The incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden has dismissed plans by the outgoing President, Donald Trump to lift the coronavirus-related travel bans for non-American citizens arriving from the European Union, the U.K. and Brazil, which means the curbs will stay in effect.
This follows the announcement from Trump in the White House on Monday that the bans could be lifted because of the administration’s last week’s decision to require international travellers to present either the results of a negative recent coronavirus test or evidence that they had already recovered from the disease. The change would go into effect starting Jan. 26, six days after Biden takes office.
However, the announcement by Donald Trump was rejected as Joe Biden’s Spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, in a tweet post, disclosed that the incoming administration plans to block the outgoing US President’s move according to a report from Bloomberg.
What Joe Biden’s spokeswoman is saying
- Psaki in her statement, tweeted, “On the advice of our medical team, the Administration does not intend to lift these restrictions on 1/26. In fact, we plan to strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19.’’
She said that with the worsening pandemic and more contagious variant emerging globally, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel.
What President Donald Trump has said
Trump, in a White House announcement, had pointed out that the international travel restrictions could be eased safely.
- Trump in a proclamation said, “This action is the best way to continue protecting Americans from Covid-19 while enabling travel to resume safely. Under his plan, travel bans would remain in place for China and Iran, the White House said, citing their “lack of cooperation” with the U.S. in fighting the virus.’’
The recent decision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to require a negative Covid-19 test for people arriving in the U.S. from other countries was not directly linked to the travel ban but was seen as a way to impose safety restrictions that would allow for a resumption of travel.
Despite the surge in Covid-19 infections, experts conclude that allowing people into this country from other nations wouldn’t pose a significant risk, especially with new testing requirements.
What you should know
- It can be recalled that President Donald Trump had initially announced the restrictions on March 11 in the early days of the pandemic on nearly all non-US citizens who had travelled to 28 EU countries, China and Iran, as part of the bid to curb the spread of the virus.
- Brazil was later included in the travel ban on May 25 and applies to any foreign nationals who had been in any of those nations within the previous 14 days.
Jack Dorsey’s Square set to acquire majority stake in Jay Z’s Tidal for $297 million
Jack Dorsey’s company, Square set to acquire Tidal, the streaming music service owned by Jay-Z for a $297 million deal.
Square, the mobile payments company owned by Jack Dorsey, announced on Thursday its plan to acquire a “significant majority” of Tidal, the streaming music service owned by Hip-hop music mogul, Jay-Z.
Square said it expects to pay $297 million, in a combination of cash and stock, for a stake in Tidal. Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter will join Square’s board, subject to the closing of the transaction while Tidal will operate independently within Square.
Existing artist shareholders will still remain stakeholders. Other Tidal artist-owners include Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Kanye West, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, and Rihanna.
In a tweet made by Jay-Z today, he highlighted that “from the beginning that TIDAL was about more than just streaming music, and six years later, it has remained a platform that supports artists at every point in their careers. Artists deserve better tools to assist them in their creative journey.”
He also commented that “Jack is one of the greatest minds of our times, and our many discussions about TIDAL’s endless possibilities have made me even more inspired about its future. This shared vision makes me even more excited to join the Square board.
“This partnership will be a game-changer for many. I look forward to all this new chapter has to offer!”
Jack Dorsey, who is CEO of both Square and Twitter, also commented on this deal “comes down to one simple idea: finding new ways for artists to support their work.”
“New ideas are found at intersections, and we believe there’s a compelling one between music and the economy. I knew Tidal was something special as soon as I experienced it, and it will continue to be the best home for music, musicians, and culture.”
Jesse Dorogusker, a Square executive will lead Tidal on an interim basis. He added that Square will offer financial tools to help Tidal’s artists collect revenue and manage their finances. “There are other tools they need to be successful and that we’re going to build for them,”.
What you should know
- Last month, Jack Dorsey and Jay-Z announced a Bitcoin fund focused on developing the cryptocurrency’s adoption in Africa and India.
- In 2017, Sprint bought a 33% stake in Tidal. This week, Jay-Z bought back those shares from T-Mobile (which acquired Sprint).
- Last month, Jay-Z announced that he would sell 50 percent of his champagne company, Armand de Brignac — better known as Ace of Spades — to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton amid a downturn in the entertainment industry caused by the pandemic that has affected some of Jay-Z’s holdings.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala resumes first day as WTO Director-General
Dr Okonjo-Iweala officially resumed duty as the DG of the WTO today, March 1, 2021.
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Nigerian Finance Minister and the first woman and African to be appointed as Director-General of the World Trade Organization resumed her first day of work as WTO chief.
This was disclosed in a social media statement on Monday morning by the WTO. Okonjo-Iweala said the WTO has lots of work to do and she feels ready to start
The trade organisation said: “Welcome to Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on her first day as WTO Director-General! She makes history as the first woman and first African to take up this post.”
On her first day, Dr. Iweala said she is “coming into one of the most important institutions in the world and we have a lot of work to do. I feel ready to go.”
Director-General @NOIweala & the chair of WTO fisheries subsidies talks @WillsSantiago welcomed civil society's plea for a successful conclusion to the negotiations, visiting today an ice sculpture set up in front of the WTO headquarters by the #StopFundingOverfishing coalition. pic.twitter.com/9Y5eN4Bh5y
— WTO (@wto) March 1, 2021
What you should know
- On February 15th 2021, Nigeria’s Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was officially appointed as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.
- The United States and former Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Joe Keshi pointed out that the only way Nigeria as a country can benefit from her appointment is by being productive.
- “She will not help you unless you are productive, she will not help you except you have something to sell, because her role as a DG of the World Trade Organization, the World Trade Organization is an organization that regulates global trade and except you have something to sell and you know put into the world market her role is to ensure that you get a fair deal and that you are not cheated in the whole process,” he said.
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