Saturday, 9 October 2021




Coronavirus deaths in Russia hit a record for the third (3th) time on this month on Tuesday as reported and new infections once again exceeded 25,000 a day - a surge that comes as vaccination rates in the country remain stagnantly low and the government shuns imposing tough restrictions to stem the spread.


Russia's state coronavirus task force reported 25,110 new confirmed cases on Tuesday and 895 new deaths - the country's highest daily death toll in the pandemic. This month (October), was recorded in fatalities came every other day: the previous record, of 890 deaths, was registered on Sunday, and the one (1) before that, of 887 deaths, occurred on Friday.


The Kremlin has said that the situation elicits concern, but still it is not considering a countrywide lockdown or any other nationwide measures.


A number of Russian regions have limited attendance of mass  events and restricted access to some public places, such as theaters, cinemas, restaurants and bars, only to those who have been vaccinated, recently recovered from COVID-19 or tested negative over the past 72 hours. But critics argue that these measures aren't enough to slow down the surge.


In some areas of the country, including Moscow and St. Petersburg, life remains largely normal, with businesses operating as usual and mask mandates loosely enforced.


In the meantime, Russia's vast, yet severely underfunded health care system has started to show signs of being overwhelmed by the outbreak.


Russian media have reported long lines of ambulances once again forming in front of hospitals in St. Petersburg, the country's second-largest city, and a desperate ambulance crew in the city of Vladimir 180 kilometers (about 110 miles) east of Moscow driving a COVID-19 patient to a local government building after failing to find a hospital bed for her.


Officials have blamed low vaccine uptake. Commenting on the record deaths reported on Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the " main cause " of the surge in fatalities was " the insufficient level of vaccination."


" The virus is becoming angrier, and the level of vaccination is insufficient. And as a rule, those who haven't been vaccinated get seriously ill and, unfortunately, die," Peskov told reporters Tuesday.


As of last week, 33.5% of Russia's 146-million population have received at least one shot of a coronavirus vaccine, and just 27.4% have been fully vaccinated.


According to, a independent website that tracks vaccinations in Russia, immunization rates are down to the level of April, after spiking between June and August 2021, when dozens of Russian regions made shots mandatory for certain groups of people. The website estimates that about 129,000 people a day get their first shots, and a total of some 244,000 first and second shots a day is being administered in Russia at the moment.


Peskov has attributed the slow pace of the immunization drive to " an insufficiently active campaign explaining that there are no alternatives" to vaccination.



Such as mistrust prompted by the approval and rollout of the dominating domestic vaccine, Sputnik V, even though at the time it hadn't completed large-scale trials necessary to establish its safety and effectiveness, and lack of motivation to get the shots at a time when few restrictions are in place mixed signals from the authorities about the outbreak.


Despite the soaring infections, officials in Moscow on Monday announced the closure of the largest vaccination point in the Russian capital in Gostiny Dvor, a huge exhibition space, in order to be able to hold " cultural events" there.


At the same time, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin promised to start offering free rapid coronavirus tests in malls and government services centers. Daily new infections in the Russian capital nearly quadrupled over the past month, rising from about 1,100 in early September to about 4,000 this week.


In another confusing message, some Russian news outlets alerted Monday that the head of country's public health agency Rospotrebnadzor Anna Popova banned all mass events in light of the surge, only to correct themselves later that Popova in fact didn't announce any new restrictions, but was rather talking about the ones already in place that prohibit public events for more than 3,000 people.


In all, Russia's coronavirus task force has reported over 7.6 million confirmed cases and nearly 212,000 deaths. However, reports by Russia's state statistical service Rosstat that tally coronavirus-linked deaths retroactively reveal much higher mortality numbers.



@ Jackie San 


Friday, 8 October 2021








Southwest Airlines announced eight (8) new routes on Thursday, September 16, 2021, in its latest network expansion, six (6) of which will be to Austin, Texas, the state's latest tech giant.


Business and leisure travels will get more options to and from Austin starting in March 2022, including up to 105 departures per day serving 46 destinations across the United States and Mexico, according to Southwest. In addition to its stacked service to Austin, the airline will begin two (2) routes outside of the Lone Star State, including Albuquerque to Burbank and Denver to Cozumel, Mexico.


Austin has become a popular tech destination for Silicon Valley giants like Tesla, which chose the Texas capital, now referred to as the " Silicon Hills," as the location for its $1 billion factory that will build its hightly-anticipated Cybertruck.

Southwest has been Austin's leading carrier for over three decades accounting for about 34% of the airport's total passenger traffic in the first half of 2021, according to data from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

Southwest isn't the only carrier entering the booming Austin market. In March, American Airlines added 10 routes to the central Texas city, connecting cities that formerly required a layover in one (1) of the carrier's hubs, like Chicago or Miami. Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines, Spirit Airlines, and Allegiant Air have also bolstered operations in Austin, with Delta making it a focus city.

Here are the eight (8) new routes Southwest will start next spring.


Southwest will fly once daily from Austin to Amarillo beginning March 10. On weekdays and Sundays, the outbound will be an evening departure with an early morning return. Saturday service will depart in the early afternoon with a late morning return. The airline currently faces no competition on the route.


Southwest's once-daily flight from Austin to Charleston will start on March 10. The outbound will be an afternoon departure with a morning return. Like Amarillo, Southwest will be the route's only operator.


Southwest's Austin to Columbus route will run on select peak travel days in 2021, but daily nonstop service will begin on March 10. On weekdays and Sundays, the once-daily flight will depart from both cities in the morning, while the Saturday service will offer an afternoon departure both ways. No airlines serve the route, leaving Southwest with no competition.


Southwest will fly a once-daily evening flight from Austin to Midland starting March 10. The evening outbound will operate on weekdays and Sundays with an early morning return. Meanwhile, Saturdays will operate an early afternoon departure out of both cities. Southwest will face no competition on the short intrastate hop.


Southwest will launch a once-daily flight from Austin to Ontario on March 10. An afternoon outbound and morning return will be offered on the route. Southwest will not face direst competition on the Ontario route, though Delta, Alaska, and United serve nearby Los Angeles from Austin.


Southwest's Saturday-only service between Austin and Puerto Vallarta will begin on March 12, pending government approval. The flight schedule is not yet available. The airline will directly compete with American on the route, which currently operates an thrice-weekly flight using Boeing 737 aircraft.


Southwest will operate a once-daily flight from Albuquerque to Burbank beginning January 17. The flight will operate in the evening every day and return in the early afternoon. No other carriers operate the route.


Southwest's Saturday-only service between Denver and Cozumel will begin March 12, pending government approval. The morning outbound will depart at 10:15 a.m. and land at 3:15 pm. and the afternoon return will leave at 4:10 pm and land at 7:35 pm. Southwest will face competition from United and Frontier on this route.



@ Jackie San

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Protest Over President Saied's Seizure of Powers : TUNISIANS

Protesters have taken to the streets of Tunisia's capital, in a rare show of public dissent towards President Kais Saied's move to seize extra powers.


Thousands of people rallied in the centre of Tunis on Saturday chanting, " shut down the coup " and " we want a return to legitimacy ". Saied supporters held a counter demonstration chanting, " the people want to dissolve parliament ".


The protest, which was met by heavy police presence on Habib Bourguiba avenue, was the first major demonstration since Saied declared on July 25 he was sacking the prime minister, suspending parliament and assuming executive authority - moves his opponents branded a coup.


The former constitutional law professor justified his move by citing emergency measures in the constitution that his critics and many legal scholars said did not support his intervention.


Last week, one of Saied's advisers told the Reuters news agency the president was planning to suspend the constitution and offer an amended version via a referendum, prompting opposition from political parties and the powerful UGTT labour union.


Political leaders have complained about the constitution since it was agreed in 2014, calling for it to be changed to either a more directly presidential, or a more directly parliamentary, system.


Anxiety has been growing, both internally and among Western democracies, that Tunisia may lose the new rights and the democratic system won in the 2011 revolution that sparked the " Arab spring ".


Eight (8) weeks on, Saied is still to appoint a prime minister. He has rejected accusations of a coup and presented his moves as an opportunity to purge a corrupt elite.


Albeit triggering a constitutional crisis and prompting accusations of a coup, Saied's moves were broadly popular in a country suffering from economic stagnation and political paralysis.


@ Jackie San

VIRAL " Hanya 47 minit ke Gua Kelawar Daerah Limbang "

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Sarawak River Musical Fountain - Syoknya


If you've ever opened your electric bill only to be shocked by the amount owed, you've likely also wondered exactly what you can do to save money on utilities beyond turning off lights as you leave a room.


Figuring out how to reduce your electric bill can be as simple figuring out what's costing you the most. To do this, you can follow a simple formula to determine how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) a device is using in a month or year, and then find ways to cut back where possible.


Kilowatt-hours are essentially a way of measuring how much power a device uses in an hour of being turned on. If you look at most appliances, they will supply a wattage or a range of wattages the device operates at - how many watts it burns in an hour. Once you have the wattage, simply divide that by 1,000 ( to convert the watts to kilowatts ) and then multiply by how many hours a day you use the item. That will give you a basic figure for how many kilowatt - hours a day you're using with that item.


From there, you can use the United States Department of Energy's number for the average United States utility rate of $0.12 per kWh, or you could get more specific and get your rate straight from your energy provider. Based on what your costs are, you can then determine which appliance or device is the actual energy vampire and what's not really using much electricity.



@ Jackie San

VIRAL " Jom Kenali Apa Yang Dapat Dilihat Dari Puncak Bukit Sembiling Li...

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

VIRAL "Jom Hiking di Daerah Limbang Sarawak "



The options remaining for thousands of Haitian migrants straddling the Mexico -  Texas border are narrowing as the United States government ramps up to an expected six (6) expulsion flights to Haiti Tuesday and Mexico began busing some away from the border.


More than 6,000 Haitians and other migrants had been removed from an encampment at Del Rio, Texas, United States officials said Monday as they defended a strong response that included immediately expelling migrants to their impoverished Caribbean country and faced criticism for using horse patrols to stop them from entering the town.


That was enough for some Haitian migrants to return to Mexico, while others struggled to decide on which side of the border to take their chances.


Marie Pierre, 43, stood on the Mexican side of the river as night fell with hundreds of other migrants unsure what to do. She said Border Patrol agents had separated her from her 19-year-old son in Texas and she didn't know if he had been deported or not. She waited for a chance to charge her phone, hoping to get news from her sister and cousin in Florida.


" They told me he was an adult and couldn't be with us, " she said of the moment they were separated.


Earlier Monday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas conceded it was a " challenging and hearthbreaking situation, but he issued a stark warning: " If you come to the United States illegally, you will be returned. Your journey will not succeed, and you will be endangering your life and your family's life."


Officials from Mexico's National Human Rights Commission walked among the migrants signing up those interested in applying for asylum in Mexico. So far this year, more than 19,000 Haitians have opted to do so, including some now at the border.


At the same time, Mexican authorities were detaining some migrants. The first busloads pulled out Sunday and more empty buses arrived Monday.


Some humanitarian workers said Monday they had seen Mexican National Guard troops help immigration agents detain a group of 15 to 20 migrants in Acuna.


Mexico's immigration agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But a federal official told The Associated Press on Sunday that the plan was to take the migrants to Monterrey, in northern Mexico, and Tapachula, in the south, with flights to Haiti from those cities to begin in coming days.


Authorities stopped some bus lines from operating in the state of Coahuila in an effort to force them not to carry migrants, said Luis Angel Urraza, president of the local chamber of commerce.


He said the United States government's decision to close the bridge connecting Ciudad Acuna and Del Rio was wearing on the city's merchants who were counting the days until the migrant population dropped enough to reopen it.


Mayorkas and United States Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz said they would look into agents on horseback using what appeared to be whips and their horses to push back migrants at the river between Ciudad Acuna and Del Rio, a city of about 35,000 people roughly 145 miles (230 kilometers) west of San Antonio where thousands of migrants remain camped around a bridge.


Later Monday, the Department of Homeland Security issues a statement calling the footage " extremely troubling " and promising a full investigation that would " define the appropriate disciplinary actions to be taken. "


Mayorkas said 600 Homeland Security employees, including from the Coast Guard, have been brought to Del Rio. He said he has asked the Defense Department for help in what may be one of the swiftest, large-scale expulsions of migrants and refugees from the United States in decades.


He also said the United States would increase the pace and capacity of flight to Haiti and other countries in the hemisphere. The number of migrants at the bridge peaked at 14,872 on Saturday, said Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, a labor union that represents agents.


The rapid expulsions were made possible by a pandemic-related authority adopted by former President Donald Trump in March 2020 that allows for migrants to be immediately removed from the country without an opportunity to seek asylum. President Joe Biden exempted unaccompanied children from the order but let the rest stand.


Any Haitians not expelled are subject to immigration laws, which include rights to seek asylum and other forms of humanitarian protection. Families are quickly released in the United States because the government cannot generally hold children.


Haitians have been migrating to the United States in large numbers from South America for several years, many having left their Caribbean nation after a devastating 2010 earthquake. After jobs dried up from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, many made the dangerous trek by foot, bus and car to the United States border, including through the infamous Darien Gap, a Panamanian jungle.


Some of the migrants at the Del Rio camp said the recent devastating earthquake in Haiti and the assassination of President Jovenel Moise make them afraid to return to a country that seems more unstable than when they left.


" It's not right, " said Haitian migrant Jean Philipe Samus. " The Americans are grabbing Haitians and deporting everyone to Haiti. Haiti has no president, no jobs, there is nothing. In the earthquake a lot of people died. "It's not right over there, I'm going back to Mexico.


But Mayorkas defended his recent decision to grant Haitians temporary legal status due to political and civil strife in their homeland if they were in the United States on July 29, but not to those being sent back now.


" We made and assessment based on the country conditions...that Haiti could in fact receive individuals safely," he said.



@ Jackie San

Monday, 4 October 2021


 Foreign Tourists Plan To Open - THAILAND 


Back in mid-June, Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan - Ocha surprised everyone by promising to reopen the country to foreign tourists by October 2021.


The time had come, he said, to take that calculated risk.


At the time, few took him seriously.


Thailand had zealously guarded its borders, imposing quarantine and mountains of paperwork on all arrivals since April 2020.


Foreign tourism, once an engine of the Thailand economy, collapsed. Just over 70,000 came into the country in the first eight (8) months of this year, compared to 40 million in the whole of 2019.


COVID-19 was successfully contained through most of 2020, but by June 2021, infections were rising quickly, and the government was being roundly criticised for being too slow to start vaccinating. Opening up in October 2021 seemed impossible.


But true to his word, the great reopening appears to have begun, albeit with only very modest steps.


The night - time curfew has been shortened by an hour, starting at 10 pm, and libraries and museums can open.


You can visit a spa, but only with advanced booking and a recent negative COVID-19 test.


Fully-vaccinated tourists will now be quarantined for just one (1) week instead of two. Further minor relaxations are expected in November 2021. This is welcome news for the battered hospitality industry, but hardly sufficient to get the visitors pouring back in.


Why is the Thailand government proceeding so cautiously ?


The simple answer is vaccines and the limited number of ICU beds.


Despite significantly ramping up its orders of vaccines, the government started late and is still a long way short of its official target of inoculating at least 70% of the population.


By the end of September 2021, just over one (1) quarter had received two (2) doses, and many of those who received the less effective Sinovac vaccine are now having to get booster shots.


And at the peak of the latest COVID-19 wave in July and August 2021, all Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds in Bangkok, Thailand were filled, forcing families with seriously ill patients to search frantically for beds in other parts of the country. No-one wants to see a repeat of that distressing experience.


But with the known infectiousness of the delta variant, many health experts believe even 70% of the population is too low a target for vaccination before Thailand can fully open to tourists.


" The vaccine rate among the older and most vulnerable population should be as high as 85 or 90%, " says Tanarak Plipat, a senior health inspector-general and until recently deputy director of Thailand's Department for Disease Control. " Overall, given the delta variant, to be safe vaccine coverage for anybody residing in Thailand should be 80%."


Some in the travel industry agree that it is too soon for a full reopening.


" Realistically 01 January 2022, would be a good time," Tassapon Bijleveld, Chairman of Thai Air Asia, the country's largest low-cost carrier told the BBC. " I won't be scheduling any international flights until then."



 But there are other barriers to tourism apart from the relatively low vaccination rate.


Thailand's famous nightlife cannot restart with the 10pm curfew, with all bars forced to stay closed since early April in Bangkok, and no alcohol permitted in restaurants, although that regulation is now being relaxed on the holiday of Phuket, Thailand.


The varied requirements for new COVID-19 tests when you cross provincial borders are also proving prohibitively expensive for travellers plannings to visit several areas of Thailand.


At the stylist Tax bar in an old shophouse in central Bangkok, Niks Anuman Rajadhon and his staff are now preparing for a possible easing of the nightlife ban, spacing out their seating and ensuring good airflow. But after being open for just six (6) weeks this year, he is not optimistic about his business.


" For us to stay closed for this long without any compensation has been a disaster. Bangkok is a 24-hour city. Look at everything the bar industry has done for the city, getting top rankings in Asia. I wish they would have more understanding of the hospitality and nightlife business. Right now the government acts as though we never existed," he announced.


Acute economic distress is now very visible in Thailand, in the rows of shuttered shops, in the long queues for food handouts, and in the crowds or angry, unemployed young men who have joined the anti-government protest movement and come out every weekend in parts of Bangkok to fight the police.


This is what has forced an unpopular government's hand. But this month's heralded reopening is only the start.


They still have a long way to go.



@ Jackie San

Featured post

The Thriller Film Sinks Teeth Into Hungary's Opposition !

 THRILLER FILM SINKS TEETH INTO HUNGARY'S OPPOSITION     " We screwed up," reads the giant billboard on the highway into Budap...