Covid-19: Europe imposes new restrictions as cases reach record high
‘The facts don’t lie, we have to be stricter for ourselves’: The Netherlands goes into partial lockdown
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We'll start our review with the South American nations, and who else could we begin with, but the hosts Brazil. Rewind 18 months and they looked like they'd be struggling, but the appointment of 'Big Phil' Scolari has been inspired, and he's brought a belief to the team that was previously missing. Last years 3:0 demolition of Spain in the Confederations Cup final shocked many experts, and all of a sudden the Brazilians have expectations on them. Whilst you can't argue with that scoreline, we still wonder if Brazil have the firepower to win such a long tournament. Neymar is expected to conjure up the magic, but they're relying on Fred to come up with the goals. No disrepect to Fred, but the last two Brazilian teams to win the World Cup, in 2002 and 1994, could count on the likes of Ronaldo and Romario to lead the front line, two genuine legends of the game.
European governments are adding new restrictions and calling on citizens to make sacrifices in a bid to contain a record increase in coronavirus cases, with the Czech Republic closing schools and the Netherlands shutting down virtually all nighttime activity.
Around the world cases of the coronavirus topped 38 million, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Saying measures needed to stop the virus “will hurt,” Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte announced what he called a “partial lockdown” on Tuesday evening, with sales of alcohol to be banned after 8 pm and bars, restaurants and coffee shops to be closed altogether. Citizens are being urged to avoid public transportation where possible.
UK prime minister Boris Johnson announced that bars and pubs will be closed in the worst-hit parts of England beginning Wednesday, even as his top health adviser warned that won’t be enough. While the opposition Labour Party called for a short lockdown to halt the contagion, Mr Johnson told Conservative lawmakers on a Zoom call Tuesday that he’s against a new nationwide lockdown, people familiar with the meeting said.
Germany’s new coronavirus cases increased at their fastest pace since the height of the pandemic in the latest sign of how Europe is struggling to keep the disease in check. The region’s largest economy will evaluate its own next steps on Wednesday.
“I’m watching with great concern the climbing infection numbers, actually in almost every part of Europe,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday in a virtual address to regional European Union officials. “We cannot squander what we’ve achieved in the last few months.”
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Length of program: 22 months
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Europe recorded 700,000 new cases last week, the most since the pandemic began, the World Health Organisation said in its latest report. But rather than reviving national restrictions, officials are focusing on local measures amid concerns about hammering economies again and sparking unrest.
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Astronomers confirmed a key part of Einstein’s general theory of relativity in 2016 when they announced that the LIGO array had detected gravitational waves released by the collision of two black holes. The researchers won a Nobel Prize for the discovery. But they’re not done: In October, scientists announced the finding of two dead stars colliding — not only hearing the ripples in space-time they made, but confirming the event visually with powerful telescopes. Collisions of neutron stars are believed to be the source of all heavy metals in the universe, including gold and silver, and the detection by LIGO helps verify accepted explanations of how the chemistry of the universe formed.
“We need to be really careful right now,” Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organisation’s health emergencies program, said Monday. The relationship between case numbers and deaths “could reconnect very, very badly and very catastrophically unless we’re very, very careful.”
The central government is aware of the danger of a property bubble that can inflate the national economy or even burst, derailing the ongoing economic recovery. Several policy measures have been announced to cool the red-hot real estate market. Well, how much trust do you place in government policies to control housing prices in 2010?
Ninety percent of the students believe their universities' guidance on entrepreneurship would help their future businesses. In addition, they professed appreciation for policies intended to encourage entrepreneurship.
Legislators in neighbouring Slovakia quarrelled over virus measures, with premier Igor Matovic calling economy minister Richard Sulik a “saboteur” after the latter publicly questioned a decision to ban indoor serving of food and drinks in restaurants. Relations in the coalition have been fragile since elections seven months ago and Mr Matovic’s ratings have dropped as people blame him for an inadequate response to the pandemic.
Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte on Tuesday imposed new measures including ordering bars and restaurants to close by midnight, banning people from gathering outside them from 9pm, and limiting receptions for events such as weddings and baptisms to 30 people.
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After putting six cities including Paris on maximum alert, French president Emmanuel Macron may announce additional restrictions during a planned television appearance on Wednesday.
“Alas, the epidemic continues its ascent,” health minister Olivier Veran said during parliamentary question time. “This wave of hospitalisations that has started is worrisome.” – Bloomberg