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Italian shoe designer Sergio Rossi dies at 84
inga/iStock (CESENA, Italy) -- Famed Italian shoe designer Sergio Rossi, 84, has died."Today everyone at Sergio Rossi joins me in remembering our dear Sergio, the inspiring founder of our dream," CEO Sergio Rossi Group Riccardo Sciutto said in an Instagram post."Sergio Rossi was a master, and it is my great honor to have met him and gotten to present him the archive earlier this year," he continued. "His vision and approach will remain our guide in the growth of the brand and the business."Rossi was hospitalized a few days prior in Cesena, Italy, according to WWD."He loved women and was...
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Mexico, Central America urge action to stop coronavirus spreading from US
ElFlacodelNorte/iStock (NEW YORK) -- As the United States increasingly becomes the epicenter of the novel coronavirus pandemic, its neighbors in Mexico and Central America are urging new steps to prevent the virus' spread to their populations, including a halt to deportations and increased security along the southern U.S. border -- an ironic turn under President Donald Trump, who has made a border wall his political calling card.But instead of heeding those calls, the Trump administration continues to deport migrants -- including an increasing number of unaccompanied minors -- and return asylum seekers across the border to Mexico to wait for...
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Section of Berlin Wall torn down to build condos
iStock/Panama7 (BERLIN) -- In the Berlin neighborhood of Pankow, a 196-foot stretch of the Berlin wall has been torn down to make way for condominiums, sparking the ire of historians."The partial demolition of the continuous piece of the hinterland wall on Dolomitenstrasse is a clear loss of original wall remains," Manfred Wichmann, head of the Berlin Wall Foundation, told German paper Tagesspiegel.Located in a quiet neighborhood, the demolished divider was part of the so-called hinterland wall complex that ran along the Berlin-Stettin railway line for several hundred meters and separated East and West Germany. Five panels remain on a piece...
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Terrorist groups spin COVID-19 as God's 'smallest soldier' attacking West
jarun011/iStock (NEW YORK) -- While much of the United States and Europe has been staying home to avoid COVID-19 as it kills thousands, terrorist groups are blasting online propaganda messages toward followers and potential recruits which hail the calamity of the disease as divine retribution.In propaganda communiques this week, ISIS and al-Qaeda have each claimed that the highly contagious and deadly coronavirus is God's wrath upon the West, and the disease itself is a "soldier of Allah," as one ISIS supporter recently said in an online chatroom, according to the private SITE Intelligence Group."Allah, the Creator, has revealed the brittleness...
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Taiwan to donate 10 million masks to countries hit hardest by coronavirus
holgs/iStock (TAIPEI, Taiwan) -- Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has announced plans to donate 10 million masks to countries that have been most severely impacted by the coronavirus.On the heels of an estimated $35 billion stimulus package intended to bolster the island nation's economy, Taiwan pledges to donate masks and medical supplies to the rest of the world as part of its global "Taiwan can help" campaign."We want everyone to not only see that ‘Taiwan can help,’ but that ‘Taiwan is helping,’" Tsai said at a press conference Wednesday morning.Despite being one of the countries expected to be hardest hit by...
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In coronavirus pandemic, authoritarians around the world see opportunity to crack down
oonal/iStock (LONDON) -- Victor Orban, the prime minister of Hungary, was granted extraordinary powers by his nation’s government this week. By 137 votes to 53, lawmakers in the Hungarian parliament voted to give Orban’s government the power to rule by decree to combat the coronavirus pandemic, for as long as the prime minister sees fit.Rights groups have warned that Orban, who was praised by President Trump last year as having done a “tremendous job” in the eastern European country, appears to be using the guise of the COVID-19 emergency to assume the position of dictator.In the words of David Vig,...
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Brazilian governors reject president's calls to end coronavirus quarantine
narvikk/iStock (BRASILIA, Brazil) -- Governors responsible for more than 200 million Brazilian citizens have refused to relax social distances measures despite the insistence of the country’s president amid the outbreak of novel coronavirus.Rejecting the recommendations of international organizations and his own health ministry, President Jair Bolsonaro urged his nation to end its quarantine and get back to work."We have to face this virus, but face it like a man, dammit, not a boy," Bolsonaro said Sunday. "We have to face it with reality. That's life. We're all going to die someday."He added, "We have to take precautions with the elderly,...
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Turkmenistan bans the word 'coronavirus': report
PeterHermesFurian/iStock (NEW YORK) -- The COVID-19 pandemic has dominated the news agenda across the globe since the start of this year, but in one secretive Central Asian country you won’t even hear the word ‘coronavirus’ mentioned -- and its putting its citizens in danger, according to a new report.In Turkmenistan, which was ranked at the bottom of the World Press Freedom Index in 2019 -- one place lower than North Korea -- the word ‘coronavirus’ has been removed from the national vocabulary, according to the independent NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF).The government, led by President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, who is known...
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Life under lockdown is brutal for India's female day laborers
omersukrugoksu/iStock (NEW YORK) -- India's first week of a nationwide 21-day lockdown in response to the coronavirus has shined a brutal spotlight on the plight of the country's most vulnerable citizens.Mirai Chatterjee, who is based in densely populated Ahmedabad, a northern city of more than five million, knows this better than anyone."The poorest and weakest in our society are the women," said Chatterjee, who directs the social security team for the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA), a trade union that supports 1.7 million low-income women who are self-employed.Under normal circumstances, her members' lives are punctuated by food and income insecurity, as...
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Wuhan is claiming a coronavirus turnaround, but doubts linger
real444/iStock (WUHAN, China) -- As "Wuhan is Back!" banners hang over reopened shopping districts and the head of China’s National Health Commission declaring Tuesday that Wuhan is no longer a COVID-19 battleground, China announced that it will once again start including asymptomatic coronavirus cases in daily tallies beginning on Wednesday.There have been growing concerns about possible "silent carriers" across the country as lockdown measures ease in Wuhan and Beijing is trying to get the rest of the country to jump-start the stricken economy.Since mid-February, China has not included patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 but show no symptoms in...
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Van Gogh painting stolen in raid from museum closed due to coronavirus
iStock (NEW YORK) -- A painting by Vincent Van Gogh has been stolen after burglars broke into a Dutch museum that is closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic.Van Gogh’s “The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring,” painted in 1884, was taken from the Singer Laren Museum, which lies just outside Amsterdam, in the early hours of Monday morning, the director of the museum said. The painting was stolen on what would have been the Dutch master's 167th birthday.Staff at the museum said that they are “shocked and unbelievably annoyed” about the theft during a press conference that...
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Prince Harry and Meghan share update before last day as working royals: 'While you may not see us here, the work continues'
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images (LONDON) -- Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, shared one last update for their 11 million Instagram followers."As we can all feel, the world at this moment seems extraordinarily fragile," Harry and Meghan wrote in a post on their Sussex Royal account Monday. "Yet we are confident that every human being has the potential and opportunity to make a difference — as seen now across the globe, in our families, our communities and those on the front line— together we can lift each other up to realise the fullness of that promise.""What’s most...
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