Day: January 22, 2020

red snowmobile

Snowmobile Accident in Quebec: One Canadian Dead, 5 French Tourists Missing

Several members of the group went missing after the ice gave way under the weight of their snowmobiles in an unmarked area.
A Canadian guide is dead and five French tourists on a snowmobile tour in northern Quebec are missing after the ice broke under the weight of several vehicles in an unmarked area, police said Wednesday.

The accident occurred early Tuesday evening in the Lac St. Jean area during a snowmobile ride with a guide and eight French tourists that turned into a tragedy.

“Sûreté du Québec snowmobilers are still on the scene. A command post has been set up and the divers are on site,” the Sûreté du Québec tweeted. A helicopter will also arrive at the search site.

The five tourists still alive?

Police were alerted by two of the tourists who had just recovered one of their own from the icy waters. The helicopter had broken through the ice while they were crossing an “off-track” area on a river flowing out of Lac Saint-Jean, about 225 km north of Quebec City, said Sûreté du Québec spokesman Hugues Beaulieu.

Police and the army were immediately called in to assist. They rescued the expedition guide, a 42-year-old Quebecer who had also fallen into the water, but the man died overnight in hospital, according to the same source. “Five French tourists are still missing,” the spokesman said.

He did not rule out the possibility that these five tourists may have taken refuge in a chalet during the night, although this is “rather unlikely” according to him.

coins economy representation

Inequality : 1% of the richest people own twice wealth of 92% of the world’s population

On the eve of the World Economic Forum in Davos, which brings together the most important economic decision-makers, the NGO Oxfam publishes its traditional report on global inequalities. These inequalities continue to increase, putting hundreds of thousands of people in the streets all over the world. Now, the richest 1% of the world’s population earns twice as much as 92% of the world’s population.

He was, in the space of a few hours, the richest man in the world on 16 December last year. Bernard Arnault, the boss of the LVMH group, has a fortune of 76 billion dollars, making him the richest billionaire in France. The NGO Oxfam, which publishes this Monday January 20 its annual report on global inequalities (1), calculated that if someone had been able to save the equivalent of 8,000 euros a day since the storming of the Bastille – on July 14, 1789 – it would only reach 1% of the famous businessman’s fortune today.

“Indecent inequalities are at the heart of social fractures and conflicts all over the world because no one is fooled: inequalities are not inevitable, they are the result of social and fiscal policies that reduce the participation of the richest in the solidarity effort through taxation, and weaken the financing of public services. Transport, education, health, pension systems… are sacrificed when they are decisive in the fight against poverty”, warns Pauline Leclère, Oxfam France spokesperson.

Income growth too unevenly distributed

But if Bernard Arnault is the one who has amassed the most wealth in the world in 2019, and the dividend payment by the CAC 40 is at its highest, the poverty rate is gaining ground in France with an additional 400,000 people below the poverty line, bringing the number of poor people to 9.8 million. Thus, at the national level, the richest 10% own 50% of the wealth. “Despite high expectations of fiscal and social justice, the poorest remain the big losers from the budgetary measures since the beginning of the five-year period,” stresses Pauline Leclère.

At the global level, the gap is even more staggering, with the richest 1% holding twice the wealth of 92% of the population. According to new World Bank statistics, nearly half of the world’s population is trying to survive on less than five euros a day. “For many people, all it takes is a hospital bill or a bad harvest to slide into poverty,” Oxfam warns. At the other end of the scale, the richest get richer almost “effortlessly”: between 2011 and 2017, dividends paid to shareholders grew by 31% compared to 3% for average salaries in the G7 countries.

Economist Thomas Piketty and his team have shown that between 1980 and 2016, the richest 1% captured 27% of income growth, while the poorest 50% were content with 12%. “We will never be able to eradicate poverty if the economic system continues to distribute the fruits of growth so unevenly. This unjust growth model is also unsustainable within the environmental limits of our planet,” concludes Oxfam.

london bigben for brexit

Ring? Won’t ring? As the Brexit approaches, Big Ben’s silence divides the British people

The “brexiters” want to ring the world’s most famous bell on January 31. Problem: Big Ben is under construction. It is estimated that it will cost around 600,000 euros to put it back into service for the occasion.

A symbol of the division of the country in the run-up to the Brexit? A few days before the fateful date and the UK’s exit from the EU on 31 January next, a question continues to tear the British people apart: Will Big Ben mark this historic event? As “Le Monde” points out, the question is more serious than it seems.

For the 160-year-old clock in the Palace of Westminster has been silenced for more than two years due to extensive restoration work. Its chimes now ring only on very rare occasions, such as New Year’s Day, and some Brexit supporters wanted it to mark the exit from the European Union on 31 January at 11 p.m. (midnight Paris time).

Problem? It’s too expensive, Parliament decreed. The operation, given the current work, could cost up to £500,000 (€585,000). Almost “50,000 pounds per shot,” calculated the Speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle.

A participatory campaign?

But Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a strong supporter of Brexit, refused to bury the idea! He even raised the possibility of a public subscription. The idea soon received the support of conservative donors, who said they were ready to contribute to the collective effort, but also of newspapers such as the “Daily Expres”, which hammered on the front page: “Big Ben must ring out for Brexit”.

Hopes showered by Downing Street on Thursday, which explained that Parliament was not allowed to launch a participatory fundraising campaign. Among the pro-Brexit ranks, disappointment is high. For Conservative MP Mark Francois, it is “inconceivable” that Big Ben won’t ring the bell for such a big event, which brings an end to nearly half a century of an often contentious marriage.

The government is “embarrassed by the Brexit and is not proud of it”, attacked Nigel Farage, a figure in the campaign for the 2016 referendum in favour of leaving the European Union.

Have you lost your mind?

Some Eurosceptic media have accused supporters of retention in the European Union of inflating the cost estimate to make Big Ben ring, noting that it did ring out to celebrate the New Year.

Far from being unanimous even among Brexit supporters, the fight to get Big Ben to ring the bell is gnashing its teeth. “Have you lost your mind? “headlines a viral parody on the front page of the Daily Express, pointing the finger at those who “want to spend half a million to ring a bell” despite poverty and the climate crisis.

Most Conservative ministers have avoided speaking out on the subject, with Steve Barclay, head of Brexit, saying he “wouldn’t dare” comment. As Brexit approaches, any celebration could be unwelcome. “For many people, it will not be a joyful moment,” warned Patrick Grady, MP for the Scottish National Party, whose party is resolutely pro-European.

people who have a mask as virus protection

Several hundred cases, 9 dead, meeting at the WHO… An update on the virus in China

An ad hoc committee of the World Health Organization is scheduled to meet on Wednesday to determine whether to declare a “public health emergency of international concern”.

The new coronavirus, which has killed nine people and infected hundreds of others in China, “could mutate and spread more easily,” Chinese Vice Minister of the National Health Commission Li Bin warned on Wednesday (22 January). The announcement comes as hundreds of millions of Chinese are currently travelling across the country to be with their families during the Lunar New Year holiday, which begins Friday.

In response to the global concern, an ad hoc committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) is scheduled to meet from noon in Geneva to determine whether to declare a “public health emergency of international concern”.

Transmission through “close contact”

The strain in question is a new type of coronavirus, a cousin of the one responsible for SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) – a highly contagious virus that killed some 650 people in mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.

This time, the origin of this new coronavirus appears to be in a market in the Chinese city of Wuhan, which has been closed since 1 January to limit the contagion. “It is assumed that the source was animals sold in this market and that there has been a passage into humans,” explains Professor Fontanet, head of the emerging disease epidemiology unit at the Pasteur Institute in Paris.

On Monday, Zhong Nanshan, a renowned Chinese scientist from the National Health Commission, told the state television channel CCTV that transmission by contagion between people was “proven”. The WHO says that an animal appears to be “the most likely primary source”, with “limited human-to-human transmission through close contact”.

440 cases detected in China and already nine deaths

China, the epicentre of the epidemic, had 440 confirmed cases on Wednesday morning. Nearly 1,000 patients are also under observation, according to a statement by the National Health Commission, one of whose doctors, Wang Guangfa, said on Tuesday on a Hong Kong television that he himself was infected with the virus.

Nearly half of the country’s provinces are affected, including megalopolises like Shanghai and Beijing, where the French high school issued prevention instructions and distributed antibacterial gel to students, some of whom wore masks on Wednesday.

Relaying a call by President Xi Jinping to “stop” the epidemic, Li Bin announced preventive measures such as ventilation and disinfection at airports, train stations and shopping malls. Temperature detectors may also be installed in high-traffic areas. Isolation of people diagnosed with the disease is now mandatory and quarantine measures can be ordered by local authorities.

About ten cases already recorded abroad

Other cases of this mysterious pneumonia have been detected abroad. On Wednesday morning, a case was reported in Hong Kong, according to the local press. On the same day, the semi-autonomous Chinese region of Macao also reported a first case. Authorities detected the virus in a 52-year-old businesswoman who arrived on Sunday by train from the nearby city of Zhuhai.

On Tuesday, 21 January, the United States announced a first case on its territory. He is a man in his thirties who is hospitalized in Everett, near Seattle, Washington. The individual has not visited any of the Wuhan markets in China; he has only travelled in the region.

Prior to this, two cases had been detected in Thailand, one in Taiwan and one in Japan. Authorities in all three countries claim that the patients had all travelled to Wuhan prior to their hospitalization.

The virus was also identified in South Korea in a 35-year-old Chinese woman who arrived by plane from Wuhan on Sunday. Health authorities in the country revealed that she went to the hospital in the Chinese city of Hubei province on Saturday because of a cold. She had been prescribed medicine before she flew to Seoul, where her symptoms were detected. She was quarantined.

In addition to these proven cases, there is still doubt about the illness suffered by a 5-year-old Filipino child who arrived from Wuhan with a parent on 12 January.


Paris and Washington take action

In the rest of the world, preventive measures are also increasing. The United States has announced that from Friday it will begin screening flights from Wuhan at San Francisco Airport and John F. Kennedy (New York) – where direct flights from Wuhan land – as well as at Los Angeles, where there are many connections. Passengers will be examined by medical teams, but will not be routinely sampled.

In France, “vigilance has just been triggered,” Public Health France told Le Parisien on Monday. Doctors must now refer to the SAMU or “an infectious disease specialist” any person “presenting an acute respiratory infection, whatever its severity, who has travelled or stayed in the city of Wuhan in China in the fourteen days preceding the date of onset of clinical signs or who has had close contact with a person who became ill in this city”.

jeff bezos in india

When Jeff Bezos Demonstrates Amazon’s Electric Delivery Cyclo-Pushers

In India, in 2025, Amazon will deliver its parcels via a fleet of 10,000 electric vehicles.

After a visibly conclusive test phase initiated in 2019, Amazon has confirmed its intention to set up a fleet of 10,000 electric vehicles in India by 2025. Three- and four-wheeled vehicles will be used for deliveries.

Electric pedicabs for Amazon India

The deployment of these small vehicles will begin this year and will initially involve the cities of Delhi, Nagpur, Bangalore and Coimbatore. Obviously, all the vehicles will be made in India and it was Jeff Bezos himself who wanted to give a small demonstration.

From Amazon’s side, he explains: “In September 2019, Amazon became the first signatory to the climate pledge, which states that the company is committed to zero carbon emissions in all its operations by 2040, a decade ahead of the 2050 target set by the Paris Accord.

maybe next iphone 9 design like iphone X

Apple’s iPhone 9 goes into mass production in February and goes on sale in March.

Despite increasingly persistent rumors, a “cheap” iPhone is still not confirmed by Apple. According to the Bloomberg agency, mass production of the iPhone 9 will begin next month for delivery in March.

The prospect of a new low-cost iPhone is a vintage in the world of mobile telephony since the late iPhone SE. Motivated in particular by its boom in India, Apple is nevertheless ready to launch a terminal under the $450 or even $350 mark. Inspired by the iPhone 8, but performing like an iPhone 11, this iPhone 9 would be close to crossing the threshold of mass production. This is what the very serious agency Bloomberg reports, according to “sources close to the issue”.

According to this schedule, the Cupertino-based company would present the mobile as early as next March for commercialization in the wake. For this iPhone, Apple would have entrusted the manufacture to three of its subcontractors. Also according to Bloomberg, Apple has asked Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, its main chip manufacturer, to drastically increase its production for the first quarter of 2020.

Such a short timeframe still leaves us wondering. Indeed, this iPhone 9 could potentially be aimed primarily at the Indian market. Therefore, a production in February for a launch in March could lead to some stock shortages.

Regarding the characteristics of this (almost) new device, it would take the general design of the iPhone 8, differing only 0.5 mm in thickness – the price to pay for a larger battery – and by its frosted glass back, like the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max. Under the hood, the A11 chip would be replaced by the A13 of the iPhone 11. Likewise, the single photo module is expected to benefit from the latest advances in high-end iPhone technology. For the rest, it should keep the same 4.7-inch IPS LCD panel, which could delight fans of small smartphones. For the security part, the iPhone 9 (or SE 2) would recover Touch ID with the Home button and would not integrate Face ID.