CORONAVIRUS CRISIS | As Italy ends lockdown, Milan mayor rebukes crowds socializing outside

BUCHAREST | ROMANIA – The mayor of Milan issued a furious threat on Friday to close down popular open spaces in the city after television footage showed crowed socializing and apparently ignoring public health rules aimed at preventing a resurgence of the coronavirus.

Italy loosened some of the toughest lockdown restrictions in Europe on Monday, allowing many businesses to re-open and giving people more freedom to move about but authorities have insisted that strict social distancing measures must still be respected.

The rules have been widely respected but several incidents have been reported of large groups of people, many not wearing protective masks, gathering in parks and other outdoor spaces, including the Navigli, Milan’s popular canal area.

‘Yesterda’s images from along the Navigli were disgraceful’, Giuseppe Sala, the mayor of Milan, said in one of this regular online messages from his office in the city centre.

‘Either things change today, or tomorrow I’ll be here in Palazzo Marino and I’ll pass measure to close the Navigli, I’ll stop takeaway services and then you can explain to the people who work in bars why the mayor isn’t allowing them to do business’, he said.

‘This isn’t a game, we can’t allow this in a city of 1.4 million inhabitants’, he said.

Sala’s comments reflect the deep concern among Italian authorities that the staged end to a lockdown imposed in early March could lead to a renewed flare-up in the epidemic if careful social distancing measures are not respected.

In a news conference in Rome the head of the National Health Institute, Silvio Brusaferro also warned that the epidemic was not over and called for responsible behavior.

‘The virus hasn’t changed its identity, it’s transmitted in the same way… if we form gathering and break the rules that have given our health system some breathing space then this will allow it to circulate again’, Brusaferro said.

Italy, now facing its worst recession since World War Two, has been among the worst affected countries in the world, with some 30,000 dead and Lombardy, the region around the financial capital Milan, has accounted for around half of these.

The government, desperate to get as many companies back to work as possible, plans a staged re-opening of the economy with factories and construction sites opened this week and shops allowed to open from May 18.

Restaurants and bars are allowed to sell food and drinks to take away but will not be allowed to re-open fully until June.


BREAKING NEWS | Saudi – Led Coalition Says Intercepts Drone, Houthis Say Abha Airport Hit

MILAN | ITALY – A Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said on Thursday it had intercepted and destroyed an explosive drone launched towards the kingdom as Yemen’s Houthi group said it had it a target at Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport. In a statement published by Saudi state news agency SPA, a spokesman for the coalition … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi – Led Coalition Says Intercepts Drone, Houthis Say Abha Airport Hit

ENTERTAINMENT | Paris Hilton Says She ‘Feels Free’ After YouTube Documentary

There’s a scene in a new documentary about Paris Hilton, where the so-called socialite is speaking with former classmates from a Utah boarding school. They joke about how on her reality series ‘The Simple Life’, Hilton pretended to be clueless over many things – including how to perform any sort of manual labor. One bluntly … Continue reading ENTERTAINMENT | Paris Hilton Says She ‘Feels Free’ After YouTube Documentary

ROYALS | Meghan Markle, Prince Harry Ditch Royal Titles For Upcoming Television Event

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BUSINESS | Saudi Arabia’s July Crude Exports Tick Up From Historic Lows – JODI

MILAN | ITALY – Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports bounced back to 5.73 million barrels per day (bpd) in July from 4.98 million bpd in June, official data showed on Thursday. June’s exports were the weakest recorded in data stretching back to 2002. Monthly export figures are provided by Riyadh and other members of the … Continue reading BUSINESS | Saudi Arabia’s July Crude Exports Tick Up From Historic Lows – JODI

TRAVEL | International Arrivals To Abu Dhabi Must Wear Covid-19 Tracking Device

ABU DHABI – International passengers arriving at Abu Dhabi airport will now have to wear a tracking device while they complete a mandatory 14-day home quarantine due to COVID-19, according to state-owned Eithad Airways. Daily infections in the United Arab Emirates rose this month to their highest since the outbreak started, which officials have largely … Continue reading TRAVEL | International Arrivals To Abu Dhabi Must Wear Covid-19 Tracking Device

BUSINESS | Israel, Dubai Diamond Exchanges Begin Strategic Collaboration

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Experts: Rainy Season To Further Threaten Beirut Heritage

BEIRUT – Restoring Beirut’s damaged architectural heritage following the devastating August explosion will take hundreds of millions of dollars and costs will quickly rise if no action is taken ahead of the onset of the rainy season in less than two months, international experts warned Tuesday. An international coalition of museums and heritage protection groups … Continue reading Experts: Rainy Season To Further Threaten Beirut Heritage

TRAVEL ALERT | Saudi Arabia Gradually Lifts Travel Restrictions

Saudi Arabia is gradually lifting the travel ban, by allowing a specific group of people to enter and exit the Kingdom before January 1, the expected date of the complete reopening of the land, maritime and air borders. The exact date for lifting the suspension of travel and allowing the land, sea and air transport … Continue reading TRAVEL ALERT | Saudi Arabia Gradually Lifts Travel Restrictions

NEWS ALERT | Saudi Arabia Says Rejects Any Threat To Regional Stability

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