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UK sets out five-point economic action plan for the G20

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Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak

LONDON, England – UK prime minister Rishi Sunak will call for coordinated global action to address international economic instability and the rising cost of living when he attends the G20 Summit this week. The meeting in Indonesia comes as countries around the world face huge economic difficulties, caused or exacerbated by the illegal invasion of Ukraine, the prime minister’s office noted Monday.

“Every household on the planet is feeling the impact of Putin’s war. Global food prices have been driven up by his attempts to choke off the Ukrainian grain supply, energy bills have skyrocketed thanks to Russia turning off their gas taps and the World Bank predicts the economic aftershocks will ripple around the world for years to come.”

This week’s meeting will be the first time a UK prime minister has met a representative of the Russian regime since Putin’s full-scale invasion in February. Russian foreign minister Lavrov is expected to attend the talks instead of Putin. The prime minister will use the G20 as an opportunity to call out Putin’s barbarism and force Russia to confront the global suffering caused by this senseless campaign of violence.

“The best and quickest way to alleviate these problems is for Putin to withdraw from Ukraine. But while this war continues, the world’s most powerful economies have a crucial role to play in addressing the desperate global economic situation,” said 10 Downing Street.

G20 leaders first met during the global financial crisis in 2008, in recognition of the fact that our complex and international economic system cannot function without coordinated action from the most powerful economies. This year, the world is looking to the G20 again to ensure the stability of international markets and alleviate the burden on the world’s poorest people.

Ahead of this week’s summit prime minister Sunak has set out a five-point economic action plan for leaders to address the current global instability, covering changes to the global energy market, international food supply and the world financial system.

This action will ensure a firm platform for the domestic measures the Chancellor will set out in this week’s Autumn statement.

The prime minister said:

“Later this week the Autumn Statement will set out how we will get this country on the right path, put public finances on a stable footing and get debt falling. Creating a stable international system that protects the most vulnerable will be a core part of that work.

“But addressing the biggest economic crisis in a decade will require a concerted effort by the world’s largest economies – these are not problems we can solve alone. At the G20, leaders need to step up to fix the weaknesses in the international economic system which Putin has exploited for years.”

Under the five-point economic action plan, prime minister Sunak will call on fellow leaders to:

  • Direct government support to where it’s most needed. Using government support effectively to prioritise the most vulnerable, both in our own countries and internationally.
  • End the weaponisation of food production and distribution. Taking immediate action to support the global food trade to reduce the cost of living for all and save the lives of those at risk of starvation. This includes calling for the Black Sea Grain Initiative to be renewed on 19 November and a G20-wide commitment never to weaponise food production and distribution.
  • Strengthen our energy security and reduce energy dependence on Russia. We must bring an end Russia’s stranglehold over international energy prices. As part of these efforts we will work with partners to unlock the investment needed to accelerate the green transition – the best way of protecting ourselves from those who have perpetually used hydrocarbons to bully and coerce.
  • Open up global trade. This includes by advancing bilateral free trade agreements and through reform of the World Trade Organization. We need a WTO fit to release the opportunities of the 21st century while tackling the manipulation of global markets by malign actors.
  • Providing honest, reliable finance to help developing countries grow sustainably. Ensuring that the international financial system has the firepower needed to help developing countries grow without becoming dependent on their lenders. This includes rapid action to help poor countries better manage their debt burdens and providing an alternative to developing countries borrowing from exploitative sources.

“These efforts form part of the prime minister’s drive to place economic stability and confidence at the heart of this government’s agenda. That means, being a constructive and reliable member to the global economy, and using our influence to create a stronger international economic system,” said the prime minister’s office, 10 Downing Street.



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History & culture of the eastern Caribbean islands

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The Eastern Caribbean is a region that includes a number of small island nations and territories in the Caribbean Sea. These islands have a rich history and culture that have been shaped by a variety of influences, including African, Caribbean, European, and indigenous peoples.

The first inhabitants of the Eastern Caribbean were indigenous peoples who migrated to the region thousands of years ago. These people included the Arawaks, Caribs, and Tainos, who were skilled farmers, fishermen, and craftsmen.

The first European explorers to reach the Eastern Caribbean were the Spanish, who arrived in the region in the late 15th century. The Spanish claimed the islands for their own and began to establish settlements, plantations, and mines. However, they were soon challenged by the English, French, and Dutch, who also wanted to control the region.

The Eastern Caribbean became a battleground for these European powers, who fought over control of the islands for more than two centuries. The islands were eventually divided among the European powers, with the English, French, and Dutch each controlling a number of islands.

During this period, the islands became a melting pot of cultures, with African slaves brought to the region to work on the plantations, and Europeans, Africans, and indigenous peoples mixing and intermingling. This led to the development of a unique culture and identity for the Eastern Caribbean, which is still evident today.

Today, the Eastern Caribbean is a diverse and vibrant region with a rich history and culture. The islands are known for their beautiful beaches, stunning natural scenery, and vibrant music and dance traditions. The region also has a thriving tourism industry, with many visitors coming to the islands to experience the unique culture and beauty of the Eastern Caribbean.

In addition to its rich history and culture, the Eastern Caribbean is also known for its natural beauty. The islands are home to a variety of landscapes, including white sandy beaches, lush rainforests, and mountains. The region is also home to a number of protected areas and national parks, which are home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including many species that are found nowhere else in the world.

The Eastern Caribbean is also an important economic region, with many of the islands relying on tourism as a major source of income. The region is also known for its production of spices, particularly nutmeg, which is one of the main exports of the region. In addition, the islands are home to a number of small-scale industries, including fishing, agriculture, and manufacturing.

The Eastern Caribbean is also a popular destination for sailors, with many of the islands offering excellent sailing conditions and a number of marinas and yacht clubs. The region is also home to a number of major sailing events, including the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers and the Caribbean 600 race.

Overall, the Eastern Caribbean is a fascinating and diverse region with a rich history, culture, and natural beauty. The islands offer a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy, from relaxing on beautiful beaches to exploring the region’s vibrant culture and history.

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Singapore – UK businesses agreement opens new fintech market

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  • The UK and Singapore agree a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the UK-Singapore FinTech Bridge to remove barriers to fintech trade and boost cooperation
  • This will deepen engagement between businesses, and regulators, adding to previous co-operation
  • Policymakers from both the UK and Singapore will meet regularly with the fintech sector to work to remove regulatory barriers to trade

LONDON, England – The UK and Singapore have agreed to a new MoU boosting fintech trade and cooperation at their 7th Financial Dialogue in Singapore today, 25 November.

The Fintech Bridge builds on an agreement signed in 2016 – which will remove barriers to fintech trade by opening new regular talks between regulators and businesses, in addition to previous areas of cooperation

This will increase the cooperation and sharing of information on emerging trends in the fintech sector. It will also break down barriers to trade for UK and Singaporean fintechs, boosting growth and investment opportunities.

Andrew Griffith MP, economic secretary to the treasury, said:

“The UK and Singapore are among the world’s leading jurisdictions for fintech investment – and today’s announcement will only accelerate growth and innovation in our respective sectors. The MoU we’ve announced today is crucial – and I would like to thank the Monetary Authority of Singapore for their constructive engagement throughout discussions.”

Chief Executive Officer, (CEO) of Innovate Finance, Janine Hirt said:

“Innovate Finance welcomes this announcement. An MoU between UK and Singapore will deliver a strengthened framework for vital regulatory and policy discussions between the two countries, enable innovation across financial services, and ensure businesses based in both the UK and Singapore have the ongoing support for their ambitions for growth to be realised.

“We look forward to supporting future financial dialogues and business-to-business activity between these markets. We are also delighted to be working with the key organisations engaged to promote the opportunities this FinTech bridge has to offer, and to welcoming FinTech businesses to IFGS and UK FinTech Week next year.”

Miles Celic, chief executive officer, TheCityUK, said:

“The UK and Singapore are two of the world’s most dynamic and innovative FinTech markets. The FinTech Bridge will drive exciting new opportunities and greater alignment of regulatory approaches will help with the expansion of FinTechs from the UK and Singapore into each other’s markets. Greater cooperation between government, regulators and industry will boost innovation and drive better outcomes for customers.”

This MoU will also further deepen the engagement and opportunities between two of the premier international financial and related professional services centres.

The existing Regulatory Cooperation Agreement signed in 2016 has enabled the UK and Singaporean fintech sectors to closely align at a regulatory level. Today’s commitment goes further in a number of areas, making clear the business support available to firms, highlighting opportunities in each other’s markets and creating a clear link between challenges firms face and policy discussions.

The MoU will come into effect next week once formalities have been completed on both sides.

Source: HM Treasury



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The Fast-Spreading New COVID-19 Subvariant XBB Is Part of a ‘New Class’ of Omicron

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Posted on 08 November 2022.

Reprint

Note by TMR Editor: We bring this and other articles making some introductory observations to our readers. We bring these for the information and education our readers can get so they are informed and know how to conduct and protect themselves and their families as well as their communities. What we would like to see more of is how people of this world can protect themselves from the dangerous people whose main interest in our health, is money. It is suspicious that they mostly push without giving the alternative we allude to, the “vaccine”.

Korin Miller 

For the past several months, Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 have dominated COVID-19 cases in the U.S. But now, there’s a class of new COVID subvariants on the rise and one, in particular, is getting plenty of attention. It’s called XBB—or Gryphon—and there’s a chance it could overtake everything else out there.

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XBB is getting a lot of buzz because it spreads fast—and seems to be able to evade immunity that people have built up from having a previous COVID-19 infection or getting the vaccine, says William Schaffner, M.D., an infectious disease specialist, and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Still, Dr. Schaffner says, “it’s early days and we have a lot to learn.”

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/health/medical/the-fast-spreading-new-covid-19-subvariant-xbb-is-part-of-a-new-class-of-omicron/ar-AA133Y9C?ocid=winp1taskbar&cvid=72c19d6ec07540d0a41f2092c9efaaa2&fullscreen=true#image=1

XBB or Gryphon is a new COVID-19 Omicron subvariant that’s soaring in Singapore. Here’s what you need to know about the mutated version of the Omicron variant.© Olga Siletskaya – Getty Images

Here’s what we know about XBB so far, and why doctors are keeping a close eye on it.

What is the XBB COVID variant?

XBB is one of the “new class” of Omicron variants that are spreading fast right now, says Thomas Russo, M.D., professor and chief of infectious disease at the University at Buffalo in New York. That includes BQ.1.1, BQ.1, BQ.1.3, BA.2.3.20, and XBB, he says.

“XBB is a hybrid version of two strains of the BA.2 form of Omicron,” explains Amesh A. Adalja, M.D., a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. It’s currently “spreading efficiently in Singapore,” he adds.

The variant was first detected in August 2022 in India, and has been detected in more than 17 countries since then, including Australia, Bangladesh, Denmark, India, Japan and the U.S., per Singapore’s Ministry of Health.

XBB is thought to have the best ability to evade antibody protections of these newly emerged COVID variants, according to a pre-print study from researchers in China. That study said that the new strains of Omicron, and XBB in particular, “are the most antibody-evasive strain tested, far exceeding BA.5 and approaching SARS-CoV-1 level.” (SARS-CoV-1, in case you’re not familiar with it, is the strain of coronavirus that causes SARS, a respiratory virus that can cause severe illness.)

Meaning, the vaccine and having previously had COVID-19 are not thought to offer the same level of protection against XBB as they have with previous strains of COVID-19. Antibody drugs like Evusheld and bebtelovimab may also not be very effective against XBB, the pre-print study says.

“These variants are evolving to evade protection,” Dr. Russo says. The bivalent booster is “likely going to be protective against severe disease” with XBB, but will be “imperfect against preventing infection,” Dr. Russo says.

Don’t panic, though. “When it comes to evasion of vaccine protection, it’s important to recognize that vaccine protection is not all or none,” Dr. Adalja says. “Even with immune-evasive variants, vaccine protection against what matters most—severe disease—remains intact.”

XBB variant symptoms

So far, symptoms of XBB seem to be similar to what they’ve been with COVID-19 in general. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those can include:

· Fever or chills

· Cough

· Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

· Fatigue

· Muscle or body aches

· Headache

· New loss of taste or smell

· Sore throat

· Congestion or runny nose

· Nausea or vomiting

· Diarrhea

How contagious is the XBB subvariant?

Like other strains of Omicron, XBB is thought to be very contagious. Singapore’s Ministry of Health notes that the variant now makes up 54% of COVID-19 cases in the country, up from 22% the week before.

Singapore’s Ministry of health says that XBB is “at least as transmissible as currently circulating variants” but adds that “there is no evidence that XBB causes more severe illness.”

When will the XBB subvariant peak?

There are a lot of unknowns about XBB right now. While it’s been detected in the U.S., BA.5 and BA.4.6 continue to be the dominant variants in this country, per CDC data.

Other variants are also started to spread at the same time, Dr. Adalja says, and it’s unclear which will displace BA.4.6 and BA.5 in the U.S., if they will at all. “It’s likely to spread to some degree in the U.S. but unclear if it—or some other related variant such as BQ.1.1—will become dominant,” he says.

Dr. Schaffner says there is “some concern” about XBB and fellow variants on the rise. “Watching what happens over the next several weeks is important,” he says.

This article is accurate as of press time. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly evolves and the scientific community’s understanding of the novel coronavirus develops, some of the information may have changed since it was last updated. While we aim to keep all of our stories up to date, please visit online resources provided by the CDCWHO, and your local public health department to stay informed on the latest news. Always talk to your doctor for professional medical advice.



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