MIAMI (AP) — One of Florida’s largest counties will soon reopen movie theaters, bowling alleys and other entertainment venues after seeing a decline in confirmed coronavirus cases, the governor said Thursday.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Palm Beach County will take the step on Tuesday, the day after Labor Day weekend. DeSantis also said worst-hit Miami-Dade and other counties also were seeing declines in the number of COVID-19 patients.
Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner met with DeSantis on Thursday to give him a letter requesting that businesses be allowed to reopen.
Under the new plan, movie theaters and bowling alleys will reopen allowing only 50% capacity, while gyms, retail stores and museums can return to full capacity if they comply with rules on social distancing and sanitizing. Social distancing requires 6 feet (1.8 meters) between each party. During a round table Thursday with brewery owners in St. Petersburg, DeSantis said he too wanted to see bars reopen soon.
“We understand the urgency,” he said. “We really want to get to yes on this.”
Many businesses were forced to close at the beginning of the pandemic in March, but DeSantis allowed bars to reopen in early June. Three weeks later, after seeing a surge in confirmed cases, he prohibited establishments that make more than 50% of their revenue from alcohol sales from serving on site. Restaurants that sell more food than alcohol were able to stay open and serve alcohol.
DeSantis said now the numbers were looking much better to allow for more social interaction.
“The fight is not going to be over on this,” he said. “That’s just not the way these things work. You don’t have a virus that all of a sudden disappears. It’s better to have the prevalence lower like it is today.”
Lorenzo Borghese, who had to close his South Beach brewery in March, said he’s hoping to reopen in the next three or four weeks. A new business owner, Borghese said March 2020 was supposed to be his first profitable month, just as the pandemic hit. His best customers are hotels and restaurants.
“I’m all for doing this, but if they’re going to do this … can they guarantee they aren’t going to shut things down again?” Borghese asked.
He said he wishes DeSantis would give separate consideration to reopening breweries instead of lumping them in with bars.
“Most breweries have a lot more space and many have outdoor space and can allow separation,” he said.
The governor highlighted the decline in the number of coronavirus hospitalizations. A hospital census posted online by the state said there were 3,429 COVID-19 patients on Thursday, a drop from the more than 9,500 patients who were hospitalized with the illness on July 23.
Florida’s health department announced on Thursday 149 new deaths, raising the total death toll to 11,800.
Health officials also reported 3,571 new cases of people testing positive for COVID-19. That compares to highs of between 10,000 and 15,000 new cases per day in early to mid-July.
Florida has reported more than 637,000 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic.
The Minions Take Over Tampa Bay on Their Way to Villain-Con at Universal Orlando Resort
TAMPA BAY, Fla. — The beloved Minions from Illumination’s blockbuster film franchise made a detour through Tampa as they journey through Florida to get to Villain-Con – the largest convention for villains around the globe and the setting of Universal Orlando’s newest attraction, Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast. Located in the new Minion Land on Illumination Avenue, guests can blast their way to supervillain stardom when the attraction officially opens at Universal Orlando Resort on August 11, 2023.
Accuser who called Kevin Spacey ‘vile sexual predator’ admits he joked about incident
LONDON (AP) — An aspiring actor who accused Kevin Spacey of being a “vile sexual predator” who drugged and assaulted him when he sought his mentorship acknowledged Monday that he later joked with friends that he might resort to having sex with the Oscar winner if he couldn’t find work.
The man testified that he used humor to cope with the trauma he experienced after he fell asleep or passed out at the Hollywood star’s flat and woke up to find Spacey performing oral sex on him.
“It became a running joke and that’s me running with the joke,” he said of the mockery he made of the incident for a “sense of catharsis.”
The man is the fourth and final alleged victim to accuse the two-time Academy Award winner at trial of sexual assaults in Britain between 2001 and 2013 when Spacey worked at the Old Vic Theatre in London.
Spacey, 63, is on trial in a London court on 12 charges that include sexual assault, indecent assault and causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent. He denies all the allegations, and his lawyer has suggested the accusers are looking for payouts from Spacey.
The witness said he hadn’t complained about Spacey for nearly a decade after the 2008 incident because he wanted to work in the industry. He said it was a David vs. Goliath kind of situation and he feared “getting slammed by his lawyers.”
During cross-examination, defense lawyer Patrick Gibbs confronted the witness with the jokes he later made about Spacey and apparent texts or calls he made to the star after the incident.
The man acknowledged he initially resisted requests by police for phone data and social media accounts but denied obstructing the investigation, which couldn’t find his records from the time of the incident.
He denied staying in contact with Spacey for four months after the incident despite data from the actor’s phone that appeared to show phone calls and text messages to the witness’ number.
The man vigorously rejected suggestions he made up the allegations because he was ashamed of engaging in sexual relations with Spacey.
“This line of questioning is offensive,” he said. “Nothing happened that was consensual.”
The Associated Press doesn’t typically name alleged victims of sex crimes and British law bars providing information that could reveal their identities.
The witness said that Spacey was one of his idols and that he wrote to the actor because he “craved inspiration” and hoped to meet up for a coffee and advice. He said he was stunned when Spacey called him several weeks later and invited him to meet later that night for a drink.
He said he had heard Spacey was gay and liked young straight men but was naïve when he accepted the actor’s invitation to go up to his flat in the Waterloo area of London.
Only after smoking some marijuana and drinking beer did he get the sense that Spacey had other intentions, the witness said. He said Spacey gave him a hug and nuzzled his head in the man’s crotch. He said he pushed Spacey away and tried to make conversation.
“I was made to feel like I was being circled by a shark,” he testified.
He said he felt like he was drugged and became sleepy. He said he woke up five or six hours later sprawled on the sofa with his pants open and Spacey kneeling over him with his head in his crotch.
In the man’s interview with police played for jurors, he became choked up as he provided details about the incident that he said he had never told friends. He said he pushed Spacey away and the actor told him to leave.
Gibbs questioned the man’s timeline with records from Spacey’s phone that appeared to show the actor called him during the time he claimed to be out cold on the sofa. Gibbs suggested Spacey phoned the witness while he was on his way home after having consensual contact, but the man said Spacey probably called him while he was unconscious to cover his tracks.
The man said he decided to come forward in 2017 after Spacey was accused of sexual misconduct in the U.S. when the #MeToo movement erupted.
The man said he sued Spacey after an American lawyer told him he could win him $10 million, but denied he made up the allegations to cash in after years of financial struggles and a gambling problem that forced him to life off loans from friends and relatives.
He said he went to police after a friend told him he would be more credible if he reported a crime before filing suit.
The trial continues Tuesday before a jury of nine men and three women in Southwark Crown Court.
Spacey, who is free on unconditional bail, could face a prison sentence if he’s convicted.
One of Hollywood’s biggest names until sexual misconduct allegations derailed his career, Spacey won a best supporting actor Academy Award for the 1995 film “The Usual Suspects” and a lead actor Oscar for the 1999 movie “American Beauty.” He ran London’s Old Vic between 2004 and 2015.
PHOTOS: The Big Winners from the 2023 Cannes Film Festival
CANNES, France (FNN) – The world’s most glamorous red carpet and festival finally wrapped up Sunday. Here’s the list of the big winners from this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Palme d’Or: Anatomie d’Une Chute (Anatomy of a Fall) by Justine Triet
Grand Prix: The Zone of Interest by Jonathan Glazer
Best Director: Hûng Tran Anh for La Passion de Godin Bouffant
Prix du Jury (Jury Prize): Les Feuilles Mortes, directed by Aki Kaurismaki
Best Screenplay: Yuji Sakamoto for Monster, directed by Hirokazu Kore Eda
Best Performance by an Actress: Merve Dizdar in Les Herbes Eches, directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Best Performance by an Actor: Yakusho Koji in Perfect Days, directed by Wim WENDERS
Palme d’Honneur: Michael Douglas and Harrison Ford
Mellissa Thomas and international correspondent Patience Eding contributed to this report. | email@example.com
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