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New Zealand Forces Vaccination Mandate On All Education, Health-Care Workers

New Zealand Forces Vaccination Mandate On All Education, Health-Care Workers

New Zealand announced late Monday that it would join the growing list of developed nations forcing workers – or at least certain workers – to choose: either accept..

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New Zealand Forces Vaccination Mandate On All Education, Health-Care Workers

New Zealand announced late Monday that it would join the growing list of developed nations forcing workers - or at least certain workers - to choose: either accept the jab, or lose your job.

One week after Canada adopted mandatory vaccination rules for federal workers and travelers, New Zealand has announced its own vaccine mandates for most teachers and health care workers.

Per NZ's Liberal-led government, doctors, nurses and other health-care workers must be fully vaxxed by Dec. 1, while everyone working in education who has contact with students must be vaccinated by Jan. 1.

"We can’t leave anything to chance so that's why we are making it mandatory," said COVID Response Minister Chris Hipkins, who is also the country's education minister.

"Vaccination remains our strongest and most effective tool to protect against infection and disease," Hipkins said.

New Zealand briefly enjoyed COVID-free status after the initial global outbreak, but the country's "drawbridge" strategy was unable to keep out the delta variant, imposing a lockdown in Auckland, the country's largest city after confirming just a single case. As cases spread despite the tightening restrictions, the government was forced to finally abandon its "COVIDZero" strategy.

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern said the highly transmissible delta variant had proved a "game-changer" that can't be easily eliminated.

As kiwis confront the new system, the Guardian is reporting that New Zealand's epidemiology "experts" were taken by surprise when Ardern abandoned "COVIDZero". They said they weren't consulted about the government's new system, which will lessen restrictions in three stages.

“We were obviously surprised on Monday last week when the government seemed to say that we were moving away from elimination,” said prof Michael Baker, one of the country’s most prominent pandemic communicators and a member of the ministry’s Covid-19 Technical Advisory group. “A decision of that size – changing your major strategy – you’d think you would consult with [the] quite small batch of scientists and other advisers who work very hard to support the government … explaining things to the public.”

“That was very unusual. I think the government’s done a great job generally with consultation and getting us all to at least understand the rationale for change.”

Others insisted that the only way out for the country is full vaccination.

Now, keep in mind, New Zealand has confirmed fewer than 5K cases and fewer than 30 deaths.

Tyler Durden Wed, 10/13/2021 - 19:45

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Aura Private Credit: Letter to investors 02 December 2022

This week, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the monthly consumer price index, seeing a slight month-on-month fall, the Aura High Yield SME…

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This week, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the monthly consumer price index, seeing a slight month-on-month fall, the Aura High Yield SME Fund was recognised in the HFM Asian Performance Awards 2022, as the top performing fund in the Fixed Income, High Yield & Distressed Category over the past 12 months in APAC, and our team attended the annual Australian Securitisation Conference.

Monthly Consumer Price Index Indicator 1 ​

This month we saw a slight reduction in the rate of inflation with the monthly consumer price index indicator rising by 6.9 per cent over the year to October 2022 following last month’s 7.3 per cent increase. ​

For the month of October, the main contributors to the rise were new dwellings, up 20.4 per cent, predominantly driven by high levels of construction activity and ongoing challenges with labour and material shortages. Petrol still contributed to the pressure, up 11.8 per cent, as the fuel excise ended at the close of September. Perishables, predominantly fruit and vegetables, also increased at 9.4 per cent, although this was a significant decrease from the 17.4 per cent rise in September. Next month’s data may see an increase in the rate of inflation for perishable goods, as a result of the recent flooding events. It is too early to determine whether or not we are now seeing a shift in the trend and if inflation has peaked. With the household balance sheets not yet showing signs of retraction and with the Christmas spending period ahead, we may be in for some more inflationary pressure. ​

The RBA will be meeting to discuss their monetary policy decision next week. The market has priced in a rate rise, although today’s data showing a slight ease in inflation could potentially result in a smaller increase than what has been expected. It is however important to note that the RBA will not be meeting in January, so their decision is effective until February. ​

HFM Asian Performance Awards

The Aura High Yield SME Fund, our wholesale client strategy, was recognised as the top performing fund in the Fixed Income, High Yield & Distressed category in the 12 months to 30 October 2022 in the Asia Pacific region according to HFM Data. As noted with our participation on other league tables, we are particularly proud of this recognition through a volatile bear market during a global pandemic. As a team we do not expect to feature on these tables in bull markets, as other participants will use leverage to boost returns in their strategies. Leverage is not your friend in a bear market. We prefer to take a more conservative approach to investment, focusing on protection of capital and alpha generation through asset selection and structuring. We would like to thank all of our investors for the support in making the strategy a success. I would personally like to thank the broader Aura Group team for supporting the strategy, and in particular our investment team who work hard assessing new investments and monitoring and maintaining the portfolio.    

Australian Securitisation Conference 2022

This week the team attended the annual Australian Securitisation Conference. The conference covers the broader securitisation market, the bulk of volume is in residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS). The tone was generally cautious from presenters across regulators, the central bank, investors, lenders and banks. Banks in Australia have a number of headwinds coming over the next two years. The $24 billion Term Funding Facility (TFF) which was introduced to stimulate lending during the pandemic needs to be repaid by the banks in the next two years giving the banks the option to hit the capital markets to refinance the debt or reduce their loan books. There has also been a change to High Quality Liquid Assets (HQLA) classifications by the prudential regulator (APRA) that will come into effect over the next 12 months with respect to the capital treatment of RMBS. The banks will not be able to use self securitised assets or RMBS in their HQLA for capital purposes, therefore reducing bank demand for RMBS. Banks had been a big contributor to the RMBS bid. This could see a movement in spreads, a shrinking of the loan books of the banks, or a combination of both. We anticipate this will increase demand for funding from non-bank lenders. A net positive for our strategies, potentially providing more opportunity at wider spread levels.  ​

I was also pleased to be involved in moderating a discussion with a panel of non-bank lenders, focused on the SME lending space. We were lucky enough to hear some great market insights from some key lenders and service providers within the industry. There was a consensus view that there is a significant market opportunity to build out high quality exposures in the SME sector.​

1Australian Bureau of Statistics – Monthly Consumer Price Index Indicator

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White House “Isn’t Taking A Side” On Cause Of Anti-Lockdown Protests In China

White House "Isn’t Taking A Side" On Cause Of Anti-Lockdown Protests In China

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

The Biden White…

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White House "Isn't Taking A Side" On Cause Of Anti-Lockdown Protests In China

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

The Biden White House says it “isn’t taking a side” on the cause of anti-lockdown protests in China, a ‘walking on eggshells’ remark seemingly designed to protect the administration from charges of hypocrisy.

Over the past week, multiple major cities across China have seen massive protests against lockdowns, with the normally compliant Chinese exploding into rage in response to their government’s ‘zero COVID’ policy.

Much of the unrest blew up in response to an incident in Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi, where at least 10 people, some say up to 40, were killed during an apartment fire because lockdown rules stopped residents from fleeing the burning building.

Most of the city’s residents have been prevented from leaving their homes for over 100 days as a result of the draconian rules, which are still in place nearly three years after the pandemic began.

While Chinese citizens are now clearly being subjected to human rights abuses in the name of maintaining a brutal lockdown, the White House could only respond with a mealy-mouthed statement.

Appearing on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends,” White House NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby was asked if the Biden administration agreed with protesters that COVID restrictions should be lifted and whether President Xi Jinping should stand down.

Kirby prevaricated by saying the White House was “on the side of peaceful protest,” but that the administration was not “taking a side in terms of what these protestors are about.”

WATCH:

“I would not say at all that we would agree with criticism that we’ve been less than firm or consistent. In fact, Brian, we’ve been very, consistent about the right of peaceful protest and we’ve been very vocal about it in China just over the last few days,” said Kirby.

“We believe that these individuals should be able to peacefully protest and assemble and to make their minds known to their government there in China just like we’ve said the same in Iran and around the world. And we stand up for peaceful protest, and again, we’ve been very consistent about that,” he added.

Co-host Steve Doocy then asked, “Absolutely, the White House is always for peaceful protests, but, John, you know what the protesters are saying, they’re saying, hey, Xi Jinping’s got to go or loosen the COVID restrictions that are keeping people stuck in their houses for months. So, between he’s got to go or loosen restrictions, which side is the White House on when it comes to supporting the protestors?”

Kirby responded, “Steve, we’re on the side of peaceful protest. We’re on the side of individuals being able to freely assemble and to express their views, whatever those views are. We’re not taking a side in terms of what these protestors are about. Largely though, Steve, you know that these protesters are really out there about the lockdown. Their main concern, what drove them to the streets was the very severe, very stringent COVID policies by Xi’s administration, and that’s what’s really been driving all this public protest.”

The spokesman then asserted, “we don’t believe, here in the United States, that lockdowns are the answer.”

This doesn’t correlate with what Biden himself has said on many occasions.

Back in August 2020, the president said he wouldn’t hesitate to lockdown the entire United States if it was necessary to stop COVID.

“I would shut it down; I would listen to the scientists,” said Biden at the time.

In comparison, two months previously in June, President Trump told Fox News, “We won’t be closing the country again. We won’t have to do that.”

Indeed, if the presidential election had taken place a year earlier, there’s almost no doubt that Biden would have lobbied for for more draconian lockdowns that those that were imposed by states during the final 10 months of the Trump administration.

As we highlighted yesterday, Anthony Fauci once again defended brutal Chinese lockdowns, admitting that the Communist government is forcefully locking people inside buildings but adding that if it means people get vaccinated then he is “okay” with it.

*  *  *

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Tyler Durden Thu, 12/01/2022 - 17:15

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Disney CEO Iger ‘Sorry’ For Battle Against Florida, Tells Employees To ‘Respect’ Audience

Disney CEO Iger ‘Sorry’ For Battle Against Florida, Tells Employees To ‘Respect’ Audience

Recently-returned Disney CEO Bob Iger says he’s…

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Disney CEO Iger 'Sorry' For Battle Against Florida, Tells Employees To 'Respect' Audience

Recently-returned Disney CEO Bob Iger says he's "sorry" to see the company getting dragged into an ideological battle with Florida lawmakers over a ban on the discussion of sex and gender in early elementary classrooms.

Via Getty Images

The Florida law, which progressive critics described as the "Don't say gay" bill, was passed in response to complaints from parents that children as young as five-years-old are being taught about transgenderism, homosexuality, and other sexual and gender topics - and prohibits teachers from discussing said topics with students in Kindergarten through 3rd grade.

While Disney didn't immediately going other major corporations in condemning the bill, which was passed in March, however a group of activist employees lashed out at the company for not taking a public position - after with both Iger and his successor, Bob Chapek, spoke out.

"To me, it wasn’t politics. It was what is right and what is wrong, and that just seemed wrong. It seemed potentially harmful to kids," said Iger in a March 31 CNN interview, adding that he thought it was the responsibility of a CEO to "weigh in on issues, even if voicing an opinion on those issues potentially puts some of your business in danger."

Now, Iger has expressed regret for the company's involvement, as documented by journalist Christopher Rufo.

"When you tell stories, there’s a delicate balance," Iger told an audience at a town hall meeting, where he reiterated that the company still pushes pro-LGBT "inclusion" messaging.

As the Epoch Times notes;

Another question concerned Florida government’s move to strip Disney of its self-governance status, a privilege the company has enjoyed since the time of Walt Disney. Losing such privilege means that Disney may no longer control its own zoning, infrastructure, and policing within its special tax district in Orlando.

“I have to get up to speed on that completely. Obviously, I followed the news. That development occurred after I left the company. I was sorry to see us dragged into that battle,” Iger replied.

“I have no idea what the ramifications are in terms of the business itself. What I can say is the state of Florida has been important to us for a long time, and we have been very important to the state of Florida.”

Iger served as Disney’s CEO for 15 years, from 2005 to 2020, before he stepped down and was succeeded by Bob Chapek, who oversaw the company during the COVID-19 pandemic that triggered worldwide shutdowns of theme parks, resorts, movie theaters, and live sports events. Chapek’s 11-month tenure is also marked by a deteriorated relationship with Florida government, although the state allowed Walt Disney World to reopen as early as July 2020, while California’s Disneyland stayed closed because of lockdown policies.

We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney over his long career, including navigating the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic,” Disney said in a Nov. 20 message announcing the leadership change. “The board has concluded that as Disney embarks on an increasingly complex period of industry transformation, Bob Iger is uniquely situated to lead the company through this pivotal period.”

Iger will remain in the CEO post for the next two years.

Tyler Durden Thu, 12/01/2022 - 14:30

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