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Thousands of S. Korea church members quarantined over virus

first_imgThousands of members of a Protestant church linked to a coronavirus cluster in Seoul have been asked to quarantine, South Korean authorities said Monday, as they accused the group’s firebrand conservative leader — who has reportedly tested positive — of obstruction.The country’s “trace, test and treat” approach has been held up as a global model in how to curb the virus, but it is now battling several clusters linked to religious groups.Over the weekend the capital and neighboring Gyeonggi province — between them home to nearly half the population — banned all religious gatherings and urged residents to avoid unnecessary travel after a burst of new cases sparked fears of a major second wave. South Korea reported 197 new infections on Monday, taking its total to 15,515, its fourth consecutive day of triple-digit increases after several weeks with numbers generally in the 30s and 40s.The largest current cluster is centered on the Sarang Jeil Church in Seoul, headed by Jun Kwang-hun, a controversial conservative pastor who is a leading figure in protests against President Moon Jae-in.A total of 315 cases linked to the church had been confirmed by the end of the weekend, officials said Monday, making it one of the biggest clusters so far, and around 3,400 members of the congregation had been asked to quarantine.Around one in six of the church members tested so far had been positive, “requiring rapid testing and isolation,” said vice health minister Kim Gang-lip. Turbulent priest Sarang Jeil’s leader Jun was among the speakers who addressed thousands of right-wing protestors who rallied against Moon’s centre-left government in the heart of Seoul at the weekend, despite the outbreak and calls to avoid large gatherings.Jun tested positive for the virus, Yonhap News Agency reported on Monday.The health and welfare ministry and the Seoul city authorities have filed two separate police complaints against Jun, accusing him of deliberately hindering efforts to contain the epidemic.He previously defied a Seoul rally ban to hold an anti-government protest in February, at a time the government was urging everyone to stay at home because of the virus, and was later detained on allegations of separately violating election laws.The initial coronavirus outbreak in the South was centered on the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, which is often condemned as a cult and was also accused of obstructing investigators.A lawyer for Sarang Jeil said the church had given authorities details of members going back 15 years, so many former congregants would have been included.”This nationwide fear is a gimmick to arrest Rev. Jun Kwang-hun,” Kang Yeon-jae told reporters at the church.The leader of Shincheonji — to which more than 5,000 cases were linked — Lee Man-hee was arrested earlier this month for allegedly giving inaccurate records of church gatherings and false lists of its members to health authorities. But a list of members provided by the church was “inaccurate”, he said, making the testing and isolation procedure “very difficult”.The situation amounted to an “early stage of a large-scale outbreak”, said Jung Eun-kyeong, director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”If the outbreak is not controlled right now, the number of confirmed cases will increase exponentially, leading to collapse of the medical system and enormous economic damage,” she said. Topics :last_img read more

Alecta hires Skandia’s Sterte for investment chief role

first_img“His long experience as a leader in various types of organisations and his deep knowledge of asset management will be very valuable for Alecta and for the execution of Alecta’s mission.”Frennberg left in the wake of a disagreement with the chief executive about the company’s business response to increasing digitalisation.He had worked at Alecta since 1995, rising to the position of CIO and a becoming a member of the leadership group in 2009. Before his job at Skandia, Sterte worked at LänsföRSäkringar, an insurance group, and before that he held roles at Sweden’s Finance Ministry and the central bank, Riksbanken.Sterte said: “Alecta’s asset management model, with successful active management and direct ownership in more than 100 companies, had created great values for corporate and private customers.”After Sterte’s arrival next year, Persson will go back to his job as head of the company’s interest and strategy group, Billing said. Sweden’s biggest pension fund Alecta has hired Hans Sterte as its new permanent CIO, filling the top management gap left after the swift departure of Per Frennberg in May.Sterte, who is coming to the SEK800bn (€83.5bn) pension provider from a corresponding role in Skandia, will start his new job in the first quarter of 2018.He will take over from Tony Persson, who has been acting as interim CIO since Frennberg’s departure.Magnus Billing, Alecta’s chief executive, said: “I am very pleased to welcome Hans as new manager of Alecta Asset Management.last_img read more

Fitch warns on liquidity risk in European high-yield bond funds

first_imgNeil Woodford, founder and portfolio manager, Woodford Investment ManagementFitch said the Woodford fund had “material” holdings of unlisted equities and that its gating “highlights the dangers of offering high liquidity while investing in less liquid securities, including forced asset sales, material net asset value reductions, gating and potential knock-on effects to the broader financial system”.The UK financial markets regulator has said it would take into account the experience of the Woodford fund when finalising new rules for open-ended funds investing in illiquid assets.On Monday Woodford Investment Management announced the equity income fund would be suspended for a further 28 days. It is working on selling assets and repositioning the fund towards a portfolio comprising larger, more liquid stocks, the majority of them for FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies. Bank of England governor Mark Carney gives evidence to the Treasury Select Committee on 26 June 2019Last week Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, said funds offering daily liquidity that invest in illiquid assets were “built on a lie”.  The central bank’s deputy governor for financial stability, Sir Jon Cunliffe, referred to the high-yield bond market in his comments about mismatches between redemption periods and the liquidity of underlying assets.Fitch said tighter regulation or severe market stress might be needed to change asset managers’ approach to fund liquidity.  They had opted “en masse” for daily liquidity, presumably on the basis of investor demand, despite this not being required under regulation. UCITS rules allow funds to offer various levels of liquidity, such as dealing as little as twice a month.Fitch on Woodford The European high-yield bond fund sector “appears to be operating with significant liquidity risk”, Fitch Ratings has warned.The five largest such UCITS funds in Europe, which had €43bn of assets under management between them at the end of March, had limited holdings of highly liquid securities despite offering daily dealing, it said.Although there was substantial variation across the funds, on average only 4% of their investments were in cash and 14% in instruments rated single-A or higher; the allocation to triple-A financial instruments was the lowest.Fitch also noted the funds had an average duration of three to four years, depending on the extent to which they included floating-rate securities in their portfolios.center_img The warning follows a number of high-profile liquidity issues in regulated funds. H2O Asset Management – a subsidiary of Natixis – experienced a high level of redemptions after it emerged that some of its bond funds were invested in illiquid holdings.Swiss asset manager GAM is still in the process of liquidating its absolute return bond portfolios after a fund manager’s suspension led to major withdrawals from the funds.Trading in shares of the LF Woodford Equity Income fund was suspended on 3 June after a surge in redemption requests from investors, including Kent County Council’s £6.4bn (€7bn) pension fund. While not a bond fund, the Woodford fund’s portfolio had a significant allocation to small cap, unlisted or illiquid companies.last_img read more

Luxury Gold Coast estate’s multimillion-dollar sale price just short of suburb record

first_imgThere is plenty of space to entertain.It was also $1.8 million more than the $2.45 million the vendors paid for the property in November 2016.Property records show they made no major upgrades to the house in the almost three years they owned it.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa10 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day agoIt sold for $3.6 million earlier this month, meaning the vendors pocked $1.15 million. Harcourts Coastal agent Katrina Walsh, who handled the sale, declined to comment on the deal until it settled on August 7. The property, which was designed by Adam Beck and built by Roth Developments, is on a 7402sq m lakefront block. An eight-seat cinema, mosaic-tiled heated pool, a gym, sauna, and grand covered outdoor entertainment area are among the house’s highlights.Inside offers raw stone features, timber accents, natural hues and soaring ceilings while expanses of glass capture the tranquil bush landscape that surrounds the home. MORE NEWS: Palatial home fit for royalty – literally What a view!Vendor Deanne Said, who lived at the five-bedroom, six-bathroom house with her husband and three children, said it offered tranquillity and convenience.“There are so many things I love about the home,” she told the Bulletin when the property hit the market.“One would be the floorplan, it’s very good for entertaining and large families.“Plus the location — it’s so convenient with some of the best schools next door, across the road from a great shopping centre and close to the M1. And there’s tranquillity that comes along with those great benefits.”Its position in Jabiru Estate was another highlight, according to Ms Said.“The security is the next great thing here, it’s very secure in the gated community and surrounded by multimillion-dollar mansions,” she said. “It’s in great company.” MORE NEWS: OTT mansion sells before auction Wide windows capture the picturesque bushland surrounding the home. The perfect spot to relax by the pool. It hit the market in March with a price tag that was tipped to set a record. The Mudgeeraba residence at 19 Boolama Place sold for $3.6 million.A LUXURIOUS Mudgeeraba estate that was poised to break a suburb record has changed hands in a multimillion-dollar deal without setting a new benchmark. The opulent acreage home in Jabiru Estate hit the market in March with a whopping $4.25 million price guide before moving to an auction campaign, CoreLogic records show.A price tag of $3.79 million was later attached to the property in April.The initial price hopes would have knocked Mudgeeraba’s $4.19 million residential record from top spot. A home cinema is among the home’s highlights. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:50Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:50 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenTop tips for sellers in Spring00:50last_img read more

Taiwan Mulls Making Local Vessels Mandatory for Some Offshore Wind Activities

first_imgTwo Taiwan government agencies are considering making the use of Republic of China (ROC) flag vessels mandatory for certain offshore wind farm construction activities, according to Asia Wind Energy Association (AWEA).The Bureau of Energy (BOE) in Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs is expected to convene a meeting of developers, contractors and vessel operators later this month to solicit information on the vessel specifications required for offshore wind construction and the availability of qualified ROC flag vessels.The BOE anticipates that a “maritime construction consulting platform” will develop out of this meeting. The contours of this platform do not appear to have been finalized yet, but the BOE apparently is considering appointing certain industry experts who would issue opinions whether ROC flag vessels meeting OWF construction specifications are available in the market. Developers and contractors presumably would be expected to follow the experts’ opinions.At the same time, the Maritime Port Bureau (MPB) in the Ministry of Transportation and Communications is also considering restrictions on the use of non-ROC flag vessels for offshore wind construction, as well as a possible liberalization of the requirements for a vessel to fly the ROC flag.The Regulations on Entry Applications for Non-ROC Flagged Construction Vessels (EH F-14P4K ifi.l.fM*Af’MR-S) may be amended to require any foreign flag vessel coming to Taiwan for offshore wind construction activities to first apply for a classification survey from Taiwan’s CR Classification Society. The MPB may also require that developers and contractors use ROC flag construction vessels unless no qualified ROC flag vessels are available. Finally, the MPB may require that certain offshore support vessels, survey vessels and cable laying vessels be ROC flag vessels, as the MPB believes that a sufficient number of these types of vessel are available in Taiwan.Taiwan law currently does not require that any offshore construction activities be conducted only by ROC flag vessels. Restrictions exist on the use of Peoples Republic of China (PRC)-built and PRC flag vessels, but not on other foreign vessels.Some owners and operators of ROC flag vessels have complained that foreign developers and contractors have contracted for foreign flag vessels for offshore wind construction when qualified ROC flag vessels are available, AWEA said.Foreign developers and contractors have responded that ROC flag vessels do not meet necessary specifications, are not available, or are priced higher than foreign flag vessels.last_img read more

Burundi accepts AU military observers “in principle”

first_imgBurundi president Pierre NkurunzizaBurundi  has flatly rejected AU calls for further delays to the polls, with parliamentary elections planned for June 29, ahead of the presidential vote on July 15.However, it has  agreed “in principle” to the deployment of African Union military observers and human rights experts to monitor key elections following weeks of political unrest.“Military experts, human rights monitors, observers – we say that in principle there is no problem, there is no objection,” Foreign Minister Aime-Alain Nyamitwe told AFP.But Nyamitwe said they would be allowed in only after setting out conditions following “consultations” with the AU.You do not send military experts to a country without having held consultations,” Nyamitwe added, calling on the AU to clarify details about the observers, including their mandate, their number, and which countries they will come from.Polls were postponed following weeks of demonstrations that were brutally suppressed by security forces, and after a failed coup attempt last month by a section of the army.The decision to send at least 50 observers was taken by the continent’s leaders at an AU summit last weekend in South Africa “to verify the process of disarming the militia and other armed groups”, the 54-member bloc’s peace and security commissioner Smail Chergui said.Meanwhile human rights reports say at least 70 people have been killed, 500 wounded and over 1,000 jailed in weeks of political violence in Burundi.Burundi has been in a political quagmire  since April over President Pierre Nkurunziza’s controversial bid to stand for a third consecutive five-year term.Opposition groups have termed the move as unconstitutional and a violation of a 2006 peace deal that ended 13 years of civil war.More than 100,000 people have fled the violence to neighboring countries.last_img read more

Lukaku wants Old Trafford start

first_imgRomelu Lukaku hopes to start up front for Chelsea at Manchester United on Monday to show Jose Mourinho that he can be the focal point of the Blues’ attack. United striker Wayne Rooney will be the subject of a third bid from Chelsea after the bank holiday encounter at Old Trafford, when Belgium forward Lukaku aims to build on his 17 goals on loan for West Brom last term. Lukaku began the season as a substitute, replacing Fernando Torres against Hull and Demba Ba against Aston Villa, and plans to take his opportunity when it is given. Press Association Chelsea play United, Everton, Fulham and Tottenham in their next four Premier League matches and Bayern Munich in the UEFA Super Cup in Prague next Friday, the match which resulted in the Villa match being brought forward. A second successive victory gave the Blues a head start in the title race, but Lukaku played down the significance of the embryonic table. “We have six (points) out of six and we want to stay at the top of as long as possible, but we have to keep working hard,” he said. “We have a few difficult games coming up but we are ready and if we prepare well, hopefully we can do the job. “The year Manchester City won the title two years ago, Manchester United were many points ahead and City came back. Anything can happen in the Premier League and it is still early at the start of the season.” “I’m getting closer to where I need to be and hopefully also closer to the starting line-up, my main ambition,” the 20-year-old former Anderlecht striker told Chelsea TV. “If I keep working hard, like I’m doing now, showing the talent that I have hopefully I get to start in the next game. Compared to the first year, when I arrived here it was all about learning and taking a bit off all the players, now it’s about starting games.” The physically imposing Lukaku offers a different attacking threat for Chelsea than the playmaking trio deployed directly behind the lone striker – any three from Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Oscar, Victor Moses, Kevin de Bruyne and Andre Schurrle. Lukaku can hold the ball up, link the play, and occupy the attentions of a number of defenders, rather than drop deep to add to the playmaking congestion. “When you have three players like that behind you, if you come towards the ball it makes one player too much,” Lukaku said. “You need that one guy to go in there, that’s a good thing, that’s what I like. When they go to the ball I’m around to block a defender, flick the balls on or run on at the back of defence.” Lukaku is often likened to former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, who he used to sit next to in the dressing room on his arrival from Belgium. Mourinho has been wary of the Drogba comparison and Lukaku is too. “There will always be comparisons but I have my own name,” Lukaku said. “I am still young and I can still make my own way.” last_img read more

Tony Pulis wants countries’ FAs to pay players during international friendlies

first_img Pulis has been a long-standing critic of international breaks and labelled friendlies as a ‘waste of space’ this month. And, ahead of Saturday’s visit of Arsenal, the Baggies chief has questioned whether the respective FAs should pay for taking players. He said: “If you went to all the FAs and said that for friendly matches, you’re going to pay the wages for two weeks, and if they get injured you’re going to cover those injuries, and if they never play again you cover the insurance, let’s see how many friendly games are played then. “My argument is that at this time of the year there are lots of games. They have played lots of games. For Gareth McAuley to go away and play for Northern Ireland when he is 35 years of age and plays every game for us, then plays another 90 minutes for his country – I am not so sure as a manager I would do that. “I’m not criticising the manager of Northern Ireland (Michael O’Neill), that’s his responsibility to do what he wants.” McAuley is banned for the Gunners’ visit while Ben Foster remains out with a long-term knee injury having been sidelined since March but Chris Brunt should be available despite pulling out of Northern Ireland’s squad with a groin problem. The Baggies have won just once at home in the Barclays Premier League this season and Pulis expects Arsenal to finally sustain a title challenge. He added: “Arsenal are an absolutely wonderful football club, it’s always been a very special club for me, as a lad who was born in the 1950s, They have a great opportunity this year of winning the title, they have a genuine chance.” Press Association Tony Pulis has aimed friendly fire at Football Associations and insisted they should cover the costs for his international stars.center_img The West Brom boss believes the governing bodies should pay the players’ wages while they are with their countries for friendly games. James Chester played 90 minutes in Wales’ 3-2 defeat to Holland while Jonny Evans and Gareth McAuley also played the full game as Northern Ireland beat Latvia 1-0 last week. last_img read more

Real beat Espanyol to equal league record for successive wins

first_imgBy Richard Martin(REUTERS)-Real Madrid brushed off the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale to beat Espanyol 2-0 away and maintain their 100 percent start to the league season while matching the La Liga record of 16 consecutive victories.James Rodriguez scored his first Real goal in five months to give the visitors the lead in stoppage time before the break and Karim Benzema sealed the points in the 70th minute with a close-range finish past former Madrid goalkeeper Diego Lopez.Real stay top of La Liga on 12 points, three above Barcelona and Las Palmas, having equalled Barca’s record of 16 straight league wins achieved under Pep Guardiola in the 2010/11 season.Zinedine Zidane’s Real side also broke the Madrid club’s record for consecutive league wins, overtaking the 15-game winning streak under Miguel Munoz in the 1960/61 season.Ronaldo missed the trip to Espanyol with a sore throat, having scored five goals in a 6-0 thrashing last season, while Bale is recovering from a hip injury sustained in Wednesday’s last-gasp 2-1 Champions League win over Sporting Lisbon.The absence of the pair allowed Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio to face their former club, while Rodriguez came in for Germany international Toni Kroos in midfield.Colombia’s 2014 World Cup Golden Boot winner has not enjoyed a consistent run in the side since Zidane took charge but seized the opportunity, nutmegging an Espanyol defender outside the area and stroking the ball into the bottom corner of the net.Benzema had looked far from match fit against Sporting but was given another chance by Zidane and, after having an effort ruled out for offside in the first half, the Frenchman tapped in Asensio’s low cross to finish off a classy team move.last_img read more

Hope outscores English batsmen, tops Test series averages

first_imgWEST Indies No. 4 batsman Shai Hope topped the batting aggregates and averages of all batsmen of the recently concluded Test series against England.The 23-year-old Barbadian scored 375 runs in six innings for an impressive series-leading average of 75.Hope scored two centuries – 147 and 118* – during the second Test at Headingley that the Caribbean side won by five wickets to level the series at 1-1.He also scored 62 in the final Test at Lord’s that the West Indies lost by nine wickets, giving England a 2-1 series win.Hope, who hit 56 fours during the three-Test series, scored at a rate of 51.51. For his efforts, he climbed up to 30th in the ICC batting rankings.Hope’s compatriot Kraigg Brathwaite also enjoyed a successful series. His 283 runs meant he had the third highest aggregate of series, only 21 runs behind England’s Alastair Cook, who scored 304 runs that included 243 in the first Test at Edgbaston.Brathwaite scored 134 and 95 during the second Test and averaged 47.16 for the series. His performance saw him climb eight places to 17th in the world on the ICC batting rankings.England captain Joe Root had the fourth highest aggregate of the series with 268 runs, albeit from four innings during which he scored a century (136) and two fifties against the visitors.Middle-order batsman Jermaine Blackwood also enjoyed a measure of success during the series during which he accumulated 187 runs at an average of 37.40.Kieron Powell scored 142 runs at an average of 23.66, while captain Jason Holder averaged 17.20, having scored just 86 runs for the series.Roston Chase, who scored over 500 runs against India earlier this year at an average of more than 100, had a poor series as he scored only 80 runs at an average of 13.33.last_img read more