Indonesia declares emergency, will suspend all foreign arrivals

Indonesia confirmed 114 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday, bringing the total to 1,528, a Health Ministry official said. Another 14 people had died, taking the toll to 136, according to Achmad Yurianto.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo declared a national public health emergency over the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday, and announced measures to help people with lower incomes. The measures included expanding social welfare, food assistance and giving electricity tariff discounts and waivers.

Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said Indonesia’s government has decided to ban all arrivals and transits by foreigners in Indonesia, Reuters reports.

Foreigners with stay permits and some diplomatic visits will be exempted from the ban, Marsudi said, adding that the government aims to issue the regulations for the ban on Tuesday. The government will also strengthen screening for Indonesian nationals returning to the country.

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Covid-19 deaths in Russia almost DOUBLE in single day: Parliament clears path for state of emergency

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Russia rose by 500 on Tuesday – a new daily record for the world’s largest country. Authorities also reported eight new deaths, bringing the overall total to 17.

The latest figures mean Russia has now recorded 2,337 known Covid-19 infections, with 121 patients recovered. While cases are beginning to multiply, the country still remains an outlier in European terms. Other large states, such as Italy and Spain, have been hit much harder by the outbreak, with even the likes of Ireland, Luxembourg and Norway, with comparatively tiny populations, more badly affected, so far.

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World Health Organization believes it’s too early to introduce STRICT quarantine in Russia, Kremlin agrees

The rapid increase in cases has been matched with the introduction of increasingly strict measures by the authorities to contain the spread of the disease. As part of the fight against Covid-19, Russia is currently observing a national week-long paid holiday.

Meanwhile, in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, as well as in over 40 other regions of the country, a mandatory stay-at-home regime has been introduced for all residents. The rules, first introduced by Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, who also heads the nationwide coronavirus response task force, state that everyone must stay inside at all times, with exceptions only to buy food, medicine, walk pets, dispose of trash, or travel to work that is deemed essential.

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© Sputnik / Vladimir Astapkovich
Moscow shuts down all non-essential shops & restaurants to stop spread of Covid-19

On Monday morning Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin asked Russia’s regional heads to consider introducing similar restrictions in the capital. Many areas of the country have since complied.

“A regime of isolation is introduced for all age groups, with the exception of cases when emergency care is needed, or where you need to go to the store for food, or to travel to work […] and other really good reasons,” Mishustin explained. “In the current situation, this will help to protect yourself and your loved-ones. I ask the leaders of Russia’s Federal Subjects to pay attention to the experience of their colleagues and to work out the possibility of introducing such measures in their regions.”

On Tuesday, Russia’s parliament adopted a law to expand the powers of the government and its right to announce a state of emergency. If declared, this would give authorities the ability to establish mandatory rules of conduct for citizens. The relevant agencies say that it will increase the nation’s ability to effectively fight the pandemic. However, speaking to radio station Echo of Moscow, political scientist Andrei Kolesnikov has warned that, while the legislation can be “explained by the needs of the moment,” in the long term it will give the government “much more substantial capabilities to suppress human rights.” He expressed a worry that, once the pandemic is controlled, this new law will be used to turn Russia into a police state.

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Putin proposes mortgage & loan holidays, new payments for families with children to tackle aftershocks of Covid-19

Most of the new infections were recorded in Moscow (387), with Saint Petersburg being the second-hardest hit (48). The new cases include diagnoses in two Russian regions – remote Magadan and southern Astrakhan. Of Russia’s 85 federal subjects, 73 now have confirmed cases of coronavirus.

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UK mood shifts after first week of lockdown as Brits blast ‘overzealous’ police

After clamoring for stricter measures, some in the UK have started complaining about a “police state.” Transport minister Grant Shapps admitted some officers had been “heavy-handed” but insisted most have been doing a “good job.

The mood of most Britons seems to be shifting, just one week after Boris Johnson announced a coronavirus lockdown.

Following a raft of calls for more draconian measures, and criticism of the government for not imposing stricter controls, the country now appears tobe concerned about a loss of civil liberties and about the hugely-damaging economic fallout.

Police have widely been slammed for being ‘over-zealous’ in enforcing the new rules, brought in to slow the spread of Covid-19.

Stories of cops using drones to shame walkers in rural areas, dyeing a lake black to put people off going swimming, even officers instructing shops to stop stocking Easter eggs, have all faced a backlash.

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© Facebook / Buxton Police SNT
Covid-19 compensation: Busybody police waste precious resources on meaningless tasks

#PoliceState started trending on Twitter in the UK as users blasted security forces for going too far.

Secretary of State for Transport Shapps said there had been “one or two instances” of police being heavy-handed with enforcement measures on social distancing.

He told Sky News: “I am sure there are individual examples where perhaps you look at it and think that is perhaps a bit further than they should have gone but in general terms I think the case is that, if people help everybody out, including the police, by staying home and the rest of it, then there will be no problems.”

Shapps also warned that the UK had to be careful to ensure that the “cure” wasn’t more harmful than the pandemic itself.

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(L) Piers Morgan © AFP / LEON NEAL (R) Peter Hitchens © Wikipedia / Nigel Luckhurst
‘Stop being irritating’: Piers Morgan feuds with Peter Hitchens over ‘disproportionate’ Covid-19 lockdown measures

He said: “One of the things we need to be careful not to do is completely crash our economy to the point where it is impossible or very difficult to pick up again afterwards.

“Otherwise, we will be in a position where we can’t re-start the economy and millions of people will be forced into a poverty situation that would do more harm than the virus itself. That’s really the balance.”

Yesterday former supreme court justice Lord Sumption branded Derbyshire Police “disgraceful” over their handling of the new controls.

He told the BBC: “The tradition of policing in this country is that policemen are citizens in uniform, they are not members of a disciplined hierarchy operating just at the government’s command.

“This is what a police state is like. It’s a state in which the government canissue orders or express preferences with no legal authority and the police will enforce ministers’ wishes.”

However, despite the criticism, the UK’s chief scientific adviser revealed that the social distancing measures were starting to work.

At a Downing Street press conference, Patrick Vallance expressed cautious optimism that the “dramatic” reductions in travel and contact were making a difference.

He said: “The measures are in place. They are making a difference, they are decreasing thecontact which is so important to spread the disease, and we’re doing a good job at cutting that down.”

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'It will be an easy win for him': Amir Khan says Tyson Fury will defeat Anthony Joshua with ease (VIDEO)

Former unified light-welterweight world boxing champion Amir Khan has offered his take on the upcoming all-British heavyweight clash between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, saying “The Gypsy King” will win the fight easily.

Fury returned to the top of boxing’s heavyweight tree when he stopped Deontay Wilder in the seventh round to capture the WBC heavyweight title in Las Vegas in February.

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© Instagram @gypsyking101
Tyson Fury shuns coronavirus warnings to head down pub for St. Patrick’s Day pint

Joshua, meanwhile, recaptured the IBF, IBO, WBO and WBA titles last December by avenging his shock loss to Andy Ruiz.

Now the pair are on collision course, and a titanic title unification bout was on the cards for December 2020 but, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, those plans are due to be pushed back into 2021.

It’s the heavyweight fight the world wants to see, and fellow British boxing star Khan says he thinks there’s a clear winner between the two.

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© Reuters / AFP
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“In my opinion, I’ve always said that Tyson Fury is the best heavyweight in the division,” Khan told

“Also, with the skillset he has got, he beats anyone with power.

“What he did to Deontay Wilder, no one had expected that. If that same Fury goes into a fight with Anthony Joshua, it’s always going to be Fury winning that fight.

“I still favor him and I think it will be an easy win for him.”

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© Reuters / Steve Marcus | Instagram / parisfury1
Sweet taste of success: Tyson Fury celebrates WBC title win with HUGE five-tier cake

Khan said that Fury’s slick, intelligent boxing style will prove to be too much for Joshua, whose style he labeled “robotic”.

“I feel AJ is more of a robotic style, which is similar to a Frank Bruno style, and he is very strong,” continued Khan.

“If AJ catches you, then he’s going to hurt you. But we have seen Fury being hit by the hardest hitter, which is Wilder, being put down and he got back up again.

“So I just feel that all day, going into that fight Fury wins. I think he has got everything on his side.”

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Sing when you’re winning: Watch British boxer Nathan Heaney’s brilliant ring walk before winning middleweight title fight (VIDEO)

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Russia sets up new oil company to potentially take over operations in Venezuela

A company specializing in the production and transportation of oil and gas has been set up in Russia, according to the state registry data. The new firm could take over projects in Venezuela after Rosneft sold its assets there.

Roszarubezhneft, which is owned by the Federal Agency for Government Property Management, will have an authorized capital of 322.7 billion rubles (over $4 billion). 

The company was registered in Moscow on March 28, after Russia’s oil major Rosneft announced the sale of its assets in Venezuela. On Saturday, Rosneft signed an agreement with the newly established government-run company on selling its shares and on the cessation of its participation in all projects in Venezuela (including its stock in Petromonagas, Petroperija, Boqueron, Petromiranda and Petrovictoria). Under the agreement, the oil giant will receive 9.6 percent of shares in Roszarubezhneft.

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A sculpture is seen outside a building of Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA in Caracas
Venezuela slams US sanctions on Russia’s Rosneft as an attempt at grabbing control of global oil market

In February, the US slapped sanctions on a Rosneft subsidiary over its trade ties with Venezuela. The Russian company slammed those sanctions as illegal and groundless, pointing out that all of its operations in Venezuela were fully compliant with international law. It has explained that it had been investing in the Venezuelan oil and gas sectors long before the US sanctions were rolled out.

READ MORE: Trump threatens to slap ‘very serious’ sanctions on buyers of Venezuelan crude

Venezuela’s state energy firm PDVSA has also condemned the US sanctions and accuses Washington of attempting to create unfair competition to attain an advantage in the oil market.

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US stocks rise despite growing risks to global economy from coronavirus outbreak

Another wild week kicked off on Wall Street, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 200 points on Monday. Investors remain focused on the slowing global economy, amid the growing number of COVID-19 infections around the world.

The Dow opened 227 points higher before slipping into the red. Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.5 percent during early trading.

Asian and European stocks sank earlier in the day as the global coronavirus pandemic situation worsened. Oil prices continued to tank, crashing to their lowest level since 2002 amid falling demand.

Last week the Dow posted its biggest weekly gain since 1938, surging more than 12 percent. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are coming off their best week since 2009, after growing 10.3 percent and 9.1 percent, respectively. The sharp gains were sparked in part by the prospect of massive fiscal and monetary stimulus, as US lawmakers put together a $2 trillion package aimed at cushioning the blow of the pandemic.

“Bulls staged an epic comeback,” Ken Berman, strategist at Gorilla Trades, told CNBC. “Despite the rally … the uncertainty regarding the length of the necessary but economically damaging global lockdowns continues to weigh on risk assets.”

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Khabib Nurmagomedov is OK With UFC 249 Going Without Him as He Stays in Russia Amid COVID-19

One may say that the fight between Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson is the most anticipated mixed martial arts event. The bout has been postponed four times for various reasons, one of them disagreements over the choice of venue. UFC President Dana White finally said the fight will go ahead no matter what, but it seems Khabib thinks otherwise.