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Facebook Puts Global Block on Brazil’s Bolsonaro Supporters | World News

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BRASILIA (Reuters) – Facebook

said on Saturday it has put a global block on certain accounts controlled by supporters of Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro implicated in a fake news inquiry, a day after it was fined for not complying with a Supreme Court judge’s order to do so.

A spokesperson for Facebook said the order was “extreme” and threatens “freedom of expression outside of Brazil’s jurisdiction”, but said the company has agreed to the order.

“Given the threat of criminal liability to a local employee, at this point we see no other alternative than complying with the decision by blocking the accounts globally, while we appeal to the Supreme Court,” the spokesperson said.

Justice Alexandre de Moraes had ruled on Thursday that Facebook and Twitter

failed to comply with orders to block the accounts because they were only blocked within Brazil, but remained accessible with foreign IP addresses.

On Friday, he ruled that Facebook must pay a 1.92 million reais ($367,710) fine for not complying and face further daily fines of 100,000 reais per day if it does not block the accounts in question globally.

Before the fine was announced, Facebook said on Friday that it would appeal the decision. The world’s largest social network said it respects the laws of countries where it operates, but that “Brazilian law recognizes the limits of its jurisdiction.”

The judge’s fine only addressed Facebook’s non-compliance. It was not clear whether Twitter would face a similar fine.

The judge originally decided in May to block 16 Twitter accounts and 12 Facebook accounts of Bolsonaro supporters who have been linked to a probe into the spreading of fake news during Brazil’s 2018 election.

The accounts were blocked due to allegations that they violated laws on hate speech.

(Reporting by Alexandre Caverni in Sao Paulo and Ricardo Brito in Brasilia; Editing by Daniel Wallis; Writing by Jamie McGeever)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Coronavirus live news: China confirms 137 local cases as Spain enters state of emergency | World news

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UK health secretary says tier 4 restrictions can’t be ruled out

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France may be experiencing 100,000 new Covid cases a day

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That’s it from me for today. Thanks for following along – Amy Walker will be with you for the next few hours of pandemic news.





The news was greeted with tears, cheers and, at the afternoon school pick-up, a spontaneous concert of parents honking car horns in celebration.

In Australia, as the state of Victoria’s premier, Daniel Andrews, announced at 3.30pm on Monday that Melbourne’s months-long lockdown would (largely) come to an end, residents rejoiced.

Osman Faruqi
(@oz_f)

Everyone was at home Brigid https://t.co/RG4W6pGOId


October 26, 2020

From midnight on Tuesday cafes, restaurants, bars and beauty services will reopen, subject to patron limits, and people will be able to leave their home for any reason.

It was a moment of high anticipation.





With the US election just over a week away, millions of Americans have been heading to the polls this fall with healthcare and drug prices as their top voting issue.

The United States’ massive, largely private and very expensive health industry has ranked as a top voter concern for years, and helped drive Democrats to victory in the midterm elections of 2018, when the party took control of the House of Representatives.

While over the last six months of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 220,000 Americans, Covid-19 eclipsed healthcare as the top issue of the election, many health voters argue the two are inseparable:





Summary





Australia’s lockdown prevented about 400 deaths from other illnesses – research paper

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The Green party won in Auckland by reaching beyond its own bubble | Green Party

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I was making toast in my tiny apartment kitchen four weeks ahead of election day. Not that I really had track of the days. They had melded into one ever-extending runway as Auckland went through its second Covid-19 lockdown and New Zealand’s election date was pushed back a month.

We were a few months into an insurgent campaign for an electorate seat at the centre of the country’s largest city. We’d built a team of hundreds of people – particularly young people, some so young they couldn’t even vote yet – who, despite their claims to the contrary, were all doing a lot more than the least they could do. They were about to make history.

In Aotearoa New Zealand, a “minor” party hasn’t won a general electorate seat in well over 20 years without the tacit or explicit endorsement of one of the two “major” parties. So, it confounded more than a few commentators when at around 11.50pm on Saturday 17 October, with 100% of the preliminary votes counted, it was confirmed that a Green party candidate had won Auckland Central. Especially because we ran a campaign on an unapologetically progressive platform of urgent climate action, guaranteed minimum income, and wealth tax to pay for it. We flew in the face of two major opinion polls, the “red tide” of the Labour party’s majority win, and conventional wisdom.

There are still half a million or so special votes (that is, overseas and on-the-day enrolments) to be counted, so the results cannot be taken for granted.

But what can be granted is that so-called convention in our politics is disappearing.

Convention is the echo of repetition to the point of predictability. Mainstream approaches to electoral politics have lost the right of convention. Mechanisms of conventional, incremental political change – literally the least we can, and know how to, do – have failed to rise to the challenges that the deeply entrenched and inextricable crises of climate change and social and economic inequality present.

Citizens are smart enough to recognise the need for an alternative. It’s in this alternative where we can continually redraw the boundaries of the possible, because possibility in politics is only ever defined by the willingness of those in power.

In these “unprecedented” times, the centre-left Labour party won a historic single-party majority, growing its nationwide vote to previously unimaginable heights under New Zealand’s proportional representation voting system. But so too has our Green party grown our own vote, shaking off the convention of give-and-take amongst the parties of the left bloc.

In Auckland, we flipped a seat Green, which had been held by centre-right National party politicians for 12 years.

We did it by bursting our own bubble.

In our bubble, we can’t fathom that working-class people would vote against their own self-interest for a strong-man built on strawman logic. It’s wild to reckon with how policies to fairly tax millionaires are warped through talkback radio to scare tradies and hospo workers into thinking their jobs are on the chopping block. In our bubble, it’s slanderous to question the orthodoxy of our university educations and how the vernacular they normalise may alienate the very people we say we want to help.

Chloe Swarbrick holds street corner meetings in Ponsonby.
Chloe Swarbrick holds street corner meetings in Ponsonby. Photograph: Emma McInnes

But we’ve graduated from the once-derided online “slacktivism” to regularly showing up at protests in solidarity, to shutting up when it’s obvious our lived experience isn’t the one requiring a platform, and to organising our way into mass-scale conversations with people we’d never share a Facebook feed algorithm with. We’ve still got a way to go in self-reflection, but more urgently, we’ve got to create a place in our movement where people – so many of whom already have the inkling that the status quo is not working – can belong.

Right until the end of the Auckland Central campaign, we kept expanding our community. That mess of human reality and social evolution, changing and challenging ideas cannot be delivered through a Twitter feed, but meets you at the doorstep. At the polls, we heard they were running out of on-the-day enrolment forms for people who had not planned to vote but decided to turn up.

You don’t grow a movement with perfection. You don’t spread an idea when only one person can articulate it. You don’t empower communities when they don’t have a place to belong.

Our local campaign was one small proof-of-concept microcosm of work that Indigenous organisers, climate activists, and justice advocates have been doing for decades. It’s based on a radical notion in increasingly individualised societies: grassroots organising, human connection and conversation changes our world.

What if we all did the least we could do? And what if we did it together?

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The Latest: Israel sending some children back to school | National/World News

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JERUSALEM — Israel has decided to begin sending children back to school.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced Sunday that his coronavirus cabinet voted in favor of reopening school for children in grades one through four on Nov. 1. The older children will be divided into “capsules,” and the children in younger grades will come on alternating days to minimize class sizes.

Israeli schools opened for the school year on Sept. 1 but quickly moved to distance learning as a coronavirus outbreak spread. The government subsequently imposed a month-long lockdown that closed much of the economy.

After mishandling the lifting of a first lockdown early this year, Israel is moving cautiously this time around. Preschools reopened last week, and older children are to gradually return to school in a staggered plan over the coming weeks.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

Fear and axiety spike in virus hotspots across the United States

Europe’s restaurants and bars are being walloped by new virus curfews and restrictions

Spain orders nationwide curfew to tamp down surging virus infections

— Experts question White House claims that federal rules on essential workers let Vice President Mike Pence keep campaigning after exposure to the coronavirus.

— British doctors are urging the government to reverse course and provide free meals for poor children due to increased poverty caused by the pandemic.

— Italy’s leader has imposed at least a month of new restrictions across the country to fight rising coronavirus infections.

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Follow all of AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

MARBLEHEAD, Mass. — A school district superintendent says a Massachusetts high school will shift to fully remote learning after students attended a house party where they didn’t wear masks and shared drinks.

Superintendent John Buckey said in a letter to families on Sunday that action comes in response to a house party Friday with young people who were not social distancing or wearing face covering, and were sharing drinks and “generally ignoring” COVID-19 rules.

Buckley wrote that he understood “young people’s desire to be together, as far away from adults as possible,” but that ignoring the rules was “potentially harming the community at large.”

Marblehead High School students will learn remotely until at least Nov. 6. Buckley said the hybrid learning model could restart Nov. 9 if no coronavirus cases are identified during that time.

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BERLIN — The head of the United Nations said Sunday that “the Covid-19 pandemic is the greatest crisis of our age.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opened an online session of the World Health Summit with a call for worldwide solidarity in the global crisis and demanded that developed countries support health systems in countries that are short of resources.

The coronavirus pandemic is the overarching theme of the summit, which originally had been scheduled for Berlin. Several of the leaders and experts who spoke at the opening stressed the need to cooperate across borders.

“No one is safe from COVID-19. No one is safe until we are all safe from it,” said German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. “Even those who conquer the virus within their own borders remain prisoners within these borders until it is conquered everywhere.”

More than 42 million have been infected with the virus and over 1 million people have died of Covid.

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ROME — Italy’s one-day caseload of confirmed coronavirus infections jumped past 20,000 on Sunday, with more than a quarter of the new cases registered in Lombardy, the northern region which bore the brunt of the pandemic in the country earlier this year.

According to Health Ministry figures, there were 21,273 new cases since the previous day, raising Italy’s total of confirmed COVID-19 infections to 525,782.

Health Minister Roberto Speranza said the government’s latest crackdown on social freedoms, including closing restaurants in early evening and shuttering gyms, for the next 30 days, was warranted by the growth of the contagion curve worldwide, with a “very high wave” in all of Europe.

“Every choice brings sacrifices and renouncing” activities, Speranza said. “We must react immediately and with determination if we want to avoid unsustainable numbers.”

Italy’s confirmed death toll in the pandemic rose to 37,338, with 128 deaths since Saturday.

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PHOENIX — Arizona health officials on Sunday reported 1,392 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and five additional deaths. It’s the highest reported single-day coronavirus case total in the state since Sept. 17.

Arizona has continued to see a slow yet steady increase in the average number of COVID-19 cases reported each day as a decline that lasted through August and September reverses.

State Department of Health Services officials said the latest numbers increase Arizona’s totals to 238,163 known infections and 5,874 known deaths.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

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SOFIA, Bulgaria – Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has tested positive for the new coronavirus as the number of infected with COVID-19 in the Balkan country has been on a steady rise in the two weeks.

Borissov made the disclosure in a Facebook message on Sunday.

“After two PCR tests, today I am positive for COVID-19,” Borissov wrote.

He said that he has a “general indisposition” and, following the recommendations of doctors, will remain at home for treatment.

The Balkan nation of 7 million people has recorded 37,562 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 1,084 deaths.

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MOSCOW — Russia’s tally of confirmed coronavirus cases surpassed 1.5 million on Sunday as authorities reported 16,710 new infections amid a rapid resurgence of the outbreak that has swept the country in recent weeks.

Russia’s caseload remains the fourth largest in the world. The government’s coronavirus task force has also registered a total of over 26,000 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

The task force has been reporting over 15,000 new infections every day since last Sunday, which is much higher than in the spring, when the highest number of daily new cases was 11,656.

Despite the sharp spike in daily new infections, Russian authorities have repeatedly dismissed the idea of imposing a second lockdown or shutting down businesses after most virus-related restrictions were lifted during the summer. In some Russian regions, officials urged the elderly to self-isolate at home and called on employers to have at least part of their staff work from home. Several regions have shut down nightclubs and limited the hours of restaurants and bars.

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BERLIN — Austria has tightened its coronavirus rules as the Alpine country sees new daily records of infections.

Starting Sunday, no more than six people are allowed to meet indoors, including events such as birthday parties, yoga or dance classes. Outside, a maximum of 12 people are allowed to get together. In restaurants, the number of guests has been reduced to no more than 10 per table.

People also need to wear masks in train stations, markets and nursing homes.

On Saturday, the daily virus numbers reached a new high of reported 3,614 cases. On Sunday, the figure was lower at 2,782, however not all new cases get reported on weekends.

———

BALTIMORE — A day after the U.S. set a daily record for new confirmed coronavirus infections, it came very close to doing it again.

Data published by Johns Hopkins University shows that 83,718 new cases in the U.S. were reported Saturday, nearly matching the 83,757 infections reported Friday. Before that, the most cases reported in the United States on a single day had been 77,362 on July 16.

Close to 8.6 million Americans have contracted the coronavirus since the pandemic began, and about 225,000 have died. Both statistics are the world’s highest. India has more than 7.8 million infections but in recent weeks its daily number have been declining.

U.S. health officials have feared the surge of infections to come with colder weather and people spending more time indoors, especially as many flout guidelines to protect themselves and others such as mask-wearing and social distancing.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington currently forecasts that the country’s COVID-19 death toll could exceed 318,000 by Jan. 1.

———

BERLIN — Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn, who has tested positive for the new coronavirus, appealed to Germans on Sunday to keep obeying precautionary measures as the virus spikes across the country and the hospital intensive care units are filling up again.

Spahn, 40, posted a video on his Facebook page saying he was lucky that other than “cold symptoms,” he is not suffering any other COVID-related symptoms. He also said none of his close coworkers at the ministry had yet tested positive.

Spahn appealed to all citizens to wear masks and keep distance in light of quickly rising infection figures.

““It is serious. We know the harm this virus can cause, especially for people with preexisting illness and for the elderly and very old,” he said.

On Sunday, Germany’s national disease control center reported 11,176 new daily infections, almost double the number reported a week ago Sunday. Another 29 people died of COVID, bringing Germany’s overall death toll to 10,032.

———

ROME — For at least the next month, gyms, cinemas and movie theaters in Italy will be closed, ski slopes are off-limits to all but competitive skiers, spectators are banned from professional matches including soccer games, and cafes and restaurants must shut down in early evenings.

But the decree signed on Sunday by Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte avoided another severe lockdown despite a current surge in COVID-19 infections.

The decree also continues a recent nationwide order mandating mask-wearing outdoors.

A day earlier, Italy surpassed the half-million mark in the number of confirmed coronavirus infections since the outbreak began in February, the first country to be stricken in Europe. The last two days have seen daily new caseloads creep close to 20,000.

Italy has the second-most confirmed virus deaths in Europe after Britain, with 37,210 dead.

———

BERLIN — Several people attacked Germany’s national disease control center with incendiary devices early Sunday, Berlin police reported.

A security guard noticed the attack on the Robert Koch Institute in the German capital and was able to quickly extinguished the flames. Nobody was injured, but one window was destroyed. Criminal police has taken over the investigation on suspicion that the attack may have been politically motivated.

Among other things, the institute keeps track of Germany’s coronavirus outbreak. It publishes daily new infection figures and also advises the government and the public on how to keep the pandemic from getting out of control.

While most Germans support the country’s handling of the pandemic, some have tried to downplay the dangers of the virus.

On Sunday, the institute reported 11,176 new daily infections, almost double the number reported a week ago Sunday. Another 29 people died of COVID, bringing Germany’s overall death toll to 10,032.

—-

NEW DELHI — India’s daily coronavirus cases have dropped to nearly 50,000, maintaining a downturn over the last few weeks.

The Health Ministry says 50,129 new cases have taken the overall tally to nearly 7.9 million on Sunday. It also reported 578 deaths in the past 24 hours, raising total fatalities to 118,534.

The ministry also said India’s active coronavirus cases were below 700,000 across the country and almost 7.1 million people had recovered from COVID-19.

India is second to the United States with the largest outbreak of the coronavirus. Last month, India hit a peak of nearly 100,000 cases in a single day, but since then daily cases have fallen by about half and deaths by about a third.

Some experts say the decline in cases suggests that the virus may have finally reached a plateau but others question the testing methods. India is relying heavily on antigen tests, which are faster but less accurate than traditional RT-PCR tests.

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