A plane full of Americans and Canadians was stranded on a tarmac at an airport in Karachi, Pakistan, for several hours on Thursday after it was turned away from multiple countries due to fears of the coronavirus, according to a family member of two of the passengers. Kelly Chrjapin, whose parents were among those on the flight, said the plane contained more than 250 people, all of whom were American and Canadian nationals who had been traveling on the cruise ship MS Westerdam. One passenger from that boat tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this month.
In a searing op-ed, the former head of US Special Operations Command, who supervised the 2011 Navy SEAL raid in Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden, has slammed Donald Trump's reckless attitude towards the intelligence community saying that Americans should be afraid of the president's actions. Retired Navy admiral William McRaven, writing in The Washington Post about the dismissal of director of national intelligence Joe Maguire, decries the fact that Mr Maguire was apparently ousted simply for doing his job — the dissemination of intelligence to elected officials. He writes: “As Americans, we should be frightened — deeply afraid for the future of the nation.
A once-standout U.S. federal narcotics agent known for spending lavishly on luxury cars and Tiffany jewelry has been arrested on charges of conspiring to launder money with the same Colombian drug cartel he was supposed to be fighting. Jose Irizarry and his wife were arrested Friday at their home near San Juan, Puerto Rico, as part of a 19-count federal indictment that accused the 46-year-old Irizarry of “secretly using his position and his special access to information” to divert millions in drug proceeds from control of the Drug Enforcement Administration. “It's a black eye for the DEA to have one of its own engaged in such a high level of corruption," said Mike Vigil, the DEA's former Chief of International Operations.
A quadruple murderer was put to death in Tennessee on Thursday despite lawyers asking the US Supreme Court for a stay of execution. Nicholas Sutton, 58, was found guilty of stabbing a fellow inmate to death in 1985. Sutton's lawyers in January asked the state's Republican governor, Bill Lee, to grant clemency, citing expressions of support for Sutton from prison officials.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced Friday her political action committee's first round of endorsements, which will include two progressive candidates challenging sitting Democratic members of Congress.
REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko A crowd of Ukrainian protesters on Thursday attacked buses ferrying evacuees from Wuhan, China, to a quarantine hospital. The buses were transporting 45 Ukrainians and 27 foreign nationals through Novi Sanzhary in central Ukraine. Nobody on board has been confirmed to have the novel coronavirus.
Last night former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg made his first appearance on the 2020 Democratic debate stage to optically disastrous results (others disagree, see this). As predicted, Elizabeth Warren was on the offensive throughout the debate, launching direct verbal attacks on her opponents in an attempt to resuscitate her dwindling campaign ahead of Super Tuesday. “Democrats are not going to win if we have a nominee who has a history of hiding his tax returns, of harassing women, and of supporting racist policies like redlining and stop and frisk.” She followed this statement by assuring viewers she would still support Bloomberg if he was the Democratic nominee.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has a pretty good tale to share — but it may be a little tall. Biden, who is running for president, has been spicing up his recent campaign stump speeches with a story of how he was arrested while in South Africa trying to see Nelson Mandela, The New York Times reports. During recent campaign speeches, Biden says he "had the great honor" of meeting Mandela and "of being arrested with our U.N. ambassador on the streets of Soweto." As Miami Herald reporter Alex Daugherty points out, Soweto is a ways away from Robben Island, where Mandela's maximum security prison was located.
A tanker carrying about 4,000 gallons of jet fuel overturned and exploded in Indianapolis, closing lanes and backing up traffic on two interstate highways. Authorities began receiving calls reporting an overturned semi and fire on the ramp from Interstate-465 southbound to I-70 eastbound on the city's east side just before 2 p.m., Indianapolis Fire Department Battalion Chief Rita Reith said. The fire caused "severe, catastrophic damage" to the surrounding area, Reith said, spreading nearly 500 feet and affecting both sides of the bridge.
If all else were to fail in his fight against the threat of domestic terrorism, Rep. Max Rose offered an unconventional plan to protect the Brooklynites who had come to hear him speak at a Jewish community center: He'd stand on guard duty at their places of worship himself. “I'll do it,” Rose told the people who came out to this low-slung stretch of Ocean Parkway, where mosques and synagogues sit next to auto repair shops and fast food joints. The first Jewish lawmaker to represent Staten Island — and the first Democrat elected by the Republican redoubt in a decade — Rose has recently emerged as a leading proponent of treating white supremacists no differently than law enforcement treats foreign terrorists.
The Chekist in the Kremlin is willing to make temporary sacrifices in order to keep such a disruptive figure in charge of the mightiest country in the world, and Russian state media repeatedly makes the point that Russia's gamble will continue to pay off, since the Kremlin is holding, as it were, the trump card. Russian experts and pundits on state television frequently express their desire to see President Trump re-elected. Appearing on Russia's popular state television news talk show 60 Minutes last October, political analyst Mikhail Sinelnikov-Orishak gushed: “I look at Trump and think: 'May God grant him good health—and another term.
The mayor of Berkeley, California, proposed a new housing policy Thursday aimed at giving renters first dibs when a property goes up for sale, as the state battles a severe housing shortage and homelessness that Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared his top priority. Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin announced a proposed ordinance to give renters "the first refusal and right to purchase" when their apartment buildings or rented homes are put on the market. Berkeley's city council will vote on the idea later this month.
Junaid Hafeez, a university lecturer in Pakistan, had been imprisoned for six years when he was sentenced to death in December 2019. Pakistan has the world's second strictest blasphemy laws after Iran, according to U.S. Commision on International Religious Freedom. Hafeez, whose death sentence is under appeal, is one of about 1,500 Pakistanis charged with blasphemy, or sacrilegious speech, over the last three decades.
A Virginia man piloted at least one plane without a license in 2018, in a dangerous journey that ended with a "bounced" landing, federal authorities said. Ryan Guy Parker "knowingly and willfully" flew above suburban Washington D.C., posing a "significant risk of injury and death" to himself and the public, according to an affidavit by U.S. Department of Transportation Special Agent Bret Stolle. In a Sept. 27, 2018 trip out of Shannon Airport in Fredericksburg, Parker nearly crashed on touch down, Stolle wrote.
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images With coronavirus cases soaring, the government in South Korea said on Friday that it had failed to keep the virus out of the country and must now focus on containment. South Korea is now the country with the most coronavirus infections outside China, with a total of 433 confirmed cases. The government has urged the 2.5 million people in Daegu to stay in their homes and has banned some public gatherings.
The handling of the coronavirus epidemic is undoubtedly sapping confidence in the Communist party and its formerly all-conquering general secretary, Xi Jinping. Any country or ruling party would struggle if faced with a similarly massive challenge – exacerbated by the great annual domestic migration for Lunar New Year. But the party and its leader shoulder especially great ambitions of entering a “new era” created by Xi to “realise the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
Elizabeth Warren has bought ad space in a newspaper owned by Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, taunting the billionaire with an estimate for how much he would pay during the first year of her presidency with her promised 2 per cent wealth tax. “With that small wealth tax, we can invest in Nevada families,” it continues. Ms Warren's ad was printed in the newspaper the morning after she seemed to dominate the Democratic debate in the same city by mounting a full-throated attack on another billionaire, democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg.
Health experts sounded the alarm Friday over the worldwide threat of the coronavirus, with officials warning of its "likely" community spread in the United States and the World Health Organization cautioning that "the window of opportunity is narrowing" for containing the outbreak worldwide. The COVID-19 coronavirus, which erupted in China in December, has killed at least 2,360 people and sickened at least 77,900 worldwide, the majority of cases in mainland China. Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters Friday that U.S. health officials are preparing for the coronavirus to become a pandemic.
Somewhere in the recesses of the sprawling Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, where giant animatronic dragons live, slot machines are always busy, and bad decisions are likely being made at any given moment, former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid sits in a quiet executive office. It's two days before the Nevada caucuses, but already Reid appears to be looking beyond them, to Super Tuesday on March 3, when more than a third of overall delegates to the Democratic convention will be awarded. Nevada's Culinary Workers Union Local 226, the biggest organizing force in Nevada Democratic politics, chose not to endorse a specific candidate, despite (like Reid) expressing concerns with Medicare for All, one of Senator Bernie Sanders' key proposals.
Late Wednesday night in the central German city Hanau, a gunman that police have identified as 43-year-old Tobias Rathjen opened fire at two shisha bars. They're the kind of places favored by people who enjoy a laid-back atmosphere as they puff tobacco bubbling through water-filled hookahs, and on any given evening, many of those folks may be from Turkish, Kurdish, or North African backgrounds. They're quiet places for conversation and minding your own business.
A northwestern Indiana couple allegedly used a car to force two teenage boys off a road, angered that the twin brothers were riding bicycles adorned with flags supporting President Donald Trump, before ripping one of the sibling's flag from his bike, police said Friday. Hobart police said Snapchat videos helped officers secure charges against Kyren Gregory Perry-Jones, 23, and Cailyn Marie Smith, 18, in connection with a July 22 incident. Police Capt. James Gonzales said the Hobart couple are accused of driving in their car, running the 14-year-old boys off of the road, and making threats toward them.
Families of hundreds of Filipino crew members still stuck on board the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship are increasingly worried for their relatives' health, as the Philippines postponed on Saturday a scheduled trip to bring them home. The vessel, moored off the Japanese coast in Yokohama near Tokyo, has the biggest cluster of coronavirus infections outside the Chinese epicentre, with over 600 cases confirmed among the 3,700 passengers and crew. While hundreds of travellers have disembarked more than 1,000 crew remain -- including over 400 Filipinos whose return on Sunday has been delayed until Japan clears them to travel, the Philippines said Saturday.
Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Friday that a Russian official was detained by Spanish police during a working trip on Feb. 14 after her arrest was requested by the United States. The Russian woman, who is now in jail in Tenerife, works for a government organization overseen by a Russian agriculture watchdog and was a part of an official delegation, the ministry said. It added in a statement that her detention "could have been linked to a request from the United States".
STR/AFP via Getty Images More than 100 wild animals were found dead in a Chinese megacity and tests show that they were poisoned by the disinfectant that's being used to combat the coronavirus. At least 17 species of animals, including wild boar, weasels, and blackbirds, were affected by the mass die-off. Nanchong Stray Animal Rescue claims that authorities are killing domesticated animals outright amid fears that they can spread the coronavirus.
South Korea now has the second-highest number of cases of the coronavirus in the world. First, it is worth noting, per Andray Abrahamian, that because South Korea is an open society with an excellent medical system, you are hearing a lot more about corona here than in closed countries. It goes without saying that should corona strike North Korea, that repressive government will tell us nothing and treat the victims terribly.