DIY virus protection: Hong Kongers making own masks amid shortages

first_imgSome are turning to DIY solutions — albeit of questionable quality.Judy, a 73-year-old out shopping in the district of Wanchai, was spotted in a homemade mask.”I found the material — my handkerchief, and some non-woven fabric — and I combined them and used some wire for the top, and some elastic,” she told AFP, declining to give her surname.While Hong Kong’s economy reels, business has been brisk on one street in the working-class Sham Shui Po district that boasts many fabric and tailoring shops. A colorful array of cloth masks hangs outside many of the cramped storefronts as shoppers haggle over the din of whirring sewing machines.Elase Wong, a tailor, said she was giving away her face mask sewing design.”Some people couldn’t buy any masks… So if they can make them themselves, that would be great,” she told AFP. “I hope everyone can achieve self-sufficiency.”Pop-up assembly lineThe cost of masks has skyrocketed with scarcity and the government resisting price controls or rationing, as in nearby Macau and Taiwan.A set of 50 simple surgical masks can sell for up to HK$300 (US$40), while the top of the range N95 variety is going for as high as HK$1,800 a box.A film director surnamed Tong was this week putting the finishing touches to a face mask assembly line in an industrial building.”I was shocked by the price of face masks,” he told AFP.”I did some research and realized that masks are not that difficult to make. Why do people have to bear such a high cost? Because there is no production line in Hong Kong”.With the help of an investor he managed to import a machine from India, and plans to ship more. Currently in the testing phase, the device will produce 60-80 surgical masks per minute from Saturday in a dust-free room. Tong said the masks will be sold online for HK$1-2 each, limited to one box per person. The administration of chief executive Carrie Lam says it is doing all it can to secure new supplies of face masks amid a global shortage.Output has been ramped up on a prison labor production line and there are plans to set aside HK$1.5 billion to support the creation of domestic factories.The lack of stockpiles has sparked criticism of Lam, even from among her pro-Beijing political allies.Many have expressed surprise that a city which suffered 299 deaths during the 2003 SARS outbreak was not better prepared.Since SARS, which Beijing initially covered up, Hong Kongers have embraced higher communal hygiene standards and face masks have long been a common sight, especially during the winter flu season.Joseph Kwan, a public health expert from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, said widespread mask use during SARS also lowered cases of the common cold that year.In a tightly packed city like Hong Kong, new viruses will “spread like wildfire if nobody wears a mask”, he said. “It would be a public health disaster”. Topics :center_img With chronic face mask shortages in the midst of a virus outbreak, Hong Kongers have started making their own — with a pop-up production line and seamstresses churning them out on sewing machines.In one of the most densely populated cities on earth, face masks have become hot property as people scramble for protection against the new deadly coronavirus.Long queues — sometimes thousands strong — routinely crop up outside pharmacies when supplies are in, and there is anger at the government’s failure to have stockpiled.last_img read more

Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi names the two areas of his game that he wants to improve

first_imgAdvertisement Comment Metro Sport ReporterFriday 30 Aug 2019 9:02 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link3.1kShares Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi names the two areas of his game that he wants to improve Matteo Guendouzi has started all three of Arsenal’s Premier League games this season (Picture: Getty)Matteo Guendouzi has established himself as a first-team regular at Arsenal under Unai Emery but he insists that there are still areas of his game that he wants to improve.The 20-year-old has made a big impression in north London since joining from FC Lorient last year, featuring 51 times for Arsenal in all competitions, including all three games this season.Guendouzi’s all-action midfield displays have caught the eye and he ranks top in Arsenal’s squad for interceptions as well as second for both passes and tackles in the Premier League this term.Nevertheless, while Guendouzi has enjoyed a strong start to the campaign, he insists that he has plenty to work on, citing his defensive and tactical positioning as areas of weakness.ADVERTISEMENT Advertisement Guendouzi has a strong relationship with his manager Unai Emery (Picture: Getty)He told Arsenal’s website: ‘I feel like I need to work on my defensive and tactical positioning, being closer to the ball.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘It’s something that I’ve been working on in training but also by watching videos of myself as well as studying the stats, and working with the coaches on a programme.’Guendouzi has started each one of Arsenal’s Premier League matches this season and is expected to retain his place for Sunday’s north London clash against Spurs at the Emirates.The France U21 international has become one of Emery’s key players during his first year at the club and he praised his manager for helping him to develop his game.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘Unai has really helped me, he gave me a lot of gametime last season and this season as well. My relationship with him is really based on a mutual trust,’ he said.‘He’s really invested a lot in my progress since I arrived at the club, which has been extremely important for me. He’s given me a lot of advice on and off the pitch, which is something that I really appreciate.‘We talk a lot and this has helped me grow on a personal level but also within the team.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenallast_img read more

Dutch pension funds investigate possible rights violations in Qatar

first_imgHowever, it noted that both companies were improving their policies.The survey argued that 25 Dutch financial institutions were at risk through their stakes in Dutch consultant Arcadis and construction company Boskalis – both working in cooperation with Hyundai – as well as in German building firm Hochtief.Ton Heerts, the FNV’s chairman, said: “It often happens that employers take workers’ passports and force them to work in the full sun for 12 hours.”He said FNV representatives would continue to raise the issue with Dutch pension funds’ boards.PMT and PME – whose assets are both managed by MN – said they would confront Vinci and Hochtief with the FNV report’s conclusions, adding that they had already divested from Hyundai.Meanwhile, Profundo found that APG, the asset manager for the €309bn civil service scheme ABP, has a combined equity stake of €158m in the five companies, while the €142bn healthcare scheme PFZW invested €66m in equity and €59m in corporate bonds.According to Profundo, PFZW responded to its conclusions by starting a dialogue with the companies over their possible role in improving working conditions in Qatar.However, ABP rejected the bureau’s findings, saying a previous, independent survey by ESG specialist Sustainalytics found no evidence of rights violations by the companies in which it invests. BpfBouw, the industry-wide scheme for the building industry, said its own research had produced “little direct proof” that could link specific companies to violations of human rights.Profundo said PGB, the €15bn pension fund for the printing and process industry, had raised its awareness of the issue.It added that the €13bn railways scheme SPF and the €3bn public transport pension fund SPOV had confirmed they would look into violations with the view to starting a possible dialogue, and cited exclusion from investment as a last resort. Several large pension funds in the Netherlands have said they are closely monitoring possible human rights violations and labour conditions by companies involved in the contruction of infrastructure and football facilities for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The large metal schemes PMT and PME said they would contact building companies with the view to starting an engagement process, following a survey by Profundo commissioned by union federation FNV.The survey, which focused on investors in five companies, suggested many Dutch pension funds were invested in companies active in Qatar, and thereby ran the risk of becoming embroiled in rights violations.The survey singled out French firm Vinci and South Korean company Hyundai Engineering & Construction for their alleged involvement in the violation of labour conditions, according to “observations by social organisations and unions”.last_img read more

Spain boosts LNG imports in June

first_imgHuelva regasification plant (Image courtesy of Enagás)Spain’s imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) rose 14.2 percent in June on a yearly basis, according to the data provided by the LNG terminal operator, Enagás.LNG imports reached 15.05 terawatt hours (TWh) in June, as compared to 13.16 TWh in the same month the year before.The majority of imports came from Nigeria and Peru, followed by volumes from Algeria, Angola and Qatar.Enagás’ Barcelona regasification plant received five out of the total 16 LNG cargoes imported into Spain during the month under review.The report shows that the Huelva LNG import terminal received four cargoes while two landed each in Bilbao, Sagunto and Mugardos. The Cartagena LNG terminal received one cargo.One of the reasons for the rise in Spanish LNG imports was hot weather in June which led to increased demand for air conditioning.Gas-to-power electricity generation in Spain rose 57 percent on year in June. To remind, Enagás recently said that daily natural gas demand for power generation reached a record high on June 21 hitting 465 GWh, the highest summer value since 2011.According to Spain’s meteorological agency Aemet, the average temperature recorded during June in the country had been 2.48ºC above that recorded during the same month last year.The country’s total natural gas imports dropped 3.9 percent reaching 29.4 TWh in June due to lower pipeline imports from Algeria, the Enagás data showed. LNG World News Stafflast_img read more

Offshore Energy platform: connecting the gears

first_imgChange is the only constant. Thiswas as true for the ancient Greek who coined the phrase, as it is for us today.Our industry is changing. The need to innovate and transform are key in remaining relevant andfuture-proof. This is why we present the Offshore Energy platform. It combinesall the elements Navingo excels in, making the platform a connector ofcommunities. Expect daily news from markets of interest, in-depth articles andvideos, insights from industry leaders, an overview of the important players inthe business landscape and job boards.   Maritimeingenuity is needed to construct wind farms. Electric power is transmitted by subseacabling. Oil and gas is the fuel that makes the energy transition happen. Otherforms of renewable energy, like marine energy, are needed to meet energy demands.Without dredging, ports cannot function. Everything is connected. Because the editors of Navingo are on top of theirsubjects and can also take a step back and discuss the various businessactivities that are going on, they can connect the dots. What trends areintertwined? What developments are overlapping each other and what kind ofcross-market collaborations are taking place? The Offshore Energy platformprovides this information on the new fast and responsive website, refreshed withUX design. Why this new Offshore Energy platform? Think about it What does Offshore Energy offer? This is whythe energy transition and sustainable solutions are the main topics the newplatform focuses on. Our communities – the offshore, maritime and energyindustries – are front-runners in this change. A large part of the energytransition will take place at sea and sustainable innovations will reshape themaritime sector. By combining markets, we connect the gears that set the energytransition in motion. We give youvaluable insights and foresights. This provides an overview about what is goingon in our industries. The platform informs about projects, new products,companies, market opportunities and trends. We do this by providing day-to-daynews, combined with in-deptharticles and videos.   As an overview, we have combined the editorial power of,,,, and But we understand if you want to narrow it down. That is why we have created different landing pages for specific sectors. To meet your demands there is a clear navigation between markets, regions and topics. This makes it easy to look at your point of interest from every angle. In the end all developments and activities we cover, are fuelled by one crucial element; human capital. We understand that and use the reach of Offshore Energy platform to connect employees with companies. On our job board we gather job openings from different sectors. The job section offer a broad range of functions from technical positions to marketing jobs.     We see an interaction between sectors we cannot ignore. The driving force behind this is the state of the Earth. CO2 emissions are warming up the planet and pollution is damaging ecosystems. To ensure a sustainable future the energy transition is set in motion. Being future-proof within the oil, gas, maritime, offshore wind and marine energy industries means being part of the energy transition and investing in sustainable solutions. This is the way forward, for our business and planet. For us. Navingo is also the organiser of Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference. Next to providing relevant content, we connect people and companies. New insights and collaboration spur innovation. In the premium section of the website, conference sessions are available for the first time. Learn from industry leaders as they share their visions. Navingo believesin working together. We connect the maritime and offshore world for sustainablesolutions.last_img read more

More Americans oppose gay marriage than support it

first_imgGay marriage: Despite Supreme Court decision, Americans still split on same-sex marriageThe Independent 21 July 2015The US Supreme Court legalized gay marriage last month, paving the way for same-sex couples to marry all over the country.But a recent poll shows that the American public is split on the issue, with slightly more people disagreeing with the Supreme Court’s decision than agreeing with the high court, according to the Associated Press.The poll shows that 39 per cent of Americans supported the legalization of same-sex marriage, while 42 per cent were in opposition. Eighteen per cent neither approved nor disapproved.When asked about gay marriage in their own states, people responded slightly more favorably, with 42 per cent in favor and 40 per cent opposed.Support for same-sex marriage actually appears to have fallen since an April poll, when 48 per cent of people said they were in favor of gay marriage. The change could be influenced by people who changed their response from neutral to opposed following the Supreme Court decision.The survey found a drastic difference in opinion between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats overwhelmingly supported gay marriage, with 65 per cent in favor. Just 22 per cent of Republicans said they favor same-sex marriage.The AP-GfK Poll questions 1,004 adults between July 9 to July 13, using a sample drawn from GfK’s probability-based KnowledgePanel, which is designed. read more

Catherine Byrne: Palliative care a kindly end-of-life right

first_imgNZ Herald 24 June 2017Family First Comment: From a palliative care specialist who knows…“All the genuine and compassionate reasons people have for being in favour of euthanasia can be met by good palliative care and that removes the obligation for doctors – till now only concerned with enhancing life – to instead be responsible for killing people.”• Dr Catherine Byrne is a Tauranga GP who has worked at Waipuna Hospice for 15 years. She is married and has four children. The June 10 Weekend Herald published an article by Matt Vickers, husband of Lecretia Seales, who died last year, shortly before the Health Select Committee set up an inquiry to investigate the issue of assisted dying.The article was headed by a big, beautiful and evocative photograph of the pair on their wedding day.For reasons of privacy it is not possible to publish pictures of the many people who have been helped by the care and attention they have received at Waipuna Hospice, but as a doctor who has worked there for many years, I felt I could not let this article go past without pointing out that euthanasia is not the only answer to the serious concerns people have about the end of life, nor is it the most compassionate.Death, even from cancer or other frightening diseases, does not have to be “lonely, violent and concealed from family”, nor does it have to be “excruciatingly painful”, as Governor Jerry Brown fears. The whole point of the hospice movement is to prevent those very things, by excellent medical care and by warm, compassionate psychological and social support.There is no need to legislate for euthanasia to initiate “frank and honest conversations about death” – we have these conversations every day with people at the hospice. As Vickers points out, having those conversations brings comfort and relief to people previously afraid to articulate their fears.There is no need for anyone who receives good palliative care to die in excruciating pain; nor to die with loss of autonomy or dignity. Palliative care practitioners, from nurses and doctors to cooks and cleaners, spend their whole working lives doing everything they can to prevent any suffering at the end of life, and most people who have had contact with a hospice would support that statement. The way forward with difficult deaths should be to encourage the Government to ensure every single New Zealander who needs it has access to ever-better palliative care services.Opponents of euthanasia are not “religious zealots”, primarily concerned with “vulnerable, passive victims”. They are people who care about the value of all lives, including the disabled, the mentally ill, the very young, the very old and, most of all, the very sick.Based on my own experience, the people who ask for euthanasia are not those who are in an agony of pain – that has been dealt with by good medicine. They are articulate, intelligent men and women who fear they will be a financial and emotional burden to their family and friends.The Oregon data, which Vickers quotes, shows that 61 per cent of people requesting euthanasia stated “being a burden” as their main reason for doing so. At the moment, they cannot kill themselves legally, but if they could no amount of “protective legislation” would be able to prevent them. As it is we are able to help them physically and emotionally and allow them to reach a place where they see how precious the time they all have left together can be to their family and to themselves.Vickers states how delighted Lecretia would have been to see David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill drawn from the ballot. This bill requests legalised euthanasia not just for those dying from a terminal illness but for anyone with “a grievous and irremediable condition who experiences unbearable suffering that cannot be relieved in a manner they consider tolerable”. This would cover just about anything from cancer to severe arthritis.With such weak criteria, anyone suffering from anything would be entitled to take their case to the Court of Human Rights to say they were being discriminated against if they were NOT allowed to be considered for assisted suicide. In Oregon in 2013, 17 per cent of those completing euthanasia did not have a terminal illness at all but suffered from chronic disease such as diabetes and depression. In Belgium the percentage of deaths due to euthanasia is rising by 15 per cent every year and already constitutes 2 per cent of all deaths – and legislation there now allows euthanasia for babies and young children as well as consenting adults.READ MORE: up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

Franklin County man injured in crash while passing bicyclist

first_imgFranklin County, In. — One person was injured in a Franklin County crash Tuesday morning on Morris Road.A report from the sheriff’s department says Timothy Lloyd, 51, of Brookville, was northbound on Morris Road and struck an oncoming vehicle near Five Point Road driven by Jeremy McKittrick, 18, of Milan, while attempting to pass a bicyclist. The impact caused Lloyd’s vehicle to go off the road and down an embankment. McKittrick’s vehicle went off the west side of the roadway and over an embankment.Lloyd was transported to Margaret Mary Health for treatment. McKittrick was treated at the scene.last_img

Alumna uses experience with cancer to help others

first_imgPhoto courtesy of Thuy Thanh TruongAs she chuckled at the irony of the situation, Thuy Thanh Truong confessed her shock when she received the news in September of last year.“I was like, what? How is that even possible? The person who goes to the gym every single day and doesn’t even smoke,” Truong said.She initially went to the doctor for back pain and had planned a meeting later that day. Even after the diagnosis, she had no intention of missing it. After she presented, they spoke about moving forward with the project, but she trailed off, contemplating what she had just heard from her doctor: Stage 4 lung cancer.Born in Vietnam, Truong immigrated to the United States in 2003 with her parents to pursue her education. After graduating from USC in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, she moved back to Vietnam against her parents’ wishes to continue her career as an entrepreneur. Now at 32, she’s already been deemed “Vietnam’s startup queen” by BBC and featured in Forbes Vietnam’s “30 under 30” list.On the day of her diagnosis, Truong recalls speaking to her cousin, a surgeon.“He said, ‘If you’re going to stay in Vietnam, you’re going to go for more procedures here,” Truong said. She recalls how she replied decisively, “No, let me go back to the U.S.” Two weeks later she was at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles beginning her treatment.“You just want to be at a place where you feel at home, and USC Norris feels like my home,” Truong said. During her undergraduate career at USC, Truong founded Hackathon at the University of Science at Vietnam National University, an event for tech students to network and show off their app-building skills. After graduation, she went back to Vietnam and immersed herself in various business ventures to hone her entrepreneurship experience.  Today, Truong continues to formulate dynamic enterprises which make an impact while she undergoes treatment for lung cancer. She and Peter Kuhn, a USC professor of medicine and biomedical engineering, developed an initiative for another Hackathon, Hack for Health,  this time with cancer resources in mind. She credits her motivation for the event to the uncertainty of what the future held.“I used to spend two years developing an app, but I don’t know how much time I have left, so instead of developing 20 apps in two years, I’ll develop 10 apps in two minutes,” Truong said.Truong is also working with a team of volunteers for her recent non-profit program, Salt Cancer Initiative, designed to bring support to cancer patients in Vietnam. The lightbulb for SCI went off while she was taking a yoga class during her treatment at USC Norris. “When I first got diagnosed, I went to the class every week and got inspired by the teacher and the class,” Truong said. “I thought, I wish that they had a class like that for cancer patients in Vietnam.”Today 100 SCI volunteers host monthly meet-ups throughout Vietnam for patients, weekly yoga classes at upscale fitness clubs and coloring, singing and drawing activities for children battling the disease in hospitals — each owned or organized by USC alumni.With the average salary in Vietnam less than $2,000 annually, the membership fee to the fitness club where SCI hosts yoga classes for patients is higher than what most people can afford. Truong said she chose this club in particular not only because it was owned by a USC alum, but also because of its state-of-the-art facilities.  “It’s something very few people in Vietnam have experienced before,” Truong said. “Because they have cancer, we don’t know how much time they have left. They could have three months left, six months left, three years left. It doesn’t matter — I want them to experience something they’ve never experienced before.”Truong’s roots are strong in Vietnam; after graduation, she returned to start her first company, a frozen yogurt shop. The shop lasted three years and expanded to five stores, but Truong eventually shut down the company, citing lack of experience. Truong didn’t, however, let her first unsuccessful business run slow her down, and quickly switched gears to her next venture.In 2013, she and a former classmate from USC developed GreenGar, a mobile application and development team that created the popular application Whiteboard, allowing users to work collaboratively from various devices.GreenGar became the first company in Vietnam to be accepted to the 500 Startup Accelerated Program in Silicon Valley, but after a year of not being able to fundraise and scale up the business, Truong went back to the drawing board to start her third company, Tappy, a social messaging app.Tappy quickly rose to success when it was bought by, a cloud-based game building software in Mountain View, Calif., for a seven-figure sum. Truong stayed involved with the company for more than a year before she became restless for yet another new experience. She decided to leave for a two-month solo road trip across the U.S., from California to New York, visiting national and state parks. It was after the cross-country trip that Truong received her lung cancer diagnosis. Truong is currently undergoing treatment for a target drug she qualified for after DNA testing at USC. If the drug is not effective, she will soon begin chemotherapy.“I have the Trojan Family who support me in everything I do,” Truong said. “It’s a real family. Once you’re a Trojan, you’re Trojan for life.”When discussing the fight ahead of her, Truong references the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who accomplished debatably his most esteemed work while being treated for cancer before his death.“There are a few things that the world wants to have before they take me away,” Truong said. “I don’t know what it is yet, but I hope for the best.”last_img read more

New coaching staff and quarterbacks take the field

first_imgFootball spring practice opened Tuesday afternoon, and the team’s focus is on improving everyday. Everyone had some first day kinks, but players said that it felt good to be back on the field.“It feels great,” senior wide receiver Darreus Rogers said. “I’m playing faster. This is probably the smoothest I’ve been since I’ve been here.”Junior wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster agreed but also mentioned the quick turnaround from hard workouts to full practice.“My legs are kind of tight and sore,” Smith-Schuster said. “Yesterday was our first day squatting, so then to come out here full speed running … but it feels good.”Coaching TurnaroundWith first-year head coach Clay Helton at the helm, a slue of new coaches has been added to the staff including his brother, quarterbacks coach Tyson Helton.“It was a great first day,” Tyson Helton said. “A lot of excitement, a lot of focus which is the way it should be. There’s a lot of talent out here, and I’m looking forward to working with them every day.”The coaches have been well-received by many players who are saying that they are totally on board with the new staff as well as their new implementations.“This coaching staff is amazing — they make me want to work hard and be perfect,” Rogers said.Offensive players said there was going to be a lot more action for the receivers on offense this year to create a more balanced offensive scheme.“We have new signals and plays, so we have to adjust to that,” sophomore tailback Ronald Jones II said. “The team likes the new plays and new systems. There are a lot more receiver sets because we don’t really have a fullback yet. It looks like we’re going to be a lot more balanced this year, which is good.”Quarterback FrenzyFour quarterbacks saw significant reps for the Trojans on day one including redshirt junior Max Browne, redshirt freshman Sam Darnold, redshirt sophomore Jalen Greene and true freshman Matt Fink. Tyson Helton said he was impressed with his quarterbacks for where they were at the beginning of the season.“Quarterbacks were about where you’d think for a first day; there’s a lot of things we need to correct but pretty good overall,” Helton said. “There were a couple jitters early, but once they got in the groove, I think they realized ‘Hey, this is just like anything I’ve always done.’”Browne and Darnold are expected to be the frontrunners in the quarterback competition, but Greene received a significant amount of reps during practice as well. Helton said he was specifically impressed with the play of Browne, Darnold and Greene.“They understand the plays and the mechanics of the plays, we just have to get better and better on the technique side of things,” Helton said. “The young freshman Matt Fink, it’s his first day out here, so limited reps, but we wanted him to have some success, so we put him in certain situations, and he took advantage of them.”Dealing with the different quarterbacks is a challenge for receivers according to Smith-Schuster, but he had nothing but praise for them after practice.“Max Browne has a cannon that we have to get used to,” Smith-Schuster said. “Sam Darnold has that accuracy, and Jalen Greene, who has that speed, but also throws with his left hand. Trying to catch from different quarterbacks is kind of hard, so I’m glad we’re doing it at the beginning of spring.”last_img read more