The giant panda cub twins at Zoo Berlin explored the panda garden with their mother on Wednesday. Zoo visitors will get their first look at the five-month-old twins on Thursday.
President Trump addressed the nation from the White House briefing room on Wednesday evening in an effort to calm anxieties about the rapid proliferation of coronavirus. In a seeming acknowledgement that the White House response has lacked clarity and cohesion, Trump announced he was putting Vice President Mike Pence in charge of the effort to stem the spread of the virus in the U.S. “I don't view Mike as a czar,” Trump said, though he did not explain what, exactly, Pence's duties would be. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar had previously been in charge of the coronavirus response.
As the novel coronavirus continues to spread beyond China, the U.S. military announced its first confirmed case and commanders across the globe braced for the worst. Shortly afterward, USFK raised its risk level to “high” and restricted U.S. military personnel from attending “non-essential” gatherings at restaurants, bars, clubs and theaters away from their installations. South Korea, where 28,500 U.S. troops are based, had 977 confirmed cases of the virus by Tuesday, with 10 deaths, according to the World Health Organization, making it the second-hardest-hit country after China, where the virus originated.
An Oklahoma man convicted of kidnapping his stepdaughter as a child and holding her in captivity for nearly 20 years has been sentenced to life in prison, prosecutors said Tuesday. Henri Michelle Piette was found guilty in June by a federal jury of kidnapping and traveling with intent to engage in a sexual act with a juvenile following a seven-day trial that detailed the horrific conditions Rosalynn McGinnis endured. Piette repeatedly raped and abused her and fathered her nine children during the nearly two-decade ordeal, which began when Piette kidnapped her in 1997 when she was 12 years old.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador suggested Wednesday without offering evidence that most of those who die in Mexico's cartel- and gang-fueled firefights are high on drugs or intoxicated, prompting criticism and questions about whether the claim was accurate. Speaking to journalists in his morning news conference, López Obrador said rising drug consumption rates must be reversed if the country is to guarantee peace and security after years of rising, record-setting homicide statistics. “Just so you have the number, 60% of those who lose their life each day, 60% of those killed in clashes, it is shown that they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but primarily drugs,” the president continued.
Iran's deputy health minister was drenched in sweat at the press conference on Monday where he vehemently denied Tehran was covering up the extent of the coronavirus outbreak. The irony of Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi's case would be funny almost, were Iran's conspicuous bungling of the coronavirus threat not a menace to the whole region and, indeed, to the world. As The Daily Beast's partner publication, IranWire, revealed in an exclusive report Thursday, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has tried to address the epidemic by telling doctors to shut up about it, much as Chinese authorities in Wuhan did, disastrously, when the disease was just starting to spread last December.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday revealed there was a secret plan to use a double to make public appearances for him, while insisting he vetoed it -- and that he is the real Putin. Putin's comments showed that a conspiracy theory widespread on the internet that the Russian strongman has been impersonated over the years or even replaced by a lookalike is not entirely without basis. TASS state news agency showed Putin a list of popular Russian-language Internet searches including "Putin double proof".
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) again apologized Wednesday for previously incorrectly claiming tribal heritage and releasing DNA results that claimed to reveal she had Native American ancestry. The most recent apology was in response to a letter from several members of the Cherokee Nation, as well as members of other tribes standing in solidarity, calling on her to go beyond acknowledging her mistakes and do her part to dispel beliefs spread by white people claiming Native heritage. In a response letter, Warren affirmed she understood all three of those points, and thanked the Cherokee Nation for holding her "accountable," while also highlighting actions she has taken as a lawmaker as well as provisions she has included in her presidential campaign plans with tribal interests in mind.
Michael Bloomberg is reportedly trying to convince entreprenuer and former presidential candidate Andrew Yang to join his campaign as his running mate. According to individuals with knowledge of the discussion, aides working with the former New York City mayor reportedly reached out to Mr Yang to discuss how the businessmen could join forces in Mr Bloomberg's quest for the Democratic nomination. The Wall Street Journal reported that Mr Yang hasn't committed to join forces.
Islamist militant groups in Nigeria have begun targeting Christians in an attempt to provoke a religious war, the information minister said on Thursday. Islamist insurgents in Nigeria have killed around 35,000 people and displaced at least two million in the past decade, driven first by Boko Haram and more recently by its offshoot, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP). Information Minister Lai Mohammed said jihadist groups in the northeast of the country have now adopted a "deliberate policy of attacking Christians."
President Trump held a news conference on Wednesday evening where he discussed his administration's response to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic. Elements of the response outlined by Trump mirror things he specifically criticized President Barack Obama for during the ebola outbreak in 2014. Trump sent nearly 50 tweets and made multiple media appearances criticizing Obama's handling of the ebola outbreak in 2014.
CDC officials warned on Tuesday that the coronavirus could spread in the US. Health experts say the US is already lagging behind other countries in terms of testing for the virus. "It's not so much of a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more of a question of exactly when this will happen," Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in a press briefing.
A former New Jersey woman and her son face murder and conspiracy charges in the killings 25 years ago of her husband and sister. Dolores Morgan, 66, and Ted Connors, 47, both of Delray Beach, Florida, were indicted Wednesday for the 1994 and 1995 killings of Ana Mejia and Nicholas Connors, said the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office in New Jersey. Prosecutors allege Ted Connors carried out the murders with his best friend, Jose Carrero, who has admitted to conspiring with the mother and son in the two killings 25 years ago.
Joe Biden says he isn't worried about the prospect of President Trump refusing to leave his post if he's defeated in November.
An Iranian parliament spokesman on Wednesday announced that anyone found to be “spreading rumors” about the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak will be sentenced to one-to-three years in prison and flogging, Iran state news agency IRNA reported. Norouzi said the prison sentence and flogging is based on “on the Islamic penal code,” and 24 people have been arrested already on suspicion of “spreading rumors” about the illness. Iran has reported 139 cases of coronavirus infections throughout the country, with an epicenter in the city of Qom, a destination for Shi'ite Muslim religious pilgrims.
The man who opened fire at the Molson Coors plant Wednesday, killing five co-workers and himself, had been involved in a long-running dispute with a co-worker that boiled over, according to law enforcement and brewery sources who spoke to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Anthony N. Ferrill, 51, had worked as an electrician for more than 20 years, about 17 of them at Molson Coors, according to multiple sources and online employment records. A co-worker who asked not to be identified for fear of being disciplined said Ferrill believed he was being discriminated against because he was African American and that he frequently argued with at least one of the victims, a fellow electrician.
In front of him was a stick-wielding mob of up to 500 men, cheering loudly and throwing flaming tyres into his shop as deadly sectarian violence swept India's capital. The market in Gokulpuri was just one of many poor, congested neighbourhoods in northeast Delhi ransacked by rampaging mobs on Monday and Tuesday as battles broke out between Hindus and Muslims. The clashes followed renewed protests on Sunday against a contentious citizenship law brought in by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu-nationalist government that critics say is anti-Muslim.
Fearing the selection of Bernie Sanders as the Democrats' 2020 presidential nominee, a growing number of establishment party officials are reportedly considering Sherrod Brown as a late-entry “white knight” with Michelle Obama as a running mate. Other potential candidates floated by the party include Kamala Harris, who dropped out of the race in December, as well as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, according to the New York Times' interview with 93 party officials, all of whom are superdelegates who could determine the party's nominee should a candidate emerge without a clear majority of delegate votes. Anxiously waiting for results from Super Tuesday primaries across the US next week, those Democrats are “willing to risk intraparty damage” to stop the progressive candidate's nomination at the party's national convention in July, when the party will select the Democratic nominee to face Donald Trump in the general election on 3 November.
The View's Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar appeared to rally to Michael Bloomberg's defense on Wednesday, telling his rival Democratic candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren to be “very careful” when attacking the ex-mayor because he could easily use the “Pocahontas thing” against her. Discussing Tuesday night's chaotic Democratic primary debate, in which Warren confronted the former mayor on his company's treatment of women and comments he allegedly made to a pregnant female employee, Goldberg seemed to side with Bloomberg's longtime partner Diana Taylor saying people need to “get over it” as it was just part of “bro culture” and happened a long time ago. “What are people expecting to happen?” Goldberg asked before referencing Bloomberg's release of three ex-employees from non-disclosure agreements.
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, who told his listeners that alarmism about the coronavirus was a plot to bring down President Trump, has attacked the CDC official who warned Americans that the virus will inevitably spread in the U.S. “Dr. Nancy Messonnier of the Centers for Disease Control — which today warned it could be bad, it might be bad, don't go to school and don't go to work, stay at home and teleconference — is the sister of the former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein,” Limbaugh said on Tuesday's program. Rosenstein, who resigned from the Justice Department last May, oversaw the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller that President Trump sought to stop.
There were more than 82,000 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus spread across every continent except Antarctica as of Thursday morning, plus about 2,800 deaths, and countries are taking drastic steps to contain its spread. Japan told all 12.8 million students in the country's elementary, middle, and high schools to stay home until the end of March; Saudi Arabia banned all foreign pilgrims from visiting the holy city of Mecca for an indeterminate period of time, possibly up through the annual hajj pilgrimage at the end of July; and the U.S. reported its 60th confirmed case and the first not tied to any overseas travel. Since the virus is new, not much is known about it and nobody has built up an immunity, Dr. Dean Blumberg, an infectious disease specialist at UC Davis Medical Center, told CNN.
The body of a Mennonite woman who disappeared from her New Mexico home at the end of January was found last week in Arizona, more than 250 miles away, and authorities said Tuesday they believe she was kidnapped and murdered. Sasha Marie Krause, 27, was last seen leaving her Crouch Mesa home at 8 p.m. on Jan. 18, according to the San Juan County Sheriff's Office in New Mexico. Deputies responded to Lamp & Light Publishers, a Mennonite bookstore across the street from Farmington Mennonite Church, at 3 a.m. on Jan. 19, at which point Krause was reported missing.
SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) - China reported 433 new cases of coronavirus infections on Feb. 26, the National Health Commission said on Thursday, up from 406 a day earlier, with a cluster of new cases in Beijing raising concerns about the management of employees returning to work. The total number of confirmed cases on mainland China has now reached 78,497, the Commission said, though the number of new deaths on Wednesday stood at 29, the lowest daily rate since Jan. 28. The outbreak has now killed a total of 2,744 people in China.
Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Masoumeh Ebtekar delivers a speech during the opening session of the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) at Le Bourget, near Paris, France, November 30, 2015. Masoumeh Ebtekar, one of Iran's vice presidents, has coronavirus. Ebtekar is perhaps best known outside of Iran for her role as a spokesperson for Iranian students who took dozens of hostages at the US Embassy in Tehran in the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis.
Researchers have discovered the only known animal that does not need oxygen to survive, a common parasite that largely preys on salmon. The study, published Tuesday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that the parasite Henneguya salminicola does not require aerobic respiration in order to survive — a revelation that may change how we understand life on Earth and beyond. The multicellular organism, which is part of a group of animals closely related to jellyfish known as the Myxozoa, does not breathe at all and does not have mitochondrial DNA.
A Cambodian refugee who says he was wrongly deported nearly two years ago was reunited with his family in Massachusetts on Wednesday, becoming the fourth such refugee — and first on the East Coast — to be allowed back into the country since the Trump administration stepped up deportations of Southeast Asians. Thy Chea arrived at Boston's Logan Airport after successfully petitioning to get his green card reinstated and suing the federal government to allow him to return to the country. The 50-year-old Lowell resident was welcomed by his family and supporters, who cheered, held signs and handed him flower bouquets as they greeted him at the baggage claim.