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.
Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Star Tribune via Getty Images Derek Chauvin, the ousted police officer who knelt on black man George Floyd's neck, has a history of involvement in violent incidents and police shootings. He's been involved in several police shootings and has been the subject of complaints by the city's Civilian Review Authority and the Office of Police Conduct reviews on 10 separate occasions. As Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck, another ousted officer, Tou Thao, stood guard.
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.
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.
A Eurowings flight from Düsseldorf, Germany, to Sardinia, Italy, was forced to turn around at the last minute because the destination airport was closed due to coronavirus lockdowns in Italy. The plane made it all the way to Sardinian airspace on Saturday when they were told that the airport was closed to commercial traffic. An aviation blog theorized that the mistake was made because the airport was ordered to reopen earlier this month, but that decision was immediately overruled by the local government.
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.
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.
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.
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.
President Donald Trump threatened Monday to pull the Republican National Convention out of North Carolina if state officials don't roll out the red carpet soon. On Tuesday, those officials put the onus on national Republicans to show they can pull off a 50,000-person event safely. In a letter to Marcia Kelly, the president and CEO of the convention, North Carolina secretary of Health and Human Services Mandy Cohen acknowledged the president's warning and requested a public health plan for the event.
Protests in Minneapolis over the in-custody death of George Floyd escalated into violence Wednesday night, with a fatal shooting near the site of the demonstrations, widespread looting, multiple fires and the deployment of tear gas. It was the second night of conflict during rallies by thousands enraged by Floyd's death. The demonstrations in the southern part of the city near the site of Floyd's death began peacefully but grew more violent as the night went on.
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.
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.
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.
Two hikers rescued in the New Zealand wilderness Wednesday got lost in fog and exhausted their food but survived 18 days with only minor injuries, police said. Jessica O'Connor and Dion Reynolds, both 23, had hiked into the sprawling Kahurangi National Park on May 9, intending to be gone for about five days, according to police. “This is a fantastic outcome and one that we were all hoping for, although we were becoming increasingly concerned as the days progressed," said police area commander Paul Borrell in a statement.
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.
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.
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.
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.
JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images Swedish officials praised the success of the country's lockdown-free coronavirus strategy on Tuesday, saying the relaxed policies had helped slow the transmission of COVID-19. "Transmission is slowing down, the treatment of COVID-19 patients in intensive care is decreasing significantly, and the rising death toll curve has been flattened," Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said at a press briefing. But the wider picture of the country's coronavirus response is a bit more complicated.
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.
Sweden's government defended its response to the COVID-19 global pandemic on Tuesday despite the Scandinavian country now reporting one of the highest mortality rates in the world, with 4,125 fatalities, or about 40 deaths per 100,000 people.
A Minneapolis police officer videotaped on Monday holding a black man to the ground with his knee during an arrest has become the target of false claims on social media that attempt to tie him to political agendas and racist ideologies. Twitter and Facebook posts with hundreds of thousands of views on Wednesday claimed Officer Derek Chauvin was pictured wearing a “Make Whites Great Again” hat and standing onstage at a Donald Trump rally, neither of which turned out to be true. The spread of false information was so rampant that the president of the Minneapolis police union set the record straight, telling The Associated Press that none of the officers involved in Monday's incident were at the Trump rally in Minneapolis last October.
The United States said on Wednesday it will terminate sanctions waivers that had allowed Russian, Chinese and European companies to carry out work originally designed to make it harder for Iranian nuclear sites to be used for weapons development. The waivers, which officials said expire on July 27, covered the conversion of Iran's Arak heavy water research reactor, the provision of enriched uranium for its Tehran Research Reactor and the transfer of spent and scrap reactor fuel abroad. In a statement, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave no precise justification for the move, which will halt some work originally designed to make it more difficult for Iran to potentially develop fissile material for nuclear bombs.