Passion for dance drew many of those slain to ballroom
Among the 11 people killed when a gunman opened fire during a Lunar New Year celebration at a Los Angeles-area dance hall popular with older Asian Americans were a family’s beloved aunt, a retired man who decided to return to school and the venue’s always-smiling manager.
Across Asia, spike in virus cases follows Lunar New Year
Many Asian countries are facing a spike in COVID-19 infections after the widely-celebrated Lunar New Year holidays, as health officials grapple with the highly-transmissible omicron variant and expectations that numbers will continue to rise in coming weeks.
Celebrations for Year of the Tiger are muted, but bring hope
People across Asia prepared Monday for muted Lunar New Year celebrations amid concerns over the coronavirus and virulent omicron variant, but were looking ahead with hope that the region's high vaccination rates might bring life closer to normal in the coming year.
Asia stocks follow Wall St. down after weaker US jobs data
(AP Photo/John Minchillo)BANGKOK – Asian stock markets followed Wall Street lower on Friday after disappointing U.S. jobs and economic data. Overnight, Wall Street's benchmark S&P 500 index lost 0.4% for its third straight daily decline. AdThe Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.9% to 3,641.63 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo sank 1% to 29,947.42. On Wall Street, the S&P 500 fell to 3,913.97. Congress is conducting a hearing on the recent volatility of companies caught in a tug-of-war between Wall Street institutional investors betting against the companies and the online retail investors who pushed shares higher.
Asian shares mostly lower after mixed day on Wall Street
Shares were mostly lower in Asia on Thursday after a mixed session on Wall Street as losses by technology and industrial companies offset other gains. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)TOKYO – Shares were mostly lower in Asia on Thursday after a mixed session on Wall Street as losses by technology and industrial companies offset other gains. Underscoring signs of recovery, the Commerce Department said U.S. retail sales soared a seasonally adjusted 5.3% in January from the month before, the biggest increase since June and much larger than forecast. The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 1.27% from 1.28% late Wednesday, near its highest level in a year. Last month’s jump in retail sales was largely driven by the $600 stimulus checks that went out to most Americans in late December and early January.
Chinese TV features blackface performers in New Year's gala
(AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)BEIJING – Chinese state TV included dancers in blackface portraying Africans in a holiday gala for the second time in three years, prompting criticism online, as Asia welcomed the Year of the Ox with muted festivities amid travel curbs to contain renewed coronavirus outbreaks. The “African Song and Dance” performance Thursday came at start of the Spring Festival Gala, one of the world’s most-watched TV programs. It included Chinese dancers in African-style costumes and dark face makeup beating drums. But China Central Television has faced criticism over using blackface to depict African people in past New Year broadcasts. The Commerce Ministry said it found 48 million more people in Chinese cities planned to celebrate where they live instead of traveling.
The Latest: Australia's 2nd largest city to begin lockdown
FILE - In this Tuesday, May 26, 2020 photo released by Nucleus Network/ABC, clinical trial participants are monitored during Novavax COVID-19 vaccine testing in Melbourne, Australia. (Patrick Rocca/Nucleus Network/ABC via AP)MELBOURNE, Australia — Australia’s second-largest city will begin its third lockdown due to a rapidly spreading COVID-19 cluster centered on hotel quarantine. The first of Australia’s 20 million doses of German manufactured Pfizer vaccine is to be administered in late February. Ad___WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand’s first coronavirus vaccine doses are due to arrive in the country next week, with border workers getting inoculated from Feb. 20, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Friday. The state's Health Department said Thursday that wastewater testing in Burlington found the presence of two virus mutations associated with the variant.
The Latest: Jump in cases worries S. Korea as holiday starts
(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has reported 504 new coronavirus cases for the latest 24-hour period. Although coronavirus cases stayed relatively low in Japan last year compared to the United States and Europe, infections have been climbing recently. Kate Brown says outdoor contact sports, including high school football, can resume this week amid a decline in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. On Wednesday, Germany’s Robert Koch Institute reported 8,072 new virus cases and 813 deaths in 24 hours. ___MADRID — Spain’s official 14-day rate of coronavirus cases has fallen to 584, from a peak of 900 two weeks ago.
Asian shares mostly gain after Biden speaks with China's Xi
FILE - A street sign is displayed at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)BEIJING – Major Asian stock indexes were mostly higher on Thursday after President Joe Biden held his first conversation with Chinese leader Xi Jinping since taking office. In their phone conversation, Biden and Xi appeared to have struck a conciliatory tone, Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a commentary. Shares in Aphria and Tilray, Canadian companies that agreed to combine in December, also rose. The stocks are also benefiting from optimism that industry friendly legislation measures could become law under the Biden administration.
The Latest: Miss. says out-of-staters showing up for vaccine
A member of the medical staff administrates the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine to a colleague at the South Ile-de-France Hospital Group in Melun, in the outskirts of Paris, Monday Feb. 8, 2021. The state’s top public health officials said Monday that the vaccination is supposed to be limited to Mississippi residents, or to people from other states who work in Mississippi. The change means as many as 1.5 million people in the state now qualify for shots, up from about 700,000. Ad___PORTLAND, Ore. — Appointments to receive the coronavirus vaccine in Oregon have been quickly booked as residents who are 80 years and older are now eligible to receive doses. Seniors in Oregon have waited weeks to receive the vaccine, after the original eligibility date was delayed and then Gov.
Flower farms see their Lunar New Year sales wilted by virus
The Lunar New Year holiday is usually a busy period for flower farms in Hong Kong, which gear up to sell plum blossoms, orchids and daffodils at flower markets during the festive season. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)HONG KONG – The Lunar New Year holiday is usually a busy period for flower farms in Hong Kong, which gear up to sell plum blossoms, orchids and daffodils at flower markets during the festive season. This year, the Hong Kong government will implement restrictions on such markets, which can only run at half-capacity and shortened business hours. Lunar New Year is traditionally a boost for some businesses in Hong Kong, especially retail businesses. Flower farms like Yeung typically make about 50% of their profits from the Lunar New Year season alone, according to business analyst Francis Lun.
The Latest: S Korea curbing travel, gatherings for holiday
— New Zealand’s medical regulator has approved its first coronavirus vaccine, and officials hope to begin giving shots to border workers by the end of March. Tate Reeves says he’s skeptical about a new federal effort to reduce racial disparities in coronavirus vaccination rates. ___BEIRUT — Lebanon has broken its single-day record of coronavirus deaths with 81 as the country continued its nationwide lockdown for the third week. ___LAS VEGAS — Nevada has recorded its deadliest month of the coronavirus pandemic in January after reporting eight additional coronavirus deaths over the weekend. Mike DeWine and his wife received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday in a procedure streamed live.
Asia Today: China sees most monthly infections since March
The National Health Commission said Sunday that 2,016 cases were reported from Jan. 1-30. Two people have died in January, the first reported coronavirus deaths in China in several months. The team members visited the Huanan Seafood Market for about an hour Sunday afternoon. The market has since been largely ruled out but it could provide hints to how the virus spread so widely. The WHO mission has become politically charged, as China seeks to avoid blame for alleged missteps in its early response to the outbreak.
The Latest: Lockdown in Perth, Australia reaches 5 days
(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)PERTH, AustraIia — The city of Perth has been locked down for five days after Western Australia state’s first case of local COVID-19 infection in almost 10 months. With hospitalizations and confirmed cases falling, health officials are optimistic that the worst of the latest surge is over. The businesses can reopen, following a 25% capacity limit, given the improvement in the number of COVID-19 cases and in the city’s positivity rate. Authorities had warned that riots in the Netherlands over coronavirus restrictions could spark similar protests in neighboring Belgium. He said the number of weekly COVID-19 cases in nursing homes has declined by 66% in the last three weeks.
Asia Today: China's big holiday travel season light so far
This year, authorities have offered free refunds on plane tickets and extra pay for workers who stay put to dissuade travel for the holiday. The National Health Commission on Thursday reported 41 new cases of local transmission of the virus, a decline from previous days. The Philippines has nearly 520,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, the second-highest number in Southeast Asia after Indonesia, and 10,552 deaths. — Vietnam has reported 82 new COVID-19 cases in two clusters, hours after counting its first new local cases in nearly two months. Meanwhile, Australia has extended its suspension of quarantine-free travel from New Zealand for another three days.
Asia Today: China's COVID-19 hospitalizations, cases rise
A medical worker gives a coronavirus vaccine shot to a patient at a vaccination facility in Beijing, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. A city in northern China is building a 3,000-unit quarantine facility to deal with an anticipated overflow of patients as COVID-19 cases rise ahead of the Lunar New Year travel rush. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)BEIJING – China says it is now treating more than 1,000 people for COVID-19 as numbers of cases continue to surge in the country’s north. The province of Hebei, just outside Beijing, accounted for 90 of the new cases, while Heilongjiang province further north reported 43 new cases. India is launching its massive immunization drive on Saturday aimed at vaccinating 300 million people by August.
China pandemic control goes rural ahead of Lunar New Year
(AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)BEIJING – China is concentrating its pandemic prevention efforts in the rural areas as officials urge people to not travel home for the Lunar New Year festival while the country combats its most serious latest outbreak of COVID-19. China had largely contained domestic spread but frigid winter temperatures have brought new outbreaks, even as China pushes to vaccinate 50 million people by mid-February. Health workers have given over 10 million doses of one of the domestically produced COVID-19 vaccines, officials said Wednesday. Currently, China has only approved one vaccine for general use in populations aged 18-59 — an inactivated virus shot from state-owned Sinopharm. Sinovac's CEO announced at the same news conference that they have supplied more than 7 million shots to provinces across the country.
The Latest: Mexico sees record 16,105 new virus cases
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)MEXICO CITY — Mexico has posted another daily record for newly confirmed coronavirus cases, with 16,105 new infections reported Saturday, and a near-record of 1,135 deaths related to COVID-19 in the latest 24-hour period. ___AMMAN, Jordan — Jordan announced it is expecting the first doses of a coronavirus vaccine to arrive in the kingdom late Saturday. Official data also show that the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.K. has exceeded 3 million. The daily numbers brought Arizona’s total confirmed cases to 607,345 and the state’s death toll in the pandemic to 10,036. With 10.4 million confirmed coronavirus cases, India has the second-highest total behind the United States.
Asia Today: Thailand counts more virus cases, limits travel
Thailand has been struggling with a sudden virus surge after months of hardly any cases of domestic transmission. Sri Lanka has reported 45,498 COVID-19 cases, including 215 deaths. “Decisions about when international travel resumes will be made by the Australian government,” McCormack said in a statement. On Tuesday, the country reported 7,445 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the confirmed total to 779,548, including 23,109 deaths. India has reported more than 10.3 million cases and over 150,000 deaths.
New Year's revelries muted by virus as curtain draws on 2020
Fireworks and drones illuminate the night sky over London as they form a light display as London's normal New Year's Eve fireworks display was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic Thursday Dec. 31, 2020. As midnight rolled from Asia to the Middle East, Europe, Africa and the Americas, the New Year’s experience mirrored national responses to the virus itself. Some countries and cities canceled or scaled back their festivities, while others without active outbreaks carried on like any other year. In Chinese societies, the virus ensured more muted celebrations of the solar New Year, which is less widely observed than the Lunar New Year that in 2021 will fall in February. Initial reports about a mystery respiratory illness sickening people in the Chinese city of Wuhan emerged exactly a year ago.
Amid virus fears, China urges workers to skip holiday travel
(AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)BEIJING – China is encouraging tens of millions of migrant workers not to travel home during next February’s Lunar New Year holiday to prevent further spread of the coronavirus, disrupting its most important time for family gatherings. The commission said it is encouraging provincial governments to persuade workers to follow the suggestion while taking into account their personal wishes. China has all but eradicated local transmission of the coronavirus, but authorities remain on high alert over a possible resurgence. Over the roughly six-week travel period, Chinese can take upward of 3 billion trips. Along with discouraging travel, Chinese authorities are also carrying out a campaign to vaccinate 50 million people before the Lunar New Year holiday.
The Latest: South Korea enforces tough measures in prisons
The others are the lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, state treasurer, insurance commissioner and Kansas Supreme Court chief justice and four Republican leaders in the GOP-controlled Legislature. The legislative leaders and the state’s Republican attorney general passed, for now, because not all health care workers and nursing home residents have received theirs. The governor also said Wednesday that “hundreds” of other, non-elected state officials have been made eligible for early vaccines by their agencies. The others are the lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, state treasurer, insurance commissioner and Kansas Supreme Court chief justice and four Republican leaders in the GOP-controlled Legislature. Most of those Republicans said they didn’t want to jump in line ahead of health care workers, nursing home residents or other vulnerable Kansans.