On a day when the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus pandemic neared 100,000, President Trump sought to direct the nation's attention back to the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic as a way to smear the reputation of his Democratic rival Joe Biden, who was vice president at the time. Joe Biden's handling of the H1N1 Swine Flu was a complete and total disaster. In the early weeks of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., Trump repeatedly sought to show that he was doing a good job dealing with the pandemic compared with how Biden and then-President Barack Obama had responded to the H1N1 pandemic.
In late March, Congress passed the largest stimulus package in American history in an effort to offset the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. One of the most important elements of the massive $2 trillion bill was a provision that boosted unemployment insurance benefits for those who lost work because of stay-at-home orders designed to limit the spread of the virus. Nearly 39 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the past nine weeks.
Police in Hong Kong have arrested about 300 people and fired pepper pellets amid new anti-mainland unrest. Protesters were rallying against a bill on China's national anthem and Beijing's planned introduction of a national security law. Protesters oppose the anthem bill, which would criminalise insulting it, and the security law, which they fear will strip Hong Kong of basic freedoms.
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. The U.S. wants her extradited to face fraud charges.
The founder of the Knights of Columbus, the influential U.S.-based lay Catholic organization, is moving a step closer to possible sainthood. Pope Francis has approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of the Rev. Michael McGivney, a Connecticut priest who died at age 38 of pneumonia in 1890 during a pandemic similar to the current coronavirus outbreak. The Vatican said Wednesday that Francis had signed off on the miracle required.
A pair of Russian planes restricted a Navy pilot from safely maneuvering over international waters for more than an hour, service officials said on Tuesday. Two Russian Su-35 aircraft on Tuesday simultaneously flew close to each wing of a Navy P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea, according to Navy news release describing the incident. It was the third time in two months that Russian aircraft have intercepted Navy aircraft in the Sixth Fleet of operations, the release states.
WASHINGTON – Top infectious disease specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday that he wears a mask as a "symbol" of what "you should be doing" during the coronavirus pandemic. "I want to protect myself and protect others, and also because I want to make it be a symbol for people to see that that's the kind of thing you should be doing," Fauci told CNN. When asked by host Jim Sciutto if his wearing of a mask encouraged their use, Fauci acknowledged masks aren't "100% effective" but are a "valuable safeguard" and part of "respect for another person."
Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Star Tribune via Getty Images Derek Chauvin, the ousted police officer who knelt on black man George Floyd's neck, has a history of involvement in violent incidents and police shootings. He's been involved in several police shootings and has been the subject of complaints by the city's Civilian Review Authority and the Office of Police Conduct reviews on 10 separate occasions. As Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck, another ousted officer, Tou Thao, stood guard.
Bash will be tasked with looking at instances of unmasking that occurred before and after the 2016 presidential election, the frequency, and who made the unmasking requests, DOJ spokesperson Kerry Kupec said. The inquiry "can shed light on and give us a better understanding of what happened with respect to President Trump, his campaign," and "what happened after he was elected as well," Kupec added. Barr's decision comes after President Trump and his allies have doubled down on allegations that Obama administration officials illegally "unmasked" the identity of former national security adviser Michael Flynn in intelligence reports.
Jerry Falwell Jr. is conceding to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's (D) coronavirus-fighting demands with a mask that's almost certain to backfire. Northam's recent order mandating everyone in the state wear a mask when they're in public has seemingly made Falwell pretty mad about preserving public health. So on Wednesday, the Liberty University president and influential conservative figure, revealed he'd ordered a mask printed with the blackface photo found on Northam's college yearbook page — something anyone who sees Falwell wearing the mask will likely not know.
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.
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.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday pledged to begin charging citizens for gasoline, as the fourth cargo of a five-tanker flotilla bringing fuel from Iran approached the South American nation's exclusive economic zone. Iran is providing the country with up to 1.53 million barrels of gasoline and components to help it ease an acute scarcity that has forced Venezuelans to wait in hours-long lines at service stations or pay steep prices on the black market. With the arrival of the gasoline, Maduro said he would end the policy of providing fuel effectively for free after more than two decades of frozen pump prices.
Anti-Semitic crimes in Germany last year reached their highest level since the country started keeping statistics, amid an overall strong increase in right-extremist criminality that is a cause for “great concern,” Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Wednesday. Overall, politically-motivated crimes were up 14.2% in 2019 over the previous year, which is the second highest level since authorities began tracking such crimes in 2001, Seehofer told reporters in Berlin. Crimes by the extreme left rose the most, increasing 23.7% to 9,849, but the majority of politically motivated crimes were from the extreme right, with 22,342 cases and an increase of 9.4%.
Six British citizens including two former Royal Marine commandos have been accused of taking part in a botched mercenary mission to Libya to fight on behalf of renegade general Khalifa Haftar. The five men and one woman are named in a confidential report by the United Nations panel of experts on Libya into a botched mission that ended with the mercenaries making a remarkable sea-borne escape after falling out with their hosts. The men, including former Royal Marines Sean Callaghan Louw and Andrew Scott Ritchie, were among around 20 mercenaries who travelled to Benghazi in eastern Libya in June 2019 in a contract organised by a UAE based company called Opus, according to the report seen by the Daily Telegraph.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Tuesday that her husband made a failed attempt at humor when he asked a boat contractor whether his status as Michigan's "First Gentleman" would help him get his boat in the water ahead of the Memorial Day weekend. "He thought it might get a laugh," Whitmer said of her husband, Marc Mallory, a dentist. Whitmer said her husband regrets what he said and called on Michiganders to show kindness and empathy as the state deals with the COVID-19 pandemic that will be around for some time.
A 52-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of posting handwritten messages targeting Asian Americans on their homes. Police in San Leandro received reports of notes containing "insensitive messages towards minorities" taped to five homes, according to the Associated Press. A 52-year-old woman in the San Francisco Bay Area was arrested on suspicion of a hate crime after police learned she was posting hateful handwritten messages on the homes of Asian-Americans, according to a statement from San Leandro Police Department.
The United States said Wednesday it was ending waivers in its sanctions for nations that remain in the Iran nuclear accord, bringing the deal further to the verge of collapse. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he was responding to Iran's "brinkmanship" of nuclear steps, which have been aimed at pressuring the United States to remove sanctions as called for by the 2015 accord. "These escalatory actions are unacceptable and I cannot justify renewing the waiver," Pompeo said in a statement.
Vice President Mike Pence predicted on April 24 that the US would "have this coronavirus epidemic behind us" by Memorial Day weekend. US deaths from the virus neared the devastating milestone of 100,000 over the holiday weekend and US hospitalizations are ticking up again. A White House Coronavirus Task Force official told Insider that the nation's overall declining daily death toll, increased testing capacity, and declining infection rate are evidence the pandemic is largely over.
Two missing walkers have been found in the New Zealand wilderness, 19 days after they set off. Jessica O'Connor and Dion Reynolds, both 23, began walking in the Kahurangi National Park on 9 May, and expected to be gone for six or seven days. The Kahurangi, in the north-west of the South Island, is New Zealand's second biggest national park.
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.
President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Moscow, the epicentre of Russia's coronavirus outbreak, had succeeded in preventing what he called worst-case scenarios as the city announced it would ease tough lockdown measures within days. Speaking to Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, an ally, by video conference, Putin said it was obvious the situation in the city of 12.7 million people had stabilised thanks to steps taken by the authorities. It was now time for Moscow to provide medical help to regions where the coronavirus remained rampant, said Putin, something Sobyanin said would be organised immediately.
The Navy's top admiral on Wednesday received the results of an internal investigation into the spread of the coronavirus aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt and the firing of the aircraft carrier's skipper in April. The report is not expected to be made public until decisions are made about potentially restoring Capt. Brett Crozier to command of the Roosevelt or disciplining other officers. It was submitted Wednesday to Adm. Mike Gilday, the chief of naval operations.
Churches may be closed amid the coronavirus lockdown, but one lucky couple were able to still to get married in the midst of the pandemic. Jann Tipping, a 34-year-old ambulatory emergency nurse, and Annalan Navaratnam, a 30-year-old acute medical registrar, were married in the Grade II-listed chapel at St Thomas' Hospital in London at the end of last month. The couple, front line key workers treating coronavirus patients, had been forced to scrap a planned summer wedding amid fears that their families would not be able to travel safely from Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka.