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.
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.
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.
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.
The European Union's cautious response to China's clampdown on Hong Kong on Friday will not much trouble Beijing and underscores Brussels' dilemma when dealing with the increasingly confident great power. After a video conference with 27 foreign ministers, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell expressed "grave concern" but he could threaten no sanctions and said planning for an EU-China summit would continue. In fact, Borrell said, only one of the European countries even raised the possibly of sanctions -- a diplomatic source told AFP this was Sweden -- and he said European investment in China was not in question.
A mayor in Mississippi is facing fierce backlash and calls to resign after saying that he “didn't see anything unreasonable” about the death of George Floyd. Mr Floyd, who was black, died while in police custody in Minneapolis after a white officer was filmed pinned him to the ground by his neck for a prolonged period of time. In the footage, Floyd can be heard saying “I can't breathe” to officers multiple times.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says contaminated surfaces are not the main way the virus is transmitted, the agency hasn't ruled surfaces out as a possible mode of infection. “If you want a reliable way to prevent yourself from getting the coronavirus, worry less about the surfaces you touch, and worry more about how frequently you wash your hands,” says Dr. Dara Kass, a Yahoo News Medical Contributor and associate professor of emergency medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. Confusion over how the virus is transmitted was reignited last week when the CDC edited the “How COVID-19 Spreads” page on their COVID-19 website to mention contaminated surfaces and objects under a new heading entitled, “The virus does not spread easily in other ways.”
Wisconsin saw a record number of new coronavirus cases and deaths reported in a single day on Wednesday, two weeks after the state's Supreme Court struck down its statewide stay-at-home order. The state reported 599 new known COVID-19 cases on Wednesday with 22 known deaths, according to Wisconsin's Department of Health Services, the highest recorded daily rise since the pandemic began there. As of Wednesday, the state had more than 16,460 known cases and 539 known deaths, according to the department.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell acknowledged Friday that the Fed faces a major challenge with the launch in the coming days of a program that will lend to companies other than banks for the first time since the Great Depression. The Fed's Main Street Lending is geared toward medium-sized companies that are too large for the government's small business lending program and too small to sell bonds or stock to the public. The individual loans, which could reach $600 billion, will technically be made by banks.
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.
Gross domestic product data out later on Friday is expected to show India's economy grew at its slowest pace in at least two years in the March quarter as the coronavirus pandemic weakened already declining consumer demand and private investment. The median forecast from a Reuters poll of economists put annual economic growth at 2.1% in the March quarter, lower than 4.7% in the December quarter. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has maintained the lockdown ordered on March 25 to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the world's second most populous country, though many restrictions were eased for manufacturing, transport and other services from May 18.
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.
CNN Center, the cable network's Atlanta headquarters, came under attack Friday night during protests over police brutality sparked by the death of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis. A largely peaceful demonstration erupted first in vandalism, then in violence. Cops used pepper spray, and then some in the crowd were seen smashing windows and defacing the giant CNN sign with spray-paint.
At a press briefing on Thursday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters President Trump said he's feeling “absolutely great” after completing his treatment with the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure against the coronavirus. In April, the FDA cautioned against using the drug to treat COVID-19 outside of a hospital setting or clinical trial.
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.
With its cast iron replica of Budapest's Liberty Bridge and its pale-stoned version of Versailles, visitors to Huawei's research centre in Dongguan could be forgiven for thinking they were in Europe. The Telegraph can disclose today that the controversial Chinese telecoms giant backed 17 scientific papers with UK universities, about cutting-edge “dual use” technologies – which can have civilian applications but can also be used in military technology. At least 15 of the papers focused on technology that experts claim could be used to communicate with swarms of drones or on highly advanced image recognition software that experts claim could be used for extreme levels of surveillance.
The coronavirus began quietly spreading in the U.S. as early as late January, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday — before President Donald Trump blocked air travel from China and a full month before community spread was first detected in the country. It was also the first media briefing from the CDC in more than two months. "As America begins to reopen, looking back at how COVID-19 made its way to the United States will contribute to a better understanding to prepare for the future," Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, said Friday during a call with reporters.
Hal Marx, the mayor of Petal, Mississippi, tweeted that George Floyd wasn't choking when a Minneapolis police officer stood on his neck because he could still speak. Seth Stoughton, co-author of "Evaluating Police Uses of Force," told Insider the position Floyd was placed in easily could have led to his death. A mayor in Mississippi is defending the officers involved in the arrest of George Floyd, who died while being subdued by police in Minneapolis.
Transcripts of phone calls that played a pivotal role in the Russia investigation were declassified and released Friday, showing that Michael Flynn, as an adviser to then-President-elect Donald Trump, urged Russia's ambassador to be “even-keeled” in response to punitive Obama administration measures, and assured him “we can have a better conversation” about relations between the two countries after Trump became president. Democrats said the transcripts showed that Flynn had lied to the FBI when he denied details of the conversation, and that he was undercutting a sitting president while ingratiating himself with a country that had just interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
Retired US Navy Adm. William McRaven, the commander who oversaw the military raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, called on recent college graduates to "save the world." In a speech to the graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he said he initially prepared a speech that included "cute little anecdotes." "But somehow that speech just didn't seem right in light of all that has happened in the past five months," McRaven said during an online commencement address.
A former Minneapolis police officer has been arrested and charged with murder following the death of an unarmed black man in custody. Derek Chauvin, who is white, was shown in footage kneeling on 46-year-old George Floyd's neck on Monday. Hennepin County Prosecutor Mike Freeman said Mr Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The ongoing riots in Minnesota hurt Senator Amy Klobuchar's prospects for Democratic nomination as vice president, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D., S.C.) said on Friday. Klobuchar declined to bring charges against multiple Minneapolis police officers involved in shootings over the course of her seven-year tenure as attorney for Hennepin County. Minneapolis has seen four days of riots after resident George Floyd, an African-American man, died following his arrest at the hands of white officers.
Donald Trump's press secretary said the president always intends to give truthful information as he prepares to sign an executive order against social media tech giants. Kayleigh McEnany said if anyone should be fact checked more it should be the mainstream media. "I'm around the president, his intent is always to give truthful information to the American people," she said during a press briefing today.
Law enforcement officials around the country are publicly condemning the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was seen on video gasping for breath as a white officer held him down with a knee on his neck for close to eight minutes.
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.