Syrian government ‘prepares for virus second wave’



a group of people standing next to a man in a suit and tie: Experts say limited testing capacity has hidden the scale of the crisis in Syria


© Reuters
Experts say limited testing capacity has hidden the scale of the crisis in Syria

The Syrian government has set up a temporary hospital for Covid-19 patients at a Damascus sports complex in preparation for what an official said was a possible second wave.

The facility at Al-Faiha Stadium will operate 120 beds for people requiring oxygen, but has capacity for 100 more.

The health ministry has reported 4,774 cases of Covid-19 and 228 deaths in government-held areas since March.

However, experts believe the actual figures are significantly higher.

Last month, researchers in the UK estimated that only a fraction of deaths due to Covid-19 in Damascus had been reported for various reasons, including limited testing capacity.

The UN warned that community transmission was widespread, as almost 90% of new cases could not be traced to a known source; infection rates among health workers were rising; and shortages of

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Cuban government urges calm as government prepares to unify dual currency system

HAVANA – Cuba’s economy minister on Monday urged calm as the government prepares to unify its dual currency system and multiple exchange rates in hopes of improving economic performance.

The Caribbean island nation is undergoing a crisis caused by an onslaught of new U.S. sanctions on top of a decades-old embargo, the pandemic and its inefficient Soviet-style command economy.

Alejandro Gil, speaking during a prime-time broadcast on state-run television, said the country could not overcome the crisis without unification which he said included wage, pension and other measures to protect the population.

CUBA SELLING USED CARS FOR 1ST TIME

“It is a profound transformation that the economy needs that will impact companies and practically everyone,” Gil said.

“It is for the good of the economy and good of our people because it creates favorable economic conditions that

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UK government prepares jobs support if firms forced to close

LONDON (AP) — The British government is on Friday set to announce further support for firms to retain staff in the coming months if they are forced to close as a result of the imposition of further lockdown restrictions.

With the government expected to tighten restrictions over the coming days to deal with a sharp spike in new coronavirus infections, there are growing concerns that the economy will suffer during the winter and that hundreds of thousands of jobs may be lost.

Treasury chief Rishi Sunak said he understood how “people are worried about the coming winter months.”


He is being urged by businesses, politicians and unions to accompany any lockdown restrictions with a financial support package to prevent mass unemployment. Specifically, he is being urged to back local job retention programs, whereby the government steps in to pay the lion’s share of the salaries of workers who are forced

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Judge rules federal law enforcement commission violates law, orders work stopped as attorney general prepares to issue report

The ruling by Senior U.S. District Judge John D. Bates in Washington came in response to a lawsuit from the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund, which sought an injunction against the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice for violating laws on how federal advisory committees must work. Bates did not issue an injunction, but ordered the commission to change its membership and comply with other aspects of the law.

“Especially in 2020,” Bates wrote, “when racial justice and civil rights issues involving law enforcement have erupted across the nation, one may legitimately question whether it is sound policy to have a group with little diversity of experience examine, behind closed doors, the sensitive issues facing law enforcement and the criminal justice system in America today.”

The 18 member commission was composed entirely of state and federal law enforcement officials, with no one from the civil

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As Facebook prepares to outsource tough content decisions to its new ‘Supreme Court,’ experts warn it still operates within a dictatorship and can’t legislate a better government



Kevin Martin, Mark Zuckerberg are posing for a picture: There's a growing appetite in Congress for increased regulation of internet platforms like Facebook. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images


© Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
There’s a growing appetite in Congress for increased regulation of internet platforms like Facebook. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

  • Facebook is launching its “oversight board” in October, a pseudo-independent group that can review — and overrule — the company’s decisions on difficult content moderation cases.
  • The Oversight Board has been described as a “Supreme Court” tasked with interpreting Facebook’s complex content policies.
  • Julie Owono, an inaugural board member, told Business Insider she hopes the board can help resolve “significant questions” about Facebook’s policies and help it focus on areas of the world it has neglected.
  • But internet law and tech policy experts worry that the board, though well-designed, allows Facebook to outsource criticism in controversial cases while letting it keep the power to make its own rules.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

More than two years after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg first floated the idea of

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