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Executioner ‘Jihadi John’ killed in drone strike in Syria,says ISIS

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The Islamic State group has confirmed the death of British jihadist “Jihadi John”, saying he was killed in a drone strike in their Syrian stronghold of Raqa in November.Born Mohammed Emwazi, he was known as the executioner of the jihadist group appearing masked in a string of videos showing the beheadings of Western hostages.

In its online magazine Dabiq, the group yesterday said Emwazi was killed on November 12 “as the car he was in was targeted in a strike by an unmanned drone in the city of Raqa, destroying the car and killing him instantly”.

The US military had said at the time that it was “reasonably certain” he had been killed in the strikeIS described Emwazi as a “martyr” and prayed to “Allah… to envelop him with His mercy and enter him into the highest levels of al-Firdaws (paradise)”.

Dabiq devoted an article to Emwazi, describing him as an “honourable brother” known for his “mercy and generosity” who once gave away a concubine as a gift “to an unmarried injured brother”.

The world knew him as a ruthless executioner who spoke English with a British accent and he was dubbed “Jihadi John” after hostages nicknamed a group of Islamic State guards The Beatles.

Health

Trump threatens to stop WHO funding as NY deaths pass 9/11 fatalities

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In his regular press briefing on the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday evening, U.S. President Donald Trump expressed displeasure with the World Health Organization (WHO), saying it was too “China-centric.”

Trump then threatened to withhold U.S. funding because they disagreed with him on his coronavirus travel ban.

But when pressed by reporters afterward, Trump said, “I’m looking at it.”

The president said that the United States might be getting to the top of the “curve” of the coronavirus outbreak and said he did not see an early written warning about the pandemic from a top White House aide.

Trump further added that evidence shows African Americans are having higher rates of COVID-19 infection in the United States and his administration is actively engaging on the problem of increased impacts on the African American community.

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Disaster

New York reports 731 death in one day

The governor added that the Navy hospital ship Comfort docking at New York Harbor will be used for treating COVID-19 patients, after the governor made a plea to President Donald Trump on Monday.

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New York Coronavirus Case

New York, April 8 : The US state of New York lost 731 lives to COVID-19 from Monday to Tuesday, bringing the state’s death toll to 5,489 while marking the deadliest 24 hours yet since the pandemic took hold here, said Governor Andrew Cuomo.

“Behind every one of those numbers is an individual, is a family, is a mother, is a father, is a sister, is a brother. So a lot of pain again today for many New Yorkers and they’re in our thoughts and prayers,” said Cuomo at his daily briefing on coronavirus on Tuesday, reported Xinhua news agency.

Meanwhile, the numbers of daily incubations and ICU admissions declined for another day, and the state is reaching a plateau in the total number of hospitalizations, which are all “good news,” said Cuomo.

The number of deaths “is a lagging indicator to the number of hospitalizations,” explained Cuomo, emphasizing that the flattening of the curve is still just a projection.

“It still depends on what we do and what we do will affect those numbers, ” he noted.

The governor said he’s thinking about restarting the economy with a smart approach, first with those who have resolved from the disease and developed immunity.

“That would mean that you’re no longer contagious and you can’t catch the virus because you have the antibodies in your system, which means you can get to work and go back to school, you can do whatever you want,” said Cuomo.

He said the state developed an antibody testing regimen and will be working with the Food and Drug Administration to bring it to scale.

Meanwhile, testing for determining who have been infected remains significant for slowing down the spread. Cuomo announced the state will invest in private companies to bring rapid COVID-19 testing to scale and accelerate testing capacity.

The governor added that the Navy hospital ship Comfort docking at New York Harbor will be used for treating COVID-19 patients, after the governor made a plea to President Donald Trump on Monday.

The ship’s original 1,000 beds will be scaled down to 500 as COVID-19 patients need more space in treatment, which “is still a tremendous benefit,” said Cuomo.

As of Monday afternoon US Eastern Time, New York state reported 138,863 COVID-19 cases, topping the country’s 50 states. Over 79,000 cases were recorded in New York City, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

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Disaster

Italy Coronavirus: 135,586 Cases and 17,127 Deaths

The death toll on Saturday was 681, bringing the total to 15,362 fatalities since the pandemic first broke out in northern Italy on Feb. 21.

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Rome, April 8 : Italy registered 135,586 confirmed cases of coronavirus, including 17,127 fatalities, according to fresh figures from the Civil Protection Department managing the COVID-19 emergency.

Of these, the new active infections registered against Monday were 880, which brought to total 94,067 infections nationwide. Recoveries kept rising, with a relevant number of 1,555 more people cured compared to the previous day, reaching 24,392 in total, reported Xinhua news agency on Tuesday.

The number of new recoveries widely exceeded that of new active infections on a daily basis.

“The decrease in the trend of new infections is being confirmed, and the number of 880 is the lowest (daily) rise we have seen since March 10,” Civil Protection Department Chief Angelo Borrelli stressed at a press conference.

Borelli, who also serves as extraordinary commissioner in the COVID-19 emergency, explained the daily number of recoveries registered on Tuesday was “the second highest in absolute terms since the epidemic has begun.”

There was an increase of 3,039 cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the overall cases to 135,586.

Of those who have tested positive so far, 28,718 are hospitalized in normal wards, 3,792 are in intensive care units, and the remaining 61,557 under home isolation.

Borrelli also confirmed that the pressure on Italian hospitals was lessening, and especially “for intensive care units, where we have now 106 fewer patients (compared to the previous day).”

The death toll grew by 604 over the last 24 hours. New fatalities registered on a daily basis had been 636 on Monday, and 525 on Sunday.

“Finally, it seems that we are beginning to see a decrease in new cases,” confirmed Giovanni Rezza, Director of Infectious Diseases Department at the National Health Institute (ISS), while addressing the press conference alongside the commissioner.

“In our epidemic curve, after a plateau phase, there seems to be a fall … the curve tends to bend down,” he explained.

However, the epidemiologist warned caution, stressing the ISS experts would rather “wait for tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, before eventually heaving a sigh of relief.”

Borrelli also praised the national health staff for its non-stop contribution in the fight against the new coronavirus. “My thoughts are with medical professionals … who are making their best to protect all of us,” he said.

“My hug also goes to all relatives of the medical professionals who died in the fight against the COVID-19,” he added.

As of Tuesday, some 26 nurses and 94 doctors have died since the pandemic hit Italy’s northern regions on Feb. 21, according to data provided by the respective professional associations.

Some five physicians lost their lives over the last 24 hours, the country’s Federation of Medical Associations (Fnomceo) said.

As for nurses, the national staff registered 6,549 infections, with an increase of 1,049 cases compared to last Saturday, Italy’s ANSA news agency reported, citing data by the National Federation of Professional Nurses Orders (Fnopi).

In a statement released for the World Health Day — which is being marked on April 7 — the Fnopi stressed nurses are “the backbone of every health system.”

According to the latest data available by the National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), Italy counted 351,008 nurses across the country in 2017, with a rate of 5.8 nurses per 1,000 inhabitants.

Also on Tuesday, Italian President Sergio Mattarella issued a declaration to mark the 70th edition of the World Health Day, renewing a call for international solidarity.

“So many deaths and sufferings have made clearer than ever the value of health as an essential component of the right to life, and as a stronghold to preserve and boost solidarity among peoples, states, and continents,” Mattarella wrote.

He recalled this year’s World Health Day was dedicated to nurses and obstetricians and praised the generosity and professionalism of which health professionals were proving capable.

“It is precisely the universal value of the right to health that calls us to a commitment, to a global co-responsibility, putting aside national egoism and privileges of any kind,” Mattarella stressed.

He called for this effort in order to give global cooperation “a great impetus of strength with regard to treatments, research, exchange of information, and supply of tools capable of saving lives.”

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