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EU urges members to prolong entry ban until May 15

first_img“We should not yet let the door open whilst we are securing our house.”Since the implementation of the travel restriction by all EU member states except Ireland in the second half of March, air passenger traffic has dropped to almost zero, the commission said. Topics : The European Commission urged EU member states Wednesday to maintain a ban on non-essential travel into the bloc’s passport-free zone until at least May 15 to slow the coronavirus epidemic.”All member states have successfully implemented social distancing measures to limit social interaction and slow down the spread of the virus,” said Margaritis Schinas, commissioner for promoting the European way of life. “The restriction on non-essential travel from third counties to the EU complements these measures at the EU’s external borders.”center_img The ban on entry to the so-called EU+ area — which also includes non members Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland — is one of bloc’s most drastic measures against the epidemic.Responsibility for visa and migration rules lies with the member state governments, but Brussels is trying to coordinate the response to slow infections while avoiding unnecessary economic harm.Some EU members are beginning to chafe at lockdown restrictions, while others are tightening them, hoping to cut off the spread of a disease that has killed more than 80,00 people.”While we can see encouraging first results, prolonging the travel restriction is necessary to continue reducing the risks of the disease spreading further,” Schinas said in a statement. last_img read more

UW trying to keep pace in Big Ten title hunt

first_imgWith last weekend’s heartbreaking 3-2 loss to the Michigan Wolverines, the University of Wisconsin volleyball team may have coughed up its chances for a Big Ten title this season.The Badgers fell to 8-2 in conference play, but currently still manage to hold sole possession of second place, with Purdue, Ohio State and Minnesota nipping at their heels.Atop the conference is undefeated Penn State at 10-0 and the question remains: Can the Nittany Lions be caught by season’s end?Minnesota, currently in fifth place at 6-4, lost at Wisconsin and Purdue, but really lost ground in the conference race after dropping home matches to both Penn State and Ohio State this weekend.Ohio State could still be in second place if it hadn’t dropped an unsuspecting home match to Illinois earlier this season, but is a game behind the Badgers in third.Tied for third with the Buckeyes are the Purdue Boilermakers, who have lost to the usual suspects — Penn State and Ohio State — on the road, and to Wisconsin at home.Penn State, however, looks almost unbeatable as it has stomped over every conference foe — the only Big Ten match the Nittany Lions haven’t won in three games was against Purdue at home, in which they edged out the Boilermakers 3-2.Even Wisconsin head coach Pete Waite acknowledged that it will be a hard task for his team to claim first place in the Big Ten with the way Penn State has been playing.”It’s going to be tough (to catch Penn State),” Waite said. “We walk out there just trying to win every match and just trying to hang in there. Sometimes you have to deal with illnesses and injuries and that makes it a tough road trip. Penn State’s playing some great ball; they went into Minnesota and really gave them a good kicking. They seem to be on top of their game, so we’re going to have to be ready to go this weekend and try to get them on their home court.”A tough road trip would be an understatement in describing the Badgers’ past weekend. Waite’s club traveled to the Great Lakes State without senior co-captain Aubrey Meierotto, who sat out with pneumonia, and split a pair of matches. Wisconsin managed to beat Michigan State in five games last Friday night before succumbing to Michigan one day later.”We missed [Meierotto] a ton,” Waite said. “She’s our points leader overall from last year and that’s blocking, hitting, serving and attitude on the court, and that’s something that was tough to adjust to. We were still right in there in both of those matches — we won the first (versus Michigan State) and were at 14-14 in the fifth for the second (versus Michigan), but sometimes [Meierotto’s] our closer and maybe she could’ve gotten the job done for us there.”Meierotto is back at practice this week, but has yet to step on the court. Her status for this weekend is still uncertain, but if she’s unable to play, Waite knows he can turn to freshman Morgan Salow, who started in place of Meierotto this past weekend.”[Salow] did well, especially on Friday night,” Waite said. “She hadn’t played a full game all year and that’s a tough role to step into, but she battled and I thought everybody stepped up a lot. Now we’re just going to have to see for this weekend if Aubrey is ready to go and if not, then we’re a little more prepared than we were last week.”Salow led the Badgers with a .350 hitting percentage against Michigan State with eight kills on 20 attempts and only one error, plus one service ace. She added four kills and a career-best four blocks against Michigan.The 6-foot-4 outside hitter’s first start was definitely a confidence booster for the true freshman.”It was a lot of fun,” Salow said. “It was a really good experience for me. I was really nervous coming in and I just thought during the Michigan State game halfway through I was like, ‘You know, I’m just going to do my best and do as well as I can.'”But sitting out another two matches will be a hard thing for Meierotto to do if she cannot return to the lineup.”It’s really hard (to sit out),” Meierotto said. “Especially senior year, it’s something that just kills you. Sitting out even in practice and watching your team play is a really hard thing to do. It’s been a pretty tough two weeks for me.”And the biggest way to make up for her absence and the team’s performance last weekend would be to come back and beat Penn State and Ohio State on the road this Friday and Saturday.”Beating Penn State on the road would be a huge, huge accomplishment for our team,” Meierotto said. “They’re a really good team, so we know that’s going to be a really big battle so we’re going to have to go in there really aggressive.”last_img read more

Lakers have critical lineup decisions when facing West’s elite backcourts

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersIt requires special consideration from the Lakers, who by contrast boast their best players in the frontcourt. Especially when James is the primary ball-handler, as he was in the starting lineup against the Clippers in Tuesday’s season opener, the Lakers will rely on their guards to pick up tough defensive assignments.Alongside Danny Green, Avery Bradley, as an on-ball defender, seems to fit that particular bill as long as he’s healthy. Bradley said Wednesday he would relish the opportunity to finally try to mark Conley, who he played with at the end of last season in Memphis.“I tried to (defend him in practice), but he always wanted me on his team,” he said. “He’s a very good player, man.”Adding to the thought process is the impending return of veteran Rajon Rondo, who was a full participant in Thursday’s five-on-five scrimmages. Vogel thought Rondo, who has been dealing with calf soreness since midway through the preseason, looked “fresher than everyone else” after sitting out the opener. But he added the medical staff would determine if Rondo can return to the lineup on Friday against the Jazz once he feels how a full-tempo practice affects his body.Rondo, 33, could make starts as the team’s point guard once he’s healthy, Vogel said. Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers center_img “I’ve given it a lot of thought and I think he’ll be in the starting lineup a lot. There’s potentially two ways we can go with that position, sometimes bringing Avery off the bench, sometimes bringing Rajon off the bench in terms of that position,” he said. “And a lot of it can be dictated by matchups and the free flow of the team and stuff like that, but I definitely envision a lot of games where he’ll be the starting point guard.”Rondo is a divisive player among fans to say the least. While he made 29 starts last season as the second-leading assist man for the Lakers (8.0 apg), he also struggled, particularly on defense. The Lakers’ defensive rating improved from 113.3 points allowed per 100 possessions when he was on the court to 105.4 when he was off it. He also had a negative net rating (minus-5.4) in the roughly 605 minutes he shared with James.Often cited by coaches as one of the league’s sharpest minds, Rondo seemed to indirectly reference his statistics with James without explicitly acknowledging that he had seen them.“The league is big on analytics now so I don’t know what the statistics are when LeBron and I are on the court at the same time, but that’s last year’s stats,” he said. “This year is obviously a different team, different feel. So we’ll see how it goes. You can’t predetermine anything. You got to see how the game flows and go from there.”Vogel has talked up Rondo’s game for weeks, saying during training camp that he believed Rondo could also be an off-ball shooting threat after hitting about 36 percent from 3-point range last season. He added Thursday that “I’ve always wanted to coach him specifically, but I’ve always asked for guys like him.” Tuesday’s loss to the Clippers also showcased some shortcomings among the Lakers’ playmakers after James, as the team had just 20 assists, and many players felt the ball was stagnant at points in the game.Related Articles Viewing from the sideline, Rondo said he believed he could help the team with its ball movement from side-to-side in half-court sets, but also improve the fast break. The Lakers had just five transition points (none in the first half) against the Clippers.Rondo said he’ll be open to starting or coming off the bench: “My preference is what Coach Vogel wants me to do. … I’ll be cool with that.”Still, the defensive needs of the Lakers could drive those decisions, and not just at point guard. Vogel also said center JaVale McGee, who started Tuesday, could be swapped out for Dwight Howard among the starters depending on the game or particular matchups.Rondo, like Bradley, is a former All-Defensive selection, but he last earned those honors in 2013. Vogel suggested that he might look at different tools for different nights around his stars.“Every time we prepare for a team, what lineups they’re bringing into our building or this matchup that will be a consideration in terms of who to start,” he said. “And especially early on in this season while we’re still learning about ourselves, haven’t locked into a full-time starting lineup, and the matchups for that night’s game will be a factor.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error EL SEGUNDO — LeBron James has seen the stat line from Mike Conley’s Utah Jazz debut: 1 for 16 from the field.Now, James is on high alert. He called it “the worst thing that could’ve happened” for the Lakers, who will have to guard both Conley and Donovan Mitchell (who scored 32 points) because he’s not buying that Conley will be buried in a shooting slump for long.“He missed I think eight of his right-hand floaters, which has been money for his whole career,” he said. “So I didn’t analyze that too much.”Conley and Mitchell, who averaged a combined 45 points per game last season, will visit Staples Center on Friday night as the first of many high-scoring guard duos the Lakers must figure out how to slow down this season.Think about the Western Conference for a moment, which is defined, in part, by high-powered guard tandems. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum (46.8 combined ppg last season) in Portland; Steph Curry and D’Angelo Russell in Golden State (48.4 ppg); and a new Houston duo of former MVPs in James Harden and Russell Westbrook (59 ppg). Even on nights when they aren’t facing top-of-the-shelf gunning guards, the Lakers will have to deal with the likes of Sacramento (De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield), New Orleans (Jrue Holiday and J.J. Reddick) and Denver (Jamal Murray and Gary Harris), all of whom can put up points from the backcourt.last_img read more