Italy leaning toward extending lockdown to early May

first_imgItalian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is leaning toward extending the country’s lockdown to early May, with only minimal concessions to business demands to allow more companies to resume normal operations.Italy, the original epicenter of the virus in Europe, must weigh the increasing economic pain of restrictions that are slowly starting to contain the contagion against the risk of relaxing curbs too early and allowing a second wave of infections. While other countries, such as Austria and Denmark, have mapped out plans to ease some of their restrictions, Italy, together with Germany, is the first major European economy to do so.Current containment measures, which include a ban on all non-essential economic activity and the closure of most shops, are currently scheduled to run until April 13. Conte is inclined to keep those restrictions fundamentally unchanged, according to three trade union and business representatives that met with him on Thursday. The premier is expected to announce the new extension of the lockdown as early as Friday, according to two officials. Any slight easing will be gradual and on a regional basis, according to the officials, who declined to be named in line with policy.Italy recorded a second straight increase in the number of new infections on Thursday, with 4,204 case compared with 3,836 Wednesday. The pickup came amid a surge in testing to discover previously undetected cases, with almost 100,000 tests in the last 2 days.The government’s emergency committee of medical and scientific advisers is working to prepare for relaxing the lockdown, Giovanni Rezza, head of the infectious diseases department at Rome’s national health institute ISS, said in an interview.“We’re focusing on issues including sector-by-sector professions and the risks of contagion involved,” said Rezza, a member of the committee. The advisers are drawing up different categories according to protection measures and to what extent professions involve close social contact.Businesses that could be allowed to open beginning April 14 include bookshops and stationary stores, agricultural machinery makers, forestry companies and perhaps sellers of baby clothes, according to newspaper Corriere della Sera.“Faced with an epidemic of this proportion, I’d tend to trust the viral experts,” Deputy Finance Minister Antonio Misiani said on Thursday. “The sooner we get the health situation under control, the sooner we can get the economic engine started again.”Topics :last_img read more

N.Korea steps up coronavirus prevention after first possible infection

first_imgTopics : North Korea introduced tougher prevention measures against the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, state media reported, after it locked down the border town of Kaesong to tackle what could be its first publicly confirmed case of the respiratory disease.Strict quarantine measures and the screening of districts were in progress, and test kits, protective clothing, and medical equipment were being rapidly supplied, the North’s KCNA state news agency said.The measures come after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared an emergency on Sunday after a person suspected of being infected with the virus returned from South Korea. North Korea said earlier this month it has started early clinical trial on a vaccine for the virus, but experts are skeptical.The country lacks the technology or laboratories to develop COVID-19 vaccines, said Choi Jung-hun, a former North Korean doctor who defected to the South in 2012.”North Korea wasn’t even capable of testing people just until three or four months ago,” said Choi, now a researcher at Korea University. “It is groundless for them to claim they are enrolling participants for human trials of COVID-19 vaccines.”center_img North Korea had reported testing 1,211 people for the virus as of July 16 with all returning negative results, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement sent to Reuters on Monday. The report said 696 nationals were under quarantine.Primers and probes for machines capable of facilitating 1,000 tests have arrived in North Korea, WHO said. There are 15 laboratories designated to test COVID-19 in the country.North Korea has a limited healthcare system with hospitals that lack adequate electricity, medicine, and water. It has long depended on the WHO to procure drugs as sanctions against the country made imports difficult.In the past months, it received test kits and protective gear from the WHO and countries including Russia, but some of these were held up at the border because of the country’s own restrictions.last_img read more

Guyana to host 2022 CARIFTA Games

first_img… Hutson calls 2021 games cancellation ‘a blessing in disguise’By Rawle ToneyWITH this year’s CARIFTA Games being cancelled by North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association, Guyana’s hosting of the 50th edition will now be shifted to 2022. The 49th edition of the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) Games would have been held April 10-13 in Bermuda, but, due to the Caribbean, like the rest of the world battling the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisers had to move the event to 2021; the same year that was designated for Guyana to host one of the most prestigious youth track and field events in the world.In an exclusive interview with Chronicle Sport, president of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG), Aubrey Hutson, noted that the move can be seen as a blessing in disguise for his local organising committee, especially taking the country’s current political climate into consideration.Hutson related that on April 9 via an online meeting amongst the executives of the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association, the custodians of the CARIFTA Games, unanimously agreed that the COVID-19 virus has placed everyone at a disadvantage.“Ironically, this is going to give Guyana an opportunity to showcase our ability to host these games at a level that is expected from us; it is going to be the 50th year of the CARIFTA Games, so for me it is better for us to agree to that position (hosting it in 2022),” Hutson said.The AAG president further noted, “…also, with the current political situation in Guyana and the global economic crisis that is taking place, it gives our sponsors as well a little more elbow room, for the stabilisation of the world’s economies to understand where Guyana is as a player in the global market and how effective sponsoring CARIFTA 2022 can have on their businesses.”President of the North and Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Track and Field Association, Mike Sands, in a statement, said his Association also took into account the impact on government and private sector plans and budgets for 2020 and perhaps, beyond, as well as the uncertainty in respect of the re-convening of international travel.Sands highlighted that the closure of schools and sports facilities thereby impacting athletes’ ability to train and adequately prepare for a delayed edition of the CARIFTA Games in 2020 along with delayed examinations for students at the pre-College stage of their careersWorld Athletics has already announced the postponement and/or cancellation of several of its own competitions for 2020, including the World Junior (U-20) Championships, with Sands relating that “the Executive therefore agreed to have me, in my capacity as president, to engage in discussions with our member federation in Bermuda, the government of Bermuda, the National Olympic Committee (the local representative of Pan Am Sports) as well as sponsors of the Games of 2020, to ascertain their thinking in respect of the postponement of the Games to Easter of 2021.”Sands, who along with NACAC General Secretary Keith Joseph had visited Guyana in January, reminded that discussions had begun with all stakeholders in Guyana, craving their understanding and support, given that Bermuda did nothing to lose the annual event and is therefore deserving of being given the opportunity to make good on its commitment, albeit, one year later.“The NACAC executive believes that our decision is in the best collective interest of our CARIFTA family and allows us all an opportunity to support both Bermuda and Guyana in the face of these most trying times.“We have an excellent opportunity to work more deliberately together, to show to the world that our annual CARFITA Games is indeed, the very best junior track and field competition, globally.”Guyana is a founding-member of CARIFTA, and in 1972, the games were initiated to mark the Caribbean Free Trade Association’s transition to CARICOM.The 2017 CARIFTA Games will go down as one of the country’s most memorable outings, given the fact that they were able to bag eight medals – four gold, three bronze and one silver.It was at the 46th edition of the games, hosted in Curacao, where Linden’s Compton Caesar created history, by winning Guyana’s first-ever gold medal in the 100m at the event.last_img read more

LaMarcus Aldridge turns down Lakers, who make deal for Pacers’ Hibbert

first_imgThe Lakers officially missed out on their top free-agent target, sending a prideful organization into another summer tailspin.LaMarcus Aldridge agreed to a four-year deal worth $80 million with San Antonio on Saturday, according to an NBA source, giving Kobe Bryant even more reason to view the Spurs with envy for their endless continuity. “I’m happy to say I’m going home to Texas and will be a Spur!!” Aldridge wrote on Twitter. “I’m excited to join the team and be close to my family and friends.”The Lakers were hardly excited to hear this news. They already experienced a devastating week of free agency that included Greg Monroe and DeAndre Jordan expressing no thanks to the Lakers’ pitches. Published accounts said Aldridge walked away from the Lakers’ two-hour meeting Tuesday unimpressed with the team’s pitch, believing it focused too much on Hollywood style over X’s and O’s substance. Although the Lakers landed a second meeting with Aldridge on Thursday just to talk about basketball-related issues, that could not sway Aldridge, who was also courted by Phoenix, Portland, Miami and Toronto.There is also a sense Aldridge granted the Lakers’ request for a second meeting just so a historically successful franchise could save face. Aldridge’s rejection also continues a three-year-long trend in which the Lakers have whiffed out on their free-agent targets. Dwight Howard defected to Houston two years ago for less money for reasons including a younger roster, Kobe Bryant’s demanding personality and Mike D’Antoni’s coaching philosophy. Unlike Aldridge, Carmelo Anthony reported feeling impressed with the Lakers’ branding presentation last year that included a four-minute trailer on his life, made by movie producer Joel Silver. But Anthony still stayed in New York.Shortly after, Pau Gasol took less money to go to Chicago, his concerns over the Lakers’ rebuilding and endless trade rumors factored in more than any nostalgia over winning two NBA titles here. The Lakers also could not land in-person meetings last year with LeBron James or this year with Kevin Love and Marc Gasol. As for Aldridge, he had plenty of better options than the Lakers, including Phoenix, Houston and Miami. But Aldridge joined San Antonio partly in hopes that he and Kawhi Leonard could become the franchise’s future following Duncan’s eventual retirement. Aldridge could have carried the same torch under Bryant, but his future elicits far more question marks. Bryant has suffered three season-ending injuries in consecutive years. After the Lakers granted him a two-year, $48.5 million extension before returning from an injured left Achilles tendon on Dec. 2013, the Lakers have only had enough cap space to offer one max contract. With the Lakers determined to dance with the stars in free agency, they have lost out on second-tier talent. They could not retain sharpshooter Jodie Meeks in 2014 and emerging big man Ed Davis this past season. The Lakers also declined to pursue point guard Eric Bledsoe in 2014 and center Robin Lopez in 2015. The Lakers have $23 million to spend on underwhelming options. Other available free-agent big men include Kosta Koufas, Amare Stoudemire and Jason Smith. The Lakers could re-sign some of their own free agents, including Wayne Ellington or Jordan Hill.The Lakers have not revisited trade talks with the Sacramento Kings about All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins, according to a league source familiar with the situation. The Kings are currently not looking to trade Cousins, either. But to sway Sacramento’s opinion, the Lakers would have to offer plenty of their young talent. That would include Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson, if not more in future draft picks. Regardless of how that plays out, that won’t erase the sting of another top free agent saying no thanks to the Lakers, a disturbing trend for a franchise that usually could land stars anytime it asked. However, the Lakers have apparently found a bandage for their wound.The Lakers reached an agreement with the Indiana Pacers for center Roy Hibbert, a former All-Star who faced a diminished role. Terms of the deal haven’t been decided and the trade can’t be completed until July 9, when the NBA moratorium is lifted.Aldridge’s rejection seemed even more painful for a few reasons. The 29-year-old Aldridge averaged a career 23.4 points 10.2 rebounds per game last season, while making the All-Star team for a fourth consecutive year. With the Lakers choosing point guard D’Angelo Russell with the second pick of the 2015 NBA Draft over Duke’s Jahlil Okafor, the Lakers were left without a definitive post presence. The Lakers’ lone big men, Robert Sacre and Tarik Black, have a combined four years of NBA experience. Aldridge’s case also raised questions about whether the Lakers have not adjusted to an evolving NBA landscape.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Tejinder Pal and Jinson Johnson both bow out of World Athletics Championship

first_imgAdvertisement 7jNBA Finals | Brooklyn VstrxpbWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Eu246z( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) bl0Would you ever consider trying this?😱rg4Can your students do this? 🌚dye8aRoller skating! Powered by Firework Tejinder Pal Singh Toor and Jinson Johnson went out of World Athletics Championship in the qualification round. Both the athletes won Gold medals in Asian Games. Tejinder Pal Singh Toor tried hard and he pulled off a season best effort. However he was not able to qualify to the next round of the competition.Advertisement On the other hand, it was not the day for the star runner Jinson Johnson who failed to live up to the expectation level. The star runner won gold medal in the Asian Games in Jakarta. The top six participants from all the heat rounds and the next top six participants were chosen for the semifinal round of the World Athletics Championship.Advertisement Tejinder Pal Singh Toor did not start the first round very well and he had to pay for it at the end. Tejinder’s first hit was 20.43 metre long. It was a better version of his season’s best 20.39 metre. In the second round, his hit was disqualified. So, in the final round of the World Athletics Championship, he had to throw it beyond 20.90 metres which would have created a new National record. However, it did not come up like that and he failed to qualify for the next round.Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra pulls out of the Asian Athletics ChampionshipsAdvertisement Advertisementlast_img read more