At the first formal press briefing with his coronavirus task force on Feb. 26, President Trump said he didn't agree with the assessment of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that an outbreak was “inevitable” in the United States, noting that the country had just 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and no deaths attributed to the virus. “When you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that's a pretty good job we've done,” Trump said at the time. Ever since, Trump has been moving the goalposts on the pandemic, and on Sunday, with coronavirus cases and deaths mounting, Trump said that keeping the U.S. death toll between 100,000 and 200,000 would be “a very good job.”
In late November 2018, just over a year before the first coronavirus case was identified in Wuhan, China, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at Detroit Metro Airport stopped a Chinese biologist with three vials labeled “Antibodies” in his luggage. The biologist told the agents that a colleague in China had asked him to deliver the vials to a researcher at a U.S. institute. “Inspection of the writing on the vials and the stated recipient led inspection personnel to believe the materials contained within the vials may be viable Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) materials,” says an unclassified FBI tactical intelligence report obtained by Yahoo News.
While officials from Montreal to Moscow have placed populations under some form of lockdown designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, one man continues to hold firm to the notion that the rest of the world has lost its mind: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. “It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees!” Lukashenko told a Belarusian television reporter Saturday when asked whether the coronavirus could stop him from hitting the rink for a propaganda-filled hockey game. Lukashenko, one of the longest-serving leaders in the former Soviet Union, has been in power for over 25 years.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) plans to call DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz to testify before congress regarding his office's audit of the FBI's FISA application process, which was released Tuesday and revealed potentially systematic abuses of the transparency measures required of the Bureau when agents interact with the FISA court. I have just been briefed on Inspector General Horowitz's audit of FISA applications involving American citizens. This random audit shows discrepancies regarding verification of the information under the Woods Procedures,” Graham said in a press release.
A senior Saudi official urged more than 1 million Muslims intending to perform the hajj to delay making plans this year — comments suggesting the pilgrimage could be cancelled due to the new coronavirus pandemic. In February, the kingdom took the extraordinary decision to close off the holy cities of Mecca and Medina to foreigners over the virus, a step which wasn't taken even during the 1918 flu epidemic that killed tens of millions worldwide. Restrictions have tightened in the kingdom as it grapples with over 1,500 confirmed cases of the new virus.
Confirmed coronavirus cases in Spain rose beyond 100,000 as it recorded its biggest one-day death toll from the outbreak on Wednesday, and two planes packed with protective equipment arrived to restock an overloaded public health system. Barring Italy, the virus has killed more people in Spain than anywhere else, triggering a lockdown that has brought economic activity to a virtual standstill. A survey showed Spain's manufacturing sector is heading for slump after shrinking in March at its steepest pace since 2013.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday defended his weekend handshake with the mother of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, calling her a "respectable old lady" and seeking to cast his critics as the principal menace to the country. In a 30-second video posted on Twitter on Sunday, Lopez Obrador could be seen approaching Maria Consuelo Loera's car, parked on a dirt road on the outskirts of Badiraguato, a mountainous municipality in the northwestern state of Sinaloa. Surrounded by onlookers, Lopez Obrador told Loera she need not get out of the car, they shook hands and after a brief exchange he told her he had "received her letter."
At a coronavirus press briefing, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he didn't know what President Trump was talking about with regard to his accusation that medical personnel were stealing personal protective equipment.
From Zaha Hadid's majestic MAXII in Italy to the stunning beauty of Frank Gehry's Vitra Design Museum, these structures elevate the environment they were built in Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
The United States has called on Venezuela's Juan Guaido to temporarily renounce his claim to the presidency as it recalibrates its strategy to oust leader Nicolas Maduro. The shift came after more than a year of faltering US-led efforts to oust the leftist Mr Maduro. Mr Guaido came under growing pressure from authorities, who on Tuesday summoned him to answer charges of attempting a coup.
Ezra Acayan/Getty The Philippines' main island Luzon, which has a population of more than 57 million, is on lockdown. Along with people's movements being restricted, soldiers are covering residents and the streets in disinfectant, and open coffins have been left on the roads as a warning to people to stay inside. On Sunday, the Philippines reported 343 new coronavirus cases in a day — its highest one day increase yet.
Rep. Nydia Velazquez said Monday that she's been "diagnosed with presumed coronavirus infection," three days after she spoke on the House floor and stood near 80-year-old House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the signing of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill. In a statement, Velazquez, D-N.Y., 67, said she first started feeling sick "in the wee hours of Sunday morning." At the advice of The Attending Physician, neither COVID 19 laboratory testing nor a doctor's office visit was recommended.
Citing a public health order to curb the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration is swiftly deporting unaccompanied migrant minors apprehended near the U.S.-Mexico border, upending a long-standing practice required under a federal law designed to protect children from violence and exploitation. Despite initially maintaining that the new measures would not apply to unaccompanied minors, Customs and Border Protection on Monday said its officials could deny entry to children who cross the southern border alone under an order by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. The agency said some minors could be excluded from the CDC directive if a border official "suspects trafficking or sees signs of illness."
Huawei's chairman warned Tuesday that more U.S. moves to increase pressure on the Chinese tech giant might trigger retaliation by Beijing that could damage its worldwide industry. Huawei Technologies Ltd., which makes smartphones and network equipment, reported that its 2019 sales rose by double digits despite curbs imposed in May on its access to U.S. components and technology. Huawei is at the center of tensions with Washington over China's technology ambitions and possible spying that helped to spark Trump's tariff war with Beijing in 2018.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's ruling party said on Tuesday it proposed a bill that would temporarily release roughly 45,000 prisoners in response to the risk that the coronavirus could spread in jails. A separate reform included in the legislation, which the AK Party (AKP) and its allies sent to parliament, would release another roughly 45,000 inmates permanently. There are about 300,000 prisoners in Turkey's crowded jails.
"Zoombombing" - where uninvited guests enter meetings - is on the rise as more people use the app to stay in touch during the coronavirus restrictions. Experts advised people to secure meetings against intruders. A BBC employee who attended the meeting at a synagogue in London explained what happened: "There were about 205 of us logged on - including lots of families with little kids - and suddenly the numbers went up to 243."
Group of 20 trade chiefs pledged to try to keep supply chains open as the world fights to contain the coronavirus pandemic and limit the economic fallout. The G-20 commerce ministers also vowed to “guard against profiteering and unjustified price increases” during a conference call on Monday devoted to the trade and investment implications of the health scare. We will continue to work together to deliver a free, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, predictable and stable trade and investment environment, and to keep our markets open,” the ministers said in a joint statement released by Saudi Arabia, current holder of the G-20's rotating presidency.
MOSCOW—Amid a growing uproar in newly locked-down Russia, news broke on Tuesday that a doctor President Vladimir Putin met with just a week ago during a highly publicized visit to a coronavirus treatment facility has now tested positive for the infection himself. Widely disseminated photos of the visit showed Putin donning an orange hazmat suit, but he had also talked to Dr. Denis Protsenko extensively without protection and photographs show them together with very little "social distancing." Putin's spokesman says the Russian president is tested frequently for coronavirus infection and is just fine.
But since she's entered Congress, Ocasio-Cortez has largely declined to endorse progressives following her lead, Politico reports. Ocasio-Cortez entered Congress last year ready to shake things up. She quickly joined up with the progressive group Justice Democrats and called on its supporters to run against incumbents, and reportedly set her primarying sights on House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.
A man is suspected of infecting his pregnant wife with the novel coronavirus after hiding his symptoms to join her in a New York hospital maternity ward, USA Today reports. The incident prompted the hospital — Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York — to impose stricter screening measures on the already few visitors allowed in the maternity ward. A man hid his coronavirus symptoms from hospital staff so he could be with his pregnant wife in a New York hospital maternity ward last week, USA Today reported Tuesday.
As the temperature passed 50 degrees in Stockholm last week, people congregated in parks unable to resist socializing during the first signs of spring in the Swedish capital. The Swedish government has left it up to individuals to act responsibly and decide whether to stay home or not. Public gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited but there are no restrictions on private meetings, meaning parties and corporate events can still go ahead.
An estimated 120 million Indian labourers are in the same predicament as Mr Asif, and Mr Modi has been accused of causing a humanitarian disaster by locking down the cities and unleashing a wave of poor migrant workers. Many of those who have been forced out of work have streamed back along highways and railway lines to their home states and villages, potentially spreading the coronavirus infection into the country's hinterlands. Mr Modi's lockdown was a knee-jerk reaction without thought for the consequences to the poor, claimed Manish Tewari, an MP for the Congress party.
This is Candy Sterling – a fierce drag queen who lights up the New York City nightlife while maintaining a professional day job. Get to know her both in and out of drag on this week's episode of Behind the Drag.
Syrian air defenses opened fire Tuesday night on missiles launched from Israeli warplanes on the central province of Homs, shooting down some of them, state media said. State TV said the warplanes fired the missiles while flying in Lebanese airspace. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said Israeli warplanes fired eight missiles at the Shayrat air base in Homs province.