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Coronavirus infects 5 million worldwide – world news

Coronavirus infects 5 million worldwide – world news

The number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases crossed the 5-million mark on Wednesday, according to a compilation of figures by Worldometer, as the pandemic continued to devastate the globe where close to 325,000 people have now died due to it and millions more find themselves unemployed and at the risk of poverty.

The latest million took 12 days, compared to 11 days that it took for the number to go from three to four million infections. Several countries, particularly the ones that were the hardest hit in early April such as Italy and Spain, have crossed their peaks and are reopening slowly, but officials have warned of a second wave that it may lead to.

The total number of infections is now equivalent to the population of New Zealand.

Also on Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) expressed concern about the rising number of new coronavirus cases in poor countries, even as many rich nations have begun emerging from lockdown.

The global health body said 106,000 new cases of infections of the coronavirus had been recorded in the past 24 hours, the most in a single day since the outbreak began.

“We still have a long way to go in this pandemic,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference. “We are very concerned about rising cases in low and middle income countries.”

Data of fatality and recovery rates on Worldometer suggests that globally, the deadliest stage of the current phase may have passed. On Wednesday, the fatality rate was 14.23% and the recovery rate was 85.77%. Such low proportion of deaths and high proportion of recoveries were last seen before March 24.

Brazil, Russia and India are emerging as the new hot spots of the disease. The US, where lockdown protocols have been less strict than most nations, added 20,289 cases on Tuesday to remain on top of the list of countries recording new cases.

In less than five months since the disease was first reported – local media in China’s Wuhan wrote about a mystery respiratory illness on December 31 – much of the world has now come to terms with a new reality in which social distancing is compulsory, masks are increasingly mandatory and much of leisure activities – travelling, dining out and events such as concerts and sport – may be too dangerous till researchers find a vaccine.

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Surbhi Chandna says she was almost replaced in Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah – tv

Surbhi Chandna says she was almost replaced in Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah – tv

Surbhi Chandna, who made her small screen debut in 2009 with a small role in Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah, has revealed that she was almost dropped from the show. The reason was that she was not very good with remembering her lines.

In an interview with Pinkvilla, Surbhi said that she was pulled up by her mother for not memorising her lines properly. “Even Taarak Mehta’s team was going to replace me. My mom scared me to do better,” she said.

Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah creator Asit Kumarr Modi went to Surbhi’s mother and said that the actor had to pull up her socks because she played a pivotal role in the narrative. “I don’t know how I performed but they keep playing those episodes even today,” she laughed.

Surbhi, who has acted in Ek Nanad Ki Khushiyon Ki Chaabi…Meri Bhabhi and Qubool Hai, became a household name with Ishqbaaz in which she played the lead role opposite Nakuul Mehta. She reprised her role as Annika Trivedi in the show’s spin-off Dil Boley Oberoi.

Also read: Ranveer Singh wonders if ‘10 is the new six’ as Tiger Shroff shows off his abs in new shirtless pic

In the interview, Surbhi said that she came close to giving up during Ishqbaaz too, but she kept going because of her mother. “My mother always sees the goodness in things, in tough times and bad times. I think I have learnt from this. There was a time when I would tell them I am giving up, mujhe nahi hoga during Ishqbaaz and they would tell me to have patience. And then what the show has given me is unprecedented,” she said.

Surbhi was last seen on the small screen in the follow-up of popular hospital drama Sanjivani. She played Dr Ishani Arora in the show.

Follow @htshowbiz for more

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Hizbul man wanted for multiple murders held

Hizbul man wanted for multiple murders held

Senior police superintendent (Kishtwar) Harmeet Singh Mehta said Rustam Ali was involved in the killings of BJP leader Anil Parihar, his brother, as well as RSS’s Chandrakant Sharma and his guard.

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Canadian woman says she’s tested positive for coronavirus 8 times: ‘COVID-19 has taken a lot out of me’

Canadian woman says she’s tested positive for coronavirus 8 times: ‘COVID-19 has taken a lot out of me’

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A Canadian woman who contracted the coronavirus in March has tested positive for the illness for an eighth time.

Tracy Schofield from Cambridge, Ontario, came down with COVID-19 symptoms including fever, chills and shortness of breath March 30 and tested positive for the first time March 31, according to CTV News. Since then, she has taken eight more tests, including one that inexplicably came back negative.

She is currently preparing for her 10th test.

For two weeks following her first test, Schofield self-quarantined in her room at home where her 17-year-old son also lives. During that period, she claims her fever reached 104.1 degrees Fahrenheit, and she also lost her sense of taste and smell.

Now, more than 50 days later, she told CTV she still suffers shortness of breath. “COVID-19 has taken a lot out of me, and it continues every day,” she said.


After producing a positive result seven times, her eighth test came back negative. “I cried because I was so happy,” Schofield said. But according to World Health Organization guidelines, a patient must test negative twice consecutively before they can be declared “recovered.” Unfortunately, a ninth test found that the virus was still strong in her system.

Health officials have warned that these tests have been known to produce false negatives and positives. Early anecdotal reports suggested that some test kits correctly detected COVID-19 only 70 percent of the time, meaning about a third of patients would receive a false negative.

Click for more from the New York Post.

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‘Tiger King’ star Joe Exotic’s legal team in Washington lobbying for presidential pardon

‘Tiger King’ star Joe Exotic’s legal team in Washington lobbying for presidential pardon

The legal team for Joe Exotic — real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage — is in the nation’s capital, with hopes of springing the “Tiger King” star free from his life behind bars.

Eric Love, who is the lead counsel on Maldonado-Passage’s team of top lawyers, told TMZ Live on Wednesday that the group is looking to gain the president’s attention and with intense luck, a presidential pardon for the former big cat zoo owner.

Part of their efforts includes riding around in a tour bus with a sign that reads: “President Trump Please Pardon Joe Exotic.” The wrap on the bus also displays Maldonado-Passage’s “Team Tiger” moniker as well as his face plastered on its side.


FOX 5 in Washington D.C. caught up with the members of Team Tiger King, who said they will drive around the District on Wednesday to raise visibility and spread their message.


The seven-part “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” docuseries for the streaming giant Netflix follows Joe Exotic in his exploits as a zookeeper, country musician, aspiring politician and arch-rival of fellow big cat enthusiast Carole Baskin.

Maldonado-Passage, 57, was handed a 22-year prison sentence for his involvement in a murder-for-hire plot to kill Baskin.

This file photo provided by the Santa Rose County Jail in Milton, Fla., shows Joseph Maldonado-Passage. Prosecutors say Maldonado-Passage, also known as Joe Exotic, tried to arrange the killing of Carole Baskin, the founder of Big Cat Rescue.

This file photo provided by the Santa Rose County Jail in Milton, Fla., shows Joseph Maldonado-Passage. Prosecutors say Maldonado-Passage, also known as Joe Exotic, tried to arrange the killing of Carole Baskin, the founder of Big Cat Rescue.
(Santa Rosa County Jail via AP, FILE)


The program reached a U.S. television audience of more than 34 million unique viewers just in the first 10 days of its release on the platform, spanning from March 20-29, Variety reported last month, citing Nielsen estimates.

Meanwhile, Investigation Discovery announced a “definitive sequel” to “Murder, Mayhem and Madness” that will also star Maldonado-Passage, but this one looks into the grave disappearance of Baskin’s husband, Don Lewis.


Projects with Nicolas Cage and Kate McKinnon are also being developed, while Rob Lowe also discussed a potential project with filmmaker Ryan Murphy.

Fox Nation has also extensive coverage of the “Tiger King” saga.  In a brand new interview, former prosecutor and Fox Nation host Nancy Grace spoke to a forensic document examiner and handwriting expert, who said that the signature of Baskin’s former husband on his will may have been forged.

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Supreme Court blocks release of secret Mueller grand jury testimony to House of Representatives

Supreme Court blocks release of secret Mueller grand jury testimony to House of Representatives

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday blocked the disclosure to a Democratic-led House of Representatives committee of grand jury material redacted by President Donald Trump’s administration from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report documenting Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

In a brief order, the justices put on hold a March ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which had decided that the material must be disclosed to lawmakers.

The order gave the administration until June 1 to formally appeal that ruling, meaning that if the justices decide to hear the case, a final resolution may not be reached until after the Nov. 3 election in which the Republican president is seeking a second four-year term. If the justices refuse to hear the appeal, the materials would need to be handed over.

Mueller submitted his report to U.S. Attorney General William Barr in March 2019 after a 22-month investigation that detailed Russia’s operation of hacking and propaganda to boost Trump’s candidacy as well as multiple contacts between Trump’s campaign and Moscow.

Barr, a Trump appointee who Democrats have accused of trying to protect the president politically, released the 448-page report in April 2019 with some parts redacted. Some Democrats have expressed concern that Barr used the redaction process to keep potentially damaging information about Trump secret.

The House judiciary committee last year subpoenaed the redacted grand jury material as part of a bid by Democrats to build a case for removing Trump from office through impeachment. The Democratic-led House impeached Trump in December on two charges unrelated to Russian election meddling. The Republican-led Senate acquitted him and left him in office in February.

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Morgan Stanley expanding further into Canada with new wealth management service


One year after Morgan Stanley acquired Calgary-based Solium Capital, the American financial giant is expanding further in Canada with the launch of a wealth management division.

The company is pushing ahead with the new venture despite the economic upheaval caused by the pandemic and expects to have regulatory approval for the new service by the end of the year.

The specific number of new jobs created was not provided, although they will include executive and financial advisor positions, among others.

“You will see new bodies and new roles in both Calgary and Toronto as of now and potentially other cities as well, as we continue to launch and ramp up the business,” said Laura Adams, head of institutional distribution in Canada and the new wealth management service.

“We will absolutely be pursuing growth in the future and we will continue to build out the teams appropriately in their respective offices once we start executing.”

Morgan Stanley paid $1.1 billion to acquire Solium in May of last year. After launching in 1999, Solium became Calgary’s homegrown tech “unicorn” after establishing itself as a leading provider of technology and services for managing a company’s employee ownership options.

The firm had 450 employees in Calgary (800 in total around the world), but has added another 100 staff members in the city since the deal with Morgan Stanley.

In the investing world, tech companies that hit the $1-billion valuation mark are dubbed “unicorns” because of the statistical rarity and nearly mythical nature of the feat.

Former Solium chief executive Marcos Lopez said Calgary needs to keep its ‘can-do’ spirit to remain an attractive place for new startups.

“I think Calgary has got a unique quality of life that doesn’t exist in other parts of Canada in the same way,” he said. “If we can attract the right people, and then the right capital, I think we can be a vibrant location.”

Although, with so many people continuing to work from home during the pandemic, a company’s address is not as significant as it once was.

“Location probably matters less today than it ever has. We’re all stuck in our houses,” he said, with a laugh.

Solium was rebranded as Shareworks by Morgan Stanley. The company plans to leverage the 350 Canadian companies and 275,000 stock plan clients who already use that service to help launch the new wealth management offering. 

Lopez, who remains with Shareworks, said the company has expanded and won business in every market that it competes in.

Morgan Stanley has operated in Canada since the 1960s and employs more than 1,500 people. Shareworks is still based in Calgary and has 3,900 corporate clients in more than 150 countries.

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South Korean high school seniors return to school


SEOUL: South Korean students began returning to school on Wednesday, but not without some hitches.

Hundreds of thousands of high school seniors entered their schools after having their temperatures checked and rubbing their hands with sanitizer – familiar measures amid the coronavirus pandemic. Students and teachers are required to wear masks, and some schools have installed plastic partitions at each student’s desk, according to the Education Ministry.

Only high school seniors returned on Wednesday. Lower-grade students are scheduled to return to school in phased steps by June 8.

In a reminder that getting back to normalcy won’t be easy, students in some schools near Seoul were asked to return home Wednesday morning after two students were found to have contracted the coronavirus. South Korean health authorities reported 32 new cases on Wednesday, the first time the daily jump has been above 30 in more than a week.

If any school has a new virus case, its students, teachers and other staff will immediately be asked to return home before authorities disinfect school facilities, Education Ministry officials said.

South Korea’s new school year was supposed to start in early March, but was delayed several times due to worries about the spread of the coronavirus. About 5.4 million students in South Korea have subsequently been taking classes online.

At Seoul’s Kyungbock High School, Cho Hee-yeon, the education superintendent in the capital, used a digital ear thermometer to check students’ temperatures at the main gate as another official placed liquid sanitizer on the hands of those students. Signs that read “No outsiders are allowed to enter the school premises” had been set up.

“I am here to see students returning to school while praying that there won’t be any coronavirus patients among our students in 2,200 schools” in Seoul, Cho told reporters.

Students at 66 schools in Incheon, just west of Seoul, had to leave after two students at one of the schools tested positive for the virus Wednesday. The two students didn’t attend classes on Wednesday, but authorities decided to temporarily close all schools in their neighborhood, according to the Incheon Metropolitan City Office of Education.

In Anseong, just south of Seoul, authorities sent messages to all high school seniors in the city on Wednesday morning telling them to continue to stay home because health authorities hadn’t finished compiling a list of places that a newly confirmed local patient had visited recently. Those schools were expected to reopen on Thursday, education officials said.

South Korea relaxed many of its social distancing rules in early May, but then saw a small but sudden spike in new infections linked to nightclubs in Seoul’s Itaewon entertainment district. That latest outbreak had been on a downward trend until Tuesday.

The country has confirmed more than 11,000 coronavirus cases, including 263 deaths.

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2 BSF men killed in J&K terror attack, 4 held for LeT link | India News

2 BSF men killed in J&K terror attack, 4 held for LeT link | India News

SRINAGAR: Two BSF personnel were on Wednesday gunned down in the line of duty by a pair of motorbike-borne terrorists in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, the attack coming a day after security forces killed top Hizbul Mujahideen commander Junaid Sehrai and an aide in downtown Srinagar.
Constables Rana Mandal and Zia-ul-Haq, both from West Bengal, were part of a road-opening party of the 37 Battalion that came under attack while patrolling the Pandach area, around 14km from Srinagar, a BSF spokesperson said.
The terrorists snatched the duo’s service weapons – an AK-47 and an Insas rifle – before speeding away. The constables were declared dead on arrival at the nearby SKIMS Hospital in Soura.
In Budgam, around an hour’s drive from Srinagar, a joint team of J&K Police and the Army on Wednesday arrested four “terrorist associates” of the outlawed Lashkar-e-Taiba and seized arms, ammunition and incriminating documents from them.
The arrested men were identified as Muzaffar Ahmad Dar, Mudassir Ahmad Lone and Younis Waza of Budran village and Nazir Ahmad Sheikh of Poshkar Khag.
According to police, the quartet had been providing logistic support and shelter to Lashkar terrorists operating in the area. DGP Dilbagh Singh said there were currently more than 14 terrorists “active in Srinagar and its outskirts” and 240-odd across the Valley.
Sehrai, the Hizb commander killed in Tuesday’s encounter at Nawa Kadal in downtown Srinagar, was the son of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat chairman Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai. Three CRPF personnel and a cop were injured in the firefight, the first in Srinagar in two years.

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View: Bee, the change to right metrics

View: Bee, the change to right metrics

Ten years ago, I joined the board of Under The Mango Tree (UTMT), an NGO set up by development expert Vijaya Pastala to develop rural livelihoods, primarily through beekeeping.

Journalists tend to avoid personal involvement with organisations in the field they report on — food issues, in my case. But beekeeping brought together so many issues to do with food production, sustainability, livelihoods, animal rights, and just delicious honey, that I made an exception.

So, with 10 years’ experience of bee issues, I might have been expected to cheer on finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement of Rs 500 crore for beekeeping, which she estimated will benefit two lakh beekeepers. And it’s true that anything that brings attention to these incredibly useful insects is good.

But we must be clear why beekeeping needs support, and this is not primarily producing honey. Some reactions, like that of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission, which welcomed the ‘sweet kranti’ that the FM was bringing, or the focus on beekeepers’ incomes, suggests that honey production will be the metric for judging the success of this initiative.

The real value of bees comes from pollination. Many important crops would not appear at all without pollination from bees, or would produce less efficiently. UTMT has done studies, carried out by independent researchers in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, which establish the impact of bees on many crops.

Comparing fields with bee boxes and those without, the studies have shown differences like 227% (capsicum), 160% (tomato), 133% (tur dal) and so on, for a range of crops.

This has a significant impact on farmers’ incomes, and not just in terms of final production. Many farmers have stopped saving seeds to replant because production from these seeds seems to diminish over time — unlike with the new seeds, which must be bought from the market each time. Using bees for pollination offers a way to avoid this input cost, while still maintaining adequate yields.

Using honey production as a metric doesn’t just ignore the value of pollination, but actively undermines it. Because the best bees for pollination and honey production are not the same. Apis mellifera, the imported European honey bee, is a honey production powerhouse, but specialises in only a few crops, and so works best with large farmers producing just those, not the small mixed production farms that dominate in India. Also, not being native to India, they often fall sick, and require treatment with antibiotics that can appear in the honey.

Apis cerana indica is a native Indian honey bee that pollinates a very wide range of plants with great efficiency. Like Apis mellifera, it can be raised in bee boxes — which isn’t possible with some other Indian bees, like the fierce giant rock bees, Apis dorsata, whose huge hives can be seen dangling from bridges and buildings, as well as in caves and rockfaces. UTMT promotes beekeeping with Indian bees like Apis cerana and a few others, like Trigona, the stingless bees whose honey is said to have medical benefits.

But Apis cerana doesn’t produce honey in the same quantities as Apis mellifera, and this has led to it being ignored by government-run beekeeping institutes and agricultural extension services. Why bother with it when honey production is all they are judged on, and not the less tangible benefits of pollination? There is an obvious parallel with how imported cow breeds have been pushed on the dairy industry for their superior milk production capacity, unlike low production, but environmentally more suitable, native Indian breeds.

No one is expecting the FM to go into beekeeping details like this. But this is an example of the importance of choosing the right metrics and taking a holistic view, which often seems to escape the existing agroscientific establishment. In almost every area in agricultural development, there are NGOs like UTMT that have this knowledge, but whose views aren’t being taken into account.

GoI has made a truly radical commitment to harnessing the abilities of the private sector by opening nearly every sector of the economy to it, abandoning decades of dependence on the public sector. As beekeeping shows, this needs to happen in agricultural development too. Accepting the expertise that NGOs like UTMT can bring to the field and table is one way to ensure that GoI’s stimulus package is not wasted.

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