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Delay in pneumonia diagnosis, treatment can cause child’s death — Paediatrician

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Dr Gbemisola Boyede, Consultant Paediatrician and Founder of Ask The Paediatricians,
an NGO, says delay in diagnosis and treatment of pneumonia can lead to death of a child.

Boyede disclosed this in an interview with Nigeria News Agency in Abuja in commemoration of the World
Pneumonia Day, annually celebrated on Nov. 12 to champion the fight against pneumonia and educate the public
on preventive measures and appropriate treatment for the disease.

According to her, pneumonia is a general term for infections of the lungs, with symptoms such as high fever associated
with chills, cough, very fast and noisy breathing.

Others include vomiting, chest pain, abdominal pain, which often happen because a child is coughing and working hard
to breathe.

Weakness, loss of appetite and bluish or gray colour lips are other symptoms of the disease.

The consultant explained that pneumonia is one of the killer diseases of children under the age of five years,
especially in low and middle income countries.

“This is often due to late presentation at the hospital for treatment to enable a doctor to examine the child to confirm the diagnosis of pneumonia.

“Delay in diagnosis and treatment is responsible for the high number of deaths from pneumonia, especially in children under five years.

“There is no reason for any child to die of pneumonia. There are well-known preventive strategies,” she said.

The paediatrician, therefore, advised parents to ensure they engaged in exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months
of a child’s life to protect the baby from respiratory infections, including pneumonia.

Boyede also advised that vaccines, well ventilated rooms, avoidance of air pollution, adequate nourishing meals were necessary to prevent pneumonia.
JAD/HA

Edited by Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

Auta Justina: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Foreign

United States judge orders delay of first federal executions in 17 years

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A United States judge on Monday ordered a delay in federal executions, hours before one was to be carried out for the first time in 17 years, hampering the Trump administration’s plan to revive capital punishment by the federal government.

Washington district Judge Tanya Chutkan issued a preliminary injunction to allow the continuation of legal challenges of four death row inmates against the government’s new lethal injection protocol announced last year.

“The public is not served by short-circuiting legitimate judicial process,” she wrote in an order.

The Department of Justice immediately appealed the ruling.

The department planned to carry out the first executions at a federal level since 2003 over the next few weeks, starting with Daniel Lewis Lee, who is convicted of murder, in the US state of Indiana on Monday.

The move has been mired in legal battles. Chutkan’s order came just hours after a federal appeals court had overturned a lower court’s ruling halting Monday’s execution over coronavirus concerns.

Attorney General William Barr last summer announced he was bringing back the death penalty, of which President Donald Trump has been a long-time vocal advocate.

United States states individually decide whether to use capital punishment in their criminal justice systems. The federal system is separate to those of the 50 states and other jurisdictions.

Some 20 states have banned the death penalty, while others have not carried out executions in decades.

Part of the legal challenge to the use of the death penalty at the federal level relates to appeals over the protocol of execution, which is lethal injection.

IAA

Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)

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Virus rules cause voting delays in Singapore elections

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Officials in Singapore apologised for long queues outside polling stations on Friday, where voting was slowed down by hygiene and distancing rules aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

“We are sorry for the wait and inconvenience to voters,” the Elections Department Singapore said.

With voting compulsory, 80 per cent of the 2.65 million-strong electorate had cast their ballots by 5 pm (0900 GMT), the ELD said.

Voters are having their temperatures taken before entering booths to choose from 192 candidates representing 11 political parties chasing 93 seats.

The ELD announced on Friday afternoon that voters no longer need to pull on disposable gloves before marking ballot papers after the requirement caused delays during the early hours of voting.

With people over 60 deemed most at risk from serious illness if infected by the coronavirus, older voters were requested by officials to cast their ballots before noon, with younger voters expected to wait until later in the day.

Voting began at 8 am on Friday after a short campaign in which public rallies were not allowed due to the virus.

Voting closes at 8 pm, with results expected from around three hours later.

The outcome is expected to be business as usual: the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) took 83 seats in the 2015 elections and has won at least 60 per cent of the popular vote in every contest held since Singaporean independence in 1965.

The small chance of success has left opposition parties to appeal to voters not to issue a “blank cheque” to PAP.

PAP is led by Lee Hsien Loong, prime minister since 2004 and son of Lee Kuan Yew, an autocrat who steered the tiny city-state toward prosperity and was one of Asia’s best-known politicians during the late 20th century.

But in late June, the prime minister’s brother Lee Hsien Yang shook up what would ordinarily be a staid campaign by backing the new Progress Singapore Party (PSP)after a sibling squabble over the late Lee’s estate.

PAP candidates have repeatedly raised the need for a “strong” government to deal with the novel coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday, as thousands lined up to vote, the Ministry of Health confirmed 191 new cases, taking the total to 45,614. Singapore’s gross domestic product could contract by up to 7 per cent in 2020, according to official projections.

“Our economy has been badly hit, though the full economic impact of the outbreak is still ahead of us,” the prime minister said in a final pre-vote statement.

Lee called on Singaporeans to “not just to return the PAP to government. But also to give it a strong mandate.”

Sylvia Lim, chair of the Workers’ Party, which won six seats in 2015, said that “robust democracies where changes of the party in power at election time are considered normal” also dealt successfully with the pandemic, citing countries such as New Zealand and South Korea.

PSP leader Tan Cheng Bock called for a legislature that “that reflects all views, and not just the PAP view or the group-think of a single political party.”

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Israeli PM hints at delay of controversial West Bank annexation

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Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that his government is still “working” on his West Bank annexation plan, hinting at the postponement of the controversial move.

Speaking a day ahead of July 1, the target date for the beginning of the annexation set by Netanyahu, the prime minister said he met earlier on Tuesday with United States Special Representative for International Negotiations Avi Berkowitz and United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.

Netanyahu said he discussed with them “the question of sovereignty,” referring to his plan to impose Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley, part of the West Bank where the Palestinians wish to build their future state.

He noted his government is “currently working on” the plan and “will continue to work on it in the coming days.”

The remarks were made during a ceremony at the foreign ministry in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu and his main coalition partner, Benny Gantz, leader of the centrist Blue and White party, were at odds over the annexation.

While Netanyahu wants to start the procedure of imposing Israeli sovereignty over the Jewish settlements and the Jordan Valley as early as July 1, Gantz wishes to postpone the move.

On Monday, Gantz, who serves as Israel’s alternate prime minister and defense minister, told a meeting of lawmakers with Blue and White that “anything not related to the struggle against the coronavirus will wait.”

“Before making any political moves, we need to help the public get back to earn a living with dignity,” Gantz said.

A few hours later, Netanyahu dismissed Gantz’s remarks, telling a meeting of lawmakers with his right-wing Likud party that he is working “discretely” with envoys of United States President Donald Trump.

“The issue does not depend on Blue and White,” he said, according to local media reports.

Under their power-sharing deal, both Netanyahu and Gantz hold veto power over key government decisions. However, the deal allows Netanyahu to bring an annexation proposal to the cabinet starting July 1, even without Gantz’s approval.

The annexation plan was received with widespread condemnations by the Palestinians, most of the Arab world, and the international community.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet urged Israel on Monday to halt the “illegal” plan.

(XINHUA)

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Entertainment

Cineworld delays reopening of United States, UK cinemas to end of July

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Cineworld (CINE.L) on Tuesday delayed the reopening of its cinemas in the United States and Britain until the end of July, citing changes to the release schedules for some of the big summer movies.

The UK-based company had previously expected to start reopening theatres, which include Regal Cinemas in the United States on July 10 but a number of important markets, such as Los Angeles and New York, have not yet given the go-ahead.

Hollywood studios have also pushed back the debut of new releases, with “Mulan” and “Tenet” for example now scheduled only for August.

Shares in Cineworld, which had lost almost three quarters of their value this year due to the coronavirus crisis, were trading up 2.8 per cent by 09.25 GMT.

The company is the world’s second largest cinema chain after AMC Entertainment (AMC.N) .

AMC has also pushed back its reopening date in the United States by two weeks to July 30.

The crisis has forced cinemas across the world to close their doors after governments imposed lockdowns to prevent the spread of the disease.

Even as cinemas prepare to welcome back film fans, the experience will be different as social distancing measures will be in place for the screenings.

Cineworld expects its cinemas to fill up to half capacity when they reopen.

The company, which has 7,178 of its 9,500 screens in the United States, made more than two-thirds of its overall revenue from the region last year.

AMC’s UK arm Odeon Cinemas and Premium Cinema Group Everyman Media (EMANE.L) said they planned to reopen from July 4, as Britain eased more of its restrictions.

Odeon said it would have pre-packaged food and drinks and vacant seats between guests when it reopens.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

 

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United States Treasury Dept. not to delay tax-filing deadline for second time

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The United States Treasury Department announced Monday that it won’t delay the tax-filing deadline for a second time, encouraging taxpayers to file their taxes by July 15 or request an extension if more time is needed.

As part of the efforts to blunt the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, United States Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in late March that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is extending the federal income tax filing deadline for 2019 from April 15 to July 15.

Mnuchin said earlier that the deferment of tax payments will result in about 300 billion dollars of additional liquidity in the economy.

“We are pleased that over 130 million taxpayers have filed returns and over 93 million refunds have been issued. After consulting with various external stakeholders, we have decided to have taxpayers request an extension if more time is needed,” Mnuchin said in a statement on Monday.

The Treasury Department and IRS encourage taxpayers to file their taxes by July 15, or file for an automatic extension of time to file to Oct. 15, according to the statement. Taxpayers have to pay what they owe by July 15 in order to avoid interest and penalties.

“I would encourage Americans to file their taxes as soon as possible, so those who are due refunds can receive them quickly,” Mnuchin said.

IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said the agency understands that those affected by the coronavirus may not be able to pay their balances in full by July 15. Yet he noted that the government has many payment options to help taxpayers, urging taxpayers facing economic hardships to take advantage of the tools and resources available on its official website.

(XINHUA)

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Wearing face masks, French turnout in low numbers for delayed local elections

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People turned out in low numbers and wearing face masks to vote on Sunday in France’s delayed second round of municipal elections, a mid-term test for President Emmanuel Macron and his ruling party, which could fail to win a single big city.

A year ago, Macron had hoped the local elections would help anchor his young centrist party in towns and cities across France, including Paris, ahead of an anticipated 2022 re-election bid.

But more recently, presidential aides have been playing down expectations.

France’s 35,000 mayors set policy on issues from urban planning to education and the environment and while local factors, typically drive voter choices, they give the electorate an opportunity to support or punish a president mid-mandate.

“We have a government that is completely disconnected from reality,’’ said Naouel, a voter in Paris’ 9th district, who said she was backing the centre-right opposition candidate.

France had pressed ahead with the first round in mid-March, less than 48 hours before Macron imposed one of Europe’s strictest coronavirus lockdowns, forcing a long delay before the second round.

The pandemic appeared to have depressed turnout.

By 5.00 p.m. (1500 GMT) only 35 per cent of voters had cast a ballot, below the 52 per cent registered at the same time in the last municipal elections in 2014, and political observers forecast a record low.

Polling stations closed at 6.00 p.m. in towns and small cities but remained open for an additional two hours in larger cities.

The first results were expected from 8.00 p.m. local time.

In polling stations in Paris, clerks wore masks or face shields, with some sitting behind plexiglass screens.

“It’s better organised than last time,’’ said pensioner Jean de Nathan.

In the capital, the elections biggest prize, the sitting socialist Mayor, Anne Hidalgo, is on track for a comfortable win after a shambolic campaign by Macron and his La Republique en Marche (LaRem)party.

Paris is unlikely to be the only disappointment for Macron.

The Greens could to do well in cities such as Lyon, Marseille and Bordeaux, sometimes in alliance with the Left, building on momentum they created in 2019’s European elections.

In Perpignan, Marine Le Pen’s far-right party may take control of its first city with a population of more than 100,000.

Macron has said he will “reinvent” his presidency and present a detailed plan next month for the final two years of his mandate.

A government reshuffle is widely expected.

The biggest question mark is over the future of Edouard Philippe, Macron’s popular Prime minister, who is running for his old job as mayor of Le Havre.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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France holds delayed municipal elections, Macron’s party faces challenge

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As COVID-19 epidemic indicators keep improving in France, some 16.5 million voters are called to cast ballots on Sunday in the second round of municipal elections under strict health protocol.

Of France’s 35,000 cities, towns and villages, about 30,000 had already elected their mayors in the first round held on March 15.

The second round of mayoral elections was originally planned for March 22, but the worsening coronavirus outbreaks and the anti-virus lockdown had forced the French government to postpone it.

TURNOUT IS MAIN UNKNOWN

TURNOUT IS MAIN UNKNOWN

TURNOUT IS MAIN UNKNOWN

Sunday’s voting is taking place in 4,827 municipalities, as well as in the districts of Paris, Lyon and Marseille, where the councils were not elected in the first round.

For the voting, the French Interior Ministry recommended voters should keep a safe distance from each other, wear a mask at polling stations and bring their own pens to sign off their vote.

At a polling station in Paris’ northern suburb of Parmain, staff workers are wearing face masks. Stickers on the ground mark out where people should stand while waiting for their turn, and hand gel is provided upon entry.

“I am going to carry out my civic duty. This time, the context is different owing to the epidemic but it does not prevent me from doing what must be done. Certainly, we should adapt to this situation but we keep on living,” Mathilde, a 67-year-old pensioner, told Xinhua.

Another voter, who gave her name as Nathalie, abstained in the first round due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the second round, things are improving, and the situation is better even if the virus still circulates. But I’m not afraid. With my gloves, mask and pen, I think I can vote in security,” she said.

Since early March, 29,778 people in France had succumbed to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. As of Friday, 8,886 COVID-19 patients were still hospitalized, of whom 634 were in intensive care units.

Since May 11, France has eased restriction measures step by step after a months-long nationwide lockdown.

“The turnout is the main unknown of this election. It is difficult to know what will happen. The campaign, the longest in the 5th Republic (of France), had low intensity and struggled to gain momentum due to economic concerns and renewed health concerns,” said Frederic Dabi, director of the IFOP opinion institute.

“What is certain is that we will not be at the same level of 2014,” he added, estimating Sunday’s turnout to be at 42 percent.

In the first round elections, only 44.3 percent of voters came to polling stations due to the risk of contamination, as against 63.5 percent in 2014.

CHALLENGE FOR MACRON’S PARTY

CHALLENGE FOR MACRON’S PARTY

CHALLENGE FOR MACRON’S PARTY

Facing his first domestic mid-term vote challenge, President Emmanuel Macron had bet on his La Republique en Marche (LREM) party — which he created in 2016 — to win control of major cities to anchor power at local levels, and offset losses in the rural zone where his party faces criticism of “doing little” for the working class, local media reported.

“Efforts by LREM to build grassroots support have fallen short, with most of its candidates failing to make it past the first round of voting on March 15,” said state-owned international news television network France 24.

The good news was that Prime Minister Edouard Philippe finished first in the port city of Le Havre, winning 43.6 percent of the vote and consolidating his chance to win the runoff.

“Philippe, whose popularity has soared over his handling of the COVID-19 crisis, also faces a close fight to regain his mayor’s seat in the port of Le Havre. A loss by Philippe would almost certainly force Macron into a broad reshuffle of his cabinet,” France 24 said.

Opinion polls projected that the ruling party’s candidates would fail to re-conquer any big city, which would be a blow to Macron’s plan to build a local power base he needs to extend his stay at the Elysee Palace for another five-year term.

With 44 percent of vote intentions, the incumbent Socialist Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, had been viewed to be comfortably ahead of conservative rival Rachida Dati’s 35 percent. Macron’s official candidate and former health minister Agnes Buzyn was deemed to be in third place with 18 percent, a recent Elabe survey showed.

Candidates from the European Ecologists and the Greens (EELV) are expected to gain control of key cities, such as Lyon and Bordeaux, after a surge in the support they reported in the first round.

(XINHUA)

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Poland resumes delayed presidential election

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Polling stations have opened on Sunday morning for the first round of the Polish presidential elections, which were expected to take place on May 10 but were delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Incumbent Polish President Andrzej Duda from the ruling conservative Law and Justice party seeks re-election for another five-year term after his victory in the elections of 2015.

Polls showed that his main rival is Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, a moderately liberal Christian democrat who entered the race rather late to replace Malgorzata Kidawa-Blonska, after the party’s original candidate tanked in opinion polls.

There are a total of 11 candidates in the elections, including a Christian conservative celebrity journalist, an agrarian-focused social conservative, a far-right nationalist, a social democrat and several others.

Polls showed that Duda is taking the lead but unlikely to top 50 percent of the votes needed to win the presidency. The winner of the first round will compete with the runner-up in a runoff scheduled on July 12.

Law and Justice, led by party chairman Jaroslaw Kaczynski, wanted the elections to go ahead by postal voting only amid favorable polling, despite strong opposition from the public.

Critics argued that elections during lockdowns favor the incumbent, since other candidates are unable to hold on-the-ground campaigns, and put voters’ health at risk.

The polls close at 9 p.m. local time (1900 GMT).

(XINHUA)

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Disney delays reopening of California theme parks amid surge of new COVID-19 cases

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Disney said Wednesday that the company will delay the phased reopening of its theme parks in Anaheim, California.

“The State of California has now indicated that it will not issue theme park reopening guidelines until sometime after July 4. Given the time required for us to bring thousands of cast members back to work and restart our business, we have no choice but to delay the reopening of our theme parks and resort hotels until we receive approval from government officials. Once we have a clearer understanding of when guidelines will be released, we expect to be able to communicate a reopening date,” Disney said in a statement.

The Disneyland Resort, which is home to two theme parks — Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, was scheduled to reopen on July 17, pending state and local government approvals, after being closed for months amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an earlier Disney plan announced last month.

July 17 is the 65th anniversary of the opening day of Disneyland Park.

“We developed enhanced health and safety protocols for both cast and guests at Shanghai Disney Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort that have been approved, allowing us to reopen in a responsible manner and bring our cast members back to work,” the company said.

As a result of COVID-19, Disney closed its North American parks and resorts, cruise line business and Disneyland Paris in mid-March, while the company’s Asia parks and resorts were closed even earlier.

A coalition of labor unions representing 17,000 Disneyland Resort employees expressed their concern over the July reopening plan in a letter last week to California governor Gavin Newsom, saying that they were “not yet convinced it is safe to reopen the parks” despite intensive talks with the company.

Disney explained on Wednesday that the company has “had positive discussions and (we) are very pleased to have signed agreements from 20 union affiliates, including the Master Services Council, which represents more than 11,000 of our cast members.”

California’s new COVID-19 cases continued to rise in recent days as the most populous state in the United States is moving forward with its reopening plans. The state saw a 69 percent increase in new cases in just two days as it reported 7,149 new cases of COVID-19 over a 24-hour span on Wednesday, shattering the daily record for new infections for a second straight day.

The company said that the signed agreement details plans that include enhanced safety protocols that will allow the company to responsibly reopen and get thousands of its cast members back to work.

Disney reopened Shanghai Disneyland on May 11 under a slew of health and safety measures, becoming the first among six Disney theme parks worldwide to welcome visitors again since the outbreak of COVID-19.

The company said last month that COVID-19’s estimated impact on the United States entertainment giant’s income from continuing operations before income taxes was as much as 1.4 billion United States dollars during the second quarter for the fiscal year 2020.

(XINHUA)

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