US prison officials have announced California will release up to 8,000 people from state prisons to curb the spread of Covid-19 throughout the institutions.
Officials on Friday announced three separate efforts, approved by the governor, Gavin Newsom, that they say will decrease the prison population by 8,ooo by the end of August. The measures mark the largest release efforts the state administration has taken since Covid-19 began to circulate among prison staff and incarcerated people.
The first initiative expands a previous effort to expedite the release of people with 180 or fewer days left on their sentences to include people serving time for serious felonies.
The second measure is an immediate review of cases of people with less than a year left to serve in eight prisons that have large populations at high risk of developing Covid-19 complications.
Most of Victoria, Australia, waking up to first weekend back in lockdown
In Australia, the majority of Victorians are waking up this morning to their first weekend back in lockdown, which came into effect on Thursday. Bordering states — especially New South Wales — are on high alert after the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, announced a record new 288 cases on Friday– the single highest daily rise in any state since the pandemic began. He warned those numbers would increase in the coming days.
The lockdown led the government to announce a half-a-billion-dollar stimulus package for affected businesses. Andrews also said Melbourne would stop taking international flight arrivals for at least two weeks, while it worked to get the outbreak under control.
There are now 47 people in hospital in the state, including 12 in intensive care. The vast majority of the 288 new cases have been locally acquired. By comparison, New South Wales reported just 14 new cases on Friday, with 12 of those in returned travellers now in hotel quarantine.
Meanwhile to ensure more cases of the virus aren’t imported while Victoria grapples to regain control, Australia’s national cabinet, made up of the prime minister and state and territory leaders, decided to cap the number of incoming flights allowed in Australia.
The change means at least 4,000 fewer Australians will return home each week. The prime minister, Scott Morrison, acknowledged the change meant “it will be more difficult” for Australians to return home.
The New South Wales chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant urged the community to be extra vigilant following the closure of the Victorian/ New South Wales border to stop spread of the virus on Wednesday. The border will remain shut for at least six weeks, the first time it has been closed in more than 100 years.
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The pandemic has led to the largest drop in heat-trapping emissions in human history, according to a new study.
Lockdowns, travel bans and closed manufacturing sites have caused global emissions to drop by 4.6%, or 2.5 gigatonnes, according to a University of Sydney review of 38 regions and 26 sectors published in the journal Plos One. Fine particle pollution decreased by 3.8% and two other types of air pollution declined by 2.9%: sulphur dioxide – which is linked to a number of respiratory issues – and nitrogen oxide, which leads to smog.
The largest emission drops occurred in the United States and China, largely due to grounded air travel and a decrease in power, water and gas use, but they came with a large economic cost.
From late February to May, the study found that the pandemic caused 147 million people, or 4.2% of the global workforce, to lose full-time jobs and triggered a $3.8tn drop in consumption, making it the worst economic shock since the Great Depression, according to co-author Arunima Malik.
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In Australia, Labor’s Senate leader and foreign affairs spokeswoman argues that the pandemic has “reinforced a macho strain of nationalism” while fuelling damaging levels of “mistrust” between countries, and Australia cannot afford to stand by as the pandemic speeds up threats to the world order.
Penny Wong lays out a case for Australia to become more self-reliant and active on the world stage in an essay for the forthcoming edition of the Australian Foreign Affairs journal.
She also warns that nationalism, xenophobia and extremism are on the rise around the world – and Australia’s collective responses to current challenges need to emphasise unity and leaders must not forget the lessons of the 1930s.
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Venezuelan oil minister tests positive
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Summary of the latest news
Below is a roundup of the main news from around the globe today.
- Serbia announced a record coronavirus death toll for a single day on Friday, as the government hit back at protests over its handling of the pandemic.Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said the Balkan state recorded 18 fatalities and 386 new cases over 24 hours in what she described as a “dramatic increase.”
- The World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Friday, with the total rising by 228,102 in 24 hours. The biggest increases were from the United States, Brazil, India and South Africa, according to a daily report.The previous WHO record for new cases was 212,326 on July 4. Deaths remained steady at about 5,000 a day.
- Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, will go back under a strict lockdown on Monday, though this time only certain neighbourhoods at a time will be expected to stay home. In those neighbourhoods, which will rotate for two week periods, only businesses of primary need – such as supermarkets and pharmacies – will be permitted to open.
- Florida announced 11,433 new cases, which is just shy of the unwanted record that the state set last Saturday when there were 11,458 new cases. The state also recorded 93 new deaths.Florida is now up to 244,151 confirmed cases in total, with 4,102 deaths. The numbers come even as Florida attractions like Disney World move to reopen.
- Hospitals in Syria’s overcrowded opposition-held enclave are suspending non-emergency procedures and outpatient services following the detection of the first case of coronavirus, a leading doctor in the area said Friday.
Serbia sees record single-day death toll after ‘dramatic increase’ in cases
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French bus driver dies days after attack by passengers who refused to wear masks
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