Millions back at school in Europe as cases pass four million

first_imgAn AFP tally of infections, using official data from across Europe, showed that more than four million people have contracted the illness, with Russia accounting for almost a quarter of infections. The virus emerged late last year in China and has now infected more than 25 million people globally and killed almost 850,000. The Chinese city at the center of the initial outbreak, Wuhan, took another leap back to normality on Tuesday when its almost 1.4 million youngsters also returned to schools and kindergartens. State media broadcast images of thousands of students hoisting the Chinese flag — a daily routine at all public schools — despite warnings to avoid mass gatherings. “I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time!” 12-year-old Chahda told AFP excitedly as she arrived with her friend at school in the southern French city of Marseille. However, the largest school district in the United States — New York City — announced a delay to in-person classes at public institutions until September 21, after reaching a deal with a prominent teachers’ union that had threatened a strike over health concerns it felt had gone unaddressed.In Europe, the decision to forge ahead with school reopenings comes as the virus is spreading rapidly again in many countries, raising fears that more lockdowns and disruption are to come in autumn and winter.”I am convinced that we can and will prevent a second general shutdown,” Germany’s Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said, unveiling figures to suggest his country has passed the worst of its recession.  ‘Bubble within a bubble’Elsewhere, fresh economic data for the second quarter further revealed the extent of the economic devastation caused by the virus’s march around the globe.Brazil’s economy, the biggest in Latin America, contracted by a record 9.7 percent in the second quarter of 2020, the official statistics agency said Tuesday.There is uncertainty about whether the economy will recover strongly over the rest of the year because the virus is still wreaking havoc and room is running out to continue the huge government stimulus spending that has softened the blow so far.On Monday, India said its economy had collapsed by 23.9 percent. Only China, where the outbreak was first reported, has escaped a recession in the period, according to official data. ‘Weird’ tennis returns While schools attempt to get back to normal, the virus continues to play havoc with cultural and sporting events.The US is hosting the world’s first major tennis tournament since COVID-19 emerged, but it has not been plain sailing at the US Open, where one player was sent home after testing positive and other players are grappling with eerie empty arenas. “It’s a little bit weird to play without fans and without the support and the atmosphere on the center courts,” said former champion Angelique Kerber. The Italian city of Venice is also gearing up for the annual film festival, with about half the usual number of visitors expected and no Hollywood A-listers prepared to accept invitations from the organizers. “It’s a festival without stars because Hollywood is still in lockdown,” Festival Director Alberto Barbera told AFP. “Will there be less glamour? Yes. Will there be fewer stars on the red carpet? Certainly.”  Topics : Millions of mask-wearing European children returned to school on Tuesday with governments determined to get pupils back in class despite still-rising coronavirus infections which surged over four million across the continent for the first time.Schools reopened in Russia, Ukraine, Belgium and France, where teachers and children aged 11 and older were obliged to wear face coverings, echoing regulations in place across the continent.Lockdowns imposed from March meant many children have missed months of education, as well as time with their friends. Blow for Sanofi Tuesday also brought bad news for everyone hoping for a swift medical breakthrough that could bring an end to the pandemic.French pharma giant Sanofi announced that a drug in testing as a treatment for serious COVID-19 cases had proved disappointing and trials will be halted.The drug “did not give us the results we were hoping for”, said the firm’s research chief John Reed.Sanofi is also part of the global race to develop a vaccine against coronavirus, with more than two dozen different products being trialed around the world according to the World Health Organization. In Hong Kong, health authorities are focusing on rolling out a mass testing scheme but have seen their efforts hampered by distrust of officials following China’s crushing of the city’s democracy movement. Doctors and testing firms from mainland China are involved in the program, fuelling public fears that their DNA and data will be harvested to create a system of control underpinned by biometrics. “I think it’s a waste of time,” local resident Emily Li told AFP. “The government can’t convince me in terms of the effectiveness of the testing program.” last_img read more


first_imgTwo of RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta’s Donegal presenters have been nominated to the shortlist for the Celtic Media Awards.Michelle Nic Grianna has been named in the category of Radio Presenter of the Year, and Dónall Mac Ruairí has been shortlisted in the documentary category for the programme Máire – Glór Chlannad, about the life of Máire Ní Bhraonáin, or Moya Brennan.Michelle Nic Grianna was born in Glasgow, but has been living in Rann na Feirste for most of her life. She is part of the newsroom team in RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta’s Doirí Beaga studio, but during the summer presents magazine programme Barrscéalta. An enthusiastic and engaging presenter, she displays a remarkable ability to move with ease from hard-hitting interviews to light-hearted topics, demonstrating empathy where necessary, showcasing a comedic rapport with her guests in some cases, and always brimming with energy. All these qualities contribute to her steadfast popularity with the listeners to Raidió na Gaeltachta.Dónall Mac Ruairí is also from Rann na Feirste, and presents the music programme Cóisir Cheoil on Raidió na Gaeltachta throughout the year, as well as other music programmes and documentary-type shows in the summer. Máire –Glór Chlannad tells the inspirational life story of Máire Ní Bhraonáin. Sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll are seldom associated with the Irish folk scene, but this documentary paints a different picture. In it, the voice of Clannad talks openly about the highs and lows of her life – from abortion to drug abuse, break ups and bust ups, international adoration, and winning Ivor Novello, Bafta and Grammy awards.RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta has also been shortlisted in the category of Radio Station of the Year.The winners will be announced at the Celtic Media Festival in Inverness, Scotland, in April.  TWO DONEGAL PRESENTERS ON SHORTLIST FOR CELTIC MEDIA AWARDS was last modified: March 6th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more