The official who oversaw epidemic preparedness for the National Security Council under President Obama said the absence of public guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic leaves her “frankly scared” — and that eliminating her position weakened the American response to the coronavirus when it emerged 18 months later. Beth Cameron, who served as senior director for global health security and biodefense on the NSC until early 2017, was interviewed on the Yahoo News “Skullduggery” podcast. “I'm frankly scared that our CDC is not out in front talking about this,” Cameron said.
Taiwan will provide the people of Hong Kong with "necessary assistance", President Tsai Ing-wen said, after thousands in the Chinese ruled territory protested against Beijing's plans to impose new national security laws. Taiwan has become a refuge for a small but growing number of pro-democracy protesters fleeing Hong Kong, which has been convulsed since last year by anti-Beijing and anti-Hong Kong government protests. Hong Kong police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse thousands of people who rallied on Sunday to protest against Beijing's move to introduce new national security laws.
Americans with a bad case of wanderlust may have to wait until later this summer to vacation abroad – and while some countries, including Spain, have announced target dates to reopen, the pickings will be slim for a while. Parts of Mexico and the Caribbean have targeted dates in early to mid-June for reopening from coronavirus restrictions, but Europe will lag, opening first to other citizens of European Union and Schengen Area countries before welcoming international visitors at a later date. At least one EU member nation has announced a target window, however: Spain's prime minister announced Saturday that his country will reopen to foreign tourists sometime in July, though he did not specify a date.
Former U.S. Rep. Allen West of Florida was recovering Sunday after suffering a concussion, several fractured bones and cuts in a motorcycle crash in Texas, according to a post on his Facebook page. The post said West was driving back from a rally in Austin focused on reopening the state amid the coronavirus pandemic when the accident occurred Saturday. A post on his page later on Sunday said West, who was in stable condition, was expected to be released Monday and then plans to take a week off to recuperate.
A moderate 5.6-magnitude earthquake rattled New Zealand's North Island early Monday but failed to crack Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's trademark composure as she conducted a live television interview. The quake struck just off the coast before 8:00 am local time (2000 Sunday GMT) at a depth of about 52 kilometres (32 miles) near Levin, about 90 kilometres north of Wellington, the US Geological Survey said. St John Ambulance and New Zealand Police both said there were no initial reports of injuries or damage.
MSNBC's Joy Reid opened her interview with Charlamagne Tha God on Sunday morning by congratulating him on his interview this past week with former Vice President Joe Biden—even if all anyone wants to talk about are the final few seconds. “You've got more questions?” Biden asked. Shortly after that interview, Biden apologized for his remarks on a conference call with the Black Chamber of Commerce.
YouTube/University of Oxford Oxford scientists working on a coronavirus vaccine say the chances of success are now 50%. They say that's because the number of people with the virus in the UK is falling too quickly. "At the moment, there's a 50% chance that we get no result at all," scientist Adam Hill said this weekend.
One of the survivors of Friday's plane crash in the Pakistani city of Karachi has described his ordeal, saying all he could see "was fire". Passenger Muhammad Zubair was one of at least two passengers who survived after the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Airbus A320 came down in a residential area. It came days after Pakistan allowed commercial flights to resume after the country's coronavirus lockdown was eased.
A perfect storm has gathered over one of the world's most benighted nations, Afghanistan, where ordinary citizens are facing a fresh form of misery. Taliban militants have announced they will keep fighting since they say there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in areas under the group's control, a senior militant in the province of Ghazni has told NBC News. An exception to the ongoing tensions will be a three-day Eid ceasefire starting Sunday, the Taliban announced in a tweet Saturday.
The White House on Sunday accused China of a cover-up that will “go down in history along with Chernobyl”, ramping up efforts to deflect attention from a Covid-19 death toll in the US fast closing on 100,000. Robert O'Brien, Donald Trump's national security adviser, made the claim on two political talk shows, saying Beijing gave “false information” to the World Health Organization (WHO) at the start of the year and alleging that stonewalling of an investigation into the origins of the pandemic has cost “many, many thousands of lives in America and around the world”. On Saturday Mike Pence, the vice-president, told Breitbart News that China had “let the world down” and insisted the WHO was “their willing partner in withholding from the US and wider world vital information about the coronavirus”.
Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday became the first serving Israeli prime minister to go on trial, proclaiming his innocence in the corridor before walking into court to face charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. The trial came a week after Israel's longest-serving leader was sworn in to a record fifth term, demonstrating his knack for survival by securing an unexpected power-sharing deal with his main opponent after three inconclusive elections in a year. In the courtroom, Netanyahu and the judges wore face masks because of the coronavirus crisis.
Sir David Attenborough has said the coronavirus pandemic has swept the problem of climate change from the front pages. The broadcaster and naturalist, who celebrated his 94th birthday in May, said the outbreak has made the issue feel as if it is in "the distant future". Appearing on the So Hot Right Now podcast, Sir David suggested the virus could make the world's nations see "survival depends on co-operation".
The official who oversaw epidemic preparedness for the National Security Council under President Obama said the absence of public guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic leaves her “frankly scared. She also believes and that eliminating her position weakened the American response to the coronavirus when it emerged 18 months later.
The trial in Moscow of ex-US marine Paul Whelan on espionage charges is set to conclude Monday, ending a court proceeding that has strained ties with Washington and fuelled speculation of a prisoner exchange. Whelan, 50, who also holds Irish, Canadian and British citizenship, was detained in Moscow in December 2018 for allegedly receiving state secrets. "In a just system, the court would acquit Paul based on the lack of evidence," Whelan's brother David said in a statement ahead of the hearing.
An outbreak of coronavirus cases at a food processing plant in Washington state has put a temporary halt to Clark County's plans to enter phase 2 of the state's reopening plan. According to Clark County Public Health, 38 workers at Firestone Pacific Foods in Vancouver have tested positive for COVID-19 so far. Every employee at the facility will be tested for the coronavirus, a process which began Friday, KOIN reports.
In a 16-second video clip, dozens are seen in swim wear, eating and, overall, looking like they're having a good time at a pool party in Lake of the Ozarks on Memorial Day weekend. No one appears to be social distancing or wearing face masks, and, in this time of coronavirus, that's grabbed national attention. The video was posted to Twitter by Scott Pasmore, an Arizona anchor for KTVK-3TV, with the caption: "No covid concerns at the lake of the ozarks."
The populist president, who has faced sustained criticism over his approach to the coronavirus emergency as Brazil's death toll surges to over 20,000, is at the centre of a criminal investigation into claims he sought to replace top federal police officials. Sergio Moro, the ex Justice Minister, alleges Mr Bolsonaro sacked the federal police chief as he wanted someone in the position who would feed him police intelligence. Mr Moro, who headed up a major corruption clampdown, handed in his notice last month after Mr Bolsonaro sacked the federal police director-general without conferring with him.
New York state's daily death toll has dropped below 100 for the first time since March. A total of 84 people died in the last 24 hours, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday, compared with 109 a day before. During the height of the outbreak in April, more than 1,000 people a day were losing their lives in worst-hit US state.
Former president Barack Obama has dipped his toes into the 2020 presidential campaign recently and is positioned to do more in the coming months as Joe Biden's effort to defeat Donald Trump gathers steam. Interviews with about a dozen Democratic strategists, officials and people close to Obama indicated members of the party want the popular former president to use his powerful online presence and focus on rallying key Democrat constituencies that are critical to a Biden victory. Obama is regarded as one of the most popular figures in American politics and a huge asset within the Democratic party.
More than 40 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus following a church service in Frankfurt, Germany's financial center, earlier this month, the head of the city's health department told a news agency on Saturday. The service took place on May 10 at a Baptist church, the department's deputy chief Antoni Walczok told local newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau. Churches in the German state of Hesse, where Frankfurt is located, have been able to hold services since May 1 provided they adhere to official social distancing and hygiene rules.
Little more than four months later, the eyes of the nation - and perhaps the world - are firmly upon Professor Adrian Hill and his team at Oxford University. This week, the pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca announced a $1.2 billion deal with the US government to produce 400 million doses of the unproven coronavirus vaccine first produced in Prof Hill's Oxford lab. Meanwhile, the British Government has agreed to pay for up to 100 million doses, adding that 30 million may be ready for UK citizens by September.
Asian shares are mostly higher, with Tokyo stocks gaining on expectations that a pandemic state of emergency will be lifted for all of Japan. But shares fell in Hong Kong on Monday after police used tear gas to quell weekend protests over a proposed national security bill for the former British colony. U.S. markets will be closed for Memorial Day.
Cancelled shipments, returned goods and a dearth of new orders have left China exporters in crisis as the coronavirus hits its trading partners worldwide -- accelerating a long-standing push towards domestic consumption. The world's second-largest economy is stirring back to life after virus cases dwindled from a peak in February, when activity came to a near-halt. But recovery is now hampered by lockdowns and restrictions overseas as the coronavirus continues its deadly march across the planet, with exporters forced to look to domestic markets after years of selling overseas.
But as secretive and repressive as North Korea is, for some South Koreans, at least, the series drives home one salient point: It just may be that there is more that unites Koreans than divides them. "I watched the drama because it is not a heavy drama about the two Koreas, but a drama mainly focused on love," said Ashely Jun, a translator who lives in Seoul and is a big fan of the show. "It is meaningful, in that it showed some ordinary concerns like love, friendship and family affection in North Korea," Jun said.
As states across the country are reopening, the Navajo Nation is entering a strict 57-hour lockdown in another attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus. The tribe's death toll reached 149 on Friday as the virus continues to disproportionately affect people of color in the U.S. The Navajo Department of Health in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service reported 95 new COVID-19 cases of COVID-19 for the tribe on Friday. The total number of positive cases has surpassed 4,500, pushing the tribe's healthcare system past its capacity.