NFL’s Deandre Baker and Quinton Dunbar charged with armed robbery

Florida police are searching for two NFL players after they allegedly robbed people at a house party.

Deandre Baker of the New York Giants and Quinton Dunbar of the Seattle Seahawks are said to have robbed other guests at gunpoint.

About $12,000 (£9,850) in cash and watches worth up to $25,000 were taken.

Neither man has been arrested yet. A police spokeswoman said authorities were in touch with the NFL and a lawyer for one player.

“Obviously, there are attempts to get them to turn themselves in,”Miramar police spokeswoman Tania Rues told the New York Times.

According to the police arrest warrant, the incident occurred after an argument broke out at the house party, where guests were playing cards and video games.

Baker allegedly took out a gun before he, Dunbar and another man – described as wearing a red mask – started taking valuables and cash from people.

The man in the red mask is not fully identified in the reports. Baker allegedly asked this person to shoot one witness, but the red masked man did not do so.

All three then made off in separate vehicles – a Mercedes Benz, a Lamborghini and a BMW.

The police affidavit said one witness was “under the impression this was planned out”, as the three getaway vehicles “were later pre-positioned to expedite an immediate departure from the area”.

Baker, 22, is facing eight charges in total, four for armed robbery and four for aggravated assault with a firearm. Dunbar, 27, has been charged with four counts of armed robbery.

The NFL says it is aware of the incident but has not commented. A statement issued by the New York Giants said they had been in touch with Deandre Baker and they had no further comment.

Both men play as cornerbacks for their respective teams.

Trump threatens to cut China ties over COVID-19 spread

US President Donald Trump threatened to cut ties with China over its role in the spread of the coronavirus, as the global death toll from the disease topped 300,000.

Despite fears of a second wave of infections, national and local governments around the world are easing lockdown orders as they try to get stalled economies moving again.

But there were warnings Friday that some of the world’s poorest people remain the most vulnerable, with predictions that a quarter of a billion Africans could be infected without urgent action.

The nexus of poverty and risk was highlighted by the discovery of cases in the world’s biggest refugee camp, where upwards of a million Rohingya live in squalor.

“We are looking at the very real prospect that thousands of people may die from COVID-19” in these camps, Save The Children’s Bangladesh health director Shamim Jahan said.

“There are no intensive care beds at this moment” in the camps at Cox’s Bazaar, Jahan said.

Track and trace teams were fanning out Friday to follow up on two positive tests.

In an interview aired Thursday, Trump again accused Beijing of concealing the true scale of the problem after the virus emerged in Wuhan late last year.

“I’m very disappointed in China. I will tell you that right now,” he said.

Asked how the United States might choose to retaliate against what he has dubbed the “Plague from China”, Trump said: “We could cut off the whole relationship”.

The US and China are the world’s two largest economies, doing hundreds of billions of dollars of mutually beneficial trade every year.

Nevertheless, the US president is keen to make Beijing the bogeyman in an election year when gloomy news has become par for the course.

New figures showed a further three million job losses, taking the newly unemployed to 36.5 million — more than 10 per cent of the US population.

Over a third of them will have trouble paying their bills, a survey has revealed.

States are slashing their budgets because of tax shortfalls caused by the job losses, with California announcing it would have a $54 billion deficit this year.

Germany’s treasury is also expecting a big hole in its budget, with around 100 billion euros wiped off the tax take in 2020.

Europe’s biggest economy has already slipped into a recession, with GDP expected to shrink by 6.3 per cent this year — the biggest contraction since 1949.

(AFP)

German football league Bundesliga is back after coronavirus break

Germany’s Bundesliga will be the first major football league in Europe to resume after a two-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic, despite many fans opposing the resumption of the season.

The Bundesliga, however, will not be the same when it restarts on Saturday with no children to accompany players to the field, no contact between rivals in the tunnel before the games, and no handshakes with the referee or match officials.

The games will be played in empty stadiums with only about 300 essential staff and officials attending. Players have been told not to spit, celebrate in groups or touch hands with teammates.

Club executives, firefighters and police forces, stadium security personnel and journalists are expected to be in the stands during the matches.

As part of the coronavirus measures to maintain physical distancing, the teams will not be allowed to get their photos taken before the kick-off.

Substitute players will have to wear masks and sit apart. Scoring goals in the empty stadiums will be a sombre affair, with players advised to keep their emotions in check.

Coaches will be permitted to remove their masks to shout instructions at their players – as long as they stay at least 1.5 metres away.

Some clubs will use music and cardboard cutouts of fans to liven up the atmosphere at matches.

The Sky network said it aims to compensate its television audiences by offering recordings of fans’ gasps, cheers and chants.

In normal circumstances, the German game, dominated in recent seasons by Bayern Munich, lacks the marketing pull of England’s Premier League or Spain’s La Liga, which boasts the world’s two biggest clubs in terms of revenue – Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Yet even with a subdued atmosphere given the absence of passionate fans, with all games being played behind closed doors to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the Bundesliga can use the spotlight to show its worth to devotees missing live action around the globe.