A senior Saudi official urged more than 1 million Muslims intending to perform the hajj to delay making plans this year — comments suggesting the pilgrimage could be cancelled due to the new coronavirus pandemic. In February, the kingdom took the extraordinary decision to close off the holy cities of Mecca and Medina to foreigners over the virus, a step which wasn't taken even during the 1918 flu epidemic that killed tens of millions worldwide. Restrictions have tightened in the kingdom as it grapples with over 1,500 confirmed cases of the new virus.
Vice President Mike Pence was left flustered Wednesday when CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer confronted him about President Donald Trump's lengthy period of downplaying the coronavirus threat, insisting the president is just an “optimistic person” and never “belittled” the crisis. Discussing the White House coronavirus task force's new dire projection that up to 240,000 Americans could die from the virus, Pence applauded efforts by various private and public entities to provide food and supplies to Americans now under stay-at-home orders. The CNN anchor went on to ask why the president hasn't issued a national stay-at-home order since the White House's models show a lower death rate based on such a lockdown.
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."
REUTERS/Carlo Allegri Crowds of people gathered in New York City to watch the USNS Comfort arrive, despite a state order requiring social distancing. The ship will be used as additional hospital space for non-coronavirus patients as New York hospitals become overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's communications team asked the NYPD to help disperse the crowd after a journalist tweeted about it.
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.
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.
Ghana's Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta cut the country's economic growth forecast for 2020 to the lowest in 37 years due to the collapse in oil prices and the impact of the coronavirus. Growth in gross domestic product could slow to 1.5% with a partial lockdown of the economy and may “further worsen in the event of full lockdown,” Ofori-Atta told lawmakers Monday in the capital, Accra, according to a copy of his speech. The estimate compares with the government's initial projection of 6.8% and will be slowest since the economy contracted in 1983, when the West African nation was under military rule, data from the International Monetary Fund show.
The head of Moscow's main coronavirus hospital who met with President Vladimir Putin a week ago has tested positive, he said Tuesday, as the Kremlin announced the Russian leader's health was fine. Last Tuesday Denis Protsenko met with the Russian leader who inspected the Kommunarka hospital while wearing a bright yellow hazmat suit. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov swiftly told Russian news agencies that Putin took regular tests and there was no reason to worry about his health.
An estimated 120 million Indian labourers are in the same predicament as Mr Asif, and Mr Modi has been accused of causing a humanitarian disaster by locking down the cities and unleashing a wave of poor migrant workers. Many of those who have been forced out of work have streamed back along highways and railway lines to their home states and villages, potentially spreading the coronavirus infection into the country's hinterlands. Mr Modi's lockdown was a knee-jerk reaction without thought for the consequences to the poor, claimed Manish Tewari, an MP for the Congress party.
Nineteen people have died while fighting a raging forest fire in southwestern China and hundreds of reinforcements were sent to fight the blaze and evacuate nearby residents, officials and state media reported Tuesday. The area threatened by the fire in Sichuan province is thinly populated, but there was no estimate on how many people were leaving the evacuation zone. State media have described villages, a school, a chemical plant and other places as under threat.
I know this because Super Tuesday was also the last time that I was invited to appear on cable news as a political commentator (in the Trump era, turns out, I should have become an FBI agent, lawyer... or a virologist). By the time Super Tuesday II (or whatever we're calling it) came along, Biden's miraculous turnaround was already headline story number II, taking a backseat to (deservedly) breathless pandemic coverage.
India and Pakistan sealed off centers belonging to a Muslim missionary group on Tuesday and began investigating how many coronavirus cases were linked to its activities. Tablighi Jamaat is a Deobandi Sunni Muslim missionary movement that preaches worldwide. Every year, tens of thousands attend its congregations in the Pakistani city of Lahore and other parts of South Asia.
Some couples who'd planned on trying to get pregnant this spring or summer are halting their plans due to the unknowns about how the novel coronavirus might affect them, their future children, or their birth plans. While the American Society for Reproductive Medicine has guidelines discouraging couples from beginning fertility treatments during this time, no organization has yet suggested couples should stop trying to conceive naturally. Couples should consider their own medical histories, mental health, and finances before deciding whether or not to proceed, OB-GYNs told Insider.
From Zaha Hadid's majestic MAXII in Italy to the stunning beauty of Frank Gehry's Vitra Design Museum, these structures elevate the environment they were built in Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
Associated Press Officials in Wuhan, China, reported that 2,535 people in the city have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. But some residents contest the official death toll, citing an increase in the shipment of urns to the city's eight funeral homes. "The incinerators have been working round-the-clock," one resident told Radio Free Asia.
The Trump administration is prepared to lift crippling sanctions on Venezuela in support of a new proposal to form a transitional government requiring both Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaidó to step aside in favor of a five-person governing council, U.S. officials said. The one-page “Democratic Transition Framework for Venezuela” was presented Tuesday by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. It echoes a proposal made over the weekend by Guaidó that shows how growing concerns about the coronavirus, which threatens to overwhelm the South American country's already collapsed health system and economy, are reviving U.S. attempts to pull the military apart from Maduro.
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.
Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he'll announce new measures to contain the spreading coronavirus after declaring a national health emergency, in a sign he is taking firmer action against the disease following weeks of being questioned for not acting decisively. The health emergency, announced Monday night, extends the suspension of all non-essential activity by 10 days to April 30. While no curfew was ordered, the government said there will be strict application of the rule requiring the elderly and sick to stay home even if their work is considered essential.
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.
Russia is sending a planeload of masks and other supplies to help the United States fight the coronavirus pandemic as the number of cases threatens to top 200,000 across the country. The plane will arrive today, after President Donald Trump accepted an offer on Monday by Russian President Vladimir Putin to send personal protective equipment and other gear, a senior administration official confirmed to POLITICO. The Russian government first announced that the plane, an An-124 Ruslan cargo aircraft filled with equipment to help America battle the pandemic, was en route early today.
Alaska: Gov. Mike Dunleavy has forestalled evictions and foreclosures of any tenant or homeowner covered by the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, while the state Supreme Court has halted eviction hearings until May 1 and barred enforcement of outstanding ejectment orders against quarantined people. Arizona: Gov. Doug Ducey has ordered a 120-day stay on eviction orders against anybody quarantined or experiencing hardship because of COVID-19, starting March 24, and has launched a $5 million rental assistance fund. The state's “Save Our Home AZ Program” is offering principal reduction assistance, monthly mortgage subsidy assistance, and second lien elimination assistance.
A man is suspected of infecting his pregnant wife with the novel coronavirus after hiding his symptoms to join her in a New York hospital maternity ward, USA Today reports. The incident prompted the hospital — Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York — to impose stricter screening measures on the already few visitors allowed in the maternity ward. A man hid his coronavirus symptoms from hospital staff so he could be with his pregnant wife in a New York hospital maternity ward last week, USA Today reported Tuesday.
Britain's Prince Charles, who has recovered after testing positive for coronavirus, praised the selfless devotion of healthcare workers on Wednesday and said it was a strange and distressing time for the nation. Heir-to-the-throne Charles, 71, came out of self-isolation on Monday after suffering what he said were "luckily ... relatively mild symptoms" and his office said he was now in good health. Britain is in a state of virtual lockdown, with the public told they must stay at home other than for essential trips, such as to buy food.
Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway tells 'Fox & Friends' that it's 'disappointing' to see criticism of the White House's COVID-19 response efforts.
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.