Massive brawl at Atlantic Station raises concerns about safety near shopping areas

It’s that violent incidents keep happening.

The brawl happened as the city is grappling with its highest annual number of homicides since 2003. On Monday, Atlanta police were called to investigate the city’s 136th homicide.

Included in those death investigations is a rash of fatal shootings at nightclubs — at least five in as many months, police said. In the past year, Lenox Square in Buckhead, which has long been another desired destination for holiday shoppers, has also been the scene of several shootings.

And it’s all happened while a trend of street racing has been demanding attention from city leaders as droves of mostly young people take to the roads to lay drag.

“While overall crime is down across the city, unfortunately, like several other major cities across the nation, Atlanta is experiencing an uptick in violent crime,” a spokesman for Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Monday. “Keeping our residents and visitors safe continues to be our number one priority, and we are working with the Atlanta Police Department and businesses to further reduce crime in our city.”

The scene that Atlanta police found Saturday evening was chaotic and frightening, according to details from an incident report obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. About 300 teens were gathered near Atlantic Station’s bowling alley, and many were engaged in fights.

“There were several juveniles engaging in fistfights in the streets and on the premises,” the report said.

When officers tried to disperse the clusters of teens, several “became defiant and more disorderly, engaging in more fistfights,” the incident report said.

One teen was beaten and punched until he lost consciousness, police confirmed. When he fell to the ground, another teen repeatedly stomped on his head, the report said.

The beating caused the teen to slip into a seizure, according to Atlanta city Council member Antonio Brown, who was there as the mayhem unfolded. He said an Atlantic Station resident pulled the teen to safety and he was assessed at the scene by Grady emergency staff before being released to his aunt. The teen is expected to be OK, officials said.

A 15-year-old who police identified as the primary aggressor was detained and charged with aggravated assault. He was not named due to his age.

Brown called the incident “disheartening.” He told the AJC he was at a nearby gym when the violence broke out. As police worked to disperse the crowd, Brown said he stayed to help some of the teens contact their parents.

Brown said he watched an exchange between a teen who had been involved in the melee and his mother, who was visibly upset after learning what had happened.

“She didn’t even know he was at Atlantic Station,” Brown said.

During a regularly scheduled public safety meeting Monday, law enforcement officials told Atlanta’s City Council the fight was a “loosely organized event that started on social media,” Moore told the AJC.

“The council is definitely concerned with the incidents at Lenox mall and recently at Atlantic

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COVID-19 risk high in crowded shopping areas, DOH warns


COVID-19 risk high in crowded shopping areas, DOH warns

MANILA, Philippines — Worried about the crowding of shoppers in Manila’s Divisoria area last weekend, the Department of Health (DOH) yesterday warned the public that the risk of acquiring COVID-19 from such situations is “very high.”

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that while it is understandable for people to get excited about Christmas, this should not be a reason for complacency against the coronavirus.

“The risk is very high so we should avoid going to crowded places,” she said, adding that wearing a face mask or face shield will not work if a person is in crowds where physical distancing is nonexistent.

Vergeire explained that this is the reason why the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has not approved mass gatherings.

She urged people to shop online instead of doing physical shopping. Online shopping provides lesser risk of getting infected or passing the virus to others, she said.

Plateauing

Even with two key cities seeing a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, Vergeire said the country’s trend, in general, is “plateauing” with less than 2,000 new cases daily.

The country’s critical care utilization rate is also in “moderate risk” at 50 to 53 percent.

“In general, we see that this is a good indication for us. It means that our health system is able to cope with the cases that we are having,” she said at a press briefing.

Vergeire gave assurance that the government is closely monitoring some areas for increasing cases, citing Davao City and Cebu City in particular.

Davao, she noted, is already implementing measures, including the establishment of One Hospital Command – a networking system to rationalize the distribution of COVID-19 patients in hospitals to contain further spread.

It is also implementing Oplan Kalinga, a setup where recovered patients are transferred from the hospitals to facilities for the “step-down” quarantine and care.

Both measures are intended to decongest overcrowding in hospitals to ensure their critical care utilization is managed well.

As for Cebu City, Vergeire said the government is still investigating the reasons for the rise in cases.

“In general, our cases continuously plateau with less that 2,000 cases per day while our health system is able to cope (with the increase). Our critical care, in general, is moderate risk,” Vergeire added.

Price cap

Malacañang said the price cap on COVID-19 testing, one of the measures that seek to ensure access to affordable health services during the pandemic, may be released this week.

“That will be decided upon by the DOH and DTI (Department of Trade and Industry). If I’m not mistaken, maybe this week, the price cap will be released,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said at a virtual press briefing yesterday.?Earlier this month, President Duterte signed Executive Order 118 directing agencies to ensure that COVID-19 tests and test kits are accessible and affordable.

The DOH, in coordination with the DTI, was directed to determine, formulate and implement

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ETF Areas to Gain From the Holiday Shopping Season

The year 2020 has been quite a challenge for market participants as well as business houses, largely due to the coronavirus outbreak. Various sectors had to suffer from a shutdown of business activities and a sudden change in lifestyle and preferences of Americans.

Amid these trying times, the beginning of holiday season (the late October-December period) provides a ray of hope for a lot many industry players and market participants. Moreover, this time of the year is also a very important phase for a large number of companies from the business point of view. The quarter is also marked by some popular retail events like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday, Black Friday and Christmas, which increase its significance to retailers.

According to Deloitte’s report on holiday spending forecasts, retail sales may see growth of 1-1.5% during the November-January period, per a CNBC article.

Against this backdrop, let’s study some ETFs that are well-positioned to gain from a busy shopping season this year:

Online Retail ETFs to Keep Shining

The pandemic has been a blessing in disguise for the e-commerce industry as people continue to practice social distancing and shopping online for all essentials, especially food items. Thus, at par with the digitization trend, the upcoming U.S. holiday season is expected to see a significant surge in online sales. Going by a Total Retail article, e-commerce sales are anticipated to grow more than 20% this year as there is a surge in first-time online shoppers. Also, according to a report from Statista, the e-commerce space is projected to cross revenues of $2.3 trillion in 2020.

Against this backdrop, let’s look at some ETFs that can benefit from the new shopping trend: Amplify Online Retail ETF IBUY, ProShares Long Online/Short Stores ETF CLIX, ProShares Online Retail ETF (ONLN) and Global X E-commerce ETF (EBIZ) (read: Can ETFs Enjoy Halloween Effect Despite Rising COVID-19 Fear?).

Consumer Discretionary ETFs Popularity to Rise

There has been improvement in consumer spending and confidence after the pandemic-induced record decline in March.As restrictions were being relaxed in the United States, a number of restaurants and retailers started resuming business during the post-lockdown period. Therefore, the reopening of U.S. states brought optimism for players in the consumer discretionary sector and gained investors’ attention. Even during the holiday season, the sector is expected to see a boost in sales and demand as it attracts a major portion of consumer spending. Thus, to make the most of the opportunity, investors can consider The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR Fund XLY, Vanguard Consumer Discretionary ETF VCR, First Trust Consumer Discretionary AlphaDEX Fund FXD and Fidelity MSCI Consumer Discretionary Index ETF (FDIS) (see all Consumer Discretionary ETFs).

Digital Payments ETFs to See Increased Demand

Along with increased interest in online shopping, customers are resorting to digital payments to clear their bills. At the same time, merchants and utility providers are increasingly advocating the same. According to Statista, total transaction value in the Digital Payments segment should see 15.3% year-over-year growth rate in 2020 on

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