Amid record COVID-19 surge, Seoul orders businesses to close early

SEOUL, Dec. 4 (UPI) — As the Seoul metropolitan area saw a record number of COVID-19 cases on Friday, Acting Mayor Seo Jeong-hyup declared a “desperate crisis” and announced measures that include forcing most businesses to close early each night.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported about 300 cases in the capital city on Friday amid a nationwide outbreak that reached a nine-month high.

Metro Seoul has been under Level 2 physical distancing guidelines, the third-highest level on South Korea’s 5-tier system, since Nov. 24. Seo said, however, current measures aren’t doing enough to stem the spread.

“The number of confirmed cases is snowballing,” the mayor said at an online press briefing. “It is impossible to respond to the crisis with the measures taken so far.”

Under the new restrictions, which take effect Saturday and will last for at least two weeks, restaurants, cafes and most stores must

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R.I. fitness clubs fined for refusing to close during two-week COVID-19 ‘pause’

Matt D’Amico, who owns the Maxx Fitness Clubzz franchises in Lincoln and Warren, opened as usual on Monday, however, and has remained open since then. He said that closing would be financially devastating.

“We did it in March, and the shutdown lasted 10, 12 weeks. I just can’t survive it again,” D’Amico said. “It’s not about profitability — it’s landlords, equipment rentals, payroll, and staff. And, I don’t think it’s right, when everyone else gets to stay open.”

The Health Department issued $500 fines at both locations and ordered the facilities to close immediately and stay closed until the restrictions are lifted.

But D’Amico has refused to shut down. Both Maxx locations were open and busy on Wednesday.

“You can say we’re fighting for freedom. It’s what it is,” D’Amico said. “I invested millions of dollars.”

Raimondo ordered the two-week pause in an attempt to stem the rising wave of

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Metro Proposal Would Cut Weekend Trains, Close 19 Stations And Slash Bus Service : NPR

Metro is facing nearly a $500 million budget gap and the damage could last awhile with the potential for long-term ridership losses because of the pandemic.

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Facing the grimmest budget projections in its 50-year history, Metro is proposing the complete elimination of weekend service.

It is one of a series of staggering cuts the transit agency may need to make in the next fiscal year, which begins in July 2021, to close a nearly $500 million deficit.

What remains would be a “bare-bones service network to sustain essential travel,” according to a presentation that WMATA’s board will hear Friday.

The plan also calls for trains to run every 30 minutes, shuttering 19 stations, further slashing bus service to a fraction of pre-pandemic levels and closing the system at 9 p.m.

If the proposal is enacted, the transit agency would eliminate 2,400 jobs. That would

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Simi Valley Republican Values Center to close, reopening plans to come

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Four area women have launched the for-profit Center for Republican Values LLC.

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A year after it opened, the Republican Values Center in Simi Valley is closing, but plans to resurrect itself as American Values Central.

The for-profit business center will shutter Monday because its landlord won’t renew its lease for the 3,600-square-foot space it occupies at 2878 Cochran St. in a shopping center, the group’s president, Patricia Saraceno, said Friday.

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The for-profit Republican Values Center opened in Simi Valley in November 2019. The center offered a gathering place for conservatives and leased space to vendors ranging from sellers of Trump memorabilia to a political action committee. (Photo: TOM KISKEN/THE STAR)

“The closure of the RVC isn’t necessarily by choice,” said Saraceno, of Simi Valley, one of the center’s founders. “It’s because we couldn’t get our lease renewed.”

The center opened in November 2019 to

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Scottsdale gym refuses to close after state order

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State health officials have ordered Self Made Training Facility in Scottsdale to close for violating rules aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19, but owner Jeffrey Mahaffey says he is keeping the business open.

Mahaffey said he has been cited dozens of times by Scottsdale police since summer for disobeying the governor’s executive orders. Now, he refuses to comply with the state order, which he says is overreaching.

He said he tore down the closure notice that the Arizona Department of Health Services hung in his gym’s window on Wednesday, and he won’t stop doing business even if the state tries to padlock his doors.

“They can try,” Mahaffey told The Arizona Republic on Friday. “I’ll just take the doors off the hinges if that’s the case … I will not close my business.”

State health officials ordered his gym to

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Call It Spring to Close All US Stores and Shift Business Online

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Call It Spring is taking its U.S. operation digital.

The trendy footwear brand, which is a division of Montreal-based Aldo Group, plans to shutter its entire fleet of brick-and-mortar stores over the next few weeks, as it shifts toward a direct-to-consumer online strategy.

Prior to the pandemic, Call It Spring had 49 mall-based locations throughout the country. All are due to close before the end of December. As part of the wind-down process, the brand plans to hold liquidation in stores and online, offering up to 70% off its current fall/winter footwear collection. (The spring ’21 collection, set to launch in February, will be offered at full price.)

This change will not impact Call It Spring’s Canadian retail stores, which will continue to operate as normal.

Emmanuel Amzallag, SVP of Call It Spring, said talks were in the works prior to the pandemic

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Mastercard Extends Open Banking Efforts with Close of Finicity Acquisition

PURCHASE, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mastercard (NYSE: MA) today announced it has completed its acquisition of Finicity, a leading North American provider of real-time access to financial data and insights.

“Today is a great milestone as we continue to build out the solutions that deliver on the potential of open banking,” said Craig Vosburg, president, North America, Mastercard. “We now turn our focus on bringing these two talented teams together. That starts with our shared commitment to consumer-centric data practices to create more value for consumers and businesses from the information in their account and give them more control in how that data is used.”

With a direct connection to the North American banking, lending and wealth management ecosystem, Finicity adds to Mastercard’s commitment to be a one-stop partner for banks, merchants, fintechs and governments. These connections are supported through next generation open banking APIs and consumer approvals.

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Rather than close businesses, Ohio imposes 3-week curfew

COLUMBUS – Rather than close restaurants and bars outright, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced a statewide curfew starting Thursday.

Ohioans will be required to stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. with some exceptions for work, groceries, hospital visits and emergencies. The penalty for violating a state health order is a second-degree misdemeanor, but orders are rarely enforced. 

More: What you can and can’t do under Ohio’s three-week COVID-19 curfew

“We do not expect law enforcement to go pull people over,” DeWine said Tuesday.

The new health order, which has not yet been signed, will last 21 days. DeWine hopes this change will reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus in Ohio, which has dramatically increased in recent weeks. The curfew is in lieu of threatened closures of restaurants,  bars, and gyms, his spokesman confirmed to The Enquirer. 

The basic premise: if Ohioans are around fewer people, they will

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Gym on Spokane’s South Hill changes course, will close this week

The owner of CycleBar on the South Hill previously said the doors of her business will remain open despite restrictions banning indoor workout classes in Washington.

SPOKANE, Wash. — A gym in Spokane has changed course and decided to cancel classes this week as new coronavirus restrictions banning indoor fitness classes take effect in Washington.

The owner of CycleBar on the South Hill previously said in an email and a video on Facebook that she didn’t plan to close her gym despite the restrictions.

But in an email sent out Monday, owner Jennylee Thompson said she will be canceling classes this week, due to a fear that the publicity surrounding her initial announcement would cause her to be shut down and possibly lose her business license.

“So, with a heavy heart, I have decided to cancel rides this week. I’m hoping some of these mandates will be lifted and we’ll

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We are close to 63% visa-independent in US: Infosys

Infosys, which counts the US as its biggest market, said it is still early to comment on the approach the new US administration could take towards work visas but it expects to continue benefiting from its ongoing localisation efforts.

“We continue to see challenges to mobility of talent. New proposed immigration regulations in USA could impact onsite wage costs, granting of visas, tenure of visas, and overall costs of compliance.

“Our localisation programme across USA, Europe and Australia, launched three years ago, mitigates many of these,” Infosys Chief Operating Officer (COO) Pravin Rao said at a recent analyst meet.

He added that Infosys has eight innovation hubs across the US and the EU, nine global Digital Studios (including a 5G lab in Melbourne) and seven global cyber defense centres.

“We are close to 63% visa-independent in the US and over 50% in Europe and ANZ. We have been intensely focused

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