Bavarian town is first in Germany to impose full lockdown


first_img‘Corona parties’ The state of Bavaria is one of the worst-hit in Germany, according to official figures from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) disease control centre.But the virus is spreading fast elsewhere too, prompting Chancellor Angela Merkel to appeal to citizens in a TV address on Wednesday evening to limit social interactions.Germany reported an overnight increase of more than 2,800 official cases on Thursday, bringing the total to more than 10,000.Borders have been shut to stem the contagion, while across the country shops have been closed, restaurants forced to operate restricted opening hours and people urged to work from home.But not everyone seemed to have got the message.In Berlin, reports of young people gathering in parks for so-called “corona parties” prompted city mayor Michael Mueller to promise a total lockdown if residents did not start behaving themselves.Bavarian premier Markus Soeder has threatened similar action, in line with lockdowns already seen in Italy, Spain, France and Belgium.”If large numbers of people are not restricting themselves voluntarily, then in the end the only instrument left to react to this is a Bavaria-wide curfew,” Soeder said.For the people of Mitterteich, the unprecedented situation will take some getting used to. “It’s strange, because our streets were never so empty,” said Andreas Degner. “It’s an unsettling feeling, I must say.”But he was determined to look on the bright side.”I’m going to watch films, read… I’ll find something to do. I’ll have enough time.” But they appeared to be taking it on the chin.”It’s good that we are the first town to have this curfew, and it’s also great that it’s being done so consistently,” resident Sandra Wedlich said.She said she worried about her mother and husband who were in the at-risk groups for the virus. “He wanted to go out today and I told him ‘no'”.The drastic measures come after Mitterteich emerged as a coronavirus hotspot, accounting for around half of the roughly 40 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Tirschenreuth.Officials believe many of the infections are linked to a recent beer festival. The streets are deserted and the church square empty in the small Bavarian town of Mitterteich, the first in Germany to go into total lockdown over the spiraling coronavirus outbreak.The 6,500 residents are forbidden from leaving their homes without a valid reason, giving a foretaste of what could lie ahead for the rest of the country where many have defied confinement measures.The people of Mitterteich, located in the district of Tirschenreuth in southern Bavaria, woke up to a different world on Thursday morning. The benches stood vacant outside the town’s picturesque 17th-century church. Apart from the odd delivery van and police car, the cobbled streets remained clear, filled only with the sound of birdsong.On the outskirts of town, police in high-visibility jackets stopped people in their cars as they attempted to drive in and out, granting entry only to residents.According to district administrator Wolfgang Lippert, residents could only leave home if they have to go to work, see a doctor or go grocery shopping. Topics :last_img read more

Industry experts pan a QLD Greens plan to strip back landlords’ rights


first_imgQLD Greens candidate, Kirsten Lovejoy, said renters have been “screwed over” and has introduced a radical policy that’s been labelled “ludicrous” by the property industry. Picture: Chris McCormackLANDLORDS couldn’t charge the rent they wanted to and it could take up to 12 months to evict a tenant under a Queensland Greens proposal to transform rental laws.The proposals, which were labelled, “ludicrous” by industry bodies, could also mean tenants could enforce unlimited lease terms.The proposal released by Greens candidate for McConnel, Kirsten Lovejoy, said existing laws were unfairly weighted in favour of landlords.“Renters have been screwed over for so long that they just assume this is the way it is — unfair rent hikes and evictions, unsafe and unhealthy dwellings, unable to own a pet or hang a picture, all the while not knowing if they will have to move when their lease is up in twelve or six month,” Ms Lovejoy said.“Our plan will fix the rigged system that puts the profits of real estate agents and investors over the rights and dignity of everyday Queenslanders,” she said.The Greens blueprint included proposals such as a right to remain in the property if it’s sold.“Under our plan renters will have the right to remain in their home even if the property is sold. Because as Darryl Kerrigan said in The Castle, ‘it’s not just a house, it’s a home.’” Ms Lovejoy said.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home2 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor2 hours agoReal Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REBAA) Queensland representative, Zoran Solano, said the proposal lacked an appreciation of existing rental laws.“Tenants have a lot of rights and they exercise their rights regularly, so I don’t think tenants are being screwed over at all. There are a lot of people out there who believe tenants have now got more power than landlords,” he said.Stakeholder concerns could be warranted given the Greens could hold the balance of power after the State Government election due to be held sometime in the next six months.Mr Solano said proposals that were a disincentive to investors would punish the property market and the Greens were trying to address a problem that didn’t exist.Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) CEO Antonia Mercorella said the Green’s proposals would decimate landlords’ rights and it was unworkable and “ludicrous’’.“It’s simply unrealistic to expect that landlords will continue to invest in real estate if they are faced with untenable arrangements that don’t allow them to protect the value of their asset and strip them of fundamental rights,” she said.Follow Kieran Clair on Twitter at@kieranclair or on Facebook at Kieran Clair — journolast_img read more

Barkley sidelined by fractured toe


first_img Press Association The club said he had a “small fracture”, but could not put an exact timescale on his recovery. It is understood that, depending on how quickly the injury heals, the 20-year-old could be out for anything from three to six weeks. Everton have confirmed that England midfielder Ross Barkley has a fractured toe.center_img Barkley suffered the injury during the Toffees’ FA Cup third-round win over QPR last weekend, a match in which he also scored. He missed the 2-0 Barclays Premier League victory over Norwich at Goodison Park. England as well as Everton will be hoping the midfielder recovers as soon as possible. He has made a huge impression this season, having been given regular first-team opportunities by Martinez, with his exciting performances and eye for goal earning him three England caps so far. He is firmly in the reckoning for a place in Roy Hodgson’s summer World Cup squad. Should his recovery take longer than expected, he could miss England’s friendly with Denmark at Wembley on March 5. last_img read more

Top stories An epic fusion reactor life trapped in crystal and risky


first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Feature: The bizarre reactor that might save nuclear fusionTokamak or stellarator? That’s the question fusion enthusiasts are asking as a research lab in Germany prepares to flip the switch on the largest fusion device ever built, dubbed the “stellarator.” For Star Wars lovers, this epic construction device looks like Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon and sports some of the most complex engineering models ever devised. We’ll soon find out if the stellarator is strong enough to withstand the enormous forces and temperature ranges in order to surpass tokamaks in the effort to advance nuclear fusion.Scientists may have found the earliest evidence of life on Earthcenter_img Email When did life on Earth begin? A controversial new study presents potential evidence that traces of life arose more than 4 billion years ago. Clues lie hidden in microscopic flecks of graphite trapped inside a single large crystal of zircon found in the Jack Hills in Western Australia. These zircon crystals barely span the width of a human hair, but they are nearly indestructible and provide a rare glimpse into Earth’s earliest history.Designer antibodies may rid body of AIDS virusAnti-HIV drugs have extended life for millions of people, but they have never eliminated the virus from anyone because HIV integrates its genetic material into the chromosomes of some white blood cells, helping it escape notice of the immune system. New findings show that artificial antibodies could “redirect” the immune response to latently infected cells and help drain the HIV reservoirs into the body. The dual-action concept to reverse latency and then do the mop-up work is both promising and exciting, but it is also risky and won’t be tested in people for at least a year.Antiaging protein is the real deal, Harvard team claimsBack in the 1950s, a weird, vampiric experiment showed that connecting the circulatory systems of old and young mice seems to rejuvenate the more elderly animals. Given the millions of women (and men!) in the market for antiaging creams and pills, it’s no surprise that a handful of labs are racing to find just what might explain the mysterious experiment. Now, a team of Harvard scientists says that a protein called GDF11 is the answer to that puzzle.In Canada, election results cheer scientistsMany Canadian scientists are celebrating the result of this week’s federal election, which saw Stephen Harper’s Conservative government defeated after nearly a decade in power. Justin Trudeau won an unexpected majority government and will assume the role of Canada’s prime minister. Among other promises, the Liberal party has pledged to reinstate the position of chief scientific adviser, invest more in basic research, and to embrace “evidence based policy” and “data-driven decision-making.”3D printing soft body parts: A hard problem that just got easierHumans are squishy. That’s a problem for researchers trying to construct artificial tissues and organs, but a new 3D printer can make brains, veins, and more squishy parts by using hydrogels that provide structural support for the biological replicas as they’re being created. Once printed, the structures are stiff enough to support themselves, and they can be retrieved by melting away the supportive goo. This hard problem just got a lot softer! Q&A: Shining a light on sexual harassment in astronomyThe field of astronomy has been reeling since one of its most prominent members, exoplanet pioneer Geoff Marcy, was found guilty of sexual harassment. Pressure from BuzzFeed, University of California (UC), Berkeley, students and faculty, and the astronomy community persuaded Marcy to resign from his UC Berkeley professorship and other positions. Astronomer Joan Schmelz, previous chair of the American Astronomical Society’s Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy, answers questions on Title IX and the burden it puts on young women who are victims of harassment. She also addresses the difficulty of tackling what she calls a “broken system” that breeds unprofessional behavior.Now that you’ve got the scoop on this week’s hottest science news, come back on Monday to test your smarts on our weekly quiz and enter for a chance to win a free Science T-shirt!last_img read more