Connect with us

International

UK Unveils New Law To Ease Strike Disruptions As Rail Network Paralysed For 2nd Time In A Week

UK Unveils New Law To Ease Strike Disruptions As Rail Network Paralysed For 2nd Time In A Week

Authored by Alexander Zhang via The Epoch Times,

The…

Published

on

UK Unveils New Law To Ease Strike Disruptions As Rail Network Paralysed For 2nd Time In A Week

Authored by Alexander Zhang via The Epoch Times,

The UK government has announced new legislation to enable businesses to supply agency workers to plug staffing gaps during industrial action, as train services were disrupted again by the second nationwide strike of the week.

Following widespread travel chaos on Tuesday, some 40,000 members of the Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers’ union (RMT) walked out again on Thursday, and are expected to go on strike again on Saturday.

Union leaders launched what they touted as the “biggest rail strike in modern history” after rail operators refused to agree to the union’s demands including a 7 percent pay rise.

On Thursday, the government announced new measures to help reduce disruption from strike action by removing the restrictions on businesses supplying temporary agency workers to cover striking staff.

‘Not Sustainable’

The move would reverse a legal restriction introduced under former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair that prevents employers from hiring agency workers to cover for striking staff.

The government said the existing restriction “can have a disproportionate impact, including on important public services, causing severe disruption to the UK economy and society.”

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Once again trade unions are holding the country to ransom by grinding crucial public services and businesses to a halt. The situation we are in is not sustainable.”

He said repealing the restrictions will “give businesses freedom to access fully skilled staff at speed, all while allowing people to get on with their lives uninterrupted to help keep the economy ticking.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that “far too many hard working families and businesses were unfairly affected by unions’ refusal to modernise” and the new legislation will “ensure any future strikes will cause even less disruption.”

Network Rail, which manages Britain’s rail network, welcomed the new legislation but the opposition Labour Party and unions condemned it as a “recipe for disaster.”

Millions Working From Home

On Thursday, major railway stations were much quieter than normal as services were crippled by the strike. Just one in five trains are running, and they are mostly restricted to main lines, with around half of the network closed.

But Shapps said, “Despite the best efforts of militant union leaders to bring our country to a standstill, it’s clear this week’s strikes did not have the desired impact due to more people being able to work from home.”

Broadband provider Virgin Media O2 said it recorded an increase in usage of up to 10 percent on the first day of the strikes on Tuesday, indicating that “millions more people are working from home” this week.

National Highways senior network planner Frank Bird said traffic flows on motorways and major A roads on Thursday morning were “remarkably good,” despite earlier fears of a surge in traffic as train passengers switch to road transport during the rail strikes.

He said: “Two years on [from the COVID-19 pandemic] we’ve learned to work in different ways, people are working from home, so it’s a very different picture. People are still able to carry on working even though the rail dispute is ongoing.”

Tyler Durden Fri, 06/24/2022 - 02:00

Read More

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Spread & Containment

FTSE 100 gains as commodity-linked stocks bounce back

The commodity-heavy FTSE 100 gained 0.4%, while mid-cap FTSE 250 index inched up 0.3% UK’s FTSE 100 gained on Monday, as an easing of COVID-19 restrictions…

Published

on

The commodity-heavy FTSE 100 gained 0.4%, while mid-cap FTSE 250 index inched up 0.3%

UK’s FTSE 100 gained on Monday, as an easing of COVID-19 restrictions in China brought relief to commodity prices, lifting shares of major oil and mining companies.

As of 0704 GMT, the commodity-heavy FTSE 100 gained 0.4%, while mid-cap FTSE 250 index inched up 0.3%.

The risk sentiment improved after a Wall Street rally late last week and a rebound in copper and iron ore prices on Monday, boosted by an easing COVID-19 restrictions in Shanghai and relaxed testing mandates in several Chinese cities.

The burst of global enthusiasm for equities has put a spring in the step of the FTSE 100 at the start of the week, Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Susannah Streeter said.

Mining stocks led gains on the FTSE 100 index, with Anglo American, Rio Tinto and Glencore rising more than 3%, after Group of Seven leaders pledged to raise $600 billion private and public funds in five years to finance needed infrastructure in developing countries.

It is hoped this scheme, seen as a counter to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, will set off a spurt of spending and demand for commodities around the world, Streeter added.

Among individual stocks, CareTech surged 20.8% after the UK-based provider of care and residential services agreed to be acquired by a consortium led by Sheikh Hoidings in an 870.3 million pounds ($1.07 billion) deal.

Carnival Corp jumped 5.6%, extending its Friday gains after the leisure travel company forecast a positive core profit for the current quarter despite surging costs.

London-listed shares of Rio Tinto added 2% after a U.S appeals court ruled that the federal government may give the UK copper miner a right to lands in Arizona.

BAE Systems inched up 0.4% after the defence company received a $12 billion contract from the U.S Department of Defence.

The post FTSE 100 gains as commodity-linked stocks bounce back first appeared on Trading and Investment News.

Read More

Continue Reading

Science

The Depopulation Of Taiwan

The Depopulation Of Taiwan

Authored by Igor Chudov via Igor’s Newsletter,

This is a continuation of my post from yesterday about a massive…

Published

on

The Depopulation Of Taiwan

Authored by Igor Chudov via Igor's Newsletter,

This is a continuation of my post from yesterday about a massive 13% decline in births in Germany. Such a decline is a nine-sigma event, meaning that it is so unlikely to occur by chance, that it would naturally happen as rarely as an asteroid striking the Earth.

My article explored several more locales (UK, North Dakota, and Switzerland).

But no other place stands out as much as Taiwan does.

23% Drop in Birth Rate in Taiwan

According to a Taiwan government report, the birth rate dropped by 23.24% in May 2022, compared to May 2021.

I inputted historical birth rate data from Macrotrends for the years 2009-2021, and added the year 2022 as year 2021 adjusted down by 23.24%. Obviously, 2022 is not over and the number of Taiwanese babies to be born this year (or during the next 12 months) is unknown. So the chart below is an illustration of what would happen in the next 12 months if the 23.24% drop stays constant.

When expressed in “sigmas”, units of standard deviation, the 23.24% drop in the birth rate in Taiwan is a 26-sigma event!

This is can be described as “unimaginable” in terms of the likelihood of happening due to random chance.

The Wolfram-Alpha illustration of likelihood by sigma only goes to ten-sigma. They thought that it would be pointless to show more sigmas. Except a 26-sigma drop in birth rate just happened in Taiwan.

What Happened In Taiwan?

Health experts are quick to blame Covid for all sorts of health problems afflicting those they advised to vaccinate. It is not the vaccine, they say, it is Covid. We tried to protect you with the vaccine, they would always insist. But you got Covid anyway, thanks to the evil antivaxxers, and your problems are due to Covid — that’s their explanation.

We know for certain, though, that the drop in birth rate in Taiwan is NOT due to Covid. Yes, Taiwan is suffering from a terrible COVID pandemic right now (despite being 91% vaccinated), however, Covid in Taiwan only started around April 21 of 2022, and could not impact May birth rates much.

To see what could cause the extreme drop in births, go back 9 months from May 2022, so to September 2021.

Taiwan was a poster child for successful vaccination. 91% of all Taiwanese residents received a vaccine dose. By October 1, 2021, 56% of ALL people of Taiwan received Covid vaccines.

They got a fairly usual mix of “safe and effective” AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Pfizer vaccines.

People of Taiwan got their shots, felt assured that Covid-19 stops with every vaccinated person, and moved on with their lives.

I doubt that the people of Taiwan noticed anything at the end of September. They knew for sure that their vaccines were safe and effective and would not affect their sperm or pregnancies. So they proceeded with family plans just as before, trying to make babies on purpose, or partying and having fun and getting pregnant accidentally, just as people do elsewhere.

Except for 9 months later, they only gave birth to 77% of the number of babies expected.

I hope that the people of Taiwan will start asking their authorities: what is happening to us?

A Glimmer of Hope

If you are like me, and you like babies, children, and grandchildren, you are probably upset by now and are wondering what will happen to all of us. Let me mention a possibility that, although unlikely in my opinion, may make this drop in birth rates temporary.

Covid vaccines are known to “disrupt the menstrual cycle” and lower sperm counts. It is possible that some women, for a period of several months, could not conceive and become pregnant due to these disruptions. Because all Taiwanese women were vaccinated at almost the same time, those disruptions created a precipitous drop in birth rates.

My hope, as someone who likes people, is that this will turn out to be the case. However, in my opinion, we will likely see the opposite, and reductions in birth rates will be permanent. Why? Because vaccinating young people was a crime. It was not a mistake. Let me not explain why, in this article.

Crimes like this are NOT perpetrated to achieve a two-month drop in birth rates. Criminals of such nature who gave young people shots that they did not need, for sinister reasons, go for the jugular. Of course, not all people participating in vaccination campaigns were having such sinister intentions. But it is possible that some persons on top had criminal motives that they did not disclose.

Again, I hope that the preceding paragraph will turn out to be unfounded. I was, and am, against any of that happening, do not support anything that is happening in Taiwan, and I am very worried.

Time will tell.

They Told Us it is Safe

This fact check from Dec 5, 2020 says that the vaccine is definitely safe for pregnancy “because there is no evidence that it is unsafe”. No trial specifically for pregnancy and fertility was conducted. They just lied to us that it is safe — but had no way of knowing.

Subscribe here...

Tyler Durden Mon, 06/27/2022 - 23:15

Read More

Continue Reading

Economics

Victor Davis Hanson: America Is More Fragile Than The Left Understands

Victor Davis Hanson: America Is More Fragile Than The Left Understands

Authored by Victor Davis Hanson via AmGreatness.com,

"There is a…

Published

on

Victor Davis Hanson: America Is More Fragile Than The Left Understands

Authored by Victor Davis Hanson via AmGreatness.com,

"There is a great deal of ruin in a nation."

- Adam Smith

The Left has been tempting fate since January 2021 - applying its nihilist medicine to America on the premise that such a rich patient can ride out any toxic shock.

Our elites assume that all our nation’s past violent protests, all its would-be revolutions, all its cultural upheavals, all its institutionalized lawlessness were predicated on one central truth—America’s central core is so strong, so rich, and so resilient that it can withstand almost any assault. 

So, we can afford 120 days in 2020 of mass rioting, $2 billion in damage, some 35 killed, and 1,500 police injured. 

We can easily survive an Afghanistan, and our utter and complete military humiliation. There was no problem in abandoning some $70-80 billion in military loot to terrorists. Who cares that we tossed off a billion-dollar new embassy, and jettisoned a $300-million refitted air base, as long as our pride flags were waving in Kabul?

Certainly, we can afford to restructure all our universities, eliminate free expression and speech, and institute Maoist cultural revolutionary fervor in our revered institutions of higher learning—once the world’s greatest levers of scientific advancement and technological progress. 

We can jettison merit in every endeavor, from banning the world’s great books to grading math tests to running chemistry experiments. And still, a resilient America won’t notice.

We assumed that our foundational documents—the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution—our natural bounty in North America, our cherished rule of law, our legal immigration traditions that drew in the most audacious and hardworking on the planet, and our guarantees of personal freedom and liberty led to such staggering wealth and affluence that nothing much that this mediocre generation could do would ever endanger our resilience.

But such inheritances are not written in stone. America, as the world’s only successful multiracial democratic republic, was always fragile. It was and is always one generation away from disappearing—should any cohort become so foolish as to mock its past, dismantle its institutions, revert to tribalism, redistribute rather than create wealth, and consume rather than invest. 

We are that generation. And we have an accounting with nature’s limitations, given there is always a corrective, not a nice one, but remediation nonetheless for every excess. 

Our major cities are no longer safe. Somehow, the Left has nearly wrecked San Francisco in less than a decade. A once beautiful and vibrant city is lawless, dirty, toxic, often boarded up, and losing population. It has turned into a medieval keep of well-protected knights in secure fiefs while everyone else is engaged in a bellum omnium contra omnes.

We know it is so because California public officials talk of anything and everything—Roe v. Wade, transitions to electric cars, hundreds of millions of dollars in COVID-19 relief for illegal aliens—to mask their utter impotence to address feces in the street, the random assaults on the vulnerable, and the inability to park a car and return to it intact.

Ditto the Dodge City downtowns of Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Baltimore, Washington, and a host of others. In just four or five years, they have given up on fully funding the police, aggressive prosecutors indicting the violent, and ubiquitous civil servants ensuring the streets are free of trash, vermin, flotsam, jetsam, and human excrement. 

There are natural reactions to such excess. The most terrifying is that our once-great cities, especially their downtowns, will simply shrink into something like ghost towns—our versions of an out-West Bodie, or an abandoned Roman city in the sand like Leptis Magna, or a Chernobyl. 

But the culprit will not be a played-out mine, or encroaching desert, or a nuclear meltdown, but the progressive leadership of a worn-out, bankrupt people who no longer possess the confidence to keep their urban civilization safe and viable. And so, they either fled, or joined the mob, or locked themselves up in fortified citadels, both in fear to go out and terrified of losing what they owned. 

We are seeing that deterioration already in our major cities. Stores are boarded up. Women cease to walk alone after sunset. Police officers walking the beat are now rare. Hate crimes, smash-and-grab robberies, and carjackings go unpunished. Streets are filthy and littered. Commerce and human interaction cease at dusk, as if in expectation that zombies will emerge to control the streets. Criminals when arrested are not always identified—the media censoring names and descriptions on their own selective theories of social justice.

But again, the culprit is not the COVID plague or want of money. It is us, we who turned over our cities to the incompetent, the selfish, the timid, and the violent. 

There is again an antidote. But doubling the police force, bringing back broken-windows policing, electing tough prosecutors, moving the homeless from the downtown into hospitals and supervised shelters beyond the suburbs, arresting, convicting, and incarcerating the guilty—all that seems well beyond this generation’s capacity. 

Would not such efforts be unfair to the mere rock-thrower? Who says the fentanyl user has no right to defecate on the street? Would not our jails become overcrowded? Would the incarcerated be unduly overrepresented by this or that group?

Joe Biden took a strong economy—albeit one that after three serial spendthrift presidencies faced huge national debt and a rendezvous with fiscal sobriety—and has utterly ruined it. 

He discouraged labor participation with federal checks. He ensured that his minions on the politicized Federal Reserve Board would keep interest rates artificially low. Biden inflated the money supply while debasing the value of the currency. He brought back mindless regulation and put ideological commissars in place to ensure the corporations, banks, and Wall Street would be woke, allowing ideology to warp ancient economic laws that kept prices stable, supply and demand in balance, and incentives to work and profit. 

Many thought Biden would have needed at least four or five years to wreck such a strong economy with such nihilism rather than a mere 16 months.

Yet nature is about to step in with a recession and perhaps even a depression to correct the Biden madness. If interest rates rise, capital dries up, businesses close, employers cut back, consumers no longer have access to easy money, and the nation becomes inert, then the country will be worse off, spend less—and that too will be a brutal solution of sorts to Biden’s hyperinflation and stagflation.

Still, it is hard to see how anyone in the government might prefer the proper and necessary medicine at this late hour. An updated Simpson-Bowles plan still could address long-term insolvency. Meaningless regulations could be pruned back. The tax code could be radically altered and simplified to encourage investment rather than consumption. Entitlements could be calibrated by incentives to become productive rather than to remain inert. All of that might return us to a sound currency, a strong GDP, long-term financial solvency, and general prosperity for all. But are not such medicines perceived as worse than the disease?

There is an answer to the open border, when upwards of 4 million illegal aliens will flow into the United States in a mere two years, for the most part without audits, English, capital, income, and vaccinations—and with no idea how to house, feed, or provide health care for millions without background checks.

At this late date, the corrections of stopping catch and release, ending amnesties, hiring more border patrol officers and immigration judges, or building more detention centers are too little too late.

Eventually, Americans will become acculturated to large enclaves of endemic poverty, as millions with no familiarity with the United States are neither assimilated nor integrated. 

The border will then disappear, and northern Mexico and the southern United States will become indistinguishable, as millions simply drift back and forth in the manner of an ancient Gaul or Germania. Large areas of Texas, Arizona, and California are already returning to such pre-state status.

Or the alternate corrective will be the completion of a massive wall from the Pacific to the Gulf, with strict audits of all would-be immigrants, immediate deportations for lawbreakers, and legal only immigration that is measured, diverse, and meritocratic.

We are reaching the inflection point quickly and will either experience the absolute destruction of the border or a radical backlash, given that the current mess is unsustainable. Either a nation with borders survives or a tribal and nomadic region supplants it.

If America chooses to shut down refineries, put our rich oil and natural gas fields off-limits, cancel pipelines, and demonize the fossil fuel industry, then, of course, prices for carbon fuels will explode. 

The Biden Administration talks nonsensically about Teslas, batteries, and electric replacements. But it is not greenlighting mining for the critical minerals needed for batteries. It is not encouraging nuclear power plants to provide enough power for a clean fleet of 200 million electric cars. There is no Marshall Plan to wean America off mostly non-polluting natural gas and gasoline onto electricity-hungry engines.

Instead, Biden begs the Saudis, the Russians, the Venezuelans, and even the Iranians to pump the fuel he will not. He seeks to drain the Strategic Petroleum Reserve that can supply only a fraction of the oil America gulps daily. He defines his own pre-midterm, self-created mess as a national emergency to tap a reserve he could never fill or refill.

So, what is the natural corrective to unaffordable fuel? 

A likely Biden recession or depression, in which the middle classes simply do not enjoy jobs that pay enough to afford $6-9-a-gallon gas. And so, they will not drive. Vacations, optional shopping trips, and visits to friends—all that and more will taper off. Gas will stabilize at near-European levels, and the people, as planned, will be rerouted into dirty and unsafe subways and mass transit. 

Biden will be happy. But America won’t be the same mobile country. 

America’s bounty was predicated on each generation following the prompt of the prior, modulating when change was necessary, but not daring to tamper with the foundational principles and values that explained our singular wealth, power, and leisure. 

This generation in its arrogance tested fate. It felt itself smarter and morally superior to its betters of the past. It lost that wager and now we the public are paying for its foolishness. To destroy America as we have always known it, there was far less necessary to ruin than our elite believed.

Like a stunned adolescent whose reckless incompetence totaled the family car, the Left seems shocked that America proved so fragile after all.

Tyler Durden Mon, 06/27/2022 - 16:20

Read More

Continue Reading

Trending