Contestants breathless as underwater chess plumbs new depths

admin   •   August 27, 2018   •   7135

 

A competitor playing chess underwater | REUTERS

The age-old game of chess has had a quirky makeover in the World Dive Chess Championships which took place in London on Saturday (August 25).

Players use a magnetic board and magnetic pieces and, while the rules remain the same, the playing environment is a little more challenging, with players only able to make moves while submerged without breathing apparatus in a swimming pool.

Once players have dived under the surface they cannot come back up for air until they have made their move.

The unusual hybrid of chess and water sports was the brainchild of American Etan Ilfeld who wanted to incorporate a physical element into chess to make it more fun and quirky.

The tournament is played over four rounds with each match lasting up to an hour but average games take around 30 – 40 minutes.

After a long day in the pool, a delighted Rajko Vujatovic emerged as the winner, ending the championship with a narrow win over his nearest rival. — Reuters

PH Embassy in London raises concerns over deaths of 20 Filipino health workers in UK

Robie de Guzman   •   April 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Embassy in London has raised its concerns for the welfare of thousands of Filipino nurses in the United Kingdom after 20 of them have died amid the fight against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country.

In a statement, the Philippine Embassy said it has brought to the attention of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in the UK the concerns of Filipino health workers such as the need for more personal protective equipment (PPE), especially for those who are assigned in COVID-19 wards.

“We are deeply concerned about the deaths of Filipino health workers who sacrificed their lives as the world continues to fight this vicious disease. They put their lives on the line so that others may heal, live, and be reunited with their loved ones,” Ambassador Antonio Lagdameo said.

As of April 20, around 20 Filipino healthcare workers in the UK have died due to the viral respiratory disease.

Majority of those who passed away worked in hospitals across England, which registered the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the UK at 93,030 out of  124,73 lab-confirmed cases and 14,828 out of 16,509 hospital deaths.

The embassy said the deaths of Filipino medical workers due to COVID-19 “have caused a stir among British society since it is well known that Filipinos represent the third biggest group of National Health Service (NHS) staff after the British and Indians.”

Citing a March 2019 report on the NHS’ workplace diversity, the embassy said that close to 19,000 Filipinos serve the UK’s public health system either as medical professionals such as nurses and allied health professionals or as support staff.

The embassy said that various independent fundraisers have been organized by friends and family of those who succumbed to the disease.

Other Filipino community organizations have also contributed to support those who continue to fight at the frontlines, including the provision of face masks and hot meals.

The embassy said its frontline consular services have been suspended but its consular section, as well as the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), continue to coordinate with Filipino community organizations in extending assistance and monitoring the condition of those severely affected by the disease.

The embassy also assured it is implementing measures that safeguard public health and that it will continue to render assistance to distressed Filipino citizens in light of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Teenage boy dies in London after testing positive for coronavirus

UNTV News   •   April 1, 2020

A 13-year-old boy in London who tested positive for coronavirus has died, a hospital said on Tuesday (March 31).

“Sadly, a 13-year old boy who tested positive for COVID-19 has passed away, and our thoughts and condolences are with the family at this time,” King’s College Hospital said in a statement.

“The death has been referred to the coroner and no further comment will be made.”

The number of deaths from coronavirus in the United Kingdom rose by 27% as the UK government said 1,789 people have died in hospitals as of 1600 GMT on Monday, an increase of 381 from Sunday, the largest rise in absolute terms yet. (Reuters)

(Production: Gerry Mey, Michael Fiorentino)

Police at scene as London stabbing declared ‘terrorism-related’

UNTV News   •   February 3, 2020

Police shot dead a man in south London on Sunday (February 2) after two people were stabbed in what police described as a terrorism-related incident.

Some witnesses said the man had been armed with a machete. One described him as wearing silver canisters on his chest.

Police said the man they had shot had been pronounced dead. They said two people had been wounded in the attack in Streatham, a busy residential district south of the River Thames.

Armed police cordoned off the area and said people should avoid the area. At least one helicopter flew overhead and police cars were in surrounding streets, with the area blocked off by tape.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Twitter: “Thank you to all emergency services responding to the incident in Streatham, which the police have now declared as terrorism-related”. “My thoughts are with the injured and all those affected,” he added.

The last such incident in London was in November, when police shot dead a man wearing a fake suicide vest who stabbed two people to death and wounded three more before being wrestled to the ground by bystanders. (Reuters)

(Prouction: Rosalind Church)

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