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  • Yet again, HFX Wanderers will go to work at Wanderers Grounds tomorrow evening. This time, it is Valour FC making the trip from Winnipeg to the East Coast for the first leg of a Canadian Championship second round clash. 

    Wanderers reached this stage by overcoming Vaughan Azzuri on away goals, after a nervy second leg at Wanderers Grounds saw the tie finish 3-3. This will be the first ever appearance in this competition for Valour, as they were gifted a first round bye.

    The only time these sides have met previously came almost a month ago, with Valour running out 1-0 victors in Winnipeg. That match probably holds up as Wanderers best away performance to date, but a lack of cutting edge (and, perhaps synonymously, Luis Alberto Perea) saw them fall to defeat. 

    Wanderers will come into this match feeling good, as two solid performances have seen them earn 4 points out of 6 at home in the last week. A hard-fought 1-1 draw with York last Wednesday was followed by a 2-1 victory over Pacific, with Akeem Garcia and the aforementioned Perea seeing off the B.C. side. 

    Valour come into this game fresh off of a 1-0 away victory over Edmonton, having previously been on an extended rest. Ali Musse played the role of super-sub in that victory, popping up off the bench to score the winner in the second half.


    Read more on the NSXI Network.

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    • I personally don’t think it takes anything away from the goal. Who cares if it wasn’t as pretty as it could have been? I doubt there is a single Lille fan who celebrated the goal any less.  Did anyone celebrate Davies’ goal vs the US any less because it didn’t look pretty? No chance.    Edit: this isn’t directed specifically to you, Obinna. I realize you weren’t implying it did take away from the goal. I just happened to quote you to make the point. 
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    • And James stayed on the bench for Lamia.  And Brym doesn't make the bench for Mouscron. And Flores no where to be seen for Arsenal U23.
    • Yes! Monty Python and SCTV made me who I am today.  That and Soccer Saturday.    I knew I came to the right place... 
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It is a massive global undertaking to combat against a pandemic that will "continue to disrupt global production, trade and travel", except wasn't it the government response from G20 nations (lockdowns) that disrupted those things, not the pandemic itself? And wouldn't you know...the same countries that caused those disruptions are now here to save the day with their $650 billion solution! That's rich. Definitely not a conflict of interests, right? Anyways, if you're interested, read on. He talks about how "mass immunization is key" to prevent the virus from becoming endemic (spoiler alert, it's too late), and also how $50 billion of these freshly minted SDRs need to go to support "universal vaccine coverage" (nice win for pharma). I also liked how the opening paragraph says how these SDRs will go to "ensure governments in low-income and middle-income countries (pawns) have a means to combat the covid 19 virus", yet later in the article you discover that is to the tune of $20 billion, while "$100 billion or more" will be recycled to the IMF (real benefactor) to be used for long-term, low-interest loans (which support re-inflation). I mean, how self-serving is that? Talk about a con job. Giving the low-income countries the crumbs while taking the lion's share for yourselves, under the guise of doing it for "the sake of humanity". The devil is in the details...  (Edit: Am I being too cynical here? If so, can someone point out a flaw in my perspective? The fact they'll give themselves 5x (or more) for low-interest loans than they'll give low-income governments to fight the pandemic is pretty damning, isn't it? Doesn't that clearly show their intention and priority is to re-inflate? The saying "Watch what a man does, not what a man says, comes to mind". Anyhow, I welcome fresh perspectives on this article from others, thanks.)   https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/global-pandemic-financing-imf-sdr-allocation-by-jeffrey-d-sachs-2021-04 Global Financing to End the Pandemic Apr 6, 2021JEFFREY D. SACHS A new allocation of up to $650 billion worth of the IMF’s reserve asset, special drawing rights, would ensure that governments have the means to combat the coronavirus pandemic and start on the path of investment-led recovery. We must seize this critical opportunity to cooperate effectively for the sake of humanity. NEW YORK – This week’s spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank offer a historic chance for financial cooperation. The major economies, including the United States, the European Union, China, and other G20 countries, have already signaled their support for a new allocation of $650 billion worth of the IMF’s reserve asset, special drawing rights (SDRs), to ensure that governments in low-income and middle-income countries have the means to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and start on the path of investment-led recovery. With leadership, boldness, and creativity, this global financial cooperation can help to end the pandemic. Mass immunization is key. Less than a year after SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was first identified and sequenced, financial backing by governments – including the US, United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, China, and India – enabled several companies to roll out safe and effective vaccines. Rich countries that quickly negotiated favorable deals with vaccine makers have received most of the doses so far. But ending the pandemic requires that all countries achieve comprehensive vaccine coverage as soon as possible. In practical terms, the target should be no later than the end of 2022. Such an unprecedented global undertaking requires strong cooperation, including financial support. Yet the urgency should be clear to all. As long as COVID-19 persists at high rates of transmission anywhere in the world, the pandemic will continue to disrupt global production, trade, and travel, and will also give rise to viral mutations that threaten to undermine previously acquired immunity from past infections and vaccinations. Still worse, on the current trajectory, COVID-19 could well become endemic in many regions of the world, imposing high health and economic costs for years to come. As US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen emphasized this week, all countries, therefore, share a strong interest in ending the pandemic everywhere.  The world’s governments established the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), which includes the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) facility, the vaccine pillar of ACT-A, to ensure universal control of SARS-CoV-2. But while ACT-A and COVAX have established global plans for vaccines, tests, and treatments, the plans need urgently to be strengthened for two closely related reasons. First, the operational target currently used by COVAX – a minimum of 27% of all eligible countries’ population immunized by the end of this year – must be raised to vaccination of all adults by the end of 2022. This is necessary to end the pandemic and to reduce the chances of new mutations. Second, planning until the end of 2022 is urgently needed, given the lead times for scaling up the production and supply chains of vaccines and other crucial commodities. Yet ACT-A and COVAX remain underfunded even for 2021: the $11 billion governments have allocated to date leaves a financing gap of $22 billion for this year – a shortfall that has so far delayed necessary planning through the end of 2022. In the meantime, the current vaccine shortfall is leading countries to scramble to jump the queue, including by paying premium prices. This underscores the urgent need to ensure that all countries, including the poorest, can achieve comprehensive vaccine coverage in a fair and timely manner.  The additional sums needed to ensure universal vaccine coverage by the end of 2022, and other COVID-19 supplies, are modest – perhaps $50 billion for ACT-A. That is a negligible amount relative to the enormous global benefits of ending the pandemic and the massive pandemic-related spending by governments of high-income countries around the world. The US government alone has spent roughly $5 trillion in emergency outlays between March 2020 and March 2021. To do its job, ACT-A (including COVAX) needs front-loaded funding to cover vaccine needs through 2022. Given that scaling up the production of vaccines (and some other commodities) requires a lead time of 6-12 months, the $50 billion should be guaranteed within the coming weeks, so that ACT-A and COVAX can work with manufacturers to ensure the necessary supplies. The IMF’s allocation of new SDRs offers a unique – and perhaps the only – opportunity to get this funding in hand. When the new SDRs are issued, around $20 billion of new reserves will go directly to the poorest countries. In addition, around $100 billion or more that is allocated to rich countries will be recycled to the IMF to be used for long-term, low-interest loans. IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has been working closely and creatively with G20 governments to design this novel, promising approach. One excellent idea is to use the SDRs to bolster the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT), the Fund’s financing window for poor countries.   There is an important precedent here. In 2015, the IMF created a Catastrophe and Containment Relief Fund to help provide emergency Ebola-control financing to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. This time, the PRGT financing could be made conditional on its use for ACT-A and COVAX-related procurements and for other COVID-19 control measures that the borrowing government documents to the IMF (such as reimbursements for COVID-19 vaccines that have been contracted by the member state outside COVAX). ACT-A is now preparing estimates of the financing that the world’s 92 low- and middle-income countries eligible for COVAX support will need for vaccines, testing, therapeutics, and other supplies until the end of 2022. Based on the estimated financing needs, an ACT-A financial plan can be established for each country, to be supported by the SDRs and the expanded PRGT funds. In the next few weeks, a rational plan to finance all countries’ COVID-19 balance-of-payments needs until the end of 2022 should emerge. The IMF was created to handle such a balance-of-payments emergency. Access to IMF financing will protect the well-being and macroeconomic stability of individual countries and the world as a whole. We must seize this critical opportunity for the United Nations, the IMF, and key governments – including the US, China, Russia, the EU, Japan, the UK, and others – to cooperate effectively for the sake of humanity.
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