsalves said in his press conference that people have to be vaccinated before boarding a cruise ship or going to another island. The minister also highly recommended those taking shelter in Saint Vincent be vaccinated.

Flights were canceled at the Argyle International Airport on St. Vincent as well as the Grantley Adams International Airport on the nearby island of Barbados on Saturday, further complicating evacuation efforts.

Even on Friday morning, fresh magma near the surface of the volcano left the sky aglow.

https://www.facebook.com/uwiseismic/photos/a.112065204326/10158019592044327/?type=3

https://www.facebook.com/uwiseismic/photos/a.112065204326/10158019592044327/?type=3

The La Soufrière volcano on St. Vincent has had five explosive eruptions in the past, with the most recent being 1979. There was, however, an uptick in seismic activity more recently in December of 2020.

Gonsalves urged people to be patient and continue to take precautions as experts warned that explosive eruptions from the volcano could continue for days or even weeks, NBC News reported.

In an interview with NBC Radio, Gonsalves said that it could take up to four months for life to return to normal, depending on the extent of the damage. He added that agriculture will be badly affected.

In extremely powerful volcanic eruptions, the ash and aerosols released in the eruption can pass through the troposphere, the lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere, and penetrate into the stratosphere, the second layer of the atmosphere.

If enough of the ash and other pollutants released in the eruption make it into the stratosphere, they can influence the climate around the globe. The boundary between the troposphere and stratosphere is about 6 miles (10 km) above the ground, a little higher than where commercial jets typically fly.

Response was immediate from the region

CARICOM governments and especially OECS governments immediately responded to these eruptions by sending and offering assistance to the stricken 16,000 populated area immediately affected by the continuing explosions and eruptive events.

The “Stronger Together Campaign

OECS Commission Launches “Stronger Together Campaign”

The OECS launched the  “Stronger Together Campaign” an Emergency Response for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines” is an initiative organized by the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Commission relative to a coordinated approach to assist with relief and recovery efforts on behalf of our Member State, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Donations are invited from individuals and corporations across the Caribbean and globally. All funds (100%) raised via this campaign will be directly transferred to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

There is no limit on the value of pledges and contributions. Pledges are invited from individuals and corporations across the Caribbean and globally.

Montserrat had earlier sent one of its MVO scientists in the leadup to the eruption. Christopher Thomas joined other UWI) Seismic Research Center scientists who included Richard (Richie) Robertson with he worked here in Montserrat, for the team that monitored the volcano up to its eruption and after.

Government of Montserrat Officials at Warehouse with Supplies for St. Vincent & the Grenadines

On April 28, 2021 GIU release advised “The Government of Montserrat will deploy a shipment of emergency relief supplies to help address the immediate needs of the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines affected by the ongoing eruption of the La Soufrière Volcano.

It informed further: “Twelve pallets of relief supplies from Montserrat’s emergency stockpile containing 7,200- N95 masks, 400 blankets, 200 cots, 140 helmets, water pump and accessories, eight folding tables and push-brooms, will be shipped on April 29, 2021. These were to be collected by the vessel MV Promise Kept to arrive in St Vincent and the Grenadines the following day, Friday, April 30, 2021.

The relief supplies from the national emergency stockpile managed by the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA), are designed to meet the basic needs of residents staying in Emergency Shelters, overseen by the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The move was a follow-up to the GoM’s April 12 announcement that Montserrat will donate humanitarian supplies, contribute $150,000.00 (US$55,555), and establish a local team to provide support to the people of the volcano stricken islands.

Other islands as reported from OECS headquarters

The Government of Grenada will provide $1 million in support for the Government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, to help deal with the impact of the explosive eruptions at the La Soufriere volcano.

Grenada initially pledged to accept hundreds of Vincentian evacuees if they opted for relocation and immediately began making arrangements to do so, in collaboration with St. George’s University. Meanwhile, preparations continue to be made to host evacuees in the event that persons decide to take advantage of the opportunity.

These items include drinking water, water tanks, collapsible water bladders, buckets, portable toilets, sleeping mats, field tents, respirator masks with filters, hygiene kits, disinfectants, and sanitisers.

As the volcanic disaster in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines continues to unfold, regional solidarity is once again at the forefront of relief efforts.

Antigua and Barbuda

The Government of Antigua and Barbuda was among the first and began its response efforts on Thursday, April 8, 2021 after Prime Minister Hon. Gaston Browne consulted with his counterpart in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Prime Minister Dr. Hon. Ralph Gonzalves.  It was at this juncture that Antigua and Barbuda agreed to accept 250 Vincentian evacuees who would be accommodated at the Jolly Beach Hotel. The gesture was part of a wider regional response to the developing situation in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. 

In addition to accommodation, the GoA extended support and services to evacuees.  While in Antigua, the Ministry of Health will provide medical support; the Transport Board will provide the necessary transportation for official movement; the Ministry of Education will facilitate the education of students; the security forces will provide security as necessary for the well-being of all, and the Ministry of Works will assist with physical security if necessary.

Donations from corporate and civic organizations as well as the national warehouse in Antigua and Barbuda were coordinated through the National Office of Disaster Services.  So far, support has been received from Mega Distributors, the Lion’s Club, Best Buy, the Rotary Club of Antigua, Premier Beverages, GCS Bottling Services Ltd, and the Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross. These donations, which included water, water tanks, housing supplies, personal care items, mosquito nets, generators, lanterns, flashlights, and relief kits, were shipped in a 20-foot container on April 12, 2021.

World Bank

The World Bank disbursed US$20 million to support the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ response to the crisis posed by the La Soufrière volcano eruption.

The explosive eruption began on April 8 and has required the evacuation of 20,000 people from the high-risk zones around the volcano, both to other parts of Saint Vincent and surrounding countries. Explosions are continuing, and the falling ash is causing air quality concerns and interruptions in electricity and water supply.

The funds are disbursed from a contingent credit line from the World Bank, known as the Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat-DDO), approved in June 2020.

Dominica

The Government and people of Dominica continue to stand in solidarity with the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and reiterates the support of all Dominicans during the volcanic crisis unfolding on the island, Prime Minister Skerrit said.

Following an eruptive event of ash flow

Before April 12 he conversed with Hon. Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, and offered support to assist with the evacuation of residents during this natural disaster as the Government worked to confirm logistics and make preparations for the accommodation of a group of Vincentians for a period of up to five months.

All local partners and international organizations on the island are collaborating with the Government and a national response is being finalized.

He said also ‘the expressions of concern and outpouring of support for the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines have been exceptional and reflects the kindness and brotherhood we are known for.’

St Lucia sends assists with transporting stranded OECS workers from St. Vincent

Meanwhile, St. Lucia on the receiving end of ashfall assisted with 139 Stranded Agricultural Workers in the wake of the La Soufriere Volcano explosion. They were farmworkers en route to Canada were part of the seasonal agricultural workers’ programme.

It was reported already that Dominicans have reached out and offered assistance to house individuals who need to be evacuated from St. Vincent. In this regard, a special hotline was established for the general public to offer support for housing or other areas of assistance.

The agricultural workers, 95 Vincentians, 18 Saint Lucians, and 23 Grenadians, were en route to Canada for employment on the seasonal agricultural workers’ programme when their flight from St. Vincent to Canada was canceled. The workers arrived via the Cruise Ship “Serenade of the Seas” on Saturday morning and remained in Saint Lucia for a few days until they were able to board a flight to Canada.

Grenada sends personnel and other support to St Vincent

While wreaking havoc on the lives of residents, many of whom had to evacuate the northern part of the island categorised as the Red Zone, the entire population continued to cope with a myriad of issues, from the destruction of property, livestock, and crops, the presence of volcanic ash which is dangerous to human health, disruptions in telecommunications services to contaminated water supplies. To this end, the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) came to the aid of the people of St. Vincent with a donation of bottled water.

La Soufrière Eruption – ECTEL Sends Water to St. Vincent and the Grenadines
https://cdn.uc.assets.prezly.com/c457c8f5-ac3d-4bb1-a9da-c3b11e34733f/-/format/auto/

ECTEL’s Managing Director, Mr. Andrew Millet learned of the urgent need for water.  He said, “ECTEL stands in solidarity with the people…We cannot begin to comprehend the distress they must be feeling, having to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic, and now this natural phenomenon.”  The matter of further assistance to St. Vincent and the Grenadines was discussed at the 41st Meeting of ECTEL’s Council of Ministers, the result being a donation of 24 pallets of water departed Saint Lucia on Wednesday, April 14, and arrived in St. Vincent on Friday, April 16. 

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Environment, International, Local, News, OECS, Regional, TOURISM, Volcano, Volcano0 Comments

The Facebook logo is displayed on a mobile phone in this picture illustration taken on Dec. 2, 2019. (Johanna Geron/Illustration/Reuters)

Facebook Shuts Pro-Israel Jerusalem Prayer Team Page After Anti-Semites Flood Site With 800,000 Hateful Comments

The Facebook logo is displayed on a mobile phone in this picture illustration taken on Dec. 2, 2019. (Johanna Geron/Illustration/Reuters)
The Facebook logo is displayed on a mobile phone in this picture illustration taken on Dec. 2, 2019. (Johanna Geron/Illustration/Reuters)

Media & Big Tech

The Epoch Times
Reprint

By Mark Tapscott June 3, 2021

Facebook officials refuse to explain why they shut down a page with more than 77 million followers after an unprecedented avalanche of anti-Semitic comments suddenly appeared on it as thousands of Hamas missiles were launched from the Gaza Strip at Israel.

The Jerusalem Prayer Team (JPT) page was founded in 2002 by Pastor Mike Evans, a Dallas-based U.S. evangelical supporter of the State of Israel, to encourage Christians around the world to pray for the tiny Jewish nation.

The site’s global following, mainly of Christians and Jews, also included 18 million Muslims, when, on May 13, the comment section suddenly exploded with anti-Semitic hate.

“On that single day, we received over 800,000 comments, the overwhelming majority of which were very negative, often crude, and anti-Semitic,” JPT spokesman Michael Vaughn told The Epoch Times.

“Clearly, this was not random: Someone somewhere was orchestrating this barrage,” he said.

The barrage of anti-Semitic comments continued for two days while JPT officials appealed to Facebook for help, Vaughn said.

“We were amazed and disappointed that Facebook allowed such comments to be made. We had understood they had a corporate commitment to prevent offensive or false information from being displayed, but in our case, there was no apparent intervention by Facebook,” Vaughn said.

Then with no prior warning, Facebook shut down the JPT page, which at the time was the 22nd most-liked page on the social media platform.

“On Saturday, May 15, with no notice, no attempt to reach us, Facebook told us they had unpublished our JPT Facebook, citing this was due to the page being spam and violating their policies,” Vaughn said.

“We did nothing differently on May 12 or any other day than we had done in the prior 1,000 days.”

JPT appealed to Facebook on May 16 to reverse its decision to shut down the page, but was told the decision was final, Vaughn told The Epoch Times.

“We appealed again and were told that this review process could take several days. That seemed ridiculous, as we only post a few times a day and detailed review of every post for the last week would have taken no more than an hour,” Vaughn said.

“On May 19, we sent an official demand letter to Jennifer Newstead, Facebook’s general counsel, and to Facebook’s board of directors demanding their immediate action to correct this terrible error on their part.”

The JPT Facebook page remains down, and a request from The Epoch Times for comment from Facebook has received no response.

“We are continuing to communicate with Facebook but have not yet resolved the matter. We are considering several options at this time,” Vaughn said.

The JPT website is asking supporters to donate to a legal fund established to fight the Facebook decision.

Asked who might be behind the avalanche of anti-Semitic comments, Vaughn pointed to the English translation of an Al Jazeera story that referred to JPT as a “Zionist entity” and credited a Jordanian hacker with being responsible for Facebook’s decision to unpublish the page.

“It was reported in several news [mediums] that the well-known hacker, Ahmed Saleh, nicknamed ‘The Saqr Bani Hashem Electronic,’ managed to close a Facebook page with 76 million likes to support the Zionist entity, called the ‘Jerusalem Prayer Team’ page,” Al Jazeera reported.

The shutdown of one of Facebook’s most widely read pages, however, has generated little interest in the mainstream media in the United States despite growing calls in Congress and elsewhere to take action against censorship by social media and digital giants such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter.

Searches of the websites of The Washington Post, USA Today, and The New York Times by The Epoch Times produced no stories on the issue.

Fox News’ Sean Hannity tweeted a Human Events story on the issue without comment. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also tweeted the link to the Human Events story and observed, “This … is … nuts.”

Congressional correspondent Mark Tapscott may be contacted at mark.tapscott@epochtimes.nyc

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, General, International, Local, News, Regional, Science/Technology0 Comments

Illustration of a dollar bill being pinned to a darts board by a vaccination syringe.

Ohio’s $1 million Covid vaccine lottery is bribery at its best Going without a mask isn’t enough incentive? How about $1 million?

Illustration of a dollar bill being pinned to a darts board by a vaccination syringe.
Shots for scratch! Medicine for moolah! Covid immunity for prizes and money! Chelsea Stahl / MSNBC

– May 14, 2021, By Hayes Brown, MSNBC Opinion Columnist

The best reason to get Covid-19 vaccine shots is, of course, to not have yourself, your loved ones, or your neighbors get infected and potentially die from a virus that has killed almost 600,000 people in the U.S. But $1 million is a pretty good runner-up, I have to say.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Wednesday announced the “Vax-a-Million” program. Starting May 26, a random Ohioan will be drawn weekly from the Ohio secretary of state’s voter registration database to get $1 million — so long as they’re vaccinated. Another five 12- to 17 year-olds will get the chance to sign up for a possible full-ride scholarship to a state college or university, again provided they’re vaccinated.

Ohio governor: Get vaccinated, win a million dollars

MAY 13, 202101:46

As a former resident of Michigan, I’m loath to say anything positive about the state’s southern neighbor. But this is actually a pretty genius idea from the Ohio government, especially given that “the Ohio Lottery will conduct the drawings but the money will come from existing federal coronavirus relief funds,” as The Columbus Dispatch reported.

Absent a decent stick — aside from, you know, the risk of dying from a virus — we’ve been forced to find carrots to convince the masses.

Daily vaccination rates have plummeted even as more and more people have become eligible to get their shots. It’s entirely possible that news that people who are fully vaccinated can go about their lives sans masks may change that and get folks who’ve been waiting to go in to see the local stabmonger.

But we’ve been hoping that more education will bring down hesitancy for months now. And while that may be the case among some demographics, others still stubbornly refuse to get vaccinated — looking at you, white Republican men. The Biden administration has so far ruled out any sort of penalty for people who aren’t vaccinated; the Food and Drug Administration still hasn’t approved any of the vaccines yet — it has only authorized them for emergency use, which isn’t the same.

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Absent a decent stick — aside from, you know, the risk of dying from a virus — we’ve been forced to find carrots to convince the masses. That has included encouraging selfies to handing out stickers to what we’re seeing in Ohio now. So it may seem desperate at this point, but I can’t be mad at any and all efforts to get people vaccinated.

Fauci weighs in on CDC’s new mask guidance for fully vaccinated

MAY 14, 202103:05

It might not even take the full million bucks to sway people. Polling backs up the idea that offering smaller amounts of cold, hard cash could make a difference. UCLA’s Covid-19 Health and Politics Project asked over 7,000 people who had yet to be vaccinated whether they’d be more likely to do so if they were paid for it. Thirty-four percent of respondents said $100 would make them more likely to make appointments; 31 percent said 50 bucks would do the trick.

So while Ohio has the highest potential payout, other states have been reaching out to people through their wallets. After a wildly successful rollout, West Virginia’s lagging numbers prompted Gov. Jim Justice to propose giving $100 savings bonds to residents ages 16 to 35 who get vaccinated. (They’re still working on how to deliver those bonds to the newly vaccinated.) As in Ohio, that money would come from federal Covid-19 funds already sent to the state.

How West Virginia health officials are battling Covid vaccine hesitancy

https://www.nbcnews.com/now/video/how-west-virginia-health-officials-are-battling-covid-vaccine-hesitancy-111763013610

It’s not just money on offer. In Chicago, the city will have a series of free concerts that will be open only to people who can prove they’re fully vaccinated. A hospital group in Alaska is giving away prizes, including airline tickets and money toward the purchase of an ATV. Here in New York City, Shake Shack is offering free fries when you buy a sandwich and flash your vaccination card. Krispy Kreme’s decision to offer free donuts to the vaccinated set off a whole round of discourse about whether the company was encouraging obesity. (It wasn’t, and the fatphobia was rightly shouted down.)

My favorite bribery scheme so far? Beer. In New Jersey, participating breweries will provide a free beer if you show your proof of vaccination as part of the state government’s “Shot and a Beer” program. (Get it? It’s a pun.) It’s a better name than Erie County, New York’s “Shot and a Chaser” program — but the latter is the best anecdotal evidence we have so far that these programs can get results, especially if you offer the shots at the brewery, too.

Are there arguments against bribing the masses to go get their shots? Sure. Back in January, when the vaccines were first being rolled out, an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association argued that proposals to pay people up to $1,500 for getting vaccinated were a waste of funds and morally questionable and that they might even backfire.

In a climate characterized by widespread distrust of government and a propensity to endorse conspiracy theories, those who are already COVID-19 vaccine-hesitant might perceive that the government would not be willing to pay people to get vaccinated if the available vaccines were truly safe and effective. Incentive payments might also stoke new fears and, perversely, increase resistance to vaccination.

It’s a well-reasoned set of concerns. But the article ends by noting that a “policy of paying people for Covid-19 vaccination should be adopted only as a last resort if voluntary vaccine uptake proves insufficient to promote herd immunity within a reasonable period of time.”

That sounds a lot like, well, now. That means that if you’re reading this in Ohio, good luck getting a windfall for doing the right thing. I’m rooting for you. It may be the only time I root for someone from Ohio, so savor this moment.

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World war 3: Typhoon flying

RAF jets prepare to fly to Romania as war fears explode amid Russia threat

THE RAF is preparing six Typhoon super-jets bound to Romania at a time of sky-high tensions – with Russia deploying troops to the Ukrainian border, according to reports.

By Melanie Kaidan PUBLISHED: | UPDATED: Tue, Apr 13, 2021

Brexit: Andrew Neil claims EU ‘terrified’ of UK success in 2018

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UK defence bosses have announced the RAF jets are set to fly to Eastern Europe in a bid to patrol the air space surrounding the Black Sea. Along with the Typhoons, troops from the RAF’s No 1 Expeditionary Logistics Squadron and No 2 Mechanical Transport Squadron will leave UK bases this week.

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The Ministry of Defence maintains the flights are a routine procedure despite the growing tensions in the region.

The mission is part of an annual Nato air patrolling activity, Operation Biloxi. The Ministry of Defence said: “Operation Biloxi is a long-planned deployment of RAF Typhoons to Romania in support of the Nato Southern Air Policing mission to monitor the airspace of our ally.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian President Vladimir Putin had not responded to his invitation to talk over the phone.

World war 3: Typhoon flying

War fears explode as RAF jets prepare to fly to Romania amid Russia threat (Image: Getty)

Mr. Zelensky’s spokesperson Iuliia Mendel, confirmed the invitation, which made on March 26, had not been acknowledged.

She said on Monday: “The request has been forwarded from the office of the president of Ukraine to the office of Vladimir Putin to have a conversation, a telephone talk.

“And we have not received an answer yet.

“The office of the president of Ukraine hopes that it doesn’t mean that Vladimir Putin refuses to have a dialogue with Ukraine.”

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has sparked fears among analysts, with one pointing out that the relations were “looking increasingly fragile” since 2021 began.

World war 3: Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin has not responded to Ukraine’s calls to talk, according to Mr. Zelenky’s spokesperson (Image: Getty)

READ MORE: Macron’s shame: Hundreds line up for food parcels in Paris

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Eastern Europe Analyst at The EIU, Matthew Sherwood, told Express.co.uk: “The conflict goes back to 2014 when Russia invaded and illegally annexed the Crimea peninsula.

“This was followed a few weeks later by fighting in the Donbas region of Ukraine between Ukrainian forces and separatists backed by Russia.

“Both events occurred after Ukraine’s Euromaidan Revolution (2013-14) that saw the ousting of the pro-Russia president, Viktor Yanukovich, who now lives in exile in Russia.

“After many years of conflict, the various parties agreed to a ceasefire in July 2020, which has been largely holding but looking increasingly fragile since the beginning of the year.”

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AccuWeather

St. Vincent and the Grenadines volcano erupts, prompts thousands to evacuate – an update

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https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/st-vincent-volcano-erupts-prompts-thousands-to-evacuate/929927

By Courtney Travis, AccuWeather senior meteorologist

Updated Apr. 12, 2021, 7:48 AM AST Copied

Hours after an initial eruption of the La Soufriere volcano on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent, a second explosion was reported, resulting in a massive plume of smoke and ash.

The largest volcano on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent erupted on Friday in spectacular fashion, sending an ash plume shooting an estimated 52,000 feet into the atmosphere and forcing the evacuation of thousands.

Through the weekend, much of the island was covered in ash from the eruptions that continued on through Friday night. By Sunday night, eruptions were firing up again as conditions worsened.

Dozens of residents required rescuing from the northern part of the island as the new dangers place even more islanders at risk.

A man rides his bicycle along the main Black Rock road, covered with ash coming from the eruption of La Soufriere volcano in the neighboring island of St. Vincent, on the outskirts of Bridgetown, Barbados, Sunday, April 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Chris Brandis)

Richard Robertson, a geologist with the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre, said during a Sunday night news conference that there is evidence of pyroclastic flows, the rush of super-heated gas and debris traveling down the mountainside as fast as 120 miles per hour, in the areas around the volcano, NPR reported.

“These flows are really moving masses of destruction,” Robertson said. “They just destroy everything in its path. Even if you have the strongest house in the world, they will just bulldoze it off the ground.”

The abrupt eruptions continued to launch debris and a cloud of ash into the air throughout Sunday night, leaving its remnants scattered throughout the island.

On Saturday, he said the roughly 110,000 residents of St. Vincent, many of whom have already sought refuge on other islands, should expect to see the largest blast of their lifetimes in the coming days

“The explosive eruption has started and it is possible you could have more explosions like these,” he said during a press conference on Saturday, according to NPR. “The first one is not necessarily the worst one, the first bang is not necessarily the biggest bang this volcano will give.”

https://twitter.com/NWSElPaso/status/1381084579616985088?s=20

Very early Sunday morning, the National Emergency Management Organization of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (NEMO SVG) said on Twitter that a “massive power outage” was underway following another “explosive event” of the volcano. The island-wide power outage began just after 1 a.m., local time, on Sunday morning as loud rumblings continued to emit from the volcano, according to News 784 in St. Vincent.

The Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves said water supplies to most of the island had been cut off and its airspace had been closed due to the smoke and plumes of volcanic ash moving through the atmosphere, according to the BBC.

St. Vincent is a volcanic island located in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean and is home to La Soufrière, its largest volcano.

Around 8:30 a.m., local time, on Friday, the volcano underwent what the scientists at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Seismic Research Center called an “explosive eruption,” spewing ash high into the air.

The NEMO SVG reported later in the morning that the ash plume had reached about 5 miles (8 km) into the air, and ash had fallen at Argyle International Airport. A NOAA-SSEC satellite estimated that the ash traveled an astonishing 52,000 feet into the atmosphere, or about 10 miles up.

Photo from the explosive eruption that occurred at La Soufriere, SVG at 8:41 a.m. local time. Ash has begun to fall on the flanks of the volcano and surrounding communities including Chateaubelair and Petite Bordel. (Photo/UWI Seismic ReasearchCentre)

The explosion of ash was so large that it was visible from space on weather satellites. Southwesterly winds carried the cloud of ash over northern parts of St. Vincent and over the waters of the western Atlantic Ocean between the islands of Saint Lucia and Barbados.

NEMO reported that the ash was extending at least 20,000 feet (more than 6 km) to the northeast of the volcano.

This GOES-16 true-color satellite loop shows what the La Soufriere volcano eruption looked like from space on the morning of April 9, 2021 (GOES-16/NOAA)

Geologist Richard Robertson told News 784 in St. Vincent on Friday that the volcano had returned to a quieter period, but more eruptions are expected to follow.

A second eruption occurred later Friday evening, NEMO reported, jettisoning ash over 2 miles into the atmosphere.

Ash venting resumed at La Soufrière at around 2:45 p.m. local time, the UWI Seismic Research Center reported Friday evening, and lightning could be seen in the ash column. Continuous tremors have been recorded since 3 p.m., and the center noted that the volcano continues its explosive phase which may last several days to weeks.

Friday afternoon, lightning was visible in the volcano’s ash column due to its highly charged nature. (Photo/UWI Seismic Research Centre)

”If there is a much bigger explosion, the ash can spread further to the south,“ Robertson said, adding that, “This could continue for days or weeks, and monitoring will continue.”

The UWI Seismic Research Center first noticed gases spewing from the dome of the volcano on Thursday morning.

As seismic activity continued and became more intense, with magma visible near the surface later on Thursday, the country’s National Emergency Management Organization raised the island’s alert level from orange to red, according to NPR, meaning that eruption was considered “imminent”.

Smoke spews from the glowing dome of the La Soufriere volcano in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on Thursday, April 8, 2021 (right), and the resulting eruption (left) on Friday, April 9, 2021. (Photos/The UWI Seismic Research Centre)

Around 6:00 p.m. Thursday, Gonsalves announced in a press conference the evacuation order for residents in “red zones” on the northeast and northwest sides of the island.

This evacuation includes roughly 16,000 people on the island, according to WFAA, a WABC affiliate in Dallas, Texas.

Government-led evacuations immediately began, but they were to be assisted by nearby cruise line ships, arriving Friday, to help get people to safety.

However, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, evacuations are more complicated than usual.

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Gonsalves said in his press conference that people have to be vaccinated before boarding a cruise ship or to go to another island. The minister also highly recommended those taking shelter in Saint Vincent be vaccinated.

Flights were cancelled at the Argyle International Airport on St. Vincent as well as the Grantley Adams International Airport on the nearby island of Barbados on Saturday, further complicating evacuation efforts.

Even on Friday morning, fresh magma near the surface of the volcano left the sky aglow.

https://www.facebook.com/uwiseismic/photos/a.112065204326/10158019592044327/?type=3

According to CNN, the La Soufrière volcano on St. Vincent has had five explosive eruptions in the past, with the most recent being 1979. There was, however, an uptick in seismic activity more recently in December of 2020.

Gonsalves urged people to be patient and continue to take precautions as experts warned that explosive eruptions from the volcano could continue for days or even weeks, NBC News reported.

In an interview with NBC Radio, Gonsalves said that it could take up to four months for life to return to normal, depending on the extent of the damage. He added that agriculture will be badly affected.

In extremely powerful volcanic eruptions, the ash and aerosols released in the eruption can pass through the troposphere, the lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere, and penetrate into the stratosphere, the second layer of the atmosphere.

If enough of the ash and other pollutants released in the eruption make it into the stratosphere, they can influence the climate around the globe. The boundary between the troposphere and stratosphere is about 6 miles (10 km) above the ground, a little higher than where commercial jets typically fly.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, Climate/Weather, Climate/Weather, COVID-19, Environment, Featured, Features, International, Local, News, OECS, Photos, Regional, Volcano0 Comments

New Side Effects With AstraZeneca and Janssen COVID-19 Vaccines?

New Side Effects With AstraZeneca and Janssen COVID-19 Vaccines?

New Side Effects With AstraZeneca and Janssen COVID-19 Vaccines?

TMR is not suggesting to anyone not to access COVID-19 ‘vaccines’. Merely providing information to those who may be at risk, knowingly or otherwise, to be aware that there ARE varying life-threatening risks and to consider and consult, before becoming a ‘negative/positive statistic, all the theories, conspiratorial, truths taken on board. We encourage there is not an earlier time available for everyone to take stock of their health and immunise themselves against all poor health lifestyles.

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Medical Newsreprint

by Sue Hughes

April 09, 2021

Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

In addition to the unusual blood clots linked to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, which have received extensive attention in the past couple of weeks, other safety signals are also being investigated with this vaccine, and now with Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine as well, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) reports.

Highlights of the EMA’s Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) meeting April 6-9 include that the agency has started a review of a safety signal to assess reports of capillary leak syndrome in people who were vaccinated with Vaxzevria (formerly COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca).

It also reports that PRAC has started a review of a safety signal to assess reports of thromboembolic events with low platelets in people who received the COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen.

Capillary Leak Syndrome with AZ Vaccine

An EMA press release issued today notes that five cases of capillary leak syndrome, characterized by leakage of fluid from blood vessels causing tissue swelling and a drop in blood pressure in individuals receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, were reported in the EudraVigilance database.

“At this stage, it is not yet clear whether there is a causal association between vaccination and the reports of capillary leak syndrome. These reports point to a ‘safety signal’ — information on new or changed adverse events that may potentially be associated with a medicine and that warrants further investigation,” the EMA states.

PRAC will evaluate all the available data to decide if a causal relationship is confirmed or not, it adds.

Thromboembolic Events with J&J/Janssen Vaccine

Four serious cases of unusual blood clots with low blood platelets have been reported postvaccination with COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen, EMA reports. One case occurred in a clinical trial and three cases occurred during the vaccine rollout in the US. One of them was fatal.

COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen is currently only used in the US, under an emergency use authorization. COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen was authorized in the EU on March 11. The vaccine rollout has not started yet in any EU member state but is expected in the next few weeks.

The Janssen vaccine uses an adenovirus vector, as does the AstraZeneca vaccine.

PRAC is investigating these cases and will decide whether regulatory action may be necessary, which usually consists of an update to the product information, it adds.

For more news, follow Medscape on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn

Additional ‘educational’ reading: https://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/948301

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