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Reports of discrimination in English football rose by 32 per cent last season, NGO says

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Reports of discrimination across all levels of English football rose by 32 per cent last season, according to a study released by equality and inclusion organisation Kick It Out on Wednesday.

There were 422 reports of discrimination in 2018, up from 319 in the previous season.

But racism remained the most common form of discrimination in professional and grassroots football, constituting 65 per cent of reports.

Reports of faith-based discrimination, including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, increased by 75 per cent from 36 to 63.

In the professional game alone, reports rose by 46 per cent, while the organisation received 159 reports of discrimination via social media.

It is the seventh consecutive year reported incidents of discrimination within the English game have increased.

Kick It Out chief executive Roisin Wood believes the governing bodies face a huge challenge to change this trend.

“Football reflects the society it is played and watched in and these figures are sadly not surprising,” Wood said in a statement.

`what can we do better and what is not working?’.

“The sharp increase in faith-based based discrimination is also worrying and represents a challenge to us all —– what are we doing to address this intolerance?”

Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling suffered alleged racist abuse last season during his side’s defeat at Chelsea.

Also, a banana skin was thrown towards Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the London derby with Tottenham Hotspur.

Several leading English Premier League (EPL) players backed the campaign by the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) to boycott social media for 24 hours in a stand against online abuse.

Responding to the Kick It Out figures, the English Football Association said in a statement: “The FA has made huge strides in recent years to ensure that English football is a diverse and inclusive game.

“Most recently, the FA launched its `In Pursuit of Progress’ inclusion plan which has clear targets and ambitions to make sure our game better reflects modern society.

“This involves creating opportunities in football, both on and off the pitch, for people of all backgrounds.

OLAL

(Edited by Olawale Alabi)

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Libya’s UN-backed gov’t reports new advances against rivals

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Forces allied with Libya’s internationally recognised government said they had captured a major city from their rivals on Friday, a day after they regained control of the capital Tripoli.

In recent weeks, forces from the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli have made swift territorial gains against the rival self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar.

The GNA’s military spokesman, Mohammed Gnounou, said on Friday that government forces were in complete control of the city of Tarhouna, about 90 kilometres south-east of Tripoli, and Haftar’s last stronghold in western Libya.

“Our heroic forces have taught Haftar’s terrorist militias an unforgettable lesson,” Gnounou added on Twitter.

Mostafa al-Majai, another GNA military spokesman, said the government forces had entered Tarhouna without any fighting after LNA forces had pulled out of the city into the desert.

“No reprisal acts have taken place inside the city. A large number of residents left the city days ago.

“This has made it easy to establish security there,” he told dpa.

A source in Haftar’s forces confirmed on Friday that LNA forces and their allies had left Tarhouna.

Haftar’s loyalists seized Tarhouna following the start of their campaign in April last year to capture Tripoli from the GNA.

Later on Friday, the GNA military said its forces had also taken full control of al-Urban, a town about 130 kilometres south-west of Tripoli.

GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj has vowed to bring all Libyan territory under his government’s control, according to the official Twitter account of the GNA forces.

“There is no concession in applying justice and law to bring to account everyone involved in perpetrating crimes against Libyans,” he was quoted as saying.

The GNA government has repeatedly accused Haftar and his forces of committing war crimes.

Libya has been in turmoil since a 2011 revolt toppled long-time dictator Muammer Gaddafi.

The oil-wealthy country is divided between two rival factions that are supported by different regional powers.

Turkey, along with Qatar, backs the GNA against Haftar, who is supported by Egypt, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Also on Friday, the UN Security Council extended an arms embargo against Libya for 12 more months in a unanimous vote.

Germany’s deputy UN ambassador Juergen Schulz said strict adherence to the embargo is extremely important, adding that the resolution passed is a meaningful tool to ensure compliance.

The embargo has been in place since 2011, but is largely ineffective, as other countries continue to deliver arms and military equipment or send troops to join the conflict.

The European Union’s Operation Irini began monitoring activities in the Mediterranean Sea to uphold the embargo in May.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Mongolia reports 2 new COVID-19 cases, 193 in total

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Mongolia reported two new cases of COVID-19 over the last 24 hours, taking its total to 193, the country’s National Center for Communicable Disease (NCCD) said Saturday.

“A total of 255 tests for COVID-19 were conducted across the country on Friday and two of them were positive,” the NCCD’s head Dulmaa Nyamkhuu told a daily press conference.

The latest cases are Mongolian students who returned home from Russia via Altanbulag border point on May 28, Nyamkhuu said.

All the confirmed cases in Mongolia, including four foreigners, were imported, mostly from Russia. No local transmissions or deaths have been reported in the country so far.

One more patient has recovered from the disease, raising the total number to 71, said the official.

On March 10, a French national tested positive for the novel coronavirus, becoming the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Mongolia.

(XINHUA)

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S.Korea reports 51 more COVID-19 cases, 11,719 in total

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South Korea reported 51 more cases of the COVID-19 compared to 24 hours ago as of 0:00 a.m. Saturday local time, raising the total number of infections to 11,719.

The daily caseload rose above 50 for eight days due to small cluster infections relevant to religious gatherings, night spots, a distribution center and a health product retailer in the metropolitan area.

Of the new cases, eight were imported from overseas, lifting the combined figure to 1,288.

No more death was confirmed, leaving the death toll at 273. The total fatality rate stood at 2.33 percent.

A total of 25 more patients were discharged from quarantine after making full recovery, pulling up the combined number to 10,531. The total recovery rate was 89.9 percent.

Since Jan. 3, the country has tested more than 1 million people, among whom 965,632 tested negative for the virus and 27,954 are being checked.

(XINHUA)

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India reports highest daily spike of 9,887 cases as total reach 236,657

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India’s federal health ministry Saturday morning reported 294 new deaths and 9,887 new COVID-19 cases during the past 24 hours across the country, taking the number of deaths to 6,642 and total cases to 236,657.

This is the highest daily spike in the number of cases and deaths in the country.

According to ministry officials, 114,073 people have been discharged from hospitals after showing improvement, and the number of active cases in the country stood at 115,942.

The fifth phase of nationwide lockdown came into force from Monday, marking several relaxations and reopening in a phased manner.

On March 25 Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 and break the chain of infection.

(XINHUA)

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Chile reports 122,499 COVID-19 cases with 1,448 deaths

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The Chilean Ministry of Health on Friday raised the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country to 122,499, with 1,448 deaths.

Over the past 24 hours, 4,207 new infections and 92 new deaths have been registered. Of the new confirmed cases, 3,790 presented symptoms while 417 were asymptomatic.

The ministry said that 1,521 people infected with COVID-19 have been hospitalized in intensive care units, with 1,291 patients on ventilators and 337 in critical condition.

Additionally, the ministry said that 21,780 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests have been carried out in the past 24 hours, with a total of 668,556 tests administered since the pandemic was first detected in March.

To date, 337 sanitary residences have been constructed to isolate people diagnosed with the disease. The residences provide “accommodation, food, and they have health teams in permanent contact with each of the people who live there,” according to Deputy Secretary of Health Arturo Zuniga.

Authorities have expressed concern over the high number of infections and deaths that continue to be registered in the Metropolitan Region, where the health system is almost at full capacity. Inhabitants of the Metropolitan Region will be under lockdown until next week.

In May, Chile saw an exponential increase in COVID-19 cases, with the largest number of new cases and deaths recorded since the pandemic began in the country.

(XINHUA)

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Oman reports 770 new COVID-19 cases, 15,086 in total

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The Omani Ministry of Health announced on Friday 770 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number in the country to 15,086.

According to a statement issued by the ministry, all new cases, including 343 Omanis, are related to community contact.

Meanwhile, the total recovered cases of COVID-19 reached 3,451, while five new deaths were reported, bringing the death toll to 72.

(XINHUA)

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Libya’s UN-backed government reports new advances against rivals

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Forces allied with Libya’s internationally recognised government said they had captured a major city from rivals on Friday, a day after they regained control of the capital Tripoli.

In recent weeks, forces from the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli have made swift territorial gains against the rival self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar.

The GNA’s military spokesman, Mohammed Gnounou, said on Friday government forces were in complete control of the city of Tarhouna, about 90 km south-east of Tripoli, and Haftar’s last stronghold in western Libya.

“Our heroic forces have taught Haftar’s terrorist militias an unforgettable lesson,” Gnounou added on Twitter.

Mostafa al-Majai, another GNA military spokesman, said the government forces had entered Tarhouna without any fighting after LNA forces had pulled out of the city into the desert.

“No reprisal acts have taken place inside the city. A large number of residents left the city days ago. This has made it easy to establish security there,” he told.

A source in Haftar’s forces confirmed on Friday that LNA forces and their allies had left Tarhouna.

Haftar’s loyalists seized Tarhouna following the start of their campaign in April last year to capture Tripoli from GNA.

Later Friday, the GNA military said its forces had also taken full control of al-Urban, a town about 130 km   south-west of Tripoli.

GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj has vowed to bring all Libyan territory under his government’s control, according to the official Twitter account of the GNA forces.

“There is no concession in applying justice and law to bring to account everyone involved in perpetrating crimes against Libyans,” he was quoted as saying.

The GNA government has repeatedly accused Haftar and his forces of committing war crimes.

Libya has been in turmoil since a 2011 revolt toppled long-time dictator Moamer Gaddafi.

The oil-wealthy country is divided between two rival factions that are supported by different regional powers.

Turkey, along with Qatar, backs the GNA against Haftar, who is supported by Egypt, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

IAA

Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)

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Singapore reports 261 more COVID-19 cases

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Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) reported 261 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 37,183.

Of the new cases, 97 percent are linked to known clusters, while the rest are pending contact tracing.

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has increased, from an average of five cases per day in the week before, to an average of six per day in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has remained stable at an average of two per day in the past two weeks.

Another 305 cases of COVID-19 infection have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities. In all, 24,209 have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospitals or community care facilities, the ministry said.

There are currently 307 confirmed cases who are still in hospital. Of these, most are stable or improving, and four are in critical condition in the intensive care unit. There are 12,643 isolated and cared for at community facilities. These are those who have mild symptoms, or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19. A total of 24 have passed away from complications due to COVID-19 infection.

(XINHUA)

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Germany’s biggest health insurer reports rise in prescription drug spending before lockdown

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During the week before contact restrictions came into force in Germany in mid-March, expenditure on pharmaceuticals by Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) had already increased by 44 percent year-on-year, the country’s biggest statutory health insurance fund said on Friday.

TK’s expenditure on pharmaceuticals totaled about 104 million euros (117.6 million United States dollars) during the second week of March, said the insurer.

The number of prescriptions, which included an unusually large number of large drug packages, was 10 percentage points higher than in the same week last year, according to the TK.

Patients in Germany had “stocked up on prescription drugs before the so-called lockdown, this applies in particular to insured people with chronical diseases,” said Jens Baas, chair of the TK’s Board of Directors.

The sharp increase in expenditure on drugs shows that the costs of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany are currently difficult to estimate, according to the TK.

During March, expenditure on pharmaceuticals per insured person increased around 26 percent, but returned to the level of the previous year in April, according to the TK’s initial evaluation.

“Due to the economic consequences of the pandemic, enormous slumps on the revenues side are already apparent for the entire statutory health insurance system,” said Baas.

(XINHUA)

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