Corona Virus, Health, US NEWS, World

Coronavirus live news: Melbourne locks down as global cases pass 12m

 

This article titled “Coronavirus live news: Melbourne locks down as global cases pass 12m” was written by Helen Sullivan, for theguardian.com on Thursday 9th July 2020 03.44 UTC

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany rose 442 to 197,783, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed on Thursday, with the reported death toll up 12 at 9,048.

In Australia, New South Wales state premier Gladys Berejiklian has said the New South Wales government will ask to lower the cap on numbers of people arriving in Australia and could begin to charge international arrivals – including Australians returning home – for hotel quarantine.

The comments herald a wider push from state and territory leaders at national cabinet on Friday to limit arrivals to prevent hotel quarantine becoming overrun, as Victoria battles a second wave of Covid-19 infections and has diverted all international flights.

On Thursday Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney that NSW had so far welcomed back between 30,000 and 35,000 Australians, about two-thirds of who were NSW residents but at least one-third were residents of other states in transit.

Some 70,000 Australians have returned through the two-week compulsory hotel quarantine since the measure was agreed by national cabinet on 27 March.

Berejiklian said the government is “seriously considering” charging international arrivals and it was “extremely valid” to question why Australians hadn’t returned when they were urged in March:

In other news of daring New Zealand escapes (possibly): a specialist search and recovery team has been deployed to recapture the last remaining survivors of a flock of endangered birds that absconded from a predator-free island in New Zealand during coronavirus lockdown.

Shore plovers are endemic to New Zealand and renowned for their “attitude and friendliness” – traits which alongside their ground nests make them highly vulnerable to predators.

Mana Island off the coast of the North Island’s Kapiti coast was a successful home to an introduced colony of plovers in 2007. But a few short years after being introduced a single rat wiped out half the population, with the rest dying shortly later due to “complications”.

After the 2007 devastation conservationists avoided reintroducing the plover until the pest situation was resolved.

But in April and May they again took the plunge, transporting 29 young birds to the island, some of whom required ministerial approval to travel during the Covid-19 lockdown.

New Zealand police to patrol quarantine hotels after breakouts

Police officers will patrol New Zealand’s quarantine hotels around-the-clock after a number of people – including a man who tested positive for coronavirus – escaped the managed isolation facilities.

In two separate incidents in Auckland hotels guests in isolation left their quarantine hotels, with one woman escaping over a hedge, and another man over a small fence.

The 32-year-old man – who was away for 70 minutes and visited a busy inner-city supermarket – tested positive for Covid-19. He has since been charged under new public health legislation. He faces a large fine or six months in prison.

Government minister Megan Woods said on Thursday “the abscondees are a new phenomenon” and that their carelessness put the health of the whole country at risk. New Zealand has in effect eliminated the virus after a six-week lockdown, with ongoing tight border controls.

School tudents in Melbourne to receive daily temperature checks

Following the advice of Victoria’s chief health officer, the Victorian government has today announced that students at government schools in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will receive a temperature check every morning, with thermometers also provided to all non-government schools.

More than 14,000 non-contact infrared thermometers will be given to government, independent and Catholic schools in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, and to schools in neighbouring areas who need to undertake
testing.

The government will also provide thermometers to those early childhood education and care services who require them.

29 Mississippi legislators test positive for Coronavirus

At least 26 legislators and 10 others who work at Mississippi’s Capitol have tested positive for the coronavirus, a public health official said Wednesday, as the governor implored residents to take precautions amid a rapid rise in confirmed cases statewide, AP reports.

The 174-member Legislature ended its annual session 1 July, and many people in the Capitol did not wear masks or maintain distance between themselves and others during the last few weeks. Lieutenant-governor Delbert Hosemann and House Speaker Philip Gunn are among those who publicly acknowledge testing positive for Covid-19. They are now quarantined at home.

Members of the Mississippi Health Response Team take down medical information from people potentially affected by coronavirus at the Mississippi Legislature at the Capitol in Jackson on Monday, 6 July 2020.
Members of the Mississippi Health Response Team take down medical information from people potentially affected by coronavirus at the Mississippi Legislature at the Capitol in Jackson on Monday, 6 July 2020. Photograph: Rogelio V Solis/AP

The number of people infected at the Capitol could actually be higher. The reported number only reflects those who were tested recently in Jackson, said the state’s top public health official, Dr. Thomas Dobbs. Some legislators have also been tested since returning to their hometowns.

Republican Governor Tate Reeves who has tested negative said he will not issue a statewide order for people to wear masks, as some other governors have done. But, he hinted that he could restore some restrictions on bars or other places if people don’t stop congregating in large groups.

Reeves said some hospitals are at or near capacity for intensive care beds. The state is limiting elective surgeries in a few counties to keep hospital beds open for Covid-19 patients.

Podcast: The Leicester garment factories exposed by Covid-19

A spike in cases of Covid-19 in Leicester has led Guardian reporter Archie Bland to its garment factories. He discusses a story that goes beyond the pandemic and into workers’ rights, appalling factory conditions and the ethics of fast fashion:

Hi, Helen Sullivan with you today. I’m be bringing you the latest news from around the world for the next few hours.

Please do get in touch on Twitter @helenrsullivan or via email – helen.sullivan@theguardian.com – with news, questions, tips, suggestions, shocking confessions.

Thank you to those who have taken the time to get in touch today with helpful suggestions!

Updated

Cases worldwide pass 12 million

The number of known coronavirus cases globally passed 12 million on Thursday, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, which relies on official government data.

There have been 548,799 deaths so far and 12,007,327 cases.

The US, which passed 3m cases on Thursday, accounts for quarter of all cases and just under one in four deaths.

Updated

Gilead Sciences Inc said on Wednesday it has started an early-stage study of its antiviral Covid-19 treatment remdesivir that can be inhaled, for use outside of hospitals.

The company said the trial, which will enrol about 60 healthy Americans aged between 18 and 45, will test the drug particularly in those cases where the disease has not progressed to require hospitalisation.

The drug is currently used intravenously and an inhaled formulation would be given through a nebuliser, which could potentially allow for easier administration outside hospitals.

Remdesivir was granted emergency use authorisation in the United States to treat severe cases of COVID-19 in patients who are hospitalised.

Gilead is hoping to target the disease at the onset with the inhaled form of remdesivir, by delivering the drug directly to the primary site of infection.

Remdesivir is believed to be at the forefront in the fight against the coronavirus after the drug helped shorten hospital recovery times in a clinical trial.

Gilead also plans to start additional clinical trials to evaluate remdesivir when used in combination with anti-inflammatory medicines.

Mexico on Wednesday posted a record for new coronavirus cases reported on a single day, with 6,995 cases, bringing its overall tally of infections to 275,003, health ministry data showed.

The country also recorded 782 additional fatalities, bringing its overall death toll to 32,796.

Mexico’s previous one-day record was last week on Thursday when 6,741 new cases were registered.

A man digs a grave at the Xico cemetery, as the coronavirus outbreak continues, in Valle de Chalco, Mexico 29 June 2020.
A man digs a grave at the Xico cemetery, as the coronavirus outbreak continues, in Valle de Chalco, Mexico 29 June 2020. Photograph: Carlos Jasso/Reuters

A Texas inmate received lethal injection Wednesday evening for fatally shooting an 82-year-old man nearly three decades ago, ending a five-month delay of executions in the state because of the coronavirus pandemic, AP reports.

Billy Joe Wardlow was put to death at the state penitentiary in Huntsville for the June 1993 killing of Carl Cole at his home in Cason, about 130 miles (209 kilometers) east of Dallas in the East Texas piney woods, near the Louisiana and Arkansas borders.

The US Supreme Court declined to stop the 45-year-old man’s execution.

Wardlow was the first inmate in Texas to receive a lethal injection since 6 February and the second in the US since the nation began reopening following pandemic-related shutdowns.

Russia has approved a new antiviral drug, Coronavir, to treat Civud-19 patients, its developer R-Pharm said on Wednesday, as Russia’s tally of infections hit 700,000.

It said a clinical trial involving mild or medium-level cases had shown the drug to be highly effective in inhibiting replication of the new coronavirus.

“Coronavir is one of the first drugs in Russia and in the world that does not tackle the complications caused by SARS-CoV-2, but battles the virus itself,” the company’s statement said.

It said a clinical study showed improvement in 55% of outpatient cases on the seventh day of treatment with Coronavir, against 20% of those with standard etiotropic therapy – meaning treatment of cause rather than symptoms. R-Pharm said there was also a significant difference at 14 days.

By the fifth day of treatment, the novel coronavirus had been eliminated in 77.5% of patients who took the drug, R-Pharm said.

Testing began in late May and over 110 outpatients have now received the treatment, the head of clinical trials at Russia’s Central Research Institute of Epidemiology, Tatyana Ryzhentsova, was cited as saying.

The drug is the third registered in Russia to treat the new coronavirus. The first, Avifavir, has been given to patients since June 11.

The health ministry gave its approval for Avifavir’s use under an accelerated process while clinical trials, held over a shorter period and with fewer people than in many other countries, were still under way.

Russia’s official nationwide case tally stood at 700,792 as of Wednesday, with 10,667 deaths.

Updated

A record 40.5% of all 18-year-olds in the UK have applied to go to university, with numbers rising significantly during lockdown, according to the university admissions service Ucas.

It is the first time that more than four out of 10 students (40.5%) had applied by 30 June to go to university and the figures will offer some comfort to universities bracing themselves for the Covid-19 aftershock.

At the same point in the admissions cycle last year, the figure was 38.9%, and Ucas points out that between mid-March and the end of June, when the pandemic was at its height in the UK, applications rose by 17%.

Applications for nursing are up 15% year on year, and Ucas says that for the first time more than a quarter (25.4%) of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds had applied to university or college by 30 June, the final deadline to apply for up to five courses simultaneously.

Nearly 3,000 miners infected in Chile

Unions at Chile’s Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, said on Wednesday that nearly 3,000 workers had been infected with the coronavirus, prompting renewed calls for more safety measures at the company’s sprawling operations.

Patricio Elgueta, president of the Federation of Copper Workers, an umbrella group for the company’s unions, told Reuters it had tallied 2,843 coronavirus infections among workers as of 5 July. Codelco did not immediately reply to requests for comment on the figure.

Some unions and social groups have called on Codelco and other miners to halt operations around the mining hub of Calama, a desert city surrounded by some of Chile’s largest copper deposits.

People wearing masks line up to collect state bonds or loans to face the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic on July 8, 2020 in Santiago, Chile.
People wearing masks line up to collect state bonds or loans to face the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic on July 8, 2020 in Santiago, Chile. Photograph: Marcelo Hernández/Getty Images

Chile will begin easing lockdown measures in two southern regions on Monday with 800,000 people able to resume some of their activities and those over 75 able to go out once a day.

Restaurants, cinemas, theaters and cafes will be allowed to open at 25% capacity. Sporting activities can be carried out without an audience and can include up to 10 people in enclosed spaces and 50 in the open.

The new measures will apply in the Los Ríos and Aysén regions in the countrys south. If a new outbreak occurs in either region, the government said tighter restrictions will be considered.

The number of people with confirmed infections of the new coronavirus surpassed 300,000 in the South American country, the sixth highest figure in the world.

Cases worldwide near 12 million

The number of confirmed infections worldwide over the course of the pandemic so gar is nearing 12 million, according the Johns Hopkins University tracker, which relies on official government data, with 11,982,883 currently confirmed.

The US, the worst-affected country worldwide in terms of number of cases and deaths, accounts for a quarter of the world’s cases, and just under one in four coronavirus-related deaths globally.

There have been 547,722 deaths over the course of the pandemic so far.

The true case and death figures are likely to be higher, due to delays in reporting, differing definitions and testing rates, and suspected underreporting in some countries.

Here are the countries worldwide with more than 200,000 known infections:

  1. US: 3,040,957 (deaths: 132,095)
  2. Brazil: 1,713,160 (deaths: 67,964)
  3. India: 742,417 (deaths: 20,642)
  4. Russia: 699,749 (deaths: 10,650)
  5. Peru: 312,911 (deaths:11,133 )
  6. Chile: 303,083 (deaths: 6,573)
  7. United Kingdom: 288,510 (deaths: 44,602)
  8. Mexico: 268,008 (deaths: 32,014)
  9. Spain: 252,513 (deaths: 28,396)
  10. Iran: 248,379 (deaths: 12,084)
  11. Italy: 242,149 (deaths: 34,914)
  12. Pakistan: 237,489 (deaths: 4,922)
  13. South Africa: 224,665 (deaths: 3,602)
  14. Saudi Arabia: 220,144 (deaths: 2,059)
  15. Turkey: 208,938 (deaths: 5,282)
  16. France: 206,072 (deaths: 29,936)

Updated

Trump’s Tulsa rally ‘likely contributed’ to city’s surge in cases

US President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa in late June that drew thousands of participants and large protests “likely contributed” to a dramatic surge in new coronavirus cases, Tulsa City-County Health Department Director Dr. Bruce Dart said Wednesday.

Tulsa County reported 261 confirmed new cases on Monday, a one-day record high, and another 206 cases on Tuesday. By comparison, during the week before the June 20 Trump rally, there were 76 cases on Monday and 96 on Tuesday.

President Donald Trump speaks at BOK Center during his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on 20 June 2020. The head of the Tulsa-County Health Department says Trump’s campaign rally in late June “likely contributed” to a dramatic surge in new coronavirus cases there.
President Donald Trump speaks at BOK Center during his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on 20 June 2020. The head of the Tulsa-County Health Department says Trump’s campaign rally in late June “likely contributed” to a dramatic surge in new coronavirus cases there. Photograph: Stephen Pingry/AP

Although the health department’s policy is to not publicly identify individual settings where people may have contracted the virus, Dart said those large gatherings “more than likely” contributed to the spike.

“In the past few days, we’ve seen almost 500 new cases, and we had several large events just over two weeks ago, so I guess we just connect the dots,” Dart said.

Trump’s Tulsa rally, his first since the coronavirus pandemic hit the US, attracted thousands of people from around the country. About 6,200 people gathered inside the 19,000-seat BOK Center arena far fewer than was expected.

Dart had urged the campaign to consider pushing back the date of the rally, fearing a potential surge in the number of coronavirus cases.

Although masks were provided to rally goers, there was no requirement that participants wear them, and most didn’t, AP reports.

Updated

Australian city of Melbourne re-enters lockdown

Australia’s second largest city, Melbourne, has re-entered lockdown, as the state of Victoria struggles to contain a coronavirus outbreak that has seen daily cases rise by over 100 for several days.

The curve has flattened, bent, and bounced back up. The jigsaw puzzles have all been completed, and children who were prepared to go along with the first seven-week lockdown being a fun adventure are now anxious. Holidays were cancelled, again.

The return to lockdown, announced after Victoria recorded its highest daily increase in cases of the pandemic so far, was met with a mixture of resignation and relief; fury and sadness.

The stage three stay-at-home orders that will apply across greater Melbourne and the Mitchell shire ban anyone from leaving their home except for essential shopping, work or school that cannot be done remotely, caregiving and medical appointments, and exercise.

US cases rise by world record 60,000 in one day

The US has reported the highest one-day rise in new coronavirus for any country since the start if the pandemic, with more than 60,000 new cases recorded in a single day, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, which relies on official figures, as 35 states see growing numbers of new cases from last week.

ICUs at 56 hospitals in Florida have reached capacity. California hospitalisations are at an all-time high, and Texas hospitalisations have broken state records for the tenth say in a row, according to the health department.

Summary

Hello and welcome to today’s live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

My name is Helen Sullivan and I’ll be bringing you the latest news from around the world for the next few hours.

Please do get in touch on Twitter @helenrsullivan or via email – helen.sullivan@theguardian.com – with news, questions, tips and suggestions.

The US has reported the highest one-day rise in new coronavirus for any country since the start if the pandemic, with 60,000 new cases recorded in a single day, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, which relies on official figures, as 35 states see growing numbers of new cases from last week.

ICUs at 56 hospitals in Florida have reached capacity. California hospitalisations are at an all-time high, and Texas hospitalisations have broken state records for the tenth say in a row, according to the health department.

  • Cases worldwide are nearing 12 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, with 11,982,883 currently confirmed. There have been 547,722 deaths over the course of the pandemic so far.
  • Australia’s second largest city, Melbourne, has re-entered lockdown, as the state of Victoria struggles to contain a coronavirus outbreak that has seen daily cases rise by over 100 for several days.
  • The US has surpassed three million confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. It said there have been 131,960 deaths among the total of 3,022,899 cases.
  • US President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa “likely contributed” to a dramatic surge in coronavirus cases, Tulsa City-County Health Department Director Dr. Bruce Dart said. Tulsa County reported 261 confirmed new cases on Monday, a one-day record high, and another 206 cases on Tuesday. The rally drew thousands of people in June.
  • Vice President Mike Pence urged schools to reopen despite the pandemic, echoing comments from Trump. During a White House coronavirus task force briefing at the US department of education, Pence said, “It’s time for us to get our kids back to school.” But many school officials are expressing doubts about their ability to safely reopen their doors.
  • Trump threatened to withhold funding from schools that don’t reopen. The president also criticised the school reopening guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as “very tough” and “expensive.”
  • Jair Bolsonaro vetoed provisions of a law requiring government to provide drinking water, disinfectants and guaranteed hospital beds to indigenous communities amid the pandemic. The Brazilian President, who has tested positive for coronavirus, vetoed 16 parts of the law on efforts to address the coronavirus threat to the indigenous population, but still allowed for provisions on adequate testing, ambulance services and medical equipment.
  • Argentina posted a daily record of cases. Argentina has posted a daily record of 3,604 confirmed cases of Covid-19.The sharp rise, the first time daily cases have surpassed 3,000, took the total number to 87,030, fivefold the number at the start of June, though still well below case loads in Brazil, Chile and Peru.Argentina’s center-left government imposed a strict lockdown in mid-March, which has been loosened in most of the country but was extended and reinforced last month in and around Buenos Aires due to a spike in cases.The country’s death toll from the pandemic stands at 1,694.
  • The Australian city of Melbourne has begun a new lockdown after a surge of infections. Among the restrictions are that visits to other people’s homes are limited to if you are giving or receiving care or if you are in an “intimate personal relationship”.
  • Italian authorities stopped 125 Bangladeshi people from entering the country today after they landed at Rome’s Fiumicino airport on a flight from Qatar. Yesterday, Italy suspended flights from Bangladesh for a week after 36 people who arrived in Rome on board a flight the day before tested positive for coronavirus.
  • The number of coronavirus cases has passed the 301,000 mark in Chile, according to the Johns-Hopkins University tracker. The figure is currently 301,019, which is the sixth highest in the world after the US, Brazil, India, Russia, and Peru.
  • Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel has warned the European Union not to waste time in agreeing a recovery plan to pull the continent out of a historic recession caused by the coronavirus lockdown. Merkel said she hoped to see a deal before the summer break on a proposed €750bn recovery plan.
  • Austria’s government has announced travel restrictions for fellow EU members Romania and Bulgaria after a spike in the number of coronavirus cases in both countries. Greece, which like Austria, has had a low number of infections and deaths compared with other European nations, has also expressed concern about imported cases from the Balkans.
  • Iran’s coronavirus death toll exceeded 12,000 on Wednesday, the health ministry said, with 153 deaths in the past 24 hours, amid a sharp rise in the number of daily infections and deaths in the past week as lockdown measures have eased.

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World

No business need at all now for a Chinese nuclear plant in the UK

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “No business need at all now for a Chinese nuclear plant in the UK” was written by Nils Pratley, for The Guardian on Tuesday 7th July 2020 18.37 UTC

Get ready for the “new Huawei” is the word from Westminster, meaning another flare-up in UK-China business and political relations, this time over Chinese involvement in the UK’s nuclear power programme.

Ditching state-owned China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) would indeed be a political development on a political par with a Huawei exclusion. The 2016 agreement, which imagined CGN’s “progressive entry” into the UK’s “resurgent” nuclear ambitions, was given maximum hype at the time by both Beijing and David Cameron’s government.

But here’s the good news: unlike with Huawei, where a ban would seriously disrupt 5G rollout in the UK, there are few direct downsides to excluding CGN. The UK does not need Chinese nuclear technology.

The construction of Hinkley Point C in Somerset, where CGN is merely a 33% investor, could proceed without interruption. The plant is being built to French firm EDF’s European design, so the security risks ought to be minimal or nonexistent. The same applies at the proposed follow-on plant at Sizewell C, where CGN has the option to take a 20% stake in another EDF-dominated project.

The major impact would be at Bradwell in Essex, the prize CGN was really seeking – the first Chinese-built nuclear plant outside China.

But the Bradwell proposal is years away from being approved, and already looks surplus to need for the reasons the National Infrastructure Commission offered in its most recent long-term assessment: “Given the balance of cost and risk, a renewables-based system looks a safer bet at present than constructing multiple new nuclear power plants.”

The NIC thought only one new big nuclear plant needed to be commissioned before 2025 – and that, presumably, will be Sizewell. Cancelling Bradwell would involve no real sacrifice on the part of the UK.

In fact, the Cameron/Osborne nuclear vision has aged horribly in four years. The offshore wind revolution has accelerated and the industry’s costs now beat nuclear’s every time. If replacement nuclear capacity is still deemed essential for baseload purposes, the aim should be to build as few mega-plants as possible.

Advances in battery storage technology should further tilt the economics in favour of renewables. While we wait, small modular reactors look a nimbler nuclear alternative. Rolls-Royce is in the development vanguard on that front, and carries no geopolitical headaches.

In short, for purely business reasons, one would rip up that 2016 agreement in an instant.

Boohoo needs a lesson in crisis management

Online fashion retailing is a fast and furious place, as Boohoo should know; at the flick of a few switches, its clothes have been delisted from the websites of Next, Asos and Zalando.

The industry’s response is impressively speedy – and far clearer than the confused messaging from Boohoo’s boardroom in response to allegations of illegal pay rates at a factory in Leicester producing its clothes. The factory may have been operated by an unauthorised subcontractor, as Boohoo said, but that’s not an excuse; it’s up to the retailer to control its supply chain.

A temporary loss of sales on a few third-party websites may be tolerable, but Boohoo’s breezy image will suffer permanent damage if this saga drags on. Mahmud Kamani, founder and executive chairman of Boohoo, needs to get a grip.

He should do what most observers are advising: appoint an outside auditor or lawyer to examine what went wrong. The failure to take that obvious step looks more perverse by the day. Does he also need Next & co to give him lessons in how to manage a crisis?

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A share price within Reach?

The news from Reach, as the owner of the Daily Mirror, Daily Express and Daily Star newspapers insists on calling itself, was predictably downbeat. The management plans to cut 550 jobs, equal to 12% of the workforce. Revenues from printed papers have plunged during lockdown. An increase in online readership has not been accompanied by a boost in online advertising revenues.

For all that, the City still expects Reach to make pre-tax profits of about £100m this year, equating to 28p per share of earnings. At 76p, down 14% on Tuesday, the shares are therefore priced at slightly less than three times earnings. That’s a company where the City also expects to see net cash on the balance sheet at the end of the year.

There’s a deficit in the pension fund, it should be said. But three times earnings is still a spectacularly gloomy assessment of long-term prospects. That’s not to say it’s wrong, of course.

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Books, US NEWS, World

Mary Trump’s book: eight of its most shocking claims about the president

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Mary Trump’s book: eight of its most shocking claims about the president” was written by Martin Pengelly in New York, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 7th July 2020 19.52 UTC

Mary Trump’s book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, contains stunning claims about her uncle, Donald Trump.

Here are eight of the most extraordinary.

Trump allegedly paid someone to take his high school exams

Trump is proud of his attendance at Wharton Business School, at the prestigious University of Pennsylvania. But according to his niece, he got there by cheating – which he “embraces as a way of life”.

Mary Trump writes: “Donald worried that his grade point average, which put him far from the top of the class, would scuttle his efforts to get accepted. To hedge his bets he enlisted Joe Shapiro, a smart kid with a reputation for being a good test taker, to take his SATs for him. That was much easier to pull off in the days before photo IDs and computerised records.”

Trump also had his older brother, Mary Trump’s father Fred Trump Jr, put in a good word for him. As she writes, “all of Donald’s machinations may not even have been necessary. In those days, Penn was much less selective than it is now.”

Trump praised his own niece’s breasts

Mary Trump writes about Donald Trump’s treatment of women, including how – when she was briefly working as his ghostwriter – he provided “an aggrieved compendium of women he had expected to date but who, having refused him, were suddenly the worst, ugliest and fattest slobs he’d ever met”. She includes Madonna and the ice skater Katarina Witt as two of the women he named.

The author also says that at Donald Trump’s Florida resort Mar-a-Lago in the 1990s her uncle saw her in a swimsuit and said: “Holy shit, Mary. You’re stacked.”

Mary Trump writes that Trump’s then wife, Marla Maples, responded with “mock horror, slapping him lightly on the arm”.

“I was 29 and not easily embarrassed,” she writes. “But my face reddened and I suddenly felt self-conscious. I pulled my towel around my shoulders.”

Donald Trump’s sister appears to be a key source

Maryanne Trump Barry retired as a federal judge in 2019, thereby ending an inquiry into family tax schemes. Mary Trump’s uncle Robert, Maryanne’s brother, has attempted to stop his niece’s book in court but in her acknowledgments, the author thanks her aunt “for all of the enlightening information”.

Mary Trump details a call from the president to his sister, who told him his performance in office was “not that good”. Donald Trump did not take that well, his niece writes, and began to ignore his sister’s advice.

Mary Trump spoke to the New York Times about Trump family taxes

Mary Trump isn’t sure if her aunt, whom she calls “older, smarter and more accomplished” than Donald, spoke to the Times for its reports about Trump family tax affairs which won a Pulitzer prize.

She does write that her aunt “knew where the bodies were buried” because she and her siblings “had buried them together”.

But Mary Trump details how she herself came to help the paper. She had been unwilling. But one of the reporters, she writes, told her she had a chance to help “rewrite the history of the president of the United States”, an offer she decided to take after watching “our democracy disintegrating and people’s lives unravelling because of my uncle’s policies”.

In one riveting passage, Trump describes how she obtained and drove away from the firm Farrell Fritz “19 boxes” of financial information, then handed them over.

“The three reporters were waiting for me,” she writes. “When I showed them the boxes there were hugs all round. It was the happiest I’d felt in months.”

Trump told Melania that Mary Trump took drugs

At a Father’s Day celebration at Trump Tower in 1998, while the president was still married to Maples, Mary Trump met her uncle’s new girlfriend, then known as Melania Knauss.

Struck by her silence, she recalls her uncle Robert Trump telling her the then Melania Knauss, a model from Slovenia, stayed quiet not because her English was bad, but because she “knows what she’s there for”.

Donald Trump, Mary Trump writes, told Melania about how he hired his niece to write The Art of the Comeback (a project from which Mary Trump says she was fired) because she had her own “‘back from the brink’ redemption story”.

“You dropped out of college, right?” she says her uncle asked, adding: “It was really bad for a while – and then she started doing drugs.”

Mary Trump denied that, she said, but she writes that she understands now that her uncle “loved comeback stories, and he understood that the deeper the hole you crawled out of, the better billing your triumphant comeback would get”.

“He probably believed his version of events,” she writes.

Trump Christmases could be tough

One year, Donald and his first wife, Ivana Trump, gave the young Mary a single gold lamé shoe, its heel filled with hard candy.

“Where had this thing come from?” Mary writes. “Had it been a door prize or a party favour from a luncheon?

“Donald came through the pantry from the kitchen. As he passed me, he asked, ‘What’s that?’

“It’s a present from you.”

Mary Trump also says that in 1977, when she was 12, her Christmas present from Donald and Ivana was a pack of underwear. Her brother got a leather-bound journal, two years out of date. Later, Mary received a Cellophaned gift basket, “an obvious regift” containing olives and a salami but not one evidently removed item, which a cousin said was “probably caviar”.

Family Christmases were fraught with tension, she says, including Donald and Robert berating their mother, Mary MacLeod Trump, for cooking beef instead of turkey.

“Gam,” she writes, “spent the whole meal with her head bowed, hands in her lap.”

Jared Kushner’s father didn’t think Ivanka was good enough

In 2009, Mary Trump attended the wedding at Trump’s Bedminster golf course in New Jersey of her cousin Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. Kushner is Jewish, and Donald Trump stood “awkwardly in a yarmulke”, she writes. The groom’s father, Charles, gave a speech in which he said Ivanka had only made herself worthy of inclusion in his family by committing to convert to Judaism.

Mary Trump was unimpressed: “Considering that Charles had been convicted of hiring a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law, taping their illicit encounter, and then sending the recording to his sister at his nephew’s engagement party, I found his condescension a bit out of line.”

Trump’s character was shaped by ‘child abuse’

Too Much and Never Enough deals extensively with the emotional abuse of a household topped by an absent father and an ill, neglected mother. Mary Trump contends that Fred Trump Sr’s many failings – ultimately, his being a “high-functioning sociopath” – weighed heavily on all his children, including her father Fred Trump Jr, who died from illness arising from alcoholism in 1981.

“Having been abandoned by his mother for at least a year,” she writes, “and having his father fail not only to meet his needs but to make him feel safe or loved, valued or mirrored, Donald suffered deprivations that would scar him for life [and acquired] personality traits [including] displays of narcissism, bullying, [and] grandiosity”.

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Corona Virus, Health, US NEWS, World

First Thing: the US is a Covid ‘leader’, but not in the way Trump thinks

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “First Thing: the US is a Covid ‘leader’, but not in the way Trump thinks” was written by Tim Walker, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 7th July 2020 10.05 UTC

Good morning.

The number of recorded coronavirus cases in the US is approaching 3 million, with 130,000 deaths, and daily case rates higher than anywhere else in the world. The White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, claimed on Monday that “the world is looking at us as a leader in Covid-19.” And it is – but not in the way she means.

The White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, also came out on Monday to defend Donald Trump’s misleading claim that 99% of coronavirus cases are “totally harmless”, while ruling out the possibility of a nationwide mandate to wear face masks in public.

As Europe begins to reopen its borders to international visitors, America’s flawed response to the pandemic means it is still on the continent’s travel banned list. This humiliation should force Americans to see global travel the way others do, argues Tamara J Walker.

We now find ourselves in the uncomfortable position more familiar to the Syrian, Nigerian and Iranian citizens who are routinely, unilaterally denied entry to the US and other countries, no matter their individual actions, belief systems or political persuasions.

Now Melania’s ex-aide is publishing an ‘explosive’ memoir

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s book is the latest in a string of critical White House memoirs.
Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s book is the latest in a string of critical White House memoirs.
Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock

The list of tell-all memoirs from within the Trump White House is getting even longer, following reports that a former aide to Melania Trump plans to publish an “explosive” book about her 15-year friendship with the first lady. Stephanie Winston Wolkoff spent a year in the East Wing before exiting under a cloud in 2018, saying she had been “thrown under the bus” amid claims the Trump inaugural committee misspent millions of dollars in donations.

Wolkoff’s book, Melania and Me, will be released by an imprint of Simon & Schuster, the publisher behind John Bolton’s recent book, as well as the forthcoming family memoir by Trump’s niece Mary, which is set to appear early due to the “extraordinary interest” in its contents. Another Simon & Schuster imprint published Donald Trump’s own most recent tome, Crippled America, in 2015.

Mexico’s president is gambling on a meeting with Trump

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in Mexico City last week.
Andrés Manuel López Obrador in Mexico City last week.
Photograph: Mexico’S Presidency/Reuters

The Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, will arrive in Washington on Tuesday for his first foreign trip since taking power in December 2018, meeting with Trump to toast the beginning of a new free-trade agreement between the US, Mexico and Canada. But Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, has decided to steer clear, and Amlo’s critics say he risks being drawn into America’s domestic political disputes. Tom Phillips reports.

Gun violence claimed 160 lives over Fourth of July weekend

A police officer at the scene of a shooting on Sunday in Chicago , where at least a dozen people were killed in a weekend of violence.
A police officer at the scene of a shooting on Sunday in Chicago, where at least a dozen people were killed in a weekend of violence.
Photograph: Armando L Sanchez/AP

An estimated 160 people died and 500 were wounded as a long weekend of gun violence played out in cities across the US from Friday to Sunday. As Joanna Walters reports, the victims included a six-year-old in Philadelphia, an eight-year-old in Atlanta and a seven-year-old in Chicago, where a total of 17 people were fatally shot during one of the city’s bloodiest holiday weekends in memory.

Some local leaders pointed to systemic racism or under-investment in communities as being at the root of the violence, but researchers in California also posited a potential link to the surge in gun-buying during the coronavirus pandemic: Americans bought more than 2.1m more guns than usual between March and May.

  • Phoenix police shot dead a man sitting in a parked car on Saturday, sparking fresh protests against a police department known as one of the deadliest in the US.

In other news…

Depp leaves London’s High Court in February, following a pre-trial hearing on his libel suit.
Depp leaves London’s high court in February, following a pre-trial hearing on his libel suit.
Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA

Great reads

The cast of Gina Prince-Bythewood’s new Netflix film, “The Old Guard”.
The cast of Gina Prince-Bythewood’s new Netflix film, The Old Guard.
Photograph: Aimee Spinks/AP

Gina Prince-Bythewood: ‘There’s no crying in directing’

Gina Prince-Bythewood made her reputation with her 2000 debut, Love & Basketball, which made her a role model for black female film-makers including Ava DuVernay. In her new movie, The Old Guard, she takes her perspective to the superhero genre, she tells Ellen E Jones.

Why I don’t have a child

As the Guardian’s childfree series continues, Sari Botton says watching her mother struggle with parenthood put her off being a mother herself, while AH Reaume writes about why a brain injury would make motherhood impossible. And four more women explain their decision not to have kids.

Explaining Facebook’s biggest corporate boycott

More than 300 firms have pledged not to advertise on Facebook for the month of July, thanks to the campaign Stop Hate for Profit. One of the organisers tells Kari Paul about the goals for the biggest corporate boycott in the social network’s history.

Opinion: Trans and feminist activists ought to be allies

As gender diversity has become a regular topic of public debate, trans and feminist activists have been set on a path of mutual antagonism. They ought to be allies, not enemies, says Kim Humphery.

My own daughters, both young feminists themselves, unreservedly see trans as ally, not enemy. The reasons for this are not hard to fathom. After all, a fundamental tenet of feminism is to end forms of oppression; and the same rule must apply for a trans and gender-diverse minority.

Last Thing: Britain’s baggy rave summer of 1990

Faces of indie-rave (clockwise from left): The Stone Roses, Primal Scream, Happy Mondays and the Beloved.
Faces of indie-rave (clockwise from left): The Stone Roses, Primal Scream, Happy Mondays and the Beloved.
Composite: Getty/GNM design/Getty / Redferns

Thirty years ago this summer, Britain bathed in the sound of indie rave from bands such as the Happy Mondays, Stone Roses and Primal Scream. Those who can remember it tell Joe Muggs about the explosion of pills, thrills and endless possibilities.

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Haryana, North India

Haryana Cabinet approves formation of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, Lohgarh Foundation (Trust)

Rajesh Ahuja

North India Kaleidoscope Bureau

Chandigarh:

The Haryana Cabinet which met here on Monday under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister Manohar Lal has given approval for the formation of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, Lohgarh Foundation (Trust) with headquarter in the office of Deputy Commissioner Yamunanagar.

This was decided in pursuance of the announcement of Chief Minister on November 12, 2017 that a trust would be set up to support a coordinated effort and to take forward various initiatives promoting research, preservation, and development of various sites relating to Baba Banda Singh Bahadur.

It may be recalled that recent pieces of evidence at Lohgarh, have highlighted the need for putting in place a robust mechanism, with the help of domain experts, to preserve the rich legacy and values embodied by Baba Banda Singh Bahadur.

The Trust would strive to promote research, archeological discoveries, development of museums, memorials as well as literature on Lohgarh and Baba Banda Singh Bahadur and his ideals and philosophy. All these activities would be aimed towards fulfilling the objectives set forth by the revered Sikh Guru Sahibans as the vision for the entire humanity at large.

The trustees of the Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Lohgarh Foundation (Trust) will include Mr. Manohar Lal, as the Settlor-Author of the Trust. While, Mr. Gurvinder Singh Dhamija, resident, Model Town, Karnal (Haryana), Mr. Kanwar Pal resident of Bahadur Pur, Yamunanagar (Haryana), Mr. Shiv Shankar Pahwa resident of Kaithal (Haryana), Mr. Sanjay Bhatia resident of Model Town Panipat (Haryana), Divisional Commissioner, Ambala Division, Ambala (ex-officio), Director, Information, Public Relations and Languages, Haryana(ex-officio), Deputy Commissioner, Yamunanagar(ex-officio), Chief Executive Officer, Zila Parishad, Yamunanagar (ex-officio), District Development and Panchayat Officer, Yamunanagar(ex-officio), would be the founder governing trustees.

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Corona Virus, Health, World

English pubs pour first pints for customers since lockdown began

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “English pubs pour first pints for customers since lockdown began” was written by Rob Davies, for theguardian.com on Saturday 4th July 2020 13.41 UTC

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “English pubs pour first pints for customers since lockdown began” was written by Rob Davies, for theguardian.com on Saturday 4th July 2020 13.41 UTC

English pubs poured their first pints since mid-March on Saturday morning, some as early as 6am, after laws allowing them to open their doors came into effect.

While the vast majority of pubs do not have a licence to serve at the crack of dawn, several welcomed customers for a breakfast-time drink after more than three months standing empty.

At the Moon Under Water in Colindale, north-west London, drinkers began filtering in shortly after the doors opened at 8am, ordering beers and breakfasts.

On arrival, they were asked to fill out an NHS test and trace form giving their name, phone number and the length of their stay. Markers on the floor indicated where to stand, while plastic screens had been installed at the tills to protect staff and customers. Hand sanitiser dispensers had also been installed in several places.

Patrons at the Wetherspoons pub were encouraged to use the chain’s app to buy drinks and food but could still order at the bar the old-fashioned way.

Stephen Barrie, 56, a semi-retired binman, nursed the pub’s first pint of the day, a Bud Light poured shortly after 8am. “I thought there’d be a queue but I was the first in the door,” he said. During the pandemic, he bought beer at the supermarket but said “it wasn’t the same”.

Customers have to fill in an NHS track and tracing form.
Customers have to fill in an NHS track and tracing form. Photograph: Sean Smith/The Guardian

He added: “I missed very much having a drink with friends and the camaraderie. I don’t even know who might have passed away [during lockdown], for instance.”

Krzystof Stankiewicz, 40, a minicab driver, came in at the end of a night shift. “I’ve been waiting for this for three months,” he said. “This situation with coronavirus, all days have been the same, Monday like Sunday, Thursday like Friday.

“I listened on the radio and heard this pub was open. I live in Colindale and it’s my favourite pub. I’ll have a beer, go to sleep, then wake up and go to work this evening.”

Joe Fay, 20 and Sean Scanlon, 20, both work in the building trade. They took a table at the back of the pub, where plastic screens divided the tables. “It’s Tim Wetherspoons [founder chairman Tim Martin], so you knew this pub would be open as soon as it could be.”

Neither of them are too worried about catching coronavirus in the pub. “It’s everywhere and you can’t stop everything,” said Joe. “There’s no vaccine and there’s not going to be for years so what’s the point? You have to support local businesses and we’ll go to some smaller pubs later on. It’s going to be a bit of a crawl.

“The rest of our mates aren’t up yet but they’ll be coming out later. We’ve been missing this for four months.”

While the law permitted pubs to open from 6am, very few have a licence to do so.

One of the few that does is the Sportsman in Whitworth, near Rochdale, which can lay a claim to having served the first indoor post-lockdown pint in the country.

“I would have opened at 12.01am but Boris changed his mind,” said landlord Steve Butterworth.

“We had plenty of people in and it was all done properly, with social distancing.”

The 6am timing was designed to thwart plans by some pubs to open at 12.01am for late-night drinking sessions lasting into the small hours.

Brewery and pub chain Brewdog had planned an invitation-only event at several of its venues, starting at midnight, but had to cancel it at the last minute after the government confirmed the law easing lockdown restrictions would not take effect until the morning.

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