By AFP June 26, 2020 Venezuela’s low case count and death toll from the coronavirus are likely false and could in fact be thousands of times higher than official figures, according to the Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Johns Hopkins University.Nicolás Maduro’s regime has reported 10 COVID-19 deaths out of 1,121 cases in a country of 30 million people, numbers a report from the HRW and Johns Hopkins calls “absurd.”“We believe the data — the statistics that the Venezuelan government give, Maduro’s statistics — are absolutely absurd and are not credible,” HRW director for the Americas Jose Miguel Vivanco said during a videoconference May 26 while presenting the report.The true number could be closer to “at least 30,000” coronavirus deaths, according to Johns Hopkins associate medicine professor Kathleen Page, who interviewed several Venezuelan doctors and nurses for the report.Vivanco said the idea of so few cases and deaths “in a country where doctors don’t have water to even wash their hands” and “the health system is totally collapsing” strains credibility.Page said the Venezuelan government reports having completed more than 300,000 coronavirus tests, but that the tests they use are known for returning a high percentage of false negatives.She instead estimates that 1 percent of the population — or about 300,000 people — might be infected.Given available information about the novel coronavirus death rate in other countries, it is possible to conservatively estimate that 30,000 of those infected in Venezuela have died, Page said, especially since the health infrastructure there is so fragile.“One of the surgeons told me they have to wash their hands from water that falls from the air conditioning,” she said.Venezuela, once a wealthy oil-rich country, has been devastated by an economic and political crisis that has seen many flee the country and left those that remain often without basic necessities.Vivanco slammed the government as a “repressive dictatorship” that doesn’t allow journalists and medical personnel to report the facts on the ground and instead “hides data.”HRW director for the United Nations Louis Charbonneau called on the international community to hold Venezuela accountable.“We urge U.N. [Secretary General] Antonio Guterres and the U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock to lead efforts to address this extremely worrying humanitarian situation in Venezuela,” he said.
Dubai: Following the expulsion of USACA a couple of years ago, the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday welcomed USA Cricket as its newest member.According to an ICC statement, USA Cricket’s application to become the 93rd Associate Member in accordance with the ICC Constitution was approved by ICC Members following the Membership Committee’s recommendation to the ICC Board late last year and is implemented with immediate effect.As a Member of the ICC, USA Cricket is now eligible to receive funding in accordance with the ICC Development Funding Policy and can sanction domestic and international cricket in the United States.Welcoming the new body, ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: “This is the culmination of a great deal of hard work and I would like to congratulate the Chair of USA Cricket, Paraag Marathe, and the Board, on this important milestone and wish them all the very best for the future.”USA Cricket Board Chair Paraag Marathe said: “USA Cricket was established to bring together the cricket community in the United States, develop the game and unlock the sport’s undoubted potential for growth. Today’s confirmation that it is the ICC’s newest member is a significant staging post on that journey.” IANSAlso Read: World T20 rechristened as International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 World Cup
Real Madrid coach Zinedine ZidaneMadrid, Spain | AFP | Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane admitted injuries will force him into patching up a makeshift defence for Saturday’s visit of Sevilla after Raphael Varane joined an increasing list of absentees.The French international limped off holding his left leg as Madrid edged out Borussia Dortmund 3-2 in a Champions League thriller on Wednesday. However, with the defending champions already having secured their place in the last 16 of the Champions League behind Tottenham Hotspur in Group H, Zidane was more concerned with how Varane’s absence could affect a busy end to the year for Real.After Sevilla, Zidane’s men jet off to Abu Dhabi for the Club World Cup before hosting Barcelona in the Clasico on December 23.Saturday is the French coach’s primary concern, though, with Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal and Casemiro all suspended, while Jesus Vallejo is also sidelined by injury leaving Nacho as Real’s only fit centre-back.“With Rafa he has done some damage to himself, but we will see tomorrow when we do the scans as always,” said Zidane.“He won’t be there Saturday that is for sure. We have to look for solutions.”Real have precious little room for error as they already trail La Liga leaders Barca by eight points.And further forward, Madrid could again be without Gareth Bale due to a calf problem.“I feel for the injured players, today it is Rafa but that is why we have a squad,” added Zidane.However, the French coach didn’t rule out the possibility that the latest spate of injuries could force the club to reinforce the squad come January. Madrid could face the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, Manchester United or Liverpool in Monday’s last-16 draw.However, Ronaldo believes the 12-time winners are capable of an upturn in form in the new year to carry them to a third straight Champions League title.“It is obvious that I like playing in this competition a lot, but the most important thing is to be able to get into the next round once more,” he said.“Hopefully Real Madrid can win it for a third straight year.”Share on: WhatsApp “We have the possibility (to sign) from January 1 and we will see what happens in these 30 days.”Injuries aside, it was another enjoyable Champions League night for Real as Cristiano Ronaldo set yet another record in the competition.The Portuguese, who is expected to pick up his fifth Ballon d’Or on Thursday, fired a spectacular effort into the top corner to become the first player to ever score in all six group games in the one season.Ronaldo’s European form — he has nine in the Champions League in total — is in stark contrast to his struggles in La Liga, where he has scored just twice in 10 appearances this season.“We wanted to end the group phase well with a win. I scored a great goal and got the record as well which is important, so I’m very happy,” said Ronaldo.
Red Bluff >> The Red Bluff High swim teams Wednesday hosted Pleasant Valley and the Vikings girls’ and boys’ team left with victories. Red Bluff girls were led by a victory in the 200 medley relay team of Jayne Brandt, Abby Lair, Stevie McKenzie and Jordan Munoz.Brandt who won the 50 Free with a time of 26.35, which is the second fastest time in school history and only .45 seconds off of the school record. Brandt then captured a milestone in the 500 freestyle with a mark of 5:46.6 — the No. …
Tsabeng Nthite – South Africa will be hosting the annual Africa Communications Week (ACW) from 21 – 25 May 2018.Africa Communications Week is an annual global campaign, open to communications professionals with an African focus/expertise. ACW’s mission is to empower and equip Africa focused communications professionals with the tools and resources to change the current narratives about Africa. ACW also aims to promote knowledge and professional development by hosting informative webinars and masterclasses, as well as providing practical tools on how Africa focused communicators can begin to advance more realistic narratives about Africa. Hosted by PR Trendz ZA the South African edition of ACW will take place on Tuesday, 22 May and Friday, 25 May in Johannesburg and Cape Town under the theme ‘Telling a balanced South African narrative: Trends and Insights’. Nelisa Ngqulana, Managing Director of PR Trends ZA said: “The South African edition of ACW is a learning event that will bring together communications practitioners across all sectors, encouraging the sharing of lessons and insights and growing networks of collaboration with to ensure that we are constantly up to date with the practice of communications trends.” Co-Founder of the ACW Annie Mutamba said: “There are too many communication professionals working in isolation, trying to challenge the current narratives about Africa. Africa Communications Week seeks to build bridges between forward-thinking communicators.” “Africa focused communications professionals have a strategic role to play, in taking ownership of the African narrative and shaping the conversations, stories, and policies of their organisations, governments and culture,” added Eniola Harrison, Co-Founder ACW. The event will feature a lecture sponsored by the IE business school on ‘What we can learn from South American communications campaigns. The main issue for this event is to bring Communications practitioners across industries together, to learn, network and collaborate. With the aim of contributing to the bigger narrative around the Nation Brand of South Africa. Follow the conversation on: #AfricaCommsWeek
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About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Luka Modric on Real Madrid crisis: This isn’t bad luck; our starts are s***by Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLuka Modric blasted his Real Madrid teammates after defeat to Real Sociedad.The midfielder questioned the attitude for the start of the 2-0 reverse.”Many of us are not at our level,” Modric said in the mixed zone.”We cannot take a s*** at the beginning of every game.”We have to be clear, it’s not a matter of luck.”We are creating a lot but the ball won’t go in and we are giving a lot but there are reasons that explain why things are not going well.”
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Wilshere: West Ham knew all about this Arsenal weaknessby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWest Ham midfielder Jack Wilshere has questioned Arsenal’s set-piece defending after Saturday’s win.For Rice’s winning goal, the corner was cleared out of the box before the ball was worked back out to Felipe Anderson for the cross.“I think it’s the second phase,” former Arsenal midfielder Wilshere said, as he worked as a pundit for the game.“Sometimes it’s the most important phase in a set piece.“You’ve done your job and sometimes people switch off.“It goes wide and the second ball goes in and there’s someone free.“Declan was free there and he tucked it away nicely.”
MONTREAL – Canadian National Railway Co. is beginning to recover from a turbulent end to 2017 and deep winter freeze that curtailed its service, the railroad’s interim CEO said Wednesday.Jean-Jacques Ruest told an investor conference Wednesday that February was among the worst months in the company’s history as volume decreased and costs rose.But train speeds have picked up and the railway is moving more freight which will help customer service and satisfaction, he said.“So all these things are saying that the month of March is slightly better,” he told the J.P. Morgan Aviation, Transportation & Industrials Conference in New York.“It will not be enough to cover the month of January and February. But we’re heading in that direction.”The Montreal-based railway hasn’t changed its guidance for the year because Ruest says there is still time to catch up.The company has apologized for failing to keep grain shipments moving reliably by rail, and said it’s mobilizing more train cars and workers to clear the backlog.CN Rail announced Wednesday that it plans to manage congestion in Western Canada by temporarily restricting the flow of rail cars to gain fluidity and speed, particularly between Edmonton and Winnipeg.That includes controlling the flow of empty rail cars into Western Canada, managing flow for frac sand orders to avoid further congestion and returning empty propane cars from short-term staging locations.Ruest said extreme winter weather starting in December isn’t alone to blame.He said CN Rail entered the challenging winter season a spent force after experiencing 14 per cent revenue ton mile growth in the first nine months of 2017.“We entered the fourth quarter without really any gasoline left in the tank. So the last two months of the year we were sort of flat. And we’ve been flat since then.”Ruest said he expects the transportation sector, including trucking, will face capacity pressure from increased volume growth.CN Rail is spending an extra $500 million this year, half of which will be used to upgrade its network and increase transit times between Chicago and the Canadian west coast.The work to add more sidings and double tracks in spots will start in April and be completed by November.It has ordered new locomotives and will have an extra 130 leased units within weeks.It is also hiring 2,000 workers, including hundreds of conductors.Ruest said that by the fourth quarter, CN should be back to where it was 12 to 18 months ago.Ruest was appointed earlier this month to take over from Luc Jobin, who was dismissed after about two years as CEO.The 23-year veteran CN Rail executive said the company’s board plans to take its time conducting a global search from within the rail industry and manufacturing world to lead the country’s largest railway.“The search will be very wide and the board is not putting themselves on any clock,” he told analysts.Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter.Companies in this story: (TSX:CNR)