South Korea braces for economic pain as virus cases soar

first_imgTopics : South Korea’s economy tends to be impacted quickly by global events due to its reliance on trade, especially with China. Korea’s imports from the world’s second-largest economy plunged 19 percent in the first 20 days of February, illustrating how the virus is disrupting the region’s supply chain.The economy is expected to suffer further as fear spreads among the population, limiting economic activity. The government has urged citizens to avoid outdoor activities and mass religious services, and delayed the start of the school year by a week.Samsung worriesThe Samsung case is troubling because Gumi has a collection of facilities operated by Samsung, LG Electronics, LG Display, Toray Group and other companies. Samsung has two production lines in Gumi, about 200 kilometers southeast of Seoul, for some of its smartphones.LG Electronics, which has TV plants in the Gumi industrial complex, told workers who commute from Daegu to work from home. LG Display has instructed workers who have visited the Daegu area to not come into the office for two weeks, while headquarters staff are restricted from visiting the region without approval from management.Samsung has shifted more than half of its smartphone production to Vietnam but still produces some of its premium models at the Gumi complex. The stoppage at the plant may affect production of Samsung’s high-end models including the foldable Galaxy Z Flip and the Galaxy Fold. South Korea warned its fragile economic recovery is under threat from the coronavirus that has spread dramatically across the country over the past week, and pledged action to minimize the fallout.The epidemic poses a “large concern that it will limit the trend of economic recovery started late last year,” First Vice Minister Kim Yong-beom said Monday, according to the Finance Ministry. He cited a drop in domestic consumption and exports to China, among other impacts.Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. are among those taking precautions amid the rising number of cases, including the infection of a Samsung employee at a local production facility. The country’s largest technology company shut down operations at a plant in Gumi City over the weekend after the employee tested positive for the virus, and said it planned to restart operations at Monday afternoon local time.center_img Shares of Samsung Electronics slid along with the benchmark KOSPI stock index and the won plunged as investors turned risk-averse.The number of infections in South Korea soared from just over 30 to more than 760 in the past week, with the virus claiming the lives of at least seven people so far. The spike has led President Moon Jae-in to raise the country’s infectious-disease alert to the highest level for the first time since 2009, allowing the government to restrict public activities.The Bank of Korea has convened an emergency meeting for this afternoon to discuss the virus impact, with an increasing number of economists convinced the bank will cut its benchmark interest rate at its regularly scheduled meeting Thursday. The government is reviewing all possible measures, including an extra budget, local media cited Vice Minister Kim as saying.Quick impactlast_img read more

NZ PM cautiously optimistic about coronavirus, urges Easter ‘staycation’

first_imgNew Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said on Wednesday she was cautiously optimistic about slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus as authorities reported the lowest number of new daily cases in two weeks.New Zealand reported 50 new cases on Wednesday from 54 on Tuesday and 67 on Monday, bringing its tally to 1,210. One person has died.The country of about 5 million people went into a lockdown and a national emergency was declared in late March to halt the transmission of the coronavirus. “We may yet see bumps along the way but I remain cautiously optimistic that we are starting to turn a corner,” Ardern told a media briefing in Wellington.She said there was no plan to relax the tough restrictions during Easter and urged everyone to avoid any travel during the long Easter weekend, in mid-April.”Please do stay at home, stay to save lives and enjoy your ‘staycation’,” Ardern said in Wellington.”Nothing changes because its Easter, the rules remain the same and the police will be enforcing this.” Topics :center_img Churches and places of worship will be closed at Easter, Ardern said as she encouraged people to use social media and online platforms to take part in religious services.Under the lockdown, offices and schools have been shut and all non-essential services, bars, restaurants, cafes, gyms, cinemas, pools, museums, libraries and playgrounds have been closed for a month.Ardern on Tuesday demoted her health minister for breaching the lockdown rules to the bottom cabinet ranking and stripped him of his role as associate finance minister.The government also extended for a second time the state of emergency for a further seven days.New Zealand has fewer infections than many countries, like neighboring Australia, where the number of total cases is nearly 6,000, although the pace of infections there has slowed dramatically in the past week. last_img read more

US and Russia to resume nuclear talks, but China casts cloud

first_imgRussia seeks to bring in France, BritainIn turn, Ryabkov said that US allies Britain and France, also nuclear powers with much smaller arsenals, should join the talks.”The logic is a very simple one — the more we come down in numbers, the higher is the price for every single warhead payload and we cannot simply ignore capabilities of some others.”Billingslea, in a speech last month at the Hudson Institute, said Trump was “not interested in agreements simply for agreements’ sake.”He accused China of flaunting its growing nuclear arsenal “to intimidate the United States and our friends and allies,” calling it “irresponsible, dangerous behavior.”US intelligence has forecast that China is in the midst of doubling the size of its nuclear arsenal, troubling the Trump administration, which considers Beijing a global rival and resents the constraints of New START.The United States and Russia each had more than 6,000 nuclear warheads in 2019, while China had 290, according to the Washington-based Arms Control Association.France had 300 and Britain possessed 200, with India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea maintaining smaller arsenals, according to the research group.New START expires around two weeks after Trump would leave office if he loses the election in November.Russia as well as some US Democrats have proposed simply extending New START temporarily, voicing skepticism about sealing a brand new treaty by February.Trump has sought a warmer relationship with President Vladimir Putin but professes an “America first” approach to foreign affairs.Trump last month pulled out of the Open Skies Treaty, which allowed Russia, the United States and 32 other nations to conduct surveillance flights over one another’s territory at short notice — an arrangement that reportedly piqued Trump when a Russian spy plane flew over his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club.He earlier pulled out of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a key agreement from the Cold War.Trump has also rejected a multinational denuclearization agreement with Iran and pulled the United States out of the landmark Paris climate accord. Russia called Tuesday on the United States to make a “positive” proposal as the powers open talks on a major disarmament treaty, warning that US insistence on including China could scuttle efforts.Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov will meet in Vienna on June 22 with US envoy Marshall Billingslea to start negotiations on New START, which expires in February.President Donald Trump has walked out on a number of international agreements but voiced a general interest in preserving New START, which obliged the United States and Russia to halve their inventories of strategic nuclear missile launchers. Topics : Billingslea, writing on Twitter, urged China to reconsider.”Achieving Great Power status requires behaving with Great Power responsibility. No more Great Wall of Secrecy on its nuclear build-up. Seat waiting for China in Vienna.”Ryabkov indicated that Russia did not oppose the US invitation to China — an international ally of Moscow despite a complicated historical relationship — but doubted Beijing would agree.”My answer to a direct question on whether or not we think it would be possible to bring China to the table would be a flat and straightforward no,” Ryabkov said.”Now it depends on the US — if the US believes it’s worth continuing this dialogue with Russia or, for the US point of view, the Chinese participation is an absolute imperative that precludes (the) US from continuing a meaningful and forward-looking dialogue with Russia on arms control,” he said. But the Trump administration says that a successor to New START, a Cold War legacy negotiated under Barack Obama, should bring in China — whose nuclear arsenal is growing but remains significantly smaller than those of Russia and the United States.Addressing the Council on Foreign Relations by videoconference, Ryabkov described the US willingness to start negotiations as “good news” but said: “The ball is on the American part of the court.””We need to hear loudly and clearly what this administration wants, how it believes it would be possible to do something positive and not just to dismantle one arms control treaty or arrangement after another.”In Beijing, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China had “no intention of participating” in the talks and accused the United States of trying to “deflect responsibilities to others.”last_img read more

Partners of pregnant women urged to get tested

first_imgLocalNews Partners of pregnant women urged to get tested by: – June 22, 2012 Share Sharing is caring! Share 21 Views   no discussionscenter_img Tweet Share Partners of women who are pregnant are being encouraged to get tested for the HIV/AIDS virus.That appeal came from the National HIV/AIDS Response Unit’s Health Educator Angela Desabaye during a recent launching of “cool” flavored condoms.Desabaye said one teenager tested HIV positive out of the 993 pregnant women tested in 2010 but there were no reported HIV positive cases in the over 800 pregnant mothers tested in 2011.There have been no recorded cases of HIV positive pregnant women so far for 2012.The health educator said the thrust is now to also “test” the partners of pregnant women.“There are men who go around saying that their woman had a baby, she got tested and they are safe, but this could not be further from the truth because facts have proven that there are women who are HIV negative and their partners are HIV positive”.According to Desabaye, the Unit has advised pregnant women to get tested twice; during pregnancy and just before delivery.“We are now looking to get the partners of the pregnant women to also get tested, because if the woman gets one test when she comes in for screening and she is negative, but she goes on and continues to have unprotected sex with that partner she could become positive before she gives birth. That’s why we are trying to get the pregnant women to get tested twice during their pregnancy, one at the beginning and one just before they deliver”.There have been three hundred and seventy-six (376) reported cases of HIV/AIDS between 1987 and 2011; however there are more HIV positive males than HIV positive women.Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more

Lady Wildcats Blank Lady Pirates

first_imgThe Lady Wildcats came out setting the pace and never looked back. The possession and ball movement was too much for Greensburg and Franklin County kept the game on the Greensburg defensive half most of the game.As usual, Jordan Nichols was involved with both scoring events recording an assist to Grace Noble and capitalizing on a pass from Adrienne Bundy, however, it was a coordinated attack with 29 shots on goal. The Wildcats faced the top goalkeeper in the league and she was as good as her stats show.The Lady Wildcats dressed and played 24 girls including Autumn Henson logged her first showing in a Varsity Game.Karlie Hahn had 3 saves on the night between the posts and Maegan Pearson also recorded 3 saves.Courtesy of Wildcats Coach Cindy Adams.last_img read more

Fabianski ‘has nothing to prove’

first_img Press Association But the Swansea goalkeeper knows enough about Wenger’s burning will to win after seven seasons at Arsenal to have warned his team-mates to expect a backlash after the Gunners’ Champions League collapse against Anderlecht in midweek. Asked how Gunners boss Wenger would react to Arsenal throwing away a three-goal lead at home to draw 3-3 against the Belgian champions, Fabianski replied: “I don’t know.” The Pole then broke into a big smile, saying: “Maybe I do. He won’t be happy. “They have a good team, strong squad and very good offensive players and I’m sure the game on Sunday will be an opportunity to bounce back from the Anderlecht result. “It will make them motivated for our game.” Fabianski joined Arsenal from Polish club Legia Warsaw in 2007 but he made only 31 league starts for the Gunners before heading to south Wales in the summer. The 29-year-old Poland international said Wenger wanted him to extend his Arsenal career but his mind was made up even before he played his part in the club’s first trophy success for nine years, the FA Cup final victory over Hull. “I don’t have to prove anything to Arsenal or the manager,” Fabianski said. “It was my decision to leave the club and I finished in a good way so we’ve all got massive respect towards each other. “When I was coming to the end of my contract there were more intense conversations more often between me and the manager. “But I had decided to leave and he really respected my decision.” Meanwhile, Arsenal will welcome midfielder Jack Wilshere back from illness. The England midfielder sat out the win against Burnley and Tuesday night’s Champions League draw with Anderlecht but Wenger has confirmed he is now fit to return. Mikel Arteta has been ruled out after picking up a hamstring injury against the Belgians but Wenger insisted Theo Walcott is fit enough to start if he is selected following his first appearance since January as a substitute last weekend. Laurent Koscielny (Achilles), Mesut Ozil (knee), Olivier Giroud (foot), Yaya Sanogo (hamstring), Mathieu Debuchy (ankle), David Ospina (thigh) and Abou Diaby (calf) are all missing. Wenger has warned Arsenal and England fans that they will have to wait until the new year to see the best of Walcott. The 25-year-old is in line to make his first start since suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury on January 4 when the Gunners travel to Swansea. Walcott made his comeback from the bench in last weekend’s win over Burnley and has been included in Roy Hodgson’s England squad for the European Championship qualifier against Slovenia and the friendly in Scotland. Although Wenger said he was pleased that Walcott was linking up with the national team in the hope of him getting more competitive minutes, the Arsenal boss believes the former Southampton youngster is still some way from being back to his peak. “It takes two months,” he said when asked how long it will take Walcott to get back to his best. “Once you’re back in full training, you count two months. Of course, people think you’re back and you play but it’s not like that. Ten months is a long time in top-level football. “(You lose) the sharpness, the speed. At the top level, it’s a fraction of a second that makes the decisions. And to find the confidence to get away from people. “You’re nearly there but you’re not there and for a while you think, ‘will that ever come back?’ And suddenly yes, it’s there again. But it takes time to get that fraction of pace. “You need to go back into contact. He will go with England and get what he needs to. He will get competitive training every day and get back into games. “At the moment we go from recovery to recovery. He works hard, but maybe he can play against Scotland and gain a lot from that.” Lukasz Fabianski insists he has nothing to prove to Arsene Wenger when he comes up against former club Arsenal for the first time on Sunday.last_img read more

Arnautovic rescues late Stoke point

first_img Press Association Marko Arnautovic’s dramatic stoppage-time equaliser earned Stoke a 1-1 Barclays Premier League draw at West Ham. The hosts looked to have done enough to battle to victory after taking an early lead through a superb free-kick by full-back Aaron Creswell. However, after seeing two efforts from Arnautovic’s ruled out for offside and a header by substitute Mame Diouf hit the post, the visitors snatched a point deep into five minutes of stoppage time when the Austrian forward crashed the ball into the far corner. Jonathan Walters cut in from the left and slid a low shot towards the near post, the ball ending up in the side netting. After 43 minutes, Stoke forward Victor Moses, on loan from Chelsea, latched onto a loose ball and fired just wide from the edge of the area, but he fell awkwardly in the challenge and hobbled off with what looked like a knee problem. Senegal striker Mame Diouf came on. In stoppage time, West Ham broke quickly through Valencia down the right, but Kouyate dragged his shot wide after being played into the Stoke penalty box. Stoke had to make another change just a few minutes into the second half as full-back Marc Wilson went off, with what looked like a groin problem, to be replaced by Erik Pieters. Walters continued to offer an outlet, and floated a 25-yard effort just over. West Ham had gone a bit flat, and manager Sam Allardyce looked to freshen up the attack as Carlton Cole replaced Diafra Sakho before – on 67 minutes – defensive midfielder Alex Song was substituted for Kevin Nolan. Arnautovic thought he had levelled when collecting a long pass into the area and slotting past Adrian, only for the offside flag to be raised. At the other end, Kouyate’s angled drive was pushed behind. Stoke went close again on 80 minutes as a header from Diouf crashed back off the inside of the post, bounced across goal and clear. Cole nodded his header down and wide at the far post as the Hammers looked to close out victory. Arnautovic thought he had equalised again when converting a cross from Steven Ireland, but again the assistant’s flag was up quickly. However, Stoke were not to be denied as Arnautovic surged forwards, held off the defender at the right edge of the penalty area, before slamming the ball low into the bottom right corner for a share of the spoils. The Irons had made a flying start as Creswell’s superbly struck free-kick gave them the lead after seven minutes. Enner Valencia, back in the side having recovered from a toe injury, was brought down by Glenn Whelan some 25 yards out. Mark Noble shaped to take the free-kick, but ran over it to instead allow left-back Creswell to strike the dead ball, which flew up over the wall and past Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic into the top right corner. The early goal had rattled Stoke, looking to move above West Ham into the top 10, as Valencia and Cheikhou Kouyate looked to stretch the visitors defence. Begovic, who is out of contract in the summer and yet to agree a new deal, got down quickly to smother a low shot from Senegal midfielder Kouyate. There were plenty of hefty challenges flying in, with the patience of referee Roger East eventually running out on 21 minutes when James Collins clattered into Whelan on the far touchline, and was cautioned. When Stoke did build a spell of possession, the final delivery into the West Ham penalty area was poor. Stoke midfielder Charlie Adam, who netted a spectacular goal at Chelsea from his own half last weekend, sent an ambitious 30-yard free-kick high into the Bobby Moore Stand. last_img read more

Indian Premier League IPL 2019: Sunrisers Hyderabad inflict 118-run humiliation on Royal Challengers Bangalore

first_imgWarner matched Bairstow stroke for stroke as both batsmen notched up their milestones. Bairstow reached his maiden ton and the partnership between the duo helped Sunrisers Hyderabad go past 200. In the final over of the innings, Warner reached his landmark with a boundary. In the process, both Warner and Bairstow reached a special mark.Both scoring tonsWarner and Bairstow became the fourth duo after Kevin O’Brien and Hamish Marshall, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, Alex Hales and Rilee Rossouw to hit centuries in the same innings. O’Brien and Marshall achieved the feat against Middlesex in Uxbridge in 2011 while Kohli and de Villiers smashed centuries in the IPL clash in 2016 between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Lions. Roussouw and Hales smashed centuries for Rangpur Riders against Chittagong Kings in the recent Bangladesh Premier League.The partnership of 185 between Warner and Bairstow was not only the highest for Sunrisers Hyderabad, but it was also the highest opening stand in the history of the Indian Premier League. The stand broke the previous record of 184 set by Chris Lynn and Gautam Gambhir against Gujarat Lions in 2017 in Rajkot. The efforts helped Sunrisers Hyderabad reach 231/2, their highest score in the history of the IPL and the second-highest against Royal Challengers Bangalore, falling behind the mark of 232 set by Kings XI Punjab in Dharamsala in 2011. Overall, this was the 10th highest score by a team in the IPL.Nabi blows away RCBChasing 232, Royal Challengers Bangalore needed a solid start but Mohammad Nabi had other ideas. Parthiv Patel (11), Shimron Hetmyer (9) and AB de Villiers (1) fell in a manic passage of three overs. When Virat Kohli (3) drove Sandeep Sharma to extra cover and Shivam Dube fell cheaply to Nabi again, the game was up. Nabi’s spell of 4/11 had broken the back of the Royal Challengers Bangalore attack and they only delayed the inevitable.Prayas Ray Barman and Colin de Grandhomme shared a solid fifty-plus stand but with the game drifting away, Sunrisers Hyderabad bid their time and took the remaining wickets in clinical fashion as Royal Challengers Bangalore lost their third straight game and stayed at the bottom. After the match, Kohli described this “as the worst loss ever.” With this loss, it looks like it will be the same old story for Royal Challengers Bangalore in yet another IPL edition. highlights For all the Latest Sports News News, Indian Premier League News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. This was the third straight loss for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2019.Jonny Bairstow scored his maiden ton.David Warner scored his fourth ton and Sunrisers Hyderabad registered their fourth game. New Delhi: Virat Kohli won the toss and inserted Sunrisers Hyderabad into bat at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium. That was the only thing Kohli won in a contest that was dominated by Sunrisers Hyderabad. Jonny Bairstow (114) struck his maiden ton, David Warner notched up his fourth ton and their 185-run record opening partnership laid the base for Sunrisers Hyderabad’s highest score in IPL of 231/2. With Warner and Bairstow having decimated Royal Challengers Bangalore with the bat, Mohammad Nabi ran through the batting order with 4/11 as Royal Challengers Bangalore were bowled out for 113, losing the match by 118 runs and losing by one run alone to Bairstow’s bat in the IPL 2019 encounter on Sunday.On a barren pitch at Uppal, The opening over of the Sunrisers Hyderabad innings set the tone for the match with both Warner and Bairstow hammering 12 runs in the first over bowled by Moeen Ali. Both batsmen found the boundaries at regular intervals and in the powerplay, Sunrisers Hyderabad had reached 59/0. After the end of the first powerplay, both batsmen maintained the aggressive tempo and Royal Challengers Bangalore wilted under the pressure. Bairstow started the carnage by hammering a six and two fours off 16-year-old debutant Prayas Ray Barman and in the next over bowled by Colin de Grandhomme, the England player blasted two more sixes.last_img read more

WBB : SU makes adjustment, improves rebounding in 2nd half

first_imgCarmen Tyson-Thomas leaned forward in her chair to urge her Syracuse teammates to grab the next rebound and box out. Tyson-Thomas watched as Long Beach State’s Lauren Spargo corralled a missed layup and tipped the ball back out to reset the 49ers offense.While the new possession began, Tyson-Thomas threw her arm out in frustration and settled back into her seat on the bench.Spargo’s offensive rebound was one of 13 for Long Beach State in the first half, courtesy of missed box out assignments by the Orange.‘We weren’t in the right place,’ Tyson-Thomas said. ‘And they were going after the ball pretty hard. So we have to just know our rebounding areas and get better box outs.’Syracuse’s trouble on the glass was a glaring area that needed to be improved at halftime. Despite building a 22-point lead through 20 minutes, the Orange (1-0) had only managed four points off second-chance opportunities and finished the half tied with Long Beach State (1-1) with 25 rebounds. SU came out more aggressive on both ends of the floor in the second half to outrebound the 49ers by 21 overall en route to an 81-42 victory Sunday in the Carrier Dome.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFor a team that led the nation in rebounding margin last season, it was an uncharacteristic performance in the first half.SU head coach Quentin Hillsman said that the first-half struggle in rebounding was the result of the team’s focus on its new pressure defense. The press allowed Long Beach State to take quick shots before the defense could get set, leaving the paint open for the 49ers to get rebounds.Hillsman also said Long Beach State’s aggressive 1-3-1 trapping scheme affected how the Orange played. The 49ers’ defensive pressure forced the Orange to extend its offense out further, with center Kayla Alexander playing in a mid-post area so it couldn’t get its inside game established.‘So I think the defense made us kind of spread out and not play like we normally play deep in on the blocks,’ Hillsman said. ‘ … I thought that could have contributed to us not really getting to the glass enough in the first half.’Hillsman was sure to remind his team that the 49ers grabbed four more offensive rebounds than the Orange at the break.Alexander, who only had one rebound in the first half, said that reminder changed the team’s mentality coming out for the second half.The new attitude was on display early as Tyson-Thomas pulled in an offensive rebound off a missed jump shot from the corner by La’Shay Taft. Tyson-Thomas gathered herself and went up to finish the layup 37 seconds into the half.Alexander followed on the next possession with an offensive rebound and putback off her own missed layup.‘We wanted to clean up more rebounding,’ Tyson-Thomas said. ‘We figured they had more of an edge on the offensive glass, so we went after it more in the second half.’By the end of the game, Syracuse’s increased intensity on the glass showed.The Orange scored 15 second-chance points and grabbed 17 offensive rebounds in the second half. SU also kept Long Beach State in check, holding it to six offensive rebounds and one second-chance point after halftime.Shakeya Leary grabbed a team-high 13 rebounds. Elashier Hall finished with 11, Alexander had nine rebounds and Tyson-Thomas had eight to lead the way for the Orange.Hall, who scored a game-high 20 points, was active on the offensive glass the whole game. Perhaps her most impressive play came with 14:39 remaining in the second half and Iasia Hemingway at the foul line.After making her first free throw, Hemingway missed her second off the rim. Hall swooped in from the left side of the paint and was fouled as she went up for a layup, getting knocked to the baseline under the basket.That prompted an excited fist pump from Hemingway, and she and her teammates rushed over to help Hall up. She went to the line and drilled both free throws to push Syracuse’s lead to 25.The Orange coasted to a blowout win in the second half and regained its aggressive mentality in rebounding that defined last year’s team.‘I think that’s something that we’ve always done,’ Hall said. ‘Since my freshman year, we’ve always led the country in rebounding (sic), so that was just our mindset not to fall back on things that we’ve been good at in the past.’ Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 13, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Ryne: rjgery@syr.educenter_img Commentslast_img read more

The Right Way to Use ATMs, Debit, and Credit Cards Overseas

first_imgPile of credit cards on table, closeup MIAMI, Florida – Not all ATMs, debit cards, and credit cards are alike, and the wrong ones can cost travelers a lot in extra fees and poor exchange rates. But, according to a new “Savvy Retiree” report from International Living, when used with a smart strategy in place, these banking tools can help make an overseas trip smooth and good value.Source:“Not all ATM systems and debit and credit cards are created equal,” says Dan Prescher, senior editor with International Living. “Get a debit or credit card from any-old bank, and you may pay much higher fees than you need to. Choose the wrong ATM when you’re on the road and you could pay sky-high foreign-exchange rates. But armed with a few key guidelines, it’s easy to ensure you’re keeping your banking costs to a minimum—so you can spend your money on more entertaining things.”A recent “Savvy Retiree” report from International Living outlines the ways travelers can make smart use of their debit and credit cards and choose the right ATMs. Here are three cost-saving tips:Seek out bank ATMs.First, not all ATMs are alike. One example is Euronet, whose machines are ubiquitous across Europe. They pop up in hotels, airports, souvenir shops, convenience stores, and on any street where tourists are commonplace. But they can be more costly than other ATMs in several ways.First, when a debit card is used from any country other than where the machine is, these ATMs are programmed to initially offer uncommonly large withdrawal amounts.In Prague, for example, these machines offer withdrawal amounts between 10,000 and 20,000 Czechia crowns. In dollar terms, that’s the equivalent of $440 and $880. The reason these ATMs are programmed this way is that Euronet offers very high exchange rates compared to the official daily rate that banks use. The more dollars — and the higher the spread between the official exchange rate and the Euronet rate, the better for Euronet, and the worse for the cardholder.The better strategy: find ATMs belonging to local banks. Exchange rates will be the same or much closer to official daily rates.If the only ATM around is a Euronet or other non-bank ATM, select “Different Amount” if the quantities offered on-screen are excessively high. Withdraw as little as possible to get by until a real bank ATM is located.Don’t convert funds at an ATM.Even with bank ATMs, there’s a strategy to prevent extra charges: Reject the currency conversion option often shown on the screen.The option to convert currency typically uses a higher exchange rate. The option to “accept without conversion” will yield an exchange rate closer to the actual daily rate.Always pay in the local currency.With credit cards, the strategy is to always choose the local currency option when given a choice.For instance, in a Czechia restaurant or supermarket, the card-reader typically displays a message: CZK or EUR. This machine is offering the choice to select the “cancel” button to pay in Czechia crowns or the “enter” button to pay in euros. Choosing “cancel” selects the local currency, the credit or debit card company handles the currency conversion at or near the official exchange rate. Select the option for euros or dollars, and the merchant does the currency conversion…again, usually at a higher rate.Choose a credit card with no foreign transaction fees.Finally, get a credit card that changes no foreign transaction fees.Credit cards that charge foreign-transaction fees typically add an extra 3% upcharge to each transaction.With the average cost of a four-day, international vacation around $3,500 per person,  consider what this might amount to if charged on a card that adds 3% worth of hidden charges on every purchase. With that example, you’d pay more than $100 per person extra in fees!Lots of cards today are available without foreign-transaction fees. Make sure you read the fine print to ensure yours is one of them.last_img read more