Senior British Cabinet ministers have joined forces to derail plans to open up to 250 super-casinos across the UK. \nOnly days after the culture secretary, Tessa Jowell, published a new Gambling Bill that would introduce hundreds of Las Vegas-style casinos across the country, she is being forced into a humiliating climbdown by a pincer operation from Chancellor (finance minister) Gordon Brown and deputy PM John Prescott. \nIn a clear indication of outright Cabinet hostility to the bill, a key confidante of the Chancellor heavily criticized Jowell's proposals this weekend as "not well thought through." It is now believed there will be no more than 20 of the super-casinos with fruit machines offering ?1 million (US$1,8 million) jackpots. \n"There is no public demand for this," said the senior Treasury official. "In fact ,the opposite seems to be the case." \nPrescott is now planning to make a dramatic intervention to significantly water down the bill which has caused widespread consternation among MPs and religious leaders who argue that it will increase problem gambling. A concerted media campaign against the plans over the past week has raised concerns within government that the moves have misjudged the public mood. \nThere are fears that Britain could see over 250 casinos if the Bill is passed as it currently stand,s along with 100,000 slot machines offering massive jackpots. \nThere is also acute concern at the prospect of the public allowed to drink alcohol at gaming tables. \nPrescott will use planning laws to block applications from casinos. "He is very cautious about this," said one of Prescott's key advisers. "He sees no regeneration benefits in hundreds of casinos. \n"There are places like Blackpool where it's hard to see an alternative rescue strategy other than the introduction of large entertainment complexes, but proliferation in Britain is not going to happen." \n"People feel this is unacceptable and that's the real worry," said Frank Field, a prominent back-bench Labour MP. "Given the problems our supporters are having justifying the war, this is the last thing that's needed." \nThe government's decision to back down on its proposals will anger gambling industry bosses who are poised to invest ?5 billion on a series of massive gambling dens, according to research from leading consultant, Ernst & Young. \nLas Vegas gambling companies have already spent over ?100 million on political lobby firms to persuade MPs to back the proposal. \nJowell's senior advisers who are sponsoring the Bill admitted this weekend that the Government is now "prepared to make adaptations."
Malaysian authorities have advised women to wear makeup, not to nag their husbands and speak with a cartoon character’s soothing voice during the virus lockdown, sparking a flood of mockery online. Like many countries, Malaysia has ordered all citizens to stay at home to stem the spread of COVID-19, which, as of yesterday, had killed at least 39,070 people globally. In a series of online posters with the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19, the Malaysian Ministry of Women and Family Development issued advice on how to avoid domestic conflicts during the partial lockdown, which began on March 18. One of the campaign posters depicted
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
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