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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 160)

BlackRock Becomes a Symbol for Anticapitalist Fervor in France

Westlake Legal Group 00blackrock-1-facebookJumbo BlackRock Becomes a Symbol for Anticapitalist Fervor in France Pensions and Retirement Plans Organized Labor Macron, Emmanuel (1977- ) France Fink, Laurence D Demonstrations, Protests and Riots BlackRock Inc

PARIS — The video shows footprints in blood-red paint tracked by militant protesters across BlackRock’s French headquarters. Documents litter the floors. On the walls, black spray-painted graffiti denounces the company as “criminal.”

Just a few months ago, BlackRock, the U.S. money-management giant, was barely known to the general public in France. But as President Emmanuel Macron presses ahead with a controversial campaign to overhaul the French economy, the company has become a favorite target for growing anticapitalist sentiment.

Protesters claim BlackRock has tried to influence — and stands to profit from — Mr. Macron’s sweeping overhaul of the nation’s pension system. They point to cordial meetings between Mr. Macron and Laurence D. Fink, the founder and chief executive of BlackRock. And they fear the massive Wall Street firm — its $7 trillion under management is more than twice France’s economic output — is working behind the scenes to pick apart the country’s system of social protections.

The protests escalated with the action on Monday morning, when environmental activists who allege French workers’ pensions could be directed by BlackRock stormed the company’s offices.

Last month, it was trade unions and members of the Yellow Vest movement leading a raucous crowd to the historic Le Centorial building, where BlackRock has its offices, lighting flares and denouncing what they said was an effort to impose American-style free-market rules on France.

There is no evidence that BlackRock influenced Mr. Macron to push retirement savings to it or any other financial giant, although financial firms could get some business from part of the pension reform that encourages high-earners to invest in stocks.

And BlackRock strenuously denies the claims. “We deplore the fact that our company continues to be caught up in an unfounded controversy driven by political objectives,” it said in a statement. “We reiterate that BlackRock has never been involved in the current pension reform project and does not intend to be.”

Yet BlackRock’s role as an adviser to governments and central banks and as a major shareholder in some of the world’s biggest companies has quickly made it a symbol in a country that has long been deeply skeptical of capitalism and the stock market. The social climate here has grown more tense following recent nationwide strikes to protest the pension overhaul.

The attacks over BlackRock’s environmental policies come as the company has tried to portray itself as an industry leader in responsible investing. The protesters Monday cited BlackRock investments in the French oil giant Total and the construction company Vinci as running counter to that.

In an influential annual letter to leaders of the world’s largest companies, Mr. Fink said last month that his firm would make investment decisions with environmental sustainability as a core goal. On Wednesday, BlackRock said that one of its fast-growing green-oriented funds would stop investing in companies that get revenue from the Alberta oil sands.

Such actions have done little to placate the company’s growing cadre of critics in France, where it manages 27 billion euros in assets for local clients and invests over 185 billion euros, or $200 billion, in French equities, and corporate and government bonds.

Parliament will start debating next week the bill that aims to overhaul the nation’s convoluted pension system. Although the system has been criticized for being too generous, the incidence of poverty among older people in France is one of the lowest in the world — and far lower than in the United States.

The measure seems likely to pass because Mr. Macron’s party commands an absolute majority, despite attempts by opponents to obstruct the bill with more than 22,000 amendments. It is expected to move to the Senate in April.

In the meantime, more demonstrations have been called, including new strikes and protests next Thursday. BlackRock is likely to remain a ripe target for frustration.

The controversy broke open in December, when Mr. Macron unveiled details of his proposal to standardize France’s 42 different public and private pension schemes into one state-managed plan. Critics had already accused the president, a former investment banker, of favoring the rich with an earlier measure to reduce taxes on high earners, a step that resonated in a country where wealth is increasingly associated with injustice.

Opponents seized on a public BlackRock analyst note describing pension investment options in France — a sign, they said, that Wall Street’s biggest asset manager was seeking to profit.

The document noted that the investment-wary French hold huge piles of savings in cash, bonds and nonfinancial assets, but “disappointingly” little in stocks. (A recent study by the International Monetary Fund showed that only 5 percent of French households’ total financial assets are in stocks. That figure is nearly 34 percent for U.S. households, according to 2016 data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.)

Soon, activists began circulating photos on social media of Mr. Fink sitting next to Mr. Macron at a green finance summit in the Élysée Palace last July as proof of chummy ties.

French media ran articles highlighting BlackRock’s assessment as a sign that the company was eager to see France’s state-run pension scheme tilt toward the American system, where workers often save for pensions through investments.

In reality, Mr. Macron’s blueprint would instead largely keep France’s publicly funded pay-as-you-go system in place, a point some trade unions have recently acknowledged. An editorial Wednesday in the French economic magazine Le Point defended BlackRock as being the victim of “conspiratorial diatribes,” adding that the company was being made into a “new French scapegoat.”

Opponents insist that Mr. Macron’s plan still opens France to the influence of companies like BlackRock.

They point to a measure that would cut pension payroll taxes on people earning more than 120,000 euros annually — less than 1 percent of France’s work force — and encourage them to invest in private pension funds.

Addressing the National Assembly, Olivier Marleix, a conservative lawmaker from France’s Les Republicains party, said the proposal would divert money away from France’s social safety net. “You are offering three billion euros to pension funds,” he said. “BlackRock’s business will thrive in France.”

It didn’t help BlackRock’s image among dissidents when Mr. Macron elevated the president of BlackRock France, Jean-François Cirelli, a former civil servant who worked for two previous French presidents, to the rank of officer of the Legion of Honor, France’s highest order of merit, just as strikes over the pension reforms reached a crescendo in early January.

The news lit up social media and triggered a fresh storm of criticism that the American fund was too cozy with Mr. Macron, and would profit from the pension changes.

“BlackRock is simply the dark side of the pension reform,” Olivier Faure, the secretary general of France’s Socialist Party, told French television.

Mr. Cirelli hit back at what he said was “an unfounded and irrational” controversy.

“We are being used for political ends in a conflict that is not ours,” he said, adding that BlackRock “is not a pension fund, does not distribute any retirement savings product, and has no intention of doing so.”

Such statements have not appeased opponents. “BlackRock is an emblem,” said Benoît Martin, the head of the Paris branch of the militant General Confederation of Labor, or C.G.T. union. Mr. Martin said he was among the first wave of protesters to storm BlackRock France’s headquarters in January.

“You have Larry Fink meeting with President Macron,” he added. “We’re concerned about the influence of BlackRock in French politics.”

The union has called for more demonstrations and strikes to protest the changes. And BlackRock, Mr. Martin said, would likely remain a target.

Youth for Climate France, one of the groups that ransacked the offices on Monday, said in a statement that the protests were “symptomatic of capitalism, which is at the origin of these problems.”

“By attacking BlackRock, we’re attacking capitalism,” the group said.

Constant Méheut contributed reporting.

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Criminals with rape, manslaughter convictions spared deportation as UK court backs activists

Criminals with convictions for rape and manslaughter are among the violent and sexual offenders who were spared deportation to Jamaica after a British court backed a challenge brought by left-wing activists and had them removed from a deportation flight.

Dozens of Jamaican-born criminals were pulled off the deportation flight before it left from London on Tuesday after a judicial review blocked their removal. In all, 17 criminals were deported, but 25 were removed from the flight.

REPUBLICANS INTRODUCE BILL TO PULL FUNDS FROM STATES THAT GIVE DRIVER’S LICENSES TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

The Home Office said the Appeals Court decision prevented the removal of criminals convicted of “rape, sexual attacks, violence and drug crimes.” The Times of London reported those allowed to remain included a man who stabbed a father to death outside a pub, and a man jailed for raping a teenager and abducting another.

The prime minister’s official spokesman told The Daily Telegraph the offenses of those allowed to stay include one manslaughter, one firearms offense, seven violent offenses, two that were in the category of rape or sexual offenses and 14 drug offenses.

“We bitterly regret this decision which prevents the removal from our country of foreign criminals convicted of rape, manslaughter, sexual attacks, violence and drug crimes, which spread misery across our communities,” the spokesman said.

Judges backed a challenge by activists who claimed that some of the offenders had been unable to receive proper legal advice because of a lack of cellphone coverage for certain networks. The Home Office rejected this claim, saying those due to be removed had “ample access” to other methods of communication, including alternative mobile SIM cards, landline and Internet access, and face-to-face legal consultations.

UK POLICE MAKE NEW ARRESTS IN CASE OF 39 VIETNAM MIGRANTS FOUND DEAD IN TRUCK, RELEASE CAUSE OF DEATHS

Westlake Legal Group AP20041675889517 Criminals with rape, manslaughter convictions spared deportation as UK court backs activists fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox news fnc/world fnc article Adam Shaw 5921a7da-b641-513a-9b85-dcce448b6b33

Campaigners chant slogans outside Downing Street as they protest against government plans to deport 50 people to Jamaica, in London, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)

Activists and left-wing members of parliament (MP) had also argued that while they were foreign nationals, many of them had lived in the U.K. since they were children and therefore should be treated like British nationals. Labour MP Diane Abbott said there was concern that the deportations “constitutes double jeopardy because the persons have already served an appropriate sentence for their crime.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson defended the decision to deport them this week, when he told the House of Commons it is “entirely right that foreign national offenders should be deported from this country in accordance with the law.”

“We make no apology whatsoever for seeking to remove dangerous foreign criminals,” the Home Office said in a statement. “We will be urgently pursuing the removal of those who were prevented from boarding the flight due to a legal challenge over a mobile network failure.”

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The Home Office, instead, drew attention to those who had been removed by highlighting that the 17 criminals who were deported had a combined sentence of 75 years, including 15.5 years for rape, 16 years for violent offenses, 14 years for robbery with possession of a firearm and nearly 29 years for drug offenses.

Activists and lawmakers had compared the flights to the Windrush scandal — whereby many who had arrived in the U.K. from Caribbean countries decades ago were deported despite having the legal right to stay in the U.K.

But government ministers have noted that those deported under the Windrush scandal had not done anything wrong and had their documentation destroyed by the then-government, while Tuesday’s deportation flight involved were all foreign national offenders.

Westlake Legal Group AP20041675889517 Criminals with rape, manslaughter convictions spared deportation as UK court backs activists fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox news fnc/world fnc article Adam Shaw 5921a7da-b641-513a-9b85-dcce448b6b33   Westlake Legal Group AP20041675889517 Criminals with rape, manslaughter convictions spared deportation as UK court backs activists fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox news fnc/world fnc article Adam Shaw 5921a7da-b641-513a-9b85-dcce448b6b33

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Keith Urban, Nicole Kidman celebrate Valentine’s Day at Dollywood

Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman know how to keep the spark alive.

The country artist and award-winning actress, both 52, apparently celebrated Valentine’s Day one day early by paying a visit to Dolly Parton’s famous theme park, Dollywood, in Nashville, Tenn.

Urban posted a sweet photo of the pair posing together inside of a gigantic heart-shaped frame made of wooden logs.

GRAMMYS 2020: KEITH URBAN LEAVING AWARD SHOW ‘ASAP’ TO TAKE CARE OF WIFE NICOLE KIDMAN WHO HAS THE FLU

“HAPPY VALENTINES DAY❤️🔥💋,” Urban captioned the pic posted late Thursday night.

The couple was dressed down in matching knit hats and raincoats for a day of fun.

Kidman’s “Big Little Lies” co-star Reese Witherspoon commented on the pic, calling the pair “Sweet hearts.”

NICOLE KIDMAN SAYS SHE WAS ‘MORE SCARED’ BEFORE MEETING KEITH URBAN: ‘NOW I FEEL PROTECTED’

Kidman followed up with a post of her own on Valentine’s Day with a close-up photo of the Hollywood stars touching foreheads.

“My Valentine forever #HappyValentinesDay,” Kidman wrote.

Urban and Kidman celebrated their 13th wedding anniversary last June.

Kidman opened up about her marriage to Urban in a recent interview with Sunday Life. When asked how she likes to unwind, her answer involved having her husband by her side.

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Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-1141194067 Keith Urban, Nicole Kidman celebrate Valentine's Day at Dollywood Melissa Roberto fox-news/person/nicole-kidman fox-news/person/keith-urban fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 41a14539-37a2-590c-a5c8-86f36f7b2c4f

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban attend the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 2019. (Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

“I like to relax by meditating, but what makes me feel most comfortable and secure is being with Keith,” she said of her husband, country star and fellow Aussie. “Having a partner by your side, someone with whom you can talk, who loves you and who you love, balances everything.”

Kidman continued: “Before I met him, I was more scared. Now I feel protected thanks to this great friend and wonderful partner I have.”

Westlake Legal Group 6eef6461fdcfcf7936d7247ce9cf4725w-c0xd-w640_h480_q80 Keith Urban, Nicole Kidman celebrate Valentine's Day at Dollywood Melissa Roberto fox-news/person/nicole-kidman fox-news/person/keith-urban fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 41a14539-37a2-590c-a5c8-86f36f7b2c4f   Westlake Legal Group 6eef6461fdcfcf7936d7247ce9cf4725w-c0xd-w640_h480_q80 Keith Urban, Nicole Kidman celebrate Valentine's Day at Dollywood Melissa Roberto fox-news/person/nicole-kidman fox-news/person/keith-urban fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 41a14539-37a2-590c-a5c8-86f36f7b2c4f

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Myles Garrett reiterates claim Steelers’ Mason Rudolph used racial slur to spark helmet-swinging incident

Just one day after getting reinstated by the NFL over the helmet-swinging incident, Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett again alleged that Mason Rudolph sparked the November fight when he called him a racial slur.

Garrett told ESPN’s Mina Kimes during an interview Thursday night that the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback “called me a ‘stupid N-word” during the Nov. 14 game, which “sparked” the viral moment he ripped rip off Rudolph’s helmet and hit him over the head with it.

TWO OHIO STATE FOOTBALL PLAYERS JAILED FOLLOWING RAPE, KIDNAPPING CHARGES

“When he said it, it kind of sparked something, but I still tried to let it go and still walk away,” Garrett said. “But once he came back, it kind of reignited the situation. And not only have you escalated things past what they needed to be with such little time in the game left, now you’re trying to reengage and start a fight again.”

Westlake Legal Group Miles-Garrett-helmet-hit-Getty Myles Garrett reiterates claim Steelers' Mason Rudolph used racial slur to spark helmet-swinging incident Paulina Dedaj fox-news/sports/nfl/pittsburgh-steelers fox-news/sports/nfl/cleveland-browns fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/myles-garrett fox-news/person/mason-rudolph fox news fnc/sports fnc e4d4334c-ee98-5a74-85be-425d4a819ae8 article

Quarterback Mason Rudolph #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers fights with defensive end Myles Garrett #95 of the Cleveland Browns during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 14, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns defeated the Steelers 21-7. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Garrett went on to say that it was “not entirely” Rudolph’s fault.

“It’s definitely both parties doing something that we shouldn’t have been doing,” he said.

Garrett was suspended for the final six regular-season games and the playoffs. He apologized but during a hearing with the NFL to get his suspension reduced he accused Rudolph of using a racial slur to incite him.

“I was assured that the hearing was space that afforded the opportunity to speak openly and honestly about the incident that led to my suspension,” he said in November. “This was not meant for public dissemination, nor was it a convenient attempt to justify my actions or restore my image in the eyes of those I disappointed. I know what I heard. Whether my opponent’s comment was born out of frustration or ignorance, I cannot say. But his actions do not excuse my lack of restraint in the moment, and I truly regret the impact this has had on the league, the Browns and our devoted fans.”

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Westlake Legal Group Mason-Rudolph Myles Garrett reiterates claim Steelers' Mason Rudolph used racial slur to spark helmet-swinging incident Paulina Dedaj fox-news/sports/nfl/pittsburgh-steelers fox-news/sports/nfl/cleveland-browns fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/myles-garrett fox-news/person/mason-rudolph fox news fnc/sports fnc e4d4334c-ee98-5a74-85be-425d4a819ae8 article

Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) reacts after swinging a helmet at Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph (2) in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Cleveland. The Browns won 21-7. (AP Photo/David Richard)

The NFL “found no such evidence” to back Garrett’s initial accusation. Rudolph has adamantly denied ever using a racial slur against Garrett.

“I couldn’t believe he would go that route after the fact,” he said at the time.

Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 11_GettyImages-1187748357 Myles Garrett reiterates claim Steelers' Mason Rudolph used racial slur to spark helmet-swinging incident Paulina Dedaj fox-news/sports/nfl/pittsburgh-steelers fox-news/sports/nfl/cleveland-browns fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/myles-garrett fox-news/person/mason-rudolph fox news fnc/sports fnc e4d4334c-ee98-5a74-85be-425d4a819ae8 article   Westlake Legal Group 11_GettyImages-1187748357 Myles Garrett reiterates claim Steelers' Mason Rudolph used racial slur to spark helmet-swinging incident Paulina Dedaj fox-news/sports/nfl/pittsburgh-steelers fox-news/sports/nfl/cleveland-browns fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/myles-garrett fox-news/person/mason-rudolph fox news fnc/sports fnc e4d4334c-ee98-5a74-85be-425d4a819ae8 article

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Sun Belt Conference men’s basketball championship history

The Sun Belt Conference holds an annual men’s basketball tournament with the winner getting an automatic bid to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

The conference features 12 teams, including Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Little Rock, Louisiana, Louisiana Monroe, South Alabama, Texas-Arlington, Texas State and Troy.

The men’s basketball conference tournament begins March 7 and runs through March 15.

The Sun Belt Conference started conference tournaments in 1977.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE COLLEGE BASKETBALL COVERAGE

Read below for a list of past winners.

2019: GEORGIA STATE

Westlake Legal Group Malik-Benlevi Sun Belt Conference men's basketball championship history Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/ncaa/south-alabama-jaguars fox-news/sports/ncaa/louisiana-ragin-cajuns fox-news/sports/ncaa/little-rock-trojans fox-news/sports/ncaa/georgia-state-panthers fox-news/sports/ncaa/georgia-southern-eagles fox-news/sports/ncaa/coastal-carolina-chanticleers fox-news/sports/ncaa/arkansas-state-red-wolves fox-news/sports/ncaa/appalachian-state-mountaineers fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fox news fnc/sports fnc article 6800f574-9184-5469-879d-b57023fae6b7

Malik Benlevi helped Georgia State to a Sun Belt Conference title in 2019. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

In a rematch of 2018, Georgia State again took care of Texas-Arlington. The Panthers won, 73-64. Malik Benlevi was named MVP.

2018: GEORGIA STATE

Georgia State won its second title in 2018. The Panthers defeated Texas-Arlington, 74-61. D’Marcus Simonds was named MVP.

2017: TROY

Troy won its first title in 2017. The Trojans defeated Texas State, 59-53. Wesley Person Jr. was named MVP of the tournament.

2016: LITTLE ROCK

Little Rock defeated Louisiana-Monroe, 70-50, to win in 2016. Roger Woods was named MVP of the tournament.

MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

2015: GEORGIA STATE

George State narrowly defeated Georgia Southern in 2015. The Panthers won, 38-36. Kevin Ware was named MVP.

2014: LOUISIANA

Louisiana-Lafayette won the title and didn’t have to vacate it in 2014. They defeated Georgia State, 82-81 in overtime. Bryant Mbamalu was named MVP.

2013: WESTERN KENTUCKY

Western Kentucky won its ninth championship in 2013. The Hilltoppers defeated FIU, 65-63. T.J. Price was named MVP of the tournament.

2012: WESTERN KENTUCKY

Western Kentucky defeated North Texas in 2012, 74-70. George Fant was named MVP of the tournament.

2011: LITTLE ROCK

Little Rock knocked off North Texas, 64-63. Solomon Bozeman was named the MVP.

2010: NORTH TEXAS

North Texas won its second title in 2010. The Mean Green beat Troy, 66-63. Eric Tramiel won the MVP of the tournament.

2009: WESTERN KENTUCKY

Western Kentucky repeated as champions in 2009. They defeated South Alabama, 64-55. A.J. Slaughter was named MVP.

MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

2008: WESTERN KENTUCKY

Western Kentucky won the title in 2008. They defeated Middle Tennessee State, 67-57. Jeremy Evans was named MVP.

2007: NORTH TEXAS

North Texas won its first Sun Belt Conference in 2007. The Mean Green defeated Arkansas State, 83-75. Calvin Watson was named MVP.

2006: SOUTH ALABAMA

South Alabama defeated Western Kentucky, 95-70. Chey Christie was named MVP of the tournament.

2005: LOUISIANA

Louisiana-Lafayette won the conference tournament but the title was later vacated.

2004: LOUISIANA

Louisiana-Lafayette won the conference tournament but the title was later vacated. The Ragin’ Cajuns had their titles from 2004 and 2005 vacated as part of the penalty for major NCAA violations in the men’s basketball program.

2003: WESTERN KENTUCKY

Western Kentucky defeated Middle Tennessee State for its third straight title. Patrick Sparks was named MVP.

2002: WESTERN KENTUCKY

Western Kentucky repeated as champs in 2002. They defeated Louisiana-Lafayette, 76-70. Derek Robinson was named MVP.

2001: WESTERN KENTUCKY

Western Kentucky started its short reign of the Sun Belt Conference in 2001. The Hilltoppers defeated South Alabama, 64-54. Chris Marcus was named MVP.

2000: LOUISIANA

Louisiana-Lafayette defeated South Alabama, 51-50, in 2000. Virgil Stanescu was named MVP.

BIG SOUTH CONFERENCE MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

1999: ARKANSAS STATE

Arkansas State won the Sun Belt for the first time in 1999. They defeated Western Kentucky, 65-48. Chico Fletcher was named the MVP.

1998: SOUTH ALABAMA

South Alabama repeated as champions in 1998. The Jaguars defeated Southwestern Louisiana, 62-59. Toby Madison was named MVP.

1997: SOUTH ALABAMA

South Alabama got back to the winner’s podium in 1997. They defeated Louisiana Tech, 44-43. Rusty Yoder was named MVP of the tournament.

1996: NEW ORLEANS

New Orleans picked up another conference title win in 1996. The Privateers narrowly defeated Little Rock, 57-56. Lewis Sims was named MVP.

1995: WESTERN KENTUCKY

Western Kentucky edged out Little Rock, 82-79. Chris Robinson was named MVP.

1994: SOUTHWESTERN LOUISIANA

Southwestern Louisiana defeated Western Kentucky, 78-72. Michael Allen was named MVP.

1993: WESTERN KENTUCKY

Western Kentucky won the conference tournament in 1993. The Hilltoppers defeated New Orleans, 72-63. Darnell Mee was named the MVP.

1992: SOUTHWESTERN LOUISIANA

Southwestern Louisiana came away with its first title in 1992. They defeated Louisiana Tech, 75-71. Todd Hill was named MVP.

1991: SOUTH ALABAMA

Westlake Legal Group Chris-Gatling Sun Belt Conference men's basketball championship history Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/ncaa/south-alabama-jaguars fox-news/sports/ncaa/louisiana-ragin-cajuns fox-news/sports/ncaa/little-rock-trojans fox-news/sports/ncaa/georgia-state-panthers fox-news/sports/ncaa/georgia-southern-eagles fox-news/sports/ncaa/coastal-carolina-chanticleers fox-news/sports/ncaa/arkansas-state-red-wolves fox-news/sports/ncaa/appalachian-state-mountaineers fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fox news fnc/sports fnc article 6800f574-9184-5469-879d-b57023fae6b7

Future NBA forward Chris Gatling won the MVP in the 1991 tournament. (Ezra O. Shaw /Allsport)

South Alabama won its second title in three seasons in 1991. The Jaguars defeated Old Dominion, 86-81. Chris Gatling, of Old Dominion, was named MVP.

1990: SOUTH FLORIDA

South Florida won its first Sun Belt title in 1990. The Bulls defeated Charlotte, 81-74. Radenko Dobras was named MVP.

1989: SOUTH ALABAMA

South Alabama won its first Sun Belt title in 1989. The Jaguars demolished Jacksonville, 105-59. Jeff Hodge was named MVP of the tournament.

1988: CHARLOTTE

Charlotte won its first since the start of the Sun Belt in ’77. The 49ers defeated VCU, 81-79. Byron Dinkins was named MVP.

1987: UAB

UAB won its fourth championship in 1987. They defeated Western Kentucky, 72-60. Tracy Foster was named MVP.

CAA MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

1986: JACKSONVILLE

Jacksonville won its first title since 1979. They defeated UAB, 70-69. Otis Smith was named MVP.

1985: VCU

VCU won its third title in 1985. The Rams defeated Old Dominion, 87-82. Mike Schlegal was named MVP of the tournament.

1984: UAB

UAB became the first team to three-peat in 1984. They defeated Old Dominion, 62-60. McKinley Singleton was named MVP.

1983: UAB

UAB won back-to-back championships in 1983. They defeated South Florida, 64-57. Cliff Pruitt was named MVP.

1982: UAB

UAB still maintained a big presence in the Sun Belt. They finally broke through in 1982 and won their first title over VCU, 94-83. Oliver Robinson was named MVP.

1981: VCU

VCU knocked off UAB again in 1981. The Rams defeated the Blazers, 62-61. Kenny Stancil was named MVP.

AMERICA EAST CONFERENCE MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

1980: VCU

VCU became the first team to score 100 or more points on the conference title game, defeating UAB 105-88. Edmund Sherod was named MVP.

1979: JACKSONVILLE

Jacksonville defeated South Florida in 1979, 68-54. James Ray was named MVP.

1978: NEW ORLEANS

The New Orleans Privateers got back to the championship game the next season and won, 22-20, over South Alabama. Nate Mills was named the MVP.

1977: CHARLOTTE

The Charlotte 49ers won the first Sun Belt Conference tournament in 1977. They edged New Orleans, 71-70. Cedric Maxwell was named MVP.

Westlake Legal Group Sun-Belt-Conference-logo1 Sun Belt Conference men's basketball championship history Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/ncaa/south-alabama-jaguars fox-news/sports/ncaa/louisiana-ragin-cajuns fox-news/sports/ncaa/little-rock-trojans fox-news/sports/ncaa/georgia-state-panthers fox-news/sports/ncaa/georgia-southern-eagles fox-news/sports/ncaa/coastal-carolina-chanticleers fox-news/sports/ncaa/arkansas-state-red-wolves fox-news/sports/ncaa/appalachian-state-mountaineers fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fox news fnc/sports fnc article 6800f574-9184-5469-879d-b57023fae6b7   Westlake Legal Group Sun-Belt-Conference-logo1 Sun Belt Conference men's basketball championship history Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/ncaa/south-alabama-jaguars fox-news/sports/ncaa/louisiana-ragin-cajuns fox-news/sports/ncaa/little-rock-trojans fox-news/sports/ncaa/georgia-state-panthers fox-news/sports/ncaa/georgia-southern-eagles fox-news/sports/ncaa/coastal-carolina-chanticleers fox-news/sports/ncaa/arkansas-state-red-wolves fox-news/sports/ncaa/appalachian-state-mountaineers fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fox news fnc/sports fnc article 6800f574-9184-5469-879d-b57023fae6b7

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China’s Doctors, Fighting the Coronavirus, Beg for Masks

WUHAN, China — In the hospital where Yu Yajie works, nurses, doctors and other medical professionals fighting the new coronavirus have also been fighting dire shortages. They have used tape to patch up battered protective masks, repeatedly reused goggles meant for one-time use, and wrapped their shoes in plastic bags for lack of specialized coverings.

Ms. Yu is now lying at home, feverish and fearful that she has been infected with the virus. She and other employees at the hospital said a lack of effective protective wear had left medical workers like her vulnerable in Wuhan, the central Chinese city at the heart of the epidemic that has engulfed this region.

“There are risks — there simply aren’t enough resources,” Ms. Yu, an administrator at Wuhan Central Hospital, said in a brief telephone interview, adding that she was too weak to speak at length.

Chinese medical workers at the forefront of the fight against the coronavirus epidemic are often becoming its victims, in part because of government missteps and logistical hurdles.

After the virus emerged in Wuhan late last year, city leaders played down its risks, so doctors didn’t take precautions. When the outbreak could no longer be ignored, officials imposed a lockdown on Wuhan that expanded across the surrounding Hubei Province and then swathes of China. The vast travel cordons may have slowed the epidemic, but they have also slowed deliveries into Hubei, leaving medical workers short of protective wear.

On Friday, the Chinese government for the first time disclosed the toll the outbreak was taking on hospital employees. An official said 1,716 medical workers had contracted the virus, including 1,502 in Wuhan, and six of them had died. He did not share the names of the dead.

The strength — or vulnerability — of China’s medical workers could shape how well the Communist Party weathers its worst political crisis in years. Li Wenliang, a doctor, died from the coronavirus last week, after he had been punished by the police for warning friends of the outbreak. His death ignited a wave of fury in China, where he was lionized as a medical martyr to officials who put political control ahead of health.

“Of course I’m nervous about getting infected,” said Cai Yi, head of the division of pain management at Wuhan Central Hospital, the same hospital where Dr. Li had worked. “But if we let ourselves be nervous, then what would happen to the people?”

China’s president and Communist Party leader, Xi Jinping, has praised hospital workers in Hubei as heroes, and mobilized the mighty power of the country in a “people’s war” against the coronavirus. But hospital workers in Wuhan said they often felt frustrated and alone in their fight.

  • What do you need to know? Start here.

    Updated Feb. 10, 2020

    • What is a Coronavirus?
      It is a novel virus named for the crown-like spikes that protrude from its surface. The coronavirus can infect both animals and people, and can cause a range of respiratory illnesses from the common cold to more dangerous conditions like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.
    • How contagious is the virus?
      According to preliminary research, it seems moderately infectious, similar to SARS, and is possibly transmitted through the air. Scientists have estimated that each infected person could spread it to somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 people without effective containment measures.
    • How worried should I be?
      While the virus is a serious public health concern, the risk to most people outside China remains very low, and seasonal flu is a more immediate threat.
    • Who is working to contain the virus?
      World Health Organization officials have praised China’s aggressive response to the virus by closing transportation, schools and markets. This week, a team of experts from the W.H.O. arrived in Beijing to offer assistance.
    • What if I’m traveling?
      The United States and Australia are temporarily denying entry to noncitizens who recently traveled to China and several airlines have canceled flights.
    • How do I keep myself and others safe?
      Washing your hands frequently is the most important thing you can do, along with staying at home when you’re sick.

Some have scrambled to buy protective gear with their own money, begged from friends, or relied on donations from other parts of China and abroad. Others have avoided eating and drinking for long stretches because going to the toilet meant removing and discarding safety gowns that they would not be able to replace. Younger staff are assigned to the more critical cases, with the expectation that if they get sick they would be more likely to recover.

Even as Chinese officials disclosed how many medical workers have been sickened and killed by the virus, key questions remain unanswered, experts said, including how the workers became infected and whether the rate of transmission was slowing. Such omissions could make it more difficult for other countries to assess and reduce their own risks.

“Clearly it would have been useful for other parts of China who are beginning to struggle with this outbreak as well for the rest of the world to have these types of data as soon as possible,” said Malik Peiris, a virologist at the University of Hong Kong.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said it is seeking more information about the time period and circumstances surrounding the infections of health care workers.

“This is a critical piece of information, because health workers are the glue that holds the health system and outbreak response together,” Dr. Tedros said.

Westlake Legal Group china-wuhan-coronavirus-maps-promo-articleLarge-v25 China’s Doctors, Fighting the Coronavirus, Beg for Masks Wuhan (China) Viruses Shortages Protective Clothing and Gear Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Communist Party of China China

Coronavirus Map: Tracking the Spread of the Outbreak

The virus has sickened more than 64,400 people in China and 24 other countries.

Doctors and other hospital workers have also come under pressure not to speak out. But many do, out of desperation.

“For the first time, I felt helpless confronting the system,” Chang Le, a doctor at Hankou Hospital in Wuhan, said in an online message pleading for more medical masks. His plea was deleted by the censors. “It’s only today that I’ve grasped just how hard it is for us front line medical workers.”

The Chinese government has acknowledged problems in medical supplies for Hubei, and repeatedly promised to speed up deliveries.

Strains in medical supplies may have been unavoidable as the virus spread with a fury that seemed to catch the government off guard. But the sweeping restrictions across China to contain the virus also slowed production and delivery of much-needed medical equipment, said doctors, factory managers, and aid workers.

Pervasive road checks and travel restrictions have held up shipments. Factories have faced difficulty ramping up production because workers and raw materials have been blocked by lockdowns. Local governments have hoarded supplies. China’s state-controlled Red Cross has dominated distribution of donations, creating a bottleneck that infuriated hospital employees.

With medical supplies so scarce, many health care workers in Wuhan also said they had to accept substandard gowns, gloves and masks. Outside the Wuhan Fourth Hospital, medical workers waited near a truck as a delivery man in a full-body medical suit handed down boxes of masks and gowns. One hospital worker explained that the gowns were not of a high enough grade to withstand a viral contagion.

“But this is all we could get,” she said. She declined to give her name. “We just have to accept what they send us.”

Life has become a scramble, many said: treating patients for much of the day; hunting for protective gear for the rest. The shortage has forced employees, like Dr. Chang, from the city’s hospitals to appeal for donations of N95 masks — a type of respirator best suited to guarding against viruses — and other personal protective equipment on Chinese social media sites.

Dr. Peng Zhiyong, 53, head of the department of critical care medicine at Wuhan University’s Zhongnan Hospital, said in an interview this week that his team was running dangerously low on full-body medical suits and masks. We can only get one break during the entire day,” he said. “Just one, to drink water and eat. Because if you leave, you don’t have any new suits to get back into.”

The first time the authorities publicly acknowledged a problem with medical workers catching the virus was on Jan. 20, when an official expert revealed that 14 had been infected by a single patient. Until the government released details on Friday, details were scattershot, emerging in studies and news reports.

Dr. Peng and other researchers wrote that 40 health care professionals at his hospital had been infected with the virus in January, a third of the cases included in a study published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

A 61-year-old doctor died nine days after contracting the virus from a patient, according to a report by the newspaper China Philanthropy Times.

Another doctor had started to show symptoms of the coronavirus early last month, before medical professionals knew to take extra precautions, according to the state-run Health Times newspaper. He died this past Monday.

During the severe acute respiratory syndrome or SARS outbreak of 2002-2003, infections of medical workers became a source of anger after the government suppressed information about the virus for months. These workers made up 15 percent of confirmed cases, according to an expert, Xu Dezhong, quoted by Xinhua, China’s official news agency. About 1 percent of the medical workers infected with SARS died.

The pleas from hospitals across Hubei have inspired an outpouring of donations from Chinese businesses, workers and charities. But the surge in demand for medical equipment has been hard for suppliers to meet, especially under the lockdown.

Officials in the city of Xiantao in Hubei at first told some companies making protective medical clothing and masks that their factories could not reopen until Feb. 14. An outcry followed, and the city’s officials relented on Monday, saying that 73 of the companies could resume operations.

The roads to Hubei are also full of hurdles. In theory, the government has created “green channels” to speed through trucks carrying masks, gowns and equipment. In practice, local officials and police can hold up journeys.

One truck driver recounted being stopped 14 times for body temperature checks when he set out from Wuhan to pick up medical supplies, The Beijing News, a state-run Chinese newspaper, reported.

Guo Fei, a 27-year-old entrepreneur who has been helping to buy and deliver supplies to hospitals in Xiaogan, a city in Hubei, said his team was held by the police for around eight hours in a neighboring province, Jiangxi, when they went there to pick up an order of hygienic gloves. The police seemed to be acting for local officials who wanted to retain the supplies for their area, he said.

“I can accept government controls,” he said, “but not local protectionism.”

Doctors also criticized bureaucracy for clogging up distribution. Many donations of medical supplies must be funneled through the Red Cross, and the organization — understaffed and overwhelmed — has struggled.

In a furious social media post, Dr. Chang, the doctor at the Hankou Hospital, described his experience trying to get 10,000 N95 masks from the Red Cross. He was eventually given more than 9,000 masks of inferior quality, he said.

“I just wanted to cry,” he said at the end of his video message.

Premier Li Keqiang, who oversees a policy team for the crisis, said in early February that “unified national management” would help overcome the shortages

Just a week later, China’s Politburo Standing Committee, the Communist Party’s top most council, said problems with insufficient beds, medical personnel and other medical resources persisted across Hubei. According to official data from the province, deliveries of high-quality masks and other items have accelerated in recent days.

Until conditions markedly improve, medical workers will still be forced to make hard adjustments. Dr. Cai, from Wuhan Central Hospital, said he has assigned younger medical workers to treat coronavirus patients to avoid endangering more seasoned employees. “To be honest, if older doctors get infected, their immune system is much weaker,” he said.

Dr. Peng of Zhongnan Hospital said more attention had to be paid to the fate of medical workers. “Because when the country doesn’t have any more medical workers, then what hope is there left?”

Sui-Lee Wee reported from Singapore. Elsie Chen contributed research from Wuhan. Roni Caryn Rabin contributed reporting from New York. Amber Wang, Wang Yiwei and Zoe Mou contributed research from Beijing.

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Coronavirus Live Updates: Beijing Sets Stringent New Quarantine Rules

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group 14china-briefing6-articleLarge Coronavirus Live Updates: Beijing Sets Stringent New Quarantine Rules Tests (Medical) Quarantines Hubei Province (China) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China

A checkpoint outside an office building in Beijing. Even before the capital issued its new rules, local committees had been playing an increasingly assertive role across China.Credit…Gilles Sabrie for The New York Times

Chinese state-run television announced on its website on Friday evening that everyone returning to Beijing would be required to isolate themselves for 14 days.

Anyone who does not comply “shall be held accountable according to law,” according to a text of the order released by state television. The order was issued by a Communist Party “leading group” at the municipal level, not the national Communist Party.

It was the latest sign that China’s leaders were still struggling to set the right balance between restarting the economy and continuing to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the country’s top officials met and issued orders that included a mandate to help people to return to workplaces from their hometowns. Tens of millions had gone home to celebrate Lunar New Year holidays before the government acknowledged the seriousness of the epidemic. They have faced local government checkpoints on the way back to work and then lengthy quarantines upon their return to big cities.

But while national leaders may be worried that travel restrictions and quarantines may be preventing companies from finding enough workers to resume full production, that did not stop Beijing municipal leaders from further tightening controls on Friday evening in the city.

The policy may reduce the chances that people returning from the hinterlands could infect the country’s elite.

The new rules also require those returning to the city to give advance warning of their arrival to the authorities in their residential area. China maintained extensive controls on citizens’ movements under Mao, and some of the institutions and rules from that period have been re-emerging lately.

Even before Beijing issued its new rules, so-called neighborhood committees had been playing an increasingly assertive role across the country, including in Shanghai. They have been demanding that recent returnees isolate themselves for 14 days upon arrival, venturing out for little except food.

For more than a month, medical workers in Hubei, the province at the center of the coronavirus outbreak, have been working nearly nonstop even as they struggled with a shortage of personal protective equipment such as masks, gowns and safety goggles.

For the first time on Friday, China disclosed figures that drove home the risks faced by those on the front line: 1,716 medical workers have contracted the virus and six of them have died. Of those people, 1,502 were in Hubei Province, with 1,102 of them in Wuhan, the provincial capital and the center of the outbreak.

The announcement was the first official confirmation about the number of infected medical workers, and is likely to ratchet up fears about the spread of the virus.

“I think it’s quite concerning,” said Benjamin Cowling, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Hong Kong. “Health care workers face the challenge of caring for a substantial number of patients in Wuhan. It’s worrying to discover that a number of them have been infected.”

Zeng Yixin, deputy director of the National Health Commission, said the numbers of infected workers represented 3.8 percent of China’s overall confirmed infections as of Feb. 11.

He added that further research was needed to ascertain whether the infections spread throughout the hospital or within the community.

  • What do you need to know? Start here.

    Updated Feb. 10, 2020

    • What is a Coronavirus?
      It is a novel virus named for the crown-like spikes that protrude from its surface. The coronavirus can infect both animals and people, and can cause a range of respiratory illnesses from the common cold to more dangerous conditions like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.
    • How contagious is the virus?
      According to preliminary research, it seems moderately infectious, similar to SARS, and is possibly transmitted through the air. Scientists have estimated that each infected person could spread it to somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 people without effective containment measures.
    • How worried should I be?
      While the virus is a serious public health concern, the risk to most people outside China remains very low, and seasonal flu is a more immediate threat.
    • Who is working to contain the virus?
      World Health Organization officials have praised China’s aggressive response to the virus by closing transportation, schools and markets. This week, a team of experts from the W.H.O. arrived in Beijing to offer assistance.
    • What if I’m traveling?
      The United States and Australia are temporarily denying entry to noncitizens who recently traveled to China and several airlines have canceled flights.
    • How do I keep myself and others safe?
      Washing your hands frequently is the most important thing you can do, along with staying at home when you’re sick.

Medical workers, struggling to both treat patients and keep themselves safe, have resorted to begging from friends, putting out frequent calls for donations, and using tape to patch up torn masks and gowns.

Many doctors and nurses there say they eat just one meal a day because going to the restroom means removing and discarding safety gowns that they would not be able to replace.

During the SARS outbreak of 2002-3, 961 medical workers were infected, representing 18 percent of all infections, according to government data. About 1 percent of the medical workers infected with SARS died, a medical expert, Xu Dezhong, told Xinhua, China’s official news agency.

Westlake Legal Group china-wuhan-coronavirus-maps-promo-articleLarge-v25 Coronavirus Live Updates: Beijing Sets Stringent New Quarantine Rules Tests (Medical) Quarantines Hubei Province (China) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China

Coronavirus Map: Tracking the Spread of the Outbreak

The virus has sickened more than 64,400 people in China and 24 other countries.

A senior health official in Wuhan, China, the center of the outbreak, has called on residents who have recovered from the coronavirus to donate blood plasma, believing their naturally produced antibodies could be used to treat patients who are still sick.

Dr. Zhang Dingyu, the director of the Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan, made his appeal on Thursday after Chinese researchers said they believed that such antibody treatments could help people recover from the virus.

The search for a drug capable of treating or curing the virus has frustrated researchers, as rates of infection and deaths continue to mount.

The government is currently prescribing a combination of antiviral drugs and traditional Chinese medicine. But on Thursday, China National Biotec Group, a state-owned company under the Ministry of Health, said it had found that administering a round of human antibodies from the survivors to more than 10 critically ill patients caused inflammation levels to drop significantly after 12 to 24 hours of treatment.

The company called the use of plasma “the most effective method, which can significantly reduce the mortality of critically ill patients.”

Benjamin Cowling, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Hong Kong, said the use of antibodies to treat the coronavirus was “a really good idea,” noting that it had been used before in influenza pandemics. But he cautioned that it needed to be proven in a controlled trial.

“It’s basically transferring immunity from a patient who has recovered to a patient still fighting the infection, and then helping them to recover,” he said.

Numbers continued to climb after the government changed the criteria by which it tracks confirmed cases. China on Friday reported 5,090 new coronavirus cases and 121 new deaths in the previous 24 hours.

The authorities said a total of 63,851 people had been infected by the coronavirus and at least 1,380 had been killed by the disease. Most of the cases occurred in Hubei Province, the center of the outbreak, which recorded 4,823 new cases and 116 deaths over the same period.

The tally in Hubei jumped most drastically on Thursday after the authorities changed the diagnostic criteria for counting new cases. The government now takes into account cases diagnosed in clinical settings, including the use of CT scans, and not just those confirmed with specialized testing kits.

A Hong Kong clinic designated to treat suspected coronavirus cases suffered a second arson attack early Friday, officials said.

Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority said it “seriously condemned” the attack, against an outpatient clinic in the New Territories district of Tsuen Wan. A police spokeswoman said it had occurred overnight and left a door charred. The first attack, on Saturday afternoon, damaged an air-conditioner. No one was wounded in either attack.

The clinic is about four miles from an apartment building where dozens of residents were evacuated this week after two residents on different floors were found to be infected, raising fresh fears about how the virus spreads. (Officials said an unsealed pipe might be to blame.)

There were 56 confirmed cases in the city as of Friday. Fearing a wider outbreak, residents have been staging small-scale protests at several clinics assigned to treat people with mild symptoms of the virus. Late last month, the government shelved a plan to turn an unoccupied housing project into a quarantine facility after protesters set a fire in the lobby.

As public anger and anxiety mount, the Beijing-backed government has been accused by many residents of not doing enough to contain the spread of the virus, including the refusal to quickly order a complete shutdown of the border with mainland China. The authorities have gradually restricted arrivals from mainland China over the past few weeks.

Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, said on Friday that her administration would do its best to repatriate more than 2,000 of the city’s residents stranded in Hubei province and aboard the Diamond Princess, the cruise ship quarantined off Japan’s coast.

The Hong Kong government has received more than 1,000 requests for help from over 300 cities across Hubei, including from Wuhan, Mrs. Lam said. Ten people from Hong Kong in the region were confirmed to have been infected.

Some 330 Hong Kong residents remain stuck on the cruise ship in Japan, and 11 of them were infected, officials said. The Hong Kong authorities are pressing their Japanese counterparts to consider allowing its citizens to be quarantined onshore and to get tested for the virus as soon as possible, said John Lee, the city’s security minister, on Friday.

The coronavirus has killed more than 1,300 and infected tens of thousands in China. Those are alarming statistics, but a much more common illness, influenza, kills about 400,000 every year, including 34,200 Americans last flu season and 61,099 the year before.

There remains deep uncertainty about the new coronavirus’s mortality rate, with the high-end estimate that it is up to 20 times that of the flu, but some estimates go as low as 0.16 percent for those affected outside of China’s overwhelmed Hubei Province. That’s about on par with the flu.

While the metrics of public health might put the flu alongside or even ahead of the new coronavirus for sheer deadliness, the mind has its own ways of measuring danger.

Experts used to believe that people gauged risk like actuaries, parsing out cost-benefit analyses every time a merging car came too close or local crime rates spiked. But a wave of psychological experiments in the 1980s upended this thinking.

Researchers instead found that people use a set of mental shortcuts for measuring danger. And they tend to do it unconsciously, meaning that instinct can play a large role.

The coronavirus, which has created a wave of fear, may be a case in point.

“This hits all the hot buttons that lead to heightened risk perception,” said Paul Slovic, a University of Oregon psychologist who helped pioneer modern risk psychology.

At least five people fled coronavirus quarantine across Russia, local news media reported on Friday, citing frustration, erratic and inconsistent government policies, and bad conditions in the hospitals where they were held.

Alla Ilyina, 32, a woman from St. Petersburg, had enough patience to stay for only one day at a hospital in Russia’s second-largest city. She detailed how she had broken a lock in her room and sneaked away while doctors were distracted by another patient.

“I am a reasonable person, if someone told me that there was a suspicion, if doctors didn’t tell me that I was healthy, if I had not done three tests in separate hospitals, I would sit there,” Ms. Ilyina told reporters in an interview, broadcast on Russian television. “I don’t want to infect my relatives or threaten anybody, but I just don’t understand why an absolutely healthy person should be held somewhere.”

Three more people escaped quarantine in the same hospital, Fontanka.ru reported on Friday.

In the city of Samara, Guzel Neder, 34, escaped through the window of another hospital. After staying in quarantine for four days, Mrs. Neder called a testing center and a specialist said if she hadn’t received a positive result within two hours, “then you should be fine.”

“My son already felt well, he didn’t have any fever symptoms, but doctors deliberately made us stay for longer, so that we wouldn’t leave, to ‘fulfill the order’ of isolating people, coming from China,” she said. She described conditions at the hospital, where doctors didn’t wear any protective gear.

Only two confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported in Russia so far. Hundreds of Russian and Chinese nationals have been quarantined across the country for the 14-day period, following recommendations from the World Health Organization.

Lee Hsien Loong, the prime minister of Singapore, said on Friday that it was possible the city-state could fall into recession as the coronavirus spreads.

“I think the impact will be significant at least in the next couple of quarters,” said Mr. Lee, in a video posted on his Facebook page.

At Singapore Changi Airport, the number of flights has fallen by a third and travelers who have recently visited mainland China are not allowed to disembark.

“It’s a very intense outbreak,” said Mr. Lee, who visited the airport to show his support for the workers there. “It is already much more than SARS, and economies of the region are much more interlinked together.”

Singapore, whose economy is particularly sensitive to global fluctuations, has already seen a slowdown in growth. The economy is estimated to have expanded by 0.7 percent in 2019, compared to 3.1 percent the year before, according to government statistics.

“China particularly is a much bigger factor in the region and therefore I can’t say whether we’ll have a recession or not,” Mr. Lee added. “It’s possible, but definitely our economy will take a hit.”

The Chinese government failed to sound a public warning in the early days of the outbreak even though scientists were aware of human-to-human transmission, a doctor from Wuhan wrote in a paper published by The Lancet this week.

Dr. Zhang Hong of Zhongnan Hospital wrote that the local authorities had allowed more than five million people to leave Wuhan to travel for the Lunar New Year holiday despite warnings from Chinese scientists.

“Early detection and early reporting were delayed,” Dr. Zhang wrote.

The paper was a rare instance of a medical professional criticizing the government, especially at a time when doctors and nurses have come under pressure not to speak out. Dr. Zhang also wrote that doctors did not understand the severity and contagiousness of the new coronavirus early on, and that medical workers failed to fully protect themselves as a result.

He wrote that the supplies of protective equipment in hospitals were severely insufficient and were worsened by the implementation of traffic controls after the government sealed off cities across China. He called on the government to “pay attention to the front-line doctors and provide adequate protective equipment to reduce their risk of infection.”

Overstretched hospitals were forced to turn patients away as the virus spread, “inevitably increasing morbidity and mortality,” he added.

The authorities in Wuhan have admitted that public announcements about the virus were delayed. In late January, when the outbreak was spreading through Wuhan, the city’s mayor, Zhou Xianwang, acknowledged that the disclosures had not been timely, but said his hands were tied because he could only publicize it “in accordance with the law.”

Reporting and research was contributed by Keith Bradsher, Ivan Nechepurenko, Sui-Lee Wee, Choe Sang-Hun, Richard C. Paddock, Elaine Yu, Motoko Rich, Lin Qiqing, Karen Zraick, Amie Tsang, Amber Wang, Zoe Mou, Albee Zhang, Yiwei Wang, and Claire Fu.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Ivanka Trump debuts new hair color

Blondes have more fun!

White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump debuted a new look on Wednesday morning with chunky blonde highlights in her already golden hair.

The president’s oldest daughter unveiled the new ‘do at a State Department anniversary event in Washington, D.C. for the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative she spearheaded last year.

Westlake Legal Group ivanka-trump-getty Ivanka Trump debuts new hair color Janine Puhak fox-news/style-and-beauty fox-news/politics/executive/first-family fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc efe8d5f3-d291-5342-95b4-251546f54e3e article

Ivanka Trump hosts an event to mark the first anniversary of her Women’s Global Development Prosperity Initiative in the Franklin Room at the State Department February 12, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Looking ahead, style blog Who What Wear predicts that chunky highlights popularized in the 90s will make a comeback in 2020. Unlike the dramatic, high-contrast highlights of days past, however, the new take on the trend will reportedly incorporate balayage and face-framing coloring techniques.

POLITICIAN BLASTS ‘EVERYDAY SEXISM’ AFTER BEING TROLLED FOR OFF-THE-SHOULDER DRESS

This isn’t the first time in recent months that Trump switched up her look. In September 2019, the White House senior adviser made headlines when she lobbed off her long locks into a trendy bob, debuting the new hairstyle while visiting Colombia to advocate for female entrepreneurs.

At the Wednesday W-GDP event, Trump revealed that a bipartisan pair of senators are working for the global women’s initiative to be written into law. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., will take on the effort.

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-1200234708 Ivanka Trump debuts new hair color Janine Puhak fox-news/style-and-beauty fox-news/politics/executive/first-family fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc efe8d5f3-d291-5342-95b4-251546f54e3e article

The proposed legislation would establish an Office of Women’s Empowerment at the State Department and make the economic empowerment of women across the globe a mainstay in U.S. foreign policy, beyond the Trump administration.(Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

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The proposed legislation would establish an Office of Women’s Empowerment at the State Department and make the economic empowerment of women across the globe a mainstay in U.S. foreign policy, beyond her father’s administration.

The first daughter called the legislation a “long overdue goal.”

In February of last year, the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP) aimed to “help 50 million women in developing countries realize their economic potential by 2025,” according to an op-ed she penned for The Wall Street Journal.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Fox News’ Morgan Phillips contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-1200234708 Ivanka Trump debuts new hair color Janine Puhak fox-news/style-and-beauty fox-news/politics/executive/first-family fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc efe8d5f3-d291-5342-95b4-251546f54e3e article   Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-1200234708 Ivanka Trump debuts new hair color Janine Puhak fox-news/style-and-beauty fox-news/politics/executive/first-family fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc efe8d5f3-d291-5342-95b4-251546f54e3e article

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Indians starter Mike Clevinger to have left knee surgery

Westlake Legal Group Mike-Clevinger Indians starter Mike Clevinger to have left knee surgery fox-news/sports/mlb/cleveland-indians fox-news/sports/mlb fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 9d7e3d19-d191-5f63-a77c-80caf16cc03e

Indians starting pitcher Mike Clevinger will have left knee surgery after an injury during a spring training workout.

Clevinger went 13-4 last season and the Indians are counting on him to help fill some of the void after they traded two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber to the Texas Ranger this winter.

Clevinger sustained a partial cartilage tear Wednesday at the team’s complex in Goodyear, Arizona, the team said Friday. The right-hander will have surgery in nearby Avondale, and a timetable for his return will be set after the operation. But it’s safe to assume he will miss at least several weeks.

Clevinger has won 38 games over the past three seasons. He made 21 starts in 2019, but missed time early in the year with a strained back muscle. The 29-year-old had a 2.71 ERA last season.

Clevinger avoided salary arbitration by signing a $4.1 million contract for this season. He’s been outspoken about the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal.

Also, the Indians signed free-agent outfielder Domingo Santana to a contract for 2020. He played for Seattle last season, batting .253 with 21 homers and 69 RBIs in 121 games. The 27-year-old Santana missed 24 games in August and September with an injured right elbow.

Westlake Legal Group Mike-Clevinger Indians starter Mike Clevinger to have left knee surgery fox-news/sports/mlb/cleveland-indians fox-news/sports/mlb fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 9d7e3d19-d191-5f63-a77c-80caf16cc03e   Westlake Legal Group Mike-Clevinger Indians starter Mike Clevinger to have left knee surgery fox-news/sports/mlb/cleveland-indians fox-news/sports/mlb fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 9d7e3d19-d191-5f63-a77c-80caf16cc03e

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Twitter praises couple’s unique marijuana-themed baby names: ‘Kept with the theme’

Westlake Legal Group iStock-471523365 Twitter praises couple's unique marijuana-themed baby names: 'Kept with the theme' fox-news/lifestyle/parenting fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article Alexandra Deabler 478142f8-d8f4-5717-a748-b1bc5b0d2ba2

This weed-loving couple got more creative than the typical “Mary Jane” moniker marijuana aficionados have used in the past and instead opted to name their daughters SaTiva and Indica – two types of cannabis plant.

PHOTOGRAPHER AT GEORGIA NEWBORN’S PHOTO SHOOT CAPTURES PARENTS SLEEPING ON COUCH

In a post that has racked up nearly 18K retweets and 95K likes, Twitter user Fred Lee shared the news that he had become an uncle for the second time and that his brother had chosen to stick with the marijuana theme he and his partner chose for their first daughter.

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“UPDATE: My brother is excited to announce the birth of his 2nd daughter!” Lee wrote in the post, before following it up with a “…and before you ask, yes, her name is exactly what you think it is.”

Attached to the February 2020 post was a tweet Lee had shared in 2018 announcing the birth of his first niece, who was named “SaTiva,” a play on the sativa plant, which is known as more of a head high, whereas indica is a body high.

“My first niece is named SaTiva…I just…” the uncle posted.

The proud uncle was impressed that his brother “kept with the theme.”

Those on Twitter had a field day with the comments, suggesting other options if the family continues to expand.

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But most were surprised by how much they liked the unusual names.

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Hopefully, the little ones will grow up to appreciate their unique monikers as much as social media does.

Westlake Legal Group iStock-471523365 Twitter praises couple's unique marijuana-themed baby names: 'Kept with the theme' fox-news/lifestyle/parenting fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article Alexandra Deabler 478142f8-d8f4-5717-a748-b1bc5b0d2ba2   Westlake Legal Group iStock-471523365 Twitter praises couple's unique marijuana-themed baby names: 'Kept with the theme' fox-news/lifestyle/parenting fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article Alexandra Deabler 478142f8-d8f4-5717-a748-b1bc5b0d2ba2

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