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  • Still scarred, Notre Dame lives anew in coronavirus crisis

    Golocal247.com news

    Although still damaged and scarred by fire, Notre Dame Cathedral is — if only for an instant — coming back to life as a center for prayer in a Paris locked down against the coronavirus. Just days before the first anniversary of the April 15, 2019, inferno that ravaged the beloved Paris landmark, the French capital's archbishop is leading Good Friday celebrations unlike any others that have gone before inside the centuries-old jewel of Gothic architecture. Archbishop Michel Aupetit will venerate a crown of thorns that survived the flames that brought down the cathedral's roof and spire and horrified Parisians and people across the world.

    Fri, 10 Apr 2020 05:35:42 -0400
  • EU Finance Chiefs Dodge Coronabonds in $590 Billion Rescue

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    Fri, 10 Apr 2020 05:05:38 -0400
  • New, larger wave of locusts threatens millions in Africa

    Golocal247.com news

    Weeks before the coronavirus spread through much of the world, parts of Africa were already threatened by another kind of plague, the biggest locust outbreak some countries had seen in 70 years. It is the locusts that “everyone is talking about,” said Yoweri Aboket, a farmer in Uganda. Such worries in the village of some 600 people are reflected across a large part of East Africa, including Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan.

    Fri, 10 Apr 2020 03:58:47 -0400
  • Mosques, streets quiet as Indonesia's capital tightens rules

    Golocal247.com news

    Mosques usually filled for Friday prayers and streets normally clogged with cars and motorcycles were empty as authorities in Indonesia’s capital enforced stricter measures to halt the coronavirus’ spread after deaths spiked in the past week. President Joko Widodo has ruled out a lockdown on the capital city despite the growing number of infections and has instead ordered social restrictions and mass testing. Widodo cited Indonesian's cultural characteristics and discipline and the potential economic damage for ruling out a lockdown.

    Fri, 10 Apr 2020 03:08:10 -0400
  • AP PHOTOS: Spain's elderly suffer as virus tears safety nets

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    The elderly of Barcelona’s working-class Poble Sec neighborhood, the generation who survived widespread hunger after the Spanish Civil War, started out vulnerable. Drawn to Spain’s industrial heartland a generation ago, they relied in retirement on free lunches from neighborhood social centers. Many received medical care from the local clinic, where doctors and nurses made house calls.

    Fri, 10 Apr 2020 02:56:17 -0400
  • Coronavirus in South Africa: The lull before the tsunami?

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    South Africa sees an unexpected slow-down in the daily rate of infections, writes Andrew Harding.

    Fri, 10 Apr 2020 02:53:02 -0400
  • Israelis looking out for overworked healthcare professionals

    Golocal247.com news

    While hunkering down at home and keeping three young children entertained in coronavirus isolation, Adi Karmon Scope had a thought: How much harder was it for those on the front lines of the pandemic? In Israel, more than 10,000 people have contracted the coronavirus and 92 have died.

    Fri, 10 Apr 2020 02:42:30 -0400
  • Rising from sick beds, COVID medics head back to front lines

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    PARIS (AP) — “Be strong, mum, we really love you," is what Dr. Aurelie Gouel's kids tell the ICU physician when she sets off for long hospital shifts trying to save critically ill coronavirus patients. Although aged just 4 and 6, Gouel's children are acutely aware of how dangerous the disease can be not only because their mother has briefed them but also because she is among the more than 1.6 million people worldwide who have fallen sick. Tell-tale symptoms — fever, cough, intense fatigue, difficulty breathing — floored Gouel in March.

    Fri, 10 Apr 2020 02:34:53 -0400
  • Yemen has 1st confirmed virus case, more than 10k in Israel

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    Fri, 10 Apr 2020 02:23:53 -0400
  • Good Friday observed at home as Japan virus divide surfaces

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    People around the world began observing Good Friday from the safety of their homes, as rare divisions surfaced in Japan over how to tackle the growing coronavirus outbreak there. Politicians and public health officials have warned that the hard-won gains against the pandemic must not be jeopardized by relaxing social distancing over the Easter holiday weekend. In Japan, many have criticized Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for being slow to act.

    Fri, 10 Apr 2020 02:02:50 -0400
  • In a test of faith, Christians mark Good Friday in isolation

    Golocal247.com news

    Christians are commemorating Jesus' crucifixion without the solemn church services or emotional processions of past years, marking Good Friday in a world locked down by the coronavirus pandemic. A small group of clerics are to hold a closed-door service in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, built on the site where Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and rose from the dead.

    Fri, 10 Apr 2020 01:53:41 -0400
  • EU Finance Chiefs Agree on $590 Billion Virus Rescue Package

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    (Bloomberg) -- European Union finance ministers agreed on a 540 billion-euro ($590 billion) package of measures to combat the economic fallout of the global coronavirus pandemic. It’s now up to EU leaders to approve the accord, which will require overcoming profound political disagreements.In an emergency teleconference on Thursday, finance chiefs approved a plan to stave off what’s expected to be a recession of unprecedented size. The deal will lay to rest — at least for now — concerns that the EU was incapable of uniting behind a common strategy when it was most urgently needed.In a sign of relief, ministers broke out in applause once consensus was struck.“Today we agreed on three safety nets and a plan for the recovery to ensure we grow together and not apart once the crisis is behind us,” Mario Centeno, the Portuguese finance minister who runs the so-called Eurogroup meetings, told reporters.The common response includes a joint employment insurance fund worth 100 billion euros, a European Investment Bank instrument intended to supply 200 billion euros of liquidity to companies, as well as credit lines of as much as 240 billion euros from the European Stability Mechanism — the euro area’s bailout fund — to backstop states as they go on a spending spree to help economies back on their feet.The ministers also agreed to work on a temporary fund that would help kick-start the recovery and support the hardest-hit countries while leaving how it would be financed. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the fund could be decided on in the next six months and may total 500 billion euros.All of it needs approval by government leaders as early as next week, and tensions persist. With several key divisions papered over on Thursday, disagreements are likely to resurface when leaders are called to sign off.Vulnerable UnionCovid-19 has overwhelmed Europe, with the continent suffering more than 65% of the worldwide deaths attributable to the virus. The scale of the damage shines a spotlight on the vulnerabilities of a union whose sense of common purpose has been tested over the past decade by the Greek debt crisis, an influx of refugees and then Brexit.But the coronavirus outbreak — in the words of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a veteran of many geopolitical fights — poses the biggest threat to the EU since World War II.While the virus’s reach has been indiscriminately global, most countries have acted alone and in their own interests. Europe’s more-frugal north is pitted against Italy and Spain, the worst-affected countries, in a climate of mistrust and simmering resentment.Disagreements were laid bare earlier this week when finance ministers failed to agree on a joint response after 16 hours of bitter negotiations.Things were different on Thursday. The meeting was delayed by nearly five hours while key countries including the Netherlands, Italy, France, Germany and Spain negotiated a compromise that would ultimately be uncomfortable to most, yet acceptable to all. Once the meeting started, it took just 30 minutes to declare success.A Compromise?The result was an EU compromise.The agreement on the recovery fund was a victory for countries including France, Spain and Italy, which have been pushing for it to be financed through joint debt issuance. Yet the text skirted the question of common debt and only mentioned “innovative financial instruments” — a reference that even countries like Germany, that are loath to agree to further risk sharing — could live with.The wording on the use of credit lines from the bailout fund left a lot to be desired for all camps. The conditions attached to these funds were the main sticking point earlier this week, with the Netherlands lobbying for a requirement that ensures countries return to fiscal health once the crisis is over.In the end, the Dutch got a slightly stricter commitment that countries would strengthen their “economic and financial fundamentals” once the crisis was over. Meanwhile, the lines would be able to finance “direct and indirect healthcare, cure and prevention related costs,” a likely narrower scope.As with many an EU deal, everyone claimed a victory and some of the thornier details were left to be ironed out among the leaders.‘Illegal and Senseless’Italian Finance Minister Roberto Gualtieri told his colleagues that while he backed the agreement, his prime minister would raise joint debt at the next meeting of EU leaders, according to two officials familiar with the discussions.Italy, Spain and France are among about 10 countries pushing for what has been dubbed coronabonds to help share the burden of this crisis. They’re likely to encounter resistance from fiscally hawkish northern EU countries.“We are and will remain opposed to Eurobonds,” Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra said on Twitter after the meeting. “We think this concept will not help Europe or the Netherlands in the long-term.”Some finance chiefs will have trouble selling the deal back home — especially in Italy, which doesn’t want to be seen as ceding to northern Europe at a time of national crisis when the ESM already is a target for euroskeptic politicians.Italian opposition leader Matteo Salvini said he would seek a confidence vote against Gualtieri for agreeing to Thursday’s deal.Accepting a deal involving the bailout fund would be “illegal and senseless,” putting “the savings, the property and the future of Italians at risk,” Salvini said this week.(Updates with Hoekstra tweet on final screen. An earlier version of this story corrected the spelling of the Italian finance minister’s name)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.

    Fri, 10 Apr 2020 01:06:06 -0400
  • The howling: Americans let it out from depths of pandemic

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    Fri, 10 Apr 2020 01:01:47 -0400
  • Lives Lost: At 97, World War II vet takes a final road

    Golocal247.com news

    In his final months, Bill Chambers couldn't walk, but he found peace in motion. Three times a week, his oldest daughter, Patty Cooper, would meet him at the adult family home where he lived with four other World War II veterans. The caretakers would load him into her Volvo SUV, and she would drive him through the forests, farmlands and suburbs east of Seattle.

    Fri, 10 Apr 2020 01:00:31 -0400
  • Wuhan Rent Protest Shows Unrest Brewing in China After Lockdown

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    Fri, 10 Apr 2020 00:52:09 -0400
  • Biden's next big decision: Choosing a running mate

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    Joe Biden faces the most important decision of his five-decade political career: choosing a vice president. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee expects to name a committee to vet potential running mates next week, according to three Democrats with knowledge of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal plans. Biden, a former vice president himself, has committed to picking a woman and told donors this week that his team has discussed naming a choice well ahead of the Democratic convention in August.

    Fri, 10 Apr 2020 00:46:26 -0400
  • For McConnell, virus carries echo of his boyhood polio

    Golocal247.com news

    Mitch McConnell’s earliest childhood memory is the day he left the polio treatment center at Warm Springs, Ga., for the last time. Two long years later, after shuttling young McConnell to and from the center where then-President Franklin Roosevelt received polio care, his mother was told that day that her young son would be able walk into his life without a leg brace. More than 70 years later, Senate Majority Leader McConnell walked into the U.S. Senate to pass a sweeping coronavirus rescue package — and shutter the chamber for the forseeable future — as another dangerous flu-like virus fills the nation with anxiety, quarantines and unimaginable disruptions to American life.

    Fri, 10 Apr 2020 00:17:36 -0400
  • As Trump rails against mail voting, some allies embrace it

    Golocal247.com news

    President Donald Trump is warning without evidence that expanding mail-in voting will increase voter fraud. While Trump has complained that voting by mail was “ripe for fraud," Republican state officials in Iowa, Ohio and West Virginia have all taken steps to ease access to mail-in ballots, following health officials’ warnings that voting in person can risk transmission of the deadly virus. The Republican governor of Nebraska urged voters to apply for absentee ballots.

    Fri, 10 Apr 2020 00:06:50 -0400
  • 'Everybody is very scared': Struggle to keep apart on subway

    Golocal247.com news

    They let trains that look too crowded pass by. Then they size up fellow passengers before picking the safest spot they can find to sit or stand for commutes sometimes lasting an hour or more. This quiet calculus is being performed daily by people who must keep working during the coronavirus pandemic and say the social distancing required is nearly impossible to practice in the enclosed spaces of New York City’s public transit system.

    Fri, 10 Apr 2020 00:03:23 -0400
  • Schools struggle to safely get free meals to needy students

    Golocal247.com news

    Among the biggest school districts to suspend its federally assisted meal program was in Houston, the nation's fourth-largest city, after a worker was exposed to the coronavirus. “We said, ‘Oh, my God, we have to close down because we don’t know what’s happening,'" said Betti Wiggins, nutrition services officer for the Houston Independent School District. When the program reopened this week, it had a new way of packaging and handing out food.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 23:54:40 -0400
  • Coronavirus Helps Bury Controversy in the World’s First Pandemic Election

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    (Bloomberg) -- South Korea is the first major country to hold a general election in the throes of a coronavirus crisis. That may turn out to be a boost for its president, Moon Jae-in.The election for all 300 National Assembly seats comes as Moon basks in the glow of global praise for South Korea’s approach to getting one of the world’s worst outbreaks under control without resorting to the most punitive measures. When early voting got underway Friday, the country reported 27 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, the fewest in about seven weeks.The easing Covid-19 tally has helped Moon’s Democratic Party of Korea rebuild support battered by an economic slowdown, corruption scandals involving presidential aides and resurgent tensions with North Korea. The turnaround is all the more remarkable because Moon had faced criticism for a lax approach after the epidemic began in neighboring China, having predicted that the virus would be terminated “before long” -- only to see cases spike days later.“It looked like Moon’s party was headed for a complete defeat in the election amid a fragile economic recovery,” said Kim Man-heum, head of the Korea Academy of Politics and Leadership and the author of several books on Korean politics. “Then came the coronavirus outbreak, which swallowed up all other controversies like a black hole, leaving only the government’s out-performance in the worldwide Covid-19 war visible.”The vote comes about halfway through Moon’s single, five-year term, a point when an electoral defeat made his predecessor, former President Park Geun-hye, a lame duck and ultimately paved the way for her impeachment and removal. While a win by the conservative United Future Party could open Moon to similar peril, victory by the Democratic Party would free his hand to set up a successor.If Moon can win the election without contributing to a subsequent spike in infections, he may also provide a road map for other leaders seeking to navigate a period of unprecedented economic and social upheaval. Places from U.S. states to Singapore have been currently re-evaluating their political calendars and election practices as surging coronavirus outbreaks consume the public debate and make the democratic exercises of campaigning and voting dangerous.How Kim Jong Un Keeps Advancing His Nuclear Program: QuickTakeIn South Korea, candidates have campaigned in masks and relied more heavily on video messages to reach voters. People who visit the polls will be asked to stand at least one meter (3 feet) apart, cover their faces, wear disposable gloves and be ready to submit to temperature checks. Voting booths will be subject to frequent disinfection.The decision to go ahead with voting contrasts with U.S. states that have delayed presidential primaries and France, which suspended some local elections after cases began to multiply. Singapore has held off on calling an expected vote as it orders people to stay in their homes to avoid spreading the disease. Poland plans to conduct its May 10 presidential election by mail-in ballot.The timing of South Korea’s vote appears to be working in Moon’s favor. His focus on mass testing and isolation of the sick to corral coronavirus clusters has been credited with a sharp slowdown in infection increases. While South Korea once had the second-largest case tally outside China, it was the 17th globally as of Friday, with just over 10,000 cases, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News.Moon was among the first people to cast ballots when two days of early voting started Friday. As of 10 a.m., 2.5% of the registered voters had gone to the polls, compared with 1.2% as of the same time on the first day in the previous general election four years ago, according to the national election committee. The turnout was the lowest in Daegu, South Korea’s epicenter for the virus spread.A Gallup Korea poll released last week, before restrictions on publishing poll results took effect Thursday, showed that the Democratic Party was leading the opposition 41% to 23%. Still, the complexity of South Korea’s vote and a history of surprises like Park’s shock defeat in 2016 make predictions difficult.More than 1,100 candidates from 21 political parties have signed up for 253 constituencies with direct elections. Another 300 candidates are fighting for 47 seats decided by support for the parties.“The results are often a surprise because opinion polls fail to capture each candidate’s competitiveness,” said Kim, of the Korea Academy of Politics and Leadership.Heavy HittersThe coronavirus crisis has loomed large in a closely watched race in central Seoul, a political proving ground that has produced three future presidents and is sometimes called South Korea’s “No. 1 district.” The contest features two former prime ministers -- Lee Nak-yon, of the Democratic Party, and opposition leader Hwang Kyo-ahn -- in what could be a preview of the 2022 presidential election.“Grabbing a victory here is like winning nationwide support,” said Hwang in a written reply to questions. “Only a landslide win would empower us to stop the ruling power’s policies.”Hwang’s party is pushing to take a tough line with North Korea, scrap Moon’s decision to raise the minimum wage and cut back on regulations on business.Lee declined to be interviewed. Beside pushing through a dramatic wage increase, Moon has tightened rules on urban redevelopment to rein in a property bubble and sought to wean the economy away from nuclear energy in favor of hydrogen and solar power.The Democratic Party is predicting that it will win at least 130 seats, while the United Future Party forecasts that it will take between 110 and 130 seats, according to Yonhap.However, surveys have shown about one out of five voters are undecided or unwilling to say whom they support. The threat of infection at polling station only adds to the uncertainty.“It’s highly likely to be an extremely polarized election,” said Park Won-ho, who teaches voting behavior at Seoul National University. “Only those willing to pay for the cost of a possible infection will come to the polls, which will result in over-sampling” of voters on the extreme right and left, Park said.(Updates with details on early voting)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.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 21:47:54 -0400
  • UN chief warns COVID-19 threatens global peace and security

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    Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the U.N. Security Council on Thursday that the coronavirus pandemic is threatening international peace and security — “potentially leading to an increase in social unrest and violence that would greatly undermine our ability to fight the disease.” The closed meeting was the first by the council on the pandemic and afterward it issued its first brief press statement expressing “support for all efforts of the secretary-general concerning the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to conflict-affected countries and recalled the need for unity and solidarity with all those affected.”

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 20:49:05 -0400
  • U.N. Security Council meets over coronavirus as it struggles to act

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    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 19:42:40 -0400
  • Africa's week in pictures: 3-9 April 2020

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    A selection of the best photos from across the continent this week.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 19:21:45 -0400
  • U.S. states share, get creative in hunt for medical supplies

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    With the federal stockpile drained of protective gear, states are turning to each other, private industries and anyone who can donate in a desperate bid to get respirators, gloves and other supplies to doctors, nurses and other front-line workers. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirmed Wednesday that the federal cupboard is officially bare at least through this month after it was able to fulfill just a sliver of states’ requests. Last month, President Donald Trump told governors to take care of their own needs.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 17:44:23 -0400
  • UN chief warns COVID-19 is increasing inequality for women

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    U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Thursday that the coronavirus pandemic is deepening already existing inequalities and “is having devastating social and economic consequences for women and girls” that could reverse limited progress toward gender equality over the last 25 years. The U.N. chief said in a video message and policy paper that “across every sphere, from health to the economy, security to social protection, the impacts of COVID-19 are exacerbated for women and girls simply by virtue of their sex.”

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 17:03:13 -0400
  • UN agency says 280 migrants stranded in unsafe port in Libya

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    The Libyan coast guard rescued 280 migrants in distress in the Mediterranean Sea on Thursday and diverted them to the shores of the North African country, only to have them banned from disembarking, the U.N. migration agency said. The migrants, hungry and exhausted after 72 hours at sea, remained stuck on a crowded coast guard ship overnight after being denied entry to the capital, Tripoli. Fighting has engulfed Tripoli in recent months as eastern-based forces under the command of Khalifa Hifter have escalated their year-long siege.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 16:59:19 -0400
  • AP PHOTOS: Brooklyn rabbi leads the way with virtual Seder

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    The 40-year-old self-described “liberal” Orthodox rabbi has brought his Seder to YouTube, so that Jews can mark the holiday traditionally, even without the tradition of family gatherings. Segal started conducting Friday evening Shabbat services via YouTube several weeks ago, when social distancing rules were put into place in New York.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 16:48:26 -0400
  • Biden joins growing call for release of racial data on virus

    Golocal247.com news

    Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is joining a growing call for the release of comprehensive racial data on the coronavirus pandemic, which he says has put a spotlight on inequity and the impact of “structural racism." Biden's Medium post on Thursday said he is joining Democratic congressional members Ayanna Pressley, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren and others who have also called for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies to release more data. Biden said he wants data released on income, too, to better help allocate resources to communities in need.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 16:41:35 -0400
  • As virus kills, NYC shortens deadline for claiming dead

    Golocal247.com news

    As New York City deals with a mounting coronavirus death toll and dwindling morgue space, the city has shortened the amount of time it will hold unclaimed remains before they are buried in the city's public cemetery. Under the new policy, the medical examiner’s office will keep bodies in storage for just 14 days before they’re buried in the city’s potter’s field on Hart Island. In recent days, though, burial operations have increased from one day a week to five days a week, with around 24 burials each day, said Department of Correction spokesman Jason Kersten.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 16:11:55 -0400
  • The attraction of peace to end COVID-19

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    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 15:48:01 -0400
  • Democrats renew vote-by-mail push as virus upends elections

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    Democrats want to bolster mail-in voting and take other steps to make balloting easier this November in the next round of congressional efforts to revive the economy and battle the coronavirus pandemic, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. Pelosi’s still-evolving proposals Thursday drew immediate condemnation from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, echoing President Donald Trump’s opposition to federal attempts to prod states to relax restrictions for this fall’s presidential and congressional elections. The discord underscored that a partisan battle over voting restrictions could complicate Congress’ next attempt to prop up the stalled economy and deluged health care providers.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 15:27:53 -0400
  • In Trump's Marathon Briefings, the Answers and the Message Are Often Contradictory

    Golocal247.com news

    WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump left little room for doubt. "We're going to put a hold on money spent to the WHO," he said, referring to the World Health Organization. "We're going to put a very powerful hold on it."But when he was asked a bit later whether it was the right time to delay money for the health agency in the middle of a pandemic, he denied that he said he would. "I'm not saying that I'm going to do it," he said during his news briefing Tuesday. "But we're going to look at it.""You did say you were going to do it," a reporter pointed out."No, I didn't," he said. "I said we're going to look at it."Trump does not need adversaries to dispute his statements -- he does that all by himself. In the course of his daily briefings on the coronavirus pandemic, the president has routinely contradicted himself without ever acknowledging that he does so. In the process, he sends confusing signals that other politicians, public health officials and the rest of the country are left to sort out.Trump has always been a president of contradictions: a New York mogul fond of ostentatious shows of wealth who appeals to rural working-class voters. A populist whose main recreation is golfing at one of his exclusive clubs. A self-avowed deal-maker who ends up mired in gridlock. A publicity hound who cannot get enough of the news media even as he denounces it as the "enemy of the people."That did not start when he arrived in the White House three years ago, of course.Over his decades in the public spotlight, Trump has been a little of everything, whatever he felt he needed to be depending on the moment. He has switched political parties at least five times, proclaimed himself "very pro-choice" before becoming an ardent opponent of abortion rights, supported an assault rifle ban before casting himself as a vocal champion of the Second Amendment, proposed increasing taxes on the rich before cutting taxes on the rich and boasted of raunchy exploits with women before courting the evangelical vote.But the advent of these daily briefings over the past month -- sessions that stretch for an hour, 90 minutes or even two hours -- have put the conflicts on display in a particularly stark way. The longer a briefing goes, it seems, the more likely the president is to waver from one message to the next. And then at the next briefing, the message may be different all over again, but always captured on camera and therefore difficult to deny or explain away.The briefings have grown longer since they started, and Trump's share of the time at the lectern has as well. Since mid-March, the average length of the briefings has grown from 61 minutes to 105, with the president's speaking time increasing from 20 minutes per session to 53, according to Factba.se, an organization that collects and analyzes data on the Trump administration. In the course of 28 coronavirus events, Trump has spoken a total of 18 1/2 hours.The president's words matter because, as he himself likes to note, the ratings for his briefings have been high, and for many Americans, they are the main source of their information about the pandemic.His shifting assessments of the seriousness of the virus over recent months have been well documented. Initially, he likened it to an ordinary flu that would "miraculously" go away, then he later called it "the worst thing that the country has probably ever seen" and declared "war" against the virus. Then he aimed to reopen the country by Easter, before retreating and declaring "hard days" ahead.The crossed signals over cutting finances for the WHO, however, showed that his contradictions can take place over the course of days or even within the same briefing. Only five days before vowing to review the health organization's response to the pandemic, he blasted Congress for setting up a panel to review his own administration's response to it, saying such an investigation "during a pandemic is really a big waste of vital resources, time, attention."During Tuesday's session, he launched into a long broadside against the evils of mail-in voting, which he called "a very dangerous thing for this country." Only after a reporter pointed it out did he acknowledge that he has mailed in votes himself -- as recently last month for Florida's primary.How did he reconcile that? "Because I'm allowed to," he said. "Well, that's called 'out of state.' You know, why I voted? Because I happen to be in the White House and I won't be able to go to Florida to vote."How is that different from others who cannot go in person or do not want to risk their health? To that, he said, "You get thousands and thousands of people sitting in somebody's living room, signing ballots all over the place."The president has also swung radically in his views of governors and reporters, one day praising them, the next day castigating them. "I really think the media has been very fair," he said at a briefing last month. By Monday, he no longer thought so. "I wish we had a fair media in this country, and we really don't," he said as he denounced one journalist as a "third-rate reporter" and called another one's question "horrid."What remains unclear is whether Trump does not remember saying things that he later denies saying or is trying to impose his own reality. During a telephone interview last month with Sean Hannity on Fox News, Trump assailed Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York for saying he needed 30,000 to 40,000 ventilators, suggesting that was exaggerated."I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they're going to be," the president said. "I don't believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators."When a reporter at a briefing three days later started a question by noting that "you've said repeatedly that you think that some of the equipment that governors are requesting, they don't actually need," Trump cut her off."I didn't say that," he insisted. "I didn't say that."He has also pivoted back and forth in his view of China's handling of the virus, which broke out there before coming to the United States. At first, he praised Beijing. "China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus," he wrote on Twitter on Jan. 24. "The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency."A couple of weeks later, he spoke with President Xi Jinping of China and afterward praised him as "strong, sharp and powerfully focused on leading the counterattack on the Coronavirus."But then in mid-March, after a Chinese official floated a conspiracy theory that "it might be US army who brought the epidemic" to China, Trump lashed out, referring to the "Chinese virus" and blaming Beijing for not being transparent, as he had previously said it was."It could have been stopped in its tracks," Trump said of the virus at the White House briefing on March 19. "Unfortunately, they didn't decide to make it public. But the whole world is suffering because of it."His team echoed the theme, from his secretary of state to his family. "Anyone praising China's 'leadership' in responding that the virus should be scorned for being the authoritarian/communist propagandist that they are," Donald Trump Jr., the president's eldest son, wrote on Twitter on March 26.Late that same night, however, his father spoke by telephone with Xi and then praised China's leadership."Just finished a very good conversation with President Xi of China," Trump wrote on Twitter an hour after midnight. "Discussed in great detail the CoronaVirus that is ravaging large parts of our Planet. China has been through much & has developed a strong understanding of the Virus. We are working closely together. Much respect!"By Tuesday, though, China was the foil again as Trump assailed the World Health Organization for its handling of the pandemic -- the first time he had raised the WHO on his own in all of the coronavirus briefings. The WHO's main sin, in his view, was that it was too "China-centric.""Everything seems to be very biased toward China," Trump said. "That's not right."At least as of Tuesday.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 14:55:30 -0400
  • Some churches confront virus restrictions on Easter services

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    At the holiest time of year for Christians, churches are wrestling with how to hold services amid the coronavirus outbreak, and in some cases, that has set up showdowns with local governments over restrictions that forbid large gatherings. Many churches are offering parishioners livestreaming options so they can observe Good Friday and Easter on TVs, smart phones and computers. Governors in several states have deemed church an “essential service," allowing Easter worship to proceed even as public health officials warn that large gatherings could be a major setback amid a pandemic that has killed more than 14,000 people in the U.S.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 14:19:06 -0400
  • Biden woos skeptical Sanders backers on health, college debt

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    Joe Biden attempted to lure progressives to his presidential campaign on Thursday with promises to expand Medicare and forgive college debt. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee backed lowering the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 60 while also pledging to cancel student debt for many low- and middle-income borrowers. The moves came a day after progressive leader Bernie Sanders ended his presidential campaign, leaving the relatively centrist Biden as the Democrat who will challenge President Donald Trump.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 14:00:33 -0400
  • Smart City Platform Market - Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2020 - 2025)

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    The smart city platform market is expected to register a CAGR of 49.1% in the forecast period. A smart city is a system of systems. These systems can include various facilities like building automation systems, smart transportation systems, smart lighting systems, security and control systems, intelligent grids, renewable power, water treatment, and supply, etc.Read the full report: https://www.reportlinker.com/p05865792/?utm_source=PRN - Smart cities are growing globally, due to urbanization, which is enabling the growth. According to projections by the United Nations, in India, 404 million, China, 292 million, and Nigeria, 212 million, urban dwellers are expected to be added to the existing populations by 2050.- The government initiatives and spending are also giving much more importance to platform providers as compared to standalone smart solutions because of scalability and integration of other smart solutions. According to Consumer Technology Association, smart city spending on the global scale is expected to reach USD 34.35 billion.- National governments aiding the expansion of smart city projects is also a key trend in the market. With the help of the Smart Cities and Communities European Innovation Partnership (EIP SCC), supported by the European Commission, 78 cities in the region have undertaken smart city development. EIP-SCC aims to have 300 smart cities by 2019.- However, the high costs involved in deploying the smart city platform is expected to hinder the adoption rates. Also, the inefficient utilization of resources in developing nations is hindering the market growth.Key Market TrendsSmart Governance to be the Major Application Area- Smart governance is one of the characteristics of smart cities. Smart city platform increases the efficiency of government programs and helps them reach its beneficiaries. Some smart cities are trying to put technology to use to engage their citizens is through eGovernment initiatives, which serve to improve public sector efficiency and streamline government systems to support sustainable development.- eGovernment uses online, one-step gateways for citizens to access primary government services quickly and easily. An example would be a local government keeping records of life events – births, marriages, deaths – in the cloud, rather than in paper files, for easy access for both government officials and employees.- Huawei e-Government is an integral platform for government networks, cloud, collaborative offices, multi-dimensional security, and operational efficiency. In India, Cisco has implemented solutions in areas, such as Wi-Fi, remote e-governance, and citizen kiosks, coupled with Cisco Kinetic for Cities and analytics solutions at City Command and Control Centre (C-4).- Based on the Horizon Digital Platform, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd announced the launch of the "HiCity" Intelligent City Solution that optimizes the integration of the data and a variety of ICT technologies to streamline service processes and transfer information flows, reducing the threshold for the use of new technologies and makes integration easier. Together with ecosystem partners, the company aims to better support the governance and innovation of smart cities.North America Expected to Dominate the Market- Increasing internet penetration plays a crucial role in establishing smart city platforms, as they enable IoT connections that act as a base for smart city platforms. The first line of South Korean telecom provider KT's innovative technology, 'GiGa Wire', was installed in the United States. It provides internet speed of up to 1 Gbps without any fiber-optic cable. This initiative is in line with the Boston Digital Equity Project, which is aimed to improve network infrastructure.- Furthermore, the region has a strong foothold of vendors, which contributes to the growth of the market studied. Some of these vendors include Microsoft Corporation, Cisco Systems Inc., GE Current, and IBM Corporation, among others.- In April 2019, Carbyne announced that it is working with Cisco Systems Inc. to provide cloud-based and IoT-enabled solutions for emergency dispatch centers. As a Cisco Solution Partner, Carbyne's next-generation emergency services technology may be delivered as an integrated part of Cisco Kinetic for Cities, a secure IoT data platform that offers automated data sharing across community infrastructure, smart city solutions, applications, and connected devices. Cisco Kinetic for Cities aims to enhance operational effectiveness, promote flexibility, create opportunities, and reduce the risk for ongoing smart city projects.- In March 2020, Infosys announced its partnership with Qualcomm to offer smart cities solutions through the latter's accelerator program. The program connects cities, municipalities, state-run agencies, and enterprise with Qualcomm Technologies' ecosystem to help deliver efficiencies, cost savings, and access to solutions for smart cities' problems.Competitive LandscapeThe smart city platform market is moderately fragmented with many companies providing such platforms across the globe. The market players are consistently evolving and innovating the solutions provided by them to attract the majority of the market share globally. Companies are spending huge sums of money on R&D; to innovate new solutions by integrating different technologies, making it a highly competitive market. Some companies such as Huawei is expected to experience negative impact in the market owing to US government initiated actions and as a result supply chain companies cutting the support to it.- November 2019 - Nokia together with a multidisciplinary group of companies and research groups extended its 5G smart pole project (LuxTurrim5G). Through a two-year period, investment of EUR 26 million, and intensive co-development effort, the group of 26 partners plan to target the global smart city markets that are worth tens of billions euros.- November 2019 - Microsoft announced several new features in Azure to accelerate the development and success of smart city solutions. Majority of the updates involve Azure Maps. For instance, the cloud solution now uses weather services to give cities an easy way to integrate real-time weather data into their applications. It also integrates with mobility-as-a-service company, Moovit, and visual assistance app Aira to make public transport more accessible to blind or low-vision users.Reasons to Purchase this report:- The market estimate (ME) sheet in Excel format- 3 months of analyst supportRead the full report: https://www.reportlinker.com/p05865792/?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

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 13:30:00 -0400
  • Russian Trolls Hype Coronavirus and Giuliani Conspiracies

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    Suspected Russian government trolls are trying to pin the COVID-19 pandemic on the Pentagon; hyping Rudy Giuliani’s conspiracy theories about collusion between Democrats and Ukraine; and trying to meddle in European elections, an investigation by The Daily Beast reveals.Working with researchers from the disinformation-tracking firm Graphika, The Daily Beast found at least 20 fake news articles pushed by over 40 suspected Kremlin-backed personas across dozens of social media networks like Facebook, Reddit, Medium, and smaller web forums. “This looks like a Russian disinformation operation we call ‘Secondary Infektion’ that's been running for years,” said Ben Nimmo, director of investigations at Graphika, who has been investigating the operation since Facebook exposed a first set of accounts in May 2019. “It uses blogging platforms as the soft underbelly of the internet, planting false stories based on forged documents or leaks that never happened. The fakes mostly appear designed to trigger tensions between European countries, or between Europe and the United States, but they were generally too clumsy to be believed.”Nimmo and other disinformation researchers first identified the Secondary Infektion campaign in 2019, which uses forgeries and fake articles to push Moscow-friendly propaganda through fictional personas. The troll personas and articles identified by The Daily Beast followed the same Secondary Infektion pattern identified by Graphika and others. Trolls would set up one-time-use accounts at a handful of outlets in specific places—from obscure forums like the DebatePolitics and DefendingTheTruth to larger platforms like Medium and Reddit—and post articles and forgeries in broken English just minutes after creating their accounts.The cluster of personas and articles identified by The Daily Beast date back through 2016. They add to a growing body of evidence that shows Russian information operations didn’t stop after Moscow’s interference in the last presidential campaign, but rather continued on, spreading to other countries. The trolls in this campaign forged letters and screenshots in an attempt to meddle in elections in Sweden and Latvia, touted Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s Ukraine conspiracy theories, and tried to sow confusion about a former suspect in the leak of NSA hacking tools.    Pinning COVID-19 on the PentagonAs COVID-19 ravaged China and began to spread around the globe, the State Department issued cryptic warnings in February and March that Russia was trying to pin the virus on the U.S. both through its overt and covert propaganda organs. In one February briefing, Assistant Secretary of State Philip Reeker called out the propaganda campaign in vague terms and claimed that Moscow was "once again choosing to threaten public safety by distracting from the global health response" with a COVID-19 disinformation campaign.American diplomats offered no specifics, but just a few days before Reeker’s briefing, a fake story bearing the hallmarks of Secondary Infektion trolls surfaced in Russian-language blogging platforms.The story, posted to Russian-language blogs and Reddit by multiple fake personas, tries to pin the blame on the COVID-19 outbreak on the U.S. and Kazakhstan by casting the virus as the byproduct of a U.S. nonproliferation program in the country. The trolls pointed to social media posts by a group of hackers calling themselves “Anonymous Kazakhstan.” It’s a well-documented tactic among Secondary Infektion posts, which often use fictitious Anonymous-style hacker groups from a range of different countries as the source of forged documents, according to Graphika. In this case, the authors of the story claim that, in the course of hacking employees of the U.S.-funded Central Reference Laboratory in Almaty, Kazakhstan, they discovered that the lab was responsible for the release of COVID-19 into the public.Rather than a nefarious factory for new bioweapons, the Central Reference Laboratory in Almaty is part of a U.S.-funded nonproliferation effort aimed at giving steady employment to biologists in Kazakhstan, once home to Soviet biological weapons programs, and keep them from seeking employment in rogue state or terrorist bioweapons efforts. The authors of the fake story appeared to aim at ginning up fear and opposition to the U.S. funding and warned that the fake viral leak could prompt sanctions from China, an important ally and source of investment in Kazakhstan. “This story only circulated in Russian, unlike other Secondary Infektion claims, but it was posted on exactly the same mix of blogging platforms by exactly the same sort of fake persona. If this wasn't Secondary Infektion, it was someone trying really hard to look like them," said Nimmo.Others may have reached the same conclusion as The Daily Beast. In a recent update, cybersecurity firm FireEye vaguely referenced a disinformation campaign it attributed to Secondary Infektion which included “a false hacktivist persona to spread the conspiracy theory that the U.S. developed the coronavirus in a weapons laboratory in Central Asia.” Election Meddling and Spy GamesThe trolls behind the COVID-19 article and others identified by The Daily Beast are most likely part of a well-documented group of Russia-linked disinformation actors known as Secondary Infektion. The group, labeled after the Soviet Union’s “Operation Infektion” disinformation campaign, which sought to blame the HIV/AIDS outbreak in the '80s on the U.S. military’s former biological weapons research lab, was first labeled by the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab in June 2019 after Facebook suspended a number of accounts operated by the campaign a month prior.The group typically works in three stages, according to Nimmo. Propagandists first forge documents to further their narratives and plant them on small, obscure blogging platforms with single-use accounts created on the day of posting and never used again. Next, the authors translate the articles accompanying forgeries into as many as half a dozen languages like Russian, Spanish, and German and further spread the fake stories. Finally, trolls take the articles to larger social media platforms like Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter, often creating still more single-use accounts to do it. Secondary Infektion is notable for the sweeping breadth of forums it employs in order to spread its articles. “Pretty well all serious influence operations these days are cross-platform, but Secondary Infektion took it to extremes. They worked across literally scores of sites and platforms in different languages," Nimmo explained. Researchers have tracked the campaign’s articles across scores of often niche and obscure platforms, from British college forum TheStudentRoom to an Austrian local news platform, Mein Bezirk. The network of Russian-linked trolls identified by The Daily Beast goes beyond just a single post on COVID-19 conspiracies. From at least 2016 through this year, trolls sought to spread disinformation on elections in the U.S. and Europe, pit Western countries against each other, and ruin Ukraine’s international reputation.In December 2019, as impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump took place, Russian-linked trolls spread an article that falsely claimed Democrats colluded with a former KGB officer during the 2016 elections. The article, “Former KGB agent sponsored Democrats in the 2016 election,” falsely accuses Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk of having worked for Soviet intelligence during the Cold War and financing Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.The theme of Democratic collusion with Ukraine to undermine Trump’s candidacy, often touted by President Trump and his allies, is a theme Russian intelligence operatives have pushed for years, according to The New York Times.  Relying on RudyMany of the Secondary Infektion stories used phony screengrabs or forged documents to further their narrative. By contrast, the authors of the fake KGB support story relied on the conspiracy theorizing of Rudy Giuliani and the Trump-cheering cable news channel OANN to push their story.“Rudy Giuliani's recent visit to Ukraine exposed many secrets of the Democratic Party, which is trying to distract the public from its crimes through the impeachment of the incumbent US president,” the trolls wrote alongside links to OANN’s coverage of the impeachment scandal.  The Secondary Infektion crew also ventured beyond the relitigation of America’s 2016 presidential election to meddle in elections in Europe. In advance of Sweden’s 2018 elections, the trolls used a series of fake conspiracies focused on the right wing nationalist Sweden Democrats party to interfere in Sweden’s 2018 election. Secondary Infektion propagandists forged a fake letter in stilted English purporting to show Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warning Poland’s foreign minister that “Russian special services are going to provide technical and material support to the Swedish Democrats and help them in the election campaign” as part of a hacking campaign.“It bears the digital hallmarks of forgery,” said Sam Meyer, a research associate at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Meyer ran the Pompeo letter image through the Tungstène imagery analysis software and found that the image was based on a digital template bearing the State Department letterhead and Secretary Pompeo’s signature with the text digitally added separately. Many of the the Secondary Infektion articles identified by The Daily Beast appeared aimed at dividing the U.S. from its allies in Europe. Since its forces began occupying eastern Ukraine, Russia has tried to oppose the U.S. sale of lethal aid to Ukrainian forces, particularly the Javelin anti-tank missiles which could be useful in fending off Russian armor. As the Trump administration mulled the prospect of a sale in the fall of 2017, Russian trolls published a forged screenshot pretending to come from the Twitter account of U.S.-backed Kurdish forces in Syria. “Javelins from Ukraine will help YPG/YPJ fighters defeat IS in Deir al-Zour. JazeeraStorm defeatDaesh.”Except the tweet was never sent and neither American nor Ukrainian forces ever transferred Javelins to partner forces in Syria. The apparent goal of the forgery and accompanying article was an attempt to paint the Trump administration’s arms sale to Ukraine as reckless and to create tensions between the U.S., Ukraine, and Turkey, which has strongly objected to transfers of less sophisticated arms to Kurdish forces in Syria. But not all of the articles fit into such neat thematic categories. At least one appeared aimed at diverting attention from or at least provoking confusion about a criminal case involving the theft of classified information from the National Security Agency.Federal prosecutors charged former NSA contractor Hal Martin in 2016 with unlawfully taking home vast amounts of classified NSA data. Martin had initially come under suspicion as a result of an investigation into the publication of classified NSA hacking tools released by a group calling itself “The Shadow Brokers,” which some believe may be a front for Russian intelligence. Martin was never charged with involvement in the Shadow Brokers leak. But in November 2016, a month after prosecutors arrested him, personas bearing the hallmarks of the Secondary Infektion campaign began posting articles falsely claiming that Martin had betrayed the identities of undercover CIA officers associated with the Bush-era torture program.Another Secondary Infektion article took aim at what would seem an unlikely target for the Kremlin: former Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. In 2018, while Medvedev was still serving as prime minister of Russia, the trolls used a fake screenshot of a nonexistent article from The Guardian to cast doubt on his political future, writing that Medvedev was “facing a whole bunch of problems, from lack of financing to health issues and even alcohol.” Bang for the buck?For all the effort put into the troll campaign, the impact appears to have been small to nonexistent. In 2016, IRA trolls operating Twitter and Facebook accounts racked up millions of views throughout the U.S. presidential election, but the greater scrutiny of Russian disinformation and more cautious operational security practices used by the Secondary Infektion have come at a steep cost in terms of reach.None of the articles or forgeries identified by The Daily Beast appear to have been picked up and amplified by news outlets or social media users outside of Secondary Infektion."One of the biggest mysteries about Secondary Infektion is what the operators thought they were doing,” said Nimmo. “I've never seen so little bang to the buck."In the history of documented Secondary Infektion articles, only one appears to have gained any traction—the leak of authentic U.K.-U.S. trade documents shortly before the British general election in 2019.Leaked: Secret Documents From Russia’s Election TrollsTrump’s New Favorite Channel Employs Kremlin-Paid JournalistThe reach of articles identified by The Daily Beast is much shorter. The posts, published to obscure and niche web forums like WorthyChristianForums and DefendingTheTruth, garnered just a few dozen views according to view counters available on some of the sites. Some generated agreement or at least debate among a handful of forumgoers and social media users where they were posed, but they also generated derision and skepticism as well.“Arthur,” one Reddit commenter wrote under a Secondary Infektion persona’s piece about Brexit, “you've done something that I couldn't imagine was possible. You've written a piece so poor that brexiteers and remainers can unite around how dreadful your opinions are. There's something in here to make everyone scoff.”Others social media users noticed the pattern of single-use accounts posting articles on known Russian themes and found them appropriately suspicious. “New Reddit User. 1 post. Article about the east.” a Redditor commented on a post trying to stir up tensions between Hungary and Ukraine. “You almost got me Putin.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet 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.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 13:01:28 -0400
  • Syria denies its air force is behind 2017 chemical attacks

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    Syria denounced Thursday as misleading the first report from the global chemical weapons watchdog blaming its air force for a series of attacks using sarin and chlorine on a rebel-held town in 2017. The investigative team of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said in a 82-page report issued Wednesday that the Syrian air force dropped bombs containing either chlorine or sarin on a hospital and open farmland in the central town of Latamneh, injuring over 70 people and killing at least three, a surgeon and two other people.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 12:52:51 -0400
  • No halt to culture wars during coronavirus outbreak

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    A partisan fight over voting in Wisconsin was the first issue linked to the coronavirus to make it to the Supreme Court. Efforts to limit abortion during the pandemic could eventually land in the justices' hands. The virus outbreak has put much of American life on hold, but the combatants in the nation’s culture wars aren’t taking a cease-fire.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 12:35:54 -0400
  • VIRUS DIARY: `The most Passover of Passovers I've ever had'

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    For a quarter century, the Arbel-Zvida Seder has been my constant. “Hopefully," my friend Eldan Zvida wrote to me, “it’s the 1 and only zoom Seder we will ever have to experience.” Wednesday turned out to be the most Passover of Passovers I’ve ever had.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 12:24:32 -0400
  • Hamas arrests Gaza activists after Zoom call with Israelis

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    Hamas-run security forces have arrested several peace activists in the Gaza Strip on treason charges after they took part in a web conference with Israeli activists, officials said Thursday. The Hamas-run Interior Ministry said the activists are accused of “holding a normalization activity with the Israeli occupation.” “Holding any activity or contact with the Israeli occupation under any cover is a crime punishable by law and a betrayal for the people and their sacrifices,” it said in a statement.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 12:06:58 -0400
  • UN makes new appeal for women, hard-hit by virus job losses

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    The United Nations called Thursday for women to be at the heart of economic reconstruction efforts as the world grapples with fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, warning that most women face a greater risk of poverty. Although COVID-19 mortality rates appear to affect men more than women, the pandemic "is having devastating social and economic consequences for women and girls," UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned in a statement. "I urge governments to put women and girls at the centre of their efforts to recover from COVID19, to put women’s leadership and contributions at the heart of resilience and recovery."

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 11:51:56 -0400
  • 'Afraid of hope': Frenchman shaken by fear and isolation in Iran jail

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    When French researcher Roland Marchal was thrown into prison in Iran back in June 2019, he was convinced it was all a mistake and that he would be released shortly. Marchal and his partner, fellow researcher Fariba Adelkhah, 60, were detained on accusations of plotting against national security. Abdelkhah, who was born in Tehran, remains in jail, but Marchal was freed by Iran on March 20 after France released an Iranian prisoner threatened with extradition to the United States.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 11:49:56 -0400
  • Coronavirus forces new approaches to fighting wildfires

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    They are two disasters that require opposite responses: To save lives and reduce the spread of COVID-19, people are being told to remain isolated. Wildfires have already broken out in Texas and Florida, and agencies are scrambling to finish plans for a new approach. Other proposals include limiting fire engines to a driver and one passenger, requiring other crew members to ride in additional vehicles.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 10:07:54 -0400
  • Georgia postpones primaries again because of coronavirus

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    Georgia on Thursday postponed primary elections for the second time this year because of the coronavirus, pushing back primaries scheduled for May to June. The move came a day after New Jersey and Virginia joined at least 15 other states in delaying their primaries amid the coronavirus pandemic so election officials can make preparations to address public health concerns and deal with a poll worker shortage brought on by the outbreak. “This decision allows our office and county election officials to continue to put in place contingency plans to ensure that voting can be safe and secure when in-person voting begins and prioritizes the health and safety of voters, county election officials, and poll workers," Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said in a statement.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 10:07:29 -0400
  • Seeing sickness and death, paramedic fears the toll it takes

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    Travis Kessel never imagined his work could hurt this much. The FDNY paramedic became hooked on helping people as a volunteer fireman in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy in 2012, scrapping plans to study law in college and instead pursuing a career in emergency services. The Associated Press followed 10 New York City residents on Monday, April 6, as they tried to survive another day in the city assailed by the new coronavirus.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 10:05:44 -0400
  • A city under siege: 24 hours in the fight to save New York

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    Brooklyn is dark except for the streetlamps when Carla Brown’s alarm goes off at 5:15 a.m. -- much too early for an average Monday. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has been telling New Yorkers to stay home, and it has reduced service.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 10:04:24 -0400
  • Virus-hit Wuhan cautiously revives amid thicket of controls

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    Released from their apartments after a 2 1/2-month quarantine, residents of the city where the coronavirus pandemic began are cautiously returning to shopping and strolling in the streets. Wuhan’s 11 million people still face a thicket of controls after curbs that kept most of them from leaving the sprawling city ended this week. Office buildings require visitors to show a smartphone app that tracks their health.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 09:26:58 -0400
  • WHO's new funding appeal for coronavirus fight to top $1 bln - diplomats

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    The World Health Organization (WHO) is preparing to launch an appeal soon for more than $1 billion to fund operations against the COVID-19 pandemic through year-end, diplomats told Reuters on Thursday. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a speech to diplomats issued by the United Nations agency, said it would release its latest plan "in the coming days". The campaign comes just as U.S. President Donald Trump's administration reviews its funding of the WHO, whose performance Trump has criticised.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 09:25:54 -0400
  • Glass Bottles and Containers Market - Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2020 - 2025)

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    The glass bottles and containers market was valued at USD 60.91 billion in 2019, and it is expected to reach a value of USD 77.25 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 4.13% over the forecast period 2020-2025. Glass bottles and containers are majorly used in the alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage industry, due to their ability to maintain chemical inertness, sterility, and non-permeability.Read the full report: https://www.reportlinker.com/p05865786/?utm_source=PRN - Glass packaging is 100% recyclable, which makes it a desirable packaging option from the environmental point of view. 6 tons of recycled glass directly save 6 tons of resources and reduce the emission of CO2 by 1 ton.- One of the main factors driving the growth of the market is the increase in beer consumption worldwide. Beer is one of the alcoholic beverages that use glass bottles for packaging. It is packed in dark-colored glass bottles to preserve the contents, which are prone to spoilage when exposed to UV light. Additionally, according to the NBWA Industry Affairs, 2019, the US consumers who are 21 years and older consume over 26.5 gallons of beer and cider per person annually.- Additionally, the increasing banning initiatives by the government and the related regulatory bodies for using the PET bottles and containers for drug packaging and delivery is expected to see its consumption taking a hit. This is expected to boost the demand for glass bottles and containers over the forecast period. For instance, the San Francisco Airport, as of August 2019, banned the sale of single-use plastic water bottles. This policy would be applied to all the restaurants, cafes, and vending machines, housed by the airports. This would see passengers bring their own refillable bottle, or buy a refillable aluminum or glass bottle at the airport. Such instances are expected to fuel the demand for glass bottles over the forecast period.Key Market TrendsLiquor Beverages is expected to Account for Significant Market Share- Glass is among the most preferred packaging material for packaging alcoholic beverages, such as spirits. The ability of glass bottles in preserving the aroma and flavor of the product is driving the demand. Various vendors in the market studied are also observing the increasing demand from the spirit industry. For instance, Piramal Glass, whose clients include Diageo, Bacardi, and Pernod Ricard, mentioned that it sees an increase in the demand for short-run specialty bottles for spirits.- The glass bottle is most favored in wine packaging, especially colored glass; reason being, that wine should not be exposed to sunlight; otherwise, it gets spoiled. The growing consumption of wine is expected to spearhead the glass packaging demand over the forecasted period; for instance, according to OIV, the global wine production during fiscal 2018 stood at 292.3 million hectoliters.- According to the United Nations of Fine Wines, Veganism is one of the fastest-growing wine trends and is also expected to be reflected in wine production, leading to more vegan-friendly wines, which will require the glass bottles because of zero rates of chemical reactions ensuring that the wine inside a glass bottle has its aroma, and flavor intact.Asia- Pacific is Expected to Hold the Largest Market Share- The Asia-Pacific region is expected to register a significant growth rate compared to other nations owing to an increase in demand for pharmaceutical and chemical industries, which prefers glass packaging because of the inert nature of glass bottles. China, India, Japan, and Australia among others are the prominent nations majorly contributing to the growth of the Asia Pacific glass packaging market.- In China, due to the recent regulatory changes in the country, the foreign pharmaceutical companies are facing difficulties in conducting business, especially when it comes to market entry and price control. Hence, there is a potential growth opportunity for the domestic players as they might experience an increase in demand for glass bottles and containers from these companies. Additionally, As per Brazil-based bank Banco do Nordeste, consumption of alcoholic beverages in China is expected to reach 54.12 billion liters by 2021.- The Government of India recently promoted a reduction in the usage of single-use-plastics. In September 2019, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), announced that hotels can replace plastic bottles with paper-sealed glass bottles for in-house guests as long as water safety standards are met and the bottles are not sold. On following these movements, many hotel chains in the country have been cutting down their single-use plastic consumption.- In July 2019, METI, Japan developed three new Japanese Industrial Standards and revised eight standards, for promotion of distribution of materials made by recycling of waste glass bottles and to further direct efforts for the establishment of a sustainable resource-recycling society. Major food and home products companies in Japan, such as the local subsidiary of Procter & Gamble, Lotte and Kirin Holdings, have partnered on an initiative to establish a recycling system using containers that do not include plastic.Competitive LandscapeThe glass bottles and containers market is highly competitive and fragmented. Few of the major companies in this market are Owens-Illinois Inc., Hindustan National Glass & Industries Ltd, Vitro, S.A.B. De CV, Amcor Ltd, etc. These established vendors with strong access to distribution channels have a strong foothold in the market studied.- January 2020 - Ardagh Group, Glass - North America, a business unit of the company and the largest domestic manufacturer of glass bottles for the US wine market, introduced six new sophisticated glass wine bottle designs.- October 2019 - Verallia Packaging SAS invested EUR 24 million to the reconstruction of one of the Lagnieu plant's two furnaces, specialized in the manufacture of glass food containers. This new glass furnace, which alone produces about 2 million jars per day, has been completely rebuilt, and the five production lines it supplies have been modernized. This reconstruction provided an opportunity to use the latest technologies and more modern materials, to improve the energy performance and environmental impact of the facilities, in line with the company's environmental commitments.Reasons to Purchase this report:- The market estimate (ME) sheet in Excel format- 3 months of analyst supportRead the full report: https://www.reportlinker.com/p05865786/?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

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 09:20:00 -0400
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