News, June 12th

‘Headache, dizziness before fever and cough may signal COVID-19’

The researchers in this study also pointed out that many patients with Covid-19 may have no noticeable neurological symptoms at first, but in some cases, patients may present with neurological symptoms even before they have fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

“We are learning that a significant number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients have various degrees of brain impairment, a said study author Majid Fotuhi from NeuroGrow Brain Fitness Centre in the US.

According to the researchers, two dozen case reports have revealed the impact of COVID-19 on the brains of patients.

In fact, one study from Wuhan, China, showed that 45 per cent of patients with severe COVID-19 illness experience marked neurological deficits.

Another study from France showed 84 per cent of ICU patients with COVID-19 have positive abnormalities on their neurological examination. It revealed that 15 per cent of patients who leave the ICU have residual “dysexecutive function,” which involves poor attention and difficulty with decision-making and controlling behavior.

The current study proposes the adoption of a three stage “NeuroCovid” classification scheme to provide a basis from which to build on future hypotheses and investigations regarding SARS-Cov2 and the nervous system.

These stages include NeuroCovid Stage 1, NeuroCovid Stage 2, and NeuroCovid Stage 3.

Amidst COVID-19 challenges, UN ‘remains operational’ across Central Africa

The coronavirus pandemic has compounded increasing economic, social, and humanitarian challenges facing States and regional institutions across Central Africa, the regional UN envoy told the Security Council on Friday.

Despite the health crisis, Special Representative François Louncény Fall underscored that the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) “remains operational”.

Noting that the region had recorded its first case of COVID-19 on 6 March 2020, and that to date, all 11 member countries of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) are affected, he maintained that UNOCA continues to support the Community, during this crucial period of its evolution”.

Mr. Fall said that World Health Organization (WHO) figures show 21,929 laboratory-confirmed cases and 462 deaths reported for the Central African States as of Thursday.

Citing ECCAS experts, the UN envoy flagged that a 2.3 per cent contraction in growth this year was forecast throughout Central Africa.

He conveyed that the slowdown in economic activities due to COVID-19 “deprives States of the resources they need to address the socio-economic impact of the pandemic, with the risk of creating social unrest”.

“As governments are forced to choose between urgent public health expenditures and other priorities, they risk lacking the resources needed for the smooth functioning of national institutions and the financing of crucial reforms”, detailed Mr. Fall.

Australia has eliminated COVID-19 in some parts, says chief medical officer

Australia has effectively eliminated COVID-19 in some parts of the country, its chief medical officer said on June 12.

Australia has recorded 38 cases of the novel coronavirus over last week, Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy told reporters in Canberra. More than half them are travelers returning from overseas and already quarantined in hotels.

Florence Fang Receives George H.W. Bush Award for Lifetime Achievement in U.S.-China Relations

The George H.W. Bush Foundation for U.S.-China Relations (Bush China Foundation) announced on Friday that Florence Fang, a prominent California businesswoman, civic leader and philanthropist, will receive the George H.W. Bush Award for Lifetime Achievement in U.S.-China Relations.

The Bush China Foundation is a nonprofit that seeks to advance U.S.-China relations in ways that reflect the ethos, spirit, and values of U.S. President George H. W. Bush. This award is the latest in an award series created to recognize those individuals who have made profound contributions to the development of U.S.-China relations, and whose actions in this area exemplify the vision and attributes of Bush. In 2019, the inaugural George H.W. Bush Award for Statesmanship in U.S.-China Relations was presented to US President Jimmy Carter. Fang is being recognized for her decades of significant personal efforts to bridge the United States and China and deepen understanding between the peoples of the two countries.

“Florence Fang’s lifetime of innovative efforts to bring together her ‘birth mother’, China, and her ‘adopted mother’, the United States, have greatly benefited both countries and their people,” stated Neil Bush, founder and chairman of the Bush China Foundation and third son of President George H. W. Bush.

“A visionary and charismatic bridge-builder, Florence has played a unique and invaluable role in deepening U.S.-China understanding and friendship—something my father recognized and greatly valued.”

“There’s nobody like Florence Fang,” stated Max S. Baucus, former United States senator and ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. “Her drive, her intelligence, her force for good inspires us all. We’ll always marvel at Florence Fang.”

“The Bush China Foundation couldn’t be more pleased and prouder to honor Florence Fang, a living legend in the arena of U.S.-China people-to-people engagement,” said David Firestein, inaugural president, and CEO of Bush China Foundation. “Florence’s vision, leadership, passion, dedication and philanthropic generosity in the service of building ever-stronger bonds between the peoples of the United States and China have made a real and meaningful difference in the lives of countless people in both countries and in the bilateral relationship itself.”

“I am deeply honored to receive the George H. W. Bush Award for Lifetime Achievement in U.S.-China Relations,” said Florence Fang. “The numerous opportunities I had to work closely with President Bush during his tenure in the White House are among my most cherished memories. No U.S. president had a deeper understanding of China than President Bush. Receiving this award and this recognition of my 60 years of efforts to bring the United States and China closer together means the world to me. I am humbled and most grateful for this honor. I dedicate this award to my two mother countries: my adopted mother, America, and my birth mother, China.”

In accordance with federal, state, and local public health guidelines, an in-person award ceremony will not be held at this time.

Helping Bangladesh Recover from COVID-19

One of the most densely populated countries in the world, Bangladesh exemplifies the triple blow that many emerging market countries have suffered from COVID-19: domestic slowdown caused by the disease and the efforts to contain its spread; a sharp decline in exports, particularly in the ready-made garment sector, and a drop in remittances. Its once robust economy has dramatically slowed in recent months.

To help Bangladesh during this crisis, the IMF has approved emergency loans totaling around $732 million. IMF Country Focus spoke with the IMF’s resident representative for Bangladesh Ragnar Gudmundsson about some of the specific challenges facing the country.

Bangladesh has been severely impacted. Up until the crisis, the economy had been growing close to 7 percent a year on average over the past decade. We now project 2 percent for 2020—a drop of 6 percentage points from 2019.

Indian Railways to Continue to Give Shramik Special Trains To States as Demanded

Indian Railways is committed to continue providing comfortable and safe movement of migrants through Shramik Special Trains as required by States. As of now total 63 more Shramik Special Trains requisitioned by various states after CRB’s letter to the States.

Out of 63 Shramik Special Trains, 3 trains requisitioned by Andhra Pradesh, 1 train by Gujarat, 9 trains by Jammu & Kashmir, 6 trains by Karnataka, 32 trains by Kerala, 10 trains by Tamil Nadu and 2 trains by West Bengal. Uttar Pradesh Government will have to give their requirement.

Railway Ministry has requested State Governments to indicate their requirements about Shramik Special Trains and see that projected demand for movement of residual persons by rail mode is well chalked out and determined.

It is worth mentioning that So far, more than 4277 Shramik Special Services have been operated by Indian Railways to transport approximately 60 lakh persons to their destination states. Shramik Special Trains have been run since 1st May 2020.

New domestic cases in Beijing raise fears of new virus wave

China reported 11 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, including six domestic cases in the capital that raised concerns about a resurgence.

The majority of China’s cases in recent months were overseas nationals tested as they returned home, with the domestic outbreak brought largely under control after the disease first emerged in the central city of Wuhan last year.

But the new cases have prompted Beijing officials to delay the return of students to primary schools and suspend all sporting events and group dining.

City authorities on Friday also closed two markets visited by one of the known cases.

The chairman of the Xinfadi meat wholesale market told state-run Beijing News that the virus was detected on chopping boards used to handle imported salmon.

Major supermarket chains including Wumart and Carrefour removed all stocks of salmon overnight in the capital but said supplies of other products would not be affected, Beijing Daily reported Saturday.

AFP reporters saw dozens of police officers deployed at the two markets.

The novel coronavirus is believed to have jumped from an animal to humans at a Wuhan market that sold wildlife.

The first new case in Beijing after two months — who had no recent travel history outside the city — was reported on Thursday, and authorities confirmed two more infections the next day. The other five cases reported Saturday were brought in from overseas.

Scotland calls on UK to end tear gas exports to US in response to George Floyd protests

Scotland’s parliament voted Thursday to call on the U.K. to suspend exports of tear gas, riot gear and rubber bullets to the U.S. in light of the recent Black Lives Matter protests that have spread across the nation following the death of George Floyd.

In a motion lead by Minister of Scottish Parliament (MSP) Patrick Harvie, the anti-racism proposal was backed by a 52-0 vote with 11 absentees, calling on the British government to formally ban the exports.

“Clearly, the U.S. is not a safe country to which we should be exporting tear gas, rubber bullets and riot gear,” Harvie said Thursday. “Those are the weapons of oppression in a society in which police forces — which, in some states, were founded as slave-capturing militias, still display deeply institutional racism.”

The motion is in direct response to clashes between protesters and police, at times turning violent as police officers were caught on camera using excessive force.

Harvie also suggested that Scotland build a slavery museum “to address our historic links with the slave trade”.

Demonstrators in the U.S. took to the streets to protest racial injustices within the police systems across the country after Floyd died while in Minneapolis police custody.

In recent days, the movement has seen greater calls to “defund the police,” and there is a push to remove statues and monuments of Confederate war memorials across the country.

“In that context, the call to defund the police should be in no way controversial when compared with defunding of education, health care and housing, which has been endured disproportionately by black communities,” Harvie said in his address to the Scottish Parliament Thursday.

Countries throughout Europe, including the U.K., have seen large demonstrations, and several statues of slave traders and symbols of imperial rule have been removed in light of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“The Black Lives Matter movement has been inspiring and it needs to be heard right around the world: that racism exists in this country, as well,” Harvie said following the vote, according to the Independent.

The U.S. is reportedly one of the biggest buyers of U.K. arms, with £6 billion in licensed exports — roughly $7.5 billion — since 2010.

Ammunition makes up £18 million, or nearly $23 million, of the goods, which include rubber bullets and tear gas, according to reporting done by the Independent.

UN chief shocked at Libya mass graves in recently freed town

The U.N. political mission in Libya said it convened a meeting with a delegation from Hifter’s forces on June 3 and another meeting Tuesday with a delegation from the U.N.-supported government. Guterres hopes that a cease-fire will be agreed soon, Dujarric said.

Schenker said he sees the escalating proxy war between Russia and Turkey in Libya as a challenge to regional stability, as well as a “tragedy for the Libyan people looking for peace and end to foreign intervention.”

Libya is teetering on the brink of a new escalation as Tripoli militias wage a campaign to recapture the coastal town of Sirte, which would provide access to the country’s vast oil fields under Hifter’s control. The intensified fighting has forced nearly 24,000 people to flee their homes in the last week, according to U.N. humanitarian officials.

Despite intensified diplomatic activity to bring the sides to the negotiating table, Turkey appears keen to shore up its presence in western Libya. On Friday, Turkey’s navy and air force conducted exercises in the Mediterranean Sea near Libya, officials said, an apparent show of backing for Tripoli.

The Turkish military said the drill was meant to test and develop Turkey’s ability to command and execute long-distance operations. A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with government regulations, said the maneuvers took place in international waters and airspace off Libya’s coast.

The military said 17 warplanes, based in the central Turkish air base of Eskisehir, and eight frigates took part in Thursday’s “Open Sea Training.” The drill lasted for eight hours and took place along a 1,000 kilometer (625 mile) -route from the Turkish coast and back.

Turkey’s escalating support, including armed drones and thousands of Syrian mercenaries, signals its desire to gain more leverage in the eastern Mediterranean. Ankara signed a maritime deal last fall with the Tripoli-based government that would grant it access to an economic zone across the Mediterranean, despite the objections from regional rivals Greece, Cyprus, and Egypt. Turkey has said it will begin exploring for natural resources there within months.

Published by jim

Curator of things...

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