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Wall Street opens on a down note

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champRising inflation is also a problem for consumers, whom retailers rely on during the holidays to fuel their profits. With only a week left until Christmas, sales data has suggested tepid spending by Americans, who are struggling with higher food and energy costs and tumbling home values. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 72.02, or 0.54 percent, to 13,267.83. Broader stock indicators also declined. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dropped 9.19, or 0.63 percent, to 1,458.76, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 16.40, or 0.62 percent, to 2,619.34. Last week, the Dow dropped 2.10 percent, the S&P 500 index fell 2.44 percent and the Nasdaq lost 2.60 percent. Government bond prices rose as stocks fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, slipped to 4.19 percent from 4.24 percent late Friday. The dollar rose against most other major currencies Monday, while gold prices fell. Light, sweet crude futures fell $1.07 to $90.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In economic data, the U.S. government said the current account deficit, the broadest measure of international trade, narrowed in the third quarter compared to the second quarter, as expected, to the lowest level in two years. Meanwhile, the New York Fed’s Empire State Manufacturing Index fell much more sharply in December than economists anticipated. Later on Monday the National Association of Home Builders is scheduled to release its housing market index, which is expected to hold steady. Wall Street, which started 2007 soaring due to strong merger-and-acquisition activity, found little consolation in deal-making Monday. Ingersoll-Rand Co. – the manufacturer that makes, among many things, Thermo King refrigerated trucks – said it will buy Trane Inc. for $10.1 billion to access its building and transportation cooling systems. The deal will create one of the world’s largest makers of air conditioners. Ingersoll-Rand shares fell $3.36, or 6.8 percent, to $45.82, Trane surged $8.65, or 23 percent, to $45.85. Meanwhile, Aon Corp. announced it will sell two insurance units for $2.75 billion in separate cash deals, and the conglomerate Loews Corp. said Monday its board approved a spinoff of Lorillard Inc., one of the nation’s largest cigarette makers. Loews rose $1.77, or 3.8 percent, to $48.57. Aon rose 52 cents to $49.46. Overseas, Japan’s Nikkei stock average fell 1.71 percent, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 3.51 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 dropped 1.37 percent, Germany’s DAX index lost 1.30 percent and France’s CAC-40 declined 1.26 percent. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NEW YORK – Wall Street extended last week’s losses Monday as investors remained skeptical that the Federal Reserve’s first credit auction will be effective in loosening up a tight market. The Fed is offering $20 billion in 28-day credit through an auction Monday. The aim of the auction is to encourage commercial banks to borrow from the central bank, and in turn, boost banks’ lending to businesses and consumers. Last week, the Fed disappointed investors when it cut interest rates by only a quarter-point, which was less than some analysts expected. Wall Street is pleased that policy makers say they are continuing to try to lift market confidence, which has dwindled since home foreclosures started soaring, but the market is so far unconvinced that the auction will work. A speech Sunday night by former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan added to the market’s ill humor. Greenspan said “stagflation” – simultaneous inflation and economic slowdown – is a growing possibility, given last week’s data showing spiking consumer prices. With inflation on the rise, the Fed, which has reduced the target federal funds rate three times since the summer to calm the markets and stoke the economy, may feel less inclined to lower rates again. last_img read more


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Quantity Surveyor Dearbhla swapping hard hats for heels in Miss Universe Final

first_imgAn ambitious Donegal woman has set out to inspire women in construction as she competes in this year’s Miss Universe Ireland competition.Dearbhla Walsh from Kerrykeel is a Top 30 finalist in Miss Universe Ireland 2019. An experienced pageant titleholder, she will be hoping to do Donegal proud once more as she takes to the stage of The Round Room in Dublin’s Mansion House on Thursday night.All eyes will be on Facebook Live on August 1st to find out who will win reigning queen Grainne Gallanagh’s crown. The Buncrana woman placed in the Top 20 of the 2018 world final in Thailand last December. But there has to be a new queen, and Dearbhla is hoping to be that new role model.The 26-year-old has a strong message to share about her career. With a BSc Hons degree in Quantity Surveying, Dearbhla shows that you can be a ‘girly girl’ and succeed in the male-dominated construction industry.She has set out to encourage more women to enter the industry. “Many females are put off thinking it’s manual labour, but that’s not the case. I feel it’s time for a change,” Dearbhla told Donegal Woman. Dearbhla has been working in London for the past two years and is currently studying for her chartership. With blonde hair and blue eyes, she describes herself as ‘like legally blonde, but more like construction blonde!’She said: “For me, I am feminine and a girly girl. But there’s no heavy lifting or physical work. I’m a professional, I’m in my office, I’m dealing with all the costs and projects. Once a month I’m out assessing the site.“It’s an amazing job and no day is the same. You don’t know what type of building you’re going to get. I love the diversity, you learn so much every single day.”Dearbhla’s ultimate ambition is to be a TV Presenter for a construction related show like ‘Room to Improve’ or ‘Grand Designs’, offering expert advice on builds.Dearbhla WalshDearbhla previously held the title of Miss Earth Northern Ireland in 2015 and was crowned Miss Derry in 2014, as her mum Siobhán is from the county.This time, she is looking forward to wearing the Miss Donegal sash. “I’m so proud to be representing Donegal. It’s my home and I try to come back as much as I can because I am really close with my family,” she said.Applying for MUI, Dearbhla said, enables her to share her passion for being a female Quantity Surveyor. She is also promoting a unique initiative she is developing through work.“I am part of a team working on an initiative for supporting a tutoring programme to help underprivileged children improve their mathematical ability in the boroughs of London.“We hope to help children with mathematics and hopefully from a young age, we are opening up their eyes to that world,” she said. Dearbhla has also adopted a social cause as part of her campaign and plans to organise a charity run in aid of the ISPCC.Dearbhla has a strong passion for pageants and the platform they give to young women.It’s an all-round good experience, she says: “Pageants are an awful lot more than beauty. A lot of people look dimly upon it, especially males, who look at it in that light. Miss Universe Ireland is about empowering females. It’s about giving women a voice and letting them know they have a network of people around that will support them. It also builds your confidence.”The Miss Universe Ireland Final Show kicks off at 7.30pm this Thursday. The winner gains a once in a lifetime role as a goodwill Ambassador of Ireland at Miss Universe 2019, along with modelling opportunities and up to €70,000 in prizes.Quantity Surveyor Dearbhla swapping hard hats for heels in Miss Universe Final was last modified: July 26th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:constructionDearbhla Walshmiss universe irelandlast_img read more


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Global malaria deaths drop 60% over the last 15 years

first_img25 September 2015In 2000, the Millennium Development Goals pledged to halt and to begin to reverse the incidence of malaria by 2015. By September 2015, according to new research by the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the rate of new infections had declined by some 37% and deaths by 60%, saving 6.2 million lives in Asia and Africa. But there is still much work to be done before the disease is eradicated.This new report and its encouraging statistics hold particular resonance for South African health care, with health being one of the pillars of the National Development Plan Vision 2030.Malaria cases in South Africa, according to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in December 2014, have dropped from 11071 in 2010/11 to just 9245 in 2013/14.Africa, however, remains one of the most prevalent regions for malaria infection, yet much work is being done by not only the UN and the WHO, but also through solid investments by African governments and NGOs.And the good news is that all the hard work is paying off. Malaria deaths worldwide have fallen by 60% since 2000, the UN reported last week, with improved diagnostic tests and the massive distribution of mosquito nets aiding dramatic progress against the disease.Just 15 years ago, an estimated 262 million malaria infections killed nearly 840 000 people. Today, a significant dent has been made in that number.Beds nets have saved millions of children’s lives from malaria since 2000. #DefeatMalaria pic.twitter.com/jDEWcK3efz— UNICEF (@UNICEF) September 17, 2015Projections for 2015 indicate that some 214&nsp;million cases are likely to cause 438 000 deaths, according to the joint report from WHO and Unicef. “Global malaria control is one of the great public health success stories of this century,” said WHO director-general Margaret Chan in presenting the report at the UK’s Houses of Parliament in London on 17 September.Had malaria infection and death rates remained unchanged since 2000, another 6.2 million people would have died, according to the report.Chan raised hopes that the disease could one day be eradicated with more investment in vaccines and medicines, saying that “malaria has been tamed, but by no means defeated. You either surge ahead or you sink.” She noted that children under five still made up the overwhelming majority of malaria victims.#INFOGRAPHIC Malaria killed an estimated 584,000 people in 2013, and drug-resistance is growing pic.twitter.com/LfZMVdPHBE— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) February 20, 2015Most of the gains were recorded in Asia and South America; in Africa the picture was less encouraging. Sub-Saharan nations accounted for nearly 80% of global malaria deaths this year and efforts to curb infection rates in the region lagged substantially behind other parts of the world.Chan warned that because of uneven progress, more attention and resources had to be paid to the hardest-hit nations. “Eliminating malaria on a global scale is possible – but only if we overcome these barriers and accelerate progress,” a statement accompanying the report said.Highlighting the steps that helped to curb infection rates, the report said that about one billion insecticide-treated nets had been distributed in Africa since 2000. At the start of the millennium, less than 2% of children under five were sleeping under the specialised nets. That figure had risen to 68% over the last 15 years.With mosquitoes largely circulating at night, the report indicated that this mass distribution of nets in high malaria areas had helped significantly to bring down infections, especially among children.WATCH: how motorbike nurses help expectant mothers fight #malaria in #DRCongo http://t.co/QePNs25525 #DRC #DefeatMalaria— UNICEF (@UNICEF) April 24, 2015Nets had also got better, the report said, citing new technology developed since 2000 that eliminated the need for insecticide to be re-applied every few years.Great Britain has been a leading proponent of bed nets and Justine Greening, its minister for international development, promised that the country would continue to invest in programmes in Africa “to end malaria once and for all”.Greening also called on the governments of the countries worst affected by the disease to boost their own efforts. “We want to see countries stand on their own two feet.”One of the more prevalent hindrances to treating the disease in Africa had been a tendency among patients and medical workers to treat all fever-like symptoms as malaria, which had hurt the supply of treatment available to those who actually had the disease.But the introduction of new testing kits that gave fast and accurate results had helped medical workers in the developing world distinguish between malarial and non-malarial fevers more quickly, “enabling more timely and appropriate treatment”, the report said.Increased urbanisation worldwide had also helped as people living in cities were often closer to health services.Funding for malaria had increased 20-fold since 2000, said Unicef and WHO. It included a significant contribution from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which invested over $2-billion (R27.3-billion today) in prevention and research, plus another $2-billion in the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which provides about 50% of international funding for malaria control worldwide. But the report noted that more resources were needed to step up the fight against the disease and advocate for sustained and increased funding of malaria-related efforts by donor governments and endemic countries.Bill Gates hopes to solve some of the world’s biggest problems using a new kind of philanthropy. Watch the video: https://t.co/g0OJb7LrlK— Empoweractive (@Empoweractive) September 18, 2015The two UN agencies set a target to reduce infections by another 90% by 2030.“We know how to prevent and treat malaria,” Unicef executive director Tony Lake said at the London presentation. “Since we can do it, we must.”Also attending the presentation was former Namibian health minister and malaria campaigner Richard Kamwi, who warned that the “biggest mistake we can make is to pat ourselves on the back. We have not won the war.”Source: News24Wirelast_img read more


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SA small-scale farmers take on hunger

first_img25 October 2013 The government has set aside R2-billion to support the Fetsa Tlala (End Hunger), President Jacob Zuma said at the launch of the food production initiative in Batlharos outside Kuruman in the Northern Cape on Thursday. Fetsa Tlala seeks to promote self-sufficiency by helping communities to produce food – including maize, beans, wheat, sunflower, ground nuts and potatoes – on communal and under-used land. The initiative aims to help small-scale and smallholder farmers put one-million hectares of land which has been lying fallow under production over the next five years, as well as to help small businesses process the crops once they have been harvested. Zuma said that Fetsa Tlala also aimed to shift perceptions about the importance of agriculture and farming in general, noting that agriculture was one of six job drivers – along with mining, tourism, the green economy, manufacturing and infrastructure development – identified in the government’s New Growth Path. Encouraging people to go back to farming “We are encouraging people to go back to farming. We are encouraging every household to develop a food garden. We want to see women’s co-operatives and community groupings focusing on vegetable production, livestock or chickens to earn a living and fight hunger and poverty.” Zuma said that, while South Africa’s overall food insecurity figure was declining, there were still families that lived in poverty. At the same time, the country remained a net importer of food. The worst poverty is concentrated in South Africa’s former apartheid “homelands”, which account for 13 percent of the country’s land and were home to half of the black population before 1994. “These areas have remained extremely poor and underdeveloped, and are heavily dependent on remittances from workers in industrial South Africa,” Zuma said, adding that South African agriculture continued to be characterised by a racially skewed distribution of assets, support services, market penetration, infrastructure and income. “Some 36 000 large-scale farmers control over 86-million hectares of farmland, while 1.4-million black farmers have access to about 14-million hectares of farmland.”Support, markets for small-scale farmers Zuma said there was a significant amount of land that still lay fallow in South Africa’s rural areas, some of which had been freed up through land reform. Smallholder farmers, communities and households would be given assistance in developing this land through the provision of mechanisation support, distribution and technical services. Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson, addressing a business breakfast briefing in Johannesburg last month, said her department had already brought 200 000 hectares of land under producbtion on seven province – the goal being one-million hectares by 2019. “Once the food is produced and harvested through Fetsa Tlala, we will then ensure that there is sufficient support for SMMEs [small, medium and micro enterprises] in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries processing sectors to mill the meal or pack the vegetables.” Joemat-Pettersson said the department would also work with the Department of Trade and Industry to establish markets for small-scale farmers, fishers and foresters. “This is no dream; it is already happening on the ground, where thousands of hectares have been successfully placed under production – some for consumption, and some for sale, stimulating local economies. “Government runs hospitals … we have the South African National Defence Force, school feeding schemes, and prisons. Smallholder farmers and producers should have a market in these organisations,” she said. “Government should be buying food straight from our smallholders and creating viable markets for them. This is what Fetsa Tlala is about. It is about unlocking the economies of rural areas.” Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more


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Harika bags third spot as Sasi falters

first_imgDronavalli Harika added to India’s medal haul on Tuesday by clinching the bronze in the women’s individual chess event at the Asian Games in Guangzhou.The 19-year-old International Master from Andhra Pradesh finished third in the competition behind China’s Hou Yifan and Zhao Xue. Harika had five wins, three draws and one defeat to secure 6.5 points.Her victory over Iran’s Sukandar Irine Kharisma in the ninth and final round secured the medal. Top seed Hou remained undefeated throughout with eight wins and a draw to score 8.5 points. Zhao won seven matches, drew one and lost one to finish with 7.5 points. In the men’s section, Krishnan Sasikiran, who was in the running for a medal, lost his last two rounds to finish ninth with 5.5 points.Harika, who was fourth overnight, split points with compatriot Tania Sachdev and defeated Sukandar with black pieces in the final round to move into the medal bracket. Arjuna awardee Harika had drawn with Nguyen Pham Le Thao of Vietnam on Monday in the seventh round to take her score to five points. Harika had earlier held Hou in the sixth round, after beating Atousa Pourkashiyan of Iran in the fifth.Tania was also on five points on Monday after seven rounds, following victories over Altanulzi Enkhtuul and Batchimeg Tuvshintugs of Mongolia in the last two rounds. Both Indians had a shot at the medals as they were on 5.5 points going into the final encounter. But Tania lost to Hou in the last round on Tuesday to finish sixth.advertisementIn the men’s individual section, Surya Sekhar Ganguly finished fifth with six points, winning six matches and losing three while Sasikiran came ninth with four wins, three draws and two defeats. Uzbek Rustam Kasimdzhanov won gold while Vietnam’s Le Quang Liem finished with a silver medal, ahead of China’s Bu Xiangzhi.last_img read more