Bakery products must taste fantastic and be of great quality. That, perhaps unsurprisingly, is Sainsbury’s bakery buyer Sarah Mackenzie’s advice to potential bakery suppliers.But great products alone are no longer enough to get listed with the multiple. Suppliers must also fit in with Sainsbury’s corporate responsibility five-point plan. “We’re striving to give our customers the ’same price, different values’. Anyone wanting to supply Sainsbury’s will have to think in a similar way,” says Mackenzie, who has been the in-store bakery buyer at Sainsbury’s since April last year.The five-point plan includes:l striving for healthy products – for example, Sainsbury’s sliced bread claims to have less salt than the Food Standards Agency target;l sourcing with integrity – the retailer has launched a deal to support British farmers, who will supply 360 in-store bakeries with traceable flour;l respect for the environment – the retailer’s ’Bag for Life’ initiative has seen a 10% drop in the use of plastic bags;l making a positive difference to the community;l and making the in-store bakery a great place to work – its 18-month bakery apprenticeship scheme has been a success and its first 10 students recently graduated, gaining NVQ Level 3. By the end of March, Sainsbury’s expect to see another 100 people on the scheme.Since taking over responsibility for buying in-store, Mackenzie is in charge of driving sales, to offer customers a wide range of products, including bread, rolls and bakery occasions.After conducting consumer research, Sainsbury’s found that people wanted fresh-tasting and delicious bread, says Mackenzie. The in-store bakery will be a major category for Sainsbury’s in 2008. “Baking from scratch is a major priority going forward,” she says. “At the moment, we have around 360 stores that scratch-bake and our strategy is that all of our supermarkets, which stand at about 490, will look to convert through refurbishment programmes.”MAKING A DIFFERENCEOne of Sainsbury’s most successful products, launched a couple of years ago, is the Taste the Difference Multi-seeded Loaf, baked from scratch in-store. “It’s delicious, tasty and has various health benefits, such as low GI. We launched it by working very closely with our supplier and staff in-store, who really got behind the product after a series of taste tests. The product took off and it’s going from strength to strength.”But Sainsbury’s will still continue to develop its offering of baked-off and finished products, so that it can offer its customers the full range.Sainsbury’s range of ’artisan’ breads under its Taste the Difference label, made by Le Pain Croustillant and launched in June 2007, is also seeing strong growth. After several customer focus groups, the supermarket identified that there was a gap in its offering, as customers wanted premium, stone-baked and traditionally artisan products. “We visited several stores in Paris and London to get the launch of this just right. These stores acted as a benchmark,” says Mackenzie.One of the breads is a Raisin and Fig Bread, which includes dark rye levain and red malt flour. “We thought that this was a very novel and unusual product. I have people saying to me, ’I didn’t even know I liked figs.’ It’s doing extremely well and it’s fabulous with Wensleydale crumbly cheese,” says Mackenzie.She explains that the best part of her job is that no two days are ever the same and she is keen to muck in on the shop floor to get a better handle on the in-store category: “One day, I will be tasting products, and another visiting or spending time in one of the stores. I’m always really impressed how enthusiastic employees are in the store.”Good communication and understanding between in-store colleagues are extremely important. In the first few weeks of being in this job, I spent time getting to know the everyday tasks and challenges of our bakery staff. I make a lot of store visits and I even took on a shift, which started at 4 o’clock in the morning.”She adds: “I really enjoy my role in the in-store bakery, as it gives me the fantastic opportunity to work closely with suppliers in order to delight customers and drive sales.” n—-=== At a glance ===Job history: Sarah Mackenzie has worked at Sainsbury’s for over seven years and has been the in-store bakery buyer there since April 2007.Top tip to potential suppliers: Get involved in Sainsbury’s ’Supply Something New…’ programme – a way of encouraging smaller and medium-sized suppliers to gain business access to the retailer. Every year, a team from Sainsbury’s travels around the country to visit suppliers, who are given an hour’s window to convince the panel that their goods should be sold on the shelves at the supermarket.Her favourite product: Taste the Difference artisan boule. “This is a great-tasting bread with slightly sour notes and is very versatile, ideal simply with butter or as an accompaniment to soup,” she says.Spare time: “I enjoy running to keep fit and unwind and sometimes enter races. I did the Great North Run a few months ago.”—-=== Spotlight on Sainsbury’s ===? J Sainsbury comprises Sainsbury’s Supermarkets, Sainsbury’s Local, Bells Stores, Jackson’s Stores, JB Beaumont, Sainsbury’s Online and Sainsbury’s Bank? The company employs a total of around 148,000 people? It has 788 stores: 298 are convenience-type stores and 490 are supermarkets? 360 of the supermarkets have in-store bakeries, with a view to converting all 490 of them to scratch baking? In its 2007 Annual Report, the company reported underlying operating profits of £431m.
It’s that time of year again… In eleven short days, Phish will return to New York’s Madison Square Garden for their annual four-night New Year’s run. Each year, we like to celebrate the season in the days leading up to Phish at MSG with the 12 Days of Phishmas, a daily series that gives you your Phish fix and helps stoke your excitement in the days leading up to the run. In 2016, we took you back to 12 historic Phish performances at The Garden. In 2017, with the Baker’s Dozen barely out of sight in the rearview, we relived the magic and mystery of the band’s historic residency.For years, we’ve been earmarking some of our favorite Phish interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and other cool content that we haven’t found the right occasion to share with you…until now. For 2018, we’ve made you a very special Phishmas Advent calendar to help spice up your countdown to showtime. As we approach the start of the run on the 28th, we’ll open up one panel a day and reveal a fun surprise inside—a little something sweet and Phishy once a day until the Garden party begins. No peeking! By the time we’re finished with the calendar, it will finally be time for the gift we’ve all been waiting for: Four nights of Phish on their home court at the World’s Most Famous Arena.11 Days Til’ Phish: David Byrne Interviews Phish (1998)On the second day of Phishmas… David Byrne interviews Phish for PBS‘s Sessions at West 54th. Yesterday’s full-band interview saw the band mess with their eager community access interviewer to great comedic effect. Today’s full-band interview, taped on October 20th, 1998, sees the band in a much more sincere state of mind as they speak with one of their most respected musical influences—as you no doubt remember, Phish had covered Talking Heads’ Remain In Light for their last Halloween costume set in 1996.If we’re being totally honest, the interview itself doesn’t illustrate much that wasn’t already known by fans. What makes this clip so interesting is the mutual respect and curiosity that’s clearly apparent on both sides of the conversation. The subtext of the often-tense interview speaks volumes. While Byrne’s trademark unassuming persona is in full effect, you can tell he’s genuinely interested and curious about Phish’s unusual approaches to various aspects of their trade. When he asks about the Phish’s largely different mindsets with regard to studio records vs. live shows, you can tell he’s wondering in context to his own work—after all, Byrne has long been known for his spectacular yet fine-tuned live shows.The vibe begins to loosen as the interview goes on, and both Byrne and his subjects start to open up a little more freely, from discussions of onstage antics (Byrne: “What’s with the trampolines?”) to the thought process Phish taps into when covering an album (Trey: “We spent a year in your head”). You can even hear Jon Fishman lamenting that they were just getting warmed up as an off-camera producer tells them to wrap things up.Watch the clip to learn more about the onstage spiritual experience that inspired Mike to change his college major to religion, the hubristic origins of Phish’s Halloween tradition, why Tom Marshall maintaining his 9-5 job has been crucial to his creative output with Phish, the medical perils of being a vacuum virtuoso, and more.David Byrne Interviews Phish (1998)[Video: Surface Dweller]We’ll be back tomorrow to open the third panel on our Phishmas 2018 Advent calendar. What other Phishmas surprises are in store? You’ll just have to wait and see…In the meantime, you can go back through the previous Phishmas surprises:On the first day of Phishmas… The Big Daddy ShowOn the second day of Phishmas… David Byrne interviews Phish
You can spot ‘Lime Sizzler’ firebush in a landscape from a mile away! Well, that may be a slight exaggeration, but the new ‘Lime Sizzler’ definitely grabs attention. Ever since firebush was declared a Texas Superstar winner 20 years ago, it has captured the fancy of gardeners, hummingbirds, butterflies and bees. Now with the addition of ‘Lime Sizzler,’ gardeners have gone gaga.Botanically speaking, ‘Lime Sizzler’ is known as Hamelia patens and is native everywhere from South Florida to the West Indies, Mexico and Central America. It was actually discovered at a nursery in South Texas, and the plant was then patented. It is so exotic and showy that it seems that the entire green industry wants it in its product line, including the Southern Living Plant Collection.The shocking green and yellow foliage would probably be enough to make gardeners desire the plant, but add the trumpet-shaped, red-orange flower so loved by pollinators, and it’s really more than a plant geek like me can stand. I’ll be honest, though — I have never met a firebush I didn’t like.’Lime Sizzler’ is more compact, in the 4-by-4-foot range. Across most of the country, it will be grown as an annual and, truthfully, it’s a most worthy value for your gardening dollar. The firebush, which is also called “hummingbird bush” and “scarlet bush,” is related to coffee, gardenia and the colorful ixora. Technically, it is a zones-9-to-11 plant, but will return most years in zone 8. Here in Savannah and the low country, it is a trooper. In the University of Georgia Coastal Botanical Gardens, ours are 4 to 6 feet and, indeed, have attained that shrubby look, even after dying to the ground. Our ‘Lime Sizzlers’ were planted late this spring from 1-gallon containers and are now 2 feet by 2 feet. Even at this size, I can spot them across the garden.In addition to the ‘Lime Sizzler,’ we grow the typical green form and several plants of the ‘Firefly’ variety. ‘Firefly’ firebush has smaller leaves and more yellow showing in the blossoms. We also grow the ‘Bahama’ firebush, Hamelia cuprea, that has glossy leaves and much larger flowers, almost reminiscent of an esperanza or tecoma, but more bell shaped.When the torrid temperatures of August arrive, many gardeners look for plants that are as tough as nails when it comes to heat and drought conditions. I am happy to say that the firebush fits the bill. Once established, it is very heat and drought tolerant and will grow in almost any well-drained soil.Even now you could consider planting two or three for a nice show. We are planting ‘Lime Sizzler’ in the cottage garden with the iridescent ‘Purple Flash’ ornamental pepper. Even though they are heat and drought tolerant, apply a good layer of mulch after planting. At the gardens, we also use the other firebush varieties in our Mediterranean garden, where we have them combined with the purple-on-purple Mexican bush sage, European fan palms and giant blue agave. You will find ‘Lime Sizzler’ so colorful that you may eventually want to try some in containers around the porch, patio or pool. I hope you will give not only ‘Lime Sizzler,’ but all firebush a try.Follow me on Twitter @CGBGgardenguru. For more information about the Coastal Botanical Gardens, go to www.coastalgeorgiabg.org/.
Farm To Feet makes 100-percent U.S. sourced and built socks at its plant in Mount Airy, North Carolina. And to celebrate this heritage, the company is introducing the Blue Ridge Run Series for Spring 2015. The line will include light-weight running socks in multiple heights, with and without cushioning, and a graduation compression sock.Farm to Feet has paired Rocky Mountain merino wool (sourced from the American Sheep Industries) with a new “Friction-Free” technology to create a collection of socks with wool’s natural feel, odor-resistance and wicking properties, but featuring improved abrasion control and heat management.Farm to Feet’s “Friction-Free technology” features a U.S.-sourced PTFE nylon, with the PTFE permanently incorporated into the nylon yarn during its postproduction. PTFE has a low friction coefficient, which reduces abrasion and the chance for blisters. Additionally, PTFE is hydrophobic which enhances the movement of perspiration away from feet and results in socks that dry quickly.The Asheville is an ultra light running sock with half density cushioning under the foot. The Roanoke is a similar sock, but with a flat-knitted frictionless bottom. The socks are designed with airflow channels over the instep and venting panels on the sides and rear for improved breathability. Both socks are offered in low and quarter-crew heights and available in men’s and women’s styles. MSRP- Low $16.00/ 1/4 Crew $17.00.Rounding out the collection is the Blue Ridge with graduated compression. Its has a targeted compression of 17.5 mmHg starting at the ankle and decreases up through the calf, to assist with blood flow and reduce muscle vibration for enhanced performance or recovery. The 16″ tall Blue Ridge with Friction-Free technology has half density cushioning underfoot for additional comfort. MSRP- $30.00.The socks in the Farm to Feet Blue Ridge Run Series feature all US sourced materials, a 100% seamless toe closure, reciprocated heal and toe pockets for a great fit, and double welt tops.In support of the launch Farm to Feet has teamed up with the Roanoke Outside and the Blue Ridge Marathon. The Roanoke has been named the official sock of the marathon and at the upcoming Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, Farm to Feet and Roanoke Outside will be awarding one attendee a trip for two to run “America’s Toughest Road Marathon”.Farm to Feet is committed to the goal of creating “the world’s best wool socks” by exclusively using an all-American recipe: U.S. merino, U.S. manufacturing, and U.S. workers. With a supply chain completely within the U.S., Farm to Feet is able to ensure the highest quality materials and end products, while having as little impact on the environment as possible. Once the wool is grown and sheared in the Rocky Mountains, the remaining processes take place within 300 miles of its sustainability-focused knitting facility in Mt. Airy, N.C.All Farm to Feet socks feature seamless toe closures, a comfort compression fit from the top through the arch, and superior cushioning for ultimate performance and comfort. Learn more at www.farmtofeet.com.
Most importantly, does Indonesia – with its ever-increasing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, 227 at the time of writing – actually need to impose a lockdown?To answer the above questions, one must first understand the basic definitions of the terms.This photo taken on February 16, 2020 shows medical staff members working at the isolation ward of the Wuhan Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan in China’s central Hubei province. (AFP/STR)Lockdown? What lockdown? It seems that at the height of any crisis, a buzzword tends to pop up and dominate public discourse due to the sheer frequency of its usage by state officials and ordinary people alike.During the current public health crisis caused by outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which the World Health Organization has officially declared a pandemic, that buzzword seems to be “lockdown” – a term that carries apocalyptic connotations and imagery, thanks in no small part to popular culture.But what exactly does an actual lockdown entail? How does it differ from community quarantine? According to Bayu Krisnamurthi, who headed the National Committee for Avian Flu Control and Pandemic Preparedness in Indonesia, the terms lockdown and community quarantine are synonymous in that both are used interchangeably to refer to a type of quarantine in which all citizens in a certain region are prohibited from going in and out of the territory without official permission from authorities.In terms of scale, quarantine procedures vary from self-isolation – which entails confining confirmed or potential patients to observation in their homes – to lockdown, also known as community quarantine.In practice, however, quarantine protocols are more nuanced than they may seem on paper. For example, some countries have imposed “total lockdowns”, while others have merely decided to implement “partial lockdowns” – that is, controlling the movement of their population by imposing a “general community quarantine” or, in a slightly bleaker situation, an “enhanced community quarantine”.Read also: Social distancing and super-spreaders: Coronavirus lingo goes viralThe first country to impose a total lockdown during the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak was China. The country implemented the emergency protocol in the outbreak’s epicenter of Wuhan, Hubei province. The city’s population of 11 million was kept from leaving Wuhan to contain the spread of the disease.However, as the number of confirmed cases and fatalities quickly grew in other regions across the province, the Chinese government scrambled to put 15 other cities including Huanggang and Ezhou on lockdown, affecting nearly 60 million people.Chinese-style lockdownThroughout the lockdown, the Chinese government issued an order to shut down all non-essential companies and schools, and it banned certain modes of transportation.China’s efforts have paid off in recent weeks as the country reported fewer than 200 new cases of infection per day, a drastic fall from the about 3,000 new cases recorded daily last month, as reported by the South China Morning Post.Despite its apparent efficacy, the lockdown has taken a toll on the country’s social cohesion, with public protests and disturbances becoming increasingly common across affected cities as residents complain about the surge in prices for staple foods, among other things.As of the time of writing, China has recorded a total of 80,881 cases and 3,226 fatalities.In Europe, a number of countries including Italy – the hardest-hit country in Europe and the second hardest-hit nation globally after China – have followed suit and have imposed what has been dubbed a “Chinese-style lockdown” in several major cities since the WHO declared the region a new epicenter of COVID-19 on Friday.The entire country of Italy has been put under total lockdown, with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte extending restrictions already in place in “red zones” in the northern provinces to the rest of the nation, CNN reported.Italy’s healthcare system is overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients that have to be given immediate treatment. The country has 35,172 confirmed cases and 2,937 fatalities at the time of writing.Similarly, France has taken a hard-edged approach to the pandemic by imposing a total lockdown throughout the country, akin to the ones implemented in China and Italy. French President Emmanuel Macron said during a press conference that strict confinement was the only effective weapon against the virus. It has infected more than 6,600 and killed 148 in France, as reported by AFP.The French lockdown entailed the deployment 100,000 police officers to patrol the streets, as well as a $150 fine for any violation of the emergency protocol.Commuters take the Woodlands Causeway to Singapore from Johor a day before Malaysia imposes a lockdown on travel due to the coronavirus outbreak in Singapore March 17, 2020. (REUTERS/Edgar Su)Partial lockdownIn contrast, South Asian countries have implemented comparatively lenient restrictions, probably due to the fact that the number of confirmed cases and deaths in the region is nowhere close to the number recorded in other, more affected regions.Instead of a fully-fledged lockdown, Malaysian Prime Minister Muhiyiddin Yasin announced earlier this week a “movement control order” – also known as a partial lockdown – that restricts mass gatherings from March 18 to 31. In addition, the order bans all overseas travel to and from Malaysia and closes all schools, government offices and private businesses except “those involved in providing essential services”.However, despite the seemingly stringent rules, the Malaysian government is still allowing its citizens to leave their houses to purchase groceries and other essentials. Certain outdoor activities such as jogging and exercise are still allowed, provided that Malaysians avoid close contact with each other.Malaysia has confirmed more than 500 COVID-19 cases at the time of writing.Read also: How a 16,000-strong religious gathering led Malaysia to lockdownIn the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte has put the Manila metropolitan area under general community quarantine and the entire island of Luzon under enhanced community quarantine from Mar. 17 to Apr. 13.Whereas the general community quarantine is essentially identical to Malaysia’s movement control order, the enhanced version is closer to a total lockdown – but still not as stringent.During an enhanced community quarantine, the government strictly regulates food provisions and healthcare. It also increases the presence of uniformed personnel on the streets to enforce quarantine procedures, according Philippine Interagency Task Force spokesperson Karlo Nograles.Private establishments providing basic necessities such as convenience stores, markets, hospitals, clinics, pharmacies and delivery services – among others – are allowed to remain in operation during the enhanced community quarantine.What about Indonesia? A partial lockdown is an optionThe above cases present Indonesia with an abundance of options, each with its own strengths and limitations, as the government considers how to best stem the spread of COVID-19 in the country.Indonesia has yet to issue any stringent regulation beyond its campaign to promote social distancing. The government is reluctant to conduct mass testing to isolate confirmed cases, one of the only alternatives to implementing a lockdown in the face of the worst pandemic in recent history. The government is expected to act fast, with scientists calling for a community quarantine ahead of Idul Fitri, when the country’s predominantly Muslim population travels to hometowns and villages across the archipelago, thereby increasing the risk of a nationwide outbreak.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has called on the public to work, study and worship from home to prevent a nationwide outbreak, but he stressed that the government was “not leaning toward issuing a lockdown policy” at the time.”I have to emphasize that issuing a lockdown policy, either at the national or regional level, is under the authority of central government. Such a policy cannot be issued by regional administrations,” Jokowi told a press conference on Monday.However, if push comes to shove, as it likely will in the coming weeks with the approaching Idul Fitri holiday, scientists seem to have agreed that imposing a partial lockdown is Indonesia’s best bet.Members of the Indonesian Young Scientist Forum (IYSF) have called on the government to impose a lockdown on areas considered outbreak hotspots.“Measures to limit crowds and the movement of individuals in vulnerable areas should be maximized if the number of [confirmed] cases per day doubles,” the forum said in a letter addressed to Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko.IYSF member Berry Juliandi from Bogor Agricultural University said a partial lockdown was the most fitting option since it would still give the public a degree of freedom. “It would be better if [the government imposed] a partial lockdown. It limits individual movement but still allows access to essentials,” Berry said.Indonesian passengers wearing face masks ride a Trans Jakarta bus on March 18, 2020. (AFP/Adek Berry)Island lockdown?Airlangga University scholar Nidom, who also helms the Coronavirus Research and Vaccine Formulation Team, said that if the government decided to impose a lockdown due to future escalation, it should implement an island-based lockdown, instead of the usual city-based lockdown, considering the country’s vast archipelagic expanse.“A lockdown is feasible but only if it’s not imposed in individual cities […]. It would be better if [the government] imposed an island-based lockdown instead. Indonesia is an archipelagic state, the sea could serve as the best isolator,” he said.In Java, for example, such a measure could be carried out successfully assuming that all regional heads on the island joined forces and issued joint policies for the island’s entire population, instead of contradicting each other if left to their own devices, he said.Furthermore, such a massive undertaking would require greater involvement from members of the public as well as a concerted effort on the neighborhood level, such as turning houses of worship into shelters for COVID-19 patients, Nidom said. However, in such a scenario, schools and offices would remain operational as usual, he added.Bayu said that although the lockdown remained a viable option, the mitigation of the pandemic could ultimately be accomplished through a strict social-distancing protocol.“Social distancing serves as an alternative to quarantine,” Bayu said. “The spread of the coronavirus can mainly be prevented by not touching infected objects and other people, as well as not touching our own faces.” Editor’s note:This article has been updated to correct the number of COVID-19 cases in Italy. Topics :
All members of the International Monetary Fund have access to the US$1 trillion in lending capacity. As of Thursday, 102 out of 189 IMF member countries had made requests for aid, and 50 of them will receive it by the end of April, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said following the virtual spring meetings.The World Bank plans to provide up to $160 billion in aid over the next 15 months.Emergency aid The IMF and World Bank have aggressively pushed out financing to help countries deal with the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.Here is a summary of the financing available from the Washington-based development lenders:Regular lending capacity The IMF’s emergency aid capacity recently was doubled to $100 billion, available through two tools: the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) and the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF). The RCF is interest-free and accessible to low-income members, while the RFI is accessible to all members, without the need to negotiate a traditional loan program.The funds “can be disbursed very quickly to assist member countries implement policies to address emergencies such as the coronavirus,” the IMF said.Disaster reliefThe IMF also uses its redesigned Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) to provide grants for debt relief to the poorest and most vulnerable countries with outstanding obligations to the IMF to help address disasters, including public health disasters.This instrument was used to support Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone during the 2014 Ebola epidemic. The IMF board approved a six-month debt payment standstill for 25 countries eligible for CCRT funding, which potentially could be extended.Georgieva put out an urgent call for donations to boost resources of this fund, and she said Thursday the IMF has received commitments totaling $600 million from Britain, Japan, China, the Netherlands and Germany.Poverty reduction fundGeorgieva also has called for an additional $17 billion in donations to shore up the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT), which provides concessional lending to low-income countries. She said the fund already has received commitments for 70 percent of this amount from Japan, Britain, France, Australia and Canada. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the United States is considering a possible contribution.Short term credit lineFor countries that are not eligible for concessional lending, the IMF on Wednesday approved a new Precautionary Liquidity Line (PLL) to help countries with “sound policies” deal with “adverse shocks” from the coronavirus.The countries that qualify can draw on the credit backstop for six months, one year or two years.Funding field projectsThe World Bank intends to roll out $160 billion over the next 15 months in countries like Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Haiti, Ecuador, India, Mongolia and Tajikistan to strengthen their medical resources to respond to the pandemic’s immediate health crisis and bolster economic recovery. The bank already has pushed out fast-track financing, with programs underway in 25 countries totaling $1.9 billion, and others moving forward in 40 countries amounting to $1.7 billion.The focus is on “fast, broad-based action, especially for the poorest countries,” the World Bank President David Malpass said Thursday. “By the end of April, we expect to have COVID-19-related projects in 100 countries, and we are taking steps to provide unprecedented financing to help countries respond to the crisis.”Topics :
Russia has announced its own football league will return next month and pushed ahead with plans to lift restrictions despite recording its highest daily death toll on Saturday, with 119 fatalities.Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Saturday the country would extend its state of emergency for “about a month”, until the transition out of lockdown is completed.In France, the first weekend after the most strict measures were lifted saw many venture out into the spring sunshine.”I really missed nature,” 55-year-old doctor Lise Balmes said of walking through a forest outside Paris. Such fears have delayed the return of team sport — where it is almost impossible for players to practice social distancing measures — and all eyes will be on Saturday’s Bundesliga matches.The games will be held without spectators and players will have to follow strict hygiene guidelines — former Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou was suspended by Hertha Berlin just for shaking hands with team-mates.”The whole world will be looking at Germany, to see how we get it done,” said Hansi Flick, the boss of league-leaders Bayern Munich.”If we manage to ensure that the season continues, it will send a signal to all leagues.” Beaches in France and Italy opened on Saturday for the first weekend since the countries eased coronavirus lockdowns, while football fans awaited the return of major league action with Germany’s Bundesliga set to kick off.The reopenings are a major sign of returning normality for countries hit hard by the pandemic, which has killed more than 307,000 people, infected over 4.5 million, wrought vast economic havoc and brought life to a halt.But as countries lift restrictions to boost their stagnant economies, there have been widespread fears of a second wave of infections that could plunge the world back into lockdown. Here comes the sunWith the European summer fast approaching, governments are moving to help their key tourism industries to salvage something from the wreckage.Italy, one of the nations worst hit by COVID-19, announced it would reopen to European holidaymakers from June 3 and scrap quarantine requirements for arrivals.Parasols and sunloungers have started to appear on Italy’s coastlines and Greece will open some of its air and sea links from Monday.Malls opened in the Philippines’ capital Manila on Saturday, but saw only a trickle of customers.”It looks like people are not too excited to come back. Maybe all their money is gone,” said shoe shop employee Kristine Grape.However, for some the cautious easing of restrictions has not been enough.Major German cities on Saturday will see the latest of a growing wave of protests against the country’s lockdown measures.The demonstrations have been mired in controversies over conspiracy theories, anti-Semitism and extremism.In a sign of rising tension, a mock tombstone was found in front of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s electoral offices, apparently to protests against the lockdown, police said Saturday. Vaccine hopes One hope of avoiding a dreaded second wave has been a vaccine, and US President Donald Trump voiced hope late on Friday that one would be available by late 2020 — a timeline deemed unrealistic by many experts. “We are looking to get it by the end of the year if we can, maybe before,” Trump told reporters at the White House as he discussed America’s “Operation Warp Speed” effort in the global race for a vaccine.This timeline is more aggressive than the one-year scenario put forward by European scientists.The hunt for a vaccine for a disease that the World Health Organization (WHO) says may never disappear has also threatened to become a source of tension between the globe’s haves and have-nots.The virus itself is having an uneven effect on communities around the world.New research on Saturday showed that people living in the most deprived areas of Britain are more than four times likelier to test positive than those living in the richest neighborhoods. ‘No celebration’ The pressure to ease lockdowns has mounted as the catastrophic economic effects of the virus have become clearer.In the United States, the world’s worst-affected country with more than 87,000 deaths and 1.4 million cases, industrial production plunged 11.2 percent in April, the largest drop in a century.Department store JCPenney, a retail institution which has not turned a profit since 2011, on Friday became the latest US business to file for bankruptcy.”May will not be a month of celebration. Nor will June. Nor July. Nor probably the rest of this year,” warned Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail.With 36.5 million Americans — more than 10 percent of the population — now out of work, Trump has been keen to ease lockdown measures as he seeks re-election in November.Some areas are resisting. Lockdown measures in New York City have been extended until May 28.In the US House of Representatives, Democrats narrowly pushed through a $3 trillion rescue package late on Friday — but Republicans have vowed to block the package in the Senate, which they control.Since emerging in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, the novel coronavirus has affected almost every country in the world.The WHO has warned Africa, which has so far been spared the worst, could have 231 million people infected and up to 190,000 die.Besides its health and economic toll, the pandemic has also caused political ructions.The latest fallout was in Brazil, which lost its second health minister in a month as Nelson Teich resigned.An official said the resignation was due to the minister’s “incompatibility” with right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro’s approach to fighting the country’s spiraling COVID-19 crisis. Topics :
July 15, 2020 Wolf Administration: Poland-Based Manufacturer to Establish Aluminum Can Manufacturing Facility and North American Center of Excellence in Lackawanna County, Create Over 400 Jobs Economy, Press Release, Workforce Development Governor Tom Wolf announced that the CANPACK Group will redevelop a former brownfield site in Lackawanna County, establishing an aluminum can manufacturing facility and North American Center of Excellence.An international manufacturer of aluminum and steel cans and glass bottles for the food and beverage sector and a subsidiary of Pennsylvania-based GIORGI GLOBAL HOLDINGS, INC., CANPACK Group’s investment will create 400 new good-paying jobs for Pennsylvanians.“CANPACK is known throughout the world for its manufacturing strength, and we are thrilled that the company has chosen Pennsylvania for its entry into North America,” said Gov. Wolf. “This company is making a historic investment in Lackawanna County, creating good-paying jobs for hundreds of Pennsylvanians, putting an abandoned brownfield site into productive use, and creating additional revenue for the local community.”CANPACK’s commitment includes the acquisition and demolition of a blighted 1 million-square-foot facility on a 102-acre brownfield site in Olyphant Borough, where it will establish a 908,000-square-foot aluminum can manufacturing facility and operations center, including a customer experience center portraying CANPACK’s R&D and lithographic capabilities, its first in the United States.The company has pledged to invest nearly $366 million into the project and will create more than 400 executive, professional and technical manufacturing jobs within three years. This project marks the ninth largest capital investment in the Governor Action Team’s history, bringing regional executive-level positions and the largest manufacturing project in the Greater Scranton Area since Proctor & Gamble in 1966.“Since we first invested in CANPACK over 30 years ago, it has grown from a single steel food can manufacturing site in Poland to a true multinational packaging manufacturer with nearly 8,000 employees and 28 manufacturing sites located in Europe, South America, India, the Middle East, and Africa. We are extremely excited to bring CANPACK into the United States, the world’s largest aluminum beverage can market,” said Peter Giorgi, president and CEO of Giorgi Global Holdings, Inc. “Despite many attractive locations, we chose Pennsylvania not only because it’s my home and home for many of GIORGI GLOBAL HOLDINGS’ other agricultural and food packaging businesses but also because of the warm welcome we have received from Governor Wolf and the Governor’s Action Team, the Department of Community and Economic Development, the Department of Environmental Protection, Senator John Blake, the Mid-Valley School District, Lackawanna County and the Borough of Olyphant.”“CANPACK is a great company with a phenomenal growth platform and we are absolutely thrilled to be entering the US market where we will be better able to serve our global customers’ beverage can needs,” said Roberto Villaquiran, CANPACK’s CEO. “In addition, investing in the conversion of a brownfield site to a state-of-the-art aluminum can manufacturing facility and operations center, which creates local jobs and benefits the community, is consistent with CANPACK’s focus on sustainability and being a responsible corporate citizen that gives back to the local community.”For this important brownfield redevelopment project, CANPACK received a proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for $6 million in Redevelopment Assistance Capital Project (RACP) funding. The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania.“For generations, the site of this development has been a source of income, employment and pride for thousands of Lackawanna County families. I am thrilled that CANPACK is bringing hundreds of much-needed and good-paying jobs back to our region and, specifically to this expansive industrial site in Olyphant,” said Sen. John Blake. “I applaud the Wolf Administration and the Governor’s Action Team for their work to attract CANPACK to our region and for again showing the value of public-private partnerships for our region, our residents and our economy.”The CANPACK Group is a global group of packaging companies with its operational headquarters in Krakow, Poland. The CANPACK Group’s operations include aluminum can manufacturing, glass bottle production, the manufacture of food and industrial packaging, and the production of crown caps. CANPACK’s ultimate parent is GIORGI GLOBAL HOLDINGS, INC., a global holding company with its operational headquarters in Blandon, Pennsylvania and with operations in the agricultural, food and packaging sectors.For more information about the Governor’s Action Team or DCED, visit dced.pa.gov, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.Ver esta página en español. SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
The British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) is to close to new accrual, Tata Steel has told union representatives.Union GMB called Tata’s plan to close the fund “unnecessary and profoundly disappointing”, and said it was preparing a strike ballot.According to the union, the fund had £13.6bn (€17bn) in assets at the end of November last year, up from £12.6bn at the end of March. David Hulse, GMB national officer, said the union did not expect to find itself discussing closure to new accrual, following months of negotiations that got underway in November. “Throughout a long process, we have acted in good faith and negotiated constructively in trying to reach an agreement that addresses what we acknowledge to be a significant deficit in the scheme,” Hulse added.According to the fund’s most recent annual report from 2013-14, BSPS had a £1.1bn deficit in March 2013 when measured on an on-going basis.Hulse was critical of Tata’s plans to close the fund to new accrual.“We have made every effort to compromise with the company, even discussing the possibility of meeting the deficit through changes to member benefits, despite the fact the company is legally obliged to pay for the deficit and has always done so in the past,” Hulse said.“Sadly, the company rejected this offer out of hand. It appears they are hell-bent on closing the scheme and are not prepared to compromise.”He said the management of parent company Tata Steel Europe should “seriously consider their positions” after what he deemed a breakdown in trust between the scheme’s sponsor and its workforce.A spokesman for Tata said the company put forward changes to the defined benefits (DB) fund that would have balanced any changes across the entire workforce.“We believe the trade unions’ proposals to change member benefits would have unfairly disadvantaged younger scheme members, who would have had to bear most of the impact of the changes.He added: “We have been unable to come to an agreement that would have enabled defined benefit provision to continue and we will be consulting employees on a proposal to close the defined benefit scheme to future accrual.It is proposed that future pension provision will be on a defined contribution basis.BTPS is a DB scheme, with a standalone defined contribution arrangement launched in 2014.The DB section returned 1.6% over the course of the 2013-14 financial year, and 7.8% over the three years to 2014.
Volunteers during the 2012 Holton tornado were honored at the Statehouse Monday.State Representative Randy Frye (R-Greensburg) honored the volunteers during the Holton tornado in a resolution on Monday, January 27th at the Statehouse.On March 2, 2012, an F3 tornado touched down in the town of Holton. One hundred groups of volunteers flocked to the area in order to aide in the recovery efforts.“I authored this resolution to identify and bring honor to the many men and women who gave their time, money and support to the town of Holton during one of its darkest moments,” said Rep. Frye. “I was touched by the selflessness and compassion that these volunteers showed, and this resolution is the least I can do to show our immense appreciation.”The Holton Long Term Recovery Group Executive Committee included Rachel Grossman, Bob McCreary, Norm Knudson, Richard Sproessig and leader, Darin Kroger. Sally Morris served as Director of the Long Term Recovery’s fiscal agent, the Ripley Community Foundation.Additional volunteers included:International Disaster Emergency ServiceHopewell Baptist ChurchCatholic Charities/St JohnsUnited Methodist Committee on ReliefLilly Endowment Inc.Brethren DisasterMennonite Disaster RecoveryNapoleon State BankHolton Volunteer Fire DepartmentRipley County Community FoundationHolton Christian ChurchCrossroads missionsHolton Police DepartmentRipley County Sheriff’s DepartmentIndiana State PoliceIndiana Department of Homeland SecurityAmerican Red Cross“During times of need, Hoosiers never hesitate to lend a helping hand. About 40,000 volunteers dropped everything to help complete strangers, and the town also received public donations totaling $288, 655,” said Rep. Frye. “The innate goodness of humanity was on full display in Holton. They will never forget this devastating tornado, but they will also never forget all of the support they received in its aftermath.”