Democratic lawmakers in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives are demanding answers after learning that one of their Republican colleagues tested positive for COVID-19, shared that information with GOP leadership, but never informed them. On May 20, Republican Rep. Andrew Lewis learned he had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Two other Republican House members who came in contact with Lewis were told to self-quarantine for 14 days, but Democratic lawmakers, some of whom also had contact with Lewis or with the two other Republicans before May 20, say they first learned of the positive test result on Wednesday.
Pentagon leaders expressed strong confidence Thursday that a coronavirus vaccine will be available by January, and perhaps as early as this fall — claims that were met with skepticism by scientific experts. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that he and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar “will be co-chairing Operation Warp Speed,” the effort by the administration of President Trump to produce 300 million vaccine doses by January. “I'm confident that we will be able to deliver a vaccine at scale in time” by partnering with other government agencies and the private sector, Esper said.
Joe Biden released a video Wednesday evening marking the grim U.S. milestone of 100,000 Americans killed by the coronavirus, saying somberly, “To all of you hurting so badly, I'm so sorry for your loss" and “This nation grieves with you.” Evoking the personal tragedies he's faced in his own life, Biden said, “I think I know what you're feeling.” "You feel like you're being sucked into a black hole in the middle of your chest,” said Biden, who lost his first wife and young daughter in a 1972 car crash and an adult son to cancer in 2015.
The killing of an Iranian teen by her father after she eloped with an older man sparked outrage on Wednesday, with local media denouncing "institutionalised violence" in "patriarchal" Iran. Iranian media covered the apparent "honour" crime extensively, with Ebtekar newspaper leading its front page with the headline "Unsafe father's house". According to local media, Romina Ashrafi was killed in her sleep on May 21 by her father, who decapitated her in the family home in Talesh in northern Gilan province.
MINNEAPOLIS—Protesters demanding action over the death of 46-year-old George Floyd took over the Minneapolis Police Department's Third Precinct late Thursday and set the building ablaze. Video from the scene showed demonstrators chanting “I can't breathe” and cheering as the building was breached, with alarms blaring in the background. “This is 400 years of anger,” one protester, Justin Galbraith, told The Daily Beast as the flames sent smoke up into the sky.
The four Minneapolis officers involved in the killing of George Floyd were swiftly fired after footage of his death went viral. Officers in the US are frequently rehired after their termination for misconduct, a problem that experts say increases the likelihood of abuse and killings by police. Despite the decision on Tuesday to fire the policeman who knelt on Floyd's neck for nine minutes, along with three other officers at the scene, it's uncertain if the officers will face long-term repercussions.
prototype, SN4, erupted in a ball of flames at the company's testing facility in Boca Chica, Texas. The test vehicle had just completed its fifth static fire test. On Thursday, SpaceX received FAA clearance to conduct a 150 m hop with the vehicle.
Chinese civil aviation authorities plan to extend until June 30 their curbs on international flights to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the U.S. embassy in Beijing said in a travel advisory on Friday. China has drastically cut such flights since March to allay concerns over infections brought by arriving passengers. A so-called "Five One" policy allows mainland carriers to fly just one flight a week on one route to any country and foreign airlines to operate just one flight a week to China.
Greece said Friday it would reopen its airports in Athens and Thessaloniki to arrivals from 29 countries from June 15, the start of the tourist season. Visitors would be allowed to fly into Greece from 16 EU countries, including Germany, Austria, Denmark, Finland, the Czech Republic, Baltic countries, Cyprus and Malta, the tourism ministry said in a statement. Outside the European Union, holidaymakers from Switzerland, Norway, and neighbouring Balkan countries such as Albania, Serbia and North Macedonia will be allowed to land at Greece's main airports from June 15.
Burundi's first lady was in hospital in Nairobi on Friday, after being flown in on a late-night medical flight, according to sources at the airport and in the presidency. First lady Denise Bucumi was flown out of Burundi on a Pilatus plane by the AMREF air ambulance service, according to a source at the Melchior Airport in Bujumbura. A high-ranking government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that Bucumi had gone to Nairobi "for treatment as she caught the coronavirus".
Ethiopian security forces in the Oromiya region have executed 39 opposition supporters and arrested at least 10,000 others accused of being members of an armed group since early 2019, Amnesty International said on Friday. The rights group said in a report that victims were accused of supporting the Oromo Liberation Army, the breakaway armed wing of the Oromo Liberation Front, which the government had declared a terrorist movement before it was unbanned by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. "Security forces have continued to violate human rights despite reforms introduced by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and this is due to widespread impunity and lack of accountability for those violations," Amnesty International's Ethiopia researcher Fisseha Tekle said.
REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins Twitter has labeled two tweets from Chinese government spokesman Lijan Zhao with a fact-check icon. Twitter applied the label to the tweets after being questioned by the New York Post over a potential double standard, following the company's decision to fact-check tweets from President Trump. Zhao's tweets are from mid-March, and in them he suggests the US army could have been responsible for bringing the coronavirus to Wuhan.
Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee, joins 'The Daily Briefing.
A woman whose skeletal remains were found along a suburban New York beach highway, in an area where body parts of 10 other people had been strewn, was identified as a Philadelphia escort who went missing two decades ago, police said Thursday. Suffolk County police said the woman previously known as “Jane Doe No. 6” was identified through genetic genealogy technology as Valerie Mack, who also went by Melissa Taylor and was last seen in 2000 near Atlantic City, New Jersey. Determining the victim's identity has brought clarity to a long-running Long Island mystery that attracted national headlines, was featured on true-crime TV shows and was the subject of a recent Netflix film, Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said.
A white man in Minneapolis asked whether black men were entitled to use the same gym and threatened to call the police on them, amid protests at George Floyd's death. It showed Tom Austin, who worked at the same Mozaic building in Minneapolis, accusing young black men of not being tenants there. The video shows Mr Austin asking them whether they are based in the building, to which the men respond “we're all tenants in the building”.
Five British mercenaries involved in an operation to fly assault helicopters for Libya's renegade General Khalifa Haftar were offered bounties of up to $150,000 each for their role in the daring plot which went awry. The men, comprised of former Royal Marines and RAF personnel, were among 20 foreign mercenaries who traveled to Libya last June in an operation to pilot assault helicopters and speed boats to intercept Turkish ships ferrying weapons to Haftar's opponents – the UN-backed government in Tripoli. The Telegraph can reveal that the UN investigation concluded that the operation was led by Steven Lodge, a former South African Air Force officer who also served in the British military.
One of the coldest regions on Earth has been experiencing a record-breaking heat wave in recent weeks amid growing fears about devastating wildfires and melting permafrost. Khatanga, a town in Siberia's Arctic Circle, registered highs of over 80 degrees Fahrenheit this week, according to Accuweather, far above the 59 degrees F historical average, as the whole of western Siberia basked in unseasonable warmth. While locals flocked to popular spots to sunbathe, experts sounded alarms about the possible implications for the region's wildfire season this summer, with some blazes already breaking out in recent months.
Iran's Revolutionary Guards on Thursday warned the United States against its naval presence in the Gulf as they received 110 new combat vessels. The vessels included Ashura-class speedboats, Zolfaghar coastal patrol boats and Taregh submarines, state television reported. "We announce today that wherever the Americans are, we are right next to them, and they will feel our presence even more in the near future," the Guards' navy chief Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri said during a ceremony in southern Iran.
More than 200 schools in South Korea have been forced to close just days after they re-opened, due to a new spike in virus cases. Most of these cases have been linked to a distribution centre outside Seoul. The warehouse, in the city of Bucheon, is run by the country's biggest e-commerce firm Coupang, and officials have said the facility was not strictly complying with infection control measures.
In recent weeks, Sen. Amy Klobuchar has positioned herself as a leading contender in the race to join former Vice President Joe Biden on the Democratic ticket. The three-term senator's drop has been so swift that a planned Minnesota digital event with Dr. Jill Biden and coronavirus first-responders scheduled for Friday was pulled, according to a source familiar with the campaign's deliberations, “partly because we need to avoid her.” According to a Biden campaign official, all of Dr. Biden's virtual events on Friday were canceled “because of George Floyd's tragic killing and the events that followed” and the “decision had nothing to do with the fundraiser Dr. Biden was scheduled to participate in with Sen. Klobuchar.”
Indian police have released a pigeon belonging to a Pakistani fisherman after a probe found that the bird, which had flown across the contentious border between the nuclear-armed nations, was not a spy, two officials said on Friday. "The pigeon was set free yesterday (May 28) after nothing suspicious was found," said Shailendra Mishra, a senior police official in Indian-administered Kashmir. The Pakistani owner of the pigeon had urged India to return his bird, which Indian villagers turned over to police after discovering it.
President Donald Trump on Friday threatened to increase tariffs on imports from Hong Kong and to take other action to punish China for what he called "deeply troubling" moves to exert more control over the former British colony. "I am directing my administration to begin the process of eliminating policy exemptions that give Hong Kong different and special treatment," Trump said at a White House appearance. Trump also said he would issue a proclamation later on Friday to "better secure" research done at U.S. universities against Chinese intellectual property theft.
Drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero, a notorious underworld figure who is on the FBI's most wanted list for the murder of a federal agent over three decades ago, said in a legal appeal that he has no money, is too old to work and has no pension. The odd plea was filed Tuesday by Caro Quintero's lawyer seeking an injunction against his arrest or extradition to the United States for the kidnapping and murder of DEA Special Agent Enrique Camarena in Mexico in 1985. The court papers state: “The plaintiff argues insolvency, because he says he is more than 60 years old, is neither retired nor has a pension, and given the fact that he is a fugitive from the law, cannot work or perform any activity to ea...
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer United Airlines has cut work hours for its managers and administrative (M&A) employees, and warned that layoffs are coming. However, workers say that the cuts violate terms of the CARES Act bailout, prohibiting pay cuts or furloughs before September 30. Business Insider spoke with United M&A workers who described stress, anxiety, and frustration with the airline as they prepare for what could be massive job cuts.
The governments of Denmark and Norway have cut Sweden out of a deal allowing each other's tourists to travel freely between the two countries — citing their Nordic neighbour's higher levels of coronavirus infection. The deal, announced at parallel press conferences in Oslo and Copenhagen on Friday afternoon, showed Sweden has failed in its diplomatic efforts to be included in the first stage of a Nordic travel bubble. Under the deal, people from Denmark will from June 15 be allowed to enter Norway without needing to quarantine, while tourists from Norway will be able to enter Denmark, so long as they have booked accommodation for at least six days.