Iceland president reelected with 92 percent of vote

by admin

first_imgVoter Hjalmtyr Heiddal told AFP on Sunday that he “very happy” with the winning margin because “it means that 92 percent of Icelanders want this type of president who does not take sides and is simply neutral.” It is the second-highest margin of victory in the history of Iceland’s presidential elections. Vigdis Finnbogadottir, the first woman in the world to be democratically elected as head of state, holds the record, winning re-election in 1988 with 94.6 percent of the vote.In this parliamentary republic, the president is largely symbolic, but he or she does have the power to veto legislation or submit it to a referendum.There are no term limits — Johannesson’s predecessor Olafur Ragnar Grimsson served for five terms.However Johannesson has said he would limit himself to two or three terms at the most.Turnout for Saturday’s vote was 66.9 percent, dropping from 75.7 percent during Johannesson’s first election victory in 2016, when he became the country’s youngest president since independence in 1944.The coronavirus pandemic had not been expected to affect voting, as the country has been only mildly infected. It has reported 10 deaths, and currently has around 11 active cases.Challenger Jonsson is a former Wall Street broker close to Icelandic nationalists and a vocal fan of US President Donald Trump.He campaigned on wanting Iceland’s president to play a more active role by exercising the right to veto legislation campaigns, but struggled to gain traction with voters.”I send my congratulations to Gudni and his family,” Jonsson told public broadcaster RUV. Topics : The final results showed he took 92.2 percent of the 168,821 votes cast, crushing rightwing challenger Gudmundur Franklin Jonsson.”I am honored and proud,” the president told AFP in Reykjavik on election night.”This result of this election is, to me, proof of the fact that my fellow Icelanders… have approved of how I have approached this office.”The dominant win had been predicted by opinion polls, which had shown the president winning between 90 to 94 percent.center_img Iceland’s President Gudni Johannesson has been reelected with a whopping 92 percent of the vote, according to final results released on Sunday. The former history professor won his second four-year term in the largely symbolic position in Saturday’s vote, the second election held by a European country after coronavirus lockdowns were lifted.Since suffering spectacular bank failures in 2008, the volcanic North Atlantic island of 365,000 inhabitants has recovered some economic and political stability, which worked in the 52-year-old independent’s favor.last_img read more

Baby infected with COVID-19 in the womb: Study

by admin

first_imgTopics : “You need to analyze maternal blood, amniotic fluid, the newborn’s blood, the placenta, et cetera,” De Luca said by phone. “Getting all of these samples during a pandemic with emergencies everywhere has not been easy. This is why it has been suspected but never demonstrated.”De Luca and his team pulled together this data for the case of a pregnant woman in her twenties admitted to his hospital in early March. Because the baby was delivered by caesarean section, all of the potential sources and reservoirs of the virus remained intact.The concentration of SARS-CoV-2, the technical name given to the virus, was highest in the placenta, the researchers found.”From there it passed through the umbilical cord to the baby, where it develops,” De Luca said. “That is the pathway of transmission.” ‘Bad news’ The baby began to develop severe symptoms 24 hours after birth, including severe rigidity of the body, damage to white matter in the brain, and extreme irritability.But before doctors could settle on a course of treatment, the symptoms began to recede. Within three weeks, the newborn had almost fully recovered on his own.Three months later, his mother is without symptoms.”The bad news is that this actually happened, and can happen,” De Luca said. “The good news is that it is rare — very rare compared to the global population.”Among the thousands of babies born to mothers with COVID-19, no more than one or two percent have tested positive for the virus, and even fewer show serious symptoms, said Marian Knight, a professor of maternal and child population health at the University of Oxford who was not involved in the research.”The most important message for pregnant women remains to avoid infection through paying attention to hand washing and social distancing measures,” she said.Others said the case study shed light on how the virus passes from mother to child. “This report adds knowledge to a possible mechanism of transfer to the baby, via the placenta,” commented Andrew Shennan, a professor of obstetrics at King’s College London.”But women can remain reassured that pregnancy is not a significant risk factor for them or their babies with COVID-19.” “We have shown that the transmission from the mother to the fetus across the placenta is possible during the last weeks of pregnancy,” he said.Last week, researchers in Italy said that data on 31 pregnant women hospitalized with COVID-19 “strongly suggested” that the virus could be passed on to unborn infants.A JAMA study in March reporting on a similar number of pregnant COVID-19 patients came to a similar conclusion.But evidence remained circumstantial.  Doctors in France have described what they said was the first confirmed case of a newborn infected in the womb with COVID-19 by the mother.The baby boy, born in March, suffered brain swelling and neurological symptoms linked to COVID-19 in adults, but has since recovered, they reported Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications. Earlier research had pointed to the likely transmission of the virus from mother to fetus, but the study offers the first solid evidence, said senior author Daniele De Luca, a doctor at Antoine Beclere Hospital near Paris. last_img read more

Brazil virus outbreak has ‘plateaued’: WHO

by admin

first_imgThe new coronavirus outbreak in hard-hit Brazil has plateaued, the World Health Organization said Friday, urging the country to seize the opportunity to drive down transmission.”The rise in Brazil is no longer exponential, it has plateaued,” WHO health emergencies chief Michael Ryan told a virtual news conference.Brazil is the second worst virus affected country in the world after the United States, counting nearly 77,000 deaths and more than two million cases. But now the number had dropped to between 0.5 and 1.5, he said, hailing that “the virus is not in a sense doubling itself in the community as quickly as it was before.”Ryan stressed that while this was good news, “there is absolutely no guarantee that (transmission) will go down by itself”.But he pointed out that there was “an opportunity here now for Brazil to push the disease down, to suppress the transmission of the virus”.He urged Brazil to “take control”, acknowledging that “it is going to take a very sustained, concerted action in order for that to occur”.”Up to now, in many countries, including in Brazil, the virus has been in charge, the virus sets the rules,” he said.”We need to set the rules for the virus.”Since the beginning of the crisis, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has dismissed the seriousness of the epidemic and criticized containment measures ordered by governors in Brazilian states. The far-right leader has himself tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently in quarantine.Topics : Figures published by the health ministry Thursday showed there were more than 45,000 new cases over the previous 24 hours, and an extra 1,300 deaths.But Ryan said the rate of infection had now “stabilized”.He pointed out that the reproduction rate (R0) for the virus, which indicates how quickly it is spreading, had been “quite high” in April and May, standing at 1.5 and in many places over 2.0.That means that each person infected was infecting at least two other people.last_img read more

Tests and mask for US health chief on Taiwan visit

by admin

first_imgUS Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and his delegation will have to be tested for the novel coronavirus before getting to Taiwan and again when they arrive, and they must wear masks, a government official said on Thursday.Azar’s will be the most senior US official to visit Taiwan in four decades – a trip that has angered China, which claims the democratic island as its own. Washington broke off official ties with Taipei in 1979 in favor of Beijing.Taiwan has won praise for its steps to control the coronavirus, including strict border quarantine controls and the widespread wearing of masks, which have won broad public support. Topics : The members of the US delegation, when meeting government officials, will also have to maintain social distancing, Chuang said. They will also use dedicated elevators “to avoid any risks”, he said.Azar’s visit will begin on Sunday, Taiwan Cabinet spokesman Evian Ting told the same briefing.He is scheduled to meet President Tsai Ing-wen as well as Health Minister Chen Shih-chung.Taiwan has reported 477 cases of the coronavirus and seven deaths. Most cases have been imported, and only a small number of people remain in hospital or isolation.The United States has more coronavirus cases and deaths than any other country, and the wearing of masks has become a heated political issue, with some people objecting to what they see as an infringement of personal freedom.center_img Taiwan Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang told reporters that members of the US delegation would be tested before leaving for Taiwan, and again upon entry at the airport.Only if they are negative will they be allowed in.”They must wear masks at all times,” Chuang said.”There are rules on where they can go,” he added, saying that Taiwan’s often crowded night markets would not be on the list for private visits.last_img read more

Indonesia must control virus spread to hasten recovery: Economists

by admin

first_imgIndonesia’s economic performance in the second half will also depend heavily on the effectiveness of the national economic recovery program, Didik said. “The government failed to realize positive [government] spending growth in the second quarter, that must change soon.”Government spending, which is expected to anchor the economy and boost people’s purchasing power amid cooling private sector activity, plunged 6.9 percent during the period. The fall is deeper than the 5.51 percent contraction in household spending, which accounts for more than half of the economy.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo ordered on Tuesday the nationwide enforcement of COVID-19 protocols, making violators subject to legal sanctions throughout the country.The rules, established in Presidential Instruction (Inpres) No. 6/2020, seek to improve public compliance with health procedures to stem the spread of the coronavirus by establishing sanctions against businesses, organizations and collectives that are found to have violated prevailing health protocols.Indonesia recorded 1,882 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to more than 118,000 across the country with more than 5,000 fatalities, official data show. The government has continued with the economic reopening begun in early June despite a jump in the daily infection rate as it works to prevent a deeper economic fallout.“Looking ahead, we see limited prospects for a healthy economic recovery in the second half of the year due mainly to two factors: firstly, at the time of writing, Indonesia is yet to contain the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak as caseloads continue to rise on a daily basis,” Fitch Solutions Country Risk & Industry Research wrote in a report on Thursday.Read also: Govt urged to ramp up spending as recession looms“Secondly, the outlook for the global economy remains soft as key markets like the United States, Japan and Australia are seeing a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, which has led to renewed confinement measures.”Fitch Solutions continues to expect Indonesia’s economy to contract 1.3 percent this year before recovering by 3.3 percent in 2021.Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati expects the economy to grow at no more than 0.5 percent or even contract further in the third quarter, while fourth-quarter GDP growth is projected to be near 3 percent, making for a full-year expansion of zero to 1 percent.“We think both central and local government leaders – some of whom will have their eyes fixed on the 2024 elections – will avoid implementing fresh lockdowns and focus on improving healthcare capacity instead to contain the surge in COVID-19 cases,” said Bahana Sekuritas economist Satria Sambijantoro.“Our sense here is that household spending growth will recover, albeit slowly, as the populace adapts to new normal economic activities through social distancing and IT utilization,” he went on to say.The government plans to spend aggressively in the coming months to support the economic recovery, with state spending to reach more than Rp 1.4 quadrillion (US$101 billion) in the second half of this year, Sri Mulyani said on Wednesday.The government also plans to reallocate around Rp 70.8 trillion from existing ineffective stimulus packages to fund social aid expansions and new incentives to boost household spending and support small businesses.Read also: Strong pandemic response, corruption eradication needed to attract investment: ExpertsIt has allocated Rp 695.2 trillion for the COVID-19 response budget to boost the economy and strengthen healthcare spending by providing cash transfers and tax cuts, among other measures.“The pace of the economic recovery will heavily depend on how well the government controls the spread of COVID-19 in Indonesia and the effectiveness of the national economic recovery program going forward,” said Bank Mandiri economist Andry Asmoro.He projected the economy to shrink 1 percent this year, as the decline in economic activity had been “greater than previously anticipated”.Topics : Indonesia’s economy shrank 5.32 percent in the second quarter, the worst since 1999’s first quarter, as all components of economic activity, except net exports, plunged amid large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) implemented in much of April and May to curb the virus spread.Read also: Govt to expand social aid, incentives to boost household demand, economyThe decline marks the beginning of a near-certain recession, Didik added.Several economies, such as China and Vietnam, performed much better in the second quarter as they implemented stricter virus containment measures, with China recording 3.2 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth after a first quarter contraction and Vietnam’s GDP grew 0.36 percent. Indonesia must focus on controlling the spread of the coronavirus to speed up the economic recovery, economists have said, arguing that the current healthcare response could instead push the economy into a deep recession this year.The government should implement strict virus containment protocols, such as those implemented by China and Vietnam, to expedite the economic recovery, said the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (Indef) economist Didik Rachbini on Thursday.“We should not dream of an economic recovery if we can’t control the virus spread,” Didik said in a virtual discussion. “Although we may not see another lockdown, the government must shift its focus to control the pandemic first or its risks a deeper economic slump.”last_img read more

Alexandre Lacazette speaks out after red card in Arsenal’s defeat to BATE Borisov

by admin

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Alexandre Lacazette speaks out after red card in Arsenal’s defeat to BATE Borisov Alexandre Lacazette was sent off in Arsenal’s defeat to BATE Borisov (Getty Images)Alexandre Lacazette has apologised for his red card in Arsenal’s 1-0 Europa League defeat to BATE Borisov on Thursday evening.The Gunners must now win their return leg at the Emirates Stadium next week in order to reach the Europa League last 16, but they will be without Lacazette after he was sent off late on in Belarus.The French striker, who has scored 12 goals in all competitions this season, was dismissed in the 85th minute for elbowing Aleksandar Filipovic.And Lacazette admits he ‘let the team down’ with his moment of frustration.ADVERTISEMENT Lacazette was given a straight red card for a deliberate elbow (EPA)More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘Letting the team down like that is the worst feeling,’ Lacazette posted on Twitter.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘I should have stayed calm but it’s not always easy. Sorry.‘There are still 90 minutes to play and I believe that my teammates will make it to the next round.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Comment Metro Sport ReporterThursday 14 Feb 2019 9:28 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link317Shareslast_img read more

Arsenal and Liverpool agree deal in principle to sign Nicolas Pepe

by admin

first_imgPepe is wanted by a host of clubs (Picture: Getty)Arsenal and Liverpool are one of four clubs to have agreed a deal in principle to sign Nicolas Pepe, according to reports in France.Pepe has emerged as one of this summer’s most sought after players after scoring 22 goals in Ligue 1 last season – a tally only bettered by Kylian Mbappe.A host of Premier League clubs have been linked with the Ivory Coast international, with Manchester United also monitoring the player’s situation and they could yet rival Liverpool and Arsenal.L’Equipe claim four sides have come to an agreement with Lille and it is down to the 24-year-old to decide his destination.ADVERTISEMENT Comment Four clubs have matched Lille’s asking price for Pepe (Picture: Getty)All the deals are believed to be in the region of £72million, with Serie A duo Inter Milan and Napoli the other two sides in the mix.AdvertisementAdvertisementUnited, who are already struggling to agree a fee with Leicester for Harry Maguire, have made their interest known, but are unable to make a concrete offer until they raise funds by offloading players.Lille president Gerard Lopez confirmed there were four offers on the table for Pepe, but did not name the clubs.‘For Pepe, we have received four acceptable offers from four big clubs. Napoli have made a bid for Pepe which satisfies our €80m (£72m) demand,’ he said. Arsenal and Liverpool agree deal in principle to sign Nicolas Pepe Advertisementcenter_img Advertisement Arsenal and Liverpool have reportedly agreed a deal in principle (Picture: Getty)‘Up to the player now to decide where to go, with the contract offers made by the four clubs.‘Pepe will come back from holiday on Monday and I think he’ll decide in the middle of the week.’Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp played down fans’ expectations of a big signing this summer, but has been known to sanction big transfers when his top targets become available.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City Metro Sport ReporterFriday 26 Jul 2019 10:31 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.2kShareslast_img read more

Willian and Gabriel speak out on their spectacular Arsenal debuts

by admin

first_imgWillian and Gabriel speak out on their spectacular Arsenal debuts Advertisement Gabriel and Willian both impressed on their Premier League debuts for Arsenal (Picture: Getty)Arsenal’s new signings Gabriel and Willian stole the show as Mikel Arteta’s side cantered to an opening day victory at Fulham.Willian was credited with two assists and played a role in Alexandre Lacazette’s opener, while his Brazilian compatriot was a commanding presence at the back and marked his Premier League bow with a headed goal early in the second half.Gabriel only had the benefit of several training sessions with his new team-mates before he was thrust into action amid a defensive injury crisis, but the former Lille centre-half, who cost £27million, hardly put a foot wrong.AdvertisementAdvertisementReacting to his first taste of English football, the 22-year-old said: ‘I’m very happy to make my debut, for the win and my goal, for being able to help my teammates. I haven’t been here long, but I got a good welcome and I’m very happy with that. There’s nothing better than starting with a win and a goal.ADVERTISEMENT‘I am very happy to be able to work with him, I know I will learn a lot. It is a different style of play than what I had been doing, but it is a very good group of players where everyone tries to help each other. I hope this season will be a great season.’ Metro Sport ReporterSaturday 12 Sep 2020 9:33 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link39.6kShares Commentcenter_img Willian, meanwhile, was expected to hit the ground running by Arteta following his move from Chelsea and he fully justified his new manager’s faith with a highly efficient display.Taking to Instagram, he wrote: ‘I’m very happy with my debut! Great team work guys! But it’s only the beginning, let’s keep working hard! Thanks for all the support Arsenal fans.’Gabriel helped contribute to a rare clean sheet away from home for the Gunners and the former Lille star clearly impressed his new defensive partner Rob Holding who was also taken with Willian’s instant impact.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal‘I know Willian from when we’ve played Chelsea,’ he said. ‘I know he’s got all the ability so it’s nice to have him in your team. ‘He proved today why we signed him and Gabriel was solid as a rock. He won everything aerially and finished off with a nice goal as well.’MORE: Mikel Arteta reveals he has told wantaway Arsenal star to change his mind on his futureMORE: Mikel Arteta praises unsung Arsenal hero Mohamed Elneny against Fulham and reacts to Gabriel’s debut displayFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. 🎯 Distribution on point.😎 @biel_m04#FULARS pic.twitter.com/RcM9zoJagZ— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 12, 2020 Advertisementlast_img read more

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be Arsenal’s ‘best signing’ if he signs new deal, says Ian Wright

by admin

first_imgAdvertisement Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is yet to sign a new deal at Arsenal (Picture: Getty)Arsenal legend Ian Wright says it’s vital that the club tie Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang down to a new deal because the striker would be the Gunners’ ‘best signing’ this summer.The 31-year-old is believed to have agreed a new three-year deal with the club but it’s yet to be announced, which has left supporters worrying over his future.The Gabon international kicked off his campaign with a goal against Fulham in Arsenal’s 3-0 win at Craven Cottage on Saturday and Mikel Arteta confirmed afterwards that he’s hopeful of a deal being agreed in the near future.However, while the wait goes on many will be fearing that Aubameyang could run his deal down and Wright says it’s imperative that the club announce an extension soon.ADVERTISEMENT Comment Aubameyang’s contract runs out next summer (Picture: Getty)Speaking to Match of the Day, Wright said: ‘He will be their best signing. ‘I’m going to go and see papa Aubameyang tomorrow. They have to sign him. It’s as simple as that.’AdvertisementAdvertisementAlan Shearer then asked him: ‘Will you take him the contract yourself?’.Wright replied: ‘If I have to! We have to sign that guy.’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityArsenal’s win took the Gunners to the top of the table after an impressive win against Scott Parker’s side.Aubameyang’s strike partner, Alexandre Lacazette, got on the scoresheet alongside new boy Gabriel.MORE: Jose Mourinho criticises Matt Doherty’s fitness after Tottenham debut Advertisement Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be Arsenal’s ‘best signing’ if he signs new deal, says Ian Wright Metro Sport ReporterSunday 13 Sep 2020 9:00 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link962Shareslast_img read more

Five of the fastest growing challenger brands in alcohol

by admin

first_img2. Birra Moretti, Heineken▲ £49.3m (+£22m)Talk about back with a bang. After suffering a year in the wilderness in Tesco’s raft of Heineken delistings, Birra Moretti returned just in time for the World Cup to do a storming trade. The Mediterranean brew is now the UK’s 16th biggest lager brand after racking up 79.3% value gains on volumes up 76.2%. Proof that big brewers can do premium, world lagers. 4. Bud Light, AB InBev▲ £37.2m (+£16m)AB InBev’s hefty marketing spend on Bud Light is paying off. Shoppers have bought into the message of a lower-calorie, lower-alcohol beer to the tune of £16m extra sales. Its affordable price won’t have hurt, either. Bud Light weighs in at just £1.87 per litre, making it only one of the five lager brands in the top 20 that still sells at under the £2 mark. Alcohol brands dominate the fastest-growing products in this year’s Top Products survey. The winners below are an indication of the nation’s changing drinking habits. Posh Mediterranean beers are in, as are craft-style brews, fruity flavoured gins and low-alcohol SKUs. Bottoms up.Data source: Nielsen, 52 w/e 8 September 2018,5. Hop House 13, Diageo▲ £29.3m (+£16m)The stellar performance of spirits giant Diageo’s trendy Guinness spin-off suggests Brits are less picky about who actually makes their craft beer than the scene’s more ardent evangelists might like to admit. It’s racked up an extra £16m in sales this year – more than the additional £9.4m picked up by craft market leader BrewDog’s Punk IPA. 1. Estrella Damm, Estrella Damm▲ £49.9m (+£23m)This year’s fastest-growing brand is testament to the nation’s love of upmarket Mediterranean lager. In the first half of the year, Estrella Damm was the only brand catering for that market at Tesco in the absence of Birra Moretti. And sales soared. Not only is value up 86.5% last year, but the brand shifted 89.3% more volume – equating to an extra 69 million litres. 3. Whitley Neill Rhubarb & Ginger Gin, Halewood Wines & Spirits▲ £18.4m (+£18m)The gin craze shows no sign of slowing. While big brands have taken full advantage – Gordon’s Pink has the second highest gains of the year overall – smaller brands such as Whitley Neill are also booming. Its Rhubarb & Ginger Gin is now the 33rd biggest spirits brand after launching at the tail end of last year.last_img read more