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.
A criminal complaint against former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, shows that George Floyd was "non-responsive" for nearly three minutes before Chauvin took his knee off his neck. The complaint also cited a preliminary autopsy report that showed there were "no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation." Instead, Floyd died from a "combined effect of being restrained, his underlying health conditions, and any potential intoxicants in his system," the autopsy revealed.
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.”
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 Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada said Thursday that she's not interested in serving as running mate to presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden. Cortez Masto, who in 2016 became the first Latina elected to the U.S. Senate, said in a statement that she supports the former vice president but does not want to join the Democratic presidential ticket. I support Joe Biden 100% and will work tirelessly to help get him elected this November.
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.
Yet as Mexico's daily death toll rises to become one of the highest in the world – a record 501 fatalities were reported on Tuesday alone – the country is simultaneously preparing to reopen and weathering a politically charged battle over the true scale of the crisis. We're doing well, the pandemic has been tamed,” Mexico's populist president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, claimed on Thursday as he announced he would resume touring the country when a period of nationwide quarantine was wound down next week. Alejandro Macías, a leading infectious diseases specialist, said he understood and supported the need to plot out a return to some kind of normality for Mexico's 129 million citizens.
The governments of Denmark and Norway have cut Sweden out of a deal allowing each other's tourists to travel freely between the two countries — citing their Nordic neighbour's higher levels of coronavirus infection. The deal, announced at parallel press conferences in Oslo and Copenhagen on Friday afternoon, showed Sweden has failed in its diplomatic efforts to be included in the first stage of a Nordic travel bubble. Under the deal, people from Denmark will from June 15 be allowed to enter Norway without needing to quarantine, while tourists from Norway will be able to enter Denmark, so long as they have booked accommodation for at least six days.
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.
A Missouri resident who attended a crowded pool party at the Lake of the Ozarks has tested positive for the coronavirus, local outlet KMBC reported. A Missouri citizen who attended a crowded pool party at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri over Memorial Day weekend has tested positive for the coronavirus, local outlet KMBC reported.
The Minneapolis police officer who was filmed kneeling on George Floyd's neck for several minutes even as he said “I can't breathe” has previously been the subject of multiple complaints filed to the Minneapolis Police Department's Internal Affairs Division, it has emerged. Mr Chauvin, who has been fired along with the other three police officers who apprehended Mr Floyd, was reported to the division 18 times. According to a police summary, only two of the complaints were “closed with discipline”.
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.
US President Donald Trump on Friday ordered a probe into the actions of Chinese companies listed on American financial markets as tensions flared anew between the world's two biggest economies. The announcement followed Beijing's move to implement a new security law on semi-autonomous Hong Kong that critics say would stifle freedom, as well as with Trump's claims that China obfuscated the origins of the coronavirus that has killed more than 100,000 people in the United States. "I'm instructing my presidential working group on financial markets to study the differing practices of Chinese companies listed on the US financial markets with the goal of protecting American investors," Trump said, without providing details on what steps his administration might take.
Myanmar's military said Friday that 10 members of the paramilitary Border Guard Police are missing along with three of their family members after a predawn attack allegedly by the Arakan Army, an ethnic rebel group. A statement on the website of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief of Defense Services said about 100 members of the rebel force, which claims to represent the Buddhist ethnic Rakhine minority, attacked a police post in Rakhine state's Rathedaung township shortly after 2 a.m. Friday. Myanmar's military has faced its strongest challenge in several years from the well-armed and well-trained Arakan Army, one of many guerrilla groups representing the country's ethnic minorities.
Seeking to deter further shipments of Iranian fuel to Venezuela, the Trump administration has quietly warned foreign governments, seaports, shipping companies and insurers that they could face stiff U.S. sanctions if they aid the tanker flotilla, the U.S. envoy on Venezuela told Reuters on Friday. Elliott Abrams, Washington's special representative on Venezuela, said the pressure campaign targeting heavily sanctioned U.S. foes Iran and Venezuela was being waged “to be sure everyone recognizes this would be a very dangerous transaction to assist.” The Venezuelan navy on Thursday escorted a fourth tanker bringing Iranian fuel through its waters to the gasoline-starved country, defying U.S. threats of “measures” in response to the shipments.
One of the coldest regions on Earth has been experiencing a record-breaking heat wave in recent weeks amid growing fears about devastating wildfires and melting permafrost. Khatanga, a town in Siberia's Arctic Circle, registered highs of over 80 degrees Fahrenheit this week, according to Accuweather, far above the 59 degrees F historical average, as the whole of western Siberia basked in unseasonable warmth. While locals flocked to popular spots to sunbathe, experts sounded alarms about the possible implications for the region's wildfire season this summer, with some blazes already breaking out in recent months.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Wednesday that Hong Kong was no longer sufficiently autonomous from mainland China — an assessment that could threaten the city's trading relationship with the U.S. and deal a blow to both American and Chinese companies operating there. The news comes following Beijing's decision late last week to draw up a national security law for Hong Kong. The move came after Hong Kong's Legislative Council failed in its obligations to enact such a law since the former British colony was handed back to China in 1997.
Canadians are watching unrest and police violence in the United States in “shock and horror”, Justin Trudeau said on Friday – but the prime minister cautioned that his country also has entrenched problems with racism. The city of Minneapolis has been rocked by a third night of violent protests over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, after a white police officer knelt on his neck as he lay on the ground following arrest. “Many Canadians of diverse backgrounds are watching, like all Canadians are, the news out of the United States with shock and with horror,” Trudeau told reporters at a daily briefing.
A band of marauding monkeys has attacked a laboratory technician and stolen three Covid-19 test samples, raising fears they will infect themselves and then spread the deadly disease to humans. The worker was attacked outside a medical college in Meerut, northern India, while transporting samples from patients suspected of having coronavirus. Others saw the funny side of the monkey attack, with the incident coming days after the Indian authorities detained a pigeon in Jammu & Kashmir on suspicion of spying for Pakistan.
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.
Robert Michael/picture alliance via Getty Images Germany has drawn praise from around the world for its quick and efficient coronavirus response. Nine people who are currently living there told Business Insider how they felt the country responded to the pandemic. The majority said they were confident in the government handling of the virus and said they felt protected by the country's robust healthcare system.
CNN anchor Don Lemon unloaded on President Donald Trump after the Justice Department said Thursday that the president was “actively monitoring” the investigation of four Minneapolis police officers over the death of an unarmed black man, exclaiming that nobody “wants to hear from the Birther-in-Chief.” During a press conference late Thursday afternoon, local and federal investigators insisted that they “can't rush” bringing charges for the death of George Floyd, who was pronounced dead after an officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes. With protests raging across the country, U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald said the investigation was a “top priority” for the feds before adding that Trump and Attorney General William Barr were paying high attention to the case.
The remains of a second child that belonged to a Tennessee couple facing abuse charges have been found buried in a yard, court records said. A search warrant affidavit says police recovered the remains of a boy from a Knox County property where Michael and Shirley Gray lived until about 2016, news outlets reported on Friday. Police began searching the property after finding the body of a girl buried under a barn at the Gray's current home in nearby Roane County.
Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, the first Latina elected to the U.S. Senate, said on Thursday she is not interested in being Joe Biden's running mate in November's presidential election. "I support Joe Biden 100% and will work tirelessly to help get him elected this November. It is an honor to be considered as a potential running mate, but I have decided to withdraw my name from consideration," Cortez Masto said in a statement.
While some people have already received their payments as direct deposits or paper checks in the mail, almost 4 million people — including those for whom the agency does not have bank accounts on file — will be getting their stimulus payments in the form of prepaid debit cards. The only problem is that the debit cards come in envelopes that say "Money Network Cardholder Services" and do not bear any federal markings. That has prompted some recipients to complain that they look too similar to unwanted credit card offers, leading some to accidentally throw the cards — which could contain as much as $3,400 for a family of four — in the trash.