Global lockdown tightens as virus deaths mount

first_imgHarsh lockdowns aimed at halting the march of the coronavirus pandemic extended worldwide Monday as the death toll soared past 37,600 amid new waves of US outbreaks.Despite slivers of hope in stricken Italy and Spain, the tough measures that have confined some two-fifths of the globe’s population to their homes were broadened.Moscow and Lagos joined the roll call of cities around the globe with eerily empty streets, while Virginia and Maryland became the latest US states to announce emergency stay-at-home orders, followed quickly by the capital city Washington. ‘Nothing to eat’ Britain and Italy both warned recently that measures to prevent disease spread would be in place for months to come.In Britain, COVID-19 has hit high profile figures including Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prince Charles, who was out of virus isolation, according to royal officials.In Israel, meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu became the latest world leader to enter isolation, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s third coronavirus test came back negative.The lockdowns are causing hardship across the world but particularly in impoverished cities in Africa and Asia.Africa’s biggest city, Lagos, joined the global stay-at-home from Monday, with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari ordering a two-week lockdown for its 20 million people. The measures also apply to the capital Abuja.”Two weeks is too long. I don’t know how we will cope,” said student Abdul Rahim, 25, as he helped his sister sell food from a market stall.Impoverished Zimbabwe also began enforcing a three-week lockdown.”They need to be fed, but there is nothing to eat,” vegetable vendor Irene Ruwisi said in the township of Mbare, pointing at her four grandchildren. “How do they expect us to survive?”The shutdown has already put millions out of work and forced governments to rush through huge stimulus plans.Experts in Germany, Europe’s economic powerhouse, said the virus would shrink output there this year by up to 5.4 percent.In the US, more than two thirds of the population were under lockdown orders.”We are nowhere near over the hump,” warned Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. “We still have an awful lot of work to do to flatten the curve.” “We’re sort of putting it all on the line,” Trump said, likening the efforts against coronavirus as a “war.”The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases around the world rose above 784,000, with 413,000 of those in Europe, while most of the confirmed deaths are also from the continent, according to an AFP tally.World leaders — several of whom have been stricken or forced into isolation — are still grappling for ways to deal with a crisis that will have economic and social shockwaves unseen since World War II.Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed “closer cooperation” and addressed plunging oil prices in a Monday call, the Kremlin said. ‘Good for morale’ The US Navy’s USNS Comfort, which has space for 1,000 beds and a dozen operating rooms, docked one day after Trump extended US social-distancing measures until the end of April. “It will be good for morale,” said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio of the arrival of the Comfort, which will help people requiring intensive care unrelated to coronavirus, easing the burden on hospitals.In Russia, Putin urged residents of Moscow to “very seriously” respect a lockdown that has closed all non-essential shops, including restaurants.Moscow’s famed Red Square was deserted, and surrounding streets were quiet.Anna, a 36-year-old web designer, said the lockdown would be hard for her and her five-year-old daughter. “But I don’t want Arina to get sick,” she told AFP on her way to buy bread. “So of course we will observe the quarantine.”Fears of spiking cases drove Moscow to follow Italy, Spain and France in imposing full lockdowns, and Europe remains the epicenter of the pandemic with the death toll there passing 26,500 on Monday, according to an AFP tally. Topics : ‘Work continues’ After weeks of life spent under a national lockdown in Italy, signs were emerging that drastic action could slow the outbreak’s spread.Even though the country’s death toll grew by 812 in 24 hours to 11,591, figures from the civil protection service showed the rate of new COVID-19 infections hitting a new low of just 4.1 percent and the number of people who had recovered reached a new high.”The data are better but our work continues,” said Giulio Gallera, the chief medical officer of Lombardy, Italy’s worst-hit region. Spain, which announced another 812 virus deaths in 24 hours, joined the United States and Italy in surpassing the number of cases in China, where the disease first emerged in December. France reported its highest daily number of deaths since the outbreak began, saying 418 more people had succumbed in hospital.Even as the US health system was stretched to the limit, Trump said he was ordering some excess medical equipment be sent to Italy, France and Spain. In a symbol of the scale of the challenge facing humanity, a US military medical ship sailed into New York to relieve the pressure on overwhelmed hospitals bracing for the peak of the pandemic.The US death toll passed 3,000, while the number of confirmed US infections topped 163,000, a global high.President Donald Trump sought to reassure Americans that authorities were ramping up distribution of desperately needed equipment like ventilators and personal protective gear.He also offered a stark warning, saying “challenging times are ahead for the next 30 days” as he acknowledged mulling a potential nationwide stay-at-home order. last_img read more

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Jakarta braces for flooding as rainy season approaches, La Niña looms

first_img“We need to set up more [flood shelter] tents to allow citizens to practice health protocols and physical distancing,” Anies added.Read also: Task force warns of potential COVID-19 clusters at flood sheltersSeparately, the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) said on Wednesday that most of the archipelago would enter the rainy season in October. Several regions, including the capital and the western part of Java, are expected to experience extreme weather and heavy rainfall.The agency predicted that the country would experience the impact of La Niña until at least February 2021. Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has urged stakeholders to prepare for potentially hazardous flooding in the capital as the rainy season approaches. The season’s dangers are compounded this year by La Niña, a periodic weather phenomenon that tends to cause extreme weather in the Indonesian archipelago.“We need to be ready because we’re facing not just the flooding but also the COVID-19 outbreak. This condition requires special care,” the governor said during a ceremony to prepare for the rainy season in Jakarta on Wednesday morning.He said disaster mitigation efforts should adhere to strict health protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during evacuations. La Niña is a meteorological phenomenon where surface water temperatures in the equatorial band of the Pacific Ocean become abnormally low. It is believed to occur every two to seven years and brings heavy rainfall to the Indonesian archipelago, which tends to trigger natural disasters such as floods and landslides.However, the BMKG said it was too early to conclude that all of this year’s extreme weather would be caused by La Niña. The agency said the impact of the phenomenon would differ in each region.Extreme rainfall triggered a flash flood in Sukabumi, West Java, on Sept. 21, killing three people. The villages of Cisaat, Pasawahan, Mekarsari and Bangbayang in the regency were heavily affected by the flooding. Nearly 1,000 people were forced to flee their homes.The torrential rain also caused floods of up to a meter in parts of Jakarta.Topics :last_img read more

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Polish pension funds cut 12-month losses over third quarter

first_imgPoland’s voluntary second-pillar pension funds (OFEs) returned a weighted average 12-month return of -1.13% as of the end of September, according to the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF), compared with -5.92% a year earlier and -6.63% this March.Unlike last March and September 2015, when all the 12 OFEs reported negative returns, five funds this time produced positive results, with Pocztylion, at 1.07%, generating the highest, and Generali, at -3.17%, the lowest.While the 12-month returns benefited from an upturn in the performance of the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) since July, the three-year returns were less impressive, shrinking to an average 0.13% from 6.34% in March and 12.72% last year as a result of earlier losses.The OFE returns also compare poorly with increases in both the state pension paid by the first-pillar Polish Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) and the ZUS sub-accounts nominally holding assets earlier transferred from OFE accounts. The former, indexed to inflation and wage growth, rose by 5.3% last year, while the latter, based on positive average GDP growth, grew by 4.3%.As reported previously, since the 2014 reforms, the OFEs have become essentially equity funds dependent largely on the WSE’s performance.As of the end of September, Polish listed equities accounted for 75.3% of aggregate portfolios, followed some way behind by bank deposits (7.7%), foreign equities (6.9%) and domestic listed bonds (5.1%).Net assets fell by 1.7% year on year to PLN142.8bn (€33bn).The shrinkage was due not only to investment losses but the ‘slider’ mechanism, introduced in 2014, which incrementally transfers the savings of those with less than 10 years left to retirement to an individual’s ZUS sub-account.In the first nine months of 2016, the slider removed PLN2.6bn of assets, against the ZUS transfers of PLN2.2bn into the OFEs of the 15% or so of members still continuing to contribute to the second-pillar system.Membership declined by 0.7% to 16.46m.During the last four-month transfer window, which ended in July, some 88,000 workers chose start or restart contributing, against less than 67,000 who chose to stop.Any renewed interest in the OFEs, notably from new entrants to the labour market, was cut short in early July when Mateusz Morawiecki, development minister and deputy premier, announced an overhaul of the system that would transfer 75% of current second-pillar assets into private third-pillar accounts, and the remainder into the demographic reserve covering first-pillar shortfalls.This has yet to be presented as a draft bill to parliament but will have to be enacted by the end of the year in line with the current legislation’s three-yearly review of the country’s pension system.One potential obstacle is Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal, which earlier ruled that OFE assets are public, not private, monies.Morawiecki, whose earlier Responsible Development Plan is based partly on private capital financing, is likely to carry the rest of the government with him; in late September, following a government reshuffle, he additionally took over the position of finance minister.last_img read more

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As 2-parent families have decreased, economic inequality has grown

first_imgBoston Globe 30 November 2014Few political debates in this country are as freighted with emotional, cultural, and ideological baggage as those that touch on the choices people make in forming families. When public discourse turns to decisions about wedlock and child-rearing — think of Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s 1965 report on “the breakdown of the Negro family,” or the uproar over Murphy Brown during the 1992 presidential race, or the modern push for same-sex marriage — civility is too often swept away amid a storm of hurt feelings and self-righteousness.All the more reason, then, to welcome two recent studies — one national in scope, one focused on Massachusetts — on the effects of single parenthood and the decline in marriage. Both lay out data with clarity, while avoiding moralizing or disapproval.One report, aptly titled “For Richer, For Poorer,” is by sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox of the American Enterprise Institute and economist Robert I. Lerman of the Urban Institute. It documents the profound links that connect family structure and financial well-being and underscores what decades of empirical data have shown: Families headed by married couples tend to be stronger economically than those headed by unwed single parents.“Anyone concerned about family inequality, men’s declining labor-force participation, and the vitality of the American dream should worry about the nation’s retreat from marriage,” the authors write. The steady fall in the percentage of married two-parent households — from 78 percent in 1980 to 66 percent in 2012 — goes a long way toward explaining why so many ordinary families have trouble climbing beyond the lower rungs on the economic ladder. Correlation isn’t proof of causation, of course. But there is no refuting the strong association between growing up with both parents in an intact family and achieving higher levels of education, work, and income as young adults.Wilcox and Lerman put dollar amounts to the “intact-family premium” reaped by those who are raised by their own biological or adoptive parents. By age 28 to 30, for example, men from such backgrounds are earning on average $6,500 more per year in personal income than their peers from single-parent homes. And since growing up with both parents increases one’s likelihood of marrying as an adult, men and women who were raised by married parents tend to enjoy much higher family incomes as well — in the case of that 28- to 30-year-old male, more than $16,000 higher, on average.http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2014/11/30/two-parent-families-have-decreased-economic-inequality-has-grown/1CyqxfjZ4mUVBbWsuZ01zI/story.html?event=event25last_img read more

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Discover Dominica Authority & Solid Waste Management Corporation launch first bin painting competition.

Tweet Share LocalNews Discover Dominica Authority & Solid Waste Management Corporation launch first bin painting competition. by: – May 5, 2011 18 Views   no discussions Sharecenter_img Share Sharing is caring! Tourism Awareness Month launching ceremony, Hon. Ian Douglas in the centre and Mr. Colin Piper sitting on his left.As part of activities to mark Tourism Awareness Month observed in May, the Discover Dominica Authority along with the Dominica Solid Waste Management Corporation have launched the first ever Bin Painting competition for Primary School Students.The competition is open to students between the ages of 9 to 12 and targets students from primary schools in the Roseau District.Among other reasons, the contest aims at promoting environmental conservation among primary school students.Director of Discover Dominica Authority Colin Piper says the students will be required to design the bins depicting the proper disposal of paper waste.So far a number of primary schools have confirmed their participation.Dominica Vibes News read more

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CA’s Baltazar-Padilla appointed as new SC Associate Justice

first_imgMANILA – Court of Appeals (CA) Justice Priscilla Baltazar-Padilla has been appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as the new Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (SC), Malacañang announced on Thursday night. Baltazar-Padilla was the ninth appointee of President Duterte to the high court giving him a clear majority on pending crucial cases involving the administration./PN Baltazar-Padilla is set to fill in the seat vacated by former Associate Justice Andres Reyes, who retired on May 11, according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. Baltazar-Padilla, a first-time applicant, bested other nominees, namely, Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez and her fellow CA justices Ricardo Rosario, Japar Dimaampao, Jhosep Lopez, Ramon Cruz, and Manuel Barrios.center_img She added that a joint resolution by Congress is not the proper remedy in the case of shuttered broadcast network ABS-CBN Corp. because “what is required is a law and not a mere resolution.” In the Judicial and Bar Council’s (JBC) first online public panel interview, Baltazar-Padilla said Congress cannot be compelled to grant a franchise to any entity “because franchise is a mere privilege” and “cannot be demanded as a matter of right.”last_img read more

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Mullins hanging fire on Anonis

first_imgMags Mullins says she will play it by ear as to whether Anonis takes up any of his Cheltenham Festival engagements. Mullins said: “He’ll tell us whether he goes for Cheltenham. He had an easy week because he got a fair bang last time, but he has been back out on the gallops. “It’s getting a bit tight for another run – he’d almost want to be out next week. I’m not sure what we’ll do, we’ll see how he is.” Entered in all three of the big novice hurdles, the Barry Connell-owned gelding has already clocked up one visit to the Gloucestershire course when winning a bumper in good style at the Open meeting. Off the mark over hurdles at Leopardstown over Christmas, Anonis returned to the same venue for a Grade Two at the end of last month. He was moving well enough behind eventual winner Pont Alexandre until he fell at the third-last flight. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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Kahn: Hart needs more consistency

first_imgOliver Kahn believes Joe Hart needs to find greater consistency if he is to get anywhere near the level of Manuel Neuer. The two goalkeepers meet again at the end of the month when Bayern Munich travel to Manchester City in the Champions League, the brilliant Neuer presenting a formidable barrier to the Blues’ hopes of reaching the knock-out stages of the tournament for the first time. And Kahn has no hesitation in naming his fellow German as by far and away the best goalkeeper in the world right now. “Hart needs to be more consistent to be the best.” Manchester City’s European hopes are hanging in the balance after losing their group opener in Munich in September and drawing their last two games against Roma and CSKA Moscow. Manuel Pellegrini’s side must beat the Russians at home on Wednesday night to revive their hopes of qualifying for the last 16 but Kahn admits that Bayern – who have won their opening three matches and thrashed Roma 7-1 in Italy in their last group game – would relish the opportunity of eliminating City at the Etihad Stadium. “It’s a big chance for Bayern to put Manchester City out and they will want to do it,” said Kahn. “But if you look at Roma then they are not playing very well, so we will see.” “I think Neuer changed the game of goalkeeping in the World Cup,” said Kahn who won 86 caps for Germany between 1994 and 2006 and became the only goalkeeper to win the Golden Ball at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea. “He was shifting goalkeeping on the next level but we will see what happens in future. “It’s difficult to compare him with goalkeepers of the past because it’s difficult to compare different generations, but at the moment he is the best goalkeeper in the world. “He has all the range of a goalkeeper and is the best in everything he does. “He’s not a goalkeeper, more of a field player, and that’s the most difference to the other goalkeepers.” Kahn, speaking at the DohaGoals 2014 forum in Qatar, said Hart remains susceptible to mistakes and that is the main difference between the two men. “Neuer makes a lot less mistakes than Hart,” Kahn said. “If you look at him there are some games where he plays not very well, Manuel is more on a constant level than Hart. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Harry Arter wants that winning feeling to return for Bournemouth

first_imgMidfielder Harry Arter believes Bournemouth need to remember what took them up to the Barclays Premier League in the first place as they aim to kickstart their faltering campaign. The Cherries head into Saturday’s televised lunchtime clash against Newcastle having not won in the league since mid-September, thrashed 5-1 by both Manchester City and Tottenham in successive matches before losing 2-0 at south coast rivals Southampton last weekend after going out of the Capital One Cup to Liverpool. Eddie Howe’s squad – depleted by injuries to the likes of captain Tommy Elphick, Tyrone Mings, Callum Wilson and Max Gradel – now sit just one point ahead of the 18th-placed Magpies, as the harsh reality of life among the elite clubs of English football starts to hit home. “It was more because of just wanting to go out there and play, and so the thought of missing out on the first games in the Premier League was tough,” the 25-year-old Republic of Ireland international said. “But I used it as motivation really to make sure I got back fit and then make sure I stayed there (in the team).” Howe is certainly pleased to have Artur around again. “Harry has given everyone a boost, he is a lively character in the squad, and we have missed that,” the Bournemouth manager said. “He will continue to improve with games, with the amount of time he has been out and I think there is more to come.” However, Arter – now back in the squad following recovery from hip and groin problems which caused him to miss the start of the season – is confident Bournemouth have enough about them to come through the latest test of character. “As much as it hurts, there is a kind of realisation that we knew we were not going to win as many games this year, so we half expected this feeling,” said the Republic of Ireland midfielder, whose dynamic displays were key to the Cherries’ Sky Bet Championship winning campaign. “Now we need to use last season as a motivation, to know how good it feels to win. “We need to make sure we are all united and not get on anyone’s back if it has not been a good week. “We just have to stick together and to our principles. “We have to trust each other and ourselves, because it is no good going into games thinking you are not good enough and cannot get a result. “We need to rebuild that self-belief again, and build it quick. Artur went through a testing period as he worked his way back to full fitness following surgery in August, spending some time away from the south coast watching brother-in-law Scott Parker up at Fulham. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Fourth Child Dies from Injuries After Miami House Fire

first_imgA fourth child has succumbed to injuries sustained in a house fire that killed three other children earlier this week, Miami police confirmed on Thursday.The girl, who had been hospitalized since the day of the fire, died on Wednesday, according to police.She was identified as 8-year-old Nainalee Lopez on a GoFundMe page established to help the family with funeral expenses.The three other children died on Monday, when the fire broke out.They are 1-year-old Naziyah Fernandez, 6-year-old Nomad Lopez, and 11-year-old Heilyn Mejia.All four children were found unconscious inside the house and were taken to the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital.The children’s mother and grandmother are still recovering from their injuries.The blaze happened in Miami’s Grapeland Heights community, near Miami International Airport, on Monday morning. It remains under investigation.A family friend tells The Miami Herald that the children and their family were planning to spend New Year’s Eve at Disney World.last_img read more

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