Japanese Fashion Designer Kenzo Takada Dies at 81 & Global News

by Debra Brown

Kenzo Takada

Each Wednesday, we recap the most important headlines from our global community to keep you up to speed on world news.


Japanese Fashion Designer Kenzo Takada Dies at 81

Japanese fashion designer Kenzo Takada, famous for creating the world-renowned Kenzo brand, has died from complications linked to COVID-19 at the age of 81, according to his spokesman.

Kenzo Takada, the iconic French-Japanese fashion designer, was famed for his jungle-infused designs and free-spirited aesthetic that channeled global travel.

Takada was hospitalized at the American Hospital of Paris in Neuilly-sur-Seine, a residential suburb on the western outskirts of the French capital, the spokesman told several French media outlets.

His death comes 50 years after he launched his first collection in Paris.

He retired from fashion in 1999, six years after selling his eponymous fashion brand to luxury conglomerate LVMH, and dedicated his time to one-off projects, including a design collection at the start of this year.


SCOTUS Sides With S.C. To Reinstate Witness Signature Mandate For Absentee Ballots

The eight-person Supreme Court sided with South Carolina to reinstate a mandate that absentee ballots require witness signatures, even as critics argue that the coronavirus puts an undue burden on voters to safely get a witness cosign on the ballots.

The order will not apply to ballots already cast or those mailed in within the next two days, but will apply to ballots going forward for the Nov. 3 general election.


Fighting Erupts with Former Soviet States Armenia and Azerbaijan 

Dozens of people have reportedly been killed and hundreds more wounded since fighting erupted between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

The two countries’ military forces are clashing over the Azerbaijani breakaway territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, with some major world powers backing opposing sides in the standoff.

Armenian and Azerbaijani forces have been engaged in intense fighting over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region, scuttling diplomatic efforts to reach a ceasefire to end the latest conflict that has killed hundreds of people.

The weapons used raise the risks of a direct conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, two former Soviet states divided by a long-running ethnic dispute and competing claims to the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The cause of the fighting is disputed. Azerbaijan said it responded to artillery fire across the frontline on Sept. 27. Armenia said the Azerbaijani offensive was unprovoked.

Armenia has said it is open to negotiating a cease-fire. Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev, told Al Arabiya television in an interview that the offensive would continue until Armenia withdrew support for the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, something that is highly unlikely to happen.

Negotiating a cease-fire now will be harder than it was during a previous escalation in 2016, said Olesya Vartanyan, a Caucasus analyst with the International Crisis Group, because Azerbaijan felt misled by that settlement. After the 2016 escalation, Russia brokered a truce with an assurance to return to Azerbaijan some territory occupied by ethnic Armenians in the 1990s fighting, but that never happened.


Geneva Adopts Possibly the Highest Minimum Wage in the World

Voters in Geneva, Switzerland, have agreed to introduce a minimum wage in the canton that is the equivalent of $25 an hour — believed to be the highest in the world.

According to government data, 58% of voters in the canton were in favor of the initiative to set the minimum wage at 23 Swiss francs an hour, which was backed by a coalition of labor unions and aimed at “fighting poverty, favoring social integration, and contributing to the respect of human dignity.”

While Switzerland has no national minimum wage law, Geneva is the fourth of 26 cantons to vote on the matter in recent years after Neuchâtel, Jura and Ticino.

Geneva is the 10th most expensive city in the world, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2020 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey. The roughly 4,000 Swiss francs workers will now earn puts them slightly above the poverty line of 3,968 Swiss francs for a household of two adults and two children younger than 14, as estimated by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office in 2018.

Switzerland is among the wealthiest nations in the world, but it wasn’t shielded from the damaging impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its economy.


Covid-19 at the Trump White House

Mr. Trump, who is still contagious, removed his mask on the balcony of the White House, while posing for pictures.

The president returned to the White House to continue his treatment for coronavirus after a three-night hospital stay.

The president’s discharge comes as more new cases have been reported among White House staff.

According to US public health guidelines, Mr. Trump should remain in isolation for up to 10 days after symptoms first appear. The White House says the president first started to appear ill on Thursday evening, and later tested positive.

Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to Donald Trump, is the latest person in the president’s orbit to test positive for Covid-19. The immigration hardliner who has espoused white nationalist views said he will quarantine following his diagnosis. His wife, Katie Miller, who is the press secretary to Mike Pence, contracted the coronavirus earlier this year.

In an email seen by the New York Times, White House staff were told to go to the second floor, where Trump is being treated, only if required. If there, those who had to go within six feet of the president were to wear gowns, surgical masks, eyewear and gloves. Others on the floor would need to wear only surgical masks and use hand sanitiser, the guidance said.

Top US military chiefs are quarantining after a senior coast guard official tested positive.


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