US Business News

Stores, Gas Stations in Puerto Rico Close Down After Hurricane Fiona, Leaving Thousands Struggling to Find Supplies

Businesses in Puerto Rico have been impacted by the island’s struggle to restore power following Hurricane Fiona.

Due to the situation, an increasing number of supermarkets and petrol stations have shut down. In the end, the condition has raised concerns about the scarcity of food and gasoline.

Since there was a great demand for purchasing food and other things when the hurricane hit the country, many customers complained when store owners put up signs of temporary closures.

In addition, nearly a million customers in Puerto Rico are now without electricity.

When Betty Merced, a resident of Salinas City, needed to refuel her generator with diesel, she said it was challenging to find an open gas station. She was unable to locate a retailer that sold it, though.

“There are a lot of people with a lot of needs. If there is no diesel, we’re going to be very much in harm’s way,” Merced said.

Read Also: Skytrax Holds Annual Aviation Awards Spotlighting the Aviation’s Best

She claims that despite searching the entire city for diesel, she had no luck. She will thus travel to other towns like Santa Isabel in search of supplies. If unsuccessful, she would continue to other northern cities in search of a shop selling fuel to customers.

“I didn’t think we were going to be so many days without power,” added Merced.

Salinas residents were forced to scramble to locate supplies as petrol outlets closed. Thousands of people are vying for the supply, including Wanda Rios Colorado, a prominent community member.

Wanda described her experience with Hurricane Marios in 2017 and compared the current state of affairs, adding that everyone is having trouble getting enough fuel and food.

Additionally, it is now difficult to find pharmacies throughout the nation were open to customers. As a result, people who require medicine have grown increasingly apprehensive as a result of this.

 

No shortage of fuels, says the government

Although many residents spoke out about their struggles, the Puerto Rican administration disputes this.

According to the Department of Consumer Affairs, there is no gasoline supply. Instead, the current situation is just a system disturbance brought on by flooding, landslides, and the statewide blackout.

Officials added that the power outage prevented numerous gas stations from reopening around the country. Additionally, Edan Rivera, the secretary of consumer affairs, asserted that there was no justification for declaring a fuel scarcity in Puerto Rico.

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“There’s a peak in demand in the most affected areas, but it has been normalizing as trucks arrive,” he added.

“Some will say they have received less product, but it’s not that they’re getting less. They asked for a lot, and to err on the side of caution; they’re not being given everything they ask for.”

In addition, Rivera mentioned that a container ship was transporting about 300,000 barrels of fuel. It ought to allay many people’s worries about getting fuel for their generators and other uses.

Photo Credit: Andres Kudacki | TIME

Source: NPR

NASA Tests Planet’s Capacity to Deflect Space Debris Through DART Mission

A brave group of astronauts is often tasked with a mission that may mean the difference between life and death in movies, and their traditional foe is an asteroid.

These movies include, for instance, Deep Impact and Armageddon. The audience watches in the movies as the heroes use a nuclear bomb to prevent the asteroid from colliding with the Earth.

Contrary to common belief, however, scientists do not believe that a substantial rock mass traveling at a speed of 1,000 kilometers per hour or more toward space could be entirely disintegrated.

The solution, according to experts, is to simply use a tiny spaceship to nudge a piece of space rock off track. This method is safer and more delicate.

And NASA just accomplished that this week when one of their probes impacted an asteroid.

Before the asteroid eventually destroyed it, the machine’s photographs were captured and transmitted to the headquarters. A NASA device touched an asteroid named Dimorphos.

The crew believed their approach had been effective, and it would only be a matter of months before they could determine whether or not they had successfully pushed the asteroid from its path.

However, Elena Adams, the mission’s systems engineer, claimed that the group directly involved in the plan was overcome with fear and elation when the vessel ultimately collided with Dimorphos.

The mission is a component of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), a seven-year-old NASA project.

The $300 million mission sent the spacecraft into orbit in November of last year, intending to execute a maneuver that would determine humanity’s capacity to shield the Earth from space debris headed for a collision with it.

According to scientists, the team wouldn’t get the desired outcomes for two months. The mission is a success if the asteroid is blasted off track. However, if it follows the same course, NASA will have to find another option.

“This really is about asteroid deflection, not disruption. This isn’t going to blow up the asteroid,” said the coordination lead of DART, Nancy Chabot.

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Altering the asteroid’s orbit

Since Dimorphos is 7 million kilometers from Earth, it is completely safe for Earth to test on it.

The asteroid is around 525 feet across, but what makes it more intriguing is that Dimorphos is orbiting another larger asteroid.

NASA said that the changes brought on by DART will not be significant enough to put Earth’s life in peril.

“There is no scenario in which one or the other body can become a threat to the Earth. It’s just not scientifically possible, just because of momentum conservation and other things,” stated Thomas Zurbuchen from the NASA science mission directorate.

Instead, DART wants to change how long it takes Dimorphos to complete an orbit around the larger asteroid. According to measurements, the smaller asteroid completes one spin in around 11 hours and 55 minutes.

Dimorphos ought to be making a complete orbit every 11 hours and 45 minutes if the DART mission is successful.

“The bottom line is, it’s a great thing. Someday, we are going to find an asteroid which has a high probability of hitting the Earth, and we are going to want to deflect it. When that happens, we should have, in advance, some experience knowing that this would work,” explained Ed Lu, Asteroid Institute executive director.

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More work needs to be done

The DART scientists at NASA are aware of the significance of their work and work harder to advance the project as a result.

“We’re moving an asteroid. We are changing the motion of a natural celestial body in space. Humanity has never done that before. This is stuff of science fiction books and really corny episodes of Star Trek from when I was a kid, and now it’s real. And that’s kind of astonishing that we are actually doing that, and what that bodes for the future of what we can do,” Tom Statler explained, a DART program scientist.

“It’s something that we need to get done so that we know what’s out there and know what’s coming and have adequate time to prepare for it,” added NASA’s Planetary Defense Officer, Lindley Johnson.

Photo Credit: NASA

Source: NPR

UK Prime Minister Defends Fiscal Strategy, says it is the Right Thing to Do

Despite the controversy surrounding the UK government’s plan to stimulate economic development, Prime Minister Liz Truss said she would push the initiative through, addressing all of the objections leveled at her by various corporate and public groups.

In addition, the government would drop substantial taxes on firms under the proposal in an effort to relieve the pressure they are now under in the face of the energy crisis.

Furthermore, the UK government will boost government borrowing to fund the subsidy programs that it will provide to companies and consumers in order to limit energy costs within six months or more.

The Bank of England has attempted to address the situation, focusing specifically on pension funds.

However, when the emphasis shifted to the government, Truss cited the war between Russia and Ukraine as the primary cause of rising global prices.

In an interview, Truss said, “We had to take urgent action to get our economy growing, get Britain moving, and also deal with inflation, and of course, that means taking controversial and difficult decisions.”

“But I’m prepared to do that as prime minister because what’s important to me is that we get our economy moving.”

Truss, 47, was the UK’s foreign minister before being appointed Prime Minister and entered office on September 6.

She succeeded Boris Johnson as the fourth Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in only six years.

The frequent changing of leaders in the United Kingdom may be ascribed to the country’s financial turmoil, which has been compounded by a number of challenges, including the pandemic, inflation, the energy crisis, and climate catastrophe.

Read Also: IMF says UK Government is Taking a Reckless Gamble with Tax Cuts

People’s confidence in the government

The strategy outlined by Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng called into question the public’s optimistic view of the new administration.

In addition to the falling value of the pound and worsening global market circumstances, various entities inside and outside the nation are challenging Truss’ competency.

“The mini-budget was absolutely essential in resetting the debate around growth and focusing us on delivering much better growth outcomes,” finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng explained.

According to a recent YouGov survey, the Labour party has a 33-point edge over the Conservatives, signaling a fall in the Truss administration’s trust.

This week’s poll indicates 54% support for Labour and 21% for the Conservatives.

This prompted US millionaire Ken Griffin to express concern about the potential harm to Britain’s reputation in global markets.

“It represents the first time we’ve seen a major developed market, in a very long time, lose confidence from investors,” he said.

Ray Dalio, another billionaire, offered his sentiments, saying: “It doesn’t stimulate the economy; productivity is what stimulates the economy over the long run. I would think there would be an understanding of the mechanics of that by the government, and that’s why it’s concerning.”

“Due to the recognition that the big supply of debt that will have to be sold by the government is much too much for the demand. That makes people want to get out of debt and currency. I can’t understand how those who were behind this move didn’t understand that. It suggests incompetence.”

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It is the right plan

Truss is confident in her administration’s approach and has stated that the government would not deviate from its current course.

Unfunded tax cuts, if imposed, should improve areas such as childcare, immigration, and financial regulation, among others.

On November 23, the UK Treasury said that the government would provide a more extensive description of the government’s borrowing and spending strategy.

“This is the right plan,” Truss said.

Photo Credit: Adrian Dennis

Source: Reuters

Biden says his Administration Will End Hunger by 2030

Joe Biden, the president of the United States, presented his strategies for reducing hunger in the nation.

The government official said that his initiatives were to expand the child tax credit, increase the minimum wage, and improve US feeding assistance programs.

Biden discussed these actions at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. However, before it can accomplish its aim, the government must overcome a number of obstacles.

The economy is still struggling to recover even though the pandemic is almost over, as seen by the loosened restrictions both in and out of the country.

Meanwhile, there is a record high inflation, driving up the cost of commodities. The cost of groceries, petrol, and electricity has been rising rapidly, making it difficult for the typical American household to keep up.

In the end, the climate disaster makes the food crisis worse as intense heat and frequent storms severely harm crops.

Nevertheless, the Biden administration would keep to its strategy and work toward its objective of eradicating hunger in America by 2030.

In Biden’s opinion, this would be possible by enforcing laws and regulations as strictly as possible and encouraging public-private partnerships.

Additionally, Biden’s proposal will increase nutrition assistance programs and boost the number of healthcare efforts specifically designed to meet the medical requirements of those undernourished.

“If you look at your child and you can’t feed your child, what the hell else matters? In America, no child should go to bed hungry. No parent should die of disease that can be prevented,” said the president.

Read Also: A Category 5 Hurricane is a Rare Occurrence in the US, Hurricane Ian Nearly Became One

Biden centered on the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic brought on numerous health problems in the American population. Along with taking lives, it also contributed to the rise of dietary illnesses and problems with food security.

In addition, people with covid were more likely to need intensive care than those without pre-existing illnesses, such as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension.

“So many of you were there to help your fellow Americans who lost their jobs, closed their businesses, faced eviction, homelessness, hunger, loss, control, maybe worst of all, lost hope and dignity,” added Biden.

The Biden administration led initiatives to ease food security issues to thwart issues during the pandemic.

However, experts are concerned that the prevalence of food insecurity will rise this year since the pandemic’s benefits will also end now that it is over.

 

Including the private sector in the cause

The effectiveness of Biden’s alliances with non-profit firms and private groups is crucial to the strategy’s success. More than $8 billion has been invested by the business sector during the Biden administration.

For instance, the $250 million contribution from John Tyson, his company’s vice president and chief sustainability officer, would help people have easier access to protein-rich foods at food pantries.

“Some of the most successful government programs focused on health and nutrition are built around collaboration with the private sector. That’s another example of where an event like this could potentially yield some innovation around how we get food to people who need it,” Tyson said.

Read Also: IMF says UK Government is Taking a Reckless Gamble with Tax Cuts

The government needs to do more

While many in the private sector are more than pleased to serve the government, others believe that the government should have a prominent role in the plan.

Josh Protas, the public policy vice president of MAZON, an anti-hunger group, said, “We need urgency and the political will to end hunger, which only the federal government is equipped to truly address. Relying on charities will only dilute that effort.”

“Ultimately, we can’t just outsource our collective responsibility; we can’t foodbank our way to ending hunger,” he added.

Photo Credit: Evan Vucci

Source: NPR

A Category 5 Hurricane is a Rare Occurrence in the US, Hurricane Ian Nearly Became One

With over 155 miles per hour gusts, Hurricane Ian made landfall this week on the Florida coast. The storm Ian strengthened after it touched down in Cuba, and weather forecasters projected that it was on track to reach Category 5, a level of a hurricane that the United States has only rarely seen in its history.

According to records, there have only been four storms with a 5th-level hurricane classification in US history. However, storms having maximum sustained winds of 157 miles per hour or higher are classified as Category 5 hurricanes by weather stations. Hurricane Ian was, therefore, just a shy away from being one.

In the US, three Category 5 storms struck Florida, and one slammed Mississippi.

 

A scale is used to categorize hurricanes

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is used in the US to assess hurricanes forming close to the nation. A hurricane’s potential level of damage to the areas it will strike is also determined using the scale.

According to the National Hurricane Center, Category 5 storms: “Catastrophic damage will occur: A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.”

While Category 5 hurricanes are the toughest, there are times when storms of a lesser category cause greater harm. For instance, Category 4 Hurricane Maria and Category 3 Hurricane Katrina both caused major damage.

Read Also: IMF says UK Government is Taking a Reckless Gamble with Tax Cuts

Here are four Category 5 storms in the US:

 

Labor Day Hurricane in 1935

The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, which brought gusts of up to 185 mph to the Florida Keys, caused damage to the islands. The hurricane is regarded as the most powerful to have ever touched down in the US. Four hundred nine lives were lost due to the Labor Day Hurricane, which also left countless properties damaged.

“Practically all losses from the hurricane were suffered in Florida, with most occurring in the Florida Keys. A swath of destruction 40 [miles] wide occurred across the Keys, from just south of Key Largo to just north of Marathon,” stated the Hurricanes: Science and Society.

“Most manmade structures were destroyed by the hurricane’s Category 5 winds, which gusted at times to over 200 mph, and the complete inundation of the islands by a 15-20 ft storm surge.”

 

Hurricane Camille (1969)

With a top sustained wind speed of more than 170 mph, Hurricane Camille is ranked as the second-strongest hurricane to ever strike the US. Over 250 people died when it struck Mississippi on August 17, 1969.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said, “The impacts of Hurricane Camille were felt across much of the southeast U.S., especially southeast Mississippi and southwest Alabama. Most of the inland damage was a result of fallen trees and power lines, while damage on the immediate coast was caused by both wind and storm surges. Communities saw homes and buildings damaged or destroyed, fallen trees, and flooded roads.”

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Hurricane Andrew (1992)

When Hurricane Andrew hit South Miami-Dade County with winds of 165 mph, it caused massive destruction.

“Hurricane Andrew destroyed more than 50,000 homes and caused an estimated $26 billion in damage, making it at the time the most expensive natural disaster in the United States history, not to be surpassed until Hurricane Katrina 13 years later,” NOOA stated.

 

Hurricane Michael (2018)

The most recent Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the United States, Hurricane Michael, had an estimated wind speed of over 161 miles per hour. When it impacted the Florida Panhandle on October 10, 2018, it had sustained winds of 161 miles per hour.

“Wind and storm surge caused catastrophic damage, particularly in the Panama City Beach and Mexico Beach areas. Eight direct fatalities were reported: seven in Florida and one in Georgia. In addition, 43 indirect deaths were attributed to the storm,” the National Weather Service added.

Photo Credit: Universal Images Group

Source: NPR

IMF says UK Government is Taking a Reckless Gamble with Tax Cuts

The British government implemented its plan to combat inflation as a result of inflationary pressures. However, the world’s top financial institution, the International Monetary Fund, expressed concern for the UK government’s intentions, which were made public under the leadership of newly elected Prime Minister Liz Truss.

According to the IMF, the UK government’s proposed significant tax cuts will have a negative net impact. The group also stated that the changes would result in more inequality and inflation nationwide. If implemented, the tax reductions would be the largest since the 1970s.

“We understand that the sizable fiscal package announced aims at helping families and businesses deal with the energy shock and at boosting growth via tax cuts and supply measures,” said an IMF spokesperson.

“However, given elevated inflation pressures in many countries, including the UK, we do not recommend large and untargeted fiscal packages at this juncture, as it is important that fiscal policy does not work at cross purposes to monetary policy.”

Read Also: UK Government to Cut Taxes from Corporations, Entities to Brace for Recession

The weakening pound is also a problem

The UK government is also dealing with an unheard-of decrease in the pound’s value, in addition to the skyrocketing prices of goods and services. In addition, the government is increasing its borrowing from other nations to boost subsidies to individuals and energy corporations in the face of energy shortages. Italy and Greece were among the nations from whom the UK government took loans.

The Central Bank of England responds by warning about potential rate increases due to the UK government’s enormous borrowing and expenditure. According to sources, the rates may rise by 6% next spring, a sharp increase from the present 2.25%. The increase would counteract the devaluation of the pound and the rising inflation.

Additionally, the Bank of England stated that it would take strict action to “restore orderly market conditions” since the nation’s existing market situations are dysfunctional.

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Truss is taking a reckless gamble

Liz Truss announced the tax cuts a few days ago who took over for Boris Johnson as prime minister. However, the analysts think her decision to ease business taxes and the significant cuts is a risky bet on her behalf. The UK government will now rely on significant government borrowing to power its subsidy program, which seeks to finance people and businesses in the face of rising energy bills.

Additionally, the UK Treasury said it would implement future initiatives to improve the condition. The treasury authorities said that on November 23, they would lay out their plans.

The IMF didn’t waste any time, however, in criticizing the UK government and warning that its present policies may compound the nation’s already-high inflation and deepen inequality. As a result, the IMF strongly recommends that the government use the November budget “to consider ways to provide the support that is more targeted and reevaluate the tax measures, especially those that benefit high-income earners.”

The UK government justified its choice after incurring criticism days earlier for its announcement. Truss claims their judgment was “incentivizing businesses to invest, and we’re also helping ordinary people with their taxes.”

“I don’t really accept the premise of the question at all. The UK has one of the lowest levels of debt in the G7, but we have one of the highest levels of taxes. Currently, we have a 70-year high in our tax rates.”

“We’ve also put in place a package of measures to support consumers with energy prices, to make sure that nobody is having to pay more than £2,500 on their bills.”

Photo Credit: CNN

Source: CNN

Skytrax Holds Annual Aviation Awards Spotlighting the Aviation’s Best

Photo Credit: Satair

Since the lockdowns began, the aviation sector has suffered substantial harm. It has been more than two years since Covid-19 shut down several corporate activities, most notably the travel sector, generating losses in the trillions of dollars to date.

Aviation firms have started to regain their footing now that limitations have been loosened, but even that presents a significant challenge for the majority. Flight delays and cancellations are a common occurrence for many businesses following widespread layoffs and structural changes brought on by the pandemic. In addition, airline passenger satisfaction is poor, according to the United States.

While waiting for another hectic holiday season, the world is now enjoying more leisurely travel months. The Skytrax World Airline Awards 2022 launched in London to recognize organizations that have overcome all difficulties as aviation firms make the most of the remaining months to be ready for the travel season. Since 2019, the event has not taken place in a face-to-face setup.

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The best in the aviation sector

Located in the UK, Skytrax is a website that rates and reviews airports and airlines. Over the past year, millions of customers have undertaken Skytrax’s 14 million surveys in 100 different nations. The findings of millions of surveys completed between September 2021 and August 2022 served as the foundation for this year’s prize winners.

An enduring Hall of Famer, Qatar Airways, was successful in overtaking the competition. Its rating marks its seventh time winning the prize since the award-giving organization began conducting the polls in 1999. In addition to winning Best Airline, Qatar Airways also won eight more awards, including Best Business Class Set, Best Business Class Lounge Dining, and more.

AirlineRatings.com accorded Qatar Airways the top rank in addition to the firm’s accolades from Skytrax. According to Akbar Al Baker, the chief executive of Qatar Airways, the efforts of every employee are necessary for the firm to be successful.

“To win these awards in the same year that we celebrate our 25th anniversary is even more rewarding,” he said.

“Consistent service, consistent product, consistent attention to passengers and absolute dedication from everyone that works in the airline.”

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The list of prizes and their winners, as released by Skytrax, is as follows:

The world’s top 20 airlines in 2022

  1. Qatar Airways
  2. Singapore Airlines
  3. Emirates
  4. ANA (All Nippon Airways)
  5. Qantas Airways
  6. Japan Airlines
  7. Turkish Airlines
  8. Air France
  9. Korean Air
  10. Swiss International Air Lines
  11. British Airways
  12. Etihad Airways
  13. China Southern Airlines
  14. Hainan Airlines
  15. Lufthansa
  16. Cathay Pacific
  17. KLM
  18. EVA Air
  19. Virgin Atlantic
  20. Vistara

World’s Best Cabin Staff

Singapore Airlines

World’s Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness

ANA All Nippon Airways

World’s Best Independent Airport Lounge

Plaza Premium

World’s Best Business Class Lounge

Virgin Atlantic

World’s Best Leisure Airline

SunExpress

World’s Best Low-Cost Airline/Best Low-Cost Airline in Asia

AirAsia

Best Low-Cost Airline in Europe

Ryanair

Best Low-Cost Airline in North America

Southwest Airlines

Best Low-Cost Airline in Africa

FlySafair

World’s Best Long Haul Low-Cost Airline

Scoot

World’s Best in Class Airlines

The World Best First Class Airline: Singapore Airlines

The World’s Best Business Class Airline: Qatar Airways

The World’s Best Premium Economy Class Airline: Virgin Atlantic

The World’s Best Economy Class Airline: Emirates

Source: CNN

Russians Flock to Borders Following Putin’s Military Mobilization Strategy

Photo Credit: Sasu Makinen

Moscow aims to restock its military by calling up more than 300,000 reserve troops in the wake of the battle in Kyiv earlier this month. Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, claimed that the action would guarantee Russian military presence in conflict zones and enhance its military power.

The statement caused waves of alarm among Russians, and social media exploded with reports from people wanting to cross the border and end their involvement in the country’s escalating war crisis.

In videos shared online, huge crowds of people can be seen scurrying in line at the Russia-Kazakhstan border. Many individuals have reportedly waited for hours to be admitted, with some being at a standstill for at least ten hours at the border, according to news sources.

 

War inflicts damage to many

Student Daniel, 18, believes that the war has severely impacted both nations and raised tension outside of their boundaries. He traveled to Turkey to have a holiday, but after hearing the announcement, he chose to stay and may have looked for a new life there.

“We are young; we can learn and build a new life. We want to be useful. For now, it is vacation and wait. Since I am a student, technically, I am not mobilized, but it can change. And we know our government lies to us. We are just meat for them,” said Daniel.

Another resident, Roman, a software engineer, has made urgent arrangements to move to Portugal through Turkey after learning of Putin’s plan.

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“War is terrible. I am strongly against this war. Everyone I know is against it. My friends, my family, nobody wants this war. Only politics want this war,” said Roman.

“The only plan is to survive. I’m just scared.”

“It should never have started in the first place. And I’m sorry for the Ukrainians – I sympathize with them. I’m hoping to bring them to me when I am settled. I will try to move them out because Russia is certainly not the place for them,” revealed another Russian citizen.

 

More Russians headed towards the border

Due to the spike of foreigners applying to enter the nation, the Kazakhstan National Security Committee said that its borders were “under special control.” A recent count shows a 20% rise in the number of cars heading into Kazakhstan since September 21.

According to the Finnish border guard who’d been stationed on the Russian eastern border, Russians have been swarming outside the Russian center. Sanna Marin, Finland’s prime minister, suggested that the nation could prohibit Russian travelers from entering Finland.

Because Putin’s directive would only apply to males and not women, reports indicate that men were traveling more than women.

In particular, demand for flights to places where Russians don’t require visas is rising, according to travel agencies. Flight seats were already fully booked as of last Friday, and numerous reservations are still rolling in. In addition, Russian men who left the country successfully said that the Russian military had initiated its survey, which included inquiries about the fighting and questions about whether they had been able to receive military training.

“It was like a regular passport control, but every man in the queue was stopped and asked additional questions. They took a bunch of us to a room and asked questions mainly about (our) military (training),” a source recalled.

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Zelensky called on Russians

Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, encouraged Russians to protest against Putin’s decision and the military buildup on Thursday.

“[Thousands of Russian soldiers] died in this war in six months. Tens of thousands are wounded and maimed. Want more? No? Then protest. Fight back. Run away. Or surrender to Ukrainian captivity. These are options for you to survive,” the president said.

Source: CNN

US Vice President Kamala Harris Calls Out Supreme Court Over Roe v. Wade Decision

Photo Credit: Jacquelyn Martin

After the Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade three months ago, US Vice President Kamala Harris cleared her position to the public, with the top official saying that the Court is an “activist court.”

“We had an established right for almost half a century, which is the right of women to make decisions about their own body as an extension of what we have decided to be, the privacy rights to which all people are entitled. And this Court took that constitutional right away, and we are suffering as a nation because of it,” said the Vice President in an interview.

The Vice President commented when the White House was being criticized for the landmark case’s outright ban by the Supreme Court. Harris has been outspoken in her criticism of the SC’s verdict. With the court ruling, women’s federally protected right to an abortion was abolished. Harris claims that the ruling hurt a number of interested parties, particularly women who are now denied the freedom to make their own decisions.

Harris has been touring the country ever since the Supreme Court overturned the 1973 decision, meeting with organizations and groups to discuss the implications of the recent judgment with various stakeholders.

“[It has caused me] great concern about the integrity of the court overall, especially as someone who my life was inspired by people like Thurgood Marshall, the work on that court of Earl Warren,” Harris added.

Read Also: US Navy Warships are Bound to the Taiwan Straight, China says US Needs to Withdraw Vessels

 

Harris is against the ban on abortion

Harris constantly voiced her support for abortion rights when she was running for vice president. Additionally, Harris’ drive to bring about change in states that have harsh restrictions against abortion rights was a focus of hers when she was selected for the Democratic presidential nomination three years ago.

“We cannot tolerate a perspective that is about going backward and not understanding women have agency,” Harris said then.

Harris previously revealed to the public her mistrust of certain justices appointed by then-president Donald Trump.

 

Roe v. Wade overturned

Many people were concerned about potential attacks against the federal right to abortion when the Supreme Court revived the historic case contesting the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. In fact, the decision was overturned by the Supreme Court on a 5-4 vote, sending pro-choice and pro-life activists into a frenzy.

Following the verdict’s announcement, many people protested the SC’s stance on the issue. President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Vice President Kamala Harris were among the officials who objected to the ruling.

“It’s a sad day for the Court and for the country. It was three justices named by one president, Donald Trump, who were the core of today’s decision to upend the scales of justice and eliminate a fundamental right for women in this country. Make no mistake; this decision is a culmination of a deliberate effort over decades to upset the balance of our law,” the president said in a media address.

“The Court has done what it’s never done before, expressly take away a constitutional right that is so fundamental to so many Americans that had already been recognized. The Court’s decision to do so will have real and immediate consequences,” he added.

Read Also: US Strengthens Economic Ties with Taiwan in New Agreements, Talks

According to Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House, the decision is “such an insult, a slap in the face to women.”

“There’s no point in saying good morning because it certainly is not one. This morning the radical Supreme Court is eviscerating women’s rights and endangering their health and safety,” she added.

The majority of the Court, however, stuck by their decision and stated: “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”

Source: CNN

Robots take the helm in Singaporean businesses

Image Source: REUTERS

The Singaporean government has taken a new approach to help their businesses by introducing robot workers. These machines will take over tasks that human beings have previously done.

The restrictions on human employees have made it difficult for businesses to find people who can work. This is where robots came into play.

Between December 2019 and September 2021, the number of foreign workers declined by 235,700 – a labor industry that the city-state greatly depends on. The manpower ministry said that this development aid in the speed-up of the “pace of technology adoption and automation” by companies.

The four-legged robot named Spot works at a construction site for Gammon and sends data to their company control room regarding work progress on mud and gravel.

According to the General Manager of Gammon, Michael O’Connell, “Replacing the need for manpower on-site with autonomous solutions is gaining real traction.” He told the media that ‘Spot’ is a way for the company to cut costs as the employment halved the required manpower for the job.

O’Connell believes that many companies ought to follow suit as it will become a trend, and it is ‘there to stay.’

The Singaporean National Library is also taking advantage of the benefits of two shelf-reading robots that can scan up to 100,000 books.

“Staff need not read the call numbers one by one on the shelf, and this reduces the routine, and labor-intensive aspects,” the assistant director of the National Library Board said.

Robots have also already made their way into a number of different jobs that directly interact with consumers. Over 30 metro stations plan on using them in daily operations soon.

Chief Executive of Town Digital, Keith Tan, said that the rise of robot workers would automate business systems. According to Tan, it solved the “biggest pain point” in food and beverage, which is finding staff.

“We always want to have some kind of human touch,” one commuter said. These comments also echo among consumers who feel that human interactions are better and more effective.