By Gistflash News
July 22, 2021
European Central Bank chief, Christine Lagarde, is expected to spell out details on Thursday of the ECB’s new monetary strategy after this week’s meeting.
This was overshadowed by concerns of the rise in new coronavirus cases around the world.
Analysts expected the ECB to leave its benchmark interest rates on hold at record lows amid signs of financial market volatility triggered by worries that the highly infectious Delta variant could destabilise economic recovery.
In his last meeting before the summer break, the ECB may also shed light on whether any adjustments were needed to its 1.85-trillion-euro (2.2-trillion-dollar) pandemic emergency scheme.
Originally introduced in March 2020 as the pandemic engulfed 19-member eurozone, the Frankfurt-based ECB’s Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP) was aimed at shoring up the currency bloc’s economy as well as heading off the threat of falling inflation.
Analysts were not expecting Lagarde to signal any early moves by the ECB to begin winding back the PEPP, which was currently set to run until March 2022.
They had already circled the ECB’s September meeting as the likely date when the bank might begin outlining moves to reduce the PEPP.
A key part of the ECB monetary review announced this month by Lagarde was for the bank to adopt a fractionally higher 2-per-cent annual inflation goal.
The current target stands at below but close to 2 per cent.
However, according to official data released last week, annual inflation in the 19-member eurozone edged lower from 2 per cent in May to 1.9 per cent June just short of the ECB’s new target.
The ECB’s economic forecasts as set out in its latest staff projections released in June also see the inflation rate coming in at 1.9 per cent this year.
In addition, markets would be watching Lagarde’s press conference for details on how the bank planned to align the higher inflation target with interest rates.
The ECB’s benchmark refinancing rate has been on hold at a historic low of zero since March 2016.
Magnitude 5.8 earthquake hits Greek island of Crete
By Gistflash News
Sept 27, 2021
A magnitude 5.8 strong quake hit Greece’s Crete island on Monday, according to the Geodynamics Institute of the National Observatory of Athens.
The tremor’s epicentre was located at a depth of 10 km, some 25 km south of the city of Heraklion, the capital of Crete island, while aftershocks up to 4.3 magnitude have followed, according to Greek scientists.
Material damage has been reported, with no injuries until now, local officials told Greek national news agency AMNA.
Earlier, the Euro Mediterranean Seismological Centre put the quake’s magnitude at 6.2, which was later revised to 6.0.
WHO investigators seeking COVID-19 origin going back to China
By Gistflash News
Sept 27, 2021
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is launching a new investigation into the origins of COVID-19, months after an earlier probe ended without drawing firm conclusions, according to a report published.
WHO was putting together a team of some 20 scientists, who will be charged with finding new evidence in China and other locales, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The group will examine whether the virus emerged from a laboratory, a theory that has been angrily rejected by China.
In December 2020, WHO investigators began visits to Wuhan, China, where the first known outbreak of the virus took place.
But their March 2021 report said they had gotten insufficient information from Chinese scientists to answer key questions about COVID-19’s origin.
In August, U.S. intelligence agencies issued a separate report saying they also could not make firm conclusions about COVID-19’s origins.
Florida Gov. appoints Nigerian-American, Joseph Ladapo Surgeon-General
By Gistflash News
Sept 25, 2021
Ron DeSantis, Florida Governor, U.S. has appointed a Nigerian-American, Dr Joseph Ladapo, as Florida Surgeon-General and Secretary of the Department of Health.
DeSantis in a statement posted on the Florida Department of Health website, stated that he was pleased to announce Ladapo for the position.
“I am pleased to announce that Ladapo will lead the Florida department of health as our state’s next surgeon-general
“Ladapo comes to us by way of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, with a superb background.”
According to him, Ladapo has had both a remarkable academic and medical career with a strong emphasis in health policy research.
The governor said: ” Ladapo will bring great leadership to the department of health, ” thanking both Dr Scott Rivkees and Dr Shamarial Roberson for their hard work on behalf of all Floridians.
Lieutenant-Governor, Jeanette Nuñez described Ladapo’s as, “an excellent choice to serve as our next surgeon general.
“Ladapo has impeccable credentials and a strong vision to effectively serve the people of Florida at the helm of our public health agency.
“Through his service to our state, we will continue Florida’s work to advance our public health goals,” Nuñez said.
Ladapo said he is honored to have been chosen by DeSantis to serve as Florida’s next surgeon-general.
“We must make health policy decisions rooted in data and not in fear.
“From California, I have observed the different approaches taken by governors across the country and I have been impressed by DeSantis’ leadership and determination,” he said.
The new surgeon-general said he was impressed by DeSantis’ leadership to ensure that Floridians were afforded all opportunities to maintain their health and wellness, while preserving their freedoms as Americans.
“It is a privilege to join his team and serve the people of Florida,” he said.
Ladapo was recently granted a professorship at the University of Florida (UF) College of Medicine.
Prior to joining UF, he served as an associate professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA),caring for hospitalised patients.
He is a graduate of Wake Forest University, who also holds an MD from Harvard Medical School and a PhD in Health Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
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