The official who oversaw epidemic preparedness for the National Security Council under President Obama said the absence of public guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic leaves her “frankly scared” — and that eliminating her position weakened the American response to the coronavirus when it emerged 18 months later. Beth Cameron, who served as senior director for global health security and biodefense on the NSC until early 2017, was interviewed on the Yahoo News “Skullduggery” podcast. “I'm frankly scared that our CDC is not out in front talking about this,” Cameron said.
Shiite Iranians in a rare event mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan this year on separate days -- Sunday or Monday -- depending on different religious authorities' edicts. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced Saturday evening on his official website that the Eid al-Fitr festival would fall on Sunday this year. But the country's other senior Shiite clerics, or "marjas" -- whose guidance believers follow and who are seen as a "source of emulation", such as Javadi Amoli, Makarem Shirazi and Safi Golpayegani, among others -- have issued separate statements saying the holiday would be celebrated on Monday.
Americans with a bad case of wanderlust may have to wait until later this summer to vacation abroad – and while some countries, including Spain, have announced target dates to reopen, the pickings will be slim for a while. Parts of Mexico and the Caribbean have targeted dates in early to mid-June for reopening from coronavirus restrictions, but Europe will lag, opening first to other citizens of European Union and Schengen Area countries before welcoming international visitors at a later date. At least one EU member nation has announced a target window, however: Spain's prime minister announced Saturday that his country will reopen to foreign tourists sometime in July, though he did not specify a date.
Former U.S. Rep. Allen West of Florida was recovering Sunday after suffering a concussion, several fractured bones and cuts in a motorcycle crash in Texas, according to a post on his Facebook page. The post said West was driving back from a rally in Austin focused on reopening the state amid the coronavirus pandemic when the accident occurred Saturday. A post on his page later on Sunday said West, who was in stable condition, was expected to be released Monday and then plans to take a week off to recuperate.
YouTube/University of Oxford Oxford scientists working on a coronavirus vaccine say the chances of success are now 50%. They say that's because the number of people with the virus in the UK is falling too quickly. "At the moment, there's a 50% chance that we get no result at all," scientist Adam Hill said this weekend.
A perfect storm has gathered over one of the world's most benighted nations, Afghanistan, where ordinary citizens are facing a fresh form of misery. Taliban militants have announced they will keep fighting since they say there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in areas under the group's control, a senior militant in the province of Ghazni has told NBC News. An exception to the ongoing tensions will be a three-day Eid ceasefire starting Sunday, the Taliban announced in a tweet Saturday.
Sir David Attenborough has said the coronavirus pandemic has swept the problem of climate change from the front pages. The broadcaster and naturalist, who celebrated his 94th birthday in May, said the outbreak has made the issue feel as if it is in "the distant future". Appearing on the So Hot Right Now podcast, Sir David suggested the virus could make the world's nations see "survival depends on co-operation".
As cities and states gradually lift coronavirus restrictions, many Americans are looking for safe ways to regain some sense of normalcy. In the first episode of "Fact vs. Fiction with Dr. Dara Kass," Yahoo News Medical Contributor Dr. Dara Kass explains which activities can be considered lower risk.
Hong Kong's pro-democracy, anti-government protests were back in full force Sunday for the first time since COVID-19 lockdowns began, while riot police fired tear gas on the crowds for the first time in weeks. Thousands of mostly young people took to the streets just days after China signaled it planned to directly impose national security laws against subversion, sedition and terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces on the city. The demonstrators believe Beijing's plan to bypass Hong Kong's local government and legislature violated the "one country, two systems" agreement it signed with the United Kingdom during a territorial exchange in 1997.
Former president Barack Obama has dipped his toes into the 2020 presidential campaign recently and is positioned to do more in the coming months as Joe Biden's effort to defeat Donald Trump gathers steam. Interviews with about a dozen Democratic strategists, officials and people close to Obama indicated members of the party want the popular former president to use his powerful online presence and focus on rallying key Democrat constituencies that are critical to a Biden victory. Obama is regarded as one of the most popular figures in American politics and a huge asset within the Democratic party.
The trial in Moscow of ex-US marine Paul Whelan on espionage charges is set to conclude Monday, ending a court proceeding that has strained ties with Washington and fuelled speculation of a prisoner exchange. Whelan, 50, who also holds Irish, Canadian and British citizenship, was detained in Moscow in December 2018 for allegedly receiving state secrets. "In a just system, the court would acquit Paul based on the lack of evidence," Whelan's brother David said in a statement ahead of the hearing.
One of the survivors of Friday's plane crash in the Pakistani city of Karachi has described his ordeal, saying all he could see "was fire". Passenger Muhammad Zubair was one of at least two passengers who survived after the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Airbus A320 came down in a residential area. It came days after Pakistan allowed commercial flights to resume after the country's coronavirus lockdown was eased.
More than 40 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus following a church service in Frankfurt, Germany's financial center, earlier this month, the head of the city's health department told a news agency on Saturday. The service took place on May 10 at a Baptist church, the department's deputy chief Antoni Walczok told local newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau. Churches in the German state of Hesse, where Frankfurt is located, have been able to hold services since May 1 provided they adhere to official social distancing and hygiene rules.
Lev Fedoseyev\TASS via Getty Images Russia recorded 8,599 new cases 153 new deaths on Sunday linked to the coronavirus, raising its overall death toll to 3,541. The country has recorded 344,481 coronavirus cases and is the third-worst hit country in its total number of coronavirus cases behind Brazil and the US, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. While its daily death toll continues to increase, its number of new daily cases appears to be on the decline.
An outbreak of coronavirus cases at a food processing plant in Washington state has put a temporary halt to Clark County's plans to enter phase 2 of the state's reopening plan. According to Clark County Public Health, 38 workers at Firestone Pacific Foods in Vancouver have tested positive for COVID-19 so far. Every employee at the facility will be tested for the coronavirus, a process which began Friday, KOIN reports.
But claims have been circulating about the dangers of face masks to people who wear them, including that they cause hypoxia, or a lack of oxygen in the body's tissue. One Facebook post from user Amy Cox Jones warns that putting a face mask on a child will cause them to pass out and die. Her post, which had more than 8,500 shares as of Friday morning, includes a photo of an infant who appears to be napping while wearing a cloth mask.
Now, those rockets will launch NASA astronauts from Florida to the International Space Station -- the first time a for-profit company will carry astronauts into the cosmos. “What I really want to achieve here is to make Mars seem possible, make it seem as though it's something that we can do in our lifetimes and that you can go,” Musk told a cheering congress of space professionals in Mexico in 2016. Musk “is a revolutionary change” in the space world, says Harvard University astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell, whose Jonathan's Space Report has tracked launches and failures for decades.
But as secretive and repressive as North Korea is, for some South Koreans, at least, the series drives home one salient point: It just may be that there is more that unites Koreans than divides them. "I watched the drama because it is not a heavy drama about the two Koreas, but a drama mainly focused on love," said Ashely Jun, a translator who lives in Seoul and is a big fan of the show. "It is meaningful, in that it showed some ordinary concerns like love, friendship and family affection in North Korea," Jun said.
The White House on Sunday accused China of a cover-up that will “go down in history along with Chernobyl”, ramping up efforts to deflect attention from a Covid-19 death toll in the US fast closing on 100,000. Robert O'Brien, Donald Trump's national security adviser, made the claim on two political talk shows, saying Beijing gave “false information” to the World Health Organization (WHO) at the start of the year and alleging that stonewalling of an investigation into the origins of the pandemic has cost “many, many thousands of lives in America and around the world”. On Saturday Mike Pence, the vice-president, told Breitbart News that China had “let the world down” and insisted the WHO was “their willing partner in withholding from the US and wider world vital information about the coronavirus”.
A moderate 5.6-magnitude earthquake rattled New Zealand's North Island early Monday but failed to crack Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's trademark composure as she conducted a live television interview. The quake struck just off the coast before 8:00 am local time (2000 Sunday GMT) at a depth of about 52 kilometres (32 miles) near Levin, about 90 kilometres north of Wellington, the US Geological Survey said. St John Ambulance and New Zealand Police both said there were no initial reports of injuries or damage.
The populist president, who has faced sustained criticism over his approach to the coronavirus emergency as Brazil's death toll surges to over 20,000, is at the centre of a criminal investigation into claims he sought to replace top federal police officials. Sergio Moro, the ex Justice Minister, alleges Mr Bolsonaro sacked the federal police chief as he wanted someone in the position who would feed him police intelligence. Mr Moro, who headed up a major corruption clampdown, handed in his notice last month after Mr Bolsonaro sacked the federal police director-general without conferring with him.
New York state's daily death toll has dropped below 100 for the first time since March. A total of 84 people died in the last 24 hours, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday, compared with 109 a day before. During the height of the outbreak in April, more than 1,000 people a day were losing their lives in worst-hit US state.
REUTERS/Tyrone Siu Hong Kong police fired tear gas and pepper spray to disperse thousands of protesting on Sunday, against Beijing's plan to impose national security laws. China has launched new efforts to increase its control over Hong Kong after mass protests in 2019 hampered its efforts to roll back the city's autonomy. Critics fear the provisions of the law will lead to the end of Hong Kong's independence.
A string of controversial missteps has slashed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's support to levels that could threaten to end his term early, even as he prepares to lift a state of emergency after the rate of coronavirus infections declined. The slide in ratings, now below 30%, may erode Abe's clout in his Liberal Democratic Party and has sparked speculation that he might step down before the end of his term as ruling party leader, and hence premier, in September 2021. The prosecutor, Hiromu Kurokawa, resigned on Thursday after admitting he played mahjong for money during the state of emergency, when citizens were asked to stay home.
Last summer, architect Paul Davidson spent ten nights inside of the Statue of Liberty. From 6 p.m. to 7 a.m., he and his team carried out a first-of-its-kind laser scan of Lady Liberty, capturing the statue's interior during the hours when it wasn't packed full of tourists. Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty are currently closed to all visitors, shut down due to COVID-19.