The Latest: Lockdown in Perth, Australia reaches 5 days

first_imgPERTH, AustraIia — The city of Perth has been locked down for five days after Western Australia state’s first case of local COVID-19 infection in almost 10 months.,The city of 2 million people and coastal towns to the south were locked down from Sunday night until Friday night.,This followed a security guard who worked at a Perth quarantine hotel contracting a highly contagious British variant of the virus. Overseas travelers who arrive in Perth must isolate in hotel quarantine for 14 days.,The last previous known case of someone being infected with COVID-19 within Western Australia was on April 11.,Western Australia, Australia’s largest state by area, has remained virus-free for months by enforcing the nation’s toughest border restrictions in an elimination strategy. Those within the state have enjoyed some of Australia’s least restrictive pandemic measures because of the low risk.,All Perth residents must stay at home unless shopping for essentials, attending to,medical needs, exercising within their neighborhood or working if,unable to do so remotely.,Schools which were due to resume on Monday will remain closed for another week.,___,THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:,— Thousands flout virus restrictions at Israel funerals,— Anxiety grows as long-term facilities await COVID-19 vaccines,— Fans who’ve been to every Super Bowl making plans again this year,— Even if schools reopen by late April, millions of students, many of them minorities in urban areas, may be left out.,— A World Health Organization team looking into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic is visiting a market in the Chinese city of Wuhan,— The U.S. is backing off for now on a plan to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to the 40 prisoners held at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.,___,Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at, and,___,HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:,JERUSALEM — The Israeli Cabinet has voted to extend a nationwide lockdown for at least five more days as it struggles to bring a raging coronavirus outbreak under control.,Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced early Monday that the restrictions, which have forced nonessential businesses and most schools to remain closed for the past month, will remain in effect until at least Friday. A ban on nearly all incoming and outgoing flights will remain in effect for another week.,The Cabinet is to meet on Wednesday to decide whether to extend the restrictions even longer.,Israel has launched one of the world’s most aggressive vaccination campaigns, inoculating more than one-third of its population in just one month.,But the vaccine has had little effect so far in controlling the outbreak, which has spread quickly with the arrival of foreign variants of the coronavirus and continued violations of lockdown restrictions. Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Israelis thronged a pair of funerals Sunday, defying a ban on large public gatherings.,Israel, a country of 9.3 million people, has been reporting an average of some 6,000 new cases of the coronavirus each day, one of the highest infection rates in the developed world. The Health Ministry says nearly 4,800 people have died since the beginning of the pandemic.,___,LOS ANGELES — California on Sunday reported another 481 coronavirus deaths, a day after the statewide death toll topped 40,000 even as the rates of new infections and hospitalizations continue to fall.,The state said that the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 slipped below 14,850 — a drop of more than 25% in two weeks.,The 18,974 new confirmed cases are about one-third the mid-December peak of 54,000.,With hospitalizations and confirmed cases falling, health officials are optimistic that the worst of the latest surge is over.,Deaths remain staggeringly high, however, with more than 3,800 in the last week.,It took six months for California to record its first 10,000 deaths, then four months to double to 20,000. In just five more weeks the state reached 30,000. It then took only 20 days to get to 40,000. On Sunday deaths rose to 40,697, while total cases topped 3.2 million.,___,NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is acknowledging that Black and Latino New Yorkers are receiving COVID-19 vaccines at far lower rates than white or Asian residents.,Data released by the city’s health department shows that 48% of the city residents who have gotten at least one vaccine dose are white. That’s far higher than the roughly one-third the city’s population that is non-Hispanic white.,Just 11% of vaccine doses administered to New York City residents went to Black people and 15% to Latinos. The vaccine numbers are incomplete because about 40% of people who have been vaccinated in the city haven’t provided demographic information.,Still, the figures mirror vaccination data from other cities and states.,“Clearly, we do see a profound disparity that needs to be addressed aggressively and creatively,” de Blasio said in a conference call with reporters. “We’ve got a profound problem of distrust and hesitancy, particularly in communities of color.”,___,BOSTON — Businesses like gyms, movie theaters, museums and sight-seeing harbor cruises can resume Monday in Boston under its coronavirus pandemic reopening plan.,The businesses can reopen, following a 25% capacity limit, given the improvement in the number of COVID-19 cases and in the city’s positivity rate.,Other sites include aquariums, indoor recreational venues with the potential for low contact, such as batting cages and bowling alleys, and gaming arcades.,“While there has been some improvement in recent weeks, it’s still vital that everyone remains vigilant,” Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement last week.,___,LIMA, Peru — Peru began what was supposed to be a severe lockdown Sunday to combat surging COVID-19, but the order was widely ignored in the nation’s capital.,President Francisco Sagasti went on television urging Peruvians “to make an extra effort to contain the growing wave of infections and deaths.” His government told people in the capital and nine other regions to limit trips outside the home to 60 minutes and it closed churches, gymnasiums, museums, libraries and other institutions.,But marketplaces were crowded. Even some bus drivers ignored mandatory face mask rules. Seventy percent of Peruvians have no income if they stay home. The government says it will give $165 each to 4 million families — but only after the two-week quarantine.,Hundreds of people crowded bus stations in Lima to head for less-restricted rural regions before terminals close later this week. Flights from Brazil and Europe have been cancelled.,Lima Police Chief Jorge Angulo said his agency would try to enforce restrictions, and he noted that 540 of his officers already have died of the virus.,The country of 33 million people has recorded more than 1 million infections and more than 40,000 deaths from COVID-19.,THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Dutch elementary schools and childcare centers will reopen from a weeks-long coronavirus lockdown on Feb. 8.,The government announced the move Sunday following guidance from a team of experts that advises on policies to tackle the pandemic that has killed just over 14,000 in the Netherlands.,Education Minister Arie Slob says, “it’s a relief that the schools can open again. For parents and teachers but, of course, especially for the students.”,The Netherlands, which has been in a tough lockdown since mid-December and under a 9 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. curfew for just over a week, has seen rates of infections fall slowly in recent weeks, but the government remains concerned that new, more transmissible variants are gaining ground and will lead to a new rise in infections.,The education ministry says that when classrooms open again, any child with symptoms of COVID-19 will have to stay home, and if a student tests positive the whole class will have to go into isolation.,No date has been set for a reopening of high schools.,___,ATHENS, Greece — Greek authorities have confirmed the first detection of the South African variant of the new coronavirus in the country, prompting top health officials to fly to the area where it was found for meetings on Sunday.,The minister leading the government response to the pandemic and the head of the country’s public health body met with doctors and the local bishop in the northern city of Thessaloniki. The variant is believed to be more contagious than the original type and it was detected in a 36-year-old deacon in a suburb of the city.,“We will be doing screenings to isolate the persons who have been in contact with the patient,” said Panayiotis Arkoumaneas, head of the National Public Health Organization.,There have also been 173 cases of people affected with a variant first detected in the U.K., authorities said Sunday.,Authorities announced 484 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday, as well as 17 deaths. The total number of confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic is 156,957, with 5,796 fatalities.,Experts warn there could be a resurgence in February and March and say the situation will remain volatile until a large number of vulnerable people are vaccinated.,“The virus is playing the drums and we are dancing to its beat,” said Nikos Sipsas, member of the state advisory committee on the pandemic.,___,ROME — For the first time in weeks, the number of daily new admissions of COVID-19 patients to intensive care wards in Italy has dipped below 100, according to the Health Ministry’s figures on Sunday.,The total number of COVID-19 ill in ICU beds nationwide stood at 2,215. While that number is far lower than the nearly 4,000 patients receiving intensive care in any day in late November, Italy has been struggling with a surge of coronavirus infections since autumn.,With 88,516 known dead, Italy has Europe’s second-highest known toll, after Britain’s. Italy, a nation of 60 million, has registered more than 2.5 million confirmed infections in the pandemic.,___,BRUSSELS — Belgian protesters denouncing coronavirus restrictions staged a demonstration on Sunday in central Brussels and local media say police arrested about 300 people who tired to join the unauthorized action.,Brussels police on Twitter repeatedly called on people not to gather and later dispersed the demonstration, which ended peacefully.,Authorities had warned that riots in the Netherlands over coronavirus restrictions could spark similar protests in neighboring Belgium.,Belgium’s tough lockdown includes a 9 p.m. curfew and a ban on nonessential travel in and out of the country, which has had one of Europe’s worst outbreaks.,Authorities have reported over 21,000 confirmed virus deaths in a nation of 11 million.,___,HARTFORD, Conn. — A top Connecticut official says that COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to enough nursing home residents in the state to potentially stop the transmission of the virus among those residents.,Josh Geballe, chief operating officer for the state, said Saturday that Connecticut nursing homes are reporting that 90% to 100% of residents have received at least the first of two vaccine shots.,He said the number of weekly COVID-19 cases in nursing homes has declined by 66% in the last three weeks. Geballe said some vaccine doses that had been earmarked for nursing homes are being reallocated to hospitals and retail sites.,___,LISBON, Portugal — Portugal on Sunday reported 9,498 new cases and 303 more deaths as the country battles a raging surge in new coronavirus infections.,The figures came as Portugal and Spain began applying border restrictions for a period of two weeks. Portugal is in lockdown and has banned all nonessential travel abroad for its citizens.,The country has had the world’s worst rate of new daily cases and deaths per 100,000 population for more than a week, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.,Portuguese health authorities say total fatalities are now at 12,482 and the total number of cases has surpassed 720,500.,Virus patients in hospitals, many of which are close to full, are at 6,694.,Experts say the peak of the latest surge in Portugal may not come until mid-February, as a fast-spreading variant first identified in Britain takes hold.,___,BEIJING — China recorded more than 2,000 new domestic cases of COVID-19 in January, the highest monthly total since the tail end of the initial outbreak in Wuhan in March of last year.,The National Health Commission said Sunday that 2,016 cases were reported from Jan. 1-30. That does not include another 435 infected people who arrived from abroad. The tally for Jan. 31 is due to be released Monday.,Two people have died in January, the first reported COVID deaths in China in several months.,Most of the new cases have been in three northern provinces. Hardest-hit Hebei province, which borders Beijing, has reported more than 900 cases. Beijing, the Chinese capital, has itself had 45 cases this month.,The numbers, while low compared to many other countries, have prompted officials to tighten restrictions and strongly discourage people from traveling during the Lunar New Year, a major holiday when people typically return home for family reunions.,Train trips were down nearly 75 percent in the first three days of the holiday travel season, the official Xinhua News Agency said Sunday, citing the state railway company.last_img read more

The Rockettes Kick Off in Radio City Christmas Spectacular

first_img Performances will run through December 31. This year Radio City Music Hall will be decked out for the season and the Rockettes will shine in a new finale that transforms the theater into a glistening winter wonderland. The Rockettes modern SNOW choreography combined with crystalline costumes is inspired by the snowflakes swirling over the audience, in a whirling dance of their own. Christmas Spectacular Starring The Radio City Rockettes View Comments Related Shows That most wonderful time of year is officially here! The Rockettes begin performances in the 87th anniversary of Radio City Christmas Spectacular on November 7. Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 5, 2020last_img

Eclipsed Playwright Danai Gurira on How She Landed Lupita Nyong’o

first_img View Comments Danai Gurira is the ultimate multi-hyphenate. Not only does she have a starring role on The Walking Dead, but her play Eclipsed is currently wrapping up a successful run at the Public before moving to Broadway. Gurira stopped by The Tonight Show on November 25 to chat about her projects and how she landed Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o to lead her production. “She emailed me and said: ‘Danai, I really want to get back on stage and I want to do it with your play,'” says Gurira, who went on to admit to host Jimmy Fallon: “I’m still pinching myself.” Check out the interview below; Eclipsed will begin previews at the Golden Theatre on February 23, 2016. Show Closed This production ended its run on June 19, 2016 Related Shows Eclipsedlast_img read more

A year in, Tesla’s big Australian battery proves viability of energy storage

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:A year after Elon Musk rolled out what was then the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery to aid South Australia’s blackout-prone power grid, more projects are set to follow in its footsteps at home and abroad.The Hornsdale storage facility — the result of Musk’s successful wager that he could build and get it up and running within 100 days — has helped the state stabilize the grid, avoid outages and lower costs. Its success is a boost to other plants commissioned around the world, including a larger one in South Korea.The battery system is designed to overcome one of the main obstacles to renewable energy taking a bigger role globally: reliability falters when the wind stops blowing or the sun goes down. Batteries store up power and then release it steadily to the grid when generation stalls.The storage industry is increasingly important in places like South Australia, which has less access to traditional fossil-fuel sources like coal and gas. Hornsdale has performed an important function in providing frequency control services and its “speed and laser precision in response to system events has been encouraging,” the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) said in an emailed response to questions.The plant earned Neoen about 8.1 million euros ($9.2 million) in the first half of 2018 from a supply contract with the South Australian government and independent sales of stored electricity, helping to pay back some of its 56 million euro price tag. It has also contributed to an almost 75 percent drop in the cost of ancillary services to the grid, according to Bloomberg NEF.The big question for the renewables industry is whether battery storage can be expanded to shore up baseload generation, as fossil fuels’ dominance in the power mix declines. Neoen’s Heron said battery storage was “absolutely scaleable,” and the company has plans for at least two more battery storage facilities in Australia. Liberty House chief Sanjeev Gupta wants to eclipse Hornsdale with an 120 megawatt plant in South Australia.More: Musk’s Outback success points to bright future for battery storage A year in, Tesla’s big Australian battery proves viability of energy storagelast_img read more

State Throws Support Behind $700 Million South Shore Project

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The breach on Fire Island at Old Inlet opened by Superstorm Sandy is blamed by some for Long Island flooding and credited by others with improving Great South Bay water quality (FINS).A large-scale $700 million project—first authorized a half-century ago—to upgrade storm protections along a vulnerable 83-mile stretch of Long Island coastal areas now has the full support of New York State, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday.The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers project will install upgraded storm protections from Fire Island to Montauk Point and includes expedited repairs to restore dunes and beaches battered by Superstorm Sandy seven months ago.“We are taking steps to build it back stronger and better prepared to withstand future storms,” Cuomo said of badly damaged South Shore beaches.“This project will protect local communities and residents against future storms, including shoring up defenses in coastal areas,” he said, noting the area’s importance to local tourism.It’s unclear when construction will start, but the project promises to enhance dunes along the coast, install surge dampening natural infrastructure in and along the bays, and elevate some 4,000 flood-prone structures, officials said.The governor’s statement also noted that the project will take into account sea level rise and the “more intense storms projected under on-going climate change.”The state’s support now allows the projecting to officially move forward.Sen. Chuck Schumer said the plan was “long a dream of coastal communities on the South Shore,” adding that homeowners can “feel a little more secure knowing that vital protections, in the forms of dunes, berms, beaches and more will now be constructed.”The project is more than 50 years in the making. It was first authorized by the Rivers and Harbors Act in 1960.last_img read more

It’s Personal: Who needs mobile?

first_imgIn a market as pervasive as mobile, it’s impossible to nail down a meaningful demographic. Are mobile users, as we are often told, young? Saying so excludes the millions and millions of mobile devotees who are various shades of older – parents, for example, or midcareer achievers.In reference to a recent global survey on retail banking, Cisco made a similar observation: “Segmenting by age is an outmoded strategy and could alienate valuable sets of customers,” said Cisco vice president Joseph Bradley. “By focusing on digital behavior (which, more and more, transcends age), banks can better implement Internet-of-Everything-enabled concepts that resonate with each customer.”What are the individualized drivers that make mobile money management a necessity in 2015? Here are four personality types and their specific mobile needs:1. Pay Today – Or ElseProfile: People who need to pay right now. Their bills are due today. They owe friends for their share of the last 12 dinners out. continue reading » 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Warning for possible COVID-19 exposure for Greyhound bus riders

first_imgGreyhound is not stopping in Broome County during the pandemic. Greyhound bus 4178 left Cleveland, Ohio at approximately 4:30a.m. on Wednesday, May 6 and passed through Erie, PA and then connected with Greyhound bus 0317 leaving Buffalo at about 9:00 a.m. and arrived in Syracuse at approximately 12:30 p.m. that same day. If any Broome County residents were riding the bus they can contact the Broome County Health Department at 607-778-2802. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) – The Broome County Health Department is warning passengers who traveled on certain Greyhound buses in May about possible COVID-19 exposure.center_img Broome County officials want passengers who were on either ofthose buses to contact their local health department for further informationand assessment. This bus did not pass through Broome County, since the Greater Greater Binghamton Transportation Center has been closed to commercial traffic.last_img read more

Indonesia’s Ramadan school moves online amid coronavirus epidemic

first_img“The chemistry is absolutely different as we don’t meet in person,” Winardi said of the online lessons. “But we try some ice-breaking activities, such as shouting ‘God is greatest’. Hopefully it encourages them to memorize the Quran.”Joining the class from the capital, Jakarta, alongside classmates from South Sumatra and West Java, Muhammad Umar Abdurrahman, 11, said he enjoyed the lesson, although his father saw room for improvement, such as more comprehensive course material.Most residents of Jakarta have been staying home since March 20 as part of social distancing measures, which have seen schools and businesses close, and gatherings of more than five people banned until May 22.Indonesia, which has the highest coronavirus death toll in East Asia outside China, has reported more than 12,000 coronavirus cases and 872 deaths, as of on Tuesday.Topics : “Due to COVID-19, we’re restricted from activities outside our houses so we started the online Islamic course,” said Gemia Indria, one of the organizers.”And it turns out online teaching removes geographical barriers, so we can reach out to more participants.”Known as pesantren kilat, which loosely translates as “intensive Islamic boarding school”, the course teaches students about Islam, as well as creative ways to recite the Quran, such as through hand gestures.The gestures, Winardi explained, can act as fun prompts to help primary school students, most aged from 6 to 12 years old, recall religious verses. Each year during the fasting month of Ramadan, Indonesian tutor Ahmad Winardi has taught a special course for students in the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country to deepen their knowledge of Islam.But this year, the novel coronavirus has brought a Ramadan like never before, with shuttered mosques and strict physical distancing regulations, and so Winardi has moved his Islamic studies online.One consequence is that the courses, previously held only in cities on the islands of Java and Sumatra, have this year attracted a wider range of students in the archipelago, including from Kalimantan.last_img read more

We’re making the DMV faster in PA. Here’s how.

first_img Efficiency,  GO-TIME,  Innovation,  The Blog One of the biggest priorities for Governor Wolf is improving customer service at the front-lines of state government. Through GO-TIME and other initiatives in our agencies, we’re finding places where we can both save taxpayers’ money and deliver much better customer service and reduce the time taxpayers’ wait for services.There are few points where state government interacts with more Pennsylvanians that at ‘the DMV.’ (Note: Pennsylvania technically has DLCs – Driver’s License Centers – but DMV is a common term for the same place)PennDOT and Secretary of Transportation Leslie Richards are working diligently to bring DLCs into the 21st Century and make the customer experience the best it can be.Back in December, PennDOT deployed new software to reduce wait times for drivers. And we learned that something as simple as a software upgrade can not only improve the customer experience, but help agencies such as PennDOT operate more efficiently and transparently.Now at many Driver License Centers, PennDOT can monitor wait times around the state in real time and deploy additional resources in response.When people come to PennDOT, they want a quick, no-hassle experience. This new system to monitor wait times was one way we are delivering that kind of quality service.At one of PennDOT’s busiest centers in Malvern, Chester County, not far from here, the new system prompted PennDOT to add an extra camera to its photo license operation and expand hours of operation. As a result, wait times were cut from 90 minutes to less than 30 minutes. At PennDOT’s new DLC in Norristown, we’re taking innovations to the next level. This new center relies on new technology and many other upgrades to deliver better customer service and experience, including:Customer feedback units at every counter station, giving real-time data on our customers’ satisfaction and allowing for intervention at the time of service.Customers can opt for queuing text notifications to their mobile phone, so they have the freedom to run errands nearby or enjoy the outdoor seating area without losing their place in line.Norristown will be the first location that will allow customers to make an appointment for a service at the driver’s license center, and be placed in the queue in advance of their arrival.Additionally, the website will also include average wait times, which will help customers to plan their visits accordingly.These are just a few of the innovations being piloted here. And these innovations are another example of the work my administration is doing to deliver better services in a more efficient way.Whether it is making it easier to register to vote by putting the application online or making it easier to go to the DMV, the Wolf Administration is committed to making a government that works efficiently, effectively and with innovation that the people of Pennsylvania both demand and have come to expect in the private sector.   SHARE  TWEET By: J.J. Abbott, Deputy Press Secretary We’re making the DMV faster in PA. Here’s how.center_img August 26, 2016 Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Picture of the day: Pakistan’s second LNG import terminal

first_imgImage courtesy of Pakistan LNG TerminalsPakistan GasPort’s LNG import terminal at Mazhar Point, Port Qasim, Karachi has recently been inaugurated, and according to local media reports, the facility started receiving commercial cargoes. The project, worth around $500 million includes a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), BW’s FSRU BW Integrity with a storage capacity in excess of 170,000 cubic meters and a peak regasification capacity of 750 million standard cubic feet per day.It is connected to the national gas grid via a 12.3 kilometer subsea and onshore pipeline.The import facility provides LNG storage and regasification services to the state-owned Pakistan LNG Terminals of up to 600mmscfd for 15 years.The terminal’s surplus regas capacity of 90mmscfd is, under the prevailing policy and rules, be made available to the private sector in collaboration with PGPC’s equity partner Trafigura.It provides fuel for 3,600 megawatts of power generation plants set up by the government of Pakistan.last_img read more