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    The normally bustling supermarket in Wuhan was deserted, looking more foreign than ever. Khamis Hassan Bakari walked the aisles and saw just two other shoppers, and fear sank in. “Everybody is scared. Scared of seeing anyone,” the 39-year-old Tanzanian doctor said, as authorities around the world scramble to contain the new virus that began in the industrial Chinese city of 11 million. “You don’t even want the supermarket to touch the products you buy.” Bakari spoke with The Associated Press this week from his university housing in Wuhan as China’s astonishing lockdown of more than 50 million people continues. Transport links have been cut. Streets are largely empty. Lunar New Year festivities have fallen flat. With thousands of foreigners stranded in Wuhan, and with richer countries like the United States and Japan preparing to evacuate some citizens, the PhD student has become a leader for hundreds of African peers with little chance of a similar escape. 'I'm feeling like I'm trapped here,' said one Ethiopian student at Wuhan University of Science and Technology, who gave only his first name, Abel. He, like other students, cited worries that angering Chinese or their country's authorities could lead to retaliation, like loss of scholarships. Beijing's push to expand its influence on the youthful African continent means Africans now make up the second-largest population of foreign students in China, behind those from elsewhere in Asia, according to China's education ministry. In 2018 African students numbered more than 80,000. More than 4,000 are estimated to be in Wuhan alone. None of them expected this. No one knows how long the lockdown will last, or all the ways the virus can spread. The southern African nation of Botswana has openly worried about its students' supplies of water and food. So Bakari and a small committee of fellow doctors from his East African country regularly send updates on social media about the outbreak to the more than 400 Tanzanian students in Wuhan, as well as hundreds of countrymen elsewhere in China. 'They don't have a clue what is going on,' Bakari said. And, because the updates are largely in Swahili, the lingua franca of East Africa, many beyond his country can follow them, too. “Together we are one family,” the association tweeted Tuesday, encouraging fellow Africans to follow precautionary measures. The concerns are real. Even Africa's most developed economy, South Africa, has signaled it will not evacuate citizens. On Sunday it told students in China to adhere to university instructions, warning that leaving without permission “can have far-reaching consequences.” Speaking by phone, Bakari sounded remarkably relaxed, even chuckling, as he described life under lockdown. 'For me as a doctor, I know how to cope with the stress,' the specialist in nuclear medicine said. 'So we have initiated a way of going through this ordeal.' To help keep people calm, the Tanzanian committee has recommended this: Exercise at least 20 minutes a day — and don't spend too much time online. The committee looked into an online video showing an ill Congolese student at a Chinese hospital that quickly led to fears he had the virus. 'But that guy, he actually had kidney stones,' Bakari said. “We don't have a foreign student here in Wuhan suffering from the virus, we haven't heard of any case.” A Ghanaian student said campus authorities at Wuhan University of Science and Technology had warned students against sharing videos, photos or messages about the virus on WeChat, the popular Chinese messaging app, threatening to cut their WiFi connections if they do. Students were only trying to learn about the situation, said the student, adding that he wants to leave China the moment transport links are restored. “This is not the time to be adventurous,” Ghana's ambassador to China, Edward Boateng, has warned. “Let's not panic in the process.” The African diplomatic corps in Beijing has been exploring options to help students, reaching out to the U.N. migration agency and others. Another Tanzanian on the grassroots committee, Dr. Hilal Kizwi, described a situation “full of panic” especially for newer African students who don't yet speak Chinese. The new virus started out like a flu, he said. Then authorities told him and others doing their residency at a local hospital to be careful and cover their mouths. Patients started dying, and the number of patients soared. Supplies of masks and other items ran low. Finally, students were told to no longer report to work. “It's like I'm locked up in a cell,” Kizwi said shortly after his evening prayers. “The only thing I have is to talk to my family: ‘I’m safe, I'm doing fine.'” And he was, until he heard a local doctor had died of the virus. When he ventured outside after the death, he wore two face masks instead of one. Students have reached out to Tanzania's embassy about leaving Wuhan and were told authorities were working on it, Kizwi said. “But I don't expect it.” There is little to do. Police are constantly monitoring people who are out and about, his countryman Bakari said. Most supermarkets and pharmacies are closed. The one shop at his and Kizwi's school, Tongji Medical College, quickly sells out every day. Bakari said the Tanzanian committee has begun collecting phone numbers of international representatives for all universities in Wuhan so students can report on any shortages or which campuses are being especially helpful. Some students are given thermometers and visited every day for a temperature check, Bakari said. At his school, they are given face masks daily. 'Our university gave us supplies the day before yesterday,' he said, including two boxes of chocolate, cookies, sugar, cooking oil and bottles of water. 'Today there's new information that if we want to go around the city, we have to ask the local community. They have provided us with a phone number and we call them to ask for transport or supplies, if possible.' He complimented Chinese authorities on their response: 'We really appreciate what they're doing.' But Bakari said he has no plans to go out again. With his new stash from his supermarket visit of fruit, vegetables, legumes and milk powder — to help combat protein deficiency now that eating eggs, fish or meat is not an option since the virus jumped from animals to humans — he has settled into his role as an investigator, semi-therapist and amateur media outlet. This new reality can be tiring. But 'actually we don't sleep these days,' he said. ___ Meseret reported from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  • Authorities in Germany have confirmed the country's first case of the new virus that emerged in central China. The Health Ministry in the southern state of Bavaria said late Monday that the man from Starnberg, south of Munich, is “in a clinically good condition.” Officials said the man is being medically monitored and isolated. Persons who were in close contact with the man are being informed about possible symptoms and hygiene measures. The ministry said it considers the risk to the general population in Bavaria to be “low.” Germany is the second European country to report a confirmed case of the virus. Authorities in France confirmed three cases in recent days —all Chinese citizens who recently returned from travels there. A spokesman for Bavaria's Health Ministry, Joerg Saeuberlich, was unable to say whether the Bavarian case involved recent travel to China. He said authorities to provide new details at a news conference in Munich at 10 a.m. (0900 GMT). The new type of coronavirus has infected thousands of people in China. Nearly all of the cases outside China are among people who recently traveled from there.
  • The Latest on the outbreak of a new virus from China (all times local): 3:40 p.m. South Korea says it plans to send chartered planes to China on Thursday and Friday to pick up about 700 South Koreans who wish to return home from Wuhan, the city at the center of a new coronavirus outbreak. South Korea’s second vice minister of foreign affairs, Lee Tae-ho, said Tuesday that the dates of the flights could change depending on consultations with the Chinese government. He says South Korea will also use the flights to take 2 million face masks and other equipment to China to help with quarantine efforts. The South Korean Consulate in Wuhan has informed applicants for the flights that they will be isolated for two weeks at designated medical facilities after returning to South Korea, which experts say is the maximum incubation period of the illness. ___ 3:30 p.m. Thailand’s Public Health ministry says six more people have tested positive for a new virus, raising to 14 the number of cases in the country. Sukhum Kanjanapimai, the ministry’s permanent secretary, said Tuesday all six cases are Chinese tourists from Hubei province who entered Thailand several days ago. They are from Wuhan, which is the epicenter of the viral outbreak. The new cases are two women and four men age 6 to 60. Five of the six new cases are family members. All six were admitted to a hospital in Nonthaburi province. ___ 3:10 p.m. Japan says China has agreed to accept one plane flying from Tokyo to Wuhan to bring home some of the 650 Japanese who say they want to leave the Chinese city at the center of a viral outbreak. Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said the plane departing Tokyo later Tuesday is set to return with about 200 people Wednesday morning. He said Japan has been talking with the Chinese government about such arrangements as it explores “all possible options” to bring the Japanese people in Wuhan home. Several countries are trying to make similar arrangements for their citizens after China locked down Wuhan and several other cities due to the outbreak of a new virus that has infected thousands. ___ 2:45 p.m. Germany has confirmed its first case of the new virus that has infected thousands of people in China. The health ministry in the southern state of Bavaria said late Monday that the man from Starnberg, south of Munich, is “in a clinically good condition.” Officials said the man is being medically isolated and people who were in close contact with him are being informed about possible symptoms and hygiene measures. The ministry said it considers the risk to the general population in Bavaria to be “low.” Authorities planned to hold a news conference in Munich on Tuesday where they would release further details. Nearly all of the dozens of cases outside China are among people who recently traveled from the central city of Wuhan where the outbreak began last month. ___ 2 p.m. North Korea said it’s taking “emergency steps” to prevent the spread of a new virus from neighboring China. The North’s main Rodong Sinmun newspaper said Tuesday the country is strengthening quarantine measures at airports, ports and border areas and conducting a medical surveillance of those who return from overseas trips. The paper also says North Korea’s health authorities have “urgently” produced related hygiene documents and distributed them to medial facilities. North Korea hasn’t officially reported any cases of the new coronavirus. China has confirmed thousands of cases, and other countries have confirmed the virus in dozens of people who traveled from the central Chinese city where the outbreak began last month. Tour operators in Beijing said last week North Korea had banned foreign tourists as a precaution against the virus. ___ 9:30 a.m. China on Tuesday reported 25 more deaths from a new viral disease as the U.S. government prepared to evacuate Americans from the city at the center of the outbreak. Authorities reported 24 deaths in Hubei province, where the virus first was detected in December, and one in Beijing, the Chinese capital. No national total was immediately announced but with 81 deaths reported through Monday, that would make the toll at least 106. The Chinese government has locked down whole cities in Hubei, isolating some 50 million people in a sweeping anti-disease effort. The U.S. Consulate in Wuhan, the city at the center of the outbreak, was preparing to fly its diplomats and some other Americans out of the country. Japan, Mongolia, France and other governments also were preparing evacuations.
  • China's death toll from a new viral disease that is causing mounting global concern rose by 25 to at least 106 on Tuesday as the United States and other governments prepared to fly their citizens out of the locked-down city at center of the outbreak. The total includes the first death in Beijing, the Chinese capital, and 24 more fatalities in Hubei province, where the first illnesses from the newly identified coronavirus occurred in December. Asian stock markets tumbled for a second day, dragged down by worries about the virus’s global economic impact. The U.S. Consulate in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where authorities cut off most access Jan. 22 in an effort to contain the disease, was preparing to fly its diplomats and some other Americans out of the city on Wednesday. Japan and South Korea said they would send planes to Wuhan this week to evacuate their citizens. France, Mongolia and other governments also planned evacuations. China's increasingly drastic containment efforts began with the suspension of plane, train and bus links to Wuhan, a city of 11 million people. That lockdown has expanded to 17 cities with more than 50 million people in the most far-reaching disease-control measures ever imposed. China extended the Lunar New Year holiday by three days to Sunday to reduce the risk of infection by keeping offices and factories nationwide closed and the public at home. Authorities in Shanghai, a global business center and home to 25 million people, extended the holiday in that city by an additional week to Feb. 9. U.S. health officials expanded their recommendation for people to avoid non-essential travel to any part of China, rather than just Wuhan and other areas most affected by the outbreak. Mongolia closed its vast border with China and North Korea said it was strengthening quarantine measures. Hong Kong and Malaysia are barring visitors from Hubei. Chinese travel agencies were ordered to cancel group tours nationwide. There were 1,771 new cases confirmed in China on Monday, raising the national total to 4,515, according to the National Health Commission. It said 976 people were in serious condition. The government has sent 6,000 extra medical workers to Wuhan from across China, including 1,800 who were due to arrive Tuesday, a commission official, Jiao Yahui, said at a news conference. A baby boy was delivered by surgery in Wuhan after his 27-year-old mother was hospitalized as a “highly suspected” virus case, state TV reported. The mother, who has a fever and cough, was 37 weeks pregnant, or two weeks less than a standard full term. Doctors wore protective masks and clothing for the delivery Friday at Union Hospital. “It was unlikely for her to be able to give natural birth,” said the hospital’s deputy director of obstetrics, Zhao Yin. “After the baby was born, the mother would suffer less pressure in her lungs and she could get better treatment.” Also Tuesday, the Education Ministry canceled English proficiency and other tests for students to apply to foreign universities. The ministry said the new semester for public schools and universities following Lunar New Year was postponed until further notice. The Hong Kong government announced some government offices would remain closed until at least Monday and non-essential public employees were allowed to work from home. Chinese financial markets were closed for the holiday, but stock indexes in Tokyo, Seoul and Sydney all declined. Beijing’s official response has “vastly improved” since the 2002-03 SARS outbreak, which also originated in China, but “fears of a global contagion are not put to bed,” said Vishnu Varathan at Mizuho Bank in Singapore. Airlines, resorts and other companies that rely on travel and tourism suffered steep losses. Prices of gold and bonds rose as traders moved money into safe haven holdings. The Shanghai Stock Exchange, one of the world's busiest, announced it was postponing the resumption of trading after the holiday by three days to Monday. Scientists are concerned about the new virus because it is closely related to other diseases including SARS, which killed nearly 800 people. So far, the new coronavirus doesn’t seem to spread as easily among people as SARS or influenza. Most of the cases that spread between people were of family members and health workers who had contact with patients. That suggests the new virus isn’t well adapted to infect people. China has reported eight cases in Hong Kong and five in Macao, and more than 45 cases have been confirmed elsewhere in the world. Almost all involve mainland Chinese tourists or people who visited Wuhan. On Tuesday, Taiwan said two 70-year-old tourists from Wuhan had been confirmed to have the disease, raising its total to seven cases. Thailand reported six members of a family from Hubei were new cases, raising its total to 14. Germany confirmed its first case late Monday. Infections also have been confirmed in the United States, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal, France, Canada, Australia and Sri Lanka. The five American cases — two in southern California and one each in Washington state, Chicago and Arizona — are people who had recently arrived from central China. Health officials said they had no evidence the virus was spreading in the United States and they believe the risk to Americans remains low. During the SARS outbreak, Chinese authorities were criticized for reacting slowly and failing to disclose information. The government has responded more aggressively to the latest outbreak. Wuhan is building two hospitals, one with 1,500 beds and another with 1,000, for the growing number of patients. The first is scheduled to be finished next week. The coronavirus family includes the common cold but also more severe illnesses such as SARS and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. The new virus causes cold- and flu-like symptoms, including cough and fever, and in more severe cases, shortness of breath and pneumonia. The virus is thought to have spread to people from wild animals sold at a Wuhan market. China on Sunday banned trade in wild animals and urged people to stop eating meat from them.
  • California officials announced Monday that marijuana vape cartridges seized in illegal shops in Los Angeles contained potentially dangerous additives, including a thickening agent blamed for a national outbreak of deadly lung illnesses tied to vaping. Officials also found that the illegal vapes confiscated in the December raids typically were not as potent as advertised, and sometimes contained just a fraction of the THC claimed on the labels, according to state testing results. THC is the chemical in marijuana that makes users feel high. The findings highlight the risk for consumers at underground shops and delivery services that are common in Los Angeles and elsewhere around California, officials said. “The prevalence of dirty and dangerous vape pens at unlicensed cannabis stores demonstrate how important it is for consumers to purchase cannabis goods from licensed retailers, which are required to sell products that meet state testing and labeling standards,” said Lori Ajax, who heads California's Bureau of Cannabis Control. The state conducted tests on the marijuana oil contained in a random sample of more than 10,000 illegal vape pens seized in the Los Angeles raids. The tests found that 75% of the vapes contained undisclosed additives, including the thickening agent vitamin E acetate, which has been blamed by federal regulators for the majority of lung illnesses tied to the outbreak. In some samples, oil in the cartridges was diluted by more than one-third by potentially dangerous and undisclosed additives. Nearly all the samples were labeled with incorrect THC content, the state found. For example, one cartridge claimed the oil was up to 85% THC, but actually contained 33% THC. Some vape products seized from the unlicensed stores contained as little as 18% THC. The findings were released just days after the state announced another effort to slow the spread of the illegal pot market, where consumers shop when they want to avoid hefty taxes or can't locate a legally licensed shop. Last Thursday, regulators proposed rules that would require legal shops to post a unique black-and-white code in storefront windows to help consumers identify licensed businesses. Shoppers would use smartphones to scan the familiar, boxy label known as a QR code — similar to a bar code — to determine if businesses are selling legal, tested cannabis products. The codes also would also be required when transporting or delivering cannabis. California — the world's largest legal pot market — launched broad, legal sales in January 2018. But the illicit market has continued to thrive, with consumers spending roughly $3 in the state's underground pot economy for every $1 in the legal one, a report from industry advisers Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics estimated last year. Last year, the state mounted a publicity campaign called Get #weedwise to encourage consumers to verify that their purchases are tested and legal. Ads were posted on social media and billboards went up promoting a state website where shoppers can quickly check if a shop is licensed. The state has been escalating its war with the illegal market under pressure from the legal cannabis industry, which has struggled as consumers go underground looking for bargain prices. But there is a trade-off: illegal products almost certainly are not tested for safety or potency. ___ Blood is a member of AP's marijuana beat team. Follow him on Twitter at Follow AP's complete marijuana coverage:
  • The Latest on the new virus from China that has sickened thousands of people and killed dozens (all times local): 6:50 a.m. U.S. health officials have changed their travel advice to American travelers planning to go to China. Previously, the agency advised travelers to avoid any non-essential travel to Wuhan or other parts of Hubei province, the center of an international outbreak of a new viral illness. But that didn’t extend to the rest of China. On Monday afternoon, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its online advisory to tell travelers to avoid non-essential travel to any part of China. The virus has sickened thousands of people mostly in China and caused dozens of deaths. The outbreak was first identified in the city of Wuhan in central China. ___ 6:30 a.m. The U.S. State Department says it has ordered it employees in Wuhan to leave the city and is offering seats on a charter flight to U.S. citizens who also want to leave. State department officials said Monday in a statement that the the flight to Ontario, California, is expected to leave Wuhan on Wednesday morning local time. Priority will be given to citizens who are most at risk of contracting the virus Alaska health officials say the flight is expected to make a refueling stop at Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage and that about 240 Americans are expected to be aboard. The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services says the passengers will be screened for the illness before they leave Wuhan by U.S. and Chinese health officials. Anyone with symptoms will not be allowed to board the aircraft. The department in a statement says they will be screened again at Anchorage. ___ 5:05 a.m. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 453 points and fell for a fifth straight day as investors worry that the outbreak of a new virus from China could hurt the global economy. The sell-off in U.S. stock markets followed steep declines in markets in Europe and Japan. The decline for the Dow wiped out its gains for January. The broader S&P 500 index fell 1.6%. Airlines, resorts and other companies that rely on travel and tourism suffered sharp losses. Apparel and technology companies that get a significant amount of revenue from China also declined. Gold prices rose as did bonds as investors headed for safer holdings. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to its lowest level since October. Most markets in Asia were closed for the Lunar New Year holiday, but Japan’s Nikkei suffered its biggest decline in five months. European markets also slumped. Germany’s DAX dove 2.6%. ___ 5 a.m. The U.S. Department of State says it has ordered its employees in Wuhan to leave and is offering space on a charter flight to any U.S. citizens who want to join them. The department said Monday in a statement that the flight to Ontario, California, will leave Wuhan Wednesday morning local time. The statement says priority will be given to U.S. citizens most at risk of contracting the virus if they remain in Wuhan. All passengers will screened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus has sickened thousands of people mostly in China and caused dozens of deaths. The outbreak was first identified in the city of Wuhan in central China. ___ 2:30 a.m: U.S. health officials say they have no evidence that the new virus from China is spreading in the U.S. and they believe the risk to Americans remains low. As of Monday, five Americans have been diagnosed with the virus and all had traveled to central China. Health officials are investigating who they’ve been in contact with. Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say at least 32 people who were thought to be possible cases have been ruled out. The virus has sickened thousands of people, mostly in China, and caused dozens of deaths. The outbreak was first identified in the city of Wuhan in central China. The first U.S. patient diagnosed with the new virus remains in satisfactory condition in an isolation unit at Providence Regional Medical Center near Seattle. Health officials are discussing when to discharge the patient. He is a man in his 30s who was admitted Jan. 20. ___ 1:45 a.m. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down more than 300 points around midday as U.S. stocks tumble following a sell-off in markets in Europe and Japan as investors worry that the outbreak of a new virus from China could hurt the global economy. The declines for the Dow and the S&P 500 wiped out a significant portion of their gains for January. Airlines, resorts and other companies that rely on travel and tourism suffered steep losses. Apparel and technology companies that get a significant amount of revenue from China also declined. Gold prices rose as did bonds as investors headed for safer holdings. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to its lowest level since October. Most markets in Asia were closed for the Lunar New Year holiday, but Japan’s Nikkei suffered its biggest decline in five months. European markets also slumped. Germany’s DAX dove 2.6%. ___ 1:40 a.m. France’s government may evacuate other European residents from the virus-stricken Chinese city of Wuhan on a special flight for French citizens seeking to leave. The director of France’s public health agency, Jerome Salomon, told reporters Monday “that’s a discussion we’re having now with other European countries.” He said it’s too early to say how many non-French people could be taken on the flight, which is expected later this week. He said the flight will be free for French citizens, but didn’t say whether the government would charge foreign passengers. France has some 800 citizens in Wuhan and the French government has offered to repatriate any who want to leave. Upon arrival in France, they will be put in quarantine under medical supervision for 14 days. Those with symptoms of the new virus will be held separately from those without, he said. France has three confirmed cases of the new virus, the first such cases in Europe. ___ 1:30 a.m. Sri Lankan health authorities have reported that the country has its first confirmed case of a person infected with the the new virus from China. The chief epidemiologist for the island nation's health ministry said Monday that the patient is a Chinese tourist who arrived in Sri Lanka last week. The women in her 40s flew to Sri Lanka from China's Hubei province. She was admitted on Saturday to a state-run hospital for treatment of people suffering from potentially deadly infectious diseases. Sri Lanka became a major travel destination for Chinese tourists in recent years. Many Chinese nationals in Sri Lanka work on Chinese-funded infrastructure projects.
  • North Macedonia’s government on Monday said it was imposing urgent measures in the country’s capital, Skopje, and the western city of Tetovo in order to protect people from severely high levels of air pollution. Authorities said the levels of toxic particles in the air were about 11 times higher than the safe levels on two consecutive days, creating a health hazard. The government has recommended companies allow pregnant women and persons over the age of 60 to not work, for construction companies to reduce outdoor work and for sport and other outdoor activities to be banned on days of high pollution. The government said it would reduce the use of its official vehicles by half, and ordered the health and welfare ministries to provide shelter for homeless people and to increase emergency services and home visits to people with chronic illnesses. The measures will take effect from Tuesday. North Macedonia has been one of Europe's most polluted countries for years. Health authorities estimate that more than 3,000 people die each year as result of air pollution, which is mostly a result of the heavy use of household wood-burning stoves during cold winters, an old fleet of cars and the practice in some areas of garbage disposal by incineration. Dozens of environmental groups have held protests in recent weeks demanding government action to reduce heavy air pollution. The country's president, Stevo Pendarovski, warned in his annual address before lawmakers last month that air pollution “seriously undermines our nation's potential.”
  • Countries with citizens in the central Chinese city that's the epicenter of a viral outbreak are planning evacuations as the number of illnesses grow and China takes drastic measures to try to stop the spread of the virus. A look at steps being taken: — CHINA: The government cut transportation links to and from the city of Wuhan on Jan. 22 and has since expanded those controls to several nearby cities. Anyone traveling from Wuhan is required to register and quarantine themselves for 14 days — the virus' maximum incubation period. Hong Kong barred entry to travelers from Hubei province and told Hong Kong residents returning from the area to quarantine themselves at home. — JAPAN: Chief government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said 560 Japanese citizens are confirmed in Hubei and chartered evacuation flights are being prepared to leave “as soon as possible.' The Japanese Embassy in Beijing said the initial evacuation is limited to those in Wuhan. Evacuees are expected to include employees of Honda Motor Co., Tokyo Electron, Aeon Co. and other Japanese companies operating in Wuhan. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his Cabinet will designate the new coronavirus as an infectious disease subject to forced hospitalization and isolation. Such preventative measures appear to be preparation for the evacuation. — UNITED STATES: The U.S. Consulate in Wuhan plans a charter flight to Southern California to for its personnel and some other Americans. The State Department said the flight will leave Wednesday morning for Ontario, California. The plane will refuel in Anchorage, Alaska, where the passengers will be rescreened, according to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. — FRANCE: Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said French citizens who want to leave Wuhan will be taken on a direct flight to France in the middle of the week, and then held in quarantine for 14 days.France has some 800 citizens in Wuhan. French automaker PSA, which produces Peugeot and Citroen cars, said it was evacuating its expatriate employees and their families from Wuhan and quarantining them in another city. It didn't elaborate. — SRI LANKA: The embassy in Beijing has applied for a Sri Lankan Airlines plan to be allowed to land at the Wuhan airport to airlift home 32 Sri Lankan students and their family members. The foreign ministry also said it was working to bring back all other Sri Lankan students throughout China. About 860 Sri Lankan students are in China. — GERMANY: Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that his country is considering evacuating its citizens from Wuhan, with a government crisis response committee meeting soon with medical experts to evaluate the situation. He said the number of German citizens in Wuhan is in the double digits. The foreign ministry currently advises Germans to refrain from or postpone 'non-essential travel' to China. — EUROPEAN UNION: Portugal says it has joined with other smaller European Union countries to organize a possible evacuation of their citizens from Wuhan. Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva said 14 Portuguese have asked to be taken out of the city. Santos Silva says other EU countries with low numbers of potential evacuees are considering a joint operation and have approached Chinese health authorities about gaining clearance for it. He did not identify the other countries. French health official Jerome Salomon says France may take non-French people on the flight it's trying to arrange. — THAILAND: Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said his country's Defense Ministry was ready to evacuate its citizens from affected areas in China, but hadn't yet received permission from the Chinese government. The Thai Foreign Ministry says there are 64 Thais in Wuhan and 18 elsewhere in Hubei province. — AUSTRALIA: Foreign Minister Marise Payne said her government is “exploring all opportunities” to help with evacuation of a number of Australians reportedly in Wuhan. She didn't elaborate. Australia doesn't have a consular presence in Wuhan.
  • 11:20 p.m. The director-general of the World Health Organization has flown to China to meet with government officials and health experts trying to contain the spread of a deadly virus that has killed 81 people in China and infected 2,750. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, said the U.N. health agency wants 'to understand the latest developments and strengthen our partnership with China in providing further protection against the outbreak.” Last week, WHO held off on declaring the virus a global health emergency. It said China had taken very strong measures — including locking down cities that are home to 50 million people — that the agency hoped would be effective in containing the virus and “short in duration.” Tedros said he would not hesitate to reconvene the WHO emergency committee at a moment's notice if the situation in China changed. He said that could happen “in a day' if that was needed. ___ 10:10 p.m. The mayor of the Chinese city where a deadly virus broke out says he would be willing to resign if it helps the government contain its spread. Mayor Zhou Xianwang told state broadcaster CCTV that both he and Wuhan’s Communist Party secretary are willing to take responsibility for closing off the city, including being removed from office. As the virus spread through China and overseas, transportation links to the city were cut last week to prevent more people from leaving. Zhou also responded to allegations that the city was slow to disclose information in the early days of the outbreak, saying local governments are restricted from releasing information about infectious diseases without authorization. 9:40 p.m. Public health officials in Canada said Monday that the wife of the man who is Canada's first case of the emerging virus from China has also tested positive for the virus. Ontario said the woman has been in self-imposed isolation since arriving in Toronto with her husband last week. Ontario Chief Medical Officer of health David Williams said the woman tested positive for the virus at Ontario's public health laboratory. He said because she has been in self-isolation, the risk to Canadians remains low. But Canadian officials have been reaching out to those aboard the China Southern Airlines flight who sat within two meters (6 1/2 feet) of the man. Public health officials said the woman's husband, a man in his 50s, had been showing mild symptoms on his flight from Guangzhou, China, to Toronto. His first flight started in Wuhan. __ 9:00 p.m. Cambodia's health minister says a Chinese visitor to a popular resort is his country's first case of the new virus. Mam Bunheng told a press conference that a 60-year-old Chinese man in the southern coastal city of Sihanoukville was confirmed on Monday to have the virus. He said the infected man had flown directly from Wuhan to Sihanoukville on Jan. 23, showing symptoms of the illness on Saturday. The Pasteur Institute in the capital, Phnom Penh, confirmed the infection from a blood sample. The man is undergoing treatment at a hospital in Sihanoukville. Sihanoukville is a popular destination for Chinese visitors. The man's three travelling companions from Wuhan were found not to have the virus. 8:30 p.m. Hong Kong has confirmed two more cases of a new virus that started in central China, raising its total to eight. Health department official Dr. Chuang Shuk-kwan said Monday that all the cases are connected to Hubei province, where the outbreak started in December. She said there is no sign yet of it spreading to Hong Kong’s general population. Chuang added the government is still very concerned about that possibility and will watch developments. Chinese health authorities say the new virus has infected 2,744 people and killed 80 as of midnight Sunday. ___ 8:10 p.m. Thailand's prime minister has spoken on television to try to reassure citizens that his government is taking all possible measures to cope with the outbreak of a deadly pneumonia-like virus in China. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha spoke Monday as public concerns rose after eight cases of the virus had been confirmed in the country, seven of them visitors from China and one Thai. He said authorities so far ''are able to control the situation 100%, but we should not be careless.' The prime minister said 'suitable measures' have been taken to control the outbreak, including monitoring at the country's five international airports. Chinese health authorities said the new coronavirus had infected 2,744 people and killed 80 as of midnight Sunday. ___ 7:30 p.m. Germany's foreign minister says his country is considering evacuating its citizens from Wuhan, the central Chinese city at the center of a outbreak of a pneumonia-like virus that has killed 80 people so far. Heiko Maas told reporters Monday that the German government's crisis response committee would meet shortly with medical experts to evaluate the situation. The foreign ministry currently advises Germans to refrain from or postpone 'non-essential travel' to China. He said the German embassy is in touch with its citizens in Wuhan, which a spokeswoman said number about 90 people. Mass says 'we are examining and preparing for all options.' A consular team is expected to arrive in Wuhan later Monday to provide Germans there with assistance. ___ 7:15 p.m. Malaysia's government has announced it will ban travelers from the central Chinese city of Wuhan and other parts of surrounding Hubei province beginning immediately. A statement issued Monday by the Prime Minister's Department said Malaysia would stop issuing visas for Chinese travelers from those areas. The statement said the decision was made after consultations with experts and following advice of the World Health Organization. Normal visa procedures will resume once the “situation returns to normal.” The government also warned people not to spread any false information that might alarm the public. _____ 6:45 p.m. Mongolia's official news agency says the country's Cabinet on Monday closed border crossings with China and suspended university classes to prevent the spread of a new viral disease. There are no confirmed cases in Mongolia of the coronavirus cases that first surfaced in the central Chinese city of Wuhan and have now spread to at least a dozen countries. But the Montsame news agency said the Cabinet cited the “high risk” of the disease spreading across the country's southern border. The Cabinet also ordered public tours, children's playgrounds and other public activities in the sprawling, sparsely populated North Asian nation to close. The report said border crossings with China were closed to vehicles and pedestrians. Universities and other higher education institutions were ordered closed until March 2. That followed an earlier order for public schools and kindergartens to close effective Monday through March 2. Chinese health authorities said the new coronavirus had infected 2,744 people and killed 80 as of midnight Sunday.
  • China expanded its sweeping efforts on Monday to contain a dangerous new virus, extending the Lunar New Year holiday to keep the public at home and avoid spreading infection as the death toll rose to 81. Mongolia closed its vast border with China, and Hong Kong and Malaysia announced they were barring entry to visitors from the Chinese province at the center of the outbreak following a warning by Chinese officials that the virus’ ability to spread was growing. Travel agencies were ordered to cancel group tours nationwide, adding to the rising economic losses. Stock markets around the world were down sharply Monday as investors worried the outbreak could hurt the global economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell as much as 550 points following a sell-off in in markets in Europe and Japan, and closed with a loss of 453 points, or 1.6%. Airlines, resorts and other companies that rely on travel and tourism suffered steep losses, while apparel and technology companies that get a significant amount of revenue from China also declined. China has confirmed more than 2,700 cases of the new virus, most in the central city of Wuhan where the illness first surfaced last month. More than 40 cases have been confirmed elsewhere in the world with virtually all of them involving Chinese tourists or people who visited Wuhan recently. China's increasingly drastic containment efforts began with the Jan. 22 suspension of plane, train and bus links to Wuhan, a city of 11 million people in central China where the virus was first detected last month. That lockdown has expanded to 17 cities with more than 50 million people — the most far-reaching disease-control measures ever imposed. The end of the Lunar New Year holiday, China’s busiest travel season, was pushed back to Sunday from Thursday to “reduce mass gatherings” and “block the spread of the epidemic,” a Cabinet statement said. The government of Shanghai, a metropolis of 25 million people and a global business center, extended the Lunar New York holiday by an additional week to Feb. 9. It ordered sports stadiums to close and religious events to cancel. Tens of millions of people in China and around Asia had been due to crowd into planes, trains and buses to return to work after visiting their hometowns or tourist sites for the holiday. Schools will postpone reopening until further notice, the Cabinet said. The death toll rose Monday when the southern island province of Hainan in the South China Sea reported its first fatality, an 80-year-old woman whose family arrived from Wuhan on Jan. 17. Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, has accounted for 76 of the deaths reported so far. There have been one each in Shanghai and the provinces of Hebei in the north, Heilongjiang in the northeast and Henan in central China. The spread of the illness is being watched around the globe, with a small number of cases appearing in other countries. Sri Lanka confirmed its first case Monday. Infections also have been confirmed in the United States, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal, France, Canada and Australia. As of Monday, there were five Americans diagnosed with the virus in Washington state, Chicago, Southern California and Arizona, all of whom had recently traveled to central China. U.S. health officials said they had no evidence the virus was spreading in the U.S. and they believe the risk to Americans remains low. China also reported eight cases in Hong Kong and five in Macao. Dr. Chuang Shuk-kwan, the head of Hong Kong's communicable disease branch, said the city's eight cases all have Hubei ties, so there was no no sign yet that it is spreading to Hong Kong's general population. Mongolia is the second country to close its border with China, following North Korea. Neither has reported any cases of the virus. Mongolia also closed its schools, universities and playgrounds for more than a month — until March 2. China’s No. 2 leader, Premier Li Keqiang, visited Wuhan to “guide epidemic prevention work,” the Cabinet website said. Photos showed Li, in a blue smock and green face mask, meeting hospital employees. Later, the premier, wearing a face mask and a dark windbreaker, visited a supermarket in the beleaguered city. Shoppers, also wearing masks, cheered to him, “Happy New Year!” “To get the epidemic under control in Wuhan and the good health of people in Wuhan will be good news for the whole country,” Li told the crowd. Elsewhere, the Potala Palace in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, closed indefinitely to tourists on Monday. The former imperial palace in Beijing closed Friday and other major tourist sites also have shut down, including two of Hong Kong's most popular tourist attractions, Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park. The disruption to industry and consumer spending threaten to depress Chinese economic growth that Beijing is struggling to shore up after it sank to a multi-decade low of 6.1% last year. That could spread shock waves to other Asian economies that rely on China as a source of tourists and export markets. The outbreak is a “notable downside risk” to growth, though it could potentially be a “high impact but short-lived event,” said Tommy Wu and Priyanka Kishore of Oxford Economics in a report. They pointed to the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak, when economic activity plunged but recovered relatively quickly. The impact should be less severe than SARS because of faster official reaction and “increased transparency,” they said. Abroad, economies including Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and the Philippines with big tourism industries that rely on Chinese travelers “seem most at risk,” said Wu and Kishore. The U.S. Consulate in Wuhan, said it was arranging to evacuate its diplomats and some American citizens on Wednesday. The French government said it would fly its citizens in Wuhan to France and quarantine them there. Japan also was preparing to fly its citizens out of Wuhan, and Germany was considering evacuating its estimated 90 citizens in Wuhan. On Monday U.S. health officials expanded their online advisory to recommend avoiding non-essential travel to any part of China, rather than just Wuhan and other areas most affected by the outbreak. The National Health Commission said 2,744 cases in mainland China were confirmed by midnight Sunday. The youngest is a 9-month-old girl in Beijing. China's health minister, Ma Xiaowei, warned Sunday that the country was entering a “crucial stage' as “it seems like the ability of the virus to spread is getting stronger.' The epidemic has revived memories of the SARS outbreak that originated in China and killed nearly 800 people. Then, Chinese authorities were criticized for reacting slowly and failing to disclose information. The government has responded more aggressively to the latest outbreak. The National Health Commission said anyone traveling from Wuhan is required to register with community health stations and quarantine themselves at home for 14 days — the virus' maximum incubation period. Wuhan is building two hospitals, one with 1,500 beds and another with 1,000, for the growing number of patients. The first is scheduled to be finished next week. The virus is from the coronavirus family that includes the common cold but also more severe illnesses like SARS and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. The new virus causes cold- and flu-like symptoms, including cough and fever, and in more severe cases, shortness of breath and pneumonia. The virus is thought to have spread to people from wild animals sold at a market in Wuhan. On Sunday, authorities banned trade in wild animals and urged people to stop eating meat from them. ___ Associated Press video journalist Alice Fung in Hong Kong and writers Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Frank Jordans in Berlin and Carlo Piovano in London contributed to this story.

Local News

  • New automotive technology that promises enhanced fuel efficiency may have a serious downside, including significant climate and public health impacts, according to research from the University of Georgia College of Engineering.   The gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine is one of the most prominent technologies car manufacturers adopted to achieve the fuel economy and carbon dioxide emission goals established in 2012 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The market share of GDI-equipped vehicles increased from 2.3% in model year 2008 to 51% in model year 2018. The EPA projects 93% of vehicles in the U.S. will be equipped with GDI engines by 2025.   While this technology is credited with boosting fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions, GDI engines produce more black carbon aerosols than traditional port fuel injection engines. A strong absorber of solar radiation, black carbon exhibits significant climate warming properties.   In a study published this month in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, a team of researchers at UGA predicts the increase in black carbon emissions from GDI-powered vehicles will fuel climate warming in urban areas of the U.S. that significantly exceeds the cooling associated with a reduction in CO2. In addition, they believe the shift will nearly double the premature mortality rate associated with vehicle emissions, from 855 deaths annually to 1,599. The researchers estimate the annual social cost of these premature deaths at $5.95 billion.   “Even though emissions from gasoline vehicles constitute a small fraction of the black carbon in the atmosphere, the vehicle emissions are concentrated in regions with high population densities, which magnifies their effect,” said Rawad Saleh (pictured above), an assistant professor in UGA’s School of Environmental, Civil, Agricultural and Mechanical Engineering and the study’s principal investigator.   The increase of black carbon is an unintended consequence of the shift to GDI-equipped vehicles that some scientists suspected was based on experimental data, according to Saleh. He says the UGA study is the first to place these experimental findings in a complex modeling framework to investigate the trade-off between CO2 reduction and an increase in black carbon.   While previous research has reported the shift to GDI engines will result in net benefits for the global climate, the UGA researchers say these benefits are rather small and can only be realized on timescales of decades. Meanwhile, the negative impact of black carbon can be felt instantaneously.   “Our research shows the climate trade-off is much different on the regional scale, especially in areas with high vehicle densities. In these regions, the climate burden induced by the increase in black carbon dominates over the climate benefits of the reduction in CO2,” said Saleh. “The study concludes the social cost associated with the acute localized climate burden and public health impacts induced by GDI vehicles largely overweigh their marginal global climate benefits.”   The interdisciplinary study was a collaboration between the UGA College of Engineering, the department of geography in UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy and the UGA President’s Interdisciplinary Seed Grant Program. 
  • The University of Georgia debuts at No. 4 in the USA TODAY Sports preseason baseball coaches top 25 poll, it was announced Thursday.   Georgia’s No. 4 ranking is its best in the preseason since 2009 when Collegiate Baseball and the USA TODAY/ESPN Coaches poll both had the Bulldogs at No. 4. The 2009 Bulldogs reached No. 1 for several weeks during the regular season.    The USA TODAY Sports voting board is made up of 31 coaches at Division I institutions and all are members of the American Baseball Coaches Association. The 2020 top five featured Vanderbilt, Louisville, Texas Tech, Georgia and Arkansas.    The Bulldogs and Razorbacks are the only two schools to earn a national top eight seed in each of the past two NCAA Championships. In 2019, the Bulldogs went 46-17 including a school record 21 Southeastern Conference wins during the regular season. They were a No. 4 national seed in 2019 and a No. 8 national seed in 2018.    The 2020 season, under the direction of Ike Cousins head coach Scott Stricklin, begins on Feb. 14. Season tickets are sold out but single game tickets are available. Fans can call (706) 542-1231 to purchase tickets or go online at    In 2020, Georgia welcomes back 20 lettermen and 18 newcomers. Seven starting position players return including two 2019 draft picks in Gold Glove Award-winning shortstop Cam Shepherd and infielder/outfielder Riley King. On the mound, Georgia will have a pair of projected first round draft prospects in right-handers Emerson Hancock and Cole Wilcox. Also, junior left-hander C.J. Smith, who was a key member of the starting rotation that helped win series over nationally ranked Vanderbilt and LSU in 2019, is back. Last year, Georgia went 46-17 and set a school record with a .980 Fielding Percentage, and its 3.24 Earned Run Average was the second best in school history.    In other 2020 preseason top 25 polls, Georgia is ranked No. 5 by, No. 7 by Collegiate Baseball poll, No. 7 by Baseball America and No. 10 by Perfect Game
  • Police in Gainesville say they have identified the child found wandering in a Wal Mart store, apparently left there by his father. From the Gainesville PD…   Thank you!!! Child has been identified. **Help** Located Child The Gainesville Police Department is seeking the assistance of the public to help identify a child. On January 26, 2020 at around 11:30am officers were called to the Walmart at 400 Shallowford Road, Gainesville, GA in regards to a child being located within the store. The child is possibly 3 years of age and may go by the name Brandon. His father is possibly named Alejandro. He was possibly dropped off by a Hispanic male driving a white Ford cargo van. We are asking the community to call Hall County Dispatch at 770-534-5251 if you have any information regarding this case.
  • The University of Georgia ranked 14th on the list of Best Big Colleges in the U.S. by rankings platform Niche. The rankings compare the best large private and public universities in the U.S. with at least 15,000 undergraduate students along measures of academics, value and student life, among other factors. UGA, the birthplace of public higher education in America, has consistently ranked as a top value university and is the largest institution to place experiential learning as a core part of its undergraduate curriculum. With its comprehensive reach, the university’s 17 colleges and schools enroll more than 37,000 students and have produced over 315,000 alumni living worldwide. The top institution on the Niche’s ranking was the University of Southern California. Other SEC schools on the list included University of Florida at #10 and Texas A&M University at #22. UGA was the only school in Georgia to make the list.

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS The Georgia football opening game with Virginia is more than seven months away, but talking season is well underway and Heisman talk has begun. Incoming graduate-transfer quarterback Jamie Newman ranks among the Top 5 among Heisman favorites before throwing his first pass in a formal practice, currently at 14-to-1. Newman is ranked the No. 3 returning quarterback by Pro Football Focus, behind Ohio State's Justin Fields and Clemson's Trevor Lawrence. RELATED: Mark Richt says Jamie Newman can adapt to any kind of offense Fields, who spent his 2018 freshman season at UGA backing up departed starter Jake Fromm, is the co-favorite with Lawrence to win the Heisman, both at 4-to-1. Sophomore tailback Zamir White and sophomore George Pickens are also among the current favorites. White is at 80-to-1, and Pickens is at 100-to-1. The bettable opening Heisman odds are evidence there's plenty of outside buy-in on Kirby Smart's well-documented offensive makeover at Georgia. The Bulldogs hired 'Air Raid' pass game expert Todd Monken to take over as the Bulldogs' offensive coordinator, replacing James Coley who has since departed for Texas A&M. Monken was the offensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns last season, but the year, before, he was the OC and play caller for a Tampa Bay Bucs offense that led the NFL in passing yardage. Newman, who transferred to Georgia from Wake Forest, is a dual-threat quarterback with dynamic arm strength and running ability. Smart's past three UGA offenses have leaned more toward a power run game, the head coach intent on utilizing dynamic backfields that included NFL stars Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, and projected first-round pick D'Andre Swift the past two seasons. Georgia, however, appears to be intent on a more aggressive pass scheme now that the receiving corps is loaded up with talent at receiver and tight end. RELATED: Georgia top-ranked SEC team in PFF Way-too-early' Top 25 Smart has always professed coaching to the talent, and the hiring of Monken is an indication the Georgia head coach is betting more offensive balance is in order. The Bulldogs return a championship-caliber defense, with nine of 11 starters back on that side of the football from the 26-14 Sugar Bowl-winning team. Georgia's offense can afford to be more aggressive in marquee matchups with that sort of defense behind it. Most notably, in the Sept. 19 showdown with Alabama in Tuscaloosa that the college football world has circled. Favorite Player/School Odds T-1. Justin Fields/ Ohio St. 4-1 T-1. Trevor Lawrence/Clemson 4-1 3. Spencer Rattler/Oklahoma 12-1 T-4. Sam Ehlinger/Texas 14.1 T-4. Jamie Newman/Georgia 14-1 T-6. Travis Etienne/Clemson 20-1 T-6. Chuba Hubbard/Okla. St. 20-1 T-6 Ian Book/Notre Dame 20-1 T-9. Kedon Slovis/USC 25-1 T-9. Myles Brennan/LSU 25-1 11. Mac Jones/Alabama 25-1 12. Bo Nix/Auburn 25-1 13. D'Eriq King/Miami, Fla. 25-1 14. Adrian Martinez/Nebraska 30-1 T-15. Sean Clifford/Penn State 40-1 T-15. Najee Harris/Alabama 40-1 17. Kellen Mond/Texas A&M 50-1 T-18. Tyler Shough/Oregon 60-1 T-18. Brock Purdy/Iowa State 60-1 T-18. CJ Verdell/Oregon 60-1 T-18. Kyle Trask/Florida 60-1 T-18. Charlie Brewer/Baylor 60-1 T-18. Sam Howell/North Carolina 60-1 24. Master Teaguelll/Ohio Sate 60-1 25. Zamir White/Georgia 80-1 DawgNation Georgia football Malik Herring spearheads dominant defense Podcast: How Todd Monken might use Zamir White Georgia offseason has produced fascinating offensive change Football stars endorse Todd Monken hire at Georgia WATCH: 2021 commit Brock Vandagriff shares story with DawgNation Why Buster Faukner a perfect complement to Todd Monken The post Georgia football QB Jamie Newman ranked among Top 5 Heisman Trophy favorites appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS For once, it seemed, Georgia basketball freshman Anthony Edwards was not at ease talking basketball on Saturday evening. The Bulldogs had just dropped their third game in a row, falling at home to an Ole Miss team that had lost six straight and was sitting last in the SEC. Edwards squirmed, he fidgeted, he smiled and he frowned. An 18-year-old young man who should still be in high school by birthdate, Edwards didn't know what to do or what to say in this curious, awkward and pressure-filled situation. Four nights earlier, Edwards was held scoreless in the first half at Kentucky and committed five turnovers. Pressure cooker Every Georgia win and loss seemingly rides on Edwards' shoulders, and the weight of having a program's hopes reliant upon his performances appears to finally be taking a toll. ' I think he handles it pretty well, but sometimes I'll be worried about him,' UGA senior Jordan Harris said last Saturday. 'I'll always check on him like, are you good? Are you going through something? 'He deals with all the outside noise pretty well. I am shocked at the way he deals with it, because it is a lot for him.' But how could Edwards explain his 3-of-12 shooting night against Ole Miss? The Atlanta basketball prodigy nicknamed 'Antman' had taken (settled?) 10 shots beyond he 3-point arc, unable to get his 6-foot-5, 225-pound explosive frame to the rim. 'Teams are trying to defend me differently,' Edwards offered. 'They are trying to take me out of the game and make other people score. I've just got to find ways to help my team win.' That was the hope for Georgia basketball when Edwards signed on, turning down opportunities to go virtually anywhere else in the country to stay closer to his family. Edwards is projected by some to be the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, but more and more are having their doubts. 'To me, he's prospect, he's not a finished product,' ESPN analyst Seth Greenburg said. 'It's amazing people talk about him as the No. 1 overall pick.' Focus on winning Edwards has said since arriving that his focus is on winning, and he has maintained his confidence that he can help lift a Bulldogs' program lacking notable tradition or recent success. ' As a team, I want us to make it to the (NCAA) Tournament and go deep in it,' Edwards said after the opening exhibition game in November, in what now seems like an entirely difference season. 'Bring Georgia basketball back and have the most fun I can.' The Bulldogs haven't made the NCAA Tournament since the 2014-15 season. The hopes for 2019-20 took a decided downturn with the home loss to Ole Miss, and Edwards' expression suggested he knew it and was helpless to do anything about it. Georgia coach Tom Crean, who developed NBA lottery picks Dwyane Wade and Victor Oladipo, at Marquette and Indiana, respectively, is working to support Edwards on and off the court. 'If we put this in perspective, who is going through college basketball like he is right now?' Crean said after Edwards' 23 points weren't enough to lead the Bulldogs over Kentucky in front of a sold-out Stegeman Coliseum crowd in the SEC opener. 'I mean, who is? We talk about that all the time, people want to be Anthony Edwards, do you really?' Hard work Edwards' lifestyle as a Georgia student-athlete and as projected multi-million dollar draft pick expected to perform each night sounded like a lonely one as he discussed part of his workout routine after an 80-63 win over Tennessee earlier this month. 'I was in here until 1 o'clock (a.m.) on Monday, and yesterday I was in here until 10:30 or 11 (p.m.),' Edwards said, explaining how he reacted to a 22-point loss at Auburn. 'Most of the time I'm always in here late night, because that's when I like to shoot, that's when I have the most energy because I've got nothing to do.' Fact is, Edwards has plenty of areas to improve his game, even with the hard work and spectacular athleticism that's brought him this far. 'Part of it is not pre-determining, there's a laundry list, not getting fixed on one thing, learning to really see and learn the game,' Crean said. 'Those are all things he's learning. He's learning to put possession by possession together.' And now Crean said it's up to him and his staff to help find Edwards more ways to score and help the team win. Edwards' heart and competitive spirit is in the right place each time he launches his long-range shot, but 'it's not the game plan,' Crean said. Edwards, the leading freshman scorer in the nation (18.6 points per game), is hitting just 31.3 percent from 3-point range. Coaching adjustment Crean has reiterated how important ball movement and player movement is to an effective offense, and Edwards fits square in the middle of that plan. ' We made some real adjustments with him, he's got to continue to cut when they're denying him, he's got to continue to cut rather than stand, because he becomes very, very easy to guard when he's just standing in the slots, right, because they're not coming off him,' Crean said. 'Now, it might create a basket for somebody else, but he's learning a lot about cutting, a lot that he never knew. But we're nowhere near where we have to be with that.' And Edwards doesn't appear to be anywhere near where he was some two weeks ago, when he explained his jubilant sideline antics during the blowout win over the Vols. 'Basketball is always business for me, because I'm trying to make a lot of money playing this game,' Edwards said that night, ' but you never let the fun be taken away from it. That's why you play, because it's fun.' Georgia returns to action at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Missouri. DawgNation Georgia Basketball Georgia comes up short in hard-fought loss at Kentucky Mississippi State wins battle of Bulldogs in Starkville, decisively Anthony Edwards puts the squeeze on Tennessee in blowout win Georgia falls in first SEC road game of season at Auburn Freshman Anthony Edwards discloses injury, status Sahvir Wheeler on clutch game-winner, 'been there a ton of times' Tom Izzo on Georgia: 'That was an incredible comeback' Anthony Edwards lights up Michigan State for 37 in 93-85 loss Rayshaun Hammonds wrecks Georgia Tech Anthony Edwards draws standing ovation in opener The post Closer look: Georgia basketball star Anthony Edwards hitting Freshman Wall' like no other appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Tears were shed around the globe as news spread of the tragic helicopter crash that claimed the life of 18 NBA all-star Kobe Bryant and four others in Calabasas, Calif., on Sunday morning. Women's Basketball Hall of Famer and three-time Olympic gold-medalist Dawn Staley heard the news shortly before tipoff of her No. 1-ranked team's game at Georgia. 'Now we get more details, it's horrific for Kobe; since he retired, he dedicated his life to his little girl and her career in basketball,' Staley said, referencing 13-year-old Gianna Bryant, who was among those killed in the crash. Bryant was traveling to basketball practice at the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks with his daughter, 'GiGi' and three other passengers when the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter crashed amid the foggy conditions some 30 miles Northwest of Los Angeles. In addition to enjoying post-NBA success as an author, producer and Academy Award winner, Bryant was also coaching his daughter's AAU team five times a week, per 'SLAM' basketball magazine. Bryant's basketball skills and competitive fire helped transcend the game, an example for players of both sexes to work to emulate. Staley and Georgia coach Joni Taylor pointed out how Bryant had also elevated the women's game and provided much-needed support. 'It's unfortunate that we don't get a chance to see him coach any more, to see him impact girls' lives,' Staley said. 'He just talked about WNBA players being able to play in the NBA.' Indeed, just last Thursday, Bryant said WNBA players could 'keep up' when asked if one day women could play in the NBA. 'I think there are a couple of players that could play in the NBA right now, honestly,' Bryant said. 'There's a lot of players that have a lot of skill that could do it. Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore, Delle Donne, there's a lot of great players out there. They could most certainly keep up with them.' Kobe Bryant says there's WNBA players that could play in the NBA right now, including Diana Taurasi, Elena Delle Donne & Maya Moore! (@Ballislife) January 22, 2020 Staley fought to keep her emotions in check as she put the importance of Bryant's in perspective. 'We need more people like Kobe Bryant sticking up for women's basketball,' she said. 'He did it at the highest level, and we're prayerful. Godspeed to his family and all of us who had a connection to him.' Taylor said she didn't personally know Bryant, but like most every other player associated with the sport, she was influenced by him. 'You grow up watching him, he just means so much not only to the game of basketball, but to the game of women's basketball,' Taylor said. 'He was a fan, he was at the Final Four, his daughters played. 'He supported college basketball, the WNBA, all levels. He was a champion for us.' The Associated Press contributed to this story South Carolina coach Dawn Staley Georgia coach Joni Taylor SEC Network Twitter USC women's basketball coach @dawnstaley, who grew up in Philadelphia like Kobe, shared her thoughts on his passing and what he meant to the game of women's basketball Mike Uva (@Mike_Uva) January 26, 2020 The post WATCH: Kobe Bryant death draws strong reactions from hall of famer Dawn Staley, Georgia's Joni Taylor appeared first on DawgNation.
  • The Latest on the death of retired NBA superstar Kobe Bryant (all times local): 8:30 p.m. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva says his department's helicopters were grounded due to weather in the area where a helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant and eight other people crashed and burned Sunday morning. Conditions were extremely foggy when the NBA great's helicopter went down northwest of Los Angeles on a hillside in the city of Calabasas, killing everyone aboard. The sheriff told a press conference that debris is scattered over an area the size of a football field. The county medical examiner, Dr. Jonathan Lucas, says recovery of remains may take several days. Lucas says investigators will try to make identifications of the victims as quickly as possible. ___ 6 p.m. The Dallas Mavericks are paying tribute to Kobe Bryant by permanently retiring his No. 24. “Kobe’s legacy transcends basketball, and our organization has decided that the No. 24 will never again be worn by a Dallas Maverick,' Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said. Cuban's tribute was one of several around the NBA as players, coaches and fans were stunned by the news of Bryant's death. In the Memphis-Phoenix game Sunday, the Grizzlies won the opening tip and immediately took a 24-second clock violation. When the Suns took possession, they stayed in the backcourt for an 8-second violation – the 24 and 8 seconds representing Bryant’s two numbers during his NBA career. ___ 4:40 p.m. A Southern California community college baseball coach, his wife and daughter were among those killed in the crash of the helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant and his daughter. The younger brother of Orange Coast College coach John Altobelli confirmed the deaths as relatives, friends and players gathered at the school’s baseball field Sunday afternoon. Flowers and baseball caps were placed on home plate. John Altobelli’s brother, Tony, is the sports information director at the school. He said his 56-year-old brother died along with his wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa, who was about 13 and played on the same basketball team as Bryant’s daughter, Gianna. John Altobelli was entering his 28th season as coach at the community college in Costa Mesa, California. The team won a state championship last year and John Altobelli was named national coach of the year. The helicopter carrying Bryant crashed northwest of Los Angeles around 10 a.m. Sunday. All nine people aboard were killed. ___ 3:45 p.m. The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a team of 18 people to the scene of the helicopter crash that killed NBA icon Kobe Bryant and eight others. NTSB member Jennifer Homendy said at a news conference that investigators will look at the pilot's history, the maintenance records and information on the helicopter's owner and operator. Homendy said investigators were not sure how many people the aircraft was configured to carry. The helicopter that crashed was a twin-engine Sikorsky S-76. ___ 3 p.m. Michael Jordan has reacted to the news about the death of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter in a helicopter crash. “I loved Kobe - he was like a little brother to me,” Jordan said. Jordan was the most notable of former and current NBA stars to express how shocked they were at the news. Jordan commended Bryant for his fierce competitive streak and called him “one of the greats of the game.” Bryant's legacy is often compared to that of Jordan. Bryant won five NBA championships, compared to Jordan's six. ___ 2:45 p.m. Authorities say nine people died in the helicopter crash that killed former NBA star Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva provided the updated death toll at a news conference Sunday. Initial reports indicated that Bryant was among five people killed in the crash. At the news conference, authorities also described the fiery wreckage and scene that was difficult to access after the crash at 10 a.m. ___ 1:45 p.m. A source familiar with the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant says the former NBA star's 13-year-old daughter was among those onboard who were killed. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the crash had not been released publicly. The crash happened around 10 a.m. Sunday about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Five people were killed in the crash, which remains under investigation. — Tim Reynolds ___ 12:35 p.m. The Grammy Awards pre-telecast ceremony opened with a moment of silence for Kobe Bryant. Interim Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. opened the ceremony where dozens of Grammys are handed out before the main show, telling attendees, “As most of you may know, we lost Kobe Bryant in a tragic helicopter accident today.' 'Since we are in his house, I would ask you to join me in a moment of silence,” Mason said. Artists arriving at the show reacted to Bryant's death and his influence. Blues artist and Grammys nominee Keb' Mo' called Bryant's death “a huge loss.” “He's just a huge role model,' Keb' Mo' said. British artist Labrinth said: “It was insane news to hear this morning. He's been part of my life for a very long time. ... I couldn't believe it.” ___ 12 p.m. Retired NBA star Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash Sunday. He was 41. A person familiar with the situation tells the AP that Bryant died in a crash near Calabasas, California. It was unclear if other family members were on the helicopter. Bryant was an 18-time NBA All-Star who won five championships and became one of the greatest basketball players of his generation during a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant retired in 2016 as the third-leading scorer in NBA history and held that spot until LeBron James overtook him Saturday night. — Tim Reynolds
  • Kobe Bryant inspired a generation of basketball players worldwide with sublime skills and an unquenchable competitive fire. He earned Los Angeles’ eternal adoration during his two decades as the fierce soul of the beloved Lakers, and he was respected by basketball fans from every place with a hoop and a dream, including his native Philadelphia and in Italy, his other childhood home. Less than four years into his retirement, Bryant was seizing new challenges and working to inspire his daughters’ generation through sports and storytelling when his next chapter ended shockingly early. Bryant, the 18-time All-Star who won five NBA championships and became one of the greatest basketball players of his generation during a 20-year career all with the Lakers, died in a helicopter crash Sunday. He was 41. The crash occurred in the foggy hills above Calabasas, California, about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Bryant was killed, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press, and a different person familiar with the case confirmed Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna also died. Both of the AP's unnamed sources spoke on condition of anonymity because few details of the crash had been released publicly. Authorities said nine people were on the helicopter, and all were presumed dead. No names were released. Bryant lived south of Los Angeles in coastal Orange County, and he often used helicopters to save time and avoid Southern California's notorious traffic. He traveled to practices and games by helicopter before his playing career ended in 2016. He continued to use them after retirement as he attended to his new ventures, which included a burgeoning entertainment company that recently produced an Academy Award-winning animated short film. The basketball world and Los Angeles reacted with an outpouring of pain and disbelief. Bryant is all but certain to be elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this year, when he is eligible for the first time. “For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. “He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary ... but he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability.” The crash occurred about 20 miles from Mamba Sports Academy, Bryant’s basketball training complex in Newbury Park, California. A youth basketball tournament — the Mamba Cup — was scheduled for a second day of competition Sunday at the facility, and Bryant had attended the opening day Saturday with Gianna. Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, had four daughters. He had been a vocal booster of women's sports since his retirement, coaching and mentoring basketball players around the world while also backing women's soccer and other endeavors. Bryant retired as the third-leading scorer in NBA history with 33,643 points, all scored in Lakers purple and gold. The self-nicknamed Black Mamba was a prolific, gifted shooter with a sublime all-around game and a relentless, hard-edged work ethic that thrilled his fans and almost everyone else, even those who reviled him. Taking cues from Michael Jordan, one of his idols, Bryant played with a swagger that compelled him to talk trash, to guard the toughest opponents, to play through pain and to demand the ball at the biggest moments of games. He didn't always hit them, but Bryant never stopped trying. “He had zero flaws offensively,” LeBron James said Saturday night. “Zero. You backed off of him, he could shoot the 3. You body him up a little bit, he could go around you. He could shoot from mid-range. He could post. He could make free throws. ... He was just immortal offensively because of his skill set and his work ethic.” Bryant held the No. 3 spot in the league scoring ranks until the day before his death, when James passed him during the Lakers' game in Philadelphia. On Saturday night, James said he was 'happy just to be in any conversation with Kobe Bean Bryant, one of the all-time greatest basketball players to ever play. One of the all-time greatest Lakers.” Bryant always reacted graciously to the achievements of James, his former on-court rival who joined the Lakers in 2018. “Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames,” Bryant wrote in his last tweet. “Much respect my brother.” Tim Duncan, the San Antonio Spurs great who also retired in 2016, is also expected to be part of the Hall of Fame class that will be announced at the NBA's All-Star weekend next month. Duncan, now a Spurs assistant, was visibly emotional on the bench during their game against Toronto on Sunday. Bryant had been spending more time with his daughters since leaving the league. The Bryants' first daughter, Natalia, turned 17 a week ago. Bianka Bella Bryant is 3 years old, and Capri Kobe Bryant was born last June. Gianna, better known as Gigi, had a promising youth career and a competitive pugnaciousness that reminded everybody of her dad. Bryant sat with her courtside at a Brooklyn Nets game late last year, clearly passing along his wisdom to his daughter. Bryant told Jimmy Kimmel in 2018 that Gianna wanted to play in the WNBA and recalled how fans would often approach him saying “you gotta have a boy, you gotta someone to carry on the tradition, the legacy.” Gianna took exception: “She’s like, 'Oy, I got this,’” Bryant recalled. News of Bryant’s death inspired an outpouring of grief around the sports world and beyond, but it was felt particularly painfully in Los Angeles, where Bryant was unquestionably the sprawling city's most popular athlete and one of its most beloved people. Buildings from downtown to Los Angeles International Airport were illuminated in Lakers purple and gold. The Lakers’ next game is Tuesday night against the crosstown rival Clippers, but hundreds of fans — many in Bryant jerseys and Lakers gear — spontaneously gathered at Staples Center and in the surrounding LA Live entertainment complex on Sunday, weeping and staring at video boards with Bryant’s image before the Grammy awards ceremony. “I thought he was going to live forever,” Lakers great Magic Johnson told KCBS-TV. “I thought he was invincible. ... There was nobody who took more pride in putting on that Laker uniform than Kobe. Nobody. He was just special. We will miss him and we’ll remember him for his greatness, but let’s not forget how he impacted the world, too.” Bryant retired as the Lakers' franchise leader in points, games played, 3-pointers and steals — no small feats on a franchise that has employed many of the greatest players in basketball history. The NBA kept its games on as scheduled when the news broke. The Spurs and Raptors both took voluntary 24-second shot clock violations at the start of their game in honor of Bryant, who wore No. 24 for the second half of his career. Several other teams followed up by deliberately taking delays of 24 and 8 seconds, honoring both of his jersey numbers. Many players were seen crying before their games, and James looked emotional on the tarmac when he got off the Lakers’ team plane from Philadelphia. Bryant’s future appeared to be limitless in retirement, whether in sports or entertainment. He opened a production company shortly after leaving the Lakers, saying he was just as passionate about storytelling as he had been about his sport. He won an Oscar in 2018 for his contributions to “Dear Basketball, ” an animated short about his relationship to the game. He also produced content for ESPN. In 2003, Bryant was charged with attacking a 19-year-old employee at a Colorado resort. He had said the two had consensual sex, and the charge was eventually dropped when the women declined to testify in a trial. The woman later filed a civil suit against Bryant that was settled out of court. Bryant went on to become one of the NBA's most popular players and the face of the Lakers. Winning a record four NBA All-Star Game MVP awards, he was the overall league MVP in 2008 and a two-time NBA scoring champion, but he also earned 12 selections to the NBA’s All-Defensive teams. He teamed with Shaquille O’Neal in a combustible partnership to lead the Lakers to NBA titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002. He later teamed with Pau Gasol to win two more titles in 2009 and 2010. A two-time Olympic gold medalist with the dominant U.S. team, Bryant retired in 2016 after scoring 60 points in his final NBA game. In December 2017, the Lakers hung banners retiring his No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys in the Staples Center rafters in an unprecedented double honor. Bryant looms large over the current generation of NBA players, most of whom grew up either idolizing Bryant or absorbing his work ethic and competitive spirit in the same way Bryant's generation learned from Jordan. Bryant exemplified and passed on that mentality to James, Stephen Curry and the NBA's current wave of high-scoring superstars. After James passed Bryant on Saturday, he remembered listening in awe to Bryant when the superstar came to speak at a childhood basketball camp. “I remember one thing he said: If you want to be great at it, or want to be one of the greats, you’ve got to put the work in,” said James, who later teamed up with Bryant on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team in Beijing. Bryant was a basketball superstar for his entire adult life, and he grew up from a teenager to a respected veteran in the unforgiving Hollywood spotlight. He entered the NBA draft straight out of suburban Philly's Lower Merion High School in 1996 after a childhood spent partly in Italy, where his father, former NBA player Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, played professionally. Bryant was occasionally estranged from his now-65-year-old father, but reconciled. Bryant spoke four languages and played a major role in the NBA's international growth over his two decades in the league, traveling the world and connecting with athletes in other sports and celebrities. The Lakers acquired the 17-year-old Bryant in a trade shortly after Charlotte drafted him, and he immediately became one of the most exciting and intriguing players in the sport alongside O’Neal, who had signed with the Lakers as a free agent. Bryant won the Slam Dunk Contest as a rookie, and the Lakers gradually grew into a team that won three consecutive championships. Bryant and Gasol, the Spanish star, formed the nucleus of another championship team in 2008, reaching three straight NBA Finals and winning two more titles. Between those title runs and before the quiet final years of his career, Bryant accomplished innumerable feats including an 81-point game against Toronto in January 2006. Bryant's final NBA seasons were dogged by injuries, but he still went into retirement with that jaw-dropping 60-point performance against Utah. ___ AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds contributed to this report.