In late November 2018, just over a year before the first coronavirus case was identified in Wuhan, China, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at Detroit Metro Airport stopped a Chinese biologist with three vials labeled “Antibodies” in his luggage. The biologist told the agents that a colleague in China had asked him to deliver the vials to a researcher at a U.S. institute. “Inspection of the writing on the vials and the stated recipient led inspection personnel to believe the materials contained within the vials may be viable Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) materials,” says an unclassified FBI tactical intelligence report obtained by Yahoo News.
President Trump on Monday criticized attempts by Democrats in Congress to expand voting access for the presidential election in the fall, saying increased voter turnout would keep Republicans from getting elected. Trump said that Democrat-proposed voting reforms to the $2.2 trillion rescue package passed last week by Congress — which were largely cut from the deal — would have led to “levels of voting, that if you ever agreed to it you'd never have a Republican elected in this country again.” Democrats have pushed to mandate that states make plans to expand early voting and mail-in balloting for the fall election, in the event that the coronavirus pandemic makes in-person voting unsafe.
The Justice Department inspector general said it does “not have confidence” in the FBI's FISA application process following an audit that found the Bureau was not sufficiently transparent with the court in 29 applications from 2014 to 2019, all of which included “apparent errors or inadequately supported facts.” Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a report in December which found that the FBI included “at least 17 significant errors or omissions in the Carter Page FISA applications and many errors in the Woods Procedures” during its Crossfire Hurricane investigation of the 2016 Trump campaign.
MEXICO CITY/BADIRAGUATO, Mexico (Reuters) - Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday defended his weekend handshake with the mother of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, calling her a "respectable old lady" and seeking to cast his critics as the principal menace to the country. In a 30-second video posted on Twitter on Sunday, Lopez Obrador could be seen approaching Maria Consuelo Loera's car, parked on a dirt road on the outskirts of Badiraguato, a mountainous municipality in the northwestern state of Sinaloa. Surrounded by onlookers, Lopez Obrador told Loera she need not get out of the car, they shook hands and after a brief exchange he told her he had "received her letter."
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images The Justice Department is investigating the actions of US lawmakers who dumped stocks before the market plunged amid coronavirus fears, CNN reported. According to the report, the investigation is still in its early stages and the DOJ is working with the Securities and Exchange Commission on the matter. As part of the probe, the FBI has reportedly reached out to North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, who dumped up to $1.72 million in stocks before the market tanked.
The body of a 5-year-old boy was discovered near an Alaskan trail after his mother said they got lost during a hike. A ground search team found the child, Jaxson Brown, around 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, three days after he and his mother went for a hike along Lunch Creek Trail in Ketchikan. The boy's mother, Jennifer Treat, told Alaska State Troopers that she and Jaxson went on a hike Wednesday afternoon.
European countries trying to keep Iran's nuclear deal with world powers alive said Tuesday that a system they set up to enable trade with Tehran has finally concluded its first transaction, facilitating the export of medical goods. Britain, France and Germany conceived the complex barter-type system dubbed INSTEX, which aims to protect companies doing business with Iran from American sanctions, in January 2019. The move came months after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the nuclear deal that Tehran struck with world powers in 2015 and reimposed sanctions.
PHOENIX – A 31-year Phoenix police veteran was killed and two other officers were injured when a man opened fire on them during a call about a disturbance between roommates in northwest Phoenix Sunday night, authorities said. Commander Greg Carnicle has died after being shot, police said. The shooting drew a massive police response at the scene, with dozens of police vehicles and tactical trucks.
MOSCOW—Amid a growing uproar in newly locked-down Russia, news broke on Tuesday that a doctor President Vladimir Putin met with just a week ago during a highly publicized visit to a coronavirus treatment facility has now tested positive for the infection himself. Widely disseminated photos of the visit showed Putin donning an orange hazmat suit, but he had also talked to Dr. Denis Protsenko extensively without protection and photographs show them together with very little "social distancing." Putin's spokesman says the Russian president is tested frequently for coronavirus infection and is just fine.
State prosecutors in Venezuela have summoned opposition leader Juan Guaido for an alleged "attempted coup d'etat" and attempted assassination, Attorney General Tarek William Saab announced Tuesday. In a statement broadcast on state television, Saab said Guaido had been summoned to appear before prosecutors next Thursday following an investigation last week into the seizure of a weapons cache in neighboring Colombia that he said was to be smuggled into Venezuela. The subpoena was delivered to his head of security on Monday night, Saab said.
The U.S. military is set to put almost half of its 8,500 South Korean civilian workers on furlough, as the two sides bicker over the Trump administration's demands for a massive increase in troop funding. About 4,000 workers have been told not to report to American military bases in South Korea as of Wednesday, if the two countries can't find some way to extend a cost-sharing deal that expired Dec. 31. A breakthrough seems unlikely with President Donald Trump asking for as much as a five-fold increase and South Korea showing no signs of paying anywhere near that much.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Tuesday she does not plan to be tested for coronavirus despite her proximity to the latest lawmaker diagnosed with the illness. U.S. Representative Nydia Velazquez, a Democrat from New York, said on Monday that she had been diagnosed with a presumed case of coronavirus after developing symptoms of the ailment on Sunday, although she had not been tested. Velazquez was in the Capitol on Friday and attended a ceremony at which Pelosi signed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus response plan.
Remo Casilli/Reuters Italy is showing very early signs that it's turning a corner with the coronavirus outbreak as the numbers of new reported deaths and cases have slowed, according to multiple reports. The country's strict three-week lockdown is due to be lifted on Friday, but officials have said it's likely to be extended. It's a sign that those under lockdown "save lives" by staying home, Luca Richeldi, a government health adviser, said on Sunday.
In late November 2018, just over a year before the first coronavirus case was identified in Wuhan, China, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at Detroit Metro Airport stopped a Chinese biologist with three vials labeled “Antibodies” in his luggage.
Still, Napoli, a lawyer in Rome, developed a cough and fever less than a week after Italy's premier locked down the entire nation, including the capital which had continued life as usual while the virus raged in the north. Until that day, Napoli was following his routine of work, jogging and swimming. He received a positive diagnosis for COVID-19 three days later.
The first death of a minor who tested positive for coronavirus in New York City was reported Monday, as the city's death toll rose to 790. Like the majority of those who have died from COVID-19, the minor had an underlying health condition. While the vast majority of COVID-19 deaths in the United States have been among people above 18-years-old, this is not the first U.S. death of a minor.
Wuhan residents are increasingly skeptical of the Chinese Communist Party's reported coronavirus death count of approximately 2,500 deaths in the city to date, with most people believing the actual number is at least 40,000. “Maybe the authorities are gradually releasing the real figures, intentionally or unintentionally, so that people will gradually come to accept the reality,” a Wuhan resident, who gave only his surname Mao, told Radio Free Asia. A city source added that, based on the aggregation of funeral and cremation numbers, authorities likely know the real number and are keeping it under wraps.
As the world grapples with the human and economic devastation being wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic, not even the relationship between the United States and China is being spared. However, the US and China cannot allow their global competition and rising tensions to impede efforts to fight the pandemic. But we are where we are, and China, the United States, and the rest of the world must focus on fighting the pandemic.
Israeli police with face masks and batons and backed by surveillance helicopters have stepped up patrols of ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhoods that have become coronavirus hotspots. This week has seen tense altercations, and some rabbis have admitted that their communities, where prayer and scripture study are traditionally communal, are not observing new social distancing regulations. A few days ago in Bnei Brak, a city near Tel Aviv with a largely ultra-Orthodox population, hundreds of faithful crowded together to attend the funeral of prominent rabbi Tzi Shenkar.
Donald Trump is suggesting the United States should treat Germany more like an enemy because the two countries were adversaries in World War II as the president again lobbied for closer US-Russian relations. If he turns the off-the-cuff remark into US policy, Mr Trump would try fundamentally overhauling the post-World War II global power dynamic that saw Western countries bring Germany into their sphere while combating Moscow and fighting the spread of communism in the post-war era. Mr Trump, during another wildly cascading "Fox & Friends" call-in, launched into a remarkable diatribe about Germany and Russia – and how the United States should treat each country – after being asked about what he and Russian President Vladimir Putin would discuss during a planned telephone conversation Monday morning.
Restricted visa services, quickly evolving regulations and increased border controls risk wider labor shortages in the United States produce industry that may leave grocery stores scrambling for fruits and vegetables as spring and summer harvests spread across the United States. On Thursday, more than 100 workers waited in a stifling park in the center of Monterrey, Mexico, backpacks and rolling suitcases in hand, for news about their H-2A temporary agriculture worker visas.
As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been criticized for what many called a lackadaisical posture — urging people to hug, shaking hands and kissing well-wishers as he stumped and extolling his personal talismans: Catholic scapulars, a shamrock and $2 bill. “Continue bringing the family to eat in restaurants,” López Obrador advised compatriots, arguing that such activity bolsters “the popular economy.” Although still avoiding curfews and mandatory stay-at-home orders, Mexican authorities are now abruptly citing a final chance to avert a national catastrophe that would inundate the country's limited healthcare infrastructure and probably result in many deaths.
Apple is notoriously secretive about upcoming products in development, and only lets select few employees leave its main campus with those upcoming products for real world testing. Prime among those adaptations: Apple's engineers are being allowed to take home products in development. It apparently takes a worldwide pandemic for Apple to loosen its notoriously secretive approach: The company is letting engineers take home and work on new versions of major Apple products, according to a new Bloomberg report.
Idaho Gov. Brad Little on Monday signed into law two anti-transgender bills, making Idaho the first among states that introduced some 40 such bills this year to enact them. The Republican governor approved legislation that prohibits transgender people from changing the sex listed on their birth certificates, and another that bans transgender girls and women from competing in women's sports. The birth certificate measure ignores a 2018 federal court ruling that a past law barring transgender people from making the birth certificate changes violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.