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Tokyo Olympics crisis: First competitors contract COVID-19 as pressure mounts on Japan PM

Tokyo Olympics crisis: First competitors contract COVID-19 as pressure mounts on Japan PM

Two athletes from the same country and competing in the same sport staying in the village in the Harumi waterfront district tested positive for the virus, organisers said without offering additional details. Organisers today reported 10 new cases connected to the Olympics, including a third athlete not staying in the village, down from 15 new cases a day earlier.

South Africa also reported three positive cases in its soccer squad – two players and an analyst.

It was not immediately clear if those cases were identified as part of the same testing programme.

An International Olympic Committee member from South Korea tested positive for the coronavirus on landing in Tokyo.

Ryu Seung-min, a former Olympic athlete, is double-jabbed, underlining the infection risk even from vaccinated attendees.

And on Friday it was announced a Nigerian delegate to the Olympics had become the first visitor to be admitted to hospital with COVID-19, broadcaster TV Asahi said on Friday.

The new infections are testing the layered testing regime designed to ensure Covid cases are quickly caught and isolated. Proponents argue that the growing number of cases underscores the strength of the testing system.

JUST IN: Vaccine ‘shortage’ blamed for delay to offer children Covid jabs

Mr Suga has said Japan would take thorough steps to strengthen border controls against the coronavirus.

Public support for his cabinet has slid to 35.9 percent, a Kyodo poll showed on Sunday, the lowest since he replaced Shinzo Abe as the country’s leader in September.

A mere 29.4 percent think the fourth state of emergency, which began last Monday, is effective, according to the poll.

The rainy season ended in Tokyo on Friday, bringing blue skies and intense heat, another potential problem for organisers.

The burden on participants has been increased by virus countermeasures like masking.

David Hughes, chief medical officer at the Australian Olympic Committee, said: “While we have been dealing with Covid matters, we haven’t taken our focus off the heat.”

Officials point to heat countermeasures including the distribution of drinks and salt tablets and the use of misting towers and cooling vests.

The delayed Olympics was intended to showcase a modern, diverse Japan at a time of rising regional rivalries – but the pandemic has left the country hosting a pared-down event.

Athletes continue to question the compromises organisers have made, with Maya Yoshida, captain of Japan’s soccer team, calling for the decision to hold the Games behind closed doors to be reconsidered.

Postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Summer Olympics have little public support in Japan amid widespread fears about a further spread of the coronavirus.

Critics on Thursday submitted a petition against the Games that has garnered more than 450,000 signatures this month.

Organisers have imposed Olympics “bubbles” to prevent further transmissions of COVID-19, but medical experts are worried they might not be sufficiently tight.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: World Feed

Arsenal ‘agree’ £50m fee with Brighton for Ben White transfer as contract details emerge

Arsenal 'agree' £50m fee with Brighton for Ben White transfer as contract details emerge

Arsenal have finally agreed a fee with Brighton to sign England defender Ben White, according to reports. Arsenal have been in advanced talks to sign White for several weeks. And now it appears the Gunners are close to getting their man.

Arsenal have been in the market for a right-sided centre-back following the departure of David Luiz at the end of his contract.

White was identified by Mikel Arteta earlier this summer after an impressive first full season in the Premier League.

The 23-year-old was a regular under Graham Potter last term and can also play in midfield and at right-back.

And after weeks of speculation, The Sun claims Arsenal have agreed to pay Brighton’s asking price of £50million.

JUST IN: Man Utd tipped for title challenge with Varane and Trippier ‘all but done’

Arsenal began their pre-season with a 2-1 defeat to Scottish side Hibernian on Tuesday.

The Gunners will play Rangers in their second and final match of their Scotland training camp on Saturday.

Arteta hopes his first full pre-season with the squad will prove dividends next season.

“The first thing is that we’ve got time, something that we haven’t had since I arrived here, to prepare a lot of things that are very necessary to develop,” he said.

“It’s been really good and we could have two really good games to start our preparation.”

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Sport

Vaccinated people can still contract COVID, and here’s how it can happen

Vaccinated people can still contract COVID, and here's how it can happen
HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — The Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is proving to be more contagious, and health care experts say that’s not all.

“Because of the way that it spreads and its contagion, we’ve looked at the data showing that your 2.6 times more likely to be hospitalized,” said Memorial Hermann’s Dr. Annamaria Macaluso Davidson.

Doctors said this is why it’s important to stay vigilant as the pandemic continues.

Davidson added that parents should also pay attention to how their kids are feeling, especially given the fact that kids younger than 12 are not able to be vaccinated.

Even if you are vaccinated, it’s important to stay aware.

A recent church camp outbreak brought attention to the Delta variant, which was discovered in three samples after 125 campers and adults reportedly tested positive for the virus.

SEE ALSO: Delta variant confirmed in samples from League City church group COVID outbreak after summer camp

The Clear Creek Community Church youth ministry camp was held at a facility near Giddings, Texas last month.

“Unfortunately, upon return from camp, 125+ campers and adults reported to us that they tested positive for COVID-19,” church officials said. “Additionally, hundreds more were exposed to COVID-19 at camp. And hundreds of others were likely exposed when infected people returned home from camp. We seek to remain in contact with those impacted. If you, or someone in your family, begins to have symptoms, please seek medical attention immediately.”

Galveston County Health District officials said Friday that they were investigating the outbreak at the five-day event that was attended by around 450 adults and children in sixth through 12th grade. The first case was reported to them on June 27.

Health officials in Galveston County said six of the people who tested positive were fully vaccinated.

It’s called a breakthrough case.

“Someone who is fully vaccinated, they’re expected to be fully protected and yet they still come down with COVID,” said Baylor College of Medicine’s Dr. Stacey Rose. “That’s considered a quote ‘breakthrough case.’ But, that’s to actually be expected, again, because nothing is 100 percent effective.”

Breakthrough cases do happen but rarely, and usually, the symptoms are mild.

“From January to April, you’re looking at .007 percent of people would have a breakthrough case, so that’s extremely rare,” said Davidson. “In April going forward to June, they changed the definition a little bit just to say we’re really looking at those severe cases.”

Davidson said after that change, the numbers dropped to an even smaller fraction of a percent.

If you are among the small group of breakthrough cases, doctors say you need to isolate. For most adults, isolation and precautions can be discontinued 10 days after symptom onset.

Bottom line, doctors said breakthrough cases don’t happen often, if they do, the case is often mild and your best protection against COVID-19 is getting vaccinated.

Follow Marla Carter on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram.

Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.

Author: Marla Carter
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Pentagon cancels $10bn cloud contract awarded to Microsoft

Pentagon cancels $10bn cloud contract awarded to Microsoft

The Pentagon cancelled the highly-sensitive $ 10bn Jedi cloud computing contract that had been awarded to Microsoft, drawing a line under a contentious government bidding process that was marred by claims of interference from Donald Trump.

The US defence department said on Tuesday it was reversing its decision to hand over large parts of its data and communications to a single company and that it would start a new procurement process.

The decision could bring an end to the long-running legal dispute triggered by the decision in 2019 to award the so-called joint enterprise defence infrastructure contract solely to Microsoft.

Amazon has accused Trump, who was president at the time, of putting pressure on the Pentagon to award the contract to its rival because of his animus towards its founder Jeff Bezos.

John Sherman, the Pentagon’s acting chief information officer, said: “The department has determined that, due to evolving requirements, increased cloud conversancy, and industry advances, the Jedi Cloud contract no longer meets its needs.”

The department said it would instead seek proposals for a new cloud computing contract from both Microsoft and Amazon, though it said it would continue conducting market research to see if any other companies might also be able to fulfil its requirements.

Toni Townes-Whitley, Microsoft’s president for US regulated industries, said in a blog post: “We respect and accept [the] DoD’s decision to move forward on a different path to secure mission-critical technology.”

An Amazon Web Services spokesperson said: “We understand and agree with the DoD’s decision. Unfortunately, the contract award was not based on the merits of the proposals and instead was the result of outside influence that has no place in government procurement.”

The Jedi contract was supposed to be the centrepiece of the US military’s push to move much of its computing operations away from physical services and on to the cloud.

But the process was fraught with controversy and beset by delays. It was held up in 2019 when Oracle, one of the original bidders, appealed against the decision to place only Microsoft and Amazon on the shortlist.

It was then subject to a last-minute review by Mark Esper, the former defence secretary, after Trump complained that “great companies” had objected to the process.

When the Trump administration finally made the decision to award the contract to Microsoft, it prompted an immediate legal appeal from Amazon, which accused the administration of running a biased process.

Trump had frequently clashed with Bezos, often accusing The Washington Post, which Bezos owns, of attacking him unfairly.

Amazon lodged its appeal in 2019, but Microsoft said on Tuesday it had expected the legal process to drag on for another year.

Microsoft also called for reform of the system that allows for companies to protest government procurement decisions, accusing Amazon of “delay[ing], for years, critical technology upgrades for those who defend our nation”.

Author: Kiran Stacey in Washington
Read more here >>> International homepage

Abu Dhabi cancels $3 bln airport terminal contract

Abu Dhabi cancels $3 bln airport terminal contract

Abu Dhabi’s state-owned airport operator has cancelled a contract with a consortium which was building a 10.8 billion dirham ($ 2.94 billion) terminal at the emirate’s main airport, four sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, Trend reports.

The group, which comprises United Arab Emirates-based Arabtec, Turkey’s TAV Insaat and Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), were awarded the contract in 2012 to build the Midfield Terminal Building at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

One of the sources said state-owned Abu Dhabi Airports cancelled the contract after the group over ran project costs.

Abu Dhabi Airports and TAV Insaat declined comment. Arabtec, which filed for liquidation in January, and CCC representatives could not be reached for comment.

The terminal, which is still under construction and was once scheduled to open in 2017, has been plagued by years of delays. Abu Dhabi Airports in 2019 said that construction of the new terminal was 97.6% complete.

Two sources said Abu Dhabi-headquartered Trojan had been awarded the contract to finish the terminal’s construction.

Trojan did not respond to a request for comment.

The new 700,000 square metre terminal was supposed to support the growth of Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways. When the project was launched, the state-owned airline was seeking to build a major transit hub in the UAE capital, but it has restructured and scaled back its ambitions since then.

The contract cancellation also comes amid a deep pandemic-driven recession in the travel industry that is forecast to take years to recover.

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Read more here >>> Trend – News from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Turkey.

Max Verstappen and Red Bull battle key factor in Lewis Hamilton’s contract extension

Max Verstappen and Red Bull battle key factor in Lewis Hamilton's contract extension

Lewis Hamilton says the battle with Max Verstappen and Red Bull this season helped solidify his plans to stay in Formula One, but the seven-time world champion reiterated he won’t be racing in F1 past 40.

Hamilton signed a new two-year deal with Mercedes to take him to 2024 with the seven-time world champions, and into a new era of Formula One from 2022 with regulation changes.

The deal extends his nine-year stay with the team and means Hamilton is committed to F1 until at least the age of 38, with 2023 set to be his 17th season in the championship.

Mercedes have dominated the championship for seven years, with Hamilton winning six titles alongside the British-based German team, with his former team-mate Nico Rosberg taking the title in 2016.

Yet, now Hamilton and Mercedes are being pushed to their limit in F1, with Verstappen leading the way by 18 points in the driver standings, and Red Bull pulling out a 40 point lead in the Constructors’ Championship ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix.

And Hamilton says it’s been a thrilling start to the year.

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“I think we are being challenged more than ever this year, which is great, and I love racing. This is what I want to do,” said Hamilton, quoted by Reuters.

“I had the best and most enjoyable start of the year, enjoyed the roller-coaster ride that we’re having,” he explained.

“The start of this season, when the cars were so close in performance — pretty much equal — then it was really one of the most exciting times I’ve had for some time. To be able to have this battle with Red Bull.

“I was really hoping that it would continue on like that for the rest of the year but they’ve taken a huge leap forwards”

“I found myself just waking up thinking about racing, so I wanted to continue to race,” he said.

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“Now we are having this tight battle it’s brought me closer to the team, closer to the engineers, it’s making me dig deeper and I love that. It has reinvigorated the love that I have for this sport and love for what I do.”

Hamilton has 98 wins and 100 pole positions to his name, and if he wins an eighth world title this season, would overtake Michael Schumacher to become the most successful driver of all time.

His new contract will see him race on until he is 38 — an age he said “doesn’t actually sound that bad”.

However, the Briton has no interest in being in the championship if he’s not competitive.

“There’s going to be a point at which I’m going to want to move on to do different things…I’m not going to do it at 80%, 70% and just trundle along,” he said.

“I’m only here to win. So if there’s ever a point that I feel I don’t want to commit the time or the effort, that will be the time for me to stop. I don’t plan to be here until I’m 40. I hope I have something else exciting to do beyond.”

Author: Claire Cottingham
Read more here >>> Daily Express :: Sport

George Russell and Valtteri Bottas respond to Lewis Hamilton’s contract extension

George Russell and Valtteri Bottas respond to Lewis Hamilton's contract extension

Formula One has been responding to the news that seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton will remain in the championship for at least two more years after signing an extension with Mercedes for 2022 and 2023.

It means Hamilton will be just one week short of 39 years old when his new deal ends as the Briton looks to become the most successful driver in F1 history with an eighth world title.

Hamilton, an avid user of social media, posted the announcement on his Instagram, in conjunction with Mercedes, with many taking to the comment section of the site to congratulate him.

His team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who says he has yet to start contract negotiations for 2022 with the team, replied on Instagram to say, “Congratulations, well deserved.”

Meanwhile, George Russell, who is being heavily tipped to replace Bottas at Mercedes and become Hamiton’s team-mate next season, posted, “The GOAT. Great news for Mercedes and for F1. Congrats man!”

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1996 world champion Damon Hill posted, “The Lewis vs Max era continues,” with his brother Nicolas, who is also a racing driver, writing, “Amazing my bro! So proud of you! More records break and I can’t wait to watch you all the way.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff had already assured fans coming into this season they would not be dragging their heels into next season with an update on Hamilton’s future, and explained why they wanted to put pen to paper early.

“As we enter a new era of F1 from 2022 onwards, there can be no better driver to have in our team than Lewis,” said Wolff in a statement.

“His achievements in this sport speak for themselves, and with his experience, speed and racecraft, he is at the peak of his powers.

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Author: Claire Cottingham
Read more here >>> Daily Express :: Sport

England boss Gareth Southgate to get new contract – even if Germany win Euro 2020 clash

England boss Gareth Southgate to get new contract - even if Germany win Euro 2020 clash

Gareth Southgate is set to be offered a contract extension beyond the next World Cup – whatever happens against Germany on Tuesday. The FA intend to open talks after the Euros and tie down the England manager through to the 2024 tournament in Germany regardless of how the last-16 showdown at Wembley pans out.

“Gareth knows exactly how we feel about him. He knows that we think he’s doing a great job and we’d like him to carry on. We would love him to carry on, for sure, beyond this contract,” said FA chief executive Mark Bullingham on Friday.

“Our support is unwavering. We are 100 per cent behind Gareth. Regardless of Tuesday, regardless of the group stage of the tournament we would have wanted him to carry on.

“I think on the basis of everything we’ve seen so far he’s doing a great job and we’d like him to carry on doing that.

“We’ll get into that formal conversation after this tournament.

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“This tournament being delayed was challenging in many ways but it reduces the gap not only to the next tournament but then you look at Germany after that it’s only 18 months after that I think it’s going to be a really exciting three years coming up.”

Southgate, 50, took over as caretaker manager in 2016 when Sam Allardyce was sacked after just one game in charge.

The appointment was made permanent in November of that year and he signed a contract extension in 2018 that extends through to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Pre-Euros, Southgate felt that his success three years ago when England reached the semi-finals of the World Cup had put pressure on his side to produce this summer.

MUST READ: Germany ‘scared of Sancho’ ahead of England Euro 2020 showdown

“That’s the challenge. I’ve got to try to manage the expectations for the players. I accept the situation as a manager there’s expectation, I have to deliver.

“We have to deliver as a group of staff, it’s not about me in terms of if we can be successful. Of course it’s about me if we fail, so no problem that’s the gig.

“But for the players I’ve still got to bear in mind, they are young group. They have still got a lot of progression to make some are now learning to win things they’ve been involved in big matches, it’s brilliant for their progress and for the opportunities for him. That’s what we want.

“Are we ready to win? Well, we’ve been to two semi-finals [of the World Cup and the Nations League] so the next step is to try to go further.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Lewis Hamilton contract: Toto Wolff gives update and explains Mercedes team-mate 'doubt'

Lewis Hamilton contract: Toto Wolff gives update and explains Mercedes team-mate 'doubt'

Yet, ahead of the Styrian Grand Prix, Hamilton shocked the media by saying there was no need to switch up his team-mate next season with rumours swirling.

He said: “We have begun discussions, and, not a lot to say – just we have had discussions and things are positive so… and yes, Valtteri is my team-mate now, and both of us have had ups and downs in our careers, but as I said he is a fantastic team-mate and I don’t necessarily think that needs to change.”

And Wolff added that team-mate talk wasn’t on the cards during discussions.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

5 people living in Fort Bend Co. contract COVID delta variant

5 people living in Fort Bend Co. contract COVID delta variant
FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) — Five residents of Fort Bend County have been diagnosed with the COVID-19 delta variant, a version of the coronavirus that has been found in more than 80 countries since it was first detected in India and can spread more easily.

According to the Fort Bend County health department, all five people live in the county and were confirmed to have the variant on Wednesday, June 23.

Officials said three of the residents have received only one dose of the COVID vaccine and one had not been vaccinated at all prior to the start of symptoms.

READ ALSO: COVID delta variant is here: What can families do to stay safe?

The vaccination status of the fifth person hasn’t been determined yet, but officials said although they all experienced symptoms, no one had to be hospitalized.

“These cases underscore the importance of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, especially with the delta variant becoming more prevalent in the U.S.,” said Dr. Jacquelyn Minter, the director of the county’s health and human services department. “Current research shows that two doses of the mRNA vaccines are over 80% effective against the Delta variant.”

The delta variant got its name from the World Health Organization, which names notable variants after letters of the Greek alphabet.

Experts say it spreads more easily because of mutations that make it better at latching onto cells in our bodies. In the United Kingdom, the variant is now responsible for 90% of all new infections. In the U.S., it represents 20% of infections, and health officials say it could become the country’s dominant type as well.

Studies have shown that the available vaccines work against variants, including the delta variant.

“The best protection that we have against this disease is to be fully vaccinated,” said Minter. “If you are not fully vaccinated, we encourage you to wear your mask and to maintain a physical distance from others while in public.”

Free vaccines are still available in Fort Bend County.

Researchers in England studied how effective the two-dose AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines were against it, compared with the alpha variant that was first detected in the U.K.

The vaccines were protective for those who got both doses, but were less so among those who got one dose.

It’s why experts say it’s important to be fully vaccinated. And it’s why they say making vaccines accessible globally is so critical.

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Author: KTRK

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