US coronavirus death toll passes 3,000: Johns Hopkins University

first_imgHarrowing scenes from hospitals in New York and elsewhere revealed a health system unprepared with basic supplies such as face masks, as well as life-saving devices like respirators.On Sunday, Trump cancelled his plans to re-open much of the country by Easter — April 12 — and extended social distancing guidelines until the end of April after his top scientists confronted him with data on the rising coronavirus crisis.Trump said America’s death rate was likely to increase for two weeks, describing as “horrible” a prediction by senior scientist Anthony Fauci that COVID-19 could claim up to 200,000 lives. The US death toll from the coronavirus pandemic passed 3,000 on Monday, according to the running tally compiled by the Johns Hopkins University, with more than 163,000 confirmed cases.The United States has recorded 3,008 deaths, according to the tally, while its 163,429 cases are by far the highest national number ahead of Italy, Spain and China.President Donald Trump has been criticized for an initially slow response by the federal government to the now-accelerating pandemic spread. Topics :last_img read more

Experimental virus drug remdesivir effective in monkeys: study

first_imgOne of the six treated animals showed mild breathing difficulty, while all six of the untreated monkeys had rapid and difficult breathing. The amount of virus found in the lungs was significantly lower in the treated group compared to the untreated group.The treated group also had less lung damage.Remdesivir was among the first drugs mooted as a treatment for the novel coronavirus and its randomized clinical trials are at an advanced stage. The health news website Stat on Thursday reported the drug had shown great efficacy at a Chicago hospital where patients who are part of those trials are being treated. Remdesivir causes the virus to add  mutations that can destroy it.Topics : One group received the drug, which was developed by Gilead Sciences, and the other group did not. The group receiving the drug got their first intravenous dose 12 hours after infection then every day subsequently for six days.The scientists timed the initial treatment to occur shortly before the virus reached its highest levels in the animals’ lungs.The treated animals showed significant improvement 12 hours after their first dose, a trend that continued over the week-long study. The experimental antiviral drug remdesivir has proven effective against COVID-19 in a small experiment involving monkeys, US government scientists reported Friday.The study, which is preliminary and has not yet been peer reviewed, was designed to follow dosing and treatment procedures used for hospitalized COVID-19 patients in a large human trial.It involved two groups of six rhesus macaques that were deliberately infected with SARS-CoV-2.last_img read more

Richard Branson seeking buyer for Virgin Atlantic: Telegraph

first_imgRichard Branson is seeking a buyer for Virgin Atlantic Airways as he struggles to secure a 500 million pound ($618 million) government bailout, the Telegraph reported.Branson has set an end-of-May deadline to save the UK airline from collapse and is focused on securing new private investment from more than 100 financial institutions, the newspaper quoted people familiar as saying.“Houlihan Lokey has been appointed to assist the process, focusing on private-sector funding,” a Virgin Atlantic spokeswoman said. “Discussions with a number of stakeholders continue and are constructive, meanwhile the airline remains in a stable position.” Virgin’s application for government aid has effectively been shelved, though negotiations could be revived if investment can’t be found elsewhere, the newspaper reported.About 50 investors have asked for information and they will be narrowed down to a handful of bidders, according to the report. Centerbridge Partners, Cerberus Capital Management, Lansdowne Partners, Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek and Northill Capital are among those in the running.Delta Air Lines, which owns a 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic and is consumed with its own pandemic-related problems, has already bumped up against U.K. limits on foreign airline ownership, the US company’s chief executive officer, Ed Bastian, said Thursday.Branson, 69, has become the highest-profile victim of an airline-industry crisis that’s only just getting started. Virgin Australia, another carrier he founded, entered administration last week after failing to obtain a state bailout.Topics :last_img read more

China parliament adopts plan to impose security law on Hong Kong

first_imgUnder legislation passed last year to support Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters, the US administration must certify that the city still enjoys the freedoms promised by Beijing when it negotiated with Britain to take back the colony.”No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, adding the trade hub “does not continue to warrant” its special status.The determination means that Hong Kong could lose trading privileges — including lower tariffs than the mainland — with the world’s largest economy.President Donald Trump will ultimately decide which actions to take, said David Stilwell, the top State Department official for East Asia.”The steps will be considered and they will be as targeted as possible to change behavior,” Stilwell told reporters, while acknowledging it was unlikely Beijing would change course. Topics : China’s rubber-stamp parliament endorsed plans Thursday to impose a national security law on Hong Kong that critics say will destroy the city’s autonomy. The National People’s Congress (NPC) of over 2,800 delegates voted in favour of the proposal to draft the law, which would punish secession, subversion of state power, terrorism and acts that endanger national security.The United States has revoked Hong Kong’s special status under US law, opening the way for the city to be stripped of trading privileges, as Washington accused China of trampling on the territory’s autonomy.last_img read more

Pandemic, dire economy, unrest upend US presidential race

first_img“It’s a pretty bad moment,” said Daniel Gillion, a political science professor at the University of Pennsylvania and author of “The Loud Minority.”The crises, he told AFP, have been “horrific” for African Americans, who traditionally have poorer health care outcomes, have just a fraction of the household wealth of whites, and are more likely to face police brutality.”I can’t think of a (modern-day) period where blacks have experienced such strife, such pain, such hardship,” Gillion said.Among COVID-19 victims, a disproportionate number are people of color.While Trump on Friday touted a surprise drop in the overall jobless rate from 14.7 percent in April to 13.3 percent in May, black unemployment actually rose, to 16.8 percent.The injustice that erupted into ugly view when a white police officer pressed his knee onto Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes is the latest manifestation of a systemic racism that has persisted for generations.”There’s been a knee on the neck of black America since slavery was abolished,” 30-year-old Minneapolis protester Kayla Peterson said from behind a pandemic face mask. “We’ve never really been free.”Law and orderTrump could have delivered an Oval Office address to the nation this week to smoothens tensions. Instead he has exploited discord and launched a “law and order” crusade.Trump has walled off the White House from protesters and launched fiery accusations that do little to calm the storm.”The problem,” he tweeted Thursday about recent controversial tactics deployed in Washington, “is the arsonists, looters, criminals, and anarchists, wanting to destroy it (and our Country)!”Trump’s provocative walk from the White House to a nearby church for a photo opportunity minutes after the area was forcibly cleared of protesters contained clear signals to conservative and evangelical voters in his base: security and faith remain paramount.While Trump has trafficked in division, his November election rival has blasted him as “dangerously unfit” to lead.Biden, 77, was largely absent for two months, hunkered down in his Delaware home as the pandemic played out and Trump used his bully pulpit to push to re-open the country.But the veteran Democrat is eyeing an opening by embracing a message of conciliation and reform — something that could unite the moderate and liberal factions of the Democratic Party and draw independents appalled by Trump’s strongman style.”It is long past time we made the promise of this nation real for all of our people,” Biden tweeted Friday.’Teflon man’?Experts say that despite the recent chaos, Trump does have a path to victory.”If the president is able to talk about race in a meaningful way, and if he’s able to ride the recovery in health and in the economic crisis, he’s going to look like the Teflon man,” Gillion said. “Nothing will stick to him.”Trump however has seen his poll numbers erode, particularly among two groups vital to his re-election: elderly voters and evangelical Christians.And his failure to tackle the pandemic early and his threat to unleash the military on protesters is repelling female voters.White women “are upset with Trump’s handling of the pandemic” and his lack of leadership, said Nadia Brown, associate professor of political science and African-American studies at Purdue University.”Women are also watching the protests and they are having empathy” with demonstrators.The persistent inequalities, snapshots of a shattered economy and how leaders respond “will definitely be on the mind of voters in five months,” Brown added.It doesn’t mean Biden romps to victory, either.”A cat has nine lives,” Brown said, “but Trump has 12.”Topics : Three concurrent crises scarring the United States — a deadly health pandemic, economic despair and widespread social unrest — have reframed this year’s presidential contest and prompted national reflection over racial inequality in America.Is the country on the cusp of a transformation, or will systemic inequalities exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis persist, allowing alienation and marginalization to fester?In weeks, the unprecedented strain has become the focal point of the ferocious White House campaign between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden, two politicians approaching the disasters with very different strategies. It has been several generations since the country has experienced such a sharp and rapid confluence of major emergencies, a national low point that philosopher Cornell West has branded “America’s moment of reckoning.”Nearly 110,000 Americans have died of COVID-19, and tens of millions are jobless due to pandemic-prompted lockdowns.At the same time, unrest has gripped dozens of US cities where protesters demand justice over the killing by Minneapolis police of unarmed black man George Floyd.Repeated episodes of police brutality caught on camera, even as most demonstrations have been peaceful, have further laid bare the nation’s deep social wounds.last_img read more

Peru surpasses 200,000 coronavirus infections: Health ministry

first_imgPeru emerged as a global COVID-19 hotspot on Tuesday as the health ministry registered more than 200,000 cases, ranking the South American country as the eighth-highest in the world by number of infections.The death toll rose to 5,738 and the total number of infections climbed to 203,736, an increase of more than 4,000 cases from the previous day. The ministry said 167 people had died from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. Topics : The figures show Peru as second only to Brazil as Latin America’s worst-affected country by number of overall cases, and third after Brazil and Mexico in terms of deaths.The economy, one of the region’s highest performing until February, has largely ground to a halt during a 12-week lockdown ordered by President Martin Vizcarra. Textile unions have demanded the government begin opening up the industry so production and exports can resume.Peru’s GDP contracted by 3.4 percent in the first quarter of 2020.The country’s first case was detected on March 6 and Vizcarra declared a compulsory national confinement 10 days later, shuttering borders and imposing nighttime curfews.last_img read more

Djokovic breaks down in tears at his Belgrade event

first_imgTopics : No-go Montenegro The event had suffered an embarrassing setback on Saturday when the planned Montenegro leg of the four-nation tour was cancelled over coronavirus protocol rules.Montenegro was due to be the third stop on June 27 and 28 after Croatia and before the conclusion in Bosnia.But organizers said the visit to the neighboring country was called off when it became apparent Serbia did not match strict health requirements.Meanwhile, asked to comment on social distancing measures during the Belgrade weekend, which witnessed packed stands, Djokovic said that both Serbia and the region had been relatively successful in containing the virus.”Of course you can criticize, you can also say this is dangerous or not, but it’s not up to me to make the calls what is health-wise right or wrong,” he told reporters, stressing he was acting in line with recommendations of the Serbian government.Balkan countries coped with the coronavirus pandemic with relative success.The region of some 22 million people registered about 24,000 infections and fewer than 800 deaths.The ATP and WTA Tours have been suspended since March due to the pandemic and will not resume at least until the end of July.Initially, the organizers in Belgrade, respecting the rules in force after the relaxation of the lockdown in Serbia, put 1,000 tickets on sale.They sold out in just seven minutes.Since then, the authorities further relaxed the lockdown and another 1,000 tickets were put on sale and they sold out almost as quickly.An additional 2,000 tickets were distributed to various sponsors. “It’s fantastic, we are the capital of the tennis world this weekend,” said Dusan Bogicevic, 25, a law student from Belgrade.However, spectators appeared to have little regard for health precautions.Each person was given a mask at the entrance to the stadium, but inside only a few wore them.Amongst the players, Zverev of Germany was happy to be back playing.”To tell you the truth I didn’t see that many people in one room in quite a while,” Zverev told a press conference.On June 20 and 21, the Adria Tour tournament will move to Zadar, on Croatia’s Adriatic coast.Djokovic will be joined there by Croatia’s 2014 US Open winner Marin Cilic and Borna Coric.The final stop in Bosnia will be in the northwestern town of Banja Luka on July 3 and 4.The tournament will close on July 5 with an exhibition match in Sarajevo between Djokovic and Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur. Djokovic’s win against Zverev on Sunday was not enough to secure him a place in the final which saw Thiem defeat Krajinovic 4-3, 2-4, 4-2. To a standing ovation, the 33-year-old added: “I love you all and thank you so much for coming.”Third-ranked Dominic Thiem, number seven Alexander Zverev and Grigor Dimitrov, the world 19, also took part in the Adria Tour event that got underway on Saturday.The four headline stars were joined by Serbian ATP players — Viktor Troicki, Filip Krajinovic and Dusan Lajovic.Two big surprises marked the first day — Djokovic lost to Krajinovic in three sets and Dimitrov went down in two against late call-up Nikola Milojevic. Emotional Novak Djokovic broke down in tears in front of an enthusiastic home crowd in Belgrade after he failed to make the final in the first leg of his Balkans charity tennis tournament on Sunday.”I am not crying because I missed the finals. I am just overwhelmed by emotion because this reminds me of my childhood,” the world number one told 4,000 fans packed into the Novak Tennis Centre on the banks of the Danube.”It’s been an emotional few days and I want to thank everyone who supported the event and made it happen.” last_img read more

Sarinah, SMESCO to bolster growth of Indonesian MSMEs

first_imgThe minister, who also leads the government’s COVID-19 Response and Economic Recovery Committee, said the strategy was part of a collaboration with the Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises Ministry to support MSMEs and national economic recovery amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.Read also: MSMEs expect continued pandemic pressure even if operating online: SurveyThe government also launched on Monday an MSME digital platform called PaDi UMKM, which would allow SOEs to channel transaction and funding to MSMEs. Erick has also issued a ministerial regulation requiring tenders for SOE projects with the capital expenditure of between Rp 250 million (US$16,951) and Rp 14 billion to be opened for MSMEs.“This is to develop a healthy ecosystem for our MSMEs,” he said.Indonesia currently has more than 60 million MSMEs, which account for 60 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).Topics : The government aims to spur the growth of Indonesia’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) by boosting the role of state-owned department store Sarinah and SMESCO, a government institution responsible for training and facilitating small and medium enterprises, in its efforts.“SMESCO will focus on providing coaching to improve the MSMEs’ products while Sarinah will focus on marketing those products,” State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) Minister Erick Thohir said in a press conference broadcasted on Monday.Erick said he wanted to improve the synergy between Sarinah and SMESCO to eliminate the sense of competition between the two state-owned institutions, adding that they should work together to support Indonesian MSMEs.last_img read more

West Java extends PSBB in Bodebek to October 27

first_imgThe West Java administration has extended large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in Bogor, Depok and Bekasi (Bodebek) until Oct. 27.West Java COVID-19 task force secretary Daud Achmad said that according to the governor’s decree on the PSBB extension, the regional head of the Bodebek region could implement the PSBB proportionally depending on the risk status of each region.”The PSBB can be proportionally adjusted to regional vigilance at the district, subdistrict and village levels in the form of micro-scale social restrictions (PSBM),” said Daud in a written statement on Wednesday. Read also: Jakarta extends PSBB for two more weeks to ‘break the chain’ of virus spreadDaud went on to say that the PSBB extension in Jakarta’s satellite cities was aligned with Jakarta’s decision to extend its PSBB to Oct. 11. Besides, he said, an extended PSBB was needed as Bodebek had contributed significantly to West Java’s daily spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases.According to West Java COVID-19 Coordination and Information Center data on Tuesday, the Bodebek region has seen 3,212 more confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past seven days.West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil has also issued another governor’s decree to extend the implementation of the Adaptation of New Habits (AKB) in the province, except for the Bodebek region, until Oct. 24.During the AKB, people in the 22 cities and regencies in West Java must adhere to the health protocols to curb the transmission of the coronavirus.Topics :last_img read more

Martin Keown explains what sets Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk apart after superb defending against Tottenham

first_img Comment Jurgen Klopp was delighted with the three points against Spurs (Picture: AMA/Getty Images)‘He knew that if Son was put through, the ball would be in the back of the net. Sissoko, by contrast, has not scored all season.‘Van Dijk positioned himself to block the pass at all costs while closing down Sissoko just enough to force him into a snap shot.‘His smart, instinctive thinking in the heat of battle earned Liverpool a crucial win.’More: FootballChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityBruno Fernandes responds to Man Utd bust-up rumours with Ole Gunnar SolskjaerLiverpool went on to snatch a late winner through a fortunate Toby Alderweireld own goal, which sent them back to the top of the Premier League table.The Reds’ defence has been a huge part of their success this campaign, keeping more clean sheets (17) than any other side in the division.MORE: Mohamed Salah lashes out over Golden Boot race with Sergio AgueroMORE: Why Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino should drop Hugo Lloris after Liverpool blunder, explains Jermaine Jenas Martin Keown explains what sets Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk apart after superb defending against Tottenham Virgil van Dijk was superb in Liverpool’s win over Tottenham (Picture: AMA/Getty Images)Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk has once more earned wild praise after his remarkable defending kept his side in the game against Tottenham on Sunday.The Reds were level at 1-1 with Spurs when Van Dijk was left on his own and back-pedaling against Moussa Sissoko and Heung-Min Son, advancing on the Liverpool goal.Rio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starThe odds were stacked against the Dutchman, but his superb positional play eliminated the option of Sissoko passing to Son, and forced him into a shot on his weaker left foot.Sissoko’s effort sailed over the crossbar and former Arsenal and England centre-back Martin Keown believes it illustrated Van Dijk’s best qualities as a defender.ADVERTISEMENT Van Dijk is a leader as well as a defender for Liverpool (Picture: AMA/Getty Images)‘It was a magnificent piece of defending,’ Keown told the Daily Mail. ‘You will not find it in any coaching manual.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘With Tottenham mounting a quick counter-attack, Van Dijk found himself outnumbered with Sissoko running with the ball to his left and Son Heung-min available for a pass on his right.‘What sets Van Dijk apart is the way he thinks clearly in the most pressurised moments.center_img Advertisement Advertisement Phil HaighMonday 1 Apr 2019 8:00 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link98Shareslast_img read more