Tag: Extends

Israeli government extends ban that limits public protests

JERUSALEM — The Israeli government has extended an emergency provision that bars public gatherings, including widespread protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for an additional week.

Government ministers approved the measure until Oct. 13 by a telephone vote, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement late Wednesday.

Israel imposed a nationwide lockdown ahead of the Jewish High Holidays last month to rein in the country’s surging coronavirus outbreak. The Knesset, Israel’s parliament, passed a law last week allowing the government to declare a special week-long state of emergency to limit participation in assemblies because of the pandemic. The government then declared the state of emergency, limiting all public gatherings to within a kilometer (0.6 miles) of a person’s home.

Netanyahu has said the restrictions are driven by safety concerns as the country battles a runaway pandemic, but critics and protesters accuse him of tightening the lockdown to muzzle their movement and expression of dissent.

Thousands of Israelis have participated in weekly demonstrations outside Netanyahu’s official residence in Jerusalem for months this summer, calling on the longtime prime minister to resign while on trial for corruption.

Since the restriction was approved last month, tens of thousands of Israelis have staged protests on street corners and public squares near their homes against the government’s perceived mishandling of the coronavirus crisis and its economic fallout.

On Thursday, an Israeli protester painted the Hebrew word “Go” — an increasingly popular slogan among anti-Netanyahu protesters — in large letters across Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square.

Israel was initially praised for its swift imposition of restrictions in February to curb the spread of the coronavirus. But after reopening the economy and schools in May, new cases increased quickly. It imposed a second lockdown on Sept. 18 as the infection rate skyrocketed to one of the highest per capita in the world.

The Health Ministry has recorded over 282,000 confirmed cases of the disease and over 1,800 deaths in the country of around 9 million people.

After nearly three weeks of lockdown, the number of new cases is gradually decreasing, but infections are still spreading, particularly among the country’s hard-hit ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.

Israel’s ultra-Orthodox community, which makes up around 10% of the country’s population, accounts for more than a third of Israel’s virus cases. Some members of the community have flouted the rules and held prayers in enclosed spaces, large festive gatherings and clashed with police over their enforcement of regulations.

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Florida extends voter registration deadline by one day

Florida is extending the voter registration deadline in this year’s 2020 general election following problems Monday night with the state’s online registration system.

Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee announced midday Tuesday that the deadline would be extended to 7 p.m. Tuesday for registration online, in person or by mail.

The original deadline to register to vote had been midnight Monday. But as that deadline neared, users encountered slow responses and error messages on the state’s online voter registration site, RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov.

Lee said Tuesday that, during the last few hours, the site had been accessed by an “unprecedented” 1.1 million requests per hour.

She said the Florida Department of State is working with state and federal law enforcement to look at whether there were any “deliberate acts against the voting process” that caused or contributed to outages Monday night to the state’s voter registration website.

“We are working with local supervisors of elections and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to ensure that all eligible registrants have the ability [to] submit a voter registration application by 7 p.m. this evening,” Lee said in a statement.

In addition to registering online, voters can submit applications to their county supervisor of elections offices, through their local driver’s license offices or tax collector’s office or mail an application as long as it is postmarked by Tuesday, Oct. 6.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office has asked that all tax collectors’ offices extend their office hours until 7 p.m. in order to accept voter registration applications. The state will work with other offices about extending their hours Tuesday to assist people registering to vote.

Lee said anyone who already registered to vote online after the deadline would be included in being eligible to vote in the Nov. 3 general election.

Lee also asked anyone not trying to register to vote to stay off the online voter registration site.

Voting rights groups apply pressure

A number of voting rights groups had called for Florida’s voter registration cutoff to be extended multiple days after the problems Monday night with RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov.

On Tuesday, a coalition of voting rights groups, including the League of Women Voters of Florida, All Voting is Local Florida, ACLU Florida and the Florida NAACP, sent a letter to DeSantis and Lee demanding that the voter registration deadline be extended two days, until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 7.

“Florida’s online voter registration system has unfortunately broken repeatedly at precisely the moment it is needed most — the high volume days just before the voter registration deadline, or in this case, just hours before the book closing deadline,” the groups wrote in the letter.

Brad Ashwell, Florida state director of voting rights group All Voting is Local, said that there would need to be time to get the word out about any deadline extension, and added that there was no guarantee at this point that the website wouldn’t crash again if the deadline were extended.

The coalition also asked in the letter that

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U.S. Extends Cruise Ban; German Work-From-Home Law: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended a ban on cruises in the U.S. to Oct. 31, saying further action is needed before cruises can safely resume.

Germany plans to unveil draft legislation that would give workers the legal right to work from home, Labor Minister Hubertus Heil told the Financial Times. U.S. carriers American Airlines Group Inc. and United Airlines Holdings Inc. will start laying off a combined 32,000 workers as the companies contend with the unprecedented collapse in travel demand caused by the pandemic.

Japan’s ruling party will consider additional economic stimulus to prop up the economy amid the pandemic, even as a Bank of Japan survey found sentiment at large manufacturers had improved, signaling the worst of the economic impact may be over. Officials indicated an early election was unlikely with the government prioritizing the pandemic response.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases near 33.9 million; deaths exceed 1 millionEuropean regulators are said to speed review of AstraZeneca shot, U.S. widens probeJapan must put pandemic response before election, coalition partner saysSingapore plans cruises to nowhere with 50% capacity, the Straits Times reports

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on coronavirus cases and deaths.

graphical user interface, chart: Worldwide confirmed deaths from the coronavirus climb above 1 million

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Worldwide confirmed deaths from the coronavirus climb above 1 million

India Adds 86,821 Coronavirus Cases (12:29 p.m. HK)

India reported another 86,821 coronavirus cases on Thursday, bringing the total confirmed number to 6.31 million, government data showed. Covid-19 related deaths rose to 98,678.

Germany Plans Work From Home Law (12 p.m. HK)

Germany will unveil a draft law that would give employees the legal right to work from home, within the next few weeks, Labor Minister Hubertus Heil told the Financial Times, the latest example of how the pandemic is altering working life.

The law would seek to ensure workers have the option of working from home and regulate home office work.

CDC Extends No Sail Order for Cruises to Oct. 31 (11:35 a.m. HK)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended a ban on cruises in the U.S. by a month, to Oct. 31, saying in a statement that further action is needed before cruises can safely resume. It said data from March through September show more than 3,600 Covid-19 or Covid-like cases on cruise ships in U.S. waters, and at least 41 reported deaths. n

An industry health panel jointly convened by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. last week submitted a report to the CDC outlining 74 steps the companies hope will clear the way to U.S. sailings. The measures include a recommendation of Covid-19 tests for all guests and crew members.

CDC Director Robert Redfield’s recommendation to extend the so-called no-sail order into next year was overruled at a White House meeting, Dow Jones reported earlier, citing an unidentified federal official.

American, United to Cut 32,000 Jobs, AirAsia to Exit Japan (10:10 a.m. HK)


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