On a day when the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus pandemic neared 100,000, President Trump sought to direct the nation's attention back to the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic as a way to smear the reputation of his Democratic rival Joe Biden, who was vice president at the time. Joe Biden's handling of the H1N1 Swine Flu was a complete and total disaster. In the early weeks of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., Trump repeatedly sought to show that he was doing a good job dealing with the pandemic compared with how Biden and then-President Barack Obama had responded to the H1N1 pandemic.
In late March, Congress passed the largest stimulus package in American history in an effort to offset the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. One of the most important elements of the massive $2 trillion bill was a provision that boosted unemployment insurance benefits for those who lost work because of stay-at-home orders designed to limit the spread of the virus. Nearly 39 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the past nine weeks.
Protesters clashed with riot police firing tear gas for a second night in Minneapolis on Wednesday in an outpouring of rage over the death of a black man seen in a widely circulated video gasping for breath as a white officer knelt on his neck. The video, taken by an onlooker to Monday night's fatal encounter between police and George Floyd, 46, showed him lying face down and handcuffed, groaning for help and repeatedly saying, "please, I can't breathe," before growing motionless. The second day of demonstrations, accompanied by looting and vandalism, began hours after Mayor Jacob Frey urged prosecutors to file criminal charges against the white policeman shown pinning Floyd to the street.
Anti-Semitic crimes in Germany last year reached their highest level since the country started keeping statistics, amid an overall strong increase in right-extremist criminality that is a cause for “great concern,” Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Wednesday. Overall, politically-motivated crimes were up 14.2% in 2019 over the previous year, which is the second highest level since authorities began tracking such crimes in 2001, Seehofer told reporters in Berlin. Crimes by the extreme left rose the most, increasing 23.7% to 9,849, but the majority of politically motivated crimes were from the extreme right, with 22,342 cases and an increase of 9.4%.
Two missing walkers have been found in the New Zealand wilderness, 19 days after they set off. Jessica O'Connor and Dion Reynolds, both 23, began walking in the Kahurangi National Park on 9 May, and expected to be gone for six or seven days. The Kahurangi, in the north-west of the South Island, is New Zealand's second biggest national park.
It didn't take much longer than 100 days for the coronavirus to claim the lives of 100,000 Americans, an unimaginable toll when the first death from COVID-19 took place in the U.S., believed to have been Feb. 6 in California. The social distancing measures widely adopted throughout the country succeeded in slowing down the virus' spread, as borne out by the diminished rates of new infections and deaths in May – but not enough to keep the U.S. from reaching the grim milestone of 100,000 deaths Wednesday, according to the Johns Hopkins University data dashboard. USA TODAY consulted experts in a variety of fields, including public health, business, history, social sciences and the hospitality industry, to get an assessment of what the new normal may look like in the next 100 days.
A pair of Russian planes restricted a Navy pilot from safely maneuvering over international waters for more than an hour, service officials said on Tuesday. Two Russian Su-35 aircraft on Tuesday simultaneously flew close to each wing of a Navy P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea, according to Navy news release describing the incident. It was the third time in two months that Russian aircraft have intercepted Navy aircraft in the Sixth Fleet of operations, the release states.
The Michigan governor who implemented some of the toughest coronavirus lockdown rules in the United States came under heavy criticism Tuesday over allegations that her husband pressured a dock to prepare his boat for an outing. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat who has defended her tough stay-at-home policies against armed protestors and attacks from President Donald Trump, announced last week the lifting of some restrictions ahead of the long Memorial Day weekend. According to a claim posted on Facebook by Northshore Docks owner Tad Dowker, Whitmer's husband Marc Mallory subsequently tried to use her position to get his boat moved ahead of others for launching before the holiday weekend.
Twitter employees are outraged by the company's refusal to stop President Trump from using the platform to promote a conspiracy theory involving a former staffer of Trump critic and media personality Joe Scarborough, according to tech journalist Kara Swisher. Swisher reported Tuesday that the widower of Lori Klausutis, who died suddenly in 2001 while working as a staff member in Scarborough's congressional office in Florida, wrote Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey a heartfelt letter last week asking him to stop Trump from continuing to spread conspiracy theories about his wife's death via the social media platform.
Britain has closed its embassy in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang and ordered its staff to leave the country. The surprise closure is linked to coronavirus-related restrictions in place since earlier this year, which the Foreign Office said had left it unable to "rotate our staff and sustain the operation of the Embassy". It follows a similar evacuation of a number of other diplomats and foreign residents from the North Korean capital in March.
MINNEAPOLIS—Flames and black smoke poured into the sky over Minneapolis late Wednesday as the second day of protests over the death of George Floyd took a violent turn, with a local business near police headquarters set ablaze and at least one person fatally shot in the area. Minneapolis Police spokesman John Elder confirmed the shooting shortly before midnight local time, but he did not say if it was connected to the protests, according to the Star Tribune. The shooting came amid reports of widespread looting and a major fire at an AutoZone near the police headquarters.
The founder of the Knights of Columbus, the influential U.S.-based lay Catholic organization, is moving a step closer to possible sainthood. Pope Francis has approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of the Rev. Michael McGivney, a Connecticut priest who died at age 38 of pneumonia in 1890 during a pandemic similar to the current coronavirus outbreak. The Vatican said Wednesday that Francis had signed off on the miracle required.
A Pakistani villager has urged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to return his pigeon, currently being held in India on charges of spying. The Pakistani villager, who claims the arrested pigeon is his, says the code is actually his mobile phone number. Pakistan's Dawn newspaper has identified the man as Habibullah and reports that he owns a dozen pigeons.
A top executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei is scheduled to learn Wednesday if a U.S extradition case against her can proceed. Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei's founder, at Vancouver's airport in late 2018. The U.S. wants her extradited to face fraud charges.
President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Moscow, the epicentre of Russia's coronavirus outbreak, had succeeded in preventing what he called worst-case scenarios as the city announced it would ease tough lockdown measures within days. Speaking to Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, an ally, by video conference, Putin said it was obvious the situation in the city of 12.7 million people had stabilised thanks to steps taken by the authorities. It was now time for Moscow to provide medical help to regions where the coronavirus remained rampant, said Putin, something Sobyanin said would be organised immediately.
A huge disparity When white Americans who live in a "stand your ground" state make self-defense claims in situations involving a black person's death, 36 percent are ruled justifiable homicides, Robert Spitzer, a professor of political science at the State University of New York, Cortland, said. When the situation is reversed and black Americans make self-defense claims in cases involving dead white people in these same states, just 3 percent see those deaths ruled justifiable homicides. That's the pattern in more than a decade of data.
Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday pledged a humanitarian "action plan" for Hong Kongers pushing for democracy in the financial hub as an influx of activists seek sanctuary on the self-ruled democratic island. Hong Kong was upended by months of often violent pro-democracy protests last year sparked by rising fears that Beijing is chipping away at the city's freedoms. Unrest has returned in recent days after Beijing announced plans last week to impose a sweeping national security law in response to the protests, a move that has alarmed many western governments and Taiwan.
President Trump took to his favorite social media platform to attack social media platforms on Wednesday morning, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo certainly didn't do anything to help his boss' case. Shortly after Trump claimed on Twitter he would "strongly regulate" or "close down" social media platforms that are allegedly silencing "conservative voices," Pompeo sent out a tweet saying the U.S. "will not tolerate" government-imposed censorship or shutdowns. Pompeo's tweet isn't in response to Trump, exactly — it references the Freedom Online Coalition, a partnership of 31 governments seeking to improve Internet freedom.
US Navy The US Navy has accused two Russian Su-35 fighter jets of conducting an "unsafe and unprofessional" intercept of a P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft over the Mediterranean Tuesday, releasing photos and video from the incident. The two Russian fighters closed in on both wings of the US aircraft simultaneously, "restricting the P-8A's ability to safely maneuver," the Navy said in a statement. Tuesday's intercept marks the third unsafe intercept over the Mediterranean in two months, following two similar incidents in April.
Boeing began making its first round of involuntary layoffs on Wednesday morning, announcing that it will slash the jobs of approximately 6,770 employees across the United States. Boeing's massive commercial business will take the brunt of the cuts, with the company's defense, space and security division only expected to shed less than 100 employees through involuntary layoffs this week. Boeing plans to reduce its total headcount by 10 percent through natural turnover, voluntary layoffs and involuntary cuts — a measure made necessary by the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has shook the travel industry and called into question commercial airlines' ability to pay for Boeing aircraft already on order.
A New York pharmacist bought up $200,000 worth of N95 masks before the coronavirus pandemic grew severe in the US, then sold them at up to a 50% markup, prosecutors allege. The pharmacist, 66-year-old Richard Schirripa, sold more than $2,000 worth of masks to an undercover officer, and said during the transaction he felt "like a drug dealer standing out here." Schirripa has been arrested and charged with violating the Defense Production Act by hoarding and price-gouging.
Brazil's Federal Police on Wednesday executed more than two dozen searches and seizure warrants in six states as part of an investigation into a network that allegedly spread defamatory fake news and threats against Supreme Court justices. The judicial orders targeted allies and supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro, and the president's son Carlos Bolsonaro criticized the operations on his official Twitter account, calling the investigation “unconstitutional, political and ideological. A lawmaker closely allied with Bolsonaro, Carla Zambelli, also denounced the searches.
Churches may be closed amid the coronavirus lockdown, but one lucky couple were able to still to get married in the midst of the pandemic. Jann Tipping, a 34-year-old ambulatory emergency nurse, and Annalan Navaratnam, a 30-year-old acute medical registrar, were married in the Grade II-listed chapel at St Thomas' Hospital in London at the end of last month. The couple, front line key workers treating coronavirus patients, had been forced to scrap a planned summer wedding amid fears that their families would not be able to travel safely from Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday pledged to begin charging citizens for gasoline, as the fourth cargo of a five-tanker flotilla bringing fuel from Iran approached the South American nation's exclusive economic zone. Iran is providing the country with up to 1.53 million barrels of gasoline and components to help it ease an acute scarcity that has forced Venezuelans to wait in hours-long lines at service stations or pay steep prices on the black market. With the arrival of the gasoline, Maduro said he would end the policy of providing fuel effectively for free after more than two decades of frozen pump prices.