Disney Plus goes for local production to boost streaming in Europe

In Europe, the company Walt disney is breaking with tradition and increasing productions in the local language, as it seeks to broaden the appeal of the streaming Disney Plus beyond families.

Jan Keoppen, Disney’s president in Europe, said the commissions from France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands will help fuel the streaming “rocket” with 50 original series expected by 2024.

Disney’s commitment to non-English-spoken shows reflects the profound change in the European media market, as Hollywood’s big players went from licensing content to competing directly with national broadcasters for media. viewers and buy more local productions.

“Streaming really became an important part of our lives,” said Koeppen, the first European to lead Disney’s media operation on the continent. “We upped the ante. Let’s go for it. Certainly from the perspective In Europe, streaming is increasingly popular and here we are ”.

The changes mark the second phase of the company’s bet on Disney Plus. The yearlong service was successful, but it must find ways to maintain momentum, expand its audience to a broader source of viewers, and increase prices. ”

Disney Plus, which posted an operating loss of $ 466 million in the last three months of 2020, has 95 million subscribers worldwide, and is targeting about 250 million by 2024. Ampere Analysis, a Data and research firm estimates that 13 million of Disney’s current subscribers are in Europe, compared to 63 million Netflix users.

Following in the footsteps of Netflix and Amazon Prime, Disney is also investing in European content, with commissions ranging from an Italian mafia drama series, to a Dutch soccer documentary and some UK productions, which are yet to be announced. .

Although it’s a fraction of Netflix’s local production plans, they represent Disney’s largest expansion into non-English-speaking productions.

In the past, Disney produced some films developed in the United States (US) – such as The Return of Mary Poppins and Black Widow – abroad, while 21st Century Fox commissioned smaller productions for television channels such as National Geographic and Fox in Turkey. “We are definitely going to do this in a much more categorical way than before,” Keoppen said.

Keoppen, a former Fox executive, acknowledged that there was resistance to streaming in some mainland markets, especially southern Europe. “But then, slowly, market by market, they also started. Spain, which got off to a slow start, is completely here. Italy too, where people always said, ‘oh no, it works differently,’ ”he said.

To appeal to a more adult audience, Disney last Tuesday added the Star brand to Disney Plus in Europe, a general entertainment selection to complement the family-friendly core offerings of Star Wars, Marvel y Disney.

New releases like the crime drama Big Sky and the adult animated series Solar Opposites will be featured on Star along with classics like Modern Family, the 24 Hours series and other films from the 21st Century Fox library, which Walt Disney will provide. bought Rupert Murdoch in 2019.

Keoppen declined to disclose Disney’s spending plans for the European originals, but said they will be substantial, with ambitions for top-tier projects not just reaching local markets, but globally.

Among the 10 projects that were announced were Jörg Winger’s Sam – A Saxon, a drama about Germany’s first black cop produced by the creator of Deutschald 83. On the French list is Oussekine, a miniseries about the death of a Franco-Algerian student protesting in 1986, created by Antoine Chevrollier, the director of Le Bureau des Légendes.

Global streaming services debuted at very competitive rates, but began to increase subscription prices in Europe and the United States as they developed more pricing power. Jan Keoppen mentioned that it is difficult to predict if this will be a long-term trend, but he is confident that Disney will remain “attractively priced.”

“We are waiting to see how people react, how much people like it, we are measuring many different metrics,” he said.

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Europe faces fear over COVID-19 vaccines and fed up with sanitary measures

The vaccination campaign in the UK continues in full swing. 20 million people have already received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, there is concern about the reluctance of some ethnic groups towards the vaccine.

In a London suburb, Walthamstow, the vaccination rate for the black population was 36% compared to 70% for the white population. Doctors suspect it may be due to mistrust and misinformation around vaccines.

“The doubts about vaccines in certain groups are due to a series of reasons, the experience of the country of origin with vaccination campaigns, having had a bad experience with a particular vaccine or pharmaceutical, which generates a lot of mistrust. That is why we need health workers to step up and say ‘I have been vaccinated, these are the advantages and if you have questions talk to us,’ “explained Naheed Khan-Lodhi, a British doctor.

For its part, the British Government has set itself the goal of vaccinating all those over 50 by April 15 and hopes to reopen the economy in stages, with the return of schoolchildren to class as of March 8 and the opening of non-essential stores on April 12.

AstraZeneca is unpopular in Germany

The German Minister of Health, Jens Spahn, defended on Friday the efficacy and safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine, against which there have been reservations in Germany for its side effects and for its alleged lower effectiveness compared to those of Moderna or Pfizer- BioNTech.

“The vaccine is safe, effective and protective,” Spahn said about it.

Scientists have also come out in defense of the vaccine, but several states have called for AstraZeneca doses to be given only to younger people if those 65 and older don’t want them.

Czech Republic swims against current for Sputnik V vaccine

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Andrej Babis, appears to break ranks with Brussels. He has assured that he is willing to acquire the Russian Sputnik V vaccine without waiting for the approval of the European Medicines Agency.

“There are people who write to me that they want the Russian vaccine, which will always be voluntary, so why not use it. If it is safe and is used in other countries, why not here?” Babis said.

Netherlands helpless in the face of fed up with coronavirus

Amsterdam police broke up a protest against sanitary measures on Sunday. Dozens of demonstrators carried banners that read “enough of the COVID dictatorship.”

Last month, several cities in the Netherlands experienced days of unrest in response to a night curfew to curb the transmission of the virus.

After the curfew came into effect on January 23, groups of young people in different cities rioted against the police, which led to violent riots, looting, and destruction of public furniture in protests that lasted four consecutive nights, around the restriction start time, at 21:00 local time (20:00 GMT).

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Mostafa Mohamed consolidates Galatasaray in Falcao’s return | What’s Up News

Sports writing, Feb 27 (EFE) .- A double by the Egyptian Mostafa Mohamed gave the victory against Erzurum to Galatasaray (2-0) to consolidate the leadership in the Turkish League, in the return to the pitch of the Colombian Radamel Falcao.

The coffee scorer, who started the match on the bench, jumped onto the grass in the final stretch, in the 85th minute, replacing Mostafa Mohamed.

They were the first minutes of Falcao after his injury. He was returning to a call for Fatih Terim after a muscle ailment he suffered last November and from which he relapsed last January.

The 35-year-old forward has accumulated twenty games without playing this season, accumulating, until now, only 428 minutes in Turkey that he had distributed in eight games of the season.

Falcao returned to activity with the match uneven for his team at the Turk Telekom Stadium in Istanbul.

Galatasaray accelerated shortly before the break and two goals from Mostafa Mohamed, at 38 and 45, put the victory on track. Terim’s team advantage could have been greater. In fact, Emre Kilinc scored but the VAR canceled the goal.

With the victory, Galatasaray consolidates the leadership in the Turkish League. They beat Betiktas by three points, who will face Yeni Malatyaspor in their match on matchday 26 on Tuesday.

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Today with Keylor Navas | PSG vs. Dijon by Ligue1 | SEE HERE LIVE and LIVE for Central America the game today, February 27, for matchday 27

The PSG of Keylor Navas will face today, Saturday, February 27, Dijon, for matchday 27 of Ligue 1 de France 2020/21. The disparate duel (taking into account that the Parisians are third and their rival on duty holds the last position) will be played at the Estadio Stade Gaston Gérard from 10 in the morning of Central America. It can be seen throughout the region through ESPN2 Norte and ESPN Play Norte, and will be arbitrated by Mikael Lesage.

+ Follow the game LIVE here

PSG vs Dijon: How the Parisians arrive

PSG received a very strong blow in the last date, falling 2-0 against Monaco. Keylor Navas and company were outmatched before the cast of the principality, something that took them even further away from the top of Ligue 1. They are currently third, four units behind Lille, and will seek to show their “Champions League” face again against the bottom.

PSG vs Dijon: How the locals arrive

Dijon is in free fall. After 26 rounds, he is last in the standings, with two wins; nine draws and fifteen defeats. He has not won ten dates, and he must seriously think about how to change his course since, If you can’t turn it, your fate is closer to the rail than to the treasure..

PSG vs Dijon: last match between the two in Ligue 1

The last time PSG and Dijon saw each other was the October 24th this year, for the eighth day of this Ligue 1 2020/21. At that time, Neymar and company they won 4-0 (with Rico in the bow, instead of Navas).

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A surprising anomaly has been detected in the Gulf Stream

Joana Campos Juan Jose Villena 2 hours ago 4 min
Gulf Stream
In January, this anomaly grew stronger, spreading over a larger area and with an even more pronounced deviation.

The oceans play a crucial role in the climate, that is why they are monitored and experts take into account each and every one of the anomalies that occur in them. The Gulf Stream is part of the Atlantic South Circulation (AMOC), so an anomaly in the Gulf Stream may be a sign that something is happening on a larger scale.

It may interest you: The Gulf Stream could be interrupted, it is the stove of Europe

What is the Gulf Stream?

The Gulf Stream is an ocean current that moves warm water from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. It runs along the east coast of the United States, which is where it begins to head into northwestern Europe.

The Gulf Stream is part of the AMOC and, although it begins in the Gulf of Mexico and therefore influences the climate of the region, it also determines the climate of Western European countries.

This current influences, above all, the climate of Florida, mainly with regard to the thermal amplitude that turns out to be low. It makes its winters hotter and summers cooler compared to the other Southeastern states. Given the the Gulf Stream also extends into Europe, this makes the climate in Western European countries milder compared to other countries on the continent, which has a great impact on the regional climate.

So are the surprising anomalies

In the oceans, the most common anomaly is that of temperatures. The new data show the analysis of anomalies in the North Atlantic, where the region of the Gulf Stream stands out. It is appreciated that this current is warmer and it is possible to observe temperatures in the north up to 6 ° C to 8 ° C above normal.

Temperatures range from 14 ° C to 18 ° C off the northeast coast of the United States. This can become an important source of warm air masses, later meeting the colder ones in the Arctic. This is a common formula for severe storms at this location., where the Gulf Stream can provide you with a lot of power.

Obvious anomalies have been observed in the Gulf Stream in the last two months. The data taken shows, in fact, a sharp increase in temperatures. This anomaly is also reaching deeper waters, up to 500 meters deep. This is a sign pointing directly to a hurricane season even more active than the record 2020 season (If they accompany the rest of the factors, of course).

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Additional costs eat up the margins

London Unfortunately, it is too early to say what impact Brexit will have on the UK art market, ”writes Anthony Browne of the British Art Market Federation (BAMF) on request. “At the end of the year at the earliest, you can probably have a balanced position on this.” This statement is surprising, as the BAMF was one of the few lobby groups in the run-up to Brexit that were active in favor of leaving the EU. And it is factually incorrect that no effects have emerged so far.

The director of Lapada, an association of British art and antique dealers, Freya Simms, has more to report. For months, the association has been trying to prepare members for Brexit: the website has published a detailed catalog of questions and answers and webinars have been held. Still, the phones don’t stand still.

Small traders in particular are trying desperately to adapt to the new conditions. Transport problems and questions about declarations, customs duties and taxes are in the foreground. Since January 1st, objects have to be declared in detail when they are imported or exported.

Customs clearance takes time and costs money. Gone are the days when a trader could buy his van in France at markets, simply bring the objects across the border and then sell them on the island with a premium are over once and for all. It is also not a solution to entrust everything to the art transport specialists, says Simms. The profit margins often did not cover the additional costs.

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Despite the preparatory work of the Lapada, the exit from the customs union caused a shock for many traders. It goes so far that some people also rethink their business models. Simms’ conclusion: At the moment, all market participants have more paperwork, longer working hours and higher costs – and supply and demand in the decorative sector may become provincial.

Simon Sheffield is the executive director of Martinspeed Ltd., one of the great logisticians in Great Britain. Of course he is happy to see the additional work; and assures the Handelsblatt that there would be no traffic jams, no damage and no problems.
His company has been preparing for Brexit for years and has good relationships with the authorities so that customs clearances can be carried out in the warehouses.

Michael Landys „Brexit Kiosk“

The artist created the humorous commentary on Britain’s exit from the EU for the 2018 Riga Biennale.

(Photo: Susanne Schreiber Handelsblatt)

While it is good to hear of such stability, it sounds like you have to pay to ensure that everything will go well. The company is happy about more orders as customers are practically forced to work with the big companies. But he also emphasizes that the corona crisis caused the entire transport volume to decrease.

Martin Keaney, Managing Director of Artgo, a smaller London transport company confirms this. Before Brexit, he drove to the mainland once or twice a week, now once or twice a month. He speaks of almost 600 euros additional costs per load, regardless of value and size, which the customs documents alone require.

Got stuck in customs

If leading galleries and auction houses can cope with high sales and high values, that doesn’t mean that everything will run smoothly for them. Thaddaeus Ropac reports to the Handelsblatt that he is currently preparing an exhibition in Paris with works by the hyped American Alvaro Barrington, who lives in London.

Barrington’s work is currently stuck in customs in France. Because the artist sent parts to complete most of the works in the gallery on site. Accordingly, transport lists and photos cannot be clearly compared, which customs did not accept at the time of the phone call and did not approve the work.

Lothar Götz “oT”

The small-format colored pencil drawing from 2020 was sent to Düsseldorf by FedEx (excerpt).

(Photo: Galerie Petra Rinck)

Ropac emphasizes: “It has become much more difficult to move art between the galleries”. It’s not just about the money, but also about the effects on creativity: “With the English artists, I see a tiredness,” says the large gallery owner.

In a smaller area, where there is no staff of employees, the situation looks even more precarious. This is confirmed by a number of smaller galleries from Great Britain as well as Germany.

Transport costs too high

Petra Rinck, Gallery owner from Düsseldorf, is currently preparing an exhibition with the German artist Lothar Götz, who lives in London. She spoke openly to the Handelsblatt about the new transport problems and the costs. So in the end she only let Götz’s small works per FedEx bring to Germany. Two large jobs had to stay in London, a transport would not have paid off, especially if there was no sale.

Rinck also represents the artist Emma Talbot. She won the Max Mara Prize for Women. The Kunsthalle Gießen is planning an exhibition with Talbot, which has been postponed to 2023 due to the pandemic. The cost estimate for the transport of the work was too high due to the timing – unacceptable.

truck

Martinspeed has good contacts with customs.

(Photo: Martinspeed)

The situation is of course different for other galleries. Unit Gallery in London, a young gallery that has relied on social media as a sales incentive since it was founded in 2013, sells works by its artists all over the world. The gallery has a logistics team for whom it makes little difference whether a work is exported to Europe or Hong Kong. There are just more forms. The gallery sells 80 percent of its turnover abroad, the employees are used to the bureaucracy.

Unfortunately, collectors don’t quite see it that way yet. Joe Kennedy, one of the founders, reports how a sale to Greece almost never happened because the collector not only had to pay increased transport costs, but also the import sales tax of 20 percent as a surcharge on the work. It has been heard from various quarters that the different tax regulations for goods with Great Britain, which vary from country to country, require special attention.

Kennedy calls this labor pains. The devil lies in the details here too, with all the VAT rates, import and export taxes that exist in Europe. Nevertheless, in conversation with this younger generation of gallery owners, it becomes clear how a global company differs from one for whom geographical and cultural proximity in Europe is important.

The bottom line: In a global, digitized world in which customer service should be in the foreground, the return to bureaucracy is a significant step backwards. Above all, the artists, galleries, but also collectors will suffer from this if the costs of this extra work go to the bottom. Some people are reorienting themselves: In Germany there are already transport companies who no longer drive to the island. And in the worst case, collectors buy elsewhere.

The Berlin gallery owner Aeneas Bastian, who also runs a branch in London, can still allow himself to maintain the exchange, but he sums up the change in a nutshell: “The spontaneity and creativity in the exchange between the Kingdom and Europe is being lost, in the commercial and non- commercial area ”. At least no one seems to benefit from this so far.

More: Art Market Report: The art market faces an uncertain future

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Turkey orders the arrest of 148 soldiers for alleged coup

The Turkish police began an operation this Wednesday, ordered by the Izmir Prosecutor’s Office, to arrest 148 soldiers for allegedly belonging to the brotherhood of exiled preacher Fethullah Gülen, which the Turkish government accuses of having instigated the failed coup of 2016.

The operation extends to 47 of the country’s 81 provinces, public broadcaster TRT reported.

Among the suspects there are eight captains, a colonel and a dozen officials of military schools.

On February 2, 294 Turkish soldiers and officials were arrested in another large operation on suspicion of having links with the alleged coup plotters.

Following the failed attempt, whose top military leaders have never publicly confessed their adherence to Gülen, the Turkish government launched extensive purges in the state administration and the education sector, where laid off more than 130,000 employees and detained more than 100,000 people.

Around 50,000 people, the vast majority civilians, went to preventive detention.

Last December, an Ankara court convicted life imprisonment for 333 military personnel and four civilians for his participation in the riot.

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COVID-19 accelerates the end of mink farms in Europe but Spain resists

The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the end of the mink fur industry in Europe. Last year, three-quarters of the farms were closed and several countries have advanced the prohibition of these farms after being revealed as a focus of outbreaks of the disease. Spain, for the moment, distances itself from this trend: of the 29 farms operating before the pandemic was declared, 26 are still active. The Ministry of Agriculture published this month a control program for an activity that, for now, is maintained.

What happens if COVID-19 infects wild animals?

Know more

The more than 400 outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 detected in fur farms have shown that the American mink, the species raised for fur, is a good reservoir for the virus. In addition, the intensive production model based on rows of cages with thousands of specimens favors “animal-to-animal transmission” as well as a “very high probability of infection with variants generated in mink” for exposed workers, according to the Agency. European Food Safety (EFSA) in a recent report on SARS-CoV-2 control in mustelids. This evidence has meant that, of the 2,726 active farms in Europe in 2020 (and that produced about 27 million hides per year), 755 remain operational, according to data from the European Fur Association. A 73% drop.

In Spain, however, the industry continues beyond the farms affected by the three certified coronavirus outbreaks in 2020 and 2021 (one in Aragon, one in Galicia and another in Castilla y León). Currently, 26 farms of the 29 were operating at the beginning of the pandemic, according to EFSA. 24 of them are in Galicia, one in Ávila and another in Castellón, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, which completed a plan “for the prevention, surveillance and control of the possible introduction and circulation of SARS-CoV this February. -2 in American mink farms in Spain “with the idea of ​​monitoring the farms that are still active, which are almost all.

The European document says that Spain “strengthened hygiene, security and surveillance measures after the first cases of infected minks in Denmark.” The Danish Government sacrificed millions of specimens in November 2020 when it detected a variant of the virus on its farms that affected a couple of hundred humans. Even so, a first outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 had already been detected in a farm in Teruel last June. Eventually, more than 90,000 specimens were slaughtered. After that episode, in January of this year another 3,100 minks had to be slaughtered on a Galician farm, and a week later the same happened with a thousand minks in Ávila.

“Due to the SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks, several countries will ban fur farms in the coming years,” the EFSA report reads. After the outbreak of the new coronavirus and the succession of outbreaks in mink farms, the Netherlands has advanced and ordered the closure of all its farms, originally scheduled for 2024: 127 farms have stopped working after accounting for 69 outbreaks of coronavirus. In Denmark the activity has been banned at least until the end of 2021. 1,100 farms have been closed and 290 sources of infection have been detected.

In addition, France has banned these types of farms (although it has granted a period of five years to complete the plan). They had an outbreak on one of the four active farms. Poland is on the same line. Ireland is preparing legislation to crack down on fur farms, and has three operations. Slovakia, Norway and the region of Flanders in Belgium are in the phase of closure of their farms. In 2022 this industry will be banned in Germany.

Before COVID-19, there were already EU (or neighboring) countries that had banned mink farms: Austria, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Belgium (in Wallonia and Brussels), the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia.

In the field of regulation, in Spain at the moment the only concrete movement has been the approval of a non-law proposal in the Cortes of Aragon to urge the regional and central Executive to close farms, although only “until the health situation against COVID-19 is the ideal one at the state level. ”

“The closure is justified”

The initiative had come from the WWF organization. Its head of the species program, Gemma Rodríguez, understands that the end of this industry has accelerated in Europe “due to the security problem they imply, which is added to environmental and ethical reasons.”

“In Spain, at the moment, it does not seem that this line will be followed, although we see the closure totally justified. The argument used to maintain them is that of employment and economic activity, but that employment is not of quality, there is a lot of temporary and precarious “, analyzes Rodríguez. And he adds: “In addition, they cost us public money because we spend a lot both on prevention and management of outbreaks and on the eradication of mink from the natural environment, which comes from escapes from farms.” The American mink is an invasive alien species that is bringing the indigenous European mink to the brink of extinction.

The danger posed by mink farms for fur lies fundamentally in their production formula, the EFSA technicians analyze. Most fur farms are cage facilities in open areas covered by some roofing. Mink are usually reared in pairs within wire cages, very close to each other, which allows close contact between minks and therefore facilitates the transmission of the virus from mink to mink. A farm raises tens of thousands of minks for fur. The European Food Safety Agency describes it like this: “Large mink farms with high animal density create ideal conditions for the coronavirus to replicate and transmit, which increases the risk of virus evolution.” And he concludes that “the expansion in farms represents a danger for the virus to introduce new mutations and variants that could emerge and infect the operators and reach the rest of the population.”

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China did “little” to find the origin of COVID-19 in the first months, according to a WHO document

Chinese authorities did “little” in terms of epidemiological investigations into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic in Wuhan during the first eight months after the outbreak, according to an internal document from the World Health Organization (WHO). to which you have had access The Guardian.

China may have applied “stronger” measures at the beginning of the pandemic, according to the group investigating the global response

Know more

The summary of the WHO internal report, dated August 10, 2020, also says that the team that met with their Chinese counterparts as part of a preliminary mission to try to find the origins of the virus received little new information at the time, and they were not given any documents or written information during the extensive talks with the Chinese authorities.

Last summer’s report, which was written as global infection rates reached 20 million, provides new data on how early efforts by WHO scientists to study the outbreak in China were apparently hampered.

The news comes following the recent statement by the Joe Biden government that emphatically expresses concern for China’s cooperation in studying the disease and the need for WHO to hold itself to the highest standards and protect its credibility.

In the statement, Jake Sullivan, the US National Security Adviser, also calls on China to make public its data from the first days of the outbreak and for all countries, including China, to participate in a “transparent and robust” process to prevent and respond to health emergencies.

What the document says

The internal WHO document of August 2020, to which you have had access The Guardian, gives some clues as to what may be the reason for the US frustration.

The two-page report is a summary of WHO’s program director and mission leader Peter Ben Embarek’s trip to China between July 10 and August 3, 2020, which was rated as a WHO “forward mission” to study the virus that causes COVID-19 and “examine the work done so far on the origin of the virus.”

In its summary, the trip report says that the mission began with a two-week quarantine, followed by 10 days of face-to-face meetings with the relevant ministries, including the National Health Commission, the State Administration for Market Regulation, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and other bodies such as the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

“After extensive discussions with the Chinese counterparts and their exposure, it appears that little has been done regarding epidemiological investigations in and around Wuhan since January 2020. The data presented orally gave some more detail than what was presented. at emergency committee meetings [de la OMS] in January 2020. No PowerPoint presentations were made and no documents were shared, “the report says.

A WHO spokesperson has declined to comment on the “internal documents.” The Chinese embassy in Washington has not responded to the request of The Guardian to know its version.

When a journalist from the magazine Science Asked WHO officials about the July-August 2020 mission at a press conference on August 21, Maria Van Kerkhove, an infectious disease expert and WHO technical leader on COVID-19, replied that the team had recently returned from China and had been there to “learn” from his Chinese counterparts about the “ongoing” work.

Then Michael Ryan, head of WHO’s health emergencies program, added: “It is important that the mission continues, but there are also a number of preliminary studies that need to be carried out, and our colleagues in China have discussed these in depth. with the advanced equipment and we hope that those studies can begin as soon as possible. ”

Doubts about Chinese cooperation in the January mission

Following a more recent trip – last month – to China to study the origins of the virus, more questions have been raised about this country’s cooperation in studying the origins of the virus. Dominic Dwyer, an Australian infectious disease expert who was part of the research team, recently told the press that the WHO had requested raw patient data from its Chinese counterparts during its mission in January 2021, but was only being asked to do so. gave a summary.

Dwyer explained to Reuters that sharing anonymized raw data was standard practice for an outbreak investigation. Raw data is especially important in efforts to understand COVID-19, he said, as only half of the initial 174 cases had been exposed to the now-closed market where the virus was first detected.

“That is why we have insisted on asking for it,” he said. “Why isn’t that happening, I couldn’t comment on it. Whether for political reasons, for time or for difficulty (…) But if there are other reasons why the data is not available, I do not know. One could only speculate. ”

In a statement to The Guardian, the WHO says it had insisted on the need to understand the origin of the virus “from the beginning” and that it had discussed the need to study and share information with China throughout 2020.

“In July 2020, the Chinese Government invited [la] WHO to send a preliminary team to China to prepare the work of the international scientific team. The joint team of Chinese and international scientists started the virtual meetings in the fall of 2020, “he says.

The WHO spokesperson adds: “They visited Wuhan in January-February 2021. In the first days of an outbreak, the top priority is saving lives, understanding the disease and suppressing transmission. But we also believe that work to understand the origin of any outbreak should start early, when certain clues can be found more easily. ”

In the future, says the spokesman, the preparation of studies on the origin of a disease should go in parallel with the urgent suppression of the virus and the saving of lives.

Translated by Icíar Gutiérrez

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Tourism stocks celebrate de-escalation plans in the UK | Markets

The progress in vaccination campaigns in Europe and, above all, the de-escalation plan announced yesterday by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, are giving wings to companies in the tourism sector of the Stoxx 600 today on the Stock Exchange. IAG soared 6.8% while the German TUI advanced 6.4% and the German airline Lufthansa rebounded 5.5%.

In the Spanish Stock Market, all the values ​​linked to travel and tourism climb to the top positions. Thus, accompanying IAG are Amadeus, whose titles increased by 6%; Meliá, which recovered 3.4%, and Aena, whose shares also gained 3%.

Easyjet is another of the most bullish. The British airline skyrockets 7% reporting that ticket sales quadrupled in the hours after Johnson’s presentation of the plan. And it is that the British prime minister promised to relax the closure rules in one of the next four months, including the possibility of resuming international travel as soon as May 17.

The market in general and the travel sector in particular have welcomed the announcement of the de-escalation in the UK. One of the strictest confinements in the world, it will start on March 8 gradually with the reopening of schools, in a process that will consist of four phases and that would be completed by June 21.

Johnson announced in the House of Commons his roadmap to reopen society in a “cautious but irreversible” way, which will progress as long as the vaccination campaign continues at its current pace and no new variants appear to alter the plans.

This opens a thread of hope for the sector, one of the most penalized during the pandemic due to confinements and strong restrictions on travel Although experts and the companies in the sector themselves consider that the return to 2019 levels will take some time Arriving, at least until 2023, the summer campaign may be the beginning of the recovery.

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