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The United States has postponed flights for dozens of diplomats who had planned to return to China later this month, after failing to reach agreement with Beijing over issues including COVID-19 testing and quarantine.Five months after the coronavirus epidemic forced the evacuation of some 1,300 US diplomats and family members from China, Washington and Beijing remain locked in negotiations over conditions for their return, according to more than a dozen internal State Department emails seen by Reuters and people familiar with the matter.The impasse comes as the pandemic intensifies in many parts of the world, including the United States, with the global tally this week topping 10 million cases and half a million deaths. Topics : It also comes as relations between the world’s two largest economies have sunk to their lowest in decades over issues including China’s handling of the pandemic, bilateral trade and a new security law for Hong Kong.In a previously unreported June 30 email, Terry Branstad, the US ambassador to China, told embassy staff that two charter flights for diplomats returning to Shanghai and Tianjin planned for July 8 and July 10 respectively had been scrapped and would be rescheduled.”Protecting the health and safety of our community remains our guiding principle and our top priority in this unprecedented situation,” Branstad wrote. “This means that flight plans will not be confirmed until we have reached an agreement that meets these goals.”The State Department did not immediately respond to questions about the flight cancellations. In an emailed response to Reuters questions, the State Department did not specifically discuss negotiations with Beijing, but said: “Mission China and the Department have engaged with Chinese authorities at both the Central Government and the local level to receive assurances of the safe and orderly return of our employees and family.”A spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said there had been close communication regarding the return of US diplomats to China.”The virus is still spreading overseas and China continues to be under a fair amount of pressure to prevent the import of cases from overseas,” the spokesperson said in fax response to Reuters’ questions.”The epidemic control measures for the diplomatic corps in China are applied equally across the board. China strives to preserve its hard-won achievement in countering the virus together with the diplomatic corps, and to provide good conditions and a good living environment for everyone to work and live in China.”‘Significant logistical hurdles’People familiar with the matter say Washington and Beijing have not been able to overcome the “significant logistical hurdles”, including the lack of an agreement on Chinese testing and quarantine procedures for diplomats and families that were cited in a May 28 State Department email to China staff.Diplomats say agreeing to be tested contravenes the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. While an internal State Department guideline dated June 17 says it has approved a plan that includes testing under Chinese procedures upon arrival, sources familiar with the matter say the agency does not want to waive the diplomatic inviolability of staff and is still negotiating with Chinese authorities on the issue.Several diplomats said they were concerned about the potential for Chinese authorities to take DNA samples and the possibility of parents being separated from their children if some family members tested positive.”This essentially puts us at the mercy of the Chinese government, with whom tensions have run extremely high,” a US diplomat, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Reuters while preparing to return to work in China.”We are in a situation where officers are being forced to decide between being separated from their families or bringing them into a potentially dangerous situation,” the diplomat said.The experiences of diplomats taking the first and so far only flight back to China, to Tianjin in late May, had concerned some others planning to return, several diplomatic sources said.Around 60 passengers of ‘Flight One’ were met by more than 150 Chinese officials in HAZMAT suits who directed them for COVID-19 testing, according to a newsletter for China Mission staff, a copy of which was seen by Reuters.Swabs were taken by US medical officials, with the tests conducted by Chinese labs.Diplomats were questioned about their activities prior to the 18-hour journey in a cargo plane from Washington.”Have you been to any parties? Have you eaten in a restaurant? Do you feel good?” Chinese officials asked before the American diplomats were ushered into a VIP lounge to wait some 10 hours for their test results before they could leave.Uncertainty about returning has been magnified by regulations that cap the amount of time the State Department can cover the expenses of diplomats evacuated from their posts.”A lot of people don’t feel like going back, but after 180 days, you’re out of options,” said another foreign service officer familiar with the matter. “Basically your choice is to curtail your job and choose a different assignment.”A State Department spokeswoman acknowledged that 180 days was the limit for evacuees to receive allowances, and said the agency continued to “assess options on how best to protect and support employees and family members in China and across the globe.”
Primetime Trump, a lifetime salesman and a veteran of reality television, often appears more comfortable in front of the cameras than in the more formal settings of traditional presidential life. Although he constantly complains about unfair press coverage, he gives more press conferences and jousts with journalists more often than probably any other Oval Office occupant.He said he will continue the early evening primetime television briefings, although possibly not every day.Tuesday’s version was succinct at less than half an hour and he mostly kept to the White House talking points. But it is unknown whether Trump will resist using the platform in the future to return to his more usual divisive rhetoric.He trails Biden in all polls and is retooling his campaign to an ever-darker message in which he tries to paint the Democrat as backed by anarchists and Venezuelan-style socialists.Trump’s Twitter feed Tuesday gave an indication of his divided attention.On one hand there was the upbeat tweet: “Tremendous progress being made on Vaccines and Therapeutics!!!”And on the other, the evidence-free, alarming claim — shocking for a sitting president — that the election in which he is forecast to lose will be rigged.”Mail-In Voting, unless changed by the courts, will lead to the most CORRUPT ELECTION in our Nation’s History! #RIGGEDELECTION.”Topics : Reeling from polls predicting defeat in November’s election, President Donald Trump struck a newly serious tone on the coronavirus crisis Tuesday, acknowledging that a disease he has frequently played down would “get worse.””Some areas of our country are doing very well,” Trump said at his first formal White House briefing on the pandemic in almost three months.”Others are doing less well,” the president said. “It will probably, unfortunately get worse before it gets better.” An agreement appears some way off, but in Europe, EU leaders emerged from a marathon four-day and four-night summit on Tuesday to celebrate what they boasted was their own historic rescue plan.German Chancellor Angela Merkel the 750-billion-euro ($858-billion) deal was equal to “the greatest crisis” in EU history. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez hailed “a Marshall Plan for Europe” that would boost his country’s economy by 140 billion euros over the next six years. No Dr Fauci Having long played down the seriousness of the disease and repeatedly promoted pet medical theories on how it might be combatted, Trump hopes that his more somber, realistic approach will change the dire headlines.Despite refusing for months to be photographed wearing a mask, he now urged Americans to follow doctors’ recommendations in using face coverings as a vital barrier to the virus’ spread.”We are asking everybody that when you are not able to socially distance, wear a mask,” he said.And he touted good news on vaccine development which he said would be completed “a lot sooner than anyone thought possible.”But Trump repeated his frequent assertion that the virus will somehow “disappear.”He also raised eyebrows by coming to the podium alone, rather than with medical leaders. His top infectious diseases expert, Anthony Fauci, who has been attacked by Trump’s team for his often less than upbeat prognosis, was not even invited. The return to presidential coronavirus briefings — abandoned in late April after Trump drew ridicule for musing on the potential for injecting coronavirus patients with household disinfectant — was part of a concerted bid to take back control of the message.After an erratic national response, some 140,000 deaths, and now dramatic surges in new cases across the south and south-west, polls show two thirds of Americans mistrusting Trump’s leadership on the issue.Polls also show his response to the pandemic driving voters strongly in the direction of opponent Joe Biden in the presidential election, due in just over 100 days.While Trump makes his latest pivot, Congress is starting to negotiate another large-scale economic relief bill to try and prop up an economy devastated by mass unemployment and shuttered businesses.
BLOG: We Stand with U.S. House Members Looking to Ban Discrimination Equality, National Issues, Non-discrimination, The Blog The U.S. House passed a proposal Wednesday night to protect federal workers from being fired on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Sponsored by Rep. Sean Maloney (D-N.Y.), the measure was approved 223-195.In April, Governor Tom Wolf signed non-discrimination executive orders in an effort to explicitly and decisively end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in the executive branch of our state government.“Pennsylvania is open for business no matter who you are or whom you love.” — Governor WolfBut while these executive orders apply to commonwealth employees and employees of organizations with contracts or grants from the commonwealth, we still need to ensure the commonwealth extends protections statewide. Governor Wolf is committed to working with the legislature to pass a statewide non-discrimination bill that protects all Pennsylvanians, and encourages federal legislators to continue enacting measures to protect fundamental human rights. Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf By: The Office of Governor Tom Wolf May 26, 2016 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
The home at 16 Adam St, Wynnum, sold for $1.4 million.A four-bedroom executive home with water views has sold in Wynnum as high end buyers look to the bayside for value for money. The property at 16 Adam St sold for $1.4 million, the highest sale for the popular street for the past nine years and the third highest overall. Place Bulimba marketing agent, Marc Sorrentino said the property attracted plenty of interest. “During the period it was on the market we had over 20 inspections and three offers,” he said. “What appealed to people was that it was a high end executive house and it was in a location at the quiet end of the esplanade.”Mr Sorrentino said the property achieved such a good price thanks to its architectural design and commercial-grade fixtures and fittings. More from newsCrowd expected as mega estate goes under the hammer7 Aug 2020Hard work, resourcefulness and $17k bring old Ipswich home back to life20 Apr 2020The kitchen at 16 Adam St, Wynnum.“The house has quite a lot of features most other properties don’t such as a cinema room, gym,” he said. Mr Sorrentino said the Wynnum Manly area had “flown under the radar” for a long time but buyers looking to the top end of the market were taking notice. “People are now starting to discover the area and seeing how beautiful it is,” he said. “It represents really good value for money compared to Bulimba or Hawthorne. It’s 20 minutes down the road but you get so much more.“There are buyers out there who are looking for really high quality property and if they can’t find it, they build it.” In March, Mr Sorrentino sold a block of land at 28 Oceana Tce, Manly, for $1.3 million, which was a record sale for a vacant residential block in the suburb.
Game, set, match! The tennis court proved popular with the vendors.“We use the tennis court a lot more than we ever thought we would,” Mr Willems said.The couple rebuilt the home last year, transforming it into a waterfront oasis for their family of five.Mrs Willems drew on her fashion background to design and style their abode herself. ‘Northcove’ by name and nature.Heading outside, the manicured lawns and forefront position encapsulate the property in a tranquil hush, world’s away from the buzz of Surfers Paradise, nearby transport corridors, skyscrapers and cranes. “The area just keeps getting better, you’re walking distance to the beach really. You get in your car and you’re two minutes from Pacific Fair, one of the best shopping centres in the country,” Mr Willems said. The home has a distinct Hamptons style.Mr Willems said it had been a fantastic family home.“I think like everyone you’re houseproud and you like your home because you’ve got really good memories of it,” Mr Willems, who has been in the Gold Coast real estate industry for 23 years, said. The family have loved fishing off the private pontoon, splashing around in the pool and kicking back in the large media room — the residence itself is the ultimate kids playground but as a finishing touch, there’s also a matching timber kids play set in the backyard. Inside, the home features a modern kitchen, master bedroom with huge walk-in robe and three more bedrooms plus a study.Marble finishes offset the neutral tones and open spaces. Relaxed living spaces feature throughout. 82-84 Savoy Drive goes to auction on December 16.WITH its tree-lined driveway meandering past a floodlit tennis court to the Hamptons residence, which overlooks a private beach, tranquil wide water cove and waterfront lawn, ‘Northcove’ is full of surprises. Vendor Michael Willems and his wife Dayna can attest to that. More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North1 hour ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa21 hours agoThe tranquil cove can be seen from the master bedroom.She went to such lengths as sourcing the original contractors who installed the cabinetry, to return and fit out additions.“I wanted everything to be neutral, to complement the house, it’s a beach house to us,” she said.“If it’s not navy, white or beige, it’s not allowed.”Mrs Willems said the house had lent itself to raising their family — her two sons, aged 17 and 12, and the couple’s toddler daughter. Shower off after splashing around in the pool or fishing in the cove. Navy, white and beige tones reign supreme. The kitchen is fitted out with speciality appliances. The Broadbeach Waters residence is super central.Schools, the light rail and the cafes of Broadbeach are also a short distance away. “In general, I think any central location in any growing city around the world is a great long-term investment,” Mr Willems said. “The closer you are to the beach, the closer you are to the heart of the city, the more it grows in value, the quicker it grows in value.” So why would one leave?“My wife and I bought a property that we always would have loved to have bought years ago, so we’re very serious and determined about making sure this is sold,” he said.
It is just metres from the beach. The auction action immediately kicked off with a $500,000 bid, placed by two different bidders at the same time. Bids in $200,000 and $100,000 increments quickly raised the price to $1 million. Five of eight registered bidders vied for the keys in front of the crowd of about 100 people. A collective 28 bids were placed. The property was announced on the market at $1.75 million and the hammer fell eight bids later at $1,771,500. MORE NEWS: Grand Gold Coast mansion offers the best of luxury living The property is on Mermaid Beach’s Millionaires’ Row. The three-bedroom property at 46 Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach, sold under the hammer for $1,771,500. A dated brick house on Mermaid Beach’s Millionaires’ Row has changed hands for the first time in more than six decades. Fierce competition at the Hedges Ave auction pushed the sale price past a staggering $1.7 million. A buyer from Melbourne plans to use the block to build their dream home. Apollo Auctions auctioneer Clint Donovan said the property achieved a premium price thanks to its location on “the best street on the Gold Coast”. “If you’re on Hedges Ave, you’re a ticket holder on Millionaires’ Row,” Mr Donovan. “I haven’t see an auction like this all year and most of last year as well. “It’s definitely one of the best auctions on the Gold Coast so far this year, without a doubt.”The Hedges Ave record stands at an eye-watering $27 million, paid for an uncompleted beachfront mega mansion in 2008. The property at 33-39 Hedges Ave was sold by former AFL player and BreakFree founder Tony Smith to later failed internet whiz, Daniel Tzvetkoff. The hefty sale also stands as the Gold Coast’s highest. Mermaid Beach’s median house price has skyrocketed 67.1 per cent in the last five years to $1.38 million, according to the latest CoreLogic figures. The property last changed hands in 1956. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:58Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:58 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD576p576p360p360p216p216pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenWhy location is everything in real estate01:59 A buyer from Melbourne, who placed bids over the phone, won the keys. The three-bedroom house at No. 46 sat on a 405sq m block and offered views of the beach. The deceased estate last sold in 1956. More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa12 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago MORE NEWS: The suburb where residents hold onto their homes the longest Professionals John Henderson partner Luke Henderson said the buyer was unsure if it would be a holiday house or permanent residence. “The buyer has a property locally, but they want to spend more time on the Gold Coast so they bought a block they can build their dream home on,” Mr Henderson said. “Hedges Ave is Queensland’s premier street, if you live in Mermaid Beach you want to live on Hedges Ave, but properties are hard to find and you need to face competition to buy one.“There won’t be too many properties like this going forward that will hit the market. “There are a few older ones but they are generally earmarked by the current owner to be made into a nice home.”Mr Henderson said the buyer was attracted to the square shaped corner block and ocean views.
Indeed, the former Barcelona and Inter Milan star says Mahrez is capable of winning the Ballon d’Or.Advertisement “He is one of the most skilled players in world football today. Ballon d’Or? It is very likely that it will end up in Africa (in the future). I really hope he not only dreams of becoming Africa’s best, but also of the Ballon d’Or, because he has all the qualities to win it,” Eto’o told Le Buteur. Read Also:Ex-African footballer of the year Eto’o explains why he’s going back to school “At the same time, we want to see Mahrez play more in City, not only because he is African as we are, but because he is a very good football player. But the decision is the coach’s. He gets paid to make decisions and the player gets paid to train.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Cameroon great Samuel Eto’o has admitted he’s a fan of Manchester City attacker Riyad Mahrez. Loading… Promoted ContentThe Highest Paid Football Players In The WorldBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeTop 10 Historical Mysteries That Still Haven’t Been Solved7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend BetterBest Car Manufacturers In The World6 Interesting Ways To Make Money With A Drone8 Addictive And Fun Coffee FactsThe 10 Best Secondary Education Systems In The World7 Truly Incredible Facts About Black Holes9 Best Movie Robots Of All TimeThe Best Cars Of All TimeA Soviet Shot Put Thrower’s Record Hasn’t Been Beaten To This Day
ILOILO – Four employees – three females and one male – of the local government unit (LGU) of the municipality of Lemery who were initially found positive of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a rapid diagnostic test were now cleared from the infection. The town mayor said two of them were job hires while two were permanent personnel. They were tested positive for a rapid test on June 10 and underwent a confirmatory testing on the following day. He considered the results as a triumph for Lemery in its continued fight against the virus. Villegas said they had not traveled outside the town and had no contact with any suspected COVID-19 case. Villegas added the town remained free from COVID-19. However, he appealed to his constituents to remain calm and observe health safety protocols such as wearing facemask, observing physical distancing and hand washing./PN They were among the 200 municipal employees, as well as police and Bureau of Fire Protection personnel, tested by the local government unit. “Malipayon namon nga gina-anunsyo sa tanan nga negative ang ila results,” Mayor Oscar “Embong” Villegas said, adding the four yielded negative results in the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test for COVID-19. Villegas said the four employees were immediately subjected to the more reliable RT-PCR for further verification because rapid COVID test results are deemed inconclusive. Mayor Oscar Villegas Jr. of Lemery, Iloilo undergoes rapid testing for COVID-19 on June 10, 2020. Four employees of the local government earlier found positive of the disease after undergoing a rapid test were tested negative during the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test. PNA
INDIANAPOLIS – Set in an Indiana town, the movie “A Christmas Story” centers around little Ralphie’s wish for an air gun for Christmas. He was warned, “You’ll shoot your eye out.” But experts say there are many gifts that should also come with warnings.Each year in the United States, thousands of accidents each year involving children and toys result in eye injuries and even blindness.Optometrist Jessica Schara said some of the more dangerous toys include “BB guns, paint guns, slingshots, darts – anything that’s a projectile. But even things like chemistry sets, woodworking sets, crafts that involve scissors and glue can also be dangerous.”Schara also said parents need to heed the age recommendations of toy manufacturers and teach their kids about safe use.One common toy-related eye injury is a corneal abrasion, but Schara said she also has treated kids with more serious trauma, including orbital bone fractures and detached retinas.“What’s important for everybody to know is, if there is any sort of eye injury, you really should seek the advice of an eye-care practitioner,” she said, “because sometimes there are things that aren’t visible deep inside the eye that might be going on, that could potentially lead to vision loss.”Toys that could do physical harm to a child’s eyes, however, are not the only danger to vision that may come wrapped up under the tree. Schara pointed to all those tech gadgets and screen time.“Blue light from things like tablets, smart phones, computers and even the TVs can cause computer vision eye strain.”For kids and adults who have long periods of screen time, one recommendation is to follow the 20-20-20 rule: taking a 20-second break every 20 minutes, and viewing something 20 feet away.Mary Kuhlman