stay away from any vehicle collisions involving Olympic participants, to avoid infection.

Last year, terminal shutdowns in and around Ningbo and Shenzhen, respectively the world’s third- and fourth-largest container ports by volume, led to congestion and delays, and caused some ships to reroute to other ports.

But if the coronavirus does manage to enter a big port again, the effects could quickly be felt in the United States. “If one of the big container terminals goes into lockdown,” Mr. Huxley said, “it doesn’t take long for a big backlog to develop.”

Airfreight could also become more expensive and harder to obtain in the coming weeks as China has canceled dozens of flights to clamp down on another potential vector of infection. That could especially affect consumer electronics companies, which tend to ship high-value goods by air.

For American companies, the prospect of further supply chain troubles means there may be another scramble to secure Chinese-made products ahead of potential closures.

Lisa Williams, the chief executive of the World of EPI, a company that makes multicultural dolls, said the supply chain issues were putting pressure on companies like hers to get products on the shelves faster than ever, with retailers asking for goods for the fall to be shipped as early as May.

Dr. Williams, who was an academic specializing in logistics before she started her company, said an increase in the price of petroleum and other raw materials had pushed up the cost of the materials her company uses to make dolls, including plastic accessories, fibers for hair, fabrics for clothing and plastic for the dolls themselves. Her company has turned to far more expensive airfreight to get some shipments to the United States faster, further cutting into the firm’s margins.

“Everything is being moved up because everyone is anticipating the delay with supply chains,” she said. “So that compresses everything. It compresses the creativity, it compresses the amount of time we have to think through innovations we want to do.”

Ana Swanson reported from Washington, and Keith Bradsher from Beijing.

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Kazakhstan Protests Lead President to Crack Down: ‘Fire Without Warning’

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan — The authoritarian leader of Kazakhstan said Friday that he had authorized the nation’s security forces to “fire without warning” as the government moved to bring an end to two days of chaos and violence after peaceful protests descended into scenes of anarchy.

“We hear calls from abroad for the parties to negotiate to find a peaceful solution to the problems,” President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said in an address to the nation. “This is just nonsense.”

“What negotiations can there be with criminals and murderers,” he said. “They need to be destroyed and this will be done.”

The government said that order had been “mainly restored” across the country as Russian troops joined with the country’s security forces to quell widespread unrest.

the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.

This is the first time in the history of the alliance that its protection clause has been invoked.

Even as Russian paratroopers from the elite 45th Guards Spetsnaz Brigade landed in Almaty, gunbattles raged in the streets late into the night, according to video from a BBC correspondent on the scene.

lifted price caps for liquefied petroleum gas, a low-carbon fuel that many Kazakhs use to power their cars. But the frustration among the people runs deep in regards to social and economic disparities.

“The United States and, frankly, the world will be watching for any violations of human rights,” said Ned Price, a State Department spokesman. “We will also be watching for any actions that may lay the predicate for the seizure of Kazakh institutions.”

Meanwhile, China expressed full support for the Kazakh leader.

“You decisively took effective measures at critical moments to quickly calm the situation, which embodies your responsibility as a politician,” China’s authoritarian leader, Xi Jinping, said in a message to Mr. Tokayev, according to China’s official Xinhua News Agency.

Kazakhstan has been expanding its ties with China in recent years. The country plays a central role in Mr. Xi’s signature infrastructure program, known as “One Belt, One Road,” which aims to revive the ancient Silk Road and build up other trading routes between Asia and Europe to pump Chinese products into foreign markets.

In his message, Mr. Xi condemned any efforts to undermine Kazakhstan’s stability and peace, as well as its relationship with China. He told Mr. Tokayev that Beijing “resolutely opposes external forces deliberately creating turmoil and instigating a ‘color revolution’ in Kazakhstan,” the news agency said.

The Xinhua report did not elaborate on what Mr. Xi was referring to, but the Chinese Communist Party has often invoked the theme of foreign meddling to explain unrest, including in Hong Kong.

The protests in Kazakhstan started on Sunday with what appeared to be a genuine outpouring of public anger over an increase in fuel prices and a broader frustration over a government widely viewed as corrupt — with vast oil riches benefiting an elite few at the expense of the masses.

In a concession, the government on Thursday announced a price cap on vehicle fuel and a halt to increases in utility bills.

However, as the protests swelled, both the government and even some supporters of the protests said they had been co-opted by criminal gangs looking to exploit the situation.

Over the past two days, oil prices have risen 4 percent, partly driven by worries over Kazakhstan, a major petroleum producer. Futures in Brent crude, the international benchmark, were trading at $82.95 a barrel on Friday, close to seven-year highs that were reached in October.

Chevron, the second largest U.S. oil company, said there has been some disruption to oil production at their key Tengiz field in Kazakhstan. The issue appears to be difficulty in loading some petroleum products from the field onto rail cars.

The market is also responding to geopolitical tensions, including over Ukraine, and to production problems in Nigeria, Angola, Libya and elsewhere.

The huge destruction of public property in Kazakhstan — including the torching of Almaty’s City Hall and the burning and looting of scores of other government buildings — has been met with a strong show of force by security personnel.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement on Friday that 26 “armed criminals” had been “liquidated” and 18 security officers killed in the unrest.

Ivan Nechepurenko reported from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Valerie Hopkins from Moscow, and Marc Santora from Chatel, France. Michael Crowley contributed reporting from Washington, Stanley Reed from London, and Gillian Wong from Seoul.

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Titan Holdings Announces Westward Expansion With Acquisition of Pacific Bath

CORAL GABLES, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Titan Holdings (“Titan”), via its Renuity subsidiary, today announced the acquisition of Pacific Bath Company (“Pacific Bath”), a leading home improvement company offering walk-in bath, shower, and gutter products across the Pacific Northwest. The transaction bolsters the roster of Renuity’s portfolio of remodelers and marks yet another high-profile acquisition for Titan, the eighth overall since its 2019 launch. As 2021 closed, the home improvement innovator had grown its footprint to 21 states.

Pacific Bath is an amazing business, growing faster than any other acquisition target we have looked at in 2021,” said Daniel Gluck, Titan CEO. “Expansion to the West Coast is not something I thought we would get to for another year or two, but when you can partner with a business as high quality as Pacific Bath, you jump at the opportunity. Roy, Todd and the team at Pacific Bath are amazing operators and will be welcome additions to our Renuity business. I know they will benefit from the technology, marketing, recruiting and analytics resources that the Titan umbrella provides.”

As an exclusive dealer for Kohler, Pacific Bath has spent the past five years executing 15,000-plus projects and earning high marks from its customers, who keep coming back. The transaction also includes Pacific Gutter, which provides gutter protection to consumers in Washington and Oregon. Renuity will help jumpstart the gutter business after a strong start in its first year.

There is a lot to be excited about in this deal, but we are most excited about the opportunity to grow our business and utilize the suite of services provided by Titan and Renuity,” said Roy Bletko, Managing Partner of Pacific Bath. “Their organizational infrastructure should only serve to enhance everything we are doing here at Pacific Bath. I am happy that our customers and employees will continue to be well taken care of and that Titan will help us to expand our footprint over the coming years.”

Pacific Bath employs 280 professionals across their four key markets. That workforce will remain in their capacity and will now fall under the Renuity vertical of Titan’s business.

About Titan Holdings

Formerly “Titan Home Improvement,” Titan Holdings features two home-related verticals, including a portfolio of national home improvement operating divisions (“Renuity”) and a technology platform focused on building out a superior managed solution for the home services industry (“Bylt”). The holding company aims to leverage its portfolio of assets to revolutionize the end-to-end residential remodeling process. Titan Holdings is based in Coral Gables, Fla.

About Renuity

Renuity is a portfolio of national home improvement operating divisions owned by Titan Holdings and operating across the United States. These businesses include best-in-class organizations like FHIA Remodeling, Mad City Windows & Baths, Statewide Remodeling, Home Smart Industries, MaxHome, and Paradise Home Improvement. Collectively, these businesses have helped hundreds of thousands of homeowners get quality remodeling services and reliable installation at a competitive price.

About Pacific Bath Company

Pacific Bath Company is a home remodeler based in Portland, Ore. providing superior bath remodeling products and services since 2016. Pacific Bath operates in Washington, Oregon, Nevada and Arizona, and has served more than 20,000 customers. As a certified KOHLER walk-in bath provider, Pacific Bath uses the professional knowledge to transform your outdated bath into a relaxing oasis. The company’s goal is to foster an energetic and enthusiastic environment in which associates at all levels are encouraged to be responsive and act with a sense of accountability.

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After dozens are reported dead in Kazakhstan, troops from a Russian alliance begin to deploy.

Credit…Abduaziz Madyarov/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

All night and into the early hours on Thursday, young men roamed the streets of Kazakhstan’s largest city, Almaty, flanked by flames and buttressed by barricades. As stun grenades exploded and tear gas wafted in the air, demonstrators set fire to trucks, police cars and other vehicles, their smoldering hulks littering the streets.

As the first foreign soldiers from countries allied with Russia landed in the Central Asian nation, they found a country that had, for the moment, been plunged into anarchy.

Some protesters came with firearms and started looting shops and malls, according to video footage posted from the scene. They set government buildings on fire, including the City Hall and the former office of the country’s president. They also captured the airport.

The scale of the violence, which was evident in videos, postings on social media and official government statements, was still coming into focus on Thursday morning as new and unconfirmed reports of sporadic clashes circulated on social media.

With intermittent internet access and few independent witnesses, information coming out of the country was hard to verify.

Galym Ageleulov, who has witnessed the events of the past few days, said he believed that a protest movement that was calling for peaceful change had been co-opted by throngs of criminals. Overnight, the streets were filled with mostly young men, many posing on social media with riot shields and helmets captured from the police. They were highly organized and managed by gang leaders, he said.

“The police have disappeared from the city,” said Mr. Ageleulov, director of the human rights center Liberty in Almaty. “These gang members marched through the city looting stores and setting cars ablaze as they moved; they stormed the City Hall,” he said in a phone interview.

“It was a horrible scene,” he said.

By the morning, Almaty had been transformed: Commercial banks were ordered closed with many Kazakhs rushing to A.T.M.s desperate to withdraw cash; stores were closed, causing many residents line up for bread, a scene unseen in the country for decades; at times, the internet has been shut down, disrupting basic infrastructure work.

Almaty’s City Hall, an imposing white building that once served as the Communist Party headquarters, was charred black from the flames that burned through the night. Members of the special forces roamed the surrounding streets firing live ammunition trying to quell the uprising.

The revolt began on Sunday in western Kazakhstan as a protest against a surge in fuel prices. Even though the government said it would rescind the price increase, the protests widened, spreading across the country, with broader demands for increased political representation and improved social benefits.

The Kazakh president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, issued a statement late Wednesday night calling the protesters “a band of terrorists” who had been trained abroad. He declared Kazakhstan to be under attack and asked for intervention from Russia’s answer to NATO, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, to which his country belongs.

The group is effectively led by Russia and also includes former Soviet countries in the Kremlin sphere of influence: Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

The protests have paralyzed a nation of 19 million. In addition to the bank closures and internet shutdowns, the telephone system has been shut off sporadically, schools have extended their winter break by a week and flights in and out of airports in the cities of Almaty, Aktau and Aktobe have been suspended.

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Covid Live Updates: New Year Festivities Scaled Back Worldwide as Cases Soar

Credit…Brendan Smialowski/Agence France-Presse, via Getty Images

In the United States, over 204 million people are fully vaccinated, but that’s still only 62 percent of the population, much lower than in most other wealthy countries.

At the county level, vaccination rates range from about 83 percent in places like Montgomery County, Md., a populous area just outside Washington, D.C., to around 15 percent in rural places like McPherson County in northern South Dakota.

As the Omicron variant surges, and experts say that vaccinations strongly protect against severe illness, U.S. public health officials are closely examining ways to reach the least-vaccinated areas. But the roadblocks are not the same everywhere. Some clearly have to do with politics: Republican-leaning areas have generally been vaccine laggards. But pockets of the country can have their own quirks unrelated to partisanship.

Here is a look at the challenges faced by three counties where, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, vaccination rates are among the lowest in the nation. (State figures for those counties may vary from the C.D.C. data because of differences in methodology, reporting lags and other factors.)

LaGrange County, Ind.

Resistance to vaccines is not new in LaGrange County, a rural area along Indiana’s border with Michigan. Just 22 percent of residents are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, and, according to Dr. Tony Pechin, the county health officer, only 15 percent of children in the county are up-to-date on standard vaccines by the age of 2.

Dr. Pechin said that he had encountered the usual conspiracy theories about vaccines, and that even some longtime patients would not heed his advice to get the shots.

But the most important factor, he said, is that about half the county’s 40,000 residents are Amish, a group that overwhelmingly rejects the vaccines. Among non-Amish residents, he said, the vaccination rate is 45 to 48 percent.

Dr. Pechin said that a pharmacy frequented by Amish residents was among the first in LaGrange County to receive doses but had vaccinated just eight people in six months.

The state health commissioner sent a delegation to meet with Amish leaders in the spring, and the C.D.C. sent another over the summer.

“When they were done,” Dr. Pechin said of the envoys, “they called me and just said, ‘Good luck, Tony.’”

Cameron Parish, La.

When Hurricane Laura made landfall near Cameron Parish in August 2020, many residents left damaged homes behind and took refuge inland — and have yet to return.

According to the C.D.C., the vaccination rate is just 17 percent. But Louisiana health officials say that those figures do not take account of the population shift.

“Although the numbers look awful, they’re not as bad as they appear, because of an outflux of people due to the natural disasters,” said Dr. Lacey Cavanaugh, a regional health officer for the Louisiana Department of Health.

Credit…Bryan Tarnowski/Bloomberg, via Getty Images

But if the statistics were calculated to reflect the current populations of Cameron Parish and others ravaged by recent storms, she said, they would probably still show vaccination rates below national averages. Laura destroyed much of the parish’s limited health infrastructure, so for months, health officials administered vaccines in a tent in a hospital parking lot. And for residents consumed by the work of repairing homes and businesses, getting vaccinated fell low on the priority list.

State health officials have worked to bring vaccines directly to disaster recovery events, and advised residents that getting sick with Covid-19 could make the road back even harder.

“Once you’re protected” from the virus, Dr. Cavanaugh said, “that’s one less thing for you to worry about.”

Winston County, Ala.

A rural county with a history of going its own way — it refused to join Alabama in seceding from the Union during the Civil War —  faces many of the challenges that have hampered the state’s vaccine uptake.

Vaccine misinformation is still spreading on social media, said Dr. Karen Landers, a regional officer with the state’s Public Health Department, despite months of efforts with local leaders, faith-based organizations and pharmacies. The county’s vaccination rate has stalled at around 21 percent, according to the C.D.C.

Credit…Chandan Khanna/Agence France-Presse, via Getty Images

Persuading young people that they are vulnerable to the disease and need a vaccine can be a particularly acute problem, she said. But Dr. Landerssaid she remained determined: “We know that not everyone will listen to us, but that does not alleviate our responsibility.”

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Bowman Expands Texas Operations Through Acquisition of Houston and San Antonio based Terra Associates, Inc.

RESTON, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Bowman Consulting Group Ltd. (the “Company” or “Bowman”) (NASDAQ: BWMN), today announced it had entered into a definitive purchase agreement for the acquisition of Terra Associates, Inc. (“Terra”). Closing is scheduled to occur on December 31, 2021, subject to customary closing conditions. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Terra delivers civil design and engineering solutions to clients focused on traffic and transportation planning, water-wastewater solutions, landscape and irrigation systems, office and industrial facilities, and multi-family development. Under the continuing leadership of Vickie Henkel, Terra’s staff of 30+ professionals work from offices in Houston and San Antonio for both public and private sector clients. In connection with their water-wastewater practice, Terra serves in the role of District Engineer for several Texas-based Municipal Utility Districts (MUDs).

“Terra is a company with a forty-year heritage of serving eastern Texas,” said Gary Bowman, CEO of Bowman. “The leadership of Terra has surrounded themselves with a team of committed and energetic professionals who will all be great additions to Bowman. We have been intent on growing our Texas operations and this acquisition, following closely on the heels of our acquisition of 1519 Surveying, fortifies Bowman’s presence in the Lone Star state. Terra’s experience in commercial site work, transportation design and utility district services are highly complementary to our portfolio of services and align with our growth plans and evolving market demand. I am pleased to welcome everyone at Terra to Bowman and I am excited about the potential for our future together.”

“Choosing to join Bowman was an easy decision,” said Vickie Henkel, CEO of Terra. “Bowman’s approach to growth is very exciting to all of us at Terra. We’ve gotten to know the leadership at Bowman over the course of the acquisition process and we all feel very comfortable with the decision. Their commitment to helping our leadership and staff grow without changing the core of who we are is a big part of what makes us excited about this opportunity. The opportunity to be a part of an entrepreneurial public company is both exciting and energizing. We are all looking forward to the future as a Bowman company.”

The acquisition, which the Company expects to be immediately accretive, was financed with a combination of cash, seller financing, and stock. The Company expects the Terra acquisition to initially contribute approximately $5.5 million of annualized net service billing.

“We are continuing to execute on our commitment to growth at a reasonable price,” said Bruce Labovitz, Bowman’s CFO. “This will be our last acquisition in 2021, and it brings our annualized acquired revenue for the year to approximately $36 million. The Terra acquisition is within our target multiple range and it meets all of our objectives for operating performance metrics. As is our practice, we will provide more detailed information on M&A activities and pipeline in connection with scheduled quarterly communications.”

About Terra, Inc.

Terra Associates, Inc. (Terra) has provided civil engineering, surveying, economical design, project management and permitting services for multi-family, retail developments, office/industrial projects, and municipalities for over forty years. During its award-winning history, the company has added traffic engineering, landscape architecture and irrigation design services. With multiple certifications including LEED, Texas HUB, and SBE, Terra’s team of 30+ professionals work every day to exceed client expectations for reliability and innovation. Additional information on Terra, its team, and its projects can be found at www.terraassoc.com.

About Bowman Consulting Group Ltd.

Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Bowman is an engineering services firm delivering innovative infrastructure solutions to customers who own, develop, and maintain the built environment. With 950 employees and more than 35 offices throughout the United Sates, Bowman provides a variety of planning, engineering, construction management, commissioning, environmental consulting, geomatics, survey, land procurement and other technical services to customers operating in a diverse set of regulated end markets. On May 11, 2021, Bowman completed its $51.7 million initial public offering and began trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol BWMN. For more information, visit www.bowman.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company cautions that these statements are qualified by important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected by the forward-looking statements contained in this news release. Such factors include: (a) changes in demand from the local and state government and private clients that we serve; (b) general economic conditions, nationally and globally, and their effect on the market for our services; (c) competitive pressures and trends in our industry and our ability to successfully compete with our competitors; (d) changes in laws, regulations, or policies; and (e) the “Risk Factors” set forth in the Company’s most recent SEC filings. All forward-looking statements are based on information available to the Company on the date hereof, and the Company assumes no obligation to update such statements, except as required by law.

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Roche says at-home COVID-19 rapid test gets ok from FDA

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A box of material for rapid COVID-19 antigenic tests made by Swiss drugmaker Roche is pictured at the University Hospital (CHUV) during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Lausanne, Switzerland, November 13, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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Dec 24 (Reuters) – Roche said on Friday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to its COVID-19 at-home rapid test that can be used by people as young as 14.

The test, which uses a anterior nasal swab sample, is “able to produce accurate, reliable and quick results in as few as 20 minutes” for SARS-CoV-2 and all variants of concern, including Omicron, the drugmaker said in a statement.

The variant has become dominant in the United States with lightning speed, dashing hopes for a more normal holiday season, resurrecting restrictions and stretching the country’s testing infrastructure ahead of holiday travel and gatherings. read more

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“Roche has the capacity to produce tens of millions of tests per month to help support the pandemic response,” the Swiss firm said, adding that the test will be available across the U.S. from January.

The test’s approval comes at a time when companies such as Walmart Inc (WMT.N), Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA.O) and CVS Health Corp (CVS.N) have limited sales of at-home COVID-19 testing kits as demand surged owing to the swift spread of the variant of the coronavirus.

U.S. President Joe Biden recently unveiled plans to buy 500 million rapid COVID-19 tests to be distributed for free to Americans who request them starting in January. read more

The test can also be used by for children aged 2-13 years under adult supervision, according to the company. “The launch will be in partnership with SD Biosensor Inc (137310.KS), with whom Roche has a global distribution agreement.”

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Reporting by Vishal Vivek in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Global Cement Market Growth, Trends and Forecasts to 2025: Rising Demand for Green Cement – ResearchAndMarkets.com

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The “Global Cement Market (Production, Consumption, Imports & Exports): Insights & Forecast with Potential Impact of COVID-19 (2020-2022)” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.

The global cement market is expected to record a value of US$401.10 billion in 2025, progressing at a CAGR of 5.10% for the period spanning 2021-2025.

Factors such as surging demand from construction activities, increasing adoption of green cement, expanding urbanization and rising disposable income are likely to drive the growth of the market. However, the growth of the market would be challenged by rising government regulations on carbon emissions from manufacturing plants, depleting fossil fuel reserves and higher power consumption.

A few notable trends include growing civil engineering sector, technological advancements in the production process of cement and surging demand for green cement and increasing infrastructure projects in developing regions.

The global cement market is segmented on the basis of type, application, production and consumption. Depending on the type, the global cement market can be bifurcated into Blended, Portland and others which include composite, colored, quick setting, low alkali and air-entraining cement. In terms of application, the global cement market can be segmented as follows: Non residential and residential. The market is further expanding in terms of production, consumption, imports and exports.

The largest regional market is China, owing to the growing construction sector at a fast pace. Further China is likely to witness some fall in consumption volume due to economic conditions and high prices of cement. Moreover, Emerging Asia (including India and Indonesia) and Middle East & Africa (including Egypt and Algeria) are also likely to grow considerably in coming years.

Scope of the report

Key Topics Covered:

1. Overview

2. Global Cement Market Analysis

2.1 Cement Consumption Volume Forecast

2.2 Cement Consumption by Region

3. Regional Cement Market Analysis

3.1 Emerging Asia

3.2 Middle East & Africa

3.3 Latin America

3.4 Western Europe

3.5 Eastern Europe

3.6 North America

3.7 Developed Asia

4. Market Dynamics

4.1 Growth Drivers

4.1.1 Increasing Construction Activities

4.1.2 Urbanization

4.1.3 Rising Disposable Incomes

4.2 Key Trends

4.2.1 Expansion of Civil Engineering Sector at Global Scale

4.2.2 Rising Demand for Green Cement

4.2.3 Increasing Infrastructure Projects in Developing Regions

4.3 Challenges

4.3.1 Depleting Fossil Fuel Reserves

5. Competition

5.1 Global Market

5.1.1 Cement Capacity and Number of Plants by Top Players

5.1.2 Key Players – Revenue Comparison

5.1.3 Key Players – Market Capital Comparison

5.2 Emerging Asia

5.3 Developed Asia

5.4 North America

5.5 Latin America

5.6 Western Europe

5.7 Eastern Europe

5.8 MEA

6. Company Profiles

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/vbcma

About ResearchAndMarkets.com

ResearchAndMarkets.com is the world’s leading source for international market research reports and market data. We provide you with the latest data on international and regional markets, key industries, the top companies, new products and the latest trends.

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Once a Symbol of U.S. Strength, an Afghan District Now Faces Dire Times

At the war’s end, residents of Marja are growing increasingly desperate for any kind of help, a frustration that has turned to anger that the international community has seemingly abandoned them.


MARJA, Afghanistan — Haji Rozi Khan stood outside the gate of the bullet-pocked building that housed the Marja district’s government offices, staring through the slotted steel door into the compound. Taliban guards stared back. They were not who he was looking for.

Mr. Khan had trekked to Marja’s district center in Helmand Province from his village several miles away by motorbike, kicking up powdered dust as he navigated the unpaved roads, long damaged by the war. He was searching for a figure who had been even more elusive since the Taliban took power in August: an aid worker.

“We have nothing to eat,” he said in an interview last month.

Once, Marja was the site of one of the biggest battles of the two-decade war, part of the United States’ counterinsurgency campaign to weaken the Taliban and build up a local government. But today, the grid-like patch of mud-walled hamlets and canals looks much as it did at the outset of the invasion in 2001: barely navigable roads, understaffed and damaged schools and clinics and withered crops, crippled by one of the worst droughts in decades.

humanitarian crisis, Marja’s residents are still caught in the war’s aftershocks. Amid a crashing economy and ruined harvests, in a place where most people barely live above the poverty line, many are just now realizing how dependent they were on foreign aid, their lifeline for 20 years, which was cut off practically overnight. They’re growing increasingly desperate for help, a frustration that has morphed into anger that the international community has seemingly abandoned them.

that crumbled even before the Americans fully withdrew from the country in August. Many in Marja were happy to see the foreign occupation end and the Taliban take power, because it brought stability to the region after years of fighting that took countless civilian lives and wrought widespread destruction.

under control of the Taliban. Across the country, there is widespread anxiety about the future.

This year’s turmoil has been deepened by the arrival of roughly 20 displaced families from central Afghanistan. They were hungry and homeless, he said, so he gave them what little food he could spare before making his way to the district center in hopes of finding someone else who could help.

“We are so tired,” Mr. Khan said, his blue shalwar kameez flapping in the morning breeze.

In recent weeks, the United States and the European Union have pledged to provide $1.29 billion more in aid to Afghanistan. The World Bank’s board moved in late November to free up $280 million in frozen donor funding, but U.S. sanctions against the Taliban continue to make it extremely difficult for aid organizations to get money into the country.

Aside from the sanctions, the Taliban government’s inability to provide for its people also stems from its inexperience in governance, which was clearly illustrated in a visit to the district office in Marja.

Inside the squat government building that was refurbished by the Americans a decade ago and nearly destroyed by fighting in the decade since, sat Mullah Abdul Salam Hussaini, 37, Marja’s district governor. The newly appointed local leader had spent the better part of the last 20 years — essentially his entire adulthood — trying to kill U.S. and NATO forces as a Taliban fighter.

Now he found himself governing a district of around 80,000 people mired in crisis, with little in the way of funds, infrastructure or public-service experience to support his constituents.

People lined up at the compound gates with a litany of complaints and requests: Do something about the displaced refugees; build a new health clinic; help farmers whose crops were destroyed; find more teachers for what may be the only remaining school in Marja.

“Whatever people ask, I am asking that, too, because we are not in a situation to do it ourselves,” Mr. Hussaini said quietly, surrounded by Talibs who looked far more comfortable behind a rifle than a desk. “We need the help of foreigners because they did it before and we’re asking them to do it again.”

Inside the governor’s dimly lit office, walls and window sill adorned with Kalashnikov rifles and other weapons captured from the previous government, sat a representative from a local aid group who had come to survey the district and its food needs for the World Food Program. The organization is still distributing basic food staples, but the rising demand has far exceeded their supplies.

For years, the insurgent group controlled pockets of Afghanistan and fueled a shadow economy by leeching off the previous government’s foreign-filled coffers through taxes on everyone in their territory, including truck drivers and aid workers. But those sorts of activities cannot make up for the loss of outside help.

“The Taliban don’t seem to have had a sense of how dependent the economy was on foreign support, which they benefited from as did everyone else,” said Kate Clark, the co-director of Afghanistan Analysts Network. “Even under the areas under Taliban control they weren’t funding the schools and the clinics.”

Marja, a district long reliant on growing poppy for its own illicit economy that the Taliban also taxed, was built by the United States in the late 1950s and 1960s as an agricultural project that diverted water from the Helmand River into a series of distinct grids.

In 2010, during the height of President Barack Obama’s troop surge, thousands of Western and Afghan troops secured the network of canals and fields in a major military offensive and then made promises of roads, schools and a functioning local government. Considered the last Taliban stronghold in central Helmand, Marja was a strategically important district in the eyes of military planners, who decided a victory there would be crucial to Mr. Obama’s new counterinsurgency strategy.

The Koru Chareh bazaar, a cluster of shoddy low-slung, steel-door shops, was where some of the first American troops arrived in 2010. “They came at night,” recalled Abdul Kabir, a young shopkeeper who was 9 when the first helicopters landed nearby.

As a boy, he watched as the Marines in desert tan uniforms walked by, saying nothing to him.

But this November, the only visible signs of the Americans’ occupation was a “Trump 2020 Keep America Great” flag draped from a shopkeeper’s peanut stand and a Confederate battle flag hanging from a shed nearby. A paved road that bisects Marja from north to south is arguably the most prominent American piece of infrastructure in the district, built as part of the more than $4 billion in stabilization funds that the United States poured into the country.

“It’s good the fighting is over,” Mr. Kabir said, standing next to his money exchange stand, where he focused on changing afghanis into Pakistani rupees. Few people ambled by. He had lived in Marja his whole life, an arc that followed the entire U.S. occupation.

Mr. Kabir was one of several residents who praised the security situation but lamented the economic downturn. “There is no money and everything is expensive,” he added.

With fluctuating border restrictions, higher import costs and a cash shortage, basic products in the bazaar, such as cooking oil, are three times as expensive as they once were.

To the vendors, who have distinct memories of fighting outside their homes, and explosions and gunshots that killed their friends, the economic crunch and the United States’ unwillingness to recognize the Taliban feel like punishments against them, not the new government.

Ali Mohammed, 27, who runs a chicken stand at the main intersection of the bazaar, has carried the weight of the war for years. He watched as a friend was gunned down by the Americans in a field just a few hundred yards from where he now sells his underfed birds. To him, his country’s situation was simply a new phase of the conflict.

“The foreigners say they are not here anymore,” he said. “But they didn’t finish the war against us.”

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