Taking inspiration from fiction to fight the pandemic
Dr Sweety Samal finds interesting parallels between the COVID-19 outbreak and popular American fantasy drama TV series, Game of Thrones, to drive home the importance of teamwork and preparation in tackling the current challenge.By Dr Sweety SamalWinter is coming! Diehard fans of Game of Thrones (GOT), the popular American fantasy drama television series, will be familiar with the phrase of the Northern House Stark – epitomising environmental changes, followed by the starkness of worst-case scenarios. It represents the arrival of White Walkers, the supernatural threat to humankind who dwell nor...
Asia virus latest: Singapore tightens curbs, oil extends gains
Singapore (AFP) - The latest developments in Asia related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:Singapore to close schools, workplacesSingapore will close schools and most workplaces while people are being told to stay home, as the city-state ramps up curbs to stem the spread of the virus.The country has generally been successful in keeping the outbreak in check, and had previously resisted imposing the kind of tough restrictions seen elsewhere.But Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said it was time to apply a "circuit breaker" following a sharp rise in locally transmitted cases.Oil extends gainsCrude...
Pandemic hits M&A activity in India, Asia Pacific
By Atul RanjanNEW DELHI, NNA - Corporate deal making in India is facing the brunt of the global Covid-19 pandemic as merger and acquisition (M&A) activity involving Indian companies fell 14 percent to $23.2 billion in the first quarter of 2020, according to financial market data and infrastructure global provider Refinitiv.Only 433 deals were sealed, a drop from 504 in the corresponding period last year to its worst performance since 2016.“Corporate deal making activity in India has been hampered as the coronavirus pandemic drew and redirected the attention of the global community and spurred ...
NNA Business News
After 39 years and more than 30,000 hours in the air, a pioneering female pilot retires
PHILADELPHIA — Capt. Pati Marsh pulled the American Airlines Airbus 330 into the gate at Philadelphia International Airport 10 minutes early, having just arrived from Madrid. On any other day, the smooth landing would not have been memorable to Marsh. But this one was very special.After 39 years of flights to 18 countries and 44 states, of furloughs and airline mergers, 30,000-plus hours in the air, one dramatic emergency landing, and a “really big” comfort pig as a passenger, Marsh was retiring.Not out of choice, but because she’s out of time. She has reached the FAA-mandated retirement age o...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
COVID sideswipes autos: 'We're going to ride this out,' says one car dealer after shutting off all sales
EL CAJON, Calif. — Normally, the showroom at El Cajon Ford is busy, with its staff selling about 40 cars and trucks a week. But these are not normal times. The dealership’s showroom has been empty for days and this week’s sales count came to zero.That’s because management decided to close down all sales on March 21 due to the stay-at-home orders put in place by Gov. Gavin Newsom aimed at trying to blunt the spread of the coronavirus.“Right now, we have no sales people anywhere in the store so they don’t have to worry about getting sick,” said Paul Dyke, El Cajon Ford’s general manager.While so...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Detained Chinese lawyer Wang Quanzhang must be granted freedom, not ‘non-release release’
If you care about human rights in China, April 5 – next Monday – should be circled on your calendar. On that day, human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang, my old friend and colleague, after an outrageous series of abuses by the Chinese state, is set to walk free.Wang, a defender of villagers’ rights and religious minorities, has been disappeared into Residential Surveillance at a Designated Location (RSDL), hidden under a false name in pre-trial detention for years, and subjected to a secret trialwhere he was refused legal representation.Since disappearing in August 2015, he has suffered almost eve...
Hong Kong Free Press
Toyota, BYD to launch electric vehicle R&D venture in May
TOKYO, NNA – Toyota Motor Corp. and Chinese electric vehicle and battery maker BYD Co. will launch research and development of EVs at a newly established joint venture as early as May.BYD Toyota EV Technology Co. has been set up, the pair said in a joint statement Thursday. Amid ongoing efforts to stem the coronavirus outbreak in China and globally, “We are keeping an eye on the situation and it will not affect the JV plan,” a Toyota spokesman in Tokyo told NNA.The JV in Shenzhen, where BYD is based, is an equally funded unit with registered capital of 345 million yuan ($48.7 million) to desig...
NNA Business News
Sony partners with Chinese online learning system to design platform for Japan
TOKYO, NNA -- Sony Global Education, Inc., a subsidiary of electronics giant Sony Corp., announced Thursday it would work with an influential Chinese provider of online learning systems to develop an interactive remote learning scheme for Japan.Tokyo-based Sony Global Education plans to release the software package at home as early as mid-2020. It’s working with Beijing-based Empower Education Online Ltd.Sony Global Education is responding as schools across Japan remain closed amid the global spread of the deadly respiratory disease Covid-19. The company figured schools in Japan would need rem...
NNA Business News
Malaysia's economy could shrink by 2% in 2020: central bank
Malaysia's economy could contract by as much as 2 percent this year, the central bank governor said Friday as the country grapples with the coronavirus outbreak that has taken a toll on global markets."We are mindful that the situation surrounding COVID-19 is highly fluid and constantly shifting. The GDP forecast of negative 2 percent to positive 0.5 percent is our best estimate based on what we know today," Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said in a livestreamed press conference.Malaysia, the Southeast Asian country with the most infection cases, is in a partial one-month...
New Zealanders use teddies to support others through virus lockdown
In an attempt to make a nationwide lockdown a little more bear-able, New Zealanders in their tens of thousands are putting teddy bears in their windows and going on a bear hunt.The movement, inspired by the 1989 children's picture book "We're Going on a Bear Hunt," is encouraging people to put a stuffed teddy or toy in a window visible from the street so adults and children who are cooped up inside during the coronavirus pandemic have something to look at while they get fresh air around their neighborhoods.Deb Hoffman, who started the "We're Not Scared -- NZ Bear Hunt" Facebook page and subseq...