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New Zealand PM says ‘we beat the virus again’

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (AFP)

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared on Monday New Zealand “beat the virus again” and announced restrictions in the country’s largest city would be eased, after a second Covid-19 wave was contained.

The virus was believed to have been eradicated in late May after a strict national lockdown led to New Zealanders enjoying 102 days without community transmission.

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But a new cluster emerged in Auckland in August, forcing the city of 1.5 million into lockdown for almost three weeks.

With no new confirmed cases in Auckland for 12 days, Ardern said Monday the virus was now under control and congratulated residents for enduring the second lockdown.

“It felt longer and dragged on in what was already starting to feel like a very long year,” she said.

“But despite this, Aucklanders and New Zealanders stuck to the plan that has worked twice now, and beat the virus again.”

Ardern said from late Wednesday Auckland would join the rest of New Zealand on level one, the lowest rating on the government’s four-tier virus alert system.

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Under the change, there are no restrictions on social gatherings, allowing the second Bledisloe Cup Test in Auckland on October 18 to be played in front of a full stadium at Eden Park.

“This is positive news that (Auckland fans) will be able to enjoy Test match rugby,” New Zealand Rugby said in a statement.

New Zealand has recorded just 25 Covid-19 deaths in a population of five million, with 40 active cases in the country on Monday.

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But Ardern, who faces a general election on October 17, warned success could not be taken for granted.

She pointed to a decline in the use of the official Covid-19 tracing app and falling virus test numbers.

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“A resurgence of the virus is not our only worry, resurgence of complacency is right up there too,” Ardern said.

© 2020 AFP


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Colorado governor and husband test positive for COVID — and all Broncos QBs are benched amid outbreak

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The COVID-19 pandemic hit Colorado hard on Saturday.

"Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and his husband, Marlon Reis, have tested positive for COVID-19," The Colorado Sun reported Saturday. "The governor’s office says both are asymptomatic and isolating in their home."

The governor and first gentleman aren't the only people testing positive.

This evening I learned that First Gentleman Marlon Reis and I have tested positive for COVID-19. We are both asymptomatic, feeling well, and will continue to isolate at home. pic.twitter.com/Ttzxi72ThC

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‘Trump endangered America’s democracy’: President’s delusion broken down in brutal WaPo analysis

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President Donald Trump's refusal to accept the fact that he lost the 2020 presidential election was the focus of a Washington Post deep-dive published online Saturday night.

The story, by Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker, Josh Dawsey and Amy Gardner, was titled, "20 days of fantasy and failure: Inside Trump’s quest to overturn the election."

"The facts were indisputable: President Trump had lost. But Trump refused to see it that way," the newspaper reported. "Sequestered in the White House and brooding out of public view after his election defeat, rageful and at times delirious in a torrent of private conversations, Trump was, in the telling of one close adviser, like 'Mad King George, muttering, ‘I won. I won. I won.'’"

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Female kicker makes college American football breakthrough

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Vanderbilt University kicker Sarah Fuller made collegiate American football history Saturday as the first woman to play in a "Power Five" contest in the Commodores' 41-0 loss to Missouri.

Fuller, goalkeeper for the school's Southeastern Conference champion women's soccer squad, was given the chance to play on the gridiron after Covid-19 testing left Vanderbilt without a kicker.

"I was really excited to step out on the field and do my thing," Fuller said.

Because Vanderbilt's offensive unit sputtered, her contribution was limited to a single play -- the second-half kickoff. She punched the ball to the Missouri 35-yard line, a tricky low offering compared to the usual deeper kicks, where the Tigers fell upon it.

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