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Djokovic powers into third round in Shanghai Masters

The 14-time Grand Slam champion, who received bye into second round, broke twice at the first set and held out all his service games to make it 6-3 in 34 minutes.

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Shanghai, Oct 10 : World number 3 Novak Djokovic breezed into the third round of ATP Shanghai Masters on Tuesday, beating Jeremy Chardy of France in straight sets 6-3, 7-5.

The 14-time Grand Slam champion, who received bye into second round, broke twice at the first set and held out all his service games to make it 6-3 in 34 minutes, Xinhua news agency reported.

In the second set, Chardy saved a match point at 6-5 but then made an irretrievable mistake at the net. Djokovic didn’t miss the second match point with strong returning to seal the victory.

“After the surgery I was not managing to play my best, and that has changed. I think I’m very close to my best. I think I’m a completely different player than I was in first five, six months of the year,” said the 31-year-old Serbian, who had elbow surgery at the start of the season.

Now Djokovic is back in winning form and aims for his fourth title in the Masters 1000 showpiece. “Hopefully the outcome can be different as well,” he said.

Earlier, the home favorite Zhang Ze was defeated by Daniil Medvedev in a nail-biter 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-4 battle. The Chinese wild card entry had chances to end the match in the second set but committed a few decisive unforced errors. Medvedev next will play top seeded Roger Federer in the second round on Wednesday

“It’s really a pity that today I lost the match. I played well, but I didn’t win. That’s why I say I regretted the result,” Zhang said.

In other matches, world number 6 Marin Cilic crashed out in the second round after a 2-6, 7-6(6), 7-5 loss to Chile’s Nicolas Jarry, while Matthew Ebden of Australia upset world number 7 Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-7(8), 7-6(4) in the two hours and 46 minutes grueling match.

The Newly-crowned China Open champion Nikoloz Basilashvili, who ranked in career-high world number 23, eased past Canada’s Denis Shapovalov 6-2, 6-2. He will face fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev in the second round.

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France’s Macron urges UN mission to visit China’s Xinjiang region

“This is the reason why … France has requested that an international mission under the aegis of the United Nations go to Xinjiang in order to take into account the concerns that we collectively have on the situation of the Muslim Uighur minority,”

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PARIS : France’s president on Tuesday called for an international mission under the auspices of the United Nations to visit China’s Xinjiang due to concerns over the Muslim Uighur minority.

U.N. experts and activists say at least a million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims are held in detention centres in Xinjiang. China describes them as training centres helping stamp out terrorism and extremism and giving people new skills.

“Fundamental rights are not a Western idea that one could oppose as an interference … these are the principles of our organisation, enshrined in texts that the member states of the United Nations have freely consented to sign and to respect,” Emmanuel Macron said in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly.

“This is the reason why … France has requested that an international mission under the aegis of the United Nations go to Xinjiang in order to take into account the concerns that we collectively have on the situation of the Muslim Uighur minority,” he said.

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Israel reports 2,445 new Covid-19 cases; 193,374 in total

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Jerusalem, Sep 23 : Israel’s Ministry of Health reported 2,445 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the total confirmed cases to 193,374.

The total count of deaths from the coronavirus in Israel rose by 12 to 1,285, while the number of patients in serious condition rose from 653 to 668, out of 1,352 patients currently hospitalised, Xinhua news agency reported.

The number of recoveries in the country increased by 3,971 to 140,751, while the number of active Covid-19 cases stood at 51,338.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Israeli government approved a plan to expand the national economic safety net to deal with the pandemic’s impact.

“Expanding the plan will enable immediate economic assistance for businesses and wage-earners who are expected to be hurt by the current Covid-19 nationwide lockdown,” said a joint statement by the Prime Minister’s Office and Finance Ministry.

The expansion includes the lowering of damage threshold for businesses to receive fixed expenditure grants to 25 per cent, providing advances against the fixed expenditure grants, a comprehensive worker retention plan, and deferring the reduction in unemployment benefits.

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United States Covid deaths top 200,000 as questions linger over halting virus spread

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Coronavirus Death US

The US death toll from the coronavirus exceeded 200,000, as some guidelines and practices for stopping the disease’s spread have been called into question.

While the data compiled by Johns Hopkins University indicated that 52,000 new cases had been reported on Monday, some 21,800 of those new cases came from the release of backlogged data in Texas.

The US logged 36,695 new cases on Sunday, Johns Hopkins reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention caused uncertainty Monday when it removed from its website newly posted guidelines saying the coronavirus could be transmitted by tiny particles that linger in the air.

The agency said a draft version of proposed changes was posted in error.

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