Royal Air Maroc suspends all domestic flights until further notice

CAIRO, March 21 (Reuters) - Moroccan airline Royal Air Maroc (RAM) suspended its domestic flights until further notice to fight the coronavirus outbreak, the state news agency said on Saturday.

The Kingdom has reported 96 cases of the flu-like disease. (Reporting By Ahmed Tolba Editing by Chris Reese)

  • Liberty University students choose sides after fallout from coronavirus reporting
    Yahoo News

    Liberty University students choose sides after fallout from coronavirus reporting

    The New York Times reported this week that almost a dozen Liberty University students have come down with COVID-19 symptoms since the school reopened last week, according to a bombshell article published Sunday that cites a local physician in Lynchburg, Va., where the evangelical university is situated. “We've lost the ability to corral this thing,” Dr. Thomas W. Eppes Jr. said he told Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr., according to the article. The Times identified Eppes as the head of the school's student health service, but he does not appear on the Liberty University website and a school spokesman told Yahoo News he has no official connection to the university.

  • China's Shenzhen bans the eating of cats and dogs after coronavirus
    Reuters

    China's Shenzhen bans the eating of cats and dogs after coronavirus

    The Chinese city of Shenzhen has banned the eating of dogs and cats as part of a wider clampdown on the wildlife trade since the emergence of the new coronavirus. Scientists suspect the coronavirus passed to humans from animals. Some of the earliest infections were found in people who had exposure to a wildlife market in the central city of Wuhan, where bats, snakes, civets and other animals were sold.

  • US asks Juan Guaido to renounce claim to Venezuela leadership – for the time being
    The Independent

    US asks Juan Guaido to renounce claim to Venezuela leadership – for the time being

    The United States has called on Venezuela's Juan Guaido to temporarily renounce his claim to the presidency as it recalibrates its strategy to oust leader Nicolas Maduro. The shift came after more than a year of faltering US-led efforts to oust the leftist Mr Maduro. Mr Guaido came under growing pressure from authorities, who on Tuesday summoned him to answer charges of attempting a coup.

  • Pakistan court overturns conviction in death of Daniel Pearl
    Associated Press

    Pakistan court overturns conviction in death of Daniel Pearl

    A Pakistani court on Thursday overturned the murder conviction of a British Pakistani man found guilty of the 2002 kidnapping and killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Instead, the court found Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh guilty of the lesser charge of kidnapping and sentenced him to seven years in prison. Pearl disappeared Jan. 23, 2002 in Karachi while researching links between Pakistani militants and Richard C. Reid, who became known as the “shoe-bomber” after he was arrested on a flight from Paris to Miami with explosives in his shoes.

  • North Korea insists it is free of coronavirus
    AFP

    North Korea insists it is free of coronavirus

    North Korea remains totally free of the coronavirus, a senior health official in Pyongyang has insisted, despite mounting scepticism overseas as confirmed global infections near one million. The already isolated, nuclear-armed North quickly shut down its borders after the virus was first detected in neighbouring China in January, and imposed strict containment measures. Pak Myong Su, director of the anti-epidemic department of the North's Central Emergency Anti-epidemic Headquarters, insisted that the efforts had been completely successful.

  • One country is refusing to shut down to stop the coronavirus
    NBC News

    One country is refusing to shut down to stop the coronavirus

    While officials from Montreal to Moscow have placed populations under some form of lockdown designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, one man continues to hold firm to the notion that the rest of the world has lost its mind: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. “It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees!” Lukashenko told a Belarusian television reporter Saturday when asked whether the coronavirus could stop him from hitting the rink for a propaganda-filled hockey game. Lukashenko, one of the longest-serving leaders in the former Soviet Union, has been in power for over 25 years.

  • Taiwan to Donate Ten Million Masks to U.S., E.U.
    National Review

    Taiwan to Donate Ten Million Masks to U.S., E.U.

    Taiwan will donate ten million face masks to countries struggling with the coronavirus pandemic, a move that will likely rile China, which claims Taiwan as a territory and has donated far fewer masks to other countries despite its role in covering up the risk posed by a deadly virus that originated within its borders. “At the previous stage, we formed a national team, now we need to play an international match and fight the pandemic together with other countries,” said Taiwan's president, Tsai Ing-wen. According to Taiwan's foreign ministry, 7 million of the masks will be sent to European Union countries, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland.

  • Bloomberg

    The FBI Can’t Be Trusted With the Surveillance of Americans

    On Tuesday, the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz issued a new report that found systematic errors of fact in the FBI's applications for warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The memo does not speak to the materiality or significance of those errors — but they are startling nonetheless. Out of 42 applications, the report says, 39 included major defects.

  • 'Sailors do not need to die': Captain of aircraft carrier hit by coronavirus outbreak begs Navy for more help
    Business Insider

    'Sailors do not need to die': Captain of aircraft carrier hit by coronavirus outbreak begs Navy for more help

    The commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, which was forced into port in Guam because of a coronavirus outbreak, said in a letter to the Navy on Monday that "the spread of the disease is ongoing and accelerating." The commanding officer of a deployed aircraft carrier hit by a coronavirus outbreak is pleading with the US Navy for help, pushing the service to isolate all crew members off the ship, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Tuesday. The Navy had reported three coronavirus cases aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt last Tuesday, and the number of cases spiked to more than 30 by Friday, Fox News reported at the time.

  • 'We are on the verge of a massive collapse': Ex-Energy Secretary Perry says COVID-19 will ravage oil industry
    USA TODAY

    'We are on the verge of a massive collapse': Ex-Energy Secretary Perry says COVID-19 will ravage oil industry

    Former Energy Secretary Rick Perry believes that the oil industry could collapse because of the dramatic decrease in demand worldwide caused by the coronavirus outbreak and a steep decline in prices. "I'm telling you, we are on the verge of a massive collapse of an industry that we worked awfully hard, over the course of the last three or four years, to build up to the number one oil and gas producing country in the world, giving Americans some affordable energy resources." Coupled with a dispute between Saudi Arabia and Russia that has resulted in an oil surplus, the price for crude as well as gasoline has plunged.

  • China is bracing for a second wave of coronavirus
    The Week

    China is bracing for a second wave of coronavirus

    A Chinese county that was largely unscathed by the novel COVID-19 coronavirus went into lockdown Wednesday, signaling fears of a possible second wave in the country where the virus originated, The South China Morning Post reports. The county of Jia in Henan province, home to 600,000 people, is now in lockdown after infections reportedly spread at a local hospital. There were previously only 12 confirmed cases in Henan, despite it being situated just north of Hubei province, where China's epicenter, Wuhan, is located.

  • Reuters

    Israel links coronavirus aid for Gaza to recovering soldiers

    Israel on Wednesday linked any assistance it might offer for the Gaza Strip's efforts against coronavirus to progress in its attempt to recover two Israeli soldiers lost during the 2014 war in the Palestinian enclave. Blockaded and impoverished, Islamist Hamas-ruled Gaza has reported 12 coronavirus cases and authorities worry that local health facilities - with just 96 ventilators for a population of 2 million - are insufficient to contain a contagion. Both Israel and Hamas have closed the Gaza border to non-essential traffic as a precaution against the spread of the infection.

  • Defense lawyer in death of 7 motorcyclists: Biker at fault
    Associated Press

    Defense lawyer in death of 7 motorcyclists: Biker at fault

    One of the motorcyclists in a crash that killed him and six fellow bikers on a north woods highway was drunk and actually was the one who hit a pickup and caused the accident, the lawyer for the truck driver charged with homicide said in a document made public Tuesday. A New Hampshire State Police account of the June 21 crash in the community of Randolph “was deeply flawed," the lawyer for truck driver Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 24, of West Springfield, Massachusetts, said in a motion filed Friday that seeks a hearing to set him free on bail. State police initially determined that the flatbed trailer he was hauling was 1 1/2 feet over the center line at the time of impact, the motion said.

  • Angry Wuhan next-of-kin seek answers over virus handling
    AFP

    Angry Wuhan next-of-kin seek answers over virus handling

    Zhang took his elderly father to a Wuhan hospital for a surgical procedure in January, just as coronavirus was consuming the central Chinese city. Devastated and angry, Zhang is now demanding answers from a government that he accuses of incompetence and lying about the extent of the virus. Zhang says he has linked online with dozens of other people whose grief over lost loved ones is paired with anger.

  • WHO concerned by 'rapid escalation' of virus, as U.S. death toll nears 5,000
    NBC News

    WHO concerned by 'rapid escalation' of virus, as U.S. death toll nears 5,000

    The head of the World Health Organization has voiced deep concern over the “rapid escalation” and global spread of the new coronavirus pandemic, as the United States nears a grim milestone of 5,000 deaths. The stark warning comes as the United States barrels towards marking 5,000 coronavirus-related deaths, with more than 4,800 already recorded across the country as of early Thursday morning. Having first emerged in China in December, four months later it is the United States that has registered by far the highest number of coronavirus cases, more than 210,000 as of Thursday, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

  • Russian plane makes its way to U.S. with coronavirus medical equipment
    Yahoo News Video

    Russian plane makes its way to U.S. with coronavirus medical equipment

    A Russian military transport plane was headed to the United States on Wednesday carrying tons of medical equipment and masks to help Washington fight the coronavirus outbreak, Russian state TV reported and a U.S. official said.

  • 12 Buildings That Show the Beauty of Deconstructed Architecture
    Architectural Digest

    12 Buildings That Show the Beauty of Deconstructed Architecture

    From Zaha Hadid's majestic MAXII in Italy to the stunning beauty of Frank Gehry's Vitra Design Museum, these structures elevate the environment they were built in Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest

  • Nancy Pelosi's idea to retroactively lift the limit on state and local tax deductions would be almost useless for people who need the most help
    Business Insider

    Nancy Pelosi's idea to retroactively lift the limit on state and local tax deductions would be almost useless for people who need the most help

    Business Insider Tom Brenner/Reuters Pelosi is calling for another economic relief package to get more equipment for embattled healthcare workers, as well as relief for households. The House speaker said one measure under consideration is retroactively repealing the SALT cap, which puts a $10,000 limit on the amount of state and local tax deductions that households can claim each year on their tax bill. But that measure would disproportionately benefit richer households, and leave out the vast majority of middle-class ones from getting any money.

  • An evangelical pastor who was charged after holding in-person church services says he doesn't like livestreams because he can't touch parishioners
    INSIDER

    An evangelical pastor who was charged after holding in-person church services says he doesn't like livestreams because he can't touch parishioners

    Tony Spell, an evangelical pastor at the Life Tabernacle Church in suburban Baton Rouge, Louisiana, faces six misdemeanor charges after continuing in-person church services despite the state's stay-at-home order. Spell has held several services with hundreds of people in attendance over the last several weeks, and on Tuesday hosted 300 people after being charged with violating the governor's order that bans large gatherings. As many churches turn to live streams to protect parishioners from the novel coronavirus, Spell told Insider he prefers in-person services, where he can "lay hands" on his congregation.

  • Shenzhen becomes first Chinese city to ban eating cats and dogs
    BBC

    Shenzhen becomes first Chinese city to ban eating cats and dogs

    Shenzhen has become the first Chinese city to ban the sale and consumption of dog and cat meat. It comes after the coronavirus outbreak was linked to wildlife meat, prompting Chinese authorities to ban the trade and consumption of wild animals. Shenzhen went a step further, extending the ban to dogs and cats.

  • No let-up in coronavirus deaths in Italy, new cases steady
    Reuters

    No let-up in coronavirus deaths in Italy, new cases steady

    The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has climbed by 837 to 12,428, the Civil Protection Agency said on Tuesday, with the daily tally rising, albeit slightly, for a second day running. The number of new cases was broadly steady, growing by 4,053 against 4,050 on Monday, and bringing total infections since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 to 105,792. Some 5,217 new cases were registered on Sunday and 5,974 on Saturday, suggesting the growth curve of new infections is flattening.

  • Gun background checks smash records amid coronavirus fears
    Associated Press

    Gun background checks smash records amid coronavirus fears

    Background checks required to buy firearms have spiked to record numbers in the past month, fueled by a run on guns from Americans worried about their safety during the coronavirus crisis. According to figures from the FBI, 3.7 million background checks were done in March — the most for a single month since the system began in 1998. Background checks are the key barometer of gun sales, but the FBI's monthly figures also incorporate checks for firearm permits that are required in some states.

  • Serbia sets the stage for Beijing's mask diplomacy
    AFP

    Serbia sets the stage for Beijing's mask diplomacy

    When six Chinese doctors landed in Belgrade two weeks ago, Serbia's president greeted them with elbow-bumps before laying a kiss on their country's flag, a gesture of gratitude that sent Chinese social media aflutter. For weeks China has been showering European countries with millions of face masks, test kits and other aid, recasting itself as the hero in the battle against coronavirus. EU officials have started to warn against a Beijing propaganda campaign -- spun through the "politics of generosity" -- that is distorting China's initial missteps in managing a contagion that started on its soil and has now killed more than 40,000 people across the globe.

  • Russia sends plane with medical supplies to U.S. for coronavirus response
    Politico

    Russia sends plane with medical supplies to U.S. for coronavirus response

    Russia is sending a planeload of masks and other supplies to help the United States fight the coronavirus pandemic as the number of cases threatens to top 200,000 across the country. The plane will arrive today, after President Donald Trump accepted an offer on Monday by Russian President Vladimir Putin to send personal protective equipment and other gear, a senior administration official confirmed to POLITICO. The Russian government first announced that the plane, an An-124 Ruslan cargo aircraft filled with equipment to help America battle the pandemic, was en route early today.

  • U.S. is swiftly deporting migrant children at the border
    CBS News

    U.S. is swiftly deporting migrant children at the border

    Citing a public health order to curb the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration is swiftly deporting unaccompanied migrant minors apprehended near the U.S.-Mexico border, upending a long-standing practice required under a federal law designed to protect children from violence and exploitation. Despite initially maintaining that the new measures would not apply to unaccompanied minors, Customs and Border Protection on Monday said its officials could deny entry to children who cross the southern border alone under an order by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. The agency said some minors could be excluded from the CDC directive if a border official "suspects trafficking or sees signs of illness."