Easter date: When is Easter? What date does it fall on this year?

In the Christian calendar, Easter marks the end of the 40 days of Lent. And unlike other Christian events, such as Christmas Day, the date Easter falls on is subject to change every year.

When is Easter?

Easter is the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and it occurs every year.

This year Easter Sunday falls on April 12, 2020.

Therefore Good Friday falls on April 10, Holy Saturday on April 11 and Easter Monday on April 13.

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Why does Easter’s date change every year?

The date Easter falls on changes year-to-year and can fall at any time between March 22 and April 25.

Christian churches across the world may set different dates for Easter, but sometimes all churches celebrate Easter at the same time.

In Western Christianity, the date is calculated based on observations of the moon.

The date Easter falls on is set to coincide with the first full moon after the vernal equinox, the Paschal Full Moon.

The church always recognises the vernal equinox as March 21 every year.

In 2020 the full moon falls on April 8.

Therefore Easter Sunday will fall this year on April 12.

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How is Easter celebrated?

For Christians, Easter is often marked by attending a church service.

However, while the UK is currently under lockdown due to coronavirus, people have been advised not to leave their homes.

Religious services and social gatherings in churches have been banned for the time being to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

As well as attending church, Christians may also mark the occasion with candles, flowers and music.

For non-Christians, people still mark Easter by spending time with their family.

Some mark the event by gifting chocolate Easter eggs to loved ones, as the eggs symbolise new life.

Some people will celebrate with a special lunch for the day, and children may engage in Easter egg hunts.

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Virtual Grand National 2020: Templegate's pinstickers guide and tips for the race on ITV

BURROWS SAINT looks a winner not a sinner in the Virtual Grand National.

He has already won the Irish version of this great race and virtual Rachael Blackmore can be the first woman to win Aintree’s showpiece.

Kimberlite Candy and Walk In The Mill both ran crackers in the Becher Chase here in December and have every chance of hitting the frame from their low weights.

Tiger Roll will pull out all the stops to make it three Nationals in a row but only the great Rummy himself has carted so much weight to win in recent memory. That won’t stop him being in the mix but he may have to settle for a place.

Lots of the bigger weights have each-way claims with last year’s fifth Anibale Fly sure to run well again. All of Wales will be cheering on Welsh National winner Potters Corner who will be plodding on when others cry enough.

Definitly Red will be popular with virtual punters at Liverpool and is another who should run well.

TIGER ROLL 4

TIGER burning bright. Has etched his name in the great race’s history by winning the past two Nationals in great style. We know he handles the big fences and has no issues with this trip. He’s still only 10 so is the right sort of age for an Aintree winner. No horse has carried so much weight to National success since Red Rum himself in 1974 but he’ll make another bold bid.

BRISTOL DE MAI 3

MAI not win. Finished third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last year but was only ninth in this year’s renewal when making a couple of mistakes. Is a Grade 1 winner at his best and has plenty of staying power. Having his first crack at these fences, which is no bad thing, but his big weight is a worry.

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ASO 2

ASO no. Has got plenty of decent form over shorter distances but has yet to taste success beyond 2m5f. Trainer Venetia Williams threw him into the deep end of the King George over 3m at Christmas but he didn’t get home at Kempton. Hard to see him staying this far.

ELEGANT ESCAPE 3

ELEGANT looks good. Won the Welsh Grand National in the mud two years ago so has lots of staying power and was a well-backed sixth in the race this season. Found the Cheltenham Gold Cup a real struggle last time but should enjoy this trip a lot more and will be running on at the finish. Has an each-way shout.

ANIBALE FLY 3

FLY has wings. Hasn’t won for more than two years but was good enough to finish second in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last season before a good fifth in the National when he jumped the fences well. He warmed up for this with a good third over hurdles at Naas last time and has less weight than 12 months ago. On the shortlist.

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Virtual Grand National 2020: Best betting offers and sign up bonuses with Paddy Power, Betfair, Ladbrokes and Betway – The Sun

SUN RACING have laid out the best sign-up offers available to new customers.

We've teamed up with the some of the UK's leading bookmakers to help you get more bang for your buck.

With these sign-up offers below you can boost your betting bank by over £100.

We have also broken down the jargon to these offers and explain which offer may suit you best, as well as showing you the latest promotions, to ensure you don't miss out.

Paddy Power: £20 Risk Free Bet* – CLAIM HERE

Paddy Power are giving you a totally risk free £20 bet.

Sign up to Paddy Power and if your first bet loses, you will get it refunded up to £20.

What's more, it's in cash too!

See more Paddy Power offers here

Betway: Up to £30 Bonus* – CLAIM HERE

Betway have a bonus of up to £30 for new customers.

Sign up and place your first deposit of up to £30.

This will then get matched once a bet at odds of 1.75 or greater has been placed.

See more Betway offers here

Betfair: Risk Free £20 Exchange Bet* – CLAIM HERE

The Betfair Exchange are giving new customers a risk free £20 bet.

Simply bet £20 on any race and if it's a loser, you will get your £20 back.

Whats more, it's in CASH!

See more Betfair offers here

Ladbrokes: Bet £5, Get £20 in Free Bets* – CLAIM HERE

What separates this sign up offer from others, is the minimum deposit being just £5.

So if you're seeking free bets, without wanting to part with too much money, this is the offer for you.

New customers must register using promo code 20FREE, place a £5 win single bet or £5 e/w at odds of 1/2 or greater and get up to £20 in free bets.

Ladbrokes: Stake £10, Get £50 Welcome Bonus* – CLAIM HERE

This casino offer is perfect for new customers.

Simply stake £10 on any casino, slots or live casino game and you will get a £50 welcome bonus!

Whether you enjoy sitting at the roulette table, or having a few spins on the slot machines, this offer is for you.

See more Ladbrokes offers here

Coral: Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets* – CLAIM HERE

All new customers need to do is place a single £10 bet and get £30 in free bets in return.

Back a winner at any meeting and you still have £30 pounds worth of bets to place on more races.

Meaning, regardless if you're up or down after your first tenner, you still have opportunities to make money without spending anymore money.

See more Coral offers here

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Cancer breakthrough: New method targets deadly cells

It works by basically forcing the cancer cells to dump their waste in their ‘home’ rather than have it taken out and disposed of. A team of researchers from the Centre for Soft and Living Matters, based in South Korea, found that selective killing of cancer cells will clutter their waste disposal system. Cancer patients will have ‘cancer lysosomes’ and ‘healthy cell lysosomes’ – a lysosome is a sac filled with a large number of enzymes and acid, it works to break down and recycle damaged cellular components. 

Researchers discovered that if the ‘cancer lysosomes’ is punctured, then harmful toxins will be released inside the cell damaging the cellular components – effectively killing the cancer cell. 

In cancer-free patients, the healthy lysosomes usually release toxins outside of the cell – simply put it it’s like throwing out rubbish from your home rather than emptying it back on the floor. 

Co-author Dr Bartosz Grzybowski, said: “In this work, we have harnessed the deregulated waste management system of the cancer cells to act as a nanoscale assembly line for constructing high-quality nanoparticle crystals that destroy the very lysosome reactors that allowed them to grow in the first place.”

The mixed-charge nanoparticles will assemble into crystals and cause the death of thirteen types of cancer lines. 

Co-author Dr Kristiana Kandere-Grzybowska, said: “Non-cancerous cells, however, also internalise mixed-charge nanoparticles, but nanoparticle aggregation is limited. The nanoparticles quickly transit through the recycling routes and are cleared from these cells.

First author of the study, Dr Magdalena Borkowska added: “Our conclusions are based on a comparison of thirteen different sarcomas, melanoma, breast and lung carcinoma cell lines with four non-cancer cell types.

“The nanoparticles were effective against all thirteen cancer lines, while not harming non-cancerous cells.” 

Overall, the interactions between particles, serum proteins and cells’ internal environment work in concert to impair cancer lysosomes.

Dr Kandere-Grzybowska said: “”The nanoparticle clusters may alter the lipid composition of the lysosome membrane, affect its integrity and render it less mechanically robust.

“Unexpectedly, our team also discovered that some proteins, such as the cell growth signalling molecules mTORC1, are displaced (and thus inhibited) from the surface of nanoparticle-containing cancer lysosomes. 

“This is important because cancer cell growth and division require mTORC1, and nanoparticles are shutting it down only in cancer cells.”

The mixed-charge strategy could be applied to other types of nanoparticles, such as polymer-based particles, dendrimers or iron oxide nanoparticles. 

Another important step will be testing the effectiveness of mixed-charge nanoparticles against tumours in animal models. 

The findings are published in Nature Nanotechnology.

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‘Tsunami’ of cases as coronavirus spreads where social distancing is a privilege

Outside China, it's the rich world that has so far borne the brunt of coronavirus. Spain and Italy are under siege, the streets of New York are deserted, and, in Australia, luxury cruise ships and a party among the private school set in Aspen have been the centres of the pandemic's spread.

But despite the inconvenience of working and schooling from home, the gripes about Victoria's short-lived "bonk ban" and quarantined ex-travellers complaining about the food in five-star hotels, Australia has been able to hunker down and self-isolate.

An Indian boy helps a girl to drink water as others wait to collect potable water from a public tap in a poor area of Hyderabad, India.Credit:AP

Then last week, a tweet from an Indian doctor went viral and provided some much-needed perspective on this fearsome disease: "Social distancing is a privilege," wrote Dr Jagadish J Hiremath. "It means you live in a house large enough to practise it.

“Hand washing is a privilege too. It means you have access to running water. Hand sanitisers are a privilege. It means you have money to buy them. Lockdowns are a privilege. It means you can afford to be at home. Most of the ways to ward the corona off are accessible only to the affluent.”

Dr Hiremath runs a hospital in an industrial area of Bangalore, about 1000 kilometres from Mumbai. His words were a sobering reminder of the world’s structural inequalities.

And if well-off nations with solid health systems and economies have seen about 53,000 people die so far, when COVID-19 spreads in earnest to poorer countries, refugee camps, and informal settlements, it is likely to become deadlier still. Aid agencies, the United Nations and national governments across the developing world know that that day is approaching.

“It’s just a trickle at the moment, but based on what we’ve seen in places like Italy and New York we need to prepare for a tsunami.”

“High population density and inadequate housing conditions … mean that measures to prevent and respond to COVID-19, such as quarantine and social distancing, are simply not possible,” said World Vision International’s Global Director of Humanitarian Operations, Isabel Gomes, this week.

“Populations forced to live in such places will find it very difficult to protect themselves.”

In India, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day nationwide shutdown on March 24, about one-sixth of the urban population live cheek-by-jowl in the country’s slums.

The largest of those communities is Dharavi in Mumbai, which recorded its first case of coronavirus on Wednesday. Here, there’s about one toilet for every 1400 residents, and around 100,000 makeshift homes, each with multiple residents under the one roof. The laneways are so narrow that neighbours can’t help but rub shoulders as they pass. Some labourers fled the cities and crushed onto buses and highways to go back to their home villages, probably carrying the virus to every corner of the country.

As Dr Hiremath told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald last week, COVID-19 started in wealthier nations, but it “has now become a poor man’s burden to carry.”

A family at the grave of their relative who died of coronavirus in one of the two official cemeteries for COVID-19 victims in Jakarta, Indonesia.Credit:Getty Images

Indonesia presents another cautionary tale. A few weeks ago, the world’s fourth most populous nation was yet to officially record a single case of coronavirus. By Friday morning there had been 1790 cases and 170 deaths – making the country the worst-affected nation in south-east Asia. Most of the deaths have been in the teeming capital, Jakarta.

While President Joko Widodo was initially slow to respond, his government has now imposed “large scale social restrictions” on its citizens including a nationwide work-from-home policy. But for now, there are no plans to stop “Lebaran” at the end of May, an annual migration of 20 million people from the cities to home villages all over the country to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr religious festival.

In any event, many Indonesians work in informal industries, earning a living as food vendors, domestic helpers, drivers – jobs where working from home is simply not feasible. For these daily wage earners, the choice is stark: risk hunger, or risk infection.

Motorcycle taxi “Gojek” driver Mohammad Feri Fadli told The Age and Herald he would continue working on the streets of Bali, but had noticed a 50 per cent drop in his income since the first case of COVID-19 in his country.

“I am scared of the virus too, but I brave it every day to go out,” said the father of two, who regularly sends money back to his family in Java. “My wife makes snacks and sells them online, but it’s so quiet lately she had to stop. What we eat, we earn each day. If I don’t bring money home, there will be nothing to eat tomorrow.”

Aid agencies also fear the catastrophic impact of COVID-19 sweeping into refugee camps, makeshift settlements and conflict zones. According to the United Nations refugee agency, more than 70 million people are living out of their homes, many in camps, due to conflict.

There, a lack of medical resources and pre-existing health conditions will make the pandemic even harder to fight. And for many communities in fragile nations, COVID-19 will exacerbate a range of child protection threats that are largely foreign in the west, such as child marriage and child slavery.

“It’s a humanitarian emergency writ large,” said Save the Children deputy chief executive Mat Tinkler. “It’s just a trickle at the moment, but based on what we’ve seen in places like Italy and New York we need to prepare for a tsunami.”

That preparation itself has been made difficult by the shutdowns that some governments and non-government groups are imposing on their staff. In the Pacific, Papua New Guinea has now gone into lockdown, and the Australian High Commission evacuated all non-essential staff last week. Private companies that usually assist in aid and development have also withdrawn workers. With fewer people, travel restrictions disrupting supply chains, and limited internet, the ability to “surge into hotspots” and respond to the virus is likely to be affected, says Tinkler.

One of the biggest, most densely packed refugee camps in the world is the Cox’s Bazar displacement camps in Bangladesh, where 859,000 refugees are living after fleeing Myanmar in 2017.

Here, an estimated 40,000 people per square kilometre live in plastic shelters crammed side-
by-side.

Thanks to a government crackdown, they have had no access to internet or cell phone data for more than six months, so have no means of obtaining reliable information about COVID-19. They do not know which hospitals could take them in, and which are already at capacity.

An epidemic in this environment could be catastrophic.

In Africa, all but five of the continent’s 54 countries now have cases of coronavirus. As the number of infections exceeded 6000 on Thursday, the head of Africa Centres for Disease Control Prevention, Dr John Nkengasong, warned that the continent was "very, very close" to where Europe was after a 40-day period.

In a small snapshot of the difficulties ahead, Cote d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso are already running out of hospital beds, armed conflict continues unabated in countries such as Nigeria and South Sudan and high rates of diabetes, HIV, other diseases will likely increase the risk of COVID-19 across the continent.

Homeless people queuing for a meal and a shelter in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, South Africa, during a nationwide lockdown.Credit:AP

Here too, social distancing and quarantine is often all but impossible. In Mozambique, for instance, it’s not uncommon for up to seven or eight family members to live under the one roof and walk several kilometres a day for basic water supplies. In Uganda and Ethiopia, about 82 percent of the population gather en masse for religious services. Church services in Australia are now streamed online but such a concept is not feasible in rural Africa.

“Health-care systems across Africa could collapse under the added weight of the pandemic,” says Patrick Youssef, the regional director for Africa at the International Committee of the Red Cross.

“In northern Mali, 93 per cent of health-care facilities have been completely destroyed – proof that hospitals, ambulances and medical personnel all too often become targets in armed conflict. The underfunded community health centres that are left already struggle to treat common illnesses like malaria and measles. How could we expect them to test and treat people for COVID-19?”

In a bid to deal with the looming catastrophe, international humanitarian agencies are ramping up their efforts in fragile nations despite their staff restrictions. World Vision has been distributing protection equipment and hygeine supplies in Asia since January and is now undertaking further work in countries such as Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Haiti and Syria.

However, acting chief executive Graham Strong is under no illusions about the overwhelming challenge ahead, and the stark contrasts between developed nations and the third world when it comes to fighting the worst global pandemic in a century.

From the sanctuary of his Australian home, Strong has been watching in awe at the billions of dollars state and federal governments have pumped into job seeker payments, childcare, and hospital beds. He hopes, optimistically, that it doesn’t detract from the global effort to protect the most vulnerable.

“I’ve just been amazed in terms of watching what the Australian government is doing for Australians,” says Strong. “I think it’s great that we’re able to do that, but we have to realise that a lot of fragile states don’t have the ability to provide that for their citizens.”

In India, Dr Hiremathe knows that lockdowns have helped to flatten the curve. In his, country, though, “it is coming with a price”.

“I run a hospital in an industrial area of Bangalore,” he says. “Most of (the labourers) here are daily wage earners, and since the factories are shut down, they’re suffering from a loss of income.

“If proper arrangements are not made, we may soon see more people dying of hunger than COVID-19.”

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I fell in love with a friend who didn't love me back

It was a miserable cold winter’s night at the bar in a busy pub when I saw her first. A wide eyed fawn haired woman. All clavicles, effortless grace and beauty – even as she sat, bored in a carpeted boozer, munching a pickled egg.

Feeling uncharacteristically brave, I chose to follow the butterflies doing loop-the-loops in my gut and went to spark up a conversation. In 10 minutes, we ruminated on her unusual snack combination (pickled egg and dry roasted peanuts) and sussed we had writing in common.

At that time, I was six months into a very brutal and unexpected heartache, the fourth in a series that could only be described as ‘from bad to worse.’ I never meant to become so good at being lonely, but at the dawn of my thirties, I’d become a dab hand. Meeting a woman whose very being sent my heart racing within seconds was euphoric.

We were allies in otherness, in a pub where everyone else seemed to be part of the same team. It was the most fulfilling conversation I’d had in months.

Yet with every high there comes a low, and that was her telling me about her loser boyfriend – who was treating her dreadfully.

In that moment, I realised that I’d just met a woman I had enormously strong feelings for, who was brilliantly smart, immeasurably kind and potentially the most beautiful person I’d ever seen – but who not only had a different sexual orientation to mine but was in a relationship with a man who didn’t deserve one iota of the love and understanding she gave him.

Human connections never fail to mystify me and despite my obvious frustrations, we got on so well that we exchanged numbers and became friends.

We had drinks. She suggested books I might enjoy. She sent me music that reminded her of me.

I tried not to overthink every piece of prose, every lyric – not to keep any shred of hope that compositions filled with aching for another’s closeness were aimed at me. 

I sent songs back, always terrified that their lovey-dovey sentiments might give me away – or scarier still (in terms of my ego, anyway), that she might think my taste in music was slightly gauche.

Six months on, keeping schtum about my feelings really began to eat away at me, but not in the way you might expect. No part of me ever believed I’d have a real shot with her, nor that she’d want to have a romantic relationship with me.

She’s straight and if that wasn’t enough, she out of my league. In fact she’s out of my universe. Too bright, too brilliant, too pretty.

What really got to me was keeping something from someone I really cared about, a friend who shared so many private thoughts and emotions with me. A friend who I spoke to about everything going on in my life but from whom I was hiding my biggest secret.

It felt like lying to her and that stung far more than longing to be her person. 

So I told her, in the only way I knew how: by getting white-girl wasted on a night out and making an utter fool of myself as we sat close together on a cold metal bench. Tears, apologies, the works.

Umpteen actors would nail my character in this movie, and it would have a happy ending. Sadly, life’s not a romcom.

She didn’t say she felt the same. She didn’t say anything really because I didn’t give her a chance to handle the grim responsibility of rejecting a friend so dear to her.

I launched into a soliloquy about how I’d never disrespect her boundaries, how soulmates come in all shapes and sizes, that platonic love is forever and how I was sure the romantic feelings would fade. A hopeful diminuendo.

We hugged and she thanked me for being honest. We both promised nothing in our friendship would change.

Life trudged mercifully on, as it tends to. Today, we’re still very close and as we’re both currently single, we get to enjoy each other’s company and make plans and support each other.

Neither of us have delved back into that night since in the mutual, unspoken understanding that should we ever want to, we could be as open and honest as with every other part of our relationship.

As time has passed, my previous feelings have evolved into platonic ones and – as a hopeless romantic – honestly makes me feel a bit sad. Because if those initial feelings had been reciprocated, they would have lasted forever, at least on my part.

Unrequited love gave me all the fun parts of falling for someone. Butterflies, thinking about her all the time, spoiling her with small thoughtful gifts, the immeasurable satisfaction of her laughing at my jokes. Feeling like somebody. Being seen.

Romantic feelings for my friend were a beautiful shield from the potential of losing myself in a relationship all over again, and they stepped in during a time in my life when it seemed like pain would never go away. The mere idea of falling in love with someone who could love me back only to smash me to smithereens was, and remains, utterly nightmarish.

I’m not saying unrequited love has been an easy ride but it’s not even close to the shadow some of my previous romantic relationships have left on my heart.

At times, they have blocked out the light completely – falling in love with my friend was like all of the lights being turned back on, even if she never felt the same. 

Apart from feeling a bit of an eejit, nothing changed in our friendship and in all sincerity, I’m now speaking up in defence of unrequited love. It isn’t risky, nor redundant. It is valid, important, and a comforting half-way for when you’re not ready to be in love again.

Being vulnerable and open about your feelings, even if you know that things aren’t going to go your way, is important. It closes a chapter, leaving you open to the rest of your life and the day when things will get better and you know you’re brave enough to say how you feel.

Love, in its truest form, is all around us. In the romantic sense, it is mutual respect and adoration. Always being excited to see each other. Never tiring of each other’s jokes.

Maybe one day I’ll find that but for now I’m satisfied and enjoying emotional stillness in all the platonic love I’m lucky enough to have. It’s marvellous.

Last week, in Love, Or Something Like It: I manifested my husband

Would you like to share your love story?

Love, Or Something Like It is a new series for Metro.co.uk, covering everything from mating and dating to lust and loss, to find out what love is and how to find it in the present day. If you have a love story to share, email [email protected]

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Anthony Joshua perfectly breaks down how Mike Tyson would have beaten Muhammad Ali with ‘science’ on his side – The Sun

ANTHONY JOSHUA has delivered his "humble" opinion on why Mike Tyson would beat Muhammad Ali if the legends fought each other in their prime.

With boxing suspended during the coronavirus pandemic, fans have indulged in discussing the what-if match-ups between greats of the sport.

When asked during a JD Sports Instagram Live about the Ali vs Tyson hypothetical, Joshua broke the matter down to give a considered verdict.

The Brit, 30, backed Tyson for his extensive knowledge of how to best opponents, thanks to his use of modern "science".

Joshua said: "It's quite interesting because in the era of Ali's heavyweight reign, the heavyweights were ranked as cruiserweights.

"So in the Mike Tyson, Larry Holmes, George Foreman, Lennox Lewis era; they started getting bigger.

"Hence why, in the amateurs, they then created a super heavyweight division.

"So the current heavyweight division in the amateurs is what we class as the cruiserweight division [in the pros], so Ali went from lightweight and worked his way up.

"He wouldn't have been a fully fledged heavyweight. Let's say we bulked Ali up and added size and strength to him, I truly believe Mike Tyson would have won.

"Reason being, when you watch the fight between Joe Frazier and Ali you see certain a Tyson-esque style in Frazier.

"Tyson used to study Frazier: moving, moving, hooks, hooks.

"He managed to put Ali down, it was a very tough fight for him.

"I just believe Tyson was better schooled because times have evolved, he was more developed with more science, more information. So Tyson would have won – in my humble opinion."

Fans have held a keen interest in establishing an all-time heavyweight king of late, most notably in the eWBSS series played out on simulations from the Fight Night Champion game.

After Tyson beat George Foreman and Ali knocked out Sonny Liston in the semi-finals, they met in the eSports showpiece.

Both icons hit the canvas in the early rounds but it was Tyson who came out on top with a unanimous points decision after 12 gruelling rounds.


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Sanctions are crippling Iran’s fight against coronavirus

To many of us urban administrators in Iran, the onslaught of coronavirus has underscored an important fact of life: no town, city or nation can be indifferent to global crises, even in far-flung corners of our world.

Indeed, while the mantra of good governance over the past century has been to “think global, act local”, we must today think and act both locally and globally.

Unfortunately, the small-mindedness that has dominated the politics of various countries in past years has not dissipated. Rather, those who have aggressively advocated pursuit of narrowly defined “national interests” at any cost are doubling down. The consequences of this posturing are many.

In Iran, urban administrators are left facing an unprecedented public health crisis. Figures show that 3,160 had died from the disease by 2 April and there are more than 50,000 cases of infection. The rate of infections is not yet slowing, and many of them are in Tehran, the city of which I am mayor.

Doubtless there are things that we could do differently, like every country in the world. But we are operating against the backdrop of the most extreme sanctions regime in history. The US embargo not only prohibits American companies and individuals from conducting lawful trade with Iranian counterparts, but given that the sanctions are extra-territorial, all other countries and companies are also bullied into refraining from doing legitimate business with Iranians, even the selling of medicines.

As a result, the ability of my colleagues and I to provide the health, logistical and other essential infrastructure necessary to combat the disease has been drastically reduced. We experience this loss every day, and it can be counted in people that would not have died.

How do countries differ in their response to the coronavirus economic crisis? | Ricardo Reis

This unjust treatment of Iran has come about via the policies of one country – the United States – whose ruling administration does not seem to prioritise even its own national interests, but instead the narrow interests of a governing party. The outcome of such irresponsible policies and behaviour is not limited to Iran; they have also inflicted harm on the American public.

Indeed, the Donald Trump administration’s refusal to halt its economic warfare against Iran is directly impeding our efforts to deal with a virus which knows no borders. Is it in the US’s national interest for the coronavirus pandemic to become permanent?

In order to better confront these new global crises, there is a need for politicians to realise that the path to pursuing national interests is not separate or contrary to that of global interests and international accountability.

Of equal importance, it must be recognised that as long as the general consensus in international politics does not actively move toward reducing injustice and inequality beyond national and racial boundaries, global crises will continue to indiscriminately endanger every country in the world.

The world cannot go on like this. If global leaders fail to seize the opportunity to embrace change, we will all continue to remain highly vulnerable to communicable diseases, environmental catastrophes, global warming, terrorism, violent extremism and other shared threats.

Pirouz Hanachi is the mayor of Tehran

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Coronavirus: The stretch on the NHS is affecting cancer care – how to shield yourself

Coronavirus can be a deadly disease. So can cancer. Is the stretched NHS able to cope with the pandemic and cancer care?

Cancer Research UK stated: “Doctors are looking at ways to try and minimise the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on cancer patients.

“They will aim to continue with your treatment wherever possible.

“But they might need to change your treatment or prioritise certain treatments over others.”

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The charity explained the reality: “It’s likely that there will be staff and bed shortages. This means they might need to delay or rearrange treatments.”

NHS England proclaimed: “Cancer services will need to continue to deliver care.”

Adding that NHS staff need to “seek the best local solutions” to continue “management of these cancer services while protecting resources for the response to coronavirus”.

Professor Karol Sikora, the chief medical officer at Rutherford Health – which runs oncology centres (that deal with cancerous tumours) said the advice by NHS England was being “implemented inconsistently”.

Professor Sikora elaborated: “People getting chemotherapy have now had it stopped even though they are category one and two patients, the highest priority.

“Also, some hospitals have put blanket bans on cancer treatment for two to three weeks.

“Not everyone needs to rush ahead with cancer treatment but others need to continue despite this to get the best long-term cure.”

The reason behind the inconsistency in cancer treatment, depending on where you receive treatment, is because it’s a judgement call on what certain hospitals can cope with at certain times.

“It is a hard decision regarding how much you transfer care to coronavirus and how much say ‘we have to keep going with vital non-urgent but critical services’,” added Professor Sikora.

If a cancer patient is infected with Covid-19, the consequences can be deadly.

This is why cancer patients are now classified as “vulnerable groups”.

If you’re one of these groups, listed below, you’re encouraged to follow shielding measures:

  • Having chemotherapy
  • Having radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
  • With cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
  • Having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
  • Having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
  • Who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last six months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs

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Shielding measures require people, who can identify with the list above, to stay at home and avoid face-to-face contact for at least 12 weeks.

Home visits from healthcare staff or carers are still permitted, but they must wash their hands with soap and water – for at least 20 seconds – when they arrive at your home.

The three-month period of shielding may change if the government guidance decides on a new course of action.

Anybody who lives with a cancer patient should also reduce their contact outside the home where possible.

It’s advisable for those living with cancer patients to practice social distancing measures.

This means to avoid meeting with friends and family outside of your household, working from home – where possible – and avoiding non-essential use of public transport.

Every cancer patient will be informed by their cancer care team what is the latest with their treatment plan.

Doctors will be making judgement calls, weighing up the benefits of treatment with the risks of treatment.

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Welcome to 2020, the year churches are pre-recording Easter

Easter Sunday was celebrated a few days ago in St Paul’s Cathedral, but something was not quite right.

There were no worshippers celebrating Christ’s resurrection in this beautiful, 129-year-old Flinders Street building. No festive flowers and no 40-voice choir.

Archbishop Philip Freier hosts Easter Sunday service, 10 days early, in an empty St Paul’s Cathedral. Credit:Jason South

But hang on, it wasn’t even Easter Sunday yet, which this year falls on April 12. What was going on?

It was Thursday, April 2 and, for the first time, the St Paul’s Easter Sunday service was being pre-recorded on video. It’s an insurance policy.

Cathedral dean Dr Andreas Loewe said that if a complete shutdown of city buildings is announced, which will mean no one is allowed in the Cathedral to conduct even a live streamed service on April 12, this pre-recorded one can be screened on the Anglican Cathedral’s Facebook page and on YouTube.

Only five people took part in Thursday’s recording: Melbourne Archbishop Philip Freier, Dr Loewe, archdeacon Heather Patacca, an organist and a video operator.



Pre-recordings have also been made for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services.

As the coronavirus outbreak worsens, churches which have had to close their doors have sought new ways to offer spiritual guidance.

At Melbourne’s Catholic cathedral, St Patrick’s, Archbishop Peter Comensoli is preparing to host Easter services without a physical congregation.

Annie Carrett, director of the Office of the Archbishop, believes this is ‘‘unprecedented’’, that even during the 1919 flu pandemic and world wars people went to St Pat’s to pray.

However, all Holy Week masses will be be live streamed on the Catholic Archidiocese of Melbourne website, cam.org.au, on Facebook and on YouTube.

Key services will also screen on TV station Channel 31.

Rudy Nikkerud, a pastor at Pentecostal Christian church Planetshakers, said on past Easter Sundays up to 5000 people would attend its South Melbourne auditorium over several services, with a live band and inspirational speakers.

Planetshakers is big on participation where members liked to shake hands and hug others. ‘‘That’s obviously not possible right now,’’ Pastor Nikkerud said, but Planetshakers is experienced at streaming its services online, on YouTube and Facebook.

Now, no one can attend live, so the church has pre-recorded an Easter Sunday service including a sermon, church news and music that viewers can watch online at the time they would normally go to church.

If allowed under restrictions, a live host will introduce segments.

Jorge Menidis, director of the Greek Centre for Contemporary Culture, said the coronavirus outbreak was ‘‘devastating’’ for Greek-Australians, for whom Easter is the most important time of year.

Normally, thousands flock to churches such as the Sts Anargiri in Oakleigh for midnight services before Orthodox Easter Sunday, which this year is on April 19.

For Sunday lunch, they gather with loved ones to eat lamb on the spit and tsoureki bread.

Not this year. Mr Menidis said people understand why, but are sad at missing rituals.

Father Chris, the priest at St Eustathios church in South Melbourne, said at least a third of Victoria’s Greek Orthodox churches would screen services online.

‘‘Our church is doing live streaming on Facebook,’’ he said. ‘‘Some churches are putting it on YouTube as well.’’

Father Chris said people’s ‘‘whole world has been turned upside down’’ but it was temporary.

Elderly worshippers, in particular, were resilient. ‘‘People have survived World War II, even the civil war in Greece, deprivation, starvation. This is nothing compared to that.’’

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