Tag Archives: human welfare

Ivanka Trump starts stalled food pandemic program under congressional investigation | National | Instant News

PHILADELFIA – After allowing a vital feeding program created during the pandemic to end before the holidays, the Trump administration plans to restart this month at the urging of Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and adviser.

While anti-hunger supporters are grateful for the intervention, they complain that the program has been mismanaged. They say it benefits farmers and distributors more than those in need, and that food deliveries are often delayed and sometimes damaged. Congress has investigated these allegations.

Starting January 19, the US Department of Agriculture will add $ 1.5 billion to the Farmer’s to Family Lunchbox program, the distribution of food to Americans in need. It started in May with more than $ 3 billion in funding and ends in mid-December. Additional money for the program was included in the COVID-19 assistance package as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act passed on December 21.

Every week for more than seven months, the Food Sharing Program distributed 42,000 boxes to about 200,000 people in Philadelphia and surrounding counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, according to executive director George Matysik.

Calculating its distribution differently, Philabundance provided a total of 622,660 Farmers to Family boxes – the equivalent of 12,064,325 pounds of food – during the same time period, according to Kate Scully, director of government affairs for the hunger relief agency.

The boxes are available at city-designated feeding stations in Philadelphia, as well as at soup kitchens in the area.

Nationwide, the Trump administration says it has distributed 3.3 billion food items made from lunchboxes, each containing about 35 pounds of meat, milk and produce. The president ordered a letter that read, “I prioritize the delivery of nutritious food from our farmers to our needy families across America.” This caused a stir among supporters and others who say Trump is politicizing hunger.

Appreciating Ivanka Trump for lobbying US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue for additional funding to restart the program, Matysik said, “There is not much desire from the White House to continue running this program, but Ivanka, along with Congress, are moving it up front.”

In a statement, the president’s daughter said, “I am proud to share, thanks to the efforts of the Trump administration, the Farmer to Family Lunchbox program. [can] … continue to feed needy families, [and] provide jobs and support our small farmers. During these unprecedented times, this Administration will continue to fight for American families and will always put them first. “

Perdue said in a statement that the box would “greatly help American families access nutritious and healthy food as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Even though lunchboxes were accepted, their thawing was sometimes hampered by problems.

Over the summer, members of Congress noted that in order to deliver boxes of food, the USDA uses its Agricultural Marketing Services, not Food and Nutrition Services. Marketing services help farmers sell produce, while nutrition groups manage food aid programs.

This may have caused serious delays as distributors unaware of the food bank’s needs were assigned to deliver the boxes, anti-hunger proponents said. In many cases, the food never makes it to the food bank, or when it does, it goes bad.

Also, proponents say that the government pays a high price for the food – as much as $ 60 per box when it should be closer to $ 20, according to a report by National Public Radio.

“Operating this program for us has become a roller coaster,” said Kait Bowdler, director of food sourcing for Philabundance. “It’s a difficult place for us. On the one hand, it’s amazing how much extra food we can provide. But there are a lot of problems with logistics and dependability.

“We want to be careful biting the hand that feeds us.”

She said the lunchboxes were delivered late or didn’t show up at all, or that “the quality wasn’t what we expected. But there are also times when the food was simply outstanding.”

In August, US Representative James Clyburn, DS.C., announced that the Selected Subcommittee on the Corona Virus Crisis would investigate allegations of mismanagement in the program.

Meanwhile, at a lunchbox hearing in July, US Representative Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, was frustrated by what she saw as the USDA’s inability to answer questions about the program.

“Do they give [recipients] rotten food, what do I hear in some of these cases? “he said.” It is full of waste, fraud and abuse. “

In a statement, Kate Leone, chief government relations officer for Feeding America, the country’s largest food charity (of which Philabundance is a part), questioned whether the food box initiative was being used more as a job support program for food distributors and producers. apart from being a means of helping the hungry.

“Ivanka is really highlighting the small business side more than the needy side,” Leone said.

After studying the hiccups in the program, Deborah Weinstein, executive director of the Human Needs Coalition in Washington, DC, criticized the Trump administration for allowing lunchboxes to expire in December.

“Food banks should stop providing food to people who depend on them for the holidays,” said Weinstein, whose organization is a non-profit alliance of national groups promoting public policy for low-income Americans.

“People are starving.”

The problem is growing because the government puts more emphasis on helping farmers and breeders by relying on the Agricultural Marketing Office, he said. And while “we are not against helping them,” he said, “it is the Food and Nutrition Services that have the best skills in distributing food. You have to remain vigilant when feeding hungry Americans.”

Weinstein pointed out that when Trump threatened to veto the Consolidated Allocation Act last month, the defunct lunchbox program would continue to go dark.

“That’s a scary thing,” he said.

Weinstein and other proponents have said that increasing the food stamp allowance (now known as the Supplementary Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP) would be a more efficient way to feed starving Americans than shipping boxes. The Consolidated Allocation Act includes a temporary 15% increase in SNAP benefits, despite the Trump administration’s efforts to reduce it.

As the pandemic rages on, the need to help hungry people is a foregone conclusion, Weinstein said.

On Wednesday, the US Census Bureau released a finding showing that in mid-December, 30 million Americans reported that they “sometimes or often” didn’t have enough to eat during the week. That’s 4 million more than at the end of November.

Weinstein concluded, “The situation has become very urgent.”

(c) 2021 Philadelphia Investigator

Distributed by the Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Copyright 2021 Tribune Content Agency.


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Genuine Foods Donates More Than One Million Foods to Southeast Food Bank | Business | Instant News

NEW ORLEAN – (BUSINESS WIRE) – Dec 21, 2020–

In response to the recent natural disasters and the continuing health and economic crisis in the region, eight regional food banks across the Southeast have received donations of nutritious tableware from Original Food. Each meal plan feeds one person breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for seven days.

Recipients of children’s food include:

  • The Second Harvest Food Bank in Lafayette, La., And New Orleans.
  • Food Bank of Central Louisiana in Alexandria, La.
  • Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.
  • Atlanta Community Food Bank.
  • Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana in Monroe, La.
  • Houston Food Bank.
  • Feed the Gulf Coast, serving communities throughout southern Alabama, southern Mississippi, and the Florida Panhandle.

Combined, the eight food banks would receive the equivalent of more than a million meals, which could be used to feed the families hardest hit by various emergencies in recent months.

“Second Harvest is very grateful to have received support from Genuine Foods during this much-needed time,” said Emily Slazer, food resources manager for Second Harvest Food Bank in New Orleans. “The donation we receive from Genuine Foods will provide more than 115,000 meals for community members in need. These high-quality, nutritious, non-perishable foods are a great help to our hurricane response efforts. We look forward to continuing to partner with Genuine Foods. “

“The need to provide food has increased to a level never seen before, so the generosity of donors, such as Genuine Foods, has had a major impact,” said Jayne Wright-Velez, executive director of Food Bank of Central Louisiana. “We are very grateful for donating 35,000 pounds of food to our food bank,” he continued.

“The holidays are always a time of increasing need for food banks, with challenges that are more difficult due to the coronavirus pandemic,” said Mike Manning, president and CEO of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. “We cannot thank Genuine Foods enough for their generous donations which enabled us to provide nutritious food during these difficult times.

“We are very grateful for the support from Genuine Foods during this time of uncertainty,” said Kyle Waide, president and CEO of the Atlanta Community Food Bank. “Food insecurity is at an all-time high, and 19,094 meals contributed by Genuine Foods will be of great help in our efforts to feed hungry Georgians this holiday season.”

“We are very pleased to receive a generous donation of tableware that can be stored on the shelf,” said Jean Toth, executive director of the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana. “The food will help so many people in Northeast Louisiana who are struggling to feed their families and have had a tough year. Thank you Authentic Food! “

“We are very grateful for the provision of 40 pallets of nutritious items from Genuine Foods,” said Katherine Tong, Manager of Economic Partnerships at Houston Food Bank. “These products will be very helpful in providing variety to our program visitors, especially those visiting our School Market where we want to provide more choices. Thank you for helping our neighbors who are experiencing food insecurity and supporting our food mission for a better life. “

“With this substantial setback from the hurricane and COVID-19, this year has disrupted the normal lives of all of us,” said Michael Ledger, president and CEO of Feeding the Gulf Coast. “Nutritious food provides a sense of stability and hope for families struggling to make ends meet. Partnerships like these directly support our ability to reach more individuals and families facing hunger especially in times of such uncertainty. We are grateful for generous donations of nutritious food packages from Genuine Foods to make this happen. “

Genuine Foods provides a culturally relevant fresh food service program for schools and other community organizations in the area, including in Louisiana, Tennessee, and Mississippi, as well as other states along the East Coast. During the COVID-19 pandemic, companies have also delivered more than 650,000 meals per week for emergency food programs.

The food bank received the same food packages Genuine Foods sent through its school and emergency food programs, which contained protein, fruit and vegetables, whole grains, cereals and milk.

“In times like these, having access to good food on a regular basis is very important, especially for struggling families,” said Jeff Mills, CEO of Genuine Foods. “Either through this food donation, or through our sustainable school meals program and during emergencies, we want to make sure as many families as possible feel comfortable with healthy, nutritious and delicious food.”

About Real Food

Asli Food delivers high quality, fresh, and culturally relevant food service programs to K-12 schools, tertiary education, seniors and communities across the country. With an emphasis on fresh ingredients, regional supplier relationships, and foods that celebrate local culture and community, Genuine Foods aims to improve the lives and livelihoods of people and communities so that their most vulnerable members can thrive. More information at www.genuinefoods.com.

See the source version at businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201221005146/en/

CONTACT: Becky Engel

On behalf of Original Food

[email protected]




SOURCE: Original Food

Copyright 2020 Business Wire.

PUB: 21/12/2020 07:00 AM / DISC: 12/21/2020 07:00 AM



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Payments for the Brazilian virus cut extreme poverty to the fewest in decades | Instant News

A new report says Brazil’s extreme poverty has fallen because of monthly federal grants during the pandemic, but it threatens to bounce back after the government temporarily halts welfare programs.

BRAZIL, Brazil – Brazil’s extreme poverty has plummeted because of monthly federal surrender for corona virus pandemic, but threatened to bounce back after the government temporarily suspended its welfare program, a report said Tuesday.

Research by the Getulio Vargas Foundation, a university and think tank, said the number of Brazilians living in extreme poverty fell to 6.9 million in June, or 3.3% of the Brazilian population – the lowest level since the late 1970s. When this year began, 6.2% of Brazilians were in extreme poverty, the study said.

“Although we cannot directly compare the numbers due to recent methodological changes in government databases, we can say that is one of the lowest proportions ever recorded,” Daniel Duque, study author, said by telephone from Rio de Janeiro. He uses World Bank standards that classify anyone who earns less than $ 1.90 per day to be very poor.

The federal government since April has distributed $ 115 each month to informal sector workers and micro-businesses affected by the pandemic, with single mothers doubling. Duque and other experts say that helps reduce poverty in a country divided by inequality, with last year’s average monthly income of $ 280, according to the statistical agency.

However, experts warn that aid is temporary and the number of poor Brazilians will increase after the last payment, currently scheduled for August.

“There is no question that we are in a temporary situation. “We won’t have this volume of revenue transfers forever,” Duque said. I think it’s very possible that we will return to the previous level of poverty. I am afraid we can return to a worse level if the labor market does not recover. ”

Payments have cost more than $ 32 billion from the government and President Jair Bolsonaro’s economic minister, Paulo Guedes, said their coffers were unable to maintain the program for longer. Loose fiscal policy and rising government debt as a percentage of GDP have pushed credit downgrades in recent years, and Guedes has taken over his position by pledging to cut spending and prop up government accounts.

“We can’t continue for long. It’s 50 billion reais per month (around $ 10 billion). That’s not money we have to set aside. We are increasing our debt with him, “Bolsonaro said in early July.

The initial benefits were planned to last until June, but the president extended it by two months.

Bolsonaro’s political allies have begun pushing for another extension, citing payments to help prevent further loss of support stemming from the president’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis. The largest country in Latin America has confirmed more than 2.4 million infections and 88,000 people died – the second highest total in the world.

Bolsonaro has consistently underestimated the severity of the virus, arguing that the impact of restrictions on economic activity would prove far more damaging. Economists surveyed by the Brazilian central bank expect the economy to shrink 5.8% this year.

“Without controlling the epidemic there is no economic recovery,” Marcelo Medeiros, visiting professor at LAB Princeton University Brazil who specializes in inequality, said by telephone from New Jersey. “Brazil has not yet controlled its disease, so now recovery will take longer and damage will be greater.”

While the launch of the social program is characterized by widespread difficulties for beneficiaries in accessing funds, today direct or indirect payments make up half of Brazil’s population of 210 million, according to the ministry of citizenship, which shares the amount.

Rogério Barbosa, a researcher on economic inequality at the University of Sao Paulo, said the coronavirus crisis still punishes poor people who might soon find themselves without help.

“When the benefits are complete, there will be no work for them,” Barbosa said in a telephone interview.

Official data says nearly 8 million people lost their jobs during the first three months of the pandemic, and statistics agencies have not published employment data for June.

The economics minister said he intended to launch a new social program to replace temporary benefits, but the plans and the amount of money needed had not been detailed.


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What’s New: Probes show more deaths from the virus in Mexico City | National | Instant News

Latest in coronavirus pandemic. New Coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some people, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, can cause more severe illness or death.

– China reports 6 new cases, South Korea 13.

MEXICO CITY – A death certificate registration in Mexico City shows there are 4,577 cases where doctors mention coronavirus or COVID-19 as a possible cause of death, more than three times the official number.

The federal government has only recognized 1,332 confirmed deaths in Mexico City due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

Mexicans Fight Corruption said in a report Monday that they gained access to a database of death certificates issued in Mexico City between March 18 and May 12. This shows that in the explanatory notes attached to 4,577 death certificates, the doctor entered the words “SARS,” “COV2,” “COV,” “Covid 19,” or “new coronavirus. “

The technical name of the virus is SARS-CoV-2. The group counted records include terms such as “suspected,” “probable,” or “probable” when describing the role of the virus in death. In 3,209 certificates, it is listed as a factor that is thought to contribute along with other causes of death, such as pneumonia, respiratory failure, septic shock or failure of many organs.

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum acknowledged there were more virus-related deaths than were officially reported, and said the special commission would review the mortality rate. His office did not immediately respond to requests for comment on new reports.

HONG KONG – Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said the region is increasing testing of the corona virus, especially for workers at busy international airports and caregivers at home for the elderly and disabled.

Lam said Tuesday’s tests would be increased from 4,500 to 7,000 daily with government health departments and university laboratories participating. Hong Kong has lasted several days without new local infections, but a recent group of three members of the same family has raised concerns about those who do not show symptoms of transmitting the virus to others, something that authorities hope can be improved by increasing testing.

A densely populated city with more than 7 million people across the border from mainland China, Hong Kong has reported 1,055 COVID-19 cases and four deaths.

BEIJING (China) – China reported six new cases of the corona virus Tuesday, a day after President Xi Jinping announced his country would provide $ 2 billion to help respond to the outbreak and collapse of its economy.

Three of the new cases were registered as imports. Two were listed as local infections in Jilin province, and another local case was identified in Hubei province, where the China outbreak was concentrated.

Authorities in Hubei carried out nucleic acid tests on more than 1.5 million people between May 11 and May 17. More than 72.5% of tests were carried out in Wuhan, where the authorities plan to finally test all 11 million residents as part of the protection of the second wave. virus case.

Wuhan and the surrounding cities in Hubei accounted for the majority of China reporting 82,690 cases and 4,634 deaths due to COVID-19.

Xi’s appearance via a video link at the World Health Assembly on Monday took place amidst finger pointers between the United States and China over the pandemic, and the World Health Organization was subject to calls from most of its member states to launch an independent inquiry into how he managed responses to coronavirus .

SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea has reported 13 new cases of the corona virus, a possible sign that the recent outbreak in the capital region is stabilizing as officials prepare to reopen schools this week.

Figures announced by the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday brought the national total to 11,078 cases and 263 deaths.

Nine of the new cases originated from Seoul and the surrounding area, where dozens of infections have been linked to club goers who came out in early May when the country began to loosen social measures.

Deputy Health Minister Kim Gang-lip urged vigilance to maintain the hard-earned profits against the virus and called on education officials to check preventive measures with high school seniors returning to school on Wednesday.

University of Notre Dame officials announced Monday the school campus will reopen for students on August 10, with social distance, mask requirements, testing and contact tracing to prevent the spread of the corona virus.

President of Notre Dame, Rev. John Jenkins, said the university would be opened for students two weeks earlier than originally scheduled. He said there would be no fall break and the semester would end before Thanksgiving.

“Bringing our students back is actually gathering a small city of people from many parts of the nation and the world, who might bring along pathogens that they already know,” Jenkins said in a statement. “We are aware of the challenge, but we believe this is one we can meet.

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas allows most aspects of daily life to be reopened under what Republican Governor Greg Abbott calls the second phase of one of the fastest reboots in the country.

Abbott’s new order Monday raised the majority of full lockdown orders in Texas. Bars, child care centers and zoos are the newest businesses that can start to reopen. Youth summer camps and sports will also be permitted in June.

Abbott said social distance measures had yet to be taken, including restrictions on customers and no fans at sporting events. The amusement park remains closed.

Abbott said he saw “no evidence” raising concerns about a possible surge of new cases that might force Texas to impose tougher restrictions.

Democrats have criticized the governor for being too fast. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said he might choose a different step and that “his only hope and prayer” was that there were no other surges in the cases.

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said on Monday that he used the malaria drug to reduce symptoms if he got a new corona virus, even though the drug was not proven to fight COVID-19.

Trump told reporters that he had been taking medication, hydroxychloroquine, and zinc supplements every day “for about one and a half weeks now.” Trump spent weeks pushing the drug as a potential remedy for COVID-19 against warning advice from many of his administration’s top medical professionals. This drug has the potential to cause significant side effects in some patients and has not been proven to fight the new corona virus.

Trump said his doctor did not recommend the drug to him, but he asked for it from a White House doctor.

Trump has repeatedly encouraged the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine with or without the antibiotic azithromycin, but there is no large and rigorous study that found them safe or effective for preventing or treating COVID-19. They can cause heart rhythm problems and other side effects. The Food and Drug Administration has warned against drug combinations and said hydroxychloroquine should only be used for coronavirus in formal studies.

Two large observational studies, each involving about 1,400 patients in New York, recently found no benefit from hydroxychloroquine. The two newly published Thursday in the BMJ medical journal reached the same conclusion.

SACRAMENTO, California – California Governor, Gavin Newsom, relaxed the criteria for reopening the district on Monday, a move that he said would allow most of the 58 states to start allowing food in restaurants and other services.

“The point is: People can walk at their own pace, and we empower our local health directors and local officials who understand their local communities and conditions,” Newsom said.

The new criteria outlined apply to districts that want to be reopened sooner than the state. While retail may be open to curbside pickup throughout the state, restaurant restrictions and other services still apply throughout the state. Countries can move faster if they win state approval.

Twenty-four counties in most rural Northern California have won approval under old guidance.

The new criteria eliminate the requirement that an area has zero deaths and no more than one case per 10,000 population over a two week period. In contrast, the country must have no more than 25 cases per 100,000 population or no higher than a positive rate of 8% among people who test the corona virus. They must also have no higher than 5% increase in hospitalizations over a 7 day period or less than 20 total inpatients for 14 days. The latter will ensure that smaller countries are not sentenced to only one or two additional hospitalizations.

Newsom also said the district would soon be able to allow shopping at stores and hair salons to reopen. He also suggested professional sports could begin in June without an audience. He said the reopening of the church could begin within a few weeks.

WASHINGTON – Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden slammed the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, stating that President Donald Trump, “had months, months to take action” and failed to do so before the U.S. death rate. began to increase.

Biden addressed the “Progressive Summit” of the AAPI Victory Fund on Monday, speaking from his home in Delaware, when Canadian geese honked loudly and constantly in the background. This group aims to empower the population of Asian Americans and the Pacific Islands.

The former vice president said about the virus, “The scale of the loss is shocking and it sucks.”

“But more than that, it’s heartbreaking to think about how scared, how much to lose, how much suffering can be avoided if the president doesn’t waste so much time and takes responsibility,” Biden said. “We have objections, delays, disorders – many of which are openly xenophobic.”

Biden added that the country, “Got a lie about baldness about testing that capacity,” Anyone who wants a test can get a test. “

“That was not true two months ago,” he said, “and it still hasn’t.”

CAIRO – The governor of Egypt’s Daqahlia province, northeast of the capital, has contracted the corona virus, among the highest-ranking officials in the most populous country in the infected Arab world.

In an interview with the local Sada el-Balad channel, Dr. Ayman Mokhtar said he was in a stable condition but was suffering from fatigue and a debilitating cough.

The Governor of the Nile Delta has become the center of the virus in Egypt, which is targeted by tighter movement restrictions in recent weeks.

Egypt has reported 12,764 cases and 645 deaths due to the virus, a relatively small number compared to several other countries in the region. But this calculation is accelerating, raising fears that a larger outbreak is not yet forthcoming.

ORLANDO, Florida – When Walt Disney World prepared to allow several third-party shops and restaurants to open in its entertainment complex this weekend, it posted a warning.

While improved safety measures are being taken at Disney Springs, “the risk inherent in COVID-19 exposure exists in every public place where people are present,” the company said Monday on its website for the entertainment complex.

“COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease that can cause severe illness and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens and guests with underlying medical conditions are very vulnerable, “the warning said. “By visiting Disney Springs, you voluntarily assume all risks associated with COVID-19 exposure.”

The opening of several shops and restaurants in Disney Springs on Wednesday marked the latest steps taken by the Orlando amusement park resort since mid-March when the spread of the new corona virus forced them to close the gates.

Last week, Universal Orlando allowed the opening of about half a dozen restaurants and dining establishments, as well as two retail shops and several merchandise carts in its Citywalk entertainment complex.

SALEM, Ore. – A county judge has stated that Oregon Coronavirus from Oregon Brown is “null and void” because he did not receive his emergency order from the Legislature after 28 days.

Baker County Circuit Judge Matthew Shirtcliff made the verdict Monday in a lawsuit filed by churches that have demanded that distancing social directives are unconstitutional.

The lawsuit also argued that the emergency force only lasted for a month and after that Brown would need legislative approval. The judge agreed.

Brown said that he would immediately appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court to try to keep the emergency order in force.

LANSING, Mich. – Restaurants, bars, and other retail businesses can be opened in much of northern Michigan starting Friday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced by relaxing restrictions on staying at home – a key step for regions that depend on tourism before Memorial Day weekend and summer.

Bars and restaurants, which are only able to pick up and deliver, must limit capacity to 50% based on Monday’s announcement.

Groups will be asked to be 6 feet apart, and servers must wear face shields. The office business will also be able to continue if work cannot be done remotely.

The governor’s last order closed other places of public accommodation such as cinemas, gymnasiums and hair salons in 83 districts, at least until May 28.

Whitmer called the reopening of parts of northern Michigan a “big step,” but urged people not to “rush out.” He recommended that residents consider visiting the Upper Peninsula or the 17-county region of the northern North Peninsula – which has 7.5% of the country’s 10 million residents – to “think long and hard.”

“The whole country is watching to make sure we get this right,” said Whitmer, a Democrat who has been criticized by Republican lawmakers for not having restarted the sector-based sector. “If we do this right, we will be able to take the next step.”

Whitmer also issued an order requiring that businesses that continue their own work develop a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan and make it available to employees and customers on June 1.

JUBA, South Sudan – South Sudan’s Vice President Riek Machar said he had tested positive for the corona virus.

Former armed opposition leaders in a five-year civil war in South Sudan rejoined the government a few months ago under the latest peace agreement.

Machar is representative of the COVID-19 task force in the country and said all of its members were tested after one was found to have the virus.

He said his wife, the minister of defense, had also been stated positive but said “many” of those who tested positive were in good health.

Machar spokesman James Gatdet said that included Machar and his wife, and he added that infection would not obstruct the implementation of the peace agreement.

The South Sudan government says the country now has 347 confirmed cases of the virus.

ROME – Italy has recorded the lowest daily increase in the number of deaths and new COVID-19 cases since before the national lockdown began in early March.

According to data from the Ministry of Health, 99 deaths of people with coronavirus infections were registered in the 24-hour period that ended Monday night.

In the same period saw 451 new cases confirmed.

On Monday, the Italians enjoy the first day of freedom regained, including being able to sit in cafes or restaurants, shop at all retail stores or attend church services such as mass.

But until next month they will still not be able to travel outside their area except for work or other strict needs, because the locking rules are gradually revoked.

Italy now officially has 32,007 deaths, although many in nursing homes who die during locking periods are not tested for coronavirus because the test is mainly given to patients who are hospitalized.

In total, there were 225,886 confirmed COVID cases in Italy, where the European outbreak began.

ISTANBUL – The Turkish president has announced a new four-day curfew during the Muslim Idul Fitri holiday which will be implemented throughout the country to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Speaking after a cabinet meeting, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he hoped restrictions would no longer be needed after the next lockout round between 23 and 26 May.

The previous weekend and national curfew was imposed in 31 provinces, but this round would limit people to their homes in all 81 provinces.

The country has chosen to impose weekend curfews and short holidays, rather than full closures, fearing the possible negative impact on an already troubled economy.

Turkey’s health ministry announced 31 new deaths in the last 24 hours, the lowest since the end of March, bringing the death rate to 4,171. Data also showed 1,158 new infections with a total now at 150,593.

GENEVA – The US Secretary of Health and Human Services demanded a “change” at the World Health Organization, accusing it of failing to get the information the world needs when a coronavirus outbreak appeared.

Alex Azar said the United States supports an independent review of “every aspect of the WHO response to the pandemic,” defending US attacks on US health agencies over alleged failure to pressure China to be more transparent about the origin of the outbreak.

Without mentioning the name of China, Azar said: “In an apparent effort to hide this plague, at least one member country made a mockery of their transparency obligations, at an extraordinary cost to the whole world.”

Azar, speaking through a video conference to the WHO annual assembly, also joined a recent statement from the US State Department condemning the US health agency for not allowing Taiwan, whose government is a Chinese rival, to attend the event as an observer country.

“The health of 23 million Taiwanese must not be sacrificed to send political messages,” Azar said.

He said the United States had allocated $ 9 billion to benefit from the global coronavirus response.

Azar spoke just hours after Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke to the assembly with a video conference, saying China would spend $ 2 billion to help respond to the COVID-19 crisis and economic collapse from it.


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Police: Men are angry about the closing attack of virus 2 with machetes | Instant News

Police said the Tennessee couple were in critical care after a man attacked them with machetes because he was angry about the closure that occurred during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Tennessee couple were in critical care after a man attacked them with machetes because he was angry about the closure that occurred during the coronavirus pandemic, police said.

Kelvin D. Edwards, 35, assaulted Kevin Craft, 55, and his wife, Leanne Craft, 50, from Brentwood, on Sunday afternoon at a Public Storage site in Nashville, the Nashville Metro Police Department said in a statement.

Edwards took the machete from his trash can at the storage facility and continued to attack the couple even after they bled on the floor, police said. The victims were transported to the hospital after officers who responded to the scene used several tourniquets to control their bleeding.

Police said they found Edwards with a raised hand surrendering on the road outside the facility three minutes after they got a 911 call about the attack.

Investigators say Edwards, who is homeless, told them that he attacked the couple to show his anger about the closure of the corona virus and its inability to enter the Rescue Mission, an organization that serves homeless people. According to its website, the Nashville Rescue Mission remains open to individuals without shelter during a pandemic.

Police said Edwards, who had an Arkansas driver’s license, had been in Nashville since 2016. He had previously been convicted of crime vandalism in 2017 and also convicted of assault after spitting at two Davidson County sheriff’s deputies while in prison.

He was arrested and charged with two counts of attempted murder over the attack Sunday, police said. It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer who could comment on his behalf.


This version corrects Crafts’ hometown to Brentwood.


Follow the AP coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.


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