Halloween revelry in Japan to take new forms during pandemic
Halloween in Japan is expected to be celebrated in new ways this year, at socially distanced events or online with revelers upping their facial decorations, as attempts are being made to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.Concern that the famed Shibuya scramble crossing may become a virus hotspot should tens of thousands of revelers congregate there on Oct. 31 as in the past, has forced the ward's Mayor Ken Hasebe to call on people to celebrate virtually.People are instead encouraged to enjoy a virtually created Shibuya, approved by the ward, where people can walk around as avatars an...
During the pandemic, El Salvador hopes to revive tourism with a folkloric art rebrand
Photo of El Salvador's Ministry of Tourism, under public domain.On October 7, Salvadoran Tourism Minister Morena Valdez launched the new tourism logo “El Salvador” inspired by the work and art of Fernando Llort. The newly designed rebrand is intended to promote tourist destinations alongside the Surf City branding concept.The new brand “El Salvador” is an effort by the Bukele administration to boost tourism and intends to showcase everything the country has to offer, such as colorful towns, beaches, archaeological sites, and handicrafts.It was created through an agreement between the Llort Fou...
Car or bus? How the pandemic is changing our mobility preferences
Even well after the pandemic subsides, people are still likely to go by car rather than bus, train or sharing services, according to an international survey that shows cars regaining their status as the preferred mode of transport.Participants in the survey said their own car is likely to remain the preferred means of transport for them even after the pandemic, while public transport and ride-sharing services being less accepted.Some 2,600 consumers in the US, China and Germany told pollsters from the consultancy PwC Strategy that when it comes to the daily commute, individual mobility would s...
How Access Bank is transforming financial services landscape with digital banking
Access Bank Plc, Nigeria’s leading Tier-1 financial services institution, has demonstrated capacity for innovation in the manner it handled the fallouts of the Coronavirus pandemic, which literally crippled businesses and crashed economies around the world from the beginning of the year. Whilst the pandemic threw up challenges that caught many organizations napping, caused disruptions that affected operations, it provided Access Bank an opportunity to test the resilience and workability of its investments made over the last two years.Prior to its merger with Diamond Bank, Access Bank invested ...
In the pandemic, Halloween is the latest culture war
PHILADELPHIA — In September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published guidance for Halloween celebrations: Traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating — or even an outdoor “trunk-or-treat” event — is a high-risk activity, the CDC said.For Ellery Mims, whose Cheltenham Village neighborhood is usually awash with hundreds of costumed candy-seekers on Oct. 31, that guidance was decisive.“Please listen to the CDC!” said Mims, 37. “They’re doctors.”But on neighborhood Facebook groups and the social app Nextdoor, “It’s contentious,” she said. “A lot of people are saying, ‘I’m not doing...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Trump says in Pa. rally that US is 'rounding the turn' on pandemic as coronavirus cases spike
President Donald Trump on Tuesday night once again said the coronavirus pandemic is nearing its end, an assertion he has made for months that is flatly contradicted by rising case counts.We’re “rounding the turn on the pandemic,” Trump said as he rallied before cheering supporters in Erie, one of the most hotly contested and symbolically weighted parts of Pennsylvania.Pennsylvania has averaged 1,460 new cases a day over the past seven days, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer analysis, the highest since mid-April.“If we win Pennsylvania, we win the whole thing,” Trump said, pointing to the st...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Retailers adjust as pandemic brings tricks and treats of Halloween demand
Tom Fallenstein is on a mission to “help save Halloween.”But the chief executive of Fun.com — owner of HalloweenCostumes.com — is in need of workers to help his family-run North Mankato, Minn., operation fulfill more than 1 million online costume orders from around the world.At Twin Cities Magic & Costume in West St. Paul, Minn., owner Jim Berg has rearranged his store to help cut back on crowds so people can shop for decorations, costumes and makeup safely.Twin Cities’ Halloween retailers are less than two weeks away from Halloween, a holiday usually dominated with costume-clad trick-or-treat...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
PSALM debt shrinks despite pandemic
The Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) has trimmed its financial obligations to P393.3 billion in the January-to-June period from P422 billion at end-2019.PSALM President and Chief Executive Officer Irene Joy Besido-Garcia said during the Senate budget hearing the other day that the state firm was able to reduce its debt by 68.3 percent amounting to P847.3 billion from the peak of P1.24 trillion in 2003.“As of June 2020, it is now down to P393.3 billion. This consists of debts amounting to P261.2 billion and IPP [Independent Power Producer] lease obligations of P132.1...
Visitors to HK plunge 99.7% in September, slammed by pandemic
Photo taken on Oct. 3, 2020 shows the night view of Victoria Harbour in south China's Hong Kong, Oct. 3, 2020.(Photo: Xinhua)The woes of Hong Kong's tourism industry continued in September with a mere 9,132 visitor arrivals, a plunge of 99.7 percent year-on-year, data from the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) showed on Monday.The number was higher than in August, when fewer than 4,500 people visited Hong Kong, while down from 20,600 in July, the tourism body said, but it still cast a shadow on the city's tourism sector, a pillar of its economy.For the first eight months of 2020, retail sales in ...
These are the top 10 worst short calls of the last five years
The last five years have been difficult ones for short sellers, so let’s take a look at the top 10 worst short calls. Despite the March selloff and the weakness in September, 2020 has been especially hard for short sellers. They’ve lost billions of dollars on their short bets over the last five years. Here are the top 10 worst short calls of the last five years based on data from Ihor Dusaniwsky of S3 Partners.Q3 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and moreTop 10 worst short callsDespite the pandemic that's been going on this year, the lion's share of these top 10 worst short calls of the las...