A hopeful vision of service in the US during the pandemic
I’ve been deeply distressed by the growing political backlash to the restrictions that many states and local governments have put in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Most troubling is the extent to which the pandemic has become a partisan football, with polls showing Democrats and Republicans as divided on this issue as they are on other hot button political matters.Reports of armed demonstrators demanding that governors open up their states, conservative church leaders insisting that they be able to reopen their houses of worship, and rank and file Republicans refusing to wear mas...
There’s a price to pay for being afraid of women’s leadership, especially in a pandemic
By Rebecca MarkEssential worker status, school closures, unemployment, and quarantining within the home, put an enormous burden on everyone. But for women already in precarious economic and social positions, this COVID-19 crisis has meant increasing the demand for their paid and unpaid care work. They are making impossible choices. Many women of color, particularly Black women, are on the front lines in low-wage occupations, experiencing a lack of access to quality health care, high unemployment, morbidity, and mortality.In the United States, approximately 80% of domestic workers are immigrant...
Pope calls for end to 'pandemic of poverty' after virus
Vatican City (AFP) - "Everything will be different" after the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis said Saturday, calling for a fairer society and action to "end the pandemic of poverty in the world".Speaking in Spanish in a video message to mark the feast of Pentecost, the pontiff said there was a duty to build a new reality, particularly for the poorest."Once we emerge from this pandemic, we will not be able to keep doing what we were doing, and as we were doing it. No, everything will be different," he said."From the great trials of humanity -- among them this pandemic -- one emerges better o...
Can a pandemic dislodge us from privatized parenting?
In his memoir“In the Shadow of a Saint,” Ken Wiwa, the son of executed Ogoni activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, observed that “All of us have a choice in the world, to make our children safe in the world or to make the world safe for our children.”In our experience as parents socialized in dominant white middle class communities who are now raising four young daughters, the social pressures to choose the former are weighty, insidious, and unrelenting. With the arrival of children, school options dominate decisions about where to live. Having a frenetic schedule packed with music lessons and sports, playd...
Arab artists use art to capture a world paused by coronavirus
Amid the global pandemic that has forced the world into a lockdown, Arab photographers and artists from across the Middle East are using creativity as a relief tool to tell the coronavirus story from their own perspectives.Sayidaty.net has launched a digital archive of images relating to life in the times of COVID-19, shedding light on how artists are documenting one of the most significant shared human experiences in our recent history. The archive comprises visuals the artists are using to reflect thoughts and human connections in the age of social distancing. It is an ongoing project, featu...
Philippine reforms push for corporate tax cut but incentive changes spook foreigners
By Darlene BasinganMANILA, NNA – To help companies recover and attract foreign investors aiming to diversify their supply chains after being ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic, the economic team of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has revised the second tax reform bill as it comes close to being passed.While businesses welcome a generous reduction in corporate tax, foreign business groups and analysts are worried that changes in the fiscal incentive system might drive investors away and cause the loss of more jobs.The Duterte administration has long been pushing for the passage of the second...
NNA Business News
Chile, Peru secure credit lines from IMF amid pandemic
Washington (AFP) - The IMF approved a two-year $24 billion credit line for Chile on Friday as the South American nation battles the growing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.The announcement came a day after Peru secured a two-year, $11 billion credit line, and as Latin America becomes a growing hotspot for COVID-19.The Flexible Credit Line is a renewable funding mechanism granted to countries with strong economic policy track records, and Chile is only the fifth country to receive one. Along with Peru, Mexico and Colombia currently have FCLs in place.IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgiev...
SCALING UP AFRICAN PHARMACEUTICAL MANUFACTURING IN A TIME OF COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive disruptions to global supply chains. Africa is particularly vulnerable with respect to pharmaceuticals, both because between 70 and 90 percent are imported and because the continent generally lacks the political sway and bargaining power of other regions. In the short-term, the most acute issue is the need for huge quantities of quality-assured protective equipment, tests and medicines to treat the symptoms of COVID-19. Significant shortages of other essential medicines could materialize. With access to such essential medical products across the contine...
SMC operations suffer due to pandemic
Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) saw a 91-percent year-on-year drop in first-quarter net profit to P1.09 billion as the lockdown measures required to address the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic gnawed on its beer, oil, infrastructure and energy businesses.The P1.09-billion net profit level included earnings attributable to minority interest.SMC’s consolidated first-quarter revenues declined by 15 percent to P214 billion while cash flow as measured by earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) slipped by 34 percent to P27 billion.Consolidated net sales fell b...
Philippines Daily Inquirer
Indonesia eager to ease restrictions despite ongoing pandemic
JAKARTA: The Indonesian government is in the process of easing the restrictive measures implemented to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), spending most of last week in preparations to reopen the economy. This comes despite an uptick in new infections that has brought the total number of cases to more than 25,000 across the archipelago on Saturday.“We still have important, strategic agendas that remain a priority for our national interests and that should not be halted,” President Joko Widodo said during a Cabinet meeting on Friday.To ensure citizens abide by guidelines — su...