Joel Sartore: Mother Nature gets a break, and so do we

The National Geographic photographer notes that, in spite of the hardships created by coronavirus, life goes on in the natural world, with some of the pressures from mankind reduced – and also that people now have a chance to change their ways once the pandemic is over.

  • Calls in Congress for probe on how former Trump aide won $3 million respirator contract
    Yahoo News

    Calls in Congress for probe on how former Trump aide won $3 million respirator contract

    A leading Democrat on the House Oversight Committee asked an inspector general on Tuesday to investigate how a former deputy chief of staff to President Trump received a multimillion-dollar contract to deliver respirators to a Native American community hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. The request by Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., signals that Democrats intend to aggressively oversee how the Trump administration is disbursing the trillions of dollars allocated by Congress for coronavirus relief measures for individuals, corporations and small businesses. Connolly pressed Christi Grimm, principal deputy inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services and the sole witness at the briefing, to begin looking into how the former White House aide, Zachary Fuentes, came to receive a $3 million contract despite lacking expertise in medical device procurement.

  • Huawei CFO Meng to find out if her fraud case will proceed
    Associated Press

    Huawei CFO Meng to find out if her fraud case will proceed

    A top executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei is scheduled to learn Wednesday if a U.S extradition case against her can proceed. Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei's founder, at Vancouver's airport in late 2018. British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Heather Homes is scheduled to rule if the allegations against Meng in the U.S. would also be a crime in Canada if committed here.

  • Iran, US prisoners held by two sides
    AFP

    Iran, US prisoners held by two sides

    With the recent call by Iran for a full prisoner exchange, here is a recap of prisoners currently known to be held by both sides: - Americans in Iran's prisons - - US Navy veteran Michael R. White was arrested in July 2018 and sentenced the following year to 10 years in prison after being convicted of insulting Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and posting on social media under a pseudonym. Iranian-American Siamak Namazi was convicted in October 2016 of spying for the United States and sentenced to 10 years, along with his father Baquer.

  • Monterey County DA to investigate if Biden accuser Tara Reade gave 'false testimony under oath' about expert witness credentials
    Business Insider

    Monterey County DA to investigate if Biden accuser Tara Reade gave 'false testimony under oath' about expert witness credentials

    The Monterey County District Attorney's Office announced that it will investigate if Tara Reade misrepresented her educational credentials after she served as an expert witness in court cases for a decade, Politico reported. Several California defense lawyers said they would be reviewing cases where Reade, then known as Alexandra McCabe, testified as an expert witness amid the concern that she "misrepresented her educational credentials in court." Reade claimed she had earned her bachelor's degree from Antioch University in Seattle under a "protected program."

  • McEnany defends Trump’s promoting 'Morning Joe' conspiracy theory
    Yahoo News Video

    McEnany defends Trump’s promoting 'Morning Joe' conspiracy theory

    White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Tuesday defended President Trump's promotion of a murder conspiracy theory about 'Morning Joe' host Joe Scarborough.

  • Hundreds arrested in Hong Kong as tensions over proposed security law boil over
    NBC News

    Hundreds arrested in Hong Kong as tensions over proposed security law boil over

    Riot police flooded central Hong Kong as people of all ages took to the streets to protest the territory's legislators preparing to debate another bill, one that would make it illegal to insult or abuse the Chinese national anthem. Pro-democracy protesters and politicians say the bill, which carries penalties of up to three years in jail and fines of up to $50,000 Hong Kong dollars ($6,450), is yet another sign of increasing interference from Beijing. Hong Kong Police said they have arrested more than 300 people on a number of charges, including possession of weapons and illegal assembly in the city center, Mong Kok, the Causeway Bay area and Wan Chai area.

  • Levi’s Is Taking 50% off These Best-Selling Jeans Right Now
    Popular Mechanics

    Levi’s Is Taking 50% off These Best-Selling Jeans Right Now

    It's a great time to stock up on the classic 501s. From Popular Mechanics

  • Philippine children have been traumatised by abusive drugs war, says Human Rights Watch probe
    The Telegraph

    Philippine children have been traumatised by abusive drugs war, says Human Rights Watch probe

    Thousands of children in the Philippines have suffered lasting physical, emotional and economic harm from the brutal drugs war instigated by Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine president, according to an investigation released by Human Rights Watch on Wednesday. The disturbing report, which documents the trauma of children whose parents or guardians have been violently killed, comes a few weeks before an expected decision the UN Human Rights Council to set up an independent international investigation into the Philippines' controversial counter-drugs operations. The spiraling death toll among alleged drug dealers and users since Mr Duterte rose to power in 2016 vowing to “feed the fish in Manila Bay” has caused international alarm.

  • Nasa SpaceX launch: Evolution of the spacesuit
    BBC

    Nasa SpaceX launch: Evolution of the spacesuit

    The spacesuits that will be worn by astronauts on Wednesday's Crew Dragon launch have been getting a lot of attention. How do they differ from other attire worn by astronauts down the years? The futuristic flight suits that will be worn by Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken on Wednesday look like they're a world away from the bulky orange shuttle flight suits worn when astronauts last launched from Florida's Kennedy Space Center.

  • Special Report: U.S. takes aim at the power behind Venezuela's Maduro - his first lady
    Reuters

    Special Report: U.S. takes aim at the power behind Venezuela's Maduro - his first lady

    Now, with help from Lamas' testimony, the United States is preparing to charge Flores in coming months with crimes that could include drug trafficking and corruption, four people familiar with the investigation of the first lady told Reuters. If Washington goes ahead with an indictment, these people said, the charges are likely to stem, at least in part, from a thwarted cocaine transaction that has already landed two of Flores' nephews in a Florida penitentiary. Nicole Navas, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Justice, declined to comment on any possible charges against Flores.

  • The CDC says coronavirus 'does not spread easily' on surfaces or objects. Here's what we know.
    USA TODAY

    The CDC says coronavirus 'does not spread easily' on surfaces or objects. Here's what we know.

    Update: The CDC has since clarified guidelines on coronavirus and its spread on surfaces. "COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning about how it spreads," says the CDC's recently updated guidelines. Dr. Manisha Juthani, an infectious disease doctor and associate professor of medicine at Yale University, told USA TODAY that plenty of concern has been focused on packages and groceries during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Bones of approximately 60 mammoths discovered in Mexico
    CBS News

    Bones of approximately 60 mammoths discovered in Mexico

    Skeletal remains of dozens of mammoths have been discovered at an airport construction site in Mexico, the country's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) announced Thursday. The findings will give experts an "unprecedented opportunity to delve into more than 30,000 years of history," according to an English translation of a statement from the institute. Bones from about 60 mammoths and 15 human burials were found near a former military base in Santa Lucia, where the new General Felipe Ángeles International Airport is under construction, INAH said.

  • US military reportedly making plans for Trump that include a complete Afghanistan withdrawal before the next election
    Business Insider

    US military reportedly making plans for Trump that include a complete Afghanistan withdrawal before the next election

    Defense Department officials are planning to brief President Donald Trump on several options to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan, according to multiple reports. One of the options includes a complete withdrawal before the 2020 US presidential election in November. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, an ardent supporter of the Trump administration, cautioned that an abrupt withdrawal would be "horrendous."

  • A new 'parking lot Karen' is going viral on TikTok for physically blocking someone's car from an open parking spot
    INSIDER

    A new 'parking lot Karen' is going viral on TikTok for physically blocking someone's car from an open parking spot

    A viral video from TikTok user @savsoares shows a woman physically blocking a car from moving in a parking lot while directing another car to take an open parking spot. The video has amassed over 4 million likes and 18 million views in the four days since it was posted, with both @savsoares and people in the comments calling the woman a "Karen." The video comes at a time when the "Karen" label, which refers to entitled white women, has been increasingly used to describe people in viral videos online.

  • India yogi who claimed to live without food or water dies aged 90
    AFP

    India yogi who claimed to live without food or water dies aged 90

    An Indian yogi whose claims he spent decades without food or water earned him a band of devotees and the scepticism of doctors died Tuesday, his neighbour told AFP. The long-haired and bearded Prahlad Jani -- who dressed in red and wore a nose ring in the fashion of Hindu goddesses -- hailed from Charada village in the western state of Gujarat, where he spent his life in a routine of yoga and mediation. "He died early Tuesday morning at his residence due to old age," Sheetal Chaudhary, who lived next door to Jani, told AFP.

  • Canada: neglected residents and rotten food found at care homes hit by Covid-19
    The Guardian

    Canada: neglected residents and rotten food found at care homes hit by Covid-19

    Canadian troops deployed to long-term care homes overwhelmed by coronavirus outbreaks found neglected and malnourished residents, rotten food and insect infestations, and a blatant disregard for critical safety protocol, according to a bombshell report from the country's armed forces. Military medics were dispatched to long-term care facilities in Quebec and Ontario in April, with aim of blunting Covid-19 outbreaks among vulnerable populations. Soldiers deployed to five of Ontario's worst-hit care homes encountered rotten food, cockroaches and residents in soiled diapers, according to the report published on Tuesday.

  • Asia virus latest: South Korean jailed for breaking quarantine; Indonesia deploys troops
    AFP Relax News

    Asia virus latest: South Korean jailed for breaking quarantine; Indonesia deploys troops

    Here are the latest developments in Asia related to the coronavirus pandemic: - South Korean quarantine breaker jailed - A South Korean man was jailed for four months on Tuesday for breaking coronavirus quarantine rules, authorities said, in the country's first such prison sentence. The man, 27, left home while under 14-day self-isolation and was then moved to a quarantine facility where he also left without permission. South Korea endured one of the worst early outbreaks of the virus, but appears to have largely brought the spread under control thanks to an extensive "trace, test and treat" programme.

  • Pakistani villager urges India to return 'spy' pigeon
    BBC

    Pakistani villager urges India to return 'spy' pigeon

    A Pakistani villager has urged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to return his pigeon, currently being held in India on charges of spying. The Pakistani villager, who claims the arrested pigeon is his, says the code is actually his mobile phone number. Pakistan's Dawn newspaper has identified the man as Habibullah and reports that he owns a dozen pigeons.

  • Bay Area woman accused of posting notes on homes targeting Asian Americans
    NBC News

    Bay Area woman accused of posting notes on homes targeting Asian Americans

    A woman in the San Francisco Bay Area has been arrested on suspicion of posting handwritten messages at several homes, targeting Asian Americans and suggesting that those not native to the United States should leave the country immediately. Police in San Leandro, a suburb of 89,000 just south of Oakland, said officers were called to the Heron Bay neighborhood Friday evening after receiving reports of notes containing "insensitive messages towards minorities" taped to five homes. "If you are a woman or man and was born in other country, return, go back to your land immediately, fast, with urgency," the note said.

  • Head of Italy's Lombardy region given police escort as COVID anger mounts
    Reuters

    Head of Italy's Lombardy region given police escort as COVID anger mounts

    The governor of Lombardy, the northern region at the epicentre of Italy's coronavirus outbreak, said on Wednesday that he had been given a police escort after growing criticism of his administration's handling of the crisis. Lombardy, Italy's richest and most populous region and the motor of its economy, is one of the worst affected areas of the world by the coronavirus, accounting for around half of the country's more than 32,000 dead. The regional government, controlled by opposition leader Matteo Salvini's anti-immigrant League party, has seen approval ratings plunge amid angry attacks on its response and on health sector reforms by previous League governments that many say left the region badly prepared to face the epidemic.

  • $11,000 in personal items stolen from doctor visiting New York to fight coronavirus, report says
    The Independent

    $11,000 in personal items stolen from doctor visiting New York to fight coronavirus, report says

    A Texas doctor who moved to New York temporarily to assist in the fight against coronavirus has had $11,000 worth of personal items stolen from her hotel room, according to a report. Police sources told The New York Post that a woman who was believed to be in her 20's reportedly broke into the unidentified doctor's room at the Brooklyn Hotel on Atlantic Avenue at around 9am on Saturday. According to the report, the suspect proceeded to steal around $11,000 worth of personal items from the room including jewelry and clothing.

  • Xi Jinping urges China's army to prepare for armed combat as Hong Kong protests restart over a new bill that would strip away the city's freedoms
    Business Insider

    Xi Jinping urges China's army to prepare for armed combat as Hong Kong protests restart over a new bill that would strip away the city's freedoms

    Reuters Chinese President Xi Jinping urged his army to increase its preparedness for "armed combat" as protests in Hong Kong ramp up over a proposed new law that would effectively strip away the city's autonomy. Xi on Tuesday told Chinese military officers on the sidelines of the National People's Congress (NPC) — an annual weeklong gathering of China's top legislative bodies — that the military must "explore ways of training and preparing for war" amid the coronavirus pandemic.

  • 'We are go': NASA astronauts Behnken, Hurley set to make history on SpaceX Crew Dragon
    USA TODAY

    'We are go': NASA astronauts Behnken, Hurley set to make history on SpaceX Crew Dragon

    When Crew Dragon's hatch closes Wednesday afternoon, veteran NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will be strapped in for one of the most crucial launches in recent memory. With most major readiness reviews and prelaunch checks out of the way, the duo is set to launch from Kennedy Space Center's Pad 39A on the first U.S.-hosted crewed mission in nearly a decade. NASA and SpaceX are targeting 4:33 p.m. ET for liftoff.

  • Family separation returns under cover of the coronavirus
    LA Times

    Family separation returns under cover of the coronavirus

    U.S. officials are fighting in court to take the three children and deport them to El Salvador — to no one. The only way to avoid being separated from their parents, officials say, would be for their mother in Mexico to give up, too. Government lawyers said they'd put her on a plane with the kids if she agreed to return to El Salvador and never again try to join her husband in the U.S. This is the new family separation, two years after taking kids from their parents at the border blew up into a crisis for the Trump administration.

  • Editorial: Your web browsing says a lot about you. The government should have to get a warrant to look at it
    Los Angeles Times Opinion

    Editorial: Your web browsing says a lot about you. The government should have to get a warrant to look at it

    Yet under the "business records" provision of the Patriot Act enacted after 9/11, the government may obtain such sensitive information as part of a foreign intelligence or counter-terrorism investigation on the flimsiest of grounds: that the information is likely to be “relevant” to a national security investigation. The House of Representatives will soon vote on reauthorizing the "business records" provision and two other parts of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that expired on March 15. It can and should take an important step toward shoring up our privacy by adopting a reform that was introduced in the Senate but failed to pass.