Japanese Used Cars Real Motor Japan

[H] Tons of bundle games [W] Games & Offers

Steam Profile: https://steamcommunity.com/id/cactushands/games/?tab=all
What I want: Looking for games I don't have - primarily interested in games on Steam or GoG, but will also consider trades for keys on Epic, Origin, Microsoft Store, or Uplay, or any other interesting offers that you want to throw my way. I also accept TF2 and CS:GO keys.
Largely interested in horror, adventure, and RPG games, but I'll take most any sensible offer.
All keys are leftovers from previous bundles purchases.
All games are categorized into (spooky Halloween) tiers based on their full retail price on Steam. I'm not adamant about always trading within the same tier, but please keep these in mind when offering me trades (don't offer me a $1 game for one in my highest tier). Feel free to propose trades for an uneven number of games where the cumulative values are even. All games are Steam keys unless otherwise noted.
As always, please do not add me on Steam until we have agreed upon a trade here.

Halloween Night Loot Tier - $19.99 - $29.98

Candy Bowl Tier - $14.99 - $19.98

King Size Candy Bar Tier - $9.99 - $14.98 games

Candy Bar Tier - $4.99 - $9.98 games

Fun Size Tier - $1.98 - $4.98 games

Candy Corn Tier - Up to $1.98 (some of these games have even gone FTP)

Rare Treat Tier - Games that can no longer be purchased through Steam. Some of these games still have visible store pages, and some have disappeared altogether!

submitted by CthulhusHat to SteamGameSwap [link] [comments]

Kaiserreich Beta 0.13 - ‘A King and his Captain’

Continuing our pattern of smaller, more focused updates we are delighted to bring you the Romanian rework! Of course we haven’t been idle in other places; many other nations, notably Serbia, have received changes as well. In addition, we are very pleased to give you one of our greatest performance improvements to date as a result of our new division limit and our totally rewritten annexation decisions; details for both can be found below. We hope you enjoy this update!
- The KR4 team
Changes
New Systems
Division Limit:
A new mechanic has been added to all nations; the division limit. It represents the total number of divisions that a country can safely support. The AI will simply not build past this limit. Players can build past this limit, but they will be notified when they’re over it (via a flashing alert on their Recruit & Deploy tab) and will receive a malus that increases the more they go over that limit.
Other Notable Additions
Reworked/Expanded Focus Trees
New Events
New Decisions
New Custom Country Paths
New Game Rules
GFX
New portraits for:
Music Mod
Mapping
Miscellaneous
Fixes
Notable Fixes
Other Fixes
We hope you enjoy playing Kaiserreich as much as we did making it!
- The KR4 Team: Alpinia, Arvidus, Augenis, Blackfalcon501, DSFDarker, Carmain, Dr. Njitram, Drozdovite, Edouard Saladier, Éloïse, Eragaxshim, Fbruchmueller, Flamefang, Fort, Gideones, JazzyHugh, Jeankedezeehond, Jonjon428, Jonny BL, Krco, Liegnitz, Maltesefalcon, Matoro, NukeGaming, OperationsManagementDecisions, PPsyrius, Pietrus, Rei VL, Rylock, SPQR, Starguard, Telcontar101, The Alpha Dog, Thomahawk2k, Vidyaország, WordZero, Yard1, Zankoas and Zimbabwe Salt Co.
submitted by Flamefang92 to Kaiserreich [link] [comments]

The Losers of the Red Bull Junior Team - Part 2 - /r/Formula1 Editorial Team

The Losers of the Red Bull Junior Team - Part 2: Birth of a Dream (2005-2006)

by TheStateOfIt
Hey y’all, welcome to Part Two of the Losers of the Red Bull Junior Team. If you aren’t up to speed on what this series is about, check out the first post in the series here..
The next part in covering the losers begins in 2005. The first fruits of the programme have found their way into Formula One, drivers like Christian Klien, Patrick Friesacher and... Narain Karthikeyan? Okay, the last two were technically dropped by Red Bull before going into F1, but they still made it. Mateschitz had just bought out Jaguar and Red Bull, and the lovable Minardi is about to morph into the youthful Toro Rosso.
In response, the Red Bull Junior Team is expanding its borders, taking in drivers from across the world, from Hong Kong to Argentina, Russia to Ireland, and everywhere in between. With the brand taking off and with two Formula One teams, the Red Bull Junior Team sees a rapid expansion, as a whole host of drivers enter the team. Some go into F1. Some find success elsewhere.
Most get kicked out after a year or two. Time to focus on them.

The Suspect Years (2005-2006)

Jim Ka To (HKG) - 2005 - Formula Renault Asian Challenge
The second Asian driver for Red Bull’s juniors after one Narain Karthikeyan, Jim was supposed to make the big move to Formula Renault in Europe, but the Hongkonger apparently had ‘health issues’ that prevented his big break. After one season in Asian Formula Renault, Wikipedia says he was dropped from the programme the following year, yet DriverDB says he stuck it out for another year with Red Bull in International Formula Challenge, a championship so unheard of that it appears to be purged from the internet.
What isn’t purged from the internet, though, is his criminal record. He was arrested in 2008 for assault, and in the middle of his bail period, he went on to become Asian Formula Renault Champion. I want to know if there’s any other driver who won a championship while on bail pending trial.
It seems that Jim was released on appeal after three months. Lucky him, his initial sentence was for 15 months. It didn’t take long for his second arrest in 2010, charged with reckless driving and crashing into a taxi, proving the age-old adage that racing drivers shouldn’t ply their trade on city streets. Apparently there’s another drug-related charge to his name, but that really shouldn’t count as the drug in question was Viagra.
For god’s sake, Chinese police, give Jim a break.
Run-ins with the police aside, Jim Ka To still races to this day, competing in the Chinese Touring Car Cup. I wish I could give you more info, but the CTCC, unlike the rest of China, doesn’t keep track of their events well, so I can’t tell you much apart from his 14th place in last year’s championship. I can tell you he was dreadful as a wildcard entry in the WTCC in 2019 and that he represented Hong Kong in the FIA Motorsport Games, which is like the Olympics but all the events are motorsport and there’s no hype surrounding it, but that’s about it. It’s not a good look when your criminal record is more relevant than your racing career.
Matias Milla (ARG) - 2005 - Formula Renault 2.0
Matias Milla’s career started with tragedy, as an accident in his debut in single seaters took the life of fellow competitor Matias Rico. Milla was also severely injured in the wreck, but managed to recover well enough to finish joint-runner up in Formula Renault Argentina the next season. It seems his date is also mislabeled, as his European career starting in 2004 seems to have been under Red Bull, as this video of him wrecking the Red Bull brand would indicate.
Regardless, Milla didn’t do himself any favours for Red Bull in 2005, lasting just two races in Formula Renault Germany before leaving Red Bull and heading home to Argentina. He shifted his career well into reverse, though, sticking to karting for the next six years, though he did reap tons of rewards on-track. In his first season back out of karts, though, he won the TC2000 championship on his first try. To avoid confusion, this is just the regular TC2000 championship, the second tier in the royal hierarchy of Argentine touring cars. In the premier division, Super TC2000, Milla took his time to get acclimatised, but did win an event last year, so all props to him.
Teemu Nyman (FIN) - 2005 - Formula Renault 2.0
I know Finns like to keep a low profile. Teemu is the embodiment of that. In his single season with Red Bull, he failed to score any podiums in Formula Renault Germany and the less said about his journey in the Eurocup, the better. A huge let-down from his promising karting career, Teemu effectively left single-seaters and hasn’t shown up since. Seriously, nothing. My Facebook hunting skills may have uncovered him as a proud dad, but that’s literally all I have been able to gather about this mysterious man.
John Edwards (USA) - 2005-2007 - Formula Renault 2.0 / Atlantic Championship
John Edwards was taken in by Red Bull at just 14 years of age, and unlike most other drivers of that age who would be karting, Edwards was automatically given the boost to Formula Renault. Obviously, at such a young age, he wasn’t going to be the top draw, but he still held his own for a couple of years, winning a race at Anderstorp, but for some reason Marko didn’t stick with the adolescent talent. Maybe his move back to the United States put some dampers on his relationship with Red Bull, but I have no clue.
Then he won the Star Mazda and Atlantic Championship back-to-back. He then transitioned to Grand-Am and GT Racing, where he’s a multiple-time race winner in both Grand-Am and IMSA. He guided his team to win their class in the Daytona 24 Hours. Most importantly, as a BMW factory driver, he got to pilot the B I G M8.
He’s on the threshold of what is defined here as a “loser”. Anything lower than him is considered unsuccessful, which just goes to show how brutal motorsport is.
Stefano Coletti (MON) - 2005-2008 - Formula BMW / Formula Renault 2.0 / Formula 3**
Oh dear.
Stefano baby what happened to you.
It did take him quite a while and a lot of effort for the Monegasque driver to get to GP2, including getting accepted and then rejected from Red Bull’s Junior team. It didn’t help that he was erratic and inconsistent in Formula Three and Formula Renault. Not just in terms of on-track results, but also behaviour, when he socked Jules Bianchi in the face after one F3 race in 2009. Once he got his conduct sorted and results moving along, though, he made it to GP2 in the end. He was a mainstay of the series for a while, always in the midfield but never a contender for the title.
That changed in 2013. Three wins and six podiums in the first eight races of the season saw him lead the championship by 24 points. He even won in Monaco, the first Monegasque to win on home soil since Louis Chiron in 1931. People were beginning to question which F1 team he would move to next.
Then his talent disappeared. Outside of a podium at the Nürburgring, he didn’t score a SINGLE POINT after that. Some due to bad luck, like getting punted from fourth at Silverstone, but his other dreadful results were inexplicable. He had a more consistent season the following year, but nowhere near the successes he had in early 2013.
He then surprised everyone by joining Indycar in 2015, surprised some people as he was hyped as KV Racing’s top young talent, then surprised nobody by failing to live up to those expectations. I forgot he even existed in Indycar until I started writing this. Many others did too, and soon the effect took hold on Coletti, who stopped racing altogether and has now delved into the niche market of Monegasque real estate.
Sergey Afanasyev (RUS) - 2006 - Formula Renault 2.0
Afanasyev burst onto the scene with a Formula RUS trophy in his hand and Lukoil sponsorship backing him up, earning him a spot alongside fellow Russian Mikhail Aleshin in Red Bull’s Junior Team. However, he only entered two feeder series to the feeder series of a feeder series, the Northern European and Swiss Formula Renault 2.0 Championships. Despite a race win in the Northern Europe championship and finishing second in the Swiss category, Marko got rid of him rather quickly at season’s end.
He swung around the three near-meaningless feeder categories at the time - International Formula Master, (Palmer) Formula 2 and AutoGP - before finally settling on a career in GT cars and Touring Cars. Though his touring car career was filled with commentators encouraging others to wreck him, he found more success in the middle categories of sportscar racing, taking championship in the Pro-Am class of the FIA GT series and winning the one-make Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe last year.
Nathan Antunes (AUS) - 2006 - Formula Renault 2.0 / Formula 3
Anybody paying attention to Australian GT racing would’ve heard of Antunes’ name. Heck, classifying him as a ‘loser’ may be harsh, but for a programme specifically geared to manufacture top-tier stars, Nathan lags behind. Not that he was in the programme for long, barely getting half a chance in German F3 and Formula Renault before being given the boot.
He did take quite the hiatus from racing in general following that, focusing primarily on the Toyota Racing Series, but now he’s living the good life. He won in his class in the 2016 Bathurst 12 Hours, has found some success elsewhere in the Australian GT scene, got a side gig as a Mercedes-AMG performance driver in his current hiatus from full-time racing and is married to an Instagram model. What’s so bad about that?
Yoshitaka Kuroda (JPN) - 2006 - Formula BMW
Kuroda Yoshitaka is a Japanese daimyo who served as a chief strategist of the great unifiers of Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi. He was one of a select group of daimyos that converted to Christianity, which caused some religious kerfuffle when Hideyoshi gave an edict that expelled all Christians from Japan. Yoshitaka said “fuck that Christianity shit” once he realized that he would be threatened with death, but is still portrayed in contemporary Japan as a general feared by Hideyoshi.
This Yoshitaka Kuroda couldn’t even muster a top-8 finish in Formula BMW in his single season under Red Bull. Absolutely no relation to the other Kuroda, apart from being expelled from a dynasty. His career highlight is appearing in a few AutoGP races, where the ”website” in his AutoGP profile now links to a site providing tips for the nursing industry. I don’t think Kuroda runs that site anymore and, as far as I can tell, Kuroda doesn’t race nowadays as well.
Niall Quinn (IRE) - 2006 - Formula BMW
Yes, the name’s the same as that Irish footballing legend. His old Wordpress blog is even called ‘The Other Niall Quinn’. All similarities with surprisingly competent goalkeepers aside, Quinn was labelled by Red Bull as the next big thing when he won a karting shoot-out to earn his place in their Junior Team, giving him a drive in Formula BMW UK for the next season. Third place in the rookie’s cup wasn’t so bad for someone’s first season out of karts.
So Red Bull went batshit crazy and dropped him instantly. Ouch.
Quinn never stepped up beyond Formula Three after that, regardless of being awarded Young Irish Driver of the Year, his Formula Palmer Audi successes and test driver role for the championship-winning Irish A1GP team. A surprise appearance in Indy Lights, which wasn’t half bad, couldn’t land him a role Stateside, and by 2015 was stuck racing in the Irish Seat Supercup. This was enough for Quinn and motor racing, and settled on taking on a regular job as a software engineer for Verizon.
Or so you think. Outside of software stuff, he picked up some simracing equipment and got back to the grind. I don’t know how much simracing played a role, but he ended up back in the driver’s seat for Team HARD at the final GT Open round at Snetterton. After a few years away, his first weekend back saw him clinch a race win. Even now, with racing cancelled, Quinn is still getting his name out there, no thanks to being teammates with one Robert Kubica in his simracing exploits. If he isn’t yet, this guy’s about to be Poland’s favourite Irishman.
Oliver Oakes (GBR) - 2006-2007 - Formula BMW / Formula Renault 2.0
Oakes was a no-brainer for Red Bull, having just won the World Karting Championship. His first impression also made waves as he won his first ever race in single-seaters in Formula BMW. However, after one decent season in Formula Renault, Red Bull did their usual disposal of drivers who didn’t instantly pick up the slack, Oakes included. His next decision took him to British F3, where he struggled with minnows Eurotek in 2008. After promising performances, though, he joined the renowned Carlin outfit, pairing up with Daniel Ricciardo and Max Chilton. This little web gem of a young Oakes, Ricciardo & Chilton (and a former Lord) seemed to show off good times in the Carlin camp.
However, after two races, Oakes was done with Carlin for reasons only termed as a ”dispute”, and a last-ditch effort to save his racing career in GP3 went nowhere. But Oakes was by no means done with motorsport. Heck, he’s now one of the biggest names in junior motorsport, having taken the Christian Horner route and becoming team principal of HitechGP.
Oakes didn’t just take over HitechGP either. He rebranded the whole damn team, changing their name from Hitech Racing and starting everything from scratch. Since Oakes’ takeover, they’ve had their fair share of talent walk through their doors, from Alexander Sims to Rinus VeeKay to George Russell, operated teams in Formula 2 and Formula 3 and provided all the operations for the W Series and the F4 component in the Motorsport Games.
When Red Bull’s Junior Programme failed you, I guess the best way to take revenge is to start your own.
Edoardo Piscopo (ITA) - 2006-2007 - Formula Renault 2.0 / Toyota Racing Series / Formula 3 / A1GP
Most of Piscopo’s story in motorsport comes after he left the Red Bull Junior Team, which terminated following a disappointing Formula 3 Euro Series campaign. However, he was still seen as a golden boy in the eyes of one Formula One reject: perennial backmarker Piercarlo Ghinzani.
Luckily, Ghinzani was no longer at the back of the Formula One pack with Osella, but had now started his own racing team which, as of 2007, had become the operator of A1 Team Italy. After impressing in practice in Sepang, Ghinzani handed Italy’s honour to Piscopo for the rest of the season. Edoardo went on to misrepresent Italy in the World Cup of Motorsport, with only a best finish of 7th and sinking Team Italy to 18th and 16th in the two years he was with the team. Despite his failures in A1GP, though, he found success with Ghinzani’s team in Italian Formula Three, and came in 2nd in a race for the Italian F3 championship with Mirko Bortolotti. This gave Piscopo his only taste of Formula One, testing the Ferrari F2008 as his prize.
His career only blossomed from there, nearly becoming AutoGP Champion in 2010 behind Romain Grosjean despite winning zero races, having zero pole positions and only one fastest lap. After more success in Blancpain and in the Porsche Carrera Cup, Piscopo found his true calling at Lamborghini. He won the Lamborghini Super Trofeo in Europe in 2014, the North American series in 2017 and the World Final in both of those years. All this success saw him signed up to Lamborghini as the official test driver for the Huracan GT3, a role that he still holds to this day (I think).
That’s all for Part Two. To anyone still reading, thank you for your collective interest in the ‘losers’ of the Red Bull Junior Team. The next part starts in 2007, the time when Sebastian Vettel entered F1 and really made everyone sit up and take note of Marko’s child army.
Not everyone post-Vettel has been that good, though. Sure, we have Brazilian talk-show guests, a Ferrari lap record holder and a hands-free Lebanese, but none of them found F1 success. Want to know how they got on? Check out the next part :--)
submitted by F1-Editorial to formula1 [link] [comments]

Pipes in the sand. The Story of Changi Motorsports Hub

Pipes in the sand. The Story of Changi Motorsports Hub
Hi everyone, here's some OC ripped from my own blog. Singapore doesn't really have a Motorsports culture (try asking the average man to name a Singaporean race driver without using Google), so there isn't much motorsport related stuff I can write about linking to Singapore. Today happens to mark the 10th anniversary of the Ground Breaking Ceremony for the Changi Motorsports Hub, and I've taken this chance to do a writeup on the whole saga, which most have forgotten.
If you like it, feel it can be improved, or have differing thoughts about the subject, do comment down below! It'll be gladly appreciated. If you want the link to the original, alongside a complete list of my sources, it's in the comments. [] Is the link to each statement.
Every saga has its origin. The 13th of July 2020 marks the tenth anniversary of what should have been a historical day in the history of Motorsport in Singapore. A day that should have marked the beginning of a bright new era for Motorsport in Singapore. A bright future that never came, and remains forgotten.
Every 2 years, the skies above Changi East are filled with the roar of low-flying military aircraft performing aerobatics during the bi-annual Singapore Airshow, held at the Changi Exhibition Centre. For the remainder of the 2 years, Changi East remains a relatively quiet place, with most of the noise in the area coming from airliners taking off from the adjacent Changi Airport.
However, this was never meant to be the case. Changi East was planned to be the site of Singapore’s first Permanent Racing Circuit, with the circuit being located adjacent to the CEC. Despite this, the Circuit was never meant to replace the Marina Bay Street Circuit, where the Singapore Grand Prix is run yearly. The Changi Motorsports Hub was planned to instead complement the Marina Bay Street Circuit, allowing for Motorsport activities on a year-round basis.
Contrary to common belief, the Changi Motorsports Hub was not the first Permanent Motor Racing Circuit for cars which was planned in Singapore. The first to be planned was the Tuas International Speedway in 2005, which was never built. (Part of the site was later used for a Motocross track, [email protected], which closed in the early 2010s.) The Changi Motorsports Hub progressed further than the Tuas International Speedway, being built, albeit as far as a bunch of piles sticking out of the sand it was built upon....

Origins

Plans for the Changi Motorsports Hub were first revealed in an article published on the 17th of October 2007, titled: “Motorsports to put Changi on fast track” , written by Samuel Ee. Despite this, no news on the project was announced until 31st March 2009, when the Singapore Sports Council (now known as Sport Singapore) released a Request For Proposal (RFP) to build and develop the Changi Motorsports Hub. The RFP dateline was the 27th of August 2009.
In the Press Release, the SSC announced the site of the racetrack would be a 41 hectre site located next to the Changi Exhibition Centre. The following minimum specifications were laid out[1]:
  • Minimum 3.5-kilometre long FIA Grade 2 Circuit
  • A single permanent sheltered grandstand for at least 8,000 pax, with an unobstructed view of the whole circuit.

The 3 Bids

On Monday, 7th of November 2009, the three organisations bidding for the Changi Motorsports Hub presented their plans to the media. The organisations & their bid details were as follows[2]:

Singapore Agro Agricultural (SAA)

The then-operator of Turf City (now known as The Grandstand), which was also behind the initial plans for the Tuas International Circuit, that was later cancelled.
  • Project Name: Changi International Speedway (CIS)
  • 4.37 KM Track meeting FIM Grade 1 & FIA Grade 2, with room for upgrading to FIA Grade 1 status
  • Secured rights to host a MotoGP Night Race.
  • Est Cost: 200-250 Million SGD

Sport Services

A wholly-owned subsidiary of the Haw Par Corporation
  • 4.2 KM Track designed by Hermann Tilke, meeting FIM Grade 1 & FIA Grade 1T
  • Letters of Intent were signed with the SuperGT & the V8 Supercars Championship
  • Motorsports Country Club for 3000 individuals will be created to recoup costs of operation and development
  • Est Cost: 200 Million SGD+

SG Changi

Consortium with shareholders from Japan and Singapore. Auto Trading Luft Japan was involved in the financing of the project.
  • 3.7 KM track meeting FIA Grade 2 standards
  • Letters of Interest were announced for the FIA GT Championship, Super GT, Formula Nippon (now known as Super Formula) and Japanese Formula 3.
  • The proposal included an R&D Facility, Motorsport Museum and a Hotel
  • Est Cost: 280 Million SGD
On the 26th of March 2010, the SSC announced it had selected SG Changi to develop, build, finance and manage the facility. The targeted completion date was by the end of 2011, with the track being expected to be ready for use ahead of the 2012 racing season.

SG Changi Project Details

In the SSC’s press release, SG Changi’s final proposal was included. Key Details are listed below[3]:

Racing Circuit

  • Racing circuit with 6 different configurations, inclusive of a Karting Track
  • Main Circuit (Circuit 01) will be 3.7 KM long
  • Karting Track will be 1.1 KM long
  • 3 Pit Complexes included within the development, 2 Permanent (Main & Karting Pits), 1 Temporary (Secondary Pits)
  • The Direction of travel was not mentioned but is believed to be Clockwise

TRACK MAP

Length of Black Section is 3.7km

Developmental Process

Ground Breaking Ceremony & Piling Work

On the 13th of July 2010, a groundbreaking ceremony was held at Aviation Park Road, with invited guests witnessing a drifting event on the day. Following the groundbreaking ceremony, SGChangi announced it would begin construction in August of the year. [4]
In construction, piling is one of the critical early steps that are required before any building work can begin. Despite SGChangi’s announcements, the piling contracts were only awarded in October, with piling works only beginning in December. CSC Holdings were appointed as contractors for the piling works.
Piling work lasted a mere 1 and a half months, with CSC halting any further piling work in the middle of January. This was reportedly due to SG Changi failing to pay an instalment to CSC. At the time of stoppage, only 1000 of the 6000 points had piled into the ground. SGChangi also came under probing from the Corrupt Practices Investigatory Bureau (CPIB) during this time.[5]
In August 2011, CSC Holdings terminated its contract with SGChangi. On 12 December 2011, the SSC announced it would move towards the mutual termination of it’s contract with SGChangi.
In an interview with The Straits Times in late December 2011, consortium chairman Fuminori Murahashi revealed the CPIB probe had been the result of a tip-off from himself. He had been alerted about an email exchange between an SGChangi employee and an SSC official, which reportedly contained a job offer with SGC in the event of the consortium winning the bid. [6]

Post-SGChangi

Despite the SSC announcing it would terminate the SGC Contract, The Straits Times reported in late January that the return of the site to the Government was being delayed. This was due to SGC being concerned over a particular aspect of the Contract, with a clause stating that any refund on the $36 million SG Changi paid for the land lease was tied to a second tender exercise. As a result, SGC appeared to be reluctant to accept the proposal to terminate the contract, if it was unable to minimally recover the $36 million, without the involvement of a second tender process. [7]
On the 15th of May 2012, the SSC officially terminated its agreement with SG Changi, 6 months after it announced it would terminate its deal with the SGC. The SSC repossessed the land on 17th of May 2012. SSC CEO Lim Teck Yin stated that the land could be used for non-motorsports purposes, announcing a market sounding exercise will be carried out to assess the level of interest among potential investors for a motorsports hub or other sports and lifestyle concepts.[8]

The End of the Road

Despite having received seven proposals from six organisations during the RFI period after November 2012, on the 12 of June 2013, the SSC announced it would not be proceeding with the re-tender for the site. The SSC announced it would proceed to reinstate the land, working with the authorities on the feasibility of an early handover of the land back for alternative uses. [9]
With that, the curtain seemingly fell on the CMH, a project that saw much promise but ultimately proved to be a false dawn for Motorsport in Singapore. Despite this, Changi East did see some motorsport action in the form of the Changi Karting Circuit, which opened in 2013, on a short term lease, closing in 2014.

Aftermath

In April 2014, nearly a year after it was announced that the CMH would be scrapped, the site was left virtually untouched. The Straits Times saw the site still littered with Piles, with SGChangi having yet to remove the piles. Later, it was found that the complete extraction of the installed piles was not feasible, as engineers evaluated and realised that the removal of the piles could lead to the weakening of nearby sea walls. An alternate plan was devised to cut the pillars at a shallow depth beneath the ground. [10]
In late October 2014, the SSC, rebranded as Sport Singapore, announced that it had returned the site to the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) earlier in the month and returned the remainder of the 40 million SGChangi had paid for the land to the consortium. SGChangi repaid its debt to CSC Holdings in the same month.[11]
In November 2015, it was revealed by The Straits Times that the site was to be reserved for industries supporting the future Changi Airport Terminal 5. [12] Since then, no mention of the Changi Motorsports Hub or SGChangi has ever been made in the media again.
submitted by everraydy to singapore [link] [comments]

[Megathread] Wuhan viral outbreak

This Megathread has been superceded by Megathread #3. Please share all articles and information pertaining to the viral outbreak that originated in Wuhan in that thread instead.
January 30:
January 29:
January 28:
January 27:
January 26:
January 25:
January 24:
January 23:
January 22:
January 21:
January 18:
December 31, 2019:
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Selected social media and video posts - NOTE: MOST ARE UNOFFICIAL AND UNVERIFIED: information may not be accurate or true:
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Humor:
Previous megathread(s):
submitted by rChina_Announcements to China [link] [comments]

Asia today talking points 9/9/2020

· US equities continued their decline with tech names leading the sell off. The S&P slumped -2.8% and Nasdaq -4.2%, bring the losses to 7 and 10% from their respective peaks. USD continued to strengthen while yields rose, adding to headwinds for tech and broader market. US-China tensions, negative news on Tesla (passed over for S&P 500 inclusion and GM-Nikola collaboration), falling oil prices were the other headwinds noted in the market. Stimulus stalemate continues with reports that the Senate GOP may introduce a skinny $500-700bn bill which is likely to still not pass through the Democrats. Company news wise Nikola +41% and GM +8% on strategic partnership while Tesla slumped -21%. Boeing also fell -6% on a WSJ report that the company is under investigation by the FAA for manufacturing flaws.
· Quick stock idea on the Electric Vehicle (EV) theme. General Motors announced last night it would help Nikola develop and manufacture electric vehicles in exchange for an 11% stake in the company, spurring a rally in both companies. EV companies such as Tesla, Nio, Li Auto has done very well this year despite being able to yet deliver profitability above their cost of capital. Longer term, the space is going to be intense and we do not which of the new auto companies, or traditional ones would emerge as market share winners. But rather than attempting to pick a winner, it might make sense to go down the value chain to focus on their suppliers, on companies that will benefit from a general industry shift away from internal combustion engines to EVs. 2 names come to mind: – (1) Nidec 6594 JT which is investing in new capacity to manufacture EV traction motors - https://drivesncontrols.com/news/fullstory.php/aid/6289/Nidec_invests_billions_to_become_global_leader_in_EV_motors.html
– (2) Minth 425 an auto parts supplier that has earlier this year won an order from Volkswagen to supply aluminium battery casing for its electric vehicle platform
· We have received a fairly amount of interest in Japanese equities recently following news that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has invested $6bn in 5 trading companies in Japan. https://www.barrons.com/articles/why-warren-buffetts-berkshire-hathaway-is-now-big-on-japan-51598885655
While the investment merits of trading companies are debatable, what however is fairly clear is that despite the equity bull market, Japanese equities are still ignored by foreign investors. YTD foreigner investors have net sold JPY 72b in Japanese equities, and have been net sellers since Abenomics tapered off in 2015. While the macro case for Japan is mixed (strong current account balance offset by aging demographics), from a bottom up perspective, there are plenty of interesting opportunities in Japan – especially in the tech and healthcare space. We have both a USD and JPY version of the Premium Selection Japan AMC and it might be a good opportunity to pick up either AMCs amidst the tech sell off. For more on FSA ECC’s AMCs please also see this website -https://intranet.jsafrasarasin.com/intranet/iach/banking_iach/offering_iach/fsa_iach/trading_ideas_cc_equities_iach.htm?tab=2
submitted by geologyisthygame to HKstocks [link] [comments]

Covid-19 update 4th May

Good morning from the UK. May the fourth be with you. It's Star Wars day everyone.

Most people will by now be aware of the on-demand streaming service from Disney called Disney +. My wife loves all things Disney (and has been watching it heavily as she wrestles with her mental health during the lockdown). The service provides their extensive back catalogue of productions they’ve made (Snow White, Mickey Mouse, Mary Poppins, 101 Dalmations, Lion King etc etc), but also those they’ve acquired by buying other companies (Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars for instance).
As most people will know, the first Star Wars film - now known as episode 4 - came out in 1977 (I watched it last week, it’s still fresh). Directed by George Lucas (who four years previously had secured nominations at the oscars and golden globes for his film American Graffiti), none of the major movie studios were keen on taking the film on because there’d been a recent rash of sci-fi flops. 20th Century Fox decided to take a punt on it but to shield themselves from potential losses they struck a deal with Lucas; he’d give up $500,000 in directing fees but could keep licensing and merchandising rights for himself. Oops. Business Insider says that in 1978 $100m worth of star wars figures were sold and by 2011 (which didn’t even have a Star Wars film released), the annual star wars toy sales were up to $3bn. In 2012 Lucas sold LucasFilm (which owned Star Wars) to Disney for a reported $4.05bn. Add in the previous toy sales and Lucas is said to be worth around $5bn. Which is nice.
Whilst licensing and merchandising rights weren’t really much a thing back then (which is presumably why Fox struck the deal with Lucas), these days they’re a big revenue stream. This article from BBC last year (published a few days before the release of toy story 4) highlighted that 23% of all toy sales in the UK were from movie franchises and the toy story franchise was driving 20% of sales in Disney retail stores whilst Buzz Lightyear is the best selling toy of all time. Curious then that Avatar didn’t tap into this lucrative additional revenue stream when it came out in 2009.
Frozen came out in time for Christmas 2013 and rapidly became a sensation in the movie theatres before becoming available on digital download on February 25th 2014 and three weeks on DVD, rapidly becoming Amazon’s best selling children’s movie ever; in its first week on DVD format it sold three times more copies then the next 19 movies combined. Frozen toys sold particularly well during the 2014 holiday shopping quarter, helping Disney's consumer products unit earn a $626 million profit, up 46 percent from a year earlier (Source: Yahoo Finance).
With broadband speeds becoming ever faster and available to more and more people DVD sales have inevitably declined in recent years. Toy sales though haven’t and it’s important for your revenue streams to have supporting merchandise if you release a major title. The Mandalorian (a new TV show in the Star Wars franchise which has been heavily promoted by Disney to attract more subscribers to Disney +) came out in the US in November 2019. Disney was keen to keep Baby Yoda a surprise - so much so it didn’t manufacture any Baby Yoda toys for Christmas 2019. This I would argue was an unusual miss from Disney which usually doesn’t miss a trick; Baby Yoda has become an internet sensation.
Disney was aiming to go all out with The Mandalorian in general and Baby Yoda in particular in 2020, presumably hoping to make tens of millions in profit from it. Covid-19 is threatening to put paid to that; CNN flagged two months ago that if things weren’t back to normal by June or July manufacturing of Baby Yodas would be down 5-10% (link); presumably that could have a significant dent to Disney’s toy revenue stream this year. The Baby Yoda supply chain may be experiencing disruption for now but in the meantime you can buy Star Wars themed facemasks if you like from Disney’s official shop - they’ve already donated $1m in profits from sale of those masks to a humanitarian aid organisation that distributes medical support to communities in need.

Virus news in brief




Virus Statistics


I’m no longer going to publish virus statistics from Johns Hopkins because the amazing efforts of rkuzsma and TeMPOraL_PL mean it’s fully automated (woohoo!). Get your own daily virus statistics (you can set cut offs as you see fit) here.

Supply chain news in brief












submitted by Fwoggie2 to supplychain [link] [comments]

Covid-19 update Tuesday March 17th

Good morning from the UK. Happy St Patricks day. It'll be a woeful one for many Irish people around the world with pubs and bars shut in multiple US states, several European countries, several Asian countries and worst of all, Ireland itself. Here in the UK you can still go to the pub, although as of late yesterday afternoon the UK government advised against it says the BBC.

Virus statistics
Several comments from redditors in past days complained the WHO stats I C&P'd did not come very close to reflecting stats being quoted by national media wherever they lived. As a result, I'm abandoning the WHO stats and going back to the John Hopkins University tracker stats for all countries. If it's good enough for the likes of Forbes, Business Insider, FT, USA Today to regularly cite it then it's good enough for me:-

Region Today (John Hopkins Stats at time of writing) Yesterday (John Hopkins stats not the WHO's) % daily change
Global 182,424 169,387 +7.7%
China 81,053 81,020 +0.4%
Italy 27,980 24,747 +13.1%
Iran 14,991 13,938 +7.6%
Spain 9,942 7,844 +26.7%
South Korea 8,320 8,162 +1.9%
Germany 7,272 5,813 +25.1%
France 6,655 5,437 +22.4%
USA 4,661 3,774 +23.5%
Switzerland 2,330 2,200 +5.9%
UK 1,553 1,395 +11.3%
Netherlands 1,414 1,136 +24.5%
Norway 1,347 1,256 +7.2%
Sweden 1,121 1,032 +8.6%
Belgium 1,058 886 +19.4%
Austria 1,018 860 18.4%

All other countries with under 1000 identified infections not listed (sorry Denmark), yesterday's threshold was 750. Total countries infected worldwide = 155, an increase from yesterday of 9. Source for all countries (as discussed above): the John Hopkins University dashboard (Link). (Personal note: Western countries infection counts are increasing each day much faster than Asian countries but that may be due to cultural differences or it may be that they're doing my testing, if anyone can shed light on this please do).
Reminder, these are identified case counts and medical experts are reporting this virus has a long incubation period with people being infections despite displaying no symptoms; the true infection figures are likely to be much higher. Note that some countries are reporting shortages of test kits which further skews the data available; assume true cases are much higher.
Finally, no, I don't believe China's official statistics either.

Selected Virus news

Warnings of shortages of regeants (ingredients) to make test kits in the US - the Fool (a high quality finance website despite the name) reports that FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn stated last week in testimony before a U.S. House of Representatives appropriations subcommittee that there could be supply chain issues with reagents needed for novel coronavirus diagnostic kits. He noted that the supply issues specifically apply to RNA used in testing for coronavirus disease COVID-19.

Shortages in US supermarkets likely to continue until panic buying eases - The LA Times says that shortages will continue until people calm down in their shopping habits. The major chains usually get shipments overnight, or perhaps twice a day, to restock essentials such as paper towels, toilet paper and water, but “manufacturers in some cases are having trouble keeping up, and that’s where the void is, they’re not able to keep up with demand,” said Bob Reeves, vice president for the West at the Shelby Report, a research firm that tracks the grocery industry. “We’re seeing shipments coming into the stores sometimes without any of those products, and it will be like that until people calm down a little bit,” he said. In some cases, chains are sending their delivery trucks directly to manufacturers — bypassing warehouses and distributors — to get the items to the stores faster. (Personal note: the same applies for all supermarket supply chains globally)

Pa. hospitals are rationing protective gear as the number of coronavirus cases grows - (Personal note, this is an example, there seems to be a general global shortage of medical PPE (personal protective equipment) - The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that hospitals across Pennsylvania are drastically limiting the use of key protective gear out of fears that a dramatic increase in coronavirus cases could diminish reserves and cause a dangerous shortage. The rationing comes as the state Department of Health maintains that it has personal protective equipment available and is working with health systems to make sure they have what they need. The gear includes eye protection, gowns, and N95 respirators, which are essential in preventing a health care worker from breathing in infectious particles when in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. In Philadelphia, two doctors who work at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania said it’s barring the use of N95 respirators “except in extraordinarily limited situations.” Penn Medicine declined to comment. Another city doctor, Daphne Owen, said in a tweet Thursday her clinic “for uninsured and undocumented patients” was out of masks. Two days later, the clinic, Puentes de Salud, said it was closed due to the pandemic.

Other Virus news in brief
- The Scottish courts and tribunals announced today that no new criminal jury trials would be commenced or new juries empanelled until further notice.
- Iran has temporarily freed a total of 85,000 prisoners, including political prisoners, a spokesman for its judiciary said on Tuesday, adding that the prisons were responding to the threat of a coronavirus epidemic in jails.
- Britain had “no time to lose” in changing tactics in order to prevent thousands of deaths and the NHS being overwhelmed, scientists providing guidance to the UK government have said. The Imperial College Covid-19 response team – which is one of several scientific teams advising UK ministers – published a paper (I've put it in the addendum below) showing that 250,000 people could die if efforts were focused only on delaying and slowing down the spread of Covid-19.Separately, England’s deputy chief medical officer, Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, could not rule out the strict measures having to last for a year but predicted they would last at least “several months“.
- Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs has advised Australians to return home as soon as possible by commercial means because overseas travel is becoming “more complex and difficult” as countries impose travel restrictions and close their borders.
- Leaders of EU states were expected on Tuesday to suspend all travel into the passport-free Schengen zone by non-EU nationals for at least 30 days in a bid to instil uniformity across the bloc after some member states, including Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland, unilaterally began imposing border checks.
- China has issued an angry reaction (by diplomatic standards) to the US president Donald Trump’s characterisation of the disease as “the Chinese virus.” (he tweeted late last night "The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus. We will be stronger than ever before!"). China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the US president should take care of his own matters first and not seek to “stigmatise” China.
- The postponement of soccer’s Euro 2020 Championship may already have been decided after Uefa last week cancelled its hotel bookings in Copenhagen.
- The UK just advised its citizens against all non essential travel worldwide in the past 10 minutes
- Mobile phone networks are struggling in some areas of the UK with significantly increased demands according to down detector. For sure a lot of people seem to be home working, my commute in this morning was like it was the middle of August and everyone else was on holiday.
- Alitalia, the Italian airline flag carrier is to be renationalised by Italy
- Cinema chains are closing in multiple countries due to shutdowns
- Kazakhstan is closing down its two largest cities (despite only having 32 cases so far)
- A preliminary calculation by a US expert suggests that tens of thousands of premature deaths from air pollution may have been avoided by the cleaner air in China, far higher than the 3,208 coronavirus deaths.
- Jordan: the army has said it will deploy at entrances and exits of main cities in the kingdom in a move officials said was ahead of an imminent announcement of a state of emergency to combat the spread of coronavirus.
- In a joint statement, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit and YouTube said they would help ensure people could stay connected to each other during isolation as well as fight any misinformation and fraud linked to the outbreak. “We are working closely together on Covid-19 response efforts,” the statement said. “We’re helping millions of people stay connected while also jointly combating fraud and misinformation about the virus, elevating authoritative content on our platforms, and sharing critical updates in co-ordination with government healthcare agencies around the world.
- Almost all Germans shops are about to close by government decree; supermarkets, pharmacies will remain open (including on Sundays when they are usually closed). Separately, government press briefings there have gone online only.
- Olympic organisers in Japan are asking people not to create crowds along the route of the Olympic torch relay and not to gather near the route if they feel sick. A Boeing aircraft flew to Greece on 15 March to bring the torch to Japan.
- France: No movement allowed except for essential work or health reasons. “There can be no more outside meetings, no more seeing family or friends on the street or in the park. We must slow the spread of this virus by limiting the number of people we are in contact with each day to the strict minimum. If we do not, we endanger the lives of those we hold dear.” said the French President Macron.
- Israel’s government has approved emergency measures to track people suspected or confirmed to have been infected with the coronavirus by monitoring their mobile phones, immediately raising privacy concerns in the country. The cabinet unanimously approved the use of the technology, developed initially for counter-terrorism purposes, in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel said providing the country’s internal security agency, the Shin Bet, with new secretive powers was a “dangerous precedent and a slippery slope that must be approached and resolved after much debate and not after a brief discussion”.
- Indonesian president Joko Widodo said on Saturday that he had withheld some information about cases to prevent the country from panicking, the Jakarta Post reported. He has rejected calls for a lockdown to be imposed on hard hit areas.
- Malaysia has announced it's closing its borders prompting neighbouring Singapore's citizens to panic buy (90% of their food is imported from Malaysia).
- New Zealand on Tuesday deported its first unruly traveller flouting the country’s mandatory 14-day self-isolation rule for almost all arrivals, the health ministry said. The tourist, who had checked into a backpackers hostel in the city of Christchurch, was removed from the accommodation by the police after officials learned she did not have clear self-isolation plans.

Economics

Goldman Sachs doesn't think the stock market drops have finished - BusinessInsider says that Goldman Sachs thinks that the S&P 500 might plunge as low as 2,000 before recovering through the rest of the year, the investment bank wrote Friday. The level is the benchmark index's lowest since early 2016 and implies a 20% decline from Monday's open. Such a tumble would also place the index more than 40% below its February 19 peak. The coronavirus outbreak is responsible for "unprecedented financial and societal disruption," the analysts said, and equities have so far served as accurate leading indicators before the release of relevant earnings or macroeconomic data. That said, the analysts pointed out that "The lesson of prior event-driven bear markets is that financial devastation ultimately allows a new bull market to be born,".

U.S. factories are likely to close because of the coronavirus’ supply-chain shock - Marketwatch reports (link) that there is a very real chance that companies from auto makers to electronics manufacturers will soon begin to cease or limit production. With a downed China as the headstream of global manufacturing, mercantile America simply can’t function as it’s accustomed to. We’re starting to see this happen in official reports: The New York Fed’s Empire State business conditions index, released Monday, plunged by a record 34.4 points to minus 21.5 in March. And Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Sunday he expects a contraction in GDP in the second quarter. (Personal note: I expect similar problems across all G20 countries). The article goes on to explain that many supply chain directors may understand their first tier suppliers but often do not have full visibility of the status of their 2nd or 3rd tier suppliers

Supply impact of the coronavirus outbreak is waning, but demand shock will linger, economist says - CNBC says that in January and February, industrial output fell by 13.5% from the same period a year earlier, the weakest reading since January 1990 — when Reuters' record began. China's industrial production is likely to improve in March over a slump in January and February due to the coronavirus outbreak, but consumer demand will take longer to recover both in the country and globally, an economist said Monday. "We will see some recovery, but this recovery, I think, is being undermined by the global spread as well," said Bo Zhuang, chief China economist at TS Lombard. Meanwhile, retail sales in January and February shrank 20.5% from a year ago, compared with a 8% growth in December as fearful consumers avoided crowded places like malls, restaurants and cinemas. "We were worried about supply-side issues, but now it's becoming a demand shock issue," said Zhuang. Smaller outfits like restaurants and service-oriented businesses have "resumed work but there are no customers," said Zhuang. "I think we are going to see a delayed V-shape (recovery), and this V may be a tilted V or W, or even U. We are not sure," he added.

Coronavirus Impacts Every Sector of the Supply Chain - Supply and demand chain executive reports that the global supply chain continues to experience disruption. "We have seen that in the way that it’s spreading across into different hubs where we see alternative routes to be overly burdened, such as the rail system,” says Koray Köse of Gartner. “Now with the crisis and the hubs being closed and product movements are still active to some extent, but not necessarily from those regions, will become crowded and impacted. This means that there’s an additional strain on the overall network to move material.” Some products have experienced significant upticks including Chicken noodle soup (+37%), Hand sanitizer (+65%), Disinfecting Wipes: (+353%) and Cold & Flu medications (+197%) amongst others.

Coronavirus pandemic worse than 1997 financial crisis, Malaysian ex-PM Mahathir warns - The Strait times reports on Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the former premier who steered Malaysia's recovery from the 1997 Asian financial crisis, expects the current coronavirus pandemic to hit the global economy even harder. "This is worse than the financial crisis," he said in a Bloomberg Television interview. "This is really a terrible blow to the economies of the whole world." Dr Mahathir joins other world leaders in warning that the virus impact may be worse than past periods of upheaval (Personal note: I pointed out yesterday the NZ PM also saying this).

Supply chain news relating to Covid-19

For Global Supply Chains the Worst Is Yet to Come - Supply Chain Management review says (Link) that most industrial companies have 30-60 days of parts and raw materials either on hand, in-transit, or obtainable on short notice. After these supplies run out, we will start to see shortages of finished products as well as parts needed to produce other goods. Shortages will start to become more evident toward the end of March and beginning of April. Production in some non-Chinese factories will have to be put on hold for lack of parts. Partially finished products will remain in suspension until all parts are available to build finished products. Some companies are pressing their engineers to redesign parts that can be sourced in the U.S., or at least outside of China. Other companies are giving 3D printing a serious try for the first time. The article goes on to point out delays in sea freight ex-Asia and extremely high airfreighting costs are exacerbating the situation.

U.S. Suspends Truck-Driving Limits to Speed Coronavirus Shipments - The Wall Street Journal reports as of 2 days ago that maximum working hours for truck drivers in the US have been suspended. This applies to truck drivers moving emergency supplies such as medical equipment, hand sanitizer and food in response to the nationwide coronavirus outbreak. It comes as hospitals report shortages of medical masks and as retailers and manufacturers are straining under surging demand for everything from hand sanitizer to staples such as toilet paper and rice. As anxious consumers stockpile goods, grocers have turned to rationing, imposing purchase limits on disinfectant wipes, cleaning supplies and other high-demand products. The move is the first time the FMCSA has issued nationwide-wide relief from hours-of-service regulations, although regional declarations have waived those rules in response to disasters such as hurricanes. Federal regulations limit most commercial truck drivers to 11 hours of driving time in a 14-hour workday, restrictions intended to reduce accidents caused by highway fatigue.

For supply chain companies, U.S.-Mexico border closures could be catastrophic - Marketplace points out that Mexico’s deputy health minister says he’s worried about people coming into Mexico from the United States; currently the U.S. has far more cases of COVID-19 than Mexico. The Mexican government even said it might consider restricting access at its northern borders. For businesses that operate on both sides of the border, any shutdown could be catastrophic. The article gives a case study of a manfacturer employing 150 people in Texas. The company president says before anyone considers closing the border, President Donald Trump and Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, should discuss a coordinated response to the virus. As for now, he says all of his people can work from home, if the situation calls for it. Everyone here has a laptop, he said. But he says the independent truck drivers and contractors who work on the loading docks, they have to be on site to run things. Those people also only get paid if they show up for work. So, for now, they’re glad the COVID-19 hasn’t shut this part of Texas down, yet.

It won't be long before Coronavirus shuts down local African supply chains - The major Kenyan newspaper daily nation reports that there are imminent difficulties facing Kenyan pharma firms due to the industry importing 70% of its ingredients from India and China, both of whom have restricted exports. Studies show that the Kenyan pharmaceuticals market is worth Sh100 billion ($965m USD), 80 per cent of which is prescription drugs. Although Kenya exports 50 per cent to the COMESA region and 75 per cent to East African Community, most of these exports are re-exports from India and China.

European automotive factories shutting down - Ferrari and Lamborghini have both suspended almost all production (says the Express and Star) whilst Yahoo Finance reports that Fiat Chrysler said in a statement on Monday 16 March that it would halt operations at most of its European plants, from now until 27 March because of an “interruption in market demand.” The Italian-American automotive group said the manufacturing stop includes six factories in Italy, the EU country worst hit by coronavirus. Italy has had over 24,700 infection cases so far, and more than 1,800 people have died from the virus. The PSA group, which includes Peugeot, Citroen, and Opel, said today it will close all its European plants, including in the UK, France and Germany for the remainder of the month too. German car giant Volkswagen is also suspending production at a number of manufacturing bases in Europe, including in Slovakia and Spain. VW-owned Seat has shuttered its main factory near Barcelona for at least the rest of the month. Meanwhile, according to the Financial Times, Volkswagen may also be forced to curtail production at the main factory in its home town of Wolfsburg, because of running low on parts.
Useful parcel courier current operational status links for anyone else in eCommerce:Canada Post, DHL Express, DPD, Fedex, Parcelforce, USPS. If anyone has any other major courier links for service status, please let us all know :)

Good news section
Amazon to hire 100,000 more workers and give raises to current staff to deal with coronavirus demands - CNBC says that Amazon is hiring an additional 100,000 employees in the U.S. to meet the surge in demand from online shopping amid the coronavirus outbreak, the company said Monday. The company is looking to add extra full-time and part-time positions for warehouse and delivery workers. Through the end of April, it will raise pay for these employees by $2 per hour in the U.S., £2 per hour in the UK, and approximately €2 per hour in many EU countries. Amazon currently pays $15 per hour or more in some areas of the U.S. for warehouse and delivery jobs. Amazon encouraged employees in other industries whose jobs were "lost or furloughed" as a result of the coronavirus to apply, including members of the hospitality, restaurant and travel industries. "We want those people to know we welcome them on our teams until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back," the company added.

Educating in denial older relatives anecdote
Personal story time; my 69 year old Aunt is very grumpy because despite me telling her for well over a month, it is finally dawning on her that her dream guided coach bus tour of the West USA national parks in 10 weeks time is rapidly going up in smoke whilst my 75 year old Dad has realised his third cruise of the year (this time around the med) in 5 weeks time is also about to be toast. My Aunt complained on Facebook yesterday that nobody is mentioning the 46,000 people who have recovered from the illness and that "it's just a bit of flu". It isn't, otherwise governments around the world would not be reacting as they are.
If you have an elderly relative like mine who relies far too much on social media anecdotes rather than good quality fact based mainstream media, maybe point them at this businessinsider article here where it points out that 1) flu mortality rates are 0.1% vs. Covid-19 is 3.4% and 2) for 70-79 the mortality rate is 8% and for over 80's it's 14.8%. Hopefully they might just realise the seriousness of the situation; my Aunt dismissed it as "a website I've never heard of and won't believe" despite the article clearly citing CDC figures.

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Donations
Several asked if they can send me $/£/€ via Patreon (in some cases because I've saved them time or money, others for no reason at all). I don't need the cash (that's lovely though) but food bank charities are getting really hit hard with all this panic buying. Please consider giving whatever you'd have given me to a foodbank charity instead:
UK: https://www.trusselltrust.org/
France: https://www.banquealimentaire.org/
Germany: https://www.tafel.de/
Netherlands: https://www.voedselbankennederland.nl/steun-ons/steun-voedselbank-donatie/
Spain: https://www.fesbal.org/
Australia: https://www.foodbank.org.au/
Canada: https://www.foodbankscanada.ca/
USA: https://www.feedingamerica.org/
Thanks in advance for any donations you give. If there's foodbank charities in your country and it's not listed above, please suggest it and I will include it going forward.

EDIT: Missed out virus news in brief, added as of 12:45. EDIT 2: Added in the Dutch foodbank link (hat tip siliconfrontier)
submitted by Fwoggie2 to supplychain [link] [comments]

Capitalists decide the fate of the US Postal Service

Workers have responded with outrage to the recent leaked memos detailing efforts to privatize the United States Postal Service (USPS) by implementing major cost-cutting measures, slowing down the mail delivery speed, and making the federal agency seem unreliable in the middle of an election year that will see an increase of mail-in voting due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The internal memo, released July 10, stated that mail deliveries would be delayed due to cost-cutting and prohibitions on overtime, with “more to come.”
On July 27, newly appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy declared: “The Postal Service is in a financially unsustainable position, stemming from substantial declines in mail volume, and a broken business model.”
DeJoy continued: “We are currently unable to balance our costs with available funding sources to fulfill both our universal service mission and other legal obligations. Because of this, the Postal Service has experienced over a decade of financial losses, with no end in sight, and we face an impending liquidity crisis.” The campaign to privatize the Postal Service
This is only the latest in a campaign to privatize the Post Office spanning over a half century, which began in 1970 with the adoption of the Postal Reorganization Act after a nationwide postal workers’ strike. The law, first proposed under President Johnson in 1967, outlawed strikes in favor of binding arbitration, and spun off the Post Office Department, formerly a cabinet-level agency, into a publicly owned corporation, the United States Postal Service.
By the 1980s, the USPS was cut off from all federal funding, forcing it to rely solely on revenue from its own products and services. In 2006, George Bush’s Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act forced the USPS to fully fund retirement benefits without governmental assistance, creating a mountain of debt for the agency. The USPS has had declining revenue since the early 2000s as a result of the decline of paper mail delivery, and it has been losing money since 2007.
In 2018, the Trump administration released a plan calling for the USPS to either be sold off to a private company or become a publicly traded entity with shares bought and sold by wealthy investors on the stock market.
The working class faces the brunt of the consequences for these conscious actions to undermine the USPS as a public service. According to a 2019 article by Government Executive, the USPS has slashed 300,000 “career worker” jobs since 1999, an average of 14,285 per year.
Public postal services have already been privatized throughout Europe and in Japan, a process that is praised as a model to use in the United States by the right-wing Cato Institute think tank: “Congress should prepare for longer‐term changes by studying European experiences with postal service reform and readying the USPS for privatization and increased competition.”
For the ruling class, it is not a matter of if the USPS will be privatized, but when and how it will be done. Those who currently manage the USPS are well aware of their aims.
Who runs USPS?
The USPS’s Board of Governors, equivalent to a board of directors for a private company, is given the power to direct and control its expenditures, review its practices, conduct long-range planning, approve officer compensation and set policies on all postal matters.
Board members are appointed by the president and must be confirmed by the Senate. The Postmaster General is appointed and voted on by the Board of Governors. Since 2006, members serve terms of seven years and supposedly must represent “public interest generally and cannot be representatives of special interests.”
But the current members of the USPS Board of Governors represent their class with all of its criminal, profit-driven, and anti-worker characteristics.
Louis DeJoy is the new Postmaster General, approved unanimously by the Board of Governors in May. He is the former president of investment firm LDJ Global Strategies and long-time CEO of New Breed Logistics, which merged with XPO Logistics in 2014 for a reported $615 million. Along with his record as a wealthy corporate executive, he serves as a “mega-donor” and well-known fundraiser for the Republican Party and Donald Trump. DeJoy is the first Postmaster General to be appointed from outside the USPS in decades.
Robert M. Duncan is the Chairman of the Board, appointed by Trump and approved by the Senate with 86 bipartisan votes and 11 abstentions in August 2018. Like DeJoy, he is well-known for his service to the Republican Party, having served in an administrative position under George H.W. Bush. As Chairman of the Republican National Committee, his USPS web biography explains, “he raised an unprecedented $428 million and grew the donor base to 1.8 million—more donors than at any time in RNC history.” He also sits on the boards of the coal industry lobby group American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, a private liberal arts college in Kentucky, and a regional bank chain in Kentucky.
Ron A. Bloom was also appointed by President Trump and unanimously approved by the Senate in August 2019. With a background in investment banking, Bloom is more closely aligned with the Democratic Party and the unions. He served as Special Assistant to the President of the United Steelworkers (USW) between 1996 and 2008, representing the union in contract negotiations with steel companies that caused hundreds of thousands of workers to lose their jobs and pensions.
From 2009 to 2011, he advised the Obama administration during its restructuring of the auto industry, which returned US automakers to profitability by slashing wages in half for new hires and shedding tens of thousands of jobs. Bloom has advised over 100 corporate restructurings with similar results.
While his career “accomplishments” have been devastating to the lives of many workers, Bloom is beloved by the unions, who gained access to lucrative pension and health care investment funds from the restructuring agreements.
According to a CNN article in 2011, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), one of the four postal unions and which covers 250,000 workers, hired Bloom to help them develop “a ‘pro-growth’ business plan that would supposedly ‘save’ the postal service while avoiding drastic cuts.” At the time, NALC President Frederic Rolando said that Bloom had “extensive experience helping to revitalize numerous large and complex business enterprises around the world.”
John M. Barger was appointed as a board member by President Trump and unanimously approved by the Senate in August 2019. He is registered as a Republican and continues to operate as the active “managing director of NorthernCross Partners, an investment and advisory firm providing private capital and advisory services to middle market companies and private equity funds.” Barger has resided on the management boards of a variety of private e-commerce and logistics companies, offering financial and investment advice.
Barger also served as chairman of the Board of Investments of the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association (LACERA) between 2011 and 2014, overseeing $65 billion in pension assets for more than 150,000 public county employees. During that time, he offered expert advice on placing those public assets into Wall Street and business investments.
Roman Martinez IV was appointed by Trump and approved by the Senate in August 2019. Previously, he had been a leading investment banker with Lehman Brothers since 1977, when it first merged with Kuhn Loeb & Company. Over the decades, Martinez has become an expert in mergers and acquisitions and in corporate restructurings. Since his retirement in 2003, he has served on the board of directors for a few companies, including the private health insurance corporation Cigna.
Donald M. Moak and William D. Zollars joined as governors in June, after being appointed by Trump and approved by voice vote in the Senate. Moak is a long-time donor to the Democratic Party and serves as CEO for his own public affairs and business consulting firm. He has served on the AFL-CIO Executive Council and Financial Oversight Committee of one of its departments. Zollars was a corporate executive of private transportation company YRC Worldwide from 1999 to 2011 and an executive of Ryder Integrated Logistics in the mid-1990s, and currently resides on the boards of various logistics and technology corporations. YRC faces allegations of fraud for financial practices carried out while Zollars was CEO. The bipartisan gang-up against the USPS and the response of the working class
In short, the USPS is headed by former Wall Street and corporate executives, whose collective millions are derived from decades of corporate raiding and financial speculation, ramping up corporate profits at the expense of the working class.
The fact that all of the current members received overwhelming bipartisan support in the Senate demonstrates that regardless of their pretensions, both Democrats and Republicans are united in their assault against postal workers and the social rights of the working class. This truth obliterates the claim by the unions, Bernie Sanders, and the Democratic Socialists of America that postal workers can “save USPS” by pressuring Congress to provide adequate financial assistance.
Moreover, the presence of many union advisors on the Board shows that unions themselves are involved in this bipartisan conspiracy. No doubt the postal unions stand to receive billions of dollars in public stock and other financial incentives, similar to the 2009 restructuring of the auto industry when the United Auto Workers became the largest shareholder in General Motors.
The management of the critical social service provided by the USPS cannot be left in the hands of the corporate oligarchs or their union lackeys. Postal workers must take matters into their own hands and form rank-and-file workplace committees to oppose the privatization of the post office. They should demand that the USPS be transformed instead into a fully funded public utility, run democratically by the working class, with the wages and benefits of all employees and retirees fully guaranteed.
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