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.
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.
Madison "Maddie" Bell, the Ohio high school senior who went missing Sunday, has been found safe, according to the Highland County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Donnie Barrera announced in a press release posted to Facebook Saturday that the 18-year-old had been located and that she was safe. A nationwide search for Maddie began this week after she told her mother she was going tanning around 10 a.m. on Sunday morning in Highland County, but never returned.
The governor of North Dakota seemed on the verge of tears Friday, as he urged residents to be “empathetic” towards those who decide to wear face masks, noting that some people are far greater risk from COVID-19. Speaking at a press conference in the state's capital, Gov. Doug Burgum, a Republican, choked up as he asked residents to “dial up your empathy and your understanding” when they see someone wearing a face mask. “If someone is wearing a mask, they're not doing it to represent what political party they're in or what candidates they support,” said Burgum.
China said on Monday it opposes all U.S. restrictions imposed against Chinese airlines, responding to a report that the U.S. Transportation Department has demanded Chinese carriers file their schedules and other flight details by May 27. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said flight restrictions imposed by Beijing treated all airlines equally and were due to efforts to curb COVID-19 related risks. The U.S. government late on Friday accused the Chinese government of making it impossible for U.S. airlines to resume service to China.
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.
The police will no longer be able to enforce lockdown because Dominic Cummings' actions have completely undermined their authority with the public, it was claimed last night. Senior policing figures and frontline officers said they feared people would no longer be willing to adhere to the Government's guidance, making their job virtually impossible. Many senior officers had already admitted they were struggling to explain the rules to an increasingly confused public.
The Trump administration is asking the Supreme Court to intervene for the first time in a case related to COVID-19, to block a judge's order that a low-security federal prison in Ohio transfer, release or send home some of its elderly and medically vulnerable inmates. "The government is currently facing numerous suits challenging conditions of confinement in federal prisons across the nation," Solicitor Gen. Noel Francisco said in an appeal filed Friday evening, and the prisoners' lawyers are seeking to require the wholesale release of inmates from low-security prisons by imposing "a constitutional six-feet-at-all-times rule" for social distancing. The court, which could act this weekend, is thrust into the fray as state and federal prisons nationwide have become hot spots for infections and illness from the coronavirus, and prison officials have searched for ways to thin their populations.
The death toll from a Pakistan International Airlines flight that crashed during a second landing attempt in Karachi on Friday rose to 97 on Saturday. Two passengers survived the incident, and no fatalities have been reported among people on the ground in the densely populated residential neighborhood where the crash-landing occurred, although eight people were injured, three of whom remain hospitalized. One of the surviving passengers, Mohammad Zubair, said the flight from Lahore was smooth until the descent, when the pilot came on the intercom to say the plane was experiencing engine trouble and the landing could be "troublesome."
Val Demings, a Democratic representative from Florida among contenders to be Joe Biden's presidential running mate, has castigated Donald Trump for having the “gall and nerve” to use a gaffe by Biden as a weapon on the campaign trail. The remark prompted gleeful tweets from Trump, fierce attacks from supporters of the president and criticism from Biden's own backers. The vice-president shouldn't have said it,” Demings told CNN's State of the Union on Sunday.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern barely skipped a beat when an earthquake struck during a live television interview Monday morning. She interrupted Newshub host Ryan Bridge to tell him what was happening at the parliament complex in the capital, Wellington. We're just having a bit of an earthquake here Ryan, quite a decent shake here,” she said, looking up and around the room.
Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, who made legal history by bringing corruption charges against a sitting premier, was hand-picked by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the job. On Sunday, when Netanyahu begins his trial on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, he may well curse the low-key but influential 56-year-old Mandelblit. Born in Tel Aviv to a right-wing family, Mandelblit is an Orthodox Jew and has six children.
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.
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.
The Republican National Committee and other GOP groups filed a lawsuit against California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday, arguing a move to expand mail-in voting during the pandemic is illegal. The suit, filed in federal court in the state's eastern district, also names the California Republican Party and the National Republican Congressional Committee as plaintiffs. In a tweet announcing the suit, national committee chair Ronna McDaniel called Newsom's executive order “radical” and a “recipe for disaster that would create more opportunities for fraud.
Taiwan will provide the people of Hong Kong with "necessary assistance", President Tsai Ing-wen said, after thousands in the Chinese ruled territory protested against Beijing's plans to impose new national security laws. Taiwan has become a refuge for a small but growing number of pro-democracy protesters fleeing Hong Kong, which has been convulsed since last year by anti-Beijing and anti-Hong Kong government protests. Hong Kong police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse thousands of people who rallied on Sunday to protest against Beijing's move to introduce new national security laws.
Muslim communities across America are finding new ways to celebrate this weekend's Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the holy month of Ramandan. The three-day holiday after a month of fasting from dawn to sunset is traditionally one that brings families and friends together for large and intimate gatherings, but this year, Muslims are relying on Zoom calls, live-streamed sermons and drive-through celebrations. "Not being able to be with the larger community for Eid is actually really affecting people, especially the younger members of our community," said Rami Nsour, a religious scholar and community leader in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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.
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”.
Tens of thousands of homes and businesses lost power, buildings were battered and trees were uprooted as a vast stretch of the west Australian coast was whipped by a severe storm on Monday for the second straight day. No casualties were reported from what Acting Assistant Commissioner of Western Australia state's Department of Fire and Emergency Services Jon Broomhall called a “a once-in-a-decade-type” storm system. The combined weather system lashed a 1,200-kilometer (745-mile) stretch of the west coast from Carnarvon to Cape Leeuwin and including the state capital, Perth, with winds gusting at more than 90 kilometers (56 miles) per hour overnight, Bureau of Meteorology manager Neil Bennett said.
The body of Valnir Mendes da Silva, 62, who died after experiencing difficulty breathing, was abandoned on a sidewalk of a poor Rio de Janeiro neighborhood for 30 hours, according to relatives and neighbors. In Rio de Janeiro state, which has the second-highest number of deaths in Brazil, most hospitals accepting COVID-19 patients have run out of intensive care beds. President Jair Bolsonaro has consistently downplayed the pandemic, calling the coronavirus a "little flu" and fiercely criticizing state governors and mayors who introduce lockdowns.
Nasa astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken have completed their dress rehearsal for Wednesday's flight to the International Space Station. The mission, the first crewed outing from American soil in nine years, will see the pair ride to orbit in a SpaceX Falcon rocket and Crew Dragon capsule. It's a demonstration of the new "taxi" service the US space agency will be buying from the Californian firm.
Residents in Spain's biggest cities are gearing up for an easing in their lockdowns from Monday. People in the capital Madrid and second city Barcelona will be allowed to dine outdoors and have gatherings of up to ten people as infections slow. SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) RESIDENT IRENE FERNANDEZ, SAYING: "We all cannot wait to go outside, but we know we must be responsible and behave in a civil manner so I think it will be great."
Airlines' plans to resume air travel in India were in disarray on Monday after some states restricted the number of flights hours before departure, causing last-minute cancellations and leaving hundreds of passengers stranded. Airlines, including IndiGo, India's biggest carrier, SpiceJet and Vistara, a joint venture between Tata Group and Singapore Airlines, had been preparing to resume operations from Monday with about a third of their capacity amid strict rules. IndiGo had planned to start with about 430 daily flights while its low-cost rival SpiceJet said it would operate 204 flights a day and AirAsia India would start with 77 flights.
Secondary schools will begin to reopen from June 15 so students can start preparing for exams next year, the Prime Minister announced on Sunday. Boris Johnson told the daily Downing Street press conference that some primary school pupils will return from June 1 “as planned”, while older students in Years 10 and 12 will begin going back two weeks later. Mr Johnson said the phased return of schools was “crucial” for children, and that all classrooms will be fully reopened by September “at the latest”, despite conceding that social distancing would be a challenge for primary school pupils.