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Latin America cuts Europe travel links over virus fears

first_img“This decision has been taken regionally, so there will be no flights to our continent from Europe,” Edgar Melgarejo, president of Paraguay’s National Directorate of Civil Aeronautics, told reporters.The Peruvian government also suspended flights from Asia.Latin America’s biggest airline, the Chilean-Brazilian carrier Latam, said it was canceling 30 percent of its international flights for a two-month period due to falling demand over the coronavirus crisis.The measure will mainly affect flights from South America to Europe and the United States between April 1 and May 30, the company said.Argentina’s government suspended international flights from the worst affected countries, without stipulating which ones, for 30 days and declared a year-long health emergency.Last Saturday, Argentina was the first Latin American country to announce a death and has had 31 cases.Six Central American states and the Dominican Republic agreed Thursday to formulate a regional contingency plan to complement national efforts to deal with the coronavirus. The region has more than 50 cases, most of them in Costa Rica and Panama. “Countries must prepare their health services, because there will not just be one or two cases,” PAHO epidemiologist Marcos Espinal told AFP.Though still low in terms of global figures, the number of cases in Latin America grew steadily to reach more than 250 in 15 countries, with three deaths.The latest came in Guyana, where a 52-year-old local woman died. She had tested positive shortly after arriving from the United States last week.Following Venezuela and Bolivia, Paraguay and Peru became the latest countries to suspend flights from Europe, where Italy’s death toll from the virus soared past 1,000. Football matches suspended Other measures announced by Duque included suspending prison visits and banning cruise ships landing at the popular ports of Cartagena and Santa Marta.PAHO said it was sending support missions to countries with the weakest health services — Haiti, Venezuela, Honduras and Paraguay. “But everyone has to do their part — governments, civil society, citizens — because it is a multisectoral effort,” Espinal told AFP.Worst hit of the stock markets was Sao Paulo which plunged almost 15 percent by the close. Argentina fell almost 10 percent with Colombia down more than nine percent, Santiago losing over six percent and Mexico 5.3 percent.The Mexican peso closed at 21.64 to the US dollar, its lowest level since January 2017.Sport hasn’t been spared with world football governing body FIFA calling off two rounds of South American qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup due to be played at the end of the month.Regional governing body CONMEBOL also suspended the next round of Copa Libertadores matches to be played next week.The Bahamas government said it had decided to withdraw from hosting the 50th General Assembly of the Organization of American States in June. Latin American states preparing for the onslaught of the new coronavirus on Thursday tightened restrictions on travel links to Europe as the region recorded its third death in the outbreak.Fears over the pandemic swept through Latin American markets, continuing a global rout that began in Asia early Thursday and forced the region’s biggest carrier to slash flights.The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) warned governments to get ready to cope with the pandemic.center_img ‘Health emergency’ As well as the travel restrictions, Bolivia’s interim President Jeanine Anez announced the closure of school and university classes.”I am making an appeal to Bolivians for calm,” Anez told reporters.Mexico’s private Tecnologico de Monterrey, with 150,000 students and 30,000 staff in several states, said it would suspend classes next week and resume them online later in the month.Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said there were no confirmed cases in his crisis-worn country, but said large public gatherings and concerts were now prohibited.”We have to take gradually escalating measures,” he said after announcing the suspension of all flights from Europe for a month.Maduro also halted flights from neighboring Colombia, where President Ivan Duque declared a “health emergency” to help health services respond faster to the unfolding crisis.Socialist leader Maduro said Venezuela was considering closing its borders with Colombia and Brazil but called for “coordination” with the right-wing governments of Duque and Jair Bolsonaro, both of which have branded him a dictator.Maduro’s challenger for power, Juan Guaido, said the pandemic obliged him to reconsider calling his supporters into the streets — a tactic he has used in his so far unsuccessful bid that began last year to force Maduro from power.But he added in a Twitter video: “The fight for democracy is not suspended.”Brazil’s Bolsonaro, who has previously tried to downplay the virus outbreak, has been tested for the disease, his son Eduardo revealed on Thursday.Bolsonaro’s communications chief, Fabio Wajngarten, tested positive for COVID-19 after a trip to the United States last weekend.Duque also banned gatherings of more than 500 people in the country, which has nine confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease. 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Fauci says Trump campaign ad twists his words on virus

first_imgTop government scientist Anthony Fauci said Sunday that an ad aired by Donald Trump’s reelection campaign was edited to make him seem to endorse the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. “In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate,” Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said in a statement sent to AFP.The 30-second campaign ad cites Trump’s personal experience with the virus – “President Trump is recovering from the coronavirus, and so is America,” it says – before including a brief clip in which Fauci appears to praise the president’s response to the pandemic.  Topics : “They are indeed Dr. Fauci’s own words. We have done a ‘phenomenal’ job, according to certain governors,” the president wrote in a tweet.As a leading member of the White House task force on the coronavirus, the 79-year-old doctor has frequently had to walk a fine line in attempting to clarify – or correct – the Trump’s often incautious assertions about the disease or the treatments and vaccines being developed against Covid-19. Fauci has at times aroused Trump’s ire, as when the president in April retweeted a message containing the hashtag #FireFauci – before publicly insisting the doctor was doing a great job.center_img “I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more,” Fauci is shown as saying, creating the clear impression he is referring to Trump.But a complete clip of Fauci’s comments, made during an interview in March with Fox News, shows the doctor saying: “I have been devoting almost full time on this. I’m down at the White House virtually every day with the task force. It’s every single day. So, I can’t imagine that under any circumstances that anybody could be doing more.”In his statement Sunday, Fauci said, “The comments attributed to me without my permission in the GOP campaign ad were taken out of context from a broad statement I made months ago about the efforts of federal public health officials.”Trump defended the clip, and his handling of pandemic, and rebutted the doctor’s criticism.last_img read more

Gusau Fails Bid to Become IAAF Vice-president, Coe Elected for a…

first_imgIbrahim Shehu Gusau President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Ibrahim Shehu Gusau’s ambition of getting elected as vice president of the IAAF crashed yesterday at the 52nd Congress of the world track & field body in Doha, Qatar.With the unresolved case of the extra $135,000 mistakenly paid into the AFN account unresolved, delegates at the Congress effectively shunned Gusau, preferring instead to vote a former world-classed quarter miler, Ximena Restrepo of Colombia as the first woman to become the first vice president of IAAF.Restrepo is Nigeria’s Falilat Ogunkoya’s contemporary in the 400m circuit. She won a 400m bronze medal at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. Incumbent Sebastian Coe was elected president of IAAF for a second term.All 203 voting members of Congress voted for Coe; there were no abstained votes.The other three vice presidents elected yesterday include former pole vault world record holder and Olympic champion Sergey Bubka of Ukraine, Geoffrey Gardner and Nawaf Bin Mohammed Al Saud.Coe welcomed Restrepo, who now lives in Chile, as one of the new Vice Presidents and offered his congratulations.“Ximena is a former athlete which is tremendously helpful when you’re driving the sport forward,” said Coe. “I am delighted that we have for the very first time elected a female Vice President and that she will be joined by seven other women on council. This is a historic moment.”“I’m really honoured to take this position,” said Restrepo. “It’s a great moment for me and for my country. I would like to thank you, Seb, because this was only made possible because of you and the changes made to the constitution.“I think we, as women, now have more opportunities than before. I just hope I can do a good job. I’d like to thank all of the member federations who voted for me. I hope I can be all that they expected me to be.”Congress also elected new members of the IAAF Council.The newly elected members are: Hiroshi Yokokawa (JPN), Antti Pihlakoski (FIN),Anna Riccardi (ITA), Nan Wang (CHN), Adille Sumariwalla (IND), Nawal El Moutawakel (MAR), Abby Hoffman (CAN), Sylvia Barlag (NED), Alberto Juantorena (CUB), Willie Banks (USA), Raul Chapado (ESP), Dobromir Karamarinov (BUL) and Beatrice Ayikoru (UGA).The IAAF Council will be composed of 26 members, eight of whom are women.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Top Stories

first_img Top Stories If my math is right, releasing Stewart Bradley and William Gay saves about $5.25M of cap space. Cards under cap even before any Kolb move.— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) March 1, 2013 This does not necessarily come as a shock, as both players were signed by the previous coaching regime and neither did anything to establish themselves in the desert.Bradley was never able to gain any traction with the team, seeing most of his action on special teams. He finished his Arizona career with 42 tackles over two seasons.And Gay, signed prior to the season, tallied 57 tackles and two interceptions. 0 Comments   Share   Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The Arizona Cardinals made a couple of cuts Friday in an effort to clear some cap space. The @azcardinals release LB Stewart Bradley and CB William Gay, creating some cap space.— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) March 1, 2013 Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more