Trump, in full reversal, urges Americans to wear masks – POLITICO

When asked in April whether he would wear a face covering, Trump said: “Wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens — I just don‘t see it” | Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

US president long refused to don such protection against coronavirus, and just weeks ago mocked Joe Biden for doing so.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday urged Americans to wear masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus, a full reversal of his initially dismissive attitude toward face coverings.

During an interview, CBS News’ Catherine Herridge asked the president whether there should be a federal mandate on wearing masks or if it should be left to governors to decide. Trump responded that governors go by guidelines set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and “that’s good.”

When asked whether he would urge Americans to wear masks, Trump replied: “If it‘s necessary, I would urge them to wear a mask and I would say follow the guidelines.”

The CDC recommends people wear masks in public settings, and the agency‘s director, Robert Redfield, urged Trump to wear one, as well, to set an example for the rest of the country. Redfield said the coronavirus outbreak could be brought under control if all members of the public wore masks for four to eight weeks.

Trump‘s circle is routinely tested for coronavirus, and visitors and staff to the White House are often seen wearing masks. Redfield said that those factors could allow Trump to justify not wearing a mask, but that the president should still don one to encourage others to follow.

CDC officials also wrote in an editorial on Tuesday that cloth face coverings were vital to fighting coronavirus, and could be particularly effective when all members of a community wore them. The editorial, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, said wearing masks could both protect wearers and prevent those with coronavirus from spreading infected droplets.

“When asked to wear face coverings, many people think in terms of personal protection,” the authors wrote. “But face coverings are also widely and routinely used as source control.”

Trump had long refused to wear a mask, even mocking his Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden for wearing one during a Memorial Day ceremony. When asked in April whether he would wear a face covering, he responded: “Wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens — I just don‘t see it.“

But as support for wearing masks grew among his adversaries and supporters alike, Trump finally changed his stance and wore a mask during a visit to Walter Reed National Medical Center on Saturday. He had also been spotted wearing one during a tour of a Ford plant in May, but while he was out of the public eye.

The president had also said during an interview with Fox Business two weeks ago that he was “all for masks. I think masks are good.”

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Police notified of 21,422 cases where travellers to Canada may have broken quarantine rules

Police have been notified for follow-up in more than 21,000 cases where travellers arriving in Canada either couldn’t be reached or showed “indication of non-compliance” with the mandatory 14-day quarantine rules.

Of the 21,422 referrals from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to the RCMP, nearly 1,500 were identified as “priority cases” for physical check-ups.

The RCMP and PHAC both confirmed the figures to CTV News — though few punishments have been doled out to any suspected rule-breakers.

“To date, 9 tickets have been reported to PHAC as being issued under the Contraventions Act for offences under the Quarantine Act, four of which were issued following a request made by PHAC for a physical verification (2 fines were issued by RCMP and 2 by the Ontario Provincial Police),” PHAC spokesperson Geoffroy Legault-Thivierge confirmed in an emailed statement sent to Tuesday evening. “As of July 9, 2020, no arrests have stemmed from PHAC-requested physical verification checks.”

In addition to these latest figures, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) confirmed to that some travellers indicated a desire not to comply with Canada’s rules as early as the moment they travelled across the border.

“As of July 3, 2020, the CBSA has referred information to both PHAC and the RCMP on 237 travellers who the CBSA believes may not have respected the requirement to quarantine or isolate and/or those who have signalled an unwillingness to comply,” said CBSA spokesperson Rebecca Purdy in another emailed statement on Tuesday.

Canada shut its borders to foreigners in mid-March, initially exempting U.S. residents from the new rules. But within days the Canada-U.S. border had also shuttered to all non-essential travel, an agreement that sources told CTV News on Tuesday would be extended to August 21.

As Canada shut its borders to all non-essential foreign travel, it also imposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine rule on March 21 for any travellers who do squeeze past the tightened ports of entry.

According to Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo, most travellers are happy to play by the rules.

“Most people from what I’ve seen, in terms of the data that’s come in, have been very good in terms of what we call compliance. They accept the calls, they recognize that we’re doing it not to badger or hound them, but really as a gentle reminder to continue doing what’s, I think, in their best interests in terms of their health, but also to protect others,” Njoo said in a Tuesday press conference.

The news of thousands of suspected rule-breakers emerges as COVID-19 cases explode on the other side of the world’s longest international border.

At the end of June, the U.S. became home to the world’s highest number of reported infections: more than 2.2 million. That number has since soared to more than 3.4 million, according to the New York Times, with more than 136,000 deaths.

Njoo had a message for anyone who is travelling to Canada and is considering flouting quarantine rules.

“If you are coming from outside of Canada, please understand all of the efforts that Canadians have done inside of Canada to flatten the curve and to make sure that the transmission of the virus is as low as possible,” Njoo said.

“Please do your part.”

With files from CTV National News’ Annie Bergeron-Oliver

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City-as-a-service — a new business and investment model

A mutually helpful method concerning councils and non-public corporations really should be in spot for investment decision in big-scale good metropolis platforms, writes Paul Budde.

Although THERE ARE A great deal of possibilities for area councils to develop value financial savings – in particular by chopping as a result of their internal silos and working with ICT and infrastructure technologies on a sharing basis throughout the several town units – the challenge remains that just before these price tag cost savings can be built, substantial ICT investments are necessary. The fact is that most metropolitan areas are unable to present the upfront investments for this.

In chatting with several councils below and overseas, what they explain to me is that with the pandemic, many councils are speedy-tracking some of their assignments. Councils with wise town constructions in location are properly positioned to now get funding for the jobs they have been producing.

The town (its area council) certainly can be a catalyst and there is substantial benefit in utilising its present assets, information sets and its neighborhood management to present the appropriate system to stimulate exterior investments.

With a wise council in position (no silos and open up government, transparent, open details and open techniques), regional councils are well-positioned to utilise their smooth power and affect to produce sensible city initiatives for which seem business enterprise types can be designed.

For this to happen, an important change will need to be produced inside neighborhood councils. Fairly than developing these techniques by themselves, they need to take into consideration creating the services they need in co-operation with marketplace. In this way, many of these platforms can be provided on a service foundation (town-as-a-support).

With the ideal foundations in position, a council could outsource some of its property to an organisation that can establish this even more into a clever metropolis platform that will become the sensible hub for the town and from which most initiatives can be created. The top clever cities in Australia are very well positioned to glimpse into these monetary constructions as they have a superior knowledge of what they require to even now continue to be in manage, the stages of stability and privateness that are required and the way they can offer the companies created on these platforms to their citizens.

A essential aspect of these platforms is linked infrastructure. Once that is in place, this can not only be employed for the latest jobs councils are doing work on but at the very same time, it will be the system from which new services can be developed and launched. This is not a thing councils should really be directly concerned in, but they can facilitate it.

On the other hand, by securing interoperability and via facilitation, it can carry get-togethers (and infrastructure) alongside one another and catch the attention of private expenditure that would earnings both of those the council and the non-public businesses associated.

By owning this industry system at arms-size of the metropolis, the intelligent metropolis hub can investigate broader sharing of the platform to lower the over-all expenditures. The metropolis then purchases these tasks back again in the sort of providers that will be developed on the platform.

In this way, the council moves from a CapEx design to an OpEx model and thus overcomes just one of its key investment decision difficulties.

This sort of a system can also be employed to search for other investment decision and funding possibilities from point out and federal governments, financial establishments, superannuation funds and so on. At this level in time, many of the clever city projects will get started funding by themselves.

There will be interior opposition to this sort of types, but the fact is that there are really few other fiscal selections still left for councils to successfully spend in massive-scale smart city techniques.

The power of data in smart city developments

Paul Budde is an Impartial Australia columnist and running director of Paul Budde Consulting, an unbiased telecommunications exploration and consultancy organisation. You can adhere to Paul on Twitter @PaulBudde.

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Trump administration rescinds rule on foreign students

WASHINGTON: The Trump administration has walked back a policy that would have stripped international college students of their US visas if their coursework was entirely online, ending a proposed plan that had thrown the higher education world into turmoil.
US district judge Allison Burroughs in Massachusetts said the US government and Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology that sued over the measure had come to a settlement that would roll back the July 6 rules and restore the previous status quo. The agreement reinstates a policy implemented in March amid the pandemic that gave international students flexibility to take all their classes online and remain legally in the country with student visas.
“Both the policy directive and the frequently asked questions would not be enforced anyplace” under the resolution, Judge Burroughs said.Tens of thousands of foreign students in America, many from India, were holding their breath with eyes trained on the courtroom in Boston. The Harvard-MIT case was to be heard at 3pm EST on Tuesday (12.30am IST Wednesday), hours before the deadline for academic institutions to file “operation change plans” offering in-person classes.
Harvard and MIT had argued that immigration officials violated procedural rules by issuing the guidance without justification and without allowing the public to respond. They also argued that the policy contradicted US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s March 13 directive telling schools that existing limits on online education would be suspended”for the duration of the emergency”. Scores of universities threw their support behind the litigation, along with organisations, including the American Medical Association and Autoworkers’ Unions .
On Tuesday, more than a dozen technology firms, including, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter also came out in support of the Harvard and MIT lawsuit, arguing the policy would harm their businesses. “America’s future competitiveness depends on attracting and retaining talented international students,” they said in court papers.
The attorneys general of at least 18 states also filed a separate lawsuit, charging that the policy was reckless and cruel.
Immigration officials, however, argued that they told colleges all along that any guidance prompted by the pandemic was subject to change. They said the rule was consistent with existing law barring international students from taking classes entirely online. Federal officials said they were providing leniency by allowing students to keep their visas even if they study online from abroad
Judge Burroughs, an Obama appointee, is best known for her order putting a hold on President Trump’s travel ban in 2017 and a lawsuit challenging Harvard’s admissions programme as discriminatory against Asian-Americans (which went in favour of the university). She also heard the case involving Indian-American pharma executive John Kapoor, who was convicted of racketing after being deemed a lynchpin of US opioid crisis.

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NFL-Patriots limit game-day attendance | One America News Network

FILE PHOTO: The NFL logo is pictured at an event in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 30, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

July 14, 2020

By Amy Tennery

(Reuters) – The New England Patriots’ Gillette Stadium will welcome about 20% of its usual crowd at games this season — if fans are allowed to attend at all — the team said on Tuesday.

The franchise is the latest in the NFL to adopt social distancing protocols for attendees ahead of the upcoming season, which is set to kick off on Sept. 10, as the number of new cases of COVID-19 rises in many states across the U.S.

The six-time Super Bowl winners said that the reduced seating plan at the 65,878 capacity stadium was pending state and local approval, as they acknowledged “game days will look different this year.”

“Ticketed parties will be asked to maintain physical distancing of at least six feet from other parties, tickets will be arranged in blocks of 10 seats or less, and the first eight rows of stadium seats will not be used,” the Patriots said in a statement.

“Additionally, face coverings will be required at all times inside the stadium.”

The league is also implementing its own measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including bans on post-game handshakes and jersey swaps, while players will not be allowed to interact with fans.

Other teams also plan to reduce attendance.

The Philadelphia Eagles will play to empty stands this season after the city’s health commissioner said it was not safe to have fans attend, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Tuesday. The team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Baltimore Ravens told fans last week that it plans to host no more than 14,000 fans at the 71,000 capacity M&T Bank Stadium, if any can attend at all.

The Cleveland Browns said the likelihood of playing to a full stadium “is very low” this season, while the Green Bay Packers said that capacity at Lambeau Field would also be reduced.

(Reporting by Amy Tennery; Editing by Toby Davis)

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The emotional impact of Lockdown 2.0

We thought we had COVID-19 licked; we packed the kids back off to school, resurrected our social calendars and made plans for the next family holiday. Only to be left instead with numb disappointment, mild panic and anxious frustration.

What does this sort of thing do to one’s mental state?

“If people assumed that they were done with the life-affecting, traumatic experience brought on by the pandemic and the lockdown, then finding out that it has returned would most likely cause more distress compared to last time,” says psychologist Dr Rowan Burckhardt.

Australia’s Black Dog Institute estimates that between 25 and 33 per cent of the community will experience significant anxiety and distress during the pandemic.

“It’s a bit like the difference between knowing we have eight days of hiking in front of us compared to believing that we’ve finished a four-day hike, only to be told we have another four days to go,” says Dr Burckhardt. “We prepare ourselves mentally and that creates expectations. When those expectations get violated, we are going to be affected more.”

During the first lockdown there was a unified feeling of ‘we’ll get through this’ – now that the curve has shot up again, Dr Burckhardt says it’s normal to feel depleted and a little out of control.

There is also added distress about economic outcomes and around those in charge, such as politicians, business owners and other decision makers, says Dr Burckhardt. “All of it contributes to heightened levels of anxiety and greater uncertainty for our future.”


In the US, where over 3 million people are currently battling the virus, they’ve recorded a six per cent rise in “Broken Heart Syndrome” where the traditional symptoms of a heart attack, such as shortness of breath, weakness and heart pain, are felt as a result of severe emotional and physical stress.

What’s to be done? “One thing that can help this time is actually using the lessons from last time,” says Dr Burckhardt. “In a sense, we got a practice run. We can reflect on what things we did that helped and do more of those and do less of the others.” But above all, he says “Remind yourself that it will pass, this is a temporary situation.”

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NSW Waratahs come to Melbourne Rebels’ aid with game swap as home fixtures confirmed

“The Rebels are in a really difficult situation [with travel restrictions] and we sympathise with the challenges they’re currently facing on a number of fronts,” NSW Rugby boss Paul Doorn said. “We have a responsibility as a game to support them as best we can and it was a great example of two clubs and Rugby Australia coming together to reach a beneficial outcome for the competition.”

It could be a blessing in disguise for the Waratahs, who after their round one 32-26 loss to Queensland will have spent six weeks in their own beds before going to Perth on August 14 to face the Western Force.

The Brumbies are Australia's in-form team.

The Brumbies are Australia’s in-form team.Credit:Getty

“Everyone is comfortable at home,” Waratahs halfback Mitch Short said. “It’s nice to get some consistency here and just have some games in Sydney. It would be nice to string some early wins together at home.”

A 23-14 victory over the Force provided some validation the Waratahs are tracking in the right direction. A win against the Brumbies on Saturday at ANZ Stadium would prove they are a much improved side to earlier in the year.

NSW will start as heavy outsiders after being spanked 47-14 by the Brumbies in mid-March.

However, playing a couple of games on the bounce after a long lay-off – the Brumbies had the bye last week following their win over the Rebels – may work to the Waratahs’ advantage against Australia’s in-form team.

‘If it’s a wet night, we’ll be looking to play down their end.’

Mitch Short

“I can’t say I would have enjoyed having the bye straight after your first week,” Short said. “Thinking back to that game, there were a lot of cheap penalties. We were really hurting ourselves. With the Brumbies set-piece, they were kicking long to the corner and building pressure in our own half. We made it hard for ourselves. That discipline needs to be up to scratch.

“If it’s a wet night, we’ll be looking to play down their end and be really smart and controlled in what we do.”

Short will wear the No.9 jersey again as Jake Gordon recovers from a hamstring injury. He is enjoying more time in the starting XV after playing second and third fiddle to Gordon and Nick Phipps in recent years.

“Being in and out [of the side], it’s a bit tricky to stamp your authority on the game,” Short said. “I’m enjoying really being the leader of the team at the moment and working to steer the boys around. I just want to start winning at this level.”

Meanwhile, the Waratahs confirmed their final home match of the season will take place at the SCG against the Queensland Reds on August 8.

Waratahs Super Rugby AU fixtures

Round 3: NSW vs Brumbies, Saturday July 18 – ANZ Stadium

Round 4: NSW vs Rebels, Friday July 24 – SCG

Round 5: Bye


Round 6: NSW vs Reds, Saturday, August 8 – SCG

Round 7: Force vs NSW, Friday, August 14HBF Park, Perth

Round 8: Brumbies vs NSW, Saturday, August 22 – GIO Stadium

Round 9: Rebels vs NSW, Saturday, August 29 – TBC

Round 10: Bye

Qualifying Final (2nd vs 3rd): Saturday, September 12

Final (1st vs winner of Qualifying Final): Saturday, September 19

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Nick Cannon blasted for saying white people are a ‘little less’ and ‘closer to animals’ — RT USA News

TV host Nick Cannon is facing accusations of antisemitism and racism following a bizarre and now-viral interview in which he claims white people are “a little less” and black people are who Jewish people “want to be.”

During the discussion with former Public Enemy member Richard Griffin (who left the group after saying the “Jews are wicked” in a 1989 interview), Cannon, who hosts the ‘Masked Singer,’ claimed it is impossible for him to be antisemitic.

“It’s never hate speech, you can’t be anti-Semitic when we are the Semitic people,” he said. “When we are the same people who they want to be. That’s our birthright.” He later insisted again that he is not promoting “hate speech.”

Cannon and Griffin also spoke about various conspiracy theories regarding Jewish power in the global banking industry and there was even praise for Louis Farrakhan, a political activist and preacher with a long history of statements deemed anti-Semitic.

Raising even more eyebrows on social media were Cannon’s words about white people.

A clip from the interview shows Cannon discussing how white people are “a little less” and “closer to animals” due to the pigment of their skin. 

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Rapper Ice Cube slammed for bizarre ‘ANTI-SEMITIC’ tweetstorm – but Twitter yet to intervene

“When you have a person that has the lack of pigment, the lack of melanin, they know that they will be annihilated, so therefore, however they got the power, they have the lack of compassion,” he said, going on to theorize that “melanin” — which is the dark pigmentation of skin, hair, or even eyes — gives non-white people more “compassion” and “soul.”

“The people that don’t have [melanin] are — I’m going to say this carefully — a little less,” he continued. 

White people, according to Cannon, do not have the “power of the sun” and are acting out of a “deficiency” in their “fear” of black people.

Cannon has earned plenty of critics thanks to the resurfaced interview — which was originally released last summer, but reposted to Cannon’s YouTube page on June 30 — with him being blasted online as a “black supremacist.”

“Make no mistake, if a white entertainer said s**t like this, they’d be gone,” one user tweeted. 

Conservative pundit Mike Cernovich found the interview so ridiculous it was “funny” and he doesn’t want to see the rapper “cancelled.”

Cannon responded to the outrage in an interview with Fast Company, claiming he wants to be “corrected” if he is wrong, but he refuses to apologize.

“You can say sorry in as many different languages as you want to, and it means nothing,” he said. 

As for his praise of Farrakhan, Cannon says he refuses to be held responsible for everything the religious leader said and can only take responsibility for his own words.

“I can’t be responsible for however long Minister Farrakhan has been ministering and things that he said,” the rapper said. “That is his voice and his fight. I can only be held accountable for what I’ve seen and what I’ve heard.”

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Bulldogs react to ‘poisonous’ claim after Dean Pay quits

Bulldogs CEO Andrew Hill has denied their next coach will be walking into a “poisonous” environment as Canterbury searches for Dean Pay’s replacement.

Pay was told on Monday he would not be in charge in 2021 and on Tuesday decided to quit immediately rather than see out the season.

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The Bulldogs are last on the ladder, winning just once in 2020 and have not made the finals since Pay took over in 2018.

The salary cap has been a mess since Des Hasler left in 2017 and Pay hasn’t had the chance to recruit quality players, being forced to make do with what NRL 360 co-host Paul Kent last night called a “reserve grade” side.

Former Manly mentor and Penrith assistant Trent Barrett is considered the frontrunner to coach the Dogs next year, and even interviewed for the gig before Pay had officially quit his post, Nine News reported.

Many have accused the Bulldogs of throwing Pay under the bus while salary cap woes and in-fighting at board level mean the next coach will have more than just on-field performances to worry about.

Asked by Nine’s Danny Weidler if the club was “too poisonous” to attract a high-class coach, Hill said: “No, absolutely not. We’re a big club, we understand that our role being such a big club in Sydney is there’s always going to be people who pick sides.”

RELATED: Pay quits after ‘incredible disrespect’

Hill also said the Dogs will explore all options when it comes to looking at life after Pay.

“Certainly from Sunday night once Dean and I had started to talk, we have to move forward,” Hill said. “There’s been conversations and we will continue to have conversations with prospective coaches.

“Trent (Barrett) is one of a number of coaches who have expressed an interest and we’ll work through that process now.

“We’re looking at all opportunities and that’s a matter of discussion with potential candidates.”

Pay’s former assistant Steve Georgallis will step in as interim coach until a full-time appointment is made.

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