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Title: 'Not necessary': Trump says he will not impose quarantine on New York, New Jersey & Connecticut

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/484396-trump-quarantine-new-york-coronavirus/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sun, 29 Mar 2020 00:32:00 +0000

Desc: Preview US President Donald Trump has apparently abandoned the idea to impose federal quarantine on the three US states, hardest-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, including New York, saying a “strong” travel warning to be issued instead.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/484396-trump-quarantine-new-york-coronavirus/

Content:

US President Donald Trump has apparently abandoned the idea to impose federal quarantine on the three US states, hardest-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, including New York, saying a “strong” travel warning to be issued instead.

In an apparent about-turn, that came mere hours after he floated the idea of placing US Covid-19 “hotspots” of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut under federally mandated quarantine, Trump took to Twitter, stating that such a robust measure would “not be necessary.”

....Federal Government. A quarantine will not be necessary. Full details will be released by CDC tonight. Thank you!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2020

Trump appears to have changed his mind after discussing the issue with the states’ authorities, tweeting that he made the decision upon the "recommendation" of the VP Mike Pence-led coronavirus task force and after “consultation” with the governors of the affected states.

Rather than pushing for a quarantine, Trump said that he had instructed the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue “a strong travel advisory,” to be published later on Saturday.

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Title: US coronavirus death toll leaps to over 2,000 as number of fatalities DOUBLES in 2 days

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/484395-coronavirus-death-toll-us/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 22:46:00 +0000

Desc: Preview Over 2,000 people succumbed to the deadly Covid-19 disease in the US, as the country has grown into the global epicenter of the pandemic with over 120,000 confirmed cases, according to the data by Johns Hopkins University.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/484395-coronavirus-death-toll-us/

Content:

Over 2,000 people succumbed to the deadly Covid-19 disease in the US, as the country has grown into the global epicenter of the pandemic with over 120,000 confirmed cases, according to the data by Johns Hopkins University.

The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in the US has passed the 2,000 milestone, with John Hopkins University, which tracks Covid-19 data in real time, reporting that at least 2,010 people died from the flu-like disease in the US as of Saturday.

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Run for the hills! Pentagon sends teams into MOUNTAIN BUNKERS as pandemic preparations go into full swing

The new data marks a two-fold increase in fatalities in just two days. As recently as Thursday, the US crossed the grim threshold of 1,000 cases.

The US, which has just recently overtaken China as the country with the highest number of coronavirus cases, is now reporting a total of 121,117 cases - after becoming the first and, so far, the only nation to register over one hundred thousand cases.

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Funeral Home workers in Queens, New York, on Friday. © AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
Primary postponed & quarantine mulled as New York Covid-19 death toll JUMPS by 209 in one day & number of cases blasts past 50,000

As the Covid-19 continues to ravage the US, with the infected being spread across all the 50 states and the District of Columbia, New York City has been hit the hardest. The nation's most populous city has emerged as the hotspot of the virus with the largest number of fataltiies within the US borders - 517.

With the situation in New York deteriorating by the hour, Governor Andrew Cuomo shelved the impending April presidential primary until June. US President Donald Trump, meanwhile, announced that he might impose quarantine on New York, New Jersey and Connecticut in a bid to halt the spread of the disease - a proposal that has drawn a stark rebuke from Cuomo, who compared potential federal quarantine to a “declaration of war” on the states.

The outbreak has sent the US stock market into tailspin, prompting fears of an imminent economic recession, with businesses being paralyzed by coronavirus lockdowns and jobless claims skyrocketing to over 3 million.

The Trump administration has been racing against the clock to offset the economic impact of the pandemic, injecting $2.2 trillion into the frailing economy with the coronavirus stimulus package, which envisions generous assistance for the unemployed and tax relief for companies and individuals.

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Pallbearers wearing protective masks carry the coffin of a woman in Seriate, Italy March 28, 2020 © Reuters / Flavio Lo Scalzo
Italy Covid-19 death toll passes 10,000 as 889 die from virus in one day

While the US leads the world in the number of confirmed cases, two thirds of over 30,000 global fatalities come from Europe, where Italy alone accounts for more than 10,000 deaths.

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Title: Global Covid-19 death toll surpasses 30,000, with two thirds in Europe – AFP

Link: https://www.rt.com/newsline/484393-coronavirus-death-toll-afp/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 21:39:06 +0000

Desc: Preview
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/newsline/484393-coronavirus-death-toll-afp/

Content:

The Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has claimed more than 30,000 lives around the globe, according to the calculations by AFP news agency. Some 20,000 of the victims were in Europe where Italy and Spain remain the hardest-hit countries.

John Hopkins University in Maryland, which also keeps track of the Covid-19 death toll, has also updated its count to just above 30,000 deaths.

In AFP’s home country, France, the authorities said that 319 people succumbed to the disease Saturday, with the overall number of deaths reaching 2,314.



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Title: He betrayed Maduro to be busted by America? Venezuela’s ex-spy chief ‘to turn himself in’ to US to face ‘narco-terrorism’ charges

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484392-venezuela-spy-surrender-maduro/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 21:13:00 +0000

Desc: Preview The former head of Venezuela’s military intelligence, Hugo Carvajal, has reportedly offered to turn himself in to American authorities. Despite denouncing Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Carvajal was too indicted by the US.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/484392-venezuela-spy-surrender-maduro/

Content:

The former head of Venezuela’s military intelligence, Hugo Carvajal, has reportedly offered to turn himself in to American authorities. Despite denouncing Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Carvajal was too indicted by the US.

Carvajal, who has been in hiding since Spanish authorities green-lit his extradition to the US on drug-trafficking charges earlier this month, now wants to surrender, Reuters reported on Saturday, citing anonymous sources. According to the news agency, the Americans have been in touch with the former spy chief through a “non-governmental intermediary.”

Though US authorities have long sought Carvajal’s extradition, Washington renewed its efforts to apprehend the former Maduro loyalist – nicknamed “El Pollo,” or ‘The Chicken’ – on Thursday. A Justice Department indictment accused Carvajal, as well as Maduro and more than a dozen political and military officials, of “narco-terrorism.” These Venezuelans, the indictment said, conspired to “flood the United States with cocaine.”

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File photo © REUTERS/Manaure Quintero
US State Dept offers $15 MILLION REWARD for help arresting Venezuela's Maduro after indictments

In addition, the State Department posted a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to Carvajal’s arrest. Now though, it seems they might get to hang on to that money.

Washington has recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s “interim president” since his failed coup last year. As Guaido attempted to lead a rebellion against Maduro in February 2019, Carvajal pledged his loyalty to the young upstart, and was stripped of his rank by Maduro as a result. He fled to Spain – promising authorities there information on Maduro’s government – but was arrested upon arrival. 

However, his position as a former Maduro insider-turned-opponent did not sway US authorities from pressing for his extradition, nor did it keep him off the Justice Department’s latest indictment.

Given the litany of drug-trafficking charges leveled against him by the US in 2009, 2011, and last week, it seems unlikely that American authorities will arrange a clean slate amnesty for the former spymaster. Instead, he will likely be pressed for information on Maduro’s government, all while prosecutors dangle over him the possibility of a lifetime in prison.

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Title: First baby dies in the US after coronavirus diagnosis

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/484391-baby-dies-coronavirus-illinois/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 21:02:42 +0000

Desc: Preview An infant younger than one year old has died in Chicago, after testing positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus. The child is possibly the first infant in the US to die of the deadly disease.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/484391-baby-dies-coronavirus-illinois/

Content:

An infant younger than one year old has died in Chicago, after testing positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus. The child is possibly the first infant in the US to die of the deadly disease.

The child’s death was reported by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) on Saturday. Though Covid-19 has not yet been named as the conclusive cause of death, the child was diagnosed with the illness before passing away.

“There has never before been a death associated with COVID-19 in an infant,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement. “We must do everything we can to prevent the spread of this deadly virus. If not to protect ourselves, but to protect those around us.”

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Run for the hills! Pentagon sends teams into MOUNTAIN BUNKERS as pandemic preparations go into full swing

While Ezike stated that the child’s death is a first, a group of Chinese doctors reported a ten-month-old baby dying in Wuhan, China, at the beginning of the outbreak. The infant reportedly had a preexisting bowel condition, and died of multiple organ failure after diagnosis.

Children and infants are not presently considered at risk from Covid-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions” are the most vulnerable to the virus. In Illinois, 12 of the other 13 deaths reported on Saturday were of people in their 50s or older.

85 percent of the 47 Covid-19 deaths in the state thus far have been among people aged 60 and above.

Nationwide, nearly 120,000 Americans have been infected and almost 6,000 killed by the Covid-19 coronavirus. With those numbers rising every day, President Donald Trump announced on Saturday that he is considering quarantining “hot spots” like New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, in a bid to slow the spread.

I am giving consideration to a QUARANTINE of developing “hot spots”, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. A decision will be made, one way or another, shortly.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2020

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Title: From layoffs to COVID DANCE-OFFs, richest US universities drag their heels on virus response

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/484390-university-dean-dance-coronavirus/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 20:58:26 +0000

Desc: Preview When art school students at one of America’s top universities asked their dean for tuition refunds, she turned them down in a most peculiar way: through interpretive dance. The elite, it seems, are different from you and me.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/484390-university-dean-dance-coronavirus/

Content:

When art school students at one of America’s top universities asked their dean for tuition refunds, she turned them down in a most peculiar way: through interpretive dance. The elite, it seems, are different from you and me.

With their school closed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, students at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts got in touch with college officials to ask for their tuition back. Given that a year’s tuition at the art school costs upwards of $60,000, they were anxious to get the money returned.

Dean Allyson Green emailed the students back last week, denying their request. Attached to the email was a bizarre video of Green performing a lip-sync dance to REM’s classic ‘Losing My Religion,’ along with a line encouraging students to “dance along” with her.

The Dean of Tisch sent this as an attachment to the email saying they won't give us our money back. Embarrassing. pic.twitter.com/Q63x5GqsJm

— Breitbart is Racist Filth! (@michale_price) March 23, 2020

The students were furious. “This was not an accident, this was her sort of way of trying to reach out to the student body,” one told NBC News. “What are you doing?” another student blogged. “This video is supremely, supremely stupid.”

Green herself defended her awkward dance response. In a statement to Artnet, she said that her performance “speaks to frustration and disappointment,” and was not meant to be “frivolous or disrespectful.”

Responding to a pandemic through interpretive dance is the stuff of art school cliches, yet the Tisch School of the Arts is not the only American university whose response has angered the public. While higher education was allocated more than $30 billion out of the Trump administration’s $2 trillion stimulus bill, some institutions don’t seem bothered to repay the favor to the government.

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A woman wearing a protective face mask kisses a cross as she prays in her apartment in Turin, Italy, March 25, 2020 © Reuters / Massimo Pinca
I'm a Christian, but I don't believe God has promised to protect me from Covid-19. Here's why

When New Haven, Connecticut, Mayor Justin Elicker asked Yale University to open its empty dormitories to police officers and firefighters whose families had been exposed to the coronavirus, the Ivy League university said no. The University of New Haven, however, stepped in to house the first responders.

“It is in these times of crisis when people are exposed for their true selves,” Mayor Elicker told the New Haven Register.

With a $40 billion endowment, Harvard University is the nation’s richest school. However, that didn’t stop Harvard from moving to lay off its contracted dining workers last week. Only after a pressure campaign from labor law students did the university relent. Paying these workers a living wage for four weeks’ leave would cost Harvard approximately 0.001 percent of its endowment.

And all of this from a university whose business department once encouraged employers to “carefully consider all options for coping with a downturn before letting workers go.” 

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Title: Run for the hills! Pentagon sends teams into MOUNTAIN BUNKERS as pandemic preparations go into full swing

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/484389-military-underground-bunkers-coronavirus/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 20:38:19 +0000

Desc: Preview The US’ Northern Command has sent teams of essential staff deep underground to wait out the Covid-19 pandemic. On the surface, more than a million grunts won’t be quite as cocooned.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/484389-military-underground-bunkers-coronavirus/

Content:

The US’ Northern Command has sent teams of essential staff deep underground to wait out the Covid-19 pandemic. On the surface, more than a million grunts won’t be quite as cocooned.

Air Force General Terrence O’Shaughnessy heads up the US’ Northern Command, as well as the North American Aerospace Defense Command – a joint US/Canadian operation that monitors the skies over North America for missile and airborne threats. Earlier this week, O’Shaughnessy told reporters via Facebook that some of his watch teams would be moved from their usual command center at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado to a number of hardened underground bunkers.

One of these facilities is the Cheyenne Mountain bunker complex, a warren of tunnels buried under 2,000 feet (610m) of granite, and sealed behind blast doors designed to withstand a 30 megaton nuclear explosion. 

A visitor to the Cheyenne Mountain Operations center walks past a 25 ton blast door © Reuters / Rick Wilking

“Our dedicated professionals of the NORAD and NORTHCOM command and control watch have left their homes, said goodbye to their families, and are isolated from everyone to ensure they can stand the watch each and every day to defend our homeland,” O’Shaughnessy said. He also said that personnel sent underground will share the bunker with other members of the military, but he is “not at liberty to discuss who’s moving in there.”

Another team has been sent to an undisclosed location, O’Shaughnessy added.

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Russian military experts visit hospital facilities for elderly people to fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus infection in Bergamo. © Sputnik / Russia's Defense Ministry
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Installations like Cheyenne Mountain are integral to the US government’s plan to survive a doomsday scenario. In the event of an existential threat to the US, a nuclear attack for instance, the president and his officials, as well as a contingent of political, military and civilian leaders would be immediately evacuated to four secure facilities to run the country from deep underground. These facilities are Cheyenne Mountain, the Presidential Emergency Operations Center under the White House, Raven Rock Mountain Complex in Pennsylvania, and Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center in Pennsylvania.

While the ongoing Covid-19 crisis has not triggered a mass exodus from Washington, it has prompted military leaders to take steps to ensure they remain combat ready. After admitting that the US military’s readiness could be affected by the pandemic, Defense Secretary Mark Esper stated on Thursday that the Pentagon would stop publishing precise details of Covid-19 cases within its ranks, to avoid revealing weaknesses to America’s adversaries.

As some of O’Shaughnessy’s forces head for the hills to wait out the pandemic in hermetic isolation, millions more on the surface will not have the same luxury. Army engineers have already been deployed to New York to scout locations for field hospitals, as the Empire State accounts for more than a third of the country’s 112,000 cases of the illness.

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US Army troops deploy to help with Covid-19 response in Manhattan, New York City, March 27, 2020.
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With the crisis deepening, the US military appears to be adopting an ‘all hands on deck’ approach, both on the ground and under. Though the US military is forbidden from carrying out law enforcement duties on American soil, President Trump signed an executive order on Friday authorizing the call-up of up to a million reserve and retired Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard personnel. 

These reservists could be called upon to assist civilian authorities in responding to the pandemic, as the nearly 10,000 National Guard troops already deployed have been doing. On Saturday, Esper announced a modified law that would provide federal funding for states looking to deploy more of these troops.

On top of this, two hospital ships have been sent to assist with treating patients in New York and Los Angeles.

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---------- 8 ----------

Title: World boxing champ Billy Joe Saunders apologizes after video shows him 'teaching men how to hit women during lockdown'

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/484388-boxer-billy-joe-saunders-video-lockdown/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 19:15:00 +0000

Desc: Preview British world boxing champion Billy Joe Saunders has apologized after footage emerged appearing to show him teaching men how to hit their female partners if tensions flare in lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/484388-boxer-billy-joe-saunders-video-lockdown/

Content:

British world boxing champion Billy Joe Saunders has apologized after footage emerged appearing to show him teaching men how to hit their female partners if tensions flare in lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic.

WBO world super-middleweight champ Saunders, 30, is seen in the footage training with a punchbag in his barn. 

Talking to the camera, the boxer begins by saying: "I just want to make a little video for all you dads, husbands, if you've got girlfriends etc.

"Obviously this Covid-19 thing is getting quite serious and we are isolated in tight spaces.

"If your old woman is giving you mouth and you try to be patient, you try to be calm, but after the seventh day or sixth you're about to explode.

"All of a sudden, she's coming at you, spitting a bit of venom in your face... I don't know what you've done but you've upset her.

"As she's coming in at you and you've lost it, just keep it safe with the hands.

"So as she comes in, she's just about to say something and you explode and hit her on the chin," Saunders says, then hammering the punchbag with a right hand.  

Billy Joe Saumders keeping us Educated on Isolation if your argument with your Wife/Partner/GF/Fiance 😂 pic.twitter.com/YmevqqrD4v

— Round5Robbie (@Round5R) March 28, 2020

In the footage, also shared by the Mirror, and reportedly obtained from a WhatsApp group, Saunders then goes on to explain how to "finish off" the encounter.  

"At this time she may flash and see white... she's in a state of horror," Saunders continued.

"All of a sudden you dip with that knee and finish her off, that should do the trick," he then adds, landing a vicious left hook on the punchbag.

Saunders in action back in May of 2019. Reuters / Action Images

Numerous groups have warned that domestic violence cases could increase as people find themselves cooped up during social curbs imposed a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. 

And while supposedly tongue-in-cheek, Saunders seems to have preempted the backlash by taking to Twitter to apologize for the clip.

"I would never condone domestic violence and if I saw a man touch a woman I would smash him to pieces myself," the boxer wrote to his 149,000 followers.

"I have a Daughter and if a man laid a finger on her it would be end well . Apologies if I offended any women stay blessed x" 

I would never condone domestic violence and if I saw a man touch a woman I would smash him to pieces myself I have a Daughter and if a man laid a finger on her it would be end well . Apologies if I offended any women stay blessed x

— billyjoesaunders (@bjsaunders_) March 28, 2020

Saunders, a former middleweight world champion, is undefeated in 29 bouts and is tipped to face Mexican megastar Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez in a money-spinning bout in Las Vegas later this year, should the coronavirus pandemic subside. 

The Brit fighter is a controversial figure, however, having only recently been forced to apologize for appearing to make light of the Covid-19 crisis in an incident involving a friend and a call to an airline.

pic.twitter.com/q2MNdlq8aI

— billyjoesaunders (@bjsaunders_) March 20, 2020

In 2018, Saunders was fined £100,000 by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) for a video in which he offered a woman drugs in return for performing a sex act.

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Billy Joe Saunders / Peter Cziborra / Reuters
World champ boxer Saunders fined £100,000 for video offering woman crack for sex act (VIDEO)



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Title: Zombie apocalypse begins? Naked man breaks India’s national virus quarantine to viciously kill woman in savage bite attack

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484385-india-man-bite-kill-woman-coronavirus/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 18:20:00 +0000

Desc: Preview Amidst all the anxiety-inducing developments of the coronavirus pandemic comes a grisly report that a man in India broke out of quarantine in order to nakedly chase after a woman and viciously kill her by biting on her throat.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/484385-india-man-bite-kill-woman-coronavirus/

Content:

Amidst all the anxiety-inducing developments of the coronavirus pandemic comes a grisly report that a man in India broke out of quarantine in order to nakedly chase after a woman and viciously kill her by biting on her throat.

The horrific slaying took place in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu on Friday when the man, who is in his 30s, ran out of his home naked and violently attacked the throat of a 90-year-old woman who was sleeping outside her house, Times of India reports.

The man, a textile trader, had been isolating because he had recently returned from Sri Lanka; the Indian newspaper also reported that he was “mentally disturbed.”

When neighbors heard the fracas they hurried to the aid of the woman and subdued her crazed assailant. The nonagenarian victim was rushed to a local hospital but tragically she died from her injuries. 

The ghastly homicide compounded the fears of some social media users in India who wondered if it was a sign of an impending “zombie apocalypse.”

What. The. Fuck.
34yo TN man in home quarantine runs out naked, bites old woman to death.

Guess where he bit? Her throat!
Zombies are here? https://t.co/RjjFa2wiNq

— Muskaan :) (@KameeniChhori) March 28, 2020

Zombie apocalypse is here

— BlueOcean (@thisblueocean) March 28, 2020

This is 4th day.. Ppl becoming crazy.. Imagine what happens by 21 days.. Coming week may see rise of abnormality then slowly by last day.. Ppl will normal, cool and changed.
All across d world.
Greed, lust, aggression will subside as they just escaped from death.

— SHARP SHOOTER (@johnygorkha) March 28, 2020

Kaliyug - this is the end.

— Pinky_Chatterjee (@sharmistha2405) March 28, 2020

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi placed the country’s 1.3 billion people on lockdown on 23 March.

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Title: Italy Covid-19 death toll passes 10,000 as 889 die from virus in one day

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484383-italy-covid19-ten-thousand-deaths/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 17:36:00 +0000

Desc: Preview Italian officials have confirmed that at least 10,023 people died in the sweeping coronavirus pandemic, with the number of infected now standing at over 92,000 and the death rate creeping towards 11 percent.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/484383-italy-covid19-ten-thousand-deaths/

Content:

Italian officials have confirmed that at least 10,023 people died in the sweeping coronavirus pandemic, with the number of infected now standing at over 92,000 and the death rate creeping towards 11 percent.

Another night of grim casualty numbers has added 889 deaths in Italy on Saturday, the country’s Civil Protection Agency said. On Friday, Italy recorded its largest daily death toll since the outbreak began, as 919 people died.

The virus-stricken country accounts for more than a quarter of all Covid-19 fatalities worldwide.

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WATCH Russian biodefense troops disinfect nursing home in coronavirus-hit Italy

Nearly twice as many people have died in Italy as in Spain, which has the world’s second-highest number of Covid-19 deaths. Worldwide, more than 645,000 people have been infected by the deadly virus, with just under 30,000 dying.

As casualties mount, the Italian government is reportedly considering an extension to the nationwide lockdown measures currently in place. Newspaper Corriere della Sera reported that the government is planning on extending the lockdown for two weeks beyond its original end date of April 3. While the country’s northern regions are the worst-hit, Michele Emiliano, governor of the southern region of Puglia, told Reuters that his region may remain locked down until mid-May.

In the north, Russian military medics have been deployed to assist local authorities in getting the virus under control. A contingent of 100 Russian personnel touched down near Rome last weekend, and were quickly sent north to Bergamo, where they have established field hospitals and disinfection units, as well as mobile testing laboratories.

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---------- 11 ----------

Title: 'F*ck you pr*ck!': Tyson Fury's young son offers cheeky rebuke during dad's quarantine home workout (VIDEO)

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/484369-tyson-fury-son-home-workout/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 17:28:30 +0000

Desc: Preview When you are a 6ft 9in heavyweight champion, exercising at home during a period of self-imposed isolation can be tricky but Tyson Fury isn't letting the coronavirus situation - or indeed his son - get in the way of his routine.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/484369-tyson-fury-son-home-workout/

Content:

When you are a 6ft 9in heavyweight champion, exercising at home during a period of self-imposed isolation can be tricky but Tyson Fury isn't letting the coronavirus situation - or indeed his son - get in the way of his routine.

Fury, who defeated Deontay Wilder by seventh-round corner stoppage in Las Vegas last month, has long espoused the benefits of maintaining an active exercise plan and the benefits that it can have to one's own mental health. 

READ MORE: ‘Now you see how hard he hits?’ Incredible ringside footage shows Fury’s punching power as he decks Wilder (VIDEO) 

Restrictions in place by the UK government to tackle the coronavirus pandemic have meant that most gyms across the country have closed their doors which, along with limits being placed on the numbers of people permitted to congregate in groups, has meant that people have been compelled to find alternative means in which to stay fit, active and healthy.

However, Tyson Fury has found a workaround to this. The WBC heavyweight champion has begun posting videos of him exercising to his social media channels in which viewers are invited to join along with him as runs through various techniques like jumping jacks, sit-ups and others. 

Judging by viewing numbers, the Fury workout videos are proving popular amongst his fans - but that sentiment doesn't appear to be echoed within the Fury household itself, as shown in the video below.

🤣🤬 Tyson Fury’s son gives him a piece of his mind after being kicked out of their stay-at-home workout this morning…

[🎥 @Tyson_Fury] pic.twitter.com/bs2VLXZhfV

— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) March 28, 2020

Fury and Wilder were expected to meet for a third time in July but there are significant fears that the coronavirus pandemic could KO any such date and push it back until at least later in the year. 

Any such delay could impact the touted clash between Fury and fellow Englishman Anthony Joshua which was expected to occur late this year, or early next year, should Fury earn a second successive win against Wilder and Joshua emerge victorious from a mandatory title defence against Kubrat Pulev which is, for now, scheduled to take place in London this July.

Also on rt.com
© Instagram @gypsyking101
Tyson Fury shuns coronavirus warnings to head down pub for St. Patrick’s Day pint



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Title: Primary postponed & quarantine mulled as New York Covid-19 death toll JUMPS by 209 in one day & number of cases blasts past 50,000

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/484382-new-york-death-toll-coronavirus/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 16:48:00 +0000

Desc: Preview The death toll from the Covid-19 infection in New York increased by 209 on Saturday, while the number of people infected with the virus rose to 52,318. The state’s presidential primary was also pushed back until June.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/484382-new-york-death-toll-coronavirus/

Content:

The death toll from the Covid-19 infection in New York increased by 209 on Saturday, while the number of people infected with the virus rose to 52,318. The state’s presidential primary was also pushed back until June.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in a press conference on Saturday that a total of 728 people in New York have now died due to the illness. The number of confirmed cases also surged past the 50,000 milestone as it spiked by 7,683 on Friday’s total of 44,635. The increase represents a 17 percent jump on the previous day’s figure.

US President Donald Trump said earlier in the day that he was considering imposing a quarantine on New York, New Jersey and Connecticut in a bid to clamp down on the disease.

I am giving consideration to a QUARANTINE of developing “hot spots”, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. A decision will be made, one way or another, shortly.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2020

Governor Cuomo said that Trump has approved the construction of four additional temporary hospital sites in New York City, which will boost the state’s supply of hospital beds by 4,000. He also called on pharmacies to start delivering medications to homes free of charge.

New York has accounted for roughly a third of the death toll and half the known cases of Covid-19 in the United States.

Cuomo says New York's death toll has reached 728, up 40% from yesterday. Here's what the state's mortality trend looks like in context. pic.twitter.com/SiTzZpODXn

— Bill Hammond (@NYHammond) March 28, 2020

Cuomo also used the press conference to announce that he was postponing the state's presidential primary from April until June due to the outbreak.

"We have been behind this virus from day one. We are waiting to see what the virus does," Cuomo told the assembled media. "You don't win on defense. You win on offense. You have to get ahead of this."

Saturday also saw UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announce the donation of 250,000 protective face masks to New York City, where the intergovernmental organization has its headquarters.

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---------- 13 ----------

Title: ‘Inadequate armor’? FETISH supplier donates gear to ‘underfunded’ NHS as Covid-19 deaths pass 1,000 mark

Link: https://www.rt.com/uk/484377-fetish-company-scrubs-nhs/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 16:45:00 +0000

Desc: Preview With Britain’s National Health Service struggling to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, help has come from the most unlikely source. A company supplying medical equipment to hardcore fetish enthusiasts has donated its stock.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/uk/484377-fetish-company-scrubs-nhs/

Content:

With Britain’s National Health Service struggling to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, help has come from the most unlikely source. A company supplying medical equipment to hardcore fetish enthusiasts has donated its stock.

Over 17,000 Britons have contracted the Covid-19 coronavirus, among them Prince Charles and Prime Minister Boris Johnson. More than 1,000 have died. In the country’s hospitals, shortages of vital protective gear have been reported, though Downing Street has blamed a surge in global demand for the shortfall.

Schools have been asked to donate goggles from science classrooms, manufacturing firms have donated respirators, and tattoo studios have given away gloves and masks. Help has also come from one niche firm that makes a living supplying Britain’s fetish community. MedFet announced on Friday that it would donate its entire stock of disposable scrubs to an NHS hospital.

Today we donated our entire stock of disposable scrubs to an NHS hospital. It was just a few sets, because we don't carry large stocks, but they were desperate, so we sent them free of charge.
We don't usually do politics on Twitter, but here's a short thread. [1/5] pic.twitter.com/Z4ygmGr99M

— MedFetUK (@MedFet_UK) March 27, 2020

These aren’t the ‘sexy’ Ann Summers nurse costumes you might see on Halloween night. Instead, they’re actual sterilized medical scrubs, usually sold to people whose idea of a quiet night inside involves forceps, catheters, and amateur proctology. The company’s ‘needle play’ range is among its most popular.

In making its announcement, the company lashed out at “chronic underfunding and cuts” to the NHS. It said that these cuts “sent the NHS into this battle with inadequate armour and one hand tied behind its back.” 

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Pitching for ideas? Trump turned to baseball great Rodriguez & girlfriend J-Lo for coronavirus thoughts, say US reports

Health Secretary Matt Hancock — who tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this week — downplayed reports of shortages in British hospitals, but admitted that there had been “challenges” in distributing supplies.  

As the British public came together at 8pm on Thursday to applaud the frontline healthcare workers battling the rampaging Coronavirus, surely there were some keen fetishists among them pleased to know their costumes would be put to use tackling a national crisis, instead of the usual adult activities. 

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---------- 14 ----------

Title: Rescuer dies as enormous FIRE erupts near Rostov-on-Don 2018 World Cup stadium (VIDEOS, PHOTO)

Link: https://www.rt.com/russia/484375-rostov-on-don-world-cup-stadium-fire/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 16:08:00 +0000

Desc: Preview A raging blaze, near a stadium used for the 2018 football World Cup, in Rostov-on-Don has scorched an area covering 25 hectares and claimed the life of one emergency worker.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/russia/484375-rostov-on-don-world-cup-stadium-fire/

Content:

A raging blaze, near a stadium used for the 2018 football World Cup, in Rostov-on-Don has scorched an area covering 25 hectares and claimed the life of one emergency worker.

The fire was fueled by a deadly mixture of dry reeds and a swirling wind, which allowed it to rapidly spread. 

Emergency services are scrambling to battle the blaze with dozens of firefighters training their hoses on the inferno and helicopters dumping tons of water on it from above.

Под Ростовом-на-Дону горят камыши, – огонь может перекинуться на стадион «Ростов Арена». На данный момент пожар разошёлся уже больше, чем на 1000 кв.метров.

К вылету готовят пожарный самолёт МЧС. pic.twitter.com/75BzrhqJns

— baza (@bazabazon) March 28, 2020

Powerful gusts are complicating the firefighting operation and one rescuer lost their life in the effort, local media report. The blaze came within 500 meters of the Rostov Arena but authorities say the stadium is no longer under threat, the Don-TR broadcasting company said.

Rostov Arena was built on the left bank of the Don River especially for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The 43,000-seat stadium hosted five matches of the tournament, including an epic playoff encounter in which Belgium came from behind to beat Japan 3-2. It’s now the home arena of FC Rostov, who were sitting fourth in the Russian Premier League before it went on break due to the coronavirus.

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---------- 15 ----------

Title: UFC 249 dealt seemingly fatal blow as Russia TOTALLY locks down borders... appearing to trap Khabib in country

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/484374-ufc-khabib-ferguson-russia-total-lockdown/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 15:28:00 +0000

Desc: Preview The Russian authorities may have put the final nail in the coffin for the UFC's plans to go ahead with the Khabib Nurmagomedov versus Tony Ferguson bout, after locking down all the country's borders.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/484374-ufc-khabib-ferguson-russia-total-lockdown/

Content:

The Russian authorities may have put the final nail in the coffin for the UFC's plans to go ahead with the Khabib Nurmagomedov versus Tony Ferguson bout, after locking down all the country's borders.

The Russian government announced on Saturday that all travel into and out of the country - including by rail, boat, car and even pedestrian - would be closed from Monday as the nation bids to stave off the spread of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.

The state order said that the measure was "temporary," but provided no indication as to when the border traffic will resume.

The ban does not apply to diplomats or members of official delegations departing from the country.

READ MORE: Russia to ban ALL cross-border travel over Covid-19 pandemic

Russia had already banned all regular and charter international flights from Friday, with the only exceptions for flights repatriating its citizens.

The news of the latest stringent measures is yet another apparent blow to UFC boss Dana White's plans to press ahead with the lightweight title match-up between Khabib and Ferguson set for April 18.

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© Instagram @khabib_nurmagomedov / Getty Images / AFP
‘What if Khabib has the corona?’ Joe Rogan rules himself out of 'cursed' UFC 249 superfight

Russian lightweight ruler Khabib is currently believed to be in his homeland, having recently returned from the US after his American Kickboxing Academy base in San Jose, California, was shut down.

Any window of opportunity to leave Russia again, if he hasn't done so already, would now seem to have disappeared with the latest measures imposed. 

UFC boss White has claimed that a new location for Khabib's blockbuster showdown with Ferguson - which was originally planned for the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York - has been "99 percent" agreed.

However, it seems unlikely that White could even get the fighters anywhere near each in the foreseeable future, considering that Khabib could be stuck in Russia.      



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Title: 6 years of economic war toughened Russia to deal with oil market chaos

Link: https://www.rt.com/business/484071-russia-economic-war-oil/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 14:55:03 +0000

Desc: Preview Russia has learned to survive Western sanctions and managed to accumulate enough funds to keep its economy afloat for several years even if oil prices continue to decline.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/business/484071-russia-economic-war-oil/

Content:

Russia has learned to survive Western sanctions and managed to accumulate enough funds to keep its economy afloat for several years even if oil prices continue to decline.

In a recent report, rating agency Moody’s said the Russian economy is less vulnerable to oil market shocks triggered by the coronavirus outbreak and the row between Moscow and Riyadh.

“Russia is best-prepared of all the oil-producing countries, as our economy has been living in an economic war mode for 6 years,” the president of the Russian-Asian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Vitaly Mankevich, told RT.

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FILE PHOTO: A Russian rouble coin inside a bulb with crude oil © Reuters / Vasily Fedosenko
Russian economy can survive for a long time with oil at $20 per barrel

Analysts say that flexible exchange rates allow Russian oil companies, which enjoy relatively low production costs (around $15-20 per barrel), to offset the decline in revenue. While analysts believe crude prices are unlikely to break that low threshold, they say that a drop below $40 per barrel is already bad for the Russian economy, while $30 is even worse.

“It will be a disaster [for the Russian economy] if oil companies become unfeasible, that is, when oil prices drop lower than 15 dollars per barrel,” Sergey Suverov, chief analyst with Premier BCS, said in an interview with RT.

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RT
Russia's gold & near-zero debt give it best chance of thriving in post-coronavirus apocalypse – Max Keiser

While Russia’s budget spending has not eclipsed revenues since 2017, the fall in oil prices and the fallout of the pandemic will result in a budget deficit of up to two percent or even more if the situation deteriorates, according to Mankevich. Russia’s fiscal breakeven oil price (at which the country can balance the budget) is $42.5 per barrel, but the gap can be filled thanks to its reserves.

Russia’s sovereign wealth fund can support the economy for two to four years depending on the situation, analysts believe. Gold and foreign currency reserves, which currently exceed $580 billion, can hold even longer, according to Mankevich. However, he warned that the holdings can almost be cut in half to $300 billion if there are two or three years of low oil prices.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section



---------- 17 ----------

Title: Russia to ban ALL cross-border travel over Covid-19 pandemic

Link: https://www.rt.com/russia/484372-russia-bans-crossborder-travel-coronavirus/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 14:47:00 +0000

Desc: Preview Automobile, railway, pedestrian and river checkpoints on the Russian border will go into lockdown on Monday in order to prevent Covid-19 from spreading across the country, the government has announced.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/russia/484372-russia-bans-crossborder-travel-coronavirus/

Content:

Automobile, railway, pedestrian and river checkpoints on the Russian border will go into lockdown on Monday in order to prevent Covid-19 from spreading across the country, the government has announced.

Authorities said that the measure was "temporary," but provided no indication as to when frontiers will re-open.

The ban doesn’t apply to diplomats or members of official delegations departing from the country.

Russian truck drivers serving international routes, as well as the crews of trains and river vessels, will be able to return home. Exceptions are also being made for residents of the Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad, as well as Russian passport holders living in the self-declared People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine. 

Russia has been making a large-scale effort to tackle the highly contagious disease, which included canceling all regular and charter flights in and out of the country.

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Russia presents Covid-19 TREATMENT based on existing anti-malaria drug

The whole of next week has been declared a paid nationwide holiday, for non-essential workers who cannot work from home, with the public advised to stay indoors. Restaurants, parks, cinemas and other establishments where large groups of people can gather will also shut down.

The overall number of infected now stands at 1,264 in Russia, with 228 new cases reported in the last 24 hours. Up to seven Covid-19 patients have died.

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---------- 18 ----------

Title: Conor McGregor calls for 'full 24-hour patrol' of Irish military to enforce coronavirus lockdown

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/484370-conor-mcgregor-coronavirus-ireland/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 14:43:00 +0000

Desc: Preview Conor McGregor has called for the Irish military to take to the streets in his latest message designed to galvanize public support in Ireland for measures implemented by the government to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/484370-conor-mcgregor-coronavirus-ireland/

Content:

Conor McGregor has called for the Irish military to take to the streets in his latest message designed to galvanize public support in Ireland for measures implemented by the government to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

The former UFC champion has been fiercely vocal this week in his various messages calling for solidarity amongst the Irish public in observing governmental practices to help fight the virus, and doubled down on that stance following a public address by Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar.

It was announced on Friday evening that Ireland is entering a two-week 'lockdown' period, in which people are required to stay at home for the majority of the day and only permitted to leave their homes in instances of emergencies, for the retrieval of essential supplies like food and medication and for brief exercise within a 2km (1.2 mile) radius of their homes.

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VALERIE MACON / AFP
Conor McGregor buys $1million worth of protective equipment for Irish hospitals to fight Covid-19

Further measures announced include expressly forbidding people over the age of 70 from leaving their home under any circumstances (again, unless it is an emergency) - but, as with any guidances such as these, they will only be successful if they are adhered to by the vast majority of the population. 

In a video address released soon afterwards, McGregor expressed his approval of the regulations - and went as far as to call for the Irish military to supplement the work of the Gardai (police). 

"Hello everyone, hello Ireland," McGregor said. "We have now entered a more substantial lockdown and I am pleased to see it. You see, if you do not enter the game you cannot win it. We have now entered this game and with strict adherence to the methods, we will win. To the Irish public: we must abide by the legislations put forth tonight by our leaders: no more than two kilometres from home, no unessential travel and full closure of all non-essential business.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on

"Now more than ever we must abide by this and I pray for the health and safety of our country that we do. The fate of our lives and the lives of our loved ones depends on it."

"Tonight our defence forces have been mentioned as a possibility in assisting our 15,000 gardai available - but only if necessary. However, it is necessary. I urge our government to utilise our defence forces alongside an garda siochana and for full 24-hour patrol. We can not go by chance here. Any less than full adherence to these newly put forth methods by any members of our society will not only be a mockery of what we are attempting to do here, it will put the rest of our great nation in danger."

McGregor commands a huge following amongst Irish youth and has previously called on his supporters to obey rules regarding social distancing and preventative hygiene measures. He has also announced that he will be making a $1.1 million financial donation to Irish hospitals to help fund the purchase of personal protective equipment designed to safeguard the health of frontline medical staff. 

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'This stupid f*cking virus': Conor McGregor posts lengthy statement about coronavirus amid personal tragedy

Furthermore, he called for people to maintain their physical health with "small-space exercise programmes" and to ensure they are receiving adequate nutrition to boost immune systems. 

The crucial point, though, was for everyone of every age to just stay at home.

"You are doing your country an incredible deed by staying put," he said.



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Title: 'None of this will work in reality': Piers Morgan rips into Gary Neville's plans for resumption of football season

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/484361-neville-morgan-coronavirus-premier-league/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 14:08:41 +0000

Desc: Preview With the global sporting calendar currently on pause due to the coronavirus pandemic, former pro footballer Gary Neville and professional provocateur Piers Morgan have very contrasting views on how and when to resume play.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/484361-neville-morgan-coronavirus-premier-league/

Content:

With the global sporting calendar currently on pause due to the coronavirus pandemic, former pro footballer Gary Neville and professional provocateur Piers Morgan have very contrasting views on how and when to resume play.

With the English Premier League - and indeed all major football leagues across the globe - currently suspended due to the outbreak, football fans are in a state of uncertainty as to how, or if, the current football season can be completed.

Football authorities in England had initially outlined an April 3 date to return to action but that has since been extended to April 30. However, with the pandemic worsening and further measures being implemented across swathes of society to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 many are suggesting that it looks increasingly unlikely that the reason can be resumed with enough time to complete the unplayed fixtures in advance of next season.

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© Reuters
Coronavirus crisis offers football a glimpse of a brighter, more egalitarian future

The one-year postponement of this summer's European Championships leaves open a potential window in which games might - in theory - be able to be played (if the situation is deemed safe) and has led to something of a civil war among England's football analysts. Some maintain that the unplayed games must be played, and others say that the best course of action would be to declare the season null and void and start anew next season.

This contrast in thinking was apparent in a social media spat between former Manchester United defender Gary Neville and television host Piers Morgan on Saturday, with the former declaring the fixtures must be completed and the latter calling for The FA to effectively cancel the 2019-20 season.

Piers it will work and is likely to happen when and only when it is safe to do so.

— Gary Neville (@GNev2) March 28, 2020

Writing on Twitter, Neville proposed that the current Premier League season could be completed within a brief period of consistent games (so long as it is safe to do so) and to condense next season into a shorter timeframe.

He also advocated for the transfer window to remain open for the entirety of next season to provide teams with financial agility, as well as extending the contracts of players to fulfil any summer fixtures, as well as financial packages being arranged for clubs whose very existence may be threatened by a loss of income.

Morgan, though, doesn't agree. Replying to Neville on Twitter, he said that playing numerous games in a short timespan would increase the risk of injury and that the only viable option is to effectively cancel the season.

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'Pass the message': Lionel Messi leads galaxy of stars calling on fans to unite to defeat coronavirus

He said that this would be "a shame" for Premier League champions-elect Liverpool, as well as Leeds United who appeared assured of promotion to England's top flight, but that is "irrelevant given the crisis".

Football authorities across Europe have yet to announce any measures to this regard but with time ticking ever closer to the summer months, it is clear that a definitive decision must be made - and made soon.



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Title: Three patients with Covid-19 die in Russia as country registers 228 new cases, total now 1,264

Link: https://www.rt.com/russia/484345-russia-six-coronavirus-death-victim/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 13:52:00 +0000

Desc: Preview Three people in Russia have died after being infected with coronavirus. The precise cause of death in some of the cases is being determined, but they could potentially bring the country's Covid-19 death toll to seven.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/russia/484345-russia-six-coronavirus-death-victim/

Content:

Three people in Russia have died after being infected with coronavirus. The precise cause of death in some of the cases is being determined, but they could potentially bring the country's Covid-19 death toll to seven.

One case involved a 57-year-old man from the town of Buzuluk, in the south-western Orenburg region. The local authorities said that the victim had caught the virus after traveling around Europe by car.

He was hospitalized, along with six family members, after it was discovered that he’d contracted Covid-19. The autopsy confirmed the coronavirus infection and bilateral viral pneumonia, with the late patient also suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes and bronchitis.

Hours later, St. Petersburg disclosed that it had registered its first fatality, involving a coronavirus patient, who just recently arrived in the city. Governor Alexander Beglov said that an autopsy was being performed to determine the precise cause of death.

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Russia presents Covid-19 TREATMENT based on existing anti-malaria drug

Then another death was reported in Moscow, which has the most coronavirus cases in Russia – 817. A 65-year-old epidemiologist succumbed to the disease in one of the capital’s hospitals. The woman was a university professor and did not work with Covid-19 patients. She’d arrived to the hospital with bilateral pneumonia and was placed in intensive care, but couldn’t be saved due to several pre-existing conditions.

Russia registered its fourth coronavirus-related fatality on Friday, after a 56-year-old cancer survivor with one lung succumbed to illness in the capital.

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Russian military experts check equipment to fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus infection in Bergamo. © Sputnik / Russia's Defense Ministry
Russian military support ‘much needed’ in Italy's 'critical' battle against Covid-19 – Lombardy VP

Officials announced 228 new infections on Saturday, bringing the country's total to 1,264.

The Russian government has ordered a shutdown of all restaurants, cafes, and shops – except essential businesses such as grocery stores and pharmacies – across the country between March 28 and April 5.

Cases worldwide have reached more than 615,500, according to a tally maintained by Johns Hopkins University, with deaths totaling more than 28,700.

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---------- 21 ----------

Title: ‘Least deserving’ Branson roasted as Virgin Atlantic seeks massive state-sponsored bailout despite not paying staff

Link: https://www.rt.com/uk/484367-richard-branson-blasted-virgin-bailout-staff/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 13:50:03 +0000

Desc: Preview Billionaire Richard Branson is coming under fire from politicians and regular citizens alike as the tycoon sought hundreds of millions of pounds in state aid for his Virgin Atlantic airline due to the Covid-19 crunch.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/uk/484367-richard-branson-blasted-virgin-bailout-staff/

Content:

Billionaire Richard Branson is coming under fire from politicians and regular citizens alike as the tycoon sought hundreds of millions of pounds in state aid for his Virgin Atlantic airline due to the Covid-19 crunch.

The airline, which does not boast the cash reserves of some of its larger competitors, has been hard-hit by the coronavirus crisis, which has left the aviation sector reeling.

It quickly put its staff on unpaid leave and has led the calls for a state-sponsored bailout of the industry. However, it plans to use the funds to cover fixed costs, rather than to pay its staff, who won’t be getting a paycheck from the company for at least eight weeks.

The news that Branson’s airline applied for hundreds of millions of pounds worth of state money, despite not paying its workers, sparked an avalanche of criticism of the billionaire on Saturday and he quickly trended on Twitter in the UK. 

Hi #RichardBranson, can you send me a full list of all your businesses please? Because I'm going to

BOYCOTT EVERY FUCKING ONE

— Mike (@artmichapp) March 28, 2020

Green Party peer Natalie Bennett led the criticism, branding Branson the “least deserving” candidate for a bailout. “Richard Branson is already the UK’s largest benefit recipient, and least deserving… No bailout for [the] man who I’m sure just lives in a tax haven for weather,” she wrote

Once upon a time my old headteacher gave a school assembly on Richard Branson being a brilliant role model. Hopefully one positive change from this era will be that no-one has to endure an assembly like that again.

— Matt Haig (@matthaig1) March 28, 2020

Broadcaster India Willoughby added: 

Trying to figure out why a billionaire who sued the NHS, lives in a hammock, pays no UK tax and builds spaceships wants you and me to bail him out.

The billionaire island-dweller has surely developed a thick skin over the years but the level of scrutiny on him has ratcheted up significantly during the pandemic. Less than two weeks ago, shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald said it was a “disgrace” that a company owned by a billionaire asked its employees to “live without wages for two months in the middle of a crisis.”

If your company isn't registered in the UK, you should get no bailouts. #RichardBranson
If your business model does not allow for contingencies/lacks insurance, you should get no bailouts.

If normal people "save for a rainy day", so should corporations.

— Legion (@VenousRising) March 28, 2020

#RichardBranson is all that is bad about the UK. He owns a bloody Island and is asking for a hand out from the UK Govt when there are people who currently don't have any money to buy food for their family! Sell your Island Richard and pay your staff and stop being a dick.

— Maggie Georgeson (@GeorgesonMaggie) March 28, 2020

He even attracted the ire of Richard Fuller, a sitting member of parliament for the business-friendly Conservative Party. Fuller urged the mogul to give up the interest on his wealth for eight weeks in order to pay his staff.

“When it comes to looking at the protection of your workers, the time is now, and we will judge you all by your actions,” he said to Branson during a speech in the House of Commons.

Branson has yet to take the MP for North East Bedfordshire up on the suggestion.

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---------- 22 ----------

Title: No reason to relax: Merkel warns Germans that lockdown WON'T be lifted as Covid-19 infections soar

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484363-merkel-coronavirus-lockdown-infection-germany/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 13:39:32 +0000

Desc: Preview Angela Merkel has urged Germans to continue to cooperate with a nationwide shutdown aimed at halting the coronavirus pandemic, arguing that the large number of daily infections means that the measures must remain in place.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/484363-merkel-coronavirus-lockdown-infection-germany/

Content:

Angela Merkel has urged Germans to continue to cooperate with a nationwide shutdown aimed at halting the coronavirus pandemic, arguing that the large number of daily infections means that the measures must remain in place.

In a weekly podcast, the German chancellor thanked the nation for complying with a comprehensive shutdown of non-essential activities, as well as for following social distancing guidelines, but said that the country was still a long way from returning to normal.

"I must ask you to be patient. Unfortunately, the daily numbers of new infections still give us no reason to relax the rules," she said, without specifying when the shutdown might end.

Her chief of staff, Helge Braun, told media on Saturday that the measures will not be eased before at least April 20.

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Employees in protective clothing perform tests for the corona virus at a laboratory in Berlin, Germany. © Reuters / Axel Schmidt
Germany’s Covid-19 cases jump by 5,700+ in a single day with death toll up by 55

Merkel, who is still in quarantine after coming into contact with a doctor infected with Covid-19, noted that the number of new cases in Germany has roughly doubled every 5.5 days. Although the number of new infections has slowed since the start of the outbreak, she stressed that the country's health system was still at risk of being dangerously overburdened.

Germany has registered 6,294 new cases, according to the latest figures published by the Robert Koch Institute, bringing the nationwide total to 48,582. The respiratory illness has killed 325 people in Germany since the pandemic began more than two months ago in Wuhan, China.

The country has shuttered schools, shops, restaurants and public places in an effort to stop the spread of the disease.

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FILE PHOTO: A sticker is seen outside a bar in the old town of Freiburg, Germany, January 24, 2016
Germany plays Russian roulette with Covid-19, welcomes refugees from high-risk infection zones

The number of confirmed cases in the country is among the highest in Europe, with only Italy and Spain reporting more. Germany has been seen as an anomaly, however, due to its surprisingly low death rate when compared to other nations.

Infections worldwide surpassed 600,000 on Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University, with deaths exceeding 28,000.

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---------- 23 ----------

Title: Pitching for ideas? Trump turned to baseball great Rodriguez & girlfriend J-Lo for coronavirus thoughts, say US reports

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/484362-trump-alex-rodriguez-j-lo-coronavirus/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 13:29:32 +0000

Desc: Preview US President Donald Trump has cast his net far and wide in seeking input on how to tackle the mounting Covid-19 crisis in the country, including seeking the thoughts of baseball great Alex Rodriguez, according to some reports.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/484362-trump-alex-rodriguez-j-lo-coronavirus/

Content:

US President Donald Trump has cast his net far and wide in seeking input on how to tackle the mounting Covid-19 crisis in the country, including seeking the thoughts of baseball great Alex Rodriguez, according to some reports.

Coronavirus casualties are rising rapidly by the day in America, which has become the new epicenter for the pandemic.

Also on rt.com
A New York City Fire Department Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) wearing protective gear responds to a call for a sick patient during the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Queens, New York, U.S., March 27, 2020. © REUTERS/Stefan Jeremiah
US passes 100,000 CASES of Covid-19 after becoming world epicenter for virus – Johns Hopkins University

In economic terms, US leader Trump has formally signed a $2.2 trillion stimulus package as the nation bids to stave off even more disaster.

And in seeking thoughts from various quarters on how to handle the crisis, Trump has apparently turned to New York Yankees legend Alex Rodriguez and his partner, pop princess Jennifer Lopez.

Reports from ABC News' John Santucci and Katherine Faulders state that Trump called the man known as A-Rod for his "thoughts" on the pandemic amid a "marathon" of meetings last week.

During marathon day of meetings earlier this week, President Trump continued outreach across the country regarding coronavirus & phoned former Yankees baseball player Alex Rodriguez. Multiple sources tell ABC, the president spoke to ARod from the Oval Office via me & @KFaulders

— John Santucci (@Santucci) March 28, 2020

A source close to Rodriguez told @ABC the call with Trump was “pleasant” adding that Trump was seeking thoughts from ARod about the coronavirus response. Sources say there was no discussion of AROD or his fiancé Jennifer Lopez taking on any official effort.

— John Santucci (@Santucci) March 28, 2020

The supposedly unconventional approach provided ample ammunition for Trump-bashers, who questioned what exactly the 44-year-old former slugger and his popstress partner could bring to the table regarding the battle against the raging outbreak.

If I was president in the middle of a biblical pandemic the first person I’d reach out to for advice is a former all-star baseball player. Who wouldn’t?

— Marc Shkolnick (@mshkolnick) March 28, 2020

I just hope that @JLo was home when he called. I’m sure her medical, public health and economic insights would be invaluable to handling a global pandemic.

— Leslie McCarthy (@LeslieM3355) March 28, 2020

Others though felt that the baseball star was a logical choice for pharmaceutical advice, considering the 14-time All-Star was once banned for an entire season for violating MLB's performance-enhancing drugs policy. 

Well he does know his way around pharmaceuticals.

— Aaron (@roneman90) March 28, 2020

Does ... does Trump think Covid-19 is a steroid?

— Attorney@Law (@TheGlare_TM) March 28, 2020

And this being Trump-era America, some presidential fans dismissed the claims outright as being fake news...

pic.twitter.com/gpKDSb2sn1

— Loved & Imperfec†🇺🇸 (@RayneNGrace) March 28, 2020

With or without A-Rod and J-Lo's help, Trump and the US continue to battle a deadly outbreak which on Friday hit the 100,000 cases mark, putting it out in front of even the likes of China - where the outbreak began - and Italy, which had previously been the epicenter of the pandemic.



---------- 24 ----------

Title: Covid-19 SPIKE in Netherlands as 93 new deaths and over 1,100 new cases recorded

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484365-netherlands-coronavirus-death-toll/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 13:24:10 +0000

Desc: Preview The Netherlands’ surge in coronavirus cases continues, with 1,159 people confirmed as having caught the disease in 24 hours. The European country has also reported 93 new deaths from the virus.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/484365-netherlands-coronavirus-death-toll/

Content:

The Netherlands’ surge in coronavirus cases continues, with 1,159 people confirmed as having caught the disease in 24 hours. The European country has also reported 93 new deaths from the virus.

A total of 9,762 people have now contracted the illness in the country, with Saturday’s spike accounting for almost 14 percent of all confirmed cases. The death toll now stands at 639, up from 546 on Friday.

The Netherlands introduced social distancing and other measures in mid-March, in a bid to try and control the spread of the virus. Its National Institute for Health (RIVM) said it hopes to see the fruits of these efforts "within several days."

Also on rt.com
A priest gives a response in front the coffin of a woman who died of Covid-19 in Madrid on Friday. © REUTERS/Juan Medina
Spain suffers another record day for Covid-19 deaths as 832 perish

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---------- 25 ----------

Title: US faces DEFICIT of GOLD amid coronavirus market rout – media

Link: https://www.rt.com/business/484356-us-faces-deficit-gold/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 13:05:20 +0000

Desc: Preview As the deadly infection spreads across the US, the demand for gold, the all-time safe-haven metal, has skyrocketed, but there is not enough of it in local coffers to satisfy buyers’ appetites, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/business/484356-us-faces-deficit-gold/

Content:

As the deadly infection spreads across the US, the demand for gold, the all-time safe-haven metal, has skyrocketed, but there is not enough of it in local coffers to satisfy buyers’ appetites, according to The Wall Street Journal.

While dealers are reportedly out of the coveted commodity, and some were even forced to shut down. Swiss bank Credit Suisse, which has been minting gold bullions since the middle if the nineteenth century, has asked customers not to ask for them. 

Read more
© Getty Images / JONGHO SHIN
Sinking global economy & cheap crude take big bite out of Russia’s forex reserves

Earlier this week, the US Mint, which sells bullion coins to official distributors, was reported as saying that the virus may delay sales and delivery of its products, with its director David Rider asking clients to be patient. 

The shortages have forced gold-hungry bankers and brokers in the US to look at neighboring Canada as a possible source, bombarding the Royal Canadian Mint with requests to boost production, according to the WSJ. The Canadian company said that the demand had reached “unprecedented levels,” but it seems that it is unlikely to meet it, as the mint is currently understaffed due to the Covid-19 prevention measures.

“It’s absolutely crazy what’s going on,” Ludwig Karl, a board member of Swiss Gold Safe, a company that stores precious metals among other prized assets, told Bloomberg. “Right now, if somebody wants to buy gold, I wish them all the best in finding it. Most of the bullion dealers are closed.”

Gold futures enjoyed their largest daily dollar gain on Monday, rising over $80 an ounce, according to MarketWatch, and rose beyond $1,692 per ounce on Tuesday. However, the precious metal gave up the gains later in the week, ending slightly above $1,630 an ounce; analysts expect the prices to rise further.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section



---------- 26 ----------

Title: Russia presents Covid-19 TREATMENT based on existing anti-malaria drug

Link: https://www.rt.com/russia/484364-russian-drug-treatment-covid19/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 13:02:00 +0000

Desc: Preview Russian specialists said they've come up with an effective way to treat Covid-19 using an anti-malarial drug. This type of medication is now widely researched around the globe as a possible remedy from the pandemic.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/russia/484364-russian-drug-treatment-covid19/

Content:

Russian specialists said they've come up with an effective way to treat Covid-19 using an anti-malarial drug. This type of medication is now widely researched around the globe as a possible remedy from the pandemic.

While experts around the world have been trying to create a specific vaccine against the virus behind the global outbreak, there have also been active attempts to re-purpose existing medicines to help the scores of patients that badly need treatment.

After anti-malarial drugs were used in China, which managed to curb the coronavirus outbreak on its soil, they became the subject of research in many countries, including the US, Canada, France and others.

US President, Donald Trump, has been actively promoting hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine as "biggest game-changers" in the fight against the highly contagious disease, which already killed more than 1,900 in America and almost 30,000 worldwide.

Also on rt.com
French professor Didier Raoult, director of IHU Mediterranee Infection Institute in Marseille, pictured on February 26, 2020
This scientist suggested a drug to treat Covid-19. 'Fact checkers' branded him fake news

The Russian pharmacists also believe in the effectiveness of malaria medication against the virus, but suggested that another drug — Mefloquine — should be employed. They said their treatment was developed taking Chinese and French experience into account.

The drug, which has been around since the 1970s, blocks the degenerative effect Covid-19 has on cells and doesn’t allow the virus to replicate further, the Russian Federal Medical-Biological Agency (FMBA) said in a statement. They added that Mefloquine’s immuno-suppressive effect prevents the inflammatory response caused by the disease.

The Russian medics have been working on “an effective and safe scheme to prevent coronavirus infection on the basis of mefloquine, which not only would overcome the peak of incidence but would also effectively control it in the future,” the FMBA said.

Also on rt.com
EMTs load a patient into an ambulance outside the Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York City, US, March 27, 2020.
Worldwide number of Covid-19 cases exceeds 615,500 — Johns Hopkins University

There have been 228 new coronavirus cases registered in Russia in the last 24 hours, bringing the overall number of infected to 1,264. Up to seven people, who had tested positive for Covid-19, have died.

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---------- 27 ----------

Title: Kazakh bodybuilder's 'marriage' to sex doll girlfriend on hold because of coronavirus

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/484358-kazakh-bodybuilder-sex-doll-marriage-coronavirus/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 11:26:02 +0000

Desc: Preview Kazakh bodybuilder Yuri Tolochko has revealed his planned nuptials with sex-doll fiancee Margo have fallen victim to the coronavirus pandemic. Yes, you read that right.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/484358-kazakh-bodybuilder-sex-doll-marriage-coronavirus/

Content:

Kazakh bodybuilder Yuri Tolochko has revealed his planned nuptials with sex-doll fiancee Margo have fallen victim to the coronavirus pandemic. Yes, you read that right.

Muscleman Tolochko recently sent social media into a spin when he announced his plans to wed plastic lover Margo, having first shared news of their relationship back in May of 2019.

Also on rt.com
© Instagram / yurii_tolochko
Freaky romance: Kazakh bodybuilder intends to marry sex doll (PHOTOS)

Silicone sex doll Margo has her own Instagram page run by Tolochko, where the details of their intense preparations for the big day have been shared.

But the Kazakh hulk has now revealed that the wedding is on hold due to Covid-19 curbs.

“Friends, the wedding has been postponed because of the quarantine,” Tolochko announced to his 36,000 Instagram followers.  

The couple apparently remain determined to tie the knot however.

“As soon as they remove the quarantine, within a few days we’ll have the wedding,” Tolochko added.

“In general, we are determined and our mood is good.

“The quarantine has been announced until mid-April.

“P.S. So that you are not sad, I offer a beautiful video, shot while riding a tuk-tuk on the island of Ko Samet [in Thailand]. Enjoy it!”

Tolochko and his plastic partner have become social media stars and have also appeared on TV shows, including in Russia.

The bodybuilder claims to have become inseparable from Margo since their first encounter, even saying he had learnt to cook khinkali – apparently his girlfriend’s favorite dish.

Tolochko claims that after appearing on TV Margo was body-shamed by some on social media, causing her to develop a complex and undergo plastic surgery.

Happier days await as the couple continue their plans to take the plunge, although it remains unclear exactly how their wedding vows would be officially registered.



---------- 28 ----------

Title: Rouhani says Iran's healthcare system ready for Covid-19 peak as it sees more than 3,000 new infections

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484354-iran-coronavirus-3000-infections-peak/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 11:24:00 +0000

Desc: Preview President Hassan Rouhani has said that Iran’s medical infrastructure was prepared to overcome the zenith of the coronavirus pandemic, as the country recorded more than 3,000 new cases and nearly 140 new deaths.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/484354-iran-coronavirus-3000-infections-peak/

Content:

President Hassan Rouhani has said that Iran’s medical infrastructure was prepared to overcome the zenith of the coronavirus pandemic, as the country recorded more than 3,000 new cases and nearly 140 new deaths.

The Iranian leader expressed confidence in his country’s ability to cope with a possible peak in Covid-19 cases during televised remarks on Saturday. He described Iran’s medical facilities and personnel as “strong,” and predicted that the crisis could come to an end in a few weeks.

Rouhani’s remarks came as Iran’s health ministry confirmed 3,076 new infections, bringing the national total to 35,408. The Islamic Republic also saw 139 new deaths in the past 24 hours, raising the toll to 2,517.

Iran announced on Friday the creation of a makeshift hospital in the nation’s capital. The country’s military reportedly converted an exhibition center into a 2,000-bed medical facility in just 48 hours. The hospital will be used to treat patients recovering from coronavirus pandemic.

Also on rt.com
Firefighters disinfect streets in Tehran, Iran March 18, 2020.
Iran records 144 new Covid-19 deaths as military sets up emergency 2,000-bed hospital in Tehran

Although Iran has been one of the hardest-hit countries in the region, its total number of infections remains relatively modest compared to the situation unfolding in Europe and the United States. The US now has the most confirmed cases (nearly 105,000), followed by Italy (around 86,500), according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. Worldwide cases surpassed 600,000 on Saturday, with the global death count closing in on 28,000.

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---------- 29 ----------

Title: WATCH Russian biodefense troops disinfect nursing home in coronavirus-hit Italy

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484343-italy-russia-covid19-response/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 11:04:00 +0000

Desc: Preview Experts from Moscow's biodefense unit have been deployed at the epicenter of the deadly Covid-19 outbreak in Italy, tasked with disinfecting a nursing home where patients died amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/484343-italy-russia-covid19-response/

Content:

Experts from Moscow's biodefense unit have been deployed at the epicenter of the deadly Covid-19 outbreak in Italy, tasked with disinfecting a nursing home where patients died amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A Russian military biological and chemical protection team was dispatched to the Martino Zanchi nursing home in the city of Bergamo in Italy's northern Lombardy region on Friday.

Going from room to room, anti-epidemic specialists in hazmat suits and respirators sprayed disinfectant on all furniture, including beds and mattresses. They also thoroughly disinfected floors, walls and ceilings because traces of Covid-19 are known to have been found on many types of surfaces.

Last month, 20 people died in the nursing home as authorities struggled to contain the coronavirus in Bergamo.

The disease has been raging across Italy since February, with Lombardy being the hardest hit region, where local health systems were completely overwhelmed.

Russia has airlifted vital medical supplies and disease control experts to Italy as part of an effort to help the country slow down the spread of the coronavirus.

Also on rt.com
Russian military experts visit hospital facilities for elderly people to fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus infection in Bergamo. © Sputnik / Russia's Defense Ministry
Surveying the virus battlefield: Russian military medics inspect Covid-19 health facilities in Bergamo, Italy (VIDEO)

Italy currently has the second-highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases, with nearly 86,500 people testing positive for the virus. More than 9,130 people have died, with 919 new deaths recorded on Friday.

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---------- 30 ----------

Title: Spain suffers another record day for Covid-19 deaths as 832 perish

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484357-spain-death-toll-coronavirus/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 10:44:00 +0000

Desc: Preview Spain has recorded another record breaking day for Covid-19 deaths as 832 people died from the disease in 24 hours and the number of cases surged by over 8,000.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/484357-spain-death-toll-coronavirus/

Content:

Spain has recorded another record breaking day for Covid-19 deaths as 832 people died from the disease in 24 hours and the number of cases surged by over 8,000.

Spanish health officials announced on Saturday morning that 5,690 people have now died from the coronavirus in the Mediterranean country and a total of 72,248 people have contracted the illness. 

The figure represents an increase of 8,189 confirmed cases on Friday’s total.

While the shocking statistics are a further reminder of the threat the virus poses they offer evidence that the rate of infection has slowed in Spain.

The jump in cases is a 12.7 percent increase on the previous day, which compares favorably to a 14 percent increase announced on Friday, Thursday’s 18 percent spike and Wednesday’s 20 percent surge.

Spain has the world's second-highest death toll after Italy. It implemented a strict nationwide lockdown on 14 March which will remain in place until at least 12 April.

Also on rt.com
A woman wearing a protective mask gets food at a food bank in Cologne, Germany, on Friday. © REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen
Covid-19 cases in Germany surge 6,294 in one day as death toll hits 325

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---------- 31 ----------

Title: 'I got stir crazy': Police body-cam footage sheds new light on arrest of UFC star Jon Jones (VIDEO)

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/484353-jon-jones-arrest-footage/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 10:35:29 +0000

Desc: Preview Police footage from the recent arrest of UFC star Jon Jones shows the longtime light heavyweight champion fail a series of roadside sobriety tests after being pulled over in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Thursday.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/484353-jon-jones-arrest-footage/

Content:

Police footage from the recent arrest of UFC star Jon Jones shows the longtime light heavyweight champion fail a series of roadside sobriety tests after being pulled over in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Thursday.

Jones, 32, was arrested on four charges, including DWI and negligent use of a firearm, in what is the latest run-in with law enforcement after his black SUV was pulled over after police officers adjudged him to be driving erratically in the late-night incident. 

Also on rt.com
RT
UFC champion Jon 'Bones' Jones arrested for alleged DWI and negligent use of a firearm – reports

Police body-cam footage from one of the arresting officers, Brian Johnson, shows the 13-minute exchange in full in which an apparently intoxicated Jones first explains that he had a single vodka drink earlier in the evening before being asked to exit his vehicle where the visibly confused UFC superstar appears to have significant trouble in performing various sobriety tests.

At one point in the video, Jones attempts to explain his poor performance on the tests by admitting that he suffers from attention deficit disorder - and also saying that "not a lot of people know" that he experiences short-term memory loss. 

When asked by the officer what he was doing driving late at night, Jones explained that he was "stir crazy" because of instructions to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic and that he went for a drive. He also detailed to police how he had been speaking to some homeless people.

"I got stir crazy. I got pulled over just being nice, being nice to the homeless people," Jones told Officer Johnson.

"I literally just got stir crazy. I just wanted to have a drive. This is my first drive in two weeks. And I saw these homeless guys, I was being nice to them, having conversation with them, treating them like humans."

After performing poorly in further roadside tests, Jones is informed that he is under arrest and is placed in handcuffs. A visibly emotional Jones expresses to the police that he suffers from anxiety and asks the officers if they would allow him to roll the window down inside the police car.

Also on rt.com
© Getty Images / AFP | Twitter
UFC fans have field day after Jon Jones urges people ‘not to screw up’ in coronavirus message… then gets arrested

The incident is Jones' latest tangle with the law. In 2012, Jones avoided jail after crashing his Bentley into a utility pole in New York. Three years later he was involved in a hit and run in which his car struck a vehicle being driven by a pregnant lady. Jones fled the scene on foot and was subsequently stripped of his UFC championship.

It remains to be seen if Jones will see a similar sanction from the UFC in what seems to be an increasingly alarming trend for the promotion's most historically dominant fighter - once again proving that the only man who can stop Jon Jones appears to be Jones himself. 



---------- 32 ----------

Title: Russia says OPEC+ deal revival possible if other countries join in

Link: https://www.rt.com/business/484346-russia-opec-deal-revival/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 10:34:56 +0000

Desc: Preview A new agreement to stabilize oil markets is possible if more nations support the initiative, according to the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Kirill Dmitriev.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/business/484346-russia-opec-deal-revival/

Content:

A new agreement to stabilize oil markets is possible if more nations support the initiative, according to the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Kirill Dmitriev.

In an interview to Reuters, the sovereign wealth fund chief said that coronavirus epidemic has become a "perfect storm" to trigger a new global financial crisis that will result in recession. To offset the economic fallout of the outbreak, countries should unite, including in imposing new output curbs to end the oil market turbulence.

Also on rt.com
FILE PHOTO: Nahr Bin Umar oil field, Iraq © Reuters  / Essam Al-Sudani
Waking up to a new reality: What’s going on with stocks & oil?

Russia, which is not a member of the the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), was one of the key supporters of the production cut pact with the alliance, Dmitriev stressed, adding that the deal brought more than 10 trillion rubles (nearly $127 billion) to the country's budget. Earlier this month Moscow and the OPEC kingpin, Riyadh, failed to agree on a new deal, sending oil prices to multi-year lows.

"It was not Russia that made decision to boost output and withdraw from the OPEC+, but we [the RDIF] believe that we can back to the deal," Dmitriev said, adding that Russia maintains dialogue with Saudi Arabia, as well as with some other nations.

"We see that if the number of OPEC+ members will increase and other countries will join there is a possibility of a joint agreement to balance oil markets," he added without elaborating which countries could join the deal.

Also on rt.com
FILE PHOTO: A Russian rouble coin inside a bulb with crude oil © Reuters / Vasily Fedosenko
Russian economy can survive for a long time with oil at $20 per barrel

Meanwhile Saudi Arabia said it had no contact over the possibility of a new agreement on oil production caps, as well as enlargement of the deal, at least at the energy ministers level.

Oil prices have been tumbling since the beginning of the month as the failure of Vienna talks was taken as the beginning of a full-scale oil price war — the claim that was later denied by Moscow. Both benchmark brands, WTI and Brent, were trading lower on Friday, ending the week at $21.51 per barrel and $27.95 per barrel respectively.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section



---------- 33 ----------

Title: ‘What if Khabib has the corona?’ Joe Rogan rules himself out of 'cursed' UFC 249 superfight

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/484352-khabib-coronavirus-joe-rogan-ufc-249/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 10:00:50 +0000

Desc: Preview Commentator Joe Rogan is a UFC mainstay but even he isn’t taking any chances during the Covid-19 pandemic, ruling himself out of duties at the UFC 249 showdown between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/484352-khabib-coronavirus-joe-rogan-ufc-249/

Content:

Commentator Joe Rogan is a UFC mainstay but even he isn’t taking any chances during the Covid-19 pandemic, ruling himself out of duties at the UFC 249 showdown between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson.

UFC boss Dana White is desperately scrambling to find a location for the April 18 card after the original venue of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, was ruled out along with multiple other options as the world went into a coronavirus-induced lockdown.

White remains adamant that the fight – which has been cancelled four times previously – will go ahead, claiming that he is 99 percent certain of a venue, although without revealing exactly where he has in mind.

Also on rt.com
RT
'It's going to be a closed event': UFC president Dana White says Khabib vs. Ferguson WILL go ahead – at a mystery location

Khabib, meanwhile, has returned to his native Dagestan from the US and in recent days has hinted at his doubts that the fight will happen on the stated date.

There is also the issue of Ramadan starting on April 23, and during which the devout Muslim UFC lightweight champ would not contemplate fighting.  

‘This is only the beginning': Khabib hints worst yet to come in UFC 249 saga with cryptic message 

Now UFC commentator Rogan has said again that the Khabib versus Ferguson fight is “cursed” and that whoever is on commentary duties for the bout, it won’t be him.

“The UFC is talking about putting on a fight on April 18. I don’t know how they’re going to do that. I don’t know if they’re going be able to do that in the United States,” Rogan said on his popular Joe Rogan Experience podcast.

“They’re talking about doing it in a place with less than 10 people, just in an open arena.

“I guess someone’s going to commentate it, it’s not going to be me…

“It doesn’t have to be a big place, it could be like a film studio somewhere,” he added.  

“The thing is, how are they going to make sure nobody has it?

“You’re going to have to test everybody. And if someone has it, do you let them fight?

“What if they have it, and they’re like [actor] Idris Elba, and they have no symptoms, but they’ve got the corona?

“What if Khabib has the corona? Or what if Tony has the corona? Does Khabib even fight him?”

“This fight is so cursed,” Rogan said.

“This is how Dana feels. This is why Dana’s trying so hard to make it happen, even if there’s only 10 people in the room.”

Also on rt.com
RT
UFC 249: Why Khabib vs. Ferguson could STILL BE the UFC's biggest fight of all time, despite coronavirus

In recent days other alternatives have been suggested for the bout, which pits unbeaten lightweight champ Khabib against Ferguson – a man undefeated in seven years and on a 12-fight win streak.

Russia’s Chechnaya is one such location doing the rumor rounds, which would at least involve a short travel distance for the champ himself but slightly more of a trek for Ferguson and other UFC fighters, should the card be held in its entirety.

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Getty / Anadolu Agency
Kadyrov calling: Why Chechnya could be the perfect location for Khabib v Tony UFC 249 crisis

If Dana White does manage to pull off the increasingly improbable feat of staging the fight on the stated date then one thing’s for sure, we won’t be hearing the distinctive tones of Joe Rogan behind the microphone.



---------- 34 ----------

Title: In 2009 UK government experts wildly over-hyped dangers of swine flu — is history repeating with Covid-19?

Link: https://www.rt.com/uk/484319-coronavirus-swine-flu-hysteria-redux/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 09:29:00 +0000

Desc: Preview Amidst the coronavirus lockdown, some of the claims of governments and media have been shown to be exaggerated. Ten years ago, they tried the same thing with swine flu. They haven’t learned their lessons — has the public?
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/uk/484319-coronavirus-swine-flu-hysteria-redux/

Content:

Amidst the coronavirus lockdown, some of the claims of governments and media have been shown to be exaggerated. Ten years ago, they tried the same thing with swine flu. They haven’t learned their lessons — has the public?

On Wednesday, RT picked apart the sensationalist mortality rates that media and governments have been using to terrify the public. These figures are the product of some transparently weak statistics, and cast the true threat from Covid-19 into doubt. There is a saying among statisticians who generate the projections of how pandemics will spread that goes: ‘’All models are wrong.’’ How true that may soon be proven. Now, in the heat of the coronavirus crisis, epidemiologists and computer modelers are being yanked in front of governments and parliaments to give their worst case scenario predictions … and some are already emerging with egg on their face.

Also on rt.com
An elderly woman walks passed a Simpsons character in a surgical face mask outside a fancy dress shop on March 18, 2020 in Cardiff, UK © Getty Images / Matthew Horwood
Covid-19: Are we in danger of listening too much to experts?

One such expert is Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London, who has been testifying before the British parliament on how many people he thinks will ultimately fall prey to Covid-19. Professor Ferguson was giving evidence as part of a parliamentary select committee on science and technology. His initial projection was that Covid-19 would claim the lives of 500,000 people in the UK — but he has revised that projection. Ferguson now believes that at most 20,000 people will die — and it could be much lower.

The eminent epidemiologist’s U-turn has not been widely reported to the public, but reportage from inside the hearing says that Professor Ferguson is now calling a figure 25 times smaller than his original prediction the absolute maximum. One wonders what has happened to change his mind — it seems that the lower than expected mortality rates are causing experts to re-evaluate their more apocalyptic predictions. Professor Ferguson actually has Covid-19 himself —perhaps it is not as bad as he thought.

Moreover, Professor Ferguson told the British parliament that he believes the UK’s national health system (NHS) has enough intensive care beds and equipment to handle the pandemic. And although the peak not having hit just yet, he believes that the UK will come through the worst relatively smoothly. Much ado about nothing, then?

Year of the pig

The coronavirus is the third global pandemic in the last 20 years. The first was Sars, and the second, many readers will remember better, was swine flu, or the A/H1N1 virus, which struck just over 10 years ago. It emerged in Mexico in the spring of 2009, and went on to infect hundreds of thousands of people across the world, with the virus being spread far and wide by international air travel.

Eventually it was declared a global pandemic by the WHO. Regarding its impact on the media, it had roughly the effect that a bucket of fish guts dumped into coastal waters has on the nearby sharks. They smelled blood and spilled ink, falling over each other in their attempts to generate headlines and unearth frightening statistics. (The Guardian of all places published an opinion piece on the media’s failings during the outbreak.) Does any of this sound familiar?

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Professor Sir Liam Donaldson was the chief medical officer for England at the time. He announced that the worst case scenario would see almost 19 million people infected by the virus, and a mortality rate of around 0.35% resulting in about 65,000 deaths. Based largely on Sir Liam’s worst case scenario (after all, one must prepare for the worst) the British government got an enormous vaccination program underway, which was to prioritize those particularly at risk (the elderly, pregnant women and children) before a general roll-out to the rest of the population. They bought 90 million doses in total from pharmaceutical companies GlaxoSmithKline and Baxter.

Needless to say, that did not happen. By the spring of 2010, it was clear that A/H1N1 was far less deadly than previous flu epidemics. But remember that 65,000 deaths was Sir Liam’s worst case scenario; what was his best case scenario? At a minimum, he predicted, swine flu would infect around 3 million Brits and kill only 3,100. Much less frightening. So how did the final tallies stand?

In the end, fewer than 500 British people died from swine flu, almost all people with underlying health conditions. This represented less than one-sixth of the chief medical officer’s best case scenario. The government were overjoyed, of course, that so many of its citizens had been spared death, but were left holding a bag containing tens of millions of leftover doses of A/H1N1 vaccine, and no one left to immunize. Rather awkward.

Nevertheless, there was no great backlash against the British government for their own vaccine panic buying, probably because the public were never that worked up about swine flu in the first place. Despite the media’s best efforts, the ‘pandemic’ just never lived up to its name — basically it was just another strain of flu. Michael Summers was the vice-chair of the Patient's Association back then, and he admitted that when it came to handing huge vaccine contracts to pharmaceutical companies, there were certainly ‘’lessons to be learnt". That was about as far as any major criticism of the affair went.

A new media landscape

But a decade on, the lessons of history appear to have been forgotten. The coronavirus origin story, which is like something from a Hollywood movie, and the fact that it is somewhat more dangerous than swine flu, along with social media information saturation have combined to make a perfect storm of overreaction that will plunge the world into a second Great Depression.

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Worst of all is a social climate that labels those questioning established narratives and conventional wisdom as pariahs. And if you do question those narratives, as ancient wisdom teaches us to, you are as likely to be shouted down by Joe Public as you are by a blue-checked journalist. All you can do, as an open minded individual, is to think for yourself, take nothing for granted and stay safe. Not only from the virus, but from the reckless media hype as well.

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Title: 'I could hardly breathe': Paulo Dybala details coronavirus struggle after Juve ace and girlfriend Oriana Sabatini infected

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/484349-dybala-i-could-hardly-breathe-coronavirus/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 09:12:10 +0000

Desc: Preview Juventus and Argentina forward Paulo Dybala has discussed his struggle with the coronavirus after suffering “strong” symptoms after he became one of the highest-profile footballers to be infected with the deadly disease.
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Juventus and Argentina forward Paulo Dybala has discussed his struggle with the coronavirus after suffering “strong” symptoms after he became one of the highest-profile footballers to be infected with the deadly disease.

Dybala, 26, became the third Juventus player to test positive for Covid-19 last weekend, after Italian defender Daniele Rugani and French midfielder Blaise Matuidi were also confirmed to have the illness.

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Reuters
Juventus ace Paulo Dybala becomes 3rd star from club to test positive for coronavirus

Dybala’s girlfriend, Argentine singer Oriana Sabatini, also contracted Covid-19 and while the pair initially showed mild symptoms Dybala has now revealed just how severe his illness became, despite not being deemed among the groups at highest risk of danger.

“I developed strong symptoms,” Dybala told the Juventus TV channel.  

“Now I can move better, walking and trying to train. [But] I could hardly breathe, I couldn’t do anything after five minutes. My muscles ached.

“Fortunately, Oriana and I are better now,” he added.

Italy remains among the nations hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 85,000 cases and over 9,000 deaths.  

Friday was the country’s deadliest day in its battle with the virus as 919 deaths from the illness were recorded.

World health chiefs have warned that while Covid-19 takes the most toll on the elderly, those young and healthy should not consider themselves “invincible” – with Dybala’s strong symptoms illustrative of the strain it can place on even the fittest of athletes.

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© Reuters
Remaining Juventus team including Cristiano Ronaldo test NEGATIVE for coronavirus despite fears after three infections – report

The Italian Serie A – like leagues around Europe – remains suspended with no return date in sight as the pandemic rages on. 



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Title: Worldwide number of Covid-19 cases exceeds 615,500 — Johns Hopkins University

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484347-coronavirus-600000-worldwide-infections-total/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 08:57:00 +0000

Desc: Preview The number of coronavirus cases around the world has reached 615,519, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University, which also puts the global death toll at close to 29,000.
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The number of coronavirus cases around the world has reached 615,519, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University, which also puts the global death toll at close to 29,000.

Cases in the United States have skyrocketed in recent days, as the country's 105,000 infections now make it the new epicenter of the pandemic. Although originating in Wuhan, Hubei province, China has managed to halt the spread of the disease, with no new locally transmitted infections recorded on Friday.

The number of cases in Italy, the hardest-hit country in Europe, recently surpassed those in China.

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A train bound for Duisburg leaves Wuhan, China. March 28, 2020. © China Daily / Reuters
First train with medical supplies for Europe leaves Wuhan as China eases Covid-19 lockdown

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Title: Covid-19 cases in Germany surge 6,294 in one day as death toll hits 325

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484348-germany-covid-19-death-toll/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 08:51:00 +0000

Desc: Preview The number of coronavirus cases in Germany has surged by 6,294 in one day to nearly 50,000, while the death toll has jumped by 72 to 325.
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The number of coronavirus cases in Germany has surged by 6,294 in one day to nearly 50,000, while the death toll has jumped by 72 to 325.

The Robert Koch Institute released a fresh round of alarming statistics on Saturday morning, showing that a total of 48,582 people in Germany are confirmed carriers of the virus. 

The federal agency, which is responsible for disease control and prevention in Germany, said that 325 people have died after testing positive for the illness. The figure represents an increase of 72 from Friday’s tally and it is based on data collected up until midnight on Friday.

The spike in cases is the largest single day increase the European nation has experienced to date, but it comes following a week where thousands of additional diagnoses were recorded each day.

Despite having one of the highest confirmed levels of infection in Europe, Germany’s fatality rate is significantly lower than most countries on the continent.

The head of the Institute of Virology at Berlin’s Charite University Hospital, Christian Drosten, said during the week that he believes this is because the country carries out so many diagnostic tests. Germany is now testing 500,000 people a week for the virus.

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Title: First train with medical supplies for Europe leaves Wuhan as China eases Covid-19 lockdown

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484344-china-wuhan-first-train/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 08:04:00 +0000

Desc: Preview Beijing has resumed its railway freight service between Wuhan and Europe by delivering medical aid to Germany as authorities work to lift strict quarantine measures after the number of new cases Covid-19 dropped.
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Beijing has resumed its railway freight service between Wuhan and Europe by delivering medical aid to Germany as authorities work to lift strict quarantine measures after the number of new cases Covid-19 dropped.

A train loaded with medical supplies and construction materials has left a station in Wuhan, the capital city of China's central Hubei Province, and is set to arrive in the city of Duisburg in Germany in two weeks, Chinese outlet the Global Times reported on Saturday. The delivery will be the first China-EU cargo freight operation from Wuhan since the city was placed under strict quarantine in January after the Covid-19 outbreak.

The first ever Covid-19 cases were recorded in Wuhan in December, after which the city quickly became the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. Lockdown and the deployment of thousands of doctors helped to bring the number of new cases there to near zero in recent weeks.

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A New York City Fire Department Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) wearing protective gear responds to a call for a sick patient during the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Queens, New York, U.S., March 27, 2020. © REUTERS/Stefan Jeremiah
US passes 100,000 CASES of Covid-19 after becoming world epicenter for virus – Johns Hopkins University

Authorities have been gradually easing travel restrictions in Hubei, with Wuhan's 17 train stations partially resuming work on Saturday. Residents with clean health records will be allowed to leave the city on April 8.

China was the leader in the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases for months, until the epicenter of the pandemic shifted to the US, where more than 100,000 people have tested positive for the disease, according to Johns Hopkins University. Italy has become the second-hardest-hit country in recent days with nearly 86,500 cases, surpassing China’s 81,300.

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---------- 39 ----------

Title: OneWeb files for bankruptcy, unable to secure financing amid coronavirus chaos

Link: https://www.rt.com/business/484340-oneweb-files-bankruptcy-coronavirus/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 07:54:49 +0000

Desc: Preview SpaceX rival OneWeb has filed for bankruptcy less than a week after launching another batch of internet satellites, as it failed to raise more funds for its program amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
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SpaceX rival OneWeb has filed for bankruptcy less than a week after launching another batch of internet satellites, as it failed to raise more funds for its program amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The London-based venture, as well its affiliates, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday, saying that the proceedings are aimed at pursuing "a sale of its business in order to maximize the value of the company."

Since the beginning of the year, OneWeb had been trying to get more investment. The company says that is was close to obtaining the necessary financial support, but talks failed due to market turbulence triggered by the coronavirus outbreak.

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"Our current situation is a consequence of the economic impact of the Covid-19 crisis," OneWeb CEO Adrian Steckel said.

While the statement does not directly point at any particular investor that turned its back on the satellite internet provider, earlier reports said its largest backer, Softbank, which had already invested $2 billion in the company, refused to provide more capital. Market rout has apparently spooked other investors, such as Qualcomm, Airbus, Virgin Group, Coca-Cola, and Intelsat among others.

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Bankruptcy filings shows that OneWeb owes by far the most money (more than $238 million) to Arianespace, its launch partner. Qualcomm, Deloitte and Deutsche Bank are also among top five largest creditors with unsecured claims.

Russian state space corporation, Roscosmos, is one of OneWeb's contractors. OneWeb has already put 74 satellites in low Earth orbit, a small part of its hundreds-strong network to provide global internet coverage, with last two launches carried from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The latest mission, carrying 34 satellites aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket, was successfully launched on March 21.

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Title: 'Some people will die, that's life': Bolsonaro questions Covid-19 crisis, says deaths in Brazil exaggerated for political purposes

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484342-brazil-bolsonaro-coronavirus-die-people/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 07:02:00 +0000

Desc: Preview Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has waved off the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, insisting that life goes on. He suggested the death toll in his own country has been overstated for political purposes.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/484342-brazil-bolsonaro-coronavirus-die-people/

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has waved off the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, insisting that life goes on. He suggested the death toll in his own country has been overstated for political purposes.

The Brazilian leader has been locking horns with many of the country's governors, who have imposed bans on non-essential commerce and continue to accuse Bolsonaro of prioritizing the economy over the lives of his citizens.

"I'm sorry, some people will die, they will die, that's life," Bolsonaro said in an televised interview on Friday. "You can't stop a car factory because of traffic deaths."

He remarked that in the state of Sao Paulo the reported fallout from Covid-19 – 1,223 cases and 68 deaths – seemed "too large."

"We need to look at what is happening there, this cannot be a numbers game to favor political interests," Bolsonaro said.

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A New York City Fire Department Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) wearing protective gear responds to a call for a sick patient during the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Queens, New York, U.S., March 27, 2020. © REUTERS/Stefan Jeremiah
US passes 100,000 CASES of Covid-19 after becoming world epicenter for virus – Johns Hopkins University

Earlier on Friday, Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria accused the Brazilian president of spreading "disinformation" by running television ads critical of lockdown restrictions. The campaign, which uses the slogan #BrazilCannotStop, is similar to those which were adopted in Milan before northern Italy suffered a soaring death toll from the virus.

According to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University, Brazil currently has nearly 3,500 confirmed cases of Covid-19, resulting in 92 deaths.

Worldwide infections are nearing 600,000, with more than 27,000 fatalities. The United States now has the most infections, at almost 105,000.

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Title: India sees its biggest daily jump in Covid-19 cases as number of infected nears 900

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484341-india-covid-cases-increase/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 06:48:48 +0000

Desc: Preview India's confirmed coronavirus cases tally hit 873 on Saturday after the country went into a three-week quarantine in the hope of stopping the spread of the deadly Covid-19 disease.
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India's confirmed coronavirus cases tally hit 873 on Saturday after the country went into a three-week quarantine in the hope of stopping the spread of the deadly Covid-19 disease.

An additional 149 people tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases nationwide to 873, India's Health Ministry said on Saturday. This is the biggest single-day increase the country has seen since the beginning of the outbreak.

India has remained among the states with a relatively low number of officially-reported infections and deaths from the coronavirus. A total of 19 people have died as of Saturday.

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Indians maintain safe distance as they queue to buy vegetables during a 21-day lockdown © Reuters / Idrees Mohammed
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On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared a 21-day lockdown with a view to slowing down the spread of the disease.

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Title: Russian military support ‘much needed’ in Italy's 'critical' battle against Covid-19 – Lombardy VP

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484299-italy-russian-medics-bergamo-coronavirus/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 06:33:00 +0000

Desc: Preview Russian help is “very much needed” in Italy’s ongoing battle against the Covid-19 virus, the VP of the Lombardy region Fabrizio Sala has said, as the country recorded its worst yet single-day spike in fatalities.
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Russian help is “very much needed” in Italy’s ongoing battle against the Covid-19 virus, the VP of the Lombardy region Fabrizio Sala has said, as the country recorded its worst yet single-day spike in fatalities.

Sala said on Friday that the presence of Russia’s military in Italy proves that the pandemic has become “a problem for the whole world” and that its scale indicates that countries “need to combine our efforts” and work “side-by-side” to beat it, according to a statement released by Russia’s Defense Ministry.

A contingent of 100 Russian military personnel arrived in Italy at the weekend after Rome requested Moscow’s help in battling the outbreak. The Russian servicemen face a tough job as they assist Italy’s nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) defense forces in Bergamo, the epicenter of the country’s Covid-19 outbreak. 

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© Reuters / Flavio Lo Scalzo
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“A lot” needs to be done to get the outbreak under control, Italy’s NBC defense forces chief Dario de Masi said at a joint press conference in Lombardy, adding that the “situation is really critical.”

Masi said the cooperation with the Russian medics will be “mutually beneficial” and that “we’ll be able to help our country and learn from each other’s experience.” On Friday, the visiting medics carried out reconnaissance at health facilities in Bergamo and compiled a list of urgent measures to help contain the spread.

The Russian servicemen will first be providing assistance to 65 of Bergamo’s homes for the elderly, which are suffering from a lack of qualified personnel, according to the deputy head of Russia’s own NBC defense forces, Sergey Kikot. 

When a Russian field hospital is established in the city, the medics will then move their operations there, Kikot said.

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Russian military experts visit hospital facilities for elderly people to fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus infection in Bergamo. © Sputnik / Russia's Defense Ministry
Surveying the virus battlefield: Russian military medics inspect Covid-19 health facilities in Bergamo, Italy (VIDEO)

So far, eight Russian medical brigades have arrived in Italy, each consisting of a therapist, an anesthetist-resuscitator, an epidemiologist and a nurse as well as a military unit, equipped with high-performance disinfecting tools. The Russian military also brought in a mobile laboratory, which allows for swift diagnosis of the Covid-19 virus and other diseases.

Kikot also debunked some fake news which had circulated in Italian media suggesting that many of the Russian personnel in Italy were ill with “severe” cases of coronavirus. That is “not true” and the personnel are “healthy” and “ready to perform their tasks,” he said.

Russian Consul General to Milan Alexander Nurizade, who was also at the press conference, said that throughout history it has “always been” that Russia would come to Italy’s aid in a crisis.

“When trouble came to one house – a house in Italy or a house in Russia – friends always came to the rescue.”

Nurizade recalled the 1908 Messina earthquake when Russian sailors came to the aid of the city’s inhabitants. Likewise, Russia was there in 2009 after the devastating L’Aquila earthquake to help with rescue and restoration work, he said, adding that now “only by common efforts” can the Covid-19 battle be won.

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---------- 43 ----------

Title: Wuhan reopens subway, allows incoming traffic as it phases out 2-month coronavirus lockdown (PHOTOS)

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484338-wuhan-metro-trains-resume/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 06:10:00 +0000

Desc: Preview The metro in Wuhan, the city where the deadly Covid-19 virus is believed to have originated, has opened its doors to 11 million residents after two months of lockdown. Trains are arriving in the city as life returns to normal.
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The metro in Wuhan, the city where the deadly Covid-19 virus is believed to have originated, has opened its doors to 11 million residents after two months of lockdown. Trains are arriving in the city as life returns to normal.

On Saturday, several subway lines in Wuhan welcomed their first passengers after a 65-day hiatus brought about by the coronavirus outbreak, which has since spread to most of the planet. The number of those infected is nearing 600,000 worldwide.

Some 184 metro stations, equipped with thermal scanners, opened for commuters, who will still have to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Wuhan has borne the brunt of the health crisis, with more than 50,000 people infected. However, the worst appears to be over. New cases countrywide have been brought to a near standstill, with no new locally-transmitted cases reported in mainland China on Friday. A total of 54 reported new cases all came from abroad.

© REUTERS/Aly Song

Despite the promising developments, some travel restrictions will remain in place until April 8, when outbound trains and flights are set to be resumed.

Buses have already been roaming the streets of the Hubei provincial capital since Wednesday, as 117 routes recommenced their services.

Those who want to enter the city must show a green code on a mobile app, confirming that they have been cleared by health authorities, and have had no contact with suspected coronavirus patients or those who tested positive for the disease. The same rule would apply to those willing to leave Wuhan after April 8.

According to the official government tally, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in China amounts to 81,394, with 3,295 of them resulting in fatalities.

In an effort to prevent a 'second wave' of the outbreak, China has been tightening restrictions on foreign arrivals, announcing on Thursday that national airlines will be allowed to maintain only one route to any country.

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---------- 44 ----------

Title: ‘We will be where they are’: LA mayor says he expects city to catch up with NYC on coronavirus in DAYS

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/484339-la-coronavirus-new-york/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 04:46:00 +0000

Desc: Preview A rush of Covid-19 patients will soon swarm Los Angeles’ hospitals, the city’s mayor warned, noting that a rapid rise in cases has put LA on track to eclipse New York City in under a week.
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A rush of Covid-19 patients will soon swarm Los Angeles’ hospitals, the city’s mayor warned, noting that a rapid rise in cases has put LA on track to eclipse New York City in under a week.

With California seeing a 26 percent spike in coronavirus patients on Friday alone, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti said his city would likely be overwhelmed, with cases doubling every two days, pushing its medical facilities to breaking point.

“We will be where they are,” Garcetti said, referring to NYC, the nation’s hardest-hit city. “We will have doctors making excruciating decisions. We will be trying to figure out what we do with that surge, how to get ventilators, where to find beds.”

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US Army troops deploy to help with Covid-19 response in Manhattan, New York City, March 27, 2020.
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The state of New York currently has nearly 10 times the cases California does at over 46,000, more than half of them in New York City. The Golden State, meanwhile, has tallied some 4,800 infections – 1,465 in LA – making it the third largest hot spot in the country. Tens of thousands of tests for the virus are still pending there, meaning the state’s disease toll is likely to soar higher as the results come in.

Though a 1,000-bed Navy hospital ship arrived in Los Angeles to make room in the city’s cramped medical facilities on Friday – as the US military also rushes to construct field clinics with another 2,000 beds – the reinforcements will fall far short of the 50,000 California Governor Gavin Newsom says the state could need in the coming weeks.

Newsom ordered California’s 40 million residents into self-isolation in their homes last week – the first governor to impose a statewide lockdown – but some epidemiologists have warned the measures may fall short unless they are more strictly enforced.

“When you see pictures of crowded ski lodges in the mountains of California, one wonders if one shouldn’t take a more aggressive approach,” Dr Sten Vermund, an infectious disease expert at the Yale School of Public Health, told a local publication. If even two percent of residents disregard social distancing guidelines, they could become “a nidus of transmission for everyone else,” Vermund added.

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A New York City Fire Department Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) wearing protective gear responds to a call for a sick patient during the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Queens, New York, U.S., March 27, 2020. © REUTERS/Stefan Jeremiah
US passes 100,000 CASES of Covid-19 after becoming world epicenter for virus – Johns Hopkins University

Now the world’s top epicenter for Covid-19, the US has reported in excess of 104,000 infections, with just over 1,700 deaths, far surpassing China in cases, where the outbreak originated last December.

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---------- 45 ----------

Title: ‘We have many friends in the world’: Italian FM says no ulterior motive to Russian Covid-19 aid, calls it ‘act of solidarity’

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484337-italy-fm-russian-aid/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 02:58:00 +0000

Desc: Preview Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio brushed aside suggestions that aid from Moscow to combat the coronavirus pandemic came with hidden intentions, stating his country had nothing to fear from Russian assistance.
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Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio brushed aside suggestions that aid from Moscow to combat the coronavirus pandemic came with hidden intentions, stating his country had nothing to fear from Russian assistance.

In an interview with Euronews' Giorgia Orlandi published on Friday, the reporter pressed Di Maio to reveal the “real purpose” behind Moscow’s mission to deliver medical supplies to the Mediterranean nation, citing amorphous “doubts” and “fears” that the aid could shift international alliances after the outbreak dies down.

“The Russian Federation has sent face masks, ventilators and medical staff and teams to disinfect public buildings and our cities,” Di Maio said. “They have helped in their own way in an act of solidarity.”

Italy is not a country that has to fear, as a result of aid, that it will have to bow in submission to other states. We are in the G7 and we have many friends in the world.

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Russian servicemen load medical equipment and special disinfection vehicles into cargo planes Moscow, Russia March 22, 2020 © Russian Defence Ministry / Alexey Ereshko / Handout via Reuters
Ingratitude: Top Italian newspaper calls Russian Covid-19 aid 'useless', implies Putin using medical mission for military scouting

Orlandi’s attempt to tease out malicious designs in the Russian aid package comes on the heels of reports in a top Italian newspaper, La Stampa, sounding alarms that Moscow’s ventilators and medical experts were simply a way to put Russian boots on Italian soil, and that the majority of its supplies were “useless.”

With Italy’s former top diplomat Franco Frattini telling RT that the European Union had left the country “practically alone against the virus,” however, it appears officials in Rome are eager for all the help they can get in beating it back, having tallied more than 86,000 infections and facing the world’s highest mortality rate for the illness with some 9,100 deaths.

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An ambulance arrives with a coronavirus infected patient from Italy for further treatment at the University Hospital in Dresden, Germany March 26, 2020. © REUTERS/Matthias Rietschel
European solidarity? Germany offers to take in a few dozen of Italy’s 80,000+ Covid-19 patients in hollow goodwill gesture

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---------- 46 ----------

Title: 'No new patients until release': WATCH staff protest KIDNAPPING of Haiti hospital chief as Covid-19 takes root in country

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484336-haiti-hospital-kidnapping-coronavirus/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 01:35:00 +0000

Desc: Preview The chief surgeon and director at one of Haiti’s major hospitals was kidnapped on his way into work, triggering protests from the facility’s staff, who have refused to take any new patients until the doctor is freed.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/484336-haiti-hospital-kidnapping-coronavirus/

Content:

The chief surgeon and director at one of Haiti’s major hospitals was kidnapped on his way into work, triggering protests from the facility’s staff, who have refused to take any new patients until the doctor is freed.

The surgeon, Dr Jerry Bitar, was abducted soon after leaving his home for the Bernard Mevs hospital in Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince on Friday, an administrator at the facility told Reuters. Crowds gathered outside the hospital to demand Bitar’s release, chanting slogans and declining treatment for any new arrivals.

“Hospital staff decided not to take any new cases for the time being,” said the administrator, Carla Puzo, adding: “We will continue to look after those already here.”

Hospital workers protest the kidnapping of Dr. Jerry Bitar who was kidnapped today while on the way to work.

"We will not continue to work without the release of Dr. Bitar."

"This is a hospital that accepts everyone, whether they can afford it or not." https://t.co/6k0VIeyN1o pic.twitter.com/5SNrdFRKon

— Madame Boukman - Justice 4 Haiti 🇭🇹 (@madanboukman) March 27, 2020

Jiska prézan doktè Jerry bitar poko libéré, fok yo libéré doktè a. pic.twitter.com/l13TKKqg8x

— Jean Tholbert Alexis (@TholbertJean) March 27, 2020

The kidnapping of Bitar, who runs the hospital alongside his twin brother, comes as such abductions are on a steep rise in the country – the poorest in the western hemisphere, according to the World Bank – with bandits taking residents hostage and demanding ransom payments.

Haitian President Jovenel Moise pleaded for Bitar’s release in a national address on Friday, dubbing the surgeon a “general” in the war against the pandemic and calling on police and judicial authorities to do all in their power to find the kidnappers.

Though health officials in Haiti have confirmed fewer than 10 cases of the illness, the rapid spread of Covid-19 elsewhere prompted Moise to declare a national emergency, telling reporters on Thursday that the country's borders, ports and airports would be closed starting at midnight, with exceptions made for cargo. Haitian authorities last week also ordered schools, factories and places of worship to close their doors, as well as imposing a curfew in hopes of preempting further spread of the virus.

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File Photo © Global Look Press / DPA / Arne Dedert
Fear triggered by coronavirus hype may kill its victims faster than the pandemic

The Caribbean nation currently has only around 64 ventilators, according to a 2019 study by the Research and Education consortium for Acute Care in Haiti (REACH), making a major outbreak of coronavirus – which can cause severe pneumonia-like symptoms – a particular risk to its population of 11 million.

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---------- 47 ----------

Title: Big Tech teams up with White House to battle Covid-19 – and spy on us all

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/484335-apple-coronavirus-app-spying/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 01:01:00 +0000

Desc: Preview Governments and scientists alike agree that ‘tracking’ is a key strategy for containing the coronavirus. It is now clear they intend to do so using technology like smartphones, a move that raises concerns about privacy, however.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/484335-apple-coronavirus-app-spying/

Content:

Governments and scientists alike agree that ‘tracking’ is a key strategy for containing the coronavirus. It is now clear they intend to do so using technology like smartphones, a move that raises concerns about privacy, however.

Both US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence made sure to mention the ‘Covid-19 Screening Tool’ app developed by Apple at their daily press briefing on Friday. According to the White House, the app “guides users through questions about symptoms and exposure,” using guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “to help determine steps they should take, including testing.”

Huge thanks to @Apple! Together with the White House, @CDCgov & @fema, Apple launched a COVID19 screening tool that guides users through questions about symptoms and exposure, using CDC guidance to help determine steps they should take, including testing.https://t.co/CN7gO3svKG

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 27, 2020

Considering how many Americans use Apple devices – almost 200 million, according to some of the most recent estimates – the app certainly seems like the ideal way for the authorities to identify and track everyone who might be displaying symptoms of the coronavirus.

There is no question that cell phone data can be, and is being, tracked. The video clip showing the dispersion of Spring Break-goers from Florida back across the US, which went viral on Thursday, is proof of that.

This shows the location data of phones that were on a Florida beach during Spring Break. It then shows where those phones traveled.

First thing you should note is the importance of social distancing. The second is how much data your phone gives off. pic.twitter.com/iokUX3qjeB

— Mikael Thalen (@MikaelThalen) March 26, 2020

The question that some Americans are now beginning to ask is, “where does the information people put into the new Apple Covid-19 app go and what happens to it?”

To that, there is no clear answer. On the page promoting the app, Apple says it is “not collecting your answers from the screening tool,” but does collect “some information about how you use it,” ostensibly to improve the site, in standard tech-speak. “The information collected will not personally identify you,” Apple says – but that’s a moot point, since the phone ID does that.

“As always, the data is yours and your privacy is protected,” Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted. That’s a strong pledge, especially considering that the FBI had to hire Israeli hackers to access iPhones of terrorist suspects because Apple refused to hand over the keys to their encryption.

How are you feeling? Help build a national database of people who do, and do not, have CoVid-19 symptoms. Volunteers from Apple, Amazon, and Alphabet worked nonstop for a week to create the site. Data will be shared only with public-health officials. https://t.co/GLlsOzIyKI pic.twitter.com/w9FMLpwa0w

— David Pogue (@Pogue) March 23, 2020

Keep in mind, however, that volunteers from “Apple, Amazon, and Alphabet” – Google’s parent company – have recently built a “national database of people” who do or do not have Covid-19 symptoms, according to a New York Times columnist. Its data “will be shared only with public-health officials,” he said.

Meanwhile, Amazon has rolled out some expanded capabilities for its digital assistant Alexa, enabling it to chat with customers and “provide CDC guidance given your risk level and symptoms.”

Also on rt.com
A question we will all be asking ourselves soon enough. © Global Look / Andrei Solokow
Amazon's Alexa now offering to diagnose coronavirus in happy marriage of Big Tech with Big Brother

Earlier this month, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu authorized the country’s intelligence to track everyone’s cell phone in order to find and contain coronavirus patients. When the Knesset balked at authorizing the measure, Netanyahu enforced it citing emergency powers.

While the US is not Israel, the precedent is tempting – especially given the time of crisis and the “invisible enemy” that has already crippled the economy and threatens to overwhelm hospitals, if doomsday models are to be believed. After all, following 9/11 the NSA began to spy on Americans and the TSA began body-searching them at airports, under laws that created new categories of search and surveillance to bypass constitutional protections.

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---------- 48 ----------

Title: ‘The answer is no’: Trump says WSJ story on suspending tariffs is ‘just more fake news’

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/484334-tariffs-coronavirus-suspension-fake/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 23:41:00 +0000

Desc: Preview US President Donald Trump swiftly shut down the suggestion that Washington would suspend import tariffs for a quarter of a year amid the Covid-19 crisis, dubbing recent source-based reporting on the question as “fake news.”
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/484334-tariffs-coronavirus-suspension-fake/

Content:

US President Donald Trump swiftly shut down the suggestion that Washington would suspend import tariffs for a quarter of a year amid the Covid-19 crisis, dubbing recent source-based reporting on the question as “fake news.”

Asked about a new 'scoop' in the Wall Street Journal blaring from its headline “US plans to stop collecting import tariffs for three months,” the president dismissed the idea immediately, insisting it was not even on the table. He chastised Fox News correspondent John Roberts for asking the question. “Just more fake news, John. They've not even talked to me,” Trump said at Friday’s coronavirus briefing at the White House.

Also on rt.com
RT
CORONAVIRUS: Best and worst-case scenarios for global economy

“Everyone keeps saying ‘Are you going to suspend the tariffs?’ The answer is no. President Xi never even brought it up last night, it wasn’t even discussed.”

It’s fake news. Tell the Wall Street Journal. You know, the Wall Street Journal does a lot of fake news, too, it’s pretty amazing.

Based on the word of anonymous “administration officials,” the Journal reported that the Trump administration would soon stop collecting import tariffs for three months, with companies remaining liable for the fees at a later time. While the story acknowledged it “wasn’t immediately known” when the move would be announced, and noted the president could still “overrule” the plans, it appears that happened faster than expected, with Trump rejecting the idea out of hand at Friday’s briefing.

Despite reaching a ‘Phase One’ trade deal with Beijing late last year, Washington still maintains a number of tariffs on exchange with China, including medical supplies such as masks and gloves, deepening existing shortages for urgently needed gear.

On Thursday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers called on Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to order the Customs and Border Protection agency to defer tariff collections for three months to ease pressure on businesses. The United Nations, meanwhile, has also called for a worldwide ban on tariffs and other trade restrictions, as well as sanctions which might obstruct the flow of food and equipment, warning that the pandemic puts the “whole of humanity” in danger.

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Cleaners disinfect streets in Brazil during the coronavirus pandemic © REUTERS/Pilar Olivares
‘Whole of humanity’ at stake in Covid-19 pandemic, UN chief warns in urgent plea to ‘fight back’

The focus on trade comes on the heels of a massive $2 trillion stimulus bill signed into law earlier on Friday, which will distribute cash payments to American workers, expand unemployment benefits and provide low-interest loans to small businesses, among other measures intended to offset the economic impact of Covid-19. The administration also invoked the Defense Production Act, ordering some companies to fast track medical supplies, including some 40,000 ventilators from General Motors.

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---------- 49 ----------

Title: Trump greenlights call-up of one MILLION reservists to battle Covid-19

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/484333-us-military-reservists-coronavirus/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 21:58:00 +0000

Desc: Preview To help with the Covid-19 coronavirus emergency, US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order authorizing the call-up of up to a million reserve military personnel in the army, navy, air force and coast guard.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/484333-us-military-reservists-coronavirus/

Content:

To help with the Covid-19 coronavirus emergency, US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order authorizing the call-up of up to a million reserve military personnel in the army, navy, air force and coast guard.

Secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security – which is in charge of the Coast Guard units not subordinated to the Navy – are now authorized to order individual members and units of the Ready Reserve under their jurisdiction to “active duty not to exceed 24 consecutive months,” Trump noted in the executive order signed on Friday evening.

The number of mobilized reservists is “not to exceed 1,000,000 members on active duty at any one time.” The Pentagon and Homeland Security are supposed to ensure “appropriate consultation is undertaken with relevant state officials” about using National Guard reserves activated under this order.

Also on rt.com
A New York City Fire Department Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) wearing protective gear responds to a call for a sick patient during the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Queens, New York, U.S., March 27, 2020. © REUTERS/Stefan Jeremiah
US passes 100,000 CASES of Covid-19 after becoming world epicenter for virus – Johns Hopkins University

The call-up is part of a flurry of presidential actions aimed against the Covid-19 outbreak on Friday, including the signing of a $2.2 trillion stimulus and relief bill – widely criticized on both sides of the aisle in Congress, but passed anyway – and invoking the Defense Production Act to compel automakers to produce ventilators needed to treat severe coronavirus cases.

Trump has been reluctant to invoke the authority under the DPA for over a week, saying major corporations had offered to comply with federal supply requests voluntarily, only to blow up at General Motors and Ford in a series of angry tweets in the morning.

Also on rt.com
GM CEO Mary Barra and President Donald Trump © Reuters / Rebecca Cook and Yuri Gripas
‘Open your STUPIDLY abandoned plant’: Trump lashes out at GM & Ford over ventilator delay

The US shot to first place in the world in terms of the number of registered Covid-19 cases, ahead of Italy and China – where the contagion originated in December – with over 100,000 people testing positive, and more than 1,500 fatalities.

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---------- 50 ----------

Title: US passes 100,000 CASES of Covid-19 after becoming world epicenter for virus – Johns Hopkins University

Link: https://www.rt.com/uk/484332-coronavirus-us-record-cases/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 21:41:00 +0000

Desc: Preview The United States has hit a landmark of more than 100,000 coronavirus infections, widening the gap over other afflicted nations as it solidifies its place as the world’s top hot spot for the lethal illness.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/uk/484332-coronavirus-us-record-cases/

Content:

The United States has hit a landmark of more than 100,000 coronavirus infections, widening the gap over other afflicted nations as it solidifies its place as the world’s top hot spot for the lethal illness.

With the latest update from Johns Hopkins University’s Covid-19 tracker, the US has tallied 100,717 cases of the virus, surpassing Italy, the next hardest-hit country, by more than 14,000 patients. Both have now overtaken China, where the outbreak originated, as new infections on the mainland continue to flatline.

Also on rt.com
US Army troops deploy to help with Covid-19 response in Manhattan, New York City, March 27, 2020.
Trump greenlights call-up of one MILLION reservists to battle Covid-19

News of the US reaching the new milestone in the coronavirus pandemic comes after US President Donald Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to force automakers to manufacture life-saving ventilators for Covid-19 patients who have developed severe complications from the illness.

Also on rt.com
Donald Trump signs a stimulus bill in a ceremony at the White House © Reuters / Jonathan Ernst
Trump invokes Defense Production Act, accusing General Motors of ‘wasting time’ on producing ventilators

In a bid to revitalize the US economy, badly crippled by coronavirus lockdowns that have sent unemployment claims surging to a record high of over three million, Trump also signed a $2.2 trillion stimulus and relief bill that was passed by the House earlier on Friday.

The US, along with several other hard-hit countries, including France and Italy, has turned to the military for help to push back against the Covid-19 spread. Friday also saw Trump signing an executive order greenlighting the call-up of up to one million reservists in the army, air force and coast guard.

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---------- 51 ----------

Title: WATCH thousands of Ukrainians swarm border to get back home ahead of coronavirus lockdown

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484331-ukraine-poland-border-coronavirus/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 21:35:00 +0000

Desc: Preview With Ukraine’s borders scheduled to slam shut to cope with the Covid-19 contagion, thousands of Ukrainians who had been working in Europe risked infection by crowding at crossings to get back into the country.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/484331-ukraine-poland-border-coronavirus/

Content:

With Ukraine’s borders scheduled to slam shut to cope with the Covid-19 contagion, thousands of Ukrainians who had been working in Europe risked infection by crowding at crossings to get back into the country.

Endless lines of mostly men, many wearing face masks but some without, waited for hours at border crossings between Ukraine and Poland on Friday, hours before the lockdown was to take effect. RT’s news agency Ruptly captured some of the footage in Lublin Voivodeship, on the Polish side of the crossing in Dorohusk.

Ukrainians scramble to get home before border closes #Poland #Dorohusk pic.twitter.com/ZivUSNeQV5

— Ruptly (@Ruptly) March 27, 2020

Similar scenes unfolded at other border crossings, with photos widely shared on social media showing tightly packed crowds – the exact opposite of “social distancing” advised across the world as the best way to slow the spread of the potentially deadly virus.

Scenes at the #Ukraine-#Poland border.

Ukrainian migrant workers returning home - will they self-quarantine? pic.twitter.com/261VaHqLnA

— from_kherson (@KhersonFrom) March 27, 2020

Ukraine closes its borders tonight. Here were the scenes earlier today on its frontier with Poland, where millions of Ukrainians work. The people pictured will presumably fan out across the country, returning to their home-places.

Images from @epaphotos pic.twitter.com/2mxh1PLhll

— Bryan MacDonald (@27khv) March 27, 2020

Reports from Korczowa, in the Subcarpathian Voivodeship, were just as dire. As of 2pm local time on Friday, about 3,500 people had queued up at the crossing on foot. It was estimated that processing them all would take up to 15 hours, clearly implying that some might be stranded there. With the Ukrainian embassy’s website down, it appeared that there was no solution to their plight, Gazeta Wyborcza reported.

However, Ukrainian officials reportedly told their Polish counterparts they would admit their citizens even after the border officially closes, regional spokeswoman Małgorzata Waksmundzka-Szarek is quoted by the newspaper as saying.

Around 3,500 Ukrainians queued at the Poland-Ukraine border today to go home before Kiev closes its borders. Large crowds cramped together, waits of up to 10 hours, looks terrible https://t.co/ZQQY6IuZZq

— Ola Cichowlas (@olacicho) March 27, 2020

One European country after another slammed their borders shut as the coronavirus continued to spread. As of Friday, Ukraine had 226 officially confirmed cases, while Poland had over 1,389 – but the authorities have been operating on the assumption that the actual number of people infected must be much higher.

Announcing the border closure, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked those citizens who heeded his call to return two weeks ago, and some 80,000 people who were evacuated by the government by airplane, train and bus.

“But today we have no time to wait,” Zelensky added, saying that Ukraine was “facing a difficult choice between citizens who are still abroad and the safety of the 40 million citizens in the country.”

Millions of Ukrainians emigrated to Poland and further west for work after the 2014 coup in Kiev touched off an economic collapse and civil war in the country’s east. Zelensky was elected in a landslide last April on a promise to end the conflict, but has not been able to overcome extreme nationalist forces to do so.

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---------- 52 ----------

Title: Fourth Russian coronavirus patient dies, victim had serious pre-existing condition

Link: https://www.rt.com/russia/484329-coronavirus-moscow-woman-fourth/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 21:33:00 +0000

Desc: Preview A 56-year-old cancer survivor has become Russia's fourth Covid-19 fatality. Recovery from her previous illness had left the woman, from Moscow, with only one lung and her body was unable to cope with the new coronavirus infection.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/russia/484329-coronavirus-moscow-woman-fourth/

Content:

A 56-year-old cancer survivor has become Russia's fourth Covid-19 fatality. Recovery from her previous illness had left the woman, from Moscow, with only one lung and her body was unable to cope with the new coronavirus infection.

The deceased, who has yet to be named, was diagnosed upon admission to hospital with pneumonia in her remaining lung. She died on Friday.

The total official number of Covid-19 cases in Russia stood at 1,036 on Friday, rising from 840 the day before. Of those, 703 cases were registered in the capital. 

Also on rt.com
A doctor works at the infectious ward of the Murmansk regional hospital in Murmansk, Russia. © Sputnik / Pavel Lvov
Russia records third coronavirus patient death as number infected surpasses 1,000

To deal with the contagion, the Russian government has ordered a shutdown of all restaurants, cafes, and shops – except grocery stores and pharmacies – across the country between March 28 and April 5. Carryout and delivery remains allowed, however.

All public parks are to stay closed, and the government has urged believers to refrain from going to church as well. President Vladimir Putin proclaimed the following week a holiday, with citizens unable to work from home getting paid time off, excluding those working in essential services. 

The restrictions are “absolutely essential to slow down the spread of the coronavirus infection and decrease the number of those sick,” said Sergey Sobyanin, the mayor of Moscow and head of the Russian anti-coronavirus task force.

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---------- 53 ----------

Title: US quietly seeks out foreign doctors to fight Covid-19 pandemic

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/484327-coronavirus-medical-visas-immigration/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 21:24:00 +0000

Desc: Preview As the entire world has become the frontline of the fight against the Covid-19 coronavirus, the US State Department is headhunting foreign doctors to assist the US, promising they can skip to the front of the immigration queue.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/484327-coronavirus-medical-visas-immigration/

Content:

As the entire world has become the frontline of the fight against the Covid-19 coronavirus, the US State Department is headhunting foreign doctors to assist the US, promising they can skip to the front of the immigration queue.

In a message posted on its website on Thursday night, Foggy Bottom encouraged medical professionals who have already applied for US visas – “particularly those working to treat or mitigate the effects of Covid-19” – to contact their nearest US embassy or consulate for an appointment. Those already in the US have been offered visa extensions.

We encourage medical professionals seeking work in the U.S. on a work or exchange visitor visa (H or J), particularly those working on #COVID19 issues, to contact the nearest U.S. Embassy/ Consulate for a visa appointment. Please see more information here: https://t.co/oD9De7EIoW pic.twitter.com/thqAt73gCx

— Travel - State Dept (@TravelGov) March 27, 2020

Foreign doctors in the US on J-1 residency visas were urged to consult their sponsor to extend their programs, which can be done for a year at a time up to seven years.

It is unclear whether the new rules for recruiting medics and physicians will enable nationals from any of the countries implicated in any of President Donald Trump’s controversial travel bans to circumvent them. Trump has suspended immigrant and diversity lottery visas from a dozen countries so far, including Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Nigeria. 

While trying to attract foreign doctors to the US, the State Department has been busy blasting Cuba for sending their physicians to assist other countries. Its bureau of Democracy, Human Rights & Labor is running a social media campaign accusing the Cuban government of “abusive” labor practices.

#Cuba makes many who serve in its international medical missions work under exploitative conditions which the UN says could amount to forced labor. Host countries seeking Cuba’s help for #COVIDー19 should scrutinize agreements and end labor abuses.

— U.S. State Dept | Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor (@StateDRL) March 26, 2020

The State Department’s appeal for foreign doctors came just hours before the US overtook China and Italy as the country with the highest number of officially confirmed Covid-19 cases. 

Close to 100,000 Americans have caught the illness, and almost 1,500 have died, as of Friday evening. New York City and the eponymous state have been hit particularly hard, accounting for around half of the total US infections.

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---------- 54 ----------

Title: Trump invokes Defense Production Act, accusing General Motors of ‘wasting time’ on producing ventilators

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/484326-trump-defense-production-act-gm-ventilators/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 20:22:00 +0000

Desc: Preview President Donald Trump has invoked wartime powers, ordering General Motors to produce ventilators to treat Covid-19 patients. The move comes after Trump unloaded on the automaker for delaying production.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/484326-trump-defense-production-act-gm-ventilators/

Content:

President Donald Trump has invoked wartime powers, ordering General Motors to produce ventilators to treat Covid-19 patients. The move comes after Trump unloaded on the automaker for delaying production.

Trump’s order, signed on Friday, requires General Motors to “accept, perform, and prioritize Federal contracts for ventilators,” per a White House statement. Previously, Trump had touted GM’s commitment to producing 40,000 ventilators in partnership with Ventec Life Systems, but after GM supposedly revised that number down to 6,000, Trump accused them on Friday of “wasting time.”

“Our negotiations with GM regarding its ability to supply ventilators have been productive,” Trump’s statement read. “But our fight against the virus is too urgent to allow the give-and-take of the contracting process to continue to run its normal course. GM was wasting time.”

Several hours earlier, Trump exploded at GM, demanding on Twitter that the automaker open its “stupidly abandoned Lordstown plant in Ohio” and “START MAKING VENTILATORS, NOW!”

Also on rt.com
GM CEO Mary Barra and President Donald Trump © Reuters / Rebecca Cook and Yuri Gripas
‘Open your STUPIDLY abandoned plant’: Trump lashes out at GM & Ford over ventilator delay

Trump also complained that the $1 billion price tag set by GM was too high, and reportedly approached other manufacturers this week to try and negotiate a better deal.

After Trump’s order, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar will now dictate how many ventilators GM will manufacture.

Dating back to the outset of the Korean War, the Defense Production Act gives the White House power to order private industry to manufacture essential supplies for the federal government. Trump activated the law last week, but so far has been reluctant to use it, telling reporters as recently as Thursday that “we don’t need it.”

With cases of Covid-19 climbing almost to 100,000 in the US on Friday, governors have been pleading with Washington to provide ventilators – essential in keeping the most critical patients alive. New York’s Andrew Cuomo has called for more than 30,000 of the devices, as his state accounts for around half of all Covid-19 cases in the country. Louisiana’s John Edwards has also pleaded for more of the devices, after his state saw a tenfold increase in cases this week.

After signing off on the production order, Trump signed a $2.2 trillion stimulus bill. While the bill allocates funding for hospitals and a once-off payment of $1,200 to most Americans, it also sets aside $500 billion for corporations, making it the biggest corporate bailout in American history.

Also on rt.com
FILE PHOTO © REUTERS/Tom Brenner
US Congress approves $2.2 trillion stimulus bill, sends to White House

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---------- 55 ----------

Title: ‘This is low, even for you’: Hillary Clinton uses record coronavirus deaths to bash Trump, gets virtual punches herself

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/484325-hillary-clinton-coronavirus-joke/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 20:14:00 +0000

Desc: Preview As the US recorded more cases of Covid-19 than any other country in the world, Hillary Clinton used the opportunity to crack jokes about President Trump. The failed presidential candidate was savaged online for her insensitivity.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/484325-hillary-clinton-coronavirus-joke/

Content:

As the US recorded more cases of Covid-19 than any other country in the world, Hillary Clinton used the opportunity to crack jokes about President Trump. The failed presidential candidate was savaged online for her insensitivity.

As of Friday, the United States has recorded more than 94,000 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, passing out China and Italy. More than 1,400 Americans have died, hospitals are approaching capacity, and a record 3.3 million workers have filed for unemployment.

As the US passed this grim milestone, former secretary of state and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took the opportunity not to send Americans a message of hope or solidarity, but to mock President Trump.

“He did promise ‘America First,’” Clinton quipped on Twitter, referring to one of Trump’s campaign slogans.

He did promise "America First." https://t.co/bzks3hqCUE

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 27, 2020

Clinton was immediately set upon for her lowbrow shot. “Not the first time you’ve laughed as Americans died,” Conservative pundit Jack Posobiec replied, referring to the time Clinton – then secretary of state chuckled during congressional testimony, as Republicans grilled her on her actions while a US embassy in Benghazi, Libya, was attacked by jihadists. Four Americans died in the attack.

Not the first time you've laughed as Americans died

— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) March 27, 2020

“This is some low bullsh*t...even for you,” comedian and author Tim Young tweeted. The hate flowed in on Twitter, with a mostly conservative group of commentators ripping Clinton apart for her “horrible,” “despicable” and “cruel” jibe.

Wow. Gleefully boasting thousands dead, families broken, millions of unemployed claims, and widespread suffering just to own Drumpf.

My god. This is despicable.

— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) March 27, 2020

WTF did the virus pay you $400k for a speech or something?

— Raheem Kassam 😷 (@RaheemKassam) March 27, 2020

And to think, people thought you were cold, cruel and only cared about your craven political ambitions.

But here... here you show some real, genuine empathy at a time when your own state is in the grip of a deadly pandemic.

Good for you.

— Larry O'Connor (@LarryOConnor) March 27, 2020

Clinton is not the only commentator accusing Trump of mishandling the Covid-19 pandemic. However, speculating on how things might have been under a different administration is largely guesswork. That didn’t stop the Washington Post from publishing an op-ed earlier this week claiming “this wouldn’t have happened if Hillary had won.”

New York State – Clinton’s adopted home – is the hardest-hit in America by the Covid-19 outbreak. Still, for the presidential also-ran, and for some of her ilk in the media, a national crisis is seemingly still an opportunity to take cheap shots at Trump.

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---------- 56 ----------

Title: Coronavirus-inspired terrorists are planning attacks, says DoJ report – but in a fear-charged climate, which is the real threat?

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/484310-coronavirus-terrorism-fear-control/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 19:42:00 +0000

Desc: Preview The US Justice Department has warned – with scant evidence – that coronavirus is encouraging terrorists to attack. But Covid-19 is actually deadlier than terrorism, and experts warn against criminalizing its transmission.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/484310-coronavirus-terrorism-fear-control/

Content:

The US Justice Department has warned – with scant evidence – that coronavirus is encouraging terrorists to attack. But Covid-19 is actually deadlier than terrorism, and experts warn against criminalizing its transmission.

The pandemic is accelerating the dastardly plots of terrorists, according to John Demers, the assistant attorney general for national security at the Justice Department, who shared his fears – and he has a lot of them – with Politico on Friday. Demers warned that terrorists would “take advantage of” certain “windows of opportunities,” though he acknowledged that there was no overarching trend.

Some people are putting off plans, and other people are saying, ‘Well I’ve got to accelerate this because maybe all the borders will be shut down soon,’” Demers explained, covering his bases.

Also on rt.com
Coronavirus checkpoint in New Rochelle, NY © Reuters / Andrew Kelly
Never let a crisis go to waste: US lawmakers bask in coronavirus panic while quietly building the police state of their dreams

The outlet pointed to two cases as proof that coronavirus was driving the terrorists kill-crazy. A Missouri man, who was (as is mostly typical for “homegrown radicals”) encouraged and surveilled by the FBI for months as he worked toward his grisly goal, was moved by the coronavirus to target a hospital rather than a church or synagogue, while a Pakistani doctor living in the US saw his alleged efforts to fight with Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) in Syria thwarted by border closures.

But Demers warned there were more on the horizon, contemplating “How can I try to weaponize this virus?” and seeking “windows of opportunity” in the only remaining crowded places left in the US – hospitals. His words echoed a bizarre-sounding warning from the FBI earlier this week that “white supremacist” groups were urging their members to spread the virus “through bodily fluids and personal interactions” to cops and Jews. Notably, no proof was presented for the warning, as the hype doesn’t seem to go beyond trolling posts on 4chan. 

Also on rt.com
New York Supreme Court building stands (nearly) deserted amid coronavirus shutdown © Reuters / Eduardo Munoz
Justice Dept reassures Americans only judges can suspend their constitutional rights during coronavirus epidemic

For all that coronavirus + terrorism sounds like a perfect storm of fear, those following the numbers might note that the pandemic has far outstripped terrorism in its body count – and that isn’t much of a challenge, statistically speaking. Three months of coronavirus epidemic have already surpassed 15 years of terrorism in the US with regard to death toll. In fact, if one excludes the September 11 attacks – by far the deadliest terrorist event ever to take place on US soil, and a huge outlier statistically speaking – there are 388 Americans who died from terrorism between 1995 and 2016.

That’s less than a quarter of the 1,438 who have died since the epidemic appeared in the US, as of Friday.
The Justice Department’s controversial initiative just days before to charge people spreading the coronavirus with terrorism has been met with significant backlash, including from medical authorities, who warn that attempts to criminalize the transmission of the virus itself would discourage people from seeking testing and treatment.

The lack of tests also raises some questions. Namely, how do you start charging people with intentionally spreading #coronavirus if you can’t even tell people that they *have* coronavirus?

— Caroline Orr (@RVAwonk) March 25, 2020

There are laws to deal with them already. No need to conflate coronavirus transmission with terrorism. It will suppress testing efforts, directly harm the most marginal, and broadly harm the public health.

— Dr. Steven W. Thrasher (@thrasherxy) March 25, 2020

So far, terrorists deliberately inflicting coronavirus on large numbers of people to achieve a political aim appear to exist in the mythical realm only. While isolated cases of mischief-makers coughing on hapless victims and informing them they, too, are now sick, there have been no reported incidents of organized “coronavirus terrorism.”

With rising concern that the coronavirus pandemic is being used to push through draconian “emergency measures” that have a tendency to stick around long after the emergency is over, the Justice Department’s latest coronavirus-terrorism provisions have gotten mixed reviews, building on the unease triggered by their leaked request to suspend habeas corpus and the statute of limitations last week. Raising the specter of coronavirus-motivated terrorists is a great way to manufacture consent, some pointed out.

This is exactly what we all need to be very worried about once the pandemic is over. The Patriot Act is with us still 19 years after 9-11.

— Lady Jade 🦊 (@Summer_Plums) March 25, 2020

This will be used to deport people. This is the embodiment of "they are vermin, they spread pestilence" rhetoric.

Any other point in my lifetime I'd sound like a tinfoil hat wearing nut saying that. But, with this administration? Highly plausible.

— William Eyelash (@misanthropemime) March 25, 2020

Others were made uneasy by the continued lack of testing. How would authorities determine who was a deliberate spreader, outside of the pranksters licking toilet seats and coughing on people on social media?

The lack of tests also raises some questions. Namely, how do you start charging people with intentionally spreading #coronavirus if you can’t even tell people that they *have* coronavirus?

— Caroline Orr (@RVAwonk) March 25, 2020

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---------- 57 ----------

Title: Serbian PM: ‘Fake news’ that we don’t appreciate EU help, but Covid-19 aid came from China

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484322-serbia-coronavirus-eu-fake-news/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 19:40:00 +0000

Desc: Preview After a former Swedish prime minister accused Serbia of hyping coronavirus aid that it received from China but ignoring ‘far more substantial’ help from the European Union, Serbian PM Ana Brnabic moved to set the record straight.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/484322-serbia-coronavirus-eu-fake-news/

Content:

After a former Swedish prime minister accused Serbia of hyping coronavirus aid that it received from China but ignoring ‘far more substantial’ help from the European Union, Serbian PM Ana Brnabic moved to set the record straight.

“When China sent an aircraft with help to Serbia President [Aleksandar] Vucic made a great show of it,” Carl Bildt tweeted on Friday morning, “But when far more substantial [EU] aid arrives there is no fanfare and no President in sight.”

When China 🇨🇳 sent an aircraft with help to Serbia 🇷🇸 President Vucic made a great show of it. But when far more substantial 🇪🇺 aid arrives there is no fanfare and no President in sight. https://t.co/Tlc9VCFLsI

— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) March 27, 2020

Bildt quote-tweeted Sem Fabrizi, EU’s ambassador to Serbia, who posted photos of a cargo plane with aid at Belgrade airport on Thursday night. One of the photos clearly shows a masked-up Brnabic, who was on site to receive the flight. 

“Let's assume that spreading fake news to send strong political messages is due to lack of info and not bad intention,” she tweeted back at Bildt. “That aircraft was also carrying help from China and medical supplies purchased by Serbia. Our EU partners paid for the transport and we greatly appreciate it!”

Let's assume that spreading fake news to send strong political messages @carlbildt is due to lack of info and not bad intention. That aircraft was also carrying help from 🇨🇳 + medical supplies purchased by 🇷🇸. Our 🇪🇺 partners paid for the transport and we greatly appreciate it!

— Ana Brnabic (@anabrnabic) March 27, 2020

Indeed, as Fabrizi himself noted in the post Bildt was retweeting, the EU paid for the delivery of the supplies, not the supplies themselves. While Brussels did just earmark 93 million euros for coronavirus aid to Serbia, it’s difficult to imagine the cost of a 747 chartered from the Dutch low-cost carrier Transavia Cargo being “far more substantial” than the supplies Beijing has sent to Belgrade so far.

It is understandable that the EU is anxious to show itself as Serbia’s benefactor, after President Vucic angrily denounced European solidarity as nonexistent last week, following the ban on export of medical supplies – including protective masks and ventilators – to non-members. 

“Only China can help us,” Vucic said, adding he sent a personal plea for medical aid to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

Also on rt.com
FILE PHOTO. Medical personnel in protective suits wave hands to a patient who is discharged from the Leishenshan Hospital in Wuhan. ©China Daily via REUTERS
European solidarity doesn’t exist, only China can help us: Serbia goes full emergency over coronavirus

Serbia has subordinated much of its domestic, foreign and economic policy to Brussels in an effort to eventually be considered for admission to the bloc, but the decades-long pro-EU narrative took a massive hit from the Covid-19 crisis. Consequently, Thursday’s delivery was heavily hyped on social media by the EU mission in Belgrade, as a way to repair the damage.

For example, EU flags were affixed to the plane and the gantries, while a big 'EU for Serbia' sign was beamed onto the plane's fuselage by a field projector.

While Fabrizi is trying to salvage the EU’s image in Serbia, however, his own country of Italy is dealing with the worst death toll of Covid-19 worldwide, and so little help from Brussels that PM Giuseppe Conte rejected it on Thursday as “too timid.” 

Former Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told RT that Italy was left “practically alone” to deal with the outbreak, so Rome turned to China, Russia and Cuba for help.

Also on rt.com
A Serbian army soldier patrols in front of the Parliament building in Belgrade
© Reuters / MARKO DJURICA
Goodbye, globalism? Coronavirus sobers up Serbia to EU hypocrisy

Bildt holds no official position in the Brussels bureaucracy, but it’s not a surprise he sought to meddle in Serbian affairs yet again. He is one of the leading Euro-Atlantic boosters on the continent, currently co-chairing the European Council on Foreign Relations. During the Yugoslav Wars, he was one of the EU negotiators and a UN special envoy for the Balkans, the de facto viceroy of Bosnia-Herzegovina for a while, and the first foreign minister to visit Serbia’s breakaway province of Kosovo after it unilaterally declared independence.

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---------- 58 ----------

Title: France’s coronavirus death toll nears 2,000 as 300 more die in Covid-19 pandemic

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484323-france-coronavirus-deaths-increase-lockdown/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 18:57:00 +0000

Desc: Preview The death toll from the Covid-19 outbreak has reached 1,996 in France after the country’s health authorities confirmed that 299 more people have died there in a 24-hour period.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/484323-france-coronavirus-deaths-increase-lockdown/

Content:

The death toll from the Covid-19 outbreak has reached 1,996 in France after the country’s health authorities confirmed that 299 more people have died there in a 24-hour period.

Announcing the latest fatalities on Friday evening, France’s director-general of health also said that there have been a total of 32,964 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the state, up from 29,155 a day prior.

Earlier Friday, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe warned of “very difficult” days ahead as the country sees a rise in cases, and said the government would extend a raft of nationwide restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the deadly virus by at least a fortnight, to April 15. 

Also on rt.com
© Reuters / Gonzalo Fuentes
French PM says ‘very difficult days ahead’ as Covid-19 ‘sweeps over’ country

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---------- 59 ----------

Title: Turkey evacuates hundreds of migrants from Greek border amid virus pandemic

Link: https://www.rt.com/newsline/484320-turkey-evacuates-migrants-border/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 18:23:00 +0000

Desc: Preview
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/newsline/484320-turkey-evacuates-migrants-border/

Content:

Ankara has sent some 6,000 migrants waiting at the Turkish-Greek border to cross into the European Union to cities inside the country, Reuters reported on Friday, citing the Interior Ministry. The move was part of measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Migrants waiting at the border crossing in Edirne province were transported in buses to state guest houses where they would be quarantined, Anadolu news agency reported. They would be moved to other regions in Turkey at the end of the quarantine, it added.

Thousands of migrants had massed at a border crossing with European Union-member Greece after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced last month that his country would no longer prevent refugees and other migrants wanting to travel to EU countries. Violent clashes erupted between the migrants and Greek border authorities trying to push them back.

Turkey has so far reported 75 deaths related to the new coronavirus and 3,629 infections, AP said. It was not clear if any of the migrants at the border had contracted the virus.



---------- 60 ----------

Title: Coronavirus and doping: WADA chief warns athletes not to use Covid-19 pandemic as opportunity to cheat

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/484318-wada-coronavirus-testing-cheats/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 18:11:40 +0000

Desc: Preview World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President Witold Banka has warned that the coronavirus pandemic should not be used as an excuse for violating doping rules, vowing that all cheaters will be caught.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/484318-wada-coronavirus-testing-cheats/

Content:

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President Witold Banka has warned that the coronavirus pandemic should not be used as an excuse for violating doping rules, vowing that all cheaters will be caught.

The Polish official underlined that integrity of the world anti-doping system will be maintained despite the coronavirus outbreak which has caused many countries to suspend their testing activities.

READ MORE: Tokyo 2020 Olympics: IOC chief promises to complete 'a beautiful jigsaw puzzle and wonderful Olympic Games'

"Anti-doping never sleeps, that is my message to the athletes,” Banka said.

"Inevitably testing program in some countries will be suspended and canceled or limited in others, but we will do our best to maintain the integrity of the anti-doping system.

"If some cheats are thinking this is space for them, I can ensure we will do everything to catch them and eliminate them from the sports environment," he added.

Also on rt.com
RT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics POSTPONED: IOC officially announces Games to be rescheduled 'beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021'

The WADA chief also noted that due to the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Games those whose doping bans expire this year will be allowed to compete in the Olympics in 2021.

"A ban is about the length of time, it is not dedicated to concrete sports events and if they happen or not," Banka said.

The 2020 Summer Games were rescheduled to 2021 due to the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic which has paralyzed global sport.



---------- 61 ----------

Title: US golfer Davis Love's $4.5mn mansion razed to the ground in terrifying blaze (VIDEO)

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/484315-us-golfer-davis-love-mansion-fire/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 17:49:00 +0000

Desc: Preview The home of two-time former US Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III was completely destroyed in a terrifying blaze which ripped through the property in the affluent Sea Islands area of Georgia on Friday morning.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/484315-us-golfer-davis-love-mansion-fire/

Content:

The home of two-time former US Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III was completely destroyed in a terrifying blaze which ripped through the property in the affluent Sea Islands area of Georgia on Friday morning.

The cause of the inferno is unknown but its effects were evident for all to see as the fire tore through the entire mansion, as seen in footage shown on US networks.

Video of fire that destroyed Davis Love III’s home earlier today. 🎥: Glynn County Fire Rescue pic.twitter.com/ExFgbth48r

— Golf Central (@GolfCentral) March 27, 2020

Firefighters arrived at the scene within minutes but a crew of 16 were unable to extinguish the flames.  

No one from Love's family was injured in the blaze, as he and wife Robin were the only people inside the property but managed to flee at the time the fire broke out.

The 55-year-old former PGA Champion later issued a statement expressing gratitude that no one had been harmed. 

“While everyone in our family is saddened at the loss of our home that was filled with so much laughter and incredible memories, we're very blessed that everyone is safe and unharmed,” he said.

© USA TODAY Sports Reuters Picture Supplied by Action Images

According to US media reports the property was worth around $4.5 million and had been on the market since 2013. 

Hall of Fame golfer Love has won around $45 million in career prize money, putting him 14th on the all-time earnings list, and has twice captained the US Ryder Cup team.   



---------- 62 ----------

Title: Kadyrov calling: Why Chechnya could be the perfect location for Khabib v Tony UFC 249 crisis

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/484303-chechnya-cornavirus-antidote-khabib-tony-ufc249/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 17:37:00 +0000

Desc: Preview The most anticipated fight in UFC history is currently searching for a home but as the nomadic trek to find a stage for the greatest show on earth continues one contender seems to be ever more realistic - Chechnya.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/484303-chechnya-cornavirus-antidote-khabib-tony-ufc249/

Content:

The most anticipated fight in UFC history is currently searching for a home but as the nomadic trek to find a stage for the greatest show on earth continues one contender seems to be ever more realistic - Chechnya.

The original plan for an April 18 bout at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center fell victim to the coronavirus outbreak due to New York’s ban on gatherings of 500-plus people, and other states following suit has forced the UFC to find an alternative.

The fight itself, now on its fifth installment of negotiations, has been so far immune to the worldwide blanket cancellation of sports thanks to the sheer bloodymindedness of headstrong UFC head honcho Dana White.

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RT
'It's going to be a closed event': UFC president Dana White says Khabib vs. Ferguson WILL go ahead – at a mystery location

The odds on a Las Vegas date are increasingly slim and the sun is just about setting on California and Florida as viable and tenable backup options, meaning all signs lead to an alternative abroad.

White claims he knows where the fight will be but was coy about verifying the venue and teased fans currently going through the torture of not knowing if they will have their main hope of respite from the Covid-19 pandemic.

But there is one location that might fix the whole thing - Chechnya. Here we explore why the Chechen Republic might be the perfect antidote to Khabib and Tony's location crisis.

Also on rt.com
Getty / Jeff Bottari
‘This is only the beginning': Khabib hints worst yet to come in UFC 249 saga with cryptic message

Location, location, location

Khabib is currently holed up in Russia having this week returned to his homeland from the San Jose, California headquarters of his regular training camp of The American Kickboxing Academy, and thus thrusting a 14-day quarantine on himself strictly imposed by Russian law on all nationals returning from abroad.

Russia recently suspended all international flights from Friday in new measures by President Vladimir Putin that will also see all restaurants cafes and shops - aside from those selling food and medicine - closed in the capital Moscow, as the official total of Covid-19 cases rose to 840 in the country.

An internal flight to Chechnya or a 170km ride from Khabib’s Makhachkala hometown in Dagestan to the Chechen capital of Gronzny would be a sound alternative to get around unnecessary and uncomfortable transit.

Weight-cut worries

Khabib’s most vicious fight has always been with the pre-fight weight cut which will be seriously hampered by another geographical change as the Dagestani could hardly afford boiling his body down from a reputed 190 lbs walk-around weight to make the 155 lbs lightweight limit.

Even a day would throw Khabib’s rigorous weight cut, something which the fighter himself noted recently in an Instagram post.

“We can’t understand what is happening. Where we’re fighting or if we’re fighting at all, and what about the weight cut,” Khabib posted this week after news that AKA had shut to the public.

The proximity to Khabib’s Dagestan hometown would tax the least amount of time from Khabib’s strict regime of cutting kilos from his thick frame, which was the cause of cancellation for the fourth of the previous quartet of times the fight has been scrapped and would eliminate at least one of the many current logistical problems.

Kadyrov’s coronavirus crackdown 

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov is notoriously no-nonsense, and his approach to battling the coronavirus spread in Chechnya has been characteristically strict, making New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s measures look like a stroll in Central Park (in a crowd of less than 500 of course).

Reuters / CHRISTOPHER PIKE

“If you ask me, anyone who creates this problem for himself should be killed. Not only does he get sick, [but he also infects] his family, his sisters, brothers, neighbors,” the regional Caucasian Knot news agency quoted Kadyrov as saying recently.

Although his comments may be tongue-in-cheek, such measures would mean there’d be zero risk of coronavirus measures not being adhered to in the Chechen Republic around fight night and the all-important empty stadium-‘closed event’ criteria would be a given.

Muslim majority

Russia’s majority Muslim Republic will be a hotbed of support for Khabib, who is hailed as a hero in the North Caucasus region. The Chechen capital Grozny is situated a mere 2 hours 30 minute drive from his Makhachkala hometown where his supporters would be oddly simultaneously granted and denied a Khabib homecoming.

Nevertheless, that very fact would mean Chechnya will certainly be willing to accept what would be the biggest sporting event ever held in the country, starring one of their own local heroes.

On top of that, Kadyrov is a huge fan of a range of sports, particularly football and combat sports, having hosted Mike Tyson and Ronaldinho to sporting events in the country.

The 43-year-old is a loyal supporter of Khabib and traveled to support the Dagestani Eagle in his most recent fight against Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi, in which he defended his lightweight title in 3 rounds back in September.

Khabib will observe the Muslim holy month of Ramadan from April 23, just one week after the fight’s orignal planned date, meaning the Russian will not fight for an entire month, meaning the fight might be shunted further down the currently bare sporting calendar.

That will give extra incentive for the UFC to find an alternative or face rescheduling the fight for an end-of-year date, something they will likely not be keen to forego.

Khabib and Tony’s will-they-won’t-they, seesaw back-and-forth drama has been one of the most intriguing UFC tales before either have ever even set foot in the same cage. In times of extreme uncertainty worldwide, a rescheduling to Chechnya may provide some light at the end of a very dark tunnel and fend off the almost certainty that Khabib versus Tony will, just as it has been four times before, be canceled.



---------- 63 ----------

Title: US Congress approves $2.2 trillion stimulus bill, sends to White House

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/484312-congress-passes-stimulus-bill-coronavirus/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 17:34:00 +0000

Desc: Preview The US House has approved the mammoth $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill passed earlier this week by the Senate, sending the long-awaited relief package to President Donald Trump’s desk for signing.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/484312-congress-passes-stimulus-bill-coronavirus/

Content:

The US House has approved the mammoth $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill passed earlier this week by the Senate, sending the long-awaited relief package to President Donald Trump’s desk for signing.

The bill sailed through the House with a voice vote despite an attempt by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky) to force a roll-call poll. The pressing need to distribute immediate aid to individual Americans and small businesses starved for cash by coronavirus-related shutdowns appeared to override legislators’ objections to various controversial provisions included in the massive legislative package.

Trump is expected to approve the bill, which will give $1,200 each to Americans making under $75,000 in annual income, expand unemployment benefits, and provide $377 billion in aid to small businesses. Its more controversial provisions include a $500 billion corporate fund, which progressive Democrats have slammed as a no-strings-attached bailout.

Also on rt.com
RT
World economy has entered a recession 'as bad or worse' than the global financial crisis – IMF chief

After stalling in the Senate over the weekend due to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s objections, the bill ballooned in size to over a thousand pages, forcing both parties back to the negotiating table.

While the end result has been held up as a victory for working people by the leaders of both parties, others have derided the one-time payment to individuals as a pittance compared to the massive sums being routed into the pockets of corporate executives.

The measure passed unanimously in the Senate Wednesday night, however, and Massie’s efforts to re-examine it in the House were excoriated by both parties, including Trump himself.

Millions have been laid off in the US as government-mandated shutdowns force service economy businesses to close their doors, and with over two-thirds of Americans having less than $600 in savings put aside for an emergency, a critical segment of the population needs cash now.

Also on rt.com
RT
US unemployment shatters record, surpassing 3 MILLION claims

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---------- 64 ----------

Title: Number of US Covid-19 cases smashes past 90,000

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/484316-us-coronavirus-case-surge-90000/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 17:26:00 +0000

Desc: Preview The number of people infected with the coronavirus in the United States has surged to nearly 93,000, as the country reclaims its position of having the most cases of Covid-19 in the world.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/484316-us-coronavirus-case-surge-90000/

Content:

The number of people infected with the coronavirus in the United States has surged to nearly 93,000, as the country reclaims its position of having the most cases of Covid-19 in the world.

The tally from Johns Hopkins University indicates that the number of cases in the US hit 92,932 on Friday, a dramatic one-day surge of 7,576 cases on its previous figure.

The increase saw it overtake Italy, which briefly had the most confirmed cases of any country in the world when its official count of infections reached 86,498 on Friday.

Friday was the Mediterranean country’s worst day yet, as it recorded 919 deaths in just 24 hours. The figure is by far the highest single-day death toll in any country in the world since the pandemic began.

Also on rt.com
© Reuters / Flavio Lo Scalzo
Italy’s WORST day: Coronavirus death rate highest since start of outbreak with 900+ fatalities

The most recent figures released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that 1,246 people have died from Covid-19 in the US. That statistic places the US as having the sixth highest death toll from the virus in the world behind Italy, Spain, China, Iran and France. However, that figure is expected to rise later on Friday.

New York is the worst-hit state in the country, recording 365 deaths. Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Friday that the state estimates that demand for hospital capacity won’t peak for another three weeks. Cuomo announced plans to build eight temporary hospitals in a bid to cope with the expected surge in patients.

The worldwide death toll from Covid-19 passed the grim milestone of 25,000 earlier on Friday. Europe is the worst-hit continent with over 18,000 falling victim to the disease. The Johns Hopkins tally shows that there are over 565,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus around the world. It says that over 127,500 people have recovered from the illness across the globe.

Also on rt.com
Mortuary employees carrying the coffin of a person who died from Covid-19 in Madrid, Spain, on Friday. © REUTERS/Juan Medina
Europe coronavirus cases dramatically SURGE as worldwide death toll surpasses 25,000

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---------- 65 ----------

Title: #PrayForBoris trends after PM Johnson contracts Covid-19, sparking fierce debate on Twitter

Link: https://www.rt.com/uk/484296-prayforboris-trends-coronavirus-debate/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 16:51:00 +0000

Desc: Preview In the aftermath of British PM Boris Johnson revealing that he has coronavirus, #PrayForBoris started to trend online, infuriating many who claim less high-profile figures such as NHS workers deserve just as much attention.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/uk/484296-prayforboris-trends-coronavirus-debate/

Content:

In the aftermath of British PM Boris Johnson revealing that he has coronavirus, #PrayForBoris started to trend online, infuriating many who claim less high-profile figures such as NHS workers deserve just as much attention.

Johnson tweeted a video on Friday morning saying that he had “developed mild symptoms” over the last 24 hours and had “tested positive for coronavirus.” He is self-isolating in Downing Street, but insists he’ll continue to lead the UK government.

News that the deadly virus had hit at the very heart of government with Johnson falling victim saw the hashtag #PrayForBoris trend on Twitter, with many quick to send messages of support to the PM and wish him a speedy recovery.

Boris Johnson is tough as old boots... He will survive! #prayforboris pic.twitter.com/m2Lz9yeWwU

— Steve Delahunty (@DelahuntySteve) March 27, 2020

The hashtag prompted strong views on the appropriateness of expressing such empathy for high-profile figures like the UK PM, who ostensibly have easy access to testing. Many highlighted those working on the frontline in the National Health Service (NHS) who are not afforded such fortune, despite putting their lives at risk on a daily basis.

Cool to know that BJ was tested for "mild symptoms" after one day, while my Mum and I are on day 15 of mild to moderate symptoms and won't be tested 💯👍 love this government and all they have done for the NHS #prayforboris pic.twitter.com/c42eYhLfA9

— Danielle Howarth (@howarthdk) March 27, 2020

Others on Twitter insisted they couldn’t muster much sympathy for Johnson due to his government’s earlier ‘herd immunity’ Covid-19 strategy that relied on 60 percent of the UK population to get infected – a plan that soon got ditched.

People also took a swipe at Tory voters who took part in Thursday’s nationwide #ClapForCarers – a public tribute to all the NHS workers helping to battle the disease – given the delight Conservative MPs had shown just three years ago when voting to block a pay rise for nurses.

those who voted tory in 2019 and then clapped for NHS workers last night are now tweeting #prayforboris pic.twitter.com/6iSo5rkBwK

— ؜ (@clarknarvas) March 27, 2020

Just minutes after Johnson’s Covid-19 declaration, Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed on social media that he had been working from home in recent days because he too had been displaying “mild symptoms” of the coronavirus infection. He said he was tested on his doctors’ advice and the result came back positive, so is now self-isolating until Thursday.

The latest UK government figures on coronavirus show a steep increase in the number of deaths, up 181 in one day to a new total of 759 by Thursday evening. As of 9am GMT Friday, the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care said 113,777 people had been tested for the novel coronavirus. Of those, over 14,500 were positive.

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© REUTERS/Simon Dawson
UK’s coronavirus deaths up almost ONE THIRD in one day, new figures show

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---------- 66 ----------

Title: ‘Open your STUPIDLY abandoned plant’: Trump lashes out at GM & Ford over ventilator delay

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/484308-trump-gm-coronavirus-ventilators/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 16:46:00 +0000

Desc: Preview President Donald Trump has lost his patience with automakers who promised to produce ventilators to treat Covid-19 patients, threatening to invoke his emergency powers to force General Motors and Ford to live up to their pledge.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/484308-trump-gm-coronavirus-ventilators/

Content:

President Donald Trump has lost his patience with automakers who promised to produce ventilators to treat Covid-19 patients, threatening to invoke his emergency powers to force General Motors and Ford to live up to their pledge.

“They said they were going to give us 40,000 much needed Ventilators, ‘very quickly,’” Trump tweeted on Friday. “Now they are saying it will only be 6000, in late April, and they want top dollar.”

He added that it’s “always a mess” with GM CEO Mary Barra, and that he will invoke the Defense Production Act, a piece of wartime legislation giving the president the power to order manufacturers to produce essential supplies.

As usual with “this” General Motors, things just never seem to work out. They said they were going to give us 40,000 much needed Ventilators, “very quickly”. Now they are saying it will only be 6000, in late April, and they want top dollar. Always a mess with Mary B. Invoke “P”.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 27, 2020

“General Motors MUST immediately open their stupidly abandoned Lordstown plant in Ohio,” the president’s rant continued – referring to the plant GM shuttered after promising him to keep jobs in the US – “or some other plant, and START MAKING VENTILATORS, NOW!!!!!!” Ford should do the same, he added, also in capital letters.

General Motors MUST immediately open their stupidly abandoned Lordstown plant in Ohio, or some other plant, and START MAKING VENTILATORS, NOW!!!!!! FORD, GET GOING ON VENTILATORS, FAST!!!!!! @GeneralMotors @Ford

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 27, 2020

GM promised last Friday that it would partner with Ventec Life Systems to “scale up” production of ventilators, vital medical devices used to keep the worst-affected Covid-19 patients alive. Ford also announced that it had entered “preliminary discussions” with the federal government to build the devices. Automakers’ apparent foot-dragging seems to have struck a nerve with the president.

Trump’s own administration has been reluctant to sign a deal with GM, claiming that the $1 billion price tag requested by GM was too steep. According to a report in the New York Times, Trump backed away so he could talk to other potential suppliers.

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A train guard and passenger both wear face masks as they ride the Yamanote Line on March 27, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan
Why East beats West in the war against coronavirus

The president has until now insisted that America’s private sector is willing and able to produce all the supplies that the country needs to stave off the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“We are literally being besieged in a beautiful way by companies that want to do the work and help our country,” he said at a press conference last week, specifically citing GM as one of these companies.

However, the apparent limits of the free market mean that Trump may soon be forced to invoke the Defense Production Act. Activated by the president last week as a fallback measure, the act would allow the federal government to compel manufacturers to produce vital equipment. As recently as Thursday, however, he insisted that “we don’t need it.”

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have called on Trump to enforce the act. Though he has resisted thus far, circumstances may yet force his hand.

General Motors is still likely to profit from the crisis. While the automaker has suspended production and cut paychecks, it will probably be able to draw from the $500 billion rescue fund allocated by the government’s $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill. GM dodged failure before, and along with Ford and Chrysler received an $80 billion bailout in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

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---------- 67 ----------

Title: UK medical chief in ISOLATION after experiencing Covid-19 symptoms

Link: https://www.rt.com/uk/484311-uk-medical-chief-coronavirus/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 16:44:00 +0000

Desc: Preview England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty has gone into self-isolation in his home after experiencing symptoms that are compatible with Covid-19.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/uk/484311-uk-medical-chief-coronavirus/

Content:

England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty has gone into self-isolation in his home after experiencing symptoms that are compatible with Covid-19.

Professor Whitty, who is the top medical adviser to the UK government, said on Friday that he began experiencing symptoms on Thursday night and he would be in isolation for seven days.

The health official’s announcement caps a remarkable day in the UK in which the prime minister and the health secretary both revealed that they have contracted the disease. 

Whitty has worked closely with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in recent days. The professor said he will continue to advise the government on the medical response to Covid-19, supported by his deputies.

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Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus. © REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests POSITIVE for Covid-19 infection

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---------- 68 ----------

Title: Italy’s WORST day: Coronavirus death rate highest since start of outbreak with 900+ fatalities

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484314-italy-coronavirus-deaths-highest-rate/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 16:41:00 +0000

Desc: Preview Italy has experienced its worst day yet in the country’s devastating coronavirus epidemic, with 919 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours – the highest single-day total since the pandemic began.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/484314-italy-coronavirus-deaths-highest-rate/

Content:

Italy has experienced its worst day yet in the country’s devastating coronavirus epidemic, with 919 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours – the highest single-day total since the pandemic began.

The highest-ever single-day spike in fatalities brought Italy’s death toll to 9,134, a number that has long since surpassed the outbreak’s original epicenter in China. Italy had 86,498 confirmed cases as of Friday, also exceeding China’s numbers as Beijing has seen new infections all but flatline.

While single-day deaths in the country had been on the decline for several days, Friday’s numbers show Italy is not yet on the mend with regard to the devastating epidemic that has overwhelmed hospitals, triggered nationwide quarantines, and exhausted national resources.

Italy is now second only to the US in terms of total number of coronavirus cases, though it has far outstripped it in terms of fatalities. Not all is bleak – 10,950 Italian coronavirus patients had fully recovered as of Friday – but the strain on the nation’s health system continues to take its toll.

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Carabinieri military police officer stands guard as military trucks wait to take away coffins in Seriate, Italy, March 25, 2020.
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Italy’s outbreak began in the northern region of Lombardy, which remains the hardest-hit by the epidemic and had experienced 5,402 deaths as of Friday. The nation’s difficulties have been compounded by a slow response from the EU, forcing the Italian government to look further afield for aid as even its fellow European nations closed their borders and kept their resources for themselves.

While the fatality rate in Italy has outstripped that of any other country, hovering around a terrifying 10 percent, researchers have tried to mitigate panic by pointing to the fact that nearly all of the deaths from the coronavirus had underlying pathologies.

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---------- 69 ----------

Title: 'Social distance yourself from my personal bubble': UFC's Mike Perry KOs man outside Florida nightclub (VIDEO)

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/484304-ufc-mike-perry-kos-man/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 16:23:00 +0000

Desc: Preview UFC welterweight Mike 'Platinum' Perry ensured that one drunken reveler found out exactly what his version of social distancing meant when he knocked him out outside a nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/484304-ufc-mike-perry-kos-man/

Content:

UFC welterweight Mike 'Platinum' Perry ensured that one drunken reveler found out exactly what his version of social distancing meant when he knocked him out outside a nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Fan favorite Perry shared the footage on his Instagram account, which shows him squaring up to the man before sending him to the deck with a swift left hand to the jaw.

"Goin to the beach boy!" Perry wrote.

"He’d actually just punched me in the mouth. (Why do you think they started recording) I created space, he followed with his fists balled. As I stepped into position around the girl he either flinched or got distracted from what his drunk ass was doing which was harassing me. He wouldn’t stop so I ended it. I threw the jab/hook split seconds before he looked to the left. I could’ve continued to ground and pound him to death but walked away and spoke to the police," the UFC veteran added.  

It's not entirely clear what Perry and the rest were doing out and about when the US is meant to be on lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic, but the UFC slugger assured fans that he had ways of ensuring people maintained social distancing.  

"For any of you acting like you’ve ever done anything for me please believe you play with fire you’re gonna get burned," he wrote. 

"If you can mind your space and social distance yourself from my personal bubble than anything can be resolved through conversation. Judge me all you want you bunch of cry to get your way hypocrite’s but I live an honest life and am the most truthful person I know.

"I share my life with all of you watching so please believe if you feel like you want to butt into anything you were not involved in than you, yo mama, yo daddy, yo wife, husbands, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, and grandma’s and grandpa’s can get these pro fighter hands too since it’s ok to hit me but not ok when I hit back.

"Check yo selves!"  

The 28-year-old Perry boasts a 13-6 record in pro MMA but has lost five of his last seven bouts.

He was last in action inside the octagon at UFC 245 in December, when he suffered a first-round TKO defeat to Geoff Neal.

Perry's firmly in fighting shape outside the cage, it would seem.  

Also on rt.com
© Getty Images
'This isn't cool': UFC's Mike Perry ignites row with use of n-word in Twitter spat



---------- 70 ----------

Title: World economy has entered a recession 'as bad or worse' than the global financial crisis – IMF chief

Link: https://www.rt.com/business/484305-world-entered-recession-imf/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 15:44:00 +0000

Desc: Preview IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said it’s “clear” that the global economy has “entered recession” due to the evolving Covid-19 pandemic, and that the organization is working on projections to assess how severe it will be.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/business/484305-world-entered-recession-imf/

Content:

IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said it’s “clear” that the global economy has “entered recession” due to the evolving Covid-19 pandemic, and that the organization is working on projections to assess how severe it will be.

Georgieva said she expects the recession to be “quite deep.” Recovery is projected for 2021, but only if the virus can be contained, she said.

She said countries needed to step up their response measures aggressively, adding that the IMF has received a large number of requests for emergency financing. Georgieva said the international body has received pledges from Britain, Japan, and China for a “catastrophic containment and relief trust” for the poorest countries and that she hopes more will follow.

A key concern about a long- lasting impact of the sudden stop of the world economy is the risk of a wave of bankruptcies and layoffs that not only can undermine the recovery but can erode the fabric of our societies.

She predicted that emerging markets will need assistance of $2.5 trillion, and that estimate is “on the low end.” A practical approach will be needed to prevent indebted countries from “falling off the cliff,” she said.

Speaking about the US in particular, Georgieva said it will be absolutely necessary to cushion the world’s biggest economy and said the $2 trillion package of measures already agreed on by the Trump administration was a welcome step.

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FILE PHOTO: American farmers during the Great Depression, 1933 © Global Look Press / Scherl
Great Depression 2.0? US may be headed for HIGHEST UNEMPLOYMENT EVER

She said it is important to protect workers and families from sudden loss of income, and that it is also critical to protect companies.

The IMF boss also confirmed the body is working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise global production of critical medical equipment. She said China is an important source of health supplies and is stepping up production.

She predicted that the global recovery will be staggered, much like the way the pandemic hit countries one after the other.

Global confirmed cases of the Covid-19 virus surpassed 550,000 on Friday, with more than 25,000 deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. Europe is the current epicenter of the pandemic, with countries including Italy, France, Spain, and the UK in national lockdown mode in a bid to contain the spread.

The WHO said this week that the US, which has more confirmed cases than any other individual country, has the potential to become the next epicenter.

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---------- 71 ----------

Title: Irish footballer fined for 'IRA' balaclava 'history lesson' with kids

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/484301-james-mcclean-stoke-history-lesson-balaclava/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 15:17:00 +0000

Desc: Preview Irish footballer James McClean has been fined by club team Stoke City and ordered to delete his Instagram account after posting a message in which he was seen wearing a balaclava while giving his children a “history lesson.”
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/484301-james-mcclean-stoke-history-lesson-balaclava/

Content:

Irish footballer James McClean has been fined by club team Stoke City and ordered to delete his Instagram account after posting a message in which he was seen wearing a balaclava while giving his children a “history lesson.”

The Derry-born Republic of Ireland star hastily removed the message after posting it, but not before he had come under fire for his home-schooling efforts featuring headwear seen as synonymous with the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

James McClean’s home schooling is something else pic.twitter.com/mf8EpbsUU6

— Elliot Hackney (@ElliotHackney) March 26, 2020

Stoke City later said that the midfielder had been fined two weeks’ wages over the post and had agreed to delete his Instagram account.   

"Stoke City can confirm that, following an internal disciplinary review, disciplinary action has been taken against James McClean for an inappropriate social media post,” a statement read.

"McClean has been fined two weeks’ wages by the Club and has also agreed to delete his Instagram account.

"The player has expressed contrition and recognizes that the post was ill advised and offensive.

"He said: 'I never wanted to cause any offence but I now realize that I did so and for that I apologize unreservedly. I have spoken to the Club and will be deleting my Instagram account.'"

Club statement - James McClean#SCFC 🔴⚪

— S t o k e C i t y F C (@stokecity) March 27, 2020

McClean, 30, has emerged as a controversial figure in recent years over his stance not to wear a poppy on his shirt during Remembrance Day celebrations in the UK, stating that “it stands for all the conflicts that Britain has been involved in.”

In particular, he has cited the 'Bloody Sunday' massacre in his home city of Derry in Northern Ireland – in which 13 unarmed civilians were killed by British soldiers in 1972 – as being behind his stance.

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© DYLAN MARTINEZ / REUTERS
'For me it's only a reminder of an attack': Man United’s Matic defends decision to not wear poppy

That has not stopped McClean receiving significant abuse from fans in the terraces, while the footballer has also received death threats.

McClean has won 65 caps for Ireland, scoring 10 times, and has previously played at West Bromwich Albion, Wigan Athletic and Sunderland.



---------- 72 ----------

Title: Hey MSM, you got coronavirus as another opportunity to roast Trump… but do the polls agree?

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/484300-coronavirus-trump-polls-media/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 15:16:00 +0000

Desc: Preview President Trump’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic has been slammed by the mainstream media, with certain networks opting not to air his daily press briefings due to “misinformation.” But polls say the public disagrees.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/484300-coronavirus-trump-polls-media/

Content:

President Trump’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic has been slammed by the mainstream media, with certain networks opting not to air his daily press briefings due to “misinformation.” But polls say the public disagrees.

The Washington Post has been fiercely critical of Trump since long before his election. Yet as the paper described his administration as barrelling “toward calamity” this week, a Washington Post-ABC News poll recorded Trump’s highest ever approval rating, with 48 percent of respondents giving the president the thumbs-up, compared to 46 percent disapproving.

That’s the first time Trump has scored positively on the Post’s poll, but when it comes to his handling of the ongoing pandemic which has killed more than 1,300 Americans thus far, the president’s results are even better. Fifty-one percent approve of his stewardship, while 45 percent don’t.

Also on rt.com
FILE PHOTO: People wait in line to be tested for Covid-19 while wearing protective gear, outside Elmhurst Hospital Center in  New York City, the US' major coronavirus epicenter.
US overtakes China as country with highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases – Johns Hopkins University

The results are played out across the board. Polls from Fox News, the Economist, Reuters, Gallup, Emerson and Axios all show positive results for Trump. Gallup’s poll found that 60 percent of Americans support Trump’s response to the crisis, while only 38 percent disapprove. Trump’s handling of the crisis has translated into a record high job approval rating in an average of national polls.

Yet the media tells a different story. President Trump’s daily press briefings are – to quote one NPR station in Seattle – so full of “false or misleading information” that the station will no longer air them.

However, we will not be airing the briefings live due to a pattern of false or misleading information provided that cannot be fact checked in real time. (2)

— KUOW Public Radio (@KUOW) March 24, 2020

Staff at CNN and MSNBC have reportedly pleaded with network bosses to drop coverage of the briefings, and the New York Times ran a column on Thursday wondering aloud “should networks cover them?” Individual news personalities have excoriated the president for allegedly spreading baloney. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow said on her show this week that if Trump “keeps lying...it’s going to cost lives.”

There is no public benefit to this briefing. The networks should all cut away.

— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) March 23, 2020

But the public isn’t listening. The same Gallup poll whose respondents rated Trump at 60 percent found that out of all the institutions responding to the pandemic, Americans rated the news media the worst, with only 44 percent of Americans expressing any trust in it. Even Congress, a perennially unpopular institution in these kinds of surveys, scored higher than the media.

Trump’s bump in popularity can possibly be explained by the “wartime president” effect. In times of great crisis, the electorate tends to put partisan politics aside and rally around their leader. At least that’s how the theory goes. No US president has ever lost a re-election bid during wartime, and Trump has certainly attempted to portray the Covid-19 pandemic as a warlike situation. Describing the virus as an “invisible enemy,” Trump told reporters last week that “I view it as a, in a sense, a wartime president.” Whether Trump manages to keep the public on side as the death toll climbs, however, depends on his actions in the coming weeks.

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French Gendarmes control a man near the Eiffel tower in Paris as a lockdown is imposed © Reuters / Benoit Tessier
‘Failed liberalism left us without masks’: Covid-19 crisis exposed Western liberal democracy, brought back ideals of ‘sovereignty’

The public’s falling trust in the media is a slightly more difficult trend to explain. The public’s confidence in journalism has been falling for the better part of a decade, yet the current crisis seems to have exacerbated the downward trend. For one thing, the general public could be tired of the media crying wolf too many times. Rachel Maddow, for instance, raised concern about Trump’s “misinformation,” yet cable news viewers will remember Maddow’s own spreading of bogus ‘Russiagate’ conspiracies during the first three years of Trump’s presidency.

Likewise, the public expects reporters to hold their leaders to account. Given the gravity of the coronavirus situation, the media could be grilling Trump on any number of issues, from his plan to reopen the American economy in a matter of weeks, to the breakdown of the $2 trillion stimulus bill he may sign shortly, to his reluctance to actually enforce the Defense Production Act to manufacture vital medical equipment.

Yet when reporters choose to scold Trump forracism instead, the general public learns nothing new.

Trump’s gripes with the media are long-standing. However, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic seems to be winning more and more Americans over to his side.

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---------- 73 ----------

Title: EU leaders to consider climate in coronavirus recovery plan

Link: https://www.rt.com/newsline/484306-eu-climate-coronavirus-recovery/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 15:12:00 +0000

Desc: Preview
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/newsline/484306-eu-climate-coronavirus-recovery/

Content:

European Union leaders have agreed that the bloc’s coronavirus economic recovery plan should take heed of its aim to fight climate change. Following a six-hour video conference, the 27 EU leaders agreed late on Thursday to coordinate a coronavirus economic recovery plan.

The leaders agreed that it should be consistent with the “green transition,” the phrase the EU uses to describe the aim of reducing emissions that heat the planet, a statement said.

The EU’s executive commission wants its 27 member states to sign up at a summit in June to plans to make the entire bloc greenhouse gas neutral by 2050.

So far, Poland is the only holdout. The government in Warsaw has warned that the pandemic will make EU climate targets harder to reach.



---------- 74 ----------

Title: Europe coronavirus cases dramatically SURGE as worldwide death toll surpasses 25,000

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484302-world-death-toll-coronavirus-25000-europe/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 15:06:00 +0000

Desc: Preview The worldwide death toll from Covid-19 has surpassed 25,000 and researchers have detected a huge spike in Europe with Spain, Germany and the UK reporting thousands of fresh cases.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/484302-world-death-toll-coronavirus-25000-europe/

Content:

The worldwide death toll from Covid-19 has surpassed 25,000 and researchers have detected a huge spike in Europe with Spain, Germany and the UK reporting thousands of fresh cases.

The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center noted that the grim milestone had been reached on Friday. Professor Steve Hanke from the university said that Europe has seen a “massive surge” in cases over a 16 hour period with Spain recording over 6,000 fresh diagnoses, Germany racking up over 5,400 and the UK seeing nearly 3,000 new cases.

#BREAKING: My @JohnsHopkinsSPH colleagues inform me that #Europe is seeing a massive surge in cases in the last 16 hrs, with #Spain (+6,273), #Germany (+5,406), and the #UK (+2,921) hit the worst.

Even PM @BorisJohnson has contracted the #coronavirus.https://t.co/gQFu99paPB

— Prof. Steve Hanke (@steve_hanke) March 27, 2020

The tally from governments around the world carried out by the AFP news agency also found that the pandemic has now claimed more than 25,000 lives across the globe.

Europe is the worst-hit continent with over 17,000 falling victim to the disease. Italy had the highest numbers of deaths, racking up more than 8,000. Spain came in second place with nearly 5,000, while China was third with approximately 3,300.

The Johns Hopkins tally shows that there are over 550,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus around the world. It says that over 127,500 people have recovered from the disease.

A senior health official in Italy said on Friday that the illness hasn’t reached its peak in the Mediterranean country. However, Silvio Brusaferro, the head of the Superior Health Institute, told a press conference that there were “signs of a slowdown” in the number of infections. Figures released by the government on Thursday showed 712 new Covid-19 deaths, bringing the nationwide total to 8,215.

Also on rt.com
Carabinieri military police officer stands guard as military trucks wait to take away coffins in Seriate, Italy, March 25, 2020.
Italy yet to reach coronavirus contagion peak, national health chief warns, as 712 die in one day

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---------- 75 ----------

Title: Ireland’s ICUs could reach capacity in ‘days,’ PM warns as ‘temporary morgues’ planned amid Covid-19 crisis

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484292-ireland-icu-capacity-coronavirus/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 14:56:00 +0000

Desc: Preview Intensive care units across Ireland could be at full capacity “within a few days,” Irish PM Leo Varadkar has warned as the country begins to see significant upticks in the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/484292-ireland-icu-capacity-coronavirus/

Content:

Intensive care units across Ireland could be at full capacity “within a few days,” Irish PM Leo Varadkar has warned as the country begins to see significant upticks in the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Varadkar told reporters on Friday that he was concerned about ICU capacity, saying that “As things stand, we have empty beds in our ICUs, but just the way things are heading would indicate that our ICUs will be at capacity within a few days.”

Ireland has one of the lowest ICU bed capacities across Europe, with only 50 beds per million people. By comparison, Italy, which has seen its hospitals overwhelmed by Covid-19 cases, has 125 ICU beds per million people. If Ireland was to experience a major surge in patients requiring intensive care, the units could become quickly overwhelmed. 

Taoiseach @LeoVaradkar says that ICU departments will come under increading capacity in the coming days and it will b really tough here in Ireland as it is elsewhere pic.twitter.com/1ARMbW6nai

— harrymcgee (@harrymcgee) March 27, 2020

As of March 26, the Republic of Ireland had reported 1,819 confirmed cases of the infection. The country’s Health Service Executive (HSE) reported a jump of 255 cases on Thursday and 10 new deaths, bringing the total number of deaths to 19. So far, 47 coronavirus patients have been admitted to ICUs.

The government said in a statement on Wednesday that it was identifying sites which could be used as field hospitals and temporary morgues in the event of a serious surge in cases.

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VALERIE MACON / AFP
Conor McGregor buys $1million worth of protective equipment for Irish hospitals to fight Covid-19

Varadkar, who is a doctor himself and served as Ireland’s health minister between 2014 and 2016, told reporters it now “looks like” Ireland may follow coronavirus patterns seen in other European countries.

The Taoiseach (PM) said the country’s caretaker government is working to make sure there is “backup ICU capacity” available, as well as additional ventilators and CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines.

“All that is happening. An unprecedented effort is being made to tool up,” he said.

Varadkar introduced stepped-up restrictions on people’s movements this week, with residents told not to leave their homes unless absolutely necessary. All non-essential businesses have been closed and public gatherings of more than four are not allowed.

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---------- 76 ----------

Title: UK’s coronavirus deaths up almost ONE THIRD in one day, new figures show

Link: https://www.rt.com/uk/484295-coronavirus-deaths-uk-new-figures/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 14:30:00 +0000

Desc: Preview The latest British government figures on coronavirus show the country’s sharpest increase to date in the number of deaths, up 181 in one day to a new total of 759 as of Thursday evening.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/uk/484295-coronavirus-deaths-uk-new-figures/

Content:

The latest British government figures on coronavirus show the country’s sharpest increase to date in the number of deaths, up 181 in one day to a new total of 759 as of Thursday evening.

As of 9am local time Friday, the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care said 113,777 people had been tested for the novel coronavirus. Of those, over 14,500 were positive.

UPDATE on coronavirus (#COVID19) testing in the UK:

As of 9am 27 March, a total of 113,777 have been tested:

99,198 negative.
14,579 positive.

As of 5pm on 26 March, of those hospitalised in the UK, 759 have sadly died. pic.twitter.com/MBuOB994N4

— Department of Health and Social Care (@DHSCgovuk) March 27, 2020

On Thursday, Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers said London hospitals were facing a “continuous tsunami” of Covid-19 cases, with beds filling up at a rate greater “than you can ever have possibly imagined.”

UK PM Boris Johnson was the latest high-profile figure to test positive for the virus, announcing his test results in a video posted online on Friday. British Health Secretary Matt Hancock also confirmed he has contracted the disease.

Also on rt.com
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus. © REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests POSITIVE for Covid-19 infection

Johnson announced a national lockdown on Monday in an effort to curb the spread of the infection. 

Adding to the pressure British hospitals are under is the fact that between 30 and 50 percent of staff in some NHS trusts were off sick with either suspected Covid-19 or because they are in an at-risk group for contracting the illness.

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---------- 77 ----------

Title: ‘Disgrace we needed global pandemic’: UK govt requests ALL homeless people be housed by weekend

Link: https://www.rt.com/uk/484273-homeless-housed-global-pandemic/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 14:22:00 +0000

Desc: Preview The UK government has urged all local authorities in England to house all rough sleepers, those in hostels and night shelters by the weekend – leading many to ask why it takes a worldwide Covid-19 crisis to end homelessness.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/uk/484273-homeless-housed-global-pandemic/

Content:

The UK government has urged all local authorities in England to house all rough sleepers, those in hostels and night shelters by the weekend – leading many to ask why it takes a worldwide Covid-19 crisis to end homelessness.

According to Crisis – a charity for homeless people – a letter was sent to councils in England on Thursday night saying due to the “public health emergency,” the government was redoubling efforts to ensure “everybody is inside and safe by this weekend.” 

These are unusual times so I’m asking for an unusual effort.

***BREAKING NEWS ****
📣 The Government has written to local authorities asking them to house everyone sleeping rough or in hostels and night shelters, by the weekend. But we must make sure people aren't back on the street when this is all over
More info: https://t.co/cRa0IkF3RC

— Crisis (@crisis_uk) March 27, 2020

The government has yet to confirm the announcement, but Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham confirmed the existence of such a letter via social media on Friday morning.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, welcomed the “unprecedented” move, insisting that it proves ending homelessness can be achieved by 2020, if PM Boris Johnson’s administration prioritise the issue. However, Sparkes revealed that it was not clear at present what funds the government would be funnelling to councils – if any – to carry out such an undertaking.

The seismic intervention by the British state to effectively end all homelessness in the country has led many to ask why it hasn't happened until now –  perfectly crystalised by one person who angrily tweeted: “It’s an utter disgrace that we needed a global pandemic to do it.”

There were countless people suggesting that homelessness has been a political choice, if as it would appear it really is that easy to solve. 

Oh so it really is that easy after all is it... almost like letting people suffer and sleep on the streets is a political choice 🤔🤔 pic.twitter.com/NvSQEbYxw3

— Jack Duncan🌹 (@JackDunc1) March 27, 2020

So it CAN be done.

There are no longer any excuses.

Our political elite choose to keep the homeless that way.

Remember this.

https://t.co/Kx5PPxS9nR

— Adam Pegg (@adamastralnoize) March 27, 2020

Others claimed that coronavirus was “exposing capitalist greed and lies like the ‘there's no magic money tree’” to address long-term societal issues. 

Coronavirus exposing capitalist greed and lies like the "there's no magic money tree" "We can't house everyone before 2027" etc etc...
Will it be enough for ppl to wake up and realise that they suffered needlessly for the last 10 yrs at least?https://t.co/eZv53owPx4

— Audrey (@AudreyAurus1) March 27, 2020

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed on social media that he had tested positive for Covid-19 and was experiencing mild symptoms. The 55-year-old will self-isolate in Downing Street, but will remain in charge of the government.

The latest official figures show that the UK has over 11,800 confirmed cases of coronavirus which has, so far, resulted in the deaths of 578 people.

Also on rt.com
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus. © REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests POSITIVE for Covid-19 infection

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---------- 78 ----------

Title: Coronavirus crisis offers football a glimpse of a brighter, more egalitarian future

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/484288-coronavirus-crisis-offers-football-chance-change/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 14:18:00 +0000

Desc: Preview In a world dragged into uncharted territory by the coronavirus pandemic, football can emerge from the crisis as a more equitable force for good – but only if the game’s elites choose to do the right thing.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/484288-coronavirus-crisis-offers-football-chance-change/

Content:

In a world dragged into uncharted territory by the coronavirus pandemic, football can emerge from the crisis as a more equitable force for good – but only if the game’s elites choose to do the right thing.

Extraordinary times have called for extraordinary measures as the Covid-19 outbreak continues to wreak global havoc. Governments of all stripes have announced emergency measures to prop up crisis-hit economies: in the US, a leadership initially skeptical over the seriousness of the outbreak has pushed through a stimulus package worth a mind-bending $2 trillion; in the UK, a Conservative chancellor has announced far-reaching measures that even ardent leftists have found it hard to quibble with.

Similarly desperate steps have been repeated far and wide, and football – as with sport as a whole – has not found itself immune from the Covid-19 carnage. With leagues on hold and major tournaments postponed, questions loom large over how apocalyptic the post-coronavirus landscape will be. Will it be littered with clubs which have failed to survive the viral onslaught? Will the billions in TV revenue still flood in as purse strings are tightened? Will hard-hit fans still have the funds to fork out for already over-priced tickets and merchandise? Will we see the era of $250 million transfers come to an end?

Many immediate and pressing financial issues are already being answered as football mobilizes to fight the Covid-19 war. In Germany, the Bundesliga’s four Champions League teams – Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen – have created a €20 million ($22 million) solidarity fund to help other clubs lower down the pyramid; in England’s second-tier Championship, players, coaching staff and senior management at Leeds United have offered to defer their wages to ensure that 272 full-time non-football staff can continue to be paid; in Spain, Real Madrid’s iconic Santiago Bernabeu home will be used as a storage and distribution center for essential medical materials.

There are countless similar stories from clubs elsewhere.

Individually, players and managers have also stepped up. Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo Pep Guardiola have each donated €1 million ($1.1 million) to the cause, while others have likewise made substantial contributions.

Also on rt.com
© Global Look Press / imago sportfotodienst
Lionel Messi and Pep Guardiola both donate 1 MILLION EUROS to fight coronavirus outbreak in Spain

Yes, there have been blatant ploys to protect self-interest (see West Ham co-chairman Karren Brady's calls for the Premier League to be immediately declared null and void, which would conveniently see her relegation-threatened team retain their top-tier status), but from continent to continent, football has acted amid the threat to the public health, making money and facilities available at a time of unprecedented crisis.

And yet it has taken a pandemic of unprecedented proportions to carry out steps and raise issues which the game has long been crying out for.

Wealth is disturbingly concentrated at the top of the football tree, a fact glaringly exposed by the current crisis as big clubs, engorged by lucrative TV cash and sponsorship money down the years, appear set to ride out the storm while smaller ones struggle for their very existence. 

READ MORE: Football needs to watch out, or risk descending into a coronavirus-induced civil war 

The coronavirus-induced crisis has also laid bare the reality that footballers are not the superheroes they are so often portrayed to be; instead, we have real-life equivalents working in emergency wards around the globe. Yes, Messi and Ronaldo have been generous with their donations, but the sums handed over are just a fraction of what the pair earn in a year (in Messi’s case, estimated to be $140 million last year, for Ronaldo, just over $127 million). Like other big-earning stars around the world, if they have their wages trimmed as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, would that be such a bad thing?   

Also on rt.com
RT
Virtue-signaling celebs preaching to the poor to stay home from their mansions is just as insufferable as COVID19

Likewise, former Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has suggested that there will be no more $100 million transfers after this crisis has run its course. But should we spare even a millisecond of thought for the fat cat agents who have amassed riches to rival those of the players they represent?

Football clubs and organizations love proclamations of unity and hashtags espousing social causes, yet they have long fleeced fans and shown scant disregard for those at the lower levels of the game.

A better distribution of wealth from the top of the football pyramid all the way down is something that should be more deeply engrained in the sport. Some may wonder that if clubs can act for the greater good now, then why can't they do that the rest of the time?  

The ramifications from the coronavirus crisis could be deep and long-lasting, but if there is any silver lining, it is that football's elite may finally take off their blinkers and look beyond their narrow bubbles of self-interest.

They have been far too rich for far too long. It’s time to redress the income imbalance rife in the game, and while it may be born of chaos and suffering, the coronavirus crisis could be the best hope in a long time of making that happen.

By Liam Tyler



---------- 79 ----------

Title: Britain, EU negotiators to hold first joint committee talks on Monday

Link: https://www.rt.com/newsline/484293-britain-eu-joint-committee/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 14:05:00 +0000

Desc: Preview
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/newsline/484293-britain-eu-joint-committee/

Content:

British and EU negotiators will hold the first meeting of a joint committee as planned on Monday, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. The statement came after trade talks were put on hold because of the coronavirus outbreak, Reuters reported.

The spokesman said the meeting would be co-chaired by senior British Minister Michael Gove and European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic and would take place remotely rather than in person due to the coronavirus. Video conference and conference calls are among the options being considered.

The joint committee will oversee the implementation, application and interpretation of the Withdrawal Agreement divorce deal agreed by Britain and the EU last year, and will seek to resolve any issues that arise from it.



---------- 80 ----------

Title: 'Child factory & inhumane culture': Russia’s figure skating system faces lazy stereotypes simply because it’s winning

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/484287-russia-figure-skating-child-factory/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 13:57:00 +0000

Desc: Preview Russian dominance in ladies’ singles figure skating has been unquestionable in recent years as champion after champion has emerged – a fact causing increasing resentment among the usual anti-Russian brigade.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/484287-russia-figure-skating-child-factory/

Content:

Russian dominance in ladies’ singles figure skating has been unquestionable in recent years as champion after champion has emerged – a fact causing increasing resentment among the usual anti-Russian brigade.

Revered Russian coach Eteri Tutberidze has brought fame to numerous world and Olympic champions, including Alina Zagitova and Yulia Lipnitskaya, but finds herself consistently accused of running a morally dubious ‘factory of champions.’

READ MORE: ‘Envy is a major sin’: Tatiana Tarasova slams German figure skating boss for calling Russian team ‘factory of champions’

Tutberidze has led a revolution in the sport as her new generation of charges land quads in routines that are on a completely different level to what has come before.

But instead of receiving praise and admiration for her achievements, Tutberidze has become the object of attacks from those who claim she values victories more highly than her skaters’ health.

The latest such scruples have come from former Finnish skater Kiira Korpi in an interview with the notoriously Russia-skeptic Guardian newspaper in the UK.

I don’t think Eteri’s child factory is the biggest problem in skating,” said Korpi. “The problem is the sick culture that’s been created. Eteri’s factory is a symptom of this inhumane direction and culture our sport is taking.”

Also on rt.com
Kamila Valieva © Sputnik / Vladimir Pesnya
Ballerina on ice: Meet Kamila Valieva – the up & coming Russian star aiming to dethrone figure skating leaders

The three-time European medalist somehow seems to be aware of the atmosphere at Tutberidze’s training sessions, despite not attending them.

It also remains unclear where suggestions regarding a “sick culture” come from, given that none of Tutberidze’s skaters – including those who have already retired or ended their partnership with the coach – have never suggested they were treated badly or pushed to extremes.

Quad queen Trusova lands a beautiful 4T+3T to take the 🥉 at the European Championships! #EuroFigure #FigureSkating pic.twitter.com/mluLkHIr2P

— ISU Figure Skating (@ISU_Figure) January 25, 2020

Tutberidze does have a “factory of champions,” but one which she herself has created through a long process of hard work, instilling in her skaters a sense of tough competition which drives them forward.

Indeed, the competition inside her team is intense, with high-profile athletes being replaced by younger competitors with increasingly complex technical content.

Anna Shcherbakova wins the Ladies event with two Quad Lutzes 🥇

🔗 https://t.co/nBktTR1fgT#GPFigure #FigureSkating pic.twitter.com/JvBwMuaAUk

— ISU Figure Skating (@ISU_Figure) November 9, 2019

Does that really mean Tutberidze should be blamed for propelling the sport forward? Isn’t that what sport has always been about, breaking boundaries and pushing barriers?

Skating has had child stars – Tara Lipinski, Michelle Kwan, Sarah Hughes – but they weren’t pushed out of the sport because they couldn’t keep up with the technical demands,” continued Korpi in the Guardian article – failing to mention that Hughes and Lipinski both retired from amateur competitive skating soon after their Olympic triumphs as teenagers.

Take a look elsewhere and the imbalance in the treatment that Russian skating receives is made even more stark.

The US artistic gymnastics squad has been on a remarkable roll since the 2012 London Games, winning major events by huge margins.

Their brightest star, Simone Biles, with her gravity-defying acrobatics, has effectively converted every competition she takes part in into a mere battle for second and third places.

Also on rt.com
Simone Biles © Global Look Press / Marijan Murat
Breaking the barriers: Simone Biles attempts INSANE vault previously only done by men (VIDEO)

Has anybody suggested raising the age-limit in gymnastics due to American dominance? Has anyone suggested US gymnasts are mindless gold-winning ‘machines’ who symptomatic of an 'inhumane culture' developing in the sport? 

Last year, the 2017 world all-around champion Morgan Hurd failed to make it to the US national team and was replaced by younger teammates who produced better results at the national trials.

The US team was formed on basic principles whereby stronger athletes get the right to represent their country.

Also on rt.com
© Sputnik / Vladimir Pesnya
Triumph of Tutberidze: Russian female figure skaters sweep the podium at 2020 European Championship (VIDEO)

The problem appears to be that when the same principle is used by the Russian team in figure skating, it causes a public outcry and takes on sinister undertones with suggestions of exploitation.

Immensely talented young Russian athletes are branded machine-like and ‘disposable’.

Would their achievements and records be treated the same way if they were not from Russia? Or would they be feted for their remarkable achievements and moving their sport into entirely new territory?

Given the continued bias rife in some quarters, it’s an easy question to answer.

By Elena Dilber (follow @ElenaDilber)



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Title: Coronavirus creeps closer to Putin as Kremlin staffer diagnosed with Covid-19

Link: https://www.rt.com/russia/484291-kremlin-staffer-covid19-diagnose/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 13:51:03 +0000

Desc: Preview With news of Boris Johnson's coronavirus infection and Justin Trudeau's self isolation, it's clear that jobs which involve lots of meetings and shaking hands aren't the safest occupations at present.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/russia/484291-kremlin-staffer-covid19-diagnose/

Content:

With news of Boris Johnson's coronavirus infection and Justin Trudeau's self isolation, it's clear that jobs which involve lots of meetings and shaking hands aren't the safest occupations at present.

Now, in Russia, fears are growing that the disease might have already infiltrated President Putin's closest circle. The anxiety has been fueled by confirmation on Friday that at least one employee of the presidential administration has contracted Covid-19.

Putin's spokesman told reporters he was aware of the situation. However, Dmitry Peskov said the individual concerned did not have direct contact with Putin. He also dismissed speculation about another infection.

Also on rt.com
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus. © REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests POSITIVE for Covid-19 infection

“I know about one case, that is, I can confirm one. I don't know about the second,” Peskov told reporters on Friday.

On Thursday, Russian social media circulated a rumor, originally sourced to Moscow daily RBK, that two employees of the presidential administration had tested positive for coronavirus. 
As well as Peskov's denial, a spokeswoman for administrative affairs, Elena Krylova, also claimed she had no knowledge of a second case. Earlier on Thursday, the press service of the Russian cabinet told Interfax news agency that an employee was suspected of having contracted Covid-19, and had been sent to quarantine.

Also on rt.com
© Reuters / Gonzalo Fuentes
French PM says ‘very difficult days ahead’ as Covid-19 ‘sweeps over’ country

This isn't the only scare in the Kremlin. Peskov confirmed on Friday that he himself was at the birthday party of Alla Krutaya, the sister of Ukrainian-born award-winning composer Igor Krutoy. According to reports, the celebration was also attended by singer Lev Leshchenko, who is now confirmed to have contracted coronavirus.

“Yes, I was there,” said Peskov, “I didn't see Leshchenko. Apparently, he had likely already left.”

13 марта Дмитрий Песков присутствовал на Дне рождения сестры Игоря Крутого. Там был госпитализированный Лев Лещенко и обратившийся вчера в больницу в Коммунарке Игорь Николаев.https://t.co/qvVLnLQiuA pic.twitter.com/SDvsUUCPZM

— Загнивающий Запад (@gniloywest) March 27, 2020

On March 23, 78-year-old Leshchenko and his wife Irina voluntarily went to the medical unit in Kommunarka, a hospital designated for dealing with coronavirus. Two days later, the singer was placed in intensive care. He is now said to be in a stable condition.

According to media reports, Krutaya's party was attended by a ‘who's who’ of Russian showbiz. Amongst the attendees, as well as Peskov and Leshchenko, were tenor Nikolai Baskov, TV host Lera Kudryavtseva, and comedian Alexander Revva. Following the diagnosis of Leshchenko and the hospitalization of singer Igor Nikolayev who also attended the Krutaya party, there are now fears that coronavirus is making its way through Moscow's high society.

Гости мероприятия, на котором, по всей видимости, заразились Лещенко и Николаев:
- Игорь Крутой
- Ирина Аллегрова
- Олег Газманов
- Дмитрий Песков
- Жасмин
- Алсу
- Александр Ревва
- Николай Басков
- Димаш Кибердвач https://t.co/ttr8Ix4yXQ

— Добрий Цинік (@realAndrii) March 26, 2020

On her Telegram channel, the Russian socialite and former presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak wrote, “everyone who was there [at the party] is now alarmed!” Sobchak's own mother, Senator Ludmila Narusova, is also in Kommunarka hospital. Narusova and her daughter have long been associated with Putin, who launched his political career under the tutelage of the late Anatoly Sobchak, Narusova's former husband and Ksenia's father.

Also on rt.com
© Sputnik / Ramil Sitdikov
Moscow bans all regular & charter flights starting March 27, except those bringing Russians home

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---------- 82 ----------

Title: Wall Street stocks tumble as US overtakes China in highest number of Covid-19 infections

Link: https://www.rt.com/business/484289-us-stocks-tumble-after-rally/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 13:34:00 +0000

Desc: Preview US markets dropped on Friday as the House of Representatives is expected to vote on a $2 trillion stimulus bill to contain the coronavirus spread. Almost 86,000 Americans have now contracted the virus, the most in the world.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/business/484289-us-stocks-tumble-after-rally/

Content:

US markets dropped on Friday as the House of Representatives is expected to vote on a $2 trillion stimulus bill to contain the coronavirus spread. Almost 86,000 Americans have now contracted the virus, the most in the world.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tanked more than 900 points at the opening, ending a three-day rally on Wall Street. Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite are also down around three percent.

The US Labor Department reported on Thursday a record number of jobless claims which surged to 3.28 million. The number eclipsed the Great Recession peak of 665,000 in March 2009 and the all-time mark of 695,000 in October 1982.

The US has overtaken #China as the country with the most confirmed #coronavirus cases. it also trails #Italy by at least 2 weeks, which has yet to see a peak in its number of cases. Hence, from this angle re-opening the US economy after #Easter sounds somewhat ambitious. pic.twitter.com/ChEHhKdGrX

— jeroen blokland (@jsblokland) March 27, 2020

The US government’s long-anticipated $2 trillion stimulus package is due to be passed after the Senate approved the bill late Wednesday. The economic relief plan includes direct payments to Americans as well as loans to businesses that were forced to close due to the nationwide lockdown in an effort to contain the virus outbreak.

President Donald Trump said on Friday the US and China are “working closely together” in the fight against the virus.

“China has been through much & has developed a strong understanding of the Virus,” Trump said on Twitter. “We are working closely together. Much respect!”

Just finished a very good conversation with President Xi of China. Discussed in great detail the CoronaVirus that is ravaging large parts of our Planet. China has been through much & has developed a strong understanding of the Virus. We are working closely together. Much respect!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 27, 2020

After the huge rally of the past three days, the Dow is still on track for its best week since 1938. As for the broader S&P 500, it may have its best week since 2009.

“We believe medium-term risks are skewed to the downside after this rally,” Barclays’ chief US equity strategist, Maneesh Deshpande, told CNBC. “Two other uncertainties facing investors (the length of the economic quarantine required to contain the virus and the ultimate economic damage) remain unresolved.” Deshpande added: “Bear market ‘head-fake’ rallies are not uncommon.”

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section



---------- 83 ----------

Title: Poll: Russians split down the middle on presidential terms reset as Putin’s approval rating falls

Link: https://www.rt.com/russia/484284-putin-terms-reset-survey/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 13:29:00 +0000

Desc: Preview Following a few months of political shocks in Russia, voters have become used to surprises. But opinion seems to be divided on whether restarting the clock on time spent in the Kremlin is worth supporting, says a new survey.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/russia/484284-putin-terms-reset-survey/

Content:

Following a few months of political shocks in Russia, voters have become used to surprises. But opinion seems to be divided on whether restarting the clock on time spent in the Kremlin is worth supporting, says a new survey.

Pollsters at the Levada Center report that 48 percent of their respondents support the nullification of terms, and 47 percent are against, with 5 percent undecided. 

Levada also revealed that Putin's approval rating is on the decline: It stood at 69 percent in February but decreased to 63 percent in March.

Named for its founder, the late Yuri Levada, the polling company is regarded by many in Russia as being effectively a liberal opposition think tank. In 2016, it was accused of "performing the functions of a foreign agent" by authorities, and it has received western funding in the past but claims to have stopped this practice after 2013. A rival state-owned outfit VTsIOM is accused of similar bias by Kremlin critics.

Meanwhile, 46 percent of those questioned indicated they would like to see Putin as president after 2024, with 40 percent against. According to Levada Center Director Lev Gudkov, young, educated people and Muscovites are the most opposed to resetting the presidential term limits.

Also on rt.com
Constitution of Russian Federation
Putin forced to delay key vote to reset presidential term limits due to Covid-19

A nationwide vote on the wider constitutional changes had been set for April 22, but was postponed indefinitely this week. Previous polls showed a large majority ready to back the amendments, which also include a mention of God, enshrining marriage as between a man and a woman, and a prohibition on “falsification of history.” In addition, the new constitution would see a redistribution of powers between the various branches of government.

Also on rt.com
FILE PHOTO Russian Constitutional Court
Constitutional Court approves amendments resetting presidential terms limits, poll says majority would vote for Putin in 2024

Earlier this month, an amendment to nullify the terms of President Putin was proposed by State Duma deputy Valentina Tereshkova, of the ruling United Russia party, who was previously better known as the first woman in space. Her suggestion was accepted, then passed through the State Duma, the legislative assemblies of all Russian regions and eventually approved by the Constitutional Court.

Also on rt.com
RT
It’s a long way to 2024 & we will have to wait to see Putin's endgame

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---------- 84 ----------

Title: Swedish govt bans public gatherings of more than 50 people

Link: https://www.rt.com/newsline/484290-sweden-bans-public-gatherings/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 13:25:00 +0000

Desc: Preview
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/newsline/484290-sweden-bans-public-gatherings/

Content:

The Swedish government has decided to ban all public gatherings of more than 50 people to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“Our resilience is being tested. The aim of the government is of course to limit the spread as much as possible,” Prime Minister Stefan Lofven told reporters on Friday.

The new rule will come into force on Sunday and those who break it risk fines or up to 6 months in prison, Reuters reports. The government had previously banned all gatherings of more than 500 people.

Sweden is largely still open for business. Neighboring Denmark has restricted public assembly to 10 or fewer people and ordered the closure of schools, universities, day care centers, restaurants, cafes, libraries and gyms.



---------- 85 ----------

Title: Cat contracts coronavirus FROM sick owner in new case of human-to-animal transition

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484280-cat-belgium-coronavirus-pet/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 13:13:00 +0000

Desc: Preview As scientists around the world battle for a cure or vaccine to Covid-19, a new case of human-to-animal transmission has arisen in Belgium, where health experts say a cat contracted the disease from its coronavirus-stricken owner.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/484280-cat-belgium-coronavirus-pet/

Content:

As scientists around the world battle for a cure or vaccine to Covid-19, a new case of human-to-animal transmission has arisen in Belgium, where health experts say a cat contracted the disease from its coronavirus-stricken owner.

Just one week after the pet owner in Liege, Belgium was diagnosed with Covid-19, their cat also started showing symptoms of the disease, including respiratory problems and diarrhea.

As panic over the outbreak keeps gaining ground, spokesman for Belgium's coronavirus crisis center, Emmanuel Andre, tried to reassure the public that the infected animal was an “isolated case.” 

“There is no reason to think that animals are vectors of the epidemic,” he told local media, and the risk of people becoming sick from their pet remains extremely low. Andre added that the cat contracted the disease due to “close contact between the animal and the master.”

Also on rt.com
FILE PHOTO © Reuters / Kai Pfaffenbach
Man’s sick friend: First reported case of human-to-animal transmission suggests people can infect dogs with Covid-19

There has only been one other known case to date involving a pet becoming infected with Covid-19 by its owner. In early March, a dog in Hong Kong was placed in quarantine after it tested “weakly positive” for the virus.

As for the human toll of the coronavirus in Belgium, 289 people have died, with 1,049 new cases confirmed in the last 24 hours bringing the total cases there since the pandemic began to 7,284.

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---------- 86 ----------

Title: UK health secretary Hancock follows PM Johnson in testing POSITIVE for Covid-19

Link: https://www.rt.com/uk/484285-health-secretary-matt-hancock-coronavirus/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 13:05:00 +0000

Desc: Preview The UK’s health secretary Matt Hancock has tested positive for coronavirus just hours after Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed that he is carrying the disease.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/uk/484285-health-secretary-matt-hancock-coronavirus/

Content:

The UK’s health secretary Matt Hancock has tested positive for coronavirus just hours after Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed that he is carrying the disease.

In a video posted on Twitter, a nasally Hancock said that he had been working from home in recent days because he was displaying "mild symptoms" of the Covid-19 infection. He said that doctors told him to get tested and the test came back positive so he will be self-isolating until next Thursday.

Following medical advice, I was advised to test for #Coronavirus.

I‘ve tested positive. Thankfully my symptoms are mild and I’m working from home & self-isolating.

Vital we follow the advice to protect our NHS & save lives#StayHomeSaveLives pic.twitter.com/TguWH6Blij

— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) March 27, 2020

"Fortunately for me the symptoms, so far, have been very mild, so I’ve been able to carry on with the work, driving forward the UK response," he said.

Following Johnson's diagnosis, reports in UK media indicated that Hancock may have been at risk because he spent time with the prime minister while he was infectious.

There are also fears that Chancellor Rishi Sunak may have been exposed to the disease by Johnson. However, the finance minister has not been tested for the illness because he is not displaying any symptoms.

Downing Street had introduced measures to limit contact, including holding cabinet and the daily Covid-19 briefing by conference call.

However, Johnson was in the UK parliament in recent days and also hosted several senior cabinet figures and the chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty.

The latest figures show that the UK has over 11,800 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection which has, so far, resulted in the deaths of 578 people.

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Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus. © REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests POSITIVE for Covid-19 infection

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---------- 87 ----------

Title: Surveying the virus battlefield: Russian military medics inspect Covid-19 health facilities in Bergamo, Italy (VIDEO)

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484271-russia-military-medics-bergamo-coronavirus/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 12:53:00 +0000

Desc: Preview Russian military medics carried out reconnaissance at health facilities in Bergamo, where the elderly are being treated for the coronavirus, before engaging in the fight against the disease on Italian soil.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/484271-russia-military-medics-bergamo-coronavirus/

Content:

Russian military medics carried out reconnaissance at health facilities in Bergamo, where the elderly are being treated for the coronavirus, before engaging in the fight against the disease on Italian soil.

The Russian experts, sporting full protective gear, inspected four hospitals with their Italian colleagues on Friday. They examined the layout of the buildings and talked to staff to come up with a list of urgent measures needed to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and establish the scope of disinfection activities.

The Russian contingent of around 100 servicemen and 22 Kamaz trucks arrived in Italy on the weekend as the worst coronavirus-hit country in Europe requested Moscow’s assistance. The death toll in Italy reached 8,165 as of Thursday, with more than 80,500 infected.  

The military virologists landed in Rome and then made a 600-kilometer march to Bergamo in the northern province of Lombardy – the heart of the outbreak.

The convoy, which was escorted by police, carried mobile laboratories, disinfection equipment, coronavirus test kits, and other tools to fight the highly contagious disease, which Italy is lacking. The hardware is capable of decontaminating up to 20,000 square meters or 360 vehicles and is expected to be a big help for Bergamo.

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© Russia’s Defense Ministry
Russian military medical convoy makes 600km march to the heart of Italy's Covid-19 outbreak (PHOTO, VIDEO)

The coronavirus, which originated in China, has been raging around the globe since December, with over 24,000 deaths and half a million infected across 202 nations. Italy leads in the number of fatalities, while the US has the most Covid-19 cases – over 85,000.

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---------- 88 ----------

Title: IMF confirms Pakistan’s request for emergency coronavirus financing

Link: https://www.rt.com/newsline/484283-imf-pakistan-emergency-financing/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 12:50:00 +0000

Desc: Preview
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/newsline/484283-imf-pakistan-emergency-financing/

Content:

Pakistan has requested an emergency loan disbursement from the International Monetary Fund to help fight the coronavirus under the fund’s Rapid Financing Instrument program.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva did not identify the size of the loan in a statement on Friday.
However, under the program, Pakistan would be able to borrow up to its full quota – about $2.76 billion – over two years, or $1.43 billion over a single year to meet urgent balance-of-payments needs, Reuters said.

Pakistan already has an IMF $6 billion Extended Fund Facility loan program. Georgieva added that the Pakistani authorities “have reaffirmed their commitment to the reform policies included in the current arrangement.”



---------- 89 ----------

Title: WATCH: Indonesian volcano Mount Merapi spews massive ash cloud

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484281-indonesian-volcano-mount-merapi-eruption/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 12:46:00 +0000

Desc: Preview Indonesia's most active volcano Mount Merapi erupted Friday with an explosion that produced an ash column rising some 5,000 meters into the air.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/484281-indonesian-volcano-mount-merapi-eruption/

Content:

Indonesia's most active volcano Mount Merapi erupted Friday with an explosion that produced an ash column rising some 5,000 meters into the air.

Communities near the volcano are advised to remain calm, continue activities as usual, but not approach the summit of Merapi within a three kilometer radius.

Eyewitness videos from the scene show a huge ash cloud above the volcano’s surroundings.

Rekaman erupsi #Merapi siang ini Jum'at, 27 Maret 2020 pukul 10:56 WIB dari stasiun Pasarbubar.

Tetap tenang dan beraktivitas seperti biasa ya #WargaMerapi 🙏🏼

Selalu ikuti informasi terkini dari sumber yg terpercaya. #statuswaspada sejak 21 Mei 2018 pic.twitter.com/jM2zYC9mtN

— BPPTKG (@BPPTKG) March 27, 2020

The eruption lasted seven minutes and produced pyroclastic flows that traveled two kilometers to the south-southeast, while ash fell as far up as 20km away from the crater.

#merapi ya rob pic.twitter.com/eqJAyEhGbi

— balapsapi (@YAlhafara) March 27, 2020

Mt. Merapi Eruption this morning pic.twitter.com/FoRtSwsJmH

— #IndonesiaNeedHelp #CoronaVirusPandemic (@arwidodo) March 27, 2020

“There have been no reports of damage from the eruption. We urge people to stay calm and not panic,” National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesperson Agus Wibowo commented.

@merapi_news hujan abu seputaran dukun magelang pic.twitter.com/4sk8wBvB03

— Adelia (@1210adelia) March 27, 2020

Hujan Abu dan pasir akibat erupsi Merapi siang ini.... pic.twitter.com/iMjj5ckMOy

— Sastroklengsreh (@Sastroklengsre1) March 27, 2020

Hujan Abu dari Erupsi Merapi. Semoga selalu aman. Amin 😇🙏🏻#merapi pic.twitter.com/EpaXnjHK4t

— AwannDodot (@awanndodot) March 27, 2020

Mount Merapi has been erupting for centuries with the last major one earlier this month on March 3, which authorities issued a code-red aviation alert for and established a three kilometer exclusion zone around the area.

Indonesia is a nation comprising over 17,000 islands and islets on which 130 active volcanoes sit. The country is located on the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’ where the collision of tectonic plates causes frequent and often violent seismic activity including earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

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---------- 90 ----------

Title: ‘Crocodile tears’: Sports Direct billionaire Ashley ‘deeply apologetic’ over coronavirus blunders

Link: https://www.rt.com/uk/484246-sportsdirect-billionaire-ashley-deeply-apologetic/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 12:44:00 +0000

Desc: Preview Billionaire and retail giant Mike Ashley has apologized profusely for his company’s handling of the coronavirus and subsequent government-mandated lockdown. But many aren’t convinced by the attempted atonement.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/uk/484246-sportsdirect-billionaire-ashley-deeply-apologetic/

Content:

Billionaire and retail giant Mike Ashley has apologized profusely for his company’s handling of the coronavirus and subsequent government-mandated lockdown. But many aren’t convinced by the attempted atonement.

When the British government announced a nationwide lockdown Monday, which included the closure of all non-essential shops, Ashley’s athletics retail company Sports Direct struck a defiant tone, seeking clarification from the government, and tagging Prime Minister Boris Johnson directly, as to the status of their stores. 

While awaiting a response, some Sports Direct staff were forced to come to work on Tuesday.

In its effort to stay open, Sports Direct argued that sports equipment was essential and that its stores should remain open. The stance prompted a terse response from Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove. “Sports Direct is not essential retail,” he said in an interview.

Also on rt.com
A worker cleans at Waterloo station ©  REUTERS / HANNAH MCKAY
The working class should be hailed as Covid-19 heroes for enabling all our comfy quarantines

In an open letter published on Friday, Ashley stated, “I am deeply apologetic about the misunderstandings of the last few days,” while also thanking the employees “who have stood by the business in difficult times and are doing so currently.”

He vowed “not to make the same mistakes in the future.”

“In hindsight, our emails to the government were ill-judged and poorly timed, when they clearly had much greater pressures than ours to deal with. On top of this, our communications to our employees and the public on this was poor,” Ashley said.

To make amends, Ashley offered Sports Direct’s “entire fleet of lorries” to the National Health Service (NHS) and “all key workforces across the government… to help deliver medical equipment and supplies.”

The apology was too little, too late for some, however, with vociferous TV host Piers Morgan blasting it as “crocodile tears” and demanding that Ashley donate “some of [his] millions” to the NHS.

Crocodile tears.
If you really want to make amends for your disgraceful exploitation of your staff & customers during this crisis, Mr Ashley, then donate some of your millions right now to the NHS. https://t.co/D3y6V0EYvY

— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 27, 2020

Ashley’s reputation preceded him and many weren’t buying what they perceived as a mealy-mouthed apology from the billionaire. The 55-year-old is the (deeply unpopular) owner of Newcastle United and fans of the club were quick to point out that the apology doesn’t mean that Ashley’s actions will change.

“In my experience Mike Ashley vowing ‘not to make the same mistakes in the future’ means he’s going to make the same mistakes in the future. Possibly as early as the same time next year,” one wrote.

In my experience Mike Ashley vowing ‘not to make the same mistakes in the future’ means he’s going to make the same mistakes in the future. Possibly as early as the same time next year. https://t.co/yWjrWuk9Uo

— NUFCThreatLevel (@NUFCThreatLevel) March 27, 2020

Others noted that the apology is yet another bizarre occurrence in these strange times we are living through.

Mike Ashley has made a public apology today ....CRIKEY the world has changed!!!!!!!!!!

— George Clarke (@MrGeorgeClarke) March 27, 2020

Some weird stuff in the last few days but humble Mike Ashley is a new one. https://t.co/4odk4fWx7X

— Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson) March 27, 2020

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---------- 91 ----------

Title: Fighting resumes in Libya amid efforts to stop coronavirus pandemic

Link: https://www.rt.com/newsline/484282-fighting-resumes-libya-embargo/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 12:37:00 +0000

Desc: Preview
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/newsline/484282-fighting-resumes-libya-embargo/

Content:

Battles raged on several fronts in Libya on Friday after a night of heavy bombardment in Tripoli, Reuters reported, citing combatants and residents. After a comparative lull, serious warfare resumed this week despite international calls for calm to allow Libya’s fragmented health system to prepare for any spread of the coronavirus. Libya confirmed its first case of the infectious disease on Monday.

The Libyan National Army (LNA) of eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar has been assaulting Tripoli for nearly a year, hoping to capture the capital in the northwest where the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) is based.

The arms embargo on Libya was being routinely violated, according to the UN, with foreign weaponry and fighters arriving in the country to join both sides.

On Thursday, the European Union said it would launch a new naval and air mission to stop further breaches of the embargo.



---------- 92 ----------

Title: Italy yet to reach coronavirus contagion peak, national health chief warns, as 712 die in one day

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484278-italy-coronavirus-peak-not-reached/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 12:15:00 +0000

Desc: Preview Italy has yet to see the worst of the coronavirus pandemic spreading through the country, a senior health official has warned, a day after more than 700 people died in a single 24-hour period.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/484278-italy-coronavirus-peak-not-reached/

Content:

Italy has yet to see the worst of the coronavirus pandemic spreading through the country, a senior health official has warned, a day after more than 700 people died in a single 24-hour period.

“We haven’t reached the peak and we haven’t passed it,” the head of the Superior Health Institute, Silvio Brusaferro, told a press conference on Friday. He noted, however, that there were “signs of a slowdown” in the number of infections, suggesting that the health crisis could turn a corner soon.

Figures released on Thursday showed 712 new Covid-19 deaths, bringing the nationwide total to 8,215.

Brusaferro said that Italy’s ability to recover from the pandemic will depend on whether Italians continue to obey lockdown measures.

Italy currently has the highest number of infections in Europe, and is third worldwide after the United States and China, according to a tally maintained by Johns Hopkins University. Cases worldwide have surpassed 500,000, with more than 24,000 deaths.

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Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus. © REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests POSITIVE for Covid-19 infection

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---------- 93 ----------

Title: Drum roll please! And the BIGGEST WINNER of the deadly global virus is…

Link: https://www.rt.com/business/484230-bezos-coronavirus-outbreak-winner/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 12:02:01 +0000

Desc: Preview As the US surpasses China in the highest number of coronavirus infections worldwide, economists are raising concerns of massive bankruptcies, as well as supply shock and demand problems for the world’s largest consumer market.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/business/484230-bezos-coronavirus-outbreak-winner/

Content:

As the US surpasses China in the highest number of coronavirus infections worldwide, economists are raising concerns of massive bankruptcies, as well as supply shock and demand problems for the world’s largest consumer market.

However, not everyone is losing money, analysts say, pointing to large e-commerce firms that are making money out of the crisis as people are confined to their homes.

According to Morgan Stanley analysts, American retailers are experiencing a real boom. In the first weeks of March, retail sales of food products increased sharply by eight percent, which is an unprecedented growth for such business. Moreover, it is possible that growth will continue at double digits, the bank predicts.

Also on rt.com
© REUTERS/Mourad Guichard
Amazon squeezing workers amid Covid-19 crisis is ‘unacceptable’ – French finance minister

Rating agency Moody’s said that “retailers such as supermarkets, pharmacies, shops and grocery stores are going to benefit, as consumers will stock up on food and other necessities.” It added that retailers who had developed an online sales platform before the crisis have benefited greatly. Thanks to this, operating income at food stores such as Whole Foods (owned by Amazon), Walmart, and Kroger has grown significantly as consumers try to avoid shopping.

Of all these retailers, “Amazon, I would say, is the strongest,” Gary Korolev, sovereign US private equity manager, told RIA Novosti.

He noted that Amazon offers a range of basic-needs’ products and services for customers locked at home, such as entertainment (movies, books), food delivery and essential goods. At the same time, it is Amazon that has the most developed network of delivery centers throughout America, Korolev said. The company, which is currently experiencing rapid growth, plans to hire 100,000 new workers to collect, pack and deliver orders.

Also on rt.com
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
Still richer than you! World’s 20 wealthiest lose almost $80 BILLION in Thursday’s market rout

In a memo to Amazon employees last week, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said that “my own time and thinking is now wholly focused on Covid-19 and on how Amazon can best play its role.”

On Wednesday, attorneys of 32 US states asked Bezos to tighten control over price inflation for essentials on his platform. According to the research group US PIRG, prices for one out of six products sold directly through Amazon rose 50 percent during the epidemic. In some cases, the price has grown tenfold. Thus, the price for a bottle of sanitizer, has skyrocketed from $25 to $250. Bezos gave his assurance that he was taking all the necessary measures to prevent price inflation.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section



---------- 94 ----------

Title: Washington cancels major Philippines maneuvers

Link: https://www.rt.com/newsline/484241-us-cancels-philippines-maneuvers/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 11:24:00 +0000

Desc: Preview
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/newsline/484241-us-cancels-philippines-maneuvers/

Content:

The US military has canceled a large-scale exercise involving thousands of troops in the Philippines because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision to scrap Balikatan 2020 was taken “in light of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic and in the best interest of the health and safety of both countries’ forces,” AFP quoted US Indo-Pacific Command chief Admiral Phil Davidson as saying.

The war games, scheduled for May 4-15, would have involved more than 10,000 troops from the two long standing allies and a smaller contingent from Australia.

The US troops who take part in Balikatan, or ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ in Tagalog, usually come from bases in Japan and South Korea, which have reported coronavirus cases.



---------- 95 ----------

Title: French PM says ‘very difficult days ahead’ as Covid-19 ‘sweeps over’ country

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484267-french-pm-covid19-difficult/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 11:20:00 +0000

Desc: Preview French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe has warned there will be “very difficult” days ahead as the number of confirmed cases of the Covid-19 virus in the country soared to nearly 30,000 on Friday.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/484267-french-pm-covid19-difficult/

Content:

French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe has warned there will be “very difficult” days ahead as the number of confirmed cases of the Covid-19 virus in the country soared to nearly 30,000 on Friday.

The country is experiencing an “extremely high wave” of cases as the virus is “sweeping over France” and the crisis will continue to worsen in the coming days, Agence France-Presse cited Philippe as saying.

As of March 27, France has reported 1,698 deaths from Covid-19. The number of confirmed infections in the country jumped by almost 4,000 on Thursday. 

President Emmanuel Macron announced stringent restrictions on the movement of citizens last week with the lockdown expected to last as long as six weeks.

Also on rt.com
Anti-drug operation in the Cite des Oliviers, a northern neighbourhood of Marseille, March 25, 2020
In France, Covid-19 lockdown is for everyone… almost: Gang-ridden, immigrant-populated suburbs ‘NOT A PRIORITY’ for police

Europe has become the latest epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic, with Italy being hit the hardest. France, Spain, UK, and Germany also saw massive surges in cases in the past week. 

Macron said Friday that he had a “very good discussion” with US President Donald Trump and that they, along with other countries, are preparing “a new strong initiative” to tackle the crisis in the coming days.

The number of confirmed cases of the infection worldwide surpassed 500,000 this week, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.

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---------- 96 ----------

Title: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests POSITIVE for Covid-19 infection

Link: https://www.rt.com/uk/484272-boris-johnson-positive-coronavirus/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 11:18:00 +0000

Desc: Preview British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for Covid-19 infection, experiencing mild symptoms. He will self-isolate in Downing Street but will remain in charge of the government.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/uk/484272-boris-johnson-positive-coronavirus/

Content:

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for Covid-19 infection, experiencing mild symptoms. He will self-isolate in Downing Street but will remain in charge of the government.

"Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus," Johnson said. "I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus."

Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus.

I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus.

Together we will beat this. #StayHomeSaveLives pic.twitter.com/9Te6aFP0Ri

— Boris Johnson #StayHomeSaveLives (@BorisJohnson) March 27, 2020

Johnson, 55, reportedly began experiencing mild symptoms on Thursday and was tested for coronavirus on the personal advice of England's Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty.

It was not immediately clear when he was tested but various members of his staff had been working elsewhere when the news first emerged that he had contracted the illness.

The British leader had spoken in a press conference about shaking hands with “everybody” during a visit to a hospital that was treating people suffering from the disease, which has killed over 24,000 people around the world, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Boris Johnson boasting about shaking hands with coronavirus patients. You could not make it up. Britain is about to learn the hard way this is not the man to lead us in a crisis.pic.twitter.com/mgg8TL8zKh

— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) March 3, 2020

Less than two hours after Johnson announced his diagnosis, health secretary Matt Hancock followed suit and confirmed that he has the disease. Hancock is self-isolating and working from home as he battles the virus. 

Downing Street had introduced measures to limit contact, including holding cabinet and the daily Covid-19 briefing by conference call.

However, Johnson was in the UK parliament in recent days and also hosted several senior cabinet figures and the chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty.

Also on rt.com
Britain's health secretary Matt Hancock has tested positive for Covid-19. © REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
UK health secretary Hancock follows PM Johnson in testing POSITIVE for Covid-19

For the time being, Johnson will continue to carry out his duties, but Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Dominc Raab may be asked to step in should the prime minister's condition worsen. Were he to step in, Raab’s official title would be Understudy to the Prime Minister.

The latest figures show that the UK has over 11,800 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection which has, so far, resulted in the deaths of 578 people.

The news of the prime minister's illness comes amid claims that the UK's National Health Service (NHS) is facing a "continuous tsunami" of infection and may soon collapse. The chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, said Intensive Care Units across the country are filling up and staff absences due to illness are mounting.

Also on rt.com
File photo: © REUTERS/Toby Melville
London hospitals facing ‘tsunami’ of Covid-19 patients, likely to be overwhelmed in days – hospitals chief

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---------- 97 ----------

Title: Iran records 144 new Covid-19 deaths as military sets up emergency 2,000-bed hospital in Tehran

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484265-iran-coronavirus-deaths-sanctions-hospital/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 11:11:00 +0000

Desc: Preview Iran saw nearly 150 new fatalities from coronavirus, health officials disclosed on Friday. The country’s military has deployed a makeshift hospital in Tehran as the Islamic Republic continues to battle the respiratory illness.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/484265-iran-coronavirus-deaths-sanctions-hospital/

Content:

Iran saw nearly 150 new fatalities from coronavirus, health officials disclosed on Friday. The country’s military has deployed a makeshift hospital in Tehran as the Islamic Republic continues to battle the respiratory illness.

A health ministry official confirmed that Iran suffered 144 deaths from the previous day, pushing its death toll to 2,378. The Islamic Republic currently has 32,332 confirmed cases of Covid-19, according to a government tally.

The latest figures coincide with the creation of a makeshift hospital in the nation’s capital. The Iranian military reportedly converted an exhibition center into a 2,000-bed medical facility in just 48 hours. The hospital will be used to treat patients recovering from coronavirus.

Also on rt.com
A couple wear protective face masks as they walk in Tehran, Iran on March 26, 2020 © WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Ali Khara via REUTERS
US puts NEW sanctions on Iran, despite calls for relief amid massive coronavirus outbreak

Iran has been one of the hardest-hit countries by the disease. A lack of medical equipment to treat patients has been exacerbated by economic sanctions unilaterally imposed by Washington. In fact, the United States announced on Thursday that it would be implementing new restrictions on Iran, even as Tehran has appealed to the international community for aid to help fight the virus.

Coronavirus cases worldwide have surpassed 500,000, causing some 24,000 deaths, according to a tally maintained by Johns Hopkins University. The United States now has more cases than any other country, reaching an estimated 86,000 on Friday.

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---------- 98 ----------

Title: Six months in jail for standing too close to strangers? Countries worldwide roll out draconian measures to fight Covid-19

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484234-coronavirus-authoritarian-laws-lockdown-prison/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 11:05:00 +0000

Desc: Preview New regulations in Singapore which threaten prison time for anyone found violating “social distancing” protocols exemplify the harsh rules being imposed around the world in the fight against coronavirus.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/484234-coronavirus-authoritarian-laws-lockdown-prison/

Content:

New regulations in Singapore which threaten prison time for anyone found violating “social distancing” protocols exemplify the harsh rules being imposed around the world in the fight against coronavirus.

According to a press release from the Ministry of Health, Singaporeans who fail to maintain a distance of one meter from other people in “non-transient” public interactions can be fined up to 10,000 Singapore dollars ($6,985) and even risk a six-month jail sentence.
 
The strict measures come as nations around the world adopt similarly extreme provisions to halt the spread of coronavirus.


 
Jordan

Jordanian army members guard outside a hotel that was transformed into a quarantine station in Amman, Jordan, March 18, 2020 ©  REUTERS/Muhammad

Jordan introduced some of the most radical anti-coronavirus policies to date. The country initially imposed an around-the-clock lockdown, with officials promising to deliver bread and water to all citizens. Those who violated the strict quarantine were threatened with a year in prison. At least 800 were arrested over a span of several days, the Guardian reported. The measures were later eased, with the government permitting people to take walks and visit shops and pharmacies.


Italy

A local police officer checks on people at the Highway exit for Molfetta, southern Italy, March 25, 2020. ©  REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

Authorities have begun to ratchet up efforts to stop quarantine violators in Italy. The country deployed more than 100 soldiers tasked with enforcing lockdown measures in Lombardy, the hardest-hit region in Europe. More than 90,000 Italians have been slapped with fines which can potentially reach €3,000 ($3,300). Italians can also end up behind bars for three months for flouting the stay-in-place protocols.


Spain

Spanish legionnaires patrol an empty street during partial lockdown in southern Spain, March 18, 2020. ©  REUTERS/Jon Nazca

Spain might have the most stringent rules in Europe. Since announcing a countrywide lockdown in mid-March, residents have only been allowed outside for essentials such as grocery shopping or medical needs. The provisions, originally scheduled to be lifted after fifteen days, have been extended until April 11. Those found in violation of the rules face astronomical fines, with repeat offenders staring down the possibility of 3-18 months in prison. More than 30,000 fines have been issued and 900 arrests made for disobedience, according to reports.

India

People line up in circles drawn with chalk to maintain safe distance in Mumbai, India, March 25, 2020. ©  REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

Prime Minister Narendra Modi placed a 21-day lockdown on his country on Tuesday, forcing 1.3 billion people into their homes with only essential services and businesses remaining open. The nationwide quarantine is being enforced with no-nonsense punishments: Using a number of provisions already on the books, authorities are empowered to hand out hefty fines and jail terms lasting up to two years.


UK

A play area is seen cordoned off with Police tape, as the spread of the coronavirus continues, High Wycombe, Britain, March 26, 2020. ©  REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

Police in Britain have been given the power to forcefully make people return to their homes, as part of a nationwide lockdown. Those without a “reasonable excuse” to be out and about could be hit with a £60 ($73) fine. A second offense could cost you double that.

Despite posts yesterday highlighting issues of people still visiting the #PeakDistrict despite government guidance, the message is still not getting through. @DerPolDroneUnit have been out at beauty spots across the county, and this footage was captured at #CurbarEdge last night. pic.twitter.com/soxWvMl0ls

— Derbyshire Police (@DerbysPolice) March 26, 2020

The measures have already faced criticism, with Derbyshire police causing uproar on social media for using drones to “shame” people allegedly violating social distancing rules.

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Title: Spain's Covid-19 death toll SPIKES again as 769 die in new single day record

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/484266-spain-coronavirus-death-toll/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 10:46:00 +0000

Desc: Preview Spain’s health ministry has announced that it has suffered another record breaking day for Covid-19 deaths as 769 people fell victim to the disease in one day.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/484266-spain-coronavirus-death-toll/

Content:

Spain’s health ministry has announced that it has suffered another record breaking day for Covid-19 deaths as 769 people fell victim to the disease in one day.

Health officials revealed on Friday morning that the number of fatalities jumped to 4,858, while the number of confirmed infections in the country has risen from 56,188 to 64,059.

The rate of infection has seemingly slowed, however, with the 7,871 jump in new cases making a 14 percent increase on the previous day. That compares favorably to the 18 percent increase announced on Thursday and Wednesday’s 20 percent surge. 

Worryingly, however, the mortality rate in Spain remains stubbornly high at roughly 7.5 percent.

Over 2,000 deaths have been confirmed in the capital Madrid, while Catalonia and the Basque country have recorded 880 and 180 deaths respectively.

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Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez sits in an almost empty chamber before a session to explain coronavirus disease outbreak, at Parliament in Madrid, March 18, 2020. © Reuters / Maridcal / Pool
Spain extends coronavirus lockdown to April 12, says its ‘at war’ in China market to buy medical supplies

The Spanish government has extended its lockdown of the country until at least April 12 as its embattled healthcare system tries to turn the tide against the outbreak.

The number of cases has dramatically increased in Spain in recent weeks and the Spanish health ministry said on Friday that 9,637 people have been cured of infection.

Meanwhile, Spanish authorities are claiming that coronavirus tests purchased from China are faulty, as their sub-30 percent accuracy level renders them unusable. As a result, Spain will be returning the first batch of testing kits it received from China, where the coronavirus outbreak first began late last year. 

The Chinese Embassy confirmed that the faulty devices were not part of the €423 million deal between the two countries, which includes some 5.5 million testing kits. The embassy claimed that the kits had come from an unlicensed provider, Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnology. Spain reportedly bought 340,000 kits from the company.

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Title: Sinking global economy & cheap crude take big bite out of Russia’s forex reserves

Link: https://www.rt.com/business/484229-russia-forex-reserves-fall/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 10:37:47 +0000

Desc: Preview Russian gold and foreign currency holdings have shed almost $30 billion or more than five percent in one week in the biggest drop since the global financial crisis amid the coronavirus pandemic and crashing oil prices.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/business/484229-russia-forex-reserves-fall/

Content:

Russian gold and foreign currency holdings have shed almost $30 billion or more than five percent in one week in the biggest drop since the global financial crisis amid the coronavirus pandemic and crashing oil prices.

According to the latest data released by the country’s central bank, the reserves stood at $551.2 billion as of March 20, down from $581 billion a week earlier. The regulator explained the decline with negative revaluation. 

The nation’s forex holdings faced almost a similar drop in October 2008, when the reserves shrank by $30.6 billion to $487 billion. Another steep decline occurred in the beginning of 2009, as $30.3 billion vanished from Russia’s coffers as the consequences of the financial crisis were still wreaking havoc around the globe. 

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FILE PHOTO: A Russian rouble coin inside a bulb with crude oil © Reuters / Vasily Fedosenko
Russian economy can survive for a long time with oil at $20 per barrel

Despite the steep fall, the international reserves that are comprised of stocks of monetary gold, foreign currencies and Special Drawing Right (SDR) assets, are still above the target of half a trillion dollars set by the central bank several years ago.

Analysts earlier stressed the accumulated funds can shield the Russian economy from any turbulence in the global energy and stock markets. Some predicted that Moscow can survive up to two years with extremely low oil prices, while they still expect that the market is set to stabilize in the next few months.

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