Tag Archives: Migrant worker

Reports warn that theft of international student wages in Australia will worsen amid COVID-19 | Instant News


Reports warn that theft of international student wages in Australia will worsen amid COVID-19

By Eric Ludlow

July 30, 2020

A report published last month showed a horrific rate of wage theft targeting international students in Australia. It also warned that the so-called “economic reopening” and the desperate situation of international students who were experiencing financial difficulties in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis meant they would be more vulnerable to exploitation and worsening working conditions.

Written by Professor Bassina Farbenblum (University of New South Wales) and Associate Professor Laurie Berg (Sydney University of Technology) together with the Migrant Workers Justice Initiative (MWJI), the report analyzes data from a 2019 survey of 5,968 international students, as part of the Information project for Impact funded by StudyNSW.

Respondents are citizens from 103 countries. The highest number came from China (24 percent), followed by India (14 percent).

Half of respondents over the age of 20 have received less than the basic mandatory minimum wage of $ 18.49 per hour for 20-year-olds and $ 18.93 per hour for 21-year-olds in permanent positions when employed at the lowest paid job. More than three-quarters (77 percent) are paid below the minimum casual rate of $ 23.11 per hour for 20-year-olds and $ 23.66 per hour for 21-year-olds.

More than a quarter of respondents (26 percent) earn $ 12 or less per hour. The report notes that this figure has remained unchanged since the 2016 National Temporary Migrant Work Survey, despite a slight increase to the statutory minimum wage since then. The proportion of international students who report that they speak “fair” or “poor” English for $ 12 or less per hour is 39 percent.

The report also notes that “prominent thieves are Chinese students who have fared far worse than others at the most dire underpayment rates. In the lowest paid jobs, more than half (54 percent) are paid $ 12 per hour or less. “About one in ten is paid less than $ 10 per hour and 83 percent earns less than the minimum wage for accidents.

In a Interview with WSWS, a Chinese student in Brisbane said: “I rarely hear Chinese students get a legal minimum wage. The maximum wage I have ever received is $ 18 per hour and the lowest wage I have ever received is $ 12 per hour. “

One in five respondents reported very long working hours and 9 percent had not been paid at all during a period.

Of the students surveyed who experienced problems at work, nearly two-thirds did not try to access help or find information to solve the problem according to the MWJI analysis.

The authors show that 48 percent of respondents said that they fear losing their jobs if they complain. They wrote that this concern was “likely to be accurate,” because 7 percent of all respondents reported that they actually lost their jobs due to complaints. This will be a substantial proportion of those who have raised problems at work. Thirty-eight percent said that they did not seek information or assistance for fear of influencing their current or future visa.

Like young workers, students and other freelancers and part-time workers in Australia and internationally, many international students lose their casual work as a result of the limited social distance measures introduced in response to the spread of COVID-19.

International students are excluded by nationalist and anti-democratic laws from almost all government assistance, making those who lose their jobs without income and unable to pay for accommodation, living expenses, or exorbitant tuition fees. Many can no longer rely on assistance from family members in their home countries, who are also experiencing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Interviewed by The same time last month, Indian student Ajay was studying to get a master’s degree in data science at Monash University in Melbourne. The course fee is $ 80,000. After the 25-year-old cafe job was suspended in March, he only had $ 50 in his bank account.

With the pro-business “economic reopening” in Australia, the report notes that international students will be increasingly vulnerable to exploitation “because of their extremely dangerous financial status and desperation to work in tighter labor markets.”

The authors add that this “is likely to make many people accept worse working conditions” and “intensify the factors that prevent international students from seeking help or taking action when problems arise.”

In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Professor Berg said: “The government cannot treat international students and their work as utilitarian commodities. During COVID-19, many international students were important workers in elderly care, supermarkets, food delivery and cleaning, keeping Australians safe, fed, and cared for. But the government turned to those who lost their jobs and failed to seriously deal with exploitation among those who worked. “

The report also points to the fact that many international students cannot return home because borders are closed, flights are unaffordable or unavailable or because they do not want to jeopardize their return to Australia to study amid the uncertainty surrounding the spread of a pandemic.

However, increasing financial difficulties, worries about their health and inadequate online learning support caused tens of thousands of international students to return home when the lockout took place in March. Most plan to continue their studies in Australia after COVID-19 subsided.

As a result of careless back-to-work efforts, dictated by the interests of corporate profits, Australia in recent weeks has seen the rise of the COVID-19 case and has closed international borders and most of its states. There have been several thousand new cases since early July, the majority in the state of Victoria.

According to the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), around “120,000 students or 20 percent of total international registrations in Australia are currently blocked from entering the country due to border closure, which has nearly 7,000 displaced people in India.”

The federal government announced earlier this month that a “pilot” program to return a small number of international students for the coming semester would be suspended.

The “Safe Pathway” pilot program was proposed by the Australian National University (ANU) based in Canberra and the University of Canberra (UC) in early June. They proposed to fly 350 international students to Canberra this month. That was accompanied by a similar plan for 800 students to return to South Australia.

According to ANU and UC, the program includes rigorous pre-departure and post-arrival testing and 14-day isolation upon arrival in Australia.

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan told me PIE News that these programs will only work with “the reopening of state and territory boundaries within Australia” and “the return to study on campus for the benefit of domestic students and international students who are already in Australia.”

ANU undergraduate student Harpragaas Singh, currently trapped in the northern Indian state of Punjab and unsure whether he was even selected for the pilot program, told SBS: “I am really disappointed in the way they handle the situation for students and all the other temporary visa holders. which is currently stranded off the coast. “

Universities throughout the country begged the federal government to reconsider the proposal, but not because of concern for the future education of their international students.

International students have been treated by universities as cash cows for decades, generating $ 39 billion in financial years, amidst decades of funding cuts by the Labor and Liberal governments. The universities estimate they could lose up to $ 19 billion over the next three years due to the lower number of international students coming from the pandemic.

Concerned about the impact of the pandemic on Australia’s competitiveness in the world market for international students, the Department of the Interior, the federal government agency responsible for immigration, announced minor changes to post-study visas that were highly sought after for international students. Under the 485 visa subclass, international students who have completed two years of study in Australia are entitled to work in Australia for between 18 months and 4 years.

Previously, students were required to be present in Australia for at least 16 months to be eligible. Among these changes are the granting of student visas for new students abroad, free visa applications and the calculation of temporary online study abroad leading to requirements for post-study work visas.

However, the change did not help international students who chose to postpone their studies because the pandemic began to spread in March.

The situation faced by international students is a graphic expression of the social crisis caused by the entire working class by the government and the corporate elite they represent.

This underlines the need for a struggle to unite international and domestic students, as part of the struggle to build a socialist movement aimed at building free tertiary education for all, and decent and paid permanent work as fundamental social rights.

Couples and families are separated by New Zealand border boundaries | Instant News


Couples and families are separated by New Zealand border boundaries

By Tom Peters

July 24, 2020

The cruel border restrictions imposed by the government of the New Zealand Labor Party have left tens of thousands of people trapped overseas indefinitely. Many are separated from their partners, family members and their jobs and livelihoods.

Responding to the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the closure of the border on March 19 for the first time in the country’s history. Not long after that the country entered lockdown, which has since been revoked. Only citizens and permanent residents are permitted to enter the country, and upon arrival are quarantined for two weeks at hotels controlled by the military.

Rundown, underfunded public health systems, and lack of testing, contact tracing and quarantine facilities means that the COVID-19 outbreak can quickly spread and cause thousands of deaths if such measures are not taken.

Closure of the border, however, causes significant difficulties for migrants, including many who normally live and work in New Zealand but are abroad during locking and not allowed to return. This inhumane policy is part of a broader attack on immigrant rights, including the government’s refusal of unemployment benefits to thousands of temporary migrants, and rejection to process tens of thousands of residency applications.

July 20th Goods reported that supermarket manager Harpreet Kaur, her husband Sukhjinder Singh, a dairy farm manager, and their four-year-old son, were unable to return to their homes in New Zealand’s Taranaki province. They were stranded in India after traveling there in March to visit sick relatives.

“All the family’s personal items are in New Zealand, while they continue to pay for electricity, car financing and insurance even though they have no income for four months,” the report said. Their application to Immigration New Zealand (INZ) for the exclusion of “humanity” for re-entry has been rejected.

A petition was submitted to parliament this week, with more than 2,500 signatures, calling on the government “to lift border restrictions on temporary work visa holders, such as the Essential Skills Work Visa, with existing work and living in New Zealand.”

Former Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway – who was dismissed from his role by Ardern this week after receiving news of his affair with a staff member – told TVNZ on July 6 that temporary migrants who are abroad may be banned for months.

Many community partners or permanent residents are also prohibited, despite initial statements from Ardern that they will be released from border closure.

The Facebook group “New Zealand Citizens and PRs Separate from Partners by Closing NZ Border” promotes others plea, with more than 2,500 signatures so far. It called on parliament to “urge the government to fulfill their pledge to reunite New Zealand citizens and permanent residents with their partners, by directing New Zealand Immigration (INZ) to process Visitor, Employment and Resident Visas for New Zealand partners trapped offshore . “

A group member, Maz, told me World Socialist Website that she was trapped in Scotland, unable to return to live with her husband, a New Zealand citizen. After the closure of the border was announced, with only 12 hours’ notice, Maz booked a flight but was refused when going to the airport, after airline staff called INZ officials.

“According to INZ and the Labor Party’s criteria, [partners] must be able to enter the country, “he said. “But they stopped processing offshore visas in March. Some people have been waiting from the beginning of last year to get a partnership visa. “The visa application center for INZ outside New Zealand remains closed.

New Zealand citizen partners can still enter if they travel together as a couple. Some New Zealanders have made expensive international trips to return their partners. Maz said that her husband might have to travel to Scotland to do this.

“One of our members went to Tokyo to get her husband,” Maz explained. “Many people will go abroad to get their partners and come back because that is the only legitimate way. That’s why we started this petition to show that ridiculousness. “

Maz said many partners had submitted applications for “humanitarian” release to enter New Zealand. “But it is almost impossible. We don’t know what the criteria are. There is no transparency around it at all. There is a woman whose partner is Cuban and she will starve and that is still not enough for humanitarian liberation. She is worried about him, but it falls in deaf ears, “he explained.

Lees-Galloway told TVNZ there were “high bars” for such exceptions, and people who had families in their home countries were “unlikely” to qualify.

On June 16, Radio NZ reported that Auckland’s female partner Ruth McDowall, Teddy, had been stuck in Ghana for almost a year trying to get a visa to come to New Zealand. Teddy still hasn’t met his young daughter.

McDowall said, “Why is my daughter nine months old and she has never met her father when we have been in a relationship of love and commitment for almost six years? … Our family is important, life is important, black father is important, and we must be allowed to be one family together and also in New Zealand during the turmoil of pandemics throughout the world. “

Maz told WSWS anti-immigrant rhetoric in New Zealand, with elections to be held in September, “reminded me of many conversations at Brexit:” we don’t want foreigners, “” jobs for New Zealanders. ” That’s really interesting as an outsider, because I know New Zealanders are friendly people. “

He continued: “I think borders are used against elections, not like schools, education, public services … So you have thousands of these people, including myself, who are used as pawns.”

Maz criticized the media’s focus on the “kindness and compassion” of the Ardern government, which said: “The way migrants are treated is shocking. This is scandalous, and the media around the world has not taken it, or not realized it.”

The Labor Party-led coalition includes the Green Party and New Zealand’s First Party, a right-wing nationalist party that largely sets the foreign policy and immigration agenda. NZ First campaigned to cut immigration to only 15,000 people per year, compared to more than 50,000 years ago. The party received campaign advice from British businessman Arron Banks and colleague Andy Wigmore who both played a leading role in advising and funding the right-wing British Independence Party campaign to leave the European Union.

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The campaign continues to delay processing New Zealand visas | Instant News


The campaign continues to delay processing New Zealand visas

By Tom Peters

July 20, 2020

There is increasing opposition to the abuse of migrants by the New Zealand government, including its refusal to process applications for residence for tens of thousands of people.

A petition with nearly 4,000 signatures, promoted by the NZ Migrants Facebook group, is being submitted to parliament this week. He called on the Labor-led government to process more than 15,000 applications for the Skilled Migration Category (SMC) visa, which affects about 30,000 people.

Many have waited a year or more and are worried that they might not be able to live in New Zealand, despite meeting all the relevant criteria and spending thousands of dollars in fees and other costs. According to the New Zealand Immigration (INZ) website, as of June 30 the department is still allocating applications received in December 2018 for case officers to begin processing them.

Another petition, promoted by the Pacific Leadership Forum, which represents various community organizations, called on the government to “provide a pathway for tax offenders on the grounds of loving to get permanent residence in New Zealand.” He has obtained more than 10,000 signatures.

On July 12, dozens of migrants attended demonstrations in Auckland and Wellington. Speaking in Auckland, Green Party candidate Ricardo Menéndez March criticized the visa processing delay and said it was “embarrassing” that temporary migrant workers who were unemployed could not access welfare payments.

The Green Party, however, is part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s government, which includes the Labor Party and the right-wing nationalist NZ First Party. Like others around the world, the government blamed immigrants for losing their jobs to divert rising anger among workers over social inequality, especially when elections will begin on September 19.

Although NZ First was not popular, the Labor Party and the Green Party allowed it to exercise considerable power in the coalition. The first leader and deputy prime minister Winston Peters told unemployed migrants to “go home.”

Workers have adopted many NZ First anti-immigrant policies, including restricting migrant access to pensions and imposing new class-based immigration restriction. At the NZ First conference held last weekend, Peters demanded greater restrictions, including reducing immigration to 15,000 people per year, down from more than 50,000 years ago.

Government actions endanger migrant health and human rights. Newsroom reported on July 16 that a group of seasonal agricultural workers from the Solomon Islands had complained to the Labor Inspectorate that they did not have food and were starving, and were suspected of facing intimidation from their employers. Pick Hawke’s Bay reportedly stopped paying them and they were unable to access welfare.

Anna, who is from Germany and is part of the NZ Migrants group, told World Socialist Website many people waiting for visas are afraid to criticize the government, or even sign the petition, in case they are “blacklisted.” He continued: “It makes me sad and angry at the same time, how afraid people are of the whole system.”

He criticized Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway for failing to explain the backlog of the SMC residency application in a media interview. “We recently started commenting on each of his posts on Facebook. Especially because the Labor Party election campaign slogan is ‘Let’s keep moving,’ we continue to suggest that the queue should continue to move, “he said.

Anna notes that the six-month extension for a temporary work visa announced by Lees-Galloway this month does not include partners and children of visa holders, who must apply separately or leave the country. He said the extension was “not very useful for the actual visa holder, it was more to satisfy business owners,” who needed time to find replacements for migrant workers who could still be forced to leave.

Many SMC applicants have children whose lives are limbo. WSWS received a letter from a migrant whose son had graduated from school and wanted to study to become a doctor, but his family could not afford the very high fees charged to non-residents.

They wrote: “It’s too much to tell my son that we can’t help him pay an international fee of $ 35,000 per year for the next six years,” more than double the cost for domestic students. “He has the opportunity to get a scholarship … but he must become a resident to register early next year. I lost all hope if this queue didn’t move at a faster speed. “

WSWS also spoke with Angela (not her real name), who moved from South Africa three years ago with her two sons. Angela was recently wasted from her job as a system manager and she was looking for a new job.

He submitted his residency application 14 months ago and hasn’t heard anything since. When he applied, the INZ website said the longest waiting time was nine months.

Angela told WSWS: “I would do anything to live in New Zealand, basically. As happened in South Africa, I don’t want to go back [because of] violence, and the pandemic has just begun. With 57 million people and extreme poverty, this will prove to be a disaster. “

South Africa is the fifth worst affected country, with 350,879 cases and nearly 5,000 confirmed deaths. “To send people back to countries where there is no health care system, they are exposed, it’s really like a death sentence,” he said.

“What scares me the most is that if I have to go back, my 15-year-old son must come with me. I will not be able to look after it, I have no place to go. Especially with a pandemic, there was no way I could get a job. I keep saying to people, that will be my end. I have moved to New Zealand, frankly, not for myself but for the future of my children. “

Angela said, “Many migrants don’t speak up. I know some people work in terrible conditions and employers are not nice to them. They are silent because they are afraid to return to their country. “

He said that he understood that the government must take care of its citizens, “but we can also be seen as citizens of the future … Don’t look at us as migrants, our view as human beings. We all try to plan our lives, but there are no guarantees. All we ask is to be treated fairly. “

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Sonu Sood Meets Maharashtra Governor, Gets Full Support from the Government in his ‘Ghar Bhejo’ Initiative | Instant News


Actor Sonu Sood has garnered praise and support from all over to help migrant worker stuck in Mumbai reaching their home. The actor, on Saturday, met the governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh Koshiyari which convinced him of the broad support of the government in his noble initiative. Koshyari took to Twitter to share a picture of herself in a conversation with Sonu at Raj Bhavan. Also read – Shilpa Shetty Praising Sonu Sood: “Examples That You Have Set the Volume of the Type of Person Like You”

The chirp reads, “The film star @SonuSood visited Raj Bhavan, Mumbai today. Shri Sood explained about his ongoing work to help migrants reach their home countries and to provide food for them. Applause for his great work and assuring him of his full support in this effort. “(Sic) Also read – Sonu Sood Airlifts 170 Girls Work as Laborers in Factories in Kerala, Send Them to Odisha

Previously, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray, took to Twitter to praise Sonu with all my heart. This actor has received a pat on the back by many ministers including Smriti Irani who mentioned how proud he was to see one of his close friends in the industry doing something for the community. He wrote, “” I have had the privilege of knowing you as a professional colleague for more than 2 decades now @SonuSood & celebrating your rise as an actor; but the kindness that you show in these difficult times makes me more proud to still be grateful for helping those in need ”(sic)

Sonu and his restaurant owner’s friend have been working on their initiative called Ghar Bhejo since the end of March. They have arranged their own buses to help migrant workers reach their home cities in various states in India. Recently, Sonu also transported around 170 Odia girls from Kerala. They were employed as tailors and tailors in a factory in Kerala and were trapped there during locking.

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Latest: South Korea says waves are no reason to panic | 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.

– The President of South Korea says citizens do not need to panic because of increasing cases of new viruses.

SEOUL, South Korea – The president of South Korea urged citizens not to lower their vigilance, but said there was no reason to panic amid concerns about the recent surge in coronavirus outbreaks in the country.

President Moon Jae-in made comments in Sunday’s speech when his health authorities detected a number of new cases related to nightclubs in Seoul’s Itaewon district in recent days. Previously, South Korea’s caseload had been reduced for weeks, prompting authorities to relax their social rules.

“The collection of infections that have recently occurred in entertainment facilities,” Moon said, “has raised awareness that, even during the stabilization phase, similar situations can arise again at any time, anywhere in a crowded confined space.”

Moon added that, “We must not lower our vigilance about preventing epidemics.” But he also said “there is no reason to stand still for fear.”

Moon said South Korea has “the right quarantine and medical system combined with experience to respond quickly to clusters of unexpected infections that may occur.”

SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea reported 34 additional cases of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours due to a spate of transmissions associated with club visitors threatening the country’s hard-earned profits in its fight against the virus.

Figures released on Sunday by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention increased the national total to 10,874 with 256 deaths. The agency said 9,610 had recovered and 10,128 others were undergoing tests to determine whether they had contracted the virus.

The agency said interim assessments showed 26 of 34 new patients were cases that were transmitted locally, while the rest were imported. South Korean media reported it was the first time the South Korean daily jump marked above 30 in about a month.

The agency did not immediately provide further details. But most of the new cases in recent days have been linked to nightclubs in Seoul’s Itaewon entertainment district.

Officials on Friday said they detected at least 15 infections related to a 29-year-old man who had visited three Itaewon clubs before conducting a positive test on Wednesday.

This infection raises concerns about a new surge in South Korea, which for weeks noted a steady decline in the number of new cases after having had hundreds of new cases every day until early March.

CANBERRA, Australia – Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the government supports the EU motion for an independent inquiry into the origins of COVID-19 in China.

The Australian government has been calling for such an investigation for several weeks to better understand how coronaviruses began in Wuhan, China, to be able to fight such a pandemic in the future. This move has generated a critical response from China, Australia’s No.1 trading partner.

“We support the EU movement which includes independent investigations, regulatory work on the wet market and also the potential strength of independent inspections,” Hunt told Sky News on Sunday.

Ursula von der Leyen, head of the EU executive, said last week that he wanted to see China work with his organization, and others, to determine how the virus emerged.

BEIJING – China reported the first double digit increase in cases of new increases in 10 days Sunday, saying 14 new cases had been detected, 12 of which were domestic infections and two were brought in from abroad.

Eleven of the domestic cases are in the northeastern province of Jilin and 1 in Hubei province, whose capital city, Wuhan is considered the center of a global pandemic. Jilin shares a border with North Korea, where the situation of the virus is unclear but its very inadequate health system has been offered assistance by China in handling any outbreak.

No new virus deaths have been reported in China for almost 1 month and the number of people on treatment for COVID-19 nationally has dropped to 148, with 798 others under isolation and observation as one of the suspected cases or as tested positive for the virus while showing no symptoms. China has reported a total of 4,633 deaths totaling 82,901 cases.

Leaps in new cases can trigger concerns about how quickly lifting social measures that alienate and reopen schools and other public institutions. Photos of people who socialized widely in the Shanghai bar district last weekend drew criticism online. China last reported more than 10 cases in May, with 12, half imported. Reports include the number of new cases recorded in the previous 24 hours.

After bringing down all districts in the districts to a low risk of the virus, China has raised one of them, Shulan, in Jilin, after the province on May 10 reported a surge in cases to 11, bringing tightening social measures of distance and quarantine actions.

WASHINGTON – Three members of the White House coronavirus task force, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, putting themselves in quarantine after contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, is another reminder that none of the safest buildings in the country is immune from viruses.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a leading member of the task force, has been known nationally for his simple and direct explanation to the public about coronaviruses and COVID-19, the diseases they cause. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and commissioner for the Administration of Food and Medicine, Stephen Hahn.

The Fauci Institute says he has tested negative for COVID-19 and will continue to be tested regularly. He added that he was considered “relatively low risk” based on his level of exposure, and that he would “take appropriate precautions” to reduce the risk of personal contact while continuing to carry out his duties. While he will stay at home and work, Fauci will go to the White House if called upon and take every precaution, the agency said.

Redfield will be “teleworking for the next two weeks” after it was decided that he had “low risk exposure” to someone at the White House, the CDC said in a statement late Saturday. The statement said he felt fine and had no symptoms.

Only hours before, the Food and Drug Administration confirmed that Hahn had been in contact with someone who tested positive and quarantined himself for the next two weeks. He tested negative for the virus.

Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary was tested positive for the corona virus on Friday, making him the second person to work in the White House complex to be found positive for the virus this week. White House officials confirmed on Thursday that a member of the military acting as one of Trump’s valet tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.

OLYMPIA, Washington – Opponents of orders living in Washington to slow the coronavirus regroup on Saturday at Capitol State.

Meanwhile, some residents who reported offenders stayed at home said that they received threats after right-wing groups posted their personal information on Facebook.

Some complainants who reported state businesses allegedly violated orders said Facebook posts had posed threats of violence and harassment against them, The Seattle Times reported. One group that published the names, Washington Three Percenters, far right, had promoted protests at home and one of its leaders spoke at a demonstration on Saturday.

State officials said the group was likely to obtain information through requests for public records. Saturday’s rally attracted around 1,500 people, according to the Washington State Patrol. That’s less than 2,000 more who attended a similar protest last month.

Governor Jay Inslee has extended the restrictions on living at home, but has allowed some retail and recreational activities to continue with modifications designed to inhibit the spread of COVID-19.

LOS ANGELES – Climbing the Hollywood sign board and hitting the link was permitted Saturday when the California region most severely hit by coronavirus, carefully reopened several sites to become homers who lack recreation.

Los Angeles County allows the reopening of golf courses and courses, but with social restrictions. For those interested in retail therapy, there is even better news when Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday allows tens of thousands of stores to reopen, including flower shops, just in time for Mother’s Day.

The City of Los Angeles announced it was also reopening several public spaces, including the extensive Griffith Park, which included popular paths to the Hollywood sign.

But police and park rangers installed will guard climbers to small and distant groups who wear face masks. Mayor Eric Garcetti urged “good judgment” and said the city would depend on education and encouragement rather than law enforcement.

“It’s not our vision to make it look like a middle school dance with people standing too close to each other,” he said.

Beaches in the County could be reopened next week with restrictions designed to prevent people from overloading the beach and possibly spreading COVID-19.

DENVER – Colorado has reached 967 deaths from the corona virus, and more than 19,300 people tested positive for the disease, state health officials said.

The country’s Ministry of Public Health and Environment said Saturday more than 100,000 had been tested for COVID-19.

State data show more than 3,600 have been hospitalized since the outbreak. Less than 600 people are in Colorado hospitals with symptoms of the disease on Friday.

On Saturday, a number of Denver businesses – from clothing stores to hair salons – opened their doors for the first time in almost two months when the order to stay at Mayor Michael Hancock’s home ended, The Denver Post reports. Business owners who have been hit financially say it’s the only way to stay afloat when they try to replace lost sales while giving their employees a much-needed salary.

But despite the green light from the city leaders, many business owners choose to close their stores for now. Those who have made the choice not to continue running a business say there is not enough evidence that bringing workers and customers back to their spaces is safe and will not contribute to the spread of COVID-19.

RIO RANCHO, N.M – New Mexico Republican and sheriff called on US Attorney General William Barr to look into Michelle Lujan Grisham’s health orders aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Republican Chair of the State Steve Pearce and New Mexico Sheriffs Association President Tony Mace each sent a letter to Barr last week asking for a review of health orders that have closed several businesses since the end of March. They say the order, which has shut down several small businesses, violates civil rights of citizens.

“We want to express our fear and frustration about the order of the New Mexico government. Lujan Grisham’s public health policy, a policy many believe in our country is an open violation of civil rights, freedom and their right to free trade , “Pearce wrote. . “The situation in New Mexico is an unfair and unjust situation.”

Mace, the sheriff of Cibola Regency and often criticizes fellow Democrat Lujan Grisham, said the health regulation was unfairly disadvantaging citizens.

“The governor has been discriminatory in his policies, keeping large box giant companies open – draining New Mexico dollars from the state – while closing down locally owned mom and pop companies,” Mase wrote. “This is not only a special treatment for large box stores but also a violation of the civil rights of our small business owners whose livelihoods are now in free fall.”

In an interview with The Associated Press, Pearce said he wanted Barr to see New Mexico to see if the U.S. Constitution “Respected” during the health order.

A spokeswoman for Lujan Grisham declined to comment.

GATLINBURG, Tenn. Reopening the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was a bit too tempting on Saturday when a number of nature lovers from dozens of countries thronged the trail and walked into a closed area, a spokesman said.

Even with some of the most popular lanes being closed, parking lots crowded and rows of cars winding down tree-lined streets, in one case about a mile to the waterfall road, according to park spokeswoman Dana Soehn. Many people don’t wear masks.

“It seems like people don’t respect our suggestion that they avoid crowded areas,” said Soehn, adding that he counted license plates from 24 states in a visitor center parking lot.

Visitors also walked through heavy barricades on one of the park’s most trafficked trails, Laurel Falls, which was closed by observing federal social distance guidelines, he said.

On the Tennessee-North Carolina border, the Great Smoky Mountains are the most visited national park in the county. It closed March 24 after officials said it had become too crowded during the coronavirus pandemic.

WASHINGTON – Former President Barack Obama strongly criticized President Donald Trump’s handling the coronavirus pandemic as an “absolute chaos disaster” during a conversation with former members of his government, according to recordings obtained by Yahoo News.

Obama’s comments Friday came during a call with 3,000 people serving in his government. He said fighting the virus would be bad even for the best of the government, but it was an “absolute chaotic disaster” when the mindset of “what’s in it for me” infiltrates the government.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that President Trump’s response “was unprecedented and saved the lives of Americans.”

The United States has suffered nearly 80,000 deaths from COVID-19, the most among any country.

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