Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Thursday decreed that face masks must be worn in all counties with over 20 coronavirus cases, billing the measure as a requirement to avoid another economic shutdown.Wearing face coverings to slow the spread of the coronavirus is unpopular among Abbott’s conservative Republican base in Texas, but he said in a video released on Thursday that the action was now absolutely necessary.”In the past few weeks, there has been a swift and substantial spike in coronavirus cases,” Abbott said. “We need to refocus on slowing the spread. But this time, we want to do it without closing down Texas again.” Face masks must be used in all public buildings and outside when social distancing of at least six feet (2 meters) cannot be maintained, the governor said. Those violating the order will be given one warning. After that, they can be issued a fine of up to $250. Nobody can be jailed for defying the order, he said.About a third of the 254 counties in Texas have reported fewer than 20 coronavirus cases – making them exempt from the order.The governor also gave local authorities the ability to ban outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people.On Sunday, a far-right anti-mask rally was held on the grounds of the Texas Capitol attended by about 150 people. After avoiding major outbreaks in April and May, Texas has become a coronavirus hotspot. It reported nearly 8,000 new infections on Thursday.The rate of people testing positive for the virus has gone from 4.5% in late May to 14%, Abbott said. Hospitalizations averaged less than 1,700 per day in late May. By Thursday it was about 5,700 daily.”These spikes are not just limited to the big cities,” Abbott said. “Ninety-one counties had record high numbers [of cases] in the past three days.”Abbott’s order marks a major reversal. For over two months, he ignored calls by the Democratic leaders of Texas’ metropolitan areas to mandate mask wearing.He refused to allow leaders in Houston to enforce their own face-covering mandate with penalties, undercutting their ability to slow the spread of the virus. Hospital officials in Houston have said intensive care beds there are now in short supply.Abbott said he is not issuing a stay-at-home order, but is asking people to remain home if at all possible.”We must do more to slow the spread without locking Texas back down,” Abbott said. “We are now at a point where the virus is spreading so fast, there is little margin for error.” Topics :
The opening of the hospital comes a day after city leader Carrie Lam announced the postponement of upcoming legislative elections for a year, saying that the decision is purely protecting public health and has “nothing to do with politics”.More than 2,000 new infections have been detected since the start of July — 60 percent of the total since the virus first hit the city in late January. The new makeshift hospital set up at the city’s AsiaWorld-Expo exhibition center near the airport, will take in COVID-19 patients aged from 18 to 60. Read also: Hong Kong opens dining in shelters as residents struggle with restaurant ban “Our goal is to triage the patients from the community and provide them with appropriate treatment and hospitalization arrangement,” Dr Larry Lee from the Hospital Authority told media, adding that around 20 to 30 patients are expected to be admitted on the first day.Lee said that arriving patients will go through X-rays as well as blood, saliva and heart tests. If found unstable, patients will be sent to hospitals while stable ones will get treatment and put under medical observation at the facility.New daily infections have been above 100 for the past 10 days with total infection numbers rising to 3,272 on Friday. The death toll rose from seven to 29 in July.China has offered to send mainland testing staff to the city to carry out “large scale nucleic acid testing”. In a Saturday statement, the National Health Commission of China (NHC) said it has set up a team comprised of 60 clinical laboratory staff and an “advance unit” will arrive in the city on Sunday. Topics : Hong Kong opened a temporary field hospital with 500 beds on Saturday to house stable COVID-19 patients as the city battles a new wave of virus infections.The financial hub had been a poster child for tackling the coronavirus, with local transmissions all but ended by early summer.But since July the pathogen has returned, with some cases brought in by the tens of thousands of people who were exempted from a mandatory quarantine imposed on most arrivals.
Former world leaders called on Tuesday for urgent global action to stop coronavirus creating a “COVID generation” with millions of children deprived of education and forced into marriage and work.As lockdowns end, they urged governments to invest in catch-up programs to prevent irretrievable damage to children’s futures.”We cannot stand by and allow these young people to be robbed of their education and a fair chance in life,” said the letter signed by 275 former world leaders, economists and educationalists. Signatories included former UN chief Ban Ki-Moon, former Irish president Mary Robinson, former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark and former British prime ministers Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and John Major.Of particular concern are an estimated 30 million children who may never return to school despite lockdowns ending.”For these, the world’s least advantaged children, education is often the only escape from poverty – a route that is in danger of closing,” said the letter addressed to G20 heads, governments, the World Bank, IMF and development banks.”Many … are adolescent girls for whom being in school is the best defense against forced marriage and the best hope for a life of expanded opportunity.” Topics : Worldwide, an estimated 12 million girls are wed every year before the age of 18 – nearly one girl every three seconds.UN experts have predicted the pandemic could lead to an extra 13 million child marriages over the next decade. https://news.trust.org/item/20200630031603-bkf90The former leaders and economists said many other out-of-school children risked being forced into exploitative and dangerous labor.UN agencies say the number of child laborers worldwide has dropped to 152 million from 246 million in 2000, but fear the pandemic could spur the first uptick in child labor in 20 years as families struggle to survive the economic fallout.The former leaders warned that the education emergency would jeopardize global goals to end poverty and inequality by 2030 and could set back progress on gender equity by years.More than a billion children are still out of school because of lockdowns, the letter said. While many have benefited from e-learning, lack of internet access has left the poorest shut out of education.School closures have also increased hunger, with 300 million children losing free school meals.The former leaders warned that education spending in low and middle-income countries faced $100-150 billion in cuts.They urged G20 heads, national governments and global financial institutions to back an emergency plan including the protection of frontline national education budgets, debt relief for poor countries and increased multilateral aid.The letter also called for more support for online learning, personalized learning, teacher training, cash assistance for poor families, and safer schools that meet social distancing rules.
The government will prioritize medical workers as well as police and military personnel in the provision of a COVID-19 vaccine once it is widely available as part of the government’s vaccination strategy, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir has said. “We will prioritize those working on the front line [during the COVID-19 pandemic]. It maybe too early to say this as we don’t have a vaccine yet. However, we need to have a strategy,” he said on Friday, as quoted by kompas.com.Erick, who also helms the national COVID-19 mitigation and national economic recovery committee, said people who lived in high-risk areas would also be prioritized. Read also: Nine reasons you can be optimistic that a vaccine for COVID-19 will be widely available in 2021The minister said the government had prepared two schemes for the mass COVID-19 vaccination program.The first is to provide free vaccinations for National Health Insurance (BPJS Kesehatan) beneficiaries. Erick said 221 million people were registered under the program.“However, we need to look at the list to prioritize those who can’t pay,” said Erick.The second scheme is a paid vaccination program for people who can pay. According to the government’s estimation, each person would need to pay US$30 for two vaccinations.The government previously announced that Indonesia had secured at least 300 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine, following ministerial visits to China and the United Arab Emirates.Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said the country had secured a commitment to be sent 20-30 million doses by the end of this year, while the remaining would be sent gradually until the end of next year. (vny)Topics :
Forgot Password ? LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Topics : Linkedin Facebook Google economic-contraction recession COVID-19 Indonesia Sri-Mulyani-Indrawati 1998-crisis consumption vaccine Log in with your social account Indonesia’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) is set to contract for the first time since the 1998 Asian financial crisis as the government struggles to control the COVID-19 pandemic and contain its economic fallout.Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the government had revised its gross domestic product (GDP) outlook down to an annual contraction of between 0.6 percent and 1.7 percent as the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic had taken a significant toll on consumption and business investment.The country’s economy shrank by 13.13 percent in 1998 before rebounding to 0.79 percent growth the next year.“Several indicators of economic activity show that the economic recovery is still at a very early stage and remains very fragile,” Sri Mulyani told reporters during a virtual press conference on Tuesday. “We will continue to use the state…
The two sides accused each other of targeting civilian areas, as the conflict appeared to be widening a week after heavy fighting broke out in the decades-old dispute over Karabakh.Armenia and Azerbaijan have resisted international calls for a ceasefire and clashes have intensified in recent days, with both sides claiming victories on the front and saying they are inflicting heavy losses.Sirens were sounding and explosions were heard at regular intervals in Stepanakert, where residents were taking shelter including several families in the basement of a church.Armenia’s foreign ministry said Stepanakert and the town of Martakert were under rocket attack and accused Azerbaijani forces of “the deliberate targeting of the civilian population.” Armenian and Azerbaijani forces exchanged rocket fire as fighting intensified over Nagorno-Karabakh on Sunday, with the breakaway region’s capital and Azerbaijan’s second-largest city bombarded.Yerevan said Nagorno-Karabakh’s main city Stepanakert, which has been under artillery fire since Friday, was hit again on Sunday and AFP journalists said there were regular explosions and smoke rising in parts of the city.Azerbaijan’s defense ministry said Ganja, a city of more than 330,000 in western Azerbaijan, was also “under fire” while separatist forces claimed to have destroyed an airbase there. It said the air force was also involved. Drones could be heard flying over Stepanakert.Azerbaijan said Ganja was under fire, including from areas outside of Karabakh.”Armenian forces struck Ganja with rockets from Armenian territory,” said Hikmet Hajiyev, an advisor to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. He said Armenian forces had also used heavy artillery and rockets against the towns of Terter and Goradiz in Azerbaijan.Karabakh’s separatist forces said they had targeted and destroyed an airbase in Ganja, while the region’s leader, Arayik Harutyunyan, warned that it would now consider “military facilities in Azerbaijan’s big cities” as legitimate targets.”I call on the residents of these cities to immediately leave,” Harutyunyan said in a post on Facebook.Azerbaijan claims to have made gains in Karabakh in recent days, with its defense ministry saying that 14 settlements have been taken as well as a strategically important plateau.In an address to the country on Saturday, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said Armenians were facing a “decisive moment” and called for the nation to come together.Armenia on Saturday announced the deaths of 51 more separatist fighters, taking the number of reported fatalities on both sides above 240, including more than 30 civilians.Russia, the United States and France – whose leaders co-chair a mediation group that has failed to bring about a political resolution to the conflict – have called for an immediate halt to the fighting.Armenia has said it is “ready to engage” with mediators but Azerbaijan – which considers Karabakh under Armenian occupation – has said Armenian forces must fully withdraw before a ceasefire can be brokered.Karabakh’s declaration of independence from Azerbaijan during the collapse of the Soviet Union sparked a war in the early 1990s that claimed 30,000 lives.Talks to resolve the conflict have made little progress since a 1994 ceasefire agreement.The breakaway province is not acknowledged as independent by any country – including Armenia – and Karabakh said Saturday that international recognition was “the only way towards peace and security in the region”.Yerevan has accused Turkey of dispatching mercenaries from Syria and Libya to the fighting – an allegation confirmed and denounced by Russia and France. Topics :
Comment Metro Sport ReporterSunday 23 Aug 2020 7:31 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link9.2kShares Arsenal make contact with Bayern Munich over Liverpool transfer target Thiago Alcantara Thiago is a wanted man (Picture: Getty)Arsenal have reportedly enquired about the availability of Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, with Liverpool facing competition over his signature. The Spain international, who will be involved in Sunday night’s Champions League final against Paris Saint-Germain, looked set for a move to Anfield this summer but a deal has yet to be completed. He has one year left on his contract with the German giants, who are keen to sell him this summer rather than lose him on a free transfer at the end of next season.Bayern are demanding £23million for the 29-year-old, which Liverpool deem excessive seeing as they could approach him in January to discuss a Bosman. AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTWith Liverpool stalling over a deal, Arsenal have made an approach as Mikel Arteta looks to add to his squad, according to the Daily Mail. They also want his price to be reduced. Advertisement Arteta is interested in Thiago (Picture: Arsenal FC via Getty)The Gunners will look to offload the likes of Lucas Torreira and Mohamed Elneny in order to help fund the move.Per Mertesacker, the head of Arsenal’s academy, warned Thiago he would have to adapt if he moved to Anfield.‘I can already imagine the transfer, but the midfield axis of Liverpool is set up, Mertesacker told Goal and SPOX. ‘Getting in there is very ambitious, but he’s a top footballer who can play anywhere. More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal‘He wouldn’t have any problems with the style of play in England either because he’s a well-trained footballer.‘He has to adapt and sometimes do a 40-metre sprint to hit a central defender, but he can. ‘He has to decide for himself, as it may well be that he won’t play a major role in the first games in Liverpool. There are still a few players ahead of him because of their achievements over the past two years.’MORE: What Jurgen Klopp must do before Liverpool can complete Thiago transferMORE: Liverpool unwilling to meet Bayern Munich’s asking price for Thiago AlcantaraFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Advertisement
August 27, 2015 Pennsylvania Launches Online Voter Registration to Increase Efficiency and Offer Convenience SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Efficiency, GO-TIME, Government That Works, Innovation, Results, Voting & Elections Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of State Pedro Cortés today announced that Pennsylvania is the latest state to launch the convenient option of registering online to vote.The online registration application, hosted by the Department of State, is now available for use by eligible citizens at register.votesPA.com.“Online Voter Registration is about making the voting experience more convenient and more accessible,” Governor Wolf said. “It is about giving citizens an easier way to exercise their right to vote and establishing a clearer connection between the political system and the citizens. Online voter registration is secure, it improves accuracy and will reduce costs for counties by cutting down on time-consuming data entry.”Online voter registration (OVR) is currently available in 22 states, with the measure approved but not yet implemented in another five states plus the District of Columbia.“As elsewhere, Pennsylvanians have grown accustomed to doing business online, whether it is shopping, banking or filing their tax returns,” Sec. Cortés said. “As a natural extension, they want the convenience of registering to vote using their own computer or mobile device. Online voter registration makes the process more accessible and accurate.”The new site, available in English or Spanish, also allows currently registered voters to more easily make updates to their voter record, such as a change of name, address or party affiliation. Additionally, registered voters may use the new site to request assistance at the polling place.“OVR has support from county election officials because it will improve accuracy, increase the integrity of the voting rolls, reduce time-consuming data entry and yield considerable cost savings,” Sec. Cortés said.A May 2015 report by the Pew Charitable Trusts said states using online voter registration had seen per-application savings ranging from $0.50 to $2.34. In Arizona, which in 2002 became the first state to implement online voter registration, election officials report their cost is 3 cents for each online application versus 83 cents for a traditional paper form.“Pennsylvania’s counties have the primary responsibility for managing voter registration and conducting our elections, and we strongly support measures such as this that facilitate and improve our citizens’ access to the polls,” said Lancaster County Commissioner Craig Lehman, President of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania.When an applicant completes the online form, the information is forwarded directly to the appropriate county voter registration office for processing. There, election staff will find that electronic application eliminates the problem of trying to decipher often illegible handwriting. Additionally, county election staff will not have to follow up on missing information on the electronic applications, because the online form cannot be submitted if any required data fields have not been completed.Counties will receive the applications through the same system which currently forwards Motor Voter applications from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, so there was minimal training needed for county election workers.The online system is more secure for applicants because the form will be transmitted directly to the proper county voter registration office for processing. In contrast, a traditional paper application containing personal information might pass through several hands before the registration is complete.The latest protocols in data security have been built into the system and will be constantly monitored and updated. The Pew study reported that there have been no security breaches in any of the states already using an online system.Because the online voter registration site is directly linked to PennDOT’s Motor Voter system, if an applicant has a driver’s license or PennDOT ID card, the signature already on file with PennDOT can immediately be linked to the voter record.Applicants who do not have a driver’s license or PennDOT ID card will be able to print, sign and mail the completed online application to their county voter registration office. If they are not able to print the application, they may request that the Department of State mail them a signature card to complete and return to their county office.To learn more about online voter registration, visit www.votesPA.com. Click here for online voter registration frequently asked questions.