Johnson Faces Leadership Threat Without UK Blockade Exit Plan

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces a threat to his leadership from conservative lawmakers demanding a clear plan to emerge from an economically damaging third pandemic lockdown.

Steve Baker, a senior member of Parliament, said in a letter to his Conservative colleagues that a lockdown that lasted until the spring could be “a disaster.”

He urged them to write to Johnson’s team to warn that the prime minister’s position will be at risk unless he announces a route out of current restrictions.

“The government has adopted a strategy devoid of any commitment to freedom without any clarification as to when our most basic freedoms will be restored and with no guarantee that they will never be taken away again,” Baker wrote. “If we continue with a strategy that hits freedom, hits the private sector, hits small business owners and hits the poor, inevitably the prime minister’s leadership will be on the table.”

The UK entered its third national shutdown last week, with schools, non-essential retail businesses and hotels forced to close. The economy has already suffered its deepest recession in more than 300 years as a result of last year’s first shutdown and is at risk of falling into a double contraction.


Spain and Turkey defend the need for a negotiated solution to the crisis in Venezuela – GHM Abogados

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of Spain, Arancha González Laya, and her counterpart from Turkey, Mevlut Cavusoglu, defended on Friday the need for a negotiated solution to the current crisis in Venezuela.

The officials bet on dialogue between the Nicolás Maduro regime and the opposition, with the support of the international community.

At a press conference in Madrid at the end of their meeting, the Spanish Minister again referred to the common position of the 27 regarding Venezuela, which involves the rejection of the last parliamentary elections and the recognition of the previous elected National Assembly in 2015

But it did not indicate whether it continues to consider Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela.

He also recalled that they are committed to seeking a political solution to the crisis, for which extensive work is necessary supporting the entire Venezuelan opposition. He said that Guaidó has specific political legitimacy in his capacity as president of the National Assembly that emerged from the last recognized electoral process in Venezuela.

González Laya added the desire to help advance the political process in Venezuela.

The European Union, he said, considers it urgent that the different actors in the country understand each other to provide answers to the serious humanitarian crisis it is facing.

Although it is planned to talk about Venezuela both at the next EU Foreign Ministers Council on January 25 and at the meeting of the International Contact Group on Venezuela, the minister stressed that it is a dialogue between Venezuelans.

The Spanish minister assured that she is in contact with all the political actors in Venezuela, with the opposition and also with the regime because only in this way will they be able to help, support and encourage progress on a solution in the country.

For his part, Cavusuglu regretted the situation that Venezuela is going through and defended that it will not be resolved with interventionism from third countries.

Given his good relationship with the Maduro regime, he recalled that Turkey exercised mediation efforts between the parties a few months ago, also conveying messages from the EU in the context of the efforts that were made to try to postpone the December elections.

Those efforts allowed the release of some opponents by the regime, said the Turkish minister. He defended the need for the parties to seek solutions together through a sincere dialogue for which Turkey and other countries can help facilitate the environment.

In this regard, he underlined the importance of efforts by the international community as a whole, not only by Spain and Turkey, with a view to reaching permanent solutions and agreements.

The parts have to be understood and what we can do is support them”, He stressed.

Source: El Nacional


Minsalud reports 114,720 active cases of covid-19, today there were 15,537 new positives

Margarita Coneo Rincón –

The Ministry of Health reported 15,537 new cases of covid-19 in the country according to its latest report for a total of 1,786,900; There were 330 deaths and 55,727 tests processed in the last day, of which 42,276 were PCR type and 13,451 antigen type.

Currently the country has 114,720 active cases. Today the highest number of cases was presented in Bogotá with 4,294 positives, Antioquia in 2,837, Cundinamarca with 1,130, Tolima in 757 and Boyacá closes the first five in 613.

The situation in the country continues to worsen as they are confirmed the positives of those infected in the last days of agglomerations such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations and matches in the final of Colombian Professional Soccer, according to the health minister, Fernando Ruiz Gómez.

“These agglomerations and these events generate an impact that is more contagious five or six days after each of these dates have been presented, which has been accumulating and generates an impact on the consumption of intensive care units at the level national ”, he assured.

Meanwhile, ICU occupancy has already reached 70% throughout the country, taking into account that of the total, 11,700 beds, only 5,400 are being occupied by patients suspected or positive for covid-19; the remaining are non-covid patients who require this care.


Ministry of Health reports 15,795 new cases of covid-19 for a total of 1.7 million

Margarita Coneo Rincón –

The health ministry has already published its latest report of covid-19 in the country, in which 15,795 new confirmed cases were evidenced in the country for a total of 1,771,363 confirmed positive cases; although the assets are 111,004.

The deaths registered were 335 of which 318 corresponded to previous days and add up to a total of 45,784 in the course of the pandemic. On the other hand, those recovered are already 1,609,564. Regarding the tests, 70,263, 42,169 PCR type and 28,094 antigen were processed.

Bogotá is once again the sector of the country with the highest number of confirmed cases with 6,198 cases, followed by Antioquia with 3,117, Valle in 1,000, Cundinamarca with 708 and Caldas closes the top five with 574.

According to the latest Minsalud report, the cities with the highest UCIS occupancy rate are: Ibagué 92%, Cúcuta 11.3% and Cali 87%; although Bogotá is also on a red alert as announced by Mayor Claudia López.

It is expected that with the measures taken for the bridge of kings the numbers of the number of infections will be reduced due to the fact that the capacity of the health system in the country is increasingly reduced.


FC Barcelona seeks investors due to the increase in losses registered by covid-19

FC Barcelona is reaching out to investors to buy a portion of the business off the field in an effort to stop the losses caused by covid-19.

In an investment dossier sent to potential investors and to which Bloomberg had access, the club proposes to divide its digital assets, world soccer academies, sports knowledge groups and marketing businesses into a new affiliate. The team would sell between 30% and 49% of the stake in the new entity to outside investors, where the priority would be for a club that is owned by its members and that would have to approve said agreement.

The new entity’s annual revenue is expected to reach 386.1 million euros (US $ 471.4 million) with benefits of 210.7 million euros in 2024-2025, according to the document. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is advising on the potential deal, according to people familiar with the matter.

Barcelona declined to comment on the matter.

The finances of FC Barcelona, ​​home of Lionel Messi, have been particularly affected by the covid-19 pandemic. Debt doubled to € 488 million and the club reported a decrease in revenue of more than € 200 million in 2020, as fans have not been able to attend games for almost a year.

In recent years, Barcelona have spent large sums on players such as Philippe Coutinho, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele, but the success in the area of ​​transfers has not carried over to the field. Last season, Barcelona finished second to Real Madrid in the Spanish league and suffered an embarrassing 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

The proposed restructuring comes at a turbulent time for the world-famous club.

Messi spent much of the offseason negotiating to be released from his contract before resigning to play what will likely be his last season at the Camp Nou. At the executive offices, the team will hold an election on January 24 to elect a new team president after Josep Maria Bartomeu resigned in October after his conflict with Messi disrupted his relationship with fans.


Samsung Electronics Co. loses estimates as 5G competition with Apple heats up

Samsung Electronics Co.’s earnings for the fourth quarter fell short of analysts’ estimates due to tepid smartphone sales and low prices for memory chips.

South Korea’s largest company posted operating income of 9 trillion won ($ 8.3 billion) for the three months ending December in preliminary results released on Friday. That compares with an average of 9.52 trillion won from analyst forecasts. Sales for the quarter were 61 trillion won. The company did not provide net income or break down the performance of the divisions, which it will report later this month when it publishes the final results.

Galaxy smartphone sales were weaker in the quarter as Apple Inc. launched its first 5G-compatible iPhones and Chinese rivals launched aggressive campaigns to secure market share that vacated the sanctioned consumer business of Huawei Technologies Co. Samsung. shipped 41 million 5G devices last year, according to Strategy Analytics estimates, lagging behind Apple’s 52 million and Huawei’s 80 million sold primarily in China.

The Korean company plans to present its next flagship series, the Galaxy S21, ahead of its regular annual show with an online event on January 14. Rivals like Xiaomi Corp., Oppo, and Vivo are aggressively positioning themselves to fill the void Huawei is expected to leave in international markets.

Read more: Apple provider Murata expects half a billion 5G phones in New Years

Memory chip prices fell due to a slowdown in server demand, although it is expected to pick up from the current quarter, according to CW Chung, head of pan-Asia technology at Nomura Financial Investment. A stronger Korean won during the previous quarter also eroded Samsung’s earnings.

“The company’s memory and mobile device businesses are expected to recover from the first quarter,” Chung said before the release of results. “Demand for servers is increasing due to a possible Dram shortage later this year. The upward trend in the memory market will accelerate and is likely to continue until the end of 2021. “


Xiaomi for the first time exceeded the US $ 100,000 million valuation in the market

Ximena González –

For the first time, Xiaomi surpassed the US $ 100 billion valuation in the market and its share price reached an all-time high of US $ 31.90 from Hong Kong. This was announced by the company through a statement.

It is worth noting that Xiaomi’s enhanced “Smartphone x AIoT” strategy, launched in 2020, continues to be recognized by the capital market. Precisely, in the third quarter, Xiaomi’s global shipments of smartphones reached 46.6 million units, which places the company among the top three in the world.

On the other hand, the number of IoT devices connected to its AIoT platform (excluding smartphones and laptops) reached a staggering 289 million, consolidating Xiaomi’s position as the world’s leading consumer IoT platform. world. According to the company, since the beginning of last year, Xiaomi’s share price has increased by more than 180%.

Xiaomi stressed that “it will tirelessly continue to offer incredible products at honest prices so that everyone can enjoy a better life through the most modern technologies. We will also continue to lead the industry with original innovations and focus on surprising and being friends with our users” .


Covid joins war and cancer as a historical plague in the lives of Americans

As 2020 draws to a close, most will remember the year as one defined by sacrifice and loss.

In the 347 days since the first reported case in the United States, the new coronavirus officially called SARS-CoV-2 flourished and became one of the textbook disasters of modern history. Over casualties, the country mourns the equivalent of the September 11 death toll each day, and is expected to do so for months. In all, 1 in 1,000 Americans has died, with a heavier burden on the elderly and people of color.

Among developed nations, the US stands out after a year marked by virus denial, conspiracy, masked politicization and disregard for the rules, even at the highest levels of government. Shares hit record highs as millions lost jobs. Even as vaccines are quickly shipped by truck and plane to the most vulnerable, America’s hospitals are getting busier by the day.

“I’ve never seen anything like this, more than 2,000 people dying on a daily basis,” said Catherine Kennedy, a 40-year-old RN who works at Kaiser Permanente Roseville Medical Center in California. “It has taken its price.”

Covid toll

In less than a year, the coronavirus became a historically deadly catastrophe in the United States.

On Wednesday, the US reported 225,671 new cases, raising the moving average to 178,740 and setting the year to close with more than 19 million cumulative cases, or roughly one in every 20 Americans.

Data for the holiday season is hurt by a slowdown in testing and reporting, but more broadly, the numbers likely underestimate the number of cases. In one study, fewer than 10% of patients had been diagnosed with antibodies published in The Lancet in September.

The death toll, officially over 340,000, is similarly underestimated. Some 299,028 excess deaths occurred from late January to early October in the US, which are more than the expected total as calculated by statistical models. Two-thirds of them are likely attributable to covid-19, although they are not counted in the official number, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New York City lost its first resident to COVID on March 14, 2020; its total toll is more than 25,000. Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that March 14, 2021 will be a day of remembrance.

“2020 is going to go down in history as one of our saddest and most difficult years, possibly the most difficult year in the history of New York City,” he said.

The virus spread across the United States as contaminated water, showing up first in the Pacific Northwest, then the Northeast, South and West before a Midwest deluge that brought rural hospitals to their breaking points. Since November, nearly every state has broken single-day case records.

New York City on Wednesday reported a seven-day average positivity rate close to 8%, the highest in more than seven months. California posted a daily record for deaths on Tuesday, and Governor Gavin Newsom said the highly transmissible new British variant had been detected in a patient in Southern California.

The relentless pace of infection, more than 100,000 a day since early November, has weighed on the country’s health workforce.

Short-term fixes

Kennedy Hospital, northeast of Sacramento, is experiencing a surge. The capacity is 166 beds, but there are 244 in use, thanks to a hodgepodge of short-term fixes: cramming multiple patients into private rooms and turning underused parts of the building into covid intensive care units.

Like many in her role, Kennedy is reusing the rare N95 masks and volunteers for shifts outside of her normal work in the neonatal ICU. You are concerned about the impact on the new cohort of nurses and have seen colleagues take stress leave or early retirement.

“We are the richest nation in the world and there is absolutely no reason why that should be,” said Kennedy, who is also president of her state’s nursing association. “The current administration failed the people.”

Although treatments have improved and some states have reported that patients generally stay in hospitals for shorter periods, recent waves shifted needs from urban centers to more rural areas, where resources are scarce. Covid-19 has killed a higher proportion of Americans in rural areas than anywhere else, according to the CDC.

In doing so, the virus exposed the ways in which the world’s most expensive healthcare industry has struggled to care for victims. The United States spends 17% of its GDP on health care, the most of any major economy, twice the average of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development nations, and a total of 42% of global spending, according to the Organization. World Health. A recent study estimated that the impact of the pandemic will reduce life expectancy at birth in the United States by more than a year.

“I didn’t expect the United States to do it as shamefully as it has,” said Stephen Bezruchka, an associate professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health, who said the country’s high level of inequality and state and federal policies Disconnected have been the main drivers of their failures. “To be honest, I was amazed.”


UK would be ready for Brexit border changes at midnight

The UK said it is ready for significant changes to the border with the European Union from 11:00 pm on Thursday, when it leaves the single market and the bloc’s customs union.

Companies must submit customs declarations when transferring products to the EU and truck drivers could be fined 300 pounds (US $ 410) if they enter Kent County, where the Port of Dover is located, without the proper documents.

Border systems and related infrastructure are in place, and officials are prepared to stop non-conforming vehicles and impose fines, a government spokesman said. The Government will use automatic license plate recognition cameras to detect those trucks without the proper authorizations.

The potential disruption at the UK-EU border is one of the Government’s biggest Brexit concerns, and secretaries fear long lines at ports as operators are unprepared for the additional bureaucracy caused by the split. .

In September, an internal analysis by the Cabinet Office warned of worst-case lines of 7,000 trucks, a scenario that would disrupt food supplies and disrupt manufacturing processes.

Traffic volumes are anticipated to be low on Friday due to the New Years holidays, meaning an outage is unlikely initially, according to a UK official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.


BionTech Chief Says He Will Work With Others To Increase Covid Vaccine Capacity

BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said his company would be willing to cooperate with others as it seeks to increase the production capacity of its COVID-19 vaccine developed with Pfizer, and indicated that he was considering opening a headquarters in Turkey.

Sahin said that BioNTech aspired to distribute 1.3 billion doses of its product by the end of 2021 and that 70% of the world needed to be vaccinated before next winter to return to “normal life”, according to an interview with the Turkish state agency of Anadolu news.

“We want to produce more than a billion doses with Pfizer next year. We need to distribute them to more than 80 countries,” he said. “This is not easy. Vaccines are manufactured in a complex way. We will cooperate with other companies again.”

“If we can finalize our plans on how to increase capacity, we can release it in January or February. I think we can increase it. We don’t have a guaranteed plan yet.”

Ankara agreed to purchase 4.5 million doses of the BioNTech and Pfizer vaccine, with the option to purchase 30 million doses later.

Sahin, the son of a Turkish immigrant in Germany, told Anadolu that BioNTech was in talks with Turkey’s state scientific agency, Tubitak, and that its goal was to deliver the 30 million doses to the country by the end of 2021.

“It is a great joy to be able to help people in Turkey,” the executive said, as quoted by Anadolu.

“We also want to conduct research in Turkey. We have discussions with Tubitak, we have started working with some professors at universities. We want to open a subsidiary of BioNTech company in Turkey.”