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Spain second wave: Catalonia puts 200,000 residents on lockdown amid coronavirus spike

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Authorities in Catalonia, which is located in northeast Spain, have restricted the movement of more than 200,000 residents following a surge in COVID-19 infections. The new outbreak centres on Spaniards living in Segria and the populated city of Lleida, with residents not allowed to leave the area.

Segria is situated to the west of Catalonia and covers an area of more than 800 square miles.

Around 210,000 people live in 38 municipalities across the Segrià region.

Catalan regional president Quim Torra said the lockdown was effective from midday on Saturday following a “significant” rise in cases, but confirmed residents would be allowed to venture outside their homes.

Regional health ministry data showed there were 3,706 cases in the Lleida region on Friday.

The figure represented a rise of more than 150 cases in the past 24 hours, with 3,551 people testing positive for the virus on the previous day.

In a press briefing, President Torra said: “We have decided to confine Segria due to data that confirms too significant a growth in the number of COVID-19 infections.”

He added: “We take a step back to protect ourselves and we will take all the decisions to stop the contagion.”

The new strict guidelines told residents who had left the area to return by 4pm.

The local lockdown has also restricted gatherings to just 10 people.

Following the fresh outbreak, a field hospital was set up outside LLeida’s Arnau de Vilanova hospital on Friday and has a capacity to treat up to 105 patients.

Spain has been one of the worst hit countries by the coronavirus pandemic with more than 200,000 confirmed cases over 28,000 deaths.

To date the Spanish health ministry has registered 205,545 coronavirus cases and 28,385 deaths.

Spain was one of the first European nations to go into a nationwide lockdown on March 14 and has been gradually eased since early May.

The new outbreak will raise concerns with some Britons after Spain was included in the list of countries passengers will be able to travel to and from.

The Department for Transport announced on Friday the UK has created an air bridge with 59 nations in order to allow passengers to travel freely without having to quarantine.

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The list features popular short-haul destinations such as Spain, France, Italy, Turkey, Greece and Cyprus.

As well as long-haul locations including Australia, Barbados, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and Vietnam.

Notable absentees include China – where the coronavirus was first reported to the World Health Organisation in December 2019 and the US – which has the highest number of coronavirus cases and fatalities in the world.

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World News

Gabrielle Union's Cute Photo of Kaavia Shows Support for a Black-Owned Business

Gabrielle Union once again proved her cool mom status in the most socially-responsible way possible. The actress shared another photoshoot with her adorable toddler daughter, Kaavia, wearing a coordinating floral-printed crown and face mask as her socially distant summer outfit of the day. Even better: She tagged the company that makes these two accessories, Royal Jelly Harlem, to show support and introduce her followers to this black-owned business.

“Real queens wear masks. #YourActionsSaveLives Crown and mask courtesy of Black-owned company @royaljellynyc 🖤🖤✊🏾,” the mother of the 1-year-old captioned the post. Kaavia is wearing the brand’s Kids Mask in Burgundy Flowers and the Child Crown in the same pattern, which is reversible and features a wide vertical stripe print on the other side. This mask also is available in adult sizes in the color option shown here as well as other chic variations, including red seersucker, tic tac toe, and yellow toile patterns. Shop these beautiful masks below.

 

 

All of the company’s masks are made in New York City out of 100% cotton or linen. They’re double-lined with filters and color-contrasting linings. We couldn’t think of a more heart-warming way to welcome July 4th weekend and spread some mother-daughter support from the West to the East coast.

This photo is another proud moment that her daughter can one day look back on. Union has thoroughly documented her baby’s highlights, including her adorably failing the snack challenge and the duo’s twinning moment. We can’t wait to see what adventures the family will share next.

Before you go, see more moments that prove Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade are #parentinggoals. 






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World News

Sadiq Khan savaged by Shaun Bailey in furious rant over plot to cut police by £110m

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan admitted late last month he would have to make substantial cuts to funding due to the impact of coronavirus. Conservative Mayor candidate Shaun Bailey has created a petition to stop the police facing a cut in funding by £110m. Mr Bailey took to Twitter to inform the public of his petition and his frustration at Mr Khan’s plan to make cuts.

Mr Bailey captioned the video: “The Mayor has outlined plans to cut London’s police budget by £110m, that’s 1,692 officers.

“Just as we face a summer of crime, let’s protect the police, add your name to my petition and help make London safe.”

In the video, Mr Bailey said: “The Mayor is responsible for policing in London, it is his job to keep London safe.

“Sadiq Khan is proposing a £110 million cut in the police budget.

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“That is the equivalent of removing 1,700 officers from the streets of London.”

Mr Bailey reflected on the important role the police play in the capital and why he is against the cut.

He continued: “This plan comes at a time when London is facing unprecedented threats.

“Things like the Illegal raves in Maida vale and Brixton, a steep rise in knife crime and domestic violence.

“This is not the time to propose this cut.

“We are not asking the Mayor to do anything special, we are asking him to do his job.”

Mr Bailey encouraged people to sign a petition calling for an end to the plan to cut £110m from the police.

He closed by saying it was time to protect the police service.

The website set up by Shaun Bailey also criticises Mayor Khan for his plan to cut the police.

The one-page petition says: “The Mayor is in charge of London’s police, it is his job to keep us safe.

“Sadiq Khan is retreating from the streets just when police are warning him about a summer of crime.

“The Mayor doesn’t need to cut police funding, he needs to cut waste.

“Cut waste like the extra £30m he is spending on staff or the £527 million increase in City Hall office costs.

“Or waste like the 26 percent increase in his PR budget, or the £10m he spent on a training course to tell staff what colour their personalities are.

“Leadership is about decisions, it’s time the Mayor made better ones.”

Mr Khan announced his plan to cut police funding in late June and has faced a stern backlash.

The London Mayor said he expected to have to make cuts to the police funding due to a £493m shortfall due to the coronavirus crisis.

He said: “The scale of the challenge is far beyond anything that any local or regional authority could have prepared for.

“My first priority is to protect frontline emergency services, which is why we have outlined proportionately smaller savings for the police and fire brigade.”

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World News

Film lovers adapt to new normal as cinemas reopen after months of lockdown

Families enjoyed trips to the cinema for the first time in more than three months today as lockdown restrictions eased in England.

Cinemas are very different places to be as they welcome the public back, with extra safety measures in place including perspex screens at tills and food stations, one-way systems and hand-sanitising on arrival and exit.

While some big chains including Cineworld and Odeon remain closed this weekend, the cinemas that did reopen attracted a large number of customers who said they were happy to be returning to normality.

Andrea Necchi, 31, who visited the Showcase cinema in the Bluewater shopping centre in Dartford, Kent with his children, said it was a ‘strange experience’.

Revealing his children had their temperatures checked when they walked in, the construction company protection project manager said: ‘It’s all a bit eerie, but apart from that it is good to be back.’

Visit our live blog for the latest updates: Coronavirus news live

All staff were wearing masks at the Showcase cinema, but very few customers were seen to be covering their faces.




The picture house was showing old films – including Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone and Back To The Future – today, amid a shortfall in new film releases.

Dog carer Michelle Major, 57, revealed she is glad England is reopening as it has been difficult to explain lockdown restrictions to her son, who is disabled and autistic.

She said her son was ‘super excited’ to be going to the cinema, adding that she was ‘impressed’ by the safety measures put in place.

The mother said: ‘I think it is very safe, it is not the staff or the cinema who will mess things up, it is the customers.’

Meanwhile, a mum named Leanne said it was ‘nice to get out again’ as she visited a Showcase cinema in Leeds.

She said: ‘We were a bit nervous really about coming back but the cinema here, it has been really, really good how they’re spacing people out and they have been really hygienic, so it is quite nice knowing that they are doing everything they can.’




Cinema chain Cineworld has pushed back its reopening date to July 31, blaming the delay on changes to planned film release dates, while Vue and Picturehouse are also not opening this weekend.

Odeon opened 10 of its cinemas on Saturday and says it will welcome back customers at a further 88 by the end of the month.

Pubs, restaurants and hairdressers were also back in action on Saturday, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson warning the public not to ‘blow it’.

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World News

Welsh drinkers told not to travel to England as pubs reopen

People in Wales are being told not to travel to England this weekend to visit pubs. 

Watering holes in the Principality will only be able to operate outdoors from July 13, whereas their English counterparts welcomed drinkers from 6am this morning prompting concerns many may be tempted to slip across the Severn for a tipple.

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford, police forces, and Transport for Wales have urged people to follow the five-mile essential travel guidelines. 

The ‘stay local’ requirement in Wales is due to end on Monday, allowing two households to form one extended ‘bubble’ enabling families to reunite after months separated under lockdown.

Mr Drakeford said: ‘I certainly do say to people who are thinking of going across the border that the five-mile advice, the stay local regulations, remain in place in Wales this weekend.

Visit our live blog for the latest updates: Coronavirus news live

‘So while there are populations very close to the border who may choose to travel, for most of us that will not be a possibility.’

He said the measures remained in place to ‘allow us all to continue to be safe’.

‘Please, wherever you are in Wales, this weekend is not a reason or an excuse to abandon all the things that you have worked so hard to achieve,’ he said.

‘Please continue to do those things and help to keep Wales safe.’

In a tweet, North Wales Police urged people to continue to stay local over the weekend while police in Gwent said patrols would continue to ensure there were no breaches. 

Those breaking coronavirus regulations in Wales face enforcement measures including penalty fines that can rise to £1,920 for repeated breaches.

Bristol City also host rivals Cardiff City behind closed doors at Ashton Gate on Saturday.

Superintendent Mark Edgington, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: ‘We know many of our communities have been frustrated about not being able to go out and socialise but we urge people to behave safely, responsibly and with due regard for the public health measures in place.’

Regulations in England prohibit gathering indoors in groups of more than two households, or outdoors in a group of more than six people from different households, he said.

James Price, chief executive of Transport for Wales, said: ‘Covid-19 is an evolving situation and over the next week there are important changes in advice from UK and Welsh governments.

‘However, we need to reinforce our travel safer campaign highlighting that public transport is for essential travel and where there are no other travel alternatives.’

On Friday, Public Health Wales said a further two people died in Wales after testing positive for coronavirus, taking the total number of deaths to 1,525.

The number of positive tests for Covid-19 had risen by 26 to 15,841, it said.

In the UK the death toll stands at 44,131 after a further 137 people were confirmed to have died from the disease on Friday.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected]

For more stories like this, check our news page.

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World News

Remember Colorado’s most memorable minor league teams


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Ex-presidential contender in hospital with coronavirus; Pence cancels rally plan

WASHINGTON • Mr Herman Cain, a 2012 Republican presidential candidate, has been diagnosed with the coronavirus and admitted to a hospital in the Atlanta area.

Vice-President Mike Pence postponed a planned trip this week to Arizona after Secret Service agents set to travel with him tested positive for Covid-19 or showed symptoms, two administration officials said on Thursday.

Mr Cain, who was informed on Monday that he had tested positive for the virus, attended last month’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for President Donald Trump, supporting his fellow Republican at an event where many attendees crowded close together without wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the virus.

“Trump Tulsa Rally – I was there! The atmosphere was exciting and inspiring!” Mr Cain wrote on Twitter after the June 20 rally.

He also tweeted a photograph of himself – without a mask – at the rally surrounded by Mr Trump’s supporters also not wearing masks.

Mr Trump’s campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said Mr Cain did not meet the President in Tulsa. He said contact tracing was conducted after the campaign rally, but he could not discuss individual cases.

Mr Cain, 74, had developed symptoms serious enough to require hospitalisation by Wednesday.

“There is no way of knowing for sure how or where Mr Cain contracted the coronavirus,” said a statement on the politician’s Twitter account on Thursday.

Mr Pence cancelled his plan to headline a “Faith in America” campaign rally in Tuscon on Tuesday and then tour Yuma city.

Instead, he opted for a shorter visit to Phoenix on Wednesday, where he participated in a public health briefing at Sky Harbour International Airport.

“Help is on the way,” Mr Pence said at a news conference with Arizona Governor Doug Ducey at the airport, wearing a mask – the latest sign of the administration’s evolving stance on face coverings.

The news of the agents who showed symptoms of Covid-19, or tested positive, was first reported by The Washington Post.

The latest illnesses among the small circle of individuals who interact directly with Mr Pence were a reminder of the dangers of carrying on with campaign and official government travel as the pandemic rages on.

REUTERS, NYTIMES

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Florida sees coronavirus cases spike to new daily record

MIAMI (REUTERS) – Florida’s confirmed coronavirus cases rose by a record 11,458 on Saturday (July 4), the state’s health department said, the second time in three days that its caseload increased by more than 10,000.

The new record came a day after seven other states also reported record rises in cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus that has killed nearly 130,000 Americans.

The recent surge, most pronounced in southern and western states, has alarmed public health officials, who urged caution ahead of a July 4th holiday weekend to celebrate the Declaration of Independence of the United States in 1776.

Florida’s record rise in cases was more than any European country’s daily peak at the height of the outbreak there.

North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alaska, Missouri, Idaho and Alabama all registered new daily highs on Friday, while Texas hit a new peak for hospitalisations.

The daily US tally of cases stood at 53,483 late on Friday, below the previous day’s record 55,405.

Despite the jump in infections, the average daily death toll in the United States has gradually declined in recent weeks, a reflection of the growing proportion of positive tests among younger, healthier people who are less prone to severe outcomes.

In evidence the surge is not simply due to expanded testing, the percentage of tests coming back positive in Florida rose to 14.8 per cent in the past two weeks compared to 8.3 per cent the two weeks prior, according to a Reuters analysis. The World Health Organisation says a rate over 5 per cent is concerning.

Against that backdrop, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez imposed an indefinite nightly curfew starting on Friday and halted the reopenings of entertainment venues such as casinos and strip clubs. Earlier this week, Miami-Dade and neighbouring Broward County, the state’s two most populous counties, required residents to wear face coverings in public.

Read the latest on the Covid-19 situation in Singapore and beyond on our dedicated site here.

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Fans gather for final showings at Thailand's much-loved La Scala theatre

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Donning masks and observing social-distancing practices, movie and theatre fans on Saturday bid a final farewell to Thailand’s La Scala theatre in Bangkok, which is set to close its doors in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 50-year-old theatre, built in the late modernism architectural style with an Art-Deco interior, has been struggling for the last decade to stay profitable amid competition from new media and increases in its land lease costs.

The pandemic and restrictions on movement to curb its spread dealt the final blow to the theatre in the heart of the capital. The Thai economy as a whole is forecast to shrink this year more than any other in Southeast Asia.

“I’m so sad I have no words. It is heartbreaking,” said Nanta Tansasha, whose family runs the theatre, which was built by her father.

“When we look toward the future, I don’t know if it (business) will pick up… so I decided to stop the business now,” she said.

The theatre had a glamorous opening on New Year’s Eve in 1970, and the first movie it showed was “The Undefeated” starring John Wayne and Rock Hudson.

In its heyday, it rolled out the red carpet for celebrities including the likes of Jean Claud Van Damme for the Bangkok Film Festival in 2013.

The final showings this weekend include Italian movies and Thai documentaries, with 3,000 tickets sold to fans who want to pay one last visit.

La Scala, the last theatre building of its kind in Bangkok, where most cinemas and theatres are housed in larger malls, is already dwarfed by the tall buildings around it. Nanta expects a high-rise to replace her theatre.

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Politics

Singapore GE2020: Tan Cheng Bock defends PSP manifesto, says it is up to Singaporeans to judge it

SINGAPORE – It will be up Singaporeans to judge the Progress Singapore Party’s (PSP) manifesto, party chief Tan Cheng Bock said yesterday, responding to criticisms from the PAP that it was lacking in detail.

“A manifesto is something you have to go through it and read, and it is individual. There may be certain parts that may not be very agreeable with certain people but that is giving you a very broad picture,” he told reporters on Saturday (July 4), after doing house visits in Pioneer SMC.

“A manifesto is up to your interpretation; we feel like our manifesto was crafted in the interest of Singaporeans, so it’s up to their interpretation. If they think we have done a lousy manifesto, it’s not up to him to say. It’s for the people to decide.”

On June 29, the PSP set out its policies over six pages in its 13-page manifesto, dividing the proposals into the three broad segments: economic development, social development and political development.

Earlier on Saturday, Mr S. Iswaran said the PSP manifesto was lacking in detail and made up of “broad statements” which are then left to “the imagination of the population”.

Mr Iswaran, who is leading the People’s Action Party (PAP) slate in West Coast GRC, said: “So I think the voters of West Coast GRC and Singaporeans deserve to know, what are you planning to give up when you say you’re going to review all of these.” He was referring to a point raised in PSP’s manifesto on reviewing free trade agreements.

The PAP West Coast team, which comprises Mr Iswaran, Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee, Ms Foo Mee Har, Ms Rachel Ong and Mr Ang Wei Neng, is facing off against a PSP team led by Dr Tan, who was a former PAP MP.

On Saturday evening, Dr Tan and PSP candidate for Pioneer SMC Lim Cher Hong visited a few households in two Housing Board (HDB) blocks next to Jurong Point.

Party member Lee Hsien Yang, the brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, was part of the entourage.

When asked about Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing’s comments about party manifestos being light on plans to tackle the Covid-19 crisis, Dr Tan disagreed.

He said: “We didn’t miss that, that has been articulated so many times, you can look at my Facebook page… As a doctor, do you think we’re not looking into it?”

“They will always say we are missing this point, we’re missing that point. We’re also not perfect, you know? But this is an important area because as far as I’m concerned, this is a Covid-19 election.”

On Saturday, Dr Tan reiterated that he believed the emphasis on the Covid-19 recovery should be on lives and livelihoods, not just jobs. “If you don’t control Covid-19… all the borders are closed to us. Where are we gonna get the people coming here to invest? Where are you going to get those people to come here as tourists? These are very fundamental basic things.”

Singapore GE2020: Get full election coverage on our dedicated site here.

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