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 lawmakers in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives are demanding answers after learning that one of their Republican colleagues tested positive for COVID-19, shared that information with GOP leadership, but never informed them. On May 20, Republican Rep. Andrew Lewis learned he had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Two other Republican House members who came in contact with Lewis were told to self-quarantine for 14 days, but Democratic lawmakers, some of whom also had contact with Lewis or with the two other Republicans before May 20, say they first learned of the positive test result on Wednesday.
Amy Klobuchar's decision as a Minneapolis prosecutor in 2006 not to bring charges against the police officer filmed kneeling on the neck of George Floyd could cost her the role of vice president, critics have said. With Joe Biden asking Ms Klobuchar to undergo official vetting to be his running mate in November, the death of Mr Floyd has renewed scrutiny of her record as a district attorney that reportedly brought zero charges against police involved in 40 deaths during her tenure. One of those officers was Derek Chauvin.
Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, joins 'America's Newsroom.
A former Minneapolis police officer has been arrested and charged with murder following the death of an unarmed black man in custody. Derek Chauvin, who is white, was shown in footage kneeling on 46-year-old George Floyd's neck on Monday. Hennepin County Prosecutor Mike Freeman said Mr Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The killing of an Iranian teen by her father after she eloped with an older man sparked outrage on Wednesday, with local media denouncing "institutionalised violence" in "patriarchal" Iran. Iranian media covered the apparent "honour" crime extensively, with Ebtekar newspaper leading its front page with the headline "Unsafe father's house". According to local media, Romina Ashrafi was killed in her sleep on May 21 by her father, who decapitated her in the family home in Talesh in northern Gilan province.
Greece said Friday it would reopen its airports in Athens and Thessaloniki to arrivals from 29 countries from June 15, the start of the tourist season. Visitors would be allowed to fly into Greece from 16 EU countries, including Germany, Austria, Denmark, Finland, the Czech Republic, Baltic countries, Cyprus and Malta, the tourism ministry said in a statement. Outside the European Union, holidaymakers from Switzerland, Norway, and neighbouring Balkan countries such as Albania, Serbia and North Macedonia will be allowed to land at Greece's main airports from June 15.
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.”
It's a good time to be a China hawk. Beijing's new national security law for Hong Kong, the latest effort to neuter the region's promised autonomy, has rung alarm bells across the political spectrum about China's intentions. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has already declared that the move would justify revoking the various special trade and financial agreements the United States has with the territory, and Biden advisers have announced that the presumptive Democratic nominee would impose even greater sanctions on China.
Wisconsin saw a record number of new coronavirus cases and deaths reported in a single day on Wednesday, two weeks after the state's Supreme Court struck down its statewide stay-at-home order. The state reported 599 new known COVID-19 cases on Wednesday with 22 known deaths, according to Wisconsin's Department of Health Services, the highest recorded daily rise since the pandemic began there. As of Wednesday, the state had more than 16,460 known cases and 539 known deaths, according to the department.
For the second time, Twitter flagged a message from President Trump with a warning, saying that his post-midnight tweet calling for the military to shoot protesters in Minneapolis was “glorifying violence. As protests over the death of George Floyd escalated to the burning of a police station Thursday, Trump took to Twitter after midnight to write, “I can't stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership.
The four Minneapolis officers involved in the killing of George Floyd were swiftly fired after footage of his death went viral. Officers in the US are frequently rehired after their termination for misconduct, a problem that experts say increases the likelihood of abuse and killings by police. Despite the decision on Tuesday to fire the policeman who knelt on Floyd's neck for nine minutes, along with three other officers at the scene, it's uncertain if the officers will face long-term repercussions.
A woman whose skeletal remains were found along a suburban New York beach highway, in an area where body parts of 10 other people had been strewn, was identified as a Philadelphia escort who went missing two decades ago, police said Thursday. Suffolk County police said the woman previously known as “Jane Doe No. 6” was identified through genetic genealogy technology as Valerie Mack, who also went by Melissa Taylor and was last seen in 2000 near Atlantic City, New Jersey. Determining the victim's identity has brought clarity to a long-running Long Island mystery that attracted national headlines, was featured on true-crime TV shows and was the subject of a recent Netflix film, Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said.
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.
Iran's Revolutionary Guards on Thursday warned the United States against its naval presence in the Gulf as they received 110 new combat vessels. The vessels included Ashura-class speedboats, Zolfaghar coastal patrol boats and Taregh submarines, state television reported. "We announce today that wherever the Americans are, we are right next to them, and they will feel our presence even more in the near future," the Guards' navy chief Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri said during a ceremony in southern Iran.
Five British mercenaries involved in an operation to fly assault helicopters for Libya's renegade General Khalifa Haftar were offered bounties of up to $150,000 each for their role in the daring plot which went awry. The men, comprised of former Royal Marines and RAF personnel, were among 20 foreign mercenaries who traveled to Libya last June in an operation to pilot assault helicopters and speed boats to intercept Turkish ships ferrying weapons to Haftar's opponents – the UN-backed government in Tripoli. The Telegraph can reveal that the UN investigation concluded that the operation was led by Steven Lodge, a former South African Air Force officer who also served in the British military.
CNN Center, the cable network's Atlanta headquarters, came under attack Friday night during protests over police brutality sparked by the death of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis. A largely peaceful demonstration erupted first in vandalism, then in violence. Cops used pepper spray, and then some in the crowd were seen smashing windows and defacing the giant CNN sign with spray-paint.
Chinese civil aviation authorities plan to extend until June 30 their curbs on international flights to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the U.S. embassy in Beijing said in a travel advisory on Friday. China has drastically cut such flights since March to allay concerns over infections brought by arriving passengers. A so-called "Five One" policy allows mainland carriers to fly just one flight a week on one route to any country and foreign airlines to operate just one flight a week to China.
The 1997 handover of Hong Kong from Britain to the People's Republic of China marked the end of Western colonial rule in the region. Optimistic Western policy hands hoped that the final mending of the “unequal treaties,” as they were called by the Chinese Communist Party, would initiate Beijing's integration into the rules-based world order. Recent events in Hong Kong put paid to this hope.
Donald Trump held a "press conference" on Friday to discuss the United State's relationship with China, but then left the Rose Garden without taking questions or addressing the mounting situation in Minnesota following the death of George Floyd. The president announced during his statement the US would disband its relationship with the World Health Organisation (WHO) amid the coronavirus pandemic. This statement came moments after he shared two tweets attempting to clarify his "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" tweet released late Thursday night about the violent protests in Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd.
A Mississippi mayor who sparked outrage when he said “if you can talk, you can breathe" about the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody is resisting calls to resign, including from his city's board of aldermen. “Why in the world would anyone choose to become a #PoliceOfficer in our society today?” Hal Marx, mayor of Petal, about 90 miles southeast of Jackson, tweeted Tuesday, the same day four Minneapolis police officers involved in detaining Floyd were fired. Floyd, 46, who was black, died in Minneapolis police custody after a white officer, Derek Chauvin, pinned him to the ground and put his knee on his neck for about eight minutes.
A white woman who called the police after a black man asked her to put her dog on a leash in New York City's Central Park has been fired from her job with an investment firm. Franklin Templeton announced on Twitter on Tuesday it had sacked an employee, "effective immediately". "We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton," the tweet said.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell acknowledged Friday that the Fed faces a major challenge with the launch in the coming days of a program that will lend to companies other than banks for the first time since the Great Depression. The Fed's Main Street Lending is geared toward medium-sized companies that are too large for the government's small business lending program and too small to sell bonds or stock to the public. The individual loans, which could reach $600 billion, will technically be made by banks.
Venezuela's National Assembly on Thursday ratified opposition leader Juan Guaido as legislative speaker, defying a Supreme Court ruling approving a rival opposition figure more favorable to President Nicolas Maduro. The endorsement for Guaido continued a months-long stand-off with opposition rival Luis Parra, who Guaido has dismissed as "an accomplice to dictatorship". "I will continue to exercise my functions," Guaido told reporters in Caracas after a session held by video-conference rejected the "illegal" Supreme Court's decision.
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.