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A Day Before He Speaks, Conservative Gathering Is Mostly About Trump

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At CPAC on Saturday, the focus was on praise for Mr. Trump in advance of his speech there on Sunday.

ORLANDO, Fla. — A pair of influential House Republicans used a conservative political gathering on Saturday to lavish praise on former President Donald J. Trump and, in ways subtle and direct, marginalize their G.O.P. colleagues who have distanced themselves from Mr. Trump in the aftermath of the Capitol riot last month.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who faulted the former president for his role in the attack and at one point considered asking him to resign, credited Mr. Trump at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference with helping Republicans with their surprise gains in the House last year.

“You know why we won that?” Mr. McCarthy asked of the 14 seats the G.O.P. claimed in 2020. “President Trump worked on all these races.” He also recalled how Mr. Trump, even when in quarantine after his coronavirus diagnosis, would do “rallies over the phone for each district.”

The top House Republican sat onstage alongside Representative Jim Banks of Indiana, an emerging conservative leader who answered a question aimed at minimizing the party’s internal fractures by drawing attention to them.

Mr. Banks highlighted Mr. McCarthy’s popularity before pointedly noting that “the least popular” congressional Republicans “are the ones who want to erase Donald Trump and Donald Trump supporters from our party.”

If that happens, he continued, “we won’t win back the majority in 2022 — we definitely won’t win back the White House in 2024.”

Neither lawmaker mentioned Representative Liz Cheney, the third-ranking House Republican. But their unprompted rhetorical embrace of the former president illustrated how little appetite there is among Ms. Cheney’s colleagues for cutting ties with Mr. Trump, as she has urged.

In fact, Mr. McCarthy’s joint appearance with Mr. Banks was something of a brushback pitch at Ms. Cheney, who earlier in the week restated her hope that Republicans would move on from Mr. Trump just moments after Mr. McCarthy had said the former president should attend this conference.

The Indiana Republican, who heads the conservative Republican Study Group, has sought to take a more prominent role in the caucus following Ms. Cheney’s break with Mr. Trump. On Saturday, Mr. McCarthy hailed Mr. Banks as “an amazing individual” shortly before he assailed the anti-Trump Republicans in their ranks.

In the weeks since he criticized Mr. Trump over the deadly Jan. 6 attack, Mr. McCarthy has scrambled to patch up his relationship with the former president, visiting him at his home in Florida and welcoming him to play a continued role in the party.

Yet he has not proved able to dissuade Mr. Trump from mounting a revenge campaign against those Republicans who voted to impeach him last month — a fact made vividly clear Friday when the former president endorsed a challenger against Representative Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, one of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Mr. Trump over the Capitol attack.

Mr. Trump has also been irritated at Mr. McCarthy, as first reported by Politico, for helping Ms. Cheney beat back an effort by the former president’s loyalists to depose her from her position in the House leadership.

For all the ongoing intraparty drama, however, Mr. McCarty projected confidence that Republicans would reclaim the House majority next year, stating, “I would bet my house” on such an outcome.

After much of the first day of the conference was devoted to slamming big tech companies and “cancel culture,” the House G.O.P. leader and a bevy of his colleagues used the Saturday session to sketch out their opposition to the $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill House Democrats passed on a party-line vote overnight.

They sought to link the rising conservative anger toward social media giants with the aid measure.

“She put a tunnel in Silicon Valley that has nothing to do with Covid into the bill,” Mr. McCarthy said of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, alluding to funds in the proposal to extend a subway in San Jose, Calif.

One day after speeches by a series of senators thought to be eyeing 2024 presidential runs, and the day before Mr. Trump’s address, two more potential candidates were warmly received by the conservative crowd: former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota.

Mr. Pompeo assailed President Biden and recalled what he said were the foreign policy successes of the Trump administration.

“So how many of you remember Qasem Soleimani?” Mr. Pompeo said of the Iranian leader killed by American forces on Mr. Trump’s orders. “Allah rest his soul.”

Drawing more attention, and applause, was Ms. Noem. Before she spoke, dozens of CPAC attendees, many of them young Republicans, waited in line to get her autograph.

Ms. Noem has developed a national conservative following for her frequent appearances on Fox News and her refusal to take steps to curb the spread of the coronavirus in South Dakota, even as the state has experienced some of the highest rates of death in the country from the virus.

However, nearly a year into the outbreak, and after months of business and school shutdowns, many conservative activists are eager to return to pre-Covid life.

The governor drew some of the loudest applause of any speaker at the conference when she belittled Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert and a figure many on the right consider overly alarmist.

“I don’t know if you agree with me, but Dr. Fauci is wrong a lot,” said Ms. Noem, bringing hundreds of attendees to their feet.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/27/us/politics/CPAC-republicans-pompeo.html

News – A Day Before He Speaks, Conservative Gathering Is Mostly About Trump

New York Gov. Cuomo, Anthony Fauci become CPAC bogeyman as speakers rail against COVID restrictions

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ORLANDO, Fla. — High-profile speakers at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday and Saturday railed against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and top U.S. epidemiologist Anthony Fauci, sharply criticizing their handling of the pandemic. 

They contrasted how Cuomo and Fauci have approached the pandemic to how Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis did. DeSantis has been one of the governors most suspicious of pandemic-related lockdowns and restrictions while Cuomo and Fauci have advocated for more restrictions aimed at stemming the spread of the virus that’s killed more than 500,000 Americans.

“You know, governor, some of your colleagues get Emmies for acting,” American Conservative Union President Matt Schlapp said while introducing DeSantis, who opened the conference. He was referencing Cuomo, who got an Emmy last year for his coronavirus briefings. 

“We’re happy to be in a state that has a governor who deserves the People’s Choice Award,” Schlapp added. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference to discuss the first positive case of novel coronavirus or COVID-19 in New York State on March 2, 2020 in New York City.(Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

DeSantis didn’t mention either Fauci or Cuomo, but he did characterize Florida as an “oasis of freedom.” 

Other major speakers hammered Cuomo more explicitly, including Donald Trump Jr., who delivered the most high-profile address of Friday. 

“Imagine if Ron DeSantis did what Cuomo has done over the last couple of years. He wouldn’t be getting an Emmy, he’d be in jail,” Trump Jr. said. “Credible accusations of harassment swept under the rug, verbal harassment swept under the rug, hiding evidence from the DOJ swept under the rug, no problem. Give him an Emmy! Remember Fredo when he was talking about it for months? Where’s Fredo? He’s so quiet these days! Why isn’t Fredo talking about these things right now?”

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., also hammered Cuomo. The firebrand congressman has become one of the most vocal advocates of ousting Republicans who are seen as disloyal to former President Donald Trump. Gaetz received a standing ovation that lasted over four minutes after his Friday speech. 

“The fake news media and their allies in Silicon Valley made Governor Cuomo out to be an iconic cross between King David and Tom Brady,” Gaetz said. “What a big lie that turned out to be. According to former aides, Governor Cuomo was offering to replace staff meetings with strip poker.”

 In this Dec. 22, 2020, file photo, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks before receiving his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda, Md.(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool, File)
(AP)

“Meanwhile, they were stripping granny out of the COVID ward at the hospital and tossing her in the nursing home, just enough time to infect everybody, and then go back to the hospital so that deaths could be recategorized for politics,” he added. “How about we ditch the lockdown governors like Cuomo and Newsom ad Murphy and never ditch the American way of life and the American spirit.”

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, meanwhile, attacked both Fauci and Cuomo. She’s seen her profile rise within the GOP for similar reasons to DeSantis. She’s refused to lock down her state, keeping schools open and the economy running. 

“We never focused on case numbers. Instead, we kept our eye on hospital capacity,” Noem said. “Dr. Fauci told me that I would have 10,000 COVID patients in the hospital on our worst day. On our worst day, we had a little over 600. I don’t know if you agree but, Fauci is wrong a lot!”

Donald Trump Jr. does an interview on media row at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
(AP)

She added, on Cuomo: “At one point, I appeared on George Stephanopoulos’s Sunday show. He had just wrapped up a segment with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo here he asked Cuomo to give me advice on how to deal with COVID.”

“That’s the media’s COVID hero,” Noem added, referring to the scandal-ridden governor. “So, who really needed the advice?”

Cuomo denies the sexual assault allegations against him. He’s also claimed his administration was following federal guidance when it put coronavirus patients in nursing homes, although it did not stop sending elderly patients back to their group homes until well after the federal guidance changed. 

Fauci and his defenders have said their recommendations on the virus, which did not exist before 2019, have evolved as Americans’ understanding of the virus has evolved. They also say the strict recommendations reflect the vast number of deaths the virus is capable of causing and has caused. 

Many at CPAC have complained about masking rules in the venue, which are not in place because of DeSantis but because of Orange County, Fla., and the Hyatt where the conference is being held. Some are wearing mesh masks or simply openly flouting the masking rules. Gatherings outside of the CPAC conference include large crowds with very few people wearing masks. 

CPAC is set to wrap up on Sunday when Trump will give the keynote speech. He’ll aim to emphasize that he’s still the leader of the party, as many of his allies have said in previous addresses and interviews. 

But DeSantis’ handling of the pandemic has improved his profile so much that many people at CPAC are predicting that it will be him and not Trump will be the 2024 GOP nominee. 

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News – New York Gov. Cuomo, Anthony Fauci become CPAC bogeyman as speakers rail against COVID restrictions

World News – AU – Pippa Middleton seen after reports ‘she is pregnant with second child’

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Posted: 12:27 GMT, Dec. February 2021 | Updated: 16:21 GMT, Jan. February 2021

A very beaming Pippa Middleton all looked smiling as she left with her two-year-old son Arthur after it was reported that she was expecting her second child with husband James Matthews

Kate Middleton’s younger sister, 37, who appears to be showing what the first hint of a blooming baby bump might be, cut a stylish figure as she took to the streets of London in a sleek gray plaid coat while she was the first glances enjoyed sunshine after the icy weather last week

She offered passers-by a big grin as she held Arthur’s hand It was the fourth time Pippa has been spotted since it was reported that she was pregnant with her second child ‘

Typically in trend, Pippa completed her outfit with thin black tights, biker boots and a black turtleneck

Pippa Middleton, 37, all looked smiling as she walked to London with her two year old son Arthur today

Kate Middleton’s younger sister cut a stylish figure in a sleek gray plaid coat as she soaked in the first rays of sunshine after last week’s icy weather

Pippa also put on oversized sunglasses to add a touch of glamor and wore her brown hair half up, half down

It was reported in December that Pippa, who is already the mother of Arthur, two, may be expecting a second child

A source close to the Middleton family said on page 6: “Pippa and James are thrilled, it’s fantastic news in a difficult year. The whole family is thrilled ‘

Pippa adds a touch of glamor to her otherwise casual outfit with sunglasses and wears her brown hair half up, half down

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It was worn by the designer herself, of course, as well as other celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, and it happens to be a favorite of the Duchess of Cambridge’s little sister, Pippa Middleton, who wears it here with a polo neck, tights and suede boots

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The sighting was the fourth time Pippa (pictured) has been spotted since it was reported that she is pregnant with their second child

The new baby will be the cousin of Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, also two

Hedge fund billionaire James, brother of reality TV star Spencer Matthews, and writer Pippa currently live in a £ 17 million six-bedroom house in London

In addition to a trio of royal cousins ​​from her Aunt Kate, the new Middleton Matthews baby will also have paternal cousins ​​

Theodore Frederick Michael, two, and Gigi Margaux Matthews, five months, are the children of former Made in Chelsea Lothario Spencer Matthews and his Irish model wife Vogue Williams

It was reported in December that Pippa (pictured), who is already the mother of Arthur, two, may be expecting a second child

Typically in trend, Pippa (pictured) completed her outfit with thin black tights, biker boots and a black turtleneck

Pippa was seen chatting with her two year old son Arthur in London on Friday

The Matthews family owns the Eden Rock Resort on St Barts, one of the most exclusive hotels in the region, loved by many famous faces

Pippa and James in St Mark’s Church in Englefield, the estate of former Conservative MP Richard Benyon

In 2018, Pippa welcomed Baby Arthur to the Lindo wing of St Mary’s Hospital, the same place where Sister Kate gave birth to all three of her children

The celebrity and columnist documented how she stayed active for Waitrose Weekend magazine during her first pregnancy and revealed that little Arthur is following in the footsteps of the active family

“Now that Arthur is 11 months old and more mobile, I’ve tried developing different activities for him,” she wrote in September 2019

‘I had to find something more than just park walks in the stroller.Our local baby gym was a salvation.It’s a great space full of fun, soft items, play mats, stairs, balls, swings, mini trampolines, and more to keep babies and To stimulate and physically motivate toddlers, ”she added

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Pippa Middleton

World news – AU – Pippa Middleton seen after reports ‘she is pregnant with second child’

Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-9306613/Pippa-Middleton-spotted-following-reports-shes-pregnant-second-child.html

Weltnachrichten – AU – Pippa Middleton shows a blooming baby bump with her son on family day

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Pictures received and published by the Daily Mail showed the pregnant 37-year-old smiling and walking around London with her son

The Duchess of Cambridge’s sister wrapped her baby bump in an elegant gray coat, a pair of biker boots and chic sunglasses

It was first reported in December that Pippa was pregnant with their second child, although the star has not yet officially confirmed the news

The baby would be the fifth grandchild to Pippa’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, who are already grandparents of Pippa’s son and the Duchess of Cambridge’s three children: George, Charlotte and Louis

Pippa confirmed the news of her first pregnancy in 2018 in her fitness column for the Waitrose Weekend

Talking about exercising during pregnancy, she wrote, “When I heard the good news that I was pregnant, I realized I had to adjust my normal routine 4 to 5 days a week and find a way had to continue to exercise safely during the three trimesters. So began the pregnancy fitness journey “

Pippa has rocked some seriously chic outfits since reports of her second pregnancy first came out, and in December she was spotted wearing an off-duty outfit

The Duchess of Cambridge’s younger sister looked chic as always in skinny jeans, Penelope Chilvers sneakers and her cozy Harris Wharf pea coat

In the picture published in the Daily Mail, Pippa completed her outfit with a classic white polo neck sweater and tortoiseshell glasses Her brunette hair was back in a pretty mid-up style

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Make it personal with our selection of the best jewelry to give your mother this Mother’s Day

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Pippa Middleton

World news – AU – Pippa Middleton shows a blooming baby bump with her son on family day

Source: https://www.hellomagazine.com/celebrities/20210227107849/pippa-middleton-displays-baby-bump/

21 Fascinating Looks Inside Of Things We Normally Never See

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Source: https://www.buzzfeed.com/mikespohr/inside-everyday-items-pictures

News – 21 Fascinating Looks Inside Of Things We Normally Never See

One million Covid vaccine doses administered in Wales

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One million doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered in Wales, with more than one in three adults in the country receiving at least one dose.

Data from Public Health Wales shows that more than 38% of the adult population, 916,316 people, have received their first dose of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. So far, 89,053 people have received their second dose.

This means that in the 12 weeks since the rollout began in Wales, 1,005,389 doses have been administered.

According to the figures, 91.2% of all over-80s in Wales have received their first dose, along with 93.4% of those aged 75-79.

Of those aged between 70 and 74, 92.9% have received a jab, while 87.6% of people classed as clinically extremely vulnerable have also been vaccinated.

More than 162,941 frontline health and social care staff in Wales have also received their first dose.

The health minister, Vaughan Gething, said the landmark million doses was “a fantastic testament to the incredible hard work and efforts of all those involved in Wales’ vaccine rollout.

“To have reached such an incredible marker within just 12 weeks of the first vaccines arriving in the country should not be underestimated,” he said. “Our vaccine programme continues at pace and, as long as supplies allow, we will vaccinate every adult by the end of July.

“I want to reassure people that no one will be left behind – anyone who wants a vaccine will get one.”

The proportion of the population who have received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine in Wales is slightly higher than the UK-wide figure, which stands at 28.7%.

On Thursday, 485,720 first doses were distributed across the UK, alongside a further 35,219 second doses. In total, 1.1% of the UK population have received their second dose of the vaccine, according to the latest figures.

Wales is aiming to vaccinate every eligible adult by 31 July, providing the supply of vaccines stays at its current level.

The Welsh government is urging people not to call their local health services to request appointments unless they are specifically asked to do so, or believe they should have been included in the top four priority groups: people aged over 70, those classed as clinically extremely vulnerable and frontline health and social care workers.

Those who have been vaccinated are being asked to follow the same guidelines as the rest of the population, including social distancing, mask-wearing and regular hand-washing.

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News – One million Covid vaccine doses administered in Wales

Myanmar police shoot dead two protesters in one of the bloodiest days since the coup

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(CNN)Myanmar police shot dead at least two protesters Sunday and wounded several others in one of the bloodiest days since the military seized power on February 1.

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News – Myanmar police shoot dead two protesters in one of the bloodiest days since the coup

World news CAMEROUN :: Pour en finir avec la pol̩mique sur les stades :: CAMEROON CAMEROUN INFO РCAMEROUN ACTU

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Entre le CHAN, la CAN à venir, et les controverses chroniques sur leur coût de construction, les Camerounais ont découvert, à l’écran ou sur place pour les plus chanceux, des stades dignes de ce nom. L’attrait de la nouveauté étant sur le point de s’estomper, il s’agirait de s’appesantir, non pas sur ce que ces enceintes ont couté, mais plutôt sur ce qu’elles peuvent rapporter. Faire le choix de troquer les polémiques pour une série de problématiques. Des stades certes, mais pour quoi faire ? Quels usages à moyen et long terme ? Quels impacts pour les villes ? 

Quelles ressources pour en assurer l’entretien ? A quand la mise en services des équipements annexes annoncés ? Hôtels, musées, cinémas, centres commerciaux, piscines olympiques, etc. En somme, comment les transformer en vecteurs de développement aux retombées concrètes et immédiates. Oser employer à ce sujet, une expression quelque peu galvaudée par son utilisation récurrente sous forme de slogan : les Stades sont de « Grandes Opportunités » Sportives au pays du football roi, mais aussi économiques, sociales, et urbaines. Le football est devenu une industrie aux multiples sources de revenus. Le « Naming » par exemple, pratique lucrative pour l’organe de gestion d’un stade et qui consiste à le baptiser du nom d’une marque ou d’un sponsor. Allianz Arena du Bayern Munich, ou Emirates Stadium d’Arsenal. Cette tendance traduit une exigence absolue de rentabilité. Chaque source de revenus étant essentielle, même leur nom est à vendre. Le football est également le théâtre d’enjeux symboliques et géopolitiques. 

Le Qatar ou l’Emir d’Abu Dhabi n’ont pas acheté les clubs de Paris et de Manchester pour gagner de l’argent, mais pour se projeter sur la scène internationale. Au Cameroun, nation de football, nos stades rutilants sont une occasion idéale d’assoir cet avantage comparatif et de capitaliser sur les ressources qu’ils peuvent générer. Sur le plan comptable, ces stades dits de cinquième génération, sont configurés pour bien d’autres fonctions que les seuls matchs. La maximisation du résultat prévisionnel est intégrée dès la conception en plan et en volume. A l’Emirates Stadium précité, la location de loges ou de sièges VIP (les « sièges à prestations »), représentent 15 % des places mais plus de 50 % des revenus par match. Des commerces, restaurants, boutiques souvenirs et une multifonctionnalité prévoyant l’organisation de séminaires, de conférences et même de mariage, participent à une augmentation préméditée des revenus générés. 

Sans oublier les concerts ou les spectacles. Enfin ces Stades, totems urbains à l’Architecture volontairement emblématiques, sont ouverts en tant qu’attractions. Des visites payantes permettant au public d’en découvrir les coulisses, vestiaires, pelouse, et gradins. L’ensemble s’inscrivant dans un « Plan d’activité » couplé à une « Stratégie Marketing ». Instruments de gestion obligatoires pour atteindre non seulement une rentabilité effective mais aussi une appropriation des stades par les populations. Cependant, le préalable indispensable reste l’existence d’un championnat de football professionnel. C’est le socle entrainant : recettes de billetterie, droits télévisuels (le championnat ivoirien est diffusé sur Canal Sat), sponsoring et merchandising. Ces nouveaux stades rendent urgent, l’avènement au Cameroun d’une ligue structurée. Rares sont ceux qui comprennent les méandres ayant abouti à sa suspension. Notre championnat qui était l’un des meilleurs d’Afrique, n’est même plus classé parmi les dix premiers. Conséquence visible et immédiate ; ces équipements demeurent inexploités. Or sans commencer par une structuration de l’ensemble de l’écosystème du football camerounais le risque qu’ils le restent est réel. 

Quant aux villes, les stades sont pour elles de formidables outils d’aménagement et de développement. Le quartier de la Plaine Saint Denis au nord de Paris, une friche urbaine, a été métamorphosé par la construction du Stade de France adossé à un programme immobilier de 125 000 m² dont 36 000 m² de logements. Autour de ces pôles d’attractions il s’agit de bâtir des logements, des « zones d’activités », des jardins publics, etc. Autant d’éléments contribuant à amortir les énormes investissements consentis et à fabriquer la ville. Sans oublier les équipements d’accompagnement déjà cités et inclus dans leur budget. Le Plan de Développement Urbain (PDU) de Douala préconise la création de « nouvelles centralités » en périphérie. Le Stade de Japoma est l’occasion d’appliquer cette stratégie. 

La nature ayant horreur du vide, la zone connait déjà un développement accéléré, sans aucune coordination et à coups d’initiatives privées. Pourtant les plans d’aménagement existent. Pour une insertion économiquement rentable et socialement impactante, cette planification doit se concrétiser par des réalisations visibles. C’est seulement ainsi qu’au lieu de devenir des boulets à entretenir à coups de subventions, ils seront des outils de production de l’espace urbain. Dans un environnement où ces derniers font cruellement défaut. Sur le plan social, il existe trop peu de lieux de loisirs et d’espaces de « Pacification sociale ». Assister à un match en famille ou entre amis, peut devenir une habitude. Les bousculades provoquées pour les quelques places disponibles pendant le CHAN, montrent que ce besoin existe. De plus, les programmes en construction, notamment à Olembé : Hôtels, Centre commerciaux ou Cinémas, seront des cadres parfaits pour combler cette absence de destinations ludiques. 

Sans oublier les centaines voire les milliers d’emplois directs et indirects créés. Cependant un risque serait de tomber dans les poncifs habituels : le Cameroun terre d’opportunités, (minières, hydroélectriques, humaines, etc.), et considérer ces stades comme une énième manifestation d’une réalité connue. Au final, il faut arrêter de s’appesantir sur leurs naissances au forceps ou de débattre sempiternellement sur leurs coûts, mais plutôt se concentrer sur ce qu’ils peuvent rapporter. Arrêter l’autoflagellation ! Ces stades comme toutes infrastructures appartiennent à chaque Camerounais. En tant que tel ils doivent avoir le destin qu’ils méritent : être des opportunités de développement pour chaque citoyen, des générateurs de richesses et des sources d’épanouissement pour tous. De « Grandes Réalisations ». 

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Weltnachrichten – AU – Herald Afternoon Quiz: 28 February – NZ Herald

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Test your brain with the Herald’s afternoon quiz Be sure to stop by nzherald for the morning quiz tomorrow

Nzherald

World news – AU – Herald afternoon quiz: 28 February – NZ Herald

Source: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/herald-afternoon-quiz-february-28/QVBXXA2NV662AF5COMGEZQEPOQ/

World News – AU – Covid 19 Coronavirus: IRD website back online, companies can request support payments – NZ Herald

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“Inland Revenue’s systems are back online ahead of schedule after the final round of business transformation work has been completed,” read a statement from the IRD in the late afternoon

“The system should be shut down by 8:00 a.m. tomorrow However, since the upgrade went very well, IR was able to restore its myIR service and reopen applications for the Resurgence Support payment via myIR “

Previously, companies in dire need of financial assistance could not apply for the government’s Covid-19 Resurgence Support payment because the IRD website is down for “maintenance”

Treasury Secretary Grant Robertson announced yesterday that companies in need of assistance should apply for payment through the IRD’s MyIR registration portal

A message on the website reads, “The service is offline for routine maintenance, please try again later,” frustrating the business owners

The system upgrade has been in effect since Friday evening and won’t be online again until Monday

The National Party’s Shadow Treasurer Andrew Bayly urges Inland Revenue to cut maintenance plans and restart the website to help businesses, particularly in Auckland, under the financial burden of a Level 3 Alert lockdown – the second in a period of one month

“It is important that the IRD be opened to help people calculate and file claims for their Resurgence Support payment,” said Bayly

“The recent lockdown will be a devastating blow to businesses not just in Auckland but across the country”

The IRD needed to sort its systems right away to ensure businesses could get immediate help, said Bayly

“In times of financial stress, it is important that people can call government officials on the IRD to discuss their options

“The IRD needs to sort its systems immediately so that New Zealanders can access the help they need”

An IRD spokesperson told the Herald that the system would be operational again in less than 24 hours

“We thought seriously about the timing and the possibility that the systems could be shut down at a higher alert level, but in the end we decided that having such a brief shutdown would not put people at a significant disadvantage,” the spokesman said

“IR understands that it can be frustrating for some people, but these are major improvements to our systems and services so we can continue to build a fairer tax system”

Treasury Secretary Grant Robertson has confirmed that the recent lockdown is triggering the wage subsidy system, and that applies nationwide, and that is a flat rate payment

He said companies could get both the wage subsidy system and the new Level 2 alert subsidy system

Due to previous lockdowns, Auckland at Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand at Level 2 cost the economy about $ 440 million a week, according to ASB

Nzherald

World news – AU – Covid 19 Coronavirus: IRD website back online, companies can request support payments – NZ Herald

Source: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/covid-19-coronavirus-ird-website-back-online-businesses-can-apply-for-support-payment/ZCN3DBXBPBHQFC7JLY7P3PHRGA/