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Demand for face masks and surgical gloves may be surging as China battles the coronavirus, but that’s scant relief for plastics makers as they struggle with absent workers and plunging consumption of other products.In a sign of how critical the mask shortage is getting, state oil giant PetroChina last week directed overseas employees from Houston to Lagos to buy them up and send as many as 2 million back to headquarters.While that’s prompted many of China’s plastics converters — who process raw polymers into everything from plastic spoons to car interiors — to scale up their mask-making operations, it’s not enough to offset plummeting demand for other products, according to SCI99. In addition, some of the producers remain shut due to the extended holidays or can’t make deliveries because of canceled flights and blocked roads, the Chinese industry consultant said. “The amount of polyester found in each mask is no more than 1-2 grams, mainly in the elastic band,” said Salmon Lee, principal consultant at Wood Mackenzie in Singapore. “This is minuscule when talking about any demand spike, and immaterial in mitigating the economic impact of the epidemic on the polyester chain.”Manufacturing of face masks accounted for just 0.1 percent of polypropylene demand in China last year, Horace Chan, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, said in a note. Durable plastics — which are used in automobiles and home appliances, could take the biggest hit from the outbreak, he said.Polypropylene futures for April settlement have fallen 9.5 percent since Jan. 21, when markets began taking notice of the coronavirus, according to prices on the Dalian Commodity Exchange. Inventories at state refiners Sinopec and PetroChina jumped by 530,000 tons over the Lunar New Year holidays, more than three times the average increase over the holidays in the last five years, SCI99 said.As companies like Toyota Motor delay production and China’s massive food delivery network is disrupted, the impact from the virus is spreading across Asia. Weak Chinese demand will compress margins further for South Korean refiners and petrochemical companies, Moody’s Investors Service analyst Sean Hwang said in a Feb. 6 note.Chinese buyers of polypropylene from the Middle East are trying to re-export it to India and Southeast Asia, potentially causing a glut in those markets, said Ashish Chitalia, the head of global polyolefins at Wood Mackenzie in Houston.“The petrochemical sector was beginning to come back after the easing of trade tariffs,” he said. The coronavirus will extend the low-margin period for petrochemical companies globally, and particularly in east Asia, Chitalia said.Topics :
Efficiency, GO-TIME, Government That Works, Innovation, PSA, The Blog, Weather Safety With the winter weather, comes the annual annoyance of time spent dusting off your car, scraping your windshield, and waiting patiently for the roads to become passable once again. So if you aren’t already, make sure you are using PennDOT’s 511 system (there’s an app for that), where you can now monitor hundreds of the state’s plow trucks remotely, and, essentially, in real-time.Through an expanded pilot program announced by Governor Wolf and PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards, more than 700 plow trucks covering interstates and expressways statewide have been outfitted with technology to improve location and operations information.The goal of the Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) system is two-fold:Internally, it will help improve the department’s real-time information on vehicle movement, plow-route coverage and usage of materials such as salt and anti-skid.Externally, it will allow 511 PA users, beginning in January, to track over 500 PennDOT plow trucks and more than 200 contracted rental trucks servicing interstates and expressways across the state (note: there are nearly 2,500 PennDOT owned/operated plow trucks, so this pilot only covers a portion of the state’s fleet). Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf By: Megan Healey, Deputy Press Secretary SHARE Email Facebook Twitter January 11, 2016 BLOG: When It Snows, You’ll Want This App for Winter Driving The AVL pilot is part of Governor Wolf’s GO-TIME initiative that leverages inter-agency coordination and collaboration to maximize efficiency, modernize state government operations, and provide the highest quality services. This particular program has a projected cost savings of $1.4 million over the next four to six years, based on a combination of reduced salt usage and better use of department equipment.You can watch Governor Wolf and Secretary Richards talk in depth about the benefits of this pilot, and how plow truck-tracking works. For more information on winter operations and how to prepare for the season, visit PennDOT.gov/winter.
Shareholders expressed “significant dissent” over twice as many pay-related resolutions at FTSE 100 company general meetings this year than last year, according to analysis by the trade body for the UK asset management industry.During the annual general meeting (AGM) season this year, more than 20% of shareholder votes were against management on 18 pay-related resolutions, compared with nine in the same period last year.Executive pay was less of an issue for companies listed on the broader FTSE All Share this year, however, with the Investment Association (IA) recording 61 resolutions in its public register as opposed to 68 last year.Since being asked to do so by the government last year, the IA maintains a public register of FTSE All Share companies where more than 20% of votes on any resolution at an AGM or general meeting were against management. Chris Cummings, chief executive of the IA, said the jump in the number of FTSE 100 companies facing a pay rebellion this year was “deeply disappointing”.“Shareholders clearly remain unimpressed with the approach to pay last year, and are frustrated the message is not getting through to some boardrooms,” he said. “FTSE 100 companies must do more to ensure the pay packets of their top team align with company performance and remain at levels that shareholders find acceptable.”According to recently published research from the High Pay Centre and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), median pay of CEOs at FTSE 100 companies increased by 11% between 2016 and 2017 “despite prominent criticism from the investor community and the government over excessive CEO pay awards”.If the mean measure were used, CEO pay increased by 23% in 2017, according to the High Pay Centre and CIPD.The IA’s data for this year’s AGM season showed that shareholder rebellions against the re-election of individual directors more than doubled, with the number of resolutions attracting a vote of more than 20% against increasing from 38 in 2017 to 80 in 2018. Among the 46 companies that were added to the public register in 2018 due to opposition over director re-election, nearly half (43%) drew significant dissent from shareholders over their proposal for the chair to be re-elected.This pointed to “a growing disquiet over individual accountability for the decisions made”, said the IA.Overall, shareholders expressed “significant dissent” over 237 resolutions at FTSE All Share companies in 2018, a quarter more than last year, according to the IA. This landed 120 companies in the public register, up from 110 companies last year.
AU calls for restraint following Syrian air strikes The tiny state of Djibouti in the Horn of Africa has become a refuge for thousands of Yemenis fleeing the Saudi-led air strikes and fighting in Yemen. Nearly 9,000 refugees from the conflict torn Arab country are sheltering in the country, increasing the strain limited resources. CCTV’s Maria Galang reports Air Algerie flights resume but more strikes threatened Related Yemenis fleeing violence at home find refuge in Somalia
Indianapolis, IN—Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, along with Indiana Family and Social Service Administration’s Division of Aging, announced that 23 senior citizens received the 2019 Golden Hoosier award.Crouch said that the award began in 2008 and annually honors Hoosier senior citizens for their years of service and commitment to the state. The 23 recipients attended a ceremony at The Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, which celebrated their achievements.Local Golden Hoosier award recipients include:Nancy Conner – ColumbusElsie Hofmann – ConnersvilleBertie McKenna – ConnersvilleCherie Rump – Dillsboro
Press Association And that has proved to be a master stroke given Rooney has been United’s key man this term as Robin van Persie’s contribution faltered. “What Wayne is doing is making the others play well because he is playing well,” said Moyes. “He has turned himself into a real team player. “With the assists for the team and the goals, his all-round contribution has been fantastic.” Just as important as the work Rooney has put in on the pitch, Moyes has detected a desire to assume more responsibility off it. Less than 12 months short of his 10th anniversary as a United player, with Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand playing a much reduced role these days and with Darren Fletcher only just back from major injury, Rooney is effectively the elder statesman in the Red Devils dressing room. And with the status has come a willingness to pass on crucial guidance to the present crop of youngsters. “He needs to show the young players,” said Moyes. David Moyes believes Wayne Rooney is setting the standard for Manchester United. “You go through the years and look at people like Ryan Giggs and the advice he gave to Wayne Rooney. Wayne has now to give it to Adnan Januzaj and the new players coming up. “He has a big responsibility to show the next generation the standards that Manchester United set and what you have to do every week if you are going to play for this club.” Rooney will be a key figure at Hull on Boxing Day, when United look to extend their winning run to five matches, which would be the most they have managed under Moyes so far. Marouane Fellaini will not be involved though, with Moyes confirming his £27.5million summer signing will be out for up to six weeks following wrist surgery. It represents another negative in a disappointing start to his United career for the Belgium star, although Moyes insists Fellaini will come good. “I have no doubt he will eventually be a good player for us,” said Moyes. “He has been unlucky. He has not felt 100 per cent because of his wrist and has been finding it difficult. “I asked him to see if he could get over the Christmas period. He got the back injury against Everton and since then he has never really been right.” For most of the summer it seemed certain Rooney would be heading out of Old Trafford. In the end, United’s hierarchy stood firm and their new manager has worked wonders in getting Rooney focused after all the uncertainty.
Press Association For opposite number Alan Pardew, there were positives in defeat with new boys Jack Colback and Remy Cabella turning in enterprising displays. Pardew said: “There were a lot of things about our performance today which bode well for the other 37 games we have got coming up. The new guys were all solid today. “I thought a couple of them were outstanding in Jack and Remy, both in different ways, really. “Jack’s energy and power and competence with the ball and Remy’s feet and ideas, which didn’t all come off today, but you know he is going try something, he is going to make a moment and when he has a hot day, he is going to punish teams. “The first half, I thought Man City edged it and deserved to lead, but the second half, I thought we deserved an equaliser.” The Chilean said: “Of course, it will be very important for us to have one week more. “Maybe we also have to give minutes to other players and we will see during the week which 11 starters we are going to play against Liverpool. “We have a lot of players for whom one week more will be very useful.” City led from the 38th minute at St James’ Park when David Silva applied a decisive finish to Edin Dzeko’s sweet back-heeled pass, but the result remained in doubt until substitute Sergio Aguero doubled their lead in stoppage time after Newcastle counterpart Ayoze Perez had gone desperately close to an equaliser. There were impressive performances throughout the City side, but Dzeko was in particularly fine form as talks continue over a new deal. Pellegrini said: “Edin finished last season playing very well. For me, he was one of the best players in the game, not only because he participated in the first goal. “He caused problems through the game. He won a lot of aerial duels, he held up the ball – he had a really complete game. “But I repeat, Edin finished last season playing the same way as he has started.” The reigning champions head for Liverpool next Monday evening having launched the defence of their title with a 2-0 victory at Newcastle which was harder fought than the scoreline suggests. However, manager Pellegrini will spend the intervening period working with players who were given an extended break after World Cup duty in Brazil, and he is sure there is much more to come from them. Manuel Pellegrini is confident Manchester City will be stronger for the second weekend of the new Barclays Premier League season than they were for the first.
MOUNT DESERT — The 22nd annual Bill Reeve Echo Lake Swim will take place on Saturday, Aug. 13, at Camp Beech Cliff.The Echo Lake Swim offers a 500-yard and a 1.5-mile swim/race. This year, organizers added a two-person relay for the 1.5-mile swim.Last year, competitors ages 6 to 80 participated in the event. Experienced and novice swimmers are all welcome.The cost is $20 for those 18 and younger, $30 for adults and $40 for relay teams — regardless of ages.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textRegistration includes awards and a barbecue for all participants as well as a T-shirt for the first 75 swimmers registered. Registration the day of the event will begin at 8:30 a.m., the 500-yard swim starts at 10 and the 1.5-mile swim begins at 10:30.Those interested in volunteering as a rescue kayaker or canoer should email Matt Montgomery at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GOVERNMENT and sports administration bigwigs from the Caribbean will be at the heart of the CONCACAF Working Group that has been charged with coming up with a format and structure for a Caribbean Pro League.Chaired by Mexican Football Federation president Yon de Luisa, with Caribbean Football Union (CFU) vice president Randy Harris as deputy chairman, the Working Group has now been added to with former player and former Trinidad and Tobago sports minister Brent Sancho, and the head of Jamaica’s National Olympic Committee Christopher Samuda.Operating as a sub-group of CONCACA’s Competitions Committee, the Working Group will also have lawyer and club owner Manuel Estrella from the Dominican Republic, Patrick Massenat from Haiti, Valdemar Florentino Marcha of Curaçao, as well as a FIFA representative.“Where this group is different from attempts to map out a professional Caribbean League in the past is that at its centre it has people who have lived and breathed Caribbean sport and have experience of running clubs and leagues in the region,” said Concacaf president Victor Montagliani.The Working Group, which is being funded by CONCACAF and FIFA and which will have the resources of CONCACAF’s competitions department to draw on, is expected to begin its work in the next couple of weeks with an initial planning session on workflow.Montagliani emphasises that there is “no preconceived model on how this should work, it’s a blank slate. They just need to go at it and do the work”.That will include looking at other models for professional leagues – Canada and India, for example – as well as resources within the Caribbean, including the pool of playing talent within the Caribbean that could be professional. Sustainability will also be a key issue and while the league will potentially be supported by CONCACAF and FIFA funds, the objective is for it to make and then live off its own business case.“It is one thing to help and another to underwrite for 20 years. That isn’t really feasible,” said Montagliani, who added that he sees it as “a bottom up rather than top down approach to create something that supports and grows itself over time. To get to that point we need to understand the failures of domestic leagues as well their successes.”“At this stage there is no pledge of finance but that is not to say it won’t be considered. But how much, for how long to get it established and can it then be taken to external agencies…there is a political will to get this in place but what we have learned is that it needs to be properly thought and planned otherwise it won’t be sustainable,” Montagliani said.