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Health Ministry closes Strauss factory for 3 months

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Health Ministry director general Prof. Nachman Ash has announced that the quality standard of the Strauss Group Ltd. (TASE:STRS) Elite factory in Nof Hagalil has been suspended for three months. He was speaking after a tour of the plant by senior Ministry of Health officials in the wake of the discovery of salmonella in samples of products produced there.




Prof. Ash said, “The significance (of the suspension) is that they cannot manufacture and market their products. This quality standard is required by factories of this size.

He added, “We came here this morning, a team of senior officials from the Ministry of Health, to examine the possible flaws that led to the slipup on the production line. We will continue this investigation and depending on the results of the laboratory tests and many checks made in a lot of places. The factory is undergoing a rapid learning process. At the same time there are decisions that must be taken and there is here a process that must be done to make the factory fit for production once more.

“We decided to suspend the quality standard of the factory for three months. The quality standard will be restored after we ensure the full lessons have been learned, all the procedures completed and we can be certain not only that the production line is clean of contamination but there won’t be contamination in the future. There are many conclusions that the factory must draw in order for the production line to operate again.”

Yesterday Strauss announced that following two positive results in tests for salmonella in two chocolate products sold to retail stores, it was expanding its recall to all products of the factory affected: Elite chocolate, Elite cakes, Elite waffles, Energy snack bars, Energy chocolate covered rice crackers, chewing gum and soft sweets, with all expiry dates. The company reported to the Ministry of Health that there was suspected salmonella in two individual samples of two chocolate products, out of 270 samples of products that were checked and went out to stores.

Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on April 28, 2022.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2022.


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Australia swears in new Labor PM ahead of Quad meeting By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Anthony Albanese, leader of Australia’s Labor Party, addresses supporters after incumbent Prime Minister and Liberal Party leader Scott Morrison conceded defeat in the country’s general election, in Sydney, Australia May 21, 2022. REUTERS/Ja

By Renju Jose

SYDNEY (Reuters) -Australia’s Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese was sworn in as the country’s 31st prime minister on Monday, promising a “journey of change” as he vowed to tackle climate change, rising living costs and inequality.

Labor returns to power after nine years in opposition as a wave of unprecedented support for the Greens and climate-focussed independents, mostly women, helped end nearly a decade of rule by the conservative coalition in Saturday’s general election.

While votes are still being counted and the makeup of government has yet to be finalised, Albanese was sworn in so he could attend a key meeting of the “Quad” security grouping in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Albanese, raised in public housing by a single mother on a disability pension, was sworn in by Governor-General David Hurley at a ceremony in the national capital, Canberra.

“It’s a big day in my life but a big day for the country, when we change the government,” Albanese told reporters outside his Sydney suburban home ahead of the ceremony.

“I want to channel the opportunity that we have to shape change so that we bring people with us on the journey of change. I want to bring the country together.”

Deputy Labor leader Richard Marles and three key ministers – Penny Wong in foreign affairs, Jim Chalmers as treasurer and Katy Gallagher in finance – were also sworn in, with Wong to join Albanese on the Quad trip.

Albanese said he spoke to U.S. President Joe Biden on Sunday night and was looking forward to meeting him alongside the prime ministers of Japan and India on Tuesday. He will return to Australia on Wednesday.

“This visit aligns with what the Albanese Government sees as the three pillars of Australia’s foreign policy: our alliance with the United States, our engagement with the region, and our support for multilateral forums,” Albanese said in a statement.

Labor’s campaign heavily spotlighted Albanese’s working-class credentials and his image as a pragmatic unifier.

Centre-left Labor still remains four seats short of a majority of 76 in the 151 seat lower house with about a dozen races too close to call, according to television channels. Some predicted Labor might get enough seats to govern on their own.

Official results could be several days away, with the counting of a record 2.7 million postal votes underway on Sunday.

FACTBOX-Key members of Australia’s incoming Labor government Australia’s new government: What you need to know NEWSMAKER-Australia’s Albanese: a pragmatist who promises unity

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Ricardo Appointed to Support Transformation of the Greater Toronto Rail Network

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Experts will perform independent safety assessments during the design stage of the Go Expansion railway upgrade

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LONDON — Ricardo Certification has been appointed as the Independent Safety Assessor (ISA) for the forthcoming transformation of rail transit across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), Ontario, Canada.

As the ISA, Ricardo will provide independent scrutiny of the programme’s safety documentation during its design phase, ensuring it is in full compliance with relevant standards. Performing these assessments at this early stage will reduce the risk of delays or costly rectification works during the construction, installation and testing phases. The role was awarded by Metrolinx, a crown agency of the government of Ontario that is responsible for GO Transit, the regional network of rail and bus services in GTHA.

Richard Gibney, Certification Director, Ricardo Certification said: “We are delighted to be awarded this important safety role by Metrolinx. This is a complex, multi-faceted programme of works, with new rolling stock, a new traction system and extensive infrastructure upgrades which must be designed to the highest safety standards. Using experience of similar projects around the world, we will provide independent assessment to help ensure safety remains at the forefront throughout the key design stages.”

GO Transit’s rail network consists of seven lines operating out of Toronto’s Union Station, served by an aging fleet powered by diesel locomotives. Infrastructure limitations have imposed a variable timetable across the network, with traffic oriented towards peak rush hour direction. However, rail passenger numbers on GO Transit have steadily risen in recent years: in 2020 the network was carrying over 57 million passengers a year.

A rail upgrade programme, ‘GO Expansion’, will deliver a faster and more frequent service using modern electric-powered rolling stock. The programme also includes new track, signalling, and over 650km of electrification. The outcome will be a significant increase in services from 3500 (2019) trains per week to over 10,000, with services operating at least every 15 minutes. The new fleet is forecast to deliver a 50% reduction in operating costs per km.

As the appointed ISA, Ricardo teams will support the programme throughout the design phase to assess whether Metrolinx and ONxpress Transportation Partners have developed relevant safety documentation – including the system definition, system safety plan and safety case – in full compliance with standards such as the Canadian Method for Risk Evaluation and Assessment, and EN50126, the international standard for the specification and demonstration of Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety (RAMS) for railway applications.

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As the first organisation to be accredited to ISO/IEC 17020:2012 under Canada’s new Independent Safety Assessor for Railway Systems Accreditation Program, Ricardo Certification has demonstrated its technical capabilities to the Standards Council of Canada (SCC), the national accreditation organisation.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Ricardo plc is a world-class strategic, environmental, and engineering consulting company, listed on the London Stock Exchange. With over 100 years of engineering excellence and employing close to 3,000 employees in more than 20 countries, we provide exceptional levels of expertise in delivering innovative cross-sector sustainable outcomes to support energy transition and scarce resources, environmental services together with safe and smart mobility. Our global team of consultants, environmental specialists, engineers and scientists support our customers to solve the most complex and dynamic challenges to help achieve a safe and sustainable world. Visit www.ricardo.com.

Ricardo Certification comprises a set of companies within the Ricardo Group that perform independent assurance and testing services in rail and other sectors. Companies within Ricardo Certification are accredited against inspection and certification standards enabling them to offer accredited services in line with national and international rules and approval processes.

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Andrew Foulkes
Marketing Communications Manager
Ricardo Rail
Email: andrew.foulkes@ricardo.com

Kathryn Bellamy
Group Senior Communications Manager
Ricardo plc
Email: kathryn.bellamy@ricardo.com
Telephone: +44(0)7921 941824

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Key supplier says China will struggle to develop advanced chip technology

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The chief executive of JSR, one of the world’s largest suppliers of a material critical for semiconductor production, has said lack of industry infrastructure will make it “very difficult” for China to develop leading-edge chipmaking technology despite a push for self-sufficiency.

Eric Johnson, a rare American leader at a Japanese semiconductor company, also said in an interview that he expected chip sector supply bottlenecks to continue into 2023.

US export curbs on technologies required to make the most advanced chips have prompted China to invest heavily to develop its own semiconductor supply chain.

But Johnson said China would struggle to master the sophisticated chipmaking technology based on a technique known as extreme ultraviolet or EUV lithography.

“I think China also would love to develop their own EUV competency, their ecosystem for these things. I think it’s going to be very difficult for them to do that, frankly,” Johnson said.

Semiconductors, essential to products from smartphones to washing machines, have become a focus of competition between Washington and Beijing. Joe Biden on Friday began his first trip to Asia as US president by visiting a Samsung chip plant in South Korea and stressing his desire to secure semiconductor supply chains.

EUV lithography is a highly demanding process using light to etch minuscule integrated circuits on to silicon wafers.

Even if China “got a paper on exactly what the chemistries were . . . to manufacture that at the purities, and the precision, and reproducibility is really tough”, Johnson said. “It’s not that simple and they don’t have the supply chain to support that either.”

Tokyo-based JSR is a leading supplier of photoresists, thin layers of material used to transfer circuit patterns on to semiconductor wafers. Analysts say it has around 30-40 per cent of the global market for photoresists used to make advanced chips and counts Samsung, Taiwan’s TSMC and Intel of the US among its customers.

China is the world’s biggest importer of chips and has been investing heavily in semiconductor initiatives as part of its “Made in China 2025” push, which calls for 70 per cent self-sufficiency in the most important components for critical technologies by 2025.

But Johnson said “leading-edge capability takes decades and a lot of money to develop . . . you really need applications like the iPhone to pay for the stuff”. 

Still, Johnson stressed that Beijing was aggressively investing in less advanced chipmaking technologies that were also important, and that China was a big part of JSR’s growth strategy.

He said he wanted to balance being able to “respectfully” and “responsibly” service customers in China with “sensitivity to the concerns that the US government has and concerns with protecting interests in Japan”.

“It is under-appreciated how much opportunity there is in China that’s not dependent on those very leading-edge capabilities,” he said.

Johnson said global chip supply bottlenecks that have undermined the global economy would take until next year to resolve.

“It just takes time to bring new capacity online and that new capacity won’t really start to make an impact probably until the end of this year or next year,” Johnson said.

He said he expected it to be particularly “problematic” for the sector to meet demand for semiconductors used in vehicles, as they used less advanced chips which were less profitable and so attracted less investment.

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