Thursday, 21 October 2021

Russia sees record numbers of Covid-19 Coronavirus deaths

DW News shows that Russia is well into its fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic. But Moscow is unwilling to put the country in lockdown. Add to that low adherence to hygeine rules and Russia recently recorded 1,000 over 24 hours due to Covid - a record.

That's despite the country's vaccine Sputnik V being the first to be registered for use in any nation. But Russia's population is among the most vaccine-skeptical in the world.

Japan’s 400 Kilometre Tsunami Shield

"The B1M" Channel on Youtube shows one of the most important pieces of concrete in Japan.

Keep in mind, the geophysical effects that Japan has. Portions of northeastern Japan shifted by as much as 2.4 metres (7 ft 10 in) closer to North America, making some sections of Japan's landmass wider than before. Those areas of Japan closest to the epicenter experienced the largest shifts. A 400-kilometre (250 mi) stretch of coastline dropped vertically by 0.6 metres (2 ft 0 in), allowing the tsunami to travel farther and faster onto land. One early estimate suggested that the Pacific plate may have moved westward by up to 20 metres (66 ft), and another early estimate put the amount of slippage at as much as 40 m (130 ft). On 6 April the Japanese coast guard said that the quake shifted the seabed near the epicenter 24 metres (79 ft) and elevated the seabed off the coast of Miyagi Prefecture by 3 metres (9.8 ft).

The 9.1-magnitude (Mw) undersea megathrust earthquake occurred on 11 March 2011 at 14:46 JST (05:46 UTC) in the north-western Pacific Ocean at a relatively shallow depth of 32 km (20 mi), with its epicenter approximately 72 km (45 mi) east of the Oshika Peninsula of Tōhoku, Japan, lasting approximately six minutes.

Why China is Building Africa’s Railways

Take a look at "The B1M" Channel on Youtube. Africa is in the midst of a railway renaissance, and it’s being built in large part by China.

Sino-African relations or Afro-Chinese relations refers to the historical, political, economic, military, social, and cultural connection between mainland China and the African continent.

Modern political and economic relations between mainland China and the African continent commenced in the era of Mao Zedong, following the victory of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the Chinese Civil War. At the turn of the 21st century, the modern state of the People's Republic of China (PRC) built increasingly strong economic important ties with Africa. In 2013, it was estimated that one million Chinese citizens were residing in Africa.

Trade between China and Africa increased by 700% during the 1990s, and China is currently Africa's largest trading partner. The so-called Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was established in October 2000, which designated itself to be an official forum to strengthen the relationship between both parties. There have been increasing international concerns over the significant political, economic, and military roles that the country of China is playing in the African continent.

China’s so-called "rail spending spree" in Africa seems to be over but it is still laying down the tracks. Chinese contractors have started work on a mega rail project in Tanzania, days after completing another in Nigeria.

However, it seems that loan restructurings and poor returns have made lenders more cautious, putting other projects on hold.

Just days after completing West Africa’s longest double-track standard railway in Nigeria, the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) has started work on a US$1.3 billion railway on the other side of the continent, in Tanzania.

In the past decade, Beijing has strengthened its position as the largest contractor and financier of infrastructure in Africa, especially under the Belt and Road Initiative - President Xi Jinping’s trillion-dollar project that has seen the construction of railways, roads, ports and power plants.

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Flight costs soar as Canadian travellers head back on planes

Global News in Canada shows that although more Canadians are taking to the skies as travel measures ease, airfare prices are also soaring with them, with prices reaching new highs not seen even before the pandemic. 

The aviation data supplier, Cirium, says between July of 2019 and July of 2021, the average price of a round-trip ticket within Canada went up by almost $100, to $532 plus taxes. 

Cirium says there's pent-up demand, but only half as many seats available, because Canadian airlines are still offering fewer flights and using smaller planes. 

Ross Lord explains why the cost of flying is getting more expensive, and when there might be some relief.

Merck's antiviral pill may help beat COVID-19, but vaccines and testing still needed

PBS NewsHour shows that although COVID-19 vaccines help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and resulting deaths, there have not been many good or easy treatment options for the actual virus. But a new antiviral drug from Merck offers hope for keeping patients infected with COVID-19 out of the hospital and alive. Dr. Nahid Bhadelia, an infectious disease specialist at Boston University, joins William Brangham to discuss.

Canada's inflation rate jumps to 4.4%, highest since 2003

CBC News in Canada shows that Canada's inflation rate rose to a new 18-year high of 4.4 per cent in September, with higher prices for transportation, shelter and food contributing the most to the jump in the cost of living.

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Canada: Unvaccinated MPs won't be allowed into the House of Commons

CTV News in Canada shows that Rachel Aiello has the latest on the new vaccine mandate for the House of Commons and what it could mean for MPs who aren't vaccinated.