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Coronavirus shuts down major cities, Trump asks Americans to avoid groups over 10 people

By on May 18, 2021

first_imgjarun011/iStock(NEW YORK) — Major cities are shutting down restaurants, bars, gyms and schools to try to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has killed at least 85 people in the United States.There are at least 4,661 confirmed cases in the country. COVID-19 has reached 49 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.Globally, there are more than 181,580 coronavirus cases and more than 7,130 deaths, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Here’s how the news unfolded Monday. All times Eastern:10:30 p.m. Colorado is latest state to close bars, eliminate dining inColorado joined the list of states that are closing food and entertainment businesses as U.S. public life grinds to a halt.Health officials in Colorado announced they are closing bars, restaurants, gyms, theaters and casinos effective at 8 a.m. Tuesday for 30 days.“We understand the gravity of this public health order, and the disruption it will cause,” Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said in a statement Monday. “But we are weighing this disruption against the need to save lives. Based on the experience of other countries, the state of Washington, and modeling data, the sooner we begin social distancing measures on a large enough scale, the more quickly we can slow transmission of the virus, which translates into less people requiring hospitalization at the same time and more lives saved.”Major cities including Washington, D.C., and Houston rolled out similar restrictions earlier Monday. The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut also announced that they would abide by the same rules for closures.The three states agreed to close gyms, movie theaters and casinos as of 8 p.m. Monday, with all restaurants and bars restricted to takeout and delivery only.7:30 p.m. Thousands of McDonald’s expected to close dining areasMcDonald’s officials said they plan to close the dining rooms in all company-owned U.S. locations at the close of business on Monday, and they have asked local franchise owners to do the same.“To align with increasing regulations throughout the country, effective at the close of business today, McDonald’s USA company-owned restaurants will close seating areas, including the use of self-service beverage bars and kiosks, and shift our focus to serving customers through Drive-Thru, walk-in take-out and McDelivery,” the company said in a statement Monday night.The fast-food giant will also close all of its play places after Monday.McDonald’s, which owns about 5 percent of its nearly 14,000 U.S. restaurants, said franchise owners are “strongly encouraged to adopt similar operations procedures.”“Franchisees are strongly encouraged to adopt similar operations procedures while keeping the needs of their people and communities at the center of their decisions,” the statement said. “This guidance is supported by franchisee leadership and is expected to be adopted by the majority of franchisees.”Starbucks, Chick-fil-A and Taco Bell are among the chains that are also reducing or eliminating on-site dining during the COVID-19 outbreak.6:15 p.m. Justice Department cracking down on COVID-19 scamsThe attorney general is directing states to prioritize the prosecution of scammers, fraudsters and cybercriminals looking to exploit the COVID-19 crisis.“The pandemic is dangerous enough without wrongdoers seeking to profit from public panic and this sort of conduct cannot be tolerated,” U.S. Attorney General William Barr wrote in a memo sent to U.S. attorneys offices around the country Monday evening. “Every U.S. attorney’s office is thus hereby directed to prioritize the detection, investigation, and prosecution of all criminal conduct related to the current pandemic.”The memo also asks U.S. attorneys to work with the chief judges in their districts “to ensure that every appropriate precaution is taken to protect the health of those who practice in or are called before our courts.”“It is vital that we work together to safeguard our justice system and thus the safety and security of our nation,” Barr said.4:59 p.m. Major shutdowns in DC, LA, Maryland, Washington stateMore states are forcing their establishments to close their doors Monday.In Washington, D.C., where there are 17 coronavirus cases, all gyms and theaters are closing as of 10 p.m. Monday.Bars and restaurants will remain open for carry-out or delivery only.Maryland shut down all bars, restaurants, theaters and gyms beginning at 5 p.m. Monday, the governor said. Drive through, carryout and delivery food services will still be allowed.“It’s impossible to know how long the threat will continue,” Gov. Larry Hogan said. “We can’t afford to wait to take action.”Washington state is also shuttering its entertainment venues and recreational facilities, as well as limiting restaurants to delivery and take-out. The ban does not apply to grocery stores and pharmacies.Washington state has been especially hard-hit by the coronavirus with at least 42 fatalities.Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti also took action. The nation’s second largest city is closing bars, nightclubs, entertainment venues and gyms until at least March 31.Restaurants will remain open only for takeout and delivery.Grocery stores, pharmacies and food banks will remain open, the mayor said.The announcement included a moratorium on evictions for renters.At least one person has died in Los Angeles County.4:12 p.m.: Restrictions in France, Canada, UK, AustraliaFrench President Emmanuel Macron announced that “the borders at the entrance to the EU and the Schengen area will be closed” starting Tuesday at noon.“We are at war,” Macron repeated in his televised address Monday.All trips between non-European and European countries will be suspended for 30 days, but French nationals will be allowed to return to France.Canada is barring foreigners and non-residents from entry, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.He said exemptions will be made for diplomats, air crews, some family members and for now, American citizens.Starting Thursday only four airports in Canada will accept international flights: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary.Trudeau is self-isolating after his wife tested positive for coronavirus.United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday asked the entire U.K. population to voluntarily avoid unnecessary travel, social contact, bars, restaurants and theaters.Those over 70 years old and with underlying conditions are especially vulnerable to coronavirus, so Johnson is asking them to self-isolate at home from the end of this week for a period of 12 weeks.Johnson said if one family member contracts coronavirus, the whole family should self-isolate for 14 days.Meanwhile, the Australian government is requiring citizens and foreign nationals to self-quarantine for 14-days upon entry.4:02 p.m.: Residents must shelter in place in Northern CaliforniaAll residents are being ordered to shelter at home in six counties in the San Francisco area.Travel must be limited to only essential needs for three weeks beginning March 17 in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.“Temporarily changing our routine is absolutely necessary to slow the spread of this pandemic,” Santa Clara County public health officer Dr. Sara Cody said in a statement. “The Health Officers from the largest jurisdictions in the San Francisco Bay Area are united and we are taking this step together to offer the best protection to our respective communities.”“It is not complete social shutdown,” Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County’s public health officer, added in the statement. “You can still complete your most essential outings or even engage in outdoor activity, so long as you avoid close contact.” 3:43 p.m.: Trump asks Americans to avoid restaurants, groups more than 10President Donald Trump on Monday urged all Americans to avoid restaurants, bars, discretionary travel and groups of more than 10 people.His administration released a list of guidelines Monday that included staying home and away from others if you are older or have a serious underlying health condition that could put you at increased risk.A nationwide quarantine is not being considered “at this point,” Trump said at a briefing at the White House Monday.3:20 p.m.: Suspicious cyberactivity targets Department of Health and Human ServicesThe Department of Health and Human Services experienced suspicious cyberactivity Sunday night related to its coronavirus response, administration sources confirmed to ABC News Monday.The suspicious activity HHS was not a hack but it may have been a distributed denial of service — or DDOS — attack, according to multiple sources.The distinction is important because there was no apparent breach of the HHS system, which could interfere with critical functions of the lead agency responding to the coronavirus contagion. The DDOS effort apparently had automated users — called bots — trying to overwhelm the public-facing HHS system in order to slow it down or even paralyze it.Officials believe any coordinated effort — if there was one — was not particularly successful and are satisfied that the system was not significantly affected.HHS spokesperson Caitlin Oakley said in a statement: “HHS has an IT infrastructure with risk-based security controls continuously monitored in order to detect and address cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities. On Sunday, we became aware of a significant increase in activity on HHS cyber infrastructure and are fully operational as we actively investigate the matter.”“Early on while preparing and responding to COVID-19, HHS put extra protections in place,” Oakley added.2:25 p.m. MLB pushes back seasonMajor League Baseball is pushing back the start of the season until at least mid-May due to the CDC restricting events of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks.1:50 p.m.: Canada bans foreigners from entryCanada is barring foreigners and non-residents from entry, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.He said exemptions will be made for diplomats, air crews, some family members and for now, American citizens.Starting Thursday only four airports in Canada will accept international flights: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary.Trudeau is self-isolating after his wife tested positive for coronavirus.1:45 p.m.: Restrictions in the UKUnited Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday asked the entire U.K. population to voluntarily avoid unnecessary travel, social contact, bars, restaurants and theaters.Those over 70 years old and with underlying conditions are especially vulnerable to coronavirus, so Johnson is asking them to self-isolate at home from the end of this week for a period of 12 weeks.Johnson said if one family member contracts coronavirus, the whole family should self-isolate for 14 days.1:30 p.m.: Italy’s death toll passes 2,000In the last 24 hours, 349 people have died from COVID-19 in Italy, bringing the country’s total number of fatalities to 2,158, according to the country’s Civil Protection Agency.Italy has recorded the highest number of deaths from coronavirus following China.As the number of coronavirus cases rises, why is Italy being hit so hard?Italy has a total of 27,980 confirmed in-country coronavirus cases.Residents of Italy remain under a mandated lockdown.12:33 p.m.: Cyberattack on Health and Human ServicesThe Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) experienced a form of cyberattack Sunday night related to its coronavirus response in an attempt to slow down its operations, administration sources confirmed to ABC News Monday.The assault targeting HHS was not a hack but a distributed denial of service — or DDOS — attack, according to multiple sources.The distinction is important because there was no apparent breach of the HHS system, which could interfere with critical functions of the lead agency responding to the coronavirus contagion. The DDOS effort apparently had automated users — called bots — trying to overwhelm the public-facing HHS system in order to slow it down or even paralyze it.Officials believe the effort was not particularly successful and are satisfied that the system was largely able to repel the intrusion.Tune into ABC News Live at noon ET every weekday for the latest news, context and analysis on the novel coronavirus, with resources from the full ABC News team.12:24 p.m. SAT is canceledThe College Board has canceled the May 2, 2020, SAT due to the pandemic.The March 14 exam had been scheduled for March 28, but that is also now canceled.The June 6, 2020, SAT exam has not been canceled as of Monday. The College Board said it “will continue to assess its status with the health and safety of students and educators as our top priority.”11:52 a.m. Major shutdowns in Maryland, Washington, Los AngelesMore states are forcing their establishments to close their doors Monday.Maryland will shut down all bars, restaurants, theaters and gyms beginning at 5 p.m. Monday, the governor said. Drive through, carryout and delivery food services will still be allowed.“It’s impossible to know how long the threat will continue,” Gov. Larry Hogan said. “We can’t afford to wait to take action.”Washington state will also shutter its entertainment venues and recreational facilities and limit restaurants to delivery and take-out. The ban will not apply to grocery stores and pharmacies.Washington state has been especially hard-hit by the coronavirus with at least 42 fatalities.Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is also taking action.The nation’s second largest city is closing bars, nightclubs, entertainment venues and gyms until at least March 31.Restaurants will remain open only for takeout and delivery.Grocery stores, pharmacies and food banks will remain open, the mayor said.The announcement included a moratorium on evictions for renters.“This will be a tough time, but it is not forever. Angelenos have always risen to meet difficult moments, and we will get through this together,” Garcetti said in a statement. 11:17 a.m.: Supreme Court postpones March argumentsThe U.S. Supreme Court has taken the extraordinary step of postponing oral arguments for more than a dozen cases, including three involving subpoenas for President Donald Trump’s financial records, citing “public health precautions” due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The delay of cases is believed to be the most significant disruption to the court’s business since the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic when several arguments were postponed for roughly a month, according to court records.The justices, many of whom are among the most at-risk for COVID-19 given their age and underlying health conditions, remain in good health and continue to work on court business from home or their private chambers, court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg told ABC News.10:45 a.m.: New York City to limit all restaurants, states work togetherNew York City will close all nightclubs, movie theaters and concert venues as of Tuesday morning.All restaurants, bars and cafes will be limited to food take-out and delivery.“Our city is facing an unprecedented threat, and we must respond with a wartime mentality,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told “Good Morning America” Monday that the U.S. has “been behind this disease from day one. We saw the disease developing in China back in November. We weren’t ready for it, and we’ve been playing catchup ever since.”“The wave is going to break on the hospital system,” he warned. “We don’t have the capacity to build more hospitals quickly. The only way would be if the army corps of engineers came in, worked with the states to retrofit existing buildings.”Cuomo said the “federal government has to get more engaged.”“There’s been no country that has handled this that has not nationalized it. This patchwork quilt of policies doesn’t work,” he said. “It makes no sense for me to do something in New York and New Jersey to do something else.”Cuomo then banded together with the governors of New Jersey and Connecticut Monday as they said their states would abide by the same rules for closures.Following the CDC guidelines the three states will prohibit gatherings of 50 people or more. Supermarkets, medical offices and other essential services are able to remain open beyond 8 p.m. but must adhere to social distancing policies“This is a virus that knows no borders,” Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said.The governors said they believed this is the first region in the country to announce joint closure policies. The governors, all Democrats, said they were forced to act because of a lack of coordination from the federal government.10:01 a.m.: Egypt halting all flightsEgypt is halting all domestic and international flights beginning Thursday, a government spokesman told ABC News.The announcement was made now to give tourists time to leave the country, cabinet spokesman Hany Younes said. “They are free to stay for as long as they want, but there will be no flights until March 31,” Younes said.9:45 a.m. Trading temporarily halted as markets plummet despite Fed interventionTrading on Wall Street was temporarily halted after markets plunged early Monday as the novel coronavirus outbreak continues to upend business and travel across the world. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted more than 2,250 points or 9.7% just after trading began. The S&P 500 fell more than 8%, triggering a “circuit-breaker” halt of 15 minutes.The major sell-off comes even after the Federal Reserve made a surprise announcement on Sunday that it’s slashing interest rates to near zero and spending $700 billion to buy Treasury and mortgage bonds to help buoy the economy during the coronavirus pandemic.The intervention did not appear to be enough to quell investors’ worries about the economic impacts of the outbreak on businesses. Local governments including in New York and Los Angeles announced over the weekend they were shuttering businesses such as bars and entertainment venues. 9:37 a.m. New York City to limit all restaurants to take-out and deliveryNew York City will close all nightclubs, movie theaters and concert venues as of Tuesday morning. Also, all restaurants, bars and cafes will be limited to food take-out and delivery. “Our city is facing an unprecedented threat, and we must respond with a wartime mentality,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told ABC News’ Good Morning America Monday that the U.S. has “been behind this disease from day one. We saw the disease developing in China back in November. We weren’t ready for it, and we’ve been playing catchup ever since.” “The wave is going to break on the hospital system,” he warned. “We don’t have the capacity to build more hospitals quickly. The only way would be if the army corps of engineers came in, worked with the states to retrofit existing buildings.” Cuomo said the “federal government has to get more engaged.” “There’s been no country that has handled this that has not nationalized it. This patchwork quilt of policies doesn’t work,” he said. “It makes no sense for me to do something in New York and New Jersey to do something else.” 9:31 a.m. Peace Corps evacuating all volunteersThe Peace Corps is suspending all activities around the world, evacuating its volunteers from dozens of countries, the organization announced Sunday night.9:22 a.m. Health and Human Services experiences cyber attackThe Department of Health and Human Services experienced a cyber attack Sunday night related to it’s coronavirus response, administration sources told ABC News. The attempt was to slow down operations, according to sources. The nature and origin of the attack is still under investigation.8:18 a.m. NBA star on the ‘scariest part about this virus’Utah Jazz player Donovan Mitchell, one of several NBA players who tested positive for COVID-19, has no symptoms, he told Good Morning America Monday.“If you were to tell me I could play in a seven-game series tomorrow, I would be ready to lace up,” he said. “I’m blessed that’s the case.” Mitchell spoke to GMA anchor Robin Roberts via video Monday as he self isolates.“I don’t have any symptoms — I could walk down the street. If it wasn’t public knowledge that I was sick, you wouldn’t know it,” Mitchell said. “I think that’s the scariest part about this virus — you may seem fine, be fine, and you never know who you may be talking to, who they’re going home to.”7:28 a.m. Stock futures pointing down at least 5%As it stands, stock futures are pointing down 5%. They’re “limit down” which means that they have hit their limit and can’t go any lower until markets open.“Limit down” is similar to circuit breakers when the market is open to keep stocks from heading into free fall. Stocks are expected to fall even further as there are exchange-traded funds (ETFs) which mimic the S&P 500 which are down around 9% right now.The first circuit breaker kicks in if S&P 500 falls 7%.7:16 a.m. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tells ABC News that federal assistance and a unified approach is needed to take on coronavirus“Look, we have been behind this disease from day one. We saw the disease developing in China back in November. We weren’t ready for it, and we’ve been playing catchup ever since,” Cuomo told George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America.Cuomo continued: “You have to get ahead of this, right? It’s not fighting the last war, it’s fighting the next war. The next war is going to be overwhelming our hospital systems. You look at any of these projections and you see that coming. When you see that chart of the curve, I see it as a wave and the wave is going to break on the hospital system. We don’t have the capacity to build more hospitals quickly. The only way would be if the army corps of engineers came in, worked with the states to retrofit existing buildings.”Cuomo also railed against what he called the “patchwork quilt” approach has so far allowed to go on.“This federal government has to get more engaged,” Cuomo said. “There’s been no country that has handled this that has not nationalized it. This patchwork quilt of policies doesn’t work. It makes no sense for me to do something in New York and New Jersey to do something else.”Said Cuomo: “If I say you can’t go to a bar in New York, you know you’ll go to New Jersey, you’ll go to Connecticut, you’ll go to wherever you can be served. That’s the last thing we want. Set the national standards and let’s live with them. Otherwise, again, you come up with this ad hoc system that’s not going to work.”7:10 a.m. China relaxes travel restrictions in HubeiChina is relaxing travel restrictions in the hardest-hit virus province of Hubei and sending thousands of workers back to jobs at factories desperate to get production going again.The move comes as Chinese officials say the outbreak that spread from Wuhan starting in December has mostly run its course domestically, while they remain vigilant against imported cases.5:30 a.m. Jack Ma says first shipment of masks and coronavirus test kits to the US is taking off from ShanghaiJack Ma tweeted that a huge shipment of masks and coronavirus testing kits is now en route to the United States from Shanghai.The first shipment of masks and coronavirus test kits to the US is taking off from Shanghai. All the best to our friends in America. pic.twitter.com/LTn26gvlOl— Jack Ma (@JackMa) March 16, 2020The shipment is said to contain 500,000 coronavirus testing kits and one million masks. Ma has urged international cooperation to fight the health crisis.5:13 a.m. Russia closes borders with BelarusRussia has announced it is closing its border with Belarus, one of its major entry points to Europe, in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Goods will still be allowed to cross the border, but the passage of people will no longer be permitted.Substantial restrictions of flights to Europe from Russia also begin today. All flights to European Union countries, Norway and Switzerland are to be halted, except for those leaving from a single terminal at one of Moscow’s airports and flying to the countries’ capitals. Currently only two of Russia’s borders have no restrictions linked to the virus — Finland and Azerbaijan.It comes as Russia steps up its measures in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus.4:36 a.m. Roche Diagnostics has received emergency approval for a new coronavirus test it developedThe company received emergency approval late Thursday night from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to send half a million tests to labs across the country from its North America headquarters in Indianapolis.“For us, it’s been all about how do we make sure the patients who need to test, get the test at the time they need it,” Randy Pritchard, senior vice president of marketing for Roche, said.In six weeks, the company was able to develop the test when it normally takes about 18 months to identify a virus and submit something to the FDA, Pritchard said.With the new test, you can have results as fast as three days as opposed to days with some current tests.3:53 a.m. Australian TV journalist who met with Rita Wilson has virusAn Australian television journalist said Monday he has the new coronavirus and assumes he contracted it while meeting with actress-singer Rita Wilson in Sydney.Nine Network entertainment editor Richard Wilkins, 65, said he was tested because he met Wilson at the Sydney Opera House on March 7 and again at Nine’s Sydney studio on March 9. The result came back positive on Sunday.“I’m surprisingly very well,” Wilkins told Nine by Facetime from his Sydney home, where he has self-isolated since Wilson’s diagnosis.“You could’ve knocked me over with a feather last night when I got that call. It took me a couple of minutes to reel from the news that they gave me. But I feel fine. I feel 100%,” Wilkins added. “We’re assuming this is from Rita. It may not be. They’ve all said it could be anyone, anywhere, any time, such is the prevalence of this thing.”Wilson and her husband Tom Hanks have been isolated in an Australian hospital since they were both diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 12.3:20 a.m. Santa Monica closes pier due to public safety concernsSanta Monica has issued an executive order to temporarily close the Santa Monica Pier to the public as part of its local emergency proclamation beginning at 6 a.m. on Monday, according to a statement from Santa Monica officials.“We welcome thousands of guests to our Pier each and every day, so we take this step out of the deepest desire to keep people at home and healthy,” said City Manager Rick Cole. “We love our Pier and the joy it brings to everyone that visits, but in this moment, we must take aggressive actions to slow the spread of COVID-19.”The City team is closely monitoring CDC, State, and County Health Department guidance to determine when and/or how the Pier can be reopened to the public.“We are in full support of this temporary closure to the public amid this health crisis. Though this will heavily impact the Pier businesses, in this historic moment it is the right thing to do,” said Negin Singh, executive director of the Santa Monica Pier Corporation. “We know that once we overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, our Pier will play an important role in serving the public with our great food, attractions, performers and free, world-class events. We all look forward to welcoming you back.”12:21 a.m. Washington to shut down bars, eliminate in-person diningWashington state is following the national trend shuttering entertainment venues and recreational facilities, and limiting restaurants to delivery and take-out.Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement Sunday night local time announcing that he will sign the statewide proclamation on Monday.The ban will not apply to grocery stores and pharmacies, although other retail outlets will have reduced occupancy, the statement said.“These are very difficult decisions, but hours count here and very strong measures are necessary to slow the spread of the disease,” Inslee said.Washington’s King Country, which includes the county seat of Seattle, has been one of the centers of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.12:11 a.m. Los Angeles closing bars, clubs and gymsLos Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the city will be closing bars, nightclubs, entertainment venues and gyms until at least March 31.Restaurants will remain open only for takeout and delivery.The order extends to libraries, recreation centers and zoos.Grocery stores, pharmacies and food banks will remain open, the mayor said. In addition, the announcement included a moratorium on evictions for renters.The executive order, which came an hour after New York City made a similar announcement, puts the United States’ two largest cities under unprecedented restrictions during a national health crisis.The Los Angeles closures go into effect Sunday at midnight local time.“This will be a tough time, but it is not forever. Angelenos have always risen to meet difficult moments, and we will get through this together,” Garcetti said in a statement.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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A taste of danger

By on March 1, 2021

first_img“From the screams, I think they just blew somebody up,” Stephanie Kayden said matter-of-factly.A short distance away, through the still-bare trees of early spring in New England, a man was screaming, his leg “blown off” by a land mine. Despite his distress and the urging of refugees nearby, members of a Red Cross response team balked at entering the minefield where he lay.Eventually, one of the man’s companions dragged him to safety, where the Red Cross workers put a tourniquet on his leg and then helped him, hopping on one leg and crying in pain, to a field hospital.“It’d be nice if they carried him,” Kayden remarked as she watched the small group hobble by.Kayden was able to keep her cool not only because of her long experience in humanitarian aid, but also because the casualty was a volunteer actor and the Red Cross workers were students in the Harvard School of Public Health’s Humanitarian Academy, a training ground for the chaos, tragedy, and personal danger that mark work amid wars, natural disasters, or refugee crises.This past weekend, 114 students in two courses — one a traditional, semester-long class in humanitarian response and the second an intensive, two-week session for working professionals — got a taste of the on-the-ground difficulties they may one day face: primitive field conditions, unreliable information, hostile militia, uncertain borders, and needs that range from serious and long-term, such as providing food, shelter, and sanitation for thousands of displaced people, to acute and immediate, such as the life of a man who has lost a leg to a mine.“What I hope they get out of this is a real understanding of the difficulties of real-world humanitarian work and a sense that they can use the book knowledge they’ve gained in a real-world scenario,” said Kayden, director of the Lavine Family Humanitarian Studies Initiative at the Humanitarian Academy, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School, and chief of the Division of International Emergency Medicine and Humanitarian Programs at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.The students were joined by 129 volunteers, a half-dozen faculty members, and another six Harvard staff members in the Friday-to-Sunday exercise at the Harold Parker State Forest in North Andover.Students were organized into 18 teams, each representing a different aid organization. They moved among different sites in the forest during the day, gathering information through observation and conversation, and slept in tents at night. Along the way, they dealt with difficult border officials, militia checkpoints, refugee camps, field hospitals, and media visits.The overall task was to conduct a rapid assessment of the situation and devise a long-term recovery plan that would meets the needs of refugees for a year, complete with a detailed budget to be presented to donor organizations.Volunteers who helped bring the effort to life said they enjoyed participating, but also stressed the seriousness of the task. It’s better, they said, that novice humanitarian workers get a first sense of the shock and chaos of danger zones under controlled circumstances.Sidi Bensalah from the Centre for Safety and Development in the Netherlands posed as a militiaman over the weekend, complete with camouflage clothing and a fake firearm. He had traveled to Massachusetts as a guest lecturer, at the invitation of the Humanitarian Academy, to talk to students about how to handle aggression and violence in the field. His role in the simulation was an encore.“We try to give them the tools to deal with aggression, with checkpoints, with the difficulties other cultures [present],” Bensalah said. “It is really, really important to do that with the students because they will [run into it as they] travel around the world.”The key in dealing with such situations, Bensalah said, is politeness and a display of self-confidence — pointers he shared with students.Gima Forje, a Nigerian student in the semester-long class, first had to adjust to the sleeping quarters.“I’m today touching a tent for the first time. But it’s a good experience.”The simulation’s first day was a tough one for Harvard Kennedy School student Heather Dennehy, who by afternoon had already lost her (faux) passport, without which she was helpless at border crossings.“This hasn’t been my day so far,” Dennehy said, just before it brightened a bit when Kayden handed the passport back to her — it had been found and turned in.Mason Harrell is a Navy lieutenant and physician studying at HSPH as a resident in occupational and environmental medicine. With an eye on his military experience, he gave the simulation high marks for mirroring the challenges of fluid situations.“I thought this is a great experience for people who’ve never experienced a border crossing,” Harrell said. “It’s great for people to have exposure to it in a controlled setting.”last_img read more

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 Pacquiao Keeps Low Profile Ahead of Horn Showdown

By on September 9, 2020

first_imgManny Pacquiao kept a low profile, apparently at the insistence of local police, leaving opponent Jeff Horn to entertain a bigger crowd at his downtown practice session than he’s attracted for previous fights. Pacquiao, the 11-time world champion, is putting his WBO welterweight world title belt on the line on Sunday at Suncorp Stadium, where he’s a hot favorite to register his 60th professional win.On a previous visit to promote the “Battle of Brisbane,” Pacquiao was mobbed by adoring fans in an unexpected rush at an impromptu public appearance. So local organizers said they took advice from Queensland state police to give the senator from the Philippines time off from promotional activities Thursday while Horn appeared for a light practice session in a makeshift ring near the Queens Street Mall, reveling in the attention of hundreds of spectators enjoying a sunny lunch break.“For safety purposes, Manny won’t be here today,” Duco Events director Dean Lonergan said. “We took that on advice from Queensland police.”Pacquiao’s camp got his point across to local fans on Wednesday, anyway, when his legendary long-time trainer Freddie Roach predicted the fight would be “short and sweet” and that somebody would get knocked out.Pacquiao (59-6-2) had the last of his 38 knockout wins in 2009, but he said he’s been working harder in preparation for this fight than he has in years. He has knocked down sparring partners, Roach said, and had to be forced to stop in some sessions because he was working too much.Horn’s promotors have accused Pacquiao’s backers of not taking the fight seriously enough, accusing the 38-year-old Filipino of already talking about a potential rematch with Floyd Mayweather and of being disrespectful during a news conference by texting on his cell phone.But Pacquiao is used to the pre-match games, and says he likes nothing better than to take on an opponent on their home soil and in front of a big crowd.They’ll have that for the afternoon, outdoor fight. Lonergan said more than 47,000 tickets had already been sold — already almost 10,000 more than the Australian record for boxing — and they were on track to top 50,000. The fight is also tracking to sell more pay per views than any other in the Australian market, and the live ESPN broadcast could reach an estimated 95 million U.S. homes on Saturday night.The odds-makers aren’t giving Horn, a 29-year-old former schoolteacher who is unbeaten in 17 professional fights, much of a chance against a seasoned, eight-division world champion.But in and around his public skipping and shadow boxing sessions, Horn said he was bigger (he still needs to shed 3 kilograms to — 6.6 pounds — make the weight), younger and had what it takes to beat Pacquiao.Since losing the megafight to Mayweather in April 2015, Pacquiao has rebounded to beat highly rated Tim Bradley and — after briefly flirting with retirement — Jessie Vargas.Horn said he moves better than Vargas and will be a tougher option for Pacquiao.“I haven’t pictured what punch … is going to happen,” Horn said. “All I’ve pictured for myself is my hand raised and that belt around my waist.“I’m not going to say I’m going to knock him out, but I can win this.”Horn has had 10 wins over top 15 world-rated opponents and his 16-0-1 record includes 11 knockouts. But none of those rivals have been anywhere close to Pacquiao’s caliber.Still, when asked if he had the punch to knock out Pacquiao, Horn didn’t miss a beat.“Definitely,” he said. “If I can land the right shot on Manny Pacquiao. He will go to sleep.“I don’t say that disrespectfully as in ‘I’m definitely going to knock Manny Pacquioa out.’ But if I land that shot, he’s going to go down.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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Brand South Africa, Miss Earth SA and the GEM Project play their part to clean up Diepsloot schools

By on December 18, 2019

first_imgJohannesburg, Monday 19 October 2015 – Brand South Africa, as part of its mandate to build pride, patriotism and a spirit of active citizenship, has partnered with the GEM Project and Miss Earth South Africa. The three organisations will collaborate and play their part to clean up schools in the Diepsloot community on Saturday 24 October. The aim of the collaboration is to encourage citizens to play their part by cleaning up and recycling in their communities.Brand South Africa has collaborated with Miss Earth South Africa and the GEM Project through its Play Your Part programme. The Play Your Part programme is aimed at all South Africans and it aims to encourage South Africans to use some of their time, money, skills or goods to contribute to a better future for all.The clean-up will take place at the Leap Science and Math’s School as well as Akani Primary School in Diepsloot. Community members as well as pupils from the schools  will be actively involved in cleaning around their neighborhood and their schools.Like Brand South Africa, Miss Earth aims to ensure that they encourage and uplift the communities within which we work. Brand South Africa urges South Africans to become active citizens and play their part in addressing environmental issues in their communities.The newly-crowned Miss Earth South Africa Carla Viktor along with the runner up Jade Axon will be taking part in the clean-up project and will encourage the learners to play their part in taking care of their environment.GEM is a mobile rewards platform aimed at South Africans who want to play their part in society and it is for this reason that Brand South Africa has partnered with the organisation.  The GEM Project brings together volunteers from around the country and invites them to volunteer in community projects such as these.Download the GEM app and sign up to volunteer at the Diepsloot clean-up. App users who volunteer at the Diepsloot clean-up are immediately eligible to win virtual rewards known as ‘Gems’. The Gems can be used to buy airtime or data, prepaid electricity, or even movie tickets.Opening a GEM account is quick, easy and free, and can be done on both smart and feature phone:Download Gem via USSD by dialling *120*GEM1# or as an app. The ‘Gem Project’ app is available for download on App Store and Google PlaySign in to see volunteering opportunities in your area. When they’ve decided on a day and a place, the app tells them how many GEMS you’ll earn as a token of appreciationSelect the Diepsloot clean-up taking place on Saturday 24 OctoberMedia is invited to attend as follows:Date: Saturday 24 September 2015Time: 09h00 – 12h00Venue: Akani Primary School, The Akani Centre, Bophelang, Diepsloot West, Extension 4 (both on the same street)RSVP: Please confirm you attendance with Boitumelo Mpete on [email protected] more information or to set up interviews, please contact:Boitumelo MpeteTel:+27 11 712 5007Mobile: +27 (0) 82 358 9047Email: [email protected] www.brandsouthafrica.comlast_img read more

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The Wendt Group wins two national awards

By on December 17, 2019

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The National Auctioneers Association (NAA) has recognized Plain City-based The Wendt Group’s marketing work by naming the company winner of two national awards in its 2016 National Auctioneers Association Marketing Competition.According to the NAA, the 2016 contest included 880 entries from across the country. The Wendt Group’s awards were both in the Public Relations & Marketing category. Winners will be recognized in July at the competition reception in Grand Rapids, Michigan.“To be recognized by your peers on a national level is the ultimate honor an auction company can receive,” said Kevin Wendt, The Wendt Group president. “We’ve also been blessed to be affiliated with Wes Sigler and Blue River Digital to bring award-winning and unique marketing design options to our sellers.”The Wendt Group consists of full-service real estate professionals serving Ohio, Indiana, and the Midwest, offering both auction and traditional brokerage services. They specialize in farmland, recreational land, and farm equipment and are currently booking auctions for the fall. To learn more about The Wendt Group’s award-winning real estate and auction services, call 614-626-7653 or visit thewendtgroup.com.last_img read more

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Harry Potters Abenteuer — Geocache of the week

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first_img“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already.” — J.K. Rowling, author of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s StoneIf you’ve ever read any of the Harry Potter books or seen any of the movies, you’ll know non-magical people are called muggles. You may also know in the geocaching community, muggles are non-geocachers. This is not the only thing that geocachers and Harry Potter lovers have in common. They both share the same excitement in creating magic and discovery in everyday life. Now, you too can discover what it’s like to be a Hogwarts student while on the epic Multi-Cache journey to find Harry Potter’s Abenteuer.The journey begins just 60km north of Frankfurt, where the cache is located in the picturesque hills of the Lahn valley. There, you will embark on a series of 18 stages that are each inspired by a different scene of the Harry Potter books and movies. Each stage was designed in detail by the cache owners, blackschneck, also known as Harry, Ron, and Hermione.One such stage invites you to embody the appearance of Harry Potter himself with a Gryffindor scarf, broomstick, round eyeglasses, and wand. There is so much detail to this cache that there are certain items that must be carried from one stage in order to complete the next stage. Because of this, only one team of 2-4 people are allowed to find the cache per day. To prevent multiple teams on the same day, there is a calendar to schedule your visit. Before you come, the cache owners will email you with all the information you need for your magical experience.In their words: Ever since we started to cache we’ve always wanted to make a Harry Potter inspired cache. Because we are big fans of the books and movies. After two visits to the original movie sets in England, we started getting ideas how we could make it happen. We’re extremely happy to see all the positive feedback in the logs by old and new Harry Potter fans. They give us new energy to keep repairing and improving the cache. And now it’s your turn to come and explore Harry Potter’s world in Hessen.Things to take with you:Mobile phone or GPSRechargeable battery packQR code reader UV lamp 2.0 liters of waterUmbrella and/or rain gear Food and drinkLong pantsA good mood and a love for puzzling There is not a short log on the cache page, but AR-Team’s thoughts on Harry Potters Abenteur summarize the experience well:We had thought we were normal cachers, as Harry believed he was a normal boy. At least we thought that until the 11th of August when the owl letter reached us and called us to play GC6ACTD —Harry Potter’s Abenteur. The trip to the magical land of the Harry Potter cache was an unforgettable experience for us. Like Harry, we jumped into the adventure, which brought us to many different spectacular stages where we fought against beasts, classmates, and fabulous creatures. At the starting coordinates we arrived at the land of cachers, witches and wizards. At each stage, we were surprised with how the dedication and detail that was put into this cache and all of its stages. Awesome. After a good 7 hours we completed the amazing cache and we will always remember this experience.We find here is a magical cache of the category “exceptional cache – exquisitely recommended”! And the bar is truly raised to a new level of quality. Thank you blackschneck for the endless effort and time that has been put into every single detail!After 5 km (3 mi), 18 stages, and a  6-10 hour re-creation of the magical wizarding world of Harry Potter, you will surely want to sit back and enjoy some butterbeer. Now grab your broomstick and wand and be on your way! Difficulty:4Terrain:3.5 Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world.Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedThe magical world of Harry Potter cachingNovember 20, 2018In “Community”Top 10 Geocaches of the Week 2017December 27, 2017In “Geocache of the Week”Bienvenido al mundo de la brujería, la hechicería y el geocaching…November 20, 2018In “Español” Location:GermanyN 45° 26.069′ E 012° 20.332′ Multi-CacheGC6ACTDby blackschnecklast_img read more

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9 months agoReal Madrid midfielder Modric signs with Mendes as Juventus circle

By on October 28, 2019

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Real Madrid midfielder Modric signs with Mendes as Juventus circleby Carlos Volcano9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid midfielder Luka Modric has joined super agent Jorge Mendes’ stable.Juventus are being linked with the veteran.Mediaset says the Ballon d’Or winner was linked with a move to Inter Milan after last year’s World Cup after six years at the Bernabeu.Mendes has been drafted in by the 33-year-old to facilitate a potential switch to Italy.Inter are desperate to take Modric to the San Siro but they could struggle to convince him to move to Milan if Juve are a viable option.The Milan outfit have offered the ex-Tottenham man a lucrative four-year deal worth nine million-a-year. last_img read more

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a month agoMan Utd hero Scholes: Sell Pogba – he’s not a big loss!

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first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Man Utd hero Scholes: Sell Pogba – he’s not a big loss!by Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the lovePaul Scholes says Manchester United will not miss Paul Pogba. The World Cup winner wants to leave the club from Real Madrid.Red Devils legend Scholes thinks the club could deal with losing the talented midfielder.”I think it’s quite clear he wants to move on,” said Scholes, a 13-time Premier League winner.”He wanted to go to Real Madrid, for whatever reason it didn’t happen.”I wouldn’t be surprised if the same offer had been made like with Cristiano when he was at United.”If they’ve asked him to stay for a year we’ll see what happens, but I don’t think he’ll be a big loss to United.”I don’t think his form has been great anyway, over the two or three years he’s been there. I’m sure there are more players who can do just as good a job.” last_img read more

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Clippers hammer Bulls in hot dog haven

By on September 28, 2019

The Columbus Clippers salvaged a 2-2 series-split with a 5-1 victory over the Durham Bulls at Huntington Park on Monday night. A crowd of 9,271 was in attendance for Dime-a-Dog night at Huntington Park which featured 10-cent Sugardale hot dogs. The total number of hotdogs sold in the park was 24,873, nearly three hot dogs per person. Monday’s game also featured Ohio State basketball player Mark Titus throwing out the first pitch. Titus has gained recognition for his “Club Trillion” blog. While there were rain showers throughout the day, game time conditions were fair as the rain stopped and temperatures were in the low 60s. The game began with four innings of scoreless baseball, which was uncharacteristic of a matchup that featured two teams that led the International League in runs scored and batting average. Clippers pitcher Mike Gosling pitched 6.1 innings of shutout baseball before being relieved. Before the game, Gosling announced that this would be his final start as he is retiring to spend more time with his family. Gosling allowed five hits and one walk, while striking out five. Gosling featured a fastball in the upper 80s and kept the hitters guessing with breaking balls that ranged between 70 and 80 mph.“I did have a little bit better command of my fastball tonight,” Gosling said. “I knew at the beginning of the game that my velocity was down a little bit, so instead of forcing my way to better velocity, I tried to hit spots and keep them off balance. I was more able to mix in my other stuff. I tried to drop in the slow curve, the difference in velocity helps keep the hitter off the fastball and everything else, so I try to drop that in occasionally and keep them guessing.”Durham pitcher Richard De Los Santos was equally effective through the first four innings, holding the Clippers to only two hits. De Los Santos had trouble in the fifth inning, though.Jose Constanza started off the inning with a single. De Los Santos walked Michael Brantley and hit Jason Donald with a pitch to load the bases with no outs. With a full count, Carlos Santana hit a grand slam to right center field that left the ballpark and cleared Nationwide Blvd. to give the Clippers a 4-0 lead. De Los Santos finished off the fifth inning but was relieved by Brian Baker in the sixth.Carlos Santana showed more power with a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning that left the ballpark once again over the right field fence. The home run was Santana’s ninth of the season. Santana also took the team lead in RBIs from Shelley Duncan with his fifth RBI of the game, making his total 37. “He hit a couple big ones tonight,” said Clippers manager Mike Sarbaugh. “That first home run was impressive.”Clippers pitchers Vinnie Pestano and Josh Judy kept the Bulls scoreless through the eighth inning. But the Clippers couldn’t complete their second shutout in a row as the Bulls scored on an RBI double by Ryan Shealy in the ninth. Clippers infielder Jason Donald was called up to the Cleveland Indians immediately after the game as Asdrubal Cabrera was carted off of the field in the first inning of the Indians’ loss to Tampa Bay. Cabrera suffered a left forearm injury after a collision with third baseman Jhonny Peralta. The Clippers now leave on an eight-game road trip and will return to Huntington Park on May 27. read more

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Wrestling No 2 Ohio State looks to rival No 4 Michigan as

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Ohio State’s Luke Pletcher wrestles Paul Glynn in the dual-meet against Iowa on Jan. 21 in the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorA week after a devastating 19-18 loss to No. 1 Penn State, the No. 2 Ohio State men’s wrestling team (12-1, 7-1 Big Ten) will have an opportunity to rebound from the defeat against rival No. 4 Michigan (9-2, 6-1 Big Ten) in a road dual meet at 6 p.m. Sunday.Ohio State lost by one point to the Nittany Lions after taking a 15-5 lead entering intermission, which still looms over the team.“I wanted everyone to hurt, but not that much. I wanted them to hurt because I know you grow from it. But at the same point you don’t want them moping around,” Ohio State head coach Tom Ryan said. “Last week, there was a lot of pain around this facility.”There are four potential rematches between Ohio State and Michigan wrestlers that first took place at December’s Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational that could take place Sunday. Ohio State No. 2 Luke Pletcher won by decision against Stevan Micic 7-5, who is now ranked No. 6 at 133 pounds.Buckeye wrestlers No. 3 Bo Jordan and No. 2 Myles Martin also earned decision victories against Wolverines in Las Vegas. Jordan beat No. 6 Myles Amine 6-4 at 174 pounds and Martin defeated No. 5 Domenic Abounader. No. 5 157-pounder Micah Jordan will have a chance to redeem a 10-3 loss at the meet to Michigan No. 7 Alec Pantaleo.“I watched my match a few times, it was pretty tight going into the third period, I think it was a 3-2 match,” Micah Jordan said. “I just got caught in a suck-back and lost some back points, so I definitely be leary of that position, and also excited to wrestle him again.”Micah Jordan is coming off of a 24-9 technical fall win against Penn State’s Bo Pipher. This weekend he hopes to avenge that early-season loss to Pantaleo.Ohio State’s Joey McKenna rose four spots to No. 7 in the latest rankings after beating Penn State’s Nick Lee last week at 141 pounds. McKenna will face Michigan’s only unranked wrestler, which might be Ohio State’s best opportunity to earn additional points with a technical fall or pin.“I believed in myself, believed I could win. Maybe other people didn’t on paper,” McKenna said about his victory against Lee. “Shushing some of the haters, that’s always fun.”Ohio State’s Kollin Moore remains ranked first at 197 pounds despite suffering a surprise loss to unranked Nittany Lion Anthony Cassar, which was the turning point in Penn State’s comeback victory. “He didn’t have the best week of practice,” Ryan said on Moore’s loss to Cassar. “He just didn’t compete the way [he’s] capable of.”Moore will face No. 13 Kevin Beazley for a shot at redemption from the previous week.Not many people give Ohio State top-ranked heavyweight Kyle Snyder trouble on the mat, but he will have his hands full with No. 2 Adam Coon on Saturday. Coon, listed at 6-foot-6, 285 pounds, towers over the 5-foot-11 Snyder and has not lost yet this season.Ohio State must quickly knock off the disappointment of losing to Penn State, with nine of 10 matches being against ranked wrestlers. read more

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