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first_imgWhile Morrison can not be ousted as party leader after changes to Liberal party rules following Turnbull’s fall, he will not want poor polling to impact his legislative agenda before the next election that must be held before 2022.Morrison came under fire from voters in December when it was revealed he was on a family holiday in Hawaii as the country’s bushfire crisis escalated.When two fire fighters were killed, forcing him to return, his initial inaction and later refusal to link the fires with climate change drew criticism that he lacked leadership at a time of national crisis. Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison will on Tuesday front parliament for the first time in three months as he seeks to repair his standing with voters angry by his response to the country’s bushfire crisis and a scandal over sports funding.Morrison secured re-election in May 2019, defying polls that had indicated voters would punish his conservative government for ousting its former leader Malcolm Turnbull in 2018.Less than nine months after what he described as his “miracle” re-election, Morrison is now unpopular with voters and under pressure from opposition Labor lawmakers. The prolonged bushfire season has killed 33 people and an estimated 1 billion native animals since September. About 2,500 homes have been destroyed and more than 11.7 million hectares of tinder-dry bushland have been razed.Public anger at Morrison and his government has also been fuelled by an independent audit of public spending which found the government used a A$100 million ($68.4 million) sport development fund to target votes in marginal electorates ahead of the last election.The Australian National Audit Office said 400 projects received funding, with more than 70 percent done without any endorsement by the governing body for sport in Australia.When the report was first released Morrison refused to discipline the former sports minister who approved the funding, drawing more voter criticism.Bridget McKenzie, the deputy leader of the Nationals – the junior member of Morrison’s conservative coalition – on Sunday resigned after she was ruled to have breached ministerial rules when as sports minister she approved a A$36,000 grant for a shooting club where she was a member.Topics :center_img This photo illustration taken on May 19, 2019 show Sunday newspapers in Melbourne displaying the victory of Australia’s coalition government after they clung to power in a general election they were expected to lose. Australia’s ruling conservative coalition defied expectations to retain power in national elections on May 18, prompting Prime Minister Scott Morrison to declare: (AFP/William West)”The Labor party will be like a mosquito on a nudist beach, they are so many fleshy issues for them to bite into,” said John Hewson, former leader of the Liberal Party, now headed by Morrison.”They will go after him on issues of climate and he’s defence of the sports funding. He will be under huge pressure.”A Newspoll for The Australian newspaper on Monday showed Morrison’s approval rating was at its lowest level since he assumed office, while his government is trailing the Labor party by a margin of 52% to 48%.last_img read more

first_imgFor mother-of-four Nasima, the prospect of lasting peace in Afghanistan is almost too good to be true.The 45-year-old, whose husband Nasir Ahmad was killed in a massive truck bomb in Kabul blamed on Taliban insurgents, is one of thousands of grieving relatives in the war-weary country who look upon a promised peace deal with skepticism as well as hope.Afghanistan has been at war for decades. The Soviet invasion dominated the 1980s, civil war followed, the hardline Islamist Taliban movement held sway for a few years before being ousted in a US-led assault, followed by 18 more years of conflict. Topics : Horror in attack’s aftermath Nasima’s husband left home early one morning in late May, 2017, in search of work so that he could afford to bring home “iftar”, an evening meal served during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. He had not found a job for a few days.”A day before I had asked him about whether he found a job; he told me there were shops whose display windows needed cleaning for Ramadan and he was confident he’d find work if he got there early,” Nasima recalls.At around 8:30 a.m., she heard a loud blast. Such was the intensity of the explosion that it shook the entire city.The truck bomb was deadliest attack in Kabul in 18 years of war. No one has claimed responsibility for at least 150 people who were killed, including Nasir Ahmad.Nasima’s memories of that day are harrowing, yet common among Afghans.”At the hospitals I saw bodies covered with blood, charred. The wounded were screaming. There were boxes full of human body parts,” Nasima recalled.Nasima has washed dishes and clothes for the last three years to support her children – two daughters, Naiema, 15, Sabzina, 13, and two sons, Waris, 10, and Arif, 7.”I have lived my life and have had to suffer; but for my children I want peace,” she added. Pain for peace Families of Taliban fighters and security personnel have also faced loss.Haji Malik, 47, a shopkeeper in the northern city of Kunduz, lost his son, 18-year-old Sarajuddin, a Taliban fighter killed in a clash with international and Afghan forces in Paktika province in 2016.Sarajuddin ran away from home two years earlier to join the insurgents, and Malik remembered the intense pain he felt when he received word of his son’s death.He never got to bury his him, he said, because the body was in such bad shape that he had to be interred before his father got there.”This (the Doha agreement) is a chance for peace in Afghanistan, which has suffered through years of war,” Malik told Reuters. “But if peace is coming, it should be real peace … not only for a few days.”Habibullah Nazari, an officer in Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS), which has been on the frontline of the fight against the Taliban, was killed in an attack by the militant group.Nazari was preparing for a security mission along with six colleagues when a Taliban suicide bomber drove his explosive-laden vehicle into the NDS office in the western city of Herat.He was the sole breadwinner for his family of 12, said his brother, Mohammad Gul, 23.”Losing a family member is very painful, but I will have no complaint if peace, real peace, is restored,” said Gul. “I will believe my brother was martyred in the name of peace.” center_img Tens of thousands of civilians, insurgents, Afghan security personnel and foreign troops have died, and loved ones will look on Saturday’s planned deal between the United States and the Taliban with mixed feelings.”Anyone who can carry out such a brutal attack, how can I believe that they will let others live in peace?” Nasima asked, speaking in her Kabul apartment surrounded by her children.But she would at least try to move on if the attacks really stopped.”If they (the Taliban) are serious about getting together for real peace, I am ready to forgive the suffering they caused me and my family.” The weekend agreement in Doha on an American troop withdrawal is connected to a wider push for reconciliation between the Taliban and the Afghan government, although major obstacles to lasting peace remain.One is the lack of trust between sides who blame each other for the heavy toll of war.last_img read more

first_imgThe two patients are currently being treated in isolation at the city’s referral hospital for the virus, the Sulianti Saroso Infectious Diseases Hospital (RSPI Sulianti Suroso). Read also: Anies issues decree on increasing Jakarta’s COVID-19 alertness levelThey were previously admitted to Mitra Keluarga Hospital in Depok on Feb. 27. The Depok administration sent a circular to about 70 medical workers of the private hospital who may have come into contact with one of the patients, ordering them to limit their movements and avoid crowded areas.The Health Ministry said it tracked the movements of the two patients and found at least 48 people had come into contact with them.The Jakarta Archdiocese issued a statement on Monday suggesting churchgoers suffering from respiratory illnesses, such as cough and breathing difficulties, to stay at home and consult with their doctors.It also suggested that churchgoers bring their own hand sanitizers and allowed them not to hold hands for the sign of peace ritual. They were also given permission to bring their own crosses for the Good Friday service ahead of Easter. (ars) The Jakarta administration will reduce the number of mass gatherings as a precaution after two residents of Depok, West Java – located on the outskirts of the capital city – tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), marking the country’s first confirmed cases.Governor Anies Baswedan said on Monday his administration would suspend the issuance of new permits for mass gatherings.”The provincial administration won’t issue any new permits for events that will gather people in large numbers. The permits that have already been issued will be reviewed,” he told reporters at City Hall on Monday. Read also: Jakarta steps up efforts to tackle COVID-19 following two confirmed casesJakarta is scheduled to hold several large events this month. Pop culture festival Head in the Clouds Jakarta, initiated by Asian-American label 88rising and scheduled for Saturday, announced its postponement following the news.Anies also called on the public to avoid visiting places where cases of infection cases were reported.Officials announced Monday that a 64-year-old woman and her 31-year-old daughter tested positive for COVID-19 after the daughter was in contact with a Japanese citizen at a club in Jakarta on Feb. 14. The Japanese citizen tested positive for COVID-19 in Malaysia on Feb. 27.center_img Topics :last_img read more

first_imgThe Papuan Customary Council has called on local authorities to limit access to Papua and West Papua following the report of the first two COVID-19 cases in the region on Sunday.”We demand that the authorities halt all flights to Papua,” Customary Council head Dominikus Surabut said on Monday. He also urged the Papua and West Papua provincial administrations to restrict people’s activities to further contain the spread of the virus. “There must be concrete action [to combat COVID-19],” Dominikus said, suggesting that prevention was better than cure.Papua’s COVID-19 task force reported previously that 15 patients were under surveillance in Papua as of March 22. Two of them tested positive while two others were negative. The remaining 11 patients were still waiting for their test results. Papua Governor Lukas Enembe is set to hold a meeting with 29 regional heads, along with their respective health agencies, to discuss preventive measures. “We will announce whether or not a lockdown will be imposed on Wednesday,” Lukas said on Monday.Separately, on Sunday, Mamberamo Tengah Regent Ham Pagawan said that he would ask for an aircraft from the central government to help transport potential COVID-19 patients from Papua’s mountainous areas, which are difficult to reach by land.They would then be transported to Wamena, the capital of Jayawijaya regency, for treatment. “Wamena will be the community service center for people from mountainous areas,” Ham said. As of Monday afternoon, Indonesia had recorded 579 confirmed COVID-19 cases nationwide, with 49 deaths. (vny)Topics :last_img read more

first_img“We hope that housing subsidies will help low-income households to acquire decent and affordable housing, especially in the difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Public Works and Housing Ministry infrastructure financing director general Eko “Heri” Djoeli Heripoerwanto said in a press statement on Tuesday.Read also: COVID-19: Early warning for property marketsHeri explained that the stimulus would be in the form of interest rate subsidies for loan installments (SSB) and down payment subsidies (SBUM). Out of the Rp 1.5 trillion, Rp 800 billion will be used for SSB and Rp 700 billion for SBUM.The housing subsidies are part of a Rp 10.3 trillion stimulus package announced by the government in February to cushion the impacts of COVID-19 on household spending. The pneumonia-like disease has infected more than 1,700 people in the country with 170 fatalities and disrupted business activity as citizens are told to stay at home to limit the virus spread. The new mortgage subsidies allow low-income households to pay a mortgage interest rate of just 5 percent per year, much lower than the 9 to 10 percent in the current housing loan market, with a tenure of up to 10 years. People living in Papua and West Papua provinces will pay 4 percent in interest per annum for a loan tenure of up to 20 years.The government will then pay up any remaining interest rate differences.For low-income people who buy a landed house, the government will provide a Rp 4 million mortgage down payment subsidy and Rp 10 million for those living in Papua and West Papua provinces, Heri said.Read also: Indonesia announces $742m stimulus to shield economy from virusThree state-owned banks, namely Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) and Bank Tabungan Negara (BTN), will disburse the subsidies.“The Public Works and Housing Ministry still opens the opportunity for other banks that want to take part in the program so that low-income families will get as easy access as possible to the facility through the banks’ networks,” Heri said.He expressed hope that the latest stimulus would enable the government to achieve its target to give mortgage subsidies to 330,000 low-income households this year.In addition to the 175,000 families targeted by the new subsidies, the government will also support 88,000 poor families to get a house through the Housing Financing Liquidity Facility (FLPP) and 67,000 households through its new savings-based financial assistance.”The government is making every possible effort to help low-income citizens to fulfill one of life’s basic needs, which is to have a home,” Heri added.The government has been struggling to reduce the country’s housing backlog, which stood at 7.6 million in 2015. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration aims to build 1.25 million houses this year in its commitment to build 1 million houses per year.Since 2015, around 4.8 million houses have been constructed – 699,770 in 2015, 805,169 in 2016, 904,758 in 2017, 1.13 million in 2018 and more than 1.25 million in 2019.Property developers expressed their appreciation for the government’s new subsidies. Indonesian Settlement and Housing Developers Association (Apersi) chairman Junaidi Abdilah said in a statement that the association would adjust its targeted potential buyers accordingly through the subsidized housing loan mobile application Sikasep.Read also: Property developers, banks rush to woo millennial homebuyersDevelopers Indonesia (PI) chairman Barkah Hidayat and National Housing Development Alliance (Apernas) Jaya secretary-general Risma Gandhi also urged banks to optimize their mortgage disbursements for the program.“Problems over spreading awareness about the regulation usually happen between banks and their regional branches, delaying the process for regional developers,” Risma said.Paulus Totok Lusida of Real Estate Indonesia (REI) told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday that the stimulus could prop up the property sector, which saw an annual growth of only around 3.5 percent in the past few years. The sector relies heavily on subsidized housing programs, which account for half of the industry’s revenue, according to REI members’ data.”At least the subsidies can maintain the sector’s existence, because if it drops, it won’t be easy to pull it back up again,” Paulus said.Topics : The government has rolled out new housing loan subsidies and opened the door for more citizens to access the facility amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which is expected to disrupt businesses and hit people’s purchasing power.It launched Rp 1.5 trillion (US$89.7 million) in mortgage subsidies for 175,000 low-income families nationwide and increased the salary ceiling for eligible recipients to Rp 8 million for all types of housing from the previous Rp 4 million for landed houses and Rp 7 million for low-cost apartments. The new provision takes effect on April 1.The minimum wage varies across the country with a range of between Rp 1.7 million and Rp 4.3 million per month.last_img read more

Bayern Munich to resume training on Monday

October 19, 2020 | shgcmyqk | No Comments

first_img“In order to further slow the spread of the coronavirus, Bayern asks fans to continue to follow the instructions of the authorities and therefore please do not come to the Bayern training ground,” added the statement.More than 1,300 people have died in Germany from the coronavirus. Topics : Bayern Munich said Sunday that players will return to training on Monday for the first time since the Bundesliga was suspended due to the coronavirus.Bayern led the table by four points when the season was halted on March 13.”The Bayern Munich first team will return to training in small groups from Monday, April 6,” said a statement from the club.center_img “This will be done in coordination with government policy and the relevant authorities. “It goes without saying that all hygiene regulations will be strictly observed.”German football league officials had already advised a break in training until Sunday at the earliest.Bayern said that training will be held in private with no members of the public allowed.last_img read more

first_imgDisplaced women and girls are facing a heightened risk of gender-based violence during the coronavirus crisis, the UN Refugee Agency said Monday.The UNHCR said they may be forced into “survival sex” or child marriages.Lockdowns imposed to control the spread of COVID-19 have restricted movement and led to the closure of services. It said some safe shelters had been temporarily suspended.To counter the risk, the UNHCR is distributing emergency cash to survivors and women deemed to be at risk of gender-based violence.Triggs said governments should ensure that the “rising risks of violence” for displaced women are taken into account in their COVID-19 action plans.One measure could be ensuring that services for survivors of gender-based violence are designated as essential and remain accessible. “We need to pay urgent attention to the protection of refugee, displaced and stateless women and girls at the time of this pandemic,” said Gillian Triggs, the UNHCR assistant high commissioner for protection.”They are among those most at-risk. Doors should not be left open for abusers and no help spared for women surviving abuse and violence.”She said displaced women could end up confined with their abusers, while others, having lost their precarious livelihoods, “may be forced into survival sex, or child marriages by their families”, said Triggs. The restrictions imposed in many countries in response to the coronavirus pandemic mean limited access to support services, said the UNHCR.center_img Topics :last_img read more

first_imgMasked players The vast cathedral, a World Heritage Site where Christopher Columbus is buried, covers more than 11,000 square meters, with the choir and the orchestra set up in front of an intricately-carved wooden Gothic facade.”It’s a huge space. The cathedral has a capacity of 4,000 people but they have only put in 600 seats,” said Jose Carlos Carmona, musical director of the Seville symphony orchestra and the university choir.”Grant the dead eternal rest, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine on them,” they sang as the mass opened, many of the mourners lost in their thoughts as the music soared through the lofty chamber.Performing together for the first time in three months, 27 musicians — all of them masked except for the wind players — accompanied four soloists and a 53-strong choir who sang without masks. And before communion was distributed, a priest gave clear instructions on how to take the wafers safely, removing masks for just a brief moment.”I think it’s important that there’s a recognition and memorial for the victims and the families of the more than 27,000 people who died.. It means they haven’t died in vain and that they have value, not just for their families but for the whole country.” said Carmen Andrea, another of those in attendance.Cathedral officials had removed all the pews and replaced them with well-spaced individual seats and hand gel dispensers were set up at the entrance.Carmona said a team of professionals had created a detailed plan with “very clear interpersonal distances between each member of the orchestra and the choir” to keep within the guidelines. “This is a solemn event which expresses some of Seville’s pain but also that of Spain and the rest of the world,” he said.  “For me this event is important because my sister has passed away in Madrid.. and we haven’t been able to hold a private ceremony because it’s not allowed in this phase,” said a mourner called Maria who declined to give her family name. “But this [mass] is very much appreciated.” “It is very possible that in the past three months many of us have, like Jesus, lifted our eyes to the heavens and asked ‘My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?’,” he said. Spain went into lockdown in mid-March to slow the spread of the virus that has killed more than 27,000 people, most of whom were over 70. But with the epidemic now well under control, the restrictions have been gradually eased in a staged rollback, with Seville currently in phase two in which places of worship move to 50 percent of normal capacity. Some 600 places were reserved for bereaved family members but the funeral mass was also attended by city and regional government officials, senior military figures, academics and judges.  Topics : Hundreds of people who lost loved ones to coronavirus joined a huge funeral mass at Seville Cathedral on Thursday in one of the largest public gatherings in Spain since the lockdown. As they sat under the cathedral’s towering vaulted ceiling on carefully-spaced folding chairs, some could be seen wiping away tears as a nearly 90-strong choir and orchestra performed Mozart’s RequiemMany were dressed in black and all were wearing facemasks as Archbishop Juan Jose Asenjo opened the service with the account of Jesus’ death from one of the gospels. last_img read more

first_imgCOVID-19 restrictions, which are now being phased out in some places, have caused logistical disruptions along the supply chain by limiting mobility in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected more than 46,000 people nationwide.The maritime highway, which has run since 2015, is a subsidized cargo program that to distribute staple goods and major consumer items — including rice, sugar, flour, cooking oil and eggs — as well as steel and cement to remote regions of the archipelago.It aims to reduce the price disparity across the country’s many islands, which is generally caused by costly logistics.Seven of the 26 maritime highway routes are operated by private shipping companies, while the majority of the rest are run by state-owned shipping company Pelayaran Nasional Indonesia (Pelni). The routes connect major cities with more remote areas, including Tanjung Perak in East Java and Timika, Papua. Indonesian Logistics Association (ALI) chairman Zady Ilham Masita slammed the program as “ineffective”, as it had not boosted the sea freight volume, which had decreased by 50 percent from normal times since the pandemic swept the country in March.“There has been no significant impact of the program as our sea shipment volume has been tanking since the pandemic,” he told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday via text messages.The association in April reported an overall decline in business performance of more than 50 percent since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country, while the logistics volume had decreased by up to 70 percent from normal times.The ministry’s sea traffic director, Wisnu Handoko, claimed that the ships were filled with supplies on various routes.“The departing ships’ load factors are above the average around 70 percent [of capacity] with several routes reaching 95 percent,” he said in a press statement.Indonesian National Shipowners Association (INSA) reported in early May that container ship revenue had fallen by 10 to 25 percent from normal levels. Likewise, the revenue of bulk carriers – tankers, tugs and barges – dropped by 25 to 50 percent. The decline is partially due to the pandemic’s severe impact on the oil and gas industry, which is one of the country’s major users of sea transportation services.INSA chairperson Carmelita Hartoto took a more positive stance on the program, stating that shipping companies were ready to expand their collaboration with the government on the program in the future.“We are grateful that logistics shipments can still operate in line with schedules despite the pandemic. Private shipping lines are also ready to work together with the government, just like we’ve done before,” Carmelita told the Post on Tuesday.However, she was of the view that the program still struggled with issues such as route monopolies as well as low cargo loads when returning from destination, particularly in the easternmost provinces.Topics : The Transportation Ministry is relying on a long-running sea transportation program – the maritime highway – to support logistics in the country amid disruption induced by the COVID-19 pandemic.Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi on Sunday stated that optimizing the maritime highway, a flagship program in President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s first term in office, was part of the government’s efforts to ensure the movement of goods during the health crisis.“The maritime highway is expected to secure supply logistics all across Indonesia during the pandemic,” Budi said according to a press release. “To optimize the maritime highway program, all stakeholders need to take part to maximize the carrying capacity of the ships and reduce price disparity [among islands].”last_img read more

first_imgIn the latter part of his speech, President Jokowi said ASEAN travel corridors would be crucial to maintain regional connectivity, which would be central to economic growth. In addition, Jokowi said, the arrangement could signal the strategic significance of the ASEAN community in the region and the world. “Each of these countries, even though they are grouped under ASEAN, still need to protect their citizens from COVID-19. This continues to be the main priority of each country. So it won’t be possible to have travel corridors when the response levels are not equal,” said Dicky, who was involved in the ASEAN HIV-AIDS response in the mid aughts. “The travel corridor arrangements, of course, must be done carefully, measurably and gradually, starting from essential business travel that implements strict health protocols,” Jokowi said.President Jokowi, who delivered the remarks after speeches from Brunei Darussalam’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, said regional leaders must give clear direction to accelerate post-COVID-19 ASEAN economic recovery.A number of countries in ASEAN have begun working on details of a plan to open a passage that would allow for safe travel during the pandemic. The proposed plans include Singapore’s “fast-lane” arrangement with China as well as Malaysia’s “green lane” with Singapore and Brunei. Indonesia is also discussing a “fast lane” arrangement with China, which is expected to be open by the end of June, according to information from the Chinese Embassy in Jakarta. Indonesia has the highest cumulative total of confirmed cases, as its daily tally of new cases continues to hover around 1,000. Meanwhile, other ASEAN states such as Vietnam, Brunei and Laos have all reported zero cases over the past few weeks. Since the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Thailand in mid-January, all 10 member states have progressed differently in their COVID-19 responses, with some countries succeeding at containing the virus and others still grappling with high rates of infection. Jokowi also encouraged digital connectivity and called for the strengthening of regional economic cooperation through the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) this year.In his opening remarks, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc of Vietnam, which is the current chair of ASEAN, warned that the virus pandemic could cause an economic calamity as it has swept away years of economic gains in the region. Other ASEAN country leaders, including Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and Brunei Darussalam’s Hassanal Bolkiah, also tabled the travel bubble proposal, saying the plan is crucial to shore up investments and create job opportunities. With concerns over economic catastrophe taking center stage at the 36th ASEAN Summit, which kicked off virtually on Friday, some country members of the regional grouping are calling for the opening of an ASEAN travel corridor.Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is one of the country leaders proposing the regional travel corridor arrangement, saying it could be a crucial measure to accelerate economic recovery.”I understand that some of us, including Indonesia, have started bilateral talks both with fellow ASEAN countries and with countries outside ASEAN regarding travel corridors. However, it is time for ASEAN, as a community, to think about ASEAN travel corridor arrangements,” Jokowi said in his speech, delivered from Bogor Palace on Friday. Dicky said that countries in the ASEAN region should make controlling the epidemic a priority rather than focusing on bringing the economy back to normal.”Look at other regions. Even the EU does not treat every member equally but gives them the freedom to arrange their own travel corridors based on the pandemic control status,” he said. Epidemiologist Dicky Budiman, however, pointed out that as the COVID-19 response in the region was not uniform, with some showing some level of success in controlling the outbreak while others still facing surging cases, it would be difficult for countries to achieve a uniform travel bubble agreement.  “As a first step, we can explore the possibility of sectoral exemptions for travel restrictions such as medical tourism, or high-value economic visits,” Prime Minister Muhyiddin said as quoted by Malaysian national news agency Bernama.Malaysia’s “green bubble” or “green lanes” proposal, however, involves easing travel restrictions between two or more countries where local COVID-19 infections and cases are low. Malaysian officials have said that countries with no new cases of COVID-19 for 28 days could be considered to join the travel bubble. Foreign travelers from “green zone” countries like Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand and Australia may not need to undergo the 14-day quarantine, Bloomberg has reported. Topics : “It has swept away the successes of recent years […] threatening the lives of millions of people,” Prime Minister Xuan Phuc said in a sobering opening address as quoted by Agence France-Presse. He emphasized the “serious consequences” of the pandemic for economic development among ASEAN’s members.The Vietnamese prime minister also said that in the coming months, ASEAN leaders would face a “heavy burden” to lead the region out of the difficult times. “The successful completion of this task will stand as a testament to the lasting values and vitality of our resilient and dynamic community,” he said.According to the latest International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast, world economic growth would be lower than previously estimated, from minus 3 percent to minus 4.9 percent, making the crisis the worst economic contraction since the Great Depression in the 1930s.last_img read more