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.
As the world economy enters an unprecedented crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and policymakers in Washington and other global capitals prepare record fiscal stimulus plans, stakeholders should heed an important lesson from the last financial downturn in 2008: Recovery is only possible through coordinated global action. A little more than 10 years ago, as the world was entering the Great Recession, stakeholders had to look far back in the rear-view mirror to the Great Depression for policy guidance. While the actions of the 1930s did offer important lessons for 2008 — most notably the need to expand the money supply — the economy of the 1930s was fundamentally different than the global economy of the early part of this century.
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.
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."
Associated Press Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday that the US is starting to see "glimmers" that social distancing is having a dampening effect on the spread of the coronavirus. There's a "reasonably good chance" that a second wave of the virus hits later this year, he said in an interview with CNN. Fauci said that while people who survive the virus are likely to be immune, there won't be enough of them to provide "herd immunity" to prevent community spread.
At the coronavirus task force briefing, President Trump rebuked New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for saying states have to compete and bid against each other like they're on eBay.
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.
Louisiana's patients hospitalised for coronavirus and the number of patients on life-saving ventilators have doubled within the last five days, the state's governor has announced. The state also saw a one-day surge in more than 1,200 confirmed cases of Covid-19, a 30 per cent increase that brings the statewide total to more than 5,200. At least 239 people have died, including 54 newly reported deaths.
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.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) plans to call DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz to testify before congress regarding his office's audit of the FBI's FISA application process, which was released Tuesday and revealed potentially systematic abuses of the transparency measures required of the Bureau when agents interact with the FISA court. I have just been briefed on Inspector General Horowitz's audit of FISA applications involving American citizens. This random audit shows discrepancies regarding verification of the information under the Woods Procedures,” Graham said in a press release.
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Associated Press In a Monday morning interview on "Fox & Friends," Trump said that congressional Republicans opposed expanding voting access in the coronavirus stimulus package because it would hurt them politically. The House's version of the package would have required every state to hold early voting, establish no-excuse absentee voting, and mail out ballots in emergency situations. "The things they had in there were crazy," Trump said.
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.
Barely a month before Europe embarked on a scramble for masks, ventilators and testing kits to fight coronavirus, governments told Brussels their healthcare systems were ready and there was no need to order more stocks, EU documents show. This rosy assessment is in stark contrast to the shortages of masks and medical equipment just a few weeks later, when the European Commission estimated needs across EU states to be 10 times higher than would usually be available. "Things under control," a European Commission official said at a closed-door meeting with diplomats from member states on Feb. 5, two weeks after China locked down nearly 60 million people in Hubei province, or roughly the population of Italy.
As European and American healthcare systems creak under the strain, China has offered millions of face masks and teams of medical experts. As well as seeking to deflect criticism over initial Chinese missteps in handling the epidemic, analysts say, the campaign is a public relations opportunity in China's great power rivalry with the West and especially the United States. COVID-19 first emerged in a wild animal market last year in the Chinese city of Wuhan, but Beijing says the situation in China is now under control with domestic cases dwindling to zero.
New York City's coronavirus death toll surpassed 1,000 on Tuesday as an overwhelmed health system embraced the arrival of hundreds of additional paramedics, EMTs and ambulances. The lifeline of health care support includes 500 paramedics and EMTs and 250 more ambulances, city officials said. A somber-sounding Gov. Andrew Cuomo said early Tuesday that more than 300 new deaths had been reported in the state in the previous 24 hours, a number rendered obsolete just hours later by the virus that has infected more than 75,000 statewide.
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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.
This is Candy Sterling – a fierce drag queen who lights up the New York City nightlife while maintaining a professional day job. Get to know her both in and out of drag on this week's episode of Behind the Drag.
Hundreds of flights have been cancelled as fleets are grounded and the process of reimbursing people is under strain. EasyJet has faced particular anger as rebooking is done online but refunds require calling customer services and getting through is almost impossible. Holly Fitton, writing on Facebook, said: "I have been told to ring you for a refund.