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.
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.
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.
Ezra Acayan/Getty The Philippines' main island Luzon, which has a population of more than 57 million, is on lockdown. Along with people's movements being restricted, soldiers are covering residents and the streets in disinfectant, and open coffins have been left on the roads as a warning to people to stay inside. On Sunday, the Philippines reported 343 new coronavirus cases in a day — its highest one day increase yet.
Victor Ruiz Garcia/Reuters Twenty-eight Texas spring breakers who recently vacationed in Cabo have tested positive for the coronavirus, tweeted Tony Plohetski of local station KVUE-TV. They chartered a plane with 70 people to get to Cabo, he said. Spring breakers, who are Gen Z, have been called out for crowding beaches and partying on booze cruises and ignoring calls for social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.
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."
Malaysia's gross domestic product is now expected to shrink 0.1% this year, down from an earlier forecast for 4.5% growth, the World Bank said in a report Monday. Analysts from RHB Bank Bhd. and Oversea-Chinese Banking Group Ltd. also warned of recession or even contraction this year as Malaysia weathers a four-week lockdown that has put its economy on pause.
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.
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.
Rep. Nydia Velazquez said Monday that she's been "diagnosed with presumed coronavirus infection," three days after she spoke on the House floor and stood near 80-year-old House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the signing of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill. In a statement, Velazquez, D-N.Y., 67, said she first started feeling sick "in the wee hours of Sunday morning." At the advice of The Attending Physician, neither COVID 19 laboratory testing nor a doctor's office visit was recommended.
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.
Isabel Infantes/AFP via Getty Images A team of engineers and clinicians scrambling to address the United Kingdom's ventilator shortage developed an alternative breathing aid. The breathing aid, known as a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure system, was developed in less than 100 hours. Unlike ventilators, which deliver oxygen through tubes, the CPAPs push air into the lungs through a face mask.
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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
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.
India and Pakistan sealed off centers belonging to a Muslim missionary group on Tuesday and began investigating how many coronavirus cases were linked to its activities. Tablighi Jamaat is a Deobandi Sunni Muslim missionary movement that preaches worldwide. Every year, tens of thousands attend its congregations in the Pakistani city of Lahore and other parts of South Asia.
Iran warned the US Wednesday that it was leading the Middle East to disaster in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic after it deployed Patriot air defence missiles to Iraq. Washington had been in talks with Baghdad about the proposed deployment since January but it was not immediately clear whether it had secured its approval or not. Iran, which wields huge influence in its western neighbour, said that it had not.
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.
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.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday acknowledged that the coronavirus is “more dangerous” than officials initially thought after more than 300 died across the state overnight. More than 1,500 people have died and 75,795 more have been infected with the virus in New York State, accounting for a 14 percent increase in the last 24 hours, Cuomo said. About 43,139 of those cases are in New York City, where the daily number of newly infected patients has fortunately dipped below 6,000 across the five boroughs over the last 24 hours.
Russia is sending a planeload of masks and other supplies to help the United States fight the coronavirus pandemic as the number of cases threatens to top 200,000 across the country. The plane will arrive today, after President Donald Trump accepted an offer on Monday by Russian President Vladimir Putin to send personal protective equipment and other gear, a senior administration official confirmed to POLITICO. The Russian government first announced that the plane, an An-124 Ruslan cargo aircraft filled with equipment to help America battle the pandemic, was en route early today.