February 06, 2020
At the time of writing, the number of people infected with coronavirus worldwide is 28,365.
This Is Why The Coronavirus Death Toll Figures Arent Totally Accurate
Or is it 75,000?
Or is the Chinese government covering up the fact the death toll alone is 25,000?!
As with any major news story these days, this one comes with a huge amount of misinformation and conspiratorial thinking attached, as social media (and, er, the news media) fans the flames of rumour and suspicion.If China lies about a pandemic. Think of what they do on trade. “Coronavirus Live Updates: Soaring Death Toll Heightens Concerns About Care” https://t.co/fuDHOkgSFq— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) February 6, 2020The thing is, when it comes to the Chinese government and how it handles major health crises, some of that suspicion might be justified.
During the SARS outbreak in 2003 it took months for Chinese officials to acknowledge the outbreak – the communist government’s rigid structure has long favoured officials that toe the party line and suppress negative information rather than speak out.
The resulting global spread of that disease was due in part to a secretive government’s desperate fear of being shown up on the international stage.
Ultimately, China’s response backfired and it was forced to apologise. This time round, officials are keen to stress that lessons learned are being applied to the coronavirus outbreak.
As a result, China is being far more open about its response. On Thursday, the Chinese ambassador to the UK warned against “rumours and panic” and called on the British government to support its handling of the crisis.
But counterintuitively, this openness may have actually had the same effect as trying to suppress information.Professor Steve Tsang, director of the SOAS China Institute, told HuffPost UK that instead of trying to hide the news around coronavirus, the Chinese government is actually making a big show of publicising it – or, at least, the positive bits.
“The Chinese government is reporting it widely – they are showing how heroically they are confronting it, how they have built impressive new hospitals that no other countries could even imagine doing,” he said.
“But they are not reporting any government failing. And what you have is a different kind of incentive which is that you’re incentivised to focus on your success rather than your failures.”
Part of that failing that is going unreported is simply the extreme pressure a massive viral outbreak is having on China’s health system.
“We’re hearing cases of people being turned away from hospitals. We don’t know how many because they’re not being tracked, but it’s more than just one-offs,” says Tsang.
Medical facilities are therefore more than willing to accurately report the cases they have the capacity to treat but not being able to accommodate new cases is a failing of the system and as such, is going unrecorded.How accurate is that official figure of 28,365?Well, it’s almost certainly too low, but this in itself isn’t evidence of a conspiracy or cover up.
Tsang explained: “Official statistics often understate the actual cases anyway.
“And that is not some sort of specific problem with China or a malicious attempt by the government to cover it up. If cases are not being reported or if people die before they get to a hospital, they don’t get entered into the statistics – that can happen anywhere.”
So we can pretty safely say there are more than 28,365 people infected with coronavirus.How much higher is the actual number?We just don’t know, but even if it is far higher, it’s not necessarily evidence of a conspiracy.
“My first response is always not to go for the conspiracy theory,” says Tsang.
“To prove a conspiracy theory you really have to have some real evidence of a deliberate attempt to cover up and I don’t think anyone has produced evidence to prove there was an instruction specifically asking government officials to under report.” 
We do have one reliable source for an upper figure, however.
A study in The Lancet published earlier this month predicted that 75,000 people were infected.
Rather worryingly, however, this prediction was for January 25, when the official number was only around 2,000.
But to put that into perspective, regular flu infected 35,00,000 people last year and killed 34,157 so...Related... What To Do If You’re Worried About Coronavirus There Are Nearly 30,000 Coronavirus Cases. Here’s The Latest On The Outbreak
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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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