Omicron wave appears to have peaked in South Africa, London subsequent?

Health workers at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital on January 19, 2021 in Pretoria, South Africa.

Gallo Pictures | Gallo Pictures | Getty Images

Within a few weeks, Omicron’s Covid-19 variant – which was first discovered in November in South Africa and Botswana – has seen a sharp surge worldwide, leading to millions of new cases and the reintroduction of coronavirus restrictions in many countries.

The US and Europe have introduced booster vaccinations as soon as possible, according to the research of the Covid vaccine manufacturers PfizerBioNTech and Modern that the Omicron variant undermines the effectiveness of the two standard doses of their Covid vaccinations, but that booster shots increase the protection against the variant significantly.

Still, cases have increased in both regions, with the US reporting over 1 million new daily Covid cases on Monday, and the UK and France are also among those reporting a staggering number of daily infections, in the most recent numbers over 200,000 per day. Hospital admissions are also increasing steadily in the affected countries, although admissions and deaths remain well below previous highs.

As well as more and more evidence Experts are cautiously optimistic that the Omicron wave turns out to be sharper than with previous variants, but could also be shorter.

For example, South Africa believes its Omicron wave has peaked, and London – where Omicron cases spiked in December before the variant really hit the rest of Europe – could see a plateau of cases, according to experts, which is hopeful that the Omicron wave could soon peak elsewhere.

Omicron “may have peaked”

South Africa’s government made a statement on December 30th which said the country’s health ministry reported a 29.7% decrease in the number of newly discovered cases for the week ended December 25 (89,781 cases) compared to the number of newly discovered cases the previous week (127,753 ).

“All indicators suggest that nationally the country may have passed the peak of the fourth wave,” the statement said, with cases in all provinces except the Western Cape and Eastern Cape, which show an increase of 14% % and 18% respectively decreased.

Nonetheless, there has been a decline in hospital admissions in all provinces except the Western Cape, the statement added, noting that admissions were generally lower for the Omicron variant.

“Although the Omicron variant is highly transferable, there were lower hospital admission rates than in the previous waves. This means that the country also has free capacity to accept patients for routine health services. The number of deaths increases slightly “in all provinces.”

“Flood” of infections

Global experts have been keeping a close eye on South Africa’s Covid data as it was one of the first countries to discover the Omicron variant and alerted the World Health Organization, which on November 26th described the heavily mutated strain as a “variant of concern”.

Real-world studies from South Africa and Great Britain suggest that people infected with Omicron develop a milder disease compared to the previously predominant Delta variant. However, Omicron is far more transmissible, which means that a larger number of cases could put more pressure on health services.

When Omicron was first discovered by doctors in South Africa, They observed that their patients had milder illnesses that looked more like a cold than the fluwhose symptoms have been linked to previous strains of Covid. South African doctors also found that most of the patients hospitalized with Omicron were hospitalized for other reasons and did not need oxygen.

Other to learn published in International Journal of Infectious Diseases on Dec. 28 indicated that the Omicron wave of hospital admissions in Tshwane (a town in South Africa’s Gauteng province where Omicron cases rose in December) had peaked “within 4 weeks of its onset of 33 Days. “

Fareed Abdullah, director of AIDS and tuberculosis research at the South African Medical Research Council, compared the wave of omicron infections to a “flood” and described the rate of rise, peak and fall of the wave of omicrones as “jarring.”

Cautious optimism about London

Like South Africa, the UK was watched closely as it became the first European country to be hit hard by a surge in omicron infections in December before the variant spread to the US and mainland Europe.

The UK capital, London, saw a surge in omicron infections in December, but there are signs that cases are starting to stabilize, which in turn suggests that this wave of omicron will peak faster than the previous ones.

Epidemiologist Neil Ferguson, a professor in the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, said Tuesday he was “cautiously optimistic that infection rates in London are in that important 18- to 50-year-old age group that is fueling the Omicron epidemic , possibly plateau, “although he told the BBC radio show” Today “that” it’s too early to say if they’ll go under. “

“We may be seeing a different pattern of hospital admissions,” he noted, echoing other officials who warned UK hospitals are likely to be under further pressure in the coming weeks, and Ferguson noted that “we have high levels for a few weeks could see. “

Hospitalizations and deaths typically delay new infections by several weeks, but the UK’s widespread Covid vaccination program has helped keep hospital admissions and deaths far lower than in the early stages of the pandemic. Whether or not South Africa’s Omicron experience can be compared to the UK remains to be seen, given the differences in demographics, vaccination densities and population immunity.

Lawrence Young, a professor of molecular oncology at Warwick University, told CNBC on Tuesday that “it looks like cases in the 18-50 age bracket in London are plateauing” but are next Weeks will prove crucial to see how the Omicron Crisis plays out.

“The problem is now spreading to older age groups, which was likely fueled by the mixing during the holiday season and will lead to more severe outcomes and hospital admissions,” he noted, as well as “more infections in younger school-age children”. [that] will further increase the number of cases. “

“But given the widespread and rapid spread of omicrons along with the level of immunity in the population, there won’t be many more susceptible people to become infected, so the case numbers are expected to drop over the next few weeks, the same sharp drop as in South Africa due to different rates of infection in different parts of the UK affected by variable restriction measures, “he noted.

Danny Altmann, a professor of immunology at Imperial College London, told CNBC on Tuesday that South Africa’s omicron data and experience give cause for optimism, as does the fact that Europe’s “massive caseload” of omicron infections “is not proportional to one intensification “leads to hospital admissions and deaths regardless of the constraint that death takes time.”

Hospital admissions were the most important metric, according to Professor David Heymann, epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

“This coronavirus, like other coronaviruses, will be an endemic virus in humans and will likely cause a cold. That’s because immunity is increasing in the population and antibody levels in the UK are already over 90% by the time this occurs. ”The virus is modified – it won’t stop re-infecting or re-infecting people who have been vaccinated – but it will prevents it from causing serious illness, so it is extremely important to monitor hospital admissions, ”he told CNBC’s Squawk Box Europe on Wednesday. .

Wisconsin-style supper membership opening quickly in south Minneapolis

When renovating an old restaurant, the carpet is usually removed, not added.

This wasn’t the case with the upcoming Creekside Supper Club & Lounge, where the owners were laying carpets throughout what used to be the Mexican restaurant Pepitos and El Burrito. It’s one of many visual accents – another is the wood paneling – that have been brought in to make the place feel a bit retro, a bit cozier, and a bit more Wisconsin.

“We want it to feel very familiar, warm, and inviting,” said Ward Johnson, who co-runs the South Minneapolis restaurant and neighboring restaurant Parkway theater with business partner Eddie Landenberger. For the Creekside, the two teamed up with chef Eli Wollenzien of. teamed up coalition and Rebellion with red sauce to create a restaurant that feels like it’s been there forever.

“In Wisconsin, these things are a way of life,” said Johnson. “The places you would go and the staff already knows your name and your favorite drink.”

The Creekside, 4820 Chicago Av. S. is expected to open in early January, possibly through New Year’s Eve, Johnson said.

Pepitos, a fixture in south Minneapolis for 46 years, closed in 2017. El Burrito took over the room in 2018 and closed at the beginning of the pandemic.

When Johnson and his partners searched for a restaurant concept to fill the vacancy, they noticed certain trends that they were happy to avoid. “Minneapolis restaurants are like an arms race, trying to outdo each other to create the coolest, most modern space and to really make the menu high-end,” said Johnson. “What we liked about this idea is that it goes in a completely opposite direction.”

The menu adheres closely to the supper club tradition of the Upper Midwest: steaks and chops, relish trays, curd cheese, pikeperch. “There will be a fry every day,” said Johnson. Grant Halsne, formerly of Lake & Irving, runs the kitchen.

“This is the kind of place you want to eat when you don’t feel like going out,” said Johnson. “It’s a little less demanding from a menu standpoint.”

At the bar, all the classics are on the menu, including a brandy old fashioned and a few “Dairyland” cocktails. Grasshopper, anyone?

But in order to get around the trend, Johnson and his partners appear to have stumbled upon another trend. Mr. Paul’s Supper Club recently opened in Edina, which combines the cuisine of New Orleans with the experience of a supper club. St. Paul is slated to get The Apostle Supper Club and a tiki bar near the Xcel Energy Center, which is slated to look like one of Wisconsin’s A-frame huts. by restaurateur Brian Ingram.

Old-fashioned? Barely. The night club is suddenly hot.

“It’s a little more inclusive, and I think that’s something that is resonating with people right now,” said Johnson.

For supper club lovers, Creekside will have even more nods to tradition. There will be a rock formation with a babbling brook and a waiting room in the entrance area where guests can enjoy a cocktail while waiting for tables.

But the dinner club touches go beyond aesthetics, Johnson said.

“It’s a little hard to articulate,” he said. “A lot of it is a feeling you get when you go there.”

Covid variant B.1.1.529 emerges in South Africa: This is what we all know

The World Health Organization got a new one on Friday heavily mutated strain of Covid-19 a variant of the concern.

“This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are of concern,” the WHO said in a statement released on Friday. “Preliminary indications indicate an increased risk of reinfection with this variant compared to other VOCs.”

The variant, which was first known as B.1.1.529 and is now called Omicron, has been found in small numbers in South Africa, WHO officials said. However, the number of Omicron cases “appears to be increasing in almost all provinces of South Africa,” the WHO reported on Friday. The omicron variant has since been found in the United Kingdom, Israel, Belgium, Netherlands and Hong Kong.

We know the following so far:

Multiple mutations

South African scientist Tulio de Oliveira said in a media briefing from the South African Ministry of Health on Thursday that the variant contains a “unique constellation” of more than 30 mutations in the spike protein, the component of the virus that binds to cells. That is significantly more than with the Delta variant.

Many of these mutations are linked to increased antibody resistance, which can affect the virus’ behavior towards vaccines, treatments, and communicability, health officials said.

De Oliveira said the variant contains around 50 mutations in total. The receptor binding domain, the part of the virus that first comes into contact with cells, has 10 mutations, far more than just two for the Delta-Covid variant, which spread rapidly earlier this year and became the dominant strain worldwide.

This level of mutation means that it is possible that it came from a single patient who was unable to get rid of the virus, which gives them a chance to develop genetically. The same hypothesis has been proposed for the alpha-covid variant.

Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical director on Covid-19, said in a livestream question and answer on Thursday that scientists “don’t know very much about it yet” and that it would take a few weeks to get a full picture of it how the variant responds to existing vaccines.

‘Most important variant’ so far

Great Britain immediately put a flight ban in place from South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia, Eswatini and Zimbabwe from Friday noon to Sunday 4 a.m. local time.

The British health authority is investigating the variant, which, according to Minister of Health Sajid Javid, is “possibly worrying”. No cases have been identified in the UK yet and Javid stressed that while the government needed more data at this early stage, it had chosen to take precautions.

“This is the most significant variant we have come across and there is urgent research to find out more about its transmissibility, severity and susceptibility to vaccines,” said Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of HSA, UK.

Because of the new variant, Israel has also banned travel to several South African countries as well as to Singapore and other countries. Israel has reported a case of the new variant in a traveler returning from Malawi.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with health experts on Friday to discuss the country’s response, which reportedly could include declaring a state of emergency.

Belgium on Friday afternoon became the first European country to report a case of variant B.1.1.529.

However, the WHO warned countries on Friday against hastily imposing travel restrictions. Spokesman Christian Lindmeier said at a UN briefing in Geneva that governments should take a “risk-based and scientific approach” and stressed that it will take several weeks for researchers to understand the possible effects of the variant.

Easier to contain?

“It looks like this particular variant has a very worrying amount of mutations, particularly in the spike protein, which is needed for its transmission properties as well as its protection from the vaccines. So based on the genetic information, we are quite concerned.” Pasi Penttinen, public health emergency manager at the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, told CNBC on Friday.

“We still have a lot to learn about the situation in South Africa and all efforts should now be made not just in South Africa but in the countries of southern Africa to ensure that they get a full picture of this virus,” said Penttinen called.

However, Francois Balloux, an epidemiologist and director of the Genetics Institute at University College London, told the BBC on Friday that early detection of the variant could help contain it.

Balloux added that even if B.1.1.529 is more transmissible than previous variants, it would not “get to the point” in efforts to contain the virus. He suggested it should be an irritating setback rather than a rebirth of the pandemic.

Distribution not yet known

The first genomes of the new variant were uploaded to the international GISAID database on November 22nd, but now genomes from South Africa, Botswana, Hong Kong and Israel have been uploaded, the extent of which is not yet known.

The cases so far have been concentrated in Gauteng, South Africa’s most populous region and home to nearly 16 million people, South African Health Minister Joe Phaahla said during Thursday’s briefing.

The two Hong Kong cases were identified at a quarantine hotel, with a person who had traveled from South Africa suspected of having passed the virus on to someone in a neighboring room.

The new development comes as cases of Covid-19, mainly the older Delta variant, increase worldwide during the winter months. Several countries in Europe, in particular, have seen record spikes and have taken tough containment measures.

William Schaffner, professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University, told CNBC Friday that the suggestions that the variant could be more communicable than Delta and that it could bypass vaccination protection meant that this was “a matter of serious concern” .

“The Delta variant is already extremely transferable. It’s really hard to imagine another virus that is more transmissible, ”Schaffner told CNBC’s“ Squawk Box Asia ”.

“If we have another strain of Covid that can spread even more easily than Delta, it would be a challenge for all of us around the world because when Delta arrived this summer it changed the game.”

So far, however, it has been positive that the variant has not been associated with more severe cases of Covid-19, Schaffner noted.

Markets troubled

Inventory futures fall amid fears of latest Covid variant present in South Africa

Johannes Eisele | AFP | Getty Images

US stocks fell on Friday renewed Covid fears about a new variant found in South Africa.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 800 points, or more than 2%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were down 1.4% and 0.9%, respectively. Friday is a shortened trading day due to the Thanksgiving holiday as U.S. markets close at 1:00 p.m. ET.

The downward movement came after WHO officials on Thursday before a new Covid-19 variant discovered in South Africa. The new variant contains more mutations in the spike protein, the cell-binding component of the virus, than the highly contagious Delta variant. Because of these mutations, scientists fear that vaccine resistance may be increased, although WHO said more research is needed.

the Britain has temporarily suspended flights from six African countries due to the variant. Israel banned travel to multiple countries after reporting a case to a traveler. Two cases have been identified in Hong Kong. Belgium also confirmed a case.

“When I read that there is one [case] in Belgium and one in Botswana, we’ll wake up next week and find one in this country. And I am not going to recommend anyone buy anything today until we are sure it isn’t going to happen and I can’t be sure that it doesn’t, “said CNBC’s Jim Cramer.

Bond prices rose and yields fell in the midst of a flight to safety. The return on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury bond decreased by 13 basis points to 1.511% (1 basis point corresponds to 0.01%). This was a sharp reversal as yields jumped above 1.68% at times earlier in the week. Bond yields move in the opposite direction to prices.

Oil prices also fell US crude oil futures declined 6.2% to $ 73.57 a barrel, while the South African rand fell 1.7% against the greenback to 16.231 a barrel.

The Asian markets were hit hard by Friday trading, with the Japanese Nikkei 225 and Hong Kong Hang Seng indexes each falling more than 2%. Bitcoin fell 8%.

Often referred to as Wall Street’s “fear measure,” the Cboe volatility index rose to 28, its highest level in two months.

Travel-related stocks were hit the hardest as Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean both lost more than 10% in pre-opening trading. United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and American Airlines each fell more than 7%. Boeing lost 6%. Marriott International and Hilton Worldwide were down more than 5%.

Bank stocks fell on fears of a slowdown in economic activity and falling interest rates. Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup each lost more than 4%.

Industrials associated with the global economy, led by Caterpillar, fell 3%. Dow Inc. lost 2%.

Chevron lost nearly 5% as energy stocks reacted to the surge in crude oil prices.

On the other hand, investors pushed their way into vaccine manufacturers. The Moderna share gained more than 8%. Pfizer shares were up 5%.

Some of the home games that had risen in the first few months of the pandemic were higher again. Zoom-Video added 9%. Netflix was up 2%.

“It’s important to emphasize that very little is known about this newest strain at this point, including whether it can bypass vaccines or how severe it is compared to other mutations. Therefore, it is difficult to make informed investment decisions at this point. ”Paul Hickey of the Investment Group said in a statement to clients. “Historically, chasing a rally or selling into a sharp decline (especially on a very illiquid trading day) is rarely profitable, but that doesn’t stop a lot of people this morning.”

Several investment professionals told CNBC on Friday that the sell-off could be a buying opportunity.

“Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, probably not that many traders on their desks with an early close today. Therefore, potentially lower liquidity is causing part of the withdrawal, “said Ajene Oden of BNY Mellon Investor Solutions on CNBC’s”Squawk box. ”“ But the reaction we’re seeing is an investor buying opportunity. We have to think long-term. “

CNBC Pro Stock Pick and Investment Trends:

Markets closed for Thanksgiving Thursday, so stocks posted modest gains on Wednesday that dampened the week’s losses for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite. During the holiday weeks, the trading volume tends to be low.

A surge in Treasury yields earlier this week put high-growth stocks under pressure. The Nasdaq is down 1.3% for the week, while the S&P 500 is up less than 0.1% and the Dow is up about 0.6%.

The last few weeks of the year are typically a busy time for the market, with the so-called Santa Claus rally usually bringing happy holidays for Wall Street. The S&P 500 is up 25% since the start of the year.

Friday also marks the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season as investors look to Black Friday insights to set US consumer sentiment.

Retail executives have been speaking for the past few weeks about how to deal with supply chain issues and inflation. It also remains to be seen whether the discussion of supply chain issues caused consumers to start their Christmas shopping earlier, potentially hurting fourth-quarter sales.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if that was a dynamic around the holiday season,” said Sarah Henry, portfolio manager at Logan Capital Management. She added that her firm was looking for companies with long-term strategic advantages rather than trying to bet on the best Christmas sales results.

There were also several strong economic reports on Wednesday, with personal income and consumer spending higher than expected for October and Initial jobless claims at their lowest level since 1969. Core PCE, the Fed’s preferred inflation meter, remained higher at 4.1%.

No major business news is planned for Friday.

South African rand takes hit on new Covid fears, variant

South African rand.

RapidEye | iStock | Getty Images

The South African rand fell sharply against the dollar on Friday after a new variant with many mutations was discovered in the country.

The currency fell as low as 16.2391 against the greenback during Friday’s Asian session and was last trading 1.6% weaker at 16.2215 per dollar.

The losses came as investors turned to safe-haven currencies like that Japanese YEN, which is up about 0.6% against the greenback to 114.69 per dollar. The USA Dollar indextracking the greenback versus its peers was at 96.712 – compared to levels below 96.5 seen earlier this week.

World Health Organization officials said Thursday They are monitoring a new variant with numerous mutations in the spike protein – the part of the virus that binds to body cells. The health authority is planning a special meeting for Friday to discuss what this can mean for vaccines and treatments.

According to the WHO, the variant with the designation B.1.1.529 was found in small numbers in South Africa.

“We don’t know much about it yet. What we do know is that this variant has a large number of mutations. “Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical director on Covid-19, said in a question-and-answer session that was broadcast live on the organization’s social media channels.

Hours after the announcement, the UK announced that it would Temporarily suspend flights from six African countries.

– CNBC’s Hannah Miao contributed to this report.

WHO calls particular assembly to debate new Covid variant from South Africa with ‘giant variety of mutations’

RT: Maria Van Kerkhove, Head ai Emerging Diseases and Zoonosis at the World Health Organization (WHO), speaks during a press conference on the situation of the coronavirus at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, January 29, 2020.

Denis Balibouse | Reuters

The World Health Organization is monitoring a new variant with numerous mutations in the spike protein and is planning a special meeting on Friday to discuss what that could mean for vaccines and treatments, officials said Thursday.

According to the WHO, the variant with the designation B.1.1.529 was found in small numbers in South Africa.

“We don’t know much about it yet. What we do know is that this variant has a large number of mutations. “Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical director on Covid-19, said in a question-and-answer session that was broadcast live on the organization’s social media channels.

The new variant is monitored as a Covid cases are increasing worldwide on the way to the Christmas season, with WHO reporting on hotspots in all regions and particularly in Europe.

South African scientists have discovered more than 30 mutations in the spike protein, the part of the virus that attaches to cells in the body, said South African scientist Tulio de Oliveira in a media briefing hosted by the South African Ministry of Health on Thursday.

Variant B.1.1.529 contains several mutations associated with increased antibody resistance that can decrease the effectiveness of vaccines, as well as mutations that generally make them more contagious, according to the slides he presented at the meeting. No other mutations have been seen in the new variant so far, so scientists don’t yet know whether they’re significant or will change the behavior of the virus, the presentation said.

The variant has spread rapidly in Gauteng Province, which is home to the country’s largest city, Johannesburg.

“Especially when the ascent occurs in Gauteng, everyone travels in and out of Gauteng from all corners of South Africa. So it goes without saying that in the next few days the start of an increasing positivity rate and increasing numbers will take place a matter of days and weeks until we see that, “said South African Health Minister Joe Phaahla during the briefing.

The variant has also been detected in Botswana and Hong Kong, said Phaahla.

“Right now, researchers are coming together to understand where these mutations are in the spike protein and the furin cleavage site and what this could potentially mean for our diagnostics or therapeutics and vaccines,” said Van Kerkhove. She said there are fewer than 100 complete genomic sequences of the new mutation.

The virus development working group will decide whether B.1.1.529 will be an interesting or worrying variant, after which the WHO would assign a Greek name to the variant, Van Kerkhove said.

“It is really important that there are no knee-jerk reactions here, especially with regard to South Africa,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO Emergency Program.

Right here’s The right way to Save Cash, Even By means of Unsure Financial Occasions – NBC 6 South Florida

How can you save money and get your finances in order during COVID-19?

Brokers International’s Mark Williams says it will take effort to start a savings plan during the pandemic, especially when many people have lost their jobs and unemployment benefits expire on September 6th.

But it can be done.

“Regardless of your job, no matter how your income comes in, is trying to create some kind of safety net,” Williams said.

And everything can start with a few cents.

“Five cents, 10 cents, 15 cents, and while it doesn’t sound like much, it’s about the mindset,” he said.

The mindset that you can build a nest egg even in the worst of times.

“For every 25 I’ve seen, I give five as a treat. Now I’ve made a game of saving because what you are going to find is the thrill of watching your savings account grow and it gets more exciting than the added pleasure you end up spending, “he said.

On Friday, President Joe Biden talked about the latest economic report from the Labor Statistics Office.

“On the way to Labor Day weekend, we have more evidence of how our economy is progressing after last year’s economic disaster,” said Biden.

The economy created 235,000 new jobs in August and the unemployment rate fell to 5.2%, its lowest level in 18 months, it was reported on Friday.

Whether you’re changing jobs or adjusting to a new budget, experts suggest setting aside an amount of money that can be automatically transferred to a savings account, take advantage of the tax-free days to shop, and save on your income tax refund if you have one and don’t forget the store apps because it all adds up in the end.

Sioux Falls Culver’s to boost cash for Particular Olympics South Dakota on Tuesday

SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – Culver’s in Sioux Falls is helping raise funds for the Special Olympics South Dakota.

The restaurant chain is partnering with the South Dakota Law Enforcement Torch Relay for Special Olympics on Tuesday, August 17th for Butterburgers & Badges. Local law enforcement agencies will team up with Special Olympics athletes to serve customers indoors and outdoors from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Culver’s four locations in Sioux Falls.

Convicted sex offender accused of looking in the bedroom window of a 10-year-old in Sioux Falls

“We love to help our community, find organizations that need help, and Special Olympics is one that we have loved very much over the past few years and really see what we can do to help them with this event,” said Chad Pearson, the owner and operator of Culver, said.

The tips collected will benefit the Special Olympics South Dakota directly. Culver’s also donates $ 2 for every full-size cement mixer sold Tuesday.

Considering Cash for Children exhibition coming to the South Lorain Department, because of nationwide grant – Morning Journal

That Branch office south Lorain The Lorain Public Library System will host a traveling exhibit teaching youth and their families about money thanks to a competitive national grant from the American Library Association (ALA) and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.

Thinking Money for Kids is a new multimedia experience for children ages 7-11, as well as their parents, carers and educators, according to a press release from the Lorain Public Library System.

The interactive exhibit uses games, activities, and a fun story to help children understand what money is, its role in society, monetary decisions, and monetary values ​​like fairness, responsibility, and charity, the press release said.

The exhibition is on display in the South Lorain Branch, 2121 Homewood Drive, along with a number of related special events from August 16 through
September 26th

“Money is such an important issue that people often forget to talk to their children about,” says branch manager Ally Morgan. “We encourage people of all ages to explore Thinking Money for Kids.”

Lorain is one of 50 websites selected to host Thinking Money for Kids on its two-year tour of the United States, the press release said.

Nearly 130 public libraries across the country applied, according to the American Library Association.

In addition to the touring exhibit on loan, the Lorain Public Library System will receive $ 1,000 for public events related to the exhibit.

The library will also receive funding to send a staff member to a Thinking Money for Kids workshop held during the American Library Association’s annual conference in Washington, DC, where they can learn more about the exhibit and financial literacy issues, according to a press release Experienced.

For more information on Thinking Money for Children, see LorainPublicLibrary.org.

Why is South Korea growing an Israeli-style Iron Dome? | Information

Seoul, South Korea – South Korea is developing a new artillery and short-range missile defense system modeled on the Israeli Iron Dome to further upgrade its military equipment on a peninsula that is technically still at war.

The South Korean government announced last month it would spend about $ 2.5 billion on research and development and deploy the new system by 2035.

The Korean War of 1950-53 ended in a ceasefire, not a peace treaty, and since then the North and South have built up troops and armaments along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separates the two countries. North Korea has also developed nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles in recent years, although the proposed South Korean defense system will not be able to defend against these weapons, but it will be able to attack artillery and short-range missiles.

North Korea has an estimated 10,000 artillery pieces, including rocket launchers buried north of the DMZ, less than 100 kilometers from the greater Seoul area and its 25 million people, half of South Korea’s population.

South Korea’s new system will aim to use interceptor missiles to protect the South Korean capital, its core facilities, and key military and security infrastructure from a possible North Korean bombardment.

But South Korea’s artillery interception system must be significantly more efficient than the Israeli one.

“The Iron Dome responds to missiles fired sporadically by militant groups like Hamas and irregular forces,” said Colonel Suh Yong-won, administration spokesman for the Defense Acquisition Program (DAPA) in June. “Some parts of the system will be similar, but what we’re going to build is designed to intercept long-range artillery pieces from North Korea, which will require a higher level of technology given the current security situation.”

Because of this, he said, the South Korean system is likely to cost much more than the Israeli system.

Military experts also noted that Israel will have to fire far fewer projectiles than South Korea is likely to have to do. During the recent Gaza conflict, Hamas fired around 4,300 rockets in 10 days. But with more advanced targets, large cannons and rocket launchers, North Korea can initially fire an estimated 16,000 rounds per hour, according to a recent report report from the Hankyoreh newspaper.

“It’s an incredibly challenging endeavor,” said Ankit Panda, Stanton Senior Fellow in the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Nuclear Policy Program.

‘No choice’

Still, experts seem confident that South Korea will be able to develop effective missile defense against North Korea’s artillery and missile fire. The question is the price. For many countries, national security and, in particular, military budgets call the conventional cost-benefit analysis into question.

“For South Korea there is no choice, it cannot be changed,” said Jo Dong Joon, director of the Center for North Korea Studies at Seoul National University. “South Korea is concerned that North Korea could fire its long-range artillery without much fear of retaliation.”

The impetus to develop the system came in 2010 when North Korea shelled the border island of Yeonpyeong and killed four people.

According to the Hankyoreh newspaper, the South Korean authorities considered introducing an iron dome system after the incident in Yeonpyeong, but ultimately found it inadequate. Her focus at the time was on destroying the source of the incoming fire.

To do this, last year South Korea deployed new Korean tactical surface-to-surface missiles, KTSSMs, so-called “artillery killers” with a range of 100 km (62 miles), specifically designed to destroy the artillery of the north, Jo said who also focuses on nuclear strategy. South Korea’s KTSSMs, however, will take time to target and destroy the source of fire – the artillery pieces and rocket launchers – which could give Pyongyang enough time to hit and destroy key facilities in Seoul.

South Korea’s new “Iron Dome” -style system will counter this threat, with the Patriot and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense already being used to defend against North Korea’s ballistic missiles.

North Korea upgraded its arsenal and military equipment, unveiling what it calls “the world’s most powerful weapon” in a parade in January [File: KCNA via Reuters]

Prevent nuclear escalation

By defending against the northern artillery and missiles along the DMZ, some experts believe that limited provocations will be deterred and less likely to escalate into a major conflict with the northern nuclear weapons.

“North Korea’s escalation ladder is now very high – all the way to nuclear weapons,” said Jo, adding that South Korea must be able to respond specifically to the artillery threat or to provoke the greater risk of escalation.

North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons poses a number of strategic challenges beyond the weapons themselves. The threat of their use encourages Pyongyang and puts Seoul at a disadvantage, despite its vastly superior conventional forces and alliance with the United States.

“North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons is what is causing the collapse of the strategic balance … missile defense offsets this imbalance a little,” said Go Myung-hyun, a research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.

But missile and artillery defense is viewed as a relatively expensive endeavor that requires years of research and development with a questionable benefit. Defense system spending can be offset by using offensive missiles to defeat the defense system and it would cost less.

“It will always be cheaper for any attacker, be it North Korea or Hamas, to procure more offensive missiles than it will be for defenders to continue to procure defensive interceptors,” Carnegie’s Panda said. “The resources that South Korea will spend … have opportunity costs elsewhere for what South Korea might spend on offensive weapons.”

At the same time, South Korea’s emerging military-industrial complex could benefit greatly from the project beyond its initial research, development and deployment to South Korea.

“A system like this could be attractive as a potential export,” said Panda.

dialog

Still, some have spoken out vehemently against the program, arguing that South Korea’s rising military spending – which now amounts to nearly $ 50 billion a year – is fueling an intra-Korean arms race.

“Long-range artillery is a threat, but South Korea’s military and weapons operations are also a threat to North Korea,” said Park Jung-eun, general secretary of People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, a prominent South Korean NGO.

South Korea has upgraded its military hardware in a number of areas including the development and deployment of advanced naval destroyers, its own artillery, missile and missile systems, and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, all generations ahead of North Korea’s Kora’s weapon systems. It is this imbalance in conventional forces that drives Pyongyang to adopt alternative strategies.

“This armament ultimately prevents the North from making other choices … focusing on asymmetrical weapons like nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction,” said Park.

South Korea’s democratic leadership spends even more than conservatives, said Park, who has been active in peace activism for 15 years. The Democrats want to avoid criticism of the softness and appease a military that is less enthusiastic about peace initiatives.

There is also an entrepreneurial motivation behind approving such an expensive project.

“This could be a way to provide the defense companies, whether Samsung or Hanwha, with unrealistic military defense,” said Park.

One of the criticisms of Iron Dome is that it prevents the Israeli government from diplomatically pursuing a solution to the problem’s long-standing roots.

Park makes the same assessment for South Korea.

“Instead of the Iron Dome, I think we need to focus more on dialogue.”