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Missouri governor, opponent of mandatory masks, has COVID-19

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican who has steadfastly refused to require residents to wear masks, tested positive for the coronavirus, his office said Wednesday.In this Aug. 6, 2020 file photo, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson speaks during a news conference in St. Louis. (Photo: AP)Parson was tested after his wife, Teresa, tested positive earlier in the day. Teresa Parson had experienced mild symptoms, including a cough and nasal congestion, spokeswoman Kelli Jones said. She took a rapid test that came back positive and a nasal swab test later confirmed the finding. The governors rapid test showed he tested positive and he is still awaiting results from the swab test."I want everybody to know that myself and the first lady are both fine," Parson said in a video posted on his Facebook page."Right now I feel fine. No symptoms of any kind," Parson said in the video. "But right now we just have to take the quarantine procedures in place."Gov. Parson postponed several events through the remainder of the week. He and his wife had been traveling around the state this week for events that included a ceremonial bill signing in Cape Girardeau, where a photo posted Tuesday on the governors Facebook page showed both of them wearing masks.On Friday, he and several other Missouri Republican candidates appeared together at an event called the "TARGET BBQ" in Springfield. A photo posted on Parsons Twitter pages shows Parson on a stage with four other statewide officeholders seeking reelection: Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick, Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and Attorney General Eric Schmitt. They appear to be a few feet apart from each other, but none are wearing masks.Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Director Randall Williams said contact tracing efforts have begun, seeking out people who have had close contact with the governor or his wife, but despite Parsons many recent public ap...

German FM in quarantine as bodyguard infected by COVID-19

Photo: AFPBERLIN, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas went into quarantine on Wednesday as one of his bodyguards was infected by COVID-19, the countrys foreign ministry announced.A first COVID-19 test of Maas on Wednesday yielded a negative result, a spokesperson of the German Foreign Office said in a statement.In cooperation with public health services, the ministry would now clarify whether and to what extent other people were affected and what measures, if any, were to be taken."All persons potentially affected will be contacted promptly," said the spokesperson.In March, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had stayed in self-quarantine after learning a doctor who gave her vaccination was infected.Merkel then took three tests and the results were all negative.

Brussels to relax compulsory mask rule from October 1

File photo: CFPResidents of the Belgian capital will no longer be obliged to wear anti-coronavirus facemasks in public from October 1, the regional government said on Wednesday.Brussels, home to the headquarters of NATO and the European Union, imposed one of the worlds strictest mask orders on August 12 and officials said it would be "strongly recommended" that people continue to wear them even after they are lifted.The announcement came after Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes said she would ease some anti-Covid restrictions, despite a worrying increase in cases, in order to ensure long term public support."The virus is still there but life must continue," Wilmes told a news conference after a meeting of the National Security Council."Wearing a mask is very important in managing the epidemic. Nevertheless it is useless to impose it everywhere, all the time."She invited local authorities not to make face covering mandatory everywhere, but to limit it to closed public places, public transport and shopping areas.Wilmes also announced that the isolation period imposed in case of close contact with a person contaminated by the coronavirus would be reduced from 14 to seven days.Previously, Belgian households were require to limit close contacts to a "social bubble" of five people, now each household member can choose five contacts for a month and a family can host occasional events such as dinner parties for up to ten.Public events are limited to 200 people indoors and 400 outdoors.Soon a "barometer of the epidemic" will be published to guide local restrictions, depending on the speed of viral spread.In Belgium, population 11.5 million, the authorities had recorded by Wednesday 105,226 cases of Covid-19 and 9,955 deaths, one of the highest mortality rates in Europe.

President Xi says China firmly supports UN central role in international affairs

Photo: XinhuaChinese President Xi Jinping told UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday that China has no intention to upset the status quo in relation to the international system but to improve UN-led global governance.Xi made the remarks during a video meeting with the UN chief on the sideline of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly.Earlier at the UNGA,Xi announced a series of measures to support the UNin playing the core role in international affairs.The Chinese president called for a global response to the virus and giving the World Health Organization a leading role, adding that China will provide additional financial support of 50 million U.S. dollars to the COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan of the UN.China will establish a third-phase South-South Cooperation Trust Fund with the Food and Agriculture Organization totaling 50 million U.S. dollars and will offer a five-year extension to the China-UN Peace and Development Fund, which had been due to expire in 2025. China will also set up a UN Global Geospatial Knowledge and Innovation Center and an International Research Center of Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals, which will facilitate the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Xi said.Speaking to the UN chief, Xi reiterated that China is committed to defending world peace and international order and to being a contributor to global development.The COVID-19 pandemic shows just how much the world needs the UN-centered international system, Xi pointed out, while calling on global efforts to think beyond national and ideological boundaries so as to build a better future for all mankind.The pandemic has magnified global governance problems, and relevant parties should think about how to improve the system instead of overthrowing and rebuilding one, Xi said."In the world, there is only one system, namely the UN-centered international system, and only one set of rules – the basic norms of in...

Middle schools resume classes under strict COVID-19 prevention measures in Pakistan

Students queue to get their temperature checked before entering a reopened school in Peshawar, Pakistan, on Sept. 23, 2020. Middle schools in Pakistan resumed classes on Wednesday under strict COVID-19 control and prevention measures.

Eiffel Tower in Paris reopens after evacuation

French police secure the area near the Eiffel Tower after the French tourism landmark was evacuated following a bomb alert in Paris, France, Sept 23, 2020.PARIS - Eiffel Tower in Paris reopened to visitors after an evacuation due to a bomb threat on Wednesday afternoon, the tower's operating company

Health workers spray disinfectant amid COVID-19 outbreak in Jakarta, Indonesia 3 Photos

Health workers spray disinfectant amid COVID-19 outbreak in Jakarta, Indonesia

A health worker in protective suit sprays disinfectant inside a bus transferring COVID-19 patients from clinics to an emergency hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia, Sept. 23, 2020. (Photo by Arya Manggala/Xinhua) .

China's commitments at UN advance global cooperation, boost confidence

BEIJING, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping has reaffirmed commitments to closer global cooperation and stronger multilateralism at the high-level meetings of the United Nations (UN) in order to rise to the challenges in the post-pandemic era.Photo: XinhuaWhile addressing world leaders on Monday and Tuesday, Xi expounded his concepts and proposals via video link on how to tackle crises brought by ravaging coronavirus, rising unilateralism and protectionism and unbalanced and inadequate development."President Xi drew the world together with a plan and a vision of how to work," said Stephen Perry, chairman of Britains 48 Group Club. "He is a beacon of hope in a dark moment of the planet. I hope he can carry other national leaders with him and to focus on making the world work right."RALLY SOLIDARITYTo beat back the pandemic that has infected over 30 million people and claimed nearly 1 million lives worldwide, and to invigorate the global economy as early as possible, Xi called on the international community to put people and life first, enhance solidarity and adopt comprehensive and long-term control measures to get through the global public health crisis together.During the general debate of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, he noted that any attempt of politicizing the pandemic or stigmatization must be rejected, saying countries should show concern for and accommodate the need of developing countries, especially African countries.Only when countries around the world stand together as one, help each other, and jointly battle the pandemic, can the human race achieve the final victory in the fight against the virus, said Donald Rushambwa, a researcher at the China-Africa Economic and Culture Exchange Research Center in Zimbabwe, while highlighting Chinas exemplary role in this regard.Noting the coronavirus ravaging the world is a common enemy of humanity, Gyula Thurmer, president of the Hungarian Worke...

Xi, UN chief hold videoconference

File photo: XinhuaBEIJING, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had a videoconference on the occasion of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.

Chinese President Xi Jinping to hold video meeting with UN chief

Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday night via video link.

Students make mooncakes at school in Wellington, New Zealand 3 Photos

Students make mooncakes at school in Wellington, New Zealand

Students show moon cakes at a school in Wellington, capital of New Zealand, Sept. 22, 2020. Students in Wellington participated in activities that held by China Cultural Centre in Wellington to learn Chinese culture and to greet the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival.

Japan PM wants basic policy on new digital agency by year-end

JapanesePrimeMinisterYoshihideSugasaidonWednesdayhewantedtocompileabasicpolicyonanewdigitalagencybytheendof2020andsubmitthebillsto2021'sordinarysessionofparliament,localmediareported.。PrimeMinisterYoshihideSugaspeaksatthefirstmeetingofallministerstopromoteJapan'sdigitaltransformationatthePrimeMinist

Romney backs Trump's nomination push, dealing final blow to Democrats

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) walks to his office on the opening day of the 116th Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 3, 2019. /ReutersU.S. Republican Senator Mitt Romney announced on Tuesday that he would support having a vote for President Donald Trumps Supreme Court nominee, further bolstering his fellow Republicans push to fill the spot left vacant by the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg while leaving Democrats almost no hope of blocking a confirmation vote.The unsuccessful 2012 Republican presidential nominee said it would be appropriate for a nation that he described as center-right politically to have a Supreme Court "that reflects center-right points of view."Trump, who said he had "a pretty good idea" of his choice for the seat, is expected to announce his nominee by Saturday. He urged the Senate, where his fellow Republicans hold a 53-47 majority, to vote before the election.The president has mentioned two women whom he has appointed as federal appeals court judges as possible nominees: Amy Coney Barrett of the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and Barbara Lagoa of the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Trump met with Barrett at the White House on Monday and has said he might meet with Lagoa in Florida later this week.An outspoken critic of Trump, Romney left observerswonderingwhether he will lend his support for the approval of an impending nominee.His vote is considered a crucial one, as at least two other Republican senators have signaled their disapproval of making a nomination before Election Day. With Romney on board, Trump should have more than enough Senate votes to cement a 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court.By backing the president, Romney and other Republicans have dismissed Democratic arguments that the Senate should wait until after voters decide whether to re-elect Trump or chose Democratic challenger Joe Biden in November. A...

EU proposes tougher border controls in migration plan

File photo: CGTNThe European Unions proposed new migration rules will authorise tougher controls on the blocs external borders with mandatory pre-screening of asylum seekers, EU Commission vice-president Margaritis Schinas said on Wednesday."Currently, the only obligation is for a member state to take the fingerprints of someone who arrives irregularly and simply registers. Under the new pact all arrivals will be subject to a thorough security health and identity check," he said.

UK PM Johnson wins over rebels on Brexit treaty-busting powers

Britains Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a virtual news conference on the ongoing COVID-19 situation at Downing Street, London, Britain, September 9, 2020. /ReutersBritish Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday moved a step closer to getting parliamentary approval for new powers to break the Withdrawal Agreement struck with the European Union last year as lawmakers backed changes to the Internal Market Bill.The bill aims to ensure Britains four nations can trade freely with each other after Brexit. Ministers say that will require breaking the EU exit treaty to protect Northern Ireland unless stalled talks with Brussels make a breakthrough.The plan has angered the EU and drawn heavy criticism from lawmakers who say that going back on an international agreement damages Britains reputation.Nevertheless, a government concession giving parliament a say over whether to use the treaty-breaking powers snuffed out a rebellion and was approved without a vote.Former finance minister Sajid Javid was one of several potential rebels to accept the governments compromise, having initially said he could not support the bill.Although some in Johnsons Conservative Party, like former prime minister Theresa May, have not been won over, the bill now passes to the final stages of approval in parliaments lower chamber, which will take place next week.After that, the bill faces two months of scrutiny in the upper chamber, where Johnson does not have a majority.Many in the upper chamber have expressed grave concern about the bill and could try to strip the contentious powers out of it. However, any changes would have to be approved by both chambers, potentially setting up a stand-off between the two.

Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim claims to have ‘strong’ parliamentary majority to form new government

Malaysia's opposition leader and former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim waves to reporters at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sept. 23, 2020. Anwar Ibrahim said Wednesday that he has a "strong" majority in the parliament to form a new government.

Rebuild or leave? Future uncertain for US communities in fire zones

DeadlyblazesragingacrossthewesternUShaveagaindestroyedthousandsofhomesnestledinforestedareasin2020-withmonthsofthefireseasonstilltocomeinaregionperilouslyexposedtoclimatechange.Withmanyinsurersnowchargingexorbitantratesorrefusingtocoverat-riskhouses,somehomeownersarequestioningwhatthefutureholdsfort

Trump’s Supreme Court pick coming

PhototakenonJuly14,2020showstheU.S.SupremeCourtbuildinginWashington,D.C.,theUnitedStates.。USPresidentDonaldTrumpsaidTuesdayhewillannouncehispickonSaturdayforthecrucialSupremeCourtseatleftopenbythedeathofjusticeRuthBaderGinsburg-andhisRepublicanPartyvowedaquickvotetoconfirmthenominee.。USDemocraticopp

Europe struggles to control virus

AwaitressservesdrinksaspatronswatchBritain'sPrimeMinisterBorisJohnsonaddressingthenationaboutthelatestupdatesontheCOVID-19restrictions,attheWestminsterArmsinLondononTuesday.Photo:AFP。TheBritishgovernmentannouncedfreshstepsonTuesdaytotrytostopacoronavirussurgeinEngland,astheWorldHealthOrganizationwar

Foreign ministry: China has no interest in meddling in US election

File photoThe Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday slammed a "groundless" and "vicious" accusation by a U.S. official that China is meddling in the U.S. election and voiced strong condemnation.U.S. National security adviser Robert OBrien had said that "Chinese hackers were targeting U.S. election infrastructure in the lead up to the November 3 presidential election."Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said China has always adhered to the non-interference principle, adding that China has no interest and has never interfered in U.S. election.On the contrary, the international community knows clearly who is interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, Wang said, urging the U.S. to stop meddling in Chinas internal affairs, and stop groundless accusations and smears against China.

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