Tag: support

Malaysia’s Anwar submits documents to king to show support to form new government

Anwar Ibrahim wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: Anwar Ibrahim shown greeting supporters in Kuala Lumpur on May 16, 2018.

© MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images
Anwar Ibrahim shown greeting supporters in Kuala Lumpur on May 16, 2018.

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on Tuesday met the country’s king and said he submitted documents proving his “strong and convincing” parliamentary support to form government and that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin should resign.

Anwar said he had the support of over 120 lawmakers in the 222-strong parliament, disclosing his numbers for the first time since his announcement last month he had secured a majority from federal lawmakers to form a new government.

Anwar said it was now up to King Al-Sultan Abdullah to decide on the next step, but added Muhyiddin had lost his majority and should resign.

“I urge all parties to give space to the king to carry out his responsibilities under the constitution, and to go through the documents and call party leaders to confirm and receive their input and views,” Anwar told reporters.

The king plays a largely ceremonial role but he can appoint a Prime Minister who in his view is likely to command a majority. The king could also dissolve parliament and trigger elections on the Prime Minister’s advice.

In March, the king appointed Muhyiddin as the Prime Minister after the unexpected resignation of Mahathir Mohamad, saying he believed Muhyiddin commanded majority support in parliament.

The power struggle comes as Malaysia, already grappling with an economy battered by the novel coronavirus, faces a renewed surge in infections.

Should Anwar succeed in securing the post, it would be the culmination of a 22-year long quest, which included nearly 10 years in jail on charges he denied. It would also mean Malaysia would have its third Prime Minister this year.

But scepticism over Anwar’s challenge remains as no major party has offered a clear declaration of support. One party, which is a member of the ruling coalition, has said some of its lawmakers supported Anwar.

“Should the meeting fail to translate into an actionable outcome, his credibility will be affected and this may push the opposition bloc to find another PM candidate,” said Shazwan Mustafa Kamal, senior associate at political consultancy Vriens & Partners.

Muhyiddin, whose seven-month-old administration has survived on a razor-thin parliamentary majority, had earlier dismissed Anwar’s claims as a “mere allegation” and told him to prove his majority through a constitutional process.

Leaders in Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional coalition issued a statement on Monday declaring full support for Muhyiddin.

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Over 50 Law Professors Pen Letter to Senate Judiciary in Support of Amy Coney Barrett’s Confirmation

A group of more than 50 law professors sent a letter Friday to the Senate Judiciary Committee expressing their support for Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court and calling her qualifications “stellar.”

In a letter to Chairman Lindsey Graham and ranking Democratic member Dianne Feinstein, obtained by National Review, the 53 law signatories identified themselves as a “diverse” group representing many fields and perspectives and holding “widely differing views about the President and the timing of this nomination.”

“We share the belief, however, that Judge Barrett is exceptionally well qualified to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States, and we urge the Senate to confirm her as an Associate Justice,” the group wrote.

President Trump nominated Barrett last month to fill the Supreme Court seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, kicking off what is expected to be a tempestuous Senate confirmation battle less than six weeks before the November presidential election.

Barrett has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit since she was appointed by Trump in 2017. The 48-year-old Notre Dame law professor clerked for late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and is a conservative Catholic mother of seven.

“Although we have differing perspectives on the methods and conclusions in her scholarship, we all agree that her contributions are rigorous, fair-minded, respectful, and constructive,” the professors said in their letter. “Her work demonstrates a thorough understanding of the issues and challenges that federal courts confront.”

The group includes several professors from Ivy League schools including Harvard University, Columbia Law School, and Yale Law School, as well as professors from the University of San Diego, Notre Dame Law School, George Washington University Law School, Stanford Law School, and others.

“Judge Barrett has outstanding credentials for this position,” the law professors said in their letter to Graham and Feinstein, adding that, “as a legal scholar, Judge Barrett has distinguished herself as an expert in procedure, interpretation, federal courts, and constitutional law.”

“She enjoys wide respect for her careful work, fair-minded disposition, and personal integrity. We strongly urge her confirmation by the Senate,” the professors wrote.

The Judiciary Committee on Monday began its first day of hearings on Barrett’s nomination, which are expected to go through Thursday. Republicans are hoping to confirm her to the Court before the election on November 3.

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Change-makers urged to support less privileged in society

General News of Monday, 12 October 2020

Source: GNA


Rev. Francisca Duncan WilliamsRev. Francisca Duncan Williams

Rev. Francisca Duncan Williams has urged persons who have influence on the society to focus on improving the well being of the less privileged in the society.

She said this during the maiden Humanitarian Awards Ghana, which celebrates and honours individuals who have positively impacted on the society in various endeavours.

Mama Francisca who was the Guest of Honour urged change-makers to make the nation a better place for all.

She urged Ghanaians to maintain the peace the country was currently enjoying during and after the December 7 polls.

Mr. Wisdom Dordoe, Programme Director of Humanitarian Awards Ghana, in his remarks said the awards ceremony aimed at identifying, recognizing and awarding extraordinary individuals and groups who were positively impacting the lives of people, nature and society in Ghana and beyond.

“We believe that putting the spotlight on these individuals and non-profit organizations will not only celebrate them but also build a strong platform for them by giving a voice and opportunities while building a positive attitude in the world,” he said.

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Federal Government Support Lift Asset Markets In September

The purpose of this article is to examine the USA sectoral flows for September 2020 and assess the likely impact on markets as we advance.

Source: FRED, CBO and author’s calculations based thereon

The table above shows the financial balance of financial flows from the USA national accounts since April this year when the Federal Government response to the COVID crisis started.

The flow to the private domestic sector (where the asset markets are) was over fifty percent lower than last month but still positive at over $79B.

Asset markets can be expected to keep climbing as the injection of more money is factored into their prices.

The chart below from the CBO shows the deficit spending path.

The chart above shows the big difference in deficit spending year over year. The CBO summarising the result for September as follows:

The table below shows that the overall Federal expenditures were large in September with a 19% increase from last month and a return to levels seen in May and June of this year. Higher overall spending lifts asset prices, and markets can rise even in the face of a pandemic and its associated unemployment and lower consumption and production levels.

The politicians may be arguing about more stimulus at the moment; however, the last stimulus package’s spending is still happening at crisis levels.

The table above, taken from the Daily Treasury statement, shows that the Federal government has a bank balance of over $1.6T available to spend. There is no shortage of cash on hand, and it is still going out at a strong level.

Very few tax dollars funded this bank balance. The bank balance came mostly from bond sales. Federal taxes to fund the government are obsolete.

The chart above is taken from this article from ANG traders of the Away from the Herd market service.

ANG Traders has very cleverly produced a chart that removes the treasury churn’s noise from the Daily Treasury Statements. This is the redemption and then the sale of bonds on a grand scale that tends to mask the actual real spending into or out of the economy. Once the churn has been removed, the chart shows only the real spending and whether the Federal government is adding money to the economy or taking it out.

The good news is that at present, the bias is towards a net add to financial assets.

Looking forward, the chart below shows the expected likely path of asset markets into the end of the calendar year.

The chart comes from Mr. Robert P. Balan of Predictive Analytic Models and this recent article

1. Stock markets continue upwards even more, so equities could be bought after the seasonal dip in October if we get one.

2. Bond yields rise, and bond prices fall, and so bonds could be shorted.

3. Gold falls and so could be shorted.

As predicted in my last article of this type last month, the above trades are playing out right now.


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Northern England mayors slam UK government’s support package

LONDON (AP) — Mayors representing big cities in northern England have slammed the British government’s latest wage support package for employees in businesses that may be ordered to close as part of efforts to suppress local coronavirus outbreaks.

In a virtual press briefing Saturday, the opposition Labour leaders of the metropolitan areas around Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield sounded the alarm about the economic hardship their cities are likely to face.

The four leaders vented their frustration at what they consider to be the Conservative government’s secretive and top-down approach to decision making and criticized a failure to provide the scientific reasoning behind anticipated changes to lockdown restrictions.

“The north of England is staring the most dangerous winter for years right in the face,” said Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, a region with a population of more than 2.5 million. “We will not surrender our constituents to hardship nor our businesses to failure.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is on Monday expected to back a new three-tier local lockdown system, which could see hospitality venues in coronavirus hotspots in England being temporarily closed. Though new coronavirus infections are rising throughout England, cities in the north have seen the most acute increases. Pubs in Scotland’s biggest cities, Glasgow and Edinburgh, have already had to close for 16 days.

Ahead of that announcement, Treasury chief Rishi Sunak revealed on Friday details of a new financial support package that will see the government pay two thirds of the salaries of workers in companies that have to shut up shop.

Under the terms of the package, the government will from Nov. 1 pay 67% of the salaries of workers who won’t be able to work, up to a maximum of 2,100 pounds ($2,730) a month. Sunak also said cash grants for businesses required to close will be increased to up to 3,000 pounds a month.

A more generous nationwide program will expire at the end of October, having already cost the government nearly 40 billion pounds. At the height of that program, the government paid 80% of the salaries of furloughed workers, keeping a lid on unemployment.

Jamie Driscoll, the mayor of the metropolitan area in and around the northeastern city of Newcastle, said the new package was “unacceptable,” not least because it doesn’t include workers in firms that aren’t closed but would still be directly impacted by any government-sanctioned closures. He noted that an order for pubs to close will hit everyone from drinks suppliers to stand-up comedians unable to ply their trade.

Steve Rotherham, the mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said he expected his area to face the highest level of restrictions from next week.

As elsewhere in Europe, the pandemic in the U.K. is at a crucial point, with infection levels — and deaths — rising at their fastest rate in months. Without action, there are fears that hospitals will be overwhelmed in coming weeks at a time of year when they are already busy with winter-related afflictions.


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UK government expands its job support program with stricter virus lockdowns due next week

The U.K. government has expanded its jobs support program as the country gears up for tighter coronavirus restrictions set to be announced next week.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak leaves 10 Downing Street after attending a Cabinet meeting on 14 February, 2020.

© Provided by CNBC
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak leaves 10 Downing Street after attending a Cabinet meeting on 14 February, 2020.

Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said Friday that firms whose premises have to shut over the winter period as part of local or national restrictions will receive grants to pay the wages of staff who cannot work.


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Two weeks ago, Sunak announced the Job Support Scheme — a new emergency package of measures to contain unemployment, replacing the U.K.’s furlough scheme which is due to expire at the end of October.

It will directly top up the wages of employees working fewer hours due to suppressed business demand, enabling workers to keep their jobs on shorter hours rather than being made redundant.

The original furlough scheme in the summer had subsidized 80% of wages for millions of workers furloughed as a result of the pandemic. But Sunak confirmed in July that it would be wound down as the country began to emerge from coronavirus lockdown measures.

—CNBC’s Elliot Smith contributed to this article.

This is a breaking news story, please check back for more

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UK government prepares jobs support if firms forced to close

LONDON (AP) — The British government is on Friday set to announce further support for firms to retain staff in the coming months if they are forced to close as a result of the imposition of further lockdown restrictions.

With the government expected to tighten restrictions over the coming days to deal with a sharp spike in new coronavirus infections, there are growing concerns that the economy will suffer during the winter and that hundreds of thousands of jobs may be lost.

Treasury chief Rishi Sunak said he understood how “people are worried about the coming winter months.”

He is being urged by businesses, politicians and unions to accompany any lockdown restrictions with a financial support package to prevent mass unemployment. Specifically, he is being urged to back local job retention programs, whereby the government steps in to pay the lion’s share of the salaries of workers who are forced to go idle. A national program that has helped keep a lid on unemployment is due to stop at the end of October.

“The Chancellor will be setting out the next stage of the Job Support Scheme later today that will protect jobs and provide a safety net for those businesses that may have to close in the coming weeks and months,” a Treasury spokesman said.

New figures released Friday show that the British economy’s bounce back from recession slowed significantly in August. The Office for National Statistics said the economy expanded by only 2.1% in August from the month before. That was way down on the 6.4% expansion in July and substantially lower than the 4.6% anticipated in financial markets.

The hospitality sector was one that performed well, boosted by many people’s decision to take their holidays in the U.K. instead of going abroad, as well as the government’s dining discount scheme during the month. Under the Eat Out to Help Out program, sitting customers could receive a 50% discount on food and non-alcoholic drinks at participating restaurants between Monday and Wednesday up to 10 pounds ($13) per person.

“There was strong growth in restaurants and accommodation due to the easing of lockdown rules, the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, and people choosing summer staycations,” statistician Jonathan Athow said.

However, he said, many other parts of the services sector recorded “muted growth.” Manufacturing was also struggling with car and aircraft production still below levels seen at the start of the year.

The British economy lost nearly a quarter of its output at the height of the lockdown in spring, when many sectors were closed and those people still working were encouraged to do so from home. Since May, when lockdown measures were eased, the economy has grown for four months, recovering much of the output lost. However, at the end of August the economy was still 9.2% smaller than before the pandemic.


Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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Civil Society Strengthening Platform Guidelines to better support women and girls victims of violence throughout the COVID-19 pandemic – Turkey

The current COVID-19 pandemic represents a great social and economic disruption to all human
beings, affecting disproportionally women and girls due to widespread pre-existing discrimination and

. Every crisis creates inequalities and aggravates older ones, such as the inequalities
existing against women and girls. It is necessary for states to step up their efforts and increase the
measures to protect women and girls victims of violence.

Home is not always a safe place for women and their children, and they are especially at-risk during
lockdown, as they cannot escape their abusers. A grave concern is that social distancing and
confinement rules imposed by national governments have triggered additional risks of domestic

The present guidelines are to support the national government and service providers in Albania, Bosnia
and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey to better respond to the
needs of women and their children, girls’ victims of violence to the effects of the lockdown measures
in light of the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. These guidelines are to be applicable also after the
lockdown measures are lifted.

The guidelines are prepared by CSSP partners and WAVE Network, in frame of the Civil Society
Strengthening Platform project, a project ongoing in 7 countries in the Western Balkans and Turkey,
supported in frame of the European Union and UN Women programme ‘Implementing norms,
changing minds’

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Vancouver Hospice Society expands grief support to those who lost loved ones to COVID-19

The pandemic has made it nearly impossible for people to gather and grieve collectively after losing a loved one to COVID-19 and the Vancouver Hospice Society (VHS) wants to help.

The non-profit society has expanded its grief counselling services to include sessions specifically for those mourning someone who died as a result of the disease. The online group sessions are free, will run once a week for four weeks, and are facilitated by a trained clinical counsellor.

Executive director Sarah Cobb says the sessions allow people to come together and share their pain at a time when people are socially isolated and unable to start the grieving process at a funeral or mourning ceremony.

“Without these rituals, it can stifle our ability to process our grief… and can lead to more complex feelings down the road,” said Cobb on CBC’s The Early Edition on Wednesday.

Public reached out for help

Cobbs said the society launched the program because of demand from the community.

She said people started calling hospice staff, with many saying their grief had been affected by being unable to gather with others, that they were suffering, and they needed support.

So VHS staff decided to fill that need.

“We are going to offer what we can while we can,” said Cobbs.

The sessions, she said, also offer a way for people affected by the pandemic to feel like they are not a statistic, and not living in anonymity with their pain.

“We know that being able to connect with others who have experienced a similar death can be a helpful part of the grief process,” said VHS clinical counsellor Kayla Hochfelder in a statement. 

Hochfelder said the group will also include a discussion of coping strategies, along with helpful resources.

In addition to individual grief counselling, VHS offers a range of bereavement support groups that address specific types of loss, such as children’s grief groups, spousal loss, parental loss, adult child loss, and groups for friends and families of those who have chosen to die through Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD).

To learn more about VHS and to register for a grief session, visit their website at vanhospice.org.

If you do not live in Vancouver and are looking for grief support, call the B.C. Bereavement Helpline at 1-877-779-2223.

To hear the complete interview with Sarah Cobb on The Early Edition, tap here.

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Australia to Run Record Budget Deficit as Government Cuts Tax, Boosts Job Support | Investing News

By Sam Holmes and Colin Packham

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia pledged billions in tax cuts and measures to boost jobs on Tuesday to help pull the economy out of its historic COVID-19 slump in a budget that tips the country into its deepest deficit on record.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s conservative government has unleashed A$300 billion in emergency stimulus to prop up growth this year, having seen the coronavirus derail a previous promise to return the budget to surplus.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Tuesday announced A$17.8 billion in personal tax cuts and A$5.2 billion in new programmes to boost employment in a recovery plan aimed at creating one million new jobs over the next four years.

Those measures are forecast to push the budget deficit out to a record A$213.7 billion, or 11% of gross domestic product, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021.

“There is no economic recovery without a jobs recovery,” Frydenberg said in prepared remarks to parliament. “There is no budget recovery without a jobs recovery.”

Australia’s unemployment rate hit a 22-year high of 7.5% in July as businesses and borders closed due to strict lockdown measures to deal with the coronavirus.

While the number of deaths and infections in Australia from COVID-19 has been low compared with many other countries, the hit to GDP has been severe. Underlying the budget forecasts was an assumption that a vaccine would be developed in 2021.

Australia’s A$2 trillion economy shrank 7% in the three months ended June, the most since records began in 1959.

In its new projections, the government expects unemployment to rise to 7.25% by the end of the current fiscal year and then fall to 6% by June 2023. Australia’s GDP is expected to shrink 1.5% for the current fiscal year before returning to growth of 4.75% in the next.

S&P Global Ratings said Australia remained only one of 11 countries with the highest credit rating of AAA, albeit with a negative outlook, and said fiscal recovery would take years.

“While debt is markedly higher than the past, servicing costs remain manageable, as the interest-rate environment will remain favourable for a number of years,” said Anthony Walker, a director at the rating agency.

Gross debt is projected to surpass A$1 trillion in 2021/22, from A$684 billion in 2019/20, and then rise to around A$1.14 trillion by 2023/24.

The government said it will spend A$4 billion over the next year to pay businesses that hire those under the age of 35 as it targets youth unemployment.

The budget also brings forward previously legislated tax cuts for middle-income earners and extends tax breaks for individuals offered in last year’s budget for low- and middle-income earners.

Some of these cuts will be retrospectively backdated to July 1, 2020.

The government’s highly expansionary budget comes shortly after the central bank’s policy decision on Tuesday, at which it kept interest rates at a record low and flagged reducing high unemployment rate as a national priority.

The Reserve Bank of Australia

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