Connect with us

Sports

Armenia, Azerbaijan report violations of new cease-fire | NanaimoNewsNOW

Published

on

By Canadian Press

Oct 18, 2020 3:39 AM

YEREVAN, Armenia — Despite a second attempt at a cease-fire, Armenia and Azerbaijan traded accusations Sunday of violating the new truce in their destructive conflict over the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The latest truce, which was announced Saturday and took force at midnight, was the second attempt to establish a cease-fire since heavy fighting there broke out on Sept. 27. The fighting has killed hundreds and marks the biggest escalation of a decades-old conflict over the region in more than a quarter-century.

Armenian military officials on Sunday reported shelling and missile strikes by Azerbaijani forces carried out in the conflict zone overnight. In the morning, “the enemy launched an attack in the southern direction” of the conflict zone, and there were “casualties and wounded on both sides,” Armenian Defence Ministry spokeswoman Shushan Stepanian said.

Azerbaijan’s Defence Ministry, in turn, maintained that Armenian forces continued shelling in the conflict zone overnight despite the cease-fire and in the morning launched attacks in several directions. The ministry also accused Armenia of using large-calibre weapons to attack the positions of the Azerbaijani army in two regions north of Nagorno-Karabakh along the border between the two countries, a claim Armenian military officials denied.

Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sports

Sports’ buy-in needed to prevent super-spreader potential: experts

Published

on

By

Test results and travel plans for both teams weren’t immediately available. 

With many sports ongoing through the fall and others considering a return over the coming months, the risk-reward debate of whether team activities are a good idea is once again being stoked.

“There’s going to be nuances associated with all these different sports in terms of where they’re played and how they’re played,” said Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Toronto. “And I think we can take creative ways to mitigate risk in those settings. Now I don’t think you can say sports are back and there’s a way to do it all the time. I think we have to think about to what extent can risk be reduced. 

“The other point is how acceptable is that to the local public health authorities and to the community where the sport is being played and to the people actually playing the sport. Those are big questions to ask because you really need to have buy-in.”

Bogoch, who helped advise with the setup of NHL bubbles that were successfully used in Toronto and Edmonton, said there is a risk of a super-spreader events in team sports.

“We’ve seen numerous examples of how this infection can be amplified in sport venues,” he said. “We’ve seen it in professional sports and we’ve seen it in minor sports. We saw it in baseball earlier on in the MLB season and we’ve seen it in junior hockey where they don’t have as many resources at their disposal.”

Rising case numbers in Canada and elsewhere aren’t helping matters. 

“I think that any team sport, any event where a number of people are getting together, it increases the risk,” Coombs said from Winnipeg. “There’s no two ways about it.”

Canada surpassed the grim mark of 10,000 deaths from COVID-19 earlier this week. There have been about 225,000 total confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country.

“Whether you want to do sports or want to do other things, the community needs to continue to buckle down and get those numbers down and then all the other stuff that’s been put aside will eventually start coming back,” Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, medical officer of health from the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, said from Ottawa. “It’s like a see-saw. When the numbers go up, sports go down.”

Thomas Tenkate, a health risk assessment expert and associate professor at Ryerson University’s School of Occupational & Public Health, said the reality is that athletes in team sports “are getting pretty up close and personal.”

“There’s a lot of respiratory secretions happening in close quarters,” he said from Toronto. “So really if there was someone infected – even if they didn’t have symptoms – I think the chances of them infecting a lot of people in a short period of time is pretty high.”

Bogoch also noted that different sports come with different risks. Hockey players, for example, are usually tightly packed on benches, similar to baseball players in a dugout.

MLB managed to complete its schedule despite multiple positive tests early in the season. Major League Soccer had similar challenges in the early going but is now winding down its campaign.

Some pro athletes wear masks or face coverings in the field of play but most do not. Tenkate said when there are so many athletes involved in a team sport setting, there can be super-spreader potential.

“Definitely that could happen, for sure,” he said. “Depending on where they are in the time course of their infection, how infectious they are, you can have a different level of being infectious at different times of what’s called your period of communicability.”

In addition, myriad factors can come into play for non-professional athletes in leagues that don’t have the same resources or setups as others. Many pro athletes are tested daily but that frequency won’t be matched at lower levels.  

“Quite frankly I don’t think there’s an easy answer here,” Bogoch said. “You’ve got to sit down with the teams and the leagues and decide what’s acceptable and what’s not acceptable. 

“You’ve got to run it by the local public health units to see if it’s acceptable as well.”

Coombs thinks some leagues should be able to function, but that everyone involved – players, coaches, managers, team staffers and others – need to “raise their game.”

“It does come down to potential,” he said. “This is going to be the case for any infectious disease that’s transmitted by the respiratory or contact route.”

Just like in the non-sporting arena, thinking of others as well as the greater good will be necessary for success.

“The real question is do people buy in and do what they need to do?,” Bogoch said.

– With files from The Associated Press.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2020. 

Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

School sports cancelled until after Christmas – Morinville News – Morinville Online

Published

on

By

by Stephen Dafoe

Four area school divisions released a joint press release Wednesday morning, announcing the cancellation of school sports.

The joint release from Conseil scolaire Centre-Nord, Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools, St. Albert Public Schools and Sturgeon Public Schools says the divisions made the joint decision to postpone all school-based extracurricular junior and senior high athletics until after Christmas. 

The release says the decision was not made lightly but was necessary due to the significant increase in COVID-19 cases in area communities.

“We know how important athletics are to many of our students, and we hope to be able to provide our student-athletes with the opportunity to participate and compete later this school year,” the release reads. “We will monitor the situation in the upcoming months to determine if it is safe to resume athletics, with COVID-19 safety measures in place, in the new year.”

 

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

QAnon’s ‘Save the Children’ morphs into popular slogan | NanaimoNewsNOW

Published

on

By

“Why are we finally talking about it? Because we have a president who’s talking about it,” she said last month during the rally she organized in Morris, a conservative stronghold of about 15,000 people 60 miles (about 100 kilometres) from Chicago.

She promoted her rally on Facebook, as many other women are doing. Some also use the platform to launch private groups where they swap tips, rumours and stories about child trafficking.

Mentions of #SavetheChildren on Twitter began climbing in June and peaked in August when the hashtag was used more than 800,000 times during the first week of that month, according to an analysis by the media intelligence firm Zignal Labs conducted for The Associated Press.

The movement gained popularity as posts about QAnon spiked on Facebook and Instagram this year, prompting millions of likes, shares and comments on the platforms, a separate AP review of public social media posts found.

While Trump has not made “Save the Children” part of his campaign, he has twice publicly praised QAnon’s mission. Under his administration, however, federal prosecutors have less aggressively prosecuted child sex trafficking cases.

“I do know they are very much against pedophilia,” Trump said during his televised town hall this month, when asked about QAnon. “They fight it very hard.”

The movement’s rise has complicated the efforts of the London-based humanitarian organization called Save the Children and other nonprofits that have long worked to fight human trafficking and provided funding for the world’s needy children. And the conspiracy theories distort the reality of how people become victims of human trafficking, experts have said.

Save the Children — a century-old organization that aided 144 million children worldwide last year with a mission of ensuring kids grow up healthy, educated and safe — found its trademarked name coopted on social media. The charity has repeatedly said it is not associated with the SavetheChildren hashtag used to spread conspiracy theories.

Washington-based Polaris, the non-profit group that runs the National Human Trafficking hotline, created a myth-busting resource page on its website focused on debunking some misinformation that surfaced from QAnon after receiving hundreds of calls about human trafficking conspiracy theories over the summer.

Some social media users have been introduced to QAnon through posts about child sex trafficking that use #SavetheChildren. Facebook and Instagram tried to squelch those QAnon recruitment efforts last month by directing people who search for #SaveTheChildren to the official website for the humanitarian organization.

But the connections among “Save the Children,” QAnon, and Trump still permeate social media.

Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts regularly use #SaveTheChildren to promote memes and conspiracy theories about Democrats.

One such Instagram post that was liked nearly 12,000 times includes pictures of former President Barack Obama, his wife Michelle, former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

It asks: “How much would you pay-per-view to see the FBI raid their homes and take them out in handcuffs at 3 a.m.”

A video viewed more than 5,000 times on a QAnon account features images of Trump giving a thumbs up to the #SavetheChildren movement and photos of abused women, with dramatic music in the background.

Under the guise of benefiting children, many of the posts seek to lure people into the QAnon conspiracy theory circle and encourage support for Trump, said Sophie Bjork-James, an anthropology professor at Vanderbilt University who studies the religious right and QAnon.

The movement is particularly attractive to conservative religious women, Bjork-James said. Her research on small, evangelical churches in Colorado Springs more than a decade ago found that human trafficking was one of the few political causes the congregations organized around.

“The core of QAnon is that Trump is the hero. It assembles a narrative to justify any of (Trump’s) actions as valiant and heroic,” she said.

Social media posts about QAnon and the “Save the Children” movement have also increased in Instagram communities focused on health, wellness and yoga that are popular with women, said Melanie Smith, the head of analysis for social media research firm Graphika.

QAnon and “Save the Children” have become such a force in the online yoga community that influencers including yoga teacher Seane Corn posted letters on Instagram last month warning followers not to “be fooled” by slickly crafted posts spreading misinformation about human trafficking.

Smith has studied QAnon for two years and said the conspiracy theory reached new audiences in recent months through hashtags like #SavetheChildren.

“The way in which people encounter QAnon, now, is through relatively mainstream, non-absurd topics,” Smith told the U.S. House Intelligence Committee during a hearing this month. “We’re seeing a huge explosion in content around child sex trafficking and child exploitation through the Save the Children movement.”

Vermillion hands out homemade leaflets with statistics and online resources for combatting child sex abuse. She said she avoids “Save the Children” Facebook groups promoting misinformation, QAnon and white supremacy symbols.

But there was some QAnon support at her rally. One woman held a sign reading, “Hollywood loves adrenochrome,” a reference to a QAnon conspiracy theory claiming baselessly that celebrities traffic children to harvest adrenaline from their blood to create a drug.

Vermillion insisted: “This rally today is not about Hollywood and drinking blood.”

Amanda Seitz, The Associated Press

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending