Singapore’s recession worse than first thought as virus slams Asia’s exporters

first_imgSingapore’s recession was deeper than first estimated in the second quarter as the coronavirus pandemic dealt a major blow to Asia’s trade-reliant economies.The city-state has been hit hard by COVID-19 with the country under a lockdown for most of the second quarter to curb the spread of the virus.“There continues to be significant uncertainty over how the COVID-19 situation will evolve in the coming quarters, and correspondingly, the trajectory of the economic recovery in both the global and domestic economies,” Gabriel Lim, permanent secretary for trade and industry, told a briefing. The government said it now expects full-year GDP to contract between 5 percent and 7 percent versus its previous forecast for a 4 percent to 7 percent decline. The transport and tourism hub is still facing the biggest downturn in its history.“The downgrade in second quarter and full-year GDP growth points to a slower and sluggish economic recovery,” said Chua Hak Bin, an economist at Maybank.He said strict border controls, social distancing rules and foreign worker shortages will weigh on the pace of the recovery, even though lockdown measures have been relaxed.The GDP slump marked the second consecutive quarter of contraction for the global finance hub – having declined 0.3 percent year-on-year in the first quarter and 3.1 percent quarter-on-quarter – meeting the definition for a technical recession.Singapore’s data comes as other large Asian economies such as Japan are also set to report a record contraction in the second quarter.Meanwhile, South Korea’s exports extended double digit declines in the first week of August.Economies were starting re-tighten measures after the fresh emergence of outbreaks, said Selena Ling, OCBC Bank’s head of treasury research and strategy.“That is going to dampen, if not potentially kill off, any of the recovery hopes that people were looking forward to,” she said.Singapore’s central bank had eased its monetary policy in March, while the government has pumped in nearly S$100 billion (US$72 billion) worth of stimulus to blunt the impact of the pandemic.Topics : “The outlook for the Singapore economy has weakened slightly since May.”Gross domestic product (GDP) fell a record 13.2 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, revised government data showed on Tuesday, versus the 12.6 percent drop seen in advance estimates.The economy fell 42.9 percent from the previous three months on an annualized and seasonally adjusted basis, also a record and larger than the 41.2 percent contraction in the government’s initial estimates.The data matched analyst expectations.last_img read more

Access denied: COVID-19 pandemic complicates journalists’ work

first_imgWhile institutions, governments, elected officials, companies and sports federations are all having to adapt to new constraints under the coronavirus pandemic, experts say they are often using the health crisis as an excuse to restrict journalists’ access.Fewer physical press conferences, questions that must be submitted in advance or sometimes no questions at all, queries that go unanswered — information does not circulate well in the age of COVID-19.Examples include international football matches, in which UEFA ditched mixed zone areas where journalists usually get to quiz players, and Fashion Weeks, where it has been almost impossible to question designers. “We’re seeing all sorts of situations where people are using COVID to hide information,” said David Cuillier, professor of journalism at the University of Arizona.Cover-up attempts often involve information about the pandemic itself, which may shed unfavorable light on the management of the virus by government or local officials.This week, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly turned down a request from the Kansas Reflector news site for contact information for businesses in the state connected to outbreaks of COVID-19.So as not to reveal the number of cases in a retirement home or university, for example, some authorities hide behind arguments about personal data even if that data is anonymous and the laws don’t apply, Cuillier said. ‘Perilous’ Chronically understaffed newsrooms don’t always have sufficient time to cultivate sources and dig into public records to the extent that the job requires.”Therefore more and more information provided to the public is really being spoon-fed without verification and that’s not good,” said Cuillier.”The efforts by politicians and others to control the message have only increased over the past two years,” said Courtney Radsch of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). That trend has been reinforced by COVID-19, she said.Access to information is further complicated by the growing public distrust of the press in an era when President Donald Trump rails against mainstream media he dislikes.During the demonstrations that followed the death of George Floyd, journalists were attacked by the police but also by people who did not want independent coverage of the protests, Radsch said.”We’re headed for dark times unless something changes,” said Cuillier. “This could lead to the end of democracy as we know it within 20, 30 years.”While recognizing that the situation is “perilous,” Radsch nevertheless noted “increasing recognition” by some “of the importance that journalism plays in the pandemic.””One positive that I’ve seen is the trust in local news organizations is, in a way, flourishing,” Florida reporter Joe McLean, who covered the reopening of schools during the pandemic, told the Poynter Institute for Journalism.It presents “an opportunity to prove our integrity, our responsibility, trustworthiness, and thoroughness in reporting of these public institutions,” he added. Government agencies, city councils or local organizations are making decisions “behind closed doors,” adds the former president of the Society of Professional Journalists.In politics, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is regularly accused of shielding himself from the media under cover of the pandemic. His campaign team uses health precautions to justify restricting access to Biden to only a dozen reporters and photographers. When he takes questions, which is rare, his communications team designates the four or five journalists allowed to quiz him.Republicans have accused Biden, without evidence, of knowing the questions in advance.In addition to restricted access, journalists have been subjected to censorship in several countries, a measure presented as a means of combating disinformation linked to the pandemic.Some countries, such as China and Egypt, have canceled visas or ordered the deportation of foreign reporters after publishing articles on the response to the pandemic.These difficulties come at a time when the media landscape is already under pressure from fallen incomes, which have been worsened by the pandemic, especially among local papers. Topics :last_img read more

Wolf Administration Previews 2018 Southeast Region Construction Season, Highlights 150 Projects

first_img Infrastructure,  Press Release,  Transportation King of Prussia, PA –  Governor Tom Wolf and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Leslie S. Richards today highlighted transportation investments as PennDOT announced that roughly 155 highway and bridge projects are anticipated to begin or continue across the five-county Philadelphia region during this construction season.Richards also urged motorists to drive cautiously in work zones – for their safety and that of workers – in observance of National Work Zone Awareness Week running April 9-13.“We’re improving mobility and economies across the state and I look forward to continuing these important investments in 2018,” Governor Wolf said.Complementing the significant projects in the southeast region, Governor Wolf recently reinforced the administration’s commitment to rural roads with new plans to improve more than 1,100 rural and low-volume roadway miles and rehabilitate or replace at least 85 municipally owned bridges over five years.Today’s announcement was made near the Interstate 95 Girard Avenue/Aramingo Avenue Interchange project in Philadelphia where PennDOT has invested more than $500 million torebuild and improve 1.5 miles of the interstate between the Girard Avenue and Allegheny Avenue interchanges.“The work that we and our municipal and private-sector partners are doing for Pennsylvanians is important for communities and businesses,” Richards said. “Motorists should use caution in work zones so we can get home each day after completing this critical work.”Across PennDOT Engineering District 6, spanning Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties, the department anticipates rehabilitating, reconstructing and resurfacing more than 277 miles of state highways and improving 41 bridges.“The aggressive approach we take with our construction program in this region allows us to significantly reduce the backlog of our pavement and bridge demands, and move critical projects forward to improve, strengthen and secure our vast transportation network,” District 6 Executive Kenneth M. McClain said.Notable projects that will continue this year include:Interstate 95 pavement restoration in Bucks County ($29.6 million);U.S. 202 Bridges over Amtrak in Chester County ($26.4 million);U.S. 322 widening in Delaware County ($62.7 million);U.S. 422 Bridges in Montgomery County ($97.4 million); andI-95 Betsy Ross Bridge/Aramingo Interchange improvement in Philadelphia ($81 million).Notable projects that are expected to be begin this year include:U.S. 1 reconstruction in Bucks County ($90 million estimate);U.S. 30 ITS enhancement in Chester County ($7 million estimate);Route 252 bridge replacement over Crum Creek in Delaware County ($16 million estimate);U.S. 202 widening and intersection improvements in Montgomery County ($58 million estimate); andI-95 South Reconstruction between Allegheny Avenue and Columbia Avenue in Philadelphia ($311.5 million).As construction projects are underway in the region, the traveling public can anticipate seeing many work zones and are urged to keep in mind their safety and the safety of highway workers. Preliminary statewide PennDOT data shows that 19 people were killed in work-zone crashes in 2017, three more than in 2016. Additionally, there were 1,789 crashes in work zones last year, a decrease from 2,077 crashes in 2016. Over the last five years, there was a statewide average of 1,901 crashes and nearly 20 fatalities in work zones.In addition to the crash data from police reports, PennDOT monitors work-zone safety with internal reports. In 2017, there were 95 intrusions in PennDOT work zones. Of those work-zone intrusions, 18 resulted in injures to PennDOT employees, 53 caused damage to PennDOT fleet or equipment, and 35 did not result in injury or damage.As of March 9, there have been seven instances of vehicles intruding into work zones in 2018. One resulted in employee injury, four caused damage to vehicles or equipment, and two did not result in injury or damage. Since 1970, 88 PennDOT employees have lost their lives in the line of duty, the latest being Robert Gensimore, a Blair County foreman who was struck on February 17 while placing flares to warn motorists of a crash.More information on work-zone safety is available at www.penndot.gov/safety.For more information on projects occurring or being bid this year, those made possible by or accelerated by the state transportation funding plan (Act 89), or those on the department’s Four and Twelve Year Plans, visit www.projects.penndot.gov.A list of weekly road restrictions and PennDOT maintenance operations in the five-county Philadelphia region is available by visiting the District 6 Traffic Bulletin at www.penndot.gov/District6.For more PennDOT information, visit www.penndot.gov. Follow local PennDOT information on Twitter at www.twitter.com/511PAPhilly. Wolf Administration Previews 2018 Southeast Region Construction Season, Highlights 150 Projects April 06, 2018center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Local and international speakers to impress at AREC

first_imgChris Voss, former FBI agent and an expert at hostage negotiation strategies, will speak at AREC17. Copyright Kate Haley PhotographyWHAT do strong FBI negotiation skills and the winning All Blacks rugby union team have in common with real estate? Plenty.While neither are likely to be top of mind when it comes to buying and selling houses, AREC 2017 will hear that the techniques for success adopted in both can spell the difference between being an agent and being a standout agent.Former FBI agent Chris Voss has transferred his skills, honed from years of international crisis and high-stakes negotiation with the FBI, into daily business negotiation.Voss, the CEO of the Black Swan group, said hostage negotiation strategies could definitely be used to solve business challenges.James Kerr (pictured), the author of global bestseller Legacy, which unpicks the secrets of the world’s most successful sporting team, the All Blacks, will speak about how all winning teams share the same high-performance principles – whether they are on the sporting field or in a real estate office.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North7 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day agoAREC speaker James Kerr.AREC founder John McGrath, of McGrath Real Estate, said 23 world-class speakers would be on hand to share their knowledge and experiences with the underlying theme of “Super Growth”.“When you see the calibre and diversity of our speakers like Robert Cialdini, who wrote the book Influence, which many believe changed the world of sales forever, through to Chris Voss, who was the FBI’s head negotiator, sharing his secrets on mastering the art of negotiation.”Scott Harris, who works alongside Tony Robbins at his major seminars, will open the conference.Harris is considered one of the foremost international coaches and mentors to individuals and businesses. He will outline his strategy to maximise success at AREC.last_img read more

Hilltop house an ‘Australian experience’

first_imgTwo self-contained living areas make 10 Looranah St, Jindalee a good investment.Music has been made at 10 Looranah St, Jindalee, and not just by the visiting kookaburras and lorikeets.David Campbell has been a drummer for more than 30 years and is 60 per cent of the way through recording a new album.“The downstairs was in a raw state when I bought the house so I could furnish it into what I needed,” Mr Campbell said.The five bedroom house at 10 Looranah St, Jindalee.“I had a recording studio downstairs.“Now it’s a two-bedroom apartment.”The upstairs level has three bedrooms that he sometimes lets out as a holiday rental.Its bushland setting makes it popular with overseas visitors.This view is a photographer’s muse.“It’s truly an Australian experience living here,’’ he said.The bloom of the Jacaranda tree heralds exams and Christmas, and perhaps the sale of 10 Looranah St, Jindalee.“I’m always up for the sunrise and I do time lapse photography from the front deck.“For getting motivated for the day nothing beats sitting on that front deck.”Mr Campbell is now keen to find new motivation in Tasmania, and that means a new chapter is about to start for this two-storey house on a hilltop in the family-oriented suburb of Jindalee.More from newsDigital inspection tool proves a property boon for REA website3 Apr 2020The Camira homestead where kids roamed free28 May 2019It is on the market through Coronis Toowong with offers over $650,000 considered.Update or just enjoy this country kitchen.“It’s for anyone who appreciates a good view,’’ Mr Campbell said.“It would suit a growing family or anyone who would like the lifestyle with a granny flat or Airbnb.“There’s plenty of flexibility.“I’d like to see it taken and turned into the wonderful hilltop mansion that it could be.”SEE WHAT ELSE IS ON THE MARKET IN JINDALEEMr Campbell has finished walls downstairs, landscaped outside, and painted.He also has redone the drainage to manage stormwater run-off.“It feels like it’s city adjacent now with the new tunnel,” he said.“When that went in, the 45-minute commute to the city turned into 20 minutes.“It’s been great for me.”<<>>last_img read more

Siemens tech ordered for LNG-fueled power plant in Pakistan

first_imgSiemens received an order from Pakistan for a complete power island for the new combined cycle Punjab Power Plant Jhang, under a €200 million order. The order was placed by the China Machinery Engineering Corporation, the EPC contractor building the project for the independent energy provider Punjab Thermal Power.The liquefied natural gas (LNG)-operated plant is being built 250 kilometers southwest of Lahore and will provide a power generating capacity of 1.3 gigawatts, Siemens said.The power island from Siemens includes two SGT5-8000H gas turbines, one SST-5000 steam turbine, two heat recovery steam generators as well as control and auxiliary systems. Siemens will also be responsible for engineering and project management as well as for the associated on-site services.The power plant will initially feed electricity in simple-cycle operation in December 2018. It will then take up combined cycle operation in November 2019.last_img read more

Mendy on way to Sunderland

first_img That would represent a major boost for manager Paolo Di Canio and his recruitment team, headed by new director of football Roberto De Fanti. The Black Cats confirmed three new signings on Monday as defenders Valentin Roberge and Modibo Diakite and midfielder Cabral officially became Sunderland players after running down their contracts at Maritimo, Lazio and Basle respectively. But work is continuing apace to further re-shape not only the first team, but the development squad too. Di Canio is hot on the trail of Velez Sarsfield’s 21-year-old right-back Gino Peruzzi, while Le Havre midfielder El-Hadji Ba, 20, is expected to complete a Bosman free transfer sooner rather than later. The Black Cats are also close to adding Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Manonne to the ranks after agreeing a fee with the Gunners over the weekend. Italian Mannone, 25, made 13 appearances for Arsene Wenger’s men last season, although his last game came in November after number one Wojciech Szczesny had returned from an ankle injury. He spent the remainder of the season on the bench with Lukasz Fabianski getting the nod when Szczesny succumbed to injury once again in March. A move to Sunderland may give him a better chance of competing for a first-team place, although he would arrive with Keiren Westwood seemingly the man in possession following Simon Mignolet’s departure. Liverpool paid an initial £9million for the Belgian, representing a significant profit on the £2mil the Black Cats had handed over three years earlier. Di Canio is desperate to recruit at least one striker, and AZ Alkmaar’s United States international Jozy Altidore has been heavily linked with the club. But there could be further departures too amid speculation that full-back Phil Bardsley, skipper Lee Cattermole and playmaker Stephane Sessegnon may leave. The 18-year-old Le Havre defender is expected to head for England to complete his switch with the two clubs having agreed a deal some time ago. Left-back Mendy has also been linked with Arsenal, Lyon and Marseille this summer, but the player has indicated that the Stadium of Light will be his destination and Press Association Sport understands the transfer could be completed within days. Promising full-back Benjamin Mendy is due on Wearside later this week to tie up a move to Sunderland.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Chelsea defender Papy Djilobodji joins Werder Bremen on loan

first_img Former Blues boss Jose Mourinho admitted the Senegal defender was signed on a recommendation. But despite Chelsea’s defensive lapses this season, neither Mourinho nor his successor Guus Hiddink, the caretaker boss, opted to field Djilobodji in a Premier League game. He becomes the 32nd Chelsea player to have been on loan at some stage this season. Werder Bremen have signed Papy Djilobodji on loan from Chelsea until the end of the season. The 27-year-old joined the Blues from French club Nantes in the summer but managed only one minute of action for the Premier League champions. Djilobodji’s signing was confirmed by Bremen – who finished the first half of the Bundesliga campaign in 16th position out of 18 – on Thursday afternoon. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Seniors key to 2012-13 success

first_imgAfter a quick one-game road trip at Northwestern, the Wisconsin men’s basketball team (19-8, 10-4 Big Ten) returns to the Kohl Center for its final two home games of the season with a new No. 17 ranking to boot in the most recent Associated Press poll. After a rough start to the season saw the Badgers open up the conference schedule 9-4, head coach Bo Ryan spoke highly of this year’s senior leadership during his weekly press conference Monday.“They’ve answered the challenge that the other seniors have over the years as far as setting a good example, working hard, persevering. I mean, who’s persevered more than this group”? Ryan said of the five seniors on the team. “Jared [Berggren] with the troubles with his shoulder, finally had it taken care of, definitely helped him. Mike [Bruesewitz], what he’s been through. Ryan [Evans] with some struggles that he’s still working on, they’re all working on things.”Evans’ struggles this season, particularly at the free throw line, have been disappointing for the fifth-year senior. The Arizona native has shot 40 more free throws than anyone else on the team with 126 attempts and has made only 51 (41 percent) of them. A new free throw shooting technique may emerge from Evans Tuesday against Nebraska in order to increase that percentage.“He shot it pretty well that way,” Ryan said about Evans shooting jump shots for his free throws. “Ryan tried that method and feels that right now that’s the best way to make the free throw, and it’s not that unusual to have a different style. A lot of guys have different styles. So whatever works, as long as he believes it.”Although most of the attention has been paid to seniors such as Evans, Bruesewitz or Berggren, scout team seniors, J.D. Wise and Dan Fahey will also be playing in their last two home games of their college careers this week. The two players have only combined to play 36 minutes the entire season, but that hasn’t changed their attitude during their final season.“There’s never a whine, never a complaint, never anything other than to the assistant coaches that have the particular scout on that team, it’s like, ‘okay, what would you like us to do today?’” Ryan said. “Hopefully, they’re getting as much out of the experience as we are, as we’re receiving from their efforts that they’re putting in. But those two young men have been doing it for a long time, and they’ve never changed.”The basketball careers may be ending for some of the seniors once the season is over, but Ryan said the things they learn while playing basketball at UW will be with them for the rest of their lives.“It’s a great part about college athletics, team sports like this, the things you learn, the things you go through knowing, as I always tell them, [in the] next 60, 70 years, you’re going to be going through some of the same things,” Ryan said. “Maybe not the exact issues, but there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. You keep working, keep doing the right things, good things will happen.”Whether it’s Wise, Fahey or the other three seniors, this UW team will need senior leadership as the postseason remains just a few weeks away. In what could be called a crazy college basketball season, no game is a sure win or loss for any team. Unlike this year’s college basketball season, especially the Big Ten, Ryan hasn’t been making anything too unpredictable for opposing teams or his players.“You know, if you really think back and sit down and look, I’m sure there’s been years like this,” Ryan said. “When you talk about predictability, as coaches, we’re always trying to do certain things. It’s not unpredictable what we’re trying to do, and players are trying to do certain things. So you can’t say they’re unpredictable.”After Nebraska and Purdue on Tuesday and Sunday, respectively, Wisconsin has just two games left against Michigan State and Penn State, so Ryan will need not just his seniors, but all players to step up with a Big Ten title still within reach.last_img read more