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UK says new study vindicates delaying 2nd virus vaccine shot

first_imgLONDON (AP) — Britain’s health chief has hailed a new study suggesting that a single dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine provides a high level of protection for 12 weeks. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Wednesday that the study supports the British government’s contentious strategy of delaying the second shot so it can protect more people quickly with a first dose. Britain’s decision has been criticized as risky by other European countries. Hancock’s comments came after Oxford University released a non-peer reviewed study showing the vaccine cut transmission of the coronavirus by two-thirds and prevented severe disease. An AstraZeneca official said the vaccine’s efficacy appeared to increase up to 12 weeks after the initial shot.last_img read more

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Hard-hit Milan buries unclaimed virus dead

first_img“This is not at all a mass grave, this is an area completely devoted to these people who unfortunately were dead without any relatives around,” Cocco told journalists as the first 61 victims were laid to rest at the Musocco cemetery.As the death toll in virus epicenter Lombardy rose and with morgues threatening to be overwhelmed, Milan decided to reduce the amount of time relatives had to claim a body from 30 days to five.”Here we have 61 people who died during this terrible period, each of them has a specific name and has a cross just to be sure that they are recognizable,” said Cocco.”This doesn’t mean that they do not have parents or family, this simply means that in this specific period after five days of the death we didn’t receive any communication about what to do with this person.”  Topics : Authorities in Milan on Thursday began burying dozens of coronavirus victims whose bodies have not been claimed by relatives in Italy’s hardest-hit region.With rows of small white crosses lining bulldozed trenches to receive the dead, Deputy Mayor Roberta Cocco stressed that the plot of land northwest of Italy’s commercial capital was not a mass grave.Nearly 13,000 people have already died of the virus in Lombardy, whose capital is Milan — over half of Italy’s total.center_img Relatives who may not have been able to claim bodies because of tough quarantine restrictions or because they themselves were sick will be able to move their loved ones after two years “for sanitary reasons”, said Cocco.The designated areas has room for up to 600 unclaimed bodies, but the authorities hope they will not use all of the space.last_img read more

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NBA walkout sparks historic US sport boycott over police shooting

first_img“Over the last few days in our home state of Wisconsin, we’ve seen the horrendous video of Jacob Blake being shot in the back seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, and the additional shooting of protestors,” the Bucks players said in a statement explaining their boycott.”Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action, so our focus today cannot be on basketball.”The Bucks’ no-show prompted the NBA to scrap two other games scheduled for Wednesday: Houston’s clash with Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers’ matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers.At an emergency meeting of NBA teams in Florida late Wednesday, the crisis threatened to put the entire season in jeopardy, with LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers both voting to abandon the season. All other teams voted to continue. Topics : It was not immediately clear whether the Lakers and Clippers would continue the season as scheduled. A walkout by two of the NBA’s strongest teams and title contenders — as well as its biggest star — would deal a devastating blow to the credibility of the season. The NBA’s Board of Governors is meeting on Thursday to address player concerns. Dramatic escalation The NBA postponements marked a dramatic escalation in the league’s calls for social justice, which have reverberated across the sport in the months since the killing of unarmed black man George Floyd by Minneapolis police in May.Lakers superstar James voiced solidarity with the Bucks decision in a tweet shortly after the boycott was announced. “WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT,” James wrote.The NBA’s players union also backed the protest. “The players have, once again, made it clear — they will not be silent on this issue,” National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts said in a statement.Renewed anger had swept the NBA after Sunday’s shooting of Blake.The 29-year-old was shot repeatedly in the back as he attempted to get into his car, which contained his three children.Protests have erupted in Kenosha since the shooting, with two people killed after a teenager opened fire on demonstrators with an assault rifle on Tuesday. Boycotts spread The boycotts spread to other sports, with the Milwaukee Brewers’ game against the Cincinnati Reds becoming one of several Major League Baseball games to be postponed.In tennis, two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka abruptly announced her withdrawal from the WTA Western & Southern Open semi-finals, where she was due to play on Thursday.”As a black woman I feel as though there are much more important matters at hand that need immediate attention, rather than watching me play tennis,” Osaka said.In a statement released late Wednesday, ATP/WTA organizers said all play scheduled for Thursday had been postponed in recognition of the fight against racial inequality.Elsewhere, the Women’s NBA postponed its scheduled fixtures for Wednesday, while Major League Soccer also called off five of six games. ‘Horrifying, maddening’ The NBA’s coronavirus-halted season resumed last month in Orlando against the backdrop of nationwide protests following Floyd’s death.NBA teams have knelt in protest during the pre-match playing of the US national anthem, while the words “Black Lives Matter” have been painted onto each court staging games in Florida.Players, many of whom took part in protests against Floyd’s killing, have been allowed to wear jerseys bearing social justice messages.The first hints of boycotts over Blake’s shooting came from Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse, who revealed that his players had discussed refusing to play their game with Boston on Thursday.Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens described Blake’s shooting as “horrifying.””Our thoughts are with Jacob Blake and his family and obviously that video was horrifying, awful,” Stevens said. “To think of three kids being in that car, it’s ridiculous.”These are hard times. With the pandemic going on, with this constant wave of inequality — it’s maddening.”The Los Angeles Clippers African-American coach Doc Rivers contrasted the latest shooting with the apocalyptic rhetoric at this week’s Republican Party convention.”All you hear is Donald Trump and all of them talking about fear,” Rivers said in remarks on Tuesday.”We’re the ones getting killed. We’re the ones getting shot. We’re the ones that are denied to live in certain communities.”We’ve been hung, we’ve been shot. All you do is keep hearing about fear. It’s amazing to me why we keep loving this country and this country does not love us back.” The Milwaukee Bucks led a historic sporting boycott Wednesday over the US police shooting of a black man, forcing the NBA to halt its playoff schedule and prompting a wave of walkouts across multiple sports.The NBA postponed its entire slate of Wednesday fixtures after the Bucks refused to play game five of their Eastern Conference first-round series against the Orlando Magic in protest over the shooting of African-American man Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday.Blake was seriously injured after being shot point blank in the back seven times by police officers in a confrontation captured on video.last_img read more