August 2, 2020
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia’s Victoria state will toughen its social distancing measures in the coming days as the country’s second-most populous state struggles to contain the novel coronavirus, media reported on Sunday.
Victoria’s capital of Melbourne is already under a reimposed six-week stay-home order and reported record numbers of new infections last week. Authorities warned of more restrictions ahead.
Melbourne newspapers reported that plans going into effect on Wednesday would restrict movement for six weeks and close all but essential businesses.
Australia has fared far better than many other countries in keeping the coronavirus from spreading, at a high economic cost. The country has recorded around 17,300 cases total and 200 deaths, but the recent surge in Victoria has proven difficult to contain.
At present, Melbournians are allowed to go out for work, essential shopping, medical care and exercise, but under the new restrictions they would have to stay within 5 kilometers (3 miles) of their homes, with only one person from each household allowed to go to grocery shopping.
The measures would limit public transport options and restaurants, which allow now for delivery and take-away options would be limited to contactless pick-up orders, the newspapers reported.
Movement restrictions and business operations would also be limited in the rest of the state, but not to the same level as in Melbourne.
The Age newspaper reported, citing sources, that Victoria officials and politicians worked late into Saturday on the details of the next stage of the restrictions, which could be announced Sunday or Monday.
The state’s media office was not immediately available to comment, but Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews was expected to hold his daily briefing later on Sunday.
(Reporting by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
Source: OANN, Australia’s Victoria to toughen coronavirus lockdown: media
August 2, 2020
SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) – El Salvador on Saturday failed to approve a $250 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) aimed at tackling the coronavirus pandemic after Congress and President Nayib Bukele could not agree on terms before a deadline expired.
According to the government, the IDB offered El Salvador the loan at an interest rate of 2.1% with a 5-1/2 year grace period, giving the country until the end of July to approve it.
However, Bukele has been at loggerheads with Congress for much of the pandemic over how to manage the crisis.
Both the government and Congress said the other side had failed to resolve differences over where the money would be spent by the time the deadline expired on Friday night.
It remained to be seen whether the Central American country would have another chance to secure the loan.
(Reporting by Nelson Renteria; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
Source: OANN, Politics scuppers El Salvador deal for 0 million IDB loan
The vote to renominate President Donald Trump is set to be conducted in private later this month, without members of the press present, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Convention said on Saturday, citing the coronavirus. While Trump called off the public components of the convention in Florida last month, citing spiking cases of the virus across the country, 336 delegates are scheduled to gather in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Aug. 24 to formally vote to make Trump the GOP standard-bearer once more. Nominating conventions are traditionally meant to be media bonanzas, as political parties seek to leverage the attention the events draw to spread their message to as many voters as possible.
Source: Yahoo News, RNC: Decision on private Trump renomination vote not final
- Republicans bar press from GOP convention in Charlotte Los Angeles Times
- Media to be banned from Republican convention due to coronavirus restrictions The Guardian
- Trump nomination to be held in private, convention spokesperson says | TheHill The Hill
- Vote to renominate Trump to be held privately without media present due to coronavirus The Independent
- GOP: Renomination of Trump to Be Held in Private U.S. News & World Report
- View Full Coverage on Google News
Source: Google News, Republicans bar press from GOP convention in Charlotte – Los Angeles Times
- Taste of Maine restaurant closes for 2 weeks after COVID-19 exposure Press Herald
- A Deadly Shark Attack, Fights with Neighbors, and Fast-Approaching Fall—Can Maine Salvage the Summer? The Daily Beast
- 25 more coronavirus cases reported in Maine, no new deaths WGME
- View Full Coverage on Google News
Source: Google News, Taste of Maine restaurant closes for 2 weeks after COVID-19 exposure – Press Herald
- Negotiators report progress in coronavirus relief talks Atlanta Journal Constitution
- Both sides say progress made in talks on pandemic relief The Washington Post
- Democrats are stronger favorites in tight race for Senate control CNN
- The painful truth about Covid and the economy – Trump is to blame The Guardian
- The real view from Europe on coronavirus relief in America | TheHill The Hill
- View Full Coverage on Google News
- Australia’s Victoria declares disaster, sets curfew to curb COVID-19 Reuters Australia
- Coronavirus live news: Victoria declares state of disaster and nightly curfew for Melbourne The Guardian
- Coronavirus: Victoria declares state of disaster after spike in cases BBC News
- The Latest: Israeli Minister for Jerusalem Tests Positive U.S. News & World Report
- Australia’s Victoria Tightens Lockdown, Imposes Melbourne Curfew Bloomberg
- View Full Coverage on Google News
Australia’s second-most populous state of Victoria declared a state of disaster on Sunday and imposed a nightly curfew for the capital Melbourne as part of its harshest movement restrictions to date to contain a resurgent COVID-19. Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city already under a reimposed six-week stay-home order, has struggled to rein in the disease, with record numbers of infections of the new coronavirus reported last week. On Sunday, Victoria reported 671 infections, one of its highest, and seven COVID-19 deaths.
Source: Yahoo News, Australia’s Victoria declares disaster, sets curfew to curb COVID-19
Canadian associate Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe warned against mass COVID-19 testing so that resources can be reallocated to test and treat only suspected cases.
Dr. Yaffe opened with, “A lot of people think that testing is going to really solve the whole problem, and it isn’t. It’s one component of a response. If you test somebody today, you only know if they’re infected today. And in fact, if you’re testing in a population that doesn’t have very much COVID, you’ll get false positives almost half the time. That is, the person actually doesn’t have COVID. They have something else. They may have nothing.”
Dr. Yaffe continues, “So it will just complicate the picture. On the other hand, if we have evidence of a case, even a suspect case in a school, all the contacts of that case, be it a child or a teacher, would be tested regardless of whether they’re symptomatic or not. That is something we’ve learned with COVID. It’s very important to do that. That is when we might be identifying people who are asymptomatic and infected that need to stay home and wait till they’re cleared by Public Health. Doing testing on all the teachers would be a huge amount of resources taken away from the need for quick access to testing when somebody may be symptomatic.”
Dr. Yaffe states, “We also need to do screening for symptoms and everybody needs to be educated about the symptoms to look for and not go to work if you’re sick. Not go to school if you’re sick. Those are the things that are important, along with handwashing, distancing, masking all the things we’re talking about. Testing will not actually achieve anything other than take resources away from other places. They need to be.“
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Donald Trump Jr. appeared on “Watters’ World” Saturday where he commented on Big Tech, calling them out for allegedly censoring him and other conservatives.
Source: Fox News, Donald Trump Jr.: ‘Big Tech is activist liberal’
Former NSC Officer Alexander Vindman was caught repeatedly lying during his testimony before Congress that made him a leftist hero.
Vindman was a leaker who thought his opinions overruled the Trump administration.
He was moved from the White House with his twin brother after his unsuccessful attempt, along with Eric Ciaramella, to remove the sitting president from office.
Earlier this month Alexander Vindman announced he was retiring.
On Saturday he penned a Trump-hating editorial at the junk news site Washington Post on his way out the door.
CNN gladly covered Vindman’s sappy oped.
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman stood by his decision to act as a key witness in President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry, vowing in a fiery Washington Post op-ed to reform a government he slammed as “reminiscent of the authoritarian regime my family fled.”
“At no point in my career or life have I felt our nation’s values under greater threat and in more peril than at this moment,” wrote Vindman, whose family fled to the US from the Soviet Union when he was a child.
“Our citizens are being subjected to the same kinds of attacks tyrants launch against their critics and political opponents,” he continued later, adding, “There is another way.”
In the op-ed that published Saturday upon retiring from the US Army after more than 21 years of military service, Vindman — “now a civilian” — recounted how he did not expect the course of events that stemmed from his decision to report concerns about Trump’s July 25, 2019, phone call with the Ukrainian President to other officials on the National Security Council. Vindman’s testimony in the impeachment inquiry ultimately prompted Trump to fire him as the top Ukraine expert on the council in February and his decision to retire from the Army.
“During my testimony in the House impeachment inquiry, I reassured my father, who experienced Soviet authoritarianism firsthand, saying, ‘Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth.’ Despite Trump’s retaliation, I stand by that conviction,” Vindman wrote, lambasting “the spurious attacks of a disreputable man and his sycophants.”
Read the rest here.
Source: The Gateway Pundit, Good Riddance: Leaker and Serial Liar Alexander Vindman Pens Fiery Anti-Trump Op-Ed on His Way Out the Door
In the 1989 US blockbuster “Back to the Future II,” time traveler Marty McFly orders a Pepsi Perfect at Hill Valley’s futuristic Cafe 80s. It was an iconic moment of product placement.
August 2, 2020
(Reuters) – Brendon Todd held on to the lead at the WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational on Saturday, despite an uneven third round that saw him hit four bogeys and five birdies to finish the day at a one-under par 69.
Todd, who sunk a 22-foot putt for a birdie on eight, said he was battling with his swing throughout the day.
“I was just fading a little bit more off the tee than I would like to. And I generally do fade the ball a little bit off the tee, but I missed a handful of fairways,” said Todd, who won two PGA Tour titles on consecutive starts last November.
“You know, a yard right and that was just far enough from the fairway to end up with a pretty bad lie and not have a chance to get to the green.”
The 35-year-old American shot back-to-back birdies on 12 and 13, only to land in the water on 14, a costly mistake that rattled his typically calm demeanor.
“That’s the easiest to put on the green, to not hit in the water,” said Todd. “It was a swing that was out of rhythm that was a little bit too often today and to know I hit the water there, it made me pretty mad.”
An Byeong-hun sits one stroke behind Todd headed into Sunday’s final round. He landed in the water for a double-bogey on 11 before sinking four back-to-back birdies on 13 through 16, finishing with a four-under-par 66 at the fanless event.
“It feels like a practice round out there. There’s not many people watching and definitely was kind of a relaxing day, I think,” said An. “I didn’t get really tensed up.”
Rickie Fowler (69) ended the day two back from the lead after a pair of bogeys on the back nine dented an otherwise clean round.
“Thought I played a lot better than what I posted,” said Fowler, a five-time PGA Tour winner. “Struggled with some reads on greens. I felt – didn’t really feel I ever hit a putt necessarily offline of where I was trying to, they just didn’t go where I thought they’d go.”
Returning champion Brooks Koepka (68) slipped to fourth, shooting a double bogey on two and a bogey on six, before redeeming himself with five birdies on the back nine.
(Reporting by Amy Tennery; Editing by Daniel Wallis)
Source: OANN, Todd hangs on to lead headed into final round in Memphis
- UPDATED: Isaias expected to bring high wind, storm surge to the Outer Banks OBXToday.com
- Isaias weakens to a tropical storm as it nears Florida CNN
- First Warning Forecast: Heating up Sunday, Isaias approaches Monday wtkr.com
- Tropical Storm Isaias Aims For Florida Amid Pandemic | NBC Nightly News NBC News
- A breezy, Septemberish Sunday Minnesota Public Radio News
- View Full Coverage on Google News
Sat, 08/01/2020 – 20:00
Just a few weeks ago the idea of “peaceful riots” would have seemed absurd, but the American media is nothing if not inventive these days.
Earlier this week, ABC News reported, “Protesters in California set fire to a courthouse, damaged a police station and assaulted officers after a peaceful demonstration intensified.” Legal scholar Eugene Volokh wonders how this terminology would work in the real world: “You are being charged with an intensified peaceful demonstration, in the second degree. How do you plead?”
Indeed, the media’s commitment to tempering their descriptions of violent riots sweeping the nation as “mostly peaceful” is relentless – that particular phrase has become a media cliché practically overnight. Of course, America’s police officers could also be accurately described as “mostly peaceful,” but any journalist who dared to give cops the same generous benefit of the doubt would likely cause a riot in their own newsroom.
That’s why it was almost shocking to read an Associated Press report earlier this week from reporter Mike Balsamo, who embedded with federal law enforcement protecting the Mark O. Hatfield courthouse in downtown Portland.
“I watched as injured officers were hauled inside. In one case, the commercial firework came over so fast the officer didn’t have time to respond. It burned through his sleeves and he had bloody gashes on both forearms. Another had a concussion from being hit in the head with a mortar,” Balsamo reported.
“The lights inside the courthouse have to be turned off for safety and the light from high-powered lasers bounced across the lobby almost all night. The fear is palpable. Three officers were struck in the last few weeks and still haven’t regained their vision.”
Despite the obvious evidence of organized violence, Balsamo’s report is about the only good-faith effort from the national press attempting to inform the public about the current plight of law enforcement. Meanwhile, the media have spent weeks going out of their way to portray rioters as unambiguous freedom fighters.
When protesters in Portland organized a “Wall of Moms” to stand between federal marshals protecting the courthouse and the rioters throwing bricks and shooting fireworks, it prompted gushing media coverage. Columnist Jonathan Alter called the Wall of Moms a “brilliant tactic that may forever change social protest,” apparently unaware that groups such as Hamas have been cynically using human shields for decades. Following their 15 minutes of fame, you will not be surprised to learn that the group has descended into “Judean People’s Front” infighting over the leader’s allegedly insufficient fealty to Black Lives Matter. In spite of media wish-casting, the Wall of Moms was never a morally serious effort.
Naturally, the big beneficiaries of this one-sided media narrative about riots are Democratic Party politicians. On Wednesday, acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf announced that the federal government had reached a deal with the city of Portland to downsize the federal law enforcement presence at the courthouse that was clashing with protesters. However, Wolf’s statement made it clear that the deal was contingent on the city stepping up its own police presence to protect the building, which was all the federal government had asked the city to do months ago.
Rather than admit the deal was a tacit acknowledgement Portland had failed its basic responsibility to maintain law and order, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown pretended it was a victory against jackbooted feds who “acted as an occupying force and brought violence.”
But Brown’s rhetoric is dishonest, as she knows better than most. There were nightly riots for weeks before the feds arrived in downtown Portland. Along with Minneapolis and Seattle, Portland holds the dubious distinction of being a city that has failed to protect its own buildings. Rioters had already burned the Multnomah County Justice Center jail and the Portland Police Bureau headquarters, just a few blocks away from the federal courthouse.
Speaking as an Oregonian and former resident of Portland, I’ll note that the city’s problems go far beyond the recent riots. Business leaders have been begging City Hall to address law and order issues for years. In 2017, the CEO of Columbia Sportswear, one of Oregon’s most beloved companies, wrote a blistering op-ed about the city’s problems.
“A few days ago, one of our employees had to run into traffic when a stranger outside our office followed her and threatened to kill her,” Tim Boyle wrote.
“On other occasions our employees have arrived at work only to be menaced by individuals camping in the doorway. And our employees have had so many car break-ins downtown that we have started referring to parking in Portland as our ‘laptop donation program.’ Given these experiences, it is a relief when the only thing we are dealing with is the garbage and human waste by our front door. Think about that for a minute. This is outrageous and unacceptable.”
Anyone who has spent time in Portland comes to understand the mutually beneficial relationship between the homeless and itinerant gutter-punks who are the main source of the city’s crime and violence and the left-wing activists whose radical agenda of decriminalization lets them control the streets. After police responded to Boyle’s plea to keep excrement out of the doorway of his business, Boyle found himself on the receiving end of organized protests, forcing him to shut down Columbia’s flagship store downtown.
The city has also been capitulating to threats of left-wing political violence for years. Also in 2017, Portland canceled its annual Rose parade after “anti-fascists” threatened violence because members of the Multnomah County Republican Party were among the many civic groups slated to march. It’s one thing to claim that violence is justified against unwanted federal officers invading your city – but threatening local residents with violence because they are Republicans?
Even then, the city rolled over and in doing so conceded that violent left-wing activists control Portland. That’s not hyperbole – taking control of the city was literally one of the threats made in the anonymous email that caused officials to cancel the parade: “You have seen how much power we have downtown and that the police cannot stop us from shutting down roads so please consider your decision wisely.”
Who exactly is in charge in Portland? Well, it’s not Mayor Ted Wheeler, who’s spent years openly disparaging and undermining his own police force even as he let antifa direct traffic in his city. You’d think this would endear Wheeler to the radicals he’s trying to appease, but when he recently made a supportive appearance at the courthouse protests downtown the crowd booed and yelled at him to resign.
At this point, it’s insulting to insist that American consumers of news can’t distinguish legitimate protest from violent rioting that has devastated Portland and dozens of other cities. Similarly, there’s plenty of room for criticism of heavy-handed federal and police tactics, while still understanding that we can’t stand by and let violent mobs burn courthouses. But if covering a story from multiple angles used to be the norm in the media, it’s not anymore.
Ultimately, members of the media have a choice to make – you can be honest about the alarming evidence of law and order breaking down in American cities. Or you can continue to torch your credibility by downplaying the nightly violence for reasons that appear overtly partisan. Please consider your decision wisely.
Source: Zero Hedge, “Peaceful Riots”? Journalism Bows To The Woke Mob