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Disneyland and California theme parks push for reopening

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Disneyland (David McNew:AFP)

Disneyland, Universal Studios and other theme parks have called on California officials to set out the health criteria required for them to reopen, warning that tens of thousands of jobs are at stake.

Six months after some 30 amusement parks closed “voluntarily in response to COVID,” the California Parks and Attractions Association said it had created robust measures to protect visitors and staff, but guidance from the state “has not been forthcoming.”

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“California’s amusement parks urge the Governor to issue amusement park guidelines expeditiously so these vital community attractions can reopen their doors,” said executive director Erin Guerrero in a statement to AFP on Tuesday.

Guerrero warned that “hundreds of millions of tax revenue” have been lost and many nearby local businesses had closed permanently.

Disneyland in Anaheim, south of Los Angeles, had planned to reopen July 17, but aborted after failing to get the green light from local officials.

Drawing millions of tourists each year, Disneyland is the world’s second-most visited theme park after Disney World in Florida, which has successfully reopened.

“As evidenced by the many open amusement parks in the United States and around the world, visiting an attraction will not look the same as before COVID, but California’s amusement parks are ready to responsibly reopen,” said Guerrero.

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LeBron James says ‘bubble’ season the toughest challenge of career

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LeBron James says leading the Los Angeles Lakers into the NBA Finals after nearly three months inside the league's "bubble" in Orlando ranks as the biggest challenge of his career.

The 35-year-old superstar is readying for a 10th NBA Finals appearance on Wednesday when the Lakers face the Miami Heat in the championship round of an unprecedented season that began 11 months ago.

The coronavirus pandemic forced the NBA to shut down in mid-March, and anger over racism and police brutality almost prompted James and the Lakers to abandon the season in August.

James, who is hoping to win a fourth championship ring with a third different team after previous victories with Miami and Cleveland, said Tuesday that this year's disjointed season ranked as the toughest of the lot.

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Regeneron says early trials promising for COVID-19 treatment

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The US biotech firm Regeneron said Tuesday its antibody cocktail against the coronavirus reduced viral load and recovery time in non-hospitalized Covid-19 patients during an early-stage clinical trial.

"We are highly encouraged by the robust and consistent nature of these initial data," said George Yancopoulos, the company's president and chief scientific officer.

"We have begun discussing our findings with regulatory authorities while continuing our ongoing trial," he added.

"We have begun discussing our findings with regulatory authorities while continuing our ongoing trial," he added.

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Michigan Republican fighting to block governor’s public health orders tests positive for COVID

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On Tuesday, the Detroit Free Press reported that Michigan state Rep. Beau LaFave, a Republican and a fierce critic of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's public health measures, has tested positive for COVID-19.

In a Facebook post, LaFave said, "Thankfully, the worst of my symptoms came and went this weekend, and I'm feeling much better. I am following the doctor’s orders and working from home through at least the middle of next week."

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