President Trump addressed the nation from the White House briefing room on Wednesday evening in an effort to calm anxieties about the rapid proliferation of coronavirus. In a seeming acknowledgement that the White House response has lacked clarity and cohesion, Trump announced he was putting Vice President Mike Pence in charge of the effort to stem the spread of the virus in the U.S. “I don't view Mike as a czar,” Trump said, though he did not explain what, exactly, Pence's duties would be. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar had previously been in charge of the coronavirus response.
An Oklahoma man convicted of kidnapping his stepdaughter as a child and holding her in captivity for nearly 20 years has been sentenced to life in prison, prosecutors said Tuesday. Henri Michelle Piette was found guilty in June by a federal jury of kidnapping and traveling with intent to engage in a sexual act with a juvenile following a seven-day trial that detailed the horrific conditions Rosalynn McGinnis endured. Piette repeatedly raped and abused her and fathered her nine children during the nearly two-decade ordeal, which began when Piette kidnapped her in 1997 when she was 12 years old.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador suggested Wednesday without offering evidence that most of those who die in Mexico's cartel- and gang-fueled firefights are high on drugs or intoxicated, prompting criticism and questions about whether the claim was accurate. Speaking to journalists in his morning news conference, López Obrador said rising drug consumption rates must be reversed if the country is to guarantee peace and security after years of rising, record-setting homicide statistics. “Just so you have the number, 60% of those who lose their life each day, 60% of those killed in clashes, it is shown that they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but primarily drugs,” the president continued.
Iran's deputy health minister was drenched in sweat at the press conference on Monday where he vehemently denied Tehran was covering up the extent of the coronavirus outbreak. The irony of Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi's case would be funny almost, were Iran's conspicuous bungling of the coronavirus threat not a menace to the whole region and, indeed, to the world. As The Daily Beast's partner publication, IranWire, revealed in an exclusive report Thursday, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has tried to address the epidemic by telling doctors to shut up about it, much as Chinese authorities in Wuhan did, disastrously, when the disease was just starting to spread last December.
The Japanese military is considering developing a hypersonic anti-ship missile with a special warhead for penetrating the decks of Chinese aircraft carriers. Japan's defense ministry is developing what it calls a “hypervelocity gliding projectile," or HVGP, for deployment on island bases starting in 2026. In U.S. parlance, a guided missile traveling faster than five times the speed of sound is a “hypersonic” weapon.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has an 18 point lead over his Democratic rivals heading into Saturday's South Carolina primary according to a Clemson University poll released on Wednesday. The poll reported that 35 per cent of respondents supported Mr Biden in the upcoming primary. Entrepreneur Tom Steyer, who has focused campaign advertising on the state, is in second place at 17 per cent.
NAIROBI/ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Countries in East Africa are racing against time to prevent new swarms of locusts wreaking havoc with crops and livelihoods after the worst infestation in generations. A lack of expertise in controlling the pests is not their only problem: Kenya temporarily ran out of pesticides, Ethiopia needs more planes and Somalia and Yemen, torn by civil war, can't guarantee exterminators' safety. Locust swarms have been recorded in the region since biblical times, but unusual weather patterns exacerbated by climate change have created ideal conditions for insect numbers to surge, scientists say.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday revealed there was a secret plan to use a double to make public appearances for him, while insisting he vetoed it -- and that he is the real Putin. Putin's comments showed that a conspiracy theory widespread on the internet that the Russian strongman has been impersonated over the years or even replaced by a lookalike is not entirely without basis. TASS state news agency showed Putin a list of popular Russian-language Internet searches including "Putin double proof".
Gambia's government reopened two shut-down radio stations and dropped charges against four journalists for their coverage of last month's violent protests against President Adama Barrow, saying that its response against the demonstrations wasn't “perfect. Protests on Jan. 26 saw the most severe crackdown on dissent since Barrow took office three years ago, with demonstrators calling on the 55-year-old to step down in line with an agreement he made with coalitions partners in 2016. Police arrested 137 activists and banned the 'Three Years is Enough' movement, which the government labeled as “subversive, violent and illegal.
President Trump held a news conference on Wednesday evening where he discussed his administration's response to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic. Elements of the response outlined by Trump mirror things he specifically criticized President Barack Obama for during the ebola outbreak in 2014. Trump sent nearly 50 tweets and made multiple media appearances criticizing Obama's handling of the ebola outbreak in 2014.
Top officials in the Trump administration struggled on Tuesday morning to justify their response to the growing threat of the coronavirus, which has sickened at least 80,423 people around the world and killed at least 2,712. Although there have been no recorded fatalities in the United States yet, skeptical members of the U.S. Senate made clear to administration officials that they did not have confidence in their response. At one point during their back-and-forth, which promptly went viral on social media, Kennedy insisted that Wolf tell him the number of coronavirus cases that the United States could expect.
A measure to grant funding to try to eradicate the invasive rodents called nutria has passed the U.S. House with the help of a large, stuffed specimen. California Rep. Josh Harder brought the taxidermied nutria he calls Nellie to the House floor Wednesday ahead of a vote that approved the bill, The Modesto Bee reported. Louisiana Rep. Garret Graves co-sponsored the legislation with Harder.
Right now in Iran we are facing a coronavirus epidemic,” said a senior medical doctor at the Masih Daneshvari hospital in Tehran, the country's top pulmonary public hospital and the main facility overseeing coronavirus patients. Public officials have not confirmed how the disease arrived in Iran, but it appears to be the locus for the regional outbreak. So far, Afghanistan, Georgia, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, and Oman reported their first cases of coronavirus, all linked to passengers traveling from Iran.
A Texas elementary school art teacher who was placed on administrative leave after showing her students a picture of her fiancée has reached a $100,000 settlement after a judge ruled that her suspension was unconstitutional. "The agreements the district and I made in this settlement are a positive first step in making things better for gay employees, gay students and gay families in Mansfield," the teacher, Stacy Bailey, told NBC Dallas-Fort Worth. Bailey, who began working at Charlotte Anderson Elementary School in the Dallas suburb of Arlington over a decade ago, sued the district and two school administrators in May 2018, claiming that the defendants wrongly discriminated against her because of her sexual orientation.
A mother arrested in Hawaii in connection with the disappearance of her two Idaho children wants a judge to reconsider her $5 million bail.
Islamist militant groups in Nigeria have begun targeting Christians in an attempt to provoke a religious war, the information minister said on Thursday. Islamist insurgents in Nigeria have killed around 35,000 people and displaced at least two million in the past decade, driven first by Boko Haram and more recently by its offshoot, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP). Information Minister Lai Mohammed said jihadist groups in the northeast of the country have now adopted a "deliberate policy of attacking Christians."
Israel on Wednesday became the first country to officially warn its citizens to avoid any international travel amid fears over the coronavirus outbreak. Several airlines have canceled flights to China, where the respiratory virus originated, and governments have issued warnings about travel to certain countries, but no country has actively urged their citizens avoid traveling abroad at large until now. "If you don't genuinely have to fly — don't do so," Israel's health ministry said in a statement.
The EU asset freezes and travel bans on two employees of Turkish Petroleum Corp. make good on the bloc's months-long vow to counter Turkey's oil and natural-gas exploration in waters that are part of the exclusive economic zone of member country Cyprus. The sanctions also are the first of their kind in response to the actions of a nation seeking to join the EU. “Hanging in the balance is a possible influx of Syrian refugees into Europe,” said Michael Emerson of the CEPS think tank in the Belgian capital.
But during last night's Democratic debate in Charleston, S.C., several of Sanders's rivals tried to blunt his momentum ahead of Saturday's Palmetto State primary by claiming, for the first time in a national setting, that the problem isn't just that the Vermont senator is unelectable himself. It's that nominating him would make dozens of down-ballot Democratic House, Senate and state legislature candidates more vulnerable, too. I'll tell you exactly what [Sanders's agenda] adds up to,” said Pete Buttigieg.
A trans woman who threatened shop staff with a claw hammer escaped prison after a court heard there was no way to confirm her gender. Leila Le Fey, 40, admitted entering a Budgens store in Brighton last year in a bid to steal alcohol, and brandished the “terrifying” weapon at Enoch Adetayo, the shop's manager, before assaulting him. Lewes Crown Court heard that Le Fey had completed gender-reassignment but had not yet obtained a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) to that effect.
Joe Biden is dangling a history-making promise shortly before South Carolina's presidential primary on Saturday, the first 2020 contest featuring a majority black electorate. Elect him president, Biden says, and he might nominate the first black woman to the Supreme Court. As president, I'd be honored, honored to appoint the first African American woman.
Key point: Ukraine doesn't have nuclear weapons and probably won't ever be as strong as Russia. But Kyiv has become much, much more formidable than Moscow ever anticipated or wanted. You May Also Like: 5 Best Submarines of All Time, 5 Best Aircraft Carriers of All Time, 5 Best Battleships of All Time and Worst Submarine of All Time.
Iran has the highest reported number of deaths from the coronavirus outside China, raising questions about how the government is handling the public health crisis and whether the often secretive regime has been fully transparent about the extent of the outbreak. Iran's health ministry spokesman said on Thursday that 26 Iranians have died out of a total of 245 positive cases. Apart from China, where it was first detected in December, Iran has recorded the most deaths from the new form of coronavirus.
The search for a missing Tennessee toddler has shifted to the northwest corner of North Carolina as authorities grow increasingly frustrated in their desperate bid to find the little girl, officials said Wednesday. The mother and grandmother of 15-month-old Evelyn Mae Boswell have both been arrested — and put in the same jail — as deputies in two states continue looking for her, Tennessee's Sullivan County Sheriff Jeff Cassidy said. "They are actively looking in an area in Wilkes County North Carolina" for the girl, Sullivan told reporters.
MOSCOW/WARSAW (Reuters) - The Kremlin on Thursday played down the significance of an attack on a Chechen blogger living in Poland who has been highly critical of Chechnya's Kremlin-backed leader Ramzan Kadyrov, the third such incident this month. Tumso Abdurakhmanov, who fled Russia after an altercation in Chechnya, was taken to hospital on Wednesday after a man broke into his home and attacked him with a hammer, a Chechen rights group said. It was the third attack on a Kadyrov critic this month, after the murder of Chechen blogger Imran Aliyev in France and an assault on Russian journalist Yelena Milashina in the Chechen capital Grozny.