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.
Muslims around the world on Sunday began celebrating Eid al-Fitr, a normally festive holiday marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, with millions under strict stay-at-home orders and many fearing renewed coronavirus outbreaks. The three-day holiday is usually a time of travel, family get-togethers and lavish daytime feasts after weeks of dawn-to-dusk fasting. But this year many of the world's 1.8 billion Muslims will have to pray at home and make due with video calls.
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.
In North Dakota on Friday, the Republican governor, Doug Burgum, decried a “senseless dividing line” between US citizens over whether masks should be worn in public during the coronavirus pandemic. As he pleaded with citizens of his state to “try to dial up your empathy and your understanding”, Burgum was moved to the brink of tears. As Donald Trump encourages states to reopen their battered economies, federal authorities are recommending covering the face in public when social distancing is difficult, for example in grocery stores.
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.
Just days ago, scientists leading the University of Oxford's coronavirus vaccine development expressed optimism about their progress — more than 1,000 people in the United Kingdom have been inoculated already, and 10,000 more will be given the vaccine in May and June. Professor Adrian Hill, director of the University's Jenner Institute, said what was formerly an 80 percent chance of developing an effective vaccine by September — possibly in time for a potential second wave of infections — has dwindled to 50 percent. Instead, the U.K.'s infection rate decline may make it tough to gauge the vaccine's efficacy.
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.
MSNBC's Joy Reid opened her interview with Charlamagne Tha God on Sunday morning by congratulating him on his interview this past week with former Vice President Joe Biden—even if all anyone wants to talk about are the final few seconds. “You've got more questions?” Biden asked. Shortly after that interview, Biden apologized for his remarks on a conference call with the Black Chamber of Commerce.
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.
President Donald Trump on Sunday further limited travel from the world's coronavirus hotspots by denying entry to foreigners coming from Brazil, which is second to the US in the number of confirmed cases. Mr Trump had already banned certain travellers from China, Europe, the United Kingdom and Ireland and, to a lesser extent, Iran. He has not moved to ban travel from Russia, which has the world's third-highest caseload.
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.
Nearly a month after Georgia became the first state to allow businesses to reopen after the coronavirus shutdown, Gov. Brian Kemp took to a conservative radio show to tout some good news. Hospitalizations were down more than 30% in less than three weeks, and Georgia had ramped up its testing, with a per capita rate that placed it 20th out of 54 U.S. states and territories, up from 46th a month ago, he explained. The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported that unlike many other states, Georgia calculates its total number of tests by combining viral diagnostic checks, which indicate current infection, and antibody tests, which indicate past infection.
The first astronauts launched by SpaceX are breaking new ground for style with hip spacesuits, gull-wing Teslas and a sleek rocketship — all of it white with black trim. The color coordinating is thanks to Elon Musk, the driving force behind both SpaceX and Tesla, and a big fan of flash and science fiction. “It is really neat, and I think the biggest testament to that is my 10-year-old son telling me how cool I am now,” Hurley told The Associated Press.
One of the two people to survive a plane crash in Pakistan that killed 97 people on board has described jumping from the burning wreckage of the aircraft after it hurtled into a residential neighbourhood. The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane came down among houses on Friday after both engines failed as it approached Karachi airport, the airline said. Its wings sliced through rooftops, sending flames and plumes of smoke into the air as it crashed onto a street, sparking a rescue operation that lasted until the early hours of Saturday.
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. She also believes and that eliminating her position weakened the American response to the coronavirus when it emerged 18 months later.
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.
Rescue crews had to save three people on Mount Hood this weekend, endangering their own health in the process. Portland Mountain Rescue said the first mission began late Friday night after a climber summited but got lost in whiteout conditions on the way back, with no water and a dying cellphone. “They were swept all the way down the route onto the Reid Glacier and miraculously survived with limited injuries,” PMR wrote on Facebook.
The president of South Africa has warned that the country's coronavirus outbreak is going to get much worse, while announcing that lockdown measures are to be eased. Cyril Ramaphosa said a third of the country's more than 22,000 cases had been recorded in the last week. Mr Ramaphosa was speaking after a mining company in South Africa said 164 workers at a gold mine near Johannesburg had tested positive for coronavirus.
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden apologized Friday for comments in an earlier radio interview in which he said black voters who supported President Donald Trump "ain't black." In a testy exchange Friday with African-American radio host Charlamagne tha God, Biden said "you ain't black" if you're struggling to decide whether to back him or Trump. During the interview on Charlamagne's program, "The Breakfast Club," the former vice president emphasized his ties to the African-American community and touted his record on civil rights.
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.
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.
New Yorkers experiencing cabin fever after two months of coronavirus quarantine received an unexpected reprieve when Gov. Andrew Cuomo eased the state's ban on gatherings in time for the Memorial Day weekend. New York state on Saturday reported its lowest number of daily coronavirus deaths — 84 — in weeks in what Cuomo described as a critical benchmark. “In my head, I was always looking to get under 100,” Cuomo said.
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.
Six women were killed by alleged gang members at a women's prison near the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa, the National Penitentiary Institute said on Sunday. The killers broke through gates and the roof of a building at the women's prison in Tamara, 10 kilometers to the north of Tegucigalpa, "to go to the gymnasium where six prisoners were staying and murdered them," said the INP. One prisoner had earlier caused a diversion by starting a fire in a dormitory where two inmates quarantined over the coronavirus pandemic were sleeping, in a building housing 1,300 prisoners.
Homes were destroyed and tens of thousands of people left without power as a “once in a decade” storm pummelled the western half of Western Australia on Sunday night, with worse expected overnight and on Monday morning. The storm, which is expected to continue well into Monday, was described by Bureau of Meteorology state manager James Ashley as a “dynamic and complex” weather formation caused by ex-Tropical Cyclone Mangga interacting with a cold front. Winds of more than 100kmh destroyed power lines and tore roofs from homes and businesses late on Sunday and the storm was expected to worsen overnight as it moved south along the coast, with winds up 130kmh predicted.