International News

International News (187)

26
March

Spain’s death toll from the coronavirus has surpassed the official figure from China, becoming the second highest in the world. As quoted by BBC.com (25/3) the number of deaths rose by 738 in 24 hours - a daily record - to 3,434, higher than the 683 announced in Italy. By comparison, China has officially reported 3,285 deaths, while Italy – the worst affected country – has 6,820. Spain's rate of infection has increased by a fifth and almost 27,000 people are being treated in hospital. Madrid is the country's worst affected region but Catalonia in the north-east has seen a rapid increase in cases. Spain's Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo has tested positive for the virus, the government says. She was admitted to hospital on Sunday with respiratory symptoms//BBC

26
March

There is a strong chance that the new coronavirus could return in seasonal cycles, a senior US scientist said Wednesday, underscoring the urgent need to find a vaccine and effective treatments.  As quoted by AFP.com (26/3 ) Anthony Fauci, who leads research into infectious diseases at the National Institutes of Health (NI), told a briefing the virus was beginning to take root in the southern hemisphere, where winter is on its way. he said What his side is starting to see now  in southern Africa and in the southern hemisphere countries, is that his side having cases that are appearing as they go into their winter season. And if, in fact, they have a substantial outbreak, it will be inevitable that we need to be prepared that we'll get a cycle around the second time//AFP

26
March

More than three billion people around the world were living under lockdown on Wednesday as governments stepped up their efforts against the coronavirus pandemic which has left more than 20,000 people dead. As quoted by AFP.com (26/3 ) as the number of confirmed cases worldwide soared past 450,000, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that only a concerted global effort could stop the spread of the virus. In Spain, the number of fatalities surpassed those of China, where the novel coronavirus first emerged three months ago, making it the hardest-hit nation after Italy. A total of more than 20,800 deaths have now been reported in 182 countries and territories.Stock markets rebounded after the US Congress moved closer to passing a $2.2 trillion relief package to prop up a teetering US economy//AFP

26
March

 

 

Iran's government has banned internal travel and warned of a "second wave" of its coronavirus disease outbreak, as the official death toll passed 2,000. Spokesman Ali Rabiei lamented that some people had ignored advice and travelled during the Nowruz new year holidays. As a result, he said, people would no longer be able to leave their cities and would soon face other restrictions. Iran's leaders have so far resisted imposing lockdowns despite it being one of the world's worst-hit countries. They have insisted that all necessary measures to stop the spread of Covid-19 have been taken, despite many Iranians expressing concern//BBC

25
March

A pedestrian walks past a quotation board displaying a share price of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo.

Shares in Asia have continued a global rally, as stock markets bounce back from major losses in recent days.

Expectations are growing that US lawmakers are close to agreeing an almost $2tn plan to ease the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average saw its biggest one-day gain in almost nine decades.

The moves continue a pattern of extreme volatility on financial markets as investors grapple with the effects of the outbreak.

In morning trade Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 5.4%, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 3.3%, and China's Shanghai Composite was up by 1.9%.

It continues a period of unprecedented volatility as markets react wildly to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

This month alone has seen the Dow having the five biggest daily gains and five biggest falls of its 135-year history.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged by 11.4% on Tuesday, as it saw its biggest one-day gain since 1933. (BBC)

 

25
March

President Donald Trump said on Monday (Mar 23) he is considering how to reopen the US economy when a 15-day shutdown ends next week, even as the highly contagious coronavirus is spreading rapidly and hospitals are bracing for a wave of virus-related deaths. Trump told reporters it was possible to resume economic activity in states with what he said were relatively low rates of infection, citing Nebraska, Idaho and Iowa as examples, while continuing to work on the hot zones in other states like New York.

 

"At the end of the 15th day in April, we’ll make decision as to which where we want to go, where we want to go to the timing and essentialy we’re referring to the timing of the opening, essentially the opening of our country because we have a pretty well shut down in order to get rid of this invisible enemy,"Trump told a White House news conference.

Trump, who had hoped to build his campaign for the Nov 3 election on a booming US economy, now is looking at hundreds if not thousands of deaths from COVID-19. Many of his Republican allies fear the toll on the economy would make it harder for him to win another four-year term. (CNA)

25
March

Japan's prime minister and the head of the International Olympic Committee agreed to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Games by a year.

The extraordinary move, unprecedented in peacetime, was made as the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the statement Tuesday after holding a teleconference with the Chairman of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, that this delay was needed to focus the world's attention in combating Covid-19.

 

"First of all, once again I confirmed with IOC's President Bach that there will be no cancellation on the Olympics or Paralympics. Furthermore as the host of Tokyo Olympics taking into consideration on current situation  for the atheltes and the athletes of the world for them to be able to complete in the best environment and also for the games to be one which is safe and worry free with no spectators. I asked if it would be possible in postponing the game for approximately a year. I got an answered from president Bach that he agreed 100 percent. We agreed that we will hold the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic by the Summer 2021. We agreed to stay in close contact so that we would be able to hold the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic in it's complete form so it will be a sign that humanity has overcome the new coronavirus,"said Shinzo Abe.

 

The IOC has come under increasing pressure in recent days to postpone the Games, scheduled to start on Jul 24, with 1.7 billion people across the planet in lockdown to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. An IOC member, Dick Pound said this step was taken to prevent the spread of the virus to athletes.

 

"Our responsibility is it to everybody was the weight and make sure that there was no likelihood that the games could proceed in July this year and then take the the decision in operation with the Japanese authorities that okay the public health issues override the even something as important as the Olympic we do it will come back in the Year. Hope that the viruses under better control and we can have the Olympics as an affirmation of the idea that it doesn't matter how many times you get knocked down what's really important thing is how many times you get up and carry on? So that's what we're hoping to do and I think that will be a good message if we can do it," Dick said

 

Tokyo was spending some US$12.6 billion to host the Games, according to its latest budget, and experts believe a postponement could cost it about US$6 billion in the short-term before recouping it when they eventually go ahead. (CNA)

23
March

 

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic looks at the damage from the earthquake

 

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic assesses the damage caused by the earthquake (BBC)

An earthquake has rocked Croatia's capital Zagreb, damaging buildings and leaving cars crushed by falling chunks of masonry.

A teenager is in a critical condition after a roof collapsed, local media say. The spire of the city's cathedral also snapped off.

After Sunday's tremor, Zagreb's mayor urged people to return to their homes given fears about the coronavirus.

The 5.3-magnitude quake is the largest to affect the city in 140 years.

Aside from the teenager, another sixteen people were injured.

Panicked residents ran out into the streets when it struck around 06:00 local time and were initially told to stay out by authorities.

"Keep your distance. Don't gather together. We are facing two serious crises, the earthquake and the epidemic," Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said.

However Mayor Milan Bandic later said they should return home. "Eighty per cent of Zagreb residents live in structures that have reinforced concrete structures," he said.

Several buildings were damaged, including the parliament. It will be out of action until further notice. Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic described the damage as "quite extensive".

The BBC's Guy Delauney in the region says the earthquake acted as a cue for some residents to head for their holiday homes on the coast.

But by early afternoon police had closed motorway toll booths and set up control points to prevent people entering coastal districts because of fears of spreading coronavirus, our correspondent reports.

Croatia has more than 200 Covid-19 infections.

People in southern Austria and Slovenia also felt the tremor. (BBC)

23
March

Hasil gambar untuk aland Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

New Zealand said on Monday (Mar 23) it will move to its highest alert level imposing  self-isolation, with all-non-essential services, schools and offices to be shut over the next 48 hours as the number of coronavirus cases more than double.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said these decisions will place the most significant restriction on New Zealanders' movements in modern history, but it was needed to save lives and slow the virus.

"We are all now preparing to go into self-isolation as a nation," Ardern said in a news conference. She added that without these measures tens of thousands of New Zealanders could die.

The number of coronavirus cases in New Zealand shot up to 102, more than double since Friday, as the country reported 36 new infections. New Zealand has had no deaths.

Ardern said the cabinet agreed that effective immediately, the country of 5 million people would move into alert level 3 nationwide, and after 48 hours it will be at the highest level 4. New Zealand has already closed its borders to foreigners.

Ardern said all bars, restaurants, cafes, gyms, cinemas, pools, museums, libraries, playgrounds and any other place where the public congregate must close their face-to-face function.

She said supermarkets, doctors, pharmacies, service stations, access to essential banking services will all be available throughout New Zealand at every alert level.

"If you do not have immediate needs, do not go to the supermarket. It will be there for you today, tomorrow, and the day after that," she added.

The move comes after neighbouring Australia, which has thousands of COVID-19 cases, started lockdown measures on Monday, but has stopped short of self-isolation. (CNA)

23
March

Hasil gambar untuk clockdown in us

Nearly one in three Americans was under orders on Sunday (Mar 22) to stay home to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic as Ohio, Louisiana and Delaware became the latest states to enact broad restrictions, along with the city of Philadelphia.

The three states join New York, California, Illinois, Connecticut and New Jersey, home to 101 million Americans combined, as cases nationwide topped 33,000, with more than 415 dead, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. 

"Every piece of evidence that I can lay my hands on indicates that we're at an absolutely crucial time in this war and what we do now will make all the difference in the world," said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. "What we do now will slow this invader. It will slow this invader so our healthcare system ... will have time to treat casualties."

In the US Senate, partisan disagreement blocked a massive coronavirus response bill from advancing, with Democrats saying the Republican measure focused too heavily on helping corporations. But Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer said he believed differences could be overcome in the next 24 hours.

Ohio has 351 cases and three deaths, while Louisiana has 837 cases and 20 deaths, several in a senior-care facility. Louisiana has the third-highest number of cases per capita and saw a 10-fold increase in cases in the past week, Governor John Bel Edwards said.

Ohio's order will go into effect at midnight EDT on Monday and stay in effect until Apr 6. Louisiana's order goes into effect at 5pm CDT on Monday and lasts through Apr 12. Delaware's order starts at 8am EDT on Tuesday.

Dallas County in Texas, home to more than 2.5 million people, and Philadelphia, with 1.6 million residents, told non-essential businesses on Sunday to close and residents to stay home.

In Kentucky, non-essential businesses must close by 8pm EDT on Monday but authorities stopped short of ordering residents to stay home.

Republican US Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky on Sunday became the first member of the Senate to announce he had tested positive for the coronavirus. At least two members of the House of Representatives previously said they tested positive.

Around the globe, billions are adapting to a new reality, with countries such as Italy, Spain and France on lockdown and several South American nations taking similar measures to try to stay ahead of the contagion, as global cases exceeded 325,000 and deaths topped 14,000.

The mayor of New York City, the epicentre of the nation's coronavirus epidemic, on Sunday described the outbreak as the biggest domestic crisis since the Great Depression and called for the US military to mobilise to help keep the healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed.

"If we don't get more ventilators in the next 10 days, people will die who don't have to die," said Mayor Bill de Blasio, as the nation's most populous city saw COVID-19 cases top 9,600 and deaths climb to 63.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo urged the federal government to take over the acquisition of medical supplies so states do not have to compete with each other for desperately needed resources. (CNA)

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