The Athletic's Julian McKenzie explains why it was important for Marc Bergevin to add the experienced forward for a low price in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres.
The Athletic's Julian McKenzie explains why it was important for Marc Bergevin to add the experienced forward for a low price in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres.
La Soufriere volcano shot out another explosive burst of gas and ash on Friday as a cruise ship arrived to evacuate some of the foreigners who had been stuck on a St. Vincent island coated in ash from a week of violent eruptions. Friday morning's blast “wasn’t a big explosion compared to the ones that we last weekend, but it was big enough to punch a hole through the clouds," said Richard Robertson, lead scientist at the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center, in an interview with local NBC radio. During a comparable eruption cycle in 1902, explosive eruptions continued to shake the island for months after an initial burst killed some 1,700 people, though the new eruptions so far have caused no reported deaths among a population that had received official warning a day earlier that danger was imminent.
If everything else in your life feels like a mess, at least your home can feel neat and tidy. Thanks, color-coded laundry hampers.
A dog wearing a flotation device was rescued after a capsized kayak was spotted, officials said.
The singer paired the navy blue polkadot frock with white fringe cowboy boots
Her husband Damian Lewis revealed she died at home.
The "Automotive Logistics 2021" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.
'Big Shot' starring John Stamos and Yvette Nicole Brown premieres on Disney Plus in April 2021.
US FDA Approves Opdivo in Combination with Chemotherapy for Patients with Advanced or Metastatic Gastric Cancer, Gastroesophageal Junction Cancer....
The proposed newest runway at CLT also has a potential completion date, according to a new report.
TORONTO — Ontario's science advisers say a six-week stay-at-home order and a vaccination rate of at least 100,000 doses a day is the only way to flatten the COVID-19 curve in the province. In new projections presented today, the advisers say daily infections could approach 20,000 cases per day if strong measures aren't imposed. Data indicates Ontario's COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are at their highest levels since the pandemic began. The Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table says high case rates will persist into the summer without stronger measures and more support for essential workers and high-risk communities. The group says vaccines are not reaching high-risk people fast enough to overcome serious illness seen in hospitals. Premier Doug Ford is expected to announce new public health measures later today.His government has also asked other provinces to send nurses and other health workers to Ontario as hospitals are pushed to the brink by surging COVID-19 infections.More coming. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 16, 2021. The Canadian Press
Radnor, Pennsylvania--(Newsfile Corp. - April 16, 2021) - The law firm of Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP reminds Ebix, Inc. (NASDAQ: EBIX) ("Ebix") investors that a securities fraud class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of those who purchased or acquired Ebix securities between November 9, 2020 and February 19, 2021, inclusive (the "Class Period").Investors who purchased or acquired Ebix securities during the Class Period may, no later than April 23, ...
Zookeepers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, welcomed a male Bactrian camel calf into the world on the morning of April 13.Footage shared by the Milwaukee County Zoo shows the 94-pound baby wobbling around the camel habitat under the doting gaze of parents AJ and Stan.The newborn, who has yet to be named, is the camel couple’s third offspring, according to the Milwaukee County Zoo.Visitors can see the calf out in the “camel yard,” the zoo said. Credit: Milwaukee County Zoo via Storyful
Ontario needs at least a six-week stay-at-home order with an average of 100,000 vaccinations per day to get the third wave of COVID-19 now gripping the province under control, a panel of experts said Friday. "Without stronger system-level measures and immediate support for essential workers and high-risk communities, high case rates will persist through the summer.," Ontario's COVID-19 science advisory table said in its latest update. Adalsteinn Brown, co-chair of the group of experts that advises the government on its pandemic, presented the table's latest modelling at a news conference this afternoon. He was joined by Dr. David Williams, Ontario's chief medical officer of health. Cases of the illness are rising in most of the province's 34 public health units, and the province-wide test positivity rate has climbed to 7.9 per cent. That figure is higher than 10 per cent in Toronto, Peel and York regions. More to come.
Robust festival lineup features first James Turrell Skyspace for the state of Colorado,New York’s American Ballet Theatre, concerts, NEW events, classes, camps, culinary arts and moreGreen Mountain Falls, April 16, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- GREEN MOUNTAIN FALLS, COLO. – The 2021 Green Box Arts Festival is thrilled to announce it will welcome a Skyspace installation to the town of Green Mountain Falls, created by internationally-renowned contemporary light and space artist James Turrell. The work will be the first permanent Turrell installation in the state of Colorado, and the first in the world to be positioned on the side of a mountain. The piece joins an exclusive list of more than 85 Skyspaces the artist has designed and built throughout the world, including Argentina, Japan, Greece, Norway and Australia. “Combining architecture, sculpture, and atmosphere, the Turrell Skyspace created specifically for the town of Green Mountain Falls is one of the most important achievements in Green Box history," said Christian Keesee, cofounder of Green Box. “The experience will begin with an inspirational journey, arriving at a final destination that will shift the viewer’s perception of nature through contemporary light and space – a sensory and contemplative experience unlike anywhere else in the world.” The Skyspace, which will be formally named upon completion by Turrell, will be constructed with materials specific to Colorado and launched with the support of the Historic Green Mountain Falls Foundation. Green Box has partnered with the Town to create a new hiking trail from the Town’s entrance that will lead to the installation atop Red Mountain overlooking the town; a unique pilgrimage nestled among the whispering aspens with views of Pikes Peak in the distance. True to its multidisciplinary approach, Green Box will also partner with local schools and organizations to implement educational programming for future visitors to enjoy. James Turrell is heralded globally as one of the most significant artists of our time. For more than fifty years, he has created eloquent, deceptively simple artworks that explore the complexity of light as a medium. Best known among Turrell’s completed artworks are his Skyspaces. These observatories — much like all of his work — are designed to be places of contemplative thought. All Skyspaces are specifically proportioned chambers, perfectly positioned in nature, with apertures in the ceiling open to the sky. American Ballet Theatre is one of the great dance companies in the world and is internationally celebrated as a cultural institution dedicated to preserving and extending the great legacy of classical dancing. This summer, ABT will bring 12 dancers to Green Mountain Falls for a five-week residency, culminating in three can’t-miss, captivating performances. Acclaimed choreographer Silas Farley will join ABT to create a new work to be performed by the Company. Few ballet companies equal ABT for its combination of size, scope and outreach. Recognized as a living national treasure since its founding in 1940, ABT annually tours the United States, performing for more than 300,000 people, and is the only major cultural institution to do so. For 81 years, the Company has appeared in 45 countries and has performed in all 50 states. ABT has recently enjoyed triumphant successes with engagements in Paris, Singapore and Hong Kong. On April 27, 2006, by an act of Congress, American Ballet Theatre was designated America’s National Ballet Company®. Cat Balco is a New Haven, Connecticut, based artist and writer who has exhibited her work nationally at venues including Rick Wester Fine Art, NYC; Pulse Art Fair, Miami; The Painting Center, NYC; and Real Art Ways, Hartford, Connecticut. Her essays and art criticism have been published in Art New England and she has served as a visiting artist at institutions including the Maine College of Art, Swarthmore College, Pratt Institute at the Munson Williams Proctor School of Art and Yale University where she is also an Associate Fellow. She is currently preparing for a solo show of paintings at Rick Wester Fine Art. Her latest creation, Red Over Blue, will be on view at the Lake Street display this summer for all to enjoy. Collective Groove: The annual 4th of July Block Party will be held on Saturday, July 3, and will once again deliver its promised upbeat tunes and dance beats with the musical stylings of Collective Groove. A full-frontal dance assault forged from the timeless horn-powered grooves of the golden age of soul and the baddest contemporary beats, Collective Groove is sure to be a booty-shaking throw down. Comprised of some of southern Colorado’s finest musical muscle, these party rocking specialists provide an over-the-top good time with a contagious mix of dance tunes from the 60s to modern day including Bruno Mars, The Temptations, Chicago, Earth, Wind & Fire, Daft Punk, Michael Jackson, Prince and much more. Put on your dancing shoes and get ready for a fun Block Party with this can’t-miss concert! The Reminders: Festival revelers will also enjoy the rare and remarkable musical duo The Reminders who seamlessly blend soulful sounds and roots music with insightful messages and thoughtful lyrics. The group has established a firm place in today's ever-evolving music scene, garnering international acclaim while paving a path all their own. Their stage presence and high energy shows leave crowds in awe the world over, allowing the duo to uplift and entertain all at once. Their unique mashup of razor-sharp rhymes; raw, soulful vocals; and reggae-tinged hip-hop beats form the perfect backdrop for their relevant and inspiring themes, leaving a lasting impression on listeners with audiences always wanting more. The Reminders take their hip hop foundation and move it beyond genre, time and space to create a global musical experience that is classic and speaks to all those willing to participate. Classes and Camps: Once again classes, camps and culinary arts are on the agenda, ensuring there’s something of interest for all ages to get creative in this inspiring atmosphere at Green Box Arts, Dance and YouTubers’ Camps; Silversmithing 101 and 201; Yoga; Chef’s Table: Brunch with Molly Ambrose and Scotch on the Rocks; Cooking Demos: Pie with Lisa Huizenga and Tamales with Cocina Corazón; and Wine Pairings Sommelier 101 and 201. ArtDesk Conversations: Throughout the festival, attendees will have the opportunity to hear from some of today’s best contemporaries with six unique ArtDesk Conversations. ArtDesk Conversations are highly anticipated events; these dynamic conversations cover the areas of music, art, dance and various contemporary topics. Come engage with our speakers and hear from the elite in their field as they discuss their creative processes, vision and impact! Don’t miss meeting this year’s selected conversationalists. New Community Events: Accompanying the inspiring dance, music, art, conversations and comprehensive lineup of classes, camps and culinary arts experiences, the festival welcomes new events this year that are free and open to the public: Friday Film Nights, Sunday Sing-Alongs and a Pooch Parade! These events are free and open to the public with social distancing measures in place. Visit greenboxarts.org for more information. The full schedule of events and classes is posted at greenboxarts.org. Most events are free to the public. Registration for classes and culinary events opens June 1 at greenboxarts.org. Registration for camps is available at connect14.org. Tickets for American Ballet Theatre performances are required and can be reserved beginning June 1 at greenboxarts.org. ***IMAGES: In this DropBox you will find renderings of the James Turrell Skyspace as well as high res photos of American Ballet Theatre (photo credits in folder) and from past festivals. All images from past festivals were taken by Tom Kimmell Photography in Colorado Springs. ### Green Box Arts Green Box Arts encourages artists, residents and visitors to participate in the creative arts in the natural beauty of Green Mountain Falls, Colorado. We engage community through performances, exhibitions, education, conversations, celebrations and an artist-in-residence program. The festival is committed to fostering creative expression and the presentation of art forms at the highest level. The Green Box Arts Festival began in 2009 as an artist-in-residency program featuring acclaimed choreographer Larry Keigwin’s dance troupe, KEIGWIN + COMPANY. The festival has grown each year and annually attracts more than 1,000 attendees. A selection of past participants includes world-renowned installations 1.8 Green Mountain Falls by Janet Echelman; The Musical Swings by Daily tous les jours; illuminated installations Field of Light and Tepees by Bruce Munro; and Footprint in Green by famed stick sculptor Patrick Dougherty. Additionally, artwork from installation artists Jason Willaford, Tomás Saraceno and Spencer Finch, as well as sculptors Olafur Eliasson, Ben Roth and Jason Hackenwerth, and photographer Kenneth Snelson have been showcased. Numerous concerts have been played by the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony; Caleb Chapman’s Crescent Super Band; Kyle Dillingham and Horseshoe Road; de Coda, the affiliate ensemble of Carnegie Hall; a world premiere of new work by composer Timothy Takach; folk band Haunted Wind Chimes; and Joe Smith and the Spicy Pickles. Dance troupes that have performed include Larry Keigwin’s KEIGWIN + COMPANY, the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, the Oklahoma City Ballet, Houston’s METdance company, tap dancer Leo Manzari, and ballroom duo Antonina Skobina and Denys Drozdyuk. Green Mountain Falls Access and Area Attractions At an altitude of 7,800 ft., Green Mountain Falls is home to various festivals and events year-round. Most notably, however, it is known for the nationally-acclaimed Green Box Arts Festival. Surrounded by the Pike National Forest on three sides, the town is located near popular area attractions including the Cave of the Winds, Manitou Cliff Dwellings, Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak and the Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway. An extremely popular hiking destination, visitors also enjoy fishing, swimming, biking, tennis courts and ice skating in winter, as well as the town’s unique restaurants, pubs and shops. The town is just 20 minutes away from the center of Colorado Springs, and closer to Manitou Springs, Woodland Park and other Ute Pass communities such as Cascade and Chipita Park. CONTACT: Rachel Shortt Shortt Communications 4057606338 firstname.lastname@example.org
Convey has been recognized by Gartner as a Challenger in the April 2021 Magic Quadrant for Real-Time Transportation Visibility Platforms
A major casting call is going out to Winnipeg's Black community as production is about to start on the largest Black-led TV series ever produced in Canada. CBC and the online streaming service BET+ are co-creating the new drama series The Porter, about the world's first Black union created by railway workers from Canada and the United States. Inspired by real events and set in the roar of the 1920s, the eight-episode series will follow the journeys of an ensemble cast of characters "who hustle, dream, cross borders and pursue their ambitions in the fight for liberation — on and off the railways that crossed North America," states a release about The Porter. Earlier this month, the series unveiled its leading cast. It includes Aml Ameen (I May Destroy You), Mouna Traoré (The Umbrella Academy) and Ronnie Rowe Jr. (Pretty Hard Cases). The show is set primarily in Montreal, Chicago and Detroit, but is being filmed in Winnipeg. It begins shooting next month. On Friday, the call for the first round of general casting went out to the public. "It's been such a long road — this has been, like, 11 years of my life getting to where we are now," said Arnold Pinnock, one of the series' co-creators. "So it's exciting. I mean, we have a long road ahead of us, but a long road that I'm looking forward to every single day." The producers are looking to cast background actors and hope members of Winnipeg's Black community apply. Pinnock said they are looking for a broad range of people. Application forms and more information can be found on the casting company's website. "From top to bottom, from your toddler that you can't get away from the video games to your grandfather who can't get off of his La-Z-Boy, we want them all. We want everyone," Pinnock said. "This is a celebration for Winnipeg. Come out and celebrate yourselves." Porters fought for equality, dignity The story the series tells is about the fight for equality and dignity, particularly by the American and Canadian men who worked as railway porters. For the women in their lives, who face sexism and colourism, it's a movement to claim their independence and identity, says a news release. "What they did in Canada or in North America, I mean, they literally changed policy. They banded together north and south of the border to create the biggest and the first Black union of its kind in the world," Pinnock said over the phone from Toronto. A CN porter checks on a child in a sleeping car in 1947.(Canadian Science and Technology Museum/CN005491) When he first learned the story of the porters, "that just stopped me in my tracks," Pinnock said. "And I was like, OK, this is where I want to put my energy towards. "Black people walking the streets every day should know that they have a stake in this land — the very streets that they walk — especially Winnipeg. They are weaved into the fabric of this flag." A porters' union, the Order of the Sleeping Car Porters, was formed by four men in Winnipeg in 1917. The OSCP later voted to support white workers in the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919. Ninety-nine porters joined the 30,000 workers who walked off the job on May 12. The majority of those men weren't hired back after the dust settled. "The birth of the union is Winnipeg. That's where these meetings started off," said Pinnock. "That's why, when we were fortunate to know we were shooting in Winnipeg, I was like, are you kidding me? Because it's got such a heritage of movement and of bonding together to form this union that I just thought, of course we should be filming in Winnipeg. "It was definitely meant to be." WATCH | Sleeping car porters and Black immigration to Manitoba: For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here. (CBC)
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern): 12:55 p.m. Manitoba is expanding eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines among the general public. The minimum age has dropped by two years -- to 37 and up for First Nations persons and 57 and up for others. Health officials are also finalizing a plan announced earlier to start prioritizing firefighters, police officers and some front-line workers. They say details will come next week. --- 12:30 p.m. The federal government has secured eight million additional doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, to be delivered by mid-summer. Procurement Minister Anita Anand says the first additional four million shots will arrive in May, followed by two million in June and another two million in July. Anand said the company will also move another 400,000 doses from the third quarter into June. Canada's initial shipment of approximately 300,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will arrive during the week of April 27, Anand said, to be delivered to the provinces at the beginning of May. --- 11:11 a.m. Quebec is reporting 1,527 new COVID-19 cases today and seven more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, including one in the past 24 hours. Health officials say hospitalizations rose by three, to 664, and 167 people were in intensive care, a rise of eight. The province says it administered 74,927 vaccine doses on Thursday, a single-day record. Quebec has reported a total of 334,071 COVID-19 infections and 10,785 deaths linked to the virus. --- 11:05 a.m. Procurement Minister Anita Anand says Canada's incoming vaccine supply from Moderna will be slashed in half through the rest of April. Anand says in a statement that Moderna will ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million. Moderna said the limited supply is due to a "slower than anticipated ramp up" of its production capacity. Anand says the company also told Canada that one to two million doses of the 12.3 million scheduled for delivery in the second quarter may be delayed until the third quarter. Anand adds the federal government will continue to press Moderna to fulfill its commitments. --- 10:50 a.m. Police in a city east of Montreal say they are investigating an alleged attempt to illegally gain access to COVID-19 vaccines at a pharmacy. Repentigny, Que., police say they were told of an incident at a Jean Coutu pharmacy that took place on April 11 where someone allegedly impersonated a vaccine inspector. Several media reports cite an internal Jean Coutu memo saying a man presented himself to one of the company’s pharmacies pretending to be a security firm representative and asking to inspect the vaccines. His attempt was rebuffed by staff. A spokeswoman for Groupe Jean Coutu declined to comment and Repentigny police say they took statements and are reviewing surveillance footage. --- 10:40 a.m. Ontario is reporting 4,812 new cases of COVID-19 today, reaching a new peak for a second day in a row. It's also reporting 25 more deaths related to the virus. The province could announce more public health measures today in an effort to rein in surging infections. Yesterday's tally also marked a new record, at 4,736 cases. --- 10:05 a.m. Nunavut is announcing 12 new cases of COVID-19 today, all in Iqaluit. On April 14, the city of about 8,000 people announced its first case since the pandemic began. The city is under a strict lockdown, with all non-essential businesses, government offices and schools closed. There are 13 active cases of COVID-19 in the territory, all in Iqaluit. --- 9:30 a.m The Canadian Medical Association is calling for "extraordinary" measures to address the COVID-19 crisis unfolding in several provinces. The CMA says it wants the federal government to consider re-prioritizing its vaccine distribution strategy to focus on urgent areas instead of distributing to provinces on a per-capita basis. The organization also says provinces should be sharing their health-care resources with areas that are especially hard-hit, including Ontario and Quebec, where intensive care capacity is overwhelmed. The CMA says further restrictions "must also be considered" in provinces experiencing rapid rates of COVID-19 transmission. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 16, 2021. The Canadian Press
INDIANAPOLIS — Police in Indianapolis have identified the shooter who opened fire at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis as a young male in his 20s. Police Chief Randal Taylor also noted that a “significant” number of employees at the facility where the shooting took place Thursday night are members of the Sikh community. Taylor spoke from a hotel where family members are awaiting word on their loved ones. He says he will stay with the families until they get more information. THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below. Police scoured a Fedex facility in Indianapolis and interviewed scores of witnesses Friday in search of a motive for the latest mass shooting to rock the U.S., as family members of the eight victims spent agonizing hours waiting for word on their loved ones. Authorities were still working to identify the gunman as of noon Friday and said they couldn't speculate on why the man opened fire with a rifle late Thursday night at a FedEx processing centre near the Indianapolis airport. Deputy Chief Craig McCartt of the Indianapolis police said the gunman started randomly shooting at people in the parking lot and then went into the building and continued firing. He said the gunman apparently died by suicide shortly before police entered the building. “There was no confrontation with anyone that was there,” he said. “There was no disturbance, there was no argument. He just appeared to randomly start shooting." McCartt said four people were killed outside the building and another four inside. Several people were also wounded, including five taken to the hospital. The carnage took just a couple of minutes. “It did not last very long,” he said. Officials with the coroner's office said they had not been able to get to the scene to identify the victims because evidence is still being collected. Family members gathered at a nearby hotel to await word on loved ones — and some employees were bused there for tearful reunions. But hours later, some people said they still had no information about their relatives. The agonizing waiting was exacerbated by the fact that most employees aren’t allowed to carry cellphones inside the FedEx building, making contact with them difficult. “When you see notifications on your phone, but you’re not getting a text back from your kid and you’re not getting information and you still don’t know where they are … what are you supposed to do?” Mindy Carson said early Friday, fighting back tears. At 11:30 a.m., Carson said she had just heard from her daughter, Jessica, who works in the facility. She said her daughter was OK and she was going to meet her, but didn't say where. It was the latest in a recent string of mass shootings across the U.S. Last month, eight people were fatally shot at massage businesses across the Atlanta area, and 10 died in gunfire at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado. It was at least the third mass shooting this year in Indianapolis alone. Five people, including a pregnant woman, were shot and killed in January, and a man was accused of killing three adults and a child before abducting his daughter during at argument at a home in March. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said the community must guard against resignation and “the assumption that this is simply how it must be and we might as well get used to it.” President Joe Biden said he had been briefed on the shooting and called gun violence “an epidemic” in the U.S. “Too many Americans are dying every single day from gun violence. It stains our character and pierces the very soul of our nation,” he said in a statement. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was “horrified and heartbroken” by the shooting and called for congressional action on gun control. “As we pray for the families of all affected, we must work urgently to enact commonsense gun violence prevention laws to save lives & prevent this suffering,” the Democratic leader said in a tweet. A witness said that he was working inside the building when he heard several gunshots in rapid succession. “I see a man come out with a rifle in his hand and he starts firing and he starts yelling stuff that I could not understand,” Levi Miller told WTHR-TV. “What I ended up doing was ducking down to make sure he did not see me because I thought he would see me and he would shoot me.” Gov. Eric Holcomb ordered flags to be flown at half-staff until April 20, and he and others decried the shooting, with some noting how frequent such attacks are. Chris Bavender, a spokesperson for the FBI’s Indianapolis office, said that they are helping the police with the investigation. A man told WTTV that his niece was sitting in the driver's seat of her car when the gunfire erupted, and she was wounded. “She got shot on her left arm,” said Parminder Singh. “She's fine, she's in the hospital now.” ___ Casey Smith is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Casey Smith, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The White House says American Indian tribes and Alaska Native communities are getting more than $4 billion from President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief legislation. The money will help address a range of issues, including getting more people vaccinated, improvements in testing and contact tracing and reimbursing tribal health systems for lost revenue during the coronavirus shutdown. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy says at the coronavirus briefing that American Indians and Alaska Natives have borne an unusually heavy toll from the pandemic. They are more than three-and-a-half times as likely to get COVID-19 than whites and four times more likely to be hospitalized. The money is “part of a broader commitment to increase access to vaccines and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in hard-hit communities,” Murthy says. The Indian Health Service has already administered more than 1 million shots to people and the $600 million funding boost will expand that campaign. Part of the money will pay for mobile vaccination teams to go to remote or hard-to-reach communities. ___ THE VIRUS OUTBREAK: — U.S. sets up $1.7B network to track virus variants, expand research — Indian vaccine maker asks U.S. to ease export curbs — South Africa takes first step to offer shots to the elderly — Tokyo Olympic organizers again say postponed games will open in just 100 days despite Japan's virus surge — Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine ___ HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING: NEW YORK — A panel of government health advisers have scheduled a new meeting to consider what to say about unusual blood clots linked to one type of coronavirus vaccine. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet April 23. The panel advises the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The group held an emergency meeting this week to decide what to advise government health officials about reports of an unusual combination of dangerous blood clots and low platelet counts in six women who had received Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine. The committee decided it didn’t have enough information and wanted to see if additional, similar reports are coming in before assessing the risk. It’s not clear added data will be available at the next meeting. The CDC has received reports of possible similar illnesses, and is investigating them, but has not yet reported confirmed additional cases. The committee decided to meet regardless as it monitors the situation. ___ WASHINGTON — The Biden administration says the U.S. is setting up a $1.7 billion national network to identify and track coronavirus variants and analyze disease threats. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky says the U.S. is averaging nearly 70,000 new daily coronavirus cases, up from about 53,000 just four weeks ago. Hospitalizations have been trending higher, and deaths were up for the third day in a row. Along with relaxed restrictions on gatherings and indoor dining, the emergence of variants that spread more easily is part of the reason for the worsening trend. White House officials unveiled a national network strategy featuring three components: a major funding boost for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health departments to ramp up gene-mapping of coronavirus samples; the creation of six “centres of excellence” partnerships with universities to conduct research and develop technologies for gene-based surveillance of pathogens; and building a data system to better share and analyze information on emerging disease threats. The effort relies on money approved by Congress as part of President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief package. Typically, the government scrambles to counter a potential threat, but funding dries up when it recedes. The new genomic surveillance initiative aims to create a permanent infrastructure. “It’s a transformative amount of money,” says Mary Lee Watts, federal affairs director at the American Society for Microbiology. ___ ROME — Italian Premier Mario Draghi announced Italy will take a “reasoned risk” in reopening restaurants with outdoor seating and school at all grade levels in some regions starting April 26. The openings will apply to regions that have the lowest tiers of restrictions. Mask-wearing and social distancing will be “scrupulously observed.” Italy’s 10 p.m. curfew will remain in place. It’s the first sign of a gradual re-opening since the fall virus surge. Draghi says the “reasoned risks was based on data, which is improving but not dramatically.” He calls the first phase in the opening “is an extraordinary opportunity not just for the economy but for our social lives.” ___ JOHANNESBURG — South Africa took the first step in its mass vaccination campaign on Friday by starting online registrations for the elderly to receive shots beginning next month. People age 60 years and older will be vaccinated first as they are regarded as having the highest risk of being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19. South Africa’s inoculation drive is dependent upon millions of doses of the Pfizer vaccine arriving in the country within weeks. So far South Africa has vaccinated only 290,000 of its 1.2 million health care workers, using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This week, the government announced it would pause vaccinating its health workers with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine following a report by the U.S FDA. ___ INDIANAPOLIS — Drugmaker Eli Lilly says its COVID-19 antibody drug should no longer be given to patients alone because treatment combinations work better fighting some variants of the coronavirus. The company is asking U.S. regulators to revoke their emergency authorization for the use of bamlanivimab alone. Lilly announced Friday there are no new safety concerns with the drug, but the combination with another drug etesevimab fights more of the emerging COVID-19 variants in the U.S. Last November, bamlanivimab became the first antibody authorized for emergency use in the U.S. as a COVID-19 treatment. Antibodies are proteins that attach to a virus and block it from infecting cells. The combination of drugs also has received an emergency use authorization from federal regulators. The government has been supplying treatments to hospitals, and last month it stopped delivering bamlanivimab alone in favour of treatment combinations. ___ BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she has received a first dose of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine. In a tweet sent by her spokesman, Merkel says she had received the vaccine Friday. “I thank everyone involved in the vaccination campaign - and everyone who has let themselves be vaccinated.” The long-time German leader added “vaccination is the key to overcoming the pandemic.” Authorities in Germany recently restricted use of the AstraZeneca vaccine to people age 60 and over, due to concerns about the risk of rare blood clots detected in some people who received the shots. ___ BANGKOK — Thailand announced new restrictions to slow its spread but didn’t institute any curfews or lockdowns. Thai health officials on Friday confirmed 1,582 new cases, raising the total number of confirmed cases to 39,038 and 97 confirmed deaths. Infections have been surging to record highs almost daily since early April. Most of the new cases involve the virus variant first found in Britain. New nationwide protective measures take effect nationwide Sunday for at least two weeks. They include restrictions on school, no gatherings of more than 50 people and closing of bars. Inter-provincial travel is not banned, though some provincial authorities have ordered testing of arrivals. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha suggested harsher measures could cause economic hardships. ___ MADRID — Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez says he is “very hopeful” the country can come up with its own COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year. Sánchez visited Spanish pharmaceutical company HIPRA, in northeastern Spain, which is developing a coronavirus vaccine candidate in partnership with the government. Sánchez says a new shot would still need to go through clinical trials, but he says for Spain it is “fundamental” to have its own response to the pandemic. Spain has ordered 87 million doses of other vaccines, which are to arrive by the end of September. ___ KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine received its first 117,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine through the COVAX global vaccine sharing program on Friday. Under a contract between Kyiv and Pfizer, the country expects a shipment of 10 more million doses in May-June. Ukraine reported 17,479 new coronavirus cases on Friday. Ukraine’s chief health doctor, Victor Liashko, says immunization with the Pfizer shot will begin on Sunday in the Kyiv region and offered across the country on Monday. Residents and staff of Ukraine’s retirement homes will be the first in line to get the shot, then it will be offered to emergency officials and border guards. Ukraine started vaccinations in February after receiving 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca shot from India. The immunization campaign has been hampered by widespread reluctance to take the vaccine, with only 432,817 people getting at least one shot so far. Kyiv has ordered 1.9 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine developed by the Chinese drug maker Sinovac Biotech. Struggling to contain the soaring infections, the Ukrainian authorities introduced lockdown restrictions in many of the country’s regions. Ukraine’s Health Minister Maksym Stepanov says the measures helped stabilize the situation. The former Soviet nation of 41 million has registered 1.9 million cases and more than 39,000 confirmed deaths. ___ DHAKA, Bangladesh — Bangladesh recorded 101 new deaths, the highest in a day, raising the nation’s confirmed death toll to 10,181. The country registered another 4,417 positive cases in the last 24 hours, raising the total cases to 711,779, according to the Ministry of Health Affairs, The new figures came amid reports that may hospitals in the capital, Dhaka, were overwhelmed with patients despite a nationwide lockdown. Officials say the number of deaths has increased in recent weeks as new strains of the virus were spreading quickly. They say the number of daily cases has increased seven-fold in a month while the number of deaths has doubled in recent weeks. Using the AstraZeneca vaccine from India’s Serum Institute, some 5.7 million people have been inoculated with the first dose while another 900,000 people have received the second dose. ___ GENEVA — The head of the World Health Organization said coronavirus cases are continuing to rise globally at “worrying” rates and noted that the number of new cases confirmed per week has nearly doubled during the past two months. At a press briefing on Friday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the number of new cases “is approaching the highest rate of infection that we have seen so far in the pandemic.” Tedros said some countries that had been able to avoid widespread COVID-19 outbreaks are now seeing steep increases, citing Papua New Guinea as an example. “Until the beginning of this year, Papua New Guinea had reported less than 900 cases and nine deaths,” Tedros said. The noted. The country has now identified more than 9,000 cases and 83 deaths, half of which were reported in the last month. “Papua New Guinea is a perfect example of why vaccine equity is so important,” Tedros said, adding that the Pacific island nation has relied on vaccine donations from Australia and the U.N.-backed COVAX initiative. To date, COVAX has shipped about 40 million vaccines to more than 100 countries, or enough to protect about 0.25% of the world’s population. ___ NEW DELHI — The chief executive of India's Serum Institute, the world’s largest maker of vaccines and a critical supplier of the U.N.-backed COVAX initiative, asked U.S. President Joe Biden to lift an embargo on exporting the raw materials needed to makeCOVID-19 vaccines. Adar Poonawalla wrote to Biden on Twitter: “If we are to truly unite in beating this virus, on behalf of the vaccine industry outside the U.S., I humbly request you to lift the embargo of raw material exports out of the U.S. so that vaccine production can ramp up.” Poonawalla told the The Associated Press earlier that the unavailability of certain raw materials, such as the specific medium needed to grow microorganisms, was going to affect the Serum Institute’s production of a vaccine developed by American pharmaceutical company Novavax. The Serum Institute and Novavax have inked a deal to supply 1.1 billion doses of vaccine to COVAX. India on Friday confirmed over 200,000 new virus cases in 24 hours. Amid a surge that has overwhelmed hospitals and left unprepared authorities scrambling, the country has been trying to vaccinate enough people to slow the spread of the virus. To do so, India has paused vaccine exports to other nations. ___ MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte said it’s uncertain when the Philippines can get adequate COVID-19 vaccines while warning more people will die and “the worst of times” is yet to come. Duterte said his administration has done its best despite criticism and he could use emergency power, for example, to take over hotels if hospital room shortages worsen. But he said wealthy nations control the vaccine supply and other countries could hardly do anything but wait. “When will we have that stocks sufficient to vaccinate the people? I really do not know. Nobody knows,” Duterte said in a televised meeting Thursday night with key Cabinet members. “I think before it gets better, we’ll have to go to the worst of times.” “There’s no sufficient supply to inoculate the world. This will take a long time. I’m telling you many more will die here.” The Philippines has received more than 3 million doses of Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines, most of it donated by China and through the COVAX arrangement by the World Health Organization. At least 1.2 million people have been given initial doses. The government aims to purchase at least 148 million doses to inoculate about 70 million adult Filipinos but the plan has faced supply problems and delays. The vaccination delays have coincided with an alarming surge in coronavirus infections that the government has been scrambling to ease in the hard-hit capital and four outlying provinces. The Philippines has long been a coronavirus hotspot in Southeast Asia with more than 904,000 infections and 15,594 deaths. ___ COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Denmark is opening up faster than planned and allowing restaurants to serve patrons indoors starting Wednesday, providing they have been vaccinated against the coronavirus or can show negative test results. The limit on outdoor public gatherings will be raised to 50 from 10 on April 21. Soccer fans will be allowed to return to stadiums. A majority of Danish lawmakers agreed Friday on the reopening plan for next week. Health Minister Magnus Heunicke say, “It will shape our daily lives in a positive direction.” Denmark's coronavirus outbreak is largely under control. Hair salons and smaller shopping malls already have reopened. On Wednesday, people can go to larger shopping malls and department stores. ___ SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom says nearly half of Californians eligible for vaccination have received at least one shot against the coronavirus. He is urging more residents to sign up for appointments and not let apprehension get in the way of getting protected against the illness. The nation’s most populous state on Thursday began vaccinating anyone age 16 and over regardless of occupation or health condition. The move comes as California and other states have seen vaccine supplies rise in recent weeks. But officials are working to address hesitancy, particularly in some of the communities hit hardest by the pandemic. ___ NEW YORK — New U.S. government data show the country had approximately 600,000 more deaths than usual during a 13-month span. The coronavirus was blamed for most of those deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the estimate Thursday. It covers Jan. 26, 2020, to Feb. 27. The coronavirus was first detected in the U.S. in late January of last year. CDC researchers say the biggest spikes in the deaths occurred in early April, late July, and the very end of December. At least 75% of the deaths were directly tied to COVID-19, but the estimate includes deaths from all causes. This week, the CDC released provisional data through the end of September 2020 that suggested drug overdose deaths for the year were far exceeding tallies seen in any previous year. The CDC says more than 87,000 deaths were reported over a 12-month period. ___ The Associated Press
The actress has died aged 52 from cancer.