How to Date While Social Distancing

The time of COVID-19 has changed everything

dating

Most of the United States has begun slowly loosening restrictions on social distancing, but that doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods yet. In fact, most singles are still hesitant to go on in-person dates with the people they have met online — so much so, that people have even begun to list their health status in their Tinder bios.

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4 Fun Things to Do During Your Quarantine

Things are scary right now — for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a millionaire celebrity living in a mansion or you’re a single mom who lost all three of your jobs: everyone is stressed out right now. Sure, some are much more stressed than others, especially those who are dealing with health concerns or family issues, but there is no doubt about it: everyone is overwhelmed at the moment.

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COVID-19: How American Industry Has Been Effected

The COVID 19 pandemic crisis has not been easy for anyone. Currently, in the United States, unemployment is 14.7% and over 20 million jobs have been lost. Every industry has been affected in some way and will continue to be as the year goes on.

 

Sobering statistics

 

Overall, layoffs and furloughs have effected minority workers, including people of color, women, as well as young workers the most. Furthermore, broader measures of joblessness that include part-time workers who want full-time work, discouraged workers no longer seeking employment, and the unemployed is at the highest it’s ever been: 22.8%. Another statistic to pay attention to the current job openings which have fallen by nearly 30% since March.

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Gen. James Clapper Tells SiriusXM’s Joe Madison that Trump will Use Michael Flynn’s Case as a Distraction from COVID-19

Gen. James Clapper (Getty)
Gen. James Clapper (Getty)

ector of National Intelligence Gen. James Clapper was a guest on SiriusXM’s The Joe Madison Show, where he said that President Trump will use the Michael Flynn Case as a distraction from COVID-19, and that the Trump Administration must recognize unmasking “is not at all nefarious.”

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More than 100 killed and injured in Afghanistan’s deadliest day of 2020

 

Mourners at a funeral and babies at a maternity ward were among the 133 killed and injured Tuesday in militant attacks in Afghanistan.

Officials said militants attacked a 100-bed maternity hospital in the Dasht Barchi area of western Kabul, killing 16 people, including women and children, and injuring 20 others injured. Humanitarian organization Doctors without Borders operates a maternity clinic there.

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Brasileños negros y multiétnicos golpeados por COVID-19

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White House says the Afghanistan war is won but NATO says not even close

The United States has claimed success in achieving its military mission of defeating al-Qaeda in Afghanistan while NATO is staying put as attacks escalate.

Less than several hundred al-Qaeda fighters were left in Afghanistan, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a recent interview.

The U.S. launched its mission almost 19 years ago after declaring al-Qaeda was behind the 9/11 attacks, a claim the Taliban has long denied. The Taliban, a more structured fundamentalist Islamic group, refused to hand over al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden without proof. He was killed in Pakistan by U.S. special forces in 2011.

The NATO Resolute Support Mission, a western alliance launched in 2015 to train, advise and assist Afghan security forces, reaffirmed its commitment to remain ready, continue protecting the Afghan population from terrorism and pave the way towards lasting peace in the country.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says now is the time for unity to resolve political challenges in Afghanistan.

“We need a functioning political process in Afghanistan, not least to be able to fully engage in the peace process,” Stoltenberg told a recent press conference.

Speaking after a virtual meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels, he said the security situation in Afghanistan remained fragile.

NATO would reduce the number of its troops in Afghanistan from 16,000 to 12,000, he said. “But we will be able to continue our operations very much as we have done for several years now.”

Stoltenberg said any reduction would be conditions-based and “we remain committed to Afghanistan. We will continue to provide training, assistance and also financial support.” He said the best way to support peace efforts was to continue backing the Afghan security forces, and send a message to the Taliban that they would not win on the battlefield.

NATO is providing support to the Afghan forces in fighting COVID-19, including medical equipment and training on how to cope with the crisis.

For weeks, the Resolute Support mission, under the command of U.S. Army General Austin S. Miller, helped get supplies to Afghan National Police in 14 provinces, including medical and cleaning material, sanitizers and personal protective equipment.

The mission said police and army units in Panjshir, Parwan, Nuristan, Herat, Ghor, Farah, Baghdis, Kabul, Nimroz, Kandahar, Uruzgan, Zabul and Daikundi and Helmand were better equipped to protect themselves against COVID-19 and continue their important missions.

Over the past two months, the Taliban has allegedly conducted about 55 attacks per day, said the Afghan National Security Council, reflecting a spike in violence since the U.S.-Taliban peace agreement was brokered in Qatar on February 29.

Late last week, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel and Ranking Member Michael McCaul voiced their concern at the surge in Taliban attacks.

“The dramatic increase in violence in Afghanistan is an unacceptable violation of the Trump Administration’s February agreement with the Taliban,” they said in a joint statement.

Taliban’s continued attacks on Afghan security forces are creating questions whether the Taliban would uphold their commitments, jeopardize progress towards peace and prevent negotiations from moving forward, they said.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, the increase in violence prevents Afghans from focusing on the health crisis,” the committee members said. All parties should stop attacks and enter into a humanitarian crisis ceasefire, deescalate the cruel cycle of violence and take the road to peace and stability.

Today a suicide bomber killed at last 40 people and injured 60 more during a funeral ceremony for a former Afghan Local Police commander in eastern Nangarhar province, said Attaullah Khogyani, the governor’s spokesman. The suicide attack occurred in the Khewa district of the province around 11 a.m.

“The Taliban are not committed to peace,” said former Balkh Governor Atta Mohammad Noor.

Complicating the challenge are foreign fighters joining the Taliban. In northeastern Badakhshan province, about 400 foreign militants, mostly from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, have joined the Taliban against the Afghan security personnel, said Governor Zakaria Sawda.

The foreign rebels, including combatants from China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang and Russia’s North Caucasus region of Chechnya, were fighting against the Afghan forces in Warduj, Jurm and Yamgan districts, the official added.

“The Taliban and their foreign allies are trying to create a huge terrorist hub in the province,” said Sawda. The rebel attempt is a “serious concern.”

Pompeo said his country would protect itself without having tens of thousands of soldiers stationed in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

Compiled from news reports of Pajhwok Afghan News
(Editing by Stephanie Mikulasek and Allison Elyse Gualtieri)

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Nigerians take the law into their own hands to fight COVID-19

Some Nigerians who rejected a government order to stay in place and left COVID-19 affected states for home are being turned in by their own communities.

The majority of Nigerians living and working in the three most densely populated states of Abuja, Lagos and Kano are suddenly confronting the downside of regions offering more work options.  These states face the highest rates of COVID-19 in the country, and some Nigerians are willing to ignore the government mandate to stay in place and find ways to sneak back home to rural areas where COVID-19 is far less prominent.

State police have arrested and quarantined dozens of passengers leaving Lagos state to head home to Zamfara state, said State Police Commissioner Usman Nagogo. For weeks, Nigeria’s state and federal governments have locked down states with a large number of COVID-19 cases, but the illegal transit between states has continued.

The difference now is some communities are not protecting those who have sneaked back home.

In Zamfara state, located in the northwestern part of the country, citizens hearing about a newly returned community or family member are tracking down the family and turning in the escapee to the authorities.

Recently, Uwani Shehu successfully dodged authorities to leave Lagos state, a highly COVID-19 affected area, and returned to Gusau, the state capital, and headed to her family’s home. Considering the infection risk she brought to the local community, however, members of her community decided to arrest her and turn her into the nearest police station for quarantine.

At that point, Shehu escaped from the police station, and fled to a remote village called Dankurmi.

Once again, the community stepped in and quarantined members of Shehu’s family to avoid possible spread to other members of the community.

“The effort was to ensure that the members of the family do not intermingle with other members of the communities who did not have contact with the returning lady,” said Mallam Umar, a member of the community.

Zamfara state is dominated by two tribes, the Fulani and Hausa. Protecting the community and tribal identity are traditional practices, but enforcing government mandates at the risk of quarantine and prison for escapees is not typical.

“We’re satisfied with the level of compliance,” said Nagogo during a recent visit to the border of Zamfara and Katsina states. Zamfara now has seventy two cases of coronavirus, he said, which meant more proactive security measures are needed to stop the spread.

In a related development, a recycled materials seller, Bashar Bala who purchased debris in Abuja from Abba Kyari, the late chief of staff to the Nigerian president, is now being quarantined in his home town, Kaura Namoda, also located in Zamfara. The chief of staff died from COVID-19 in April.

For about $8, Bala purchased several burnt metals from a shop containing items scavenged from the Abuja metropolis. Once purchased, Bala learned the metals were originally scavenged from the casket of the chief of staff.  Panicked, Bala fled his shop and returned to his home state—Zamfara—where the authorities placed him under quarantine.

(Editing by Stephanie Mikulasek and Allison Elyse Gualtieri)

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