January 23, 2020

China Locks Down 11 Million in the Ground Zero City of Wuhan as New Coronavirus Shows Up in U.S
HONG KONG—The city of 11 million where China’s deadly coronavirus outbreak originated is now under total quarantine, a massive lockdown that marks a dramatic shift from the Chinese government’s previous reaction, which was focused on limiting what the public could learn about the spread of the disease.China’s Deadly Coronavirus Cover-Up Is Getting Worse as First Case Hits U.S.But the move comes after the virus has spread far and wide, including at least one case in the United States. Sixteen people who came into contact with the country’s sole confirmed coronavirus patient, in Washington State, are being monitored for pneumonia symptoms.It is still far from clear that Beijing is revealing all that it knows about the disease and its transmission at a moment when hundreds of millions of people are expected to be on the move as the Chinese New Year approaches on January 25.Wuhan, a major city in central China and a key transport hub, is now cut off from the rest of the country. Flights out of the city have been canceled, as have outbound trains. Public transportation in Wuhan has been shut down. Before the lockdown took effect, many people rushed to train stations and bus depots to purchase any tickets that would take them out of the city. Now soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army prevent them from even entering those buildings. Police vans are parked in front of toll booths on highways leading out of the city, turning back anyone who attempts to get out.The Wuhan government requires all who remain within the city limits to wear face masks when they are in public places. Pharmacies are limiting sales, allowing customers to purchase only one mask at a time. Hospitals are turning away people who are requesting health tests because of the lack of trained personnel to handle the volume. At least 14 medical workers who were tending to the sick have fallen ill themselves. One doctor who has recovered believes that he became infected after the virus was transmitted through his eye.Following the complete quarantine of 11 million people in Wuhan, smaller cities in the same province, Hubei, are doing the same. Huanggang, a city east of Wuhan with a population of 7 million, will suspend all public transport and close all public venues beginning at midnight local time. Ezhou, a smaller city south of Huanggang, is also halting all train and bus services for its 1 million residents until further notice. Both cities share borders with Wuhan.Some large-scale events in Beijing, the nation's capital, have been canceled by the city government. These include temple fairs that are part of Lunar New Year celebrations.The novel coronavirus, or CoV, was first detected in Wuhan in mid-December. It causes pneumonia-like symptoms and can be deadly, particularly for children and the elderly. Scientists believe that the virus may have originated in bats or snakes before making the leap to human hosts, and it can be transmitted from human to human. (Snakes, which hunt bats, are consumed as food in some parts of China, and they have been sold at the market where the first batch of patients worked.) CoV, like its cousins SARS and MERS, has an incubation period of up to two weeks, meaning anyone who is infected may not present symptoms until nearly half a month later—at which point the infection may have traveled around the world.On Wednesday, Chinese officials put the official death toll at 17, nearly doubling the nine that were announced just hours earlier. All 17 deaths were in Hubei, the province where Wuhan is the capital. In mainland China, there are 571 confirmed cases of infection, with another 11 in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, and the United States. The Chinese government has acknowledged that infections are present in 25 of its provinces and municipalities—in other words, the coronavirus has spread all over the country.Estimates by experts tell a more dire story. Scientists at the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College London believe at least 4,000 people have succumbed to the coronavirus. Doctors in Wuhan who spoke to Chinese media outlet Caixin believe the number to be even higher, possibly at 6,000.There are persistent concerns that the Chinese government is suppressing information about the scale of the outbreak. The front page of People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, made no mention of the virus, infection numbers, death tolls, or the situation in Wuhan on Thursday morning. Instead, the headlines referred to various recent activities of Chairman Xi Jinping in other areas while paying tribute to his “leadership.”Some social media posts about the outbreak have been removed from various platforms. More tellingly, Zhong Nanshan, the head of a team of high-level medical professionals at China’s National Health Commission, is no longer speaking to the media. (During the SARS epidemic of 2002–03, Zhong was the head of the Guangdong research institute for respiratory diseases. He is one of the top respiratory health experts in the country.)There may already be a scapegoat in the making. Wuhan’s mayor, Zhou Xianwang, was featured on state television, where he tried to explain his government’s slow response to the coronavirus outbreak. The Chinese public’s anger is temporarily focused on Zhou, and there are public, open calls for his resignation, while many have also expressed sympathies toward the people of Wuhan, where the quarantine may last for two months.At the moment, there is just the one confirmed infection in the United States—a U.S. citizen who returned to the country after a trip to central China. He was diagnosed in Seattle and was admitted to a hospital in Everett, Washington, where doctors are using robots to treat him. Officials at the Centers for Disease Control have said the coronavirus originating in Wuhan carries low risk for the American public. However, a vaccine may take months to develop—scientists in the United States and China are working on this—and it may be more than a year before it is available to the public.Airports around the world are stepping up health screenings for incoming passengers, though the relatively long incubation period means these measures may not hinder the spread of the virus. Late Wednesday in a brief press statement, World Health Organization Secretary General Tedros Adhanom described the situation as “evolving and complex.” While diplomatically praising the “detail and depth of China’s presentation,” he also noted, “we need more information.” The WHO may yet declare a “public health emergency of international concern,” a move that the secretary general said he takes “extremely seriously.”Please Pay Attention to the MERS Warnings
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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