Vietnamese esports team wins 2020 President Esports Cup

first_imgTeam Flash of Vietnam has won the 2020 President Esports Cup, securing the Rp 300 million (US$22,000) cash prize. The Vietnamese esports players beat host team Dranix Vendetta, which finished second. Third place went to Louvre Esports Indonesia. All finalists played the game Free Fire.The victor of the casual category was another Vietnamese competitor, Nguyen Tuan Anh, who defeated fellow countryman Do Trung Tuan 2-1 in Pro Evolution Soccer (PES). Indonesian competitor I Made Arisandra grabbed third position.Indonesian gamers were victorious in the Mobile Premiere League competition and also in the exhibition game Ultra Space Battle Brawl. Aby Ramadhan, a gamer from East Jakarta, finished first in the Mobile Premiere League competition after defeating counterpart Miftahul Fajar 3-1 in the final. Indonesian Dio Alsabah was crowned the champion of Ultra Space Battle Brawl, a game created by local developers, Indonesia Mojiken Studio and Toge Production. Youth and Sports Minister Zainudin Amali, who watched the grand final, said the fact the event attracted 180,000 participants, both local and from abroad, showed that esports was the future of sport, adding that the government would continue supporting the development of the sport.“We’ll continue supporting the sport” he said as quoted in a press statement sent to The Jakarta Post on Monday.Chief organizer Giring Ganesha praised the local gamers, saying the Indonesian competitors had gone all out at the tournament.“We now hope to develop a better ecosystem for the sport in the hopes of building a bright future,” he said.Topics :last_img read more

Dozens of koalas dead after logging at Australian plantation

first_imgThose responsible could face steep fines under laws designed to protect Australia’s native wildlife.The environment department said approximately 80 koalas had been removed from the plantation site over the weekend for medical treatment, while others had to be put down.”Wildlife welfare assessment and triage will continue with qualified carers and vets,” the department said in a statement.”Plans are being made to translocate remaining animals offsite if they are well enough to be moved.” Friends of the Earth said the plantation was logged in December in what it called a “massacre” that left hundreds of koalas dead or injured.The conservation group said the scale of the incident was uncovered when local residents witnessed dead koalas being bulldozed into piles in recent days.The deaths come after devastating bushfires destroyed large swathes of koala habitat across Australia’s southeast and killed thousands of the animals, which are listed as “vulnerable” to extinction.The Australian Forest Products Association said a forestry contractor harvested the land in November in accordance with strict wildlife protection rules before the remaining trees were later bulldozed after the contractor left.”It is unclear as yet who bulldozed the trees with the koalas apparently still in them, but it is absolutely certain that this was not a plantation or a forestry company,” chief executive Ross Hampton told Nine newspapers.”We support all those calling for the full force of the law to be applied to the perpetrator.”The forestry industry lobby group has pledged to hold its own investigation into the incident.Topics : Dozens of koalas have been euthanized and some 80 more are being treated for injuries and starvation after their habitat was logged, prompting an Australian government investigation Monday.Victoria’s environment department said the state’s conservation regulator was investigating a “very distressing incident” at a bluegum plantation near the coastal town of Portland that resulted in the deaths of dozens of koalas.”If this is found to be due to deliberate human action, we expect the conservation regulator to act swiftly against those responsible,” the department said.last_img read more

Buttigieg takes lead in chaotic Iowa vote, Sanders second

first_imgThe centrist senator from Minnesota Amy Klobuchar was in fifth place on 12.6 percent, with 62 percent of the precincts reporting. The results were posted some 21 hours after Iowans gathered across the state to hold the first vote of the presidential nominating season.Troy Price, the chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, apologized profusely for the delay and blamed it on a “coding error” with an app being used for the first time to report the returns from precincts across the farm state.Price pledged to provide the full results as soon as possible.”We have been working day and night to make sure that the results are accurate,” he said. “And we also have a paper trail and documentation that we have been able to use to provide information to help verify the results.”As Iowa struggled to publish the results and frustrated Democratic candidates fumed, Trump gleefully pounced on the hold-up, describing the Democrats’ failure to deliver timely results as an “unmitigated disaster.””Nothing works, just like they ran the country,” tweeted Trump — hours before delivering his annual State of the Union speech to a joint session of Congress under the cloud of impeachment.’Shocking incompetence’ The results are usually known within hours of the conclusion of the caucuses, which do not involve a traditional ballot but see voters attending public gatherings and voicing support for the candidate of their choice.Iowa kicks off the process of selecting presidential nominees every four years, but the fiasco surrounding the results is likely to increase calls for the state to lose the honor.”The top finishers, probably Sanders and Buttigieg, could have used their showings to launch into New Hampshire,” the next contest, said Larry Sabato, a professor of politics at the University of Virginia.”Instead, the story is the shocking incompetence of the Iowa Democratic Party.” He called for an end to the “strange system in a 91 percent white state” in favor of giving other states a chance to kick off the process.Virginia Senator Mark Warner expressed alarm over the Iowa debacle. “This chaos has created an environment where misinformation is now running rampant online, further undermining confidence in the democratic process,” he said.With Iowa still mired in confusion, the Democratic candidates turned their sights on New Hampshire.According to a Boston Globe/WBZ-TV/Suffolk University poll released Monday, Sanders is leading in the Granite State with 24 percent, followed by Biden on 18 percent, Warren with 13 percent and Buttigieg with 11 percent.Alluding to his own victory in Republican caucuses in Iowa, Trump said that “the only person that can claim a very big victory in Iowa last night is ‘Trump.'””When will the Democrats start blaming RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA, instead of their own incompetence for the voting disaster that just happened in the Great State of Iowa?” Trump tweeted.Topics : “I have never been more confident in our campaign, in our team, and in the vision that brought to us this point,” Buttigieg told ecstatic supporters in New Hampshire, which holds the next nominating contest on February 11.With polls still mixed on whether Americans would be comfortable with an openly gay president, Buttigieg also made a rare, though implicit, reference to his sexuality — and the added significance it gave the Iowa outcome.”It validates for a kid, somewhere in a community, wondering if he belongs, or she belongs, or they belong in their own family, that if you believe in yourself and your country there’s a lot backing up that belief,” he said with a catch in his voice.According to the partial results, Buttigieg, unknown nationally a year ago, leads with 26.9 percent followed by Sanders, the 78-year-old self-described democratic socialist, with 25.1 percent, followed by Senator Warren with 18.3 percent, and Biden with 15.6 percent. Democratic White House candidate Pete Buttigieg seized a shock lead in the chaotic Iowa caucuses, closely trailed by leftist senator Bernie Sanders, according to partial returns released on Tuesday after an embarrassing delay in reporting the results.Progressive standard-bearer Elizabeth Warren was in third place followed by Joe Biden, a disappointing showing for the former vice president who has claimed he is best positioned to defeat Donald Trump in November.Buttigieg, the 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana who has been battling Biden for the moderate wing of the party, hailed what he called an “astonishing victory” in the midwestern farm state which kicks off the presidential nominating process.last_img read more

US Senate acquits Trump of impeachment charges

first_imgThroughout the impeachment drama, Trump and his Republican allies kept up their attacks on Biden’s integrity. It remains to be seen how much political damage that inflicted. In the first of the state-by-state contests to determine the Democratic challenger to Trump, Biden placed a disappointing fourth in Iowa, according to incomplete results from Monday’s voting. Biden has accused Trump of “lies, smears, distortions and name-calling.”‘APPALLING ABUSE’Trump faces no serious challengers for his party’s presidential nomination. He is poised to claim the nomination at the party’s convention in August and previewed in his State of the Union address on Tuesday campaign themes such as American renewal, economic vitality and hardline immigration policies.Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, broke with his party to vote to convict Trump on the abuse-of-power charge. Romney called the president’s actions in pressuring Ukraine to investigate Biden “grievously wrong” and said Trump was “guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust.””What he did was not ‘perfect,'” Romney said on the Senate floor, as Trump has described his call with Ukraine’s president that was at the heart of the scandal. “No, it was a flagrant assault on our electoral rights, our national security and our fundamental values. Corrupting an election to keep one’s self in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine.”Romney, a moderate and elder statesman in his party, paused during his speech as he became choked with emotion after mentioning the importance of his religious faith.Republican Senator Lindsey Graham lashed out at Democrats, saying: “What you have done is unleash the partisan forces of hell.”Chuck Schumer, the top Senate Democrat, said Trump’s acquittal in an unfair trial was worth nothing.”No doubt, the president will boast he received total exoneration. But we know better. We know this wasn’t a trial by any stretch of the definition.”In his speech, McConnell said: “The architects of this impeachment claimed they were defending norms and traditions. In reality, it was an assault on both.”BIGGEST VICTORY YETDemocrats expressed concern that an acquittal would further embolden a president who already challenges political norms. They have painted him as threat to US democracy and a demagogue who has acted lawlessly and exhibited a contempt for the powers of Congress and other institutions. They also have voiced concern over Russia interfering in another American election.Trump’s legal team offered a vision of nearly unlimited presidential powers, a view Democrats said placed any president above the law.The acquittal handed Trump his biggest victory yet over his Democratic adversaries in Congress. Democrats vowed to press ahead with investigations – they are fighting in court for access to his financial records – and voiced hope that the facts unearthed during the impeachment process about his conduct would help persuade voters to make him a one-term president.Trump’s job approval ratings have remained fairly consistent throughout his presidency and the impeachment process as his core conservative supporters – especially white men, rural Americans, evangelical Christians and conservative Catholics – stick with him.The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll, conducted on Monday and Tuesday, showed 42% of American adults approved of his performance, while 54% disapproved. That is nearly the same as when the House launched its impeachment inquiry in September, when his approval stood at 43% and disapproval at 53%.The trial formally began on Jan. 16. The Senate voted 51-49 last Friday to defeat the Democrats’ bid to call witnesses such as Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton, with only two Republicans joining them.In the previous presidential impeachment trials, Andrew Johnson was acquitted in 1868 in the aftermath of the American Civil War and Bill Clinton was acquitted in 1999 of charges stemming from a sex scandal.In the hours before the vote, numerous senators gave speeches on the Senate floor explaining their vote.SHADOW OF INVESTIGATIONTrump, now seeking a second four-year term, has been under the shadow of some sort of investigation for most of his presidency. The acquittal marked the second time in 10 months that he withstood an existential threat to his presidency.In March 2019, Special Counsel Robert Mueller found insufficient evidence that Trump engaged in a criminal conspiracy with Russia in its interference on his behalf in the 2016 election. Mueller did not exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice in seeking to impede the investigation but stopped short of concluding the president acted unlawfully. Trump declared full vindication.Last July 25, Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy during a phone call to “do us a favor” and open an investigation into Biden and his son Hunter Biden and into a discredited theory beneficial to Russia that Ukraine colluded with Democrats to meddle in the 2016 election to harmTrump.Hunter Biden had joined the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma while his father was US vice president. Trump accused the Bidens of corruption without offering substantiation. The Bidens denied wrongdoing.Democrats said Trump further abused his power by withholding $391 million in security aid approved by Congress to help Ukraine battle Russia-backed separatists and by dangling a coveted White House meeting as leverage to pressure Zelenskiy to announce the investigations.Under the Constitution, impeachment is the mechanism for removing a president or certain other federal officials for “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”Topics : President Donald Trump was acquitted on Wednesday in his US Senate impeachment trial, saved by fellow Republicans who rallied to protect him nine months before he asks voters in a deeply divided America to give him a second White House term.The businessman-turned-politician, 73, survived only the third presidential impeachment trial in US history – just like the two other impeached presidents – in his turbulent presidency’s darkest chapter. Trump now plunges into an election season that promises to further polarize the country.Trump was acquitted largely along party lines on two articles of impeachment approved by the Democratic-led House of Representatives on Dec. 18, with the votes falling far short of the two-thirds majority required in the 100-seat Senate to remove him under the US Constitution. The Senate voted 52-48 to acquit him of abuse of power stemming from his request that Ukraine investigate political rival Joe Biden, a contender for the Democratic nomination to face Trump in the Nov. 3 election. Republican Senator Mitt Romney joined the Democrats in voting to convict. No Democrat voted to acquit.The Senate then voted 53-47 to acquit him of obstruction of Congress by blocking witnesses and documents sought by the House. A conviction on either count would have elevated Vice President Mike Pence, another Republican, into the presidency. Romney joined the rest of the Republican senators in voting to acquit on the obstruction charge. No Democrat voted to acquit.On each of the two charges, the senators voted one by one on the Senate floor with US Chief Justice John Roberts presiding.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans engineered a stripped-down trial with no witnesses or new evidence. Democrats called the trial a sham and a cover-up. Trump called the impeachment an attempted coup and a Democratic attempt to annul his 2016 election victory.last_img read more

Ronaldo penalty snatches Juventus first-leg draw at Milan

first_imgCristiano Ronaldo’s injury-time penalty grabbed Juventus a 1-1 draw at AC Milan in their Italian Cup semi-final, first leg on Thursday as his incredible scoring run continued.The 35-year-old has now scored 12 goals in his last eight games in all competitions after the Portuguese ultimately got the better of old rival Zlatan Ibrahimovic despite being largely anonymous for much of the match.Milan paid for Theo Hernandez’s 71st-minute red card as they failed to close out a game they had dominated for long periods and led through Ante Rebic. Juve will now be favourites to finish the job in the second leg at the Allianz Stadium next month, with a final against either Inter Milan or Napoli up for grabs.The hosts started strongly, with Ibrahimovic heading over the crossbar inside the first minute.He continued to be a threat to his former club early on, but could only direct an ambitious backheel flick beyond the far post, before picking up a booking which will see him miss the second leg through suspension.Juventus finally produced their first shot in anger nine minutes before half-time, as Juan Cuadrado saw his low strike well saved by Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. Milan started the second half as they did the first, on the front foot, but Rebic was denied an opening goal by Gianluigi Buffon.Samu Castillejo also called Buffon into action seven minutes after the break, with the 42-year-old goalkeeper able to make a comfortable save.Stefano Pioli’s side finally made the breakthrough in the 61st minute, though, as Castillejo’s clipped cross was volleyed home at the back post by Rebic.Juventus were gifted a way back into the game with 18 minutes remaining as Hernandez was handed a second yellow card for a late challenge on Paulo Dybala.That prompted the 13-time winners to belatedly pile some pressure on the home goal, and Donnarumma had to be alert to keep out Matthijs de Ligt’s header.Dybala curled wide with five minutes remaining, but Juve were awarded a spot-kick in the final minute of normal time as VAR spotted a handball by Davide Calabria.Ronaldo stepped up and slammed the ball down the middle to score his 24th goal of the season.Six minutes of injury-time gave the visitors hope of clinching an unlikely victory, but Milan at least held on for a draw to keep their bid for a first Cup crown since 2003 alive.On Wednesday, Napoli struck first blood in their semi-final as Gennaro Gattuso’s men downed Serie A leaders Inter Milan 1-0 at the San Siro, with Fabian Ruiz scoring the winner.The last-four second legs will take place on March 4 and 5, with the final on May 13 at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.Topics :last_img read more

Italy PM extends virus measures across whole country

first_imgPrime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Monday extended measures to tackle the new coronavirus across the whole country, telling people to “stay at home” and banning public gathering as well as Serie A football matches.The unprecedented measures covering the entire Mediterranean nation of more than 60 million people came into force after Italy reported 97 more deaths that took its toll to 463.An AFP count showed Italy with more than half of the 862 deaths reported outside China as of Monday night. “I am going to sign a decree that can be summarized as follows: I stay at home,” Conte announced in a dramatic evening television address.”The whole of Italy will become a protected zone,” he said.The measures extend a quarantine zone that Italy had imposed for its industrial northern heartland around the cities of Milan and Venice on Sunday.The national restriction will run until April 3 and mean that schools and universities will all immediately close. Topics :center_img Travel in and out of the country as well as movement between cities will be restricted.But it was not immediately clear how all these measures will be imposed.Trains and numerous flights continued to operate into and out of Milan on Monday despite the earlier set of restrictions for its Lombardy region.last_img read more

Residents surprised by unidentified cruise ship sailing Raja Ampat waters during travel restriction

first_imgMatius, a local resident of Mansuar Island in Raja Ampat regency, said the ship was seen cruising the waters between Mansuar and Batanta Island at around 11 a.m. local time on Monday.The sighting raised questions among residents as to where the ship was heading and its activity in the area as all of Raja Ampat, famed for its Coral Triangle, had been closed following the start of social restrictions to stem the spread of the COVID-19.“We have contacted the relevant authorities about the matter. We were informed that the ship was not activating its Automatic Identification System [AIS],” he said as quoted by Antara news agency on Monday.Read also: COVID-19: Crew members return to Indonesia as cruise liners halt global operations Anggiat P. Marpaung, the head of the Raja Ampat Port Management Office, confirmed that no cruise ships had contacted his office for permission to sail in Raja Ampat waters that day.Meanwhile, Raja Ampat Investment Agency and One-Stop Integrated Services (PTSP) head M. Said Soltief also said his office had not issued a permit to any cruise ship to enter the waters of Raja Ampat due to the pandemic.“From our discussions with relevant institutions, we can say that the cruise ship was just passing through,” he said. (asp) A mysterious ship cruising in the Raja Ampat waters in West Papua has surprised local residents amid a travel restriction in the popular destination over concerns of COVID-19.Cruise liners have made headlines recently as one of the critical hotspots for the coronavirus’ spread, causing many countries to refuse their request to dock at their ports.Authorities in Raja Ampat said the cruise ship had not been detected by their radar. Authorities have yet to find out the name of the ship, its origin and destination.center_img Topics :last_img read more

After betting its future on Boeing, jetmaker Embraer scrambles for elusive plan B

first_imgBut Embraer now faces a historic crisis with its isolation reinforced by the breakup – two years after Europe’s Airbus absorbed Embraer’s main competitor, the Canadian-designed A220.“For Embraer, it could be very damaging,” said Teal Group consultant Richard Aboulafia, noting it was the only significant independent jetmaker.“It’s hard to pressure your suppliers when the volume you’re offering is a fraction of your competition’s”.Embraer’s immediate aim is to reassure investors. It pledged cost savings and said it had solid liquidity. Brazilian planemaker Embraer SA has been thrust into an uncertain future with no immediate plan B, while not ruling out seeking a bailout after Boeing Co jettisoned a US$4.2 billion commercial aerospace tie-up amid the coronavirus crisis.The company’s shell-shocked chief executive, in the job for a year with little aerospace experience, sought to rally staff after the board held late-night talks to review the collapse of plans for surviving mounting aerospace competition.“Our history is full of difficult moments, and we have overcome all of them,” Francisco Gomes Neto told Embraer’s 20,000 staff before giving them a thumbs up. It also tore up arguments previously used to persuade unions and regulators to back the deal, saying it could survive without Boeing rather than stating the deal would be its “salvation”.The former state-owned company has not asked for a bailout but says it is open to “complementary” sources of financing.Brazilian companies, including airlines and automakers, are in bailout discussions.Embraer “will need strong government support to recover the (separation) expenses and recover from the economic crisis caused by coronavirus,” said Aurelio Valporto, who heads minority shareholder group Abradin and opposed the deal.Embraer had two main pitches for investors that have now vanished.First, it would pay $1.6 billion in dividends from the sale. Second, it would receive enough cash to wipe debts clean and rejuvenate defense and executive-jet units. As a revamped company, Embraer would get a fresh start.Executives also hoped Boeing’s marketing would be a silver bullet for the commercial arm, to be 80 percent-owned by Boeing.Instead, Embraer now has a crisis committee that meets daily and no end in sight for its troubles.That, analysts say, could not come at a worse time.Sales of its E2 have lagged. Overall jet demand has vanished due to coronavirus. Now, crashing oil prices have further weakened the case for new jets, sold mainly on fuel efficiency.China wild cardQuestions have also been raised over how long high-profile Embraer jetliner CEO John Slattery, who aggressively marketed the E2 jet while lobbying for regulatory approval, will stay without the deal. He did not respond to a request to comment.In a Twitter post, he said, “Despite this uncertain period in our industry, I’m confident Embraer will emerge stronger.”On the positive side, analysts expect demand for small jets like the A220 or Embraer’s E2 to lead any future rebound.The breakup may also spark a distracting legal battle.In Brazil, alarm bells rang when Boeing lawyers began quizzing Brazilian counterparts on paperwork in recent weeks.Industry sources said Boeing needed room to maneuver as it seeks US government support for the US aerospace industry. With the crisis expected to resurrect economic barriers, it was seen in a corner over moves to acquire thousands of Brazilian engineers while drawing up plans to lay off its own staff.“You can’t easily go to Congress and ask for support and spend the money on an acquisition,” a senior source said.Embraer says Boeing scuppered the deal on technicalities because of its own financial problems. Boeing says it pulled out only because Embraer failed to meet conditions. But the row itself could be damaging.“Since it came apart in such vitriolic fashion, it’s hard to believe they can pick up the pieces and try again,” Jerrold Lundquist, managing director of The Lundquist Group, said.That leaves limited options for Embraer though none has been discussed as a serious plan B.One potential wild card is China, which almost beat Airbus to the A220 program and which remains on the hunt for ways of accelerating its own aerospace ambitions.“From a strategic point of view, it is an option but it could be politically problematic,” Lundquist said.Members of the inner circle of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro have repeatedly attacked China over coronavirus.The breakup also leaves uncertainty for Embraer employees, many of whom were expected to work on future Boeing programs.Embraer had already furloughed more than 90 percent of its main Brazil plant due to the crisis.It had also spent $30 million on a new headquarters as it prepared to carve out the commercial unit.“Our teams were working together, deciding things together. There were thousands of people working on joint decisions, all for it to end this way,” a person close to the discussions said.Topics :last_img read more

Agriculture Ministry claims to have developed eucalyptus-based COVID-19 treatment

first_imgThe Agriculture Ministry has developed a eucalyptus-based treatment that it claims has been shown to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. The ministry expects it to play a role in the fight against the virus.The ministry announced the treatment on Friday, saying it was based on lab tests conducted by agricultural researchers.Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo said the treatment had been tested on influenza as well as beta and gamma coronaviruses and was able to kill 80 to 100 percent of the viruses.  Fajry said the antiviral medication was identified through agency research on various herbs and remedies, such as ginger, guava, temulawak (Curcuma) and essential oils.Read also: Researchers face uphill battle to help with COVID-19 fightThere are about 700 species eucalyptus. Most are native to Australia. Its main component, eucalyptol, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects, according to the US National Library of Medicine.Fajry said that eucalyptus-based treatment could also be used to relieve respiratory tracts, eliminate mucus, disinfect wounds, relieve nausea and prevent mouth disease.In April, South Sumatran scientists also claimed to have discovered a glucose-based snack that was effective at breaking down several major components of the novel coronavirus and inhibit its incubation.The Ministry of Research and Technology’s COVID-19 research consortium, consisting of research institutes, universities, private companies and state-owned enterprises, is participating in global research efforts to find a vaccine or cure for COVID-19.Topics : The Ministry’s Health Research and Development Agency (Balitbangtan) has developed a few prototypes of the medication in the form of inhalers, roll-ons, ointment, balms and diffusers.“We will keep developing it for COVID-19 patients as the main target,” Syahrul said in a statement on Friday.”God willing, this could be successful. […] I hope that this innovation can be distributed to the public soon.”The ministry’s Health Research and Development Agency head Fajry Jufry said the product had shown “very good results” after being tested on COVID-19 patients, adding that the ministry was waiting for approval from related parties to distribute it.last_img read more

Sex workers’ hands tied under virus lockdowns

first_img“The one-to-one… is gone, just the online stays,” she told AFP. The bondage chairs and polished metal whipping tools sit gathering dust on a quiet street near London’s trendy Shoreditch neighborhood — and Madame Caramel is not pleased.The coronavirus lockdown has punished the London dominatrix, whose Hoxton Dungeon Suite has stood silent for weeks.”In regards to the dungeon, completely stopped, zero percent, no income whatsoever, and in regards to Madame Caramel as a professional dominatrix it is exactly the same,” said the red-haired self-proclaimed “femme domme”. Charitable support Similar initiatives are springing up globally after the pandemic pushed over half of the world’s population into some form of confinement. In Warsaw, a group of men and women in the industry set up a fundraiser to help buy essentials during lockdown. It began as a donation-based system, but eventually allowed contributors to access content.They raised £3,000 in two weeks, sex worker “Medroxy”, one of the organizers, told AFP.Meanwhile in Europe’s capital Brussels, sex workers are relying on donated parcels of essentials to survive.Dolores, 60, who has worked in the industry for 42 years, said she now relies on the small paper bag full of essentials such as toiletries that is supplied by a charity grocery store.It is distributed by a sex workers’ collective, the Union of Sex Workers Organized For Independence (UTSOPI), whose volunteers make drop-offs every Wednesday. “If I didn’t have the parcel, I don’t know what I would do,” said Dolores, who also helps with deliveries.Belgian law prohibits third-party activities such as renting out rooms for use by prostitutes or managing a brothel, but regional regulations vary widely.Even though prostitutes are liable for income tax, Maxime Maes, a coordinator for the collective, said most sex workers are not registered to pay taxes.”All these people do not have access to everything,” he said, noting they missed out on unemployment support and other government welfare. ‘Can’t do in-person’In Europe’s red-light capital Amsterdam, sex work is due to officially resume in September. Prostitution in the Netherlands is legal and regulated, which allows for more support and structure during the coronavirus lockdown. ‘Fear of contact’ Back in Britain, sex workers registered as self-employed are eligible for government hardship grants. Both Mistress Evilyne and Madame Caramel have applied to receive funds during the lockdown.Despite an approaching easing of Britain’s lockdown, uncertainty about how willing people will be to go back to their old habits in a world filled with a new, dangerous disease leaves sex workers apprehensive.”I think there’s going to be this real fear of contact that’s probably going to affect a lot of people who are going to second-guess whether they should go and see a service provider,” Evilyne said.As for Madame Caramel, she is not taking any risks. “I just really have to wait until almost everything is opening… because I want to cover myself as well,” she said. “Because if someone gets sick in my dungeon, you know I am not insured for that.”center_img But many sex workers in Britain and beyond are now moving online to make ends meet.Fellow London dominatrix Mistress Evilyne found success on the largely X-rated entertainment platform OnlyFans, which has grown in popularity since it was founded in 2016.She said a relatively successful OnlyFans account can bring in about £800 ($1,000, 900 euros) a month, and is often supplemented with content on other sites, such as Clips4Sale or iWantClips.”Obviously I can’t do in-person meets anymore,” Evilyne said. She works out of her small flat in southeast London, where chains, whips, gags and other BDSM (bondage, domination, sado-masochism) apparatus lie unused beneath her bed.But she said many clients are still asking about in-person sessions, despite the risks and government advice for people to socially distance by two meters at all times outside the home. “There are so many people who are emailing every dominatrix I know, including myself, asking for sessions at the moment who are just totally disregarding the fact that we need to stay safe,” Evilyne said. ‘Urgent need’Britain counted about 72,000 sex workers — 32,000 of them in London — in 2016, according to a government report.Prostitution is legal in Britain but various related activities such as solicitation are not, so thousands are operating in the shadows and lack access to government support and protections.Although some may have found a way to make money online, many have been left “doing what they can” during the lockdown, according to Laura Watson, a spokeswoman for the English Collective of Prostitutes.”If you’ve got three children at home running around, it’s very hard to do online work,” she said.Support groups such as the UK Sex Worker Advocacy and Resistance Movement (SWARM) have set up hardship funds to help “sex workers in urgent need”. “It shouldn’t be up to us and up to sex workers themselves to organize their own way out of this,” said Watson, who urged the government to do more. 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