Paris Closes Louvre Musuem As Virus Spreads

no thumb

PARIS (AP) — Coronavirus cases surged in Italy, and France closed the world-famous Louvre Museum on Sunday as the deadly outbreak that began in China sent fear rising across Western Europe, threatening its tourism industry.

The virus has spread to more than 60 countries, and at least 3,000 people have died from the COVID-19 illness.

New fronts in the battle opened rapidly over the weekend, deepening the sense of crisis that has already sent financial markets plummeting, emptied the streets in many cities and rewritten the routines of millions of people. More than 88,000 have been infected, on every continent but Antarctica.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter!

Australia and Thailand reported their first deaths Sunday, while the Dominican Republic and the Czech Republic recorded their first infections.

Italian authorities said the number of people infected in the country soared 50% to 1,694 in just 24 hours, and five more had died, bringing the death toll there to 34. Cases in France jumped to 130, an increase of 30 in one day.

China, where the epidemic began in December, reported 202 new cases in its update Monday, the lowest increase since Jan. 21. The city of Wuhan had most of the new cases but also saw 2,570 patients released, continuing a trend that frees up patient beds in the prefabricated isolation wards and hastily built hospitals in the area where the disease has hit hardest.


That brings China’s totals to 80,026 cases, with 2,912 deaths, the vast majority in Wuhan and surrounding Hubei province. Hubei still accounts for about three-quarters of the world’s cases.

Cases in the U.S. climbed to at least 76 with the first death in the United States reported on Saturday — a man in his 50s in Washington state who had underlying health problems but hadn’t traveled to any affected areas.

South Korea has the world’s second-highest cases with 3,736, mostly in and near the southeastern city of Daegu. Iran’s death toll climbed to 54 and its cases jumped overnight by more than half, to 978.

While the virus has caused serious illness mainly for the elderly and those with existing health problems, most have had mild illness and some infected apparently show no symptoms at all.

But countries’ attempts to contain the spread of the virus have been far-reaching.

Sports teams have played in deserted stadiums in Japan and South Korea after leaders discouraged public gatherings. Tourist attractions across Asia, Europe and the Mideast were closed or deserted. Islam’s holiest sites have been closed to foreign pilgrims. And governments have closed schools and encouraged working from home.

Adding to global travel curbs that have sharply cut visitors to places with outbreaks, the U.S. government advised Americans against traveling to the two northern Italian regions with growing caseloads, among them Lombardy, which includes Milan. Major American airlines began suspending flights to Milan. American Airlines will waive fees for changing all flights over the next two weeks.

The travel restrictions against Italy and the rising alarm in France could deal a heavy blow to the countries’ tourism industries. Spring, especially Easter, is a hugely popular time for schoolchildren to visit France and Italy.

“We had already registered a slowdown of Americans coming to Italy in recent days,” Bernabo Bocca, president of Italy’s hotel association, said in a statement Saturday. “Now, the final blow has arrived.”

Tourism accounts for 13% of the economy in Italy, with its art museums, archaeological sites and architectural treasures. More than 5.6 million Americans visit Italy every year, representing 9% of foreign tourists.

The United Nations said Sunday it is releasing $15 million from an emergency fund to help countries with fragile health systems contain the virus.

“We must act now to stop this virus from putting more lives at risk,” U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said. The aid “has the potential to save the lives of millions of vulnerable people.”

In France, the archbishop of Paris told parish priests to put the Communion bread in worshippers’ hands, not in their mouths. In South Carolina, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston asked its parishioners to not drink from the Communion cup or shake hands during the sign of peace.

French officials also advised people to forgo the customary kisses on the cheek upon greeting others.

The Louvre, home of the “Mona Lisa” and other priceless artworks, closed after workers expressed fear of being contaminated by the stream of visitors from around the world. Staffers were also concerned about museum workers from Italy who had come to the Louvre to collect works by Leonardo da Vinci that were loaned for an exhibition.

The Louvre, the world’s most popular museum, received 9.6 million visitors last year, almost three-quarters of them from abroad.

“We are very worried because we have visitors from everywhere,” said Andre Sacristin, a Louvre employee and union representative. “The risk is very, very, very great.” While there are no known infections among the museum’s 2,300 workers, “it’s only a question of time,” he said.

The shutdown followed a government decision Saturday to ban indoor public gatherings of more than 5,000 people.

Among the frustrated visitors was Charles Lim from Singapore. He and his wife, Jeanette, chose Paris to celebrate their first wedding anniversary and bought tickets in advance for the Louvre.

“We waited for about three hours before giving up,” he said. “It was incredibly disappointing.”


Barry reported from Milan. Associated Press writers Foster Klug and Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo; Hyung-jin Kim in Seoul, South Korea; Nasser Karimi in Tehran, Iran; Joe McDonald in Beijing; Zarar Khan in Islamabad; and Edith M. Lederer in New York contributed to this report.


Source link

read more

Biden Claims Momentum After Winning S.C., Buttigieg Drops Out

no thumb

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Joe Biden fought to unite the Democratic Party’s moderate wing behind his candidacy after scoring a comeback victory in South Carolina’s Democratic primary that forced leading moderate rival Pete Buttigieg out of the race on Sunday.

Biden vowed to improve his campaign operation, his fundraising haul — and even his own performance — as the race pushes toward Super Tuesday. He warned of a “stark choice” between him and Sanders, while making the case he is the candidate that can win up and down the ballot and in states beyond those voting next week.

“I feel good,” Biden said on ABC’s “This Week.” “I can win and I can bring along Democratic victories.”

Sign Up For Our Newsletter!

Biden saturated the airwaves with back-to-back interviews after Saturday’s win, which came on the strength of African American support and at a perilous moment in his 2020 bid. He needed an emphatic rebound after underwhelming performances in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

The race now pivots to the 14 states from Maine to California that vote on Tuesday in what in effect will be a national primary in a race increasingly becoming a match-up between the two powerhouses representing divergent paths for the party.


Top rival Bernie Sanders led in fundraising hauls announced Sunday with an eye-popping $46.5 million for February, his campaign said. The senator said it’s not the total amount that should impress but the enthusiasm of working people fueling his candidacy.

“No campaign out there has a stronger grassroots movement than we do,” Sanders said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “That’s how you beat Trump.”

Pressure is mounting to prevent a prolonged battle that could stretch into summer as seven candidates remain in the Democrats’ quest to find the strongest possible nominee to take on President Donald Trump in November.

The lagging candidates are being pushed to justify their campaigns or step aside so Biden can engage in a more direct match-up against Sanders, who heads into the coming week eager to surpass his rivals in amassing delegates for the nomination.

Buttigieg was the first to fall. The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who put together a surprisingly strong presidential bid, informed his campaign Sunday evening that we was leaving the race. That’s according to three people with knowledge of Buttigieg’s decision who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.

There were few signs that anyone else was leaving the race.

Billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who will be on the ballot for the first time next week, said Sunday he’s not going anywhere before Tuesday’s primaries.

“I’m optimistic,” he told voters in Selma, Alabama, where many of the White House hopefuls gathered for ceremonies commemorating civil rights heroism. He has spent more than $500 million advertising in the states set to vote this month.

Bloomberg received a mixed reception as he spoke from the pulpit of Selma’s Brown Chapel AME Church. Ten parishioners stood and turned their backs to the New York billionaire as he talked about his desire to increase black home ownership and wealth. That was after the pastor told the congregation that Bloomberg initially said he was too busy to attend because he had to “beat Donald Trump.” Elizabeth Warren’s team spoke brazenly of pushing into a floor battle at the Democratic National Convention this summer if no candidate emerges from primary season with a majority, as seems increasingly likely.

“The convention in Milwaukee is the final play,” wrote campaign manager Roger Lau in a memo.

Warren brought in $29 million last month and Biden trailed with $18 million, but the former vice president said he raised $5 million in the last 24 hours, which is more than any previous day in his bumpy campaign.

Biden declined to ask rivals to bow out. “It’s not for me to tell another candidate to get out of the race,” Biden said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Even with the victory, the shortcomings of Biden’s campaign remain, including a lack of robust funding and organization that have drawn concern from top allies. He is barely running any television advertising in Super Tuesday states.

Bloomberg announced his own plan to deliver a three-minute prime-time address Sunday night on two television networks. He didn’t say how much he paid for the air time, which is unprecedented in recent decades. And both Sanders and Bloomberg have many more staff and volunteers than Biden.

Leveling his own direct attack on Sanders, Biden declared, “The people aren’t looking for revolution. They’re looking for results.”

Biden won about three times as many delegates in South Carolina as Sanders, his nearest rival, giving a momentary respite to anxious Democrats who feared that the democratic socialist would finish February with four consecutive top finishes that would make it difficult for anyone to overtake him.

The Associated Press declared Biden the winner just after the polls closed in South Carolina. The AP based the call on data from AP VoteCast, a survey of the electorate conducted for the AP by NORC at the University of Chicago. The survey showed a convincing win for Biden.

But Biden made an aggressive round of media appearances on Sunday in an effort to counter Bloomberg’s massive spending. He’s also working to secure endorsements from prominent Democrats and, shortly after the Saturday results were in, he got the backing of former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Biden downplayed the lack of an endorsement from former President Barack Obama, whose name he often invokes on the campaign trail to voters nostalgic for his administration. Biden said on ABC he has to earn this “on my own.”

The South Carolina primary was the first major test of the candidates’ appeal among black voters. That courtship continued Sunday in Selma. A number of states that vote on Super Tuesday, including Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia, have substantial black populations.

One of the candidates who spent recent weeks wooing black voters, billionaire activist Tom Steyer, ended his campaign on Saturday after a disappointing third-place finish. He spent more than $24 million on television advertising in South Carolina — more than all of his rivals combined — but never found a clear lane in the crowded contest.

Trump weighed in on Twitter early Sunday, taunting Bloomberg — as he often does potential rivals. The president suggested the billionaire’s advisers are simply on a “gravy train” leading him down a “dark and lonely path” without hopes of winning the nomination.

Aides to Bloomberg’s campaign said earlier they still believe the former New York mayor can win in a handful of states that vote on Super Tuesday, including Arkansas, Alabama, Oklahoma, Virginia and North Carolina.

Through four contests, Sanders has a healthy, but shrinking, delegate lead.

The AP has allocated at least 58 delegates to Sanders, including two added Sunday as South Carolina’s remaining votes dribbled in. Biden vaulted past Buttigieg into second place with at least 50 delegates — shrinking Sanders’ lead from what had been 30 delegates before South Carolina to eight. Buttigieg, Warren and Klobuchar remain stuck at 26, eight and seven, respectively.

Trump was paying close attention to the Democratic race.

“How could you be easier to beat than Joe? That guy can’t put two sentences together,” Trump told attendees Saturday of the Conservative Political Action Conference in suburban Washington. “But you know he is more down the middle. Everyone knows he’s not a communist and with Bernie there a real question about that.”

Biden won 64% of the votes cast by African Americans. He also did well with older voters, women, moderates and conservatives and regular churchgoers, according to AP VoteCast.

Sanders earned the support of roughly 14% of African American voters, while billionaire businessman Tom Steyer won 15%.

There was also evidence that Biden’s status as Obama’s two-term vice president helped him win over African Americans.

VoteCast found that 45% voters in South Carolina wanted to return to the politics of the past, compared with about a third in Iowa and New Hampshire. That includes the 52% of African American voters who said they want a Democratic presidential nominee who would emulate the Obama presidency.

Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez cautioned Democrats that it’s still early in their presidential primary.

Speaking at a North Carolina Democratic Party fundraising gala, Perez noted that to win the nomination, a Democrat must win 1,991 delegates — and only a fraction of those have been allocated in the party’s first four primaries.

“We have a long way to go,” he said.


Peoples reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Darlene Superville, Hope Yen, Brian Slodysko, Will Weissert and Seth Borenstein in Washington, Thomas Beaumont in Columbia, South Carolina, Alexandra Jaffe in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Jay Reeves in Selma, Alabama, contributed to this report.


This story has been corrected to show that a pastor in Selma, Alabama, told his congregation that Bloomberg initially declined to attend because he had to “beat” Trump, not “meet” Trump.


Source link

read more

Aesha Ash Brings The Power Of Dance To Underserved Communities

no thumb

Representation matters. Aesha Ash—a former professional ballerina—is bringing her love of dance to low-income communities to show underprivileged children that they can pursue careers in the performing arts, Indy100 reported.

Donned in her leotard and tutu Ash—a native of Rochester, New York—pliés and pirouettes down the streets of her hometown catching the attention of youngsters who try to emulate her moves. The dancer, who studied at the School of American Ballet and was a part of the New York City Ballet, once stood in the shoes of these young girls and didn’t let her circumstances determine her future.

After retiring in 2008, Ash set out on a mission to use her platform to drive social impact. In 2011 she founded an organization dubbed The Swan Dreams Project which aims to combat racial and socioeconomic barriers that hinder individuals from pursuing ballet. “I want to help change the demoralized, objectified and caricatured images of African-American women by showing the world that beauty is not reserved for any particular race or socio-economic background,” read her website. “While exposing more African-American communities to the ballet, I also hope to promote greater involvement and increase patronage to this beautiful art form.”

There is a need for more racial diversity in the world of dance. According to Data USA, 79.1 percent of dancers and choreographers are white. Several organizations throughout the country have been working to change the narrative and expose youth of color to dance. Amongst some of the organizations include Brown Girls Do Ballet, Kids Dance Outreach, the Dallas Black Dance Theatre and the American Dance Movement.


Nonprofit Drama Free! Empowers At-Risk Youth Through The Arts

Heartbeat Music Academy Empowers Underprivileged Youth Through Music Education

[ione_media_gallery id=”3905476″ overlay=”true”]

Source link

read more

Compton Native Is The First Black Woman To Be Elected Harvard Medical School’s Class President

no thumb

Black women are displaying excellence in academia and making history in the process. According to Teen Vogue, LaShyra “Lash” Nolen became the first Black woman elected as Harvard Medical School’s class president.

For the Compton native—who is an activist and Fulbright Scholar—her journey in medicine is equally about increasing racial and gender representation in the sector as it is about healing the health ailments of individuals. Nolen’s infatuation with STEM started at an early age. In third grade, she took home the first-place prize at a science fair. While coming of age in California she didn’t see many examples of Black women leaders in the field that she wanted to pursue. However, her mother—who was a single teen parent—exemplified determination and perseverance by overcoming the odds and earning her master’s degree; a drive that would stick with Nolen throughout her academic journey.

The lack of representation was also present among the student leadership roles at Harvard Medical School, which motivated her to change the narrative. A lot of Nolen’s work is centered on exploring how injustices are interconnected with health and human rights. She has conducted investigative research surrounding how systemic racism impacts the health narratives of people of color. “Many of the illnesses that we see in clinics and hospitals across the country are symptoms of racism,” she told Teen Vogue. “At the very inception of this country, black people did not have access to the privileges of owning land, accessing health care or adequate housing. We continue to see systemic racism manifest through policies from the federal to the local levels, which is the reason we have health disparities today. The only way that my community will truly have sustainable, positive, health outcomes, is through our society’s reckoning with the systemic and historical wrongs committed against Black people.”

Nolen—who credits Serena Williams, Michelle Obama and Ida B. Wells as sources of inspiration—hopes her accomplishment inspires a wave of Black girls to pursue careers in STEM stating that there are young girls who are “excellent and deserve access to opportunity, but won’t take the leap because society tells them that it’s not for them.”

Black students are breaking barriers at Harvard. In 2018, Kristine E. Guillaume became the first Black woman president of its student newspaper.


Harvard Crimson Appoints First Black Woman President

Harvard University To Honor Queen Latifah

[ione_media_gallery id=”3905476″ overlay=”true”]

Source link

read more

Ramona Hood Becomes FedEx’s First Black Woman CEO

no thumb

Black women are making power moves and shattering glass ceilings in corporate America. According to Black Enterprise, Ramona Hood was recently appointed as a CEO at the delivery services company FedEx; making her the first Black woman in the company’s 49-year history to hold that position.

Hood began her journey with FedEx nearly three decades ago when the company was called Roberts Express. At the age of 19, she worked as a receptionist for FedEx’s Custom Critical division in Green, Ohio. When she started, the young mother was simply looking for a role that aligned with her college course schedule. Little did she know she was laying the foundation for a path of longevity within the Fortune 500 company. Throughout her career at FedEx, she’s been a driving force of innovation. She worked her way up the ladder to hold several leadership roles including serving as Vice President of Operations, Strategy, and Planning for FedEx Custom Critical. She’s also held executive-level positions within the FedEx Supply Chain division.

Her journey has come full circle. In her new role Hood—a graduate of the Ohio-based Walsh University who also holds an Executive MBA from Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management—will sit at the helm of FedEx Custom Critical as the President and CEO, where she started as a receptionist in 1991. She will oversee the strategic direction of the company and its executive leadership team. She strives to push diversity efforts within the company forward. “It is that level of intentionality that you have to have,” she said in a statement, according to “I now have a team that has no women on it. I have one African American man. As I add positions to the team, I need to focus on the diversity I’m talking about.”

Hood’s appointment comes at a time where there is a need for more racial representation in the C-suite. According to a study conducted by McKinsey & Company, only 1 in 25 executive leaders is a woman of color.


Chase Consumer Banking CEO Appointed To Join Nike’s Board Of Directors

Debra Lee Appointed To Join AT&T’s Board Of Directors

[ione_media_gallery id=”3905476″ overlay=”true”]

Source link

read more

UN Decries Lack of Reforms and Widespread Abuse in Eritrea

no thumb

A U.N. investigator is condemning an Eritrean crackdown on fundamental freedoms and religious practice in a new report, as well as the country’s harsh, indefinite military service and widespread abuse.

Hopes that Eritrea, which has been accused of human-rights abuses, would institute reforms after it signed a historic peace agreement with Ethiopia in 2018 have not materialized.  If anything, a U.N. report on its human rights situation has found widespread human rights violations, including arbitrary arrest, enforced disappearances, sexual violence and torture.

Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea Daniela Kravetz deplores the government’s repression of religious freedom.  She says Christians practicing without government approval are arrested, as are those who belong to nonrecognized Christian congregations.  She says Muslims also are targeted, arrested and jailed.

She finds no justification for Eritrea’s failure to reform its compulsory national service.  She says that failure cannot be justified on the grounds that economic conditions in the country do not permit job creation or salary hikes for conscripts.

“There are, however, immediate measures that the authorities could take that do not depend on economic reforms, such as stopping the ongoing roundups of youth for forced conscription, separating secondary education from military conscription and putting in place mechanisms to monitor and prevent abuses against conscripts, in particular against female conscripts,” she said. 

Kravetz is calling for the release of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.  She says people are arbitrarily arrested because of their opposition to the government or their beliefs as conscientious objectors.  She says they often are jailed for decades, without any recourse to justice or relief.

Eritrean Ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva, Tesfamicael Gerahtu, calls the report politically motivated and ill-intentioned.  He says it portrays his country in a negative light and does not reflect any of its positive achievements.

He notes Eritrea is at peace after two decades of conflict.  He says Eritrea is in the process of resolving the many social and economic problems that have arisen during that time but adds there is no quick fix.



Source link

read more
1 2 3 4 200
Page 2 of 200