China President Xi knew severity of coronavirus weeks before going public; 40 Americans on cruise ship infected
President Xi Jinping on Sunday published a timeline of his actions to combat the coronavirus racing through China, indicating Xi was aware of the outbreak's severity two weeks before revealing the information publicly. The timeline is part of a speech Xi gave to party leaders Feb. 3 that was published over the weekend in state media. “I issued demands during a Politburo Standing Committee meeting on Jan. 7 for work to contain the outbreak," Xi said in the speech. "On Jan. 20, I gave special instructions about the work to prevent and control the outbreak."
The latest revelation comes as a U.S. health official said at least 40 Americans on a cruise ship in Japan are infected with the deadly new virus. On Sunday, the U.S. began the process of evacuating American passengers under quarantine from the Diamond Princess ship. Those who tested positive would not be among the evacuees, an official said.
- The global death toll has risen to 1,670 while the total confirmed cases closed in on 70,000. All but five of the deaths took place in mainland China, where more than 68,500 of the cases have been confirmed.
More than 1,100 ex-DOJ employees call for Attorney General Barr's resignation
More than 1,100 ex-employees of the Department of Justice signed a letter calling on Attorney General William Barr to resign Sunday, writing that his handling of the Roger Stone case "openly and repeatedly flouted" the principle of equal justice under the rule of law. The letter comes after a contentious week for the Justice Department, which already faces allegations of succumbing to political pressure from President Donald Trump. The ex-employees called current DOJ employees to "report future abuses" and acknowledged that "because we have little expectation" Barr will resign, "it falls to the Department’s career officials to take appropriate action to uphold their oaths of office and defend nonpartisan, apolitical justice.”
- Justice Department backs away from stiff prison sentence for Roger Stone, a longtime ally of Trump, overruling the department's career prosecutors.
Iran: US 'maximum pressure' policy will not work, talks possible with conditions
Iran would be open to negotiate if the Trump administration returns to the Iranian nuclear deal and drops economic sanctions, President Hassan Rouhani said Sunday. The U.S. "maximum pressure" policy aimed at isolating the regime will not work, he said. Trump repeatedly railed against the deal on the election trail and, as president, pulled the U.S. out. Rouhani said Iran was forced to scale back its commitments to the nuclear deal after other parties in the agreement had to curb their involvement following the U.S. withdrawal. Thus, he said, Iran had to scale back its commitments.
- Caroline Flack, a British television presenter who hosted the controversial reality TV show "Love Island," dies at age 40.
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she had not planned to tear up her copy of Trump's State of the Union speech until she read it.
- 14-year-old arrested in fatal stabbing of a Barnard College student in a Manhattan park in December.
- 'I love my husband': Pete Buttigieg responds to Rush Limbaugh claiming America is not ready for a gay president.
- Shortstop Tony Fernandez, a five-time All-Star who is the Toronto Blue Jays' all-time leader in hits and games played, dies at age 57.
Trump delivers the command to start the Daytona 500, but race will have to wait
President Donald Trump participated in the ceremonial pre-race events at Sunday's Daytona 500, but the biggest and most anticipated race of the NASCAR Cup Series season was postponed due to heavy rain. Following President Donald Trump giving what is commonly described as the most famous words in motorsports: “Gentlemen, start your engines” and a short rain delay, the drivers were just 20 laps in when a downpour began. The remainder of the race is postponed until Monday at 4 p.m. ET.
UK faces 'bomb cyclone' Storm Dennis, hundreds of flood warnings issued
Storm Dennis roared across Britain with high winds and heavy rains Sunday, prompting authorities to issue hundreds of flood warnings. The Met Office, Britain’s meteorological service, predicted that up to 5½ inches of rain could fall in south Wales before gradually easing later Sunday. Although forecasters expect the worst of the rainfall to have passed by Sunday evening, the flood warnings could remain in place for longer. Hundreds of flights were cancelled due to the high winds while train services were repeatedly disrupted by flooding, affecting tens of thousands of passengers.
NBA All-Star Game opens with emotional Kobe Bryant Tribute
The 69th NBA All-star game on Sunday in Chicago was filled with tributes honoring the late Kobe Bryant who died along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash three weeks ago. In addition to changes in the game format to honor Bryant, Team LeBron wore Gianna's No. 2, while Team Giannis wore Bryant's No. 24. Both teams also wore jersey patches with nine stars, representing those who died in the crash. Former NBA player Magic Johnson led an 8-second moment of silence for Kobe Bryant and former NBA commissioner David Stern who also passed away recently before Grammy award-winner Jennifer Hudson sang "For All We Know." Shortly after, rapper Common introduced the starting lineup while incorporating several references to Bryant.
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This is a compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network. Contributing: Associated Press.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus, DOJ fallout, Daytona 500, Storm Dennis: The weekend's biggest news