Travel News

A world tour of a record year

2020 was effectively tied with 2016 for the warmest year on record, with global warming linked to greenhouse gas emissions showing no signs of slowing down.

Siberia and the Arctic were among the warmest regions. The heat fueled forest fires that pumped more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Temperatures in the Siberian city of Verkhoyansk reached a record high of 100 degrees Fahrenheit in June, more than 30 degrees above average.

The heat was also felt in Europe, which experienced the hottest year in its history and experienced searing heatwaves until September.

The surface cooling of the tropical Pacific Ocean, which began in the second half of the year, has hardly offset the heat elsewhere.

In central South America, warming and drought triggered forest fires that burned a quarter of the vast Pantanal wetland.

In the United States, the warming has been greatest in the northeast and southwest. The drought has spread to half of the country.

This analysis of global temperatures, carried out by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA and released on Thursday, found that 2020 was slightly warmer than 2016. But the difference was insignificant, said institute director Gavin Schmidt, in an interview.

“In fact, it’s a statistical equality,” he says.

Other analyzes released Thursday, one by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and another by Berkeley Earth, an independent research group in California, found that 2020 was slightly colder than 2016, just like the one released last week by the Copernicus Climate Change Service in Europe. But the difference was small enough that it was not statistically significant.

With the 2020 results, the past seven years have been the warmest since modern archiving began almost a century and a half ago, Dr Schmidt said.

“We’re now very, very clear on the underlying long-term trends,” he said. “We understand where they come from. This is because of the greenhouse gases pumped into the atmosphere.

The planet has warmed by more than 1 degree Celsius (about 2 degrees Fahrenheit) since the late 1800s, when the spread of industrialization resulted in increased emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. greenhouse, and the pace has accelerated in recent decades. Since 1980, warming has averaged about 0.18 degrees Celsius (about 0.32 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade.

But the numbers are only a small part of the story. As climatologists predicted, the world is seeing an increase in heat waves, storms and other extreme weather conditions as the planet warms, and disasters such as droughts, floods and wildfires. that result. The past year has offered no respite, with record fires in Australia and California, and severe drought in central South America and the American Southwest.

Some climatologists had thought that the arrival of cooler sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean – part of the recurring global climate phenomenon called La Niña – would squeeze temperatures this year. It is difficult to quantify the influence of La Niña, but it is clear that any effect has been overshadowed by the rise in temperature linked to emissions.

La Niña only appeared in September and grew stronger a few months later. La Niña’s climate impact tends to peak several months after the waters of the Pacific have reached their coldest point, so it may have more cooling effect in 2021.

When La Niña is factored in, “you don’t expect a banner year” in 2021, Dr Schmidt said. “But another year in the top five, and one that is clearly part of a series of very hot years that we have had,” he added.

Dr Schmidt said his team and others have studied the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on temperatures in 2020. Lockdown orders and the economic downturn have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by about 10% in the United States only, according to a recent report.

Such a reduction does not have an immediate effect on temperatures, Dr Schmidt said, and emissions will likely rise again as the pandemic subsides and the global economy returns to normal.

The biggest short-term effect, he said, could be the reduction of some transport-related pollution, including exhaust emissions of nitrogen oxides, as driving has declined during the pandemic.

Nitrogen oxides form aerosols in the atmosphere that reflect some of the sun’s rays, which would otherwise strike the surface and be re-emitted as heat. Even a slight reduction in these aerosols would allow more sunlight to reach the surface, generating more heat that would be trapped in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases.

Dr Schmidt said efforts were underway to quantify the effect over the past year. “The numbers aren’t important,” he said, but they may have played a role in making 2020 a banner year.

“The warming associated with aerosol reduction can be history,” he said.

Travel News

Lack of small parts disrupts auto factories around the world

Automakers braced for the crisis when the pandemic struck. They expected supply chain disruptions and slump in sales. But they never thought that a year later one of their biggest problems would be the PlayStations.

Strong demand for gaming systems, personal computers, and other electronic devices from a world stuck inside has depleted semiconductor stocks, forcing automakers around the world to scramble for chips have become as essential to mobility as gasoline or steel.

Virtually no automaker has been spared. Toyota Motor has closed its production lines in China. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has temporarily halted production at plants in Ontario and Mexico. Volkswagen has warned of production issues at factories in China, Europe and the United States. Ford Motor said last week it was idling a plant in Louisville, Ky., For a week due to the shortage.

When Covid-19 hit, automakers slashed chip orders in anticipation of falling sales. At the same time, semiconductor manufacturers have shifted their production lines to meet growing orders for chips used in products such as laptops, webcams, tablets, and 5G smartphones.

Businesses have also upgraded their digital infrastructure to handle online meetings and employees working from home, while telecom companies have invested in broadband infrastructure, further fueling demand for semiconductors.

Then auto sales rebounded faster than expected at the end of 2020, catching everyone off guard. The resulting chip shortages are expected to last until 2021, as it will take between six and nine months for semiconductor manufacturers to realign production.

“Consumer electronics have exploded,” said Dan Hearsch, managing director of consulting firm AlixPartners. “Everyone and their brother wanted to buy an Xbox, PlayStation, and laptops, while the car pulled up. Then the automobile came back faster than expected, and that’s where you find yourself in this problem. “

While the shortage is not expected to cause auto prices to rise sharply, buyers may have to wait longer to get the vehicles they want.

The chip shortage has its roots in the long-term forces reshaping the auto and semiconductor industries, as well as the short-term confusion caused by the pandemic.

Over the past decade, automakers have become increasingly dependent on electronics to enhance the appeal of their products, adding features such as touch screens, computerized engine controls and transmissions, integrated cellular and Wi-Fi connections and collision avoidance systems using cameras. and other sensors.

New cars can have more than a hundred semiconductors, and the absence of a single component can trigger production delays or shutdowns, industry analysts and consultants have said.

Long-term pressure on chipmakers to control production costs also played a role. Semiconductor companies that supply the automotive industry, such as Infineon, NXP Semiconductors, and Renesas, have chosen to have their most advanced chips manufactured for them by outside manufacturing services, called foundries. But manufacturers also maintain their own factories to make simpler automatic chips, frequently making them on eight-inch silicon wafers rather than the 12-inch disks used in more modern factories.

Manufacturers with factories using older eight-inch wafers have not been able to easily increase production. They hadn’t invested much lately in new equipment, which is now harder to find because the technology is older, said Syed Alam, a global leader in semiconductor consulting practice. Accenture.

Geopolitics also played a role. The Trump administration in September imposed restrictions on Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation, China’s largest smelter, which produces chips for cars and many other applications. Customers of the company have started looking for alternatives, generating additional competition for chip supplies from other foundries, said Gaurav Gupta, vice president of research firm Gartner.

The chip crisis is one example of how the pandemic has rocked the global economy in unpredictable ways. Automakers expected to face supply chain shortages, and factories closed in early 2020 over fears workers could infect each other, or because trucking companies had ceased to deliver. Most American auto plants went out of production for about two months last spring.

But suppliers and automakers quickly found ways to contain contagion in factories and revived assembly lines. The impact on most parts supplies has been less than feared.

The semiconductor shortage has moved out of left field, hitting the industry at a perilous time. Sales plunged around the world. In Europe, for example, they were down 25% in 2020.

All of this is happening as automakers attempt to navigate a change in core technology from internal combustion engines to batteries, which has subjected them to new competition from Tesla, the California-based company that has become from far the most valuable automaker in the world, and emerging. Chinese manufacturers like Nio.

The exact duration of the shortage is unclear. It can take 20 to 25 weeks from the time new orders are placed for the chips to be produced and through the supply chain to reach the cars, said Michael Hogan, senior vice president of GlobalFoundries, a large chip maker serving the automotive industry and other markets.

“We are doing everything humanly possible to prioritize our automotive production,” said Hogan.

German automotive electronics supplier Bosch said the shortage was particularly acute for integrated circuits used to control engines, transmissions and other key functions. “Despite the difficult market situation, Bosch is doing everything it can to ensure supply to its customers and minimize any further impact,” the company said in a statement.

Automakers and suppliers are responding to the best of their ability. Honda said it didn’t have to shut down production lines, but gave priority to its most popular models. BMW, based in Munich, said it had been able to maintain production but was “watching the situation intensively” and in constant contact with suppliers.

German supplier Continental, which is best known for its tires but also produces electronic components, called on semiconductor producers to boost the capacity of foundries that produce chips.

“Future investments in these foundries will therefore be essential for the auto industry to avoid such supply chain disruptions in the future,” Continental said in a statement.

Munich-based Infineon said it was increasing its investments in new production capacity in 2021 to 1.5 billion euros, or $ 1.8 billion, from 1.1 billion euros in 2020. The company is also ramping up production of a new chip factory in Villach, Austria, which will produce 12-inch wafers.

But it will take time for semiconductor manufacturers to catch up. In the meantime, the PlayStations have priority.

“The automotive industry is back and they’re not at the forefront of chips anymore,” said Gary Silberg, global head of automotive practice at KPMG.

Neal E. Boudette and Hisako Ueno contributed reporting.

Impacting Travel

The World Travel and Tourism Council is against mandatory COVID-19 vaccines

The executive director of the World Travel and Tourism Council says she is against the global mandate to require a COVID-19 vaccine in order to travel.

“We should never require vaccination to get a job or travel,” Gloria Guevara said in remarks at the upcoming Reuters conference. “If you need the vaccine before you travel, that leads to discrimination.”


Being trending now

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

The mandate for a vaccine has been a key topic of discussion in the travel industry since the launch of two coronavirus vaccines, one from Pfizer and one from Moderna, about a month ago. Many believe that providing proof that a client has received the vaccine would create a greater sense of security and trust among those who are reluctant to travel.

Australia’s Qantas Airways has said it plans to introduce such a requirement.

Several health experts said during the upcoming Reuters conference that the mass deployment of coronavirus vaccines would not result in enough people having immunity to be able to effectively stop the spread of COVID-19. Those same health experts say the vaccine will only work and create a kind of herd immunity if 70 to 75 percent of people are vaccinated.

Dale Fisher, president of the World Health Organization (WHO) Outbreak Alert and Response Network, said: “We will not get back to normal quickly. We know we have to get to herd immunity and we need it in most countries, so we won’t see that in 2021. There may be some countries that will get there, but even then that won’t create a ‘normal’ situation especially in terms of border controls “.


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How cities around the world will finally say goodbye to 2020

In most cities this New Years Eve there will be no roaring crowds, no fireworks gatherings, and hopefully no strangers kissing at midnight. But, after a year of disease, unemployment and racial unrest, people around the world, in different circumstances than usual, will still raise a drink and toast in early 2021.

Even in countries with low coronavirus cases, like Australia, local governments have been going back and forth, making plans and then canceling them again, as they try to balance people’s safety and their own. allow yourself to let go after a difficult year.

In Sydney, authorities have tightened restrictions in recent days after an increase in locally transmitted cases. Parties of up to 10 people are allowed in parts of the city, but residents are encouraged to watch the seven-minute fireworks display over Sydney Harbor Bridge on television. A viewing night for frontline workers has been canceled.

In London, the annual fireworks display along the Thames have been canceled, but Big Ben, which has been silent during its renovations, will ring at midnight. Residents of the city are subject to England’s toughest lockdowns, which are extended on Thursday to cover the majority of the country’s population. Under these rules, people can only leave home for certain activities, such as exercise and shopping.

EdinburghHogmanay celebrations, which typically involve processions, fireworks and chanting, will take place online.

In Paris, singer-songwriter Jean-Michel Jarre will host a free live virtual concert entitled “Welcome to the Other Side”, from a studio near Notre-Dame Cathedral. France and Italy are among several countries in Europe that have imposed curfews during the pandemic to prevent large gatherings at night.

Federal and state leaders in Germany have banned the sale of fireworks as the government tries to limit gatherings.

In Rio de Janeiro, where revelers usually wear white and flock to the beach, authorities are blocking access to the beach to prevent crowds from gathering.

And in New York, for the first time in decades, Times Square will be closed to most members of the public. Only dozens of selected frontline workers and their families will be allowed near the stage, where performers will include Gloria Gaynor, who will sing her hit “I Will Survive”.

Yes. Although there is no loud crowd, the descending crystal ball will always count the last seconds of the year.

The ball first fell in 1907, when hundreds of thousands of people watched fireworks over the newly constructed New York Times building. The tradition has occurred almost every year since, with the exception of 1942-43 and 1943-44, when the lights were turned off as a precaution against air raids during World War II.

Thousands of revelers have gathered again these years, even though the celebrations were quieter than usual.

“There was a note of slowness, a lack of real gaiety,” Meyer Berger wrote in a Times front page article on January 1, 1943. “The thousands of agitated people lacked spice. The war kind of took over the celebration and tended to silence it.

In 1918 a deadly pandemic swept the world, but the Times front page of January 1, 1919 barely covered it except for a small ad for “flu-warding off” lozenges!

Rather, the headlines were dominated by the end of World War I.

On New Years Eve, “Times Square was packed,” according to The Times, although it wasn’t as loud as the celebrations after the war ended less than two months earlier.

“Men in uniform were lined up, leaning against buildings on both sides of Broadway, critically observing whether New Years Eve in the heart of New York was an event that deserved its reputation.

In New Zealand, fireworks and parties will take place as usual at Auckland, one of the first big cities to ring in 2021.

“Thanks to the incredible efforts of all New Zealanders to eradicate Covid-19, we are fortunate to be able to live our lives relatively normally,” Mayor Phil Goff said this month. “It is worth celebrating, and this year’s spectacular spectacle will be the perfect opportunity for Aucklanders to do so.”

There are many virtual events taking place, some of which require tickets.

Tomorrowland, a Belgian music festival franchise, is hosting an evening with artists including David Guetta, the French DJ and producer. Steve Aoki, DJ, musician and music producer, will headline an event broadcast by Grand Park in Los Angeles. Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen will broadcast live from Times Square starting at 8 p.m. EST on CNN.

If you’ve never liked New Years Eve to begin with, this is the year to watch some TV or listen to some music, go to sleep before midnight and rejoice that you probably don’t miss a thing.

Travel News

Revisiting the invisible corners of the world

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with travel restrictions in place around the world, we launched a new series to help transport you, virtually, to some of the most beautiful and fascinating places on our planet.

This week after 40 payments, we take a look back at some of the highlights – from hat-making workshops in Ecuador and the wilds of Alaska to lush Zambian valleys.

Ten years ago, photographer Robert Presutti accompanied a friend to a convent in rural Georgia: the Phoka Convent of St. Nino. A nun and two novices had settled in the area years earlier and had started resuscitating an 11th century church from its ruins.

Led by Abbess Elizabeth, the group of three slowly grew, so that by the time Mr. Presutti visited, the convent consisted of six nuns and a novice. By this time, the church had been completely restored.

Caleb Kenna has worked as a freelance photographer for over 20 years, traveling the back roads of Vermont, taking portraits and capturing the state’s diverse landscapes.

Until a few years ago, he rented planes to soar to the sky and create aerial images. Today he uses a drone.

Each year, millions of pilgrims descend on Karbala, a generally quiet desert town in central Iraq, to ​​commemorate the religious holiday of Arbaeen, one of the largest organized gatherings of people in the world. In 2019, when a small group of journalists were invited to attend, photojournalist Andrea DiCenzo jumped at the chance.

The event is a spectacular display of sorrow, mourning and religious ecstasy. It commemorates the death of one of the most important leaders of Shia Islam, Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

“In recent years, Iraqis and Iranians have been joined by hundreds of thousands of religious tourists from a growing number of countries outside the Middle East, including the United Kingdom, Bosnia, Pakistan, Malaysia and Australia. “

Andrea DiCenzo

Learn more about Arbaeen »

The Tshiuetin line is a distant railway that crosses rural Quebec. Named after the Innu word meaning “north wind,” it is the first railway in North America owned and operated by First Nations – and has become a symbol of reclamation and challenge.

Since 2015, on her numerous trips aboard the train, photographer Chloë Ellingson has documented the passengers, the route and the communities it serves.

“On a given trip on the Tshiuetin train, most of the passengers are regulars. Some are heading for the hunting grounds – like Stéphane Lessard, whom I met on the way to his friend’s cabin, whom he has frequented for 17 years.

Chloë Ellingson

Find out more about the Tshiuetin line »

A superfino Montecristi panama hat is creamy like silk, costlier in weight than gold and the color of old ivory. It is as much a work of art as it is fashion.

The finest specimens have over 4000 weaves per square inch, a weave so fine that it takes a jeweler’s loupe to count the rows. And each of these weaves is handmade. No loom is used – only dexterous fingers, keen eyes and zen focus.

Writer and photographer Roff Smith first became interested in hats about 15 years ago, when he read articles on straw hats that could cost several thousand dollars.

Sea lions are often referred to as “dogs of the sea”. On a small island off the coast of Baja, where playful animals populate every rocky outcrop, they live up to their nickname.

Photojournalist Benjamin Lowy visited the region in 2017 on one of his first underwater missions, after years of covering war, politics and sports.

Although popular with safari aficionados, Zambia has long flown under the radar of first-time visitors to Africa, eclipsed by its better-known regional neighbors: Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana and South Africa.

But this landlocked country has some of the best national parks on the continent, mostly those bordering the Luangwa River infested with crocodiles and hippos.

Photographer Marcus Westberg first saw the muddy brown Luangwa at the age of 23. He’s been back – and the neighboring national parks of Luambe and North Luangwa – a half-dozen times since.

“In Zambia, there is something for everyone. Wildlife viewing in parts of southern Luangwa can rival that of most major African safari destinations. In Luambe, you can literally have an entire park to yourself.

Marcus Westberg

Learn more about wildlife in Zambia »

Three miles off the coast of Maine, in a remote area northeast of Acadia National Park, is a cluster of islands populated only by sheep. The Wakeman family, who live on the neighboring mainland, are the caretakers year round; they maintain the traditions of the island shepherd, whose cycles have remained largely unchanged for centuries.

At the end of the lambing season, a community comes together to help round up and shear the sheep. The volunteers – about 40 people – include a handful of knitters and spinners; they often wear Nash Island wool sweaters.

Photographer Greta Rybus began documenting the Wakemans and the Islands in 2019.

“Some sheep spend their entire lives on these islands, from birth to death. They to become the islands. Their sun-bleached bones are rooted in the earth, encrusted in the grassy hills and wetlands where they once grazed.

Galen Koch and Greta Rybus

Learn more about the shepherd of the Maine Islands »

Southeast Alaska is inseparable from the Tongass National Forest, the mountainous western edge of the North American continent giving way to the hundreds of islands that make up the Alexander Archipelago. The landscape is covered with western hemlock, red and yellow cedars, and Sitka spruce.

But lifting logging restrictions can indelibly change the character of the region.

Photographer Christopher Miller grew up exploring the fringes of the Tongass National Forest, which lies just outside its backdoor in Juneau and stretches hundreds of miles along the coast. In 2019, he documented a 30-mile trip along the Honker Divide canoe route, which passes through the National Forest.

Known for its Andean peaks topped with glaciers and its labyrinth of fjords, Magallanes – in the far south of Patagonia – is the largest but the second least populated region in Chile.

Daily life here requires tenacity and resilience. Community life is facilitated in part by an unlikely source: a network of rural schools.

After coordinating with local education authorities and teachers, and with the blessing of parents and guardians of students, photojournalist Andria Hautamaki spent more than a month in 2019 visiting five of these schools.

“The coronavirus pandemic has changed educational routines around the world, and many schools in Chile have turned to distance learning. But Chilean rural schools face particularly difficult challenges.

Andria Hautamaki

Learn more about rural schools in Patagonia »

Several years ago, photographer Richard Frishman began documenting vestiges of racism, oppression and segregation in the built and natural environments of the United States – lingering traces that were hidden from view under a veil of banality. .

Some of Mr. Frishman’s photos capture sites that were not marked, overlooked, or largely forgotten. Other photographs explore black institutions that arose in response to racial segregation. A handful of photos represent the sites where blacks have been attacked, killed or abducted – some marked and widely known, others not.

“Slavery is often referred to as America’s ‘original sin’. Its demons still haunt us in the form of separate housing, education, health care, employment. Through these photographs I try to preserve the physical evidence of this sin – because, when the revealing traces are erased, the lessons are likely to be lost.

Richard frishman

Learn more about the “Phantoms of segregation” “

The waters surrounding Britain are dotted with thousands of small islands, only a small part of which is inhabited.

Among those who inhabit the Small British Isles there is a collection of Guardians – Guardians who spend their lives in quiet solitude, far from the crowded corners of our urban world. Their role: to maintain and manage the preservation of their small plot of land, often by carrying out research on delicate ecosystems.

Over the past three years, photojournalist Alex Ingram has visited some of these remote islands, spending at least a week there.

Travel News

Jon Huber, who rose to fame with World Wrestling Entertainment, dies at 41

Jon Huber, a professional wrestler known in the ring as Luke Harper and Brodie Lee, died on Saturday. He was 41 years old.

His death follows a battle with an unrelated Covid-19 ‘lung problem’, his wife, Amanda Huber, said on Instagram.

Apart from his wife, he is survived by his two children.

Mr. Huber rose to fame with World Wrestling Entertainment, where he was known for his soft-spoken intensity in the ring.

During his time in WWE, he found success in the independent circuit before joining the NXT brand.

He has fought other wrestling stars, including The Shield, Kane, Daniel Bryan, John Cena and the Usos, using a combination of “aggressive attacking and insane mind play,” WWE said.

Mr. Huber “moved with rare speed for a 6-foot-5 monster,” his WWE biography said. “His jaw-shaking clotheslines and frantic outward dives knocked over anyone who dared step into the ring in front of him.

In 2014, he won the Intercontinental Championship and later the SmackDown Tag Team and NXT Tag Team Championships.

Whether it’s bombarding rivals on the scales or standing face to face with John Cena, Harper left an undeniable mark – and on some superstars, a literal mark in the form of a scar – on WWE and NXT, ”said WWE.

Mr. Huber joined All Elite Wrestling, a WWE contestant, this year as “The Exalted One”.

Over the summer he won the All Elite Wrestling TNT Championship.

“In an industry filled with good people, Jon Huber was exceptionally respected and loved in every way – a fierce and captivating talent, a caring mentor and quite simply a very kind soul that totally contradicts his personality as Mr. Brodie Lee. ”AEW said in a declaration.

His last televised battle was a bloody fight against Cody Rhodes, an AEW superstar, in October.

Mr. Rhodes wrote in a social media tribute that it was an honor to share his last game with Mr Huber, who he said was “a first class family man and human being”.

Referring to Mr. Huber as the “Big Rig”, Mr. Rhodes said that Mr. Huber was a “gifted athlete and storyteller and his gift beyond that was to challenge you, and he set the bar very high.

Mr Huber’s death resonated among other wrestling stars.

Totally devastated about the loss of Jon, ”Hulk Hogan wrote on Twitter. “Such a great talent and a great human being! RIP my brother. “

Travel News

Biden to face Russia in confrontation in a changed world since his tenure

“Obama was very dismissive of the Russians, calling them a regional power; they didn’t want to think too much about Russia, ”she said. “But the world has changed completely. Biden can’t do Obama 2.0. They’re going to have to think differently. “

Mr. Putin’s message to Mr. Biden does not betray any hostility and, in the words of the Kremlin, “expressed confidence that Russia and the United States, which bear special responsibility for global security and stability, can , despite their differences, effectively contribute to solving many problems and meeting the challenges facing the world today. “

Mr Biden has a limited but controversial personal history with Mr Putin, whom he only met once, during a trip to Moscow in 2011, when Mr Putin was prime minister. After a long and “controversial” official meeting, as Mr. Biden recalls in a brief, he joined Mr. Putin in his office for a private conversation.

“Sir. Prime Minister, I’m looking you in the eye,” Mr. Biden recalls telling him with a smile, a nod to former President George W. Bush’s infamous claim for making same and saw his “soul”.

“I don’t think you have a soul,” Mr. Biden told Mr. Putin. The Russian leader seemed something less than offended, responding, also with a smile: “We understand each other”.

Michael A. McFaul, former US ambassador to Moscow, recalled the trip and said that Mr. Biden and Mr. Putin had a “marked exchange of differences” on Russia’s approach to the surrounding region. , especially the former Soviet republics of Georgia and Ukraine.

“We have moved on from this meeting at the Prime Minister’s office to his next meeting with the Russian opposition,” McFaul said. “He had no qualms about it. He made the headlines there saying, ‘I told Putin he shouldn’t be running for a third term.’ “

Travel News

James D. Wolfensohn, who led the World Bank for 10 years, dies at 86

James D. Wolfensohn, who led the World Bank for 10 years, dies at age 86 He was a force on Wall Street before taking the reins of the bank in 1995 and then proceeded to shake it up. He did the same at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. By Robert D. Hershey Jr.

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Bill Gates, the virus and the quest to vaccinate the world

So far, it has attracted just $ 3.6 billion in funding for research, manufacturing and grants for poor countries. Three companies have pledged to deliver vaccines, but it is not yet clear whether they will be effective. And it can be difficult to get the billions of doses needed in an affordable and timely manner because the United States and other wealthy countries have made separate deals for their citizens.

In recent months, Mr. Gates, who points out that he is one of many participants in the vaccination effort, has held online roundtables with drug company officials.. He continued financial commitments from world leaders: in just one week, he and his wife and co-chair, Melinda Gates, met with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Prince heir Mohammed bin Zayed of Abu Dhabi.

In Washington, he frequently consulted with Dr.Anthony S. Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease specialist and longtime collaborator on immunization initiatives, and spoke with Senator Mitch McConnell, a polio survivor who supports the programs. to eradicate this and other plagues. And to help manage the vaccination effort, his foundation has provided consultants at McKinsey & Company with millions of dollars.

“Some will say, ‘Why should it be him? “Said Dr Ariel Pablos-Méndez, former director of knowledge management at WHO.” He has the power to star. He has the resources. He cares. There are a lot of actors doing things, but not at the Gates scale. “

If the initiative, aided by the fortune and attention of Mr Gates, succeeds in helping protect the world’s poor from a virus that has already killed more than 1.3 million people, it will confirm the strategies it promoted in his philanthropic work, including drug inducements. companies.

If the effort fails, however, it could escalate calls for a more radical approach.

Amid the pandemic, some officials and public health advocates say vaccine makers, many of whom have benefited from unprecedented public funding, should be forced to share their technology, data and know-how to maximize the production. India and South Africa, for example, are pushing to suspend global enforcement of intellectual property rights involving the virus.

South African Minister of Health Dr Zweli Lawrence Mkhize said normal practices did not apply to this crisis. “There has to be a larger degree of consultation that examines what is best for humanity,” he said in an interview.

Travel News

Business and world leaders step forward as Trump fights to reverse election

There are exceptions. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exulted during Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent visit to a Jewish West Bank settlement – a powerful US endorsement of an Israeli occupation that runs counter to international law and US policy in front of Mr. Trump. Mr. Netanyahu knows that U.S. membership in those settlements will change soon, but he is doing what he can to use the visit to cement the facts on the ground and make it harder for Mr. Biden to overturn his course openly.

Closer to home, American companies have also quickly come to the conclusion that they should adjust their focus.

On November 7, the day most major news agencies called the race, several major companies and trade groups acknowledged Mr. Biden’s victory.

Scott Kirby, the chief executive of United Airlines, contacted the Biden campaign that evening and offered to work with the new administration to fight the pandemic and revive the economy. “While there are always differences in any country as large and diverse as the United States, I continue to believe that there is much more that unites us than divides us,” Kirby said in a letter. to Mr. Biden and vice-president. -select Kamala Harris.

In the days following the election, Goldman Sachs began preparing clients for an expected Biden administration. A customer call on November 5, held to discuss Mr Biden’s likely victory, drew in thousands.

David M. Solomon, chief executive of the company, has yet to speak with the president-elect, a Goldman spokesperson said, but senior officials at the company, including head of regulatory affairs Kathryn Ruemmler, and communications manager Jake Siewert, both of whom worked in the Obama administration, have been in contact with members of Mr. Biden’s transition team.

Since then, Michael Gonda, a spokesperson for McDonald’s, reaffirmed in a statement the company’s belief that Mr. Biden had won the election, saying: “We have been in contact with the transition team for their let it be known that we would like to be of service on a number of fronts, including on Covid’s response by sharing our safety and health protocols. “