Students for Democracy - uncensored international political forums
  StudentsforDemocracy home     StudentsforDemocracy - forums     StudentsforDemocracy - guestbook  
Register   Login  
 Main Menu

Warning: This text and the email address is not visible in a browser! Do not ever send any emails to:
advsecuj@contact.studentsfordemocracy.org


 Latest Picture


 SfD Top Posters
No avatar
EngineerSoldier (12240)

SfD's Top-Poster #2
odin (9239)

SfD's Top-Poster #3
tude dog (7685)

SfD's Top-Poster #4
twiw (7595)

SfD's Top-Poster #5
headrock (6554)


 SfD Site Stats
People Online:  37
Memberships: 1131

Newest Members:
joybrayden (3/26/2020)
ErickNorthman (3/25/2020)
Baleee (3/25/2020)
sanniy (3/18/2020)
Muschniel (3/17/2020)

 Please donate!
Newest Link from Studentfordemocracys Link Page

Save the children

War child charity 

 
StudentsforDemocracy World News

Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines 
  • How Delays and Unheeded Warnings Hindered New York's Virus Fight

    How Delays and Unheeded Warnings Hindered New York's Virus FightA 39-year-old woman took Flight 701 from Doha, Qatar, to John F. Kennedy International Airport in late February, the final leg of her trip home to New York City from Iran.A week later, on March 1, she tested positive for the coronavirus, the first confirmed case in New York City of an outbreak that had already devastated China and parts of Europe. The next day, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, appearing with Mayor Bill de Blasio at a news conference, promised that health investigators would track down every person on the woman's flight. But no one did.A day later, a lawyer from New Rochelle, a New York City suburb, tested positive for the virus -- an alarming sign because he had not traveled to any affected country, suggesting community spread was already taking place.Although city investigators had traced the lawyer's whereabouts and connections to the most crowded corridors of Manhattan, the state's efforts focused on the suburb, not the city, and de Blasio urged the public not to worry. "We'll tell you the second we think you should change your behavior," the mayor said March 5.For many days after the first positive test, as the coronavirus silently spread throughout the New York region, Cuomo, de Blasio and their top aides projected an unswerving confidence that the outbreak would be readily contained.There would be cases, they repeatedly said, but New York's hospitals were some of the best in the world. Plans were in place. Responses had been rehearsed during "tabletop" exercises. After all, the city had been here before -- Ebola, Zika, the H1N1 virus, even Sept. 11."Excuse our arrogance as New Yorkers -- I speak for the mayor also on this one -- we think we have the best health care system on the planet right here in New York," Cuomo said on March 2. "So, when you're saying, what happened in other countries versus what happened here, we don't even think it's going to be as bad as it was in other countries."But now, New York City and the surrounding suburbs have become the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, with far more cases than many countries have. More than 138,000 people in the state have tested positive for the virus, with nearly all of them in the city and nearby suburbs.On Tuesday, Cuomo announced that 731 more people had died of the virus, the state's highest one-day total yet. The overall death toll in New York is 5,489 people.Epidemiologists have pointed to New York City's density and its role as an international hub of commerce and tourism to explain why the coronavirus has spread so rapidly. And it seems highly unlikely that any response by the state or city could have fully stopped it.From the earliest days of the crisis, state and city officials were also hampered by a chaotic and often dysfunctional federal response, including significant problems with the expansion of coronavirus testing, which made it far harder to gauge the scope of the outbreak.Normally, New York would get help from Washington in such a time, as it did after Sept. 11. But President Donald Trump in February and early March minimized the coronavirus threat, clashing with his own medical experts and failing to marshal the might of the federal government soon after cases emerged in the United States.As a result, state and city officials often had to make decisions early on without full assistance from the federal government.Even so, the initial efforts by New York officials to stem the outbreak were hampered by their own confused guidance, unheeded warnings, delayed decisions and political infighting, The New York Times found."Flu was coming down, and then you saw this new ominous spike. And it was COVID. And it was spreading widely in New York City before anyone knew it," said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and former commissioner of the city's Health Department. "You have to move really fast. Hours and days. Not weeks. Once it gets a head of steam, there is no way to stop it."Frieden said that if the state and city had adopted widespread social-distancing measures a week or two earlier, including closing schools, stores and restaurants, then the estimated death toll from the outbreak might have been reduced by 50% to 80%.But New York mandated those measures after localities in states including California and Washington had done so.San Francisco, for example, closed schools on March 12 when that city had 18 confirmed cases; Ohio also closed its schools the same day, with five confirmed cases. De Blasio ordered schools in New York to close three days later when the city had 329 cases.Then seven Bay Area counties imposed stay-at-home rules on March 17. Two days later, the entire state of California ordered the same. New York state's stay-at-home order came on the 20th, and went into effect on March 22."New York City as a whole was late in social measures," said Isaac B. Weisfuse, a former New York City deputy health commissioner. "Any after-action review of the pandemic in New York City will focus on that issue. It has become the major issue in the transmission of the virus."Interviews with more than 60 people on the front-lines of the unfolding crisis -- city and state officials, hospital executives, health care workers, union leaders and emergency medical workers -- revealed how the virus overwhelmed the city's long-standing preparations, leaving officials to improvise. Many spoke on the record; others spoke anonymously to describe private meetings and conversations without fear of losing their jobs."Everything was slow," said Councilman Stephen T. Levin, D-Brooklyn, who had called for City Hall to take swifter action as the outbreak spread. "You have to adapt really quickly, and nothing we were doing was adapting quickly."Both Cuomo and de Blasio have focused intensely in recent days on vastly expanding the ability of the health care system to treat coronavirus patients as the outbreak nears its peak. The state and city have set up new hospital wards, scoured the world for ventilators and protective gear, and aggressively recruited doctors and nurses around the country.Cuomo has been praised for his informative daily news conferences, where he not only focuses on the facts of the pandemic but also seeks to rally the public's support for efforts to curb the spread. De Blasio has also made outreach a priority.Still, Cuomo has at times acknowledged the difficulties in fighting the outbreak. "I am tired of being behind this virus," he said March 31. "We've been playing catch-up. You don't win playing catch-up."The governor's aides said he was referring to the country as a whole, not New York.The governor and the mayor emphasized that they had no misgivings about their initial handling of their response. They said that their efforts spurred the Trump administration to act more decisively to curb the outbreak. New York was the first state to obtain federal approval for its own coronavirus testing."Every action I took was criticized at the time as premature," Cuomo said in an interview. "The facts have proven my decisions correct."De Blasio said in a statement, "We're dealing with a virus that's only months old and science that changes by the day," adding that "hindsight is a luxury none of us have in the heat of battle."Confidence and ConfusionFrom the start, de Blasio and Cuomo projected as much concern about panic as they did about the virus."We can really keep this thing contained," de Blasio said at a news conference about virus preparations in late February.That tone continued even after the first positive case was announced March 1."Everybody is doing exactly what we need to do," said Cuomo, seated with de Blasio, at a news conference on March 2. "We have been ahead of this from day one."Hospitals also expressed confidence in their plans for responding to a pandemic, with the Healthcare Association of New York State declaring on March 2 that its members were "prepared for an influx of patients caused by COVID-19."But few, if any, appeared to have made significant efforts before the virus hit to greatly increase supplies of ventilators or protective gear, looking instead to draw on emergency government stockpiles.Officials seemed to speak and act based on the assumption that the virus had not arrived in the state until that first case -- the woman traveling from Iran. State and local officials now acknowledge that the virus was almost certainly in New York much earlier.Infectious disease specialists had known for weeks before any positive test had occurred that many of the early cases would be missed because of significant flaws in federal testing.Bruce Farber, the chief of infectious diseases for two hospitals within Northwell Health, the largest hospital system in New York, said that by late January, it was apparent that cases would soon begin appearing in the United States. He said he and his colleagues realized, as they reviewed the strictly limited federal testing criteria during a Feb. 7 meeting, that many infected people would not be identified.Only those with a fever severe enough to require hospitalization and who had traveled to China in the previous 14 days could get tested, Farber told them, reading from the CDC guidelines."It was that moment that I think everybody in the room realized, we're dead," Farber said.For both city and state, the initial plan was to trace, isolate and contain each case. Cuomo promised that they would go further than necessary to find every connection to the woman who arrived from Iran."Out of an abundance of caution we will be contacting the people who were on the flight with her from Iran to New York," he said.But no one ever did that work. Local officials could only request an investigation from the CDC, and the agency did not perform one because they believed at the time she had not been contagious during the flight, officials said. Neither Cuomo nor de Blasio publicly mentioned finding the plane passengers again.That's because new cases in the area kept emerging: the lawyer in New Rochelle who worked in Manhattan but had no connection to the first case and had not traveled to countries affected by the virus. Then two more people in New York City tested positive, also unconnected to the affected countries and, more ominously, to each other.New York City, at the start of the outbreak, relied on 50 disease detectives to trace the rapidly rising cases of unconnected infected people, city officials said.By comparison, in Wuhan, China, where the pandemic began, more than 9,000 such workers were deployed. New York City added to its original 50 only after the outbreak began to accelerate.Because of the limits on testing, said the mayor's press secretary, Freddi Goldstein, "all the detectives in the world would have been useless."By March 5, de Blasio seemed to acknowledge the virus had spread beyond control. "You have to assume it could be anywhere in the city," he said.Still, not wanting to cause undue alarm, he told New Yorkers to go on with their normal lives, which left many confused about the danger they faced.The city's health commissioner, Dr. Oxiris Barbot, had sought to reassure commuters, in early February, that "this is not something that you're going to contract in the subway or on the bus." The mayor reiterated the point several times in early March.But there seemed to be little basis for that confidence.The CDC in early February said it was "unclear" if the virus could be transferred on surfaces and, by March, said that it might "be possible" for someone to get infected by touching a contaminated surface and then touching their face. The virus mainly spreads between people in close contact, the agency has said, such as occurs on a crowded subway.State and city officials blamed the confusing messages on shifting guidance from the federal government.But by the second week in March, as the virus continued to spread widely, de Blasio also clashed over messaging with his own Health Department.The mayor wanted widespread testing, but senior Health Department officials believed it was a waste of limited resources. They urged instead a public awareness campaign to tell people with mild symptoms to stay home and not infect others, or themselves, by going to testing centers.City Hall blocked the department from releasing that message to the public, until the mayor eventually backed down in the third week in March.Alarm Behind the ScenesNew York City's system for detecting infectious diseases was flashing danger.While only about 100 cases of the coronavirus had been confirmed in the whole state, the city's surveillance system was, by the end of the first week in March, signaling a spike in influenza-like illnesses at emergency rooms. A few days later, the number of police officers calling out sick jumped noticeably, as did calls to 911 for fever and cough.The governor and the mayor began taking limited steps to restrict people's activities, but even those were met with resistance.Locals complained when the governor ordered a porous "containment area" for New Rochelle, where a cluster had emerged. It meant closing schools and gathering places in a 1-mile radius of a synagogue at the center of the outbreak, while allowing movement in and out.But the biggest and most prolonged battle centered on closing the city's school system, with its 1.1 million students. Doing so would amount to a virtual shutdown of the city.The mayor and his aides worried about the effect on the poorest and most vulnerable New Yorkers. For de Blasio, whose progressive political identity has been defined by his attention to the city's have-nots, the crisis presented a stark and unwelcome choice to harm some New Yorkers in order to save others."If you suddenly in one day close down the schools, how do you make sure that you are providing for these kids and their parents?" said Emma Wolfe, a top aide to de Blasio. "We're not in the suburbs. We can't tell people to stay at home and play around in your yard."Behind the scenes, top health officials were growing increasingly alarmed. Demetre Daskalakis, the city's head of disease control, threatened to quit if the schools were not closed, a city official said.And Barbot -- who at the start of the outbreak had insisted that "New Yorkers remain at low risk" -- gave a far scarier assessment to a closed-door meeting of business executives in City Hall on March 12: Up to 70% of city residents could become infected.The time for containment was over, she added. De Blasio, seated beside her at the meeting, stared daggers as she spoke."Why don't you shut down restaurants now?" a chief executive who attended the meeting recalled someone asking the mayor."I'm really concerned about restaurateurs; I'm really concerned about jobs," the mayor responded, the executive recalled. De Blasio had urged New Yorkers to start social distancing and work from home where possible.The following weekend, even though de Blasio and Cuomo had ordered occupancy limits for restaurants and bars, much of the city's nightlife appeared to continue apace.Governor vs. Mayor, AgainState and city officials believed they were doing everything possible to confront the outbreak, moving from big decision to big decision so quickly that each day, they said, felt like a year. They blamed the spread in New York on the federal government, which they say dragged its feet on testing. For weeks, Trump brushed aside concerns that the outbreak would damage the country."We have it totally under control," Trump said in late January. A month later, he advised Americans to "view this the same as the flu."But local officials did have control over closing schools and businesses. While they waited on making a decision, other major cities were moving toward shutdowns.In California, Los Angeles followed San Francisco's lead and closed its schools on March 13, after 40 cases of the virus had been confirmed. On that same day, there were nearly four times as many confirmed cases in New York, but the city's schools remained open.Even as aides to the mayor and governor, both Democrats, worked closely together on the response, old rivalries crept in. Though the two leaders put up a unified front at the outset of the outbreak, it was clear by the middle of March that a high-stakes version of their long-standing political battles was playing out. The March 2 news conference has been their only appearance together.First, Cuomo sought to force the mayor's hand on the schools, state officials said.In a series of calls during the second weekend in March, the governor worked with the Greater New York Hospital Association, a powerful hospital lobby, to address the question of child care for health care workers in the event that schools closed. That had been a sticking point for those workers' union, 1199 SEIU, which has deep ties to City Hall. The hospital association volunteered to raise funds.The union, which had questioned the need to close schools on that Friday, was by Sunday calling for closure.That Sunday morning, March 15, Health Department officials gave de Blasio some chilling forecasts of the number of possible dead if more restrictions were not imposed. Closing schools was necessary, and most businesses too. By then, the city had a plan to create centers for the children of health care workers, as well as emergency medical workers.Finally, de Blasio was persuaded.As the city prepared an announcement to close the schools, Cuomo announced the shutdown during a television appearance. De Blasio made it official that evening, and then announced restaurants and bars would be closed for everything but takeout and delivery.After the decision on schools, the mayor became more assertive in suggesting major changes in daily life.New Yorkers would probably soon have to be kept at home for all but the most necessary needs, he said on March 17 -- a "shelter-in-place" order similar to what had already been implemented in the Bay Area of California.This time, Cuomo was the one who resisted. He favored a more gradual shutdown."I'm as afraid of the fear and the panic as I am of the virus, and I think that the fear is more contagious than the virus right now," the governor said when asked two days later about the mayor's comments.He chastised the mayor for a poor communication strategy.But then California moved first: Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide order for residents to stay at home. The state had 675 confirmed cases of the virus.That same day, March 19, New York had more than 4,152.That night, roughly 20 prominent New York leaders -- including local members of Congress, two borough presidents, City Council members and civic and religious figures -- joined a conference call convened by the state attorney general, Letitia James."I was growing very frustrated over the schism between the mayor and the governor," said one person on the call, who captured the sentiment. After the call, a participant conveyed those feelings to the governor's office.Melissa DeRosa, the governor's top aide, said Cuomo decided on his plan to "pause" New York during an afternoon meeting with his health commissioner, before the call or Newsom's order.The governor had been reviewing disturbing projections about the spread of the virus since 4:30 a.m., she said."OK, let's shut it down," she recalled the governor saying. He announced it the next day.By that point, March 20, the state had more than 7,000 confirmed cases.The City ReelsLeaders of the New York Police Department now start each day with a review of how many of its 36,000 uniformed officers are sick. By early April, it was around 19%."It's been a struggle," said the police commissioner, Dermot F. Shea. Only the fact of a shutdown city has helped.No parades or protests. No calls to schools. Fewer calls for police in general. The calls to 911, instead, are mostly for ambulances. First it was 5,000 a day. Then 6,000. A record almost daily.That New York City, mammoth and interconnected, would be hit hard by the pandemic may have been inevitable. But Washington, and then New York, had options. The state's leaders had power over key decisions.Their aides argue they moved as fast as possible given the flawed information they had from the federal government and in the midst of a fast-moving crisis on a scale none had seen before."This is an enemy that we have underestimated from day one," Cuomo said Monday. "And we have paid the price dearly."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company




  • Passover in isolation dampens holiday mood in Israel

    Passover in isolation dampens holiday mood in IsraelAs a modern pandemic afflicts the globe, Israeli Jews are being forced to scale back or cancel beloved traditions and rituals marking Passover, the holiday celebrating Israelites’ freedom from Egyptian bondage and referencing biblical plagues. Families are turning to videoconferencing in hopes of capturing a small slice of the holiday spirit. “There’s a lot of families, a lot of seniors, a lot of singles who will be having Seder alone, and that’s very challenging because this is really the family holiday,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, president of Ohr Torah Stone, a network of 27 modern Orthodox institutions.




  • Iran says coronavirus deaths near 4,000

    Iran says coronavirus deaths near 4,000Iran on Wednesday reported 121 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, bringing its overall number of fatalities to 3,993. In the past 24 hours, 1,997 new cases of COVID-19 infection were detected in Iran, state news agency IRNA quoted health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour as saying. Iran, which announced its first COVID-19 cases on February 19, is by far the worst hit by the pandemic in the Middle East, according to official tolls.




  • Italy’s Reopening Advances in Test for Europe’s Virus Exit


  • Saudi Arabia halts parental visitation rulings to curb virus

    Saudi Arabia halts parental visitation rulings to curb virusThe Saudi king suspended final rulings and judicial orders on visitation rights of children of separated parents in the latest effort to try and curb the spread of the novel coronavirus among households, according to state media reports Wednesday. The state-run Saudi Press Agency said parents were notified of the changes by text message, the latest measure by the kingdom to stem the rising number of new infections as a nearly nation-wide 24-hour curfew takes place. Saudi Arabia has 2,750 confirmed cases of the virus, including 41 deaths.




  • Merkel’s Government Approves Tighter Rules on Takeovers

    Merkel’s Government Approves Tighter Rules on Takeovers(Bloomberg) -- The German government agreed to tighten protections for companies from foreign takeovers as the coronavirus pandemic engulfing the global economy raises concerns about the vulnerability of key industries.Angela Merkel’s cabinet approved the measures -- which apply to takeover bids from outside the European Union -- on Wednesday. They will enable the government to block acquisitions that present “potential interference,” a lower threshold than existing rules that envisage a security threat.“We’re going to implement these rules so that we can protect our critical infrastructure more securely than we have before,” Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told reporters in Berlin. As well as shielding producers of medicine and protective gear, the new rules will also protect German companies active in the energy sector and the digital economy, he said.As the outbreak batters the global economy, and as Germany’s is poised to contract almost 10% in the second quarter, Merkel’s government has sharpened its focus on companies critical to national interests that could fall prey to foreign takeovers. The European Commission has also issued guidelines on enacting bloc-wide rules meant to prevent foreign direct investments from threatening national security.Without identifying potential buyers, Altmaier said authorities are already scrutinizing a concrete attempt to purchase a German company involved in “medical production,” and examining others. “There are a number of other cases that we are monitoring very closely, in which we’re determined to stop potential takeovers,” he said.The coronavirus crisis has raised the stakes globally for deals in the medical industry. Last month German biotech company CureVac AG denied speculation that the U.S. government tried to buy the business or its technology amid an intensifying race to produce a vaccine for the disease.Plummeting ValuesAs companies contend with plummeting market values -- Germany’s DAX index is down more than 20% so far this year -- Chinese firms in particular are getting ready for discount deals in Europe, exploiting the turmoil in which businesses are scrambling for cash to stay afloat.Bankers have recently seen a spike in requests from Chinese firms and funds for proposals on targets in Europe, according to people familiar with the potential deals. Many potential acquirers are state-owned enterprises, they said.That scenario will inevitably set up a conflict with European governments, who even before the pandemic were embroiled in a debate over the bloc’s vulnerability. That debate has been fueled by the lack of national or European champions to compete with rivals backed by the Chinese government.Germany started adopting more protectionist measures after China’s Midea Group Co. swallowed robot maker Kuka AG in 2016. Two years later, Merkel’s cabinet blocked a Chinese bid for the first time by vetoing the potential purchase of machine-tool manufacturer Leifeld Metal Spinning AG.Carmakers Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and BAIC Group also own large stakes in rival Daimler, in what is seen as the most prominent Chinese investment in Germany. Over the past five years, Chinese companies have announced $21.9 billion of acquisitions in Europe, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.The government has focused its efforts on thwarting attempts to seize or gain leverage over German companies with crucial know-how for critical infrastructure and the digital economy, such as artificial intelligence and battery cell production. The current initiative, a tightening of Germany’s Foreign Trade Law, will restrict the access that bidders have to companies’ know-how while an acquisition is being reviewed.Not everyone welcomed the tighter rules. “If we regulate flows of foreign capital too severely, we risk restricting growth and employment prospects within Germany,” said Volker Treier, head of foreign trade at the DIHK industry group.(Adds Chinese bids in 10th paragraph, comment from DIHK in last)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.




  • Wuhan Is Returning to Life. So Are Its Disputed Wet Markets


  • German Economy Seen Shrinking 10% This Quarter Due to Virus

    German Economy Seen Shrinking 10% This Quarter Due to Virus(Bloomberg) -- Germany’s economy will shrink this quarter at more than twice the pace recorded at the height of the financial crisis, leading research institutes forecast, adding to evidence of the heft of the blow to European economies due to the coronavirus pandemic.German output is expected to slump 9.8% in the April-June period, the most since records for quarterly data began in 1970, and is on course for a 4.2% contraction this year, five of the country’s top institutes said in twice-yearly projections. Thanks to fiscal aid, the economists expect a strong rebound next year, with expansion of 5.8%.Their forecasts come as data painted an equally bleak outlook elsewhere in Europe, where measures to limit the spread of the outbreak have shuttered businesses. The French economy shrank the most since World War II at the start of this year, and the nation’s central bank said prospects for the rest of 2020 are souring significantly.While the region’s governments have pledged hundreds of billions of euros to support their economies, they’ve failed so far to come up with a joint response. Finance ministers couldn’t agree on a 500 billion-euro ($543 billion) package last night, prolonging a paralysis that casts doubt over the bloc’s ability to weather the crisis.“The recession will have a profound impact on the labor market and public finances,” Timo Wollmershaeuser, head of business-cycle analysis and forecasts at the Ifo institute, said about the pandemic’s impact on Germany. Unemployment in Europe’s largest economy will likely rise to 5.9% this year, he added.The institutes cautioned that there are “considerable downside risks” to their projections, including a slower than expected weakening in the spread of the virus, problems with reviving the economy after the shutdown eases or a new wave of infections.The forecasts, which form the basis of the government’s economic outlook, are prepared by the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin, the Halle Institute for Economic Research, the Ifo Institute in Munich, the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and the RWI-Leibniz Institute for Economic Research in Essen.Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has moved swiftly to mitigate the effects of the virus on Europe’s biggest economy, and on Monday announced a new “limitless” loan program for Germany’s small- and medium-sized companies, which form the backbone of the economy. That’s on top of a slew of other measures to counter what Merkel has called Germany’s biggest challenge since World War II.The number of new coronavirus infections in Germany rose the most in three days, according to data Wednesday from Johns Hopkins University, bringing the total to 107,663 in Europe’s fourth-most extensive outbreak. The number of fatalities climbed to 2,016.(Updates with Bank of France outlook in third paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.




  • Wuhan Shows the World Its Post-Coronavirus Future

    Wuhan Shows the World Its Post-Coronavirus FutureHONG KONG—Trains are leaving Wuhan for the first time since January 23, carrying 55,000 people out of the city in one day. Long-haul buses are moving passengers across provinces. Planes are taking off at the airport again. Roadblocks on outbound highways have been removed, and cars have been streaming through since midnight. The lockdown of the first epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic—after doctors who flagged the unusual virus were gagged by authorities—was lifted at midnight local time on Wednesday. U.S. Eyes Second Coronavirus Outbreak in ChinaIt’s difficult to look back at the lockdown without feeling like it was an 11-week internment. More than 3,300 people reportedly have died in China due to COVID-19, including nearly 2,600 in the city of Wuhan alone. (The official tallies are deemed by medical professionals in China and abroad to be much lower than the actual count.) Intensive care units were, of course, where the most recorded deaths occurred; the mortality rate in Wuhan’s ICUs was between 25 and 30 percent, according to Dr. Peng Zhiyong, who led two ICU teams in the city and maintained the lowest rates of fatalities and hospital transmissions at the facilities where he worked.Now, after daily—hourly, constant—checks on the epidemic curve, there is an uneasy mixture of relief and apprehension as life in Wuhan crawls back to a normal pace and Hubei province reconnects with the rest of the country.There are lessons here for the hard-hit United States, where to date almost four times as many people have died as in China, judging by official numbers. But, sadly, those lessons are limited. Other countries may benefit more from what has been learned in Wuhan.In the United States, the Trump administration apparently expects 50 states to compete with each other, and with the federal government, for vital resources. In China, the all-powerful Chinese Communist Party poured everything it could into Wuhan and Hubei after the very strict province-wide lockdown. It flew in medical workers from all over the country, military assistance, construction workers to build hospitals, and others to enforce the quarantines while enhancing survival rates.For two and a half months, Hubei’s 60 million people—roughly the population of Italy—have been confined to their homes. To venture out in public for crucial supply runs, they had to pass through checkpoints manned by private security guards, neighborhood-level Chinese Communist Party custodians, or police officers. The population’s material needs were taken care of, but there was a constant air of uncertainty about what might happen next. Might there be a surge in infection numbers and deaths the next day? Could one’s neighbor, parent, friend fall ill and fail to find medical assistance at the packed hospitals? What if the pandemic does not end?Today, the physical signs of those weeks of worry remain present. Barbed wire still runs along the tops of walls surrounding some residential complexes, installed to prevent people from leaping over the barriers to cure their cabin fever. Many older buildings—those with only two or three floors—are still boarded up.So far, it hasn’t been a smooth transition for Wuhan. There were plenty of dead car batteries. Social distancing was difficult to achieve on public transportation. Frequent temperature checks and pauses to disinfect slowed down movement across the city—although few were in a rush to begin with.Even at the beginning of the week, Wuhan and the rest of Hubei were coming back to life slowly. Some restaurants lit their stove fires again—patrons couldn’t always dine in, but they placed orders and waited patiently for their takeout, standing five or six feet apart from each other. Sounds and smells of human activity were returning. You could spot people strolling along the quiet waterfront—just a handful, but enough to give the impression that things could go back to normal, that maybe not all of spring was lost. Now, across mainland China, it’s common enough to see people wearing latex gloves and plastic goggles when they are outside of their homes. Masks are mandatory in public areas, meant to limit significantly the virus’ spread in case you are a carrier. This curtails the footprint of the coronavirus—a particularly important act because medical professionals believe that many people who carry the virus are asymptomatic, meaning they may not even realize that they can cause severe illness in others.When much of China was still under lockdown, people spoke of “revenge spending,” a term that harks back to the spike in consumption after the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976, now appropriated to outline the urge to splurge after shops reopen when the COVID pandemic subsides. But while businesses in Wuhan, Hubei, and the rest of the country have spun up operations again, consumers have been cautious about their expenditures. Many have drained significant chunks of their savings, and the likelihood of a second wave of infections hitting later this year has people worrying that they will have to hunker down again, this time with even tighter purse strings.China Hijacked This American Mom’s Tweets for Coronavirus PropagandaIn the first three months of this year, nearly half a million businesses in China went belly up. More are expected to declare bankruptcy in the coming weeks. Companies that ship goods to other countries are being hit hard as foreign clients seek delays in shipments or are canceling orders altogether.Firms involved in mass-scale surveillance, however, are more active than ever. Throughout China, smartphone-based tracking measures are now used to indicate a person’s health status and location history. Whip out your phone and call up your assigned QR code—if it’s green, then you can access public transportation, as well as facilities like shopping malls, restaurants, and parks. The same tools are used to determine whether a person can travel throughout the country. The exception is the capital, Beijing, where all arrivals must commit to 14 days of quarantine.This isn’t a policy that is unique to China. Around the world, at least 24 countries are tracking their citizens’ locations using applications that went online during the COVID-19 pandemic, and at least 14 nations have rolled out apps for contact tracing or as part of quarantine protocols, according to information compiled by Human Rights Watch, Privacy International, and more than 100 other organizations.Yet even with a digital dragnet over the country, our lack of understanding of the coronavirus and COVID-19 brings about intense uneasiness. It is still unclear how common asymptomatic transmission is, but classified Chinese documents seen by reporters of Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post suggest that up to one-third of people who test positive could be carrying the virus without showing any symptoms. People I spoke to in Wuhan, Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou were all anxious about how every human body—including their own—has the potential to become a walking bio-bomb that could kill a friend or loved one. It’s a distressing thought that is compounded when a nation is being steered by its central government to return to the tempo from three months ago.The weekend was a reminder that the pandemic has left indelible imprints on China—and the rest of the world. Last Saturday was a day of mourning for those who died in China due to COVID-19. At 10:00 a.m., people stopped what they were doing to observe three minutes of silence. Sirens wailed. Drivers sounded their vehicles’ horns. Flags flew at half-mast. In every city, town, and village, tears fell. Chinese Communist Party leaders, including President Xi Jinping, gathered at Zhongnanhai, the headquarters of the CCP and central government in the capital, where a banner reading “deeply mourn for martyrs and compatriots” now hangs. The party has claimed every casualty as one of its own.Yet none of this implies that China is on the other side of this viral calamity. Last week, Zeng Guang, the chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said the country “has not reached the end [of the pandemic], but is merely entering a new phase.” The main worry, for now, is that asymptomatic carriers will infect others as people travel across the country to get back to work, ultimately negating the months-long containment efforts that have placed life on hold for many millions of people.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.




  • Coronavirus: Nigeria's mega churches adjust to empty auditoriums

    Coronavirus: Nigeria's mega churches adjust to empty auditoriumsWith worshippers banned from congregating, pastors are adapting to coronavirus restrictions.




  • Nigeria visa firm owned by man on fraud charges

    Nigeria visa firm owned by man on fraud chargesMahmood Ahmadu was allegedly involved in a fake recruitment drive, which saw 16 die in a stampede.




  • Italy, Spain ICU pressures decline, but emotional toll rises

    Italy, Spain ICU pressures decline, but emotional toll risesMaddalena Ferrari lets herself cry when she takes off the surgical mask she wears even at home to protect her elderly parents from the coronavirus that surrounds her at work in one of Italy’s hardest-hit intensive care units. In the privacy of her own bedroom, where no one can see, the nursing coordinator peels away the mask that both protects her and hides her, and weeps for all the patients lost that day at Bergamo’s Pope John XXIII Hospital. “We’re losing an entire generation,” Ferrari said at the end of one of her shifts.




  • Making plans, defiantly, amid the chaos and madness

    Making plans, defiantly, amid the chaos and madnessAs owners of a wedding and event-planning business, Karina Lopez and Curtis Rogers have always known how the best-laid plans can go awry. If you're hunkered down at home, suddenly Friday doesn’t seem like Friday because the weekend hardly feels different.




  • Masked crowds fill Wuhan's streets, trains as lockdown ends

    Masked crowds fill Wuhan's streets, trains as lockdown endsAmid streets newly bustling with cars and pedestrians, Wang Chun celebrated the lifting of a virus lockdown on her hometown of Wuhan on Wednesday with a dance outdoors after 2 1/2 months largely cooped up at home. “I’m so happy Wuhan has defeated the virus,” Wang said after recording a K-Pop-inspired duet with a male partner for posting on the internet. After she put on the mask again, Wang confronted the question many of the city's 11 million residents are asking themselves: When will they be going back to work?




  • Outbreak poses dilemma for Palestinians working in Israel

    Outbreak poses dilemma for Palestinians working in IsraelAt the construction site in Tel Aviv, Jamal Salman and the other Palestinian workers wore gloves and masks, and their employer provided apartments for them to stay overnight. The coronavirus outbreak poses a dilemma for tens of thousands of Palestinian laborers working inside Israel who are now barred from traveling back and forth. Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority imposed sweeping lockdowns in mid-March, largely sealing off the occupied West Bank and heavily restricting travel within the territory.




  • Wuhan ends lockdown; Virus strains medical workers to limits

    Wuhan ends lockdown; Virus strains medical workers to limitsAfter 76 days in lockdown, the Chinese city at the heart of the global pandemic reopened Wednesday and tens of thousands immediately hopped on trains and planes to leave. Elsewhere, the economic, political and psychological toll of fighting the virus grew increasingly clear and more difficult to bear. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent a second night in intensive care, the first major world leader confirmed to have COVID-19.




  • Turkmenistan holds mass exercises, defies coronavirus concerns

    Turkmenistan holds mass exercises, defies coronavirus concernsAuthoritarian Turkmenistan gathered thousands of citizens for mass exercise events to mark World Health Day, state media said, ignoring the global trend for social distancing to fight the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The Central Asian country, along with North Korea, is one of a handful of territories which claim they have no cases of the virus which is sweeping across the globe. A state television broadcast late on Tuesday showed hundreds of people wearing identical coloured tracksuits cycling in close formation on a cold, damp day in the capital Ashgabat.




  • Lives Lost: A Louisiana grandmother 'took care of everyone'

    Lives Lost: A Louisiana grandmother 'took care of everyone'Mary Louise Brown Morgan kept a garden full of rosebushes and just about every kind of fruit tree, from plums to satsuma oranges to kumquats. “She had the most beautiful yard on the block,” said her grandson, Steve Morgan. Born in New Orleans on Jan. 5, 1942, she was a lifelong resident of Gray, Louisiana — a small town of about 6,000 people, deep in the state's Acadiana region.




  • Black voters weigh history, health as they vote in Wisconsin

    Black voters weigh history, health as they vote in WisconsinAfter going to sleep angry and afraid to vote, Xavier Thomas woke up on Election Day in Wisconsin thinking about how hard black people had to fight for the right to cast a ballot. “We had to be willing to die to get our vote, and the same thing is happening right now,” said Thomas, a 33-year-old director of youth ministry at a Milwaukee church. Across Wisconsin on Tuesday, voters had an impossible decision to make: whether to risk their health and possibly their lives to cast a ballot, or stay away and miss exercising a fundamental right of democracy.




  • DC fights to enforce distancing and braces for looming surge

    DC fights to enforce distancing and braces for looming surgeThe warmer weather is bringing violations of social distance guidelines in the nation’s capital, even as health officials predict the city could become one of the next U.S. hot spots in the coronavirus pandemic. More than 1,200 people have tested positive, with 22 deaths, in Washington. Last week, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that models predict the virus would peak in the District of Columbia in May or June and would result in nearly 1 in 7 Washington residents infected by the end of the year and a high-end death toll over 1,000.




  • Wisconsin voters forced to choose between health, democracy


  • Trump challenges authority, independence of agency watchdogs

    Trump challenges authority, independence of agency watchdogsPresident Donald Trump is moving aggressively to challenge the authority and independence of agency watchdogs overseeing his administration, including removing the inspector general tasked with overseeing the $2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue package that passed Congress with bipartisan support. In four days, Trump has fired one inspector general tied to his impeachment, castigated another he felt was overly critical of the coronavirus response and sidelined a third meant to safeguard against wasteful spending of the coronavirus funds. The most recent act threatens to upend scrutiny of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue effort now underway, setting the stage for a major clash between Trump, government watchdogs and Democrats who are demanding oversight of the vast funds being pumped into the American economy.




  • Turkmenistan holds mass exercises, defies coronavirus concerns

    Turkmenistan holds mass exercises, defies coronavirus concernsAuthoritarian Turkmenistan gathered thousands of citizens for mass exercise events to mark World Health Day, state media said, ignoring the global trend for social distancing to fight the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The Central Asian country, along with North Korea, is one of a handful of territories which claim they have no cases of the virus which is sweeping across the globe. A state television broadcast late on Tuesday showed hundreds of people wearing identical coloured tracksuits cycling in close formation on a cold, damp day in the capital Ashgabat.




  • China investigates party member critical of Xi over outbreak


  • UN urges swift release of Mali's kidnapped opposition leader


  • Virus-hit Iran urges IMF to approve $5bn loan

    Virus-hit Iran urges IMF to approve $5bn loanIranian President Hassan Rouhani urged the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday to give the sanctions-hit country a $5 billion emergency loan to combat its novel coronavirus outbreak. Iran has said it needs what would be its first IMF loan in over half a century to continue fighting the virus. "I urge all international organisations to fulfil their duties," Rouhani said during a cabinet meeting.




  • Trump blasts world health group, defends early virus steps

    Trump blasts world health group, defends early virus stepsPresident Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened to freeze U.S. funding to the World Health Organization, saying the international group had “missed the call” on the coronavirus pandemic. Trump also played down the release of January memos from a senior adviser that represented an early warning of a possible coronavirus pandemic, saying he had not seen them at the time. Trump said the international group had “called it wrong” on the virus and that the organization was “very China-centric" in its approach, suggesting that the WHO had gone along with Beijing's efforts months ago to minimize the severity of the outbreak.




  • Court allows Texas to ban most abortions during virus crisis


  • Trump upends virus oversight, removing key official

    Trump upends virus oversight, removing key officialPresident Donald Trump is moving aggressively to challenge the authority and independence of agency watchdogs overseeing his administration, including removing the inspector general tasked with overseeing the $2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue package that passed Congress with bipartisan support. In four days, Trump has fired one inspector general tied to his impeachment, castigated another he felt was overly critical of the coronavirus response and sidelined a third meant to safeguard against wasteful spending of the coronavirus funds. The most recent act threatens to upend scrutiny of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue effort now underway, setting the stage for a major clash between Trump, government watchdogs and Democrats who are demanding oversight of the vast funds being pumped into the American economy.




  • Eastern Libyan forces attack Tripoli hospital for second day


  • Mexico urges end to harassment of health workers in pandemic

    Mexico urges end to harassment of health workers in pandemicThey are the first line of defense against the COVID-19 pandemic, but in parts of Mexico, doctors, nurses and other health workers are being harassed to the point that federal authorities have pleaded for Mexicans to show solidarity. While tributes to courageous medical personnel putting themselves in the virus' path circle the globe, Mexico and some other places have seen disturbing aggression born of fear. Recently, a hospital in Guadalajara — Mexico's second-largest city — were told to wear civilian clothes to and from work rather than their scrubs or uniforms because some public buses refused to allow them to board.




  • The prefabricated building market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 8% during the period 2019-2025

    The prefabricated building market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 8% during the period 2019-2025Get an in-depth analysis of COVID-19 impact on the global prefabricated building market.The prefabricated building market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 8% during the period 2019–2025.Read the full report: https://www.reportlinker.com/p05881113/?utm_source=PRN The prefabricated building market is likely to grow significantly due to the rise in infrastructure development and the growth in residential and commercial sectors. Prefab houses are affordable and can be built in less time, which is expected to positively influence the market in the APAC region due to the growing middle-class population and rapid urbanization. Prefab buildings are energy-efficient and high on sustainability. The increasing awareness of construction wastage on the environment has driven people worldwide to adopt the green buildings concept, which is expected to bolster the market, especially in developed regions. Government-sponsored initiatives in developing countries to provide affordable houses in less time is another major factor affecting growth. Prefabricated construction provides structural strength that allows buildings to withstand earthquakes. Hence, prefab buildings are likely to generate demand from seismic-sensitive countries such as Japan, China, Iran, Indonesia, Turkey, Mexico, and Nepal.The following factors are likely to contribute to the growth of the prefabricated building market during the forecast period:• Mass Township Projects• Shifting Focus: Profit, People, planet• Increase in Demand for Branded Designers• Expansion of Prefabricated Market• Big Opportunity in Developing CountriesThe study considers the present scenario of the prefabricated building market and its market dynamics for the period 2019?2025. It covers a detailed overview of several market growth enablers, restraints, and trends. The study offers both the demand and supply aspects of the market. It profiles and examines leading companies and other prominent companies operating in the market.Prefabricated Building Market: SegmentationThis research report includes a detailed segmentation by application, material, system, and geography. Increasing commercial spaces such as shopping malls, trade centers, and office spaces are expected to drive the prefabricated building market. The high investment by key players in their product portfolio due to the building's faster construction methodologies are likely to drive the commercial segment. The application of prefabricated buildings can substantially reduce costs and construction time. These factors are expected to drive government agencies to implement such constructions in cities, states, and municipalities that meet applicable building codes. These types of buildings are proven to be as durable as traditional ones and designed to withstand the heavy daily use of public facilities.The application of precast concrete and concrete block is predominantly used in prefabricated buildings owing to its strength and durability. Concrete provides a thermal barrier allowing heat to escape a structure and help to increase the energy efficiency of the entire framework. The benefits offered by concrete material used in such buildings are likely to boost the demand for prefabricated buildings. Wood-based products such as engineered joists, columns, and wall and floor structures offer increased strength and are lightweight. These wood-based products weigh less, which helps in increasing the simplicity of shipping and recyclability, which is likely to stimulate the demand for prefab wooden houses.Cellular systems play a vital role in the development of multidimensional structures. These systems are predominantly used for constructing cells that provide isolation in buildings. As the market of prefabrication is rapidly growing, the application of cellular systems is likely to be widely taken in use, which is expected to fuel the market growth during the forecast period. The demand for panel systems is expected to increase on account of its unique offerings such as accelerated construction time, high thermal efficiency, and low labor costs. However, these systems are expensive and have high capital costs, but long-term savings can balance these costs from reduced energy costs. Skeletal frameworks are primarily used for structures that are relatively low-risk and do not have several partitions. The application of such frameworks is majorly used in large-scale car parking and commercial buildings built with frames. With the rapid growth of urbanization and increasing construction of commercial spaces worldwide are likely to boost the demand for skeletal systems.Market Segmentation by Application• Residential• Non-Residentialo Commercial Buildingso Hospitalityo Governmento Educationo OthersMarket Segmentation by Material• Steel• Concrete• Wood• OthersMarket Segmentation by System• Skeleton• Panel• Cellular• Combined• OthersInsights by GeographyIn North America, the productivity of several construction projects has slowed down due to a labor shortage. Hence, companies are expected to utilize prefabricated construction to complete the project faster. The use of additive manufacturing made using energy-absorbing materials such as micro homes is likely to bolster the industry growth in the region. Further, fast-paced urbanization in emerging areas of the region and growing investment in the real estate sector are other factors driving growth. In Europe, the market is expected to grow at a moderate rate as people increasingly focus on readymade solutions for prefab houses that match their criteria. Acceptance of the manufacturing form, consent processes, durability, and low cost are primary factors expected to boost the demand for such buildings.Moreover, the use of eco-friendly materials in developing high-quality structures is likely to influence the market positively. The prefabricated construction industry in APAC is expected to grow significantly in the next five years. The concept of affordable housing with high sustainability is likely to be increasingly adopted by the growing middle-class population in APAC. Moreover, government initiatives in several countries such as Singapore, China, India, Hongkong, and Pakistan are expected to drive market growth in the region.Market Segmentation by Geography• APACo Chinao Indiao Japano South Koreao Australia• North Americao USo Canada• Europeo UKo Germanyo Franceo Italyo Spaino Nordic• MEAo Saudi Arabiao UAEo South Africa• Latin Americao Mexicoo Brazilo ArgentinaInsights by VendorsThe prefabricated building market is highly fragmented, with several local and international players in the market. The competition among these players is intense. The rapidly changing technological environment is expected to adversely affect vendors as customers expect continual innovations and upgrades in construction. The present scenario is driving vendors to alter and refine their unique value proposition to achieve a strong industry presence. The market concentration in developed countries such as the US and Western European countries is high. At the same time, the industry is in its nascent stage in developing economies such as China and India. The competition between vendors exists on the basis of offerings and pricing. The competition is expected to intensify further with an increase in product extensions, technological innovations, and M&A.; Leading international players are likely to expand their presence, especially in the fast-developing countries in APAC and Latin America, to gain more share. Besides, improving global economic conditions is likely to fuel the growth of the market.Key Vendors• Algeco Scotsman• ATCO• Bouygues Construction• Red Sea HousingOther Vendors• Abtech• Alta-Fab Structures• Art's Way Manufacturing• Astron• Champion Home Builders• Cimc Modular Building Systems Holding• Clayton Homes, Inc.• DuBox• Fleetwood Australia• Guerdon Modular Buildings• Hickory Group• Horizon North Logistics• Katerra• Kirby Building Systems• Kleusberg GmbH & Co KG• KOMA Modular• Laing O'Rourke• Lendlease Corporation• Lindal Cedar Homes• Modern Prefab• Modular Engineering• Niko Prefab Building Systems Pvt. Ltd.Key Market InsightsThe analysis of the prefabricated building market provides market sizing and growth opportunities for the period 2020–2025.• Provides comprehensive insights on the latest industry trends, forecast, and growth drivers in the market.• Includes a detailed analysis of drivers, challenges, and investment opportunities in the industry.• Delivers a complete overview of segments and the regional outlook of the prefabricated building market.• Offers an exhaustive summary of the vendor landscape, competitive analysis, and key strategies to gain a competitive advantage in the market.Read the full report: https://www.reportlinker.com/p05881113/?utm_source=PRN About Reportlinker ReportLinker is an award-winning market research solution. Reportlinker finds and organizes the latest industry data so you get all the market research you need - instantly, in one place. __________________________ Contact Clare: clare@reportlinker.com US: (339)-368-6001 Intl: +1 339-368-6001




  • Holdout governors: Some states don't need stay-at-home order

    Holdout governors: Some states don't need stay-at-home orderEven as most Americans are under orders from their governor to stay at home to slow the spread of the coronavirus, leaders in a handful of states have steadfastly refused to take that action, arguing it's unneeded and could be harmful. “If social distancing maneuvers are going to work, they're most likely going to work if you do them early," said Arthur L. Reingold, a professor and infectious disease expert at the University of California-Berkeley. Fauci on Monday credited the governors of Nebraska and Iowa for what steps they have taken to slow the virus, but David Leeson, a retiree in Winterset, Iowa, said he can’t understand why restrictions that make sense in most of the country haven’t been imposed in his home state.




  • US, Iraq to hold talks on troop future

    US, Iraq to hold talks on troop futureThe United States will hold talks with Iraq in June on the future of its troop presence in the country, whose parliament has voted to expel them, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday. With Iraq increasingly becoming a proxy battleground between Iran and the United States, President Donald Trump has refused to pull the 5,200 US troops and earlier even threatened sanctions on Baghdad if it moved forward. "With the global COVID-19 pandemic raging and plummeting oil revenues threatening an Iraqi economic collapse, it's important that our two governments work together to stop any reversal of the gains we've made in our efforts to defeat ISIS and stabilize the country," Pompeo told reporters.




  • With prime minister in ICU, Britain asks: Who's in charge?

    With prime minister in ICU, Britain asks: Who's in charge?As British Prime Minister Boris Johnson fights the coronavirus in the intensive care unit of a London hospital, the people of his country are wishing him well — and asking who’s in charge. There is no official role of acting or deputy prime minister, and heads of government only leave office through resignation or death, Alex Thomas, a program director at the Institute for Government, political think-tank, said. “Boris Johnson continues as prime minister for as long as neither of those things happens,” he said.




  • Russia ready to start testing coronavirus vaccines on humans in June

    Russia ready to start testing coronavirus vaccines on humans in JuneThe head of a top Russian research centre told President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday that his lab was ready to start human trials of experimental coronavirus vaccines in June. Rinat Maksyutov, head of the Vektor State Virology and Biotechnology Centre, said his facility proposed first-phase clinical trials of three vaccines from June 29, on 180 volunteers. Maksyutov was speaking during a video-link meeting between Putin and the heads of top research centres.




  • Trump announces, then reverses, freeze on funding for World Health Organization

    Trump announces, then reverses, freeze on funding for World Health OrganizationThe president also blasted the U.N. agency’s early recommendations for countering the coronavirus.




  • UK will share more legal texts with EU shortly -Brexit trade deal negotiator


  • Judge: Death penalty on table for synagogue massacre suspect


  • China's virus pandemic epicenter Wuhan ends 76-day lockdown

    China's virus pandemic epicenter Wuhan ends 76-day lockdownAfter 11 weeks of lockdown, people went outdoors and by the thousands boarded the first trains and planes leaving Wuhan as the last restrictions on movement were lifted Wednesday in the Chinese city where the coronavirus pandemic began. Wuhan's unprecedented lockdown was a model for countries trying to stop the coronavirus. With the restrictions ending, Hubei's provincial capital begins another experiment: resuming business and ordinary life while preventing more illnesses.




  • Israeli security agency says it arrested alleged Iran spy


  • Coronavirus: What misinformation has spread in Africa?

    Coronavirus: What misinformation has spread in Africa?We look at some of the claims about coronavirus circulating in African countries.




  • When leaders are stricken in office, how do nations act?

    When leaders are stricken in office, how do nations act?The measure of a nation — its DNA, or sometimes its political system — becomes more visible when its leader is stricken in office. The hospitalization of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the first head of government to be stricken by the coronavirus, has pushed this matter to the fore in the United Kingdom. Johnson was moved to the intensive care unit of a London hospital after his COVID-19 symptoms worsened.




  • Trump shakes up press team as White House deals with virus

    Trump shakes up press team as White House deals with virusPresident Donald Trump shook up his communications team on Tuesday, replacing his press secretary and adding new staffers as he grapples with the coronavirus pandemic. Stephanie Grisham, who had held the titles of press secretary and White House communications director since last June, is out after never holding a formal press briefing. Kayleigh McEnany, a top Trump campaign spokeswoman, will take over as Trump’s fourth press secretary.




  • Split families make pacts, duel over custody amid virus

    Split families make pacts, duel over custody amid virusAs the country hunkered down to fend off the coronavirus, Carolina McAuley expected her middle school-age kids would continue to shuffle between her house and her ex-husband's — until she got sick. Suddenly, her long-standing custody arrangement unraveled as she came down with a fever and chills and lost her senses of taste and smell — all presumed symptoms of the coronavirus. "Of course he wants to see his children, but he understands the point of this is not to be spreading this stuff back and forth,” said McAuley, of New Jersey's Bergen County.




  • Iran reopens parliament as virus infections drop for seventh day

    Iran reopens parliament as virus infections drop for seventh dayIran's parliament convened Tuesday for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak forced its doors to close, as the country reported a drop in new infections for the seventh straight day. More than two-thirds of the legislature's 290 members gathered in the absence of speaker and veteran politician Ali Larijani, who tested positive for COVID-19 last week. At least 31 members of the parliament, or Majles, which had been shut since February 25, have contracted the disease.




  • Sex. Drugs. Virus. Venezuela elites still party in pandemic

    Sex. Drugs. Virus. Venezuela elites still party in pandemicThey whiled away the week on a sex- and drug-fueled romp: dancing on white-sand beaches and frolicking on a Caribbean island with prostitutes from Europe, some snapping selfies with famous reggaeton artists. For some of Venezuela’s high-flying “Bolichicos" — the privileged offspring of the socialist revolution — the party hasn’t stopped amid a widening pandemic in a country already gripped by crisis. To date, the virus has claimed only seven confirmed fatalities in Venezuela.




  • Britain's Establishment Has a New Senior Member

    Britain's Establishment Has a New Senior Member(Bloomberg Opinion) -- It seems a bleak time to make the observation that Britain is in good hands. There’s a lot to worry about: the still rising death toll from Covid-19; the strain on the National Health Service; the shortages of personal protective equipment; and the pressure on economic well-being and mental health that a prolonged period of isolation will bring. All of this while Prime Minister Boris Johnson lies in intensive care.It’s also true, as I noted yesterday, that Britain is not as well set-up constitutionally for such leadership crises as other countries. Still, the stability of the U.K.’s governing system lies in its institutions — among them, Her Majesty’s opposition, the Labour Party, which for a long time has itself been suffering from a bout of ill health. The election of Keir Starmer as Labour leader Saturday, succeeding Jeremy Corbyn, brings the hope that a party torn by factionalism, dominated by ideologues and rendered electorally impotent will again become a constructive force in British politics.Starmer’s election is a far more important development than it might seem right now. A former human rights lawyer who was a Director of Public Prosecutions, he is liked and respected on both sides of the political aisle. That’s some feat when you consider he was an ardent Remainer in the fairly evenly divided Brexit debate, is an avowed lefty who doesn’t believe in private education or private health care (though he wouldn’t abolish the right of others to such services), and was a loyal servant in Corbyn’s derided shadow cabinet. While Starmer won his constituency seat easily in the December election, his party — whose platform he defended — suffered its worst electoral drubbing since 1935.It’s too early to say that Labour has a turned a corner as a credible alternative to Johnson’s ruling Conservatives, but Starmer is firmly in the driver’s seat. While his 56.2% of total votes cast by party members, affiliates (such as trade unions) and registered supporters was less than Corbyn’s 59.5% in 2015, it was a resounding victory. His total vote count was higher than his hard-left predecessor.Equally significant is Starmer’s victory in Labour’s National Executive Committee, the party’s all-powerful governing body. Corbyn managed to keep an iron grip on the Labour Party, despite the opposition of many Labour lawmakers, through his control of the NEC. All three NEC seats contested at the same time as the leadership vote were won by Corbyn skeptics. Starmer now has a mandate from Labour supporters, unions and other affiliates, and a strong position on its executive.His first challenge is to clean house and restore Labour’s reputation as a tolerant, broad-church party that’s capable of governing. That won’t be possible without rooting out anti-Semitism in the party, and Starmer (a vocal advocate for tougher measures during the Corbyn era) knows it.On Tuesday, he wrote an opinion piece in London’s Evening Standard and the Jewish Chronicle ahead of the Jewish Passover, restating his apology for Labour anti-Semitism, pledging to examine and investigate all cases of anti-Semitism, to assist an investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and to bring in Jewish leaders to help train Labour officials in spotting and redressing anti-Semitism. He will, as he noted, be judged on how successfully he follows through on these pledges.In choosing his shadow cabinet, Starmer has signaled a decisive shift from the Marxist fringes of Corbynism to the soft left, and an elevation of professionalism and competence over ideology. Corbyn-era policies such as nationalizations and tax increases on the wealthy are likely to still be on the menu, but the gap between the new Tories, with their “leveling up” agenda for the English working classes, and Starmer’s Labour will narrow.A number of senior figures in the new cabinet are untested, including Anneliese Dodds, his shadow chancellor of the exchequer, an academic economist largely unknown by the public. Lisa Nandy, a 40-year-old member of Parliament who surprised many with a savvy leadership campaign and real policy depth, was rewarded with the senior post of shadow foreign secretary. Politicians supported by the powerful pro-Corbyn Unite union have been kicked out of the cabinet. But Starmer retained the services of fellow lawyer and Remain supporter Emily Thornberry, a longtime activist veteran of the Corbyn cabinet, and a sometime Corbyn critic. Starmer also rehabilitated former Labour leader Ed Miliband, whose innovative policy thinking during his time in the wilderness, will prove useful. His message in these changes is more institutional reform than policy overhaul.After the Corbyn cult of personality, a shadow cabinet that scans as professional, largely moderate and competent is no bad thing. And yet there are few charismatic voices in the new lineup. Starmer, who’s likable but a little dry, appears to have chosen a team in his own image. Still, they have plenty of time to fine-tune their pitch.Indeed, timing may be on Starmer’s side. In recent years, similar “strong and stable” types haven’t fared well in Western democracies, often losing out to more populist politicians. Perhaps the Covid-19 crisis will change that. Voters may be less inclined to take big risks on populist flamethrowers and will revert to more technocratic types.Certainly, the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the central role of government, and of public services, something Labour has long championed as Conservative governments slashed budgets. Starmer is no centrist, but he’s pragmatic, and even Labour policies such as increased wealth taxes may not look so different from the ones that Johnson’s government might need to help pay for the resulting debt.Britain’s establishment, then, has a new senior member. As leader of the opposition, Starmer will get special briefings, be privy to state secrets and be accorded other privileges. This couldn’t come at a more important time. Writing in the Sunday Times to kick off his period as Labour leader, he promised “strong, effective and responsible” opposition. If he succeeds, that’s not just good news for the party, it’s to the benefit of the country.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Therese Raphael writes editorials on European politics and economics for Bloomberg Opinion. She was editorial page editor of the Wall Street Journal Europe.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.




  • Britain's Establishment Has a New Senior Member

    Britain's Establishment Has a New Senior Member(Bloomberg Opinion) -- It seems a bleak time to make the observation that Britain is in good hands. There’s a lot to worry about: the still rising death toll from Covid-19; the strain on the National Health Service; the shortages of personal protective equipment; and the pressure on economic well-being and mental health that a prolonged period of isolation will bring. All of this while Prime Minister Boris Johnson lies in intensive care.It’s also true, as I noted yesterday, that Britain is not as well set-up constitutionally for such leadership crises as other countries. Still, the stability of the U.K.’s governing system lies in its institutions — among them, Her Majesty’s opposition, the Labour Party, which for a long time has itself been suffering from a bout of ill health. The election of Keir Starmer as Labour leader Saturday, succeeding Jeremy Corbyn, brings the hope that a party torn by factionalism, dominated by ideologues and rendered electorally impotent will again become a constructive force in British politics.Starmer’s election is a far more important development than it might seem right now. A former human rights lawyer who was a Director of Public Prosecutions, he is liked and respected on both sides of the political aisle. That’s some feat when you consider he was an ardent Remainer in the fairly evenly divided Brexit debate, is an avowed lefty who doesn’t believe in private education or private health care (though he wouldn’t abolish the right of others to such services), and was a loyal servant in Corbyn’s derided shadow cabinet. While Starmer won his constituency seat easily in the December election, his party — whose platform he defended — suffered its worst electoral drubbing since 1935.It’s too early to say that Labour has a turned a corner as a credible alternative to Johnson’s ruling Conservatives, but Starmer is firmly in the driver’s seat. While his 56.2% of total votes cast by party members, affiliates (such as trade unions) and registered supporters was less than Corbyn’s 59.5% in 2015, it was a resounding victory. His total vote count was higher than his hard-left predecessor.Equally significant is Starmer’s victory in Labour’s National Executive Committee, the party’s all-powerful governing body. Corbyn managed to keep an iron grip on the Labour Party, despite the opposition of many Labour lawmakers, through his control of the NEC. All three NEC seats contested at the same time as the leadership vote were won by Corbyn skeptics. Starmer now has a mandate from Labour supporters, unions and other affiliates, and a strong position on its executive.His first challenge is to clean house and restore Labour’s reputation as a tolerant, broad-church party that’s capable of governing. That won’t be possible without rooting out anti-Semitism in the party, and Starmer (a vocal advocate for tougher measures during the Corbyn era) knows it.On Tuesday, he wrote an opinion piece in London’s Evening Standard and the Jewish Chronicle ahead of the Jewish Passover, restating his apology for Labour anti-Semitism, pledging to examine and investigate all cases of anti-Semitism, to assist an investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and to bring in Jewish leaders to help train Labour officials in spotting and redressing anti-Semitism. He will, as he noted, be judged on how successfully he follows through on these pledges.In choosing his shadow cabinet, Starmer has signaled a decisive shift from the Marxist fringes of Corbynism to the soft left, and an elevation of professionalism and competence over ideology. Corbyn-era policies such as nationalizations and tax increases on the wealthy are likely to still be on the menu, but the gap between the new Tories, with their “leveling up” agenda for the English working classes, and Starmer’s Labour will narrow.A number of senior figures in the new cabinet are untested, including Anneliese Dodds, his shadow chancellor of the exchequer, an academic economist largely unknown by the public. Lisa Nandy, a 40-year-old member of Parliament who surprised many with a savvy leadership campaign and real policy depth, was rewarded with the senior post of shadow foreign secretary. Politicians supported by the powerful pro-Corbyn Unite union have been kicked out of the cabinet. But Starmer retained the services of fellow lawyer and Remain supporter Emily Thornberry, a longtime activist veteran of the Corbyn cabinet, and a sometime Corbyn critic. Starmer also rehabilitated former Labour leader Ed Miliband, whose innovative policy thinking during his time in the wilderness, will prove useful. His message in these changes is more institutional reform than policy overhaul.After the Corbyn cult of personality, a shadow cabinet that scans as professional, largely moderate and competent is no bad thing. And yet there are few charismatic voices in the new lineup. Starmer, who’s likable but a little dry, appears to have chosen a team in his own image. Still, they have plenty of time to fine-tune their pitch.Indeed, timing may be on Starmer’s side. In recent years, similar “strong and stable” types haven’t fared well in Western democracies, often losing out to more populist politicians. Perhaps the Covid-19 crisis will change that. Voters may be less inclined to take big risks on populist flamethrowers and will revert to more technocratic types.Certainly, the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the central role of government, and of public services, something Labour has long championed as Conservative governments slashed budgets. Starmer is no centrist, but he’s pragmatic, and even Labour policies such as increased wealth taxes may not look so different from the ones that Johnson’s government might need to help pay for the resulting debt.Britain’s establishment, then, has a new senior member. As leader of the opposition, Starmer will get special briefings, be privy to state secrets and be accorded other privileges. This couldn’t come at a more important time. Writing in the Sunday Times to kick off his period as Labour leader, he promised “strong, effective and responsible” opposition. If he succeeds, that’s not just good news for the party, it’s to the benefit of the country.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Therese Raphael writes editorials on European politics and economics for Bloomberg Opinion. She was editorial page editor of the Wall Street Journal Europe.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.




  • Tasked with schoolwork help, many US parents lack English

    Tasked with schoolwork help, many US parents lack EnglishSince her daughters' school closed for the coronavirus outbreak, Mariana Luna has been thrust into the role of their primary educator, like millions of parents across the U.S. But each day, before she can go over their schoolwork, her 9-year-old first has to help her understand what the assignments say. A Spanish speaker originally from Mexico, Luna uses Google Translate on her phone and, when she gets stuck, asks her daughter to translate instructions and emails from teachers. The shift to distance learning has created unique challenges for English language learners and their parents, who are tasked with keeping them on track despite their own struggles and lack of familiarity with the educational system.





 SfD Poll
SfD back online
don't care
great!
SfD what?
where have you been?
not needed
View Results

 Web Search
Google

 Calendar
Previous Month  April 2020  Next Month
S M T W T F S
      1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
   

Full Calendar

©2003-2016 Students for Democracy |  Site Launched: July 21, 2003

StudentsforDemocracy's validated RSS 2.0 feed

Warning: This text and the email address is not visible in a browser! Do not ever send any emails to:
advsecuj@contact.studentsfordemocracy.org