High-speed train project to CA moves forward, construction set for 2020

There might be hope again for high-speed rail between Las Vegas and Southern California. Virgin Trains USA, which already operates passenger rail service in Florida, has agreed to acquire XpressWest.

  • In shadow of coronavirus, Congress contemplates 'one of the biggest rule changes in the last century'
    Yahoo News

    In shadow of coronavirus, Congress contemplates 'one of the biggest rule changes in the last century'

    As the House of Representatives prepares to pass a historic $2 trillion coronavirus relief package, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi faces a bigger challenge: figuring out a way for 435 members to cast votes in the time of social distancing. The pandemic has left multiple members of Congress in quarantine and led to restrictions on movement that could prevent the House from voting. While House leadership has indicated they hope to pass the initial coronavirus aid bill quickly using a voice vote, the likely need for further relief and other legislation has led Pelosi to consider new procedures, including measures for remote voting that a report from the House Rules Committee described as “one of the biggest rule changes in the last century.”

  • Florida man whose 'game changer' coronavirus treatment was touted by Trump is a believer, but warns: Don't try this at home
    Yahoo News

    Florida man whose 'game changer' coronavirus treatment was touted by Trump is a believer, but warns: Don't try this at home

    It's been less than a week since Rio Giardinieri claimed his coronavirus was cured overnight by an antimalarial drug touted by President Trump and by Fox News, and he has no complaints. “Man, I'm alive and kickin',” Giardinieri told Yahoo News over the phone on Wednesday. The story of Giardinieri's remarkable recovery, which was first reported Monday by a local Fox affiliate in Los Angeles, quickly became the subject of national news — and speculation — after it was picked up by the New York Post and tweeted by Trump, who hailed the news as a “great early result” from the drug, which has yet to be approved as a treatment for the coronavirus.

  • South Korean test kit makers swamped as coronavirus cases explode in U.S., Europe
    Reuters

    South Korean test kit makers swamped as coronavirus cases explode in U.S., Europe

    Last year, South Korean biotech firm SolGent made diagnostic kits for 300,000 tests. SolGent, which is one of the five firms that have received fast-track approval to make test kits for South Korea, is capitalizing on the country's success in containing its outbreak to boost exports, with cases slowing down at home. SolGent has even got offers from three U.S. biotech firms to license its technology so that they can manufacture test kits in the United States, You said, adding nothing has been decided.

  • Coronavirus cradle Wuhan partly reopens after lockdown
    BBC

    Coronavirus cradle Wuhan partly reopens after lockdown

    The state on Saturday reported 54 new cases emerging the previous day - which it said were all imported. As it battles to control cases coming from abroad, China has announced a temporary ban on all foreign visitors, even if they have visas or residence permits. It is also limiting Chinese and foreign airlines to one flight per week, and flights must not be more than 75% full.

  • Spain, Europe's worst-hit country after Italy, says coronavirus tests it bought from China are failing to detect positive cases
    Business Insider

    Spain, Europe's worst-hit country after Italy, says coronavirus tests it bought from China are failing to detect positive cases

    PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images Spain said it found that rapid coronavirus tests bought from China did not consistently identify positive cases and would return them to the manufacturer. Spain now has over 4,000 coronavirus deaths, the second-most in the world. The Spanish newspaper El País reported that microbiologists found that tests it bought from a Chinese company called Bioeasy could correctly identify virus cases only 30% of the time.

  • The mystery behind Germany's low coronavirus death rate
    CBS News

    The mystery behind Germany's low coronavirus death rate

    Compared to other countries, the number of deaths caused by the novel coronavirus in Germany has been surprisingly low. According to the country's federal health agency, The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the mortality rate is currently at less than 0.5%. Italy has reported more than 86,000 confirmed cases and over 9,000 deaths, which would seem to work out to a mortality rate of roughly 10%.

  • Woodland Park boy donates 1,000 sanitizer sprays to town amid coronavirus concerns
    USA TODAY

    Woodland Park boy donates 1,000 sanitizer sprays to town amid coronavirus concerns

    A Woodland Park boy with a history of giving has used his philanthropy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Jayden Perez, 11, and his family donated over 1,000 hand sanitizer sprays to the borough school district, fire department, police department and library as concerns around the spread of COVID-19 grew. "Jayden is the heart and soul of our community," Mayor Kieth Keith Kazmark said.

  • S.African police fire rubber bullets at shoppers during lockdown
    AFP

    S.African police fire rubber bullets at shoppers during lockdown

    South African police enforcing a coronavirus lockdown on Saturday fired rubber bullets towards hundreds of shoppers queueing outside a supermarket in Johannesburg, an AFP photographer said. Between 200 and 300 people gathered outside a popular grocery store, Shoprite, Saturday in Yeoville, a crime-prone area in Johannesburg's gritty central business district on day two of a nationwide lockdown. But as they scrambled to secure their spots, many did not observe the recommended safe distance between them.

  • Africa lockdowns begin as coronavirus cases rise above 1,000
    NBC News

    Africa lockdowns begin as coronavirus cases rise above 1,000

    Lockdowns have begun in Africa as coronavirus cases rise above 1,000, while Nigeria announced it is closing airports to all incoming international flights for one month in the continent's most populous country. Rwanda said all unnecessary movements outside the home are banned for two weeks except for essential services such as health care and shopping. The East African nation, which has 17 cases, told all public and private employees to work from home.

  • Man Charged With Making Death Threats to Nancy Pelosi in Coronavirus Rant
    The New York Times

    Man Charged With Making Death Threats to Nancy Pelosi in Coronavirus Rant

    Prosecutors said that Perry wrote, “If youre a dem or apart of the establishment in the democrats side I view you as a criminal and a terrorist and I advise everyone to Go SOS and use live rounds. The post, which used an abbreviation for “shoot on sight,” included a screenshot of what appeared to be two tweets by Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader. One, by Schumer himself, was critical of President Donald Trump's handling of the health emergency.

  • Trump tweets blame in all directions over ventilators for coronavirus, except at himself
    Yahoo News

    Trump tweets blame in all directions over ventilators for coronavirus, except at himself

    Hours after a Fox News interview in which he downplayed a national shortage of hospital ventilators to treat patients infected with the coronavirus, President Trump fired off a number of tweets Friday blaming General Motors and its CEO, Mary Barra, for not manufacturing more of them. The president explained in a later tweet that “P” stood for the Defense Production Act, which many U.S. governors have been demanding Trump use to compel businesses to produce badly needed medical supplies and equipment. Although he invoked the act as a standby, Trump hasn't issued any specific orders under it, claiming that just the threat of it has prompted companies to step up production on their own.

  • As U.S. virus cases exceed 100,000, doctors decry scarcity of drugs and equipment
    Reuters

    As U.S. virus cases exceed 100,000, doctors decry scarcity of drugs and equipment

    The sum of known coronavirus U.S. cases soared well past 100,000, with more than 1,600 dead, as weary doctors and nurses coping with shortages resorted to extremes ranging from hiding scarce medical supplies to buying them on the black market. American healthcare workers in the trenches of the pandemic appealed on Friday for more protective gear and equipment to treat a surge in patients that is already pushing hospitals to their limits in virus hot spots such as New York City, New Orleans and Detroit. "We are scared," said Dr. Arabia Mollette of Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center in New York City's Brooklyn borough.

  • Coronavirus: Asia's 'shining star' heads for recession due to virus
    BBC

    Coronavirus: Asia's 'shining star' heads for recession due to virus

    The world has been given an indication of the economic impact of coronavirus as Singapore released its initial growth figures for this quarter. Singapore said gross domestic product (GDP) shrank 2.2% year-on-year while, compared with the previous quarter, GDP fell by 10.6%. It marks the biggest quarterly contraction for the South East Asian nation since 2009, in the midst of the global financial crisis.

  • A US aircraft carrier could be stuck in port for almost a month for coronavirus testing, but the Navy is trying to cut that time down
    Business Insider

    A US aircraft carrier could be stuck in port for almost a month for coronavirus testing, but the Navy is trying to cut that time down

    U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Anthony J. Rivera The US Navy is presently dealing with a serious coronavirus outbreak aboard a deployed US Navy aircraft carrier — USS Theodore Roosevelt. The ship is in port in Guam, and the Navy is working to test all 5,000 crew members. At the current pace of 200 tests per day, it would take 25 days to complete testing, acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly said Friday.

  • Chinese State Media Falsely Claim U.S. Army Athlete Brought Coronavirus to China
    National Review

    Chinese State Media Falsely Claim U.S. Army Athlete Brought Coronavirus to China

    Chinese state-run media are citing an American conspiracy theorist to push claims that coronavirus was brought to China by a U.S. military athlete. The Global Times claimed in an article Wednesday that the coronavirus, which was first discovered in Wuhan, was in fact manufactured in a U.S. military lab and brought to China by a cyclist who took part in the World Military Games in Wuhan in October. The CCP-run paper cites known U.S. conspiracy theorist George Webb as the source for the claim, which it admits lacks “strong evidence” but still raises questions about the U.S. athletes who traveled to Wuhan.

  • Coronavirus: 3 migrant children in US custody in New York test positive
    USA TODAY

    Coronavirus: 3 migrant children in US custody in New York test positive

    Three unaccompanied minor children in U.S. custody in New York have tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said Thursday. The children, whose ages and nationalities weren't released, are in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The agency said it is doing an evaluation of the children and will not release them from New York care provider facilities.

  • Exclusive: U.S. military to withhold some infection data over concern of adversary use
    Yahoo News Video

    Exclusive: U.S. military to withhold some infection data over concern of adversary use

    The U.S. military has decided it will stop providing some of the more granular data about coronavirus infections within its ranks out of concern that the information might be used by adversaries as the virus spreads.

  • Moscow Mayor’s Tough Virus Stance May Hasten Russia Lockdown
    Bloomberg

    Moscow Mayor’s Tough Virus Stance May Hasten Russia Lockdown

    As Russia steps up its fight against the coronavirus pandemic, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has emerged as the leading voice for ever harsher measures that may become the model for locking down the country. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin embraced his approach on Friday, saying measures adopted by Moscow “should extend to all regions” of Russia as the number of declared coronavirus cases passed 1,000. “We need tough restrictions,” to ensure Russians stay at home during a planned shutdown of most workplaces next week, Mishustin said at a televised meeting with Sobyanin and other top officials charged with containing the outbreak.

  • Has Joe Biden wrapped up the Democratic presidential contest? Will the November election be canceled?
    LA Times

    Has Joe Biden wrapped up the Democratic presidential contest? Will the November election be canceled?

    Just about one month and a million years ago, the Democratic presidential contest was going full tilt. Voters in 14 states and American Samoa went to the polls — many standing less than a socially distant six feet apart — to cast Super Tuesday ballots and revive the fading presidential hopes of Joe Biden. The novel coronavirus has Biden and Bernie Sanders off the campaign trail.

  • America isn't reopening by Easter. But how long should the coronavirus shutdown optimally last?
    The Week

    America isn't reopening by Easter. But how long should the coronavirus shutdown optimally last?

    There will be a real human cost if the U.S. tries to return to normalcy too soon after this period of coronavirus paralysis — increased deaths, lots more physical pain and suffering, collapsing medical systems. But there are also very steep social and economic costs to locking down much of the country, and those will mount the longer the shutdowns continue. President Trump — also fretting over the personal political price of the tanking economy, as CBS News reports below — is pushing for the country to start jumping from isolation to work by Easter, April 12.

  • Why the US is leading the world in confirmed coronavirus cases
    AFP

    Why the US is leading the world in confirmed coronavirus cases

    From the first known patient in late January to now almost 100,000 infected, the United States has earned the unwanted distinction of leading the world in confirmed coronavirus cases. Public health experts say that while we've yet to hit the peak of the US epidemic, there are several reasons why the COVID-19 disease has exploded in America. Early on in the outbreak, President Donald Trump was accused of downplaying its severity, saying that sustained community spread was not "inevitable" even after a senior health official said it was, which could have led to a sense of complacency.

  • Africa's web of creditors complicates coronavirus debt relief
    Reuters

    Africa's web of creditors complicates coronavirus debt relief

    JOHANNESBURG/LONDON (Reuters) - Africa is crying out for debt relief to weather a perfect storm of coronavirus, plummeting oil and commodity prices, mounting budget deficits and weaker currencies. When the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank launched their Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt relief program in 1996, African nations mainly owed money to wealthy countries and multilateral institutions. China's government, banks and companies lent some $143 billion to Africa between 2000 and 2017, according to Johns Hopkins University, and African governments have raised over $55 billion on international debt markets in the past two years, the culmination of a decade-long spree of Eurobond issues.

  • The US's coronavirus death rate is currently 1.6% — one of the lowest of any hard-hit country. Here's how it compares to places like China and Italy.
    Business Insider

    The US's coronavirus death rate is currently 1.6% — one of the lowest of any hard-hit country. Here's how it compares to places like China and Italy.

    But the COVID-19 death rate — the number of deaths divided by the total number of cases — from these three hard-hit countries varies wildly. The US's coronavirus death rate is currently 1.6%, which puts it among the lowest of any country with more than 9,000 cases. Italy's, by contrast, is 10.6% and China's is 4%.

  • The Latest: Germany takes COVID-19 patients from Italy
    Associated Press

    The Latest: Germany takes COVID-19 patients from Italy

    — Spain's deadliest day has over 800 deaths, over 8,000 news cases. — Finnish police, military enforce blockade of key southern region. BERLIN — The German military is flying six COVID-19 patients from Italy's worst-hit region to western Germany for treatment.

  • CNN Anchor Shreds Trump’s Trade Adviser Over Coronavirus Response: ‘You’re Wasting Everyone’s Time!’
    The Daily Beast

    CNN Anchor Shreds Trump’s Trade Adviser Over Coronavirus Response: ‘You’re Wasting Everyone’s Time!’

    White House trade adviser Peter Navarro found himself on the receiving end of a verbal buzzsaw Thursday afternoon when CNN anchor Brianna Keilar relentlessly grilled him on the administration's lack of preparedness for the coronavirus pandemic, explicitly telling him he was “wasting everyone's time.” With casualties from the deadly coronavirus surging across the nation and hospitals running out of needed supplies as they become overrun with patients, Keilar confronted Navarro over the Trump administration's seeming inability to provide ventilators and masks to localities and states in dire need. Navarro, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, immediately took issue with Keilar's questioning, demanding that she “not sensationalize this crisis” because it would “create more anxiety and panic.”