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Europe surpassed the milestone of 250,000 COVID-19-related deaths | Instant News


Europe passed the milestone of 250,000 deaths from COVID-19 on Sunday making it the second worst-hit region after Latin America and the Caribbean, where deaths have surpassed 350,000.

European countries have increased restrictions on daily life to combat surging infections, with a 44% increase in cases this week.

A curfew for millions of people came into effect in France this weekend and Switzerland requires all citizens to wear masks in public indoor areas.

The death toll in Europe makes it the second-hit in the region after Latin America and the Caribbean, where deaths have surpassed 350,000.

Britain remains the worst-affected country in Europe in terms of deaths, accounting for nearly a fifth of deaths on the continent.

They have continued to battle the virus, with local officials resisting the ministers’ attempts to impose restrictions by region.

France counted nearly 30,000 new cases Sunday, close to Saturday’s record 32,427. About 1,900 COVID-19 patients are currently occupying intensive care unit beds, out of a total capacity of 5,800 in France.

The government has imposed a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew for at least one month in nine cities including Paris, affecting 20 million people.

Those who violate the curfew will be fined 135 euros ($ 158) unless they can prove they have a valid reason to leave.

“I returned from the hospital … where my daughter was operated on,” one man told a group of police officers, showing them a one-page document as evidence.

The measures fall short of blanket restrictions imposed in many countries at the start of the year – but raise fears of severe new restrictions across the continent.

Italy is the first country in Europe to have been hit hard by COVID-19 and has the second-highest death toll in the region after Britain, with 36,543 deaths since the outbreak flared in February, according to official figures.

The country registered 11,705 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, the health ministry said, up from a previous record 10,925 posted a day earlier, as the government prepared new measures to combat a second wave of the disease.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has announced new measures aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus, moving it to vulnerable populations and putting new pressure on hospitals.

The restrictions announced Sunday put an end to curfews like those imposed in Paris and other major French cities. But Italian mayors can close public squares and other gathering places after 9 p.m., only allowing access to reach homes or businesses.

The restaurant and bar are limited to table service only after 6pm, three hours earlier than the previous allowed action, but can maintain the current midnight closing time.

Local festivals have been banned. The public gym and pool may remain open – but Conte said they would be closed within a week if they didn’t do a better job of keeping up with the restrictions.

Rome clashed with local authorities over schools, refusing to budge to allow for more distance learning. But there is an allowance for secondary schools to open longer, and to hold afternoon shifts, to reduce pressure on local transport.

COVID-19-related deaths on Sunday rose to 69, up from 47 the previous day, the ministry said – far less than at the peak of the pandemic in Italy in March and April when daily deaths peaked at more than 900.

The number of intensive care cases hit 750 on Sunday from 705 on Saturday after hitting a low of around 40 in the second half of July.

Stricter measures have been put in place in some of the worst-affected areas, including Campania around Naples, which has closed schools for two weeks.

The Swiss government on Sunday said it would impose the wearing of masks in all indoor public spaces starting Monday and ban gatherings of more than 15 people, among other restrictions. Hundreds of people protested against the new action outside the government’s Federal Palace in Bern.

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The workforce looks like contemporary New Zealand, National is still male and pale | Instant News


Jacinda Ardern has a diverse caucus that includes a large number of Maori and women MPs, such as Nanaia Mahuta. Photos / Files

The new Labor caucus is far more representative of contemporary New Zealand than the National, says a Massey University sociologist.

Professor Paul Spoonley said there was a stark difference between the Labor and Green and National and Acting Parties on diversity.

More than half of the 64 MPs from the Labor Party are women, have 15 Maori MPs, one in six are Pasifika and have a good ethnic mix.

The Greens’ 10th Caucus consists of three Maori MPs, seven women, Iranian refugee Golriz Ghaharaman and Latin American Ricardo Menendez.

National has only two Maori MPs – Simon Bridges and Shane Reti – in a 35-member caucus, one Asian MP in Melissa Lee and 11 women. Otherwise, it is mostly European men. This party does not have Pasifika MPs.

National's Parmjeet Parmar is a victim of National's bad luck.  Photo / Doug Sherring
National’s Parmjeet Parmar is a victim of National’s bad luck. Photo / Doug Sherring

National did, however, lose some diversity in its ranks with MPs Kanwalijt Singh Bakshi, Parmjeet Parmar, Alfred Ngaro and Harete Hipango losing their seats.

The 10-member caucus in Act has three Maori lawmakers – David Seymour, Nicole McKee and Karen Chhour – and four women – Brooke van Velden, McKee, Chhour and Toni Severin.

Spoonley, an expert on changing the face of New Zealand society, said national leader Judith Collins made it clear from the start that ethnic and cultural differences were not important to the party in this election.

He said 27 percent of New Zealanders were migrants, and 50 percent were migrants or migrant children.

Since 2013, Spoonley said New Zealand has experienced the highest net migration rates and gained 330,000 people. The two largest groups came from China and India. In the next decade “one if five of us may be Asian”.

The new Green MP Ricardo Menendez is Latin American.  Photos / Files
The new Green MP Ricardo Menendez is Latin American. Photos / Files

Spoonley said Labor’s caucuses reflect the diversity of contemporary New Zealand – on one condition.

“Maybe it could be better in terms of the Chinese and Indian communities – two very large communities,” he said.

With Raymond Huo’s resignation, the Labor Party has only one member of the Chinese parliament with Naisi Chen, two members of the Indian parliament – Priyanca Radhakrishnan and Gaurav Sharma – and Sri Lankan MP Vanushi Walters.

Other ethnic MPs in the Labor caucus include Eritrean refugees Ibrahim Omer and Ayesha Verrall who have Maldivian ties.

Spoonley said it would be interesting to vote to see how large ethnic communities, such as Chinese and Indians, voted and whether they blocked the vote.

National Party MP Melissa Lee.  Photos / Files
National Party MP Melissa Lee. Photos / Files

The Election Commission estimates the turnout at 82.5 percent, the highest turnout since 1999 if confirmed.

As of Sunday morning, nearly 2.4 million votes in New Zealand’s general election had been counted.

The Labor Party has 49.1 percent of the vote and the National 26.8 percent. The Greens have 7.6 percent of the vote, while the Law has 8 percent. New Zealand First is well below the threshold, at 2.7 percent.

About 480,000 special declaration votes were still counted – representing around 17 percent of the total votes.

Nearly 70 percent of the votes were cast in advance – up from 47 percent in 2017.

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Six workers died of suffocation in a chemical tank in Karachi – Pakistan | Instant News


Published in October 17, 2020 16:24

Six workers died from suffocation in a chemical tank in Karachi

KARACHI (Dunya News) – Six workers died from suffocation while working in a garment company chemical tank in Karachi.

According to details, six workers died while working in the chemical tank of a garment company in the Norse Chowrangi Karachi industrial area. The body has been transferred to the hospital.

Police officers said that the garment factory tank was full of chemicals and workers were cleaning the factory tank at the time of the incident. Initial investigations revealed that the workers died from suffocation.

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More than 100 vulnerable refugees were transferred from the Greek island camp to Germany | Instant News


A plane had landed in Hanover carrying 101 vulnerable refugees from a camp on the Greek island of Lesbos to Germany, the Interior Ministry said on Friday.

The group consisted of 40 adults and 61 children who were identified as particularly at risk, the German ministry said in a statement.

The refugees will be taken to the Friedland transit camp before being transferred between Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bremen, Hesse, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, North-Rhine Westphalia and Saarland.

According to the statement, a group of 17 people, consisting of three families of Palestinian origin, will live in Lower Saxony.

Germany agreed to accept 1,553 refugees whose status was officially recognized in early September after a fire destroyed the Moria camp in Lesbos.

The 26 refugee families who landed in Hanover were the first of this group to reach Germany, although they never lived in Moria.

Lower Saxony Interior Minister Boris Pistorius welcomed the new arrival, citing the difficult conditions on the Greek islands.

He said the reluctance of other EU countries to accept refugees was outrageous.

Frank Remus, who represents the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Germany, also called for a European solution.

“After fleeing persecution and human rights abuses in their home country and leaving behind unacceptable living conditions in Greece, they can now find peace and hopefully overcome their traumatic experiences,” Remus told Deutsche Presse-Agentur ( dpa).

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