On a day when the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus pandemic neared 100,000, President Trump sought to direct the nation's attention back to the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic as a way to smear the reputation of his Democratic rival Joe Biden, who was vice president at the time. Joe Biden's handling of the H1N1 Swine Flu was a complete and total disaster. In the early weeks of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., Trump repeatedly sought to show that he was doing a good job dealing with the pandemic compared with how Biden and then-President Barack Obama had responded to the H1N1 pandemic.
In late March, Congress passed the largest stimulus package in American history in an effort to offset the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. One of the most important elements of the massive $2 trillion bill was a provision that boosted unemployment insurance benefits for those who lost work because of stay-at-home orders designed to limit the spread of the virus. Nearly 39 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the past nine weeks.
MINNEAPOLIS—Flames and black smoke poured into the sky over Minneapolis late Wednesday as the second day of protests over the death of George Floyd took a violent turn, with a local business near police headquarters set ablaze and at least one person fatally shot in the area. Minneapolis Police spokesman John Elder confirmed the shooting shortly before midnight local time, but he did not say if it was connected to the protests, according to the Star Tribune. The shooting came amid reports of widespread looting and a major fire at an AutoZone near the police headquarters.
The United States said on Wednesday it will terminate sanctions waivers that had allowed Russian, Chinese and European companies to carry out work originally designed to make it harder for Iranian nuclear sites to be used for weapons development. The waivers, which officials said expire on July 27, covered the conversion of Iran's Arak heavy water research reactor, the provision of enriched uranium for its Tehran Research Reactor and the transfer of spent and scrap reactor fuel abroad. In a statement, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave no precise justification for the move, which will halt some work originally designed to make it more difficult for Iran to potentially develop fissile material for nuclear bombs.
A Pakistani villager has urged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to return his pigeon, currently being held in India on charges of spying. The Pakistani villager, who claims the arrested pigeon is his, says the code is actually his mobile phone number. Pakistan's Dawn newspaper has identified the man as Habibullah and reports that he owns a dozen pigeons.
Anti-Semitic crimes in Germany last year reached their highest level since the country started keeping statistics, amid an overall strong increase in right-extremist criminality that is a cause for “great concern,” Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Wednesday. Overall, politically-motivated crimes were up 14.2% in 2019 over the previous year, which is the second highest level since authorities began tracking such crimes in 2001, Seehofer told reporters in Berlin. Crimes by the extreme left rose the most, increasing 23.7% to 9,849, but the majority of politically motivated crimes were from the extreme right, with 22,342 cases and an increase of 9.4%.
A pair of Russian planes restricted a Navy pilot from safely maneuvering over international waters for more than an hour, service officials said on Tuesday. Two Russian Su-35 aircraft on Tuesday simultaneously flew close to each wing of a Navy P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea, according to Navy news release describing the incident. It was the third time in two months that Russian aircraft have intercepted Navy aircraft in the Sixth Fleet of operations, the release states.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared Wednesday that Hong Kong no longer enjoys the autonomy promised by Beijing, stripping the financial hub of its special status under US law. Hours before Beijing will hold a key vote on a controversial new security law on Hong Kong, Pompeo sent a notice to Congress that China was not living up to obligations from before it regained control of the territory from Britain in 1997. "I certified to Congress today that Hong Kong does not continue to warrant treatment under United States laws in the same manner as US laws were applied to Hong Kong before July 1997," Pompeo said in a statement.
A gang of 26 suspected people smugglers have been arrested in France and Belgium in an investigation prompted by the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants found in the back of a lorry in Essex last year. In Belgium, 11 Vietnamese and two Moroccans were held, while in France, authorities said the suspects were “mostly Vietnamese and French”. The suspects are allegedly part of an organised crime group that smuggles refugees from Asia, particularly from Vietnam, and that likely has transported up to several dozen people every day for several months, Europol said in a statement.
Erin Scott/Reuters First Lady Melania Trump has urged Americans to wear face masks in public, but chose to forgo wearing one herself during Memorial Day events on Monday. Since April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that all Americans wear some form of face mask in public places where social distancing is difficult. Last month, the first lady released a photo of herself wearing a mask and urged Americans to follow the CDC's guidance.
WASHINGTON – A group of Republican lawmakers filed a lawsuit against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the chamber's new proxy voting system, a challenge to the rule that is set to be used for the first time Wednesday. The House developed and passed its historic proxy voting rules this month, allowing members unable to come to Capitol Hill during the coronavirus pandemic to designate another lawmaker as their "proxy" and cast floor votes on their behalf. The goal was to allow lawmakers to have a voice if they could not travel to Washington safely.
A New York pharmacist bought up $200,000 worth of N95 masks before the coronavirus pandemic grew severe in the US, then sold them at up to a 50% markup, prosecutors allege. The pharmacist, 66-year-old Richard Schirripa, sold more than $2,000 worth of masks to an undercover officer, and said during the transaction he felt "like a drug dealer standing out here." Schirripa has been arrested and charged with violating the Defense Production Act by hoarding and price-gouging.
The dreaded dinosaur Allosaurus was the scourge of the Jurassic Period landscape some 150 million years ago, an apex predator just as Tyrannosaurus rex was 80 million years later during the Cretaceous Period. The researchers unearthed 2,368 fossil bones including several different dinosaurs and other creatures. Remarkably, 29% of the bones bore evidence of bite marks, a much-higher percentage than usual, indicative of heavy scavenging in what may have been a stressed ecosystem caused by a seasonal drought or potentially a wildfire.
Two missing walkers have been found in the New Zealand wilderness, 19 days after they set off. Jessica O'Connor and Dion Reynolds, both 23, began walking in the Kahurangi National Park on 9 May, and expected to be gone for six or seven days. The Kahurangi, in the north-west of the South Island, is New Zealand's second biggest national park.
The founder of the Knights of Columbus, the influential U.S.-based lay Catholic organization, is moving a step closer to possible sainthood. Pope Francis has approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of the Rev. Michael McGivney, a Connecticut priest who died at age 38 of pneumonia in 1890 during a pandemic similar to the current coronavirus outbreak. The Vatican said Wednesday that Francis had signed off on the miracle required.
A top executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei is scheduled to learn Wednesday if a U.S extradition case against her can proceed. Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei's founder, at Vancouver's airport in late 2018. The U.S. wants her extradited to face fraud charges.
A man has died after a Minneapolis police officer detained him by putting his knee on his neck, in an arrest captured on camera by a member of the public. The clip, filmed on Monday, showed a black man lying on the ground, motionless, and a white police officer, resting his knee on top of the man's neck. In the video, the man groaned and asked police to get off him, while members of the public attempted to convince the officer that he was hurting him.
The United States said Wednesday it was ending waivers in its sanctions for nations that remain in the Iran nuclear accord, bringing the deal further to the verge of collapse. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he was responding to Iran's "brinkmanship" of nuclear steps, which have been aimed at pressuring the United States to remove sanctions as called for by the 2015 accord. "These escalatory actions are unacceptable and I cannot justify renewing the waiver," Pompeo said in a statement.
Riot police flooded central Hong Kong as people of all ages took to the streets to protest the territory's legislators preparing to debate another bill, one that would make it illegal to insult or abuse the Chinese national anthem. Pro-democracy protesters and politicians say the bill, which carries penalties of up to three years in jail and fines of up to $50,000 Hong Kong dollars ($6,450), is yet another sign of increasing interference from Beijing. Hong Kong Police said they have arrested more than 300 people on a number of charges, including possession of weapons and illegal assembly in the city center, Mong Kok, the Causeway Bay area and Wan Chai area.
Six British citizens including two former Royal Marine commandos have been accused of taking part in a botched mercenary mission to Libya to fight on behalf of renegade general Khalifa Haftar. The five men and one woman are named in a confidential report by the United Nations panel of experts on Libya into a botched mission that ended with the mercenaries making a remarkable sea-borne escape after falling out with their hosts. The men, including former Royal Marines Sean Callaghan Louw and Andrew Scott Ritchie, were among around 20 mercenaries who travelled to Benghazi in eastern Libya in June 2019 in a contract organised by a UAE based company called Opus, according to the report seen by the Daily Telegraph.
Steve Bannon, the former adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, has won the latest phase of a legal battle with Italy's culture ministry to set up a right-wing Catholic political academy. The court ruled for the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, which Bannon backs, against a previous decision that blocked the school starting up in an 800-year-old monastery south of Rome. "We stood by the monastery, the community and Italy during this pandemic when it would have been easy to walk way," Bannon said on Wednesday in a statement issued through the institute's founder, Benjamin Harnwell, in response to Tuesday's ruling.
A Eurowings flight from Düsseldorf, Germany, to Sardinia, Italy, was forced to turn around at the last minute because the destination airport was closed due to coronavirus lockdowns in Italy. The plane made it all the way to Sardinian airspace on Saturday when they were told that the airport was closed to commercial traffic. An aviation blog theorized that the mistake was made because the airport was ordered to reopen earlier this month, but that decision was immediately overruled by the local government.
Located in the rolling hills of southeast England, the design was meant to mimic the beer-brewing structures that once dotted the landscape Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
The Navy's top admiral on Wednesday received the results of an internal investigation into the spread of the coronavirus aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt and the firing of the aircraft carrier's skipper in April. The report is not expected to be made public until decisions are made about potentially restoring Capt. Brett Crozier to command of the Roosevelt or disciplining other officers. It was submitted Wednesday to Adm. Mike Gilday, the chief of naval operations.