Men’s apparel brand Brooks Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Wednesday, joining a long list of retailers including Neiman Marcus that have crumbled under the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Brooks Brothers, which has dressed nearly 40 former United States presidents including John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama, has been around for more than 200 years, making it one of the oldest United States clothing retailer.
In a court filing, the company said that it had assets and liabilities between 500 million dollars and one billion dollars.
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Ese E. Ekama (NAN)
Bayelsa Govt. promises safety of students as schools reopen Aug.5
Bayelsa Government says it is taking steps to ensure that schools are safe to allow final year students to resume and participate in external examinations as directed by the Federal Government.
Messrs Freston Akpor and Walter Liverpool, Permanent Secretaries of Ministries of Information and Education, respectively assured that the government was doing its best to protect students and teachers.
They said that government was already fumigating schools across the state as well as providing hand washing facilities and urged parents and communities to complement the efforts of the government.
Akpor, who is a member of the Bayelsa COVID-19 Task Force, said that Gov. Douye Diri of the state who chairs the Task Force had approved the deployment of health professionals to schools while temporary isolation facilities would be put in place in schools.
“The government of Bayelsa has been working to get our schools ready and safe for our children and that is why we have scheduled a train the trainers programme to acquaint schools with COVID-19 safety protocols.
“The essence is to build capacity of our people and update them with the guidelines from the Federal Government on the reopening of schools that is why we are taking our time and shifted the resumption for final year students to Aug. 5.
“Government is providing face masks, infrared thermometers and access to water for schools without water supply, alternative arrangements are in place and we are poised to check the spread of the coronavirus.
“In view of the questionable and low quality of hand sanitisers, we are emphasising frequent hand washing with soap and water and we appeal to members of the public as well as parents and guardians to complement the efforts government is making.
“Parents should for example provide additional face masks for their wards so that for instance when they wash the ones provided in schools, they can have a spare one,” Akpor said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the state government has scheduled a COVID-19 prevention training programme for private and public schools to ensure safety protocols are complied with when schools resume on Aug 5.
Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Obike Ukoh (NAN)
China’s manufacturing sector shows strong recovery – Survey
China’s manufacturing activity expanded in July at the fastest pace in almost a decade, according to a private survey released on Monday, though employment continued to drop in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
The Caixin/Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) came in at 52.8 for July, compared to 51.2 in June.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while one below shows contraction.
The survey indicates the quickest monthly expansion of manufacturing output and new orders since January 2011.
Meanwhile, new business from overseas fell at the slowest rate in six months.
The index beat analysts’ expectations and comes as China has largely contained the coronavirus crisis and most companies have resumed operations.
Nevertheless, employment dropped for the seventh consecutive month.
While some companies hired more workers to meet production needs, others laid off employees to cut costs, the survey showed.
“To increase employment, manufacturers will need more time and confidence,” said Wang Zhe, senior economist at Caixin Insight Group.
Official manufacturing data released last week also indicated a recovery.
The official manufacturing PMI came in at 51.1 in July compared to 50.9 in June.
China’s economy grew by 3.2 per cent in the second quarter of the year, according to official data, after contracting 6.8 per cent in the first quarter due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
German state premier to support town affected by United States troop withdrawal
The premier of the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate has pledged support to one of the regions affected by the withdrawal of United States troops from Germany.
“Whatever happens (at the military base) in Spangdahlem in the end – and we hope it will be very little – the state will of course support the local council and municipalities with the necessary measures,” Malu Dreyer said on Monday during talks with local officials.
The main aim was to maintain the United States military base in Spangdahlem and for the United States announcement to be reversed, the minister said.
“We are fighting for the site,” Dreyer added.
In the past week, the United States announced it would transfer F-16 fighter jets stationed in the town in the west of Germany to Italy, affecting around half of the 4,000 soldiers living at the air base.
The United States airforce said the base in Spangdahlem would continue to operate despite the troop withdrawal, though plans are not final yet.
Around 11,000 people live at the air base, including relatives.
United States President Donald Trump has announced the United States would withdraw about 12,000 troops stationed in Germany.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
Study finds people can transmit coronavirus to cats, dogs
A study by Italian scientists has found that people can transmit the coronavirus SARS–COV-2 to cats and dogs.
The study tested 540 dogs and 277 cats living in households in northern Italy, particularly in Lombardy, where someone was infected with the virus or in areas where there were many cases.
The study, which has not been peer-reviewed yet, found coronavirus antibodies in 3.4 per cent of dogs and 3.9 per cent of cats, indicating they were infected with the virus.
Swab tests for active virus infections were negative in all animals, as the virus shedding period ended after two weeks.
The tests were conducted between March and May of this year.
Thomas Mettenleiter, leader of the German Federal Research Institute for Animal Health (FLI), said the results showed that the virus could be transmitted between humans and animals.
“This confirms what we already know,” Mettenleiter said, adding that the large scale of the study was unprecedented as it was difficult to get samples.
According to Mettenleiter, most animals in the study came from households affected by the coronavirus, indicating that infection is generally transmitted from humans to animals.
People, who are infected with the virus, however, should limit their contact with their pets, although there are no indications so far that animals can die of the coronavirus, according to Mettenleiter.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)