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ILO warns of COVID-19 migrant ‘crisis within a crisis’

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Tens of millions of migrant workers, forced to return home because of the COVID-19 pandemic  after losing their jobs, face unemployment and poverty in their home countries, the International Labour Organization has warned.

As containment measures ease, millions of migrant workers may be required to return home to low and middle income countries where labour markets, which were fragile before the COVID-19 outbreak, are now further weakened by the additional strain of high levels of unemployment and serious business disruptions due to the pandemic. In addition, their families will suffer financially from the loss of the remittances normally sent to them.

Meanwhile, other migrant workers have found themselves stranded in host countries without access to social protection and little money for food or accommodation. Even those with jobs may be taking reduced wages and living in cramped worksite residences where social distancing is impossible, putting them at greater risk of contracting the virus.

While many migrant workers, particularly women, are doing essential jobs for their host societies during the pandemic, particularly in the care or agriculture sectors, those in other sectors have lost their jobs or have continued to work informally.

“This is a potential crisis within a crisis,” said Manuela Tomei, Director of the ILO’s Conditions of Work and Equality Department. “We know that many millions of migrant workers, who were under lockdown in their countries of work, have lost their jobs and are now expected to return home to countries that are already grappling with weak economies and rising unemployment. Cooperation and planning are key to avert a worse crisis.”

It is estimated there are 164 million migrant workers worldwide, nearly half of them women, comprising 4.7 per cent of the global labour force. While not all of these workers will return home – after losing their jobs or for other reasons – informal ILO research in more than 20 countries indicates that many millions are expected to do so.

Most of their home countries have very limited scope to reintegrate such large numbers, and often do not have policies and systems in place to ensure effective labour migration governance and smooth reintegration plans, including for skills development and recognition. Governments in Asia and Africa, in particular, expect millions of migrant workers to return, whether through compulsion or voluntarily, as their job prospects evaporate.

A package of ILO briefing and policy documents focusing on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers who are migrants, refugees, or forcibly displaced persons, draws attention to the potentially serious social and economic impact if returns occur over a short period of time and if migrants are not included in social protection measures or given help to reintegrate into national labour markets.

The research also shows how returning migrant workers bring skills and talent that can help their home economies rebuild better after the pandemic. However, the key to unlocking this potential is the establishment of rights-based and orderly return and reintegration systems, access to social protection, and proper skills recognition. This can facilitate better skills and jobs matching, so increasing productivity for national industries.

In addition, migrant workers may bring knowledge and capital to open new businesses that can help to improve employment opportunities.

Helping returning migrants reintegrate will also reduce tensions in their home countries, where some communities may fear that returning migrants may bring the virus or take jobs away. Rebuilding the livelihood strategies of returning migrants will allow them to pay any debts related to their original recruitment abroad, avoiding the risk of forced labour and human trafficking, or re-migration through irregular pathways.

“With the right policies, the return of these workers can be converted into a resource for recovery,” said Michelle Leighton, Chief of the ILO’s Labour Migration Department. “These migrants will bring with them talents and new skills, and in some cases capital, that can support efforts in their home countries to build back better. We must help these countries grasp the opportunity.”

The ILO publications  include assessments of the impact of COVID-19 on migrant workers in Jordan, Lebanon and the ASEAN region, on seasonal workers’ schemes, and on refugee workers and other displaced persons. There is also guidance on policy responses to help maximize the benefits of the returning wave of migrants, including procedures for recognizing skills acquired, ensuring fair recruitment, extending social protection coverage, and help with finding new jobs or re-migrating safely.

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7 Driving Habits That Are Secretly Damaging Your Diesel Engine

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diesel engine

When it comes to driving, no one is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. But could these habits be costing you money and secretly killing your engine? If you want to ensure your engine is running at optimum levels and that your car will last longer, then you should break some of those bad driving habits.

Some driving habits you are practicing may even be unsafe for you, your passengers, and other driverson the road. Here are a few everyday habits that you may be doing that you didn’t know maybe damaging your car.

1.      Ignoring the dashboard lights

If your dashboard light goes on then, it means something is very wrong with your engine. Some choose to ignore it, but it could have dire consequences later. The following are possible reasons why your dashboard lights are on.

Check engine light – when the check engine light goes on, it usually indicates a problem with your engine. The problem could be with the fuel injection system, the ignition, or the emission system. Because the engine is composed of different components, the check engine light may indicate a problem with the engine’s components. It’s best not to ignore the light and take chances. It could cause your engine to knock, and this will cost you so much more later. Ensure that you take your car to the auto repair shop to have it assessed by professional mechanics.

If you have problems with the fuel injection system and it needs replacing, then check out https://goldfarbinc.com/collections/fuel-injection-pump-new-used-rebuilt.

Brake light – ensuring your brakes are in excellent condition should always be a priority. When your brake light goes on, please check that the emergency brake is off. If it’s off, it only means a problem with the brake fluids level or the hydraulic system.

Airbag warning – if your airbag light comes on, then you need to take your car for inspection as soon as possible. When the light is on, it means that you are driving with defective airbags, and they will not deploy if you are involved in a car accident.Sometimes it also means that the airbags may deploy randomly, which may cause you serious bodily harm if you are driving. An airbag warning light could also mean that there is something wrong with your seat belts, and you need to have that checked out also.

Tire pressure – if your tires have low pressure when driving, then they can pose a serious threat to both you and other drivers on the road. If this light goes on, please ensure to check your tire pressure immediately.

Oil pressure – when the oil pressure light comes on, it means your oil levels are running low, and you need to fill it up.

2.      Riding the brakes

Riding the brakes means leaving your foot on the brakes for a long time while driving. Doing that can lead toextra wear and tear and overhearing, which will drastically reduce your stopping power. This a major hazard because while driving, you need your brakes to respondas swiftly and accurately as possible.

Instead of placing your foot on the brakes when the car is going downhill, lift it off the accelerator. The vehicle will slow down, and it also leaves enough space between your car and the one infront of you. If you own a manual car, you can try using a lower gear.

3.      Shifting from drive to reverse without stopping

Even if you are running late, if you want to shift your car to reverse, always ensure the car stops beforeshifting between drive and reverse. This is especially important if you aremoving for a couple of miles. The abrupt gear change can damage your transmission and ultimately shorten the lifespan of your vehicle.

4.      Driving with an empty or low fuel tank

Generally, it’s advisable to ensure your fuel tank is filled quarter way or, if possible full tank. If you drive your vehicle on too little fuel, it can cause overheating and malfunction to your fuel pump injection system and catalytic converter.

Topping your vehicle with little fuel at a time may cause the injector system to take fuel from the bottom of the tank, where there is usually sediment build-up. This will also result in a clogged and dirty fuel filter. However, you should ensure regular engine tune-upsand replacement of your fuel filters to avoid build-up.

5.      Overloading your car

This may surprise most people, but carrying extra weight than your vehicle capacity may damage the engine. It will put additional pressure on all the components because they have to work extra hard to manage the extra weight.

Overloading your vehicle also decreases your car’s fuel economy because it has to use more fuel to handle the excess weight. If a vehicle is too heavy, it can also cause the tires to quickly wear and tear or even cause a major blowout, proving dangerous.

Did you know that overloading your car not only damages it but is also illegal? In case you are involved in an accident, the insurance may not pay for cover.

6.      Revving your engine

Letting your car idlefor afew minutes after starting is always an excellent idea. When you let your car idle for a few minutes, it allows oil to be distributed throughout the engine.Revving the engine will not increase the process and may cause damage to some of the engine’s components. Ensure that your car has properly warmed up before you rev up your engine.

7.      Using the wrong fuel

Ensure that you use the highest quality fuel. Sometimes you can fill up your diesel engine with gasoline by mistake. If that happens, don’t start the engine. This can save you from damaging your engine because once you switch one the car and the gasoline move into the injection system, it will damage everything because gas doesn’t ignite like diesel.

Don’t let bad habits destroy your car, and if you notice any car issues, ensure that you visit your mechanic as soon as possible.

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Muscovites Apply for 700 Trees to be Planted in Honor of Their Newborn Children

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moscow plant trees

The Our Tree project launched two years ago by Moscow’s Department of Information Technology and Department of Nature Management and Environmental Protection has quickly become very popular among Muscovites. Thanks to this annual campaign, city residents can now celebrate the happiest event in their family life – the birth of a child – by giving their baby a unique gift – their own personal tree.

Any parent who is permanently resident in Moscow can apply for a tree within three years of the birth of their child. To do so, they need only have an account on the mos.ru website. On average, 700 Muscovites apply for a tree to be planted in honor of their newborn child each month.

In two months, young parents have submitted more than 1,500 online applications to participate in the Our Tree project and plant seedlings in honor of their newborn kids in the autumn. That’s twice as many as during the same period in spring. Acceptance of applications began on January 16 and will continue until June 15.

Last autumn, more than 5,000 trees were planted as part of the project, with linden, Norway maple, pine, white willow and rowan trees being the most popular choices. Spring planting of personal saplings will soon begin.

Eduard Lysenko, Minister of the Moscow Government and Head of the Department of Information Technology, noted that interest in the Our Tree project among young parents is growing every year: in 2019, more than 2,300 trees were applied for and planted, while in 2020 the number increased to 5,000. More than 4,500 saplings will appear in Moscow’s parks this spring thanks to the project participants.

“A set of online services has been created for families with children on the mos.ru portal. The Our Tree project is another opportunity for young parents to celebrate the important milestone of the birth of their child and to contribute to the city’s ecology. Taking part in the project is very simple – just submit an online application on the portal. Some information is filled in automatically from users’ personal accounts, which makes everything even more convenient. On average, Muscovites order more than 700 seedlings to plant as family trees in their favorite park each month,” said Lysenko.

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Norwegian scientists finally find good news from Norilsk Nickel

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The state of the environment in the border areas is the main topic of the «Pasvikseminaret 2021», organized by the public administrator in Troms county and Finnmark in cooperation with the municipality of Sør-Varanger municipality.

The purpose of the annual Pasvik seminar is to provide the local population and local politicians all information about the environmental situation in the border area Norway – Russia. Program focused on pollution from the Nickel Plant and monitoring of the environment in the border area.

The activities of Norilsk Nickel have been the main focus of the workshop for many years.

For the first time in many years, Norwegian scientists have found only positive news from Russia.

Tore Flatlandsmo Berglen, a researcher at the Norwegian Institute for Atmospheric Research (NILU), noted a significant improvement in air quality in the border area. Berglen remembered the 70-80s of the last century, when one of the divisions of Norilsk Nickel “Pechenganikel” annually emitted 400 thousand tons of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere, in the 90s this figure dropped to 100 thousand tons. After the closure plant in Nikel in December 2020, the content of sulfur dioxide and heavy metals in the atmosphere at the border between Norway and the Murmansk region meets all international requirements.

“And I know that these emissions from the Kola MMC will continue to decline. Compared to 2015, this figure will be 85 percent. This is very positive news. Air quality issues are being addressed in the right direction. We have been talking about this for many years and finally the problem has been resolved, emissions significantly reduced. This is the most excellent presentation I have ever make! ” – said Tore Berglen.

Earlier it was reported that Russia’s Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest producer of nickel and palladium, closed its smelter in the city of Nickel in northern Russia at the end of 2020. Kola is a subsidiary of Norilsk Nickel on the Kola Peninsula with mines, processing plants and pellets in Zapolyarny, as well as metallurgical plants in Monchegorsk and a plant in Nikel, which closed at the end of December 2020.

The Norwegian environmentalists who participated in the workshop also noticed positive changes.

“The smelter is closed and Norilsk Nickel is working hard to become a ‘green’ metallurgical company – it reduces emissions, uses advanced technology and cooperates with Pasvik nature reserve which is our good partner in Russia. Today, a lot of interesting things are happening in the border areas. We have many common interests and there is a certain key to ensuring that everything works out for us – this is good coordination, cooperation, a large knowledge base,” said the representative of the environmental center NIBIO Svanhovd.

Other studies examining water resources, fish, berries, also prove that nature in the border area is recovering. All this testifies to the work of ecologists who care about the environment.

“We see examples of what has already been done. And this allows us to plan with confidence our future joint work, projects,” says senior adviser representative Anne Fløgstad Smeland at the county governor in Finnmark.

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