Chance For Rosi Thu, 29 Sep 2022 03:11:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Chance For Rosi 32 32 Ukraine receives nearly 700,000 doses of polio vaccine from UNICEF [EN/UK] – Ukraine Thu, 29 Sep 2022 01:41:11 +0000


The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has delivered 600,000 doses of oral polio vaccine (OPV) and 99,720 doses of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) to Ukraine, with financial assistance from the Agency United States for International Development (USAID) and the Government.

Ukraine received the vaccines free of charge as part of humanitarian aid.

“About a year ago, we recorded an outbreak of polio in Ukraine, so we started additional immunization activities,” said Deputy Minister of Health, Chief State Medical Officer Ihor Kuzin . “Currently, the threat of the spread of poliomyelitis is here to stay and has even worsened because of the war. That is why our priority is to ensure that all children who need it are vaccinated. I am grateful to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for consistently helping our country and its future.” – said Deputy Minister of Health and Chief State Sanitary Doctor Ihor Kuzin.

“The Ukrainian health system is facing incredible challenges,” said Murat Sahin, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine. “With our partners, we are working to ensure that, despite the war, children and adults in Ukraine receive timely protection against infectious diseases. The polio outbreak in the country is ongoing – if your child has missed their polio vaccination, be sure to catch up as soon as possible.

Poliomyelitis is a highly contagious disease caused by the poliomyelitis virus which affects the nervous system and can lead to paralysis or even death. The paralysis can be lifelong, and many polio victims become disabled from the disease. Five to ten percent of paralyzed people die due to respiratory muscle damage.

In the absolute majority of cases, the carriers of poliomyelitis, who spread it, cannot be detected due to the absence of any signs of the disease. Poliomyelitis is passed from child to child and can infect them without any symptoms until it paralyzes an unvaccinated child.

All unvaccinated people can contract poliomyelitis, adults and children alike.

Poliomyelitis is incurable, but it can be effectively prevented by vaccination.

There are two types of safe and effective vaccines:

  1. Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) – given by injection.

  2. Oral polio vaccine (OPV) – two drops in the mouth.

According to the Ukrainian vaccination schedule, a child receives 6 doses of polio vaccine – at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 18 months, 6 years and 14 years.

The first two vaccinations are given with the IPV vaccine (intramuscular injection) and the other vaccinations are usually given with the OPV vaccine (drops in the mouth). OPV is a live vaccine that contains live weakened poliomyelitis. Thanks to this vaccine, local immunity is also formed in the intestine, which prevents the spread of the virus.

Media contacts

Olha Prychko

Communications Specialist

UNICEF in Ukraine


Tom Kerridge: Even Michelin-starred chefs have to trick their kids into eating vegetables Wed, 28 Sep 2022 10:37:49 +0000

Jom Kerridge has the best trick for getting her six-year-old to eat vegetables.

“It doesn’t matter who your parents are – I’m a chef with two Michelin stars and I always try to get my little man to eat cabbage,” says the father-of-one. So he tries to ‘trick’ his son Acey into eating his greens, telling him that’s what a ‘dinosaur’ likes, or ‘Lewis Hamilton or Ronaldo eats it’.

“I try everything to get him to eat something new, but he already has a preconception that it tastes awful – that’s the problem with children,” says Gloucestershire-born Kerridge, whose pub, The Hand and Flowers in Marlow, was the first gastropub to be awarded two Michelin stars. Fortunately, his wife Beth’s cache-vegetable bolognese usually does the trick, he says.

As a busy working parent himself, Kerridge, 49, knows the reality of feeding a family when you have little time and energy. This is why his new book, Real life recipes, is written with modern life firmly in mind. For his 10th cookbook, he wanted to avoid the pitfalls of “beautiful and ambitious” food, instead offering something you could whip up quickly on a Tuesday night. “I tried to make it a bit more connected to the reality of the current life that we live in. Everyday ingredients in everyday life.”

For many families, that probably means not eating together as often as they would like and making last-minute meal decisions based on what’s languishing in the fridge – perhaps with an ingredient or two picked up on the way. return. “I’m probably home two nights a week,” admits Kerridge. “Parental guilt is something we all [parents] to live with. It’s huge, it’s inevitable, you can’t avoid it.

As Acey enters her second year at school, Kerridge hopes her simple, family-friendly recipes will help parents who are getting back into the routine of their “normal life of running and being busy and at eye level.” Think a platter of sausages with honey mustard glaze and chic fish fingers – “Foods that people know, they’re simple, they’re easy to make.” Some are a little more sophisticated — “But not full of cheffy” — like shrimp tacos with chili salsa and vegetable bhaji burgers.

Importantly, many are achievable in 30 minutes or less (“The time zone most people have”), with standard supermarket ingredients.

“We would all like to live in a provincial French market town, stroll through a market stall, pick up two aubergines and a zucchini and some red peppers, freshly caught fish, then go to the bakery and then go to the butchers – but we don’t don’t live our lives like that,” he observes. “We’re very busy, under a lot of pressure, and it’s always at the last minute that we wonder, ‘What have we got? for tea?'”

Like many of us, Kerridge’s family shop online every week for basic necessities and supplement it with trips to the supermarket – but as food prices and the cost of living in general increase, he says planning meals for the week is so “you’re not just ordering things willy-nilly” is key to keeping costs down, and batch cooking and freezing extra portions also helps. He says, for this book, “Trying to be a little more user-friendly was extremely important”, as well as listing ingredients that weren’t specialized or expensive.

Many of her new recipes are labeled as “low shop” – meaning you can use lots of the basics you probably already have in your kitchen, like her pantry spaghetti or fridge raid soup. And who knew you could whip up a coffee and nut cake out of almost any store cupboard essential?

Real life recipes is written with modern life firmly in mind

(Bloomsbury Absolute/PA)

“It’s about using those things that float, things that you’ve used once or twice,” Kerridge explains. “If we say use curry powder but you only have chilli powder, just use a little – it’s about trying to free those rules…And trying just to use what’s there.”

The cost of living crisis is “here now, and we’re going to have to deal with it,” he says. And as the owner of six restaurants, he describes future food and energy price hikes and inflation rates as “incredibly frightening”.

He recently shared in an interview with The Telegraph that energy prices for one of its pubs have risen from £60,000 to £420,000 a year.

“There’s no price cap on the energy that goes into a butcher or a slaughterhouse or a fishmonger or a big vegetable wholesaler, so that cost has to go to a restaurant, which also doesn’t have price cap,” he explains. “It’s very nerve-wracking to see what’s going to happen in October when the clocks roll back and the heating starts running and the fuel goes up again.”

And, of course, not only will the cost of outings invariably increase, but people will likely have less money to spend. “Which in turn will mean a lot of trouble for many restaurants, bars, clubs and spaces that operate in hospitality,” he says. “It’s almost the perfect storm – you can’t get around it.”

‘Real Life Recipes’ by Tom Kerridge (published by Bloomsbury Absolute, £26; photography by Cristian Barnett), available now.

2 value stocks to buy now Tue, 27 Sep 2022 13:00:00 +0000

Image source: Getty Images

The S&P/TSX Composite Index is down 14.45% from its 52-week high at the time of writing. The decline in Canada’s benchmark equity index mirrors the state of the broader equity market, indicating substantial discounts across the board. Most TSX-listed stocks are trading at 20-50% discounts from their all-time highs, but you can’t assume that not all discounted stocks are undervalued stocks.

If you are a value-seeking, bargain-hunting investor, you should try to identify companies that can offer exceptional long-term growth at discounted prices. Value stocks are companies that trade at prices significantly below their intrinsic values ​​because the broader market has failed to price them against their long-term growth potential.

Today I’m going to discuss two arguably undervalued stocks that you can consider adding to your portfolio if you’re an investor looking for value.


easy (TSX: GSY) is worth $1.77 billion market capitalization alternative financial services company headquartered in Mississauga. The company is committed to providing unsecured installment loans to consumers who cannot qualify for loans from traditional lenders.

It also provides financial services to help its consumers finance various furniture, appliances and home electronics. It also offers home loans to subprime borrowers.

By offering a variety of short-term unsecured and long-term secured loans, the company has found a balanced business model that produces strong results. Its model allows goeasy to maintain a strong balance sheet, protecting itself with provisions for credit losses and healthy profit margins thanks to its interest rates.

The company has grown its revenue at a compound annual growth rate of 15.9% over the past decade, increasing its profits by 33.6% over the same period.

As of this writing, goeasy shares are trading at $111.67 per share and offer a dividend yield of 3.26%. Trading at almost a 50% discount from its 52-week high with a favorable forward price-earnings ratio of 7.75, it can be a good value bet for your portfolio.

TransAlta Renewables

TransAlta Renewables (TSX: RNW) is a $4.26 billion market capitalization renewable energy company headquartered in Calgary. It’s no secret that the whole world is planning to slowly switch to greener energy and phase out dependence on fossil fuels.

Announcements by various world leaders on policies to promote renewable energy have given a boost to the entire sector. However, the current energy crisis in Europe has led to an increase in demand for electricity from fossil fuels to compensate for the short-term deficit in energy demand, leading to a general decline in renewable energy stocks.

However, global fossil fuel supplies are limited and growing climate concerns will likely bring renewables back into the limelight, albeit gradually. Renewables will become the undisputed king of the energy industry in the long run. TransAlta Renewables generates stable cash flow from various diversified clean energy facilities in Canada, the United States and Australia.

It follows the lucrative business model of traditional utility companies with the advantage of focusing on renewable energy sources. While other utility companies will have to invest in the transition to renewable energy, the company will only have to invest in growth.

As of this writing, shares of TransAlta Renewables are trading at $15.96 per share and offering a hefty dividend yield of 5.89%. Trading at 19.79% off its 52-week high, that may not seem like too big of a discount. However, its long-term growth potential could make it a bargain at current levels.

Insane takeaways

It’s important to learn how to identify companies that show long-term value when looking for undervalued stocks. If you can identify and invest in such companies at the right time, you can unlock the potential for substantial long-term wealth growth by staying invested. Shares of goeasy and shares of TransAlta Renewables can be excellent investments for this purpose.

‘No child should go hungry during the school day’: Who still qualifies for free school meals – and how do you know? Mon, 26 Sep 2022 18:54:00 +0000

By Zoe Han

As the federal government’s universal school meals program draws to a close, nutrition experts are urging eligible parents to send in applications

The universal school meals program will not continue in the current school year, which means that all school meals will not be free for the first time in nearly two years. But eligible families can still receive help with school meals, as long as they hand in the documents.

The universal school meals program was part of the federal government’s emergency nutritional assistance – a service that was expanded in 2020 to help families through the worst days of the COVID-19 pandemic when millions of people lost their jobs.

Under this program, all children enrolled in public schools received free meals under the federal school breakfast program and the school lunch program. It was not renewed for the new school year.

The federal government will continue to provide free school meals to children whose families have an annual income at or below 130% of the federal poverty level. For most states, that translates to an annual salary of $34,450 or less for a family of four.

If a household has an annual income between 130% and 185% of the federal poverty level, children in that household are eligible for discounted meals – 30 cents for breakfast and 40 cents for lunch.

Parents can submit applications year-round, according to the Department of Agriculture. Schools typically contact parents at the start of the school year for applications, and when that happens, experts say get them in as soon as possible.

If parents are unsure whether or not the school needs them to complete an application, contact the school district and the school, said Crystal FitzSimons, director of school and after-school time programs at the Food Research and Action Center. , a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that helps fight poverty-related hunger and lack of nutrition.

“But I wouldn’t wait to do it,” FitzSimons told MarketWatch. “Because the sooner you are certified, the better.”

For the first 30 days of the school year, carrying over eligibility from the previous year allows families to continue to receive free meals, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. This flexibility is intended to give families the opportunity to catch up on paperwork for the new school year.

Check if automatic registration applies to you

If you are eligible, you will need to apply for free school meals. However, there are two exceptions.

The first exception: If the school participates in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), local school districts in high-poverty areas will provide free school meals to all students in the school, saving parents time and effort required to complete applications. (The measure for determining high poverty areas varies, but you can also search for your school in this database.)

Although rare, a household with multiple children can sometimes have one child attending a CEP school, while the other does not and therefore requires an application, said Diane Pratt-Heavner, director of child relations. media at the School Nutrition Association, a non-profit organization. with over 50,000 members providing low-cost meals to millions of children in the United States

Second exception: If the household is part of the federal aid program, the student must automatically be enrolled in the free meals program.

Several examples include families receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). All children in the family who attend school and receive SNAP benefits will automatically qualify for free meals. This rule also applies to families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR).

The process, called direct certification, will automatically extend free meals to those children, but it’s always a good idea to check with the school to make sure, Pratt-Heavner said.

Apply, even if your state provides free meals

Several states are working to roll out their versions of universal school lunch programs. A few states, including California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada and Vermont, will continue to provide free school meals to all public school students for the current school year, regardless of household income level. .

Even so, experts said eligible parents should still send in their applications, as it helps schools secure adequate funding to support it.

As school breakfasts and lunches operate under federal guidelines, schools are reimbursed by the federal government for free lunch support. The level of reimbursement the school receives depends on the number of requests it receives from parents, Pratt-Heavner told MarketWatch.

“If a family that is eligible for a free meal doesn’t apply, the state will have to pay more money for the cost of preparing that meal,” Pratt-Heavner said, and that could lead to less funding in d other areas. for students, and may also impact how long the state can support the free lunch program.

What about ineligible parents?

“We are extremely concerned that there will be families and students falling through the cracks this year,” Pratt-Heavner told MarketWatch. “Getting families to apply for meal allowances has always been a challenge. But it’s even more so now.

His concerns relate to households that are just above the eligibility threshold but still need assistance, especially for those living in urban areas that have seen a steep rise in the cost of living over the past few years. last two years.

Millions of families are struggling with rising prices. The inflation rate stood at 8.3% in August year on year and food prices rose by 11.4%. Both are the highest in 40 years.

Two-thirds of Americans said in late July they had worried at least once in the previous month about not being able to afford groceries, and households with young children reported stress levels the highest, according to a LendingTree survey.

Parents can always turn to schools and the community for help, Pratt-Heavner said, as some schools have weekend backpacking programs where families in need can bring home extra food from school.

“No child should go hungry during the school day,” she said. “No child should have to walk into the cafeteria wondering if they have enough money in their account to eat today, which is why it’s so important that the federal government for Congress take action and provide these meals.

-Zoe Han


(END) Dow Jones Newswire

09-26-22 1454ET

Copyright (c) 2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

Job: Chief, Planning and Monitoring (Results-Based Management) at UNICEF Mon, 26 Sep 2022 09:27:03 +0000

For every child, results

  • In Nigeria, UNICEF works within a complex humanitarian and development framework to realize and protect children’s rights in partnership with government, civil society, children and families.
  • UNICEF Nigeria is one of the largest UNICEF country offices in the world.

How can you tell the difference?

  • You would help the UNICEF Nigeria Country Program to be more effective in defined key areas.
  • You will lead the innovation agenda for the Country Program and continue to improve Country Program planning and monitoring by applying innovative technology to track results.
  • You will also be responsible for improving the relevance, quality, availability and use of data and contextual information on children and women within UNICEF and externally.

Summary of Key Duties/Responsibilities

  • Within delegated authority and given organizational structure, the incumbent may be assigned primary, shared or contributing responsibilities for some or all of the following areas of work and key results.
  • Apply global best practices in strategic planning to the Nigeria country programme.
  • Implement the monitoring and accountability framework, ensuring that results are systematically monitored and tracked throughout the country program using the best available tools and techniques.
  • Implement an innovation strategy focused on key barriers to program implementation.
  • Development of innovative means of data management, including dissemination.
  • Manage implementation partnerships, both with government and with civil society partners.
  • Management.

To qualify as an advocate for every child, you will need to…

  • Advanced university degree in social sciences or other relevant disciplines.
  • Practical training in program management and monitoring, survey and research analysis and/or applied statistical data analysis. with statistics and analytical skills or other areas related to the work of UNICEF
  • At least ten years of experience at the national and international levels in programme/project planning and management with significant experience in data dissemination/interpretation in sectors of interest to UNICEF and knowledge of new technical and software developments in data dissemination and some experience in data analysis and other areas of applied statistics.
  • Professional technical expertise in analyzing and disseminating data specifically related to UNICEF-related indicators.
  • Proven expertise in displaying data for use by government decision makers, partner organizations and the general public.
  • Fluency in English and another UN language. Proficiency in the national language of the duty station is an advantage.

For every child, you demonstrate…

  • The UNICEF values ​​of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS) and core competencies in communication, working with people and driving for results.

The UNICEF competencies required for this position are as follows:

  • Feeds, directs and manages people (2)
  • Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness (2)
  • Works collaboratively with others (2)
  • Establishes and maintains partnerships (2)
  • Innovate and embrace change (2)
  • Think and act strategically (2)
  • Engines for impactful results (2)
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity (2).

Click here to apply

Flood-affected communities are starting to return home to rebuild their lives from scratch Sun, 25 Sep 2022 21:19:18 +0000

Multan-Flood-affected communities in Rajanpur and Dera Ghazi Khan have started returning to their villages and towns, either flattened or partially damaged, triggered by monsoon rains not seen in decades.

“All we want now is to make a fresh start, to rebuild our lives,” said Abdur Rauf Sheikh, a middle-aged furniture seller in the town of Fazalpur. “My business was safe as the store was located in the eastern part spared from the floods, but my recently purchased house for 2.5 million rupees in the western part of the city suffered high gushing waves which then set in at a height of five feet,” he added.

Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) chief executive Faisal Fareed told APP that the floods had left a story of pain, agony and grief, adding that the government was fully aware of the amount of destruction. He said paying compensation to those affected would be “quick and hassle-free” to help them rebuild their lives. It would be disbursed seamlessly under the modern computerized process without human intervention, he added.

The federal and provincial governments stepped in to provide the necessary initial assistance to those affected by the floods. According to BISP Zone Director, Sheikh Amin, nearly 150,000 families from flood-hit areas in South Punjab Zone have received Rs 25,000 each under the Prime Minister’s Flood Relief Scheme. He said the cash aid disbursement was made to 28 BISP camps in the flooded areas of South Punjab under the federal government.

Overall, nearly one million flood-affected people (992,206 to be precise) have received over Rs 24.8 billion, @ Rs 25,000 in cash assistance per person, from the Federal Government in all flood-affected areas of the country until September 16, the BISP official said. He said more than 87% of the process was complete and the rest would be completed shortly, he added. The Punjab government has also compensated the heirs of those who died in the floods in addition to the injured, in addition to carrying out relief operations.

The people’s belongings floated in the western half of the city of Fazalpur, the only urban area in Punjab submerged by torrents from the hills of the Suleman mountain range. The torrents from the hills maintained their ferocity despite having traveled 70 kilometers before entering the town of Fazalpur, he said, adding that the water had now receded, leaving his house damaged. through cracks in the walls and floor. Now people, whose homes were wiped out by the floods, were looking for something, signs or remnants, to find the land where their homes once stood, he added.

He said the district administration, 1122 rescue, other departments and the machine-equipped Pakistani army were able to divert the water flow to another direction.

A total of 191 people have died in Punjab due to the monsoon rains and resulting floods, the majority of them men (94) in addition to 50 children and 47 women in six districts of Punjab, including 49 in DG Khan and 23 in Rajanpur, according to PDMA daily update. 3858 other people were injured including 3177 in Rajanpuir, 562 in Dera Ghazi Khan and 5 in Mianwali.

The floods affected a total of 678 Mauzas including 176 in Rajanpur, 366 in DG Khan, 16 in Mianwali, 24 in Muzaffargarh, 7 in Sialkot and 89 in Layyah. Exactly 47 Mauzas or villages in Rajanpuir district were still flooded. The floods affected a population of 673,970 in the aforementioned six districts, most of them in Rajanpur and DG Khan and affected an area of ​​over 1.3 million acres including a cultivated area of ​​744,998 acres, of which over 600,000 acres in Rajanpur and DG Khan districts.

A total of 36,477 houses were partially damaged in the six districts, including 22,859 in Rajanpur and 8,635 in Dera Ghazi Khan, while another 23,764 houses were completely destroyed, including 11,301 in Rajanpur and 9,319 in DG Khan. . Over 900 kilometers long, 124 roads were damaged including 94 in Rajanpur and 30 in DG Khan. In addition, 13 bridges, 25 canals, 13 embankments, 98 businesses, 35 hotels, 103 schools and seven health centers were damaged by the floods in the two districts.

Over 133,211 small animals, 67,456 large animals perished at Rajanpur while 2,641 small animals and 1,460 large animals died at DG Khan. However, 12,488 animals were safely evacuated and over 300,000 were vaccinated in the two districts.

A total of 70 relief camps were set up in the two districts, but only three camps were now operational and housed 1,922 people from 320 families in Rajanpur district. Most people have returned to their homes and those whose homes have been destroyed or damaged have pitched tents provided to them by the government and NGOs for temporary shelter, Faisal Fareed said. According to him, so far nearly 150,000 people have received medical aid in the two flood-hit districts.

Additional South Punjab Chief Secretary Captain (Retired) Saqib Zafar said more than 36,000 tents, 85,000 food baskets, 3,000 blankets, nearly 20,000 mosquito nets in addition to cooking utensils, beds baby (Charpoy), thousands of bottles and cans of mineral water were distributed among those affected. families in southern Punjab.

He said an investigation into the flood damage to property including homes, livestock and crops was ongoing and would soon be completed to trigger the process of paying compensation. He said the government is also working to restore school education facilities in the flood-affected districts to prevent further loss of children’s time.

PDMA DG Faisal Fareed said relief activities were underway, adding that in addition to PDMA, many aid agencies, NGOs were delivering food, other essential items in addition to tents and medicine. . “But their needs change over time,” he said, adding that now that the floods have hit, people need medicine and especially blankets as winter is fast approaching.

He said investigation teams were busy carrying out investigations and added that the process would be completed soon. He said that after the completion of the investigation, virtual accounts of the flood affected people would be opened in Bank of Punjab from where they can receive their compensation after showing their computerized and verified national ID cards. . “There will be no delay. The compensation would soon reach the deserving people,” he added.

Russians occupying Kharkiv region demanded personal data in exchange for food | Ukraine Sat, 24 Sep 2022 18:23:00 +0000

Bthe only operating store in alakliia was packed. Residents who had spent six months under Russian occupation lined up to buy bread, salami and frozen mackerel. “When the Russians came, I lost 10 kilos. My wife lost eight kilos. There was almost nothing to eat for the first two months,” recalls one customer, Valery. Showing off his small size, he joked grimly, “That’s the advantage of Moscow rule.”

Russian troops arrived in Balaklia in March. It was shortly after Vladimir Putin’s invasion. They raised a Russian tricolor above the city’s modern brick administration building and parked their tanks in a sprawling factory. Two weeks ago, the Ukrainian army drove them out in a dramatic counter-offensive. Kyiv has recovered almost all of the Kharkiv region, an area half the size of Wales.

The Kremlin had planned to hold a sham referendum in northeastern Ukraine, with its pine forests and sunflower fields. As things stand, the “vote” is taking place this weekend in the areas that Russia still occupies. They include most of the southern Kherson region, only a third of Zaporizhzhia Oblast and large parts of Luhansk and Donetsk, two eastern provinces partially ruled by Russia and its proxies since 2014.

Over the summer, the Russian presidential administration suspended preparations to hold pseudo-votes on Ukrainian territory. It was because of a lack of support. They were hastily revived last week after the incredible military setbacks of the Russian army. Putin reacted by announcing a partial mass mobilization in his country, intended to recruit up to a million men for his floundering campaign.

Provinces subject to “referendums”

Next week Putin will announce the “results”. To no one’s surprise, they will show an overwhelming mandate for these new territories to join Moscow. The United States, the European Union and even the democratic world have condemned this exercise as illegal and meaningless, especially because many inhabitants have fled. And also ridiculous – with a fake vote in the middle of a big, thunderous battle.

Nonetheless, the referendum allows Putin to redefine what is essentially a 19th-century-style war of imperial conquest. It is recast as a defensive operation, patriotic in nature, and essential to protect a now larger homeland from outside attack. There is also a threat to drop nuclear weapons on Ukraine and perhaps on its Western supporters, if the government of Volodymyr Zelenskiy tries to retake new “Russian” lands.

Ukrainians reacted calmly to Putin’s latest ploy. Zelenskiy’s senior adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, described the election as a ridiculous “propaganda show” aimed only at Russian viewers. His aim was to build support for the ‘Z Mobilization’, he said, as thousands of serving-age men scrambled to leave the country, booked flights and lined up at borders with Georgia and Finland.

Residents of Mariupol fill out paperwork before voting in a mobile ballot box on September 24. Photograph: Alexander Ermoshenko/Reuters

Residents of Balakliia told the Observer that Moscow had been carefully preparing the “referendum” for some time. With few shops and no way to withdraw cash, the town’s 15,000 residents were forced to rely on Russian aid. Humanitarian aid was available. But there was a catch: to receive it, the inhabitants had to give their address, and hand over their passport and their Ukrainian identification number.

“They photocopied everything. It was a ploy to get hold of your personal data,” Valery explained. “In return, you received a packet of spaghetti and canned beef.”

Russia’s FSB spy agency was thus able to compile a very accurate list of citizens of occupied communities – which could then be used for election manipulation and other purposes. “Russia has a lot of experience since Stalin in falsifying its results,” Valery observed.

He added: “Putin knows he is a war criminal and is trying to keep his throne. That’s why he mobilized. He does not believe that Ukraine is a state and he wants to “de-nation” us. Was the Russian leader crazy? “Something like that. I hope for a coup d’etat. He needs to be judged by God and by men,” he said. “There is a special place in hell for him. He reminds me Louis de Funesthe French comedian who made funny faces.

Around the corner from Balakliia’s pink-painted shop was a large crater left by a Grad missile. He landed in May next to a five-story building on Sobornaya Street, which had previously been named after Lenin. Alexander Bayev, a pensioner who lives in the block, said the blast killed his 65-year-old neighbor Vasily, who was sitting outside on a wooden bench.

Destruction in Balakliia, liberated two weeks ago.
Destruction in Balakliia, liberated two weeks ago. Photography: Sean Nolan/The Observer

“He staggered to the entrance but didn’t make it,” Bayev said, pointing to blood on the steps. The blast blew out the windows of all surrounding apartments, shredded balconies and overturned a car in a children’s playground. Only 15 residents remained, he said, of the approximately 250 before the war. He said he wasn’t really looking forward to winter. “We are Ukrainians, not Russians,” he stressed. “I hope Putin croaks. His guys came and destroyed everything.

At the time of Balakliia’s release, Russia’s project in what might be called state-building was well advanced. A pro-Putin weekly, Kharkiv Z, was distributed to residents, using the Russian spelling of Kharkiv. A photo on the front page showed a Moscow official visiting a bread factory. A 14-year-old pupil, Maxim Borisenko, said his teacher told him that his lessons from September would be taught according to a new Russian curriculum.

Despite these propaganda measures, local support for annexation was extremely limited, residents said. “When our boys arrived, we celebrated with champagne. I had hidden a bottle for this moment,” said Natalia Sergeyevna. vote. No one here wants Russia. What would happen now? “Our president is smart. We’re going to take it all back,” she predicted.

Voting for the sham referendum began on Friday. A video showed Russian soldiers in balaclavas escorting “election” workers carrying ballot boxes. According to Telegram messages from Russian-controlled towns, officials went house to house, forcing some people to vote. They targeted elderly people who received Russian pensions, as well as anyone who registered for humanitarian goods.

Serhii Haidai, head of the Luhansk region’s military administration, said the poll was a farce. There was no privacy, with paperwork filled out in the open in homes and yards, he said. If the inhabitants refused to open their doors, “commissioners” threatened to break in. The names of those who vote “no” are recorded in a notebook, he said, the exercise serving as a pretext to identify men of military age.

Russia’s next apparent terrorist tactic is to conscript Ukrainians in occupied areas to fight their own army. In his last speech, Zelenskiy urged the men to sabotage Putin’s war effort from within, if he is conscripted, or to flee to government-controlled areas. It’s almost impossible. From the beginning of the summer, only women were allowed to leave Balakliia, via a crossing at the Pechenihy reservoir, about 70 km away.

Residents charge their phones at a power station on a street in Balaklia on September 17.
Residents charge their phones at a power station on a street in Balaklia on September 17. Photograph: Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images

Currently, Balakliia has no electricity or gas. Andriy, a Ukrainian soldier, went to the city’s train station on Saturday to charge his phone from a public generator, available four hours a day. He said he and his regiment would continue to fight regardless of the “outcome” or whatever Putin does next. “Our task is to liberate our territory. We will gradually expel the Russians. I’m sure of it,” he said.

In the meantime, there is little chance that the war will end soon. Kyiv has made it clear that it will not negotiate if Moscow annexes large areas of eastern and southern Ukraine. He promised to restore the country’s sovereign borders. This includes Crimea, the peninsula that Russia stole in 2014, and where ethnic Tatars known for their pro-Ukrainian views are now cynically drafted.

Ukrainian citizens who vote for annexation – for whatever reason – can expect judgment. A pensioner from Balakliia, Lionia, said he was diabetic. When his insulin ran out, he asked the Russians for help. “When I got the medicine, they took my picture and put it in their pig diary. Then they left. My neighbors came and beat me and my wife,” he said, adding sadly, “What choice did I have?

On Saturday, Ukrainian soldiers made further progress. They were near the town of Liman in Donetsk Oblast, and were slowly but surely advancing towards the southern regional capital of Kherson, the target of another counter-offensive. More than ever after the successes of this month, they believe in victory. “Yes, Russia is a colossus. But look at his feet. They are made of clay,” Valery said.

]]> Personal finance: As “buy now, pay later” plans grow, so do delinquencies Sat, 24 Sep 2022 14:54:16 +0000 Americans have become fond of “buy now, pay later” services, but the “pay later” part is becoming increasingly difficult for some borrowers.

Buy now, pay later loans allow users to pay for items such as new sneakers, electronics, or luxury goods in installments. Companies such as Affirm, Afterpay, Klarna, and PayPal have created popular financial products around these short-term loans, especially for young borrowers who fear endless credit card debt.

Now, as the industry accumulates customers, chargebacks are on the rise. Inflation squeezes consumers, making it harder to pay off debt. Some borrowers do not budget properly, especially if persuaded to take out multiple loans, while others may have been credit risks to begin with.

“You have an industry with a higher concentration of subprime borrowers in a market that hasn’t been effectively tested (that kind of economy), and you have a kind of toxic brew of worries,” Michael Taiano said. , an analyst at Fitch Ratings, who co-authored a report in July highlighting some of the industry’s concerns.

The most popular type of buy now, pay later loan allows for four payments over six weeks – one payment at the time of purchase and three more that borrowers often try to synchronize with pay periods. Longer term loans for larger purchases are also available. Most short-term loans bear no interest. Companies that charge interest can clearly state in advance how much a borrower will pay in finance charges.

Given these characteristics, consumer advocates and financial advisors initially saw buy now, pay later plans as a potentially healthier form of consumer debt if used correctly. The main concern was late fees, which could be a heavy financial burden on a small purchase if a borrower was late on a payment. Fees can reach $34, plus interest. But now that chargebacks are on the rise and companies are more aggressive in marketing their products, advocates see the need for additional regulation.

The industry is growing rapidly, according to a report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Americans took out about $24.2 billion in loans under buy-it-now, pay-later programs in 2021, up from just $2 billion in 2019. That industry-wide figure is not expected than climb even more. Klarna customers purchased $41 billion worth of products on its service globally in the first six months of the year, up 21% from a year ago. At PayPal, revenue from its “buy now, pay later” services more than tripled in the second quarter to $4.9 billion.

Technology analyst Jasmine Francis, 29, said she first used a buy now, pay later service in 2018 to buy clothes from fast fashion brand Forever21.

“I remember I just got a cart,” she said. “At first I thought, ‘Something has to go back’, then I saw Afterpay at checkout – you don’t pay for everything right now, but you get it right away. It was from music to my ears.

It is unclear to what extent clients are using buy now, pay later loans healthily. Fitch found that chargebacks on these services rose sharply in the 12 months ended March 31, while chargebacks on credit cards remained flat. And according to the CFPB, a growing percentage of the loans the industry makes are being written off — or loans it considered so delinquent they were likely uncollectible. The industry charge rate was 2.39% in 2021, a figure that is now likely higher given the economic turmoil this year. In 2020, this figure was 1.83%.

“This upward trend in delinquencies continues,” CFPB director Rohit Chopra said on a call with reporters.

Credit reporting company TransUnion found that buy now, pay later borrowers are using the product just as much as credit cards, racking up debt on top of additional debt. A Morning Consult poll released this week found that 15% of buy now, pay later customers use the service for routine purchases, such as groceries and gas, a pattern of behavior that is ringing alarm bells at home. financial advisers. The CFPB report also found that a small but growing number of Americans also use these products for routine purchases.

“If these buy now, pay later plans aren’t budgeted properly, they can have a cascading impact on a person’s entire financial life,” said André Jean-Pierre, a former Morgan Stanley wealth adviser who now runs his own financial planning company focused on helping black Americans save and budget properly.

Another concern of consumer advisors and advocates, as well as lawmakers and regulators in Washington, is the ease with which consumers can layer on these installment loans.

Speaking at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on new financial products, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, highlighted the benefits of plans that allow consumers to pay for things in installments. But he also criticized the way the industry promotes the plans.

“The ads encourage consumers to use these bundles for multiple purchases, across multiple online stores, racking up debt they can’t afford to repay,” Brown said.

Short-term loans are potentially problematic because they are not reported on a consumer’s credit profile with Transunion and Experian. Additionally, buy now, pay later, industry customers are young, which means they have little credit history. In theory, a borrower could take out multiple short-term loans across multiple buy-now, pay-later businesses — a practice known as “loan stacking” — and they would never show up on a credit report. If a person puts in too many buy now, pay later items, budgeting can be difficult.

“It’s a blind spot for the industry,” Fitch’s Taiano said.

In a statement, the industry trade group “buy now, pay later” pushed back on the characterization that its products could burden borrowers with too much debt.

“With zero to low interest rates, flexible payment terms and transparent terms and conditions, BNPL helps consumers manage their cash responsibly and live healthier financial lives,” said Penny Lee, CEO of the Financial Technology Association.

Meanwhile, providers of buy-it-pay-later services see rising chargebacks as a natural consequence of growth, but also an indication that inflation is hitting the Americans most likely to use these services the most. harder.

“We’ve seen some stress (among those with the lowest credit scores), and those are starting to struggle,” said Max Levchin, founder and CEO of Affirm, one of the largest businesses that buy now, pay later.

“I wouldn’t call it some sort of preamble to a potential slowdown, but it’s not the same kind of smooth sailing,” he said, adding that Affirm is taking a more conservative approach to loans.

Buy now, pay later took off in the United States after the Great Recession. Analysts said the product was largely untested during a large period of financial hardship, unlike mortgages, credit cards or car loans.

Despite these concerns, the consensus is buy now, pay later, companies are here to stay. Affirm, Klarna, Afterpay, which is owned by Block Inc., as well as PayPal and others are now widely integrated into internet commerce.

Moreover, the growth of the industry attracts more and more players. Tech titan Apple announced earlier this summer Apple Pay Later, where users can make purchases on a four-payment plan over six weeks.

“I usually schedule the purchases I make using PayPal ‘Pay in 4’ so that my due dates for purchases land on my payment dates because due dates are every two weeks,” said said Desiree Moore, 35.

Moore said she tries to use buy-it-now, pay-later plans to cover purchases that aren’t part of her usual monthly budget, so as not to take money away from her children’s needs. She is increasingly using the plans with inflation making items more expensive and so far able to keep up with the payments.

Francis, the technical analyst, said it is now common for his friends to pay for trips with installment loans, so as not to completely empty their bank accounts in an emergency.

“If I come back from vacation and I have two flat tires, and I just spent all that money on plane tickets, that’s $400 that you don’t have right now,” he said. she stated. “Most people don’t have savings. They’ve got just enough for those flat tires.

School Board Candidate with School District Committee Experience Seeks Next Step to Board Table – Nanaimo News Bulletin Fri, 23 Sep 2022 23:45:00 +0000

A Nanaimo parent who worked on the Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools Inclusiveness and Truth and Reconciliation Committees wants to apply his experience to the school board table.

Leana Pellegrin has 11 years of experience volunteering with at-risk youth, 10 years on the Nanaimo Youth Services Association Board of Directors, and has served on school district committees dealing with sexual orientation and gender identity. , anti-bullying and truth and reconciliation. She knows the problems in the neighborhood.

She is pleased with the work done in the district’s Syeyutsus Reconciliation framework and feels that this work makes her a good candidate.

“I am very proud of our journey towards truth and reconciliation, as we are the first in the province to make it one of the main pillars and to invest so much in it,” said Pellegrin. “Other school districts are definitely watching us and following suit. I was part of the inclusion policy when it was written and was very proud of it as well. We were also one of the first in the province to do so. to have one and for it to be so inclusive and cover everything.I also sat on SOGI so obviously I’m 100% in favor of that.

Pellegrin hopes to solve the district’s child poverty problems. Nanaimo has a very high child poverty rate, recently calculated to be the second highest in the province, she said, which she hopes to change.

“We could very easily be a safe place and ask students to use showers and/or laundry before or after school and make sure help is offered without any shame,” Pellegrin said. “There are also students well below the poverty line in affluent schools and it is easier for them to slip through the cracks.”

Anyone running for Mayor or Councilor in the City of Nanaimo or District of Lantzville, Regional Director in Area A, B, C, or E of the Regional District of Nanaimo, or School Trustee in School District 68 is urged to contact the Nanaimo News Bulletin to arrange an interview or invite us to a campaign launch event. Call Greg Sakaki at 250-734-4621 or email
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Build momentum to ‘finish the job’ and end COVID-19 pandemic, urges Guterres | Fri, 23 Sep 2022 20:04:18 +0000

Mr. Guterres celebrated the increase in vaccination coverage around the world, particularly among high-risk populations, and the fact that, on average, countries have vaccinated around three-quarters of healthcare workers and the elderly. .

COVID-19 measures are increasingly integrated into routine health programs, and new antiviral drugs are about to become available.

Gaps remain

However, coverage and protection gaps remain, Guterres said. Booster vaccination coverage is minimal in all countries and vaccination rates are low in the poorest countries. He also warned of a “phantom pandemic” of vaccine hesitancy and misinformation, which must be tackled.

The UN chief also called for a drastic improvement in testing rates and for countries to ensure they are fully prepared for future pandemics. “Making progress to close those gaps is what it’s all about today,” Guterres said. “It’s time to build political momentum to finish the job on COVID-19.”

UNICEF/Laxmi Prasad Ngakhusi

A health worker delivers COVID-19 vaccines, donated through the COVAX facility, to a health post in Nepal

“We have never been better placed to end COVID-19”

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the United Nations health agency WHO, must have made many pessimistic remarks since the start of the pandemic but, at Friday’s event, he was able to send a remarkably positive message.

With so many people vaccinated and deaths from the virus reported at the lowest levels since the start of the pandemic, the international community, he said, was “never better placed to end COVID-19.” as a global health emergency”.

However, Tedros echoed the concerns raised by Mr. Guterres and referenced a report, released Thursday by the WHO’s Accelerating Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Council, which found that most low- and middle-income countries have virtually no access. new antivirals.

As the accelerator moves forward, delivering nearly 1.5 billion doses of vaccine and helping 68 new countries achieve at least 40% vaccination coverage, there is still a long way to go, Tedros said: “We don’t We’re not there yet, but the end is in sight.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on children's education

© UNICEF//Chris Farber

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on children’s education

“Step by step, we are progressing”

The United Nations children’s agency, UNICEF, has played a key role in ensuring that vaccines reach those who need them, especially the most vulnerable.

In his opening remarks, Omar Abdi, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, reminded attendees of the event some of his agency’s achievements in tackling the health crisis.

These include the administration of more than 12.4 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines; funding and implementing the largest ultra-cold chain scale-up in history (UNICEF has funded and delivered 800 ultra-cold chain freezers to nearly 70 countries in 2021); and shipping more than 1.2 billion pieces of personal protective equipment to protect frontline and healthcare workers and others in 142 countries.

“Step by step we are making progress,” Ms Russell said, “but we need to keep the momentum going to protect the world from future surges and new variants. Because as long as coverage remains inequitable, the pandemic will continue, as will the grave risks it poses to children.”

The UNICEF director drew the audience’s attention to some of the ripple effects of the pandemic on children who she said were among its greatest victims, having suffered devastating effects on health, education and welfare.

Routine jabs drop

Routine vaccinations for other diseases have been significantly disrupted; Ms Russell pointed to WHO and UNICEF data which shows that 25 million children have not received the vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis – a marker of vaccination coverage in general – in 2021.

“This is the largest and most sustained decline in routine childhood immunization rates in a generation,” she warned, “which could undo 30 years of progress if we don’t reverse course. way”.