October 19

Europe locks down as global virus panic spreads

first_imgWith European nations already closing their borders, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she would ask the leaders of the bloc’s Schengen-free border zone to stop all non-essential into the area.”Concretely, all trips between non-European countries and EU countries will be suspended for 30 days,” Macron said in his address.This follows a ban on inbound travel to the United States, whose President Donald Trump steeled the nation for a fight against the virus that he warned could last months. European leaders are set to ban non-essential travel into the continent on Tuesday, the latest drastic attempt to curb the coronavirus pandemic that has upended society, battered markets and killed thousands around the world.With French President Emmanuel Macron describing the battle against COVID-19 as a “war”, governments around the world are imposing restrictions rarely seen in peace-time, slamming borders shut and forcing citizens to stay home.The crisis is infecting every sector of the economy and Wall Street stocks sank on Monday more than 12 percent in the worst session since the crash of 1987, despite emergency interventions by central banks and governments to shore up confidence. ‘Test, test, test’ The head of the World Health Organization called for every suspected coronavirus case to be tested, something which would send the known tally of the sick sky-rocketing.”You cannot fight a fire while blindfolded,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told journalists. “Test, test, test. Test every suspected case.”Very few countries have been left untouched by the virus as it continues its relentless march across the globe, and a cascading number are taking increasingly drastic responses.Britain called for an end to all “non-essential” contact and travel, while Switzerland declared a state of emergency. Germany banned gatherings in churches, mosques and synagogues and said playgrounds and non-essential shops would close.Tens of millions of people in Southeast Asia were ordered into effective home quarantines, with Malaysia and the Philippines announcing Monday unprecedented lockdowns.In India, the world’s second most populous country where most schools and entertainment facilities have already shut down, the Taj Mahal was on Tuesday closed to visitors.Iran, the country with the highest number of infections and deaths in the Middle East, on Monday closed four key Shiite pilgrimage sites.Chile, Peru announced a total closure of their borders, while Canada closed its borders to foreigners, except Americans for now.Security forces on motorcycles enforced a “collective quarantine” in Venezuelan capital Caracas.And around the world people are having to contend with disruption to almost every aspect of daily life and new border restrictions have caused pandemonium as travellers scramble to get home.There are also growing doubts over the European football championships set to take place in 12 countries this summer and the Olympics in Japan, as the virus decimates the sporting calendar. ‘Apocalyptic vibe’ Trump said he was asking Americans to restrict gatherings to groups of fewer than 10 people — as the streets of New York and the capital Washington stood largely deserted.One customer at a French restaurant in Brooklyn said she felt the moves were unprecedented.”I want strong leadership, but it’s scary. I’ve never experienced anything like this before and I don’t think my parents have, I don’t think anyone has,” Kelly McGee told AFP.”There’s something about being in this apocalyptic vibe and being with other people and experiencing it together that I think I still crave.”Trump acknowledged the United States “may be” heading into a recession due to the virus, as G7 leaders vowed to coordinate their response to the virus and “do whatever it takes, using all policy tools” — after a meeting held via videoconference.Every sector from tourism to food to aviation is affected, as the global economy effectively goes into shutdown.European car makers including Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot began shutting down their factories and major world airlines axed almost all flights temporarily, triggering pleas to help carriers survive.Emergency measures by the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan failed to lift spirits on Wall Street, which plunged nearly 13 percent and Asian stocks continued the volatility, Japan’s Nikkei-225 swinging from red to green in a choppy session.center_img After an initial outbreak in a Chinese city in December, Europe has emerged as the epicenter of the virus with more deaths now recorded outside China than inside.Italy — the hardest hit nation in Europe — announced another surge in deaths, taking its overall toll to more than 2,000 from a worldwide total of more than 7,000. More than 175,530 cases have been recorded in 145 countries.In a somber address to the nation, Macron ordered the French to stay at home for 15 days starting midday Tuesday, banning all non-essential trips or social contacts and warning violations would be “punished.” Topics :last_img read more

September 21

Fellaini nets late winner for United

first_imgManchester United triumphed in Louis van Gaal’s first home match as manager as substitute Marouane Fellaini’s late goal saw them defeat Valencia 2-1 at Old Trafford. Fellaini, introduced with just under 15 minutes remaining for his first appearance of pre-season, capitalised on a mix-up in the Valencia defence to turn the ball home in stoppage time. The Belgium midfielder, not previously involved under Van Gaal this summer having been rested due to his involvement in the latter stages of the World Cup, struggled last term and has been linked with a move to Napoli. Amid reports linking United with Sporting Lisbon’s Argentina defender Marcos Rojo, Van Gaal named a starting XI showing two changes from that which had lined up for their last friendly, the 3-1 win over Liverpool that concluded their tour of the United States. The adjustments saw 20-year-olds Tyler Blackett and Reece James coming in for Jonny Evans and Antonio Valencia – both out with injury. Van Gaal once again used the 3-4-1-2 formation he has done in every pre-season game so far and Rooney, skipper again as he had been against Liverpool, was paired with Javier Hernandez up front, Juan Mata operating just behind. The game was played at a fairly pedestrian pace in the early stages, with the visitors doing any probing there was. At the other end, Mata saw goalkeeper Diego Alves smother a free-kick just before the half-hour mark. The Spain forward – a former Valencia player – then delivered a corner which came to Phil Jones, whose header made for an easy catch for Alves. A minute later, Ander Herrera met an attempted clearance first time outside the box and volleyed wide. The tempo seemed to be increasing slightly and the away side called David de Gea into action as Sofiane Feghouli fired low at the United stopper from the edge of the area. Valencia skipper Dani Parejo sent a free-kick off-target and his counterpart Rooney then did likewise, albeit going closer, moments before earning the penalty as he jumped to meet an Ashley Young cross. Referee Jon Moss adjudged that it had been a foul from Antonio Barragan that sent Rooney sprawling to the turf while the ball came over, and pointed to the spot. But the England striker could not convert the opportunity, seeing his shot – possibly helped on its way by the faintest of touches from Alves, who had dived the correct way – crack against the upright. United made the breakthrough shortly after the restart as Young’s corner came out to Fletcher, who saw his side-foot effort loop over Alves off a Valencia defender. Rooney found himself in the clear moments later, but failed in his attempt to tee up a team-mate, and Van Gaal then made a raft of substitutions. James remained on the field and saw a deflected effort loop in Alves’ arms, but it was Valencia who struck two minutes later when Rodrigo, once on loan at Bolton, responded sharply as the free-kick sailed in his direction via Cleverley and rifled into the roof of the net at the back post. Pablo Piatti then missed from close range before Hernandez cleared a fierce strike off the line. But Fellaini and compatriot Adnan Januzaj – another making his pre-season bow after the World Cup – were thrown on in the 76th minute and soon made an impact. Januzaj fed Rooney, who missed from the edge of the box with a turn and shot. United subsequently survived a scramble when De Gea spilled a shot, and having cleared up on that occasion, Blackett then delivered a long ball in the last few seconds which sent Alves colliding into one of his defenders. The loose ball fell to Fellaini, who made no mistake. Press Association It will be interesting to see how his United career develops from here as Van Gaal takes the club forward. Rodrigo Moreno, making the most of ponderous United defending, had earlier made it 1-1 by firing in from close range in the 71st minute when the ball was inadvertently sent his way from a free-kick by the outstretched leg of Tom Cleverley. Darren Fletcher’s deflected 49th-minute strike put the Red Devils in front after their captain-for-the-night Wayne Rooney missed a penalty in the first half, hitting the post. It was a far from vintage display from United, who may well count themselves fortunate not to have been beaten by their Primera Division opponents. But they head into Saturday’s Barclays Premier League opener against Swansea at the same ground off the back of an impressive pre-season record. Prior to this game, United had emerged victorious from each of the other five friendlies Van Gaal had been in charge for, beating Los Angeles Galaxy, Roma, Inter Milan (on penalties), Real Madrid and Liverpool. And in contrast to the gloom of last term, there is a definite sense of renewed optimism growing at United since the Dutchman took charge. That was certainly apparent in the warm reception a waving Van Gaal received from the stands as he headed for the dugout just prior to kick-off. last_img read more