President Trump addressed the nation from the White House briefing room on Wednesday evening in an effort to calm anxieties about the rapid proliferation of coronavirus. In a seeming acknowledgement that the White House response has lacked clarity and cohesion, Trump announced he was putting Vice President Mike Pence in charge of the effort to stem the spread of the virus in the U.S. “I don't view Mike as a czar,” Trump said, though he did not explain what, exactly, Pence's duties would be. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar had previously been in charge of the coronavirus response.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador suggested Wednesday without offering evidence that most of those who die in Mexico's cartel- and gang-fueled firefights are high on drugs or intoxicated, prompting criticism and questions about whether the claim was accurate. Speaking to journalists in his morning news conference, López Obrador said rising drug consumption rates must be reversed if the country is to guarantee peace and security after years of rising, record-setting homicide statistics. “Just so you have the number, 60% of those who lose their life each day, 60% of those killed in clashes, it is shown that they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but primarily drugs,” the president continued.
Right now in Iran we are facing a coronavirus epidemic,” said a senior medical doctor at the Masih Daneshvari hospital in Tehran, the country's top pulmonary public hospital and the main facility overseeing coronavirus patients. Public officials have not confirmed how the disease arrived in Iran, but it appears to be the locus for the regional outbreak. So far, Afghanistan, Georgia, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, and Oman reported their first cases of coronavirus, all linked to passengers traveling from Iran.
An Oklahoma man convicted of kidnapping his stepdaughter as a child and holding her in captivity for nearly 20 years has been sentenced to life in prison, prosecutors said Tuesday. Henri Michelle Piette was found guilty in June by a federal jury of kidnapping and traveling with intent to engage in a sexual act with a juvenile following a seven-day trial that detailed the horrific conditions Rosalynn McGinnis endured. Piette repeatedly raped and abused her and fathered her nine children during the nearly two-decade ordeal, which began when Piette kidnapped her in 1997 when she was 12 years old.
The Japanese military is considering developing a hypersonic anti-ship missile with a special warhead for penetrating the decks of Chinese aircraft carriers. Japan's defense ministry is developing what it calls a “hypervelocity gliding projectile," or HVGP, for deployment on island bases starting in 2026. In U.S. parlance, a guided missile traveling faster than five times the speed of sound is a “hypersonic” weapon.
NAIROBI/ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Countries in East Africa are racing against time to prevent new swarms of locusts wreaking havoc with crops and livelihoods after the worst infestation in generations. A lack of expertise in controlling the pests is not their only problem: Kenya temporarily ran out of pesticides, Ethiopia needs more planes and Somalia and Yemen, torn by civil war, can't guarantee exterminators' safety. Locust swarms have been recorded in the region since biblical times, but unusual weather patterns exacerbated by climate change have created ideal conditions for insect numbers to surge, scientists say.
Joe Biden says he isn't worried about the prospect of President Trump refusing to leave his post if he's defeated in November.
Corrections and clarifications: A previous version of this story misidentified the location of the highest number of coronavirus cases outside of mainland China. Four passengers that were on board Princess Crusies' Diamond Princess during a coronavirus quarantine have died, according to Japanese broadcast outlet NHK, Reuters and the New York Post report. According to the New York Post, the passenger was a Japanese citizen in their 80s.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday revealed there was a secret plan to use a double to make public appearances for him, while insisting he vetoed it -- and that he is the real Putin. Putin's comments showed that a conspiracy theory widespread on the internet that the Russian strongman has been impersonated over the years or even replaced by a lookalike is not entirely without basis. TASS state news agency showed Putin a list of popular Russian-language Internet searches including "Putin double proof".
But during last night's Democratic debate in Charleston, S.C., several of Sanders's rivals tried to blunt his momentum ahead of Saturday's Palmetto State primary by claiming, for the first time in a national setting, that the problem isn't just that the Vermont senator is unelectable himself. It's that nominating him would make dozens of down-ballot Democratic House, Senate and state legislature candidates more vulnerable, too. I'll tell you exactly what [Sanders's agenda] adds up to,” said Pete Buttigieg.
An Israeli drone fired a missile at a car in southern Syria on Thursday, killing one person, Syrian state TV reported, while an opposition war monitor said the man targeted was an anti-Israel operative. The state-run media outlet gave no further details on the attack near the southern village of Hader in the Quneitra region on the edge of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the man killed was a member of the “Syrian resistance to liberate Golan.” It did not elaborate.
Iran's deputy health minister was drenched in sweat at the press conference on Monday where he vehemently denied Tehran was covering up the extent of the coronavirus outbreak. The irony of Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi's case would be funny almost, were Iran's conspicuous bungling of the coronavirus threat not a menace to the whole region and, indeed, to the world. As The Daily Beast's partner publication, IranWire, revealed in an exclusive report Thursday, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has tried to address the epidemic by telling doctors to shut up about it, much as Chinese authorities in Wuhan did, disastrously, when the disease was just starting to spread last December.
Following a pattern set by the MS Westerdam, a cruise ship in the Caribbean has been turned away from two ports over fears of the coronavirus. The ship, with more than 4,500 passengers and 1,600 crew members, was not allowed to dock in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands after it was discovered a crew member onboard was unwell. The ship left Ocho Rios for its next port of call, Georgetown, Cayman Islands, after waiting to be cleared for nearly four hours.
The EU asset freezes and travel bans on two employees of Turkish Petroleum Corp. make good on the bloc's months-long vow to counter Turkey's oil and natural-gas exploration in waters that are part of the exclusive economic zone of member country Cyprus. The sanctions also are the first of their kind in response to the actions of a nation seeking to join the EU. “Hanging in the balance is a possible influx of Syrian refugees into Europe,” said Michael Emerson of the CEPS think tank in the Belgian capital.
A New Jersey bus driver who pleaded guilty in the 2018 deaths of a middle school teacher and student who were killed in a crash after he made an illegal u-turn across a highway was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison. Hudy Muldrow, 79, of Woodland Park, was taking a group of fifth-grade students and teachers from East Brook Middle School in Paramus to Waterloo Village, a museum in Byram Township, for a field trip on May 17, 2018, when the fatal accident occurred. Muldrow pleaded guilty to reckless vehicular homicide, assault by auto and child endangerment this past December, according to NBC New York.
A trans woman who threatened shop staff with a claw hammer escaped prison after a court heard there was no way to confirm her gender. Leila Le Fey, 40, admitted entering a Budgens store in Brighton last year in a bid to steal alcohol, and brandished the “terrifying” weapon at Enoch Adetayo, the shop's manager, before assaulting him. Lewes Crown Court heard that Le Fey had completed gender-reassignment but had not yet obtained a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) to that effect.
Moscow authorities are rounding up stray animals and exterminating rats as a precaution against the new coronavirus, actions that animal rights campaigners decried as cruel and scientifically groundless. Russia has imposed an array of measures to stop the virus gaining a foothold in Russia, ranging from restrictions on flights to China and South Korea to visa curbs for Iranian and Chinese citizens. "We are currently carrying out a large-scale complex (of measures) for the total deratization of the city, catching wild animals, strays," Elena Andreeva, the Moscow head of the Rospotrepnadzor consumer health watchdog, was quoted as saying by the RIA news agency.
On August 15, 1937, the Japanese Imperial Army bombed Nanking, the capital of China. For the next month Japanese soldiers killed, raped, looted, and burned. This is the event known to history as the Rape of Nanking.
A Republican super PAC backing Donald Trump's re-election has received a cease-and-desist letter from Barack Obama over a Joe Biden attack ad being aired on TV in South Carolina ahead of the state primary featuring the 44th president's voice without his approval. President Trump has meanwhile received a boost in the 2020 race after a new poll put him ahead of Democratic front-runner Bernie Sanders, who has led the criticism of the administration's response to the spread of the coronavirus, branding Trump “incompetent and inadequate” and ridiculing his appointment of veep Mike Pence to oversee the crisis. Trump followed a press conference on the global epidemic on Wednesday night in which he said Americans faced only a “very low” risk from the virus by tweeting about the FBI spying on his campaign team in 2016, a gesture giving credence to the Vermont senator's rebuke.
Saudi Arabia cut travel to Islam's holiest sites, South Korea toughened penalties for those breaking quarantines and airports across Latin America looked for signs of sick passengers Thursday as the new virus troubled a mushrooming swath of the globe. “Viruses don't know borders and they don't stop at them,” said Roberto Speranza, the health minister in Italy, where northern towns were on army-guarded lockdowns and supermarket shelves were bare. As growing parts of Europe and the Middle East saw infections and a first case was found in South America, air routes were halted and border control toughened.
An Iranian parliament spokesman on Wednesday announced that anyone found to be “spreading rumors” about the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak will be sentenced to one-to-three years in prison and flogging, Iran state news agency IRNA reported. Norouzi said the prison sentence and flogging is based on “on the Islamic penal code,” and 24 people have been arrested already on suspicion of “spreading rumors” about the illness. Iran has reported 139 cases of coronavirus infections throughout the country, with an epicenter in the city of Qom, a destination for Shi'ite Muslim religious pilgrims.
Italy is in the grip of the worst outbreak of the novel coronavirus outside Asia, with at least 233 confirmed cases and 12 deaths so far. According to Italy's Corriere della Sera, one of the first people to contract the virus had to wait 36 hours at a hospital in Lombardy before he could be tested. Health authorities didn't prioritize him because he hadn't recently come from China, Corriere della Sera said.
China officials pledged to investigate how an ex-convict infected with the coronavirus got to Beijing from a Wuhan prison, in a case fanning new criticism about how the month-old lockdown is being handled. The woman's full name wasn't released, fueling speculation about her identify and what special dispensation she may have received to get past travel restrictions effecting some 60 million people in Hubei province. The incident prompted quick promises of investigations by authorities including Hubei party secretary Ying Yong, who was installed in the job earlier this month amid public criticism of the government's response to the outbreak.
One frigid morning in February 2018, Larry Isenberg and his wife, Lori, woke up before dawn to watch the sunrise from their boat on the picturesque Lake Coeur d'Alene in northern Idaho. At least that was the story Lori Isenberg told authorities as she explained why her husband's body was floating somewhere in the vast lake stretching south for 25 miles. “I cannot describe the pain I feel,” Isenburg wrote in an email to friends obtained by The Spokesman-Review after the incident, explaining that she tried to grab for her husband but tripped on the heater and hit her head.
Health officials worldwide are working to contain cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus that originated in China. This map will be updated when more information is available. As of Feb. 26, COVID-19 cases were confirmed in China and more than 35 other countries.