Tag Archives: Lebanon

No drugs, no food: Coronavirus restrictions strengthen health risks for LGBT + people with HIV | Instant News

NAIROBI / MEXICO CITY (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Starting with a headache, then nausea and diarrhea appear. Within two weeks, Ugandan gay barber Eric became so weak without his HIV medication that he could not walk and had to be hospitalized.

“I was in the hospital for a week and four days. I almost lost my life, “Eric, 26, said by telephone from his village in Ntungamo district in western Uganda.

“The doctor told me that I should not stop taking my HIV medication, but that was not my choice. There is no transportation available due to locking up and I cannot walk 20 km (12 miles) to the clinic to get my refill ”.

Global lockdown prevents some LGBT + people from HIV from getting the life-saving treatment they need – and potentially endangering their immune systems that are threatened if they are exposed to COVID-19, according to the HIV / AIDS organization.

From Uganda, Kenya and Mozambique to Lebanon, Kyrgyzstan, and Trinidad and Tobago, human rights groups report hearing of sexual minorities who are forced to stay away from staying at home, despite government and NGO efforts to try to help them.

Matteo Cassolato, technical leader for HIV at the Frontline AIDS charity, said that they received an increasing number of grant applications from grassroots LGBT + groups whose members were struggling to get treatment because of COVID-19.

“People living with HIV all over the world have problems getting their routine care because they are locked up, but for groups like the LGBT + community it is more challenging because of their vulnerability and the discrimination they face,” Cassolato said.

“They were tortured and arrested in several countries, or stopped by the police when they went to get their medicine and were forced to return home. Because of stigma and homophobia, it is often difficult to explain it yourself. ”

Cassolato said his organization had just approved a grant to support transgender people in Trinidad and Tobago who had difficulty getting drugs because of closure.

Limited opening hours and high demand in health facilities and pharmacies have prevented trans people – who are more visible and can face abuse – from taking drugs, he said.


Nearly 38 million people worldwide are currently infected with HIV, with the AIDS pandemic killing around 35 million people worldwide since it began in the 1980s.

Gay men account for nearly 20% of new HIV infections and are 27 times more likely to be infected with HIV than other men, according to UNAIDS.

Meanwhile trans women bear the risk of contracting HIV which is 12 times higher than the general population, said UNAIDS, adding that 16.5% of transgender women live with HIV.

HIV cannot be cured but the infection can remain controlled with antiretroviral drugs, or ARVs, which help reduce the level of the virus so that the virus cannot be transmitted and prevent AIDS completely.

The campaign says while around 60% of those living with HIV / AIDS have access to drugs, locking it makes it difficult for sexual minorities who already live on the margins of society.

Many live in countries where the same sex is criminalized and homophobia is widespread, suffering discrimination in the workplace, housing, education and health care.

And as COVID-19 continues to take its toll worldwide, LGBT + people are not only blamed and targeted, cessation prevents them from getting treatment, earning income and pushing many people to the brink, LGBT + rights groups say.

In Uganda, for example, where gay sex is subject to life sentences, 19 LGBT + people – some of whom are HIV-positive – are jailed, accused of risking the spread of the corona virus.

In countries such as Kenya, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Lebanon, closure means people cannot get ARVs due to lack of transportation, or cannot afford transportation costs due to lost income.

LGBT + friendly drop-in health centers in many countries have been forced to close or limit their hours and, in some countries, HIV / AIDS services have been diverted to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Egypt, for example, clinics where patients collect their drugs are used as a COVID-19 testing center, making LGBT + people hesitate to visit.

“People living with HIV should not be afraid to take their drugs,” Joe Stork, deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa at Human Rights Watch in a statement.

“The government must ensure that people who are already facing health problems can get treatment safely.”

In Mexico, more than 1,000 government workers – some of them from the LGBT + community – have been left without drugs since March due to a shortage of medicines caused by changes in the way the government buys drugs, according to human rights groups.

Ministry of education worker Victor said he was struggling to get a three-month supply of ARVs from the government in March, and is now worried that his drugs may run out again.

“I don’t know what will happen,” the 28-year-old gay man told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by telephone from his home in the city of Mexico. “I don’t know if I have to live in the same fear again, the same worry, the same uncertainty.”


Some LGBT + people are also forced to stop taking drugs because they have no money to buy food and cannot hold strong drugs on an empty stomach.

Real Raymond, executive director of the Mbarara Rise Foundation charity that delivers ARVs to nearly 70 LGBT + people in rural Uganda on a bicycle, says finding daily food has become a problem for some who are locked up.

Many LGBT + people are daily income earners who work in bars, casinos or other gathering places that have been closed under locking so they don’t have money for food.

“Some people stop taking daily ART because of lack of food. The drugs they prescribe are very strong and cannot be taken on an empty stomach, which makes many people stop taking the medicine completely, “he said.

“They told me that every time they took them on an empty stomach, their bodies became too weak, feverish, and had a headache.”

The World Health Organization says there is no evidence that the risk of COVID-19 differs between people living with HIV on ART compared to the general population.

But it is said that people with advanced HIV who are not taking ARVs may have an increased risk of infection and health complications associated with COVID-19.

UNAIDS has asked the government to protect resources for HIV / sexual health programs that are sensitive to the needs of LGBTI people and ensure sustainable access to ARVs, such as multi-month spending, home delivery and virtual consultations.

“It is very legitimate that there are very strong and strong responses to COVID-19 in many countries and that shows great leadership,” said Christoforos Mallouris, senior adviser for community support for UNAIDS in east and south Africa.

“But in all efforts to implement these steps, we must not forget marginalized groups such as the LGBTIQ community. More than ever we need to ensure that the population is as healthy as before if they are faced with COVID-19. ”

Reporting by Nita Bhalla @nitabhalla and Oscar Lopez @oscarlopezgib, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the Thomson Reuters charity branch, which covers the lives of people throughout the world who struggle to live free or just. Visit http://news.trust.org


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One new COVID-19 case in Linn County | Local | Instant News

COVID-19 cdc stock

This illustration is provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing the COVID-19 virus.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Oregon Health Authority announced 59 confirmed COVID-19 cases and new allegations in the state on Wednesday, including one in Linn County.

The agency also reported four new deaths due to the disease, although none in Linn or Benton County. The number of Oregon deaths from coronavirus is now 134.

The country now has 3,318 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The calculation is 3,416 if the alleged case is included.

Linn County now has 105 cases and eight deaths, while Benton District has 50 cases and five deaths.

About 52 percent of those infected with the disease in Linn County have recovered, according to the OHA report released Tuesday. The recovery rate is based on individuals who are free of fever, cough, shortness of breath, diarrhea and other symptoms for three days.

The recovery rate in Benton County is not quite 41 percent, according to OHA data.

Across the state, the recovery rate is around 45 percent – the recovery status of about 29 percent of COVID-19 cases in Oregon is still being assessed. The average recovery time is 19 days.

ZIP code data released in the weekly OHA report from Tuesday shows where cluster cases might be.

The Corvallis and Adair Village regions have 36 COVID-19 cases in ZIP code 97330. ZIP codes 97330 and 97331 in the Corvallis region each have 1-9 cases in the country report.


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Pamplin Media Group – 99W Drive-in reopens in a world of star-distance watch | Instant News

Newberg’s outdoor theater jumps over obstacles to limit the number of vehicles and enforces the requirements of maintaining physical distance COVID-19.

Brian Francis really wants to go back to watching movies.

His family 99W Drive-in Theater in Newberg which has been closed for winter can be reopened at the end of May with weekend films for a number of vehicles. That is, if the theater meets several guidelines under COVID-19 restrictions in all states.

Even as he tried to find a way to reopen, Francis made phone calls for weeks, social media requests and emails from all types of groups: car clubs, high schools hoping to host a drive-in graduation ceremony, and even some musicians who wants to use theater for shows.

That’s not what he wants to do. He wants to show a film.

“It’s much easier to open,” Francis said. “But I didn’t really manage to host the event. I didn’t have a stage. That’s one of the reasons we wanted to open. We just wanted to show films.”

The problem: the drive-in falls into a gray area under COVID-19 country restrictions. This is not a traditional cinema, which is still closed. This is also not an outdoor recreation area, some of which are reopened to the limit.

Reopening the 99W theater requires changes mandated by state, city and district health officials to experience a normal driving experience so that people can avoid being exposed to the virus. That will likely mean fewer cars, just one movie a night (no breaks, when people tend to get along) and set limits on how people can move on the grounds of drive-ins.

“I sure can’t wait to open,” Francis said. “I’ve waited longer than usual. I haven’t tried to open it because of COVID-19 guidelines.”

Francis hesitantly hopes to reopen on May 22. He got the green light from local and state officials, and had to draw up a physical plan that kept theater goers away.

This theater holds its online weekly ‘(Don’t) Drive (Stay) Enter’ movie watching party, 7 to 11:30 tonight, Saturday, with two films. Virtual parties include social media comments by viewers.

‘Normal taste’

PHOTO PMG FILE - Francis Newberg's family celebrated seven years ago when the 99W Drive-in Theater won the Honda digital projection award.It is usually around this year that Francis starts working on reopening the 67-year-old drive-in. During the “normal” period, the theater will open in April, only showing films on weekends. Then, when better spring and summer weather settles, the theater will start playing one or two films every night throughout the week.

Grandfather Francis, J.T. Francis, opened the drive-in in August 1953. Since then it has been operating every year, even after the big screen was damaged by Hurricane Columbus Day October 1962 October, and once again by a 1990 windstorm.

99W Drive-in is one of them three traditional drive-in theaters still operating in the state. The other two are at Milton-Freewater and La Grande.

Oregon has about 70 theater drive-ins more than 60 years ago, mostly in small towns such as Newberg, Woodburn, Roseburg, Dallas, Lebanon and the Hood River. Several drive-in pop-ups operate today in a large parking area. Portland’s Expo Center has organized it Movie Spectacular Drive-in event on a summer weekend. The Dalles’ Sunshine Mill Winery opened in April a film drive-up screen in its parking lot, with film mostly Friday and Saturday nights. Wineries sell pizza during the film, but don’t offer bathrooms for cinema goers.

Francis was very upset with the drive-in pop-up. “Nobody is waiting to challenge them,” he said.

Even more annoying, when Francis tried to devise possible plans to reopen satisfied local and state authorities, people hoping to start drive-in pop-ups in other parts of Oregon contacted him for advice about, well, operating drives impromptu. in the theater. One recent e-mail request came from a Florence resident who wanted to “pick his brain” about creating a pop-up drive-in theater in a coastal city.

COURSE PHOTOS: PENDLETON EAST OREGONIAN - The M-F Drive-in Milton-Freewater Theater opened for the 59th season in early April. The theater has strict physical distance requirements for customers.There are about 300 real drive-ins left in the United States. An official with United Drive-in Theater Owners Association told The Washington Post on May 2 that around half of them could be reopened by the end of May because countries had relaxed orders to stay at home. Nearly a dozen drive-ins remain open during COVID-19 restrictions in several states.

Drive West Wind reopened its six theaters in late April in California, Nevada and Arizona with restrictions that require people to remain in their vehicles, except when using the toilet; the customer must wear a cloth face covering; and, vehicles must be parked 10 feet apart.

M-F Drive-in Owner Mike Spiess reopened his 375 Milton-Freewater theater April 17 after setting requirements for further separate parking vehicles and enforcing physical distance rules at snack bars and toilets. La Grande Drive-in expects to be reopened on Friday, May 15.

“I think we provide services,” Spiess told Pendleton East Oregonian on April 9. “It does give a sense of normalcy and a level of safety. It is important for people to have it. There are other drive-in theaters that have already been opened throughout the country. If we can meet government health guidelines, then we will open up.”

Limit the number of vehicles

Governor Kate Brown March 23, stay at home closed theaters and other insignificant businesses. It struck Francis’s family hard, because it also had the center of Newberg Cameo Theater.

The governor’s plan to reopen most of these businesses gradually requires more virus testing across the state and contact tracing, a reduction in virus cases and an adequate supply of protective equipment for medical professionals. Businesses must also comply with a physical long-distance plan to reopen.

Yamhill County health officials signed Francis’s plan, with a few minor adjustments, after a May 7 walk on the Highway 99W site. The local agreement comes next after offering a number of changes, including limiting the number of vehicles and ensuring people comply with physical distance requirements. The plan was waved by the governor’s office after Francis came up with a physical distance plan for customers. “The governor’s main focus is to ensure the health and safety of Oregon residents,” said Liz Merah, Governor Kate Brown’s press secretary. “While the governor’s office does not review individual business plans, under ‘Stay Home, governors’ ordering our direction for businesses such as drive-in theaters is that, as long as businesses can implement strict social distance measures, such that their continued operations do not contribute on the spread of COVID-19, they might remain open. ”

PMG FILE PHOTOS - Local parks and outdoor recreation areas have been closed since late March when Governor Kate Brown issued an order to stay at her house.Francis began work in early March with plans to reopen the 99W Drive-in. In e-mails between local and state officials, Francis outlined a proposal to limit the number of cars in drive-ins, handle payment of entrance tickets and snack bar sales, and prevent people from straying from their vehicles while watching movies.

The plan limits the number of vehicles allowed in the drive-in, from around 275 to maybe less than 140, this makes them even farther away and sets rules for buying snacks and using the toilet. He told local and state officials that the theater still had the original speaker post, with about 18 feet between posts. If one vehicle is parked between the poles, it leaves about eight feet of space between the vehicles, he said. That will be room for 142 cars. Francis hopes to limit it to 130 cars.

Newberg officials suggested limiting the number of people at each show to avoid large crowds. If three or four people are in each vehicle, that could mean more than 400 people in a film show, making the city worry about monitoring physical distance requirements.

Staff will accept credit card payments and maybe cash, handled with gloves, Francis said. The theater does not expect to sell tickets online. Socialization outside the vehicle will be prohibited. The theater snack bar will accept orders and notify customers via SMS or telephone that their orders are ready. Francis set up the Cameo Theater art deco counter at the entrance of the drive-in snack bar as a contactless pickup station.

Theater toilets will also have the same physical distance and hourly cleaning, he said. Some toilet stalls will be closed and people will have to wait at least six feet apart before going to the toilet, Francis said.

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Hezbol-Law: Behind the long-awaited ban on German terrorist organizations | Jns | Instant News

On April 30, Germany officially banned all Hezbollah activities in Germany. In a dramatic demonstration of its implementation, authorities stormed four mosques believed to have links to Lebanese terror groups.

Critics of Germany’s reluctance to make a difference between Hezbollah’s political and military wings, such as the German Jewish community and the Israeli government, be praised it is a long overdue policy. Others call it a partial step.

“Germany has taken a big step, and we are glad they did,” US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell told JNS. Together with his embassy staff, he made the Hezbollah blacklist a top priority. The US State Department designated Hezbollah as a foreign terrorist organization in 1997, and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has long been pushed for Germany to ban groups.

The road to the Hezbollah ban

The move to ban Iranian-backed Shiite terror groups is more than a decade long in bureaucratic Germany.

The first step to organizational sanctions came in 2008, when Germany restricted al-Manar Hezbollah’s satellite station. In 2014, the country banned the alleged charity which was a guise for the Hezbollah Martyrdom Organization and the following year, the German Supreme Court ruled that Hezbollah was an organization that “disrupts global peace.”

Nonetheless, the German government and its main political parties appear to be delaying a full ban on the terror group.

At the Bundestag debate last June led by the right-wing Alternative to Deutschland (AfD), which introduced a motion to ban Hezbollah’s political arm, German lawmakers expressed collective humiliation for the Hezbollah genocide, an anti-Semitic goal but argued the ban might cause instability in Lebanon (where Hezbollah was a political player center) or that it must be a pan-European initiative. European Union. only recognizes Hezbollah’s so-called “military wing” as a terror organization. However, Europe and other EU. Countries, such as the United Kingdom and the Netherlands register all organizations as terror groups.

Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) Member Beatrix Von Storch addressed the German MPs about proposals to completely ban Lebanese terror group Hezbollah. Source: Screenshot.

However, the push to ban began to gain momentum in December 2019, when the ruling coalition parties, the Christian Democratic Union / the Christian Socialist Union and the Socialist Democratic, and Free Democrats (FdP) passing a resolution is not binding on their own called on the government to ban Hezbollah activities.

“It is good that, after a clear decision from a joint movement in the Bundestag in December 2019, the Federal Ministry of the Interior finally became active and brought a ban on activities,” said MP Strasser, who said he and his party, the Free Democrats (FDP) spearheaded and encouraged movement.

Hezbollah ban must be ‘legally airtight’

Behind the scenes, Grenell and his embassy staff also worked to encourage Germany to make a ban. In the end, the decisive logic used by the US embassy focuses less on ethical, historical and political considerations, but on legal considerations.

According to a US official, embassy personnel had extensive discussions with German officials about how the ban was in line with the parameters of German federal law, the same law that justifies the prohibition of ISIS and Al-Qaeda. Every Hezbollah ban must be legally airtight to avoid being challenged in court, which effectively, and permanently, can cancel it.

“They do everything they can under the law, and they will not operate outside the law,” U.S. officials said

Maintaining a legal letter – that is, freedom of assembly – seems to prevent the Berlin government from banning the annual Al Quds affiliated with Hezbollah, which is permitted under a strict ban on hate speech, burning Israeli flags, and waving the Hezbollah flag. One day on the same day when the German Minister of the Interior banned Hezbollah, organizers of Al Quds canceled a May 14 anti-Israel demonstration plan, which easily blamed the Corona pandemic.

US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell participated in the 74th anniversary of the release of the Flossenbürg Concentration Camp on April 14, 2019. Credit: US Embassy in Germany through Flickr.

According to the Berlin Interior department, the office had already begun checking, before cancellation, what legal steps could be taken to remove it from the streets of Berlin.

Berlin Interior Senator Andreas Geisel, who participated in a counter demonstration, said in a statement: “I do not want such anti-Semitic events to take place in Berlin. Therefore we exhaust all the constitutional possibilities to make things like this impossible in our city. “

Therefore, a true test of the German 40-page Hezbollah ban on the Al-Quds rally will be conducted next year (assuming there is no pandemic).

AfD, who calls himself a parliamentary champion for the death of Hezbollah in Germany, called the move insufficient.

“German law makes a difference between ‘Betätigungsverbot’ (Prohibition to Act) and ‘Organizational Verbot’ (Prohibition of Organizations),” said AfD MP Beatrix Von Storch, sponsor of the anti-Hezbollah movement in June. “The German government only introduced ‘Betätigungsverbot’ to Hezbollah. It prohibits Hezbollah to act, but this will not lead to the end of the Hezbollah organization in Germany. But it is important to destroy the organization of Hezbollah, seize the property and force its extremist members to leave Germany. “

According to US officials, the ban on activities and organizations is basically one and the same given that Hezbollah does not exist as a legal entity in Germany (as is the case with ISIS and Al-Qaeda.) Hezbollah ban on subscription activities for any and all associations, transactions, and assets that are incorporated with proven links to Hezbollah, including those in the digital field.

‘Not the beginning of the end’ for Hezbollah in Germany

The question now is how strong Germany will enforce the ban, said Michael Rubin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute specializing in Iran.

“Hezbollah will play the Three Monte cards with combat organizations and front groups, like the Muslim Brotherhood,” Rubin told JNS. “This is the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. The German authorities need to show their seriousness by continuing to close the front groups when they try to open. “

“I consider it very important that the Federal Government now does not sit down and do nothing,” said Strasser from FDP. “It must use the German E.U. The Board presidency in the second half of 2020 will arrive at Hezbollah’s new assessment at the European level as well.”

According to Benjamin Weinthal, a fellow for the Democratic Defense Foundation who has discussed the issue extensively, the next step is to impose sanctions on the main sponsor of Hezbollah, Iran. “That means pulling out of Iran’s highly flawed nuclear, joining US sanctions targeting Tehran, and not agreeing to allow Iran to buy weapons after an arms embargo on a rogue state ends in October,” he said, adding that Germany must further ban the Guard Corps Islamic Revolution, another terrorist entity designated by the US.

While Israel and the Jewish community, in addition to several German lawmakers, have rallied for the ban, credit, said Weinthal, is used for Grenell’s efforts, which will not stop here. Next: European Union.

“But now it is time for the rest of the EU to follow up and take an equally strong attitude,” Grenell said. “There is no doubt Hezbollah is a global threat. Germany has recognized this, and it’s time to ensure this terrorist organization does not have a safe place in Europe . “

Post Hezbol-Law: Behind the long-awaited ban on German terrorist organizations first appeared JNS.org.


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Hezbollah: Iran says Germany will face the consequences of Hezbollah ban | Instant News

TEHRAN: Iran has slammed GermanProhibition of PT Lebanonthis Hezbollah the movement on its land, said it would face the consequences of its decision to yield to Israeli and US pressure.

Germany branded Hezbollah as a “Shia terrorist organization” on Thursday, with dozens of police and special forces storming mosques and associations across the country linked to Lebanese militant groups.

In a statement issued overnight, Iran’s foreign ministry said the ban ignored “inner reality West Asia“Button.

The Islamic Republic said the move was based solely on the aim of “the Zionist propaganda machine and the confused American regime”.

This “strongly” condemns the decision which it says shows “absolutely no respect for the Lebanese government and nation, because Hezbollah is an official and legal part of the country’s government and parliament”.

Iran says Hezbollah has “an important role in combating Daesh terrorism in the region,” using Arab acronyms for the Islamic State group.

“The German government must face the negative consequences of its decision in the fight against real terrorist groups in the region,” he added.

Hezbollah was founded in 1982 during the Lebanese civil war and fought in 2006 with Israel.

Iran is a major supporter of the Lebanese Shiite group and its “resistance” to the Islamic Republic’s arch-enemy, Israel.

The United States and Israel have long established Hezbollah as a terrorist group and urged allies to follow suit.

Like that European Union, Germany until now has banned only the military wing of Hezbollah while tolerating its political wing.

Britain banning the political wing of Hezbollah last year, making membership of the Shiite movement or inviting support for it was a crime.


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