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Brazil tops 100,000 virus deaths as Trump extends economic aid

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) – Brazil became the second country to pass the grim milestone of 100,000 coronavirus deaths Saturday as US President Donald Trump signed executive actions extending economic help in the world’s worst-hit nation.The US leader’s orders followed failure by his Republican party and opposition Democrats to agree on a new stimulus package despite the country’s double digit unemployment, business downturn and stubbornly high coronavirus infection rates.Meanwhile just a day after Latin America and the Caribbean became the hardest-hit region in the global pandemic, Brazil reported …

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COVID-19

The latest activity popular during the pandemic: writing your will

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MINNEAPOLIS — Along with bread baking, bike riding and playing board games, add this to the list of things that have become more popular during the pandemic: writing your will.Several local lawyers specializing in trust and estate work say the number of people coming to them to prepare a will has shot up 20 to 35% since the COVID-19 virus hit.“I have been busier now than in all 23 years of my practice,” said Mary Alice Fleming, an estate planning attorney with the DeWitt law firm in Minneapolis. “It’s been unbelievable.”Local lawyers say the clients who have come to them recently have included... (more…)

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‘I’m not TSA. I’m a bartender’: Workers say they’re defenseless when customers don’t wear masks

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PHILADELPHIA — When she was working as a cashier this summer at a Walmart store in Northeast Philadelphia, a 20-year-old woman said she would see customers wearing their masks under their chins or not wearing one at all, but “it didn’t make sense to make a whole big scene,” especially if the line at her register was long. She worried that her manager would get mad at her if she slowed down the line while dealing with maskless customers.At a Philadelphia Rite Aid, a worker in her 60s was instructed to alert her manager if a customer was refusing to put on a mask. But managers, she said, usually... (more…)

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COVID-19

Rio scraps famed carnival as virus surges across globe

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Brazil has postponed Rio de Janeiro's famed carnival for next year, the latest spectacle hit by the pandemic as governments across the globe struggle to contain a surge in coronavirus infections.

Rio's carnival, famous for its gyrating Samba dancers, drummers and dancing crowds, draws millions for all night parties in packed streets, making social distancing all but impossible.

Brazil now has the world's second highest death toll after the United States -- nearly 140,000 fatalities -- and is still battling to bring the virus under control.

Rio's samba schools had already warned in July that without certainty of a vaccine this year it would be difficult to organise the February 2021 festival.

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