Bernie Sanders was talking to advisers on Wednesday as pressure mounted on the leftist Vermont senator to end his White House campaign following a drubbing by Joe Biden in the latest Democratic primaries.As the coronavirus outbreak played havoc with the primary schedule, calls grew among Democrats for Sanders to bow out to allow the centrist Biden to focus on beating President Donald Trump in November.Biden, 77, trounced Sanders, 78, in the three states which went to the polls on Tuesday — Arizona, Florida and Illinois — to build up an all-but impregnable lead in the number of delegates needed to head the Democratic ticket. Trump taunt From the White House, Trump taunted the Democrats, repeating his accusation that the party elite sabotaged Sanders — whom the president’s own campaign views as the weaker potential opponent.The Democratic National Committee “will have gotten their fondest wish and defeated Bernie Sanders, far ahead of schedule,” Trump tweeted.”Now they are doing everything possible to be nice to him in order to keep his supporters. Bernie has given up, just like he did last time. He will be dropping out soon!” Trump said, referring to Sanders’s failed fight for the nomination in 2016.Trump also appeared to be attempting to rile up Sanders’ supporters, whose willingness to transfer their support to Biden could be crucial in the November contest.Biden for his part has experienced an astonishing change of fortune — his campaign was left for dead just one month ago after poor showings in early voting states.Sanders meanwhile has struggled against perceptions that he is too far left to defeat Trump.He admitted as much last week when he said Democratic voters have told him they back his agenda of health care for all and battling income inequality, but they were voting for Biden because he has a better chance of winning back the White House. “The next primary contest is at least three weeks away,” Shakir said in a statement. “Senator Sanders is going to be having conversations with supporters to assess his campaign.”In the immediate term, however, he is focused on the government response to the coronavirus outbreak.”Several states have postponed primaries because of the pandemic and both candidates have been forced to halt public rallies and turn to virtual campaigning.Biden trounced Sanders in each of Tuesday’s battlegrounds, taking 62 percent of the vote in Florida against 23 percent for Sanders and winning by 59 percent to 36 percent in Illinois.In Arizona, Biden had nearly 44 percent to Sanders’ nearly 32 percent.Voters had also been scheduled to go to the polls in Ohio but the governor of the midwestern state postponed the election, citing the coronavirus outbreak. Topics : ‘I think it is time’ The surging Biden has now won 19 of the 27 state contests held so far.The victories underscored his position as the clear frontrunner and the eagerness of Democratic leaders and party rank and file to come together around a moderate standardbearer to challenge Trump.According to a count by RealClearPolitics, Biden has racked up 1,153 delegates to Sanders’ 874, with 1,991 needed to capture the nomination.Given Biden’s substantial lead in opinion polls in many of the states yet to hold primaries, Sanders faces an uphill battle.Former Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri urged him to drop out.”I think it is time,” McCaskill told MSNBC. “Bernie’s going to have plenty of delegates and power to influence the platform,” she said of the policies to be declared at the party’s July convention.Biden said he was closer to securing the nomination and was building “a broad coalition” that the party requires to defeat Trump.”The next president will have to salvage our reputation, rebuild confidence in our leadership, and mobilize our country and our allies to rapidly meet new challenges — like future pandemics. We need a leader who will be ready on day one,” he said in a tweet Wednesday. “The race for the nomination is over,” said Democratic strategist David Axelrod, who ran Barack Obama’s two presidential campaigns. “That is the reality Bernie Sanders faces.”While his hopes of winning the nomination may look increasingly dim, the senator strongly denied press reports that he was dropping out.”Anybody who suggests that at this point we are ending the campaign is not telling the truth,” Sanders told CNN.Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir did say, however, that the candidate was holding talks to “assess” the future.
The decree said that flights authorized by the Russian government would be exempt from the rule. The new measures do not apply to domestic flights within Russia.The government said Russians who were unable to return due to restrictions imposed by countries they are in should take measures to stay safe. The decree also called on the finance ministry to allocate funds to repatriate Russians, adding that returnees would be subject to health checks and a two-week quarantine.Russia, which has reported 658 cases of the coronavirus and announced two COVID-19 related deaths Wednesday, already closed its borders to foreigners last week. Topics : Earlier in March, Russia limited flights to and from the European Union. Russia will halt all international flights from midnight on Friday under a government decree listing new measures against the coronavirus outbreak.The decree published on Thursday orders aviation authorities to halt all regular and charter flights, with the exception of special flights evacuating Russian citizens from abroad.Russia’s civil aviation agency Rosaviatsiya will halt “regular and charter air travel from Russian airports to airports of foreign states and back,” according to the decree published on the government’s website. The grounding starts at midnight Friday, or 2100 GMT Thursday.
Backstreet sales Alice Desclaux, a doctor at the Institute of Development Research (IRD) in Senegal, said the risks from self-medication from chloroquine were largely rooted in illegal sales.”Chloroquine has always been on sale informally in Africa,” she said.”It’s still used to cause abortions” and even for attempted suicide, Desclaux said.In one backstreet pharmacy in Douala, Cameroon’s economic hub, the manager said he had run out of stock.For anyone who wished to order some, “careful, the price has gone up,” he said. A pill now changes hands for the equivalent of 71 US cents, four times more than a month ago.The chloroquine craze is not just affecting the black market for drugs — it is also spurring the production of counterfeit medications.Cameroon’s government has already issued a warning about fake chloroquine, samples of which have surfaced in health centers. Despite loud appeals for caution, Africans are rushing to embrace chloroquine, the venerable anti-malaria drug touted as a possible treatment for coronavirus.From hospitals in Senegal to pharmaceutical companies in South Africa and street sellers in Cameroon, chloroquine has fired hopes of a medicinal fix against a virus that is set to scythe through Africa’s poorly protected countries.Chloroquine and derivatives such as hydroxychloroquine have been used for decades as cheap and safe drugs against malaria, although their effectiveness in this field is now undermined by growing parasite resistance. Its rise stems partly from desperation, given Africa’s meager capacity to deal with a pandemic on the scale seen in Europe or the United States.Burkina Faso, Cameroon and South Africa have swiftly authorized hospitals to treat virus patients with the drugs.Around half of infected people in Senegal are already being prescribed hydroxychloroquine, Moussa Seydi, a professor at Dakar’s Fann Hospital, told AFP last Thursday.Every patient who was recommended the drug accepted it, “with no exceptions,” he said.In Democratic Republic of Congo, President Felix Tshisekedi last week declared it was “urgent” to produce chloroquine “in industrial quantities”.South Africa has already said it will join a large-scale trial, and one of the country’s biggest pharmaceutical companies has promised to donate half a million pills to the health authorities. Africa last in line? Even if the effectiveness of the drugs against coronavirus remains for now unproven, concern about securing enough of them already runs deep.Two decades ago, Africa, the continent worst hit by HIV, was last in line to get new antiretroviral AIDS drugs when the treatment emerged from the labs.”If it turns out that chloroquine is effective, Africa, which imports most of its drugs, perhaps won’t be a priority for (the pharmaceutical) industry,” said Professor Yap Boum of Epicenter Africa, the research arm of the medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF).France has already imposed a ban on exporting chloroquine and Morocco has requisitioned all stocks of the drug.”You won’t find any in pharmacies in Yaounde, everyone is out of stock,” Boum said, referring to the Cameroonian capital.”Local people have been buying it, apparently without prescription, which is dangerous.”The Cameroonian government has officially asked health professionals “not to yield to the desire for profit” and to avoid prescribing chloroquine preventatively.AFP correspondents report frantic demand in pharmacies in Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s economic hub, in the Angolan capital Luanda and also in Malawi — one of a handful of sub-Saharan nations where there are still no recorded cases of coronavirus.The rush is a deep source of anxiety for people with the auto-immune disease called lupus, which is also treated with chloroquine.In the Gabonese capital Libreville, Armelle Oyabi, head of an association of people with lupus, has been closely monitoring purchases at the only pharmacy left in the city that still has chloroquine.”I check that the drug is being given to people who actually need it,” she said.”If we can’t get this drug, we will not only be hit by lupus but also be more vulnerable to coronavirus.”Chloroquine has been part of the medical toolkit from before World War II — it was developed in 1934 as a synthetic derivative of quinine. Small-scale tests in China and France — either unpublished or outside the rigorous framework of mainstream drug trials — suggest that chloroquine reduces virus levels in people with coronavirus.On March 24, President Donald Trump said chloroquine could be a “gift from God” — a comment that sparked strident criticism. Health watchdogs have issued calls for caution until larger clinical trials are carried out, and there have been several recorded deaths from self-medication because of toxic side effects. Despite this, in many settings across Africa, chloroquine has been placed in the front line against coronavirus. Topics :
The National Police have decided to step up social media monitoring to conduct sweeping against what they deem to be slanders against the ruling government in relation to the coronavirus outbreak in the country, prompting critics to warn the force not to take public criticism as an insult.According to a classified police telegram dated April 4, a copy of which was obtained by The Jakarta Post, National Police chief Gen. Idham Azis called on his personnel to start cyber patrols to monitor the “development of the situation and opinion in cyberspace”. The telegram, signed by the police’s Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim) chief Comr. Gen. Listyo Sigit Prabowo, specifically ordered the monitoring of the dissemination of hoaxes surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, defamation of the President and government officials as well as online shopping scams related to the selling of protective gear, masks and hand sanitizer.It also ordered the police “to carry out strict law enforcement” against those found to have committed such actions.According to the telegram, those who spread false information related to government policies in handling the contagious disease will be subject to articles 14 and/or 15 of the Criminal Code, which carry a maximum sentence of 10 years behind bars.Those found to have insulted the President and government officials could be charged with defamation and insult under the Criminal Code’s Article 207, which carries a maximum sentence of 1.5 years in prison, while people involved in online shopping scams related to medical equipment will be charged under the 2016 Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law. Some critics, however, have raised concerns over the police’s plan as they questioned what would constitute an insult, considering that lamenting the government’s policies over the handling of the coronavirus outbreak should be seen as criticism.Read also: ‘Extremely disturbing’: Jump in Jakarta funerals raises fears of unreported COVID-19 deathsAmnesty International Indonesia executive director Usman Hamid said the plan would have an adverse effect on the country’s freedom of speech and instead would drive people to refrain from expressing their opinions for fear of being criminalized.”Many people feel at a loss amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including due to some of the government’s policies […] Without public criticism and suggestions, it will be harder for the government to know what needs to be improved in the handling of the disease,” Usman said on Monday.Members of the public have continued to voice their concerns about the pandemic on social media, including over what has been deemed the government’s slow response to the pandemic, as well as the lack of protection for medical workers, as the number of positive cases and fatalities from COVID-19 continues to surge in the country.The official government count as of Monday showed that 2,491 people in the country had been infected, while 209 people had died of the disease. Some 20 doctors in the country have reportedly died as a result of contracting the virus.Lawmaker Habiburrokhman of the House of Representatives’ Commission III overseeing legal affairs said in a hearing with Idham Azis recently that public criticism of the government or state officials was normal.“When people say the government and the House are incompetent in handling COVID-19, it is not an insult or a hoax. We have to let it go because the people are in extreme fear [of the pandemic],” the Gerindra Party politician said.Sarifuddin Suding of the National Mandate Party (PAN) said it was reasonable for the President or the government to receive criticism, both constructive and destructive.Read also: Turf war undermines COVID-19 fight in Indonesia”Criticism of the authorities is common in a democratic country like Indonesia and therefore law enforcement officials should not forbid people from making their voices heard,” he said.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s spokesperson Fadjroel Rahman had previously called on the public to hold back on negatively criticizing how the government is handling the coronavirus pandemic, saying the public should focus on following the physical distancing measures to curb the transmission of the virus.“It would be better if the negative criticism was put on hold first,” he said on March 21.As of April 3, National Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Argo Yuwono said they had processed 72 cases of false information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic across the country.He said the suspects were subject to multiple articles, including Article 45 of the ITE Law, which carries a maximum sentence of six years in prison, as well as articles 14 and 15 of the Criminal Code, which carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.United Development Party (PPP) lawmaker Arsul Sani called on the police on Monday to be careful in carrying out their duty, asking them to respect the principle of due process of law as to “avoid arbitrary law enforcement.”Topics :
Hansi Flick’s Bayern are eager to continue the trend and again assert their dominance over Dortmund, who they routed 4-0 in Munich last November.”We’re looking forward to Tuesday – I hope that we can show what makes us strong and leave Dortmund’s stadium with a smile,” added Mueller.Signal Iduna Park would normally be packed with 82,000 fans for a visit of Bayern, but the terraces will remain empty on Tuesday.”It will still be a hard day’s work,” Mueller added.”We’re marching, Dortmund is marching.”Dortmund winger Raphael Guerreiro is in form with three goals in his last two games and was on the scoresheet in Saturday’s 2-0 win at Wolfsburg. The Portugal star also netted twice in the 4-0 rout of arch rivals Schalke the previous weekend in the Ruhr derby.Dortmund are waiting on the fitness of key defender Mats Hummels, who injured his Achilles’ tendon at Wolfsburg.In the Bayern camp, midfielder Thiago Alcantara has a groin strain while centre-back Jerome Boateng picked up a leg knock on Saturday.Having beaten Bayern 2-0 at home in the pre-season Super Cup match last August and 3-2 in the league in November 2018, Dortmund are eager to again send the Bavarians home disappointed.”I hope we can get the next victory,” said Dortmund’s Swiss centre-back Manuel Akanji.”Since I’ve been here, we’ve always lost to Bayern away, but won at home. I want to keep this series going.”Tuesday’s showdown will also pit the league’s top-scorer Robert Lewandowski, 31, who has scored 27 goals in 25 games for Bayern, against his former club.For the hosts, Norwegian sensation Erling Braut Haaland, 19, has scored ten goals in as many league games since joining Dortmund in January from Salzburg.Haaland and Lewandowski have exactly the same record – 41 goals from 35 games in all competitions this season.England winger Jadon Sancho came off the bench to set up Achrif Hakimi for the second goal in Wolfsburg.Dortmund coach Lucien Favre has hinted the 20-year-old could start against Bayern.On Wednesday, third-placed RB Leipzig host Hertha Berlin in the day’s key game.Germany striker Timo Werner warmed up with a hat-trick in Sunday’s 5-0 thumping of Mainz.He had also scored a hat-trick in an 8-0 mauling of Mainz last November.Topics : Bayern Munich aim to continue the Bundesliga’s current trend of teams winning on the road behind closed doors when they face Borussia Dortmund in a potential title decider on Tuesday.Leaders Bayern arrive at second-placed Dortmund four points clear and on course for an eighth straight title.”For us this is a very decisive week,” insisted Bayern forward Thomas Mueller. “We’ve clearly set ourselves the goal of three victories this week and taking a giant step forward” towards the league title. Bayern warmed-up by beating Eintracht Frankfurt 5-2 at the weekend and also host relegation-threatened Fortuna Duesseldorf this Saturday.Since the Bundesliga resumed ten days ago, behind locked doors due to the coronavirus, home advantage has counted for little with 10 of the 18 games played won by the away team.Bayern and Dortmund are among only three clubs — the other being Hertha Berlin who thrashed neighbours FC Union 4-0 on Friday — to have won at home since the restart.
Topics : Replacing dead users Vinayak Prasad, coordinator of the WHO’s No Tobacco Unit, said the industry was spending $1 million per hour on marketing.”They’re doing it to find replacement users: eight million premature deaths each year,” he said.Data from 39 countries showed that around nine percent of children aged 13 to 15 were now using e-cigarettes, while a huge increase in their use had been witnessed in the United States, said the WHO.As for claims that e-cigarettes are safer, Krech said: “All tobacco products are harmful.”Adriana Blanco Marquizo, who heads the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, added: “Smoking a cigarette is so dangerous, it’s very difficult to find something that is more dangerous.”The physician said the prevalence of smoking was going down but also, the absolute number of smokers was declining for the first time, despite the global population increasing. “WHO calls on all sectors to help stop marketing tactics of tobacco and related industries that prey on children and young people,” the UN health agency said.”The tactics are very mean by the tobacco industry,” said Rudiger Krech, the WHO’s director of health promotion.”In some countries where it’s not regulated you find tobacco products close to candy in the supermarkets,” he told a virtual press briefing.”You find ‘advisers’ going into schools to educate young children on using e-cigarettes; you find giving out free cigarettes in developing countries. Tobacco companies are deliberately using “deadly” tactics to target children and get them hooked on smoking, the World Health Organization said Friday.The WHO said cigarette firms were still trying out all manner of ways to get youngsters lighting up — and it was no accident that the vast majority of smokers start before they turn 18.Ahead of its World No Tobacco Day on Sunday, the WHO said 44 million children aged 13 to 15 were smoking, while many more pre-teens could be added to that number. “They’re targeting these children and adolescents. Ninety percent of all smokers start before 18, and that’s deliberate: it’s not a mistake.”What they do is deadly.” Logo on face masks Krech said that during the coronavirus lockdown, there had been a “huge uptake” of people trying to give up smoking — and the industry had responded.During the COVID-19 crisis, some tobacco companies have been putting their logo on free face masks.The industry has offered doorstep delivery during quarantine and, in some countries, lobbied for tobacco products to be listed as “essential”, the WHO claimed.”They see their market go, so that’s why they don’t leave anything open where they can interfere,” said Krech.The WHO on Friday launched a classroom toolkit aimed youngsters aged 13-17 to show them how the tobacco industry tries to “manipulate them into using deadly products”.It also called on social media platforms to ban the marketing of tobacco products.Blanco Marquizo said that adolescents could be empowered to protect themselves “when they understand the intentions of an industry that really wants them hooked in an addictive behavior just in order to keep their profits”.Nicholas Martinez, a 17-year-old from Florida’s 6,500-strong group Students Working Against Tobacco, said it was “the only product that if you use it the right way — the way it’s intended — it will kill you.”It’s a cool thing? It’s more cool to be smart, and alive when everybody else is dead,” he said.
Spain reported the steepest daily jump in coronavirus infections in over two months on Thursday, with 580 new cases registered as of the previous day, up from 390 reported on Wednesday and with the regions of Aragon and Catalonia leading the increase.Authorities have reimposed restrictions in some areas of Catalonia, including home confinement in the Lleida area affecting some 160,000 people, and health officials there said measures would have to be taken in the capital Barcelona, but gave no further details.Over 170 localized outbreaks have emerged across Spain since it lifted its nationwide lockdown – one of the strictest in Europe, on June 21, with Catalonia at the epicenter of new outbreaks. Spain’s health ministry put the number of cases confirmed over the past 24 hours in the region at 142, up from 91 the previous day. In Aragon in the east, the number of infections jumped to 266 from 160, according to the health ministry.The Catalan health authority, which counts both confirmed and suspected cases, said the number soared to 1,293 overnight, the highest since at least May 18, when the counting methodology changed.The Catalan capital – home to 1.6 million people and one of Europe’s most visited cities – tripled its number of coronavirus cases from last week.Authorities have also imposed some restrictions in three neighborhoods of a Barcelona suburb that houses some 260,000 people. Topics :
Thousands of people marched in the Russian far eastern city of Khabarovsk on Saturday for the fourth weekend in a row, protesting at President Vladimir Putin’s handling of a local political crisis.Residents of Khabarovsk, around 3,800 miles (6,110 km) and seven time zones east of Moscow, are unhappy about the July 9 detention of the wider region’s popular regional governor, Sergei Furgal, who was arrested on murder charges he denies.His detention, which his supporters say was politically motivated, has triggered weeks of street protests, creating a headache for the Kremlin which is trying to troubleshoot a sharp COVID-19-induced drop in real incomes and keep a lid on unrest as the economy stutters. City authorities estimated around 3,500 people had taken part. Some local media put the number at around 10,000 or higher, but said the crowds were smaller than one week ago.The protests have highlighted anger among some in the far east over what they see as policies emanating from detached Moscow-based authorities on the other side of the country.Supporters of Furgal, the arrested governor and a member of the nationalist LDPR party, feel he is being belatedly punished for defeating a candidate from the ruling pro-Putin United Russia party in 2018. The Kremlin says Furgal has serious charges to answer.Such sustained demonstrations are unusual for Russia’s regions, as is the fact that the authorities have not yet moved to break them up.Putin has named a new acting governor, but protesters say he has no connection with the region and have called on him to step down too. Topics : Sheltering from sporadic and heavy rain beneath umbrellas, protesters chanted “Freedom!” and “We came here of our own will.”One banner read “Russia without Putin” and protesters chanted “Putin resign!”Read also: One sole Russian region says ‘nyet’ to Putin, defying the KremlinMany held up placards in solidarity with the arrested governor, reading “I am/We are Sergei Furgal”. Some marchers wore face masks with the same slogan.
“A week after the blast, the World Health Organization is still concerned about the health and wellbeing of people who were injured, lost loved ones, or became homeless, and it’s expected (that) recovery from the psychological pain from the blast will last much longer,” said Rana Hajjeh, WHO’s regional programme director.”In particular, we are concerned about the return of COVID-19 in Lebanon. We have launched an appeal for $76 million, and ask the international community to support the Lebanese people and show solidarity with them in every way possible.”The loss of hospital beds had “clear implications for the management of COVID as well as other medical conditions”, said Richard Brennan, WHO’s regional emergency director.Initial results from an assessment of 55 primary healthcare clinics and centers across Beirut showed just over half are not functioning, with the remainder functioning at varying levels, Brennan said.The WHO has so far brought in 25 tons of personal protective equipment (PPE), distributed trauma and surgical supplies to 2,000 patients at 10 hospitals, and is working with at least 11 emergency medical teams that have arrived from overseas, officials said. Topics : The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday it had appealed for $76 million in aid for Lebanon after last week’s massive explosion in Beirut destroyed or damaged hospitals, clinics and medical supplies.Lebanon was already struggling with a financial crisis and a rise in the number of new coronavirus cases before the Aug. 4 explosion in the capital’s port area that left at least 171 dead and injured some 6,000.The blast put three hospitals out of operation and has left three others working at partial capacity, reducing the number of beds in public and private hospitals by 500-600, WHO officials told an online press conference.
To counter a slump in exports and the retail sector, the government said it planned to boost spending on welfare and jobs by 10.7%, and allocate 11.9% more on social infrastructure projects.The central bank kept interest rates steady on Thursday, but sharply downgraded its 2020 growth outlook. The Bank of Korea said gross domestic product would likely shrink 1.3% in 2020 – the biggest contraction in more than two decades – from a previous forecast for a 0.2% decline.In the latest blow to economic activity, a minor league baseball pitcher tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday, casting doubt on the rest of the sport’s season, Yonhap news agency reported.In late July fans had been allowed to attend baseball games in limited numbers, but with the rising number of infections, stadiums were once again closed to fans by mid-August. “[Some] downturns are inevitable in the real economy due to the tightened preventive measures,” Vice Finance Minister Kim Yong-beam said at a policy meeting.In an unprecedented move for South Korea, the government on Friday restricted the operation of restaurants, coffee shops and so-called cram schools in the greater Seoul area. Churches, nightclubs and most public schools had already been ordered to close.The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 235 new coronavirus cases as of midnight Monday, bringing the country’s total to 20,182 cases and 324 deaths.Daily cases have dropped slightly for five straight days, although they have remained in the low-hundreds for nearly three weeks as a second wave of infections sweeps through densely populated Seoul and spreads around the country. Topics : Measures imposed in South Korea to blunt a surge in coronavirus cases will hurt Asia’s fourth-biggest economy, the government warned on Tuesday, after unprecedented restrictions went into effect in Seoul and surrounding areas.South Korea’s economy shrunk by a seasonally adjusted 3.2% in the April-June period from the previous quarter, revised central bank data showed, the sharpest contraction since the final quarter of 2008. South Korean exports fell for a sixth straight month in August.The government unveiled plans to increase spending aggressively for the next few years and said it was prepared to boost policy support should the rate of infection worsen significantly.