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    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Panthers have lost starting cornerback Donte Jackson for the remainder of the season to a groin injury. Jackson was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. It has yet to be determined if Jackson, who is due to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason, will need surgery. The news on Jackson comes one day after the Panthers announced that running back Christian McCaffrey will miss the remainder of the season with an ankle injury. Jackson was injured in Carolina’s 33-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. He was in the midst of another solid season with 61 tackles and two interceptions. His 12 interceptions over the past four seasons are the most of any player selected in the 2018 NFL draft class. Cornerback is one of Carolina’s deepest positions and the team still has Stephon Gilmore, C.J. Henderson, AJ. Bouye and Keith Taylor on the roster. The Panthers filled Jackson’s roster spot by activating guard Deonte Brown from injured reserve. The Panthers (5-7) have a bye this week. ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl...
    ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia State has canceled its men’s basketball game Wednesday against Tennessee State because of COIVID-19 protocols and injuries. The Panthers (4-2) lost 94-59 last Saturday at Rhode Island with a squad that included only seven scholarship players and nine players overall. One player was out after testing positive for COVID-19, others were unable to travel because of contract tracing and the roster was further depleted by injuries. Georgia State announced that Wednesday’s home game against Tennessee State was called off “out of an abundance of caution” and wouldn’t be rescheduled. The Panthers are expected to return to action Saturday at Mercer. Tennessee State (1-5) is scheduled to travel to Chicago State for its next game that same day. ___ More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    WINFIELD, Ind. (AP) — Former Chicago Bears defensive lineman Dan Hampton, who was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002, has been arrested in Indiana for allegedly driving a vehicle while drunk. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office in Indiana said Hampton was arrested Nov. 20 on a charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated in Winfield, where he lives. Winfield is about 50 miles (80.47 kilometers) from Chicago. Hampton bonded out of jail the next morning after bail was set at $25,000. Hampton, 64, played for the Bears from 1979, when was drafted with the fourth overall pick, until 1990. He was a member of the Bears’ Super Bowl-winning team following the 1985 season. Hampton played in college at Arkansas, where he was a two-time Southwestern All-Conference selection and Defensive Player of the year in his final season. After retiring as a player, he worked as a TV and radio analyst, including as a host of the “The Hamp & O’B Show” on Chicago’s WGN Radio. Messages left Sunday for Hampton at the station were not...
    PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) — No. 22 UConn is holding out forward Isaiah Whaley from Thursday’s game against Michigan State after he fainted following a first-round game at the Battle 4 Atlantis. The team said its medical staff had evaluated Whaley overnight and before the game and decided “it would be best” to give him a day to rest as a precaution, though “all signs look normal.” Whaley was laying on the sideline in front of the bench immediately after a wild 115-109 double-overtime win against No. 19 Auburn on Wednesday. After a few moments, he was back on his feet with a smile and joined the handshake line. The school later said Whaley had a “combination of end-of-game excitement, fatigue and dehydration,” leading him to feel lightheaded and dizzy. UConn said its team medical and training staff determined there was no cause for concern. Whaley had played 43 minutes and later tweeted a joking video about his fainting episode. He was on the bench in street clothes for Thursday’s game against the Spartans. ___ More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball...
    STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Max Murrell scored a career-high 18 points and Stanford pulled away midway through the second half to beat North Carolina A&T 79-65 on Tuesday night. Murrell was 6-of-8 shooting from the floor and made four of Stanford’s eight 3-pointers. Harrison Ingram added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Cardinal (4-2). David Beatty made three 3-pointers and finished with 13 points to lead North Carolina A&T (1-5). The Cardinal took the lead for good three minutes into the game and built a 35-26 halftime lead. The Aggies cut the deficit to 53-49 with 10:20 to play. The Cardinal answered with a 18-2 run, capped by Murrell’s 3-pointer, and led 71-51. Murrell had 12 points and Ingram added 10 as the Cardinal shot 55% (16 of 29) in the second half. The Cardinal, who rebounded from a 38-point loss to Baylor, open their Pac-12 Conference schedule at Colorado on Sunday. The Aggies travel to Destin, Florida to face Samford in the Emerald Coast Classic on Friday. ___ More AP college basketball:...
    DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — The Citadel coach Duggar Baucom collapsed barely a minute into a game Monday night against No. 5 Duke and was helped off the floor by medical personnel. The 61-year-old Baucom fell along the sideline with Duke leading 3-2 and 18:57 left in the first half. He was conscious as he was helped into the tunnel. There was no immediate word on if he was taken to a hospital. The Citadel’s Hayden Brown scored off an offensive rebound just before play was stopped for Baucom, who is in his seventh season at the school. Associate head coach Jack Castleberry took over on The Citadel’s bench. ___ More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Chargers defensive tackle Linval Joseph entered the league’s COVID-19 protocol on Monday following a positive test. He is the fifth Chargers defensive player over the past two weeks that has either tested positive or had to go on the reserve/COVID-19 list as a close contact. Joseph missed Sunday’s 41-37 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers because of a shoulder injury and will be out for this week’s game at Denver because he is unvaccinated. Players must miss at least 10 days if they are unvaccinated following a positive test. Defensive linemen Jerry Tillery and Christian Covington remain in protocol after positive tests last week. Linebackers Drue Tranquill, who first went on the list on Nov. 11, and Joey Bosa were activated before the Pittsburgh game. Bosa was an unvaccinated close contact and tested negative five straight days. “I’ve been taking care of myself and been taking precautions to not get it,” Bosa said. “I’m not too worried about it. Hopefully, it doesn’t happen. But I think as long as I’m sticking to the...
    MADRID (AP) — Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard were not included in Real Madrid’s squad for the Champions League match at Sheriff because of health issues, the club said on Monday. Both players were not available for coach Carlo Ancelotti after returning from the international break, and missed the team’s 4-1 win at Granada in the Spanish league on Sunday. Hazard has yet to recover from a stomach virus, while Bale hurt a calf muscle while captaining Wales. Karim Benzema, Vinícius Júnior, Rodrygo, Mariano Díaz and Luka Jovic will be the forwards available on Wednesday. Madrid visits newcomer Sheriff as the Group D leader. It can advance to the knockout stage with a victory. It will secure first place if it wins and second-placed Inter Milan doesn’t defeat last-placed Shakhtar Donetsk in the other group game. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports ___ More AP Europe sports: https://apnews.com/hub/sports-europe and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    CHICAGO (AP) — Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is inactive for Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears because of an illness. Jackson’s absence is a huge blow for the Ravens (6-3) as they try to bounce back from a loss at Miami and maintain their slim lead in the AFC North over Pittsburgh (5-3-1), with Cincinnati (5-4) and Cleveland (5-5) not far behind. With Jackson out, Tyler Huntley is set to make his first career start. A second-year pro from Utah, Huntley has appeared in four games. Jackson, the 2019 MVP, missed practice Wednesday and Thursday, but he was a full participant Friday. Coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday the illness wasn’t COVID-19. Jackson occasionally has missed practice this season but has played in every game. The Ravens already had ruled out his top target, with Marquise Brown missing the game because of a thigh injury. Brown has 52 catches for 719 yards and six touchdowns. ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://apnews.com/hub/pro-32 and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written...
    COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Chargers may be missing a pair of important defensive players going into Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers after linemen Joey Bosa and Jerry Tillery entered the league’s reserve/COVID-19 protocol on Tuesday. Bosa is tied for the league lead with three strip-sacks and has 5 1/2 sacks this season. He has a sack in two straight games and three of the past four. Tilley has started eight games and is third on the team with eight quarterback hits. He also has 2 1/2 sacks. Los Angeles (5-4) has three players in protocol after linebacker Drue Tranquill entered last Friday and missed the team’s 27-20 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The Steelers (5-3-1) are expected to be without safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, who was placed on the list Monday. Coach Mike Tomlin said quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has a chance to play after missing the Detroit game, but that they are preparing for backup Mason Rudolph to start. Tomlin said Roethlisberger will be virtually participating in meetings this week. ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and...
    MADRID (AP) — American forward Matthew Hoppe will be sidelined for at least six more weeks with a muscle injury, Spanish club Mallorca said Tuesday. Hoppe hurt his right thigh in a training session on Nov. 6, the day before Mallorca’s 2-2 draw at home against Elche in the Spanish league. The club said he still has six to eight weeks of recovery time. The 20-year-old Hoppe has appeared in only two matches since joining Mallorca from German club Schalke this season. His last game with Mallorca was a 6-1 loss at Real Madrid. He came off the bench in the United States’ match against Costa Rica in World Cup qualifying on Oct. 14. Mallorca is in 13th place in the Spanish league with 15 points from 13 games. Its next match is at Rayo Vallecano on Monday. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports ___ More AP Europe sports: https://apnews.com/hub/sports-europe and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr. was activated off injured reserve by the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday. The team placed cornerback Ryan Smith on injured reserve in a corresponding move as well as activating linebacker Cole Christiansen, wide receiver Maurice Ffrench and cornerback Kiondre Thomas for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings. Murray has missed the previous five games due to an ankle injury. He was second on the Chargers with 20 tackles after the first three games. Smith suffered a torn ACL in last week’s win at Philadelphia. He played in only four games after missing all of training camp and the preseason due to a core muscle injury. Christiansen has appeared in five games for the Chargers over the last two seasons while Ffrench and Thomas made their NFL debuts last week. ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://apnews.com/hub/pro-32 and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Bills running back Zack Moss was cleared from the NFL’s concussion protocol on Saturday. Moss was listed as questionable for Sunday’s game at the New York Jets. He practiced on a limited basis on Thursday and Friday after getting hurt in a 9-6 loss at Jacksonville last weekend. The second-year player shares the backfield with Devin Singletary and ranks third on the team with 233 yards rushing while scoring four touchdowns, including three rushing. Buffalo’s running attack has struggled for much of this season. It became a point of concern this week after Singletary and Moss combined for just 22 yards on nine carries against the Jaguars. The Bills offense is expected to get a boost with tight end Dawson Knox expected to return after missing two games with a broken right hand. Rookie starting tackle Spencer Brown is also expected to play after missing two games with a back injury. The AFC East-leading Bills (5-3) have lost two of three. ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://apnews.com/hub/pro-32 and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL Copyright © 2021 The Associated...
    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott on Friday ruled out starting middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds from playing at the New York Jets on Sunday. Edmunds didn’t practice this week after sustaining a hamstring injury in a 9-6 loss at Jacksonville last week. He leads the team with 54 tackles through eight games this season. Veteran backup A.J. Klein is expected to fill in for Edmunds. McDermott said rooking starting right tackle Spencer Brown is expected to return after missing two games with a back injury. He added tight end Dawson Knox is trending in the right direction to play after missing two games with a broken right hand. Knox leads Buffalo with five receiving touchdowns. ___ NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://apnews.com/hub/pro-32 and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL More AP Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Hunter Dickinson scored 27 points to help No. 6 Michigan open with an 88-76 win over Buffalo on Wednesday night. The Wolverines started strong in their season opener, leading by as much as 21 points in the first half and going ahead 51-36 at halftime, before coming out flat in the second half. The Bulls cut the deficit to five points before Caleb Houstan helped Michigan pull away. The highly touted freshman finished with 11 points and six rebounds. Terrance Williams scored 15 points and Eli Brooks had 11 points and four assists for the Wolverines. Buffalo’s Jeenathan Williams scored a career-high 32 points, Ronaldo Segu had 15 points and Josh Mballa added 13. NO. 20 FLORIDA STATE 105, PENNSYLVANIA 70 TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Malik Osborne had 18 points and 13 rebounds, Anthony Polite scored 17 points, and Florida State routed Pennsylvania. Rayquan Evans added 14 points and four assists, while Houston transfer Caleb Mills scored 10 of his 14 points in the second half in his debut with the Seminoles. Jordan Dingle had...
    LOS ANGELES (AP) — No. 2 UCLA signed a center and two guards on Wednesday as part of its 2022 recruiting class. Adem Bona, a 6-foot-10 center, is out of Prolific Prep in Napa, California. Amari Bailey, a 6-3 guard, plays for Sierra Canyon School in nearby Chatsworth. He averaged 29.2 points, 9.1 rebounds and 5.4 assists in a shortened season last spring. Dylan Andrews, a 6-3 guard at Compass Prep School in Arizona, grew up in Los Angeles. He played his first three prep seasons at Windward School in LA. ___ More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — Hundreds of people marched Saturday in a North Macedonia town to honor the 14 people killed in a fire at a COVID-19 field hospital earlier this week. People marched in silence through central Tetovo and kneeled in front of the destroyed hospital. They also placed a wreath and flowers at the site. The fire broke out late Wednesday, destroying the facility within a few minutes, killing 12 patients and two visiting relatives. Twelve people were also injured. The blaze is believed to have started by accident, although an investigation is still underway. Nineteen field hospitals, funded by a World Bank loan, have been set up across North Macedonia over the past year to tackle surging coronavirus hospitalizations and a shortage of hospital beds. ___ Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Hundreds of Greek health care workers, accompanied by ambulances with sirens blaring, marched through central Athens on Thursday to protest regulations mandating coronavirus vaccines for anyone working in their sector. Under the regulation, which went into effect Wednesday, any health care worker who isn’t vaccinated against COVID-19 or hasn’t recovered from the disease within the last six months will be suspended from work without pay. About 400 protesters rallied outside the health ministry in the center of the Greek capital, before marching to parliament accompanied by about a dozen ambulances. The protesters say they are not against vaccinations, but object to making them compulsory, and say the measure will lead to staff shortages. The government counters that the measure — which applies to all health care workers in the private and public sector as well as to workers in care homes for the elderly — is necessary to protect the most vulnerable amid a third surge of COVID-19 infections in the country. More than 5.7 million people are fully vaccinated in Greece, a country of about...
    BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union plans to recommend that its member states reinstate restrictions on tourists from the U.S. because of rising coronavirus infection levels in the country, EU diplomats said Monday. A decision to remove the U.S. from a safe list of countries for nonessential travel would reverse advice from June, when the 27-nation bloc recommended lifting restrictions on U.S. travelers before the summer tourism season. The guidance could come as early as this week, according to the EU diplomats. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the review process was still ongoing. Any decision would be nonbinding, however. The EU has no unified COVID-19 tourism policy and national governments have the authority to decide whether they keep their borders open to U.S. tourists. The European Council updates the list based on criteria relating to coronavirus infection levels. It gets reviewed every two weeks. The threshold for being on the EU list is having not more than 75 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the last 14 days. Coronavirus cases have surged in the U.S....
    The Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten and Pac-12 unveiled what they are calling an alliance of the three Power Five conferences. Is this a big deal? On the latest AP Top 25 College Football Podcast, Brett McMurphy of The Action Network joins the AP’s Ralph Russo to figure out what to make of the handshake agreement made by three relatively new commissioners. They say the goal is to bring stability to college sports during a tumultuous time and to beef up football schedules at some point. But the whole thing feels more theoretical than practical. How might this impact College Football Playoff expansion? Is the 12-team plan in peril or has it merely hit a speed bump? Plus, what coaches need successful seasons to secure their jobs in 2021? ___ Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at https://APpodcasts.com ___ More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff has warned that restrictions for unvaccinated people may be necessary if case numbers reach new heights in the coming months. But Helge Braun said in an interview with the newspaper Bild am Sonntag that he doesn’t expect another coronavirus-related lockdown in Germany. Braun said that unvaccinated people may be barred from entering venues like restaurants, movie theaters and stadiums “because the residual risk is too high.” Braun said getting vaccinated is important to protect against severe disease and because “vaccinated people will definitely have more freedoms than unvaccinated people.” Braun said that such policies would be legal because “the state has the responsibility to protect the health of its citizens.” Germany’s vaccine efforts have slowed in recent weeks and that has led to discussions about how to encourage those who haven’t yet received a vaccine to do so. More than 60% of the German population has received at least one dose while over 49% are fully vaccinated. ___ Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine ...
    BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union said Thursday it will donate more than 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to middle and low-income countries before the end of the year. That’s double the initial amount that the 27-nation bloc had planned to deliver, mainly through COVAX, the U.N.-backed program to provide shots to poorer parts of the world. European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said the EU “takes its responsibility in helping the world fight the virus, everywhere. Vaccination is key – that’s why it is essential to ensure access to COVID-19 vaccines to countries worldwide.” According to the EU, COVAX has so far delivered 122 million doses to 136 countries. The EU said it is also providing assistance to African countries to help them manufacture vaccines and medicines in order to reduce the continent’s dependence on imports. ___ Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s prime minister says the country’s tourism industry will open on May 15 when a ban on travel between different regions in the country will also be lifted. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis made the announcement in a televised address Wednesday, adding that restaurants and cafes will be allowed to reopen outdoor areas starting on May 3. Restrictions, many of which have been in effect since early November, will remain in place over Orthodox Easter on May 2. ___ Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia is extending its nighttime curfew by three hours and tightening other restrictions ahead of Ramadan following an uptick of COVID-19 infections. The measure will apply from 7pm until 5am, from Friday until at least April 30. Government spokeswoman Hasna Ben Othman also announced other measures late Wednesday, including a ban on all public and private gatherings, the shuttering of weekly markets, and stronger enforcement of mask-wearing and social distancing. Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi has ruled out a new nationwide lockdown, given what he described as the country’s difficult economic situation. The Muslim holy festival of Ramadan starts next week. The month of religious fasting usually sees large crowds gathering in shops, cafes and public spaces, and nationwide family gatherings. According to the latest figures published on Wednesday by the Tunisian Health Ministry, the number of COVID-19 deaths stands at more than 9,000, with overall infections at nearly 265,000 in a population of 11.7 million. Health Minister Faouzi Mehdi said that 80% of hospital intensive care beds are currently occupied, adding that Tunisia expects to receive...
    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Police in the Netherlands have arrested a 37-year-old man on suspicion of plotting a crime with “terrorist intent” for allegedly planning to set off what they described as a “firework bomb” at a coronavirus vaccination center, prosecutors said Thursday. The man, whose identity was not released in line with Dutch privacy guidelines, was arrested March 18. He allegedly wanted to attack the former town hall in the northern port of Den Helder, 90 kilometers (55 miles) north of Amsterdam, which is being used as a vaccination center. Prosecutors said the alleged plot is being treated as a terror act because it “aimed to instill serious fear among the population and to disrupt the economic and social structures of the country.” The suspect “sought to sabotage a crucial government process, the nationally coordinated vaccination program, in an extremely violent manner,” the prosecution statement said. “This also affects public health: The fewer people can be vaccinated, the more victims the virus will claim.” The suspect has been detained since his arrest as investigations continue into possible accomplices,...
    BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgium is disregarding Wednesday’s advice from the European Union’s drug regulator and imposing a four-week ban on administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to people aged under 56. The European Medicines Agency said that even though it found a “possible link” between the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine and a rare clotting disorder, it placed no new restrictions on using the vaccine in people 18 and over. The EMA insisted that the benefits of the shot still largely outweigh the risks. Nevertheless, Belgium imposed a ban on administering it to younger people. “We will keep it this way for the next four weeks and reassess it then,” said Belgian Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke. He said the decision would have little impact on the vaccination campaign since few from that age group are in line to get jabs this month. ___ Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    BRUSSELS (AP) — Life expectancy across much of the European Union has dropped last year, as the 27-nation bloc struggled with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The EU statistical agency Eurostat said Wednesday that “following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, life expectancy at birth fell in the vast majority of the EU member states.” It said the biggest drop was in Spain, with a loss of 1.6 years compared with 2019. Bulgaria followed with a loss of 1.5 years, followed by Lithuania, Poland and Romania, which all saw a drop of -1.4 years. Denmark and Finland were the only nations to see a rise in life expectancy, with 0.1 years. There was no overall EU statistic available since Ireland hadn’t reported data. ___ Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    LONDON (AP) — Britain’s medicines regulator said it has identified 30 cases of rare blood clot events associated with the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine but stressed the benefits “continue to outweigh any risks.” The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency said the risk associated with this type of blood clot is “very small” and that the public should continue to take up the vaccine when offered it. The agency said late Saturday the cases relate to the period up to March 24, during which 18.1 million doses of the vaccine had been administered and that it hadn’t received any similar reports with regard to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Concerns over the AstraZeneca vaccine prompted some countries including Canada, France, Germany and the Netherlands to restrict its use to older people. The World Health Organization has urged countries to continue using the jab. ___ Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    LONDON (AP) — More than 20 heads of government and global agencies on Tuesday called for an international treaty for pandemic preparedness that they say will protect future generations. But there are few details to explain how such an agreement might actually force countries to act more cooperatively. World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and leaders, including Boris Johnson of Britain, Mario Draghi of Italy and Paul Kagame of Rwanda, called for “a renewed collective commitment” to reinforce the world’s pandemic preparedness and response systems, that would be rooted in the U.N. health agency’s constitution. “We are convinced that it is our responsibility, as leaders of nations and international institutions, to ensure that the world learns the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the authors wrote in a commentary that was published Tuesday. Although they called for “solidarity,” and greater “societal commitment,” there was no indication any country would soon change its own approach to responding to the pandemic. Last week, Tedros pleaded with rich countries to immediately donate 10 million COVID-19 vaccines so that immunization campaigns could start...
    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee guard Jaden Springer says he’s signing with an agent and declaring for the 2021 NBA draft after his freshman season. Springer announced his decision Monday with a social media post. He thanked Tennessee coach Rick Barnes, staff and fans for the privilege of playing this season. Springer said it was an honor to represent the Volunteers even though the season didn’t end the way they wanted. Tennessee went 18-9 and lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Oregon State. “Although I was only here for a short time, you welcomed me and made me feel at home,” Springer wrote. “While I am excited to pursue my NBA dream, please know that Rocky Top will always be home sweet home to me.” The 6-foot-4, 204-pound Springer led the Vols in scoring averaging 12.5 points a game. He also led Tennessee shooting 43.5% from 3-point range, making 20 of 46, and with 81 free throws made. He ranked ninth in the Southeastern Conference shooting 81.0% at the line. ___...
    PHOENIX (AP) — Grand Canyon basketball player Oscar Frayer died from a car accident, three days after the Antelopes played in the NCAA Tournament for the first time. He was 23. Frayer and his sister, 28-year-old Andrea Moore, were killed with an unidentified person in a car crash in Lodi, California, on Tuesday, the school announced Thursday. Frayer, a senior, was a four-year starter at Grand Canyon and completed his academic requirements to graduate in April. The 6-foot-6 forward averaged 6.6 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists while helping the Lopes win the Western Conference Athletic Tournament for the first time. The Oakland, California, native had returned to Northern California after finishing with eight points, five assists and three blocked shots in GCU’s loss to Iowa at the NCAA Tournament in Indianapolis. ___ More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/College-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    BERLIN (AP) — The German government on Monday welcomed a decision by state authorities to examine the police response to a weekend anti-lockdown protest during which participants openly flouted coronavirus pandemic restrictions. Scuffles broke out between some of the 20,000 people participating in the protest in the central German city of Kassel on Saturday and counterdemonstrators trying to block their path. Footage showed police letting protesters march trough the city largely unhindered, with officers at one point forcefully hauling counterprotesters out of their path. The top security official of Hesse state, Peter Beuth, criticized protesters who had refused to wear masks, saying they put the lives of others at risk. “The federal government welcomes the willingness of Hesse’s Interior Minister Beuth to, as he put it, thoroughly the review the entire police operation in Kassel,” government spokeswoman Martina Fietz said. Germany has seen a rise in the number of coronavirus cases in recent weeks. The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in the country has risen over the past two weeks from 9.95 per 100,000 people on March 7...
    MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin said he will get a coronavirus vaccine shot on Tuesday, months after widespread vaccination has started in Russia. Speaking at a meeting with government officials on Monday, Putin said he will get his shot “tomorrow,” without specifying which vaccine out of three approved for use in Russia he will take. According to the Russian president, over 6 million people in Russia have already received at least one shot, and over 4 million have gotten both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Widespread vaccination with the domestically developed Sputnik V shot started in Russia in December, but has so far been going slower compared to many other countries. ___ Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — VCU has been pulled from the NCAA Tournament because of COVID-19 protocols. The NCAA says the 10th-seeded Rams’ first-round game Saturday against Oregon has been declared a no-contest. The seventh-seeded Ducks will advance to the second round without playing. The announcement came a little more than three hours before the teams were set to play in the West Region. The NCAA didn’t offer specific details, citing privacy concerns, and said that the decision came after consultation with the Marion County Public Health Department. “The NCAA and the committee regret that VCU’s student-athletes and coaching staff will not be able to play in a tournament in which they earned the right to participate,” the statement read. ___ More AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and updated bracket: https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-mens-bracket Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on the first round of the NCAA Tournament (all times Eastern): ___ The second full day of the NCAA Tournament is underway. Georgetown started it by kneeling during the national anthem. The Hoyas locked arms and took a knee during “The Star-Spangled Banner” ahead of their opening game against Colorado. Coached by former star Patrick Ewing, Georgetown is a 12 seed after making March Madness with a four-wins-in-four-days streak through the Big East Tournament. No. 1 seeds Gonzaga and Michigan will also be in action Saturday. Friday’s action featured three big upsets — pulled off by No. 12 Oregon State, No. 13 North Texas and No. 15 Oral Roberts. Two of the upset victims — Ohio State and Purdue — were from the Big Ten. ___ More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/College-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 and https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-mens-bracket Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    The Latest on the first round of the NCAA Tournament (all times Eastern): ___ The second full day of the NCAA Tournament is underway and Georgetown started it by kneeling down. The Hoyas locked arms and took a knee during the national anthem ahead of their game against Colorado. Coached by its former star, Patrick Ewing, Georgetown is a 12 seed after making March Madness with a four-win-in-four-day streak through the Big East Tournament. No. 1 seeds Gonzaga and Michigan will also be in action Saturday. ___ More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/College-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 and https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-mens-bracket Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    LONDON (AP) — The U.K. says half of the country’s adults have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, a milestone in the government’s drive to reach everyone over age 18 by the end of July. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Saturday that more people received injections on Friday than any day since the country’s vaccination program began in early December. “It’s a huge success,” Hancock said in a video posted on Twitter. “And I want to say many, many thanks to all those involved, including the half of all adults who have come forward. It’s so important because this vaccine is our way out of this pandemic.’’ But the celebration comes amid growing concerns about the failure of wealthy countries to share scarce vaccine supplies with developing nations. While Britain should be proud of the success of its vaccination drive, it is time to start thinking about the rest of the world, said Dr. Jeremy Farrar, director of Wellcome, a London-based health policy think tank. Britain has the rights to enough doses to vaccinate its entire population...
    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Villanova found a way to advance in the NCAA Tournament without Collin Gillespie. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl had 22 points and 12 rebounds, and the fifth-seeded Wildcats pulled away in the second half for a 73-63 victory over 12th-seeded Winthrop in the South Region on Friday night. Villanova (17-6) had lost both games since senior point guard and Big East co-player of the year Gillespie tore a ligament in his left knee during the Wildcats’ victory over then-No. 14 Creighton on March 3. That made Winthrop, which came in with just one loss this season, a popular upset pick. But Robinson-Earl delivered when the Wildcats needed him, making four free throws that launched a 9-0 run to give Villanova its biggest lead at 60-47. The Wildcats will face 13th-seeded North Texas in the second round on Sunday. D.J. Burns Jr. led Winthrop (23-2) with 12 points. ___ More AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and updated bracket: https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-mens-bracket/ Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    The Latest on the first round of the NCAA Tournament (all times Eastern): ___ 12:40 p.m. The first game of the first round between No. 7 seed Florida and 10th-seeded Virginia Tech is underway at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse and a cloudless day outside has brought a significant amount of natural light into the arena. Hinkle Fieldhouse has windows circling the concourse level of the arena and shades have been pulled down at the south end to try and help keep the sun out of the players’ eyes. But windows at the top of the arched-roof building are still allowing in sunlight. It’s the first time Hinkle has hosted NCAA Tournament games since 1940. ___ More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/College-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 and https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-mens-bracket Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    LONDON (AP) — Public health officials in England said Wednesday that the number of people getting their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be “significantly constrained” from April because of a reduction in the vaccine supply to the country. A letter to regional health leaders said they should expect a “significant reduction in weekly supply available from manufacturers” beginning from the week of March 29. The reduction will continue for four weeks, it said. When asked about the issue, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told a news briefing that supply was “always lumpy.” He added that the supply from the European Union is “fulfilling contractual responsibilities and we fully expect those contracts to be delivered on.” He did not explain whether the expected supply reductions are related to the EU chief’s warning Wednesday that the bloc would not hesitate to take action — including possible export restrictions — to ensure it receives the reliable supply of vaccines it was promised. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said “open roads run in both directions,” and that the EU will...
    BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s executive body on Wednesday proposed the introduction of coronavirus passes to let its 450 million residents travel freely across the 27-nation bloc by the summer. The plan, which will be discussed next week during a summit of EU leaders, foresees the creation of vaccine certificates aimed at facilitating travel from one member state to the other. The topic has been discussed for weeks and proved to be a divisive topic. The travel industry and southern European countries dependent on tourism like Greece and Spain have been pushing for the quick introduction of the measure, which could help avoid quarantines and testing requirements. But several member states, including France, argued that it would be premature and discriminatory to introduce such passes since a large majority of EU citizens haven’t had access to vaccines so far. To secure the agreement of all member states, the European Commission proposed that its so-called Digital Green Certificates, which should be free of charge, would be delivered to EU residents who can prove they have been vaccinated, but...
    HELSINKI (AP) — Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has tested positive for COVID-19 and says she will self-quarantine until she has recovered from the virus. The 43-year-old Kallas, who became the Baltic nation’s first female head of government in January, said late Monday she was feeling well apart from a small fever and hasn’t developed any other symptoms. “I am closely monitoring my health and staying at home until I recover,” Kallas said in a Facebook post, adding that she would continue performing prime minister’s duties from home including holding remote Cabinet and other meetings. Estonia, a nation of 1.3 million people, has seen a substantially worsened coronavirus situation in the past few weeks and the country’s health care system and hospitals are having increasing problems in accommodating COVID-19 patients with current resources. The country recorded 1,281 daily new coronavirus cases on Monday, putting the total tally to 86,086 with 728 deaths. Authorities say 711 coronavirus patients are being treated at hospitals across the nation. The 14-day notification rate of newly reported COVID-19 cases per 100 000 population stood at...
    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Butler guard Myles Tate will need offseason surgery after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during last week’s Big East Tournament. Tate was injured in Thursday’s season-ending loss to No. 20 Creighton. The Bulldogs finished 10-15. Tate made 18 starts and averaged 6.7 points and 2.5 rebounds, finishing second on the team with 58 assists as a freshman. He also led the team with 29 steals. Butler did not indicated Monday when he is expected to return. ___ More AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and updated bracket: https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-mens-bracket Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    PRAGUE (AP) — A zoo in the Czech Republic is trying out a new way for its bored chimpanzees to monkey around during the coronavirus lockdown: face time with other primates. The Safari Park in the northern town of Dvur Kralove installed a big screen in their enclosure to show them a livestream of what their fellow chimpanzees are doing on the other side of the country at a zoo in the southern city of Brno. The Safari Park launched the experimental project Thursday to enrich the everyday life of their six chimpanzees amid a strict lockdown and give them some fun after crowds of visitors disappeared when the zoo closed on Dec 18. It’s not clear when zoos will reopen. Zookeep Radek Hlavka said Monday the chimpanzees miss people and can get bored. Hlavka said the youngest female, “M” seems to be the chimpanzee to get the most excited about watching the other chimpanzees at the other zoo. After a week, the zoo will evaluate the experiment and decide whether it should continue, possibly until the end of...
    BERLIN (AP) — The German government said Monday that it’s suspending use of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine over fresh reports of dangerous blood clots in connection with the shot. The Health Ministry said the decision was taken as a “precaution” and on the advice of Germany’s national vaccine regulator, the Paul Ehrlich Institute, which called for further investigation of the cases. In a statement, the ministry said the European Medicines Agency would decide “whether and how the new information will affect the authorization of the vaccine.” ___ Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    LONDON (AP) — Irish health officials on Sunday recommended the temporary suspension of the AstraZeneca vaccine after reports of serious blood clotting after inoculations in Norway. Dr. Ronan Glynn, Ireland’s deputy chief medical officer, said the recommendation was made after Norway’s medicines agency reported four cases of blood clotting in adults after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine. He said that while there was no conclusive link between the vaccine and the cases, Irish health officials are recommending the suspension of the vaccine’s rollout as a precaution. Danish, Norwegian and Icelandic authorities have taken similar precautionary steps. The World Health Organization and the European Union’s medicines regulator said earlier in the week that there was no link between the jab and an increased risk of developing a clot. The U.K.’s medicines regulator, the MHRA, said Thursday that “reports of blood clots received so far are not greater than the number that would have occurred naturally in the vaccinated population” and that “available evidence does not confirm that the vaccine is the cause.” It said people should still go and get their COVID-19...
    BERLIN (AP) — Hairdressers across Germany reopened for business Monday after a 2½-month closure, another cautious step as the country balances a desire to loosen restrictions with concern about the impact of more contagious coronavirus variants. The move came after many elementary students returned to school a week ago, following a decision Feb. 10 by Chancellor Angela Merkel and Germany’s 16 state governors. They will confer again on Wednesday to decide how to proceed with the rest of Germany’s coronavirus restrictions, which at present run until March 7. Some states also allowed businesses such as florists and hardware stores to open on Monday. Most stores have been closed nationwide since Dec. 16. Restaurants, bars, sports and leisure facilities have been closed since Nov. 2 and hotels are allowed only to accommodate business travelers. There are increasing calls for restrictions to be further relaxed, but also a desire to remain cautious. A steady decline in infection figures has stalled, and even been reversed in some areas, as a more contagious variant first discovered in Britain spreads. “This week will set the...
    BRUSSELS (AP) — Ten months after promising free cloth facemasks to protect all Belgians from COVID-19, the country’s government is having second thoughts — warning they could be dangerous and shouldn’t be used. Belgian authorities said the masks contain miniscule traces of silver and a chemical compound that initial studies now show could affect the respiratory system when inhaled deeply. More studies are continuing. Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke told parliament on Thursday that “to be on the safe side while the studies continue, it is better to put (the masks) to the side.” In all, the government ordered 18 million masks. Authorities started handing them out for free last year, but have not yet completed the distribution. Ever since the virus hit Belgium last spring, the nation of 11.5 million has been beset with problems. For the first half year, it was a minority government with limited powers which had to deal with the pandemic. The country has one of the highest per capita death rates in the world, and has registered a total 22,000 COVID-19 fatalities. ___...
    JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A coronavirus variant first identified in England has been discovered for the first time in Mississippi, state health officials said Monday. One case of the variant was confirmed during routine COVID-19 testing, the Mississippi State Department of Health said in a news release. Health officials said they're not aware of any international travel or spread to contacts, but they are still investigating. According to experts, the variants is known to spread more easily and quickly than other coronavirus variants. State health officials are continuing to expand surveillance for variants of the virus and said it is likely that more cases will be identified. They urged people to wear a mask, observe social distancing, avoid large gatherings and wash their hands frequently. They also advised that anyone who is eligible should get vaccinated against the coronavirus. ___ Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic,https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Tags: Mississippi, Associated Press
    LONDON (AP) — U.K.-based drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline and Germany’s CureVac say they plan to collaborate on a new generation of vaccines targeting emerging variants of COVID-19. The announcement comes as public health experts around the world raise concerns about mutations in the virus that may make existing vaccines less effective. “The increase in emerging variants with the potential to reduce the efficacy of first generation COVID-19 vaccines requires acceleration of efforts to develop vaccines against new variants to keep one step ahead of the pandemic,’’ the companies said in a statement Wednesday. “These next generation COVID-19 vaccines may either be used to protect people who have not been vaccinated before, or to serve as boosters in the event that COVID-19 immunity gained from an initial vaccination reduces over time.” GSK says it will also help CureVac manufacture up to 100 million doses of its existing vaccine candidate this year. ___ Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
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