While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, July 2

California rolls back reopening, steps up enforcement as coronavirus surges

California dramatically rolled back efforts to reopen its economy on Wednesday, banning indoor restaurant dining in much of the state, closing bars and stepping up enforcement of the restrictions as Covid-19 infections surge.

Indoor activities at restaurants, movie theatres, museums and other facilities will be banned in 19 counties where 70 per cent of the population lives for at least three weeks, Governor Gavin Newsom said.

All bars and brew pubs, whether indoor or out, must also close in affected counties, which include heavily populated Los Angeles and Orange Counties, as well as the state capital of Sacramento.

The state is also stepping up enforcement of the rules, setting up strike forces made up of regulatory agencies and the California Highway Patrol, Newsom said at a press briefing on Wednesday.


American Airlines resumes trying to pack planes as coronavirus cases surge

American Airlines resumed trying to fill its planes to full capacity on Wednesday, abandoning some coronavirus precautions and drawing criticism from public health officials as the pandemic runs wild in parts of America.

While other carriers such as Delta Air Lines decided in May to keep some seats empty so travellers could practice social distancing, others like United Airlines had not taken such measures because at that point no one was flying anyway.

The decision by American Airlines comes as steps to reopen the US economy coincide with a major surge in Covid-19 cases.


Coronavirus: Mexican inmates die after drinking anti-bacterial gel

Three inmates of a prison in Mexico died after ingesting antibacterial gel distributed to prevent the spread of Covid-19, local authorities said on Wednesday.

The men thought the gel would have the same effects as an alcoholic drink, state authorities said.

A fourth man is reported to be in a serious condition.


Russians grant Putin right to extend rule till 2036 in vote: Partial results

Russians appeared to have paved the way for Vladimir Putin to stay in power until 2036 by voting overwhelmingly for a package of constitutional changes which will also boost pensions, partial results of a nationwide vote showed on Wednesday.

Results, after almost a third of ballots had been counted, indicated that the former KGB officer who has ruled Russia for more than two decades as president or prime minister would easily win the right to run for two more terms.

That means he could remain president for 16 more years.


Aubameyang passes 50 Premier League goals as Arsenal rout Norwich

Mikel Arteta claimed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is willing to stay at Arsenal after he reached 50 Premier League goals faster than any player in the club’s history in Wednesday’s 4-0 demolition of Norwich.

Aubameyang won’t have scored many easier goals in his Arsenal half-century as he punished a howler from Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul in the first half at the Emirates Stadium.

Amid speculation Aubameyang wants to leave north London at the end of the season, he underlined just how important he is to Arsenal’s chances of success under Arteta.


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