Coronavirus lockdown drives jump in vodka and whisky sales in Russia

first_img“People are grabbing everything they can – vodka, cognac and beer,” said one employee at a budget supermarket in the Moscow region who was restocking shelves with vodka. “People mostly buy whatever is cheapest.”Sultan Khamzaev, head of Sober Russia which campaigns to reduce alcohol consumption, said the spike in sales was driven by long holidays, stress, fears that alcohol would run out, and a belief among many Russians that alcohol offers some protection against the new coronavirus.Heavy drinking has long been considered a serious health hazard in Russia, especially among men, but alcohol consumption has fallen sharply over the last decade.Authorities have called on Russians to refrain from self-medicating with alcohol and said drinking can neither cure COVID-19 or prevent someone catching it.”Attempting to treat everything with alcohol and delaying medical treatment definitely worsens the situation when a patient arrives [at a hospital], when it is already impossible to save him,” Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on television this week.Yet the Ministry of Industry and Trade has called on regions not to set restrictions on the sale of alcohol, citing potential for “serious social tension” if curbs were imposed. Russian retailers have seen a sharp spike in alcohol sales in recent weeks, with consumers rushing to buy vodka, whisky and beer at a time when Moscow and other regions have imposed partial lockdowns to stem the spread of the coronavirus.In the last week of March, vodka sales across Russia’s largest retail chains jumped 31% in year-on-year terms, while whisky and beer purchases increased 47% and 25% respectively, Nielsen, a market research firm, found.President Vladimir Putin last week prolonged until April 30 a paid non-working period across Russia, which has so far reported 10,131 cases of the novel coronavirus. Many Russian companies have asked employees to work at home, some have told them to take unpaid leave, while others have cut salaries or fired people. In Moscow, residents are only allowed to go out to buy food or medicine at a nearby store, get urgent medical help, walk the dog, or take out the trash.Magnit, one of Russia’s largest food retail chains, said it had seen double-digit growth in alcohol sales since partial lockdowns were introduced across the country.Lenta and O’Key said alcohol sales had increased by a third.The manager of a major alcohol supplier said sales of inexpensive imported alcohol had doubled in annual terms since the measures came into force.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Governor Wolf Continues Visits to 14 Northern Pennsylvania Counties

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Governor Wolf Continues Visits to 14 Northern Pennsylvania Counties Press Release Harrisburg, Pa. – Today is the second day of Governor Tom Wolf’s four-day, 14-county visit in northern Pennsylvania with stops in Sayre, Bradford County; Mansfield, Tioga County; Coudersport, Potter County; and Emporium, Cameron County.“It is important that every part of Pennsylvania, big and small, rural and urban, understand that we’re listening to them and working to improve their communities,” Governor Wolf said. “As I travel through Pennsylvania, it is clear that no matter the area, there’s a lot of important work being done to make communities stronger. Our job at the state is to support those efforts and what I’ve seen throughout this trip is that we’re already making a lot of progress in areas like community development, education and workforce training.”The governor’s first stop was Rynone Manufacturing Corp, a family-owned manufacturing business, where he conducted a roundtable discussion with Bradford County businesses on workforce and economic development. After the discussion, he toured the company’s manufacturing facility.Rynone was followed by a visit to Warren L Miller Elementary School in Mansfield, where the governor, joined by First Lady Frances Wolf, visited several classrooms and talked with teachers, administrators and education partners.Gov. Wolf will visit Cole Memorial Hospital in Coudersport at 2:30 p.m., where he and the First Lady will tour the facility and meet healthcare staff, administrators, and board members.Friday, Sept. 22, Gov. Wolf and the First Lady will visit McKean, Warren, and Forest counties with stops at Zippo Manufacturing in Bradford, Kinzua Bridge State Park in Mt Jewett, Whirley-DrinkWorks! in Warren, and the Tionesta Market Village in Tionesta.On Thursday, the governor stopped in Jim Thorpe, Carbon County; Tunkhannock, Wyoming County; Montrose, Susquehanna County; and Dushore, Sullivan County to hear from business leaders, employees and healthcare workers about economic development, workforce training and healthcare in their communities.Stops Saturday include locations in Elk, Jefferson, and Clearfield counties.center_img September 21, 2017last_img read more

Jonathan Rea sets the pace in Qatar

first_imgNew superbikes world champion Jonathan Rea topped the timesheets following the opening two practice sessions ahead of the season-closing race weekend in Qatar. Under the floodlights at the Losail International Circuit, it was the Kawasaki of Rea that was again the bike to beat as the Briton clocked a time of one minute 58.252 seconds. That saw him outpace the Aprilia of Jordi Torres and his own team-mate Tom Skyes, who were second and third on the road, respectively. Chaz Davies went fourth fastest on his Ducati, just beating the Pata Honda of Michael van der Mark. The second Aprilia of Leon Haslam was sixth with Davies’ team-mate Xavier Fores close behind, with the top 10 rounded out by the Voltcom Crescent Suzukis of Randy de Puniet and Alex Lowes and Niccolo Canepa for Althea Racing. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Reallocate Some Police Funds To Community Enhancement

first_imgPhoto via The reason for less policing in the suburbs is that most residents are employed with satisfactory living wages, there are good public schools, decent healthcare, parks and other recreational facilities for teenagers, almost no need for people to peddle drugs to make a living, and relatively little stress from the inability to provide for their families. American suburbs are not characterized by police mobile and foot patrol on every street, or frequent incidents of police accosting residents standing in groups or simply walking down a street. The sounds of police sirens are rare, and incidents of police brutality against residents, even rarer.  Indeed, there is a growing call among protesters, and many who support alternatives to policing, to defund the police. This isn’t a new call, but up to now, that call was barely a murmur. Now, it is a howl. Segregated communities were mainly poor, lacking necessary social services, and anger was mutual between police and residents, and policing typically brutal. Unfortunately, it seems some police officers today are socialized to function as if they are policing segregated communities—using brutality as their preferred method of enforcing the law against people living in poor black and brown communities. History recalls during the era of slavery in America, especially in the south, policing was used mainly for controlling slaves, and recapturing those that escaped. After slavery was abolished policing was used to aggressively enforce Jim Crow laws during the bitter era of racial segregation.  The communities where over-policing usually occurs are characterized by large, mostly poor black populations with high unemployment, low income, poor healthcare, domestic violence, sub-par and overcrowded housing, and high incidences of drug use and mental health problems. Contrary to the arguments being made by those opposed to defunding the police, defunding doesn’t mean communities won’t have police services. This is an absurd interpretation. Police are needed to maintain an orderly society, but allowing the police to be the overpowering response to societal issues, much of which they are ill-equipped to handle, often leads to forceful response and brutal police actions against residents.  Like the sociologists, citizens calling for defunding the police force, want to see less city and county budgets going to policing, and larger budgets dedicated to improving the quality of life in these communities. This is proven to serve as a deterrent to crime and would require less policing, similarly to how it works in the suburbs. center_img Better socially served communities also reduce the need for high funding of city and county police forces to hire more police officers, and purchase more police equipment, vehicles, etc. Relentless protests for well over two weeks, in the wake of George Floyd’s death—and even his after his final memorial service on Tuesday—is evidence the movement sparked by his horrendous killing is showing no signs of letting up. Since all the officers were eventually arrested and charged, one with secondary murder and manslaughter, and the others with aiding and abetting in second-degree murder, it was assumed the protests would wane. But what began as a call for the arrest of the officers involved became a demand for changes in policing here in America. For years sociologists have argued that society should focus on, and correct, the issues that spawn crime and create the necessity for building prisons and intense policing in marginalized communities. It is very important that calls for defunding the police not be confused with calls proposing that police forces be disbanded altogether. Defunding doesn’t mean police services will no longer exist. It means police budgets would be reduced, and the funds saved redirected to improving social services in communities, especially in poor, marginalized areas where much of the policing in America occurs. It’s generally accepted that communities with fewer social problems are better equipped to protect themselves with community patrolling and require less formal policing patrols.  This is 2020. Time has changed. There’s no need to apply this intense type of police brutality to control residents in any community. Legislators need to get to work putting funding in communities But there’s an urgent need to improve the quality of social services in several communities. There’s strong reason to believe, and evidence to indicate, that if minority communities have better social services and quality of life for residents, there’ll likely be less need for heavy policing. This outcome would provide justification for reducing, defunding, the budgets of most police departments.last_img read more