ALV earnings call for the period ending March 31, 2021.
The late royal was pictured wearing the cool, comfy garment to the gym in 1997.
It has been a tough year for travel companies with prolonged lockdowns and uncertainties meaning many have had to lean heavily on government support schemes.
Anti-military activists in the town armed themselves following protests against the February coup.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation opened an emergency meeting Sunday over the heavy fighting between Israel and the Gaza Strip’s militant Hamas rulers, the first major move among Mideast nations still grappling with how to address the conflict. While the Arab League and organizations like the Saudi-based OIC have maintained their view that the Palestinians should have their own independent state, Israel recently has reached recognition deals with several of its members. That, as well as the concerns of some nations over Hamas, has seen a somewhat-muted response to the attacks as opposed to the full-throated response of decades past. “The plight of the Palestinian people is the bleeding wound of the Islamic world today,” Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar said. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki of the Palestinian Authority, which administers autonomous enclaves in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, decried what he called Israel's “cowardly attacks” at the start of the meeting. “We need to tell Allah that we will resist to the last day,” he said. “We are facing a long-term occupation. that’s the base of the problem. Crimes are committed against the Palestinians without consequences.” However, Malki's Palestinian Authority has no control over Hamas and the Gaza Strip, where the militants seized power in 2007. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu took a similarly hard line. “Israel alone is responsible for the recent escalation in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza,” Cavusoglu said. "Our warnings to Israel last week went unheeded.” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused Israel of “genocide and crimes against humanity." “Make no mistake: Israel only understand the language of resistance and the people of Palestine are fully entitled to their right to defend themselves,” Zarif said. Across the Arabian Peninsula and Persian Gulf states, reactions to the fighting has been mixed. In Qatar, home to the Al-Jazeera satellite network, hundreds turned out late Saturday night to listen to a speech by Hamas’ top leader Ismail Haniyeh. He now splits his time between Turkey and Qatar, both of which back Hamas, as does Iran. “The resistance will not give in,” Haniyeh vowed as bodyguards stood behind him. He added that “resistance is the shortest road to Jerusalem” and that Palestinians will not accept anything less than a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. Kuwait's parliament speaker reportedly spoke with Haniyeh on Saturday, as did Qatar's foreign minister. So too did Gen. Esmail Ghaani, the head of the expeditionary Quds Forces of Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard. Then there are Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, two Gulf Arab states that reached recognition deals with Israel last year in the waning months of the Trump administration. Those nations, as well as Saudi Arabia, have reiterated their support of Palestinians obtaining their own independent state. However, government-linked media in those nations haven't been covering the current flare-up of violence nonstop like other networks in the region. There are murmurs of dissent though. In the island nation of Bahrain, civil society groups signed a letter urging the kingdom to expel the Israeli ambassador over the violence. In the UAE, where political parties and protests are illegal, Palestinians in the workforces of Abu Dhabi and Dubai have expressed their anger quietly, worried about losing their residency permit. Some Emiratis also have expressed concerns. “The region’s only democracy," tweeted the Emirati writer and political analyst Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi in writing about Israel's strike on a Gaza building that housed the offices of The Associated Press and Al-Jazeera. Cavusoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, criticized OIC members who reached recognition deals with Israel. “There are a few who have lost their moral compass and voiced support for Israel,” he said. “If there are half-hearted statements within our own family, how could we criticize others who (don't) take our words seriously?" Zarif also called those with recognition deals naive, saying Israel designed them to divide the Muslim world. “The massacre of Palestinian children today follows the purported normalization,” he said. “This criminal and genocidal regime has once again proven that friendly gestures only aggravate its atrocities.” Hussein Ibish, a senior scholar at the Washington-based Arab Gulf States Institute, said most Gulf Arab leaders fear Hamas' rocket fire as "cynical, dangerous, unnecessarily provocative and endangering Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza alike.” That takes the pressure off those Gulf leaders to respond, unlike in other confrontations involving the Al-Aqsa mosque, Islam's third-holiest site in Jerusalem, or when Israeli settlers force Arab families out of their homes, he said. “There won’t be much sympathy for what is widely viewed in the Gulf as Israel’s heavy-handed and disproportionate retaliation," Ibish wrote, "but it will be much easier for Gulf leaders and many citizens to regard the exchange as a tragic conflagration at the expense of ordinary people brought about by two leaderships over which they have neither control nor responsibility.” ___ Associated Press writers Aya Batrawy and Malak Harb in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Bassem Mroue in Beirut contributed to this report. Jon Gambrell, The Associated Press
Hidden cost of umbrella companies in UK ‘may top £4.5bn a year’Unions and tax experts call for greater regulation as those affected thought to exceed 600,000 workers Use of ‘mini-umbrella companies’ is growing, costing the exchequer millions in lost taxes and costing workers employment rights such as holiday pay. Photograph: Nick Ansell/PA
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SAN DIEGO (AP) — President Joe Biden, under political pressure, agreed to admit four times as many refugees this budget year as his predecessor did, but resettlement agencies concede the number actually allowed into the U.S. will be closer to the record-low cap of 15,000 set by former President Donald Trump. Refugee advocates say they are grateful for the increase because it’s symbolically important to show the world the United States is back as a humanitarian leader at a time when the number of refugees worldwide is the highest since World War II. But they’re frustrated, too, because more refugees could have been admitted if Biden hadn’t dragged his feet. “About 10,000 to 15,000 is what we’re expecting,” said Jenny Yang of World Relief, adding that Biden's inaction for months after taking office in January was “definitely problematic." “That delay meant not being able to process refugee applications for four months. We weren’t able to rebuild for four months, so it really was unfortunate," Yang said. Biden first proposed raising the cap to 62,500 in February in a plan submitted to Congress, but then refused to sign off on it for two months before coming back April 16 and suggesting he was sticking with Trump's target. Democratic allies and refugee advocates lambasted him, saying he was reneging on his campaign promise in the face of bipartisan criticism over his handling of an increase in unaccompanied migrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border. “To be clear: The asylum process at the southern border and the refugee process are completely separate immigration systems. Conflating the two constitutes caving to the politics of fear," said Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Weeks later, on May 3, Biden raised the cap. So far this year only about 2,500 refugees have arrived, with less than five months left before the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30. More than 35,000 refugees have been vetted and approved to come to the United States, but thousands were disqualified under the narrow eligibility criteria Trump established in October when he set the low cap. By the time Biden expanded the eligibility, many health screenings and documents were no longer valid, according to resettlement agencies. And if someone had a baby during that time, then the entire family could be stalled. Even under the best circumstances, it can take two months for each case to be updated. Before the Trump administration's drastic cuts, the United States had admitted more refugees each year than all other countries combined under a program now 41 years old. With a family history that includes two step-parents who fled Europe during and after WWII, Secretary of State Antony Blinken pushed to restore that leadership by significantly boosting the cap in the early days of the administration. The State Department recommended to the White House the ceiling be set at 62,500, officials said. But a senior official familiar with Blinken’s thinking said it quickly became clear that the State Department offices responsible for refugee resettlement had been so gutted that they wouldn’t be able to process and absorb that number of refugees. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter, described the situation as “aspiration meeting reality” and said Blinken reluctantly concluded that 62,500 wouldn’t be possible in the short term. “It turned out there was even more damage done than we knew,” Blinken told reporters this month. The Office of Refugee Resettlement also has been taxed by the jump in unaccompanied migrant children coming to the U.S. border, according to the administration. Some $85 million was diverted from refugee resettlement money to help care for the children, government documents published by The New York Times show. Biden did not want to promise something he wasn't sure was possible, Blinken said. “So we needed to take some time to make sure that the resources were in place, the people were in place, the programs were in place to actually receive refugees coming in,” he said. The Trump administration had cut U.S. staff overseas who interview refugees by 117 officers. As a result, the number of interviews that were conducted fell by one-third in 2019 compared with those done in 2016 under the Obama administration. That number fell off almost entirely in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Due to travel restrictions in and out of refugee processing sites worldwide, the U.S. suspended refugee arrivals from March 19 to July 29 of last year except for emergency cases. Only 11,800 refugees were admitted in the 2020 fiscal year, the lowest number in the history of the program. The administration is working on rehiring that staff and addressing the backlog, including by making it possible to conduct interviews by video teleconferencing instead of doing them in person, deputy State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter said. But it can take months to train new officers. The government is also trying to tackle the layers of vetting put in place by the Trump administration, which brought the process nearly to a standstill and required, for instance, that refugees submit 10 years of addresses, something nearly impossible to do for people who have been on the move. Biden has pledged money to expand the operations of resettlement agencies, which are paid by the federal government per refugee served. With the refugee numbers way down, the agencies were forced to close about 100 offices nationwide during the Trump administration. Some agencies so far have only been able to cobble together a few dozen qualified people after losing their experienced staff. They also need time to reestablish their partnerships with landlords, employers and others who have helped refugees get established in communities, a challenge with increasing housing prices and other added constraints related to the pandemic. The “sad truth" Biden warned when he finally set the target at 62,500 is that goal won't be achieved. Instead, the administration and advocates are working to fix the program by 2022 when Biden has promised to raise the ceiling to 125,000. _____ Lee reported from Washington. Julie Watson And Matthew Lee, The Associated Press
Hancock: most Bolton Covid patients eligible for jab but haven’t had itHealth secretary’s comments come amid mounting concerns over spread of Indian B.1.617.2 variantCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage People queueing to get vaccinated on Saturday in Bolton, one of the areas with high case numbers linked to the B.1.617.2 Covid variant first detected in India. Photograph: Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images
HOUSTON (AP) — A tiger that frightened residents after it was last seen briefly wandering around a Houston neighborhood has been found after a nearly week-long search and appears to be unharmed, police announced Saturday evening. In a short video tweeted by Houston police, Cmdr. Ron Borza can be seen sitting next to the tiger, petting the animal and saying it has been a long week searching for it. “But we got him, and he’s healthy,” Borza said as the wife of the man police allege is the animal's owner sat next to him and fed the tiger with a baby bottle. The tiger was being held at BARC, the city of Houston’s animal shelter, but was expected to be taken Sunday morning to the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, an animal sanctuary in Murchison, Texas, located southeast of Dallas. Authorities had been searching for the tiger, a 9-month-old male named India, since it was spotted May 9 in a west Houston neighborhood. At the time, it was nearly shot by an off-duty deputy before being whisked away in a car by Victor Hugo Cuevas, who police allege is the owner. At a news conference later Saturday evening, Borza said that Cuevas' wife, Giorgiana, turned over the tiger to police on Saturday after a friend of hers reached out to officials at BARC. “It is Victor’s tiger. That’s what I was told by (Giorgiana Cuevas) ... She says they’ve had that animal for nine months," Borza said. He alleged that the tiger was passed around to different people but that Cuevas' wife knew where the tiger was at all times this week as authorities searched for it. Police are still trying to determine where exactly the tiger was held this week and if any charges related to having the tiger will be filed. Tigers are not allowed within Houston city limits under a city ordinance unless the handler, such as a zoo, is licensed to have exotic animals. But Cuevas’ attorney, Michael W. Elliott, on Saturday night continued to insist his client doesn’t own the tiger, saying, “I am not sure it makes any difference who technically owns India as he does not have a birth certificate or title." “Victor was not the primary owner of India nor did India stay with him the majority of the time," Elliott told The Associated Press. “Victor was however involved in the caretaking of India often. Victor loves India as anyone else would love a favorite pet ... He treated India with love and fantastic treatment in all respects." Cuevas was arrested Monday by Houston police and charged with evading arrest for allegedly fleeing his home with the tiger after officers had responded to a call about a dangerous animal. At the time of his arrest by Houston police, Cuevas was already out on bond for a murder charge in a 2017 fatal shooting in neighboring Fort Bend County. Cuevas has maintained the shooting was self-defense, Elliott said. Cuevas was released on a separate bond for the evading arrest charge on Wednesday. But prosecutors in Fort Bend County then sought to have him held with no bond on the murder charge. After an all-day hearing on Friday, a judge revoked Cuevas’ current $125,000 bond on the murder charge and issued a new bond for $300,000. He remains jailed. During Friday’s court hearing, Waller County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Wes Manion, who lives in the Houston neighborhood where the tiger was seen, testified he interacted with the animal for about 10 minutes to make sure it didn’t go after someone else. He said Cuevas came out of his house yelling, “Don’t kill it,” grabbed the tiger by the collar and kissed its head before leading it back inside his home. Various videos of the tiger's encounter with Manion were posted on social media. Elliott has said Cuevas did nothing illegal because Texas has no statewide law forbidding private ownership of tigers and other exotic animals. Borza said that an exotic animal like a tiger should never be kept in a home. While India seemed domesticated, the tiger already weighs 175 pounds (79 kg), it can “do a lot of damage" and will only get bigger, he said. “He will be going to a sanctuary ... where hopefully he’ll live the rest of his life in a very safe environment," Borza said. __ Follow Juan A. Lozano on Twitter: https://twitter.com/juanlozano70 Juan A. Lozano , The Associated Press
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Chandigarh (Haryana) [India], May 16 (ANI): In order to contain the COVID cases upsurge, the Haryana Government on Sunday announced extension of the COVID-induced lockdown for another week.
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LONDON (AP) — Travelers in England were packing their bags, bartenders were polishing their glasses and performers were warming up as Britain prepared Sunday for a major step out of lockdown — but with clouds of worry on the horizon. Excitement at the reopening of travel and hospitality vied with anxiety that a more contagious virus variant first found in India is spreading fast and could delay further plans to reopen. Cases of the variant have more than doubled in a week in the U.K., defying a sharp nationwide downward trend in infections and deaths won by hard-earned months of restrictions and a rapid vaccination campaign. A surge testing and stepped-up vaccination effort was being conducted in the northern England areas hardest hit by that variant. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the variant, formally known as B.1.617.2, is more transmissible than the U.K.’s main strain and “it is likely it will become the dominant variant.” “This isn’t over yet,” Hancock told the BBC on Sunday. “The virus has just gained a bit of pace and we’ve therefore all got to be that bit much more careful and cautious.” On Monday, people in England will be able to eat a restaurant meal indoors, drink inside a pub, go to a museum, hug friends and visit one another’s homes for the first time in months. A ban on overseas holidays is also being lifted, with travel now possible to a short list of countries with low infection rates. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are following similar but slightly different reopening paths. Patrick Dardis, chief executive of brewery and pub chain Young’s, said the indoor opening — which follows the reopening of outdoor patios and beer gardens last month — is “a big step back on to the path to normality.” “The weather has been pretty dire, and people are hardy, but we really needed this next step to come,” he said. But hospitality and entertainment venues say they won't be able to make money until they can open at full capacity. That's due to happen June 21, the date set by the government for lifting its remaining COVID-19 restrictions, including social distancing and mask-wearing rules. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said if the new variant causes a big surge in cases, it could scupper that plan. Britain has recorded almost 128,000 coronavirus deaths, the highest reported toll in Europe. But new infections have plummeted to an average of around 2,000 a day, compared with nearly 70,000 a day during the winter peak, and deaths have fallen to single figures a day. Almost 70% of British adults have received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and more than 37% have had both doses. Health officials, backed by the army, are carrying out surge testing in Bolton and Blackburn in northwest England, where cases of the new variant are clustered, and pop-up vaccination sites have been set up to speed the inoculation drive. Across the country, the government is shortening the gap between doses for people over 50 from 12 to eight weeks in a bid to give them more protection. Hancock said scientists had a “high degree of confidence” that current vaccines work against the Indian-identified variant. Critics of Britain's Conservative government say lax border rules allowed the new variant to enter the country. They accuse the government of delaying a ban on visitors from India, which is experiencing a devastating coronavirus outbreak, because it is seeking a trade deal with the vast country. India was added to the U.K.’s high-risk “red list” on April 23, weeks after neighbors Pakistan and Bangladesh. “We shouldn’t be in this situation,” said opposition Labour Party lawmaker Yvette Cooper. “This was not inevitable.” The government denies that its health policies were influenced by political or trade considerations. Mark Walport, a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, said Britain was at a “perilous moment,” and people should be cautious with their new freedoms. “My advice is that just because you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean you should,” he told Sky News. “As far as possible, socialize outside, maintain social distancing. If you’re going to hug, hug cautiously.” ___ Follow more of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine Jill Lawless, The Associated Press
Residents described the noise of the blast as ‘like a bomb going off’ with debris that covered nearby streets and fields.
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