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Saudi Arabia keeping ‘all options open’ to deal with virus impact: Finance Minister

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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance has launched Ramadan iftar projects in a number of countries, which aim to provide meals for 1 million people during the holy month of Ramadan.

King Salman has approved an increase in funding to SR5 million ($1.3 million) for Ramadan iftar projects in 18 countries around the world.

This year’s iftar project will be carried out through the distribution of food baskets in line with precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

In Pakistan, Saudi Ambassador Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki and Pakistan’s Minister of Religious Affairs Noor-ul-Haq Qadri inaugurated the initiative in the capital, Islamabad.

Al-Maliki said that the program was within the framework of the support of the king in the service of Islamic action.

Qadri also thanked — on behalf of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, the government and its people — the king and crown prince for the support provided by the Kingdom to those in need in Pakistan.

In Jakarta, Indonesia, Saudi Ambassador Essam bin Abed Al-Thaqafi launched the iftar project, including the supply of food baskets to those fasting during the holy month. 

Meanwhile, the Saudi Islamic Ministry, represented by the King Fahd Islamic Cultural Center in Buenos Aires, launched the program there.

Saudi Deputy Ambassador to Argentina Mohammed Al-Aidan said that it was part of a number of projects launched to help Muslims around the world during the holy month.

The director of the King Fahd Islamic Cultural Center, Ali bin Awadah Al-Shamrani, said that the program targeted more than 4,000 individuals by distributing 400 food baskets containing all the food requirements of families in the holy month. The center was working on distributing them according to precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance, represented by the King Fahd Islamic Cultural Center in Sarajevo, launched the program in the presence of Saudi Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Hani bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Mominah.

The director of the King Fahd Cultural Center, Dr. Mohammed bin Hassan Al-Sheikh, said that given global health conditions this year, the program would be implemented through food baskets distributed to needy people in all regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

He indicated that the program would be implemented in the rest of the Balkan countries also covered by the program; it will be implemented in Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro, benefiting 60,000 individuals.

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Source: CFL submits revised financial request to federal government

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TORONTO — The CFL sent federal Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault a revised revised financial request Friday.

A league source said the league is seeking about $42.5 million in aid. In April, the CFL asked the federal government for up to $150 million in the event of a cancelled 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The source added the request is to over cover operating costs and player salaries for a shortened 2020 season and has involved input from the CFL Players’ Association.

The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because neither the government nor CFL have confirmed the request.

“We continue discussions with the federal government including discussions on our possible return to play,” the CFL said in a statement.

The CFL’s initial request of Ottawa consisted of three tiers: It called for $30 million immediately to manage the impact the outbreak has had on league business; additional assistance for an abbreviated regular season; and up to another $120 million in the event of a lost 2020 campaign.

When CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie spoke to a federal standing committee on finance in May, he was roundly criticized for failing to stipulate where the funds would go and not involving the CFL Players’ Association in the process.

The earliest an abbreviated ’20 season will begin is September but Ambrosie has stated a cancelled campaign also remains possible.

Last month, the CFL and CFLPA began talks at amending the current collective bargaining agreement to allow for an abbreviated season. Prior to negotiations beginning, the league gave the union a memo outlining the conditions it wanted and a completion deadline of July 23.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 10, 2020.



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HIMSSCast: The ongoing financial toll of COVID-19 for health systems

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This isn’t a second wave. It’s a first wave that never really went away. That’s what experts are saying about the current COVID-19 resurgence. And just as the virus isn’t going anywhere soon, neither are the financial woes it’s creating for hospitals and health systems.

On this episode of HIMSSCast, host Jonah Comstock welcomes Healthcare Finance News Managing Editor Susan Morse and Associate Editor Jeff Lagasse to talk about the current state of affairs for hospitals.

 

More related to this episode:

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Hospitals see an increase in jobs for first time in two months, BLS reports

Hospitals have received most of the loans from the Paycheck Protection Program

HHS announces billion-dollar push toward experimental COVID-19 vaccine

Telehealth claims increased significantly between April 2019 and 2020, report shows

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Nepal cable TV operators stop airing Indian news channels

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KATHMANDU, Nepal — Nepal’s cable and satellite television providers have stopped airing Indian news channels, with one operator saying Friday that the move was in response to public complaints over coverage of Nepal’s prime minister.

Sudeep Acharya, managing director of satellite television provider Dish Home, said they stopped airing the Indian news channels Thursday night after they were flooded with complaints about news reports about Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli.

Acharya said there was no government order to stop airing the channels, adding that the decision was made after discussions between cable and satellite television providers. It was not decided for how long they planned to stop airing the channels.

Some of the Indian media reports have suggested Oli is a puppet of the Chinese government. One recent report on Indian channel Zee news suggested Oli had close ties with the Chinese ambassador to Nepal, who has been meeting several leaders of Oli’s Nepal Communist Party.

Nepal’s government has condemned the reports.

“The government condemns any media content that assassinates the character of any person, spreads hatred and disregards the respect and honour of the individual concerned,” Nepal’s Information Minister Yuba Raj Khatiwad said Thursday.

Oli has been a target of both Indian leadership and media since his government brought out a new map of the country that includes territories claimed by both India and Nepal. The new map has strained relations between two South Asian nations with exchanges of strong statements.

Kathmandu’s relations with New Delhi worsened after Oli said last week in an internal party meeting that India was attempting to oust him from office with help from some of the members of his own party.

India had been a dominant force in Nepal until recently, when China’s involvement began to grow. Besides China’s investment in the building of airports, highways and hydro-power projects in Nepal, Chinese diplomats have worked to increase ties with Nepali political leaders.

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This story has been corrected to show that the government condemned content that assassinates the “character” of any person, not the “charter.”

The Associated Press

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