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.
During the early stages of the campaign, Harris was questioned on whether she was open to being Biden's vice president — a question she often suggested should be asked of Biden too. Suffice it to say, Harris has been answering questions about her place in a potential Biden administration longer than many other contenders as an early favorite; some have taken to national publications to push their pick to the top of the list. Several top aides and members of Biden's camp say Harris — who has hosted multiple campaign events and been able to rake in cash — is the top pick too, according to recent reporting in Politico.
Protests continued in Minneapolis on Wednesday over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in a hospital after a police officer kneeled on his neck for roughly eight minutes. "Please, Minneapolis, we cannot let tragedy beget more tragedy," Mayor Jacob Frey said Wednesday night. Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis asked people to go home after a second night of protests over George Floyd's death escalated from the events of the night before.
The so-called honor killing of a 14-year-old Iranian girl by her dad, who reportedly beheaded her as she slept, has sparked a nationwide outcry.
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...
An English court on Thursday said it would need to decide which of Venezuela's dueling political factions to recognize before ruling on President Nicolas Maduro's request for the Bank of England to hand over gold the country has in its vaults. Venezuela for decades stored gold that makes up part of its central bank reserves in the vaults of foreign financial institutions including the Bank of England, which provides gold custodian services to developing countries. The bank since 2018 has refused to transfer the funds to Maduro's government, which Britain does not recognize.
Reuters A Financial Times analysis of the excess death rates of 13 countries compared to when they imposed a lockdown has shown a close correlation between the two factors. The data suggests that the less widespread the virus was when a country locked down, the lower the excess death rates. For example, the UK waited until later in the severity of its outbreak before locking down, and now shows a high excess death rate.
The Moscow City Hall on Wednesday promised to re-open parks and finally allow walks after nine weeks of coronavirus lockdown but the incredibly strict rules regulating outdoor activities have been met with universal derision. Sergei Sobyanin, the Moscow mayor, announced something that could be a cause for celebration on Wednesday, telling Vladimir Putin, the president, in a televised conference call that the Russian capital was poised to begin lifting some of the lockdown restrictions. The number of new Covid-19 cases recorded in Moscow on Thursday, was just over 2,000, the lowest in five weeks, and the number of hospitalisations dropped by 40 per cent in a fortnight, according to the mayor.
The White House continued on Thursday to promote the use of hydroxychloroquine, the antimalarial drug that President Trump and some of his supporters have held out as a treatment for the coronavirus, against the advice of the Food and Drug Administration and in the face of studies that have shown it can be harmful in some cases. Routinely touted by prominent conservative allies of the president, including primetime Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham, it has been denounced by members of the medical establishment as an unproven therapy that poses the risk of potentially fatal heart complications. The FDA recommends that COVID-19 patients, if they choose to use it, do so only in a hospital or under medical supervision in a clinical trial.
Senate Democrats on Wednesday unveiled a new report on Republican efforts to pack the courts with conservative-leaning judges and the outsized influence of one conservative activist. "Our report exposes a twisted web of dark money, and special interest groups who behind the scenes are investing millions and millions to plant ideological activist judges completely remake the courts, and ultimately rewrite the Constitution," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. As part of their report, the senators pointed to activist Leonard Leo, the former head of the conservative Federalist Society, as the driving force behind the many of the president's appointments, including Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.
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 Philippines will lift key coronavirus lockdown measures in the nation's capital, President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday, aiming to resuscitate a faltering economy after nearly three months of strict home quarantine. Manila has endured one of the world's longest lockdowns, which has hit the livelihoods of millions of workers but not halted a steady stream of new infections. Most businesses will be allowed to re-open from Monday and public transit is to return in a limited form, although children and the elderly will have to stay home unless they are out getting essentials or headed to work.
Ira Latrell Toles didn't immediately recognize Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin in the now-viral video of him holding his knee on George Floyd's neck as the handcuffed black man repeatedly told him he couldn't breathe. But when news outlets identified the officers involved, Toles, 33, realized the man responsible for Floyd's death was the same police officer who barged into his home and beat him up in the bathroom before shooting him in the stomach 12 years earlier while responding to a domestic violence call. The officer that killed that guy might be the one that shot me,” Toles texted his sister on Tuesday night, according to messages shared with The Daily Beast.
A five-member Taliban team was in Kabul on Thursday to follow up on this week's prisoner release by the Afghan government that saw hundreds of insurgents freed. Javid Faisal, an Afghan national security spokesman, and Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen both confirmed that a Taliban team was in the Afghan capital, without providing details. Earlier this week, Shaheen had said from Qatar, where the Taliban maintain a political office, that the insurgents planned to free “a remarkable number” of Afghan officials and others they hold captive.
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.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk acknowledged feeling pretty nervous ahead of SpaceX's historic mission to send its first astronauts to space. SpaceX was scheduled to launch its first people into orbit on its new Crew Dragon spaceship on Wednesday at 4:33 p.m. ET from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Speaking on "CBS This Morning" on Wednesday, Musk said the safety of the astronauts was SpaceX's top priority and noted that many things could go wrong during the mission.
Driver Death Rates by Car Type Death rates are per million registered vehicle years, as indicated. Cars: 48 Minivans: 22 SUVs: 25 Pickup trucks: 29 The Ford Fiesta had the highest overall number of deaths per million registered vehicle years, with 141, according to the IIHS. The Hyundai Accent and Chevrolet Sonic followed closely behind, with 116 and 98 deaths per million registered vehicle years.
Two days later, both Reuters and the New York Times reported that new daily cases of COVID-19 — which have been falling for weeks, both nationally and in the hardest-hit metropolitan areas — suddenly and simultaneously started to rise in more than a dozen states. The Times counted 14 states where the rolling seven-day average of new infections has climbed over the last two weeks. Narrowing the timeframe and focusing on the total weekly case count, Reuters found that 20 states reported an increase in new infections during the week ending May 24, up from 13 states the week before.
China's legislature approved controversial new security laws Thursday that exert control over Hong Kong, a direct reaction to a pro-democracy movement in the southern region. The Chinese Communist Party's move was a direct reaction to a pro-democracy movement that Beijing blames on foreign interference, and it threatens to push already-strained relations between two of the world's biggest economies — and military powers — to breaking point. President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other senior U.S. officials had warned for days that there would be serious consequences if China enacted the new laws.
A white woman who called the police after a black man asked her to put her dog on a leash in New York City's Central Park has been fired from her job with an investment firm. Franklin Templeton announced on Twitter on Tuesday it had sacked an employee, "effective immediately". "We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton," the tweet said.
Two tropical storms have already formed prior to the official start of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which begins on June 1- and AccuWeather meteorologists say there are two factors behind the unusual occurrence. These weather factors could soon cause more storms to brew, but this time, forecasters are watching a new tropical hotspot of the basin. Tropical Storm Arthur, the first storm of the season, was named by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) on May 16, the earliest-named tropical system to form in the Atlantic since Tropical Storm Arlene in April 2017.
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.
Two hikers rescued in the New Zealand wilderness Wednesday got lost in fog and exhausted their food but survived 18 days with only minor injuries, police said. Jessica O'Connor and Dion Reynolds, both 23, had hiked into the sprawling Kahurangi National Park on May 9, intending to be gone for about five days, according to police. “This is a fantastic outcome and one that we were all hoping for, although we were becoming increasingly concerned as the days progressed," said police area commander Paul Borrell in a statement.
The Philippines' health ministry on Thursday reported 17 more novel coronavirus deaths and 539 new infections, the largest number of cases reported in a single day since the virus was first detected in the country. The number of recovered patients was 3,598. An inter-agency panel on coronavirus has recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte the easing of strict lockdown measures in the capital, which accounts for most of the coronavirus cases and deaths, to restart economic activity.