CORONAVIRUS ALERT | Italy’s Coronavirus Outbreak Spread From Its Northern Epicenter

ROME – Italy’s coronavirus outbreak began spreading on Tuesday from its origins in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto, with new cases reported in central Tuscany, the coastal region of Liguaria and Sicily in the south.

Sicily’s regional governor Nello Musumeci said a tourist from Bergamo, in Lombardy, had been hospitalized in the island’s capital Palermo after being diagnosed with illness, and all those travelling with her had been quarantined.

The total number of cases in Italy, the country in Europe worst affected, rose to more than 280 from 229 on Monday, with 40 new cases reported in Lombardary and nine new ones in Veneto. Two cases were reported in Tuescany and one in Liguria.

The number of deaths was unchanged at seven.

An Italian on holiday in the Canary Islands also tested positive, triggering a lockdown of the 4-Star hotel he was staying in while two other Italian nationals were found positive in Austria, where they live.

They were believed to have contracted the virus during a trip to Lombardy.

As a swathe of European Union countries advised their citizens not to visit northern Italy, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said he would meet foreign ambassadors in Rome to explain the progress of the outbreak and measures taken to counter it.

The health emergency had yielded a fragile political truce between Italy’s warring parties which collapsed late on Monday after Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte suggested malpractice at a hospital in Lombardy may have fuelled the outbreak.

Conte said the hospital, which he did not name, hat not followed the correct protocol ‘and this contributed to the spread’, adding that he may consider withdrawing some of the powers the regions had over health policy.

The right-wing, opposition League party, which runs both Lombardy and Veneto, reacted furiously.

Its lower-house leader Riccardo Molinari said Conte’s words were ‘almost fascist’ while the League’s economics spokesman Claudi Borghi called the premier ‘a disgrace to the country’.

Lombardy Governor Attilio Fontana accused Conte of a ‘desperation strategy…probably trying to attack others to distract attention (from himself)’.

Officials from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Union were due to meet in Rome on Tuesday to discuss the crisis, which first broke out in China and had now spread to almost 30 other countries and territories.

Budget Leeway

As economists warned that the outbreak in Italy would probably tip its already stagnant economy into recession, a senior official said the government may need to call on the European Union to offer leeway on its budget targets.

‘There are resources the EU can give us in relation  to economic events that could lower GDP considerably’, Deputy Economy Minister Laura Castelli told RAI radio.

Italy has proportionally the highest public debt in the euro zone after Greece’s and has long struggled to respect the bloc’s strict borrowing rules.

Milan cathedral was closed to visitors, the Venice carnival, one of the world’s premier tourist attractions, was shut early for the first time in decades and airlines began restricting flight to Italy.

While the authorities urged people to remain calm, the upper house Senate in Rome obliged all parliamentarians and visitors to undergo a temperature check before entering the building.

TRAVEL | Saudi Interior Ministry To Announce Date Of Lifting Of Travel Restrictions

RIYADH – – Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry said on Tuesday it will later announce a date of lifting restrictions on citizens traveling to and from the Kingdom. The Kingdom partially lifted a suspension of international flight on Sept.15, six months after travel restrictions were imposed because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Saudi authorities had originally … Continue reading TRAVEL | Saudi Interior Ministry To Announce Date Of Lifting Of Travel Restrictions

BUSINESS | Japan Nike Ad On Bullying, Racism Sparks Hot Online Response

MILAN – A video ad from Nike Japan against bullying and racism that features biracial athletes and other minorities, such as those of Korean descent, has prompted a sharp online response including calls to boycott the company. Japan has traditionally prided itself on being racially homogenous, although successful mixed – race athletes such as tennis … Continue reading BUSINESS | Japan Nike Ad On Bullying, Racism Sparks Hot Online Response

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Congratulated President of UAE on National Day

Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, has sent a cable of congratulation to Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), on the anniversary of his  country’s National Day. In his cable, HRH Prince Mohammed Bin Salman wished the … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Congratulated President of UAE on National Day

NEWS ALERT | Saudi Crown Prince Congratulates Romania’s President On National Day

HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, has sent a cable of congratulation to President Klaus Iohannis of Romania on the anniversary of his country’s National Day. In his cable, HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wished the President constant good health and happiness … Continue reading NEWS ALERT | Saudi Crown Prince Congratulates Romania’s President On National Day

TRAVEL | Saudi Arabia Is Among 6 Safest Travel Destinations In World, In Light Of Covid-19 Pandemic

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has ranked 6th among the world safest travel destinations, in light of the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, and the only one in the Middle East. This come according to an article published on the Wego Travel Blog website, entitled ‘Safe Placed to Travel During Covid -19 Pandemic”. The classification was … Continue reading TRAVEL | Saudi Arabia Is Among 6 Safest Travel Destinations In World, In Light Of Covid-19 Pandemic

NEWS ALERT | Jordan’s King Abdullah And Palestinian Leader Abbas Meet, Hope Biden Revives Peace Process

Jordan’s King Abdullah on Sunday met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and both leaders et high hopes the U.S. President – elect Joe Biden will revive peace talks over a two-state solutions to the decades – old Arab – Israeli conflict, officials said. In a palace statement after meeting with Abbas in the Red Sea … Continue reading NEWS ALERT | Jordan’s King Abdullah And Palestinian Leader Abbas Meet, Hope Biden Revives Peace Process

NEWS ALERT | Trump Senior Aide Kushner And Team Heading To Saudi Arabia, Qatar

White House senior advise Jared Kushner and his team are headed to Saudi Arabia and Qatar this week for talks in a region simmering with tension after the killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist. A senior administration official said on Sunday that Kushner is to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Saudi … Continue reading NEWS ALERT | Trump Senior Aide Kushner And Team Heading To Saudi Arabia, Qatar

NEWS ALERT | France Must Review COVID-19 Crowd Limits On Church Attendance

France’s State Council, the country’s highest court, on Sunday ordered the government to review a law limiting the number of people in churches during religious services to 30. The Council said in a statement that the measure was not proportionate to coronavirus infection risk. Last week, the government announced that a nationwide lockdown in place … Continue reading NEWS ALERT | France Must Review COVID-19 Crowd Limits On Church Attendance

LIFESTYLE | Moscow Opens Its Biggest Outdoor Ice Rink For Winter Amid Pandemic

RIYADH – – Across town one ice rink has been converted into a COVID-19 hospital, but some Moscow residents took to the ice late on Friday as the city’s biggest outdoor rink opened for winter during the pandemic. The rink in the Soviet – era VDNKh amusement park in northern Moscow opened its doors despite … Continue reading LIFESTYLE | Moscow Opens Its Biggest Outdoor Ice Rink For Winter Amid Pandemic

NEWS ALERT | Qatar Condemns Killing Of Iranian Nuclear Scientist – Statement

MILAN – Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani condemned the killing of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in a phone call on Saturday with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Jawad Zarif, a ministry statement said. Al-Thani extended Qatar’s condolences to the government and the people of Iran and called for self-restraint following Friday’s killing which … Continue reading NEWS ALERT | Qatar Condemns Killing Of Iranian Nuclear Scientist – Statement

SPORTS | Hamilton Puts In Record Lap To Take Bahrain Pole

Seven – times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton stormed to pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix with a record lap in Saturday’s qualifying session, ahead of team mate Valtteri Bottas who completed a front – row lockout for Mercedes. The Briton lapped the 5.4 – kilometre floodlit Sakhir desert track in one minute 27, 264 seconds, … Continue reading SPORTS | Hamilton Puts In Record Lap To Take Bahrain Pole

NEWS ALERT | Montenegor Declares Serbia’s Ambassador Persona Non Grata

BELGRADE – Montenegro on Saturday declared Serbia’s ambassador persona non grata for interfering with the country’s internal affairs, the ministry of interior said in a statement. Following the announcement, Serbia declared non grata the Montenegrin ambassador to Serbia and gave him 72 hours to leave the country. In the statement, Montenegro’s ministry said that despite … Continue reading NEWS ALERT | Montenegor Declares Serbia’s Ambassador Persona Non Grata

NEWS ALERT | Russia Scrambles Fighter Jet To Escort U.S. Spy Plane Over Black Sea: RIA

Milan – – Russia scrambled an SU-27 fighter jet to intercept a U.S.RC-135 reconnaissance plane flying over neutral waters in the Black Sea, the RIA news agency cited Russia’s defence ministry as saying on Saturday. Russia said its warplane returned to its base after the U.S. reconnaissance aircraft turned away from Russia’s border. Similar incidents … Continue reading NEWS ALERT | Russia Scrambles Fighter Jet To Escort U.S. Spy Plane Over Black Sea: RIA

BUSINESS | Volkswagen Plans Small Electric Car For The Masses

MILAN – – Volkswagen is bringing forward the development of a small electric car for the mass market in anticipation of tougher climate regulations, according to plans seen by Reuters, as it seeks to boost sales in a new green era. Under the project dubbed ‘Small BEV’ (Battery Electric Vehicle)’, engineers are racing to develop … Continue reading BUSINESS | Volkswagen Plans Small Electric Car For The Masses

NEWS ALERT | Iran’s Leader Promises Retaliation For Nuclear Scientist’s Killing

MILAN – – Iran’s supreme leader promised on Saturday to retaliate for killing of the Islamic Republic’s top nuclear scientist, raising the threat of a new confrontation with the West and Israel in the remaining weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei pledged to continue the work of Moshen Fakhrizadeh, who Western and Israeli … Continue reading NEWS ALERT | Iran’s Leader Promises Retaliation For Nuclear Scientist’s Killing

BUSINESS | Twitter Release Plans To Relaunch New Verification Program Early Newt Year

Twitter Inc. on Tuesday released plans for its new policy on how people are ‘Verified’ on the site, an area the company has long promised to revamp to address confusion and criticism over the blue check-mark badges it uses to authenticate the identity of prominent accounts. The social media company said in a blog post … Continue reading BUSINESS | Twitter Release Plans To Relaunch New Verification Program Early Newt Year

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Arabia Has Suspended Turkish Meat Imports

RIYADH – – Saudi Arabia formally suspended imports of meat, eggs and other products from Turkey earlier this month, the Turkish exporters’ union said, after a months-long informal boycott of Turkish goods over political tensions between the two regional rivals. Turkish exports have reported increasing obstacles to trade in Saudi Arabia, as businessmen in the … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Arabia Has Suspended Turkish Meat Imports

BUSINESS | Facebook Cryptocurrency Libra To Launch As Early As January But Scaled Back

MILAN – – Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency is readying to launch as early as January, the Financial Times reported on Friday, citing three unidentified people involved in the project. The Geneva – based Libra Association that will issue and govern Libras plans to launch a single digital coin backed by the dollar, the FT said, citing … Continue reading BUSINESS | Facebook Cryptocurrency Libra To Launch As Early As January But Scaled Back

BUSINESS | OPEC+ Panel To Hold Informal Online Talks On Saturday

A panel of OPEC+, a group of leading oil producing countries, will hold informal online talks on Saturday prior to meetings scheduled for next week, a letter seen by Reuters showed and source with knowledge of the matter said. OPEC+ is debating whether to ease oil output cuts from Jan.1, as it previously agreed, or … Continue reading BUSINESS | OPEC+ Panel To Hold Informal Online Talks On Saturday

SPORTS | Guardiola Commits To Manchester City By Signing New Contract To 2023

Manchester City have confirmed that Pep Guardiola has signed a two-year extension to his contract, meaning he is due to stay until at least the end of the 2021/2023 season. The 49-year old has already been at City for longer than any other club he has managed, having arrived from Bayern Munich in 2016, and … Continue reading SPORTS | Guardiola Commits To Manchester City By Signing New Contract To 2023

BUSINESS | Maserati To Electrify Entire Line-Up In Next Five Years: CEO

All vehicles of Fiat Chrysler’s premium brand Maserati will be electrifies, either hybrid or full-electric, in the next five years, the unit’s chief executive said on Thursday. Maserati’s new SUV Grande, to be released next year, will be initially offered both in a combustion-engine and in a hybrid version, Davide Grasson said during a fashion … Continue reading BUSINESS | Maserati To Electrify Entire Line-Up In Next Five Years: CEO

US ELECTION | Trump Says He Will Leave White House If Biden Wins Electoral College Vote

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he will leave the White House if the Electoral College votes for President – elect Jon Biden, the closest he has come to conceding the Nov.3 election, even as he repeated his unfounded his unfounded claims of massive voter fraud. Speaking to reporters on the Thanksgiving holiday, Republican … Continue reading US ELECTION | Trump Says He Will Leave White House If Biden Wins Electoral College Vote

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince, Japan’s Suga Discuss Cooperation

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense has made a phone call to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, the Saudi Press Agency reported Thursday. During the call, the Crown Prince congratulated him on his appointment as Japan’s Prime Minister, SPA said. They discussed the enhancement of cooperation between … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince, Japan’s Suga Discuss Cooperation

BREAKING NEWS | Khalid bin Salman, Hadi Discuss Situation In Yemen

Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman has said that the Kingdom is keen on achieving stability and security in Yemen. On his Twitter account early Thursday, he said that he met with Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and discussed with him developments in Yemen. Prince Khalid reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s keenness to achieve stability … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Khalid bin Salman, Hadi Discuss Situation In Yemen

BUSINESS | Oil Tanker Hit By Blast At Saudi Terminal, Saudi Arabia Confirms

An explosion damaged a Greek-managed tanker at a Saudi Arabian terminal on the Red Sea just north of the Yemeni border, the ship’s manager said on Wednesday, in an attack confirmed by Saudi Arabia. In a statement published by state media, the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen said a commercial vessel suffered minor  … Continue reading BUSINESS | Oil Tanker Hit By Blast At Saudi Terminal, Saudi Arabia Confirms

TRAVEL | UAE Halts New Visas To Citizens Of 13 Mostly Muslim States

The United Arab Emirates has stopped issuing new visas to citizens of 13 mostly Muslim – majority countries, including Iran, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to a document issued by a state-owned business park. A source briefed on the matter told Reuters that visas had temporarily stopped being issued to Afghan, Pakistan and citizens of … Continue reading TRAVEL | UAE Halts New Visas To Citizens Of 13 Mostly Muslim States

BREAKING NEWS | Putin Thanks Saudi King Salman Over Russia OPEC+ Role

Russian President Vladimir Putin has thanked Saudi Arabia’s King Salman for the ‘active and joint cooperation’ in OPEC+. Putin said Russia and Saudi Arabia are actively cooperating in the alliance of the world’s largest oil exporters to ensure the stability of global energy markets, Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday. Putin’s remarks were made during … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Putin Thanks Saudi King Salman Over Russia OPEC+ Role

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince, British PM Discuss Boosting Cooperation

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, held telephone talks on Tuesday with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Discussion focused on way to boost cooperation between their countries. The British premier also congratulated Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Saudi Arabia’s successful hosting of the G20 Leaders Summit.

TRAVEL | German States Plan To Relax Virus Rules For Christmas

Germany’s 16 federal states plan to allow gatherings of up 10 people over Christmas and New Year, offering some relaxation of coronavirus restrictions to led families and friends celebrate together, a draft proposal showed on Tuesday. Leaders have also agreed to  dramatically boost capacity on state-owned railway Deutsche Bahn through the winter months, effectively making … Continue reading TRAVEL | German States Plan To Relax Virus Rules For Christmas

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