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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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The Latest: PSG declared French soccer league champion

first_imgFans were allowed to attend the game for free but fewer than 100 were in the stands at the stadium in Minsk.Belarus is the only country in Europe playing professional soccer during the pandemic. The men’s league started last month and the women’s league had been scheduled to start on April 16 but was delayed by two weeks because of suspicions that players had contact with people who had the virus.Belarus national soccer federation spokesman Alexander Aleinik tells The Associated Press that “tests did not confirm the virus for any of the players.”___British boxing’s governing body says it hopes fights can be staged from July. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Paris Saint-Germain has been declared French league champion after the soccer season ended early because of the coronavirus pandemic. ___Paris Saint-Germain says there is “nothing official” but didn’t deny that it was about to be declared French league champion.The French season ended early because of the coronavirus pandemic and sports daily L’Équipe says on its website that a decision on the league standings was expected to be ratified by the LFP’s board of directors.The French government called off soccer and rugby leagues in the country on Tuesday and ended plans to resume.The top two divisions in French soccer had 10 rounds of matches left to play. PSG led second-place Marseille by 12 points and played one game less. Marseille stands to qualify directly for the Champions League while third-place Rennes would enter the qualifying rounds. ___The Diamond League track meet in Lausanne, Switzerland, won’t happen as scheduled on Aug. 20.Organizers of the Athletissima say they are now looking at “alternative options and formats that could still be considered in order to offer athletes the possibility to compete.”Switzerland’s government has prohibited gatherings of more than 1,000 people until the end of August.Athletissima organizers say “it is currently impossible to allow a high number of people to gather in a confined area.” April 30, 2020 Spadafora adds that if the protocol can’t be agreed on “the government will declare the end of the season.”___The French soccer league has launched a lottery to help raise funds for hospitals and medical staff dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.Fans have a chance to win a signed jersey in exchange for an online donation of 5 euros ($5.40) to the “Tous Unis contre le Virus” (All United against the Virus) campaign.French champion Paris Saint-Germain’s jersey is co-signed by Kylian Mbappé and Edinson Cavani. Dimitri Payet was one of France’s best players when the team reached the 2016 European Championship final and he has signed the Marseille jersey. Houssem Aouar signed Lyon’s jersey.The French league says 2 million euros ($2.2 million) has already been raised through previous fundraising in French soccer.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports ___Germany is beginning to roll out coronavirus testing at soccer clubs in the top two men’s leagues in the hope of resuming the season next month.The German league tells news agency DPA the tests will start immediately.The Bundesliga’s plan to resume in May rests on regular testing for players. That is likely to be before they resume full-team training and before each game.Thousands of tests will be needed to complete the season. That has fueled criticism that the plan wastes resources. The vice president of Germany’s public health institute said last week testing should be focused on people who have symptoms or were linked to an outbreak. The move follows the French government’s decision to call off the soccer and rugby leagues in the country because of the virus.The top two divisions in French soccer had 10 rounds of matches left to play. PSG led second-place Marseille by 12 points and played one game less.___A new women’s soccer season has started in Belarus after it was initially delayed because of the coronavirus outbreak.The season started with a game between Dynamo-BGUFK and the Belarus national under-19 team. The under-19 team competes in the league alongside club squads. The first eight track meets on the Diamond League circuit have been postponed. Lausanne was the fifth in order of the seven left on the calendar.___The Italian sports minister says the government will create an economic safety net if it orders the Serie A soccer season to be shut down.Vincenzo Spadafora says if the season isn’t allowed to resume “we will assume responsibility so that soccer … has the least damage possible. Because it’s worth remembering that soccer is a big industry in our country.”But Spadafora is still leaving open the possibility that teams can resume training if sports and government officials agree on a proper health protocol. He says resuming training “will have a positive effect on the possible resumption of the season.” The Latest: PSG declared French soccer league champion Associated Press The British Boxing Board of Control says events would likely be held without fans initially and with an emphasis on “minimal numbers” of officials and broadcast personnel.Anyone at the events will have to have been in pre-fight quarantine and had tests for COVID-19. There will initially be a maximum of five contests in a show.The BBBofC says it continues to follow advice from government and medical authorities.The biggest fight that could take place in Britain in July is Anthony Joshua’s defense of his world heavyweight belts against Kubrat Pulev in London.The fight was initially scheduled for June 20 but was postponed. It could now be held on July 25.last_img read more

Tourney run ends in OT

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoIrony set in at the Kohl Center, and for Wisconsin, itwasn’t sweet.A night after getting the bounces and responding to criticswith a 6-2 victory over Denver in the Midwest Regional semifinals Saturday night,the Badgers gave up a third-period lead and couldn’t catch a break in a 3-2overtime loss to North Dakota Sunday in the regional final.For Wisconsin, no bad bounce proved more costly than the onein overtime.Freshman Kyle Turris — after losing a faceoff — blocked theinitial shot out in front of the net, but the rebound went right to the stickof UND’s Andrew Kozek. Wisconsin goaltender Shane Connelly was shielded on theplay and the junior forward took advantage.Kozek slipped the puck past Connelly to send the Sioux toits fourth consecutive Frozen Four.“It stings a little bit tonight because we were so close,”Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves said.Overtime was set up by UW’s inability to hold a third-periodlead, which was uncharacteristic of the Badgers. Wisconsin has come from behindto win or tie 13 games this season and had outscored its opponent 49-23 thisseason in the final frame. Instead, it was North Dakota that scoredback-to-back third-period goals to erase a 2-0 deficit.Senior center Rylan Kaip scored at the 3:33 mark of thethird and junior forward Ryan Duncan followed 47 seconds later with a goal ofhis own to bring the Sioux back and take the momentum away from Wisconsin.“Being a veteran team, North Dakota stayed on it and got themselvesback in the game,” Eaves said.Wisconsin got the start it wanted for the second consecutivenight, jumping out to a 1-0 lead early in the second period when sophomoredefenseman Jamie McBain buried Turris’ pass from the right of the crease.Cody Goloubef put the Badgers up 2-0 on a bizarre play. Thefreshman defenseman slapped a shot from the point that hit off the backboardsand ricocheted back into play where it hit off North Dakota goaltenderJean-Philippe Lamoureux’s leg and went in.But for the amount of chances Wisconsin had in the first twoperiods, including a clean breakaway by sophomore forward Michael Davies thatwas turned aside by Lamoureux and four shots that clanked the posts, theBadgers felt like they missed out on an opportunity to put the game away.“We couldn’t get that next goal that maybe would have givenus a little bit more of a spread, that would have been harder to come backfrom,” Eaves said.Questioned by many for making the NCAA Tournament with a sub-.500record, Wisconsin, behind two goals from Davies — including the ever-importantfirst tally of the game — came out with a chip on its shoulder Saturday againstDenver.“We were just out there to prove a lot of people wrong,”Davies said.After Denver cut the UW lead to 2-1 with a power play goaloff the stick of Andrew Thomas, Wisconsin responded in a span of 60 secondswith two third-period goals of its own.Goloubef clanked a slap shot off the left post that, afterbouncing off the back of goaltender Peter Mannino on the deflection, trickledinto the net.Sophomore forward John Mitchell then turned a hustle for aloose puck into a breakaway, on which he split two Pioneer defensemen and thenMannino’s pads.“I just caught the defense off-guard. I was able to knock itout of the zone and they weren’t ready for it,” said Mitchell, who was happy tohave redeemed himself after missing on an earlier chance out in front when theBadgers held a 2-1 lead. “It just kind of worked out.”Connelly played brilliantly, making 30 saves, includingseveral of the acrobatic variety. The posts also looked kindly upon the Badgerjunior, as they turned aside four Denver shots.“We had our chances,” Denver coach George Gwozdecky said.“We had a number of great opportunities to score.”“We put a lot of bodies in front of Connelly,” Denverforward Andrew Thomas added. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t put it in.”Connelly’s confidence was also aided by a UW penalty killthat kept Denver off the board, despite having to play the entire two minutesin its defensive zone.“It helped me get into the game real early,” Connelly said.Wisconsin scored first for just the 14th time this season(11-3 in those games) when Davies grabbed a deflection off Mannino’s left padand pushed into a wide-open net.McBain used a deflection of his own to Wisconsin a 2-0 leadat 8:15 of the second period.Denver cut the lead to 4-2 on a goal from Tom May, but thedifference proved to be too much to overcome.Davies and Drewiske capped the scoring with a breakaway goaland empty netter, respectively, for Wisconsin.last_img read more

PSC slams Govt for failing to honour Constitution 7 months after NCM passed

first_img…says President must act in accordance with lawThe Private Sector Commission (PSC), in its strongest statement yet, on Wednesday slammed the coalition Government for failing to honour the Constitution of Guyana and Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) rulings.PSC Chairman Gerry GouveiaPresident David GrangerAccording to the Commission, over seven months have elapsed since the No-Confidence Motion (NCM) was passed. Yet, the Government has failed to call a date for elections, which were already several months overdue.Article 106 (6) of the Constitution of Guyana states: “The Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence.”Meanwhile, Article 106 (7) states: “Notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly shall by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine, and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following the election.”“The Court has made plain that the provisions of our Constitution and “their meaning is clear”, and the Court holds that “it is the responsibility of constitutional actors in Guyana to honour them,” the PSC said in its statement.“It is the considered view of the Private Sector that this responsibility abides first, and foremost, with President David Granger and that it is his burden and inherent political duty to uphold this responsibility.”According to the group, it was necessary for the politicians to uphold the rule of law and respect the Constitution, as urged by the international community, to ensure there is no confusion in the country.“The Court has, quite properly, restrained from “the issuance of coercive orders or detailed directives” to our national leaders, but asserted that it is for the President and, indeed, the Leader of the Opposition “guided by the constitutional imperatives” to ensure that the consequences of the No-Confidence Motion are imposed upon the Government. The Private Sector wishes to note some seven months have passed and they are yet to be acted upon,” the PSC stated.“The Caribbean Court had earlier ruled that the unilateral appointment by President Granger of the Chairman of the GECOM was “flawed” and that the President, in fact, had, therefore, acted in contravention of the constitutional requirement to appoint the Chairman from six names submitted by the Leader of the Opposition. The Private Sector Commission, therefore, calls upon the President to act expeditiously in fulfilling his constitutional responsibility in this regard.”Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had submitted a list of nominees for GECOM Chairperson that included Retired Major General Joe Singh, who served as GECOM Chairman years ago; environmentalist Annette Arjoon-Martins; Retired Justice of Appeal BS Roy; businessman Captain Gerry Gouveia; Attorney-at-Law Kashir Khan; former Magistrate Krishnadatt Persaud; conflict resolution specialist Lawrence Latchmansingh; Retired Major General Norman McLean, businessman Ramesh Dookhoo, Retired Puisne Judge William Ramlall and Onesi La Fleur.But in a turnaround, President David Granger then submitted an informal list of nominees of his own that featured former GECOM Chairman, Retired Justice James Patterson, in addition to Retired Justices Claudette La Bennett and Stanley Moore, Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) Chairperson and Attorney Kesaundra Alves, economist Aubrey Armstrong and former Solicitor General Kim Kyte. The President also proposed known People’s National Congress (PNC)-affiliates and businessmen Stanley Ming (a former PNC parliamentarian) and Kads Khan.While the Constitution does not allow the President to submit names, Jagdeo in a compromise agreed to consider the President’s suggestion of names in an informal process.The President subsequently gave his no-objection to four of Jagdeo’s nominees. Alves and La Bennett were then put forward by the President as shortlists of his own. However, the Opposition Leader has since deemed these two nominees as “unacceptable” to him, with the likelihood that he would submit another list of names to the President.Meanwhile, pressure has been continually mounting on the Government to uphold the Constitution and set a date for elections. Among those urging the Government to do the right thing are the international community, the trade unions, the parliamentary opposition, and sections of society.last_img read more