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Coronavirus US: Deaths fall for first time in over a month

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coronavirus us deaths fall for first time in over a month

Coronavirus deaths in the United States are now declining for the first time in more than a month as the number of infections continue to drop across the country and only 11 states are seeing an increase in cases in the last week. 

The nationwide death toll dropped 16 percent last week compared to the previous seven days, which is the first decline in deaths after four weeks of increases. 

More than 163,000 Americans have now died from COVID-19 and the average number of deaths is just over 1,000 per day. While the average daily death toll is still high, it remains below levels seen in April when an average of 2,000 people a day were dying from the virus.

The number of infections across the US has now surpassed the grim five million milestone but new cases have now been falling for three straight weeks, according to a Reuters tally of state and county reports.

An average of about 53,000 infections were reported per day in the week ending August 9. Daily infections are down considerably compared to the spikes seen last month across Sunbelt states when single daily highs of more than 70,000 cases were reported. 

Last week’s decline in new cases came largely from the recent hotspots of California, Arizona, Florida and Texas. 

The nationwide death toll dropped 16 percent last week compared to the previous seven days, which is the first decline in deaths after four weeks of increases. Deaths rose in 15 states last week with the highest increase in Wyoming after it added two new deaths to bring its total to 28. West Virginia's death was at 139 after adding 22 new deaths

The nationwide death toll dropped 16 percent last week compared to the previous seven days, which is the first decline in deaths after four weeks of increases. Deaths rose in 15 states last week with the highest increase in Wyoming after it added two new deaths to bring its total to 28. West Virginia's death was at 139 after adding 22 new deaths

The nationwide death toll dropped 16 percent last week compared to the previous seven days, which is the first decline in deaths after four weeks of increases. Deaths rose in 15 states last week with the highest increase in Wyoming after it added two new deaths to bring its total to 28. West Virginia’s death was at 139 after adding 22 new deaths

More than 163,000 Americans have now died from COVID-19 and the average number of deaths is just over 1,000 per day. While the average daily death toll is still high, it remains below levels seen in April when an average of 2,000 people a day were dying from the virus

More than 163,000 Americans have now died from COVID-19 and the average number of deaths is just over 1,000 per day. While the average daily death toll is still high, it remains below levels seen in April when an average of 2,000 people a day were dying from the virus

More than 163,000 Americans have now died from COVID-19 and the average number of deaths is just over 1,000 per day. While the average daily death toll is still high, it remains below levels seen in April when an average of 2,000 people a day were dying from the virus

For instance, new cases in Arizona fell by more than 48 percent in the last week. On Sunday, the state reported less than 1,000 cases for the first time since June 29. Cases dropped by 19 percent in California, 27 percent in Florida and three percent in Texas in a week. 

Deaths in those hotspot states increased by three percent in California last week but dropped 16 percent in Arizona, 10 percent in Florida and 39 percent in Texas. 

Fatalities rose in 15 states last week with the highest increase in Wyoming after it added two new deaths to bring its total to 28. West Virginia’s death was at 139 after adding 22 new deaths and Tennessee’s death toll rose to 1,223 after 150 new fatalities were recorded. 

Deaths are a lagging indicator and can continue to rise weeks after new infections drop. A coronavirus death, when it occurs, typically comes several weeks after a person is first infected. 

In the last week, 11 states saw increases in COVID-19 cases including Hawaii (124%), Vermont (27%), North Dakota (19%), Indiana (18%), South Dakota (16%), Illinois (15%), Virginia (15%), Arkansas (7%), Idaho (5%), Kansas (5%) and Minnesota (3%).  

Two weeks ago, cases were still increasing in 20 states.  

Hawaii had kept the virus at bay for most of the summer, but new cases more than doubled last week to over 1,200. Hawaii Governor David Ige said last week he would be reinstating inter-island travel restrictions that require people to quarantine for 14 days in a bid to curb the spread. 

In South Dakota, new cases have increased for the third straight week. More than 100,000 motorcycle enthusiasts are expected to attend a 10-day annual rally in Sturgis that began on August 7.    

In the last week, 11 states saw increases in COVID-19 cases including Hawaii (124%), Vermont (27%), North Dakota (19%), Indiana (18%), South Dakota (16%), Illinois (15%), Virginia (15%), Arkansas (7%), Idaho (5%), Kansas (5%) and Minnesota (3%)

In the last week, 11 states saw increases in COVID-19 cases including Hawaii (124%), Vermont (27%), North Dakota (19%), Indiana (18%), South Dakota (16%), Illinois (15%), Virginia (15%), Arkansas (7%), Idaho (5%), Kansas (5%) and Minnesota (3%)

In the last week, 11 states saw increases in COVID-19 cases including Hawaii (124%), Vermont (27%), North Dakota (19%), Indiana (18%), South Dakota (16%), Illinois (15%), Virginia (15%), Arkansas (7%), Idaho (5%), Kansas (5%) and Minnesota (3%)

An average of about 53,000 infections were reported per day in the week ending August 9. Daily infections are down considerably compared to the spikes seen last month across Sunbelt states when single daily highs of more than 70,000 cases were reported

An average of about 53,000 infections were reported per day in the week ending August 9. Daily infections are down considerably compared to the spikes seen last month across Sunbelt states when single daily highs of more than 70,000 cases were reported

An average of about 53,000 infections were reported per day in the week ending August 9. Daily infections are down considerably compared to the spikes seen last month across Sunbelt states when single daily highs of more than 70,000 cases were reported

Nationally, the share of all tests that came back positive for coronavirus held steady at 8 percent in the last week, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project. Only 15 states reported a positive rate under 5%, which is the threshold that the World Health Organization considers concerning. 

The number of positive tests as a percentage of total tests provides insight into whether more testing is needed and which members of the population are being tested. A high positivity rate suggests that a community might be testing mostly the sickest patients, and could be missing milder or asymptomatic cases. A lower positivity rate may indicate a community is also testing patients with milder or no symptoms. 

The decline in deaths and cases comes about three weeks after President Donald Trump, who for months refused to publicly wear a mask, urged Americans to cover their faces in public to stop the spread. He is pictured above on August 6

The decline in deaths and cases comes about three weeks after President Donald Trump, who for months refused to publicly wear a mask, urged Americans to cover their faces in public to stop the spread. He is pictured above on August 6

The decline in deaths and cases comes about three weeks after President Donald Trump, who for months refused to publicly wear a mask, urged Americans to cover their faces in public to stop the spread. He is pictured above on August 6

Even though cases are trending downward in the majority of states, the nationwide daily case rate is still high compared to the peak in April and public health officials have warned there is much more work needed to bring the national curve back to baseline. 

Health experts have attributed the current decline in cases and deaths to policy and behavior changes in the hotspot states behind the summer surge where governors and local officials rolled back reopenings to curb the infection rate.

They say the widespread adoption of masks, social distancing and closing down bars all helped, while some scientists believe that increasing population immunity may have also played a role. Experts say, however, that US is not close to reaching herd immunity.

The decline in deaths and cases comes about three weeks after President Donald Trump, who for months refused to publicly wear a mask, urged Americans to cover their faces in public to stop the spread.

While the average daily death toll is still high, it remains below levels seen in April when an average of 2,000 people a day were dying from the virus – mostly in the original epicenter of New York. 

Deaths surged in April in the weeks after coronavirus infections spiked mostly in the Northeast. The number of fatalities started spiking in Sunbelt states and across the Midwest after cases surged in June and July. 

Health experts have indicated the death toll may not be as bad this time around possibly because a large share of the current cases are younger people, who are less likely to die, and because of advances in treatment and knowledge of the virus. 

But experts warn that unless the curve is pushed down much further, hospitals will continue to be stretched and people will continue to die. 

California's cases dropped 19 percent last week but deaths increased three percent. Deaths are a lagging indicator and can rise weeks after new infections drop

California's cases dropped 19 percent last week but deaths increased three percent. Deaths are a lagging indicator and can rise weeks after new infections drop

California’s cases dropped 19 percent last week but deaths increased three percent. Deaths are a lagging indicator and can rise weeks after new infections drop

Cases dropped three percent in Texas in a week compared to the previous seven days. Deaths in the hotspot state declined by 39 percent in the last week

Cases dropped three percent in Texas in a week compared to the previous seven days. Deaths in the hotspot state declined by 39 percent in the last week

Cases dropped three percent in Texas in a week compared to the previous seven days. Deaths in the hotspot state declined by 39 percent in the last week

New cases in Arizona fell by more than 48 percent in the last week. On Sunday, the state reported less than 1,000 cases for the first time since June 29. Deaths dropped 16 percent in Arizona last week compared to the previous seven days

New cases in Arizona fell by more than 48 percent in the last week. On Sunday, the state reported less than 1,000 cases for the first time since June 29. Deaths dropped 16 percent in Arizona last week compared to the previous seven days

New cases in Arizona fell by more than 48 percent in the last week. On Sunday, the state reported less than 1,000 cases for the first time since June 29. Deaths dropped 16 percent in Arizona last week compared to the previous seven days

Deaths in Florida dropped 10 percent in the last week and infections also declined by 27 percent

Deaths in Florida dropped 10 percent in the last week and infections also declined by 27 percent

Deaths in Florida dropped 10 percent in the last week and infections also declined by 27 percent

A revised forecast has predicted the US death toll would almost double by the end of the year but 70,000 lives could be saved if everyone wears a mask.  

The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics revised its death toll forecast last Thursday to predict nearly 300,000 deaths by December 1.

Researchers say that 70,000 lives could be saved if 95 percent of Americans wear masks from today when they leave their homes. 

IHME Director Dr Christopher Murray put the drop in infections down to a combination of local mandates for mask use, bar and restaurant closures and more responsible behavior by the public. 

He warned Americans not to become complacent given the infection and death rate was decreasing.  

‘The public’s behavior had a direct correlation to the transmission of the virus and, in turn, the numbers of deaths,’ Murray said. 

‘Such efforts to act more cautiously and responsibly will be an important aspect of COVID-19 forecasting and the up-and-down patterns in individual states throughout the coming months and into next year.

‘We’re seeing a rollercoaster in the United States.

‘It appears that people are wearing masks and socially distancing more frequently as infections increase, then after a while as infections drop, people let their guard down and stop taking these measures to protect themselves and others – which, of course, leads to more infections. And the potentially deadly cycle starts over again.’ 

Cases increased 124 percent in Hawaii last week

Cases increased 124 percent in Hawaii last week

Vermont's cases went up 27 percent last week

Vermont's cases went up 27 percent last week

North Dakota's cases increased by 19 percent last week

North Dakota's cases increased by 19 percent last week

In the last week, 11 states saw increases in COVID-19 cases including Hawaii (124%), Vermont (27%), North Dakota (19%), Indiana (18%), South Dakota (16%), Illinois (15%), Virginia (15%), Arkansas (7%), Idaho (5%), Kansas (5%) and Minnesota (3%)

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Accountancy firm EY faces ‘Arthur Andersen moment’

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Accountancy giant EY is under fire from multiple fronts after it emerged a whistleblower raised the alarm about possible fraud at Wirecard four years ago. 

Politicians and angry investors lined up to condemn the Big Four accountants, which were said to be facing their own ‘Arthur Anderson moment’.  

EY was dragged further into the Wirecard scandal this week when the Financial Times published claims that a whistleblower flagged signs of potential fraud in 2016.

The accountancy firm audited Wirecard’s books for more than a decade until the German payment company went bust this year after admitting that £1.7billion had vanished.

Accountancy giant EY is under fire from multiple fronts after it emerged a whistleblower raised the alarm about fraud at Wirecard four years ago

Accountancy giant EY is under fire from multiple fronts after it emerged a whistleblower raised the alarm about fraud at Wirecard four years ago

Accountancy giant EY is under fire from multiple fronts after it emerged a whistleblower raised the alarm about fraud at Wirecard four years ago

Green MP Danyal Bayaz said EY will be under the spotlight when Bundestag members drill down into the Wirecard affair next week. 

And Fabio De Masi MP, who represents the leftwing Die Linke party, said: ‘In a worst-case scenario, EY could face its Arthur Andersen moment,’ a nod to the auditors of Enron which famously collapsed after the energy giant emerged to be a fraud. 

Claims that the whistleblower highlighted fraud but this was supposedly not acted upon was branded ‘just unbelievable’ by a Wirecard investor, who told the FT if true it paves the way for them to sue EY for massive losses.

The allegations, which also included a bribery attempt of an EY employee in India, reportedly surfaced in a special audit into Wirecard by rival accountancy firm KPMG, which has been seen by the FT.

The accountancy firm audited Wirecard's books for more than a decade until the German payment company went bust this year after admitting that £1.7billion had vanished

The accountancy firm audited Wirecard's books for more than a decade until the German payment company went bust this year after admitting that £1.7billion had vanished

The accountancy firm audited Wirecard’s books for more than a decade until the German payment company went bust this year after admitting that £1.7billion had vanished 

Heribert Hirte, an MP for Angela Merkel’s CDU, said: ‘The new claims are likely to make it much harder for EY to prove that its annual audits were conducted properly and that the audit opinions were in line with the law.’ 

EY has acknowledged that issues relating to potential fraud and bribery concerns were flagged by an employee.

But it insists that the claims were thoroughly investigated by the accountancy firm as well as forensic teams.   

In January 2019, Wirecard was hit by allegations in the FT that its Singapore office made fake book-keeping entries to ‘pad’ its revenues.

EY investigated those claims and gave Wirecard management a clean bill of health. 

Further allegations – including that the finance team sought to inflate sales and profits at its units in Ireland and Dubai – led Wirecard to hire KPMG last autumn to conduct an outside audit.   

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Anglia Ruskin university paid Instagram influencer graduates to promote its degrees

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anglia ruskin university paid instagram influencer graduates to promote its degrees

Instagram influences were paid to promote a university’s degree courses as part of a campaign to attract A-Level students – despite not being enrolled there.

Bosses at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge say a dozen life-style, fashion and travel influencers were paid to promote the institution on Instagram in the weeks leading to this year’s A Level results.

Many of the posts carried captions that gushed about how important their time at university was. 

However many of those promoting ARU did not actually study at Anglia Ruskin, university chiefs have admitted.

They have also defended the marketing tactic, saying the Instagram posts were marked up as an ‘Ad’ and focus on the ‘wider benefits of considering a university education’.

Bosses at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge (pictured) say a dozen life-style, fashion and travel influencers were paid to promote the institution on Instagram in the weeks leading to this year's A Level results

Bosses at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge (pictured) say a dozen life-style, fashion and travel influencers were paid to promote the institution on Instagram in the weeks leading to this year's A Level results

Bosses at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge (pictured) say a dozen life-style, fashion and travel influencers were paid to promote the institution on Instagram in the weeks leading to this year’s A Level results

Many of the posts carried captions that gushed about how important their time at university was.  Travel blogger Lauren (pictured), who runs the Instagram account 'Spain With Lauren', also promoted Anglia Ruskin to her 10,400 followers - but with no mention of having studied there

Many of the posts carried captions that gushed about how important their time at university was.  Travel blogger Lauren (pictured), who runs the Instagram account 'Spain With Lauren', also promoted Anglia Ruskin to her 10,400 followers - but with no mention of having studied there

Many of the posts carried captions that gushed about how important their time at university was.  Travel blogger Lauren (pictured), who runs the Instagram account ‘Spain With Lauren’, also promoted Anglia Ruskin to her 10,400 followers – but with no mention of having studied there

The promotions were shared on A-Level results day and were aimed at students who did not get the grades for their first choice of university, and had to go through clearing.

Influencers who promoted Anglia Ruskin included travel and lifestyle blogger Mariana Alonso, who has a following of 82,800.

She graduated seven years ago as an engineer from Faculdades Integradas de Cataguases, in Brazil.

Travel blogger Lauren, who runs the Instagram account ‘Spain With Lauren’, also promoted Anglia Ruskin to her 10,400 followers – but with no mention of having studied there.  

In her post, which included a picture of her and her partner in Spain, she said: ‘And to think, really, a degree is what made this all possible.

‘Alex studied sports at university which has opened up so many doors for us, in terms of heading into teaching.

She added: ‘It’s given us the flexibility to live and work wherever his job takes him.’ 

Meanwhile, travel, fashion and lifestyle influencer Grace Bee, who has 5,764 followers, admitted that she did not study at Anglia Ruskin – but promoting them was a ‘business transaction’.

In her post, which included a picture of her holding a camera, she said university had help her leave her comfort zone and that it is ‘never too late to learn something new’.

She told Vice: ‘For me personally, it was a business transaction.

Influencers who promoted Anglia Ruskin included travel and lifestyle blogger Mariana Alonso (pictured), who has a following of 82,800

Influencers who promoted Anglia Ruskin included travel and lifestyle blogger Mariana Alonso (pictured), who has a following of 82,800

Influencers who promoted Anglia Ruskin included travel and lifestyle blogger Mariana Alonso (pictured), who has a following of 82,800

Meanwhile, travel, fashion and lifestyle influencer Grace Bee (pictured), who has 5,764 followers, admitted that she did not study at Anglia Ruskin - but promoting them was a 'business transaction'

Meanwhile, travel, fashion and lifestyle influencer Grace Bee (pictured), who has 5,764 followers, admitted that she did not study at Anglia Ruskin - but promoting them was a 'business transaction'

Meanwhile, travel, fashion and lifestyle influencer Grace Bee (pictured), who has 5,764 followers, admitted that she did not study at Anglia Ruskin – but promoting them was a ‘business transaction’

‘However, I’m quite picky with the brands I work with and I would never promote a brand I didn’t believe in.

‘Although I didn’t study at Anglia Ruskin, I think my time in further education was really formative so I was more than happy to promote it to my followers.’

Anglia Ruskin is one of the universities which spends the most money on marketing – in one year alone, they spent £1.19million on social media, search engines and print. 

A spokesperson for Anglia Ruskin University said: ‘We strongly believe in widening participation and a high proportion of our students are the first in their family to attend university.

‘Our Instagram partners talk about how their university experiences and qualifications have helped to transform their own lives – sometimes in quite radical ways.

‘These posts, all written by the individuals themselves and clearly marked with an ‘ad’ tag, focus on the wider benefits of considering a university education.’

Last year, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) made an order for major stars in the UK to be more transparent over their endorsement deals when posting to social media

Last year, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) made an order for major stars in the UK to be more transparent over their endorsement deals when posting to social media

Last year, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) made an order for major stars in the UK to be more transparent over their endorsement deals when posting to social media

Last year, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) made an order for major stars in the UK to be more transparent over their endorsement deals when posting to social media. 

Influencers who do not clearly declare if they have been paid or received products as gifts they endorse, they could be in breach of consumer protection law.

Posts containing advertising must, by law, be flagged with the hashtag #ad, #sponsored or #freebie in a ‘prominent’ position on each individual post – as was done with the posts relating to Anglia Ruskin University.

All content that includes adverts or discount codes and provides a form of payment, whether monetary or in the shape of free gifts, must also be declared. 

In 2019, a number of top stars including singer Rita Ora, model Alexa Chung and Made in Chelsea star Louise Thompson pledged to declare their Instagram advertisements.

In August last year it was revealed that the platform itself was beginning to conduct tests in which some users will see advertisements in the story section of the app, back-to-back.

Speaking at the time, a spokesperson for Facebook — Instagram’s parent company — said that the test was meant to give users a more seamless experience.

However, it was reported that Facebook was believed to have instructed the photo and video-sharing platform to serve users ‘roughly double’ the amount of ads to bolster revenue.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Trained solicitor, 41, fails in ‘unusual’ court bid to force his parents to continue to support him

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trained solicitor 41 fails in unusual court bid to force his parents to continue to support him

A qualified lawyer has failed in an ‘unprecedented’ bid to force his wealthy parents to keep supporting him.

The man, a trained solicitor who has mental health disabilities and is currently unemployed, said his parents had ‘nurtured his dependency’ on them and that he was vulnerable.

The 41-year-old from London said his parents had recently ‘significantly reduced’ the financial support they had given down the years after his relationship with them deteriorated.

The man, who has not been identified, wanted a judge to rule they should continue to support him.

Lawyers representing the man argued that a judge had powers to order parents to provide support and cited laws relating to marriage and children.

His parents said the claim should be dismissed.

A trained solicitor has failed in a bid to force his wealthy parents to keep supporting him, in a case described as 'most unusual' by a judge. Library image of a wallet with money in it

A trained solicitor has failed in a bid to force his wealthy parents to keep supporting him, in a case described as 'most unusual' by a judge. Library image of a wallet with money in it

A trained solicitor has failed in a bid to force his wealthy parents to keep supporting him, in a case described as ‘most unusual’ by a judge. Library image of a wallet with money in it

Sir James Munby ruled against the man after considering arguments at a remote family court hearing.

He ruled that the man had ‘no case’.

The judge, who outlined detail of the case in a ruling published online on Wednesday, described the claim as ‘most unusual’ and, as far as he knew, ‘unprecedented’.

Sir James has not named the people involved, but said the man lived in London and his parents in Dubai.

‘His parents have supported him financially down the years and continue, to some extent, to do so,’ said Sir James in his ruling.

‘They have permitted him to live in a flat in central London, of which they are the registered proprietors, and in relation to which they have until recently been paying the utility bills.

‘Of late… the relationship between the applicant and his parents – in particular, it would appear, his father – has deteriorated and the financial support they are prepared to offer has significantly reduced.

‘He characterises their stance as seemingly being that, having in fact – whether wittingly or unwittingly – nurtured his dependency on them for the last 20 years or so – with the consequence that he is, so it is said, now completely dependent on them – they now seek to cast that dependency on to the state.’

The judge said he was satisfied the man had ‘no case’ and added: ‘His applications should be summarily dismissed.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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