No annual growth target for virus-hit China, a first in years

first_imgChina took the rare move of not setting an annual growth target this year after the coronavirus battered the world’s second-largest economy and ravaged global growth, Premier Li Keqiang said Friday.Instead, given “great uncertainty” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Beijing will “give priority to stabilising employment and ensuring living standards”, he told the opening of the National People’s Congress.He also announced that China’s fiscal deficit was expected to be over 3.6 percent of gross domestic product this year, with a deficit increase of one trillion yuan (US$140 billion) over last year. Another one trillion yuan of government bonds will be issued for COVID-19 control, he added, calling these “extraordinary measures for an unusual time”.The two trillion yuan will be transferred in full to local governments, with the funds to be primarily used for ensuring employment, meeting basic living needs, and protecting market entities, said Li.He also said governments at all levels should “tighten their belts”, and that all types of surplus, idle and carryover funds will be withdrawn and re-allocated, to be put to better use.It is the first time in recent years that officials have decided not to issue a numerical growth target, which is typically seen as a signal of the resources leaders are willing to spend to shore up the economy.Li said China is “keenly aware of the difficulties and problems” the country faces, with COVID-19 sending the world economy into recession.Before the pandemic, China was expected to announce a growth target of around six percent this year, allowing it to meet its key political commitment of doubling gross domestic product from 2010 to 2020.But with the COVID-19 shock causing economic growth to shrink 6.8 percent in the first quarter, and with further damage on the cards, such a target was seen as no longer realistic.Topics :last_img read more

Arsenal boss Unai Emery to offload Henrikh Mkhitaryan and bring in four new signings

first_img Comment Emery wants to shift the 30-year-old off Arsenal’s wage bill (Picture: Getty)Arsenal will have a modest transfer kitty of around £40m this summer if they fail to qualify for the Champions League, meaning they will need to sell players to fund the spending spree Emery is planning.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTThe Gunners will receive no fees for Aaron Ramsey, Petr Cech or Danny Welbeck, all of whom are expected to leave in the summer, but hope to find buyers for Mkhitaryan and Ozil.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 CityDespite the club’s budget restrictions, Emery wants four new faces, with a left-sided winger and left-back his two priorities.Celtic defender Kieran Tierney is on his radar, while he also wants a new central defender and central midfielder. The Spaniard needs to shift one of his highest earners before bringing in new faces (Picture: Getty)Arsenal boss Unai Emery wants as many as four new signings this summer and is prepared to sell Henrikh Mkhitaryan in order to free up the club’s enormous wage bill.The Armenian moved to north London in January 2018 in a swap deal for Alexis Sanchez and, with no transfer fee involved, was handed a £180,000-a-week salary – making him one the club’s highest earners.However, according to the Mirror, Emery believes those funds – as well as the £350,000-a-week Mesut Ozil is earning – could be better spent elsewhere. Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 26 Mar 2019 11:32 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link643Shares Arsenal boss Unai Emery to offload Henrikh Mkhitaryan and bring in four new signingscenter_img Advertisement Advertisement Kieran Tierney and Nicolo Barella are on Arsenal’s wish list – but they need to raise funds (Getty)Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella is Arsenal’s top target to fill the midfield void left by Ramsey, though he will cost more than the club’s entire summer budget, with the north Londoners needing to sell to afford his £45m valuation.Mohamed Elneny, Calum Chambers and Shkodran Mustafi are all also up for sale, having failed to impress Emery, while the Spanish coach will not be making Denis Suarez’s loan move permanent.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

David Luiz and Sokratis Papastathopoulos have greatly improved under Mikel Arteta at Arsenal, says Bacary Sagna

first_img Metro Sport ReporterMonday 15 Jun 2020 10:37 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link5.7kShares Arteta’s side were looking confident before the coronavirus crisis struck (Picture: Getty)The north London outfit have conceded just four goals in their last seven matches but restart their campaign with a daunting trip to Manchester City, the team Arteta left to take charge at the Emirates back in December.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTAsked about the side’s defensive issues before Arteta took over the reins, ex-Arsenal and City full-back Sagna told Premier League Productions: ‘I believe he needs to give them some stability because they have been struggling for quite a long time now, especially at centre-back, people were not happy.‘I believe Sokratis and David Luiz are really good players. I don’t know if they have been under pressure because we kept talking about them and after committing quite a few mistakes they were on the radar.‘But since Mikel came I think they are more solid and more complimentary together. Advertisement David Luiz and Sokratis Papastathopoulos have greatly improved under Mikel Arteta at Arsenal, says Bacary Sagna Sokratis Papastathopoulos and David Luiz impressed Bacary Sagna before the break (Picture: Getty)Bacary Sagna has heaped praise on Mikel Arteta for the positive impact he’s already had on Arsenal’s defence and believes David Luiz and Sokratis Papastathopoulos have both massively improved under the Spaniard’s tutelage. Arsenal were beginning to hit their stride and suffered just one defeat in their last 13 matches in all competitions before the coronavirus pandemic brought English football to a halt back in March.Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has led from the front as captain despite the intense speculation surrounding his future, scoring seven goals in ten games, and the Gunners were also exuding confidence at the back.center_img Sagna shared a dressing room with Arteta during their playing days with Arsenal (Picture: Premier League Productions)‘Arsenal doesn’t concede many goals either so I can tell that there is an improvement.‘I’ve seen Luiz might be going at the end of the season but it would be a great thing for me to see him playing another season, a full season, under Mikel.‘I think Mikel just needs time to settle the defence and make them stronger.’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 ArsenalJust this weekend, Arsenal technical director Edu emphasised the importance Luiz has at the club amid rumours his fellow countryman could be set for the exit door this summer. ‘He’s a guy who can really help in the day-to-day on and off the pitch, as he’s been doing,’ Edu told Arsenal’s official website.‘I already knew him well because I got to be with him at the national team when I was a coordinator and it went very well.‘We help each other. You know it’s important to feel that support and to be happy in the day-to-day at the club. It’s an incredible club with fantastic principles. ‘They also have to be proud to be where they are; that helps as well.’Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more stories like this, check our sport page.MORE: Cesc Fabregas insists Mikel Arteta has ‘much harder job’ at Arsenal than Chelsea’s Frank LampardMORE: Arsenal ‘ready’ to sign Justin Kluivert as part of Henrikh Mkhitaryan swap deal Comment Advertisementlast_img read more

The new taboo: More people regret sex change and want to ‘detransition’, surgeon says

first_imgNational Post 22 October 2018Family First Comment: “Those wishing the reversal, Djordjevic says, have spoken to him about crippling levels of depression following their transition and in some cases even contemplated suicide. “It can be a real disaster to hear these stories,” says the 52-year-old. And yet, in the main part, they are not being heard.”Not in most of the mainstream media… which begs the question, why? Why won’t the media present both sides?Dr. Miroslav Djordjevic says more people, particularly transgender women over 30, are asking for reversal surgery, yet their regrets remain taboo.Five years ago, Professor Miroslav Djordjevic, the world-leading genital reconstructive surgeon, received a patient at his Belgrade clinic. It was a transgender patient who had surgery at a different clinic to remove male genitalia – and had since changed their mind.That was the first time Djordjevic had ever been contacted to perform a so-called “reversal” surgery. Over the next six months, another six people also approached him, similarly wanting to reverse their procedures. They came from countries all over the Western world, Britain included, united by an acute sense of regret. At present, Djordjevic has a further six prospective people in discussions with his clinic about reversals and two currently undergoing the process itself; reattaching the male genitalia is a complex procedure and takes several operations over the course of a year to fully complete, at a cost of some euros 18,000 (pounds 16,000).Those wishing the reversal, Djordjevic says, have spoken to him about crippling levels of depression following their transition and in some cases even contemplated suicide. “It can be a real disaster to hear these stories,” says the 52-year-old. And yet, in the main part, they are not being heard.Last week, it was alleged that Bath Spa University has turned down an application for research on gender reassignment reversal because it was a subject deemed “potentially politically incorrect”.James Caspian, a psychotherapist who specializes in working with transgender people, suggested the research after a conversation with Djordjevic in 2014 at a London restaurant where the Serbian told him about the number of reversals he was seeing, and the lack of academic rigour on the subject.READ MORE: up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

AUDIO: Drug rehabilitation expert slams festival pill testing proposal

first_imgAudio Player00:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.A drug rehabilitation expert says implementing pill testing at festivals is ludicrous.Four people were hospitalised after taking MDMA at Auckland’s Listen In concert on Friday night.Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is backing festival pill testing, but National and New Zealand First oppose it.Shalom House CEO Peter Lyndon-James told Mike Hosking it will encourage more people to engage in pill taking, and potentially further drug consumption.

Fans shut out as coronavirus fears grip US sport

first_imgRead Also: Coronavirus: F1 continuing is shocking – HamiltonESPN reported on Wednesday that the NBA was studying a range of measures to mitigate the spread of the virus, including moving games to neutral venues or cities without outbreaks.The NBA has already eliminated media from locker rooms, a staple of US team sport post-game interaction, in what the league vows will be a temporary measure.According to US health officials, more than 1,000 people in the United States have contracted the coronavirus and at least 31 deaths have been attributed to it.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, believes NBA games should be played without fans to limit risk of exposure to the new coronavirus Sport across the United States and Canada was gripped by coronavirus fears on Wednesday, with basketball, baseball, soccer and ice hockey all hit as local authorities ordered bans on spectators at sporting events. The Golden State Warriors will play the Brooklyn Nets at San Francisco’s Chase Center on Thursday behind closed doors to combat the spread of the new coronavirus Days after the Indian Wells tennis tournament in California became the highest profile casualty of the crisis, mounting concern over the possible spread of COVID-19 prompted Canadian authorities to cancel the World Figure Skating Championships, which were due to take place in Montreal from March 16-22. The decision came after escalating anxiety about the potential for unchecked transmission of the virus amongst fans attending sporting events. In the western states of Washington and California – two regions battling significant outbreaks – local authorities issued bans on large gatherings of spectators. In San Francisco, officials announced a two-week ban on all gatherings of crowds larger than 1,000 people. The Golden State Warriors NBA team immediately confirmed it would play Thursday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets at San Francisco’s Chase Center behind closed doors. “Due to escalating concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, and in consultation with the City and County of San Francisco, tomorrow night’s game vs. the Nets at Chase Center will be played without fans,” the Warriors said. All other events at the venue scheduled through March 21 would be postponed or cancelled, the team said. The San Francisco Giants baseball team said a planned pre-season game against the Oakland Athletics on March 24 would be rescheduled. So far, the major professional sports leagues in North America have not followed suit, stopping short of blanket edicts restricting spectator access.However, earlier Wednesday, a senior US public health official urged the NBA to stage games behind closed doors to fight the spread of the disease.Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told a US Congressional panel in Washington that the agency believed any large gatherings of people represented a risk of COVID-19 spreading.“We would recommend that there not be large crowds. If that means not having any people in the audience, as the NBA plays, so be it,” Fauci said. “Anything that has large crowd is something that would give the risk to spread.”Fauci is the most senior official to publicly advocate for sports to be played in fan-free arenas as the United States battles the coronavirus outbreak. Loading… A similar directive in neighboring Santa Clara County forced the postponement of a March 21 Major League Soccer game between the San Jose Earthquakes and Sporting Kansas City. In Washington state, authorities announced a ban on all gatherings of more than 250 people in three counties until at least the end of March, including the area which covers Seattle. – ‘More aggressive position’ – “It is clear that our state needs a more vigorous and more comprehensive and more aggressive position if we are going to slow the spread of this epidemic,” Washington governor Jay Inslee said. The MLS’s Seattle Sounders later said a game against FC Dallas on March 21 had been postponed. The Seattle Mariners baseball said they would seek to reschedule the club’s opening home games of the 2020 season, which had been set for late March. In Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine said he would make a formal order to prevent teams, including the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets, from allowing fans into venues. Meanwhile, the wildly popular climax to the US college basketball season – “March Madness” – will be played in virtually fan-free arenas after the NCAA said only relatives and essential personnel would be allowed at games. “I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance,” National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) president Mark Emmert said. The NCAA took the unprecedented move after consulting public health officials. Promoted ContentWhy Do So Many Digital Assistants Have Feminine Names & Voices?A Soviet Shot Put Thrower’s Record Hasn’t Been Beaten To This Day8 Things To Expect If An Asteroid Hits Our Planet7 Universities In The World With The Highest Market ValueThe Highest Paid Football Players In The WorldThese TV Characters Left The Show And It Just Got BetterWho Earns More Than Ronaldo?5 Reasons To Wait For The Solo Black Widow Movie10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemThe Best Cars Of All TimeBoys Deserve More Than Action-Hero Role Modelslast_img read more

Walsh hoping for a Champagne moment

first_img The Willie Mullins-trained grey has won twice and finished second in three visits to the meeting. He currently has three entries with the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase seen as the most likely option. Ruby Walsh believes Champagne Fever’s course form will be an asset when he lines-up at the Cheltenham Festival. If he does drop down to two miles, instead of going for the Ryanair Chase or the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, then Walsh expects Champagne Fever to be in the mix despite taking on top-class opposition headed by Sire De Grugy and Sprinter Sacre, the last two winners of the race. “He’s in good form. Until he’s declared I suppose you never know, but that (Queen Mother) looks like where he’s going,” Walsh told Racing UK. “There are a few class horses in there – Sprinter Sacre and Sire De Grugy. They are very good horses and both have had difficult campaigns. “Dodging Bullets is the standard bearer and Mr Mole is a massive improver, but Champagne Fever’s record over two miles is very good – two from three and he was impressive last week so in what looks an open enough contest, he’d be a very good ride.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Doheny Library evacuated after students sprayed with fire extinguisher

first_imgA man wielding a fire extinguisher sprayed students and damaged property in Doheny Library Friday evening before being taken into custody by police.The event is not related to a fatal stabbing on campus only an hour and a half prior.According to the LAPD dispatch, officers responded to reports of a man moving through the library with the extinguisher just before 6 p.m. DPS evacuated the library and apprehended the suspect shortly thereafter. At least three victims were treated for breathing complications resulting from the extinguisher. A USC alumna, who asked that her name not be used to protect her privacy, said she was studying on the bottom floor of the library when she saw white powder appearing out of the corner of her eye. When she looked up, a man dressed in black sprayed her in the face with the extinguisher. She described him as looking “completely calm,” and said she was thankful that he had not been armed. “I ran up the stairs and was screaming for someone to call 911,” the alumna said. “It got all blurry and I was waiting to get hit by a bullet – but I’m so thankful to be alive right now.” The witness said that she had seen the same male about 30 minutes earlier, walking around outside the library and flipping benches over. She said he had appeared calm throughout.last_img read more

‘Thunder and lightning’ backfield key to West Virgina’s offense without Will Grier

first_imgPowered by the arm of senior quarterback Will Grier, West Virginia boasted the ninth-most-prolific scoring offense (42.3 points per game). But during the Camping World Bowl, the Mountaineers will be without their offensive leader, who will sit out to prepare for the NFL draft.With Grier and standout offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste sidelined, the No. 16 Mountaineers (8-3, 6-3 Big 12) may have to rely on their junior tailbacks — Kennedy McKoy and Martell Pettaway — to keep up with No. 20 Syracuse (9-3, 6-2 Atlantic Coast). McKoy, a physical runner, averages 66.27 yards on 11.6 carries a game, and Pettaway, a more shifty back, has the ability to stretch runs to the outside. Through the pair, SU head coach Dino Babers still expects the WVU offense to be “explosive.” “Even with their two players (not) playing, I don’t think the point spread has changed,” Babers said.During the regular season, WVU’s high-flying offense relied extensively on Grier’s ability to make plays down the field. It averaged the third-most passing yards per game (358.1) while its rushing offense ranked 74th.Even though just over 68 percent of the Mountaineers total yards came from the air, WVU’s backs supplemented Grier. Brian Flynn, who served as McKoy’s offensive coordinator at North Davidson High School in North Carolina, says Pettaway and McKoy complement each other “like thunder and lightning.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDale Sparks | West Virginia AthleticsMcKoy often lines up alongside the quarterback in the shotgun or behind him in the pistol. WVU will also split him out into the slot to create a mismatch against a linebacker, which allows him to use his versatility as a physical, “downhill” runner in both the running and passing game, Flynn said. Pettaway, McKoy’s backfield partner, wears No. 32 in memory of his older brother, Devinne, who unexpectedly passed away in 2008 because of cardiomyopathy — a previously undetected enlarged heart. He has 12 pounds on McKoy and makes defenders miss with “good cuts” coming from his agility and footwork, McKoy said. “(Pettaway) is dynamic, man,” Tyrone Spencer, one of Pettaway’s high school coaches said. “When the ball gets in his hands, he makes some plays.”As the season progressed, the Mountaineers committed to the run more, McKoy said. Pettaway scored all six of his touchdowns in the final five games, and McKoy found the end zone five times in WVU’s last three contests. In the Mountaineers’ last regular season game, Pettaway carried the ball 15 times for 76 yards and two touchdowns in West Virginia’s eventual 59-56 loss to Oklahoma.Pettaway and McKoy may be the key to keeping senior quarterback Eric Dungey and his SU offense off the field. Syracuse has struggled at times this season at preventing big running plays because players in the secondary have had trouble bringing down running backs with a head of steam. Cajuste’s absence may also affect the running game, as a backup offensive lineman will be tasked with protecting WVU’s passers and opening holes for Pettaway and McKoy. Since the Mountaineers won’t have their star quarterback under center, Babers said the Orange have had to game plan for “everything.” With SU allowing 163.8 rushing yards per game, 63rd in the country, the Orange may load the box and commit to stopping the run. But no matter how Syracuse plans to stop the run, Pettaway and McKoy’s approaches won’t change.“Our biggest thing is to just take what the defense gives us,” McKoy said “… I guess we’ll have to find out.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 23, 2018 at 2:47 pm Contact Danny: | @DannyEmermanlast_img read more

Can Novak Djokovic win all four Grand Slam titles this year?

first_imgWe look at the prospects of Novak Djokovic becoming only the third man in history to win all four Grand Slams in a season after his latest dismantling of Andy Murray.–World number one Novak Djokovic heads into the European clay court season in ominous form after his victory over Andy Murray in the final of the Miami Open on Sunday.Djokovic looks in such command of his game and his opponents that there is already the feeling he could enjoy a similar year to his remarkable 2011, where he won 41 straight matches and claimed three of the Grand Slam titles.The Serb, who won at both Indian Wells and the Australian Open, was asked after Sunday’s victory if he felt that kind of streak was on the horizon. While he was careful not to make bold predictions, his response revealed his confidence. Andy Murray fades again as Novak Djokovic wins fifth title”I hope so, but it’s just the beginning. I don’t want to predict anything. I don’t want to put some additional unnecessary pressure on myself,” he said. “There is already a lot of expectations of course. Everywhere I go I have to deal with it.”But he is enjoying the moment.”I could not ask for a better start of the season, winning three big titles,” he said. “Hopefully I’m able to use this for the clay court coming up. That’s extremely important for me obviously leading up to French Open.”MURRAY ON NOVAKCertainly Murray, who has now lost his last seven encounters with Djokovic, sees little weakness in his rival’s game. “He serves well, he runs well, he moves exceptionally well. Physically he’s in great shape; he hits the ball well off both sides,” the Scot said.”So, yeah, he does most things on the tennis court well. That’s why he’s the number one player in the world.”Djokovic will be 28 next month and knows that he needs to take full advantage of his current form to add to his tally of eight Grand Slam tournament wins – five in Australia, two at Wimbledon and the 2011 US Open.”I’m trying to enjoy the moment and also utilise this time of my career where I’m probably playing the tennis of my life and I’m feeling confident and physically fit,” he said.”I am aware that this cannot go forever. There is going to be eventually a change of generations, some players that are going to start playing better and be stronger. “But until that time comes, I’m going to try to stay as long as I can on the top and fight for biggest titles.”WHO HAS DONE IT BEFORE?Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have career Grand Slams to their name, but winning all four of the sport’s biggest events in one year remains a feat of mind-boggling proportions.Don Budge did it in 1938 while Rod Laver snared all four in 1962 and 1969 – he has a court named after him in Melbourne to mark his contribution – but neither of those two men had to compete with Djokovic, Nadal, Federer or Murray, four of the greatest figures to pick up a racket who have somehow been thrown together to snarl across the net at each other in his golden era of tennis.Nadal intimated that the season feat was impossible when he lifted the US Open two years ago. “To win all four Grand Slams in one year I think today is impossible for anyone. That`s my feeling.”Djokovic could be the one man who could prove such a prediction wrong. He was one short in 2011, but at the peak of his powers in 2015, Djoker could easily go one better this year.–last_img