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Disney to cut 28,000 US theme park employees amid downturn

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For six months, Disney has kept tens of thousands of theme park workers on furlough with full health-care benefits in hopes that a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel would appear. On Tuesday, Disney conceded that none was coming.

The company said it would eliminate 28,000 theme park jobs in the United States, or about 25 percent of its domestic resort work force.

“As heartbreaking as it is to take this action, this is the only feasible option we have in light of the prolonged impact of Covid-19 on our business, including limited capacity due to physical distancing requirements and the continued uncertainty regarding the duration of the pandemic,” Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, said in an email to “cast members,” which is how Disney refers to theme park workers.

About 67 percent of the layoffs will involve part-time jobs that pay by the hour. However, executives and salaried workers will be among the laid off. Disney’s theme parks in California and Florida employed roughly 110,000 before the pandemic. The job cuts, which will come from both resorts, will reduce that number to about 82,000.

Disneyland in California has remained closed because Governor Gavin Newsom has refused to allow theme parks in the state to restart operations. About 31,000 people work at the Disneyland complex and the majority are unionized and have been furloughed.

Mr. D’Amaro said in a statement that the layoffs were “exacerbated in California by the state’s unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen.”

Walt Disney World in Florida reopened on a limited basis in mid-July. But attendance has been weaker than Disney expected, with concern about coronavirus safety a major factor.

Disney will now begin negotiations with unions that represent the bulk of the affected employees. About 20,000 unionized Disney workers have been called back to work at Disney World. Roughly 20,000 more remain on furlough, a stoppage that began in mid-April. Disney World employed more than 70,000 workers before the pandemic.

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Kim Jong-un pays tribute to fallen Chinese soldiers

He then paid tribute to Mao Anying, the son of late Chinese leader Mao Zedong, who died in the conflict, and a floral basket was laid at his grave, the KCNA said.

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Kim Jong Un

Seoul, Oct 22 : North Korean state-media on Thursday reported that the country’s leader Kim Jong-un visited the cemetery of Chinese soldiers who fell during the 1950-53 Korean War, to mark the anniversary of their participation in the conflict.

It appears to be in line with Kim’s push to further strengthen bilateral ties with China at a time when the North is in need of support from the ally amid stagnant economic growth and stalled nuclear negotiations with the United States, Yonhap news agency reported.

Kim visited “the martyrs of the Chinese People’s Volunteers (CPV) in Hoechang County, South Pyongan Province, and paid a high tribute to them on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the entry of the Chinese People’s Volunteers into the Korean front,” the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

Hoechang is where the headquarters of the Chinese soldiers was located during the war.

“He said with deep emotion that even though 70 years have passed since the excellent sons and daughters of the fraternal Chinese people made an entry into the sacred Fatherland Liberation War fought by the Korean people, the immortal exploits and heroic feats made by the CPV by sacrificially supporting us… remain vividly in the memory of our people.” the KCNA added.

Kim lauded the participation of Chinese soldiers in the Korean War as a “historic contribution to the great victory in the Fatherland Liberation War.”

“The great victory won by the armies and peoples of the North and China while linking their destiny as one and sharing weal and woe with each other is, indeed, of great significance no matter how much water flows under the bridge,” Kim was quoted as saying.

He then paid tribute to Mao Anying, the son of late Chinese leader Mao Zedong, who died in the conflict, and a floral basket was laid at his grave, the KCNA said.

In July 2013, Kim visited the cemetery and paid tribute to the fallen Chinese soldiers to mark the 60th anniversary of the Korean armistice agreement that ended the war, followed by another visit in 2018 to mark the 65th anniversary.

“The difference this year is that they marked the 70th anniversary of China’s participation in the war,” he added.

The North has been seeking to maintain closer ties with its traditional ally amid an impasse in nuclear negotiations with Washington.

Earlier this week, Kim pledged to further boost friendly relations with China in a reply message to Chinese President Xi Jinping, who sent a congratulatory letter to Kim to mark the 75th founding anniversary of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party.

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Lucknow Covid team’s data includes US couple & one long dead

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Corona Death Body

The district health department in Lucknow has released Covid reports of two persons who are in the US and one, who died years ago.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Sanjay Bhatnagar said an employee was suspended and show cause notice was served to another on Tuesday after a probe found them guilty of the lapse.

According to reports, Ashray Jaiswal, a bank executive, tested Covid positive on October 6.

Two days later, a contact tracing team came to his rented house in Rajajipuram area to collect the samples of his wife and two children for tests.

The team gave Ashray a link of the portal where he could login to see the test results.

When Ashray opened the portal the next day, he was shocked to see reports of five other persons, along with his family members, with the same residential address.

“The reports of my wife and children stated that they were tested through the RT-PCR method. While my son tested positive, wife and daughter came negative. However, of five other names, three were of my landlord’s family — two of them were the couple who own the house and are currently in the US — while third report was of the landlord’s father who had passed away a few years ago. The remaining two persons are not known to me,” he told reporters.

The team, apparently, noted the names of the landlord’s family from the nameplate outside the house without actually collecting samples.

Ashray reported the matter immediately on the Covid helpline. “Thereafter, a contact team personnel arrived and apologised while promising to get my family’s tests done again”.

Source: IANS

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Soldiers open fire on Nigerian protesters in Lagos: witnesses

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Nigerian Protesters

LAGOS : Soldiers opened fire on Nigerian protesters in the Lekki district of the commercial capital Lagos on Tuesday, shooting at least two people, three witnesses told Reuters.

Protesters have demonstrated here for more than a week over allegations of police brutality in Nigeria.

“They started firing ammunition toward the crowd. They were firing into the crowd,” said Alfred Ononugbo, 55, a security officer. “I saw the bullet hit one or two persons,” he said.

Lagos state government said it would open an investigation into the shooting, which witnesses said took place around 7 p.m. (1800 GMT).

“There have been reports of shooting at the Lekki Toll Plaza,” Gboyega Akosile, a spokesman for the governor, said on Twitter. “The State Government has ordered an investigation into the incident,” he said in another tweet.

A Nigerian army spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Inyene Akpan, 26, a photographer, said more than 20 soldiers arrived at the toll gate in Lekki and opened fire. He said he saw two people being shot.

Akinbosola Ogunsanya, a third witness, said he saw around 10 people being shot. He also said he saw soldiers remove bodies.

A Reuters witness heard sirens and gunfire.

Authorities on Tuesday imposed a round-the-clock curfew on Lagos, which contains Africa’s biggest city, in response to the protests, which the state governor said had turned violent.

The national police chief also ordered the immediate deployment of anti-riot forces nationwide following increased attacks on police facilities, a police spokesman said.

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