Firms unready for viruses
Most businesses often aren't protected against computer viruses or other electronic sabotage as insurance companies usually don't cover such claims, the New York Times reported today. Many businesses don't try to buy insurance against damage caused by viruses, worms or hacker attacks as executives often aren't aware that their general-liability policy doesn't cover them, while insurers don't know how to adequately provide coverage for possible losses, the newspaper said. American International Group Inc and Lloyd's of London are among the few insurers that do cover damage from the electronic attacks, the paper said. The insurance ranges in cost from US$5,000 to US$30,000 a year for US$1 million in coverage.
Alstom reassures China
Embattled French engineering giant Alstom expects that a recent government rescue package will not impact operations in China -- its top strategic market, state press reported yesterday. The recent 3.2 billion-euro (US$3.8 billion) bailout by the French state and banks in consultation with the European Commission has raised some concerns about the company's financial future among Alstom customers. The maker of fast trains, ocean liners and power stations, which operate 11 joint ventures and two wholly-owned companies with 2,400 employees in China, is a key supplier of many of China's major power projects. Alstom is heavily involved in China's mammoth Three Gorges hydro-electric project and the Daya Bay nuclear power station in Guangdong Province.
■ Economic policy
Deficits to be reduced
French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder pledged Sunday to rein in their public deficits which exceed EU budget rules ahead of a meeting of the bloc's leaders later in the week. The two met Sunday for an informal dinner in Paris to coordinate positions ahead of the EU's autumn summit Thursday and Friday in Brussels, a meeting traditionally devoted to economic matters. France and, to a lesser extent, Germany have been in the firing line of the European Commission for running budget deficits that contravene the EU's Growth and Stability Pact, which was designed to keep the 12 countries which use the euro from spending too much and undermining the currency. Both countries are expected to far exceed the deficit limit of 3.0 percent of GDP both this year and next year.
Motorola wins Iraq contract
Motorola Inc will probably win the bulk of orders worth as much as US$100 million to build a wireless network in Iraq, said Craig Ehrlich, chairman of the GSM Association, an industry group representing phone companies. "Motorola will probably walk away with the lion's share of infrastructure in Iraq," Ehrlich said in an interview. Total network orders in Iraq will probably be worth between US$50 million and US$100 million over the year ahead, he said. The US will probably push for using equipment based on the global system for mobile communications standard, or GSM, because neighboring countries use it, Ehrlich said. Motorola, the world's No. 4 maker of cellular networks, will build the network in southern Iraq that Mobile Telecom Co will operate as part of a venture called Atheer Telecoms.
KEEP AWAY: People should wear a mask in places where they cannot follow social distancing rules, the CECC said, adding that it would publish detailed guidelines today The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 16 new cases of COVID-19, including two domestic cases, as it urged people to practice social distancing in public spaces by keeping a distance of at least 1m when outdoors and 1.5m indoors. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that seven of the new cases tested positive upon their arrival at the airport, four were under home quarantine, one was under home isolation and two were under self-health management, while the two domestic cases sought treatment on their own. The domestic cases are a man in his
Taiwan will negotiate with the WHO about its participation without Beijing’s help and intervention as more countries, including Australia and Japan, are partnering with Taiwan to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a telephonic roundtable with reporters on Monday also supported Taiwan’s role in the WHO, saying the US Department of State would do its best to assist Taiwan’s “appropriate role” in the world’s highest health policy setting body, Voice of America reported. In a Japan Business Press report published on Sunday, Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou (孔鉉佑) said
‘HEROIC’: A lack of personal protective equipment has led to high infection rates among health workers in places like Spain and Italy, a nurses’ association said More equipment is needed to protect the world’s nurses working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic to save lives, the head of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) said. “They are heroic. I think there is no other way to describe what they are doing at this moment,” said Howard Catton, a British nurse who is the council’s CEO. Infection rates of 9 percent and 12 to 14 percent have been reported among health workers in Italy and Spain respectively, he said, adding that nurses have died in the two nations, as well as Iran and Indonesia. “We have no doubt
Japan’s ruling party yesterday proposed the nation’s biggest-ever stimulus package of ￥60 trillion (US$554 billion) as the COVID-19 pandemic locks the economy in a recession. The sum includes ￥20 trillion in fiscal measures with private initiatives and other elements likely making up the rest, the proposal by the Liberal Democratic Party showed. More than ￥10 trillion, or the equivalent of a 5 percentage point cut in the sales tax rate, would be handed out to the public in a combination of cash, subsidies and coupons, the plan showed. The proposal puts an initial figure on a stimulus package that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo