Taking too long? Close loading screen.
Connect with us

World

Ousted director of vaccine agency calls out Trump’s ‘deadly’ message

Published

on

People wearing face masks stand on an escalator in a subway station on September 16, 2020, in Prague, Czech Republic. 
People wearing face masks stand on an escalator in a subway station on September 16, 2020, in Prague, Czech Republic.  Gabriel Kuchta/Getty Images

The Czech Republic on Thursday announced a slew of new restrictions in an effort to curb the rapid spread of coronavirus in the country and ease the strain on health care services.

All the restrictions, announced at a government news conference Thursday, will remain in effect for two weeks. 

From Friday and for two weeks, all restaurants and bars will close at 8 p.m. local time and tables can seat no more than four people.

Starting Monday, all universities and higher education institutions will close but primary and secondary schools will rotate classes.

Pools, gyms and fitness centers must close effectively immediately. All indoor professional and leisure sports are banned and outdoor sports will be limited to 20 people.

Shopping malls will remain open but will shut Wi-Fi services to deter teens, with tables inside the food court limited to two people maximum.

Cultural and leisure facilities like theaters and cinemas will close from Monday. Weddings will be limited to 30 people.

All nonessential visits to hospitals and social institutions like care homes are also banned.

By the numbers: The Czech Republic reported at least 5,335 new Covid-19 cases Wednesday, the country’s highest daily case count since the pandemic began. With that, the country has now overtaken Spain as the European Union’s country with the highest number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 of the population. 

There has now been a total of 95,360 cases, and 829 coronavirus deaths in the central European country, according to Johns Hopkins University.

 

Source

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

World

Thailand shuts down online TV channel, as protests continue

Published

on

Thai protesters raised three-finger salutes to the national anthem at public places across Bangkok on Tuesday as anti-government rallies continued and the government ordered an online TV channel to close over its coverage of the demonstrations.

The authorities imposed emergency measures banning gatherings of more than four people last Thursday amid growing protests against the government and monarchy.

But protests have only grown despite a crackdown in which dozens have been detained.

Two protest leaders – Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak and Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul – were arrested on Tuesday on new charges as soon as a court freed them bail in relation to a previous set of charges.

“This is not a leaderless protest, but everybody is a leader,” Tattep “Ford” Ruangprapaikitseree told reporters at the Siam Paragon mall, where dozens of people gave the salute borrowed from The Hunger Games.

“It’s not anarchy. Everybody has judgement and will do what is reasonable,” said Ford, who has already been arrested twice since the protests began.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s cabinet agreed to an emergency session of parliament next week because of the crisis, but he has said he will not quit – as the protesters have demanded. Prayuth’s supporters have a majority in parliament.

Protesters also want changes to the constitution and a reduction in the powers of the monarchy under King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

The emergency measures only appear to have stoked public anger, but Tuesday turned out to be the quietest day on the streets since the decree was imposed with only a few hundred gathering.

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights said they would be filing a suit with six students and other human rights groups on Wednesday to revoke the declaration and seek an injunction to prevent government crackdowns.

Voice TV silenced

Earlier, a court ordered the suspension of Voice TV, an online broadcaster critical of the government.

Voice TV had been found to have breached the Computer Crime Act by uploading “false information,” digital ministry spokesman Putchapong Nodthaisong said.

Editor-in-Chief of Voice TV Rittikorn Mahakhachabhorn said it would continue broadcasting until the court order arrived.

“We insist that we have been operating based on journalistic principles and we will continue our work presently,” he said.

Voice TV was one of four media organisations under investigation for their coverage of the continuing protest movement. Many have been reporting the protests live on Facebook and other social media platforms.

The channel is part-owned by the Shinawatra family of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his sister Yingluck, who was overthrown by Prayuth in a 2014 coup. Both fled Thailand to escape corruption cases they branded political.

The demonstrations have been largely led by students and young people in contrast with 10 years of street violence between supporters of Thaksin and conservative royalists before Prayuth seized power.

The prime minister on Tuesday accused media outlets of spreading false news.

“Media freedom is important but in some cases there are some media outlets disseminating distorted information that is inciting unrest,” he said after a court order following a complaint from the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society.

The court ruling comes a day after the same ministry said it had flagged more than 325,000 messages on social media platforms that violated the Computer Crimes Act, which critics say is used to muzzle dissent.

Amnesty International accused the authorities of “scare tactics” by ordering the closure of Voice TV.

“The harassment of media outlets is just one facet of the Thai authorities current assault on communications channels, alongside threats to block the messaging platform Telegram and use of the Computer Crimes Act, among other laws, against people for what they post and share online,” Amnesty’s Deputy Regional Director for Campaigns Ming Yu Hah said in a statement.

Human Rights Watch said the closure of Voice TV was a misuse of the emergency decree and noted that the channel had been a target of censorship more than any other TV station in the country.

“The crackdown is part of a bigger effort to bully and control the media into becoming a government mouthpiece,” the group’s Asia Director, Brad Adams, said in a statement.

The Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand expressed deep concern that the Royal Thai Police was investigating Voice TV, along with online media outlets Prachatai, The Reporters and The Standard.

“A free media is an essential element in any democratic society and bona fide journalists should be allowed to report important developments without the threats of bans, suspensions, censorships or prosecution hanging over them,” the club said.

The court has yet to announce its decision on the other three media organisations.

Source

Continue Reading

World

US says nearly 300,000 excess deaths in 2020 as COVID-19 rages

Published

on

CDC analysis shows excess deaths were highest among Hispanic and Black people, and those aged between 25 and 44.

Nearly 300,000 more people have died in the United States during this year’s coronavirus pandemic than would be expected during a typical year, with at least two-thirds thought to be caused by COVID-19, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a report released on Tuesday.

The CDC said 299,028 more people died between January 26 and October 3 than the average numbers from the previous four years (2015 – 2019) would have indicated.

That compares with about 216,000 COVID-19 deaths reported by October 15.

“This might underestimate the total impact of the pandemic on mortality,” it said.

The report found excess deaths have occurred in the US every week since March 2020 reaching a peak in the weeks ended April 11 and August 8. Excess deaths are defined as the number of people who have died from all causes, in excess of the expected number of deaths for a given place and time.

In some countries, operations have been deferred and access to treatment for other illnesses has become more difficult as hospitals have struggled to cope with the burden of treating those with COVID-19. Fear of contracting the disease has also made some people wary of seeking treatment.

“Estimates of excess deaths attributed to COVID-19 might underestimate the actual number directly attributable to COVID-19 because deaths from other causes might represent misclassified COVID-19 related deaths or deaths indirectly caused by the pandemic,” the report noted.

“Specifically, deaths from circulatory diseases, Alzheimer disease and dementia, and respiratory diseases have increased in 2020 relative to past years, and it is unclear to what extent these represent misclassified COVID-19 deaths or deaths indirectly related to the pandemic (because of disruptions in health care access or utilization).”

More younger deaths

The US is battling a resurgence of the coronavirus, which has pushed the number of daily cases to levels not seen since July, at a time when the weather is getting colder and people are spending more time indoors.

The CDC data shows disproportionate increases in excess deaths among Hispanic and Black people – groups who are more likely to develop severe complications from COVID-19.

The largest average percentage increase in deaths occurred among Hispanic people (53.6 percent), with deaths 32.9 percent above average among Black people and 36.6 percent above average for Asians. For white people, deaths were 11.9 percent higher.

The CDC said the largest percentage increase in excess deaths from all causes was among adults aged 25–44 years: 26.5 percent.

“The age distribution of COVID-19 deaths shifted towards younger age groups from May through August,” the report noted, but said more studies were needed to assess the extent to which the increase in deaths was driven by the coronavirus or other causes.

The US has reported 220,921 deaths from COVID-19, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.

The country’s confirmed caseload and death toll are the highest in the world and the government’s handling of the pandemic has become a key issue in the presidential elections that take place on November 3.

Source

Continue Reading

World

Human remains found in Tulsa could be victims of racist massacre

Published

on

At least one set of human remains, possibly two, found as search for victims of the 1921 racial massacre continues.

One set of human remains, and perhaps a second, have been found in a Tulsa cemetery where investigators are searching for victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, Oklahoma State Archaeologist Kary Stackelbeck said on Tuesday.

“We do have one confirmed individual and the possibility of a second” body found, Stackelbeck said. “We are still in the process of analysing those remains to the best of our ability … We don’t have a whole lot of details,” Stackelbeck said.

The confirmed human remains were found little more than 90 centimetres (three feet) underground in an area known as the “Original 18”, where funeral home records show massacre victims are buried.

It is not yet known if the remains, which were found in a wooden coffin, are of a victim of the massacre, Stackelbeck said.

“We are still analysing what has come out of the ground at this point in time and so no, unfortunately, we have not been able to assess the trauma at this point in time, or potential trauma,” that would indicate the person was among the massacre victims.

A group of National Guard Troops, carrying rifles with bayonets attached, escort unarmed African American men to the detention centre at Convention Hall, after the Tulsa Race Massacre, Tulsa, Oklahoma, June 1921 [Oklahoma Historical Society via Getty Images]

After an examination of the remains, they will be returned to the coffin and reburied, Stackelbeck said.

Tulsa Mayor GT Bynum, who first proposed looking for victims of the violence in 2018 and later budgeted $100,000 to fund it after previous searches failed to find victims, has said efforts will be made to find any descendants of the victims who are identified.

Oaklawn Cemetery in north Tulsa, where a search for remains of victims ended without success in July and where the excavation resumed on Monday, is near the Greenwood District where the massacre took place.

The violence took place on May 31 and June 1 in 1921, when a white mob attacked Tulsa’s Black Wall Street, killing an estimated 300, mostly Black, people and wounding 800 more while robbing and burning businesses, homes and churches.

The massacre – which happened two years after what is known as the “Red Summer”, when hundreds of African Americans died at the hands of white mobs in violence around the US – has been depicted in recent HBO shows, Watchmen, and, Lovecraft County.

Source

Continue Reading

Trending