As U.S. spy agencies seek to assemble a precise picture of the world's coronavirus outbreaks, they are finding serious gaps in their ability to assess the situation in China, Russia and North Korea, according to five U.S. government sources familiar with the intelligence reporting. The agencies also have limited insight into the full impact of the pandemic in Iran, although information on infections and deaths among the ruling class and public is becoming more available on official and social media, two sources said.
After spending weeks downplaying the threat of the novel coronavirus, President Trump on Tuesday admitted that at least 100,000 Americans will likely die but said it would have been worse if he had listened to some people he claimed had great “common sense” who wanted to “just ride it out. It was not immediately clear who he was referring to, but the president himself had been pushing to loosen restrictions over the virus until just days ago, having suggested as recently as last week that, despite fatalities from the coronavirus health crisis growing, Americans could start to get back to normal by Easter since “we never turn the country off” for the flu.
While officials from Montreal to Moscow have placed populations under some form of lockdown designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, one man continues to hold firm to the notion that the rest of the world has lost its mind: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. “It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees!” Lukashenko told a Belarusian television reporter Saturday when asked whether the coronavirus could stop him from hitting the rink for a propaganda-filled hockey game. Lukashenko, one of the longest-serving leaders in the former Soviet Union, has been in power for over 25 years.
One of the motorcyclists in a crash that killed him and six fellow bikers on a north woods highway was drunk and actually was the one who hit a pickup and caused the accident, the lawyer for the truck driver charged with homicide said in a document made public Tuesday. A New Hampshire State Police account of the June 21 crash in the community of Randolph “was deeply flawed," the lawyer for truck driver Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 24, of West Springfield, Massachusetts, said in a motion filed Friday that seeks a hearing to set him free on bail. State police initially determined that the flatbed trailer he was hauling was 1 1/2 feet over the center line at the time of impact, the motion said.
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.
Citing a public health order to curb the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration is swiftly deporting unaccompanied migrant minors apprehended near the U.S.-Mexico border, upending a long-standing practice required under a federal law designed to protect children from violence and exploitation. Despite initially maintaining that the new measures would not apply to unaccompanied minors, Customs and Border Protection on Monday said its officials could deny entry to children who cross the southern border alone under an order by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. The agency said some minors could be excluded from the CDC directive if a border official "suspects trafficking or sees signs of illness."
Associated Press Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday that the US is starting to see "glimmers" that social distancing is having a dampening effect on the spread of the coronavirus. There's a "reasonably good chance" that a second wave of the virus hits later this year, he said in an interview with CNN. Fauci said that while people who survive the virus are likely to be immune, there won't be enough of them to provide "herd immunity" to prevent community spread.
Economy chiefs from the Group of 20 nations, which accounts for about 90% of global economic output, are switching focus to the need to assist developing nations trying to cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. At a virtual meeting on Tuesday, G-20 finance ministers and central bankers said they'd look to address debt vulnerabilities in developing nations to allow them to focus their efforts on fighting the outbreak, according to a statement. They also committed to working with other organizations to “swiftly deliver the appropriate international financial assistance” to lower-income countries.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at Detroit Metro Airport stopped a Chinese scientist carrying vials believed to contain the MERS and SARS viruses in November 2018 — just over a year before the first reported Wuhan coronavirus case, according to an FBI tactical intelligence report obtained by Yahoo News. “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,” the report reads. The report also lays out a pattern of Chinese interference, detailing two other cases from May 2018 and September 2019, in which different Chinese nationals tried to enter the U.S. with undeclared flu strains and suspected E. coli, respectively.
China will start releasing information from Wednesday on coronavirus patients who show no disease symptoms, ordering them into quarantine for 14 days, a health official said, after the mainland witnessed its first rise in infections in five days. As local infections peter out and new cases surface among travelers returning home, the existence of virus carriers with no symptoms is fuelling public concern that people could be spreading it without knowing they are ill. From April 1, the daily report of the National Health Commission will include details of such cases for the first time, Chang Jile, a commission official, told a briefing.
CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta, known for his rough-and-tumble verbal battles with President Donald Trump, likely raised eyebrows among CNN viewers on Tuesday night when he praised the president's new tone at the latest White House press briefing, claiming “this was a different Trump.” During the briefing, Acosta asked whether projections of up to 200,000 deaths would be lower if Trump had acted sooner, prompting the president to insist that he did act early. Appearing on CNN later in the evening, Acosta told anchor Anderson Cooper that the president and the rest of the White House coronavirus task force delivered a sober message to the public that they'll need to be prepared for a heavy death toll.
From Zaha Hadid's majestic MAXII in Italy to the stunning beauty of Frank Gehry's Vitra Design Museum, these structures elevate the environment they were built in Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
Mexico has started taking tougher measures against the coronavirus after weeks of its president hugging followers and saying religious medals would protect him. Some experts warn the sprawling country of 129 million is acting too late and testing too little to prevent the type of crisis unfolding across the border in the United States. Last week Mexico banned non-essential government work as confirmed cases climbed, but took until Monday to extend that to other business sectors and to bar gatherings of more than 50 people.
The leaders of the congressional black, Asian and Hispanic caucuses gathered Monday to condemn the racism that the Asian American community is confronting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, or CAPAC, said about 100 hate incidents a day have been directed toward those in the community, according to data from three hate incident reporting sites. Chu said at least 1,000 hate incidents have been reported since the beginning of the pandemic across the online reporting forum Stop AAPI Hate, a separate site led by OCA — Asian Pacific American Advocates and a third initiative spearheaded by Asian Americans Advancing Justice.
This is Candy Sterling – a fierce drag queen who lights up the New York City nightlife while maintaining a professional day job. Get to know her both in and out of drag on this week's episode of Behind the Drag.
Mikhail Klimentyev/TASS / Getty On March 25, President Vladimir Putin announced Russia would have a week-long paid vacation to stop the coronavirus. People thinking he meant an actual vacation took to the streets, according to The New York Times. Two days later, the Kremlin had to clarify that people were being told to stay at home, and those who could work from home should continue to do so.
Turkey's central bank on Tuesday added to its emergency program to help contain the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, as the country's number of confirmed cases surged 25% and the death toll climbed to 214. The bank introduced new measures to ease lenders' access to credit and support liquidity in the government bond market, before the latest data showed Turkey's caseload of Covid-19 rose to 13,531 from 10,827 from a day ago. The latest step, unveiled two weeks after the central bank's first round of emergency measures, amount to “Turkish QE,” or quantitative easing, said Timothy Ash, a strategist at Bluebay Asset Management in London.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) plans to call DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz to testify before congress regarding his office's audit of the FBI's FISA application process, which was released Tuesday and revealed potentially systematic abuses of the transparency measures required of the Bureau when agents interact with the FISA court. I have just been briefed on Inspector General Horowitz's audit of FISA applications involving American citizens. This random audit shows discrepancies regarding verification of the information under the Woods Procedures,” Graham said in a press release.
As European and American healthcare systems creak under the strain, China has offered millions of face masks and teams of medical experts. As well as seeking to deflect criticism over initial Chinese missteps in handling the epidemic, analysts say, the campaign is a public relations opportunity in China's great power rivalry with the West and especially the United States. COVID-19 first emerged in a wild animal market last year in the Chinese city of Wuhan, but Beijing says the situation in China is now under control with domestic cases dwindling to zero.
Pool / Pool/Getty Images A $2 trillion economic stimulus package has been signed into law as a direct response to the coronavirus pandemic. The stimulus will inject a flood of cash into the economy, provide support for struggling businesses and individuals, and expand unemployment benefits. This last plank is key for the real-estate industry, as self-employed and contract workers will be able to file for unemployment benefits for the first time, and the vast majority of real-estate agents are independent contractors.
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.
Democratic lawmakers are calling out an apparent lack of racial data that they say is needed to monitor and address disparities in the national response to the coronavirus outbreak. In a letter sent Friday to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, both from Massachusetts, said comprehensive demographic data on people who are tested or treated for the virus that causes COVID-19 does not exist. “Any attempt to contain COVID-19 in the United States will have to address its potential spread in low-income communities of color, first and foremost to protect the lives of people in those communities, but also to slow the spread of the virus in the country as a whole,” the lawmakers wrote to Azar.
Almost 30 students who recently traveled to Mexico for spring break have tested positive for COVID-19. Health officials in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday announced an investigation into a "cluster" of COVID-19 cases among a group of roughly 70 people in their 20s who traveled in a chartered plane to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for spring break about a week-and-a-half ago amid the coronavirus crisis. "Currently, 28 young adults on this trip have tested positive for COVID-19 and dozens more are under public health investigation," the Austin Public Health Department said.
Hundreds of flights have been cancelled as fleets are grounded and the process of reimbursing people is under strain. EasyJet has faced particular anger as rebooking is done online but refunds require calling customer services and getting through is almost impossible. Holly Fitton, writing on Facebook, said: "I have been told to ring you for a refund.
The vicious stabbing of an Asian-American family, including a 2-year-old girl, at a Sam's Club in Texas earlier this month has been deemed a hate crime by the feds, as authorities continue to raise alarm bells about a potential surge in racially motivated crimes amid the coronavirus outbreak. Jose L. Gomez, 19, confessed to authorities that he attempted to murder three Asian-American family members, including the toddler and a 6-year-old, on March 14 at the Midland, Texas store, according to the Midland Police Department.