Tokyo Olympics unrealistic without vaccine, Japan medical expert says
TOKYO — The head of Japan’s medical association thinks it will be difficult to hold the Olympics without an effective coronavirus vaccine.
“I hope vaccines and drugs will be developed as soon as possible,” Japan Medical Association President Yoshitake Yokokura said Tuesday.
Japan and the International Olympic Committee agreed to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games until July next year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Japan is under a monthlong state of emergency amid a rapid increase of infections throughout the country, where hospitals are overburdened.
Yokokura did not say whether he opposes the Olympics without a vaccine.
“The key is a situation with the infections at that point. If the infections are under control only in Japan, it will still be difficult to hold the games unless the pandemic is over in the rest of the world,” he said.
Experts have said it could take 12-18 months or longer to develop a vaccine that is safe and effective for clinical use.
Japan has 13,576 reported virus cases, plus 712 others from a cruise ship quarantined near Tokyo earlier this year, with 389 deaths, the health ministry said Tuesday.
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72d ago / 11:37 AM UTC
California Gov. Newsom says state may modify stay-at-home order 'in a few weeks'
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Wednesday that he may modify the state's stay-at-home order in the next few weeks and begin to discuss when schools can reopen.
"In a few weeks, we believe we could modify our stay-at-home order and expand the notion of what's available in manufacturing and logistics at retail stores and begin to have this important conversation," he said in an interview on NBC's "TODAY" show.
Newsom said he's hopeful that the school year could potentially start earlier than normal, but it won't be "back to normal," he said. Instead, school routines will be modified.
Still, the governor said he's worried because even though he feels in his gut that the worst might be over, that progress could still be wiped out.
"We've made so much progress, and we just don't want to run the 90 yard dash," he said. "If people just assume, like they did down in Newport Beach over the weekend, that the virus is going to take the weekend off or maybe go on summer vacation, then we're in real trouble with a potential second wave that erases all the progress and potentially puts literally tens of thousands of lives at risk."
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The Associated Press
73d ago / 7:07 AM UTC
Tupac Shakur unemployment claim raises eyebrows in Kentucky
FRANKFORT, Ky. — It’s no joke — Tupac Shakur lives in Kentucky and needs unemployment benefits to pay his bills.
The Lexington man’s name was brought up by Gov. Andy Beshear on Monday night as he spoke about how the state is trying to process all unemployment claims filed in March amid the coronavirus pandemic by the end of April.
According to Beshear, a few “bad apples” including a person who filed an unemployment claim under the name of the late rapper Tupac Shakur are responsible for slowing down the state’s unemployment processing.
But the Lexington Herald-Leader reports Tupac Malik Shakur, 46, who goes by Malik, lives in Lexington and worked as a cook before restrictions to stop the spread of the coronavirus shut down restaurants.
“I’ve been struggling for like the last month trying to figure out how to pay the bills,” Shakur said.
Read the full story here.
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73d ago / 7:08 AM UTC
Largest U.S. mall owner plans to reopen 49 locations
The city of Newport Beach, California, on Tuesday decided to continue letting people frolic on the sand and in the surf even after California Gov. Gavin Newsom criticized beachgoers for being too close to one another over the weekend.
The City Council voted to keep its beaches open after having second thoughts about access. Tens of thousands of people sought the ocean breezes of the Southern California coastline during the weekend heatwave.
The city said in a statement that "greater police and lifeguard presence" would be enough to enforce social distancing.
Pope urges virus lockdown obedience amid church-state debate
Pope Francis waded into the church-state debate about virus-imposed lockdowns of religious services, calling Tuesday for “prudence and obedience” to government protocols to prevent infections from surging again.
Francis’ appeal came just two days after Italian bishops bitterly complained that the Italian government offered no provisions for Masses to resume in its plan to reopen Italian business, social and sporting life starting May 4.
While it wasn’t clear if Francis intended to send a different message than the bishops, his appeal for obedience and prudence was in line with his previous calls to protect the most vulnerable, and for economic interests to take a back seat to shows of solidarity.
“As we are beginning to have protocols to get out of quarantine, let us pray that the Lord gives his people, all of us, the grace of prudence and obedience to the protocols so that the pandemic doesn’t return,” Francis said Tuesday.
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73d ago / 3:36 AM UTC
NYPD breaks up massive crowd gathered for rabbi's funeral
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio sent police to Brooklyn on Tuesday to disperse a massive crowd that had gathered for a rabbi's funeral in defiance of a statewide shutdown over coronavirus.
There were no summonses or arrests of those mourning Rabbi Chaim Mertz, according to a New York Police Department spokesman.
In Latin America, pandemic leaves household maids with no safety net
MEXICO CITY — The coronavirus pandemic has upended the lives of many of Latin America’s household maids, leaving them without work or government assistance or effectively trapping them inside the homes of their employers because of government-ordered lockdowns.
Millions of domestic servants are woven into the fabric of family life throughout the region, where even lower middle-class families often have hired help. They are paid as little as $4 per day, under the table, with no benefits.
Servants frequently care for their employers’ children as much or more than they can care for their own, as depicted in the 2018 Oscar-winning movie “Roma.” Maids sometimes live in rooms on the roofs of their employers’ homes or rent rooms atop tenement apartment buildings.