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Florida governor excludes greater Miami from initial coronavirus reopening

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The governor of Florida, whose state was among the last to be locked down against the U.S. coronavirus outbreak, announced on Wednesday he would permit limited economic reopening next week while leaving restraints in place for the greater Miami area.

Under the Phase One plan for relaxing mandatory business closures imposed at the start of the month, Governor Ron DeSantis said retail merchants and restaurants could welcome customers back inside their establishments starting Monday, but admissions will be limited to 25% of capacity.

Eateries may also reopen outdoor seating with appropriate social distancing, and medical practices can resume elective surgeries and procedures, DeSantis, the Republican governor of a key electoral swing state, said at a news conference.

But movie theaters, bars and fitness clubs will remain shuttered for the time being, he said.

The governor’s plan also leaves existing restrictions in place for all commercial establishments in the densely populated South Florida metropolitan region consisting of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Florida has a high proportion of elderly residents, who are especially vulnerable to the virus, and waited until early April to clamp down on commerce – after most other states had already done so. But Florida has avoided the worst of the health crisis seen in other states such as New York and New Jersey.

Still, Florida becomes the most populous of about a dozen states forging ahead with economic reopenings despite a lack of wide-scale virus testing and the means to trace close contacts of newly infected individuals, as recommended by White House guidelines on April 16.

“Part of our strategy in Phase One is to expand testing,” DeSantis said, adding that Florida would increase walk-up virus screening sites to 11 throughout the state. “We want to be able to spot trends in the under-served communities.

With millions of Americans out of jobs since stay-at-home orders were imposed across the country, pressure has been mounting on governors to ease restrictions.

Public health experts have urged caution, saying that a rollback of social distancing without large-scale virus testing or the means to trace close contacts of infected individuals could trigger a second wave of infections.

U.S. deaths from the novel coronavirus topped 60,000 on Wednesday and the outbreak will soon be deadlier than any flu season since 1967, according to a Reuters tally.

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Trump orders U.S. meat-processing plants to stay open despite coronavirus fears

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President Donald Trump on Tuesday ordered meat-processing plants to stay open to protect the food supply in the United States, despite concerns about coronavirus outbreaks, drawing a backlash from unions that said at-risk workers required more protection.

With concerns about food shortages and supply chain disruptions, Trump issued an executive order using the Defense Production Act to mandate that the plants continue to function.

The world’s biggest meat companies, including Smithfield Foods Inc SFII.UL, Cargill Inc CARG.UL, JBS USA [JBS.UL] and Tyson, have halted operations at about 20 slaughterhouses and processing plants in North America as workers fall ill, stoking global fears of a meat shortage.

The order is designed in part to give companies legal cover with more liability protection in case employees catch the virus as a result of having to go to work.

John H. Tyson, chairman of Tyson Foods, said on Sunday that the food supply chain was “breaking” and warned of the potential for meat shortages.

Before issuing the executive order, Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that signing the order, “… will solve any liability problems,” adding, “And we always work with the farmers. There’s plenty of supply.”

The executive order, released Tuesday evening, said the closure of just one large beef-processing plant could result in 10 million fewer individual servings of beef in a day.

“Such closures threaten the continued functioning of the national meat and poultry supply chain, undermining critical infrastructure during the national emergency,” the order said.

A senior administration official said the U.S. government would also provide guidance to minimize risk to workers who are especially vulnerable to the virus, such as encouraging older workers and those with other chronic health issues to stay home.

Unions were not impressed. Some farmers said it was too late because pigs had been euthanized already instead of the pork going to market.

While we share the concern over the food supply, today’s executive order to force meatpacking plants to stay open must put the safety of our country’s meatpacking workers first,” the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union said in a statement.

UFCW, the largest U.S. meat-packing union, demanded that the administration compel meat companies to provide “the highest level of protective equipment” to slaughterhouse workers and ensure daily coronavirus testing.

The senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said if action were not taken, the vast majority of processing plants could have shut down for a period of time, reducing capacity by as much as 80%.

The order was little consolation for farmers such as Henry Moore of Clinton, North Carolina, who in recent weeks aborted thousands of unborn piglets and euthanized newly born because of closures of packing plants.

“At this point, honestly, it’s a little too late,” Moore said. “There’s millions and millions and millions of pounds of pork that will never make it to the market.

Tyson said on Wednesday it was closing two pork-processing plants, including its largest in the United States, further tightening meat supplies following other major slaughterhouse shutdowns.

U.S. meat companies slaughtered an estimated 283,000 hogs on Tuesday, down about 43% from before plants began shutting because of the pandemic, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. Processors slaughtered about 76,000 cattle, down about 38%.

Critics of Trump’s order made clear that plants were being shut down for a reason.

When poultry plants shut down, it’s for deep cleaning and to save workers’ lives. If the administration had developed meaningful safety requirements early on as they should have and still must do, this would not even have become an issue,” Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, said in a statement.

The White House worked directly with executives from the meat-processing companies to determine what they needed to stay open safely, the administration official said. He said there were enough workers who could safely go to work and ensure the supply chain continued to churn.

More than 6,500 meat- and food-processing workers have been infected with or exposed to the new coronavirus, and 20 have died, the UFCW said on.

Administration officials and some Republicans on Capitol Hill have said that businesses that are reopening need liability protection from lawsuits employees might file if they become sick.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, speaking to reporters on a teleconference on Tuesday that mainly centered on immigrants working in the healthcare sector, was asked about Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell’s pushing for business liability protections as they reopen their operations.

Is he saying if an owner tells a worker he needs to work next to a sick person without a mask and wouldn’t be liable? That makes no sense,” Schumer said.

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Toilet paper trophy hunters on a roll as U.S. shortages start easing

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 U.S. consumers have begun spotting rare Quilted Northern and Charmin toilet paper rolls on store shelves across the United States, as stocks start building after weeks of severe shortages.Shoppers who bagged the coveted rolls are crowing on Twitter about their finds. “Found some toilet paper in the wild! Driving it home now,” tweeted @TransForYang on April 23. This is as close as I’ll ever come to knowing what it feels like driving one of those armored money trucks.”

Empty shelves were still a problem at nearly half of American grocery stores as of mid-April, but supplies were markedly more plentiful than they had been during the prior week, according to the consumer products data tracker NCSolutions.

About 48 percent of U.S. grocery stores were out of stock of toilet paper for some part of the day on April 19, the latest date for which figures were available. In comparison, out-of-stock shelves were prevalent at 73 percent of U.S. grocery stores one week earlier, on April 12, according to the data, provided exclusively to Reuters.

Demand for toilet paper is still up 27 percent from pre-Covid-19 levels, NCSolutions said.

The average U.S. household – 2.6 people – uses about 409 rolls a year, according to Georgia Pacific, maker of Angel Soft and Quilted Northern. It estimated that staying at home 24/7 would boost that by 40 percent, and that a two-person household would use nine double rolls in about two weeks.

Toilet paper is not the only essential item shoppers stocked up on after states started locking down businesses to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in mid-March. The large size of toilet paper packages versus other staples such as pasta, soap and canned goods means that retail stores rarely keep much in stock, and so are quicker to run out.

In Europe, the shortages at retail stores may be less dire due partly to the fact that some production is done closer to retailers.

Normally there are fewer and larger factories in the U.S.,” said Magnus Groth, chief executive of Europe’s biggest toilet paper maker, Essity. Groth said Essity, which in the United States sells tissue products to businesses only, met a spike in European demand by boosting production, selling down inventory and securing extra transport capacity.

The U.S. retail market for toilet paper was worth $9.7 billion last year, according to Euromonitor International.

Procter & Gamble dominates with about a 29% share, followed by Kimberly-Clark, maker of Cottonelle and Scott, and privately held Koch Industries-owned Georgia Pacific.

For Charmin maker Procter & Gamble, March and April will berecord production months, said Rick McLeod, its vice presidentof global family care product supply.The company’s six U.S. plants are running 24/7, focusing on the most popular products. P&G’s plants manufacture massive “parent” rolls of toilet paper and then convert them to small rolls for home use. The parent rolls, which are a standard in the industry, measure more than eight feet in diameter and weigh about a ton.

“Our data says that in-stock levels are improving but notwhere we want them to be certainly,” McLeod said.

Georgia Pacific is now making 1.5 million more roles perday, and is trying to maximize the number of deliveries it canship. Its mills and regional distribution centers have shippedabout 120 percent of normal capacity, while a shift to directshipments where possible has reduced shipping time to retailersby up to three days, a spokesman said.

Store checks last week showed toilet paper was approachingnormal stock levels after being “deeply deficient for over 50days,” said Burt Flickinger, managing director of consulting firm Strategic Resource Group, adding that it was the first week his firm saw adequate levels of shelf stock.

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Corona deaths in the United States exceed 60 000

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The number of deaths due to the Corona virus in the United States has exceeded 60,000.

The number of corona victims will soon exceed any casualty figures for the seasonal flu in the United States since 1967.

The worst flu season in recent years was in 2017-2018, when the death toll reached more than 61,000 people.

Before that, the United States witnessed three times more deaths due to the epidemic only, during the influenza pandemic in 1967, when 100,000 Americans died, and in 1957 (116 thousand deaths), and during the Spanish flu category in 1918, when the number of victims reached 675 thousand Americans According to the data of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to estimates by the University of Washington, the Corona virus may claim the lives of 73,000 people by August 4, while previous estimates predicted the death of more than 67,600 people.

And US President Donald Trump said 10 days ago that the number of corona victims would be about 60,000 people, noting that this is much less than the estimates that this number would reach close to 100,000.

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Ammash: Voters should have no choice but Trump and Biden

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Michigan lawmaker Justin Ammash ignored political concerns about the decision to run for the US presidential race as a ballooner.

Amash insisted that voters must have a choice in the polls next November to choose a candidate other than President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Amash stated that there are millions of Americans who are not represented by Donald Trump or Joe Biden, who are not represented by Republicans or Democrats and these millions of Americans deserve a choice in the poll and it is absurd to say, well, we should not allow another candidate to participate in the poll.

“We can always say that the next elections are the right time, or the elections that follow, but the truth is that the system will not change unless people go up one step,” he said.

He stressed that being hostile to a third-party bid for the White House was a form of voter repression

If people want to vote for a person, they must vote for this person. If they do not want to vote for this person, they will not vote for it, but not to fundamentally suppress voters by depriving people of more candidates to vote. It seems really ridiculous, and frankly, anti-American.

Amash, the governor who is serving his fifth term in the House of Representatives, left the Republican party last year for fear of the direction the party took during Trump’s era.

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Canadian tennis champion Bouchard gives her fans the opportunity to dine with her at an auction

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Canadian star Eugenie Bouchard, ranked fifth in the list of former professional tennis players, joined the “All in Challenge” campaign to support Americans affected by the Corona pandemic.

Bouchar gave her fans the opportunity to dine with her and watch a tennis match from the place designated for her in one of the tournaments chosen by the winner, through the auction.

The winner and his guest will be paid a flight and hotel stay, and the Canadian player will give them a racket and sneakers with her signature. The winner will also have the opportunity to promote with Bouchar the mobile application “15 Seconds of Fame”, for a full 15 days.

Finally, and most importantly of all, the most generous fan will have the opportunity to dine with Canadian Belle and the auction has started from $ 2,500, and has now risen to $ 8,500.

And Serbian star Novak Djokovic, the world number one tennis professional, has announced his joining the campaign to support Americans affected by the Corona pandemic through such an offer.

A number of sports celebrities also joined this campaign. The Spanish star Rafael Nadal put one of the shirts that crowned the French Open title “Roland Garros”, the second major tennis tournament, in the auction, as well as the French star Martin Forkad, the legend of the Biathlon, the yellow shirt for the leader in the auction.

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Irfan Khan died after a struggle with cancer at the age of 54

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Irfan Khan has passed away at the age of 54 after a rich artistic history in which he introduced a modernist flavor to films that were very popular and played a Hollywood business championship including (Life of Bay), “Life of Bay” and (The Namesc) “Name Issue”

A spokesman confirmed his death after a long struggle with illness and said he was surrounded by his family when he left our world. Khan gave birth to two sons.

“The many battles that accompanied it fought, referring to Khan’s diagnosis of a rare type of cancer in 2018,” the spokesman said.

Khan was one of the first Indian actors to leave a clear footprint in Western cinema, following in the footsteps of pioneers such as Saeed Jaafari, Roshan Seth, and Om Puri.

Amitabh Bachchan, a famous Bollywood star, said in a commentary on mourners on Twitter that Khan was an outstanding talent and a wonderful fellow who made a great contribution to world cinema, leaving us very early, leaving a great void.

Khan, whose official name is Sahibzada Irfan Ali Khan, was born in the desert state of Rajasthan in western India for a family not related to cinema.

Khan was influenced by Indian independent cinema in the eighties, so he decided to enter this field and moved to New Delhi to study theater art and then moved to Mumbai in search of a job in acting, but Bollywood films in the nineties did not provide opportunities for this type of acting that is not appreciated sufficiently and Khan preferred it.

Khan has worked in Indian TV series for nearly ten years and has sought to play small roles in films.

In 2001, British director Asif Kapadia offered him the title role in The Warrior.

The film won the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award for best British film and it was a card to participate in the Academy Awards. He also opened the doors to Hollywood, which appreciated Khan long before Bollywood.

Khan went on to play roles in successful Indian films such as “The Namesc”, for director Mira Nair and also in more popular successful films such as Jurassic World.

In March 2018, Khan announced a diagnosis of a neurological endocrine tumor.

He then returned from London, where he was receiving treatment and participated in the English Medium movie, which was shown by Indian cinemas last month, and Khan was absent while promoting the film and had not appeared in public since news of his diagnosis.

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100, 5147 Corona Injuries in United States and 57,505 deaths

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The American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that the total number of coronavirus infections in the United States amounted to 100,5147 cases, an increase of 23,901 cases from the previous census, while the number of deaths increased by 2,247, bringing the total deaths to 57,505.

The American centers said that this toll is for the number of people infected and deceased with Covid-19 disease caused by the Coruna virus, compared to its previous count the previous day.

The numbers of the American centers do not necessarily reflect the numbers announced by each state separately.

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British Prime Minister and fiancée celebrate the arrival of a boy

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Carrie Simmonds, the fiancée of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, gave birth to a healthy male baby in a London hospital earlier than expected.

Simmonds, 32, had said the baby was expected in early summer, and it was not clear if Johnson, 55, would take a child care vacation at a time when the government was facing the worst health crisis since a flu pandemic in 1918.

A Prime Minister and Mrs. Simonds spokeswoman said they were pleased to announce a healthy male child in a London hospital

The Prime Minister and Mrs. Simmonds added they wanted to thank the obstetric team at the National Health Service and the name of the baby has not been announced.

The boy culminates in a windy month for Johnson, who returned to work a month after contracting Covid-19, caused by the Coronavirus, and tired of him by introducing intensive care at the height of the pandemic.

Simonds, a former public relations officer, also suffered from the symptoms of the disease, but recovered faster.

Not many British leaders have had children during their accession, but it has become more common at Prime Minister Downing Street recently.

Samantha, wife of former Prime Minister David Cameron, gave birth to their daughter Florence in 2010, and Sherry gave birth to Tony Blair’s wife, Leo, in 2006.

Before that, Francis, wife of John Russell, a nineteenth-century liberal politician, gave birth to two children in 1848 and 1849 while in power.

Symonds has lived with Johnson on Downing Street since he took over as prime minister in July. And we announced in February that they were expecting their first baby, and that they were engaged and preparing for marriage.

He was once dismissed from the Conservative Party’s political team while in opposition because of his lie about an extramarital affair. Two marriages ended in divorce, and he refuses to reveal the number of his children.

In 2013, when Johnson was mayor of London, judges in an appeals court ruled that the people had the right to know that he had had an extramarital relationship with a woman who had given birth to a girl.

Johnson’s former wife was Lawyer Marina Wheeler. She gave birth to four children, but they announced the separation in September 2018, and the divorce took place this year. Symonds announced her engagement to Johnson in February.

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The Oscar Academy will accept films broadcast on digital platforms

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Oscar organizers said that movies released on broadcast or video platforms only on demand while movie theaters were closed due to the Corona pandemic would be eligible to compete for the Academy Awards next year.

This temporary change, which will only apply to Academy Awards, is announced next year and will expire when cinemas are reopened across the country, in a statement issued by the Academy of Film Arts and Sciences.

In the past, films had to be shown in a Los Angeles movie theater for at least seven days to qualify for the Academy Awards.

Academy President David Robin and CEO Don Hudson said the academy firmly believes there is no better way to test the magic of movies than in a theater.

Our commitment to this does not change nor waver, yet the tragic Covid-19 pandemic requires this temporary exception to the rules for qualifying for our awards.

The most prestigious Oscars in the world of cinema will still be held in Hollywood on February 28, 2021.