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.
MINNEAPOLIS—Flames and black smoke poured into the sky over Minneapolis late Wednesday as the second day of protests over the death of George Floyd took a violent turn, with a local business near police headquarters set ablaze and at least one person fatally shot in the area. Minneapolis Police spokesman John Elder confirmed the shooting shortly before midnight local time, but he did not say if it was connected to the protests, according to the Star Tribune. The shooting came amid reports of widespread looting and a major fire at an AutoZone near the police headquarters.
Two days after the US recorded its first case of coronavirus, Donald Trump said the situation was "totally under control" and assured the public it was "going to be just fine". Fast forward four months and the virus has spread across all 50 states, leaving a death toll of 100,000 from more than 1.6 million confirmed cases. The death toll in the US became the highest in the world in early April and has risen dramatically since then.
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%.
Saudi Arabia will allow mosques to open for Friday prayers, state TV reported on Tuesday, as the kingdom eases restrictions on movement to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Mosques will be authorised to open 20 minutes before Friday prayers and should close 20 minutes after they finish, state TV said on Twitter, citing the ministry of Islamic affairs. Saudi authorities said on Monday that restrictions would be lifted in three phases, culminating in a curfew ending - with the exception of the holy city of Mecca - from June 21.
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.
A gang of 26 suspected people smugglers have been arrested in France and Belgium in an investigation prompted by the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants found in the back of a lorry in Essex last year. In Belgium, 11 Vietnamese and two Moroccans were held, while in France, authorities said the suspects were “mostly Vietnamese and French”. The suspects are allegedly part of an organised crime group that smuggles refugees from Asia, particularly from Vietnam, and that likely has transported up to several dozen people every day for several months, Europol said in a statement.
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.
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.
The UN said Wednesday it was "following with great concern" claims that Russia recently sent fighter jets to Libya to support Russian mercenaries fighting for strongman Khalifa Haftar in the long-running conflict. On Tuesday, the US military command for Africa (Africom) accused Moscow of deploying several MiG-29 Fulcrum jets and Su-35 Flankers in support of Haftar, who has been fighting to seize Tripoli from the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) since April 2019. Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said the Russians had sent a mix of "approximately 14 military fighters."
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.
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.
Erin Scott/Reuters First Lady Melania Trump has urged Americans to wear face masks in public, but chose to forgo wearing one herself during Memorial Day events on Monday. Since April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that all Americans wear some form of face mask in public places where social distancing is difficult. Last month, the first lady released a photo of herself wearing a mask and urged Americans to follow the CDC's guidance.
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.
"Life-threatening" flash flooding is expected across parts of Virginia, and South and North Carolina, after Tropical Storm Bertha made landfall sooner than expected. NASA satellites are closely watching the storm as it prepares to send two astronauts to space in a historic launch aboard SpaceX on Wednesday afternoon. The National Weather Service, meanwhile, warned that the second named storm of the season would cause ongoing river flooding across the region.
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.
The senior adviser central to the investigation into allegations that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo used an employee to run personal errands is now leading the charge to find support among former staffers against what they describe as a "smear campaign," NBC News has learned. Shortly before he was fired, State Department Inspector General Steve Linick was looking into allegations that Pompeo senior adviser Toni Porter was asked to walk the secretary's dog, pick up his laundry and make dinner reservations for him and his wife, Susan, NBC News reported. The State Department's Foreign Affairs Manual prohibits using the office for personal benefit.
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.
Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday pledged a humanitarian "action plan" for Hong Kongers pushing for democracy in the financial hub as an influx of activists seek sanctuary on the self-ruled democratic island. Hong Kong was upended by months of often violent pro-democracy protests last year sparked by rising fears that Beijing is chipping away at the city's freedoms. Unrest has returned in recent days after Beijing announced plans last week to impose a sweeping national security law in response to the protests, a move that has alarmed many western governments and Taiwan.
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.
Located in the rolling hills of southeast England, the design was meant to mimic the beer-brewing structures that once dotted the landscape Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
Legislation extending surveillance authorities that the FBI sees as vital in fighting terrorism was thrown into doubt as President Donald Trump threatened a veto and Republican leaders and top liberal Democrats said they would oppose it. House Democratic leaders abruptly adjourned without considering the bill, hours after saying there would be a vote Wednesday evening. In between, Trump said explicitly for the first time that he would veto the measure.
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 Monterey County District Attorney's Office announced that it will investigate if Tara Reade misrepresented her educational credentials after she served as an expert witness in court cases for a decade, Politico reported. Several California defense lawyers said they would be reviewing cases where Reade, then known as Alexandra McCabe, testified as an expert witness amid the concern that she "misrepresented her educational credentials in court." Reade claimed she had earned her bachelor's degree from Antioch University in Seattle under a "protected program."