World Despite COVID-19, South Africa to hold key local polls
Union urges NFL to adopt daily COVID-19 testing for vaccinated players
There’s a decent chance that the COVID-19 pandemic will play more of a role during the 2021 NFL season than last year. We’re seeing relaxed protocols from the league as it relates to fully vaccinated players with Week 1 of the campaign slated to get going Thursday evening. It has already led to some COVID-related issues for teams. That includes star guard Zack Martin and the Dallas Cowboys with their opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers mere days away. Despite being fully vaccinated, Martin tested positive for the virus and will miss the game.NFLPA president JC Tretter of the Cleveland Browns touched on this recently.
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — After uncertainty if COVID-19 would force South Africa to postpone local government elections, the courts have ruled that the crucial polls should move ahead.
Despite concerns about political rallies spreading the disease, South Africa's courts ruled earlier this month that the Independent Electoral Commission should hold the polls on November 1.
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The Red Sox now have a combination of 12 players and coaches sidelined due to the coronavirus. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts; utility man Enrique Hernandez; second baseman Christian Arroyo; infielder Yairo Munoz; and pitchers Matt Barnes, Hirokazu Sawamura and Martin Perez tested positive for COVID-19, while left-hander Josh Taylor and first-base coach Tom Goodwin are in quarantine as close contacts. Quality control coach Ramon Vazquez has also tested positive for the virus.
The elections may see erosion of support for the ruling party, the African National Congress party, which failed to register candidates in about 90 municipalities across the country before the deadline.
However, the electoral commission threw the ANC a lifeline by reopening registration for candidates to be councilors in the nation's cities.
The local government elections, which take place every five years, determine who will be on the councils that run cities, including responsibility for delivering basic services like water, sanitation and housing.
The elections also determine who will be mayors of major cities.
The previous local government elections held in 2016 resulted in major political shifts across the country with the ANC losing control of the major economic hub of Johannesburg, the Tshwane metropolitan area which includes the capital city Pretoria, and Nelson Mandela Bay. Cape Town continued to be governed by the opposition Democratic Alliance.
Astros right-hander Zack Greinke confirms he tested positive for COVID-19
Greinke has slowly been working his way back to the mound and will start Tuesday's game against the Texas Rangers.Greinke provided an update Saturday, saying he, his wife and two sons all tested positive for COVID-19, adding that all four are fully vaccinated, per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle.
“Voters are going to be looking at how political parties are performing nationally and provincially ... this is not going to serve the ANC particularly well," said Collette Herzenberg, senior lecturer of politics at Stellenbosch University. She said the ANC had been confronted by many challenges in the past five years.
The elections will be an assessment of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s leadership since he was elected in 2019, including his handling of the pandemic and corruption.
South Africa vaccinates some kids in test of Chinese vaccine
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa on Friday started vaccinating children and adolescents as part of the global Phase 3 clinical trials of China’s Sinovac Biotech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged between 6 months and 17 years. The global study will enroll 2,000 participants in South Africa and 12,000 others will be taking part in Kenya, the Philippines, Chile and Malaysia. The first children in South Africa were inoculated at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in the capital Pretoria to kick off the trials and others will get shots at 6 different sites across the country, the Sinovac company said in a statement Friday.
Several municipalities governed by the ANC have been found to be mismanaged by state auditors and some others have been placed under the administration of provincial governments.
The upcoming elections come at a difficult time for the ANC, which has been struggling with internal divisions, recent violent riots across the country over the jailing of former President Jacob Zuma and the suspension of the party's secretary-general Ace Magashule over corruption charges. South Africa's unemployment rate of 34% will also be a major issue.
COVID-19 should not be a big factor in voter turnout, according to Lesiba Teffor, vice chancellor for research at North West University.
“The (pandemic's) threat is actually during the campaigning, where some parties will want to do door-to-door campaigning and others will want to hold massive political rallies. That is where the threat of the spread of the virus is," said Teffo. "The actual voting day is usually very orderly and people can social distance while queuing to vote.”
But voter apathy may result in a low turnout.
There are fewer polls than there used to be following 2020
Polling can help shape a narrative about where the country is and where it is going Unfortunately, it seems that we do have fewer polls right now to help us do that during President Joe Biden's administration compared with the Trump administration. We can see this by looking at the number of polls asking about Biden's job approval rating. There have been about 750 of those polls published, so it's not like we don't have any data. A closer look reveals, however, how inflated that number is. More than 60% of those are from Morning Consult and Rasmussen Reports alone.
Winston Mahlangu, who sells phone chargers and pouches on the streets in Kempton Park, east of Johannesburg, is among voters who are unenthusiastic about voting.
“To be honest with you, I have not seen any obvious changes since I voted in the last elections. There is a lot that has been happening, with the coronavirus and people struggling," he said. "I am not sure how things will change after we vote.”
Pumpkin patches and Halloween parties: Experts weigh in on COVID-19 risks at fall gatherings .
Regardless of your vaccination status, autumn will bring gatherings for communities throughout the U.S. Here’s what you need to know stay safe.But COVID-19 cases are still spreading throughout the country. On Labor Day, daily coronavirus infections were more than four times what the U.S. saw on the holiday last year. Hospitalizations were also up over 150%, although most individuals hospitalized with COVID-19 this year are unvaccinated.