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  • Trump, Cuomo and the mystery of the missing masks

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    Earlier this month, Cuomo said that people were stealing face masks and other equipment needed to fight the coronavirus from area hospitals. On Monday, the New York governor dismissed a similar claim by the president.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 15:08:39 -0400
  • Are pot and guns essential in a pandemic?

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    As states and cities shut down all nonessential businesses to stop the spread of coronavirus, pot shops and gun stores are staying open in some places. Are they really essential?

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 15:44:57 -0400
  • Suspected SARS virus and flu samples found in luggage: FBI report describes China's 'biosecurity risk'

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    An FBI report about China’s involvement with scientific research in the U.S. has raised alarms. While the report refers broadly to foreign researchers, all three cases cited involve Chinese nationals.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 10:45:26 -0400
  • Rep. Velazquez has presumed COVID-19 infection, was near Pelosi, other lawmakers last week

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    Rep. Nydia Velazquez spoke on the House floor Friday and stood near Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the signing of the $2 trillion stimulus bill.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 15:28:00 -0400
  • 28 Texas spring breakers who just returned from Cabo have tested positive for the coronavirus

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    The spring breakers reportedly got on a chartered plane with 70 people. It shows why spring break is such a problem during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 17:28:50 -0400
  • Venezuela prosecutor's office summoned Guaido for 'attempted coup'

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    State prosecutors in Venezuela have summoned opposition leader Juan Guaido for an alleged "attempted coup d'etat" and attempted assassination, Attorney General Tarek William Saab announced Tuesday. In a statement broadcast on state television, Saab said Guaido had been summoned to appear before prosecutors next Thursday following an investigation last week into the seizure of a weapons cache in neighboring Colombia that he said was to be smuggled into Venezuela.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 11:16:54 -0400
  • AOC Drifts Away from Activist Left, Toward a More Conventional Staff and Political Strategy

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    Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has taken steps recently to collaborate more with the Democratic establishment, taking a less contentious approach and allying with fellow Democratic members.After urging fellow progressives in 2018 to run for office with the support of the progressive group the Justice Democrats, which supported her, the New York Democrat has declined to endorse most of the candidates the group is backing to oust incumbent Democrats in 2020.Of the six candidates the group is backing this time around, Ocasio-Cortez has endorsed Jessica Cisneros in Texas and Marie Newman in Illinois, both of whom are running against conservative Democrats who oppose abortion and were subsequently supported by several other high-profile Democrats.The move comes as the Justice Democrats are recruiting progressive candidates to run against liberals and moderate Democrats."We don’t usually endorse so far out," Ocasio-Cortez's communications director, Lauren Hitt said of the congresswoman's lack of endorsements for the group of candidates, according to Politico.Meanwhile, Ocasio-Cortez, who shot to notoriety in 2018 when she ousted powerful Democratic congressman Joe Crowley, is also replacing some of her more radical, progressive top aides with more conventional political professionals, Politico reported.The freshman congresswoman has also struck a more conciliatory tone towards Democratic leadership in recent months, in February calling Pelosi the “mama bear of the Democratic Party.”She also criticized supporters of her progressive ally, 2020 presidential contender Bernie Sanders, for their antagonistic behavior online.“There’s so much emphasis on making outreach as conflict-based as possible,” she said. “And sometimes I even feel miscast and understood. Because it’s about what tools you use, and conflict is one tool but not the only tool.”Nevertheless, Ocasio-Cortez has largely maintained her status as a progressive standard-bearer. Earlier this year, she endorsed a group of progressive women running for Congress on Friday through her political action committee, Courage to Change.In January, she announced that she would not pay dues to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which works to elect Democrats to the House.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 09:59:52 -0400
  • India and Pakistan crack down on Muslim group emerging as COVID-19 cluster

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    India and Pakistan sealed off centers belonging to a Muslim missionary group on Tuesday and began investigating how many coronavirus cases were linked to its activities. Tablighi Jamaat is a Deobandi Sunni Muslim missionary movement that preaches worldwide. India has so far registered 32 deaths from 1,251 confirmed infections, and Pakistan 20 from 1,914.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 04:21:17 -0400
  • Open coffins are left on roads to remind people to stay inside while soldiers shoot disinfectant from water cannons. Here's what lockdown for 57 million people in the Philippines looks like.

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    Despite the lockdown, on Sunday the Philippines reported a daily increase of 343 new coronavirus cases — its highest one day increase yet.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 23:12:43 -0400
  • Trump now says if 100,000 Americans die from coronavirus he will have done 'a very good job'

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    The president repeatedly cited a projection that as many as 2.2 million people would have died if the administration had “done nothing” to mitigate COVID-19’s spread.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 11:33:53 -0400
  • Cuomo Says Coronavirus Is ‘More Dangerous’ Than We Thought as N.Y. Cases Jump Overnight

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    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday acknowledged that the coronavirus is “more dangerous” than officials initially thought after more than 300 died across the state overnight.“I’m tired of being behind this virus. We’ve been behind this virus from day one,” Cuomo said at a Tuesday press conference in Albany. “We underestimated this virus. It’s more powerful, it’s more dangerous than we expected.” More than 1,500 people have died and 75,795 more have been infected with the virus in New York State, accounting for a 14 percent increase in the last 24 hours, Cuomo said. About 43,139 of those cases are in New York City, where the daily number of newly infected patients has fortunately dipped below 6,000 across the five boroughs over the last 24 hours.To date, more than 3,416 people have died and 174,467 individuals have been infected with the virus nationwide—a death toll that has eclipsed China’s official count.New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Implements ‘Stay at Home’ Order Amid Coronavirus PandemicCuomo said it could be weeks before New York sees the worst of the pandemic, stating that the apex may not be for 21 days. “We’re all anxious, we’re all tired, we’re all fatigued. It’s been all bad news for a long time. Our whole lifestyle has been disrupted. Everybody wants to know one thing, when will it end. Nobody knows,” Cuomo said. “We’re dealing with a war we’ve never dealt with before. We need a totally different mindset and organizational transformation.”  New York City’s hospitals have been struggling over the last week to keep up with the influx of patients. With over 10,900 residents hospitalized with the virus, including 2,700 patients in ICUs, Cuomo said that the health-care system still needs more supplies, space, and personnel. The state has ordered 17,000 ventilators from China to help hospitals, paying about $25,000 per machine.“It’s like being on Ebay with 50 other states bidding on a ventilator. How inefficient,” Cuomo said, noting that he only expects to receive about 2,500 machines from China because other states, the federal government, and Italy have also placed orders from the foreign government. “And then FEMA gets involved and FEMA starts bidding. And now FEMA is bidding on top of the 50. So FEMA is driving up the price. What sense does this make?” Cuomo asked.‘This Is a War’: Cuomo Pleads for Help From Doctors Across U.S. as Coronavirus Death Toll SurgesTo further combat the shortage, Cuomo reiterated his Monday plea to health-care workers across the United States for help with the increasing number of infected patients, promising the Empire State would return the favor whenever it’s over the “bell curve.” The governor said that while the state is working to get ahead of the virus, several projections indicate the “main battle at the apex” will occur anywhere between one week and 21 days from now. “We’re still going up the mountain," Cuomo said, adding that New York is struggling to curtail the surge and “you don’t win by playing catch up.”  “The main battle is at the top of the mountain, the apex of the curve.”So far, government officials have already taken extraordinary steps to combat the pandemic. On Monday, local officials opened the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center as a makeshift, 3,000-bed overflow hospital facility. The same day, a naval hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, arrived in Manhattan to help relieve hospitals of patients not infected with the virus. The ship, which was previously used as a floating base for rescue workers after 9/11, is currently equipped with 1,000 beds, 12 operating rooms, a medical laboratory, and over 1,000 officers.Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, in conjunction with a Christian aid organization, also converted a section of Central Park into a field hospital to help house the influx of COVID-19 patients. The tent-hospital, which holds 68 regular hospital beds, along with 10 ICU beds, opened on Tuesday.Despite the emergency steps that have already been taken, the chair of the department of surgery at Columbia University said Monday the toll of the virus at New York City hospitals is getting so serious that medical professionals could soon be forced to decide who gets treatment—and who doesn’t.One Mask Only: Coronavirus Docs and Nurses Forced to Make Terrifying CompromisesAccording to Dr. Craig Smith, the apex of the virus will be too overwhelming for the amount of beds currently in New York, forcing doctors and nurses to shift to using a triage method as a “fundamental operating principle in field hospitals.”“Triage determines who should be treated first, how they should be treated (surgery, fluid resuscitation, etc), and who should be kept comfortable,” Smith said in an update to Columbia faculty and staff about the pandemic response. “Broadly construed, we will all be operating more and more on field hospital principles as we move through the next few weeks.”NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Smith said, will have to “carefully ” select which COVID-19 patients to send home with oxygen, an oxygen saturation monitor, and a strict follow-up system. “Does this entail incompletely understood risk? It certainly does, but triage is an essential part of the resource/utility-balancing situation in which we find ourselves,” he said.The devastating effects of the pandemic in New York have rippled from health care to law enforcement. New York City Police Commissioner Dermont Shea said Tuesday that the virus has greatly affected the city’s law enforcement, as approximately 15 percent of the 37,000-member force has called out sick. NYC Is on the Brink as Patients Flood Hospitals Already ‘Under Siege’“We have the reserves, we have the contingency plans,” Shea said, stating that while about 5,500 officers are out sick, the NYPD is not extending shifts. He added that 17 NYPD members who tested positive for COVID-19 have since recovered.Seeming to take a jab at President Donald Trump’s failed prediction that the United States would be able to return to normal life by April 21, Cuomo later emphasized that it is unclear when things in his state will return to normal.“It is not going to be soon,” he said, urging residents to stay home and stressing there will not be “an Easter surprise.” “So calibrate yourself and your expectations, so you’re not disappointed every morning you get up.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 13:04:37 -0400
  • What does furlough mean? Can I leave my home under shelter-in-place? Coronavirus terms, explained

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    What does it mean when you hear New York is the coronavirus "epicenter" in the United States? Do doctors say they need ventilators or respirator?

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 09:18:55 -0400
  • 12 Buildings That Show the Beauty of Deconstructed Architecture

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    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 18:59:05 -0400
  • One country is refusing to shut down to stop the coronavirus

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    “It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees!” Lukashenko, who hit the ice for a weekend hockey game, said.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 12:35:28 -0400
  • Wuhan's death toll could be astronomically higher than the Chinese government has reported, some residents say

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    Officials in Wuhan, China, reported that 2,535 people in the city have died from COVID-19. Some residents suspect that's a severe undercount.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 16:45:33 -0400
  • Egypt Could Deepen Rate Cuts to Combat Virus, Central Bank Governor Says

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    (Bloomberg) -- Egypt has scope to further cut interest rates to combat the impact of the coronavirus on an economy that’s in good shape after sweeping reforms, the central bank governor said.Tarek Amer’s comments came after the central bank on Sunday introduced temporary cash withdrawal restrictions, a step he said was necessary after customers took 30 billion pounds ($1.9 billion) from banks in the past three weeks. The measure, which could be revisited soon, seeks to encourage people to use bank transfers and e-payments.“We want to stop putting cash under the mattress,” Amer said in an interview aired on local TV.The Arab world’s most populous nation, which has reported 609 cases of the virus and 40 deaths, has enacted other measures to support the economy, including deferring credit repayments for six months. The central bank is due to make its next rate decision Thursday.Amer said late Sunday that the economic program launched in 2016, which sharply devalued the currency and cut spending, has put Egypt in a position to withstand the crisis.While other economies could fall into recession in the second and third quarter of the year, Egypt will see only a dip in growth, he said. Also providing a cushion is the drop in global oil prices and an expected decline in the import bill, he said, adding that Egyptians typically spend $3.5 billion while traveling abroad -- cash that will now be saved.Egypt Makes Largest-Ever Rate Cut to Tackle Fallout of OutbreakWhile foreigners have withdrawn about $500 million from the stock market in the recent period, that will be more than offset by 20 billion pounds of central bank support for the bourse, Amer said.Other tools available include more rate cuts, Amer said. The monetary policy committee reduced key rates by 3 percentage points after an emergency meeting earlier this month, although that still left Egypt with one of the world’s highest real rates.Indicators such as inflation “are good,” Amer said.Other takeaways from the interview:Debt-installment payments that are being deferred for six months total around 1.8 trillion poundsEgypt has paid all obligations to foreign investors who sold off treasuriesExpects import bill to drop from slightly over $11.8 billion to $7 billionEgyptians traveling abroad spend around $3.5 billion; that money will now be saved, given travel restrictionsExpects government to cut fuel prices given the crash in global crudeFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 04:37:02 -0400
  • Meet Candy Sterling, a fierce drag queen at night and a corporate professional by day

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    This is Candy Sterling – a fierce drag queen who lights up the New York City nightlife while maintaining a professional day job. Get to know her both in and out of drag on this week's episode of Behind the Drag.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 14:26:09 -0400
  • New Zealand, a country of about 5 million, has 18 million masks in its reserves, with 80,000 being made every day

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    New Zealand's prime minister posted a video of masks being made in a factory and said, "I'll admit, I have watched this video more than once."

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 00:30:55 -0400
  • Trump says Democrats' push for expanded voting threatens Republicans

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    President Trump on Monday criticized attempts by Democrats in Congress to expand voting access for the presidential election in the fall, saying increased voter turnout would keep Republicans from getting elected.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 13:26:01 -0400
  • Stabbing of Asian-American 2-Year-Old and Her Family Was a Virus-Fueled Hate Crime: Feds

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    The vicious stabbing of an Asian-American family, including a 2-year-old girl, at a Sam’s Club in Texas earlier this month has been deemed a hate crime by the feds, as authorities continue to raise alarm bells about a potential surge in racially motivated crimes amid the coronavirus outbreak.Jose L. Gomez, 19, confessed to authorities that he attempted to murder three Asian-American family members, including the toddler and a 6-year-old, on March 14 at the Midland, Texas store, according to the Midland Police Department. Gomez, who stabbed the individuals and a Sam’s Club employee, is now facing several charges, including three counts of attempted capital murder and one count of aggravated assault. He is being held on several bonds totaling $1 million.“The suspect indicated that he stabbed the family because he thought the family was Chinese, and infecting people with coronavirus,” according to an FBI analysis report obtained by ABC News.Inside the Ugly Uber and Lyft Driver Freakout Over CoronavirusThe Texas incident was used in the report as one example of a recent surge in hate crimes and racially fueled violence targeting Asian-Americans as the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep the United States. According to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Midland Reporter-Telegram, Gomez attempted to kill the Asian-American family of four inside the wholesale store at about 7:30 p.m. When a Sam’s Club employee and another patron intervened, Gomez allegedly stabbed the patron in the leg and fingers with a knife. At one point, the customer was able to knock the knife away from Gomez during the struggle before the teenager was finally subdued by Border Patrol Agent Bernie Ramiez, who was off-duty and just leaving the store after shopping for groceries, the affidavit states.Ramirez later told CBS7 that during the altercation, he saw the store employee had managed to put Gomez in a chokehold after he had stabbed multiple people.“My initial thought was it was just the shortage of items that they were fighting over,” Ramirez told the local outlet. “So I just started making my way over there to break it up.”The agent added, “I’ve got close to 19 years in law enforcement. It’s crazy and it’s sad the way certain individuals think, their mindset. It’s a sad deal.”When authorities arrived at the Sam’s Club, investigators immediately began to question Gomez. The teenager then admitted to trying to kill the family and assaulting the patron with a knife, the affidavit states. Ramirez did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment and a spokesperson for Midland Mayor Patrick Payton’s office declined to comment, stating that the case has now been turned over to the FBI. According to the intelligence report that was compiled by the FBI’s Houston office and distributed to local law enforcement agencies across the nation, federal officials believe hate crimes will only increase as COVID-19 continues to spread.‘We’re Scared’: Doctors in New Coronavirus Hotspots Brace for ‘Tsunami’ of Patients“The FBI assesses hate crime incidents against Asian Americans likely will surge across the United States, due to the spread of coronavirus disease... endangering Asian American communities,” the report states. “The FBI makes this assessment based on the assumption that a portion of the US public will associate COVID-19 with China and Asian American populations.”To date, more than 3,416 people have died and 174,467 individuals have been infected with the virus nationwide—a death toll that has eclipsed China’s official count and put much of the United States on lockdown.Since then, several political and media commentators, including President Donald Trump, have adopted the practice of calling the pandemic the “China virus” or the “Wuhan virus.”“It did come from China,” Trump said at a March 19 White House briefing. “It is a very accurate term.”Many experts and political figures believe that officials using racial terms for the virus has contributed to discrimination against members of the Asian-American community. “This is a global emergency that should be met with both urgency and also cultural awareness that COVID-19 is not isolated to a single ethnic population,” Jeffrey Caballero, executive director of the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “Xenophobic attacks and discrimination towards Asian American communities are unacceptable and will not make our families safer or healthier.”California Gov. Gavin Newsom reiterated the FBI’s report findings, stating he has seen a “huge increase” in assaults targeting the Asian-American community in his state. In New York, Attorney General Leticia James launched a hotline for victims of coronavirus-related bias crimes. Since the surge, even Trump tried to backtrack on his language, tweeting on March 23, “It is very important that we totally protect our Asian American community in the United States, and all around the world. They are amazing people, and the spreading of the Virus is NOT their fault in any way, shape, or form. They are working closely with us to get rid of it. WE WILL PREVAIL TOGETHER!”‘This Is a War’: Cuomo Pleads for Help From Doctors Across U.S. as Coronavirus Death Toll SurgesAccording to one New York City medical social worker, racism is also rampant in the health-care system as Asian-American doctors and nurses struggle to care for patients who don’t want to be touched. “I get yelled at down the street coming into work from people in their cars saying all these really nasty things and telling me I should be punished for bringing the virus here,” the social worker told The Daily Beast last week. “Inside the hospital, I have heard from several Asian-American doctors and nurses that some patients don’t want to be treated by them because they think they already have the virus. It’s like we are the virus or something.”“It’s scary and it’s dangerous. We’re already putting ourselves on the line to help others. Don’t make it harder for us than it is,” she added. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 15:03:24 -0400
  • 29 Best Closet Organization Ideas to Maximize Space and Style

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    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 19:06:00 -0400
  • India’s coronavirus emergency just beginning as lockdown threatens to turn into human tragedy

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    A week after Narendra Modi ordered the largest national lockdown the planet has ever seen and Delhi's Bhogal market is little quieter than usual. Rather than being confined to home to stop the spread of Covid-19, large groups of residents instead huddle together in the shade, drinking tea and playing cards. Street vendors continue to hawk fresh fruit and vegetables and the police watch as daily life in the capital's backstreets continues, apparently content to enforce movement restrictions only on the capital's major thoroughfares. The failure to abide by the prime minister's decree is due to necessity, rather than defiance, said Muhammad Asif, 21, a cycle-rickshaw driver scanning the crowd for customers. The three-week-long social distancing precautions ordered by Mr Modi are an unaffordable luxury for tens of millions of daily-wage labourers.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 15:08:51 -0400
  • Too little too late? Experts decry Mexico virus policy delay

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    Mexico has started taking tougher measures against the coronavirus after weeks of its president hugging followers and saying religious medals would protect him. Some experts warn the sprawling country of 129 million is acting too late and testing too little to prevent the type of crisis unfolding across the border in the United States. Last week Mexico banned non-essential government work as confirmed cases climbed, but took until late Monday to extend that to other business sectors and to bar gatherings of more than 50 people.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 17:57:46 -0400
  • Women who left N.Y. for China amid U.S. coronavirus outbreak document their journey

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    “Because we're kind of in between these two cultures, we also understand both. So it feels like our experience could speak to both of the audiences.”

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 14:20:17 -0400
  • Captain of aircraft carrier asks U.S. Navy to evacuate crew amid 'accelerating' COVID-19 outbreak

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    The Navy captain said conditions on the ship are conducive to the spread of the coronavirus. "We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die," he said.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 20:41:54 -0400
  • U.S. will add 500 troops at Mexico border during coronavirus pandemic: officials

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    The Pentagon will send roughly 500 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to assist federal border agents amid the coronavirus pandemic, three U.S. officials told Reuters. The sources said the Pentagon approved a request by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The United States already maintains an average of 5,000 troops at the southwest border to support Border Patrol by performing non-law enforcement duties.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 16:14:52 -0400
  • Israeli police step up enforcement among ultra-Orthodox Jews

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    Israeli police are cracking down on gatherings in the country’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods. In recent days, they’ve used a drone, helicopter and stun grenades to prevent the spread of the coronavirus within the community. They’ve been met with occasional resistance and verbal abuse from the residents who have long chafed against the state -- with some youths even shouting ‘Nazis’ at police from their balconies. Israeli officials say the ultra-Orthodox community are especially prone to contagion as their districts tend to be poor and congested. They are accustomed to holding prayers three times a day with often large congregations. But residents like Menahem say they are trying (SOUNDBITE) (English) 28-YEAR-OLD MENAHEM ROITENBARG, AN ACCOUNTANT, SAYING: "It's very hard for us because normally here in this city we are always together and we like the community and (this past) couple of these days because we have to be careful we are trying to do the best even if it's much more harder than other places." Israel has reported over 4,000 coronavirus cases and 15 deaths - but the Health Ministry warned that the number of fatalities could eventually rise to the thousands. Stricter measures were put in place last week, instructing residents to stay within 100 meters of their homes. This includes the country’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu -- for now at least. The 70-year-old leader tested negative for COVID-19 on Monday after his aide was confirmed to be carrying the virus - but a spokesman says he will remain in isolation as a precaution.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 14:29:05 -0400
  • The White House projects that shutting down the US to stop the coronavirus could save 2 million lives

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    With shutdowns and social distancing, coronavirus deaths are projected to number between 100,000 and 240,000 people in the US.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 18:13:00 -0400
  • A Doctor Who Met Putin Just Tested Positive, and Russia’s COVID-19 Crackdowns Could Get Real Ugly.

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    MOSCOW—Amid a growing uproar in newly locked-down Russia, news broke on Tuesday that a doctor President Vladimir Putin met with just a week ago during a highly publicized visit to a coronavirus treatment facility has now tested positive for the infection himself. Widely disseminated photos of the visit showed Putin donning an orange hazmat suit, but he had also talked to Dr. Denis Protsenko extensively without protection and photographs show them together with very little "social distancing."Putin's spokesman says the Russian president is tested frequently for coronavirus infection and is just fine. But the news is bound to shake a country already racked by uncertainty, fear, and not a little anger.“You should find abandoned cells used to punish prisoners, cold ones with no food in them, lock them up there,” Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov declared as the Russian Federation went into a nationwide lockdown over the weekend. He was telling his security force commanders how to treat those who disobeyed the curfew and quarantine orders. “Throw them in a big hole, bury them, let them die in it."Most Russian officials are not as blunt and brutal as Kadyrov, a Putin protégé and the point man for some of the more ruthless actions carried out in support of the president. But the coronavirus crisis has brought to the fore the grim authoritarian instincts of several leaders in what was once the Soviet Bloc. As their people try to find masks and rubber gloves to protect themselves, dictators are raising their iron fists, not least, to protect their regimes. Others are still trying to pretend there's no problem at the moment. The crackdowns will come later.One of the most stunning moves was taken in Hungary, a member of the European Union, where the parliament passed a bill giving Prime Minister Viktor Orbán—one of Putin’s closest EU soulmates—virtually unlimited powers to rule by decree; suspending parliament; canceling elections; threatening up to five years in prison for those who spread “fake new” and rumors (read, criticism of the regime); and up to eight years in prison for those who break the quarantine. All this for as long as Orbán wants. “And there it is,” tweeted historian and columnist Anne Applebaum, “The European Union's first dictatorship. None of these powers is needed to fight the virus. But they will help distract and deter opposition, especially when it becomes clear that the government has no better plan.”Here in the Russian capital the picture is more mixed, because Putin himself has sent messages to the public almost as confusing and contradictory as those of President Donald J. Trump in the United States.For weeks and months, as thousands began dying from the disease in China—then Italy, France, Spain, around the world and now with a vengeance in the United States—many epidemiologists warned COVID-19 will kill millions if drastic measures are not taken to stop it. But Russia delayed the actions needed to prevent the worst outbreak scenarios.Putin Worries Coronavirus Could Screw Up His Constitutional ‘Coronation’It was obvious, as we reported, that President Vladimir Putin and his supporters did not want anything to interfere with a planned April 22 referendum to ratify his continued rule for at least another 16 years. It was also apparent that Russia did not want to let anything interfere with its May 9 Victory Day celebrations marking 75 years since the defeat of the Nazis. So the official number of infections in this country that borders the Chinese and European epicenters of the spreading plague remained implausibly low.Last week, the numbers caught up with the Kremlin, as cases became too numerous to deny, and Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin said flatly the infection rate was much higher than the government was admitting. The number of officially diagnosed Muscovites now exceeds 1,000, with at least nine people killed by the virus. On Tuesday last week, Russia’s Channel One announced: “Our president is on the front lines of the main war on the planet, the war with coronavirus.” Over the last two decades, Russians have seen Putin as a self-styled man of action mobilizing resources to make Russia stronger, richer, greater. TV channels showed the commander-in-chief in the cockpit of a fighter jet wearing a pilot’s uniform. His shirtless shots became iconic. He even appeared to guide migrant birds as he flew an ultra-light aircraft. And now the country watched Putin in a bright yellow hazmat suit touring Moscow’s new coronavirus hospital, although it appears he did not actually meet any coronavirus patients. Putin was giving the public its cue, once again, to follow the leader. And he did meet with the hospital’s chief physician, Dr. Denis Protsenko, whose positive test for coronavirus was just announced this Tuesday.Protsenko, 44, sounded straightforward when he spoke to the BBC last week. He said he was convinced that Russia should be ready for the “Italian scenario,” and that he personally was prepared to put diapers on and work 12 hours a day in intensive care units, like Chinese doctors did at the peak of the epidemic. “I personally would put Moscow on quarantine,” he declared, adding with tact worthy of Trump advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, “The question is about the price for closing down.”But in Putin’s address to the nation the next day, he did not use the word “quarantine” at all. To the relief of many, he announced that nobody would have to go to work until April 5, but they would be paid, and nobody would have to go to the polls to vote for constitutional changes on April 22. The referendum would be postponed.“If Putin made Russians go to polling stations next month, that would threaten thousands of lives; he is careful choosing his words now, he tries to secure his reputation,” Ilya Yashin, a Moscow municipal deputy, told The Daily Beast.After coronavirus cases tripled in many Russian regions on Thursday, Putin ordered most public places closed, including city parks.“If Russia’s epidemics develop like the Italian scenario, which is quite possible, there will be no way for him to secure his reputation—the entire responsibility will be on the government,” said Yashin. If that happens, one can expect even Putin himself to show the iron fist. But for the moment in the nation’s capital that has not yet hammered down. And many Russians, a famously fatalistic people, appear unimpressed with the twin threats of tyranny and pandemic.On Sunday, most of the Russian capital’s downtown was still open, and public transport as well. Bars were closed, but young people continued to hang out in hidden corners. Skateboarders focused on their kickflips, as if no epidemic mattered. A group of hipsters outside a still-open bookstore listened to a girl read aloud, her face pink in the light of sunset. The poem was one of Joseph Brodsky’s: “They loved to sit together on a hillside...” Then on Sunday night, Russia slammed its doors a little harder, in a pattern now familiar to countries around the world: governments first try to persuade, and when that fails, as it usually does, they try to enforce the quarantines and distancing. A few hours before midnight Sunday night, authorities finally announced a complete lockdown for the capital and its 11 million residents. Police cars with loudspeakers began to order pedestrians to hurry back home: everyone in the city now had to stay in their apartments, leaving only for the closest grocery or drug store, or to walk a dog no more than 100 meters from home—the kinds of restrictions imposed in much of Western Europe for weeks now, and in Italy for more than a month. Moscow was joining the club of almost three billion self-isolating people around the globe. Moscow Mayor Sobyanin declared that the epidemic was entering “a new phase.”Yet, as of Monday, authorities reported every fifth Muscovite violated the new regime. Even pro-Kremlin Russian experts said the measures came too late—with all the terrifying examples in the West to prove the point. “It was great we closed down Russia’s border with China in January, but Moscow should have given people a week off from work earlier this month, and authorities should have banned all travel by trains and airplanes from Moscow to other regions,” pro-Kremlin political analyst Sergei Markov told The Daily Beast on Monday morning. “That would have protected more than 55 regions, which are now also infected.”  By Monday afternoon, 71 out of 85 Russian regions had reported coronavirus cases—the epidemic is spreading around the world’s largest country like windblown fire through dry grass, affecting its poorest and most vulnerable people even in remote corners of the federation.An infected resident who apparently contracted the disease on a trip to Cuba brought it to the remote town of Apatity, about 1,000 miles north of Moscow, in the Murmansk region. By the weekend, according to television reports, dozens of people in Apatity and nearby Kurskiy were checking into hospitals with coronavirus symptoms, so authorities had to shut down both towns for self-isolation on Monday.The sale of alcohol, wine as well as vodka, has jumped by at least 20 percent compared to March 2019. As for protection from the virus, there was none available. As happened in so many other countries, every pharmacy in town was out of masks and hand sanitizer. Yet many Russians found a kind of perverse courage by comparing what seemed the hypothetical threat of the virus with all too substantive difficulties and dangers of everyday life.A video clip of a song steeped in slavic fatalism mocked the pandemic. Russia is used to nightmares, it proclaimed: “First, our blood is full of alcohol, the whole of life is folded into a black hole; Authorities hypnotize us and sell us out, but we have no infected fellas in our favelas.” Why be worried about COVID-19 if you risk being eaten by a bear or getting killed by a policeman, the authors say. “We lost all our ability to be afraid,” the song concluded: “We don’t give a shit.” The polls reflect that sort of attitude. According to social research by Romir Holding, 54 percent of Russians do not believe in the danger of the COVID-19 pandemic. And, even now, the only man Russians listen to, commander of the coronavirus war Vladimir Putin, still has not given clear instructions about the deadly outbreak, or how to avoid getting infected. Nobody clearly predicted the scale of the epidemic’s storm coming to Russia, nobody talked about the exponential growth of the outbreak in the United States and Europe except to crow as if Russia somehow were exempt.In announcing the week off, Putin did ask Russians not to rely on  traditional “avos,” the typical carelessness and fatalism traditional in the nation’s approach to the dark promise of the future, but the message seems to have been taken with, well, fatalism and carelessness.Moscow is still in the early stages of the inevitable nightmare, when confusion and defiance mingle with fear. So hairdressers are still working, and without masks. Women are going to them without taking the slightest precautions. This, even as thousands of people who suspect they’ve been infected are calling a coronavirus hotline.Russia Claimed It Created a Coronavirus Cure, but It’s an American Malaria DrugEarlier this week Yulia Galyamina, a Moscow politician and scientist lost her sense of smell, developed a fever, and felt weak. Those are all signs of infection. But as in other countries, she found it impossible to get a test unless she could prove she was at death’s door. She called a doctor and the agency supervising tests, but they said they could do nothing for her. “A district [government] doctor said since I was not terribly sick, I could not get tested,” Galyamina told The Daily Beast. “Private labs ask you not to show up if you have had symptoms in the past week.” On Saturday, authorities admitted that 166,000 Russians are on a coronavirus watch list—not confirmed with infection, but suspected of having the contagion or of being at risk. That’s a worrisome number. It suggests the observable cases are vastly higher than those confirmed, and again raises the question of why no clear determination had been made about many of them weeks ago.“Moscow Mayor Sobyanin had guts to tell Putin right into his face on Tuesday that the real situation is much worse than the official reports say,” Vladimir Ryzhkov, professor at the Higher School of Economics, told The Daily Beast. Earlier this month, Putin said that the situation with coronavirus was “under control.” Authorities told Russians not to spread fake news about the pandemic threat. When there were still just a few cases of COVID-19 in Russia, Anastasia Kirilenko, The Insider’s investigative reporter, heard tragic news from Novosibirsk: her 34-year-old cousin died of pneumonia. The Russian health system is in miserable shape in the regions, dozens of district clinics closed in rural remote towns all across the country in the past few years.“Regional paramedics diagnosed my cousin, a young and healthy man, with acute respiratory viral infection but did not do an x-ray to check why he had a high temperature during the last month of his life,” Kirilenko told The Daily Beast. “Now we wonder if my cousin had coronavirus just like thousands of other Russians who are said to have only pneumonia.”  Christopher Dickey also contributed to this article.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 04:49:57 -0400
  • IG Horowitz Found ‘Apparent Errors or Inadequately Supported Facts’ in Every Single FBI FISA Application He Reviewed

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    The Justice Department inspector general said it does “not have confidence” in the FBI’s FISA application process following an audit that found the Bureau was not sufficiently transparent with the court in 29 applications from 2014 to 2019, all of which included “apparent errors or inadequately supported facts.”Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a report in December which found that the FBI included “at least 17 significant errors or omissions in the Carter Page FISA applications and many errors in the Woods Procedures” during its Crossfire Hurricane investigation of the 2016 Trump campaign. After releasing the report, Horowitz said that he would conduct a further investigation to see if the errors identified in the Page application were widespread.“The concern is that this is such a high-profile, important case. If it happened here, is this indicative of a wider problem — and we will only know that when we complete our audit — or is it isolated to this event?” Horowitz told lawmakers during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing. “Obviously, we need to do the work to understand that.”Horowitz’s office said in a report released Tuesday that of the 29 applications — all of which involved U.S. citizens – that were pulled from “8 FBI field offices of varying sizes,” the FBI could not find Woods Files for four of the applications, while the other 25 all had “apparent errors or inadequately supported facts.”"While our review of these issues and follow-up with case agents is still ongoing—and we have not made materiality judgments for these or other errors or concerns we identified—at this time we have identified an average of about 20 issues per application reviewed, with a high of approximately 65 issues in one application and less than 5 issues in another application," the report reveals.The Woods Procedure dictates that the Justice Department verify the accuracy and provide evidentiary support for all facts stated in its FISA application. The FBI is required to share with the FISA Court all relevant information compiled in the Woods File when applying for a surveillance warrant.“FBI and NSD officials we interviewed indicated to us that there were no efforts by the FBI to use existing FBI and NSD oversight mechanisms to perform comprehensive, strategic assessments of the efficacy of the Woods Procedures or FISA accuracy, to include identifying the need for enhancements to training and improvements in the process, or increased accountability measures,” the report states.The OIG concludes by recommending that the FBI "systematically and regularly examine the results of past and future accuracy reviews to identify patterns or trends in identified errors" relating to the Woods Procedure, as well as double-checking "that Woods Files exist for every FISA application submitted to the FISC in all pending investigations."In a letter acknowledging the audit, FBI Associate Deputy Director Paul Abbate said that the issues "will be addressed" by the Bureau's already-issued correctives after the Carter Page review, and added that "the FBI fully accepts the two recommendations."President Trump has relentlessly attacked the FBI's FISA process and the abuses it allowed during the surveilling of his 2016 campaign. He has argued that the FISA abuses invalidate the entire investigation, which he has referred to as an “illegal attempted coup,” and slammed the officials involved, including former FBI director James Comey and former acting FBI director Andy McCabe.McCabe admitted in January that the FBI has an “inherent weakness in the process” of obtaining FISA warrants.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 11:13:29 -0400
  • India manhunt after Islamic gathering becomes virus hotspot

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    A large religious gathering in New Delhi has sparked a manhunt across India for suspected coronavirus cases after being linked to dozens of infections and several deaths. The gathering emerged as one of India's major virus hotspots after thousands flocked to an Islamic religious centre in the Nizamuddin West neighbourhood of Delhi. Some returned home to other states after the gathering, but many remained in the vicinity, saying they were trapped because public transport had been shut down due to the virus.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 09:08:30 -0400
  • Some doctors are telling patients to switch from contact lenses to glasses to lower their risk of contracting the coronavirus

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    Evidence suggests the coronavirus can enter the body through the eyes, so some eye doctors say glasses are safer.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 12:23:00 -0400
  • Man planned to bomb hospital during pandemic to publicize white supremacist views

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    Timothy Wilson, 36, died March 24 when the FBI sought to arrest him after a six-month investigation.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 16:13:00 -0400
  • The coronavirus is spreading quickly through Israel's ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities

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    In Israel, the coronavirus is spreading in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities up to eight times faster than anywhere else in the country.Ultra-Orthodox Jews account for 12 percent of Israel's population, but they make up 40 to 60 percent of coronavirus patients at four of the country's largest hospitals, officials told Israeli media. Health experts said the virus is moving so quickly in these communities because the ultra-Orthodox have large families, don't trust the government, and pay little to no attention to secular media. Many are also still gathering for prayers and funerals, despite all Israelis being ordered to stay home.Bnei Brak is a suburb of Tel Aviv, and 95 percent of the population is ultra-Orthodox. On Friday, there were 267 confirmed coronavirus cases, and by Monday, that number climbed to 508. Several hundred mourners gathered in Bnei Brak on Saturday night for the funeral of a rabbi, prompting furious secular Israelis to call on the government to place Bnei Brak under curfew. On Monday, a New York Times journalist and photographer were told to leave a synagogue in the suburb where morning services were being held, and they walked past several groups meeting furtively for prayers.Bnei Brak has just one hospital, and its director general, Dr. Moti Ravid, told the Times he would like authorities to prohibit residents from leaving for at least one week, to slow down the coronavirus' spread. There are lots of small children living in the town, and "if they help to infect others, the result will be that many old people will die," he said.More stories from theweek.com Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is what real coronavirus leadership looks like The case for cautious optimism about the pandemic The next 2 weeks are going to be 'tough' and 'painful,' Trump warns

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 02:07:00 -0400
  • US outlines plan for Venezuela transition, sanctions relief

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    The Trump administration is prepared to lift crippling sanctions on Venezuela in support of a new proposal to form a transitional government requiring both Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaidó to step aside in favor of a five-person governing council, U.S. officials said. The one-page “Democratic Transition Framework for Venezuela” was presented Tuesday by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. It echoes a proposal made over the weekend by Guaidó that shows how growing concerns about the coronavirus, which threatens to overwhelm the South American country's already collapsed health system and economy, are reviving U.S. attempts to pull the military apart from Maduro.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 07:08:13 -0400
  • China zeroes in on coronavirus patients with no symptoms as new infections rise

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    SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) - China will start releasing information from Wednesday on coronavirus patients who show no disease symptoms, ordering them into quarantine for 14 days, a health official said, after the mainland witnessed its first rise in infections in five days. As local infections peter out and new cases surface among travelers returning home, the existence of virus carriers with no symptoms is fuelling public concern that people could be spreading it without knowing they are ill. From April 1, the daily report of the National Health Commission will include details of such cases for the first time, Chang Jile, a commission official, told a briefing.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 20:54:20 -0400
  • J&J just sped up the timeline for its coronavirus vaccine, and said it could be ready for emergency use early next year

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    The drugmaker said human testing will start no later than September on the potential coronavirus shot.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 09:13:00 -0400
  • CNN’s Jim Acosta: ‘This Was a Different Trump’ at Coronavirus Briefing

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    CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta, known for his rough-and-tumble verbal battles with President Donald Trump, likely raised eyebrows among CNN viewers on Tuesday night when he praised the president’s new tone at the latest White House press briefing, claiming “this was a different Trump.” Just days after pushing for coronavirus restrictions to be loosened by Easter so as to reopen the economy, the president admitted on Tuesday that at least 100,000 Americans would likely die from COVID-19 and Americans had a “very tough two weeks” ahead of them.During the briefing, Acosta asked whether projections of up to 200,000 deaths would be lower if Trump had acted sooner, prompting the president to insist that he did act early. Though Acosta would continue to press him on whether he waited too long to take the pandemic seriously, Trump did not spar with his longtime nemesis, even noting at one point that Acosta’s question was “fair.”Appearing on CNN later in the evening, Acosta told anchor Anderson Cooper that the president and the rest of the White House coronavirus task force delivered a sober message to the public that they’ll need to be prepared for a heavy death toll. Saying this was the “most stunning briefing” he ever sat through, calling it “downright chilling,” Acosta said he had “never seen President Trump like this” and insisted he believes that the president is “scared right now” and everyone in that room could feel it.After noting that he tried to ask Trump and the coronavirus task force members if a lack of preparedness resulted in the grim casualty projections, only to get mixed answers, Acosta then credited the president for seemingly understanding how dire the situation now is.“The stark message we got in the briefing room this evening is unmistakable,” the CNN reporter said. “This country is about to go through a horrendous terrible experience, and I have to tell you, people may not believe the president when he says any of this, and I have been—you and I have been, you know, pretty critical of him from time to time.”“Yeah,” Cooper replied.“This was a different Donald Trump tonight,” Acosta concluded. “I think he gets it, Anderson.”“We'll see,” a skeptical Cooper reacted.The CNN correspondent wasn’t the only political reporter to come away impressed by the president’s perceived change in tone. “Trump sounding different today,” The New York Times’ Eric Lipton tweeted during the briefing. “Scale of death appears to have changed his tone, at least.”Acosta saying Trump finally “gets it” comes after fellow White House reporter, ABC News’ Jonathan Karl, blasted Acosta over his pugnacious and combative style, saying that while he’d defend Acosta’s “right to report” he doesn’t think “we should act like we are part of the resistance.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 21:00:39 -0400
  • No, America’s Response to Coronavirus Isn’t the Worst in the World

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    The coronavirus pandemic is already a catastrophe. How we fare in comparison to the rest of the world is hardly of paramount importance. Once the Chinese government hid the outbreak, failed to contain it, and then misled the world, there remained little possibility that any nation, much less an enormous and open society like the United States, was going to be spared its devastation.Yet, when the political media isn’t preoccupied with a gotcha du jour, pundits, partisans, and journalists have seemed downright giddy to let their minions know that the United States now has the most coronavirus cases in the world. It took a six-siren-emoji tweet from MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough to tell us that fact.Here is how the New York Times’ Paul Krugman framed the number:> America's response to the coronavirus is the worst in the world, which is shocking and has a lot to do with a leader who is completely unfit, temperamentally and intellectually, for the job 1/ pic.twitter.com/sGZuFUukgr> > -- Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) March 29, 2020A Nobel Prize–winning economist surely understands that we don’t have enough data to definitively declare the United States the world leader in cases. Even if we did, it doesn’t necessarily follow that this is the fault of public policy. There are plenty of unexplained coronavirus disparities around the world.The Financial Times chart that that is circulated by Krugman and his fellow pundits, and sometimes cynically deployed as a means of attacking the administration’s response, is largely useless as a point of comparison. For one thing, a graph illustrating per capita cases in all the nations that the Financial Times chart includes looks different. A chart that combined all the cases in European nations — the continent has approximately the same population as the United States — would also look dramatically different. The known cases in Spain and Italy alone are nearly twice as many as the United States right now.Cross-country comparisons at a given point in time fail to account for many things, including density and time. Iceland is not like Italy, and New York is not like Alaska. And simply because nations such as Italy and Spain experienced outbreaks earlier and more deadly than nations such as Germany and Sweden does not mean the disparities are destined to last.Moreover, testing in the United States began slowly before being ratcheted up quickly (and criticism of that delay is a fair one). Thus, the curve reflects the reality of expanded testing as much as it reflects reality of the disease. And though I’m not a statistician, I do know that nations have varied criteria for testing, varied standards of testing, and varying effectiveness in the testing they do perform. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese coronavirus tests sent to European nations, for example, have turned out to faulty. The data are incomplete. Krugman’s claim lacks vital context.Speaking of China, accepting the veracity of numbers offered by the ChiCom government without any skepticism might be good enough for The New York Times and other outlets, but it shouldn’t be enough for anyone who values facts.It’s also worth mentioning that the timeline of these charts are also uncertain. It’s unlikely we know when the tenth or hundredth case was actually transmitted in China or Iran or even here -- and it’s possible that some people had died and some others had recovered before most people understood the magnitude of the future pandemic.All of this is worth keeping in mind when as we see journalists harping on the overall case number without context. If you want to continue to utilize this once-in-a-century pandemic as a cudgel against your political adversaries, have fun. But the most important gauges of success right now are flattening the curve so that hospitals aren’t overwhelmed with new patients, ramping up our testing capacity to get a better handle on the virus’s properties, and measuring the number of recoveries from coronavirus. Not owning Donald Trump.The United States has already dealt with coronavirus far better than the Chinese government. The fatality rate in the U.S., so far, is nowhere near that of Italy. Our dynamism is one of the reasons why an early high case count is a not a measure of either national success or failure. It’s not our nature to allow the state to close down borders, travel, or trade, or to stop interactions with the world — or with each other, for that matter. And yet, many of same people who incessantly and cynically warned of the coming Fourth Reich are now blaming the administration for not acting like a dictatorship. It’s difficult to keep up.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 16:02:37 -0400
  • Coronavirus: Anger as migrants sprayed with disinfectant in India

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    Footage shared thousands of times shows a group of workers in India being sprayed with chemicals.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 09:33:59 -0400
  • Coronavirus: Number of Louisiana patients on ventilators doubles in five days

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    Louisiana's patients hospitalised for coronavirus and the number of patients on life-saving ventilators have doubled within the last five days, the state's governor has announced.The state also saw a one-day surge in more than 1,200 confirmed cases of Covid-19, a 30 per cent increase that brings the statewide total to more than 5,200.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 10:51:38 -0400
  • U.S. set to lose title as top oil producer as demand plunges and gas drops below $1 per gallon

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    Gas has dipped below $1 a gallon in Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Wisconsin — but most people are not driving.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 12:57:27 -0400
  • Researchers record 1st-ever heat wave in East Antarctica

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    This January, East Antarctica — an area that previously seemed to be spared from climate warming — experienced its first recorded heat wave.The heat wave was recorded at the Casey Research Station between Jan. 23 and 26, marking the area's highest temperature ever at 48.6 degrees Fahrenheit, while minimum temperatures stayed above 32 degrees Fahrenheit, according to research in Global Change Biology.A rarity in Antarctica, heat waves are known as "three consecutive days with both extreme maximum and minimum temperatures," according to the research.Meanwhile, Denman Glacier — a large glacier in East Antarctica — appears to be rapidly retreating. Its position above the world's deepest known canyon may be causing it to melt faster than it can recover, according to a letter in Geophysical Research Letters, Live Science reports.As the glacier retreats, warm water fills the canyon, which could cause a feedback loop that returns all of the glacier's ice to the ocean, leading to about 5 feet of global sea level rise, reports Live Science. Researchers concluded the retreating of the glacier should be a "wake-up call" to scientists who believed melting in East Antarctica to be less of a threat than that of west Antarctica."Although it is too early for full reports, this warm summer will have impacted Antarctic biology in numerous ways," researchers wrote in their letter on Global Change Biology, noting disruption to ecosystem, community, and populations scales.More stories from theweek.com Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is what real coronavirus leadership looks like The case for cautious optimism about the pandemic The next 2 weeks are going to be 'tough' and 'painful,' Trump warns

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 16:01:31 -0400
  • Defense lawyer in death of 7 motorcyclists: Biker at fault

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    One of the motorcyclists in a crash that killed him and six fellow bikers on a north woods highway was drunk and actually was the one who hit a pickup and caused the accident, the lawyer for the truck driver charged with homicide said in a document made public Tuesday. A New Hampshire State Police account of the June 21 crash in the community of Randolph “was deeply flawed," the lawyer for truck driver Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 24, of West Springfield, Massachusetts, said in a motion filed Friday that seeks a hearing to set him free on bail. State police initially determined that the flatbed trailer he was hauling was 1 1/2 feet over the center line at the time of impact, the motion said.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 13:33:50 -0400
  • Outrage in India as migrants sprayed with disinfectant to fight coronavirus

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    Indian health workers caused outrage on Monday by spraying a group of migrants with disinfectant, amid fears that a large scale movement of people from cities to the countryside risked spreading the coronavirus. Footage showed a group of migrant workers sitting on a street in Bareilly, a district in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, as health officials in protective suits used hose pipes to douse them in disinfectant, prompting anger on social media. Nitish Kumar, the top government official in the district, said health workers had been ordered to disinfect buses being used by the local authorities but in their zeal had also turned their hoses on migrant workers.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 11:12:43 -0400
  • Mexico's president defends his handshake with 'El Chapo' Guzman's mother — a 'respectable old lady'

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    The president said corruption is a much bigger threat to Mexico than a 92-year-old woman "who deserves my respect."

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 16:35:46 -0400
  • In Venezuela shift, US asks Guaido to renounce power -- for now

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    The United States on Tuesday called on Venezuela's Juan Guaido to renounce his claim to the presidency at least temporarily as it recalibrated its strategy to oust leader Nicolas Maduro. In a shift after more than a year of US-led efforts to topple the leftist Maduro, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Maduro and Guaido should set up a transitional government to arrange elections in six to 12 months.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 11:23:43 -0400
  • Huawei warns U.S. that China will strike back

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    Huawei has a warning for Washington. It says China will strike back against new U.S. restrictions on the firm. The comments come as the world's largest maker of telecoms equipment reported its weakest annual profit growth in three years. Net profit for 2019 came in at just under 9 billion dollars - up just 5.6%, compared to a 25% jump a year earlier. Huawei has been hit hard by U.S. restrictions. Washington says its gear is open to access by Chinese spies - a charge the firm strongly denies. Donald Trump's administration is now preparing fresh measures to limit the supply of chips to the firm. But Huawei's chairman says Beijing is sure to retaliate. Eric Xu says it could ban smartphones and other gear made by U.S. firms. Tuesday (March 31) also saw a glimmer of hope for the sector though, at least in China. Huawei rival Xiaomi says it sees signs that phone sales are getting back to normal there. After tumbling due to the coronavirus outbreak, the firm says sales are now 80% or 90% recovered.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 11:02:16 -0400
  • Why Taiwan has become a problem for WHO

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    Taiwan is effectively locked out of the World Health Organization - and tensions are rising.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 01:23:24 -0400
  • New coronavirus death rate estimates show how sharply the risk rises with age

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    The fatality rate for people infected with the novel coronavirus is estimated to be less than 1%, according to a new study. It's 1.38% for those with COVID-19.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 17:21:59 -0400
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