Daily Archives: March 7, 2020

B20 Saudi Arabia profiles first ever Action Council in concert with International Women’s Day

Council highlights three priority areas as part of B20 policy recommendations

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, March 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — In concert with International Women’s Day, to be celebrated on Sunday 08 March, B20 Saudi Arabia, the official business voice of the G20 community, profiled several priorities for the Women in Business Action Council.  The Council, the first of its kind for the B20, will ensure that issues surrounding gender diversity in business and economic empowerment of women are placed at the center of the B20 Saudi Arabia.

While the B20 taskforces work on policy recommendations, the Action Council has identified three priority areas that need immediate action:

  1. Level the playing field for women by driving reforms to unlock their full workforce potential, fostering an enabling environment, encouraging new ways of flexible working and closing the gender pay gap.
  2. A call to action for countries to create the environment and to improve access to resources for women to succeed in starting their own businesses.
  3. Bring all stakeholders together to accelerate progress, developing an institutional framework while designing user-centric policies that enable women to thrive.

The B20 Saudi Arabia has established six task forces that concentrate on specific economic priority areas, with 656 task force members across all G20 members. The Women in Business Action Council sits across all six task forces, a structural change from past B20 cycles. Women make up 43% of the B20 Saudi Arabia Task Force and Action Council Chairs, the highest proportion in the group’s history. Furthermore, the B20 Secretariat established criteria for Committee Membership that has resulted in 33% of participants being women, the highest percentage among some of the most recent B20 cycles (Turkey 23% in 2015, Germany 22% in 2017, Argentina 28% in 2018).

“The Women in Business Action Council is the first initiative of its kind in the history of the B20. It has been established with the recognition that mainstreaming women in business is key to improving the standards of business conduct including integrity, empathy, and creativity, thus adding to economic growth and productivity,” said Mr. Yousef Al-Benyan, Chair of the B20 Saudi Arabia.

Aligned with the key theme of International Women’s Day 2020 “I am generation Equality: Realizing Women’s rights,” the Council is primarily focused on addressing gender inequality, increasing women’s participation in the workforce and their representation in leadership positions. It comprises 52 members from the global business community and is represented by every one of the G20 members.

“The Women in Business Action Council is addressing workplace challenges by looking at related life-cycle solutions ranging from higher education & STEM to addressing impediments to professional advancement and leadership positions using a mix of organizational culture to legislative / regulatory options,” said Ms. Rania Nashar, Chair of the Women in Business Action Council and CEO of SAMBA.  “We will be bringing our efforts around women empowerment to life over the course of the next year by participating in a number of initiatives in the region and abroad.”

To help socialize their priorities and secure input from the broader B20 community, the B20 Women in Business Action Council will participate in a number of high-profile global events over the course of the next year.

About B20

The Business Twenty (B20) is the official G20 dialogue with the business community. As the voice of the private sector to the G20, it represents the global business community across all G20 members and all economic sectors. Formed in 2010, it is the first engagement group of the G20.

The B20 supports the G20 through specific policy recommendations, the consolidated representation of business interests and economic expertise. It also fosters dialogue between the public and private sector.

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1120976/Infographic_Women_in_Business_Action.jpg

King Hamad University Hospital Launches eServices Via ‘Sehati’

Manama, King Hamad University Hospital (KHUH) has launched a host of eServices via the ‘Sehati’ health services app provided by the Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA).

The hospital’s services include uploads of medical reports as they become available, medical appointment reservations and medicine delivery.

King Hamad University Hospital is the first government hospital in the Kingdom to introduce an app and electronic system that makes communication easier between the hospital and its visitors, KHUH Commander, Major-General Dr. Shaikh Salman bin Atiyatallah Al Khalifa said.

We always strive to offer our services through the most modern and effective methods in order provide better care to all patients.

iGA Chief Executive Mohammed Ali Al Qaed said that launching the hospital’s services via the ‘Sehati’ app was in line with ongoing partnerships with the health sector.

The hospital’s decision to offer these online services is a continuation of the digital transformation of government services which aim to ensure faster and more efficient transactions. Patients can securely access the hospital’s services via the app which can be downloaded on smart phones and devices.

‘Sehati’, available on the Government App Store bahrain.bh/apps for both Android and iOS devices, is a comprehensive app that contains a number of healthcare services from various healthcare institutions in the Kingdom.

‘Sehati’ is one of the most important applications being introduced by the government with the aim of improving the quality and method of delivery of healthcare services in the Kingdom.

In addition to listing hospital services, the app is a unified and comprehensive health services platform that will greatly benefit citizens, residents and visitors.

Source: Bahrain News Agency

UAE strongly condemns terror attack in Kabul.

The UAE has strongly condemned the terror attack that targeted a gathering in the Afghan capital, Kabul, which resulted in numerous deaths and injuries.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed in a statement its utter denunciation of this criminal act and rejection of all forms of violence, which aim to undermine security and stability and completely contravene all religious and human values and principles.

The Ministry also extended its condolences to the families of victims of this heinous crime while wishing a speedy recovery to the injured.

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Roller-coaster week ends with bond yields, stocks sinking

New York, A dizzying, brutal week of trading dropped one last round of harrowing swings on investors Friday.

After skidding sharply through the day as fear pounded markets, steep drops for stocks and bond yields suddenly eased up in the last hour. By the end of trading, the S&P 500 had more than halved its loss for the day to 1.7% and even locked in a gain for the week.

It is the latest lurch in a wild ride that has sent stocks flipping between huge gains and losses mostly losses the last two weeks. Investors are trying to guess how much economic damage the coronavirus will ultimately inflict, and they’re shifting by the minute as the number of new infections piles up on one hand and central banks and governments offer stimulus on the other.

All the uncertainty has left markets churning.

It’s anyone’s guess at this point why it rallied into the close, Adam Taback, chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank, said of the last hour of Friday’s trading, The Associated Press (AP).

Earlier in the day, the S&P 500 had been down 4%. Even more alarming was another breathtaking drop in Treasury yields to record lows.

The 10-year Treasury yield falls when investors are worried about a weaker economy and inflation, and it sank below 0.70% at one point. Earlier this week, it had never in history been below 1%. It was at 1.90% at the start of the year, before the virus fears took hold.

Even a better-than-expected report on U.S. jobs wasn’t enough to pull markets from the undertow. It’s usually the most anticipated piece of economic data each month, but investors looked past February’s solid hiring numbers because they came from before the new coronavirus was spreading quickly across the country.

The bond market says the monster under the bed is much bigger and scarier than anyone expects right now, said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial.

At the heart of the drops is the fear of the unknown. The virus usually causes only mild to moderate symptoms. But because it’s new, experts aren’t sure how far it will spread and how much damage it will ultimately do, both to health and to the economy.

The number of infections has topped 100,000 worldwide and businesses are reporting hits to their earnings. Danger for companies is coming from two sides. On the supply side, for example, Apple has said slowdowns in manufacturing iPhones in China will hurt its sales totals. On the demand side, an airline industry group says the outbreak could lose as much as $113 billion in revenue as people cancel trips.

Friday’s drop for the S&P 500 was the latest swing in a remarkably turbulent week. It started off with a 4.6% jump on Monday, then fell 2.8%, rose 4.2% and fell 3.4%.

At this point no one can really explain why the markets behave the way they do, and what may be next, said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior analyst at Swissquote Bank. The only thing we can say is this high volatility is bad.

It was only two weeks ago that the S&P 500 set a record high, on Feb. 19. It’s lost 12.2% since then.

The bond market sounded the alarm on the effects of the virus long before the stock market, and yields fell further Friday.

The Fed surprised the market earlier this week by cutting interest rates half a percentage point. Investors expect other central banks around the world to follow suit in hopes of supporting markets.

Eric Rosengren, president of the Boston Federal Reserve Bank, said Friday the Fed could start using new tools to combat a downturn, such as buying a broader range of financial assets.

At the same time, doubts are high about how much effect lower rates can have. Cheaper loans may encourage people and business to make big purchases, but they can’t get workers back into factories if they’re out on quarantine.

A boost for stocks came earlier this week after Congress agreed on an $8.3 billion bill to combat the coronavirus, which President Donald Trump signed Friday. But investors say a slowdown in the economy seems inevitable, and many analysts expect the market’s sharp swings to continue as long as the number of new cases accelerates.

As the market tries to find its bottom, it’s going to go up and down, up and down, until it has a reason to steadily change in one direction or the other, said Taback of Wells Fargo Private Bank.

MARKET ROUNDUP:

The S&P 500 fell 51.57, or 1.7%, to 2,972.37. It rose 0.6% for the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 256.50, or 1%, to 25,864.78. The Nasdaq fell 162.98, or 1.9%, to 8,575.62.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury dropped to 0.77% from 0.92% late Thursday. It rallied from as low as 0.66% earlier in the day, according to Tradweb.

Benchmark U.S. crude tumbled $4.62, or 10.1%, to settle at $41.28 per barrel. It was the worst day for oil in more than five years. Brent crude, the international standard, dropped $4.72, or 9.4%, to $45.27.

In Europe, the French CAC 40 dropped 4.1%, and the German DAX lost 3.4%. The FTSE 100 in London fell 3.6%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 2.7%, South Korea’s Kospi lost 2.2% and stocks in Shanghai dropped 1.2%.

Gold rose $4.40 to settle at $1,672.40 per ounce. Silver fell 13 cents to $17.26 an ounce, and copper slipped 1 cent to $2.56 a pound.

Wholesale gasoline fell 13 cents to $1.39 a gallon, heating oil fell 10 cents to $1.39 a gallon and natural gas lost 6 cents to $1.71 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Source: Bahrain News Agency

Ethiopian draft report blames Boeing for 737 MAX plane crash: sources

Washington, A draft interim report from Ethiopian crash investigators circulated to U.S. government agencies concludes the March 2019 crash of a Boeing Co (BA.N) 737 MAX was caused by the plane’s design, two people briefed on the matter said Friday.

Unlike most interim reports, this one includes a probable cause determination, conclusions and recommendations, which are typically not made until a final report is issued.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has been given a chance to lodge concerns or propose changes, the people said, declining to be identified because the report is not yet public, Reuters reported.

NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss confirmed the agency had received the draft interim report, but declined to comment on whether the agency would suggest any changes. Boeing on Friday declined to comment to Reuters about the report.

According to Bloomberg News, which first reported the contents of the interim draft, the conclusions say little or nothing about the performance of Ethiopian Airlines or its flight crew and that has raised concern with some participants in the investigation.

The Ethiopian interim report contrasts with a final report into the Lion Air crash released last October by Indonesia which faulted Boeing’s design of cockpit software on the 737 MAX but also cited errors by the airline’s workers and crew.

Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crashed in an open field six minutes after take-off from Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, killing 157 passengers and crew. The Boeing 737 MAX has been grounded worldwide for nearly a year after the two fatal crashes.

Under rules overseen by the United Nations’ Montreal-based aviation agency, ICAO, Ethiopia should publish a final report by the first anniversary of the crash on March 10 but now looks set to release an interim report with elements that would normally be included in the final report.

Ethiopian Airlines did not respond to a request for comment. Ethiopia’s Transport Ministry could not immediately be reached for comment.

A preliminary accident report by the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority released in April last year said faulty sensor readings and multiple automatic commands to push down the nose of a Boeing plane contributed to the fatal crash and left the crew struggling to regain control.

The U.S. House Transportation Committee on Friday released preliminary investigative findings into the two crashes which faulted the Federal Aviation Administration’s approval of the plane and Boeing’s design failures, saying the 737 MAX flights were doomed.

Source: Bahrain News Agency

World Class teams arrive in Doha for Katara Beach Volleyball Cup

Doha, World Class teams from Canada, France Norway, Italy, Gambia, Switzerland, Belgium and Slovenia were arrived on Friday in Qatar’s capital city of Doha to participate in the 2020 edition of Katara Beach Volleyball Cup to be organized by the Qatar Volleyball Association (QVA) in cooperation with Katara.

The event will be held from March 9 12 with participation of 64 from 28 countries including Qatar, Oman, Turkey, USA, Canada, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Austria, the Netherlands, England, Gambia, Sweden, Germany, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, Ukraine, Latvia, Slovenia, Hong Kong, France, Estonia, Chile and Iran.

Qatar’s squad: Cherif Younousse/Ahmed Tijan, Saif/Zeyad and Mahmoud/Mahdi.

The competitions of the prestigious Katara Beach Volleyball Cup will run from 9-13 March at Katara beach.

Source: Qatar Olympic Committee

Sullivan, Campillo surge ahead at Commercial Bank Qatar Masters

DOHA, Qatar: Jorge Campillo and Andy Sullivan shared the lead heading into the weekend at the 2020 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters but they had a host of European Tour winners breathing down their necks at Education City Golf Club.

Sullivan took advantage of the low winds in the morning to fire a second consecutive 66 and get to ten under and it looked for a long time as if the Englishman would not be caught at the top of a congested leaderboard. But Campillo went blemish-free in posting a 66 of his own to also get to double figures and join Sullivan in top spot.

Swede Alexander Björk carded the lowest round of the week and his European Tour career with a 63 to sit at nine under alongside countryman Marcus Kinhult, England’s Oliver Fisher, Frenchman Romain Langasque and Dutchman Joost Luiten.

Sullivan has been one of the European Tour’s most consistent performers in recent seasons but has not quite hit the heights that made him a three time winner in 2015, with one top ten so far this season.

I’ve got it under lock at the moment, he said. I feel like I am in control of myself, which is the most important thing for me, I really felt like I took my time a little bit more on shots and stuff.

I feel like I have grown up a little bit now on the golf course. I think that having a laugh on the golf course is all well and good, and I still enjoy it but, for me, I have really had to knuckle down the past two days to keep myself in check because there are times when I find myself wandering.

It has been difficult and it is something new for me, trying to keep focused for so long, normally I drift in and out a little bit but it’s been really good and positive signs as the golf has been really good.

Last season Campillo claimed his maiden European Tour win at the 229th time of asking at the Trophée Hassan II as he secured five top fives in six starts, but he has had just one top ten since.

I’ve worked on a few things over the last week and in Oman, he said. It’s working out good and I’m putting great as well – I’ve been putting awfully lately – and it’s been a great two days.

It’s a nice position to be in going into the weekend, hopefully I can play like this and if I do I’m going to have a good chance to win on Sunday.

Sullivan birdied the tenth and the 13th and when he made another gain on the 14th, he led alone.

His solo spell at the top was brief as he dropped a shot on the next but a ten footer on the first and another birdie on the next briefly put him two ahead. He would not be there for long, however, as Kinhult birdied the tenth, 12th and 14th and, while he bogeyed the next, he birdied the first and eagled the par five second to share the lead.

A 25 foot putt on the fourth edged Kinhult ahead but Sullivan joined him from similar range on the eighth before the reigning Betfred British Masters champion rolled off the same green to surrender a bogey. In the afternoon, Campillo made birdies on the second, sixth, seventh and 11th, getting down in two from off the green at the par five 13th to share top spot.

Björk made birdies on the second, fourth, fifth, seventh, 12th, 14th and 15th and a long putt on the 17th left him one back.

Langasque picked up six shots in as many holes from the ninth including a spectacular eagle from a fairway bunker at the 12th in a 64, while Luiten made birdies on the fourth, 12th and 15th in a blemish free 68. In the penultimate group of the day, Fisher matched Langasque’s 64, making eight birdies and a bogey in his lowest round of the season so far.

Danish trio Nicolai Højgaard, Benjamin Poke and Jeff Winther, South African Darren Fichardt, Scotland’s Scott Jamieson and England’s Jack Senior were three shots off the lead.

Meanwhile former world No.1 Martin Kaymer carded a one-under-par 70 which however proved not enough for the German to make the cut.

Qatar Open amateur champion Michael Young, the winner in the professional category Mathiam Keyser, Qatar’s Saleh Al Kaabi and al Al Shahrani also missed the cut.

Source: Qatar Olympic Committee

Guery gallops to win in thrilling speed class at LGCT Doha

DOHA, Belgian Jerome Guery and his mount Eras Ste Hermelle pulled off an incredible 71.59s to take the overall win in the third CSI5* class at the stunning Longines Arena at Al Shaqab in Doha on Friday.

Friday’s events were attended by HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, the President of Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC).

The 1.50m speed class had 34 starters, and riders really had to keep their foot to the floor and ensure pinpoint accuracy to make their mark in this competitive class, testing their speed ahead of Saturday’s LGCT Grand Prix of Doha and GCL Doha final.

There were only 7 clear rounds over Frank Rothenberger’s 1.50m course featuring a testing double of tall uprights. Johan Sebastian Gulliksen (NOR) was first into the ring with the experienced Gin Chin van het Lindenhof, and the combination were looking to build on their win in Thursday’s two-phase class and set the tone on Friday. However, it wasn’t to be for the pair today finishing with a total of 5 faults.

Next to tackle the testing course was Maikel Van Der Vleuten (NED) with Edinburgh, a horse new to the LGCT circuit. They achieved a great clear round in a time of 78.18s, which proved to be a time that could be caught.

Shortly after, as Guery (BEL) entered the arena, all eyes were on him and his mount. Jerome cut all the corners to pull off an incredible fast clear round.

Two riders after Jerome, Pius Schwizer (SWI) took to this twisty speed class, and gave it his all with Quatro Robin, but couldn’t quite catch Jerome’s time, taking fourth spot in 73.23s. Henrik von Eckermann (SWE) entered the ring on Best Boy with it all to do if he was to beat Jerome’s time. He was the first rider to attempt a difficult inside turn, and while it paid off, he finished agonisingly close to Jerome in second, only 0.04s behind.

Denis Lynch (IRL) looked to be on flying form with his bold bay Cristello but midway round he got a little too deep into a wide oxer dropping him right down the order. Jane Richard Philips (SWI) and Kenia van ‘ T Laerhof produced the fastest round of the day on the clock but an unlucky pole at fence 10 put them out of contention.

The Flying Frenchman Roger Yves Bost (FRA) had a sensational run and was covering the ground rapidly on Castleforbes Talitha. They took third place overall in a time of 71.79 seconds.

Source: Qatar Olympic Committee