More than four million coronavirus cases have been recorded in Latin America and the Caribbean, half of them in Brazil, according to an AFP tally based on official figures.The region passed the bleak milestone as Brazil reported a daily record of 67,860 new coronavirus cases Wednesday.Latin America is one of the hardest-hit regions in the world, with 4,040,925 recorded cases and 172,886 people killed by COVID-19. Mexico’s death toll has surged to become the fourth-highest in the world, at 40,400.The country surpassed Italy on Sunday, and now has more victims than anywhere but the United States, Brazil and Britain.Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 15 million people and killed nearly 625,000 since it emerged in China late last year.Brazil in particular has struggled to set a strategy for responding to the pandemic.President Jair Bolsonaro faces criticism for downplaying the virus and attacking social distancing measures adopted by state and local authorities.The far-right leader, who has regularly hit the streets mask-less for rallies by his supporters, has been in quarantine at the presidential palace since July 7 after contracting the virus himself.His office announced Wednesday he had again tested positive, saying he would continue his quarantine and suspend his upcoming travel plans.Bolsonaro, 65, argues the economic fallout from stay-at-home measures could be worse than the virus itself, and is instead pushing the unproven malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as remedies, following in the footsteps of US President Donald Trump.Margareth Dalcomo, an expert at Brazil’s leading public-health institute, Fiocruz, said Bolsonaro’s hydroxychloroquine-pushing was “deplorable.””This politicization of the drug by the US and Brazilian presidents for murky reasons has no justification, and it deceives people,” she told AFP.”It has been proven this drug has no effect against COVID-19.”Bolsonaro is on his third health minister since the pandemic reached Brazil five months ago, after falling out with two doctors who previously held the post over their recommendations on containing the virus.The current minister, an interim, is Eduardo Pazuello, an army general with no prior medical experience.The World Health Organization voiced optimism last week that the outbreak in Brazil had finally reached a plateau, urging the country to use the opportunity to “take control.”But though the level of daily infections and deaths has stabilized, it remains high.The country has recorded an average of more than 37,000 infections and 1,050 deaths a day over the past week. Topics : That is the highest caseload of any region except North America, and the highest death toll of any region except Europe.Brazil alone has registered 2.2 million cases and 82,771 deaths, the second-biggest outbreak in the world after the United States.Although many Latin American countries have begun relaxing stay-at-home measures, the virus is still spreading quickly across much of the region.Peru, Mexico and Chile are also on the list of the top 10 countries by total cases, with well over 300,000 each.
FIFA says the referee who awarded Italy a goal after first whistling for a penalty in Saturday’s match against Brazil acknowledges making the wrong call.Referee Ravshan Irmatov blew his whistle to award Italy a penalty. Moments later, as play continued, Giorgio Chiellini scored. Irmatov was seen pointing at the penalty spot and then giving a goal.FIFA spokesman Pekka Odriozola said: “He has admitted he made a mistake.”Irmatov is a widely respected referee from Uzbekistan who had been expected to have a chance to referee the Confederations Cup final. Now he is expected to be sent home with his assistants, who also made two key errors in Saturday’s game.Brazil won the match 4-2.
“They tried this last year,” said Mattel spokeswoman Lauren Dougherty, “but Barbie is still the number one fashion theme doll for the year in the United States and worldwide.” So who is the real princess? Neither, according to Alison Marek, the managing editor of TD monthly, a specialty toy trade magazine. “As far as (my readers) are concerned, neither Bratz or Barbie is the number one doll because they don’t want their kids playing with them,” she said. “A lot of parents would prefer that their kids find something that reflects their own peer group.” But the competition is healthy. “If somebody is breathing down your neck,” Marek said, “you need to think of the next thing.” firstname.lastname@example.org (818) 713-3735 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Let the catfight begin. If the toy industry is one big popularity contest, Barbie and Bratz are wrestling over the queen’s crown. Both claimed Monday to be the fashionable doll that has won the hearts – and purses – of little girls. The dueling claims are the latest in a drawn-out battle between the two doll makers that has included lawsuits, counter-lawsuits and backhanded gossip about the dolls. Both Mattel, which makes Barbie, and MGA Entertainment, which makes Bratz, can say they are number one by touting different statistics from the NPD Group, a market research firm. If you look at sales from the last three months of 2006 in the United States, Bratz reigns. After trailing in Barbie’s taller, thinner shadow for years, Bratz elbowed Barbie out of the way with 34 percent of sales in the fourth quarter, said Isaac Larian, head of MGA in Van Nuys. Mattel declined to disclose Barbie’s market share for the same period. “For the whole year they were just a little bit higher than us,” Larian said. “For the past seven years we have not been able to beat them. But we finally beat them.” Larian expects Bratz’s lead to last because January sales of the dolls increased by double digits. But Bratz’s lead disappears if you step back and examine sales from the entire year. Then, Barbie is the favorite.