Statewide—Preliminary results from a scientific study aimed at measuring the spread of the novel coronavirus in Indiana show a general population prevalence of about 2.8 percent of the state’s population. As part of the first phase of the study, a collaboration of the Indiana State Department of Health and the Fairbanks School of Public Health, researchers tested more than 4,600 Hoosiers between April 25 and May 1 for viral infections and antibodies of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. After analyzing these test results, IUPUI public health researchers determined that during the last week in April, 1.7 percent of participants tested positive for the novel coronavirus and an additional 1.1 percent tested positive for antibodies—bringing the estimated population prevalence of the virus in the state to 2.8 percent, or approximately 186,000 Hoosiers who were actively or previously infected as of May 1, Dr. Nir Menachemi said.As of the same date, the state’s testing showed about 17,000 cumulative cases—not including deaths—suggesting that only about one out of every 11 true infections were identified by tests focused on symptomatic or high-risk people. Dr. Menachemi also said the research team also found that almost 45 percent of people who tested positive for active viral infection reported no symptoms at all.Additionally, the study found some differences across the state’s 10 Public Health Preparedness Districts. District 9, Southeastern Indiana, which experienced an early facility-based outbreak, was observed to have the highest prevalence of the virus in the general population.
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Man Utd, Juventus target Rakitic closer to Barcelona exitby Paul Vegas10 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveIvan Rakitic is edging closer to a Barcelona exit.Rakitic has put Manchester United and Juventus on red alert as reports suggest the Croatian has his eye on a January exit from Barcelona, having previously stated: “I need to play”.Marca says the midfielder is seriously weighing up the possibility of ending his five-year association with the Spanish giants. “It’s tough because I want to play and not just be part of the team,” Rakitic told 24sata last week while on international duty.”I will do everything possible to change my situation. I have two years left on my deal and there’s no better place to play than Barcelona.”It’s the best club in the world, but I need to play and not just enjoy walks around the city and the beach.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
New Delhi: Deputy Chief Minister and Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia while attending as the chief guest to the inaugural function of the international conference on sustainable development organised by IP University on Wednesday stressed urgent need for academic institutions and the government to work together to formulate the policies around Sustainable Development.He was of the firm view that academicians and the government if working in isolation, would not be able to bring any major development in the concerned domains. “Working as an Education Minister of Delhi for the last five years, I have learnt that when we talk about serious issues like these, it is important for the government and the academic institutions to come together and find a solution. That translates any decision, or understanding coming out of such conferences into a matter of governance, and that’s how we come close to achieving our goals. So academic institutions and the government should complement each other, and work closely,” said Sisodia. Giving the reference of Greta Thunberg, the teen climate activist, who took the world by surprise when she gave a hard-hitting speech about the devastating impact of climate breakdown, Sisodia also stressed on the need to educate and involve our young generations when taking key decisions on policies and issues around sustainable development, that would eventually affect their lives in the years to come.
Bhubaneswar: The BJP on Sunday announced the name of Sanat Gartia as its candidate for Bijepur Assembly by-election scheduled to be held on October 21. The bypoll in Bijepur assembly seat in Bargarh district was necessitated after BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik resigned from the seat and retained the Hinjili assembly segment in Ganjam district. Patnaik had won two seats in the last assembly elections. Gartia’s name has been finalised by the central election committee of the BJP, a party statement here said. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra Singh Gartia had unsuccessfully contested the Assembly polls held earlier this year as a BJP nominee from Bijepur but lost to BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. He lost to Patnaik by a margin of 57,122 votes in the assembly polls held along with the Lok Sabha elections. With BJP naming its candidate, battle lines are now drawn for Bijepur located in Bargarh district in West Odisha as both the ruling BJD and opposition Congress have already announced their nominees for the bypoll. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroad While BJD has named Rita Sahu as its candidate for the by-election, Congress has announced the name of Dillip Kumar Panda. With the three major political parties announcing the names of the candidates, Bijepur is all set to witness a triangular contest. While Patnaik has said the assembly segment would be in the “focus for welfare and development”, BJP and Congress leaders are of the view that local issues and farmers’ problems will play a major role in the by-election Rita Sahu had contested a by-election in 2018 as the ruling BJD candidate and won the Bijepur seat after the death of her husband and then Congress MLA Subal Sahu. The last date for filing nomination papers is Monday while the scrutiny will be held on October 1. The counting of votes will be held on October 24. There are 2,32,005 eligible voters in 285 polling booths in the assembly constituency.
Paris: Serge Gnabry scored four second-half goals as Bayern Munich came from behind to hand last season’s runners-up Tottenham Hotspur a stunning 7-2 home defeat in the Champions League on Tuesday after Real Madrid escaped with a 2-2 draw against Club Brugge. There were routine wins for Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid, while Cristiano Ronaldo netted in a comfortable Juventus victory, but most of the drama was in north London. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: Rijiju The evening started well for Spurs as Son Heung-min fired across Manuel Neuer and into the far corner to give Mauricio Pochettino’s team the lead against Bayern. However, the German champions came roaring back to leave Spurs on the receiving end of the biggest ever home defeat for an English team in Europe. It was the first time they had ever conceded seven goals in a home game. Two super strikes from Joshua Kimmich and Robert Lewandowski had Bayern ahead at the break and Gnabry, the former Arsenal winger, then scored two goals two minutes apart to make it four early in the second half. Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai Masters Harry Kane reduced the arrears from the penalty spot, but Gnabry ran through to complete his hat-trick on 83 minutes and he smacked in the seventh goal after Lewandowski had netted his second of the evening. Gnabry is the first player to score four goals against English opposition since Lionel Messi achieved the same feat for Barcelona against Arsenal in 2010. The result means last season’s beaten finalists already face a struggle to qualify from Group B after they drew at Olympiakos in their opening game. The Greek club were beaten 3-1 at Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday despite Ruben Semedo giving them the lead as the second-half sending-off of Yassine Benzia for the visitors changed the game. Milos Vulic equalised for Red Star before late headers by Nemanja Milunovic and Richmond Boakye secured victory for the Serbian side, who go to Spurs next. Meanwhile, Manchester City beat Dinamo Zagreb 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium to make it two wins from two in Group C. Ilkay Gundogan hit the bar for Pep Guardiola’s team in the first half before Riyad Mahrez squared for Raheem Sterling to tap in the 66th-minute opener. Sterling then turned provider for Phil Foden to secure the points in stoppage time for City. – Casemiro rescues Real – ========================= In the same group, Israeli forward Manor Solomon netted the winner deep in injury time as Shakhtar Donetsk came from behind to beat Atalanta 2-1 in Milan. Duvan Zapata had given the Italian side a first-half lead after Josip Ilicic had a penalty saved, but Junior Moraes equalised for the Ukrainian champions prior to the break, before Solomon’s late heroics. In Madrid, record 13-time champions Real were 2-0 down at half-time at home to Club Brugge, for whom the Nigerian forward Emmanuel Dennis scored a first-half brace. But Zinedine Zidane’s team came storming back as Sergio Ramos headed in before Casemiro claimed a dramatic equaliser in the 85th minute, seconds after Ruud Vormer had been sent off for the visitors. It is a first point for Real in Group A, which is led by PSG. The French club, again missing the suspended Neymar, beat Galatasaray 1-0 in Istanbul thanks to Mauro Icardi’s second-half goal. – New Ronaldo landmark – ======================== Meanwhile, Gonzalo Higuain set Juventus on their way to a 3-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen in Turin before he set up Federico Bernardeschi to double their lead and Ronaldo completed the scoring late on. That strike means the 34-year-old Portuguese forward has now scored a Champions League goal against 33 different opponents, equalling a record set by Raul. Maurizio Sarri’s team share first place in Group D with Atletico, who ran out 2-0 winners away to Lokomotiv Moscow thanks to second-half goals by Joao Felix and Thomas Partey.
Vienna: Austria’s far-right Freedom Party (FPOe) grappled Tuesday with the fallout from heavy losses in Sunday’s elections as its scandal-hit former leader said he was bowing out of politics. The man at the centre of scandals which have dogged the party over the summer, disgraced former vice-chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, announced Tuesday “a total withdrawal from politics and public life” — but this may not be enough to stem the instability at the heart of the party. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportStrache, who led the FPOe for 14 years, was forced to quit all his posts in May over the so-called “Ibiza-gate” tapes, which showed him appearing to offer public contracts to a woman he believed was a Russian oligarch’s niece in return for campaign help. That affair put an end to the FPOe’s coalition with the centre-right People’s Party (OeVP) of Sebastian Kurz. In the days leading up to Sunday’s election, another scandal broke, this time involving Strache’s alleged misuse of party money. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsAll this led to a stinging rebuke from voters, who sent the FPOe plummeting to 16 percent, down almost 10 points from their 2017 results. Strache said on Tuesday that he considered his membership of the party suspended and wanted to “avoid at all costs… any splits within the FPOe”. His announcement was seen as an attempt to pre-empt an election post-mortem meeting of the FPOe’s national executive on Tuesday. New leader Norbert Hofer said after the meeting that the party was indeed suspending Strache, and added: “If the allegations of the past few days aren’t refuted, he will be expelled.” Last week prosecutors confirmed they were investigating Strache’s expenses and had questioned his former bodyguard and his former office manager “on the suspicion… of submitting fake receipts” costing the party more than 5,000 euros ( 5,500). Strache again on Tuesday vehemently protested his innocence and insisted that he had been the target of a shadowy conspiracy. The party had previously also enthusiastically echoed this idea and some voices inside the party say its main mistake in the campaign was not being aggressive enough. “Instead of closing ranks we let this attack destabilise the party,” controversial artist and FPOe member Odin Wiesinger told AFP. “We made too many useless concessions to our opponents,” he added. But since Sunday’s poll debacle, many others have had the knives out for Strache. “The problem is home-made,” the leader of the FPOe in the Tyrol region, Markus Abwerzger, told Oe1 radio. “It’s not some foreign intelligence agency or the media who have got us into this situation but we ourselves,” he said, calling on the party to stop playing the victim. Some had speculated that Strache would split off from the FPOe to form his own party.
Chennai: The Madras High Court on Thursday allowed the Tamil Nadu and Central governments to erect banners to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping for their informal meet here this month. The order came on a plea from the state government which sought the court’s permission in this regard. A division bench of Justices M Sathyanarayanan and N Seshasayee, however, made it clear that the state has to follow all existing rules in connection with installation of such banners. The bench also said no political parties will be allowed to install such banners.
The much-speculated plastic ban on October 2, 2019, did not live up to the hype created. The government made it clear that it never meant to ban single-use plastics (SUP) but insisted on raising awareness and pushing for recycling. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) directed all states and Union territories (UTs) that there would not be any immediate ban on plastic items. Instead, the ministry asked state urban departments and urban local bodies to strengthen plastic waste management by improvising on existing waste management systems. Also Read – Hijacking Bapu’s legacyThis can be done by investing heavily in improving source segregation of waste and supporting end-to-end segregation of waste to strengthen processing, said the Centre. The ministry gave states the freedom to look into introducing prohibitive action on SUP by identifying a clear list of products that need to be targeted. This majorly includes single-use disposable cutlery and carry bags. It asked states/UTs to play a key role in promoting eco-friendly alternatives, projects that look into upscaling or recycling single-use plastics and small-scale or micro-enterprises. Additionally, states must focus on behavioural change and raising awareness. Also Read – The future is here!While it is clear that a ban is not entirely a solution, the government must move quickly on measures to phase out and finally impose a plastic ban on problematic SUP items. It is clear that we cannot lose the momentum. What then should be the focus now? First, we need to list and define single-use plastics. It is important to identify the most problematic SUP items and assess the extent of their impacts before imposing bans. Also, it must be understood that it is not just carrying bags that are a major SUP contaminant. Items such as wrappers of sweets, multi-layered packaging items, straws and stirrers, disposable cutlery and styrofoam items are some of the most common SUPs that form a major part of the litter. What we need is a clear definition of SUPs based on the Indian scenario. There is also a need for a National Action Plan or guidelines that focus on implementing the plastic ban in a phase-wise manner in terms of urgency. This means products that have alternatives available should be phased earlier than the items which do not have alternatives, simultaneously reinforcing research and development funding for different alternatives and eco-friendly products. Second, we need to push for effective waste management with a focus on segregation, collection and recycling. Currently, most municipalities are struggling to implement existing plastic waste and solid waste regulations. In many cases, NGOs, CSR funds and initiatives by private companies, citizen activists and in particular the resourceful informal sector of waste pickers, have filled the gap. But this is not enough. Better waste management systems with a focus on segregation incentive models can help achieve long-term impacts. If cities segregate waste into three fractions — wet, dry and domestic hazardous waste — and if municipalities create infrastructures such as material recovery facilities or sorting stations, dry waste can be sorted into different fractions. We need to source segregate end to end. For instance in Ambikapur, Chhattisgarh segregated waste from households is brought to 17 solid-liquid resource management centres where dry waste is further segregated into 155 fractions at the secondary and tertiary centres, most of which is channelised for recycling. We have examples of cities such as Panaji, Trichy, Mysuru, Panchgani, Vengurla, Karjat, Muzaffarpur that have invested in effective dry waste management. In these cities, dry waste is not a challenge, it is a resource. Third, effectively implement Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). We need to be very clear about which items should be included in EPR. Ideally, it should include all plastic packaging items that are not collected and become waste instantly, such as multi-layered plastics, PET, milk pouches, sachets, etc. The MoEF&CC is currently formulating a national framework to implement EPR under Rule 9 of the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016. Currently, plastic companies are expected to work with ULBs and strengthen waste management. What’s better: A credit or offset mechanism that lets companies obtain credits for plastic waste management if they support municipalities in implementing waste management approaches. This will provide the industry with the necessary push. Under this mechanism, plastics collected and recycled will count for offsetting the EPR targets for the company. All accounting of EPR targets should be met at the national level, irrespective of the state/UT where products are sold or consumed. Also, companies are getting together and setting up their own plastic waste collection and recycling schemes for items such as PET that have a high recycling value (about 90 per cent), but an approach that integrates industry, informal sector and ULB would lead to better implementation of EPR. Fourth, the focus should be on innovation in designs that incorporate waste reduction. India has to strengthen its rules for producers and enforce effective systems of EPR. To begin with, the government should invest money in encouraging the setting up of ventures that provide sustainable products as an alternative to current non-recyclable products. It should accelerate business-driven innovations and help scale circular economies that focus on systemic stalemates in global material flows so that the need for disposal of materials is delayed. Last, there needs to be a plan for remaining plastics. The non-recyclable dry waste fraction and contaminated plastics, etc., are suitable for incineration-based technologies. Also, in scenarios where materials are so degraded from repeated recycling that they are of no further use or comprise low-value contaminated plastics that cannot be recycled, deriving energy from them is preferable to discarding them at a landfill site. (The author is a Programme Manager, Environmental Governance (Municipal Solid Waste), Centre for Science and Environment, Delhi. The views expressed are strictly personal)