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Blain Warns “It Could Get Pretty Rough Out There” Despite EU Cheerleading

Blain Warns "It Could Get Pretty Rough Out There" Despite EU Cheerleading

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Blain Warns "It Could Get Pretty Rough Out There" Despite EU Cheerleading Tyler Durden Mon, 07/27/2020 - 08:25

Authored by Bill Blain via MorningPorridge.com,

"It is no coincidence that no language has ever produced the expression: “As pretty as an airport.””

My spidey senses are tingling. I have a feeling this is going to be an “interesting” week for markets. The virus, and the government responses toward it, look likely to remind us just how destabilised economic growth has become. We’ll be getting the Fed response on how US growth may be stalling on Wednesday versus expected better European numbers on Thursday.  Q2 numbers may yet disappoint. I suspect the current cosy global recovery expectations consensus will be shaken by rising hotspot outbreaks across the US, India and even Asia.  Add in likely earning shocks from global plane makers reporting this week, (Boeing accounts for around 1% of US GDP on its own), plus increasing political uncertainty over the US election.. and then ponder what this morning’s record Gold price in Asia means… It could get pretty rough out there. 

But let’s start with Europe and the Virus: 

First up is the myth Europe has had a good virus. Has Europe’s “competent” handling of the virus positioned it to benefit from a stronger recovery?  Is that why Italy needs the lion’s share of the €750 bln EU Recovery Fund to get back on its feet? The reality is Europe was heading into economic slumber long before we’d even heard of Wuhan.  What we are more likely seeing is European bounce back from what was an already much lower base – there is nothing particularly magic about how European numbers seem to be ticking up faster than the UK or US.  It’s all about how there was already so much more slack in Europe before this crisis began. Be cautious on numbers and relative performance. 

A second issue for Europe is the power of human behaviour.  The virus effect on the economy is a macro event – but it comprises the sum of every single human’s behaviour.  

Let me digress a moment: I’m sure you all have virus stories to share – but let me illustrate behaviour with two different pub lunches over the weekend.  

  • Saturday’s pub had clearly posted how it would operate by social media and website, and they’d really thought it through: there was an uploadable app to order drinks and food, and it arrived swiftly from a masked but very friendly waitress. It worked well.  

  • In Sunday’s pub, there was fear and panic.. despite the incident tape and 2 metre markers, and plastic screens at the bar, an anxious landlady was screaming at customers to keep their distance.  A single barman was dispatched to stand outside slowing taking orders on a tablet.  Customers then had to stand and wait for a girl to spray down the table with bleach before sitting down.  A lady was barked at to stay outside because someone was already in the loo. It was like something out of Fawlty Towers…

Which pub do you think will do better this summer?

It’s the way people react and learn from the crisis that will determine future growth prospects. The FT touches on it: Swedish Companies reap benefits of COVID-19 approach.  By keeping the economy and particularly the schools open, the Swedes maintained normality and although the economy will take a hit in line with the globe, the Swedish behaviour have not been permanently damaged by the virus. (Keeping schools normal seems the critical ingredient.)

Here in the UK its very different.  The daily litany of virus news, the constant sniping at government and the oppressive fixation on issues like schools, PPE, and deaths means individuals are increasingly anguished, stressed and fearful. There is no Blitz Spirit – just rising fear and depression. Lockdown is morphing into a permanent mental-heath crisis. It’s unlikely to get better. “Significant normality”, as Boris puts it… could remain out of reach for longer – especially if governments continue to over-react, dither, backtrack and push danger signals which up the individual fear levels. 

I can’t help but wonder at the news UK tourists returning from Spain will be expected to quarantine for 14 days. Really? New cases in Catalonia are rising as fast as during for first Virus Wave – yet no one thinks this is yet the second wave the medical experts fear will hit in the autumn. Elsewhere in Spain, the numbers remain low – but by pressing the quarantine button on the whole country, all kinds of signals have been sent, and these are picked up by nervous populations!

Spain’s economy was hoping to recover something of the season, but this could put it back years – and tourism is 11% of Spain’s GDP.  Tui has cancelled flights to the Costas. If Spain is hurting, how much will the rest of Club Med suffer, if Brits (25% of European tourism) staycation?

We now know the economic damage of even limited lockdowns could be even worse than first time round – it’s the “nuclear option” no one wants to repeat.  Bloomberg quotes new French prime minister, Jean Castex on resumed lockdown: “we won’t survive, economically or socially.” Not just for our mental health, we have to get economies open!

The third area of concern is the very real damage the virus has done to the base of the economy.  Although gyms, hairdressers and others are now back in business – they have lost 1/3rd of their yearly income, but still face 12/12s fixed costs. And if customers are scared, and businesses can only operate at 30% capacity… then it’s clear just how much more damage is still to come – and why the entrepreneurs running their own businesses are set to give up in droves.

We’re now seeing small business redundancies start to ratchet higher as business owners understand the brutal reality their businesses won’t survive on the basis above, and once furloughs end, they can’t afford to carry their staff any longer.  It’s going to be bleak out there. 

And the final thing about Europe – this is happening in an economic area where the virus is now largely confined to hotspot outbreaks.

Elsewhere, around the globe, the virus is still burning. The pace of increase in the US remains frightening – but looks like the first wave is only now finding its way into the southern “secondary” states. Even Donald is acknowledging it matters. The scale of the rising crisis in India is putting pressure on Modi. The fact Hong Hong is experiencing a rise could be indicative of something scary, or is it the Chinese trying to gag the former colony? 

I mentioned the aircraft industry in the opening paragraph. Clearly global travel is among the most compromised sectors – this week we’ll see airlines announce frightening figures. Boeing and Airbus will post their worst delivery numbers in 60 years! I’m planning to do a special on aviation later this week, but this a great article in WSJ on just how bad things are: At Boeing and Airbus Finished Aircraft Pile Up. 

Meanwhile, Gold hit new records this morning, breaking $1922 – but my colleague and commodities expert at Shard, Ashley Boolell, warns me to be “conservative” – worried there may be an element of market hype building into the price. 

Gold has risen on the back of virus fears and the escalating tension between the US and China, but also on the increasing understanding that Zero Interest Rate Polices and QE Infinity have grossly distorted the prices of financial assets – enhancing the yellow metal’s appeal as a tangible thing of value.  However, could the rise in gold be over-anticipating crisis? It’s a very easy market to get sucked into.  

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Delivering aid during war is tricky − here’s what to know about what Gaza relief operations may face

The politics of delivering aid in war zones are messy, the ethics fraught and the logistics daunting. But getting everything right is essential − and…

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Palestinians on the outskirts of Gaza City walk by buildings destroyed by Israeli bombardment on Oct. 20, 2023. AP Photo/Ali Mahmoud

The 2.2 million people who live in Gaza are facing economic isolation and experiencing incessant bombardment. Their supplies of essential resources, including food and water, are quickly dwindling.

In response, U.S. President Joe Biden has pledged US$100 million in humanitarian assistance for the citizens of Gaza.

As a scholar of peace and conflict economics who served as a World Bank consultant during the 2014 war between Hamas and Israel, I believe that Biden’s promise raises fundamental questions regarding the delivery of humanitarian aid in a war zone. Political constraints, ethical quandaries and the need to protect the security of aid workers and local communities always make it a logistical nightmare.

In this specific predicament, U.S. officials have to choose a strategy to deliver the aid without the perception of benefiting Hamas, a group the U.S. and Israel both classify as a terrorist organization.

Logistics

When aiding people in war zones, you can’t just send money, a development strategy called “cash transfers” that has become increasingly popular due to its efficiency. Sending money can boost the supply of locally produced goods and services and help people on the ground pay for what they need most. But injecting cash into an economy so completely cut off from the world would only stoke inflation.

So the aid must consist of goods that have to be brought into Gaza, and services provided by people working as part of an aid mission. Humanitarian aid can include food and water; health, sanitation and hygiene supplies and services; and tents and other materials for shelter and settlement.

Due to the closure of the border with Israel, aid can arrive in Gaza only via the Rafah crossing on the Egyptian border.

The U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, will likely turn to its longtime partner on the ground, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA, to serve as supply depots and distribute goods. That agency, originally founded in 1949 as a temporary measure until a two-state solution could be found, serves in effect as a parallel yet unelected government for Palestinian refugees.

USAID will likely want to tap into UNRWA’s network of 284 schools – many of which are now transformed into humanitarian shelters housing two-thirds of the estimated 1 million people displaced by Israeli airstrikes – and 22 hospitals to expedite distribution.

Map of Gaza and its neighbors
Gaza is a self-governing Palestinian territory. The narrow piece of land is located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, bordered by Israel and Egypt. PeterHermesFurian/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Politics

Prior to the Trump administration, the U.S. was typically the largest single provider of aid to the West Bank and Gaza. USAID administers the lion’s share of it.

Since Biden took office, total yearly U.S. assistance for the Palestinian territories has totaled around $150 million, restored from just $8 million in 2020 under the Trump administration. During the Obama administration, however, the U.S. was providing more aid to the territories than it is now, with $1 billion disbursed in the 2013 fiscal year.

But the White House needs Congress to approve this assistance – a process that requires the House of Representatives to elect a new speaker and then for lawmakers to approve aid to Gaza once that happens.

Ethics

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency is a U.N. organization. It’s not run by Hamas, unlike, for instance, the Gaza Ministry of Health. However, Hamas has frequently undermined UNRWA’s efforts and diverted international aid for military purposes.

Hamas has repeatedly used UNRWA schools as rocket depots. They have repeatedly tunneled beneath UNRWA schools. They have dismantled European Union-funded water pipes to use as rocket fuselages. And even since the most recent violence broke out, the UNRWA has accused Hamas of stealing fuel and food from its Gaza premises.

Humanitarian aid professionals regularly have to contend with these trade-offs when deciding to what extent they can work with governments and local authorities that commit violent acts. They need to do so in exchange for the access required to help civilians under their control.

Similarly, Biden has had to make concessions to Israel while brokering for the freedom to send humanitarian aid to Gaza. For example, he has assured Israel that if any of the aid is diverted by Hamas, the operation will cease.

This promise may have been politically necessary. But if Biden already believes Hamas to be uncaring about civilian welfare, he may not expect the group to refrain from taking what they can.

Security best practices

What can be done to protect the security of humanitarian aid operations that take place in the midst of dangerous conflicts?

Under International Humanitarian Law, local authorities have the primary responsibility for ensuring the delivery of aid – even when they aren’t carrying out that task. To increase the chances that the local authorities will not attack them, aid groups can give “humanitarian notification” and voluntarily alert the local government as to where they will be operating.

Hamas has repeatedly flouted international norms and laws. So the question of if and how the aid convoy will be protected looms large.

Under the current agreement between the U.S., Israel and Egypt, the convoy will raise the U.N. flag. International inspectors will make sure no weapons are on board the vehicles before crossing over from Arish, Egypt, to Rafah, a city located on the Gaza Strip’s border with Egypt.

The aid convoy will likely cross without militarized security. This puts it at some danger of diversion once inside Gaza. But whether the aid convoy is attacked, seized or left alone, the Biden administration will have demonstrated its willingness to attempt a humanitarian relief operation. In this sense, a relatively small first convoy bearing water, medical supplies and food, among other items, serves as a test balloon for a sustained operation to follow soon after.

If the U.S. were to provide the humanitarian convoy a military escort, by contrast, Hamas could see its presence as a provocation. Washington’s support for Israel is so strong that the U.S. could potentially be judged as a party in the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

In that case, the presence of U.S. armed forces might provoke attacks on Gaza-bound aid convoys by Hamas and Islamic jihad fighters that otherwise would not have occurred. Combined with the mobilization of two U.S. Navy carrier groups in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, I’d be concerned that such a move might also stoke regional anger. It would undermine the Biden administration’s attempts to cool the situation.

On U.N.-approved missions, aid delivery may be secured by third-party peacekeepers – meaning, in this case, personnel who are neither Israeli nor Palestinian – with the U.N. Security Council’s blessing. In this case, tragically, it’s unlikely that such a resolution could conceivably pass such a vote, much less quickly enough to make a difference.

Topher L. McDougal does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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Diagnosis and management of postoperative wound infections in the head and neck region

“The majority of wound infections often manifest themselves immediately postoperatively, so close followup should take place […]” Credit: 2023 Barbarewicz…

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“The majority of wound infections often manifest themselves immediately postoperatively, so close followup should take place […]”

Credit: 2023 Barbarewicz et al.

“The majority of wound infections often manifest themselves immediately postoperatively, so close followup should take place […]”

BUFFALO, NY- October 20, 2023 – A new research perspective was published in Oncoscience (Volume 10) on October 4, 2023, entitled, “Diagnosis and management of postoperative wound infections in the head and neck region.”

In everyday clinical practice at a department for oral and maxillofacial surgery, a large number of surgical procedures in the head and neck region take place under both outpatient and inpatient conditions. The basis of every surgical intervention is the patient’s consent to the respective procedure. Particular attention is drawn to the general and operation-specific risks. 

Particularly in the case of soft tissue procedures in the facial region, bleeding, secondary bleeding, scarring and infection of the surgical area are among the most common complications/risks, depending on the respective procedure. In their new perspective, researchers Filip Barbarewicz, Kai-Olaf Henkel and Florian Dudde from Army Hospital Hamburg in Germany discuss the diagnosis and management of postoperative infections in the head and neck region.

“In order to minimize the wound infections/surgical site infections, aseptic operating conditions with maximum sterility are required.”

Furthermore, depending on the extent of the surgical procedure and the patient‘s previous illnesses, peri- and/or postoperative antibiotics should be considered in order to avoid postoperative surgical site infection. Abscesses, cellulitis, phlegmone and (depending on the location of the procedure) empyema are among the most common postoperative infections in the respective surgical area. The main pathogens of these infections are staphylococci, although mixed (germ) patterns are also possible. 

“Risk factors for the development of a postoperative surgical site infection include, in particular, increased age, smoking, multiple comorbidities and/or systemic diseases (e.g., diabetes mellitus type II) as well as congenital and/ or acquired immune deficiency [10, 11].”

 

Continue reading the paper: DOI: https://doi.org/10.18632/oncoscience.589 

Correspondence to: Florian Dudde

Email: floriandudde@gmx.de 

Keywords: surgical site infection, head and neck surgery

 

About Oncoscience

Oncoscience is a peer-reviewed, open-access, traditional journal covering the rapidly growing field of cancer research, especially emergent topics not currently covered by other journals. This journal has a special mission: Freeing oncology from publication cost. It is free for the readers and the authors.

To learn more about Oncoscience, visit Oncoscience.us and connect with us on social media:

For media inquiries, please contact media@impactjournals.com.

Oncoscience Journal Office

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Orchard Park, NY 14127

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G77 Nations, China, Push Back On U.S. “Loss And Damage” Climate Fund In Days Leading Up To UN Summit

G77 Nations, China, Push Back On U.S. "Loss And Damage" Climate Fund In Days Leading Up To UN Summit

As was the case in primary school with…

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G77 Nations, China, Push Back On U.S. "Loss And Damage" Climate Fund In Days Leading Up To UN Summit

As was the case in primary school with bringing in presents, make sure you bring enough for the rest of the class, otherwise people get ornery...

This age old rule looks like it could be rearing its head in the days leading up to the UN COP 28 climate summit, set to take place in the United Arab Emirates in about six weeks. 

At the prior UN COP 27, which took place in Egypt last year, the U.S. pushed an idea for a new World Bank "loss and damage" climate slush fund to help poor countries with climate change. But the G77 nations plus China, including many developing countries, are pushing back on the idea, according to a new report from the Financial Times

The goal was to arrange how the fund would operate and where the money would come from for the "particularly vulnerable" nations who would have access to it prior to the upcoming summit in UAE.

But as FT notes, Pedro Luis Pedroso Cuesta, the Cuban chair of the G77 plus China group, has said that talks about these details were instead "deadlocked" over issues of - you guessed it - where the money is going and the governance of the fund.

The U.S.'s proposal for the fund to be governed by the World Bank has been rejected by the G77 after "extensive" discussions, the report says. Cuesta has said that the nations seek to have the fund managed elsewhere, but that the U.S. wasn't open to such arrangements. 

Cuesta said: “We have been confronted with an elephant in the room, and that elephant is the US. We have been faced with a very closed position that it is [the World Bank] or nothing.”

Christina Chan, a senior adviser to US climate envoy John Kerry, responded: “We have been working diligently at every turn to address concerns, problem-solve, and find landing zones.” She said the U.S. has been "clear and consistent" in their messaging on the need for the fund. 

Cuesta contends that the World Bank, known for lending to less affluent nations, lacks a "climate culture" and often delays decision-making, hindering quick responses to climate emergencies like Pakistan's recent severe flooding.

The G77 coalition voiced concerns about the World Bank's legal framework potentially limiting the fund's ability to accept diverse funding sources like philanthropic donations or to access capital markets.

With just days left before the UN COP 28 summit, the World Bank insists that combating climate change is integral to its mission and vows to collaborate on structuring the fund.

Tyler Durden Fri, 10/20/2023 - 15:45

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