Donald Trump has threatened social media platforms with tougher restrictions or even closure after accusing Twitter of of meddling in this year's election and “completely stifling FREE SPEECH” by adding a link to one of his posts - spreading baseless fear-mongering over postal voting - that led his followers to a page where they could “get the facts” on the issue instead. During a press briefing on the coronavirus pandemic in the White House Rose Garden on Tuesday, the president challenged a Reuters reporter to take off his face mask and mocked him as “politically correct” when he refused to do so.
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.
JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images Swedish officials praised the success of the country's lockdown-free coronavirus strategy on Tuesday, saying the relaxed policies had helped slow the transmission of COVID-19. "Transmission is slowing down, the treatment of COVID-19 patients in intensive care is decreasing significantly, and the rising death toll curve has been flattened," Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said at a press briefing. But the wider picture of the country's coronavirus response is a bit more complicated.
Michigan's governor, Gretchen Whitmer, has come under fire this weekend as allegations have arisen that her own husband has been trying to flout her strict shutdown rules – in what she says was a “failed attempt at humor”. Affectionately nicknamed “Big Gretch”, Whitmer was thrust into the spotlight this year as her state battled one of the highest Covid-19 rates with one of the strictest lockdown policies in the country. But while Whitmer's strict stay-at-home order has been effective at flattening the curve in Michigan, it has also drawn strong criticism from conservatives and progressives.
Sweden's government defended its response to the COVID-19 global pandemic on Tuesday despite the Scandinavian country now reporting one of the highest mortality rates in the world, with 4,125 fatalities, or about 40 deaths per 100,000 people.
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.
Tony Giberson/Reuters Mark Lua, a former Florida teacher, pleaded guilty last year to charges related to the sexual abuse of students. Last week, during his sentencing hearing, Mark Lua asked for chemical castration instead of a prison sentence. The judge ignored his request and sentenced him to 12 years in prison, according to the Pensacola News Journal.
Tropical Storm Bertha formed off the South Carolina coast Wednesday morning, the second named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which doesn't officially begin until June 1. A tropical storm warning has been put in place for much of the South Carolina coast. The main impact from Bertha will be heavy rain, the National Hurricane Center said, primarily in portions of South and North Carolina and Virginia.
The US military has accused Russia of sending fighter jets to Libya to support Russian mercenaries there. There was no immediate response from the Russian Defence Ministry to the US Africa command (Africom) allegation. Earlier this month a leaked UN report spoke of hundreds of mercenaries from the shadowy Wagner Group operating in Libya.
Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele said on Tuesday he takes hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug that U.S. President Donald Trump has promoted as a way to ward off the novel coronavirus, though experts have warned about its safety. Bukele told reporters that El Salvador was not promoting it anymore as a treatment, following the recommendation of the World Health Organization, though patients would still be able to take it as a preventative measure if they wished. "I use it as a prophylaxis, President Trump uses it as a prophylaxis, most of the world's leaders use it as a prophylaxis," Bukele said.
China on Monday threatened counter measures against the United States if it is punished for plans to impose on Hong Kong a sedition law, which the business hub's security chief hailed as a new tool to defeat "terrorism". Beijing plans to pass the new security law for Hong Kong that bans treason, subversion and sedition after months of massive, often-violent pro-democracy protests last year. But many Hong Kongers, business groups and Western nations fear the proposal could be a death blow to the city's treasured freedoms, and thousands took to the streets on Sunday despite a ban on mass gatherings introduced to combat coronavirus.
A Eurowings flight from Düsseldorf, Germany, to Sardinia, Italy, was forced to turn around at the last minute because the destination airport was closed due to coronavirus lockdowns in Italy. The plane made it all the way to Sardinian airspace on Saturday when they were told that the airport was closed to commercial traffic. An aviation blog theorized that the mistake was made because the airport was ordered to reopen earlier this month, but that decision was immediately overruled by the local government.
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a sexual harassment lawsuit in Los Angeles County on Tuesday against the producers and studios behind the CBS show “Criminal Minds,” one of the longest running network dramas. The lawsuit claims that over 14 years, Gregory St. Johns, director of photography for the series, “used his position of power to create an unchecked hostile work environment in which he subjected production crew members to frequent sexual harassment, including touching and caressing numerous employees.” The lawsuit also claims that the executive production team had knowledge of and condoned St. Johns' alleged conduct, “firing over a dozen men who resisted St. John's harassment,” according to a statement from the state agency.
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.
An intrepid Pakistani 'spy' pigeon is facing a life behind bars in India. The allegation was made after Geeta Devi, a resident of the Kathua district of Indian-administered Kashmir, reported a bird - painted pink and carrying a coded ring tagged to its foot - flew into her home on Sunday night. The Indian Border Security Force passed the pigeon on to the police, who launched an investigation and logged the animal as a 'Pak Suspected Spy.'
An Israeli court Tuesday ruled that a former teacher accused of sexually abusing her students in Australia is fit to stand trial for extradition, capping a years-long battle that has strained relations between the two allies and angered Australia's pro-Israel Jewish community. The ruling was hailed by Malka Leifer's alleged victims, who have accused their one-time school principal and Israeli authorities of dragging out the case for far too long. A July 20 extradition hearing was set by the court.
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.
Fifty trafficked Nigerian women have been rescued from Lebanon and returned home, Nigeria's foreign minister says. Last month, a Nigerian woman working as a maid in Lebanon was rescued after being put up for sale on Facebook for $1,000 (£807). The UN says thousands of women and girls from Nigeria and other African countries are trafficked every year.
Germany's new Economic Stabilization Fund (WSF) has approved a 9 billion euro ($9.80 billion) stabilization package for Lufthansa , Germany's flagship carrier said on Monday. "The Executive Board also supports the package", Lufthansa said, adding that the bailout still need consent from shareholders as well as the European Commission. The bailout comprises an equity injection by the government, which will take a 20% stake by buying new shares at the nominal value of 2.56 euros apiece or for a total of about 300 million euros.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said his country will strengthen its armed forces and improve its preparedness for military combat, state media said Tuesday, amid rising tensions between Washington and Beijing over the coronavirus outbreak and China's decision to propose legislation that would tighten control over Hong Kong. Xi spoke on the sidelines of China's National People's Congress, an annual political event where legislation approved by China's ruling Community Party is rubber-stamped. China announced over the weekend that it intends to increase its military budget by 6.6% in 2020 to about $178 billion, a slightly lower figure than military analysts forecast before the coronavirus pandemic struck.
ReOpen NC, an anti-lockdown group that has entered the spotlight for its protests across North Carolina, may use violence to ward off public-health measures, says one member. "Are we willing to kill people?" asked Adam Smith, the husband of ReOpen NC founder Ashley Smith. The anti-lockdown group describes itself as "peaceful" on its social media page.
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.
Larry Kudlow said Tuesday the Trump administration “may well” get behind the idea of a back-to-work bonus for workers in the next coronavirus aid package, a proposal that's starting to gain momentum among some GOP senators. One proposal from Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) would provide unemployed workers an extra $450 weekly bonus for a limited time, in addition to wages, if they go back to work. Republicans are aiming to offer an alternative to Democrats' push to continue $600 weekly federal unemployment payments, which are in addition to state unemployment benefits.
The air forces of Germany, France and Spain have agreed on a set of performance benchmarks to help their governments guide the development of a next-generation fighter jet set to fly in 2040, the German military announced Tuesday in a statement. The document, approved earlier this month, is meant to help officials identify what features from a collection of 10 possible system architectures are worth keeping when the time comes to settle on a path forward for the Next-Generation Weapon System, or NGWS.
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.