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Chinese cold on overseas travel even if COVID curbs ease: survey

More than half of Chinese will put off travel abroad for periods from several months to more than a year, even if borders reopen tomorrow, according to a survey, a sign that consumer recovery from COVID-19 measures will take time. 카지노사이트

Mainland China retains some of the world’s most stringent measures on PCR testing and quarantine for international travellers, despite some domestic easing of curbs after last month’s unprecedented COVID protests.

Fear of infection with the disease was the top concern of those saying they would postpone travel in a survey of 4,000 consumers in China released by consultancy Oliver Wyman, with worries about changes to domestic re-entry guidelines in second place.

“People have become cautious,” said Imke Wouters, a retail and consumer goods partner at the firm. “So even when they can travel, we don’t think they will come back right away.”

As many as 51 percent of those surveyed plan to delay international travel. And when they do, short-haul destinations will be the first to benefit, the consultancy said in its study, “China Consumption Recovery”.

The Asian financial hub of Hong Kong topped wishlists for travel, with 34 percent of respondents saying it would be their first stop after the reopening.

The late October survey followed the 20th Congress of the ruling Communist Party in Beijing, which brought President Xi Jinping a precedent-breaking third term as leader, at an event many had hoped would herald an opening up after COVID.

China was formerly the world’s largest outbound tourism market, but its overseas visitors, who spent $127.5bn on such trips in 2019, have virtually disappeared after it all but shut international borders in early 2020 and curbed non-essential travel by citizens.

China’s uncompromising “zero-COVID” effort hit the economy hard, and it is expected to reshape policies soon, though analysts have warned that any reopening will be bumpy and complex.

As many as 83 percent of the executives in China who responded to the survey said “a long road to consumer confidence recovery” was set to affect their mainland business over the next year.바카라사이트

While the report found consumer sentiment subdued by lockdowns and economic uncertainty, Wouters said Chinese consumers still showed a willingness to boost spending next year if conditions improve.

Nearly half, or 44 percent, of respondents cited an increase in personal savings as a reason they were likely to spend more next year.

China’s household deposits increased to 13 trillion yuan ($1.87 trillion) from January to September this year, up from 8.5 trillion yuan ($1.22 trillion) for the corresponding 2021 period.

Most spending in the next 12 months will focus on personal wellbeing in areas linked to health, fitness or wellness.

The outlier, according to Wouters, was Gen Z, the group born in the period spanning the late 1990s and the early 2010s, which would focus spending on “living in the moment”.

“We don’t expect to see the same boom in luxury spending that we saw in 2021,” she said. “But whatever growth we do see will be driven by Gen Z.” 온라인카지노

african

African Development Fund invests more than $6 million to strengthen public finance governance in African countries

The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund have approved a grant of $6.12 million to help strengthen public finance governance in low-income African countries.카지노사이트

The funding is for Phase 2 of the Regional Institutional Support Project in Public Finance Governance (RISPFG) which will be implemented by two pan-African institutions: the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) and the Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI). The grant, which was formally approved on 3 November 2022, will b e distributed as follows: $3.90 million to support the continent’s tax administration reforms and domestic resource mobilisation efforts through support to ATAF and $2.22 million to support budget reforms and strengthen public finance management through CABRI.

This project is a follow-on to a first phase approved by the African Development Bank in 2016 and successfully closed in September 2021 with both institutions (ATAF and CABRI). The project’s overall objective is to improve domestic resource mobilisation and public financial management in recipient countries, and help strengthen their efforts towards sustainable, inclusive growth and development. More specifically, it aims to improve African tax systems through technical capacity building, strengthening public financial management capacities and the integration of gender and climate change into taxation and public financial management. The project will also help countries build a common position and a stronger voice for the continent on regional and global platforms.

Abdoulaye Coulibaly, Director of the Governance and Public Financial Management Coordination Office at the African Development Bank, said that in addition to development results, the project also aimed to strengthen the resilience of national systems to various shocks, improve disaster preparedness and encourage the transition to low-carbon economies, through climate-smart budgeting and fiscal policies.

“The project will contribute to strengthening the actions of the Public Financial Management Academy, a virtual capacity building platform for African countries across the cycle and ecosystem of public financial management created in August 2022 by the Bank”, said Coulibaly said.바카라사이트

The project will help the countries of the African Development Fund who are members of the two implementing organisations. Their tax administrations as well as officials from ministries of finance will benefit from capacity building. The project will contribute to the development outcomes of the African continent and the achievement of various commitments, including financing for development, Agenda 2063 and Sustainable Development Goals. It will be implemented over a three-year period.

About the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF)

The African Tax Administration Forum is an intergovernmental organisation composed of 40 African member states. Founded in 2009, its aim is to strengthen more effective and efficient tax systems in Africa, in order to reduce aid dependency, improve fiscal governance, reduce poverty and improve the daily lives of African citizens. In more than a decade of existence, it has been recognised globally and regionally as an expert institution, technical leader and authoritative voice on tax matters. Its secretariat is based in Pretoria, South Africa.

About the Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI)

Established in 2009, the Collaborative African Initiative on Budget Reform is an intergovernmental organisation that includes 17 African countries. Its mission is to strengthen the capacity of civil servants to implement reforms that ensure that public financial resources are managed with integrity, transparency and accountability. It serves as a learning and exchange platform for African Ministries of Finance, Budget and Planning. It currently works with more than 35 countries. The CABRI secretariat is also based in Pretoria, South Africa.온라인카지노

newspaper

Legal Publication Requirements and the Decline of the Local Newspaper

According to a report by Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, between late 2019 and the end of May 2022, more than 360 newspapers closed across the country — and since 2005, the United States has lost more than one-fourth of its newspapers and will likely lose a third by 2025. The closures of these newspapers results in “news deserts,” which lack local journalists to report on local issues. Between 1,300 and 1,400 communities that had local newspapers in 2004 now have no local news coverage at all.카지노사이트

Factors contributing to this decline include a decrease in revenues from digital and print newspaper sales, a decrease in advertising dollars, changing consumer preferences about news sources, and the purchase and consolidation of newspapers by hedge fund and other non-local investors, among other things.

This blog will explore what this trend means for Washington local governments, including as it relates to state-based legal publication requirements in an “official newspaper” or “newspaper of general circulation.” This blog will also cover the nuts and bolts of designation of an official newspaper.

Why Do Newspaper Closures Matter to Local Governments?

Research shows that when local newspapers close, corruption in local government increases and civic participation decreases. Fewer journalists covering local issues means there is less oversight of local government activities and decreased citizen engagement with local politics — including fewer people running for local office.

As noted in the Washington Post Magazine:

(W)hen we lose local journalism, we lose a fabric that holds together communities; we lose crucial information that allows democracy to function; and at the most basic level, we lose stories that need to be told.

In terms of day-to-day operations, Washington cities, towns, and counties are required to contract with a newspaper to function as their “official newspaper,” and publication/notice in an official newspaper or a “newspaper of general circulation” is required under numerous statutory schemes for all types of municipalities, including for special purpose districts.

Since so many local newspapers are reducing the frequency of publication (e.g., from weekly to monthly), decreasing circulation, consolidating with other newspapers, or closing altogether, public agencies have fewer options when it comes to selecting their official newspapers and to publishing notices. It also means that some local governments may need to change their official newspaper of record. Anecdotally, MRSC is hearing from jurisdictions that more errors in publication are occurring — raising concerns about meeting an agency’s legal notice obligations — and our website is seeing increased user searches related to official newspapers, indicating that this is likely an issue of growing concern for local governments.

What Are the Rules that Apply to the Designation of an Official Newspaper?

The requirements for designation of an official newspaper are found at RCW 35.21.875 for cities and towns, RCW 35A.21.230 for code cities, and RCW 36.72.075 for counties. The designation of an official newspaper may be done by resolution.

Few, if any, special purpose districts are required to formally designate an official newspaper. However, even if not required by statute, some special districts opt to designate a newspaper of record by resolution that is a newspaper of general circulation in the district.

Counties are to select a “legal newspaper” published in the county or, if there is no legal newspaper, a legal newspaper published in an adjacent county.

Cities and towns are to select a newspaper of “general circulation in the city or town and have the qualifications prescribed by chapter 65.16 RCW.“

Per RCW 65.16.020, the qualifications of a legal newspaper are:

(The) newspaper shall have been published regularly, at least once a week, in the English language, as a newspaper of general circulation, in the city or town where the same is published at the time of application for approval, for at least six months prior to the date of such application; shall be compiled either in whole or in part in an office maintained at the place of publication; shall contain news of general interest as contrasted with news of interest primarily to an organization, group or class; shall have a policy to print all statutorily required legal notices; and shall hold a periodical class mailing permit:

A legal newspaper must be designated as such by a superior court in the county in which it is published. See RCW 65.16.040.

A newspaper of “general circulation” is not defined in statute, however, the attorney general (AGO) has opined in the context of special meeting notice:

It may be said generally that a newspaper is one of general circulation, even though it is devoted to the interests of a particular class of persons, and specializes on news and intelligence primarily of interest to that class, if, in addition to such special news, it also publishes news of a general character and of a general interest, and to some extent circulates among the general public.바카라사이트

See AGO 1956 No. 257. See also Warner v. Miner, 41 Wash. 98, 82 P. 1033 (1905); Beutelspacher v. Spokane Sav. Bank, 164 Wash. 227, 2 P.2d 729 (1931); Times Printing Co. v. Star Pub. Co., 51 Wash. 667, 670, 99 P. 1040, 1042 (1909).

MRSC’s take on the AGO language and the cases on “general circulation” is that courts are deferential when the validity of publication is challenged if the publication was among the best available options at the time.

If there are two or more qualified newspapers serving the jurisdiction, the legislative body of cities, towns, and counties are to award a one-year contract through a bidding process. In a code city, there is neither a bidding requirement nor a limitation on the length of the contract, although a best practice suggests using bidding when there is more than one qualified newspaper serving the city (see MRSC’s City Bidding Book). We also have several examples of calls for bids for official newspapers in our Sample Documents Library.

When Is Publication in an Official Newspaper Required?

Many statutes require public agencies to publish notice in an official newspaper in advance of agency action being considered, immediately following the official action, or both. While this blog will not set forth a comprehensive list, below are just some of the instances when publication in an official newspaper is required:

All cities and towns are required to publish every ordinance or a summary thereof in their official newspaper. See RCW 35.22.288 (first-class cities); RCW 35.23.221 (second-class cities); RCW 35.27.300 (towns); and RCW 35A.12.160 and RCW 35A.13.200 (code cities).
Counties must provide advance notice of consideration of any police or sanitary regulations. See RCW 36.32.120(7).
Calls for bids for city and town projects subject to competitive bidding must be published either in an official newspaper or a newspaper of “general circulation most likely to bring responsive bid.” See RCW 35.23.352(1).
Final budget hearings must be advertised for two consecutive weeks in an official newspaper. See, e.g., RCW 35A.33.060 (code city annual budget) and RCW 35A.34.100 (code city biennial budget).
Many other statutes require that notice be published in a “newspaper of general circulation” within the jurisdiction or district (e.g., sale of surplus water-sewer district property, RCW 57.08.015; adoption of port district regulations, RCW 53.08.220; public utility districts call for bids for public works contracts RCW 54.04.070).

What Are the Options for Local Governments Struggling to Meet Publication Requirements?

We have been asked whether local governments can skip publication in an official newspaper and instead use other means of notice, such as publication on the agency’s website. Unless and until the legislature amends statutory publication requirements, local governments must continue to provide notice in an official newspaper whenever required by state law. Further, we have indicated that an “official newspaper” must be a printed newspaper, again, unless and until the legislature amends the qualifications for a legal newspaper. See RCW 65.16.020.

Final Thoughts
Given the decline of local news outlets, it may become increasingly difficult to find a newspaper that meets the statutory qualifications of an official newspaper, legal newspaper, or newspaper of general circulation. Local governments may need to cast wider nets, looking beyond their borders for a qualified newspaper. With some good fortune, perhaps this trend of growing news deserts will slow or reverse. There is substantial effort and funding going toward re-establishing and strengthening independent local journalism and news sources.

Finally, publication in an official newspaper is not the exclusive means to provide the public with notice about agency business. Many local governments can and do utilize additional tools such as social media, radio, local newspapers that are not the “official newspaper,” online publications, and other media in order to “get the word out.” Indeed, it is important to utilize a variety of forums to reach diverse constituencies (e.g., through publications specific to certain ethnic populations). See MRSC’s Community Engagement Resources webpage for creative and effective ways to engage and inform the public.온라인카지노

basin

The next Amazon? Congo Basin faces rising deforestation threat

At the COP27 climate talks in Egypt this week, world leaders have sought to accelerate efforts to halt deforestation by 2030 – in line with a pledge 140 countries made last year to preserve forests.카지노사이트

A new group of nations was created to boost momentum on that promise, along with new funding commitments, including 90 million pounds ($106 million) from Britain to support conservation of the Congo Basin – the world’s second-largest rainforest.

A more intact forest than regions like the Amazon, Central Africa’s Congo Basin saw deforestation increase by 5 per cent in 2021, according to a report released on Thursday by environmental group Climate Focus.

Marion Ferrat, a senior consultant at Climate Focus who co-authored the report, said the new pledges to protect the Congo Basin are encouraging, “but there needs to be funding that reaches communities on the ground.”

Many of the promises are “very high-level”, often lacking specific objectives and the mechanisms to track them, she added in a phone interview from the climate summit.

As COP27 delegates discuss how to reduce planet-heating emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, conservationists at the meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh say the role of the Congo Basin as a “carbon sink” is being underestimated.

Carbon sinks are natural areas, such as oceans and forests, that absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, helping curb global warming.

With its dense tropical peatlands, the Basin pulls around 4 per cent of global CO2 emissions out of the atmosphere each year, according to the Central African Forest Initiative.

Threats from logging and mining
Spread over six countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Cameroon, the rainforest is home to more than 75 million people and 10,000 tropical plant species, as well as endangered wildlife from forest elephants to mountain gorillas, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

“The Congo Basin is obviously crucial not only for local and national economies… but also its potential to combat global warming,” said Belmond Tchoumba, WWF’s Central Africa forest programme coordinator.

The Climate Focus report said the rainforest has been “passively” protected due to factors like low population density, political instability, a lack of infrastructure and high risks for private investors.

While other tropical forests have been severely degraded by industrial activities like mining and agriculture, the report said most of the Congo Basin’s deforestation has been due to small-scale subsistence farming – but this could be set to change.

The Basin faces major threats from fossil fuel exploration, illegal logging and, due to its abundance of rare metals such as cobalt, even from mining for materials that are crucial for the renewable energy transition.

New analysis released this week by Rainforest Foundation UK and Earth InSight revealed more than one-third of the Congo Basin now overlaps with existing or planned oil and gas exploration and production areas.

“The world isn’t paying remotely enough attention or investing sufficient resources to help the countries of the Congo Basin preserve their intact forests,” said Joe Walston, executive vice president at the Wildlife Conservation Society.

He said intact forests receive less funding as mechanisms like the United Nations’ REDD+ conservation scheme focus on responding to recent deforestation trends – which are lower in places like the Congo Basin.

“Intact forests are highly threatened and it is, perversely, only after they start getting logged for many years that the world steps in,” Walston said in a phone interview.

‘Playing defence’
The fundamental challenge, analysts say, is ensuring that economic development of the Congo Basin happens in a way that is ecologically sustainable.

This is particularly difficult in the DRC – by far the most populated nation in the region – where poverty rates are high and the government is looking to boost its oil output.바카라사이트

“The opportunity cost for forest conservation is so high given the alternative uses (for) forest lands,” said Jack Hurd, executive director of the Tropical Forest Alliance.

He said a significant amount of finance is needed to incentivise good behaviours, as well as time to create structures for sustainable development such as robust regulations and local capacity to manage the rainforest.

“Unless you’re looking at the whole ecosystem… you’re just playing defence – trying to keep things from happening in a protected area,” Hurd said.
A model for this kind of sustainable development may be found in Gabon, a sparsely populated nation in the Congo Basin where deforestation decreased by 28 per cent in 2021, according to the Climate Focus report.

Marie-Claire Paiz, Gabon country director at environmental organisation The Nature Conservancy, said the country has benefitted from strict forest management standards.

For example, she said, forestry operators are required to develop a management plan to harvest trees on a 25-year rotation, based on a detailed inventory of tree species and size.

The country also hopes carbon markets can encourage further investment, with businesses paying for forest conservation to offset their emissions, and her organisation is supporting the government to ensure that carbon credits are robust.

At COP27 this week, a new Africa Carbon Markets Initiative was launched with the aim of developing the continent’s voluntary carbon markets for projects like biodiversity protection.

Even in Gabon, however, Paiz said there could be growing tensions if communities fail to benefit from nature protection, especially as the country is forced to move away from the oil industry – its primary source of revenue.

“We need to figure (out) ways of helping to maintain the forest cover that we have right now, and do it in a way that is totally supportive to the economies of those countries,” she said.

“The world will pay for it, otherwise.”온라인카지노

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Poker at Evolution Casino

The range of Poker games at Evolution Casino is extensive. With exclusive partnerships with Scientific Games Marketing, the casino offers many variations on the classic card game. Players will find everything from a traditional version of poker to progressive jackpots. In addition, players can compete against the dealer to win payouts of up to 100 to 1.카지노사이트

The Evolution casino has many different games and is one of the leading providers of online poker. The company is headquartered in Sweden, and offers a number of different integrated gaming experiences. This includes live dealer games for FanDuel and DraftKings. Other games include Russian Poker, Wild Portals, and Millionaire Rush.

Evolution’s live casino hold’em is an exciting variant of the game. Streamed in HD quality, this game is designed for a variety of devices and attracts poker enthusiasts from around the world. It also features a Bonus Bet for additional betting opportunities. One of the most exciting features of this game is the Jumbo 7 jackpot, the largest live table jackpot in the world.

The software used to create these games has been developed by Evolution Gaming, a pioneer in the industry. Evolution also provides many of its games with extra features, such as win boosts. This game studio has been in the business since 2006 and has established itself as a leader in the live casino market. Besides offering a full range of live games, Evolution also offers a wide range of customizable table settings.바카라사이트

The Evolution Gaming studios are located in several large cities across Europe. The studio in Riga is one of the largest. And it has more than 100 game tables. This makes it one of the most comprehensive live casino sites in the European continent. The company offers live streaming games for players in multiple languages. A number of different languages are available, including French, German, Italian, and Spanish.

Evolution Gaming’s live casino games offer the most extensive live gaming experience available online. Their software offers a wide range of games, including a variety of regional games in different markets. And players of all skill levels will be able to find a game to suit them. It also offers games at multiple stake levels, so there’s no need to worry about a lack of variety when playing live at Evolution Gaming.온라인카지노

travel

Grappling With Travel to a State Whose Policies You Oppose

San Francisco couple Kemari Ombonga and Akosua Agyepong were weighing a classic decision: Should they stay, or should they go? Move home to Ombonga’s native North Carolina; to Texas, where Ombonga had family; or remain in California? Despite the pull of the past, the decision ultimately came down to each state’s politics, particularly around abortion control and gun regulations. Yes, California had a higher cost of living, but the more progressive state won their allegiance.카지노사이트

They also had similar conversations about where they wanted to travel following the fall of Roe v. Wade.

“It’s a bit tricky,” says Agyepong, who moved to the United States from Ghana last year. “It’s a layered decision, especially when it comes to [the question of] where do I want to travel to? Where do I want to live?” They found there were no simple answers to either question, with Ombonga noting that several states with the strictest abortion restrictions are in the South, where the largest African American population lives—a population that has historically been subjected to oppressive policies. While they said they didn’t want to move back, not traveling to see family—scattered across Louisiana, Texas, and Florida—wasn’t an option, either.

The two run Ashure Travel, a travel consulting and management company that helps businesses book flights. From a business standpoint, they decided to offer support to their employees who might need access to an abortion after the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

“What was a very easy decision was making sure that all the women in our organization felt like they had safe access to their medical care and felt supported,” Ombonga says. “And not just lip service, but financially as well.”

The more complex choice, he says, was communicating the business’s stance without alienating staff and potential clients with opposing views.

“That’s kind of been tough to reconcile. But at the same time, if we have to lose a few people or clients to stick to our values, I think that’s a small price to pay.”

The two say they’re no strangers to using travel as a force for change—Ombonga used to volunteer with Miles4Migrants, a nonprofit that books travel for people displaced due to war or conflict, and he has booked travel for clients in the path of hurricanes in his native North Carolina, to help get them out of harm’s way. That there could be a need to help book travel for people seeking abortions, he says, “doesn’t [feel] any different.”

The travel industry’s response to a changing policy landscape

After the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in June, the right to have an abortion was left entirely up to the states. As of now, abortion is outlawed in more than a dozen states, several of which enacted so-called trigger laws to go into place when Roe fell. According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, 14 other states, plus American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands, are considered “hostile”—meaning these states have indicated they want to ban abortion.

The travel industry has largely stayed out of the political fray following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, with just a few airlines and travel companies like Airbnb publicly saying they supported reproductive rights. Seattle-based Alaska Airlines said it would continue to cover the costs for employees seeking reproductive care.

“Today’s Supreme Court decision does not change that,” the airline wrote to its employees in June.

Others have taken a more nonpartisan approach. Chicago-based United Airlines sent out a memo to its thousands of employees worldwide, calling the topic of abortion “an emotional one” and encouraging employees to be empathetic and respectful of one another when discussing the issue but otherwise did not take an official position. (Roe v. Wade is codified into law in Illinois, with Governor J. B. Pritzker saying in a statement in early May that “abortion will always be safe and legal here.”)

Individual travelers take a stand

The fall of Roe is just one of several examples of how a change in U.S. policies affects the daily lives of so many citizens and travelers, from abortion rights to gun control and LGBTQ+ issues. Travelers have ample places they can go to spend their vacation time and money. So, what happens when their personal politics conflict with the policies of a given destination? How are social issues affecting travelers’ choices about where to visit—and spend their hard-earned dollars—within the United States?

In the immediate aftermath of states enacting trigger bans, some travelers, like Twitter user Carolyn Higgins, who travels throughout the United States by RV, said they would boycott states with restrictive abortion laws on the books.

“No travel, no products from their key industries or largest employers. Who’s with me?” Higgins wrote in May.

The notion is that visiting a destination with policies one opposes demonstrates a degree of support for those policies. Others, like Twitter user Jonathan Field, say steering clear of small-scale cities and towns often punishes people and businesses that had no part in developing the laws in question. Field took issue with the term “boycott,” which he says was disrespectful to the “[people] that have to live in those places.”바카라사이트

How effective are travel boycotts?

While both Ombonga and Agyepong believe boycotts can be effective, grassroots work helping marginalized communities—such as going door-to-door and having conversations with people—can be just as successful, if not more so.

“Boycotting is definitely one of the tools in the toolbox,” Agyepong says, “but the question is, is it going to do what we need [it] to?”

There’s a long history of successful boycotts that have resulted in significant policy changes. The most well-known in the U.S. is, perhaps, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, during which people boycotted the transit system in Montgomery between 1955 and 1956 to protest racial segregation. While the social impact was clear, there was also a significant financial hit to the transit system: The strike, which lasted a little more than a year, cost the city an estimated $3,000 per day and resulted in up to 40,000 lost bus fares each day.

More recent forms of protest have included boycotting Trump hotels, forgoing travel to North Carolina over so-called bathroom bills that denied transgender people the right to use public restrooms that aligned with their gender identity, and to Georgia due to a voting law that required people voting by absentee ballot to show identification. An Associated Press analysis found that the bathroom bill would have caused North Carolina nearly $4 billion in lost business. (The bill was later repealed.)

Travel boycotts aren’t unique to the U.S.: After the gruesome murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia found itself shunned by Washington and Silicon Valley (though it’s worth noting that President Biden recently visited Jeddah and met with Mohammed bin Salman, whom the CIA has concluded ordered Khashoggi’s murder).

For Kristin Luna, a travel writer and photographer based in Nashville, the issue isn’t as clear-cut as simply boycotting a destination. Luna points to Kansas, where voters overwhelmingly rejected the state’s proposed amendment to ban all abortions. According to Luna, Kansas showed that what happens inside a statehouse doesn’t necessarily represent the feelings and positions of the people outside it.

“Having grown up in a more rural region, I see the impact of tourism and hospitality,” says Luna, who lives in the town where the Jack Daniels distillery is located. “It’s definitely a town where a lot of businesses wouldn’t survive [without tourism],” she says, “and having traveled so much, predominantly in the Southern states, I’ve seen a lot of small businesses who’ve been able to build a sustainable model because they have so many tourists coming in a year.”

Tourism is a $17 billion industry in Tennessee, where Luna lives, employing 150,000 people. She argues that politicians and corporations won’t feel the strain of a travel boycott, but small businesses still recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic certainly will.

Building bridges versus boycotts

The U.S. Travel Association, the nonprofit representing the interests of the U.S. travel industry, has a very clear position on travel boycotts.

“Sweeping out-of-state travel boycotts won’t change laws, but they can decimate communities that rely on visitors,” states Tori Emerson Barnes from the U.S. Travel Association. “Travel bans harm travel industry workers who do not make public policy decisions, ultimately hurting the very groups that ban advocates claim to support. The bottom line is travel is an activity that brings Americans together and should not be a tool that causes further division.”

Several states that enacted trigger bans rely on tourism to prop up their economies. Mississippi, for instance, generated more than $400 million in 2021 for the state’s general fund—money used for state operations and programs—from tourism. Travel jobs were the fourth largest in the state, according to the Mississippi Development Authority.

Rather than expressing displeasure with a destination’s policies by boycotting it, Luna suggests supporting the local people and businesses you feel your values are aligned with when you do visit.

“I feel like we’ve come to this point in society where people are being more mindful where their dollars go anyway,” she says. “Apply that same mindset to how you’re traveling.”

The choice to travel (or not to travel) to a U.S. destination where you may disagree with its policies and where you may not find support if you do need resources is, ultimately, a personal one. But some would argue that there’s also a case to be made for the role travel can play in bringing people together and in helping to build bridges of understanding—perhaps even more so amid divisive times.

“It is always important to continue to have conversations with people, for us to see both sides,” Agyepong says. “I think that is the only way that we can make progress.”온라인카지노

the

New UK finance minister Hunt scraps tax cuts, reins in energy support

LONDON -New finance minister Jeremy Hunt scrapped Prime Minister Liz Truss’ economic plan and scaled back her vast energy subsidy on Monday, launching one of the biggest U-turns in British fiscal policy to stem a dramatic loss of investor confidence.카지노사이트

Tasked with halting a bond market rout that has raged since the government announced huge unfunded tax cuts on Sept. 23, Hunt has now reversed all of the policies that helped Truss to become elected as prime minister just under six weeks ago.

Her spokesman denied that Hunt was now running the country after his new strategy, that will also include spending cuts, sent the pound soaring against the dollar and government bond prices to start to recover from a three-week pounding.

“I remain extremely confident about the UK’s long term economic prospects as we deliver our mission to go for growth,” Hunt said in a televised clip. “But growth requires confidence and stability, and the United Kingdom will always pay its way.”

Under the new plan, most of Truss’ 45 billion pounds of unfunded tax cuts will go and a two-year energy support scheme for households and businesses – expected to cost well over 100 billion pounds – will now only run until April.

After that the government will review the best way forward, to come up with a targeted scheme that will “cost the taxpayer significantly less than planned”.

Hunt said the planned tax cut changes would raise 32 billion pounds ($36 billion) every year. The pound soared by as much as 1.4% to a session high of $1.1332 after the statement.

Truss said she was now charting a new course for growth, but one that would protect stability. “We have taken action to chart a new course for growth that supports and delivers for people across the United Kingdom,” she said on Twitter.

Fighting for survival
The latest crisis to hit the British shores started on Sept. 23, when new prime minister Truss and her-then finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng announced 45 billion pounds of unfunded tax cuts to snap the economy out of years of stagnation.

But the response from bond investors who would fund the plan was so violently negative that borrowing costs surged and lenders pulled mortgage offers. Eventually the Bank of England had to step in to prevent pension funds from going under.

After reversing one tax cut, Truss fired her long-time friend Kwarteng on Friday and installed Hunt, the former health and foreign minister, to cut others.

Adding to the pressure, the Bank stuck to its schedule of ending its support on Friday, meaning Hunt had been racing to reverse policies and find spending cuts to appease the markets and prevent borrowing costs from rising further on Monday morning.

Despite Monday’s rally, the damage to gilts endures. The yield on the 10-year gilt is still some 46 basis points above its closing level on Sept. 22, the day before the “Growth Plan” shocked markets. While yields for comparable German and U.S. bonds have increased over the same period, the hit to British debt remains especially severe.

Truss’s spokesman was asked at a daily briefing how the prime minister could retain any credibility after she reversed course on the programme that secured her election by party members.바카라사이트

He said she was listening to the public, her colleagues and to the advice of the markets. “She is making the necessary difficult decisions to change our approach so we can provide the economic stability and maintain that stability of leadership which is important as well,” he said.

Her about-turn has angered those lawmakers who supported her, and further encouraged those who opposed her to try to find a way of getting her out of power.

The fourth British prime minister in six years, she was only formerly appointed to the role on Sept. 6.

Already a handful of her lawmakers have said she must go. Rachel Reeves, the finance spokesperson for the opposition Labour Party, said the Conservative government was no longer capable of providing stability.

“The Conservatives have lost all credibility,” she said.

While Hunt had been expected to reverse some of the tax cuts, the change to the energy support scheme came out of the blue.

Truss had announced a two-year subsidy scheme to support households and businesses through the period of surging energy prices, which would cost 60 billion pounds in six months alone. Hunt said on Monday that the scheme would now run until April, but become more targeted after that.

The new finance minister would still deliver a fuller medium-term fiscal plan as scheduled on Oct. 31, alongside forecasts from the independent Office for Budget Responsibility, the Treasury said.온라인카지노

Police

John Oliver: local news crime coverage gives police ‘a huge lobbying platform’

John Oliver looked at how crime is covered by the news, particularly on the local level in the US. “TV news leans hard on ‘this could happen to you’ type of crime stories, which are designed to pull you in,” the Last Week Tonight host explained, which can stoke unfounded fear of crime, lead to misperceptions in the crime rate, and exacerbate inequities in the criminal justice system.카지노사이트

Oliver pointed to the recent example of rainbow fentanyl. According to many news outlets, the candy-colored narcotics have been designed to appeal to children during the month of Halloween.

“While the idea of rainbow fentanyl being made to target kids sounds very scary, experts on narcotics have pointed out that those pills are almost certainly colored just to differentiate products and it has nothing to do with marketing to kids at all, period, whatsoever,” said Oliver. “Which does make sense, doesn’t it? Because kids – and this is true – are not an ideal customer base for expensive street drugs.” said Oliver.

Oliver then pivoted to the development of the local crime beat – the “if it bleeds, it leads” mentality that really took root in the 1970s, when two local Philadelphia stations started the “eyewitness” and “action news” formats focused on crime news. Local news also started publishing mugshots; the New York Daily News still maintains online mugshot galleries such as “criminally bad hair day” and “babes behind bars” – “It’s fun because it’s their worst day,” Oliver deadpanned.

“The faces that get shown can compound existing inequities in our justice system,” Oliver said, noting a recent study in New York which found that while a quarter of the city’s population was Black, Black people made up over half of all arrests and 75% of criminals shown on the news.

News organizations frequently don’t report follow-ups or developments in the case, and stories often rely on a single source: police. “Police say” is a phrase “you constantly hear from the mouths of news reporters,” said Oliver. “It’s right up there with ‘this just in’ or ‘back to you’ or ‘I apologize for the accent I did on Cinco de Mayo.’

“There is obviously nothing wrong with calling the police to ask questions,” said Oliver. “When you’re working on a deadline, you can’t always reach arrested civilians or their attorneys who sometimes don’t even want to talk with you anyway.” But there can often be huge discrepancies between law enforcement’s version of events and the real story.

Police departments also have robust PR departments. The LAPD, for example, had 42 people in its information bureau in 2020, at an annual cost of about $4.8m, on top of $3.29m spent per year for 25 people in similar units. “Which is already a little telling, because while a certain amount of spending is necessary, you don’t spend that much on PR if things are going great,” Oliver joked.

He homed in particular on the police PR jargon “officer-involved shooting”, which is “a weird term for reporters to repeat because it deliberately omits crucial information about how the officer was involved. If you went to someone’s house for dinner and they said ‘tonight there is a rat-involved dinner,’ you’d justifiably have some follow-up questions.”

One of the major problems with deferring to police, he added, is that “police lie”. As Last Week Tonight has covered in previous segments on law enforcement, police have lied to get search warrants for raids, to force confessions, and under oath to the point that the New York Times reported on “testilying”.바카라사이트

As an example, Oliver pointed to the press release from Minneapolis police after the killing of George Floyd in 2020: “Man Dies After Medical Incident During Police Interaction”, which was picked up near-verbatim by local news the next morning. The “hugely self-serving” police statement elided their role; “his medical distress, and I’m using the biggest air quotes humanly possible here, was the result of an officer pressing his knee into his neck for nine minutes,” he said. “Repeating that claim by the police is an act of malpractice akin to Walter Cronkite saying JFK died of a headache today. Sure, it’s not technically wrong, but it’s the understatement of the fucking century.”

The Floyd example was not a one-off; Oliver cited a Guardian investigation into police killings in California which found that police misrepresented events at least a dozen times.

“By presenting police uncritically, you’re not just helping them dodge accountability. You’re giving them a huge lobbying platform,” he continued. There’s a lot of great crime reporting, he added, “but the daily crime beat, whether from lack of resources, lack of scrutiny, or lack of follow-through, far too often takes police at their word and not as an interest group who should be treated as such”.

Outside of police changing behavior, Oliver advocated for smaller changes already undertaken by some news organizations: replacing “police say” with “police claim”, doing away with mugshot galleries, reporting on cases beyond arrests to their conclusions. And he pushed for a larger cultural shift: asking if the crimes covered by local news are actually newsworthy, “because the truth is, not all crimes are”.

“Local news is incredibly important,” he concluded, “which is why it is so critical that it is done well.”

… we have a small favour to ask. Millions are turning to the Guardian for open, independent, quality news every day, and readers in 180 countries around the world now support us financially.

We believe everyone deserves access to information that’s grounded in science and truth, and analysis rooted in authority and integrity. That’s why we made a different choice: to keep our reporting open for all readers, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. This means more people can be better informed, united, and inspired to take meaningful action.

In these perilous times, a truth-seeking global news organisation like the Guardian is essential. We have no shareholders or billionaire owner, meaning our journalism is free from commercial and political influence – this makes us different. When it’s never been more important, our independence allows us to fearlessly investigate, challenge and expose those in power.온라인카지노

deforestation

Palm oil firms not acting fast enough on no-deforestation vows: Report

Only 22% of companies sourcing or producing palm oil in Indonesia have public and comprehensive no-deforestation policies, a new report by London-based nonprofit CDP says.카지노사이트

The report also finds that only 28% of companies have robust public no-deforestation commitments that cover 100% of production and include a cutoff date before 2020.

In light of the report, experts are calling for more companies to adopt robust no-deforestation policies that incorporate social elements including remediation, restoration, compensation of past harms, and/or commitment to protect rights and livelihoods of local communities.

JAKARTA — Less than a quarter of companies producing or sourcing palm oil from Indonesia have forest-related policies in line with best practices, a new report says.

The report, by CDP, a global nonprofit that promotes environmental reporting and risk management by companies and cities, analyzed data provided by 167 firms.

While 86% of companies had set a forest policy, only 22% were in line with best practices, which the organization defines as committing to eliminate deforestation and conversion of natural ecosystems; not plant on peatlands; conduct restoration and/or provide compensation for past harms; and protect rights and livelihoods of local communities.

“The low number of companies with robust policies aligned with best practice suggests a concerning absence of intention to eradicate forest loss from corporate value chains,” the report says.

While the figure was up from 14% in 2021, the progress isn’t fast enough to meet Indonesia’s target of turning its forests into a carbon sink by 2030, according to Rini Setiawati, senior manager for forests at CDP.

“If we have a target of having forest positive future by 2030, we need this at scale,” Rini told Mongabay. “We need 90% of companies, not 22%, to have robust policies, and not just policies and commitment, but also ambitious target and robust implementation.”

Over the past several decades, palm oil has been a major driver of deforestation in Indonesia, the world’s largest producer of the ubiquitous commodity. A recent study found the industry was responsible for nearly one-third of the nation’s forest loss from 2001 to 2019, though deforestation related to palm oil last peaked in 2016 and has fallen in recent years.

As a result, many companies that own oil palm plantations or process, trade or use palm oil have pledged to break the link between deforestation and their supply chains.

“Whilst companies are moving in the right direction, more action is needed to maintain this trend,” said Thomas Maddox, the global director of forests and land at CPD.

Despite a checkered record, corporate zero-deforestation policies have shown some success, according to Herry Purnomo, a scientist at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

“Our study in South Sumatra province shows that commitments from the public sector could decrease deforestation significantly, but if they’re coupled with commitments from the private sector, it could [further] lower deforestation significantly,” he told Mongabay. “So commitments do matter and they need to be amplified, widened, monitored and given rewards and incentives.”

Company response

The vast majority of companies were unable to track the origin of their palm oil supplies, an important prerequisite for making good on a no-deforestation commitment.

Only 9% of companies were able to fully trace their supply chains to the mill level, and only 4% were able to do so to the plantation level.바카라사이트

One firm that claims to have achieved full traceability is Golden Agri-Resources, an arm of Indonesia’s Sinarmas conglomerate, one of the first business groups to issue a zero-deforestation pledge after years of being one of Indonesia’s most prolific deforesters.

“From our side, the complication [that comes from implementing a zero-deforestation policy] is not too huge. We don’t have any plan to open [new] plantations in Papua and other places,” Agus Purnomo, one of Sinarmas’s top palm oil executives, told Mongabay on the sidelines of a recent event in Jakarta. “Therefore, if our buyers demand [zero-deforestation], we can fulfill that. But this can’t be applied for [other companies] whose plantations and mills are located in troubled places.”

Further progress in the sector, he said, would rely on government policy and law enforcement.

“If it’s voluntary commitment [to adopt zero-deforestation policies], then what we have now is the maximum,” Agus said. “We can’t ask more companies to volunteer [in adopting zero-deforestation policies] because each has their own problems.”

Even if companies lack capacity to fulfill their commitments, simply adopting the policies would create opportunities for forest protection, according to Mardi Minangsari, head of Indonesian NGO Kaoem Telapak.

Having NDPE commitments is the first step,” she said, using an acronym that stands for “no deforestation, no peat and no exploitation.”

“I really support [the adoption of such policies] because this means we also can help them by providing reports” on deforestation, conflicts, and other issues, Mardi said. “Sometimes, companies themselves don’t have enough capacity, especially with vast plantations, to see what’s happening in their concessions.”

Rini of CDP said the government could issue regulations that require more transparency and accountability from companies so that they’re driven to adopt or strengthen their NDPE commitments.

“If companies are performing better in sustainability, this can contribute to the achievement of national environmental targets,” she said.온라인카지노

Caribbean

7 Destinations That Are Trending This Fall—in the U.S., Caribbean, and Beyond

As the summer travel crowds fizzle and temperatures mellow out, fall emerges as one of the most ideal—and strategic—times of year to book a dream getaway. This autumn, U.S. travelers seem eager to venture far from home.카지노사이트

“The spike in searches for places like Munich, Ho Chi Minh City, and Barbados point to travelers being excited to pack their bags for places that were previously harder to visit due to travel restrictions, testing requirements, or high airfare prices,” says Christie Hudson, head of U.S. public relations for Expedia. “Now that most Covid-related travel restrictions have loosened, these destinations are back on the table and made even more appealing by factors like the favorable dollar-to-Euro exchange rate and shoulder season deals.”

Here are seven destinations that are seeing surges in interests from travelers this fall—according to data from travel search sites.

Ho Chi Minh City
Asia has also seen a spike in interest this fall as more countries have opened their borders—Priceline has seen four times more searches for flights to the continent this fall. According to metasearch site Kayak, Vietnam’s biggest city has seen a 46 percent increase in search compared to 2019, while Expedia reported a 630 percent growth in searches from last fall.

“Vietnam reopened its borders to foreign travelers on March 15 with immediate excitement,” Hudson says. “Ho Chi Minh City is very affordable for the fall months, so your travel dollars go a long way.” She noted that she found five-star hotels in September and October starting at around $50 a night.

Generally warm year-round, fall marks the end of the rainy season as temperatures cool, making it a good time to visit the city’s landmarks like the Cu Chi Tunnels, the Notre Dame Cathedral, and Ben Thanh Market.

London
Major European cities saw some of the biggest increases across all the search engines, with the British capital notching 290 percent growth since last year, and was one of the most searched cities on Booking.com and Priceline.

The passing of Queen Elizabeth II may have sparked more interest in recent days (be sure to check for closures during the mourning period), but royal interest had already been strong with events honoring Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee earlier this year. Still on view are Buckingham Palace’s special exhibit on the Queen’s Ascension through October 2 and Kensington Palace’s Life Through a Royal Lens through October 30.

With fewer crowds and milder temperatures, fall makes a prime time to stroll through Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill or Old Spitalfields Market in Shoreditch; catch a classic West End show like Les Misérables, a new favorite like Six, or an immersive experience like The Burnt City (from Punchdrunk, the team behind Sleep No More) through December; or see the city from above on the London Eye or the Sky Garden.

Punta Cana
As the temperatures cool, the more sunny island vacations come into focus, with Punta Cana topping Kayak’s list of top international destinations for fall travel, with a 147 percent spike over pre-pandemic 2019 searches.

The early part of fall is sunny and humid, marked by showers in the afternoons and evenings as hurricane season tapers off and officially ends in November. While the chance for passing rain is always there, fall is still an opportune time to relax along the Dominican Republic’s 30-mile stretch of white sand, whether it’s diving to see shipwrecks, fishing, boating, or simply kicking back under a coconut palm with a drink in hand like at Zoëtry Agua Punta Cana or Royalton Punta Cana Resort & Casino.

New York City
All eyes are on the Big Apple domestically, as New York City topped Expedia’s list with a 75 percent growth from last year, and came in second on both Booking.com and Skyscanner. It’s no surprise that the City That Never Sleeps has roared back from its pandemic pause.

New York will see the opening of its first museum Museum of Broadway in November, as well as buzzed-about new shows like Almost Famous with previews starting October 3 and KPOP starting October 13 alongside staples like The Lion King celebrating its 25th anniversary in November.바카라사이트

Recently opened new viewpoints include Summit One Vanderbilt with an Instagram-worthy mirrored spaced and Edge NYC (where daredevils can scale the side with City Climb), while the digital art space Hall des Lumières opened today. And of course nothing beats a walk through Central Park immersed in the autumnal colors.

Munich
“Munich is a great example of a place that’s making a comeback for U.S. travelers, as the German city is hosting Oktoberfest for the first time after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic,” Hudson says, with searches increasing 180 percent compared to last year on Expedia. Priceline also saw the German city top its searches for both flights and hotels.

The celebration runs from September 17 through October 3, with guided tours available, as well as packages that include a seat at the Oktoberfest table to bypass the lines. But it’s not the only fall festival in town. The autumn edition of the nine-day Auer Dult (this year from October 15 to 23) carries on a folk tradition with rides, entertainment, shopping, as well as plenty of food, including roasted almonds and sausages.

It’s also a beautiful time to catch Munich’s fall colors in Perlacher Forst, the Allacher Lohe nature reserve, or Hofoldinger Forst, or enjoy the indoor swimming pool at Müller’sche Volksbad, or catch the final days of raising a glass outdoors at a biergarten. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Munich Olympics with its sites on full display.

Albania
“For a location that is a best-kept secret to beat crowds, Albania has seen almost double the number of bookings in 2022 than it enjoyed in the same period in 2019,” says Laura Lindsay, Skyscanner’s trend and destination expert. “Most people have yet to discover it, but flights and tourism infrastructure are in place, and thus there are fewer crowds.”

The Balkan Peninsula country shines in the autumn months with its mild climate inviting outdoor activities through November, whether it’s biking at the Grand Park of Tirana, hiking in the Accursed Mountains in the Albanian Alps, exploring the 2,500-year-old ruins of Butrint, or simply wandering around the village of around Korça.

Barbados
The Caribbean island nation has seen a whopping 3,360 percent growth in Expedia searches between last year and this year for fall travel, likely tied to Covid-19 testing requirements being dropped in May. “From a price and availability standpoint, fall—or shoulder season—is a great time to visit Barbados which has a pretty low risk of hurricanes or heavy enough rainfall to impact your island getaway,” Hudson says. She notes average nightly rates for September are nearly $100 cheaper than August and $90 cheaper than the week of Thanksgiving.

“There are also several music, food, and surfing festivals that happen during the fall months, so you’ll have plenty to do in between relaxing on the beach.” Among the fall events are the Barbados Jazz Excursion and Golf Tournament October 6 to 10; Barbados Food and Rum Festival October 27 to 30, and the Run Barbados race, with distances from 3K to a marathon, December 11.온라인카지노