California shuts down again as U.S. coronavirus crisis expands
By Sharon Bernstein and Dan Whitcomb SACRAMENTO (Reuters) - California's governor ordered a retreat on Monday from the state's reopening as coronavirus cases soared and the state's two largest school districts, Los Angeles and San Diego, announced all learning will be online-only when classes resume in a few weeks. California Governor Gavin Newsom shut bars and banned indoor restaurant dining statewide, while closing churches, gyms and hair salons in the hardest-hit counties. Newsom acted as COVID-19 cases strained hospitals in several rural counties and as infections mounted in Los Angeles and parts of the San Francisco Bay Area
By Sharon Bernstein and Dan Whitcomb
SACRAMENTO (Reuters) - California's governor ordered a retreat on Monday from the state's reopening as coronavirus cases soared and the state's two largest school districts, Los Angeles and San Diego, announced all learning will be online-only when classes resume in a few weeks.
California Governor Gavin Newsom shut bars and banned indoor restaurant dining statewide, while closing churches, gyms and hair salons in the hardest-hit counties.
Newsom acted as COVID-19 cases strained hospitals in several rural counties and as infections mounted in Los Angeles and parts of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Los Angeles is the second-largest school district in the United States and with San Diego has a combined 706,000 students and 88,000 employees.
President Donald Trump, seeking re-election in November, has demanded schools reopen nationwide for in-person learning in the autumn. His campaign views reopening schools as necessary for economic recovery, especially for working parents with young children.
Trump trails his presumptive Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, in opinion polls both nationwide and in swing states that decide elections.
Florida along with Arizona, California and Texas have emerged as the new U.S. epicenters of the pandemic. Infections have risen rapidly in about 40 of the 50 states over the last two weeks, according to a Reuters analysis.
Despite nearly 28,000 new COVID-19 cases in the last two days, Florida has announced no new measures such as a statewide mask mandate, and Disney World in Orlando remains open for business.
'PEOPLE AREN'T LISTENING'
Linda Stuart, 70, a lifelong resident of Orlando, Florida, said she and her family were staying at home except to go to the grocery and were "painfully aware" how quickly cases are rising.
"But sadly, too many people aren't listening," she said. "This should be terrifying them, but it isn't. Not enough people are even wearing masks."
The rise in Florida cases emerged hours after Trump took swipes at health experts in his government leading the U.S. response to the pandemic and his relationship further frayed with infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci. [nL2N2EK15X}
On Sunday, Florida reported a record increase of more than 15,000 new cases of COVID-19 in 24 hours. If Florida were a country, that would rank it fourth in the world for the most new cases in a day, behind the United States, Brazil and India, according to a Reuters analysis.
Florida's Disney World welcomed the public on Saturday for the first time since March with guests required to wear masks, undergo temperature checks and keep physically apart.
Walt Disney Co
Hong Kong recorded 52 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, bringing total cases to 1,522. In Florida's Orange County, home to Disney World, cases rose by 623 to a total of 18,624, the fifth highest outbreak in the state's counties.
With over 7.5 million residents, Hong Kong has more than five times the population of Orange County.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has called the state's rise in cases "a blip" and told residents not to be alarmed.
Florida recorded more than 500 deaths this past week, compared with over 300 the prior week. It is one of about two dozen states where deaths have risen in the last seven days compared with the prior seven days, according to a Reuters analysis.
The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Florida is quickly rising, with over 500 new patients in the past 24 hours raising to 8,000 the number in hospitals, according to a state agency.
(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento, Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles, Rich McKay in Atlanta, Lisa Lambert and Doina Chiacu in Washington, and Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut; Writing by Lisa Shumaker; Editing by Howard Goller)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.