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Towers to dominate Reading’s skyline

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36 evacuated from China to France show virus symptoms: Minister

first_imgNine Belgians and three of their partners as well as 15 Dutch citizens and their two Chinese partners were isolated after travelling on from Istres to a military airport near Brussels, according to Belga news agency. However, 60 others from Mexico, Rwanda, Brazil and Georgia remained on French soil, Buzyn told reporters.Some of the returnees will be quarantined for 14 days while others would be allowed to head back to their home countries if they showed no symptoms of the virus, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told French broadcaster RTL.The first planeload of evacuees from China arrived on Friday and are in quarantine at a resort on the Mediterranean coast.Two passengers from that flight were identified as possible cases of coronavirus, but tests on them came back negative.Le Drian hailed the “remarkable” cooperation by the Chinese authorities which has allowed all the French nationals who wanted to return home to do so.The health minister assured that the arrival of more people from Wuhan presented no extra risk of contagion of the virus.France and its fellow G7 countries will discuss a joint response to the coronavirus epidemic, Germany’s health minister said on Sunday.So far in France, only six cases of coronavirus have been detected.Topics : Tests were carried out to establish whether they had the coronavirus and the results will be known on Monday, the health ministry told AFP.A further 16 foreign nationals displaying symptoms were flown back to their respective countries. The second evacuation flight was carrying people of 30 different nationalities, most of them European. Sixty five of the returnees were French. A total of 124 non-French evacuees swiftly travelled on to their home countries, according to military sources in Istres. Thirty six people aboard an evacuation flight from China that landed in France on Sunday showed symptoms of the coronavirus, which has killed more than 360 people, Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said.In all, 254 people arrived in France from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the deadly virus was first detected, on the second such flight. “About 20 people who presented symptoms have stayed on the tarmac” at Istres airport in the south of France to undergo further testing, Buzyn told journalists. They included French and non-European nationals.last_img read more

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Budget cuts, furloughs inevitable for start-ups to survive pandemic: Investors

first_imgTopics : Investors have advised start-ups to start cutting their budgets, furloughing some employees and even laying off others to survive the COVID-19 pandemic, which will likely hit the economy hard.According to Dimitra Taslim, an investor at California-based global venture capital company GGV Capital, start-ups could begin with slashing perks such as travel allowances and free food while opting for furloughs instead of a headcount reduction.“Furloughing doesn’t always mean putting everyone on a leave of absence. It could mean putting employees on a three-day workweek and working less,” he said during a webinar on start-ups’ survival in 2020 on Wednesday. A headcount reduction, he went on to say, should always be the last option in budget cuts. Furthermore, there should be a team consisting of the company’s CEO, CFO, head of human resources and a legal team to formulate the lay-off scenario.Layoffs might be inevitable for some companies, especially when budget cuts are not sufficient to keep them afloat until at least mid-2022.“I think if start-ups have a runway until the first or second quarter of 2022, this can put them in a rather good position,” he said.The start-ups should opt to raise funds from existing investors because venture capitalists (VCs) have raised their bar in accepting new portfolios, so start-ups looking for new investors should be prepared to accept a suboptimal deal, Taslim added. He also advised expanding funding sources beyond venture capitalists, such as getting bank loans.Read also: Indonesia’s e-signature start-ups gain traction amid pandemicBRI Ventures CEO Nicko Widjaja expressed a similar view, saying a venture capitalist would be more cautious when looking at new investment opportunities but still want to do funding as usual.“The venture capital funding trend is going down for new or early-stage investments,” he told the press on a different occasion on Wednesday. “However, unicorns are still getting funded. Venture capitalists would still continue to fund start-ups with a good track record.”Meanwhile, Indonesian venture capital firm VC East Ventures cofounder and managing partner Willson Cuaca previously told The Jakarta Post his company would focus on helping start-ups in its portfolio and halt funding for new start-ups in the meantime.A recent survey by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and SurveySensum revealed that business players expect business situation to normalize within the next five months or around August.The survey further stated that the COVID-19 pandemic had brought down the revenue of businesses, with 76 percent of respondents saying the pandemic had “severely disturbed the daily activities of businesses.”Tourism and hospitality have been struggling because of the pandemic. Hotel chain RedDoorz is even working on a zero revenue assumption until next year while having to do major hiring and marketing costs.RedDoorz CEO Amit Saberwal said the company had to let go of some employees in both its core and non-core markets, delaying its appraisal by three months and either putting other employees whose positions did not allow them to work from home on leave without pay or furloughing them with a small allowance.“Reducing salaries and letting people go is all very painful to do and I think it’s difficult to cut costs without affecting the company’s morale,” he said on Wednesday.Read also: Ride-hailing apps rely on deliveries during pandemicHowever, he added that the period right after COVID-19 was a “good time” to be a start-up because there would be access to capital as well as an ecosystem that would support their business ideas.Meanwhile, peer-to-peer (P2P) lending start-up UangTeman CEO Aidil Zulkifli said that while the company experienced a 30 to 40 percent increase in loan applications last month, it would want to be more prudent in approving them.“We need to make sure our borrowers can pay back loans to their lenders or the lenders would lose their trust in us,” he told the Post recently, adding that the P2P lending platform would be cautious in funding businesses that required face-to-face interactions, such as restaurants and hospitality companies.P2P lending is one of the sectors that are reportedly doing well and remaining optimistic during this pandemic, even though most of their borrowers are small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which are expected to be one of the hardest-hit businesses. Editor’s note: This article has been revised to state GGV Capital investor, Dimitra Taslim, view that start-ups can be in a rather good position if they have a runway until the first or second quarter of 2022. The spread of COVID-19 has disrupted economic activity globally as the pneumonia-like illness infects people all around the world, hitting demand and putting a halt on various business sectors, such as tourism and manufacturing.Read also: Five more months to business as usual: Business playersIndonesia is projected to see its economy grow by a sluggish 2.3 percent this year, the slowest since 1999, and even contract by 0.4 percent in the worst-case scenario, according to government data.However, Taslim added that further budget cuts would depend on what sector the start-ups were in. For example, a start-up offering a human resource management software might want to cut its marketing and sales budget because other companies were placing their employees on leave or furloughing them.last_img read more

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Riyadh, Doha enter rival bids to host 2030 Asian Games

first_imgSaudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut all ties with Doha in 2017, accusing it of backing “terrorists” and being too close to Iran — charges Qatar denies.Talks to mend the rift have stalled, after a flurry of diplomacy late last year raised hopes of a breakthrough.Doha hosted the Asian Games in 2006 but Saudi Arabia has never organized an OCA multi-sport event, the statement added.The OCA had invited bids for the 2030 Games from its 45 members by Wednesday. “The OCA is delighted to receive two strong bids for our Asian Games in 2030,” OCA president Ahmad al-Sabah, said in the statement.”It further enhances our reputation of hosting world-class sporting events on a major scale.”The host city will be selected at the OCA General Assembly meeting in China on November 29. Gulf rivals Saudi Arabia and Qatar are competing for rights to host the 2030 Asian Games, the Olympic Council for Asia said Thursday after receiving bids from both countries.”Doha, capital of Qatar, and Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia, submitted official bids to host the 21st Asian Games,” the OCA said in a statement.”The bid document from the National Olympic Committee of each country was accompanied by letters of support from the city and respective governments.”center_img Topics :last_img read more

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Ireland to introduce replacement pensions levy

first_imgNoonan said the new 0.15% levy would only apply until the end of 2015, raising an estimated additional €135m next year.However, due to the overlap between the new levy and the existing charge, the stamp duty applied to pension fund assets would next year rise to 0.75%.Mercer and employer groups joined Jerry Moriarty, chief executive at the IAPF, in condemning the new levy.Moriarty told IPE the announcement was “fairly outrageous” and condemned the “disingenuous” way in which Noonan went about introducing the new charge in his speech.“It was announced in his speech that he was abolishing the levy, and, as from next year, he’ll be introducing a 0.15% charge,” he said.“But there wasn’t any reference to the fact it was actually going to be 0.75% next year. We’ve got a double whammy.”Questioning whether the government would not simply introduce a further levy next year, Moriarty added: “The minister himself talked last year about the need to restore confidence for pension savers – this does the exact opposite.”“The minister himself talked last year about the need to restore confidence for pension savers – this does the exact opposite.”Employer lobby group IBEC – which earlier this year said the government should “under no circumstances” extend the current levy or introduce a new measure – also made its displeasure with the announcement known.Its chief executive Danny McCoy said: “The retention of an unfair pension levy, which the government had promised to drop, is a major disappointment.”The increase to 0.75% comes despite the fact that the nearly €520m raised in 2013 from the current levy has exceeded the Department of Finance’s expectations.The department noted the “over-performance relative to expectation” from a number of taxes.In a document detailing Budget measures, it said: “In particular, the over-performance of the pension levy in 2013 relative to expectations is welcome and comes as a result of an appreciation of the capital value of pension funds.”Niall O’Callaghan, head of defined contribution at Mercer, was also highly critical of the move.“This announcement of a new levy is yet another attack on pensions and will deter people from saving for their future,” he said.According to an IAPF annual pension investment survey, assets held within defined benefit and defined contribution funds rose by 11%, to €80.5bn, over the course of 2012.Despite Noonan’s insistence that the new charge would help the government “make provision for potential state liabilities” stemming from a pending High Court ruling to interpret the ECJ judgement, he gave no indication the assets would be set aside in a standalone protection arrangement similar to the UK’s Pension Protection Fund, also funded by a levy.Martin Haugh of LCP previously suggested that it would be “very hard” for a protection fund to be set up in Ireland without the introduction of a statutory debt upon the employer requiring any existing deficit to be funded on insolvency. The Irish government has reneged on repeated promises to abolish the pensions levy on private sector pension funds and instead lowered it to 0.15% for 2015 in a move branded “outrageous” by the Irish Association of Pension Funds (IAPF).In his Budget speech, minister for finance Michael Noonan was keen to present the levy as a new charge meant to help the state prepare for any liabilities incurred as a result of the European Court of Justice ruling in the Waterford Crystal case, rather than a continuation of the 0.6% stamp duty introduced in 2011 that he last year pledged would end.He told the Dáil he wished to “confirm” that the 0.6% rate would be abolished from the end of next year.“I will, however, introduce an additional levy on pension funds at 0.15%,” he said. “I am doing this to continue to help fund the Jobs Initiative and to make provision for potential state liabilities that may emerge from pre-existing or future pension fund difficulties.”last_img read more

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SeaBird Board Member Resigns

first_imgSeaBird Exploration has received resignation letter of Heidar Engebret as the member of the board.The nomination committee recommended Ståle Rodahl to replace Engebret.The board intends to call for an extraordinary general meeting in the near future to propose that Rodahl to be elected as a board member.Rodahl will act as an observer to the board of directors until the EGM election.last_img

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Hazard lights way for boys in blue

first_img Schurrle, signed from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer, feels there is plenty more to come from Hazard after the Belgian marked his 100th Chelsea appearance with a man-of-the-match display. “Eden is awesome. He is a great player and everybody knows that,” Schurrle said. “When we are on the pitch, he can take on two or three people, we make a run and he sees us.” Schurrle, 23, made full use of a rare Premier League start, but maintains the win at Fulham was down to a team effort. “I am really happy for the three goals, but I am more happy for the three points,” the German said. “It’s important for me of course, I want to play and I want to score goals for this great team and the great fans of this club. “When I am on the pitch I try my best and today it went well.” Mourinho revealed he had given his side a dose of the silent treatment at half-time following a lacklustre opening 45 minutes, which may well have been a consequence of the gruelling midweek Champions League trip to Istanbul. However, it was a ploy which had the desired impact. Schurrle said: “It was strange, but everybody knew coming into the dressing room that in the first half, we had played bad. Everybody knew we had to change. “The manager was in there for 10 or 15 seconds, said something, but I don’t want to say it here (again), then he left. “The pressure was on us to change [in the second half], so we did.” Chelsea could move further ahead at the top next weekend, given Manchester City and Arsenal are both involved in the FA Cup quarter-finals. “We have a good young team, everybody grows in this season to be successful,” said Schurrle. “We are top and we want to stay there. We have to believe we can win this.” Fulham had started well in some welcome spring sunshine on the banks of the Thames, and should have taken an early lead when Clint Dempsey glanced a close-range header wide, which would have given the match a completely different dynamic. In the end, though, all Felix Magath’s men had to show for a largely spirited display was a late bundled goal from Johnny Heitinga as consolation. Fulham remain bottom, some five points off safety and with a far inferior goal difference. The bleak outlook, however, could change quickly if Magath’s men can win at fellow strugglers Cardiff next weekend. Midfielder Pajtim Kasami said: “We have to do is stick together and think about the next game. We have to take the positives and look forwards. “We have the quality to do it and we have to fight in the next 10 games and a massive one against Cardiff next week.” The German midfielder plundered a second-half treble at Craven Cottage to end the hosts’ brave resistance and send Jose Mourinho’s side four points clear of the chasing pack following a 3-1 victory. Belgium playmaker Hazard, 23, had a hand in two of the goals with his intelligent runs and perfectly weighted passes, and nearly crafted another when a superb reverse-foot chip just eluded Fernando Torres at the far post. Andre Schurrle is in no doubt “awesome” Eden Hazard can help drive Chelsea forward at the top of the Barclays Premier League after laying on a hat-trick for him at Fulham. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Tennis team preps for Regionals

first_imgThe USC women’s tennis team is sending nine of its 10 players to compete today in the 2009 Wilson/ITA Southwest Regional held at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego, Calif.In contrast to the Trojans’ last ITA tournament, the Riviera, which involved a selection of Division-I players throughout the nation, this tournament focuses on their region, with competition from two Arizona schools and six Southern California schools.Repeat · Maria Sanchez hopes to match her success in San Diego. – Jonathan Wong | Daily TrojanJunior Maria Sanchez topped the singles and the doubles competition during last fall’s Regional play. And this weekend, Sanchez is hoping for the same kind of result.During last year’s Regionals, three of the four players in the semifinals were from USC, which later led to an all-USC finals matchup between Sanchez and then-freshman Ali Ramos.Although playing against a teammate happens mostly in the fall during individual tournaments, Sanchez said it’s never easy.“It’s always tough playing a teammate because you want them to do well, but then you want to win when you play,” Sanchez said.Two weeks ago, freshman Danielle Lao impressed her teammates during the Riviera by winning seven straight singles matches. Lao said she feels some pressure to produce again this weekend.“People now know who you are and expect to see good things. That pressure is great enough to motivate me to perform and compete well,” Lao said.Meanwhile, the other freshman on the team, Valeria Pulido, will play with the defending doubles champion Sanchez, while Lao will play with junior Lyndsay Kinstler. Juniors Leyla Entekhabi and Cristie Andrews and senior Sarah Fansler and Ramos will also represent the doubles teams.last_img read more

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Women of Troy upended at California

first_imgThe first leg of a tough Bay Area trip ended in disappointment for the USC women’s basketball team, which fell 82-71 to California.Coming off a string of poor shooting performances, the Women of Troy (12-5, 4-2) shot 53 percent from the field but were unable to slow down the Golden Bears (11-6, 3-3).  Cal, a team not known for its outside shooting, shot better than 50 percent from the field and hit nine three-pointers.Not enough · Despite a team-high 20 points, junior Briana Gilbreath and USC couldn’t match Cal, which collectively made eight 3-pointers. – Tim Tran | Daily Trojan “We just didn’t execute our scheme,” said junior guard Briana Gilbreath.  “They got outside points and inside points.  Our game plan going in was to force them to beat us from the outside but not give them open shots.”The Women of Troy had one of their best offensive outputs of the season in the first half but found themselves trailing 44-40 at the break.  USC made seven of its first 10 field goals attempts and finished the half shooting nearly 60 percent (17 of 29).  That blistering pace was not enough to keep up with Cal, which knocked down eight three-pointers in the first half.The Golden Bears also dominated the offensive glass in the first half, pulling down more offensive rebounds than USC grabbed defensive rebounds.  USC matched a season-low for rebounds.“It was more of us not really crashing,” Gilbreath said. “On the defensive end they were getting a lot of second chance shots.”Gilbreath paced USC with 13 first-half points.  Her backcourt mate, junior guard Ashley Corral, was held scoreless in the half but handed out six assists.The Women of Troy continued their hot shooting out of the break, knocking down three of their first four attempts to grab a 57-56 lead.After that initial burst USC’s offense stalled, registering just 24 points over the final 18 minutes of the game.Cal, meanwhile, responded with a 12-2 run to seize a 68-59 lead.  From there, the Golden Bears held USC at bay, never letting USC get closer than seven points the rest of the way.“[We started] settling for jump shots,” Gilbreath said. “We didn’t attack the rim, we weren’t scoring any points and they were coming down and scoring.”Gilbreath and freshman forward Cassie Harberts paced the Women of Troy with 20 and 18 points, respectively. The 18 points marked a career-high for Harberts. Gilbreath added four steals and three blocks for USC in another strong all-around performance.Freshman guard Len’nique Brown had one of her finest games of the season, knocking down all three of her shots and finishing with nine points.Three players scored at least 17 points for Cal, including guard Layshia Clarendon, who finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Center DeNesha Stallworth and guard Lindsay Sherbert added 21 and 19 points, respectively.Despite the loss, the Women of Troy maintained their hold on third place in the conference after Arizona State lost in Pullman, Wa.And with a road game against No. 4 Stanford looming, Gilbreath said the team can take away some positives from the Cal game.“We did shoot the ball well tonight,” she said.  “We know we can execute some things [offensively].”last_img read more

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Tipp Co Board still searching for new football manager

first_imgPeter Creedon stepped down at the end of the season…a replacement has not yet been announced. There’s a lot of speculation about who will get the job with a number of candidates believed to be in the running.Former Tipperary player Brian Lacey says it’s important for the new manager to come in and appoint a management team which is a process which will take some time….but he feels a decision will be made soon.last_img

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