U.S. not expecting to impose domestic travel curbs for now - DHS official

WASHINGTON, March 14 (Reuters) - The Trump administration is not expecting to impose restrictions on domestic U.S. travel for now as part of its measures to contain the spread of coronavirus, a senior U.S. Department of Homeland Security official said on Saturday.

"There's no expectation we need domestic travel restrictions at this time," said the official, who was briefing reporters on condition of anonymity.

A senior Transportation Security Administration, speaking to the same briefing, said that domestic and international air passenger volume is down by as much as 30 percent, and higher in some locations. (Reporting by Jonathan Landay Editing by Alistair Bell)

  • Trump sees 'hard days' ahead in coronavirus fight, with as many as 240,000 Americans dead
    Yahoo News

    Trump sees 'hard days' ahead in coronavirus fight, with as many as 240,000 Americans dead

    Nearly a quarter million people in the United States could die as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, Trump administration officials said Tuesday. In what was presented as a best case scenario in which millions of citizens across the country adhered to intensive social distancing guidelines promoted by the Trump administration, between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans are still expected to be killed by COVID-19. “We're going to do everything we can to get [the U.S. death toll] significantly below that,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, whose forthright manner has made him a star of the coronavirus briefings.

  • 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.

  • 28 Texas spring breakers who just returned from Cabo have tested positive for the coronavirus
    Business Insider

    28 Texas spring breakers who just returned from Cabo have tested positive for the coronavirus

    Victor Ruiz Garcia/Reuters Twenty-eight Texas spring breakers who recently vacationed in Cabo have tested positive for the coronavirus, tweeted Tony Plohetski of local station KVUE-TV. They chartered a plane with 70 people to get to Cabo, he said. Spring breakers, who are Gen Z, have been called out for crowding beaches and partying on booze cruises and ignoring calls for social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Trump: US to deploy anti-drug Navy ships near Venezuela
    Associated Press

    Trump: US to deploy anti-drug Navy ships near Venezuela

    President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that Navy ships are being moved toward Venezuela as his administration beefs up counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean following a U.S. drug indictment against Nicolás Maduro. The announcement came at the start of the daily White House press briefing to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, which has left much of the country in lock-down and which the government warns could cause 100,000 to 240,000 deaths. The Venezuelan people continue to suffer tremendously due to Maduro and his criminal control over the country, and drug traffickers are seizing on this lawlessness,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said after the president's announcement.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Great Recession showed countries can’t fight the coronavirus economic crisis alone
    USA TODAY Opinion

    Great Recession showed countries can’t fight the coronavirus economic crisis alone

    As the world economy enters an unprecedented crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and policymakers in Washington and other global capitals prepare record fiscal stimulus plans, stakeholders should heed an important lesson from the last financial downturn in 2008: Recovery is only possible through coordinated global action. A little more than 10 years ago, as the world was entering the Great Recession, stakeholders had to look far back in the rearview mirror to the Great Depression for policy guidance. While the actions of the 1930s did offer important lessons for 2008 — most notably the need to expand the money supply — the economy of the 1930s was fundamentally different than the global economy of the early part of this century.

  • India’s coronavirus emergency just beginning as lockdown threatens to turn into human tragedy
    The Telegraph

    India’s coronavirus emergency just beginning as lockdown threatens to turn into human tragedy

    An estimated 120 million Indian labourers are in the same predicament as Mr Asif, and Mr Modi has been accused of causing a humanitarian disaster by locking down the cities and unleashing a wave of poor migrant workers. Many of those who have been forced out of work have streamed back along highways and railway lines to their home states and villages, potentially spreading the coronavirus infection into the country's hinterlands. Mr Modi's lockdown was a knee-jerk reaction without thought for the consequences to the poor, claimed Manish Tewari, an MP for the Congress party.

  • '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.

  • Coronavirus: Three out of four Americans under some form of lockdown
    BBC

    Coronavirus: Three out of four Americans under some form of lockdown

    Meanwhile governors are quarrelling with President Donald Trump about the availability of testing kits. New York City is the worst-hit place in America, with 914 confirmed fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University. In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis, who has been reluctant to impose a state-wide order, said he would instruct people in four counties in the south - where more than half the state's cases of the virus exist - to stay at home.

  • U.S. records 700 coronavirus deaths in a single day for first time
    Reuters

    U.S. records 700 coronavirus deaths in a single day for first time

    The U.S. government raced to build hundreds of makeshift hospitals to ease the strain on overwhelmed healthcare systems as the United States marked 700 deaths in a single day from COVID-19 for the first time on Tuesday. Nearly half those deaths were in New York state, still the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pleaded for reinforcements from the Trump administration, saying the worst may still be weeks away. De Blasio, a Democrat, said he had asked the White House for an additional 1,000 nurses, 300 respiratory therapists and 150 doctors by April 5 but had yet to receive an answer from the Trump administration.

  • The US paid millions of taxpayer dollars to a company for thousands of much-needed ventilators. But the company is busy selling more expensive models abroad.
    Business Insider

    The US paid millions of taxpayer dollars to a company for thousands of much-needed ventilators. But the company is busy selling more expensive models abroad.

    Millions of taxpayer dollars were spent on developing portable, easy-to-use ventilators to prepare for a national health crisis like the coronavirus pandemic — but not a single one is in the federal stockpile. The US Department of Health and Human Services signed a $13.8 million contract with health technology giant Royal Philips N.V. to produce portable, easy-to-use ventilators to add to the federal stockpile. Although HHS ordered 10,000 units of the ventilator in September 2019, the company began selling two higher-priced commercial versions of the same ventilator around the world.

  • Bloomberg

    Germany to Help Startups With $2.2 Billion Aid Package

    Germany pledged to help startups hit by the fallout from the coronavirus with short-term financial assistance worth around 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion). The program is designed specifically for startups which may not be able to get the support they need from a wider package of measures the government launched last week, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told reporters in Berlin Wednesday. For these young, innovative companies, classic credit instruments are often not suitable,” Altmaier said.

  • April to treat stargazers to 1st meteor shower in months and these other celestial events
    AccuWeather

    April to treat stargazers to 1st meteor shower in months and these other celestial events

    Springtime stargazers will have plenty to look for throughout April, ranging from a meteor shower to the rare opportunity to see a comet. The wide variety of astronomy events this month will be great for people looking to spend some time outside under the night sky, including families with young children, as they will not require any special equipment apart from a blanket, warm clothes and a clear sky. April's full moon is also known as the Pink Moon, but contrary to its name, the moon will not appear pink.

  • 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

  • A Doctor Who Met Putin Just Tested Positive, and Russia’s COVID-19 Crackdowns Could Get Real Ugly.
    The Daily Beast

    A Doctor Who Met Putin Just Tested Positive, and Russia’s COVID-19 Crackdowns Could Get Real Ugly.

    MOSCOW—Amid a growing uproar in newly locked-down Russia, news broke on Tuesday that a doctor President Vladimir Putin met with just a week ago during a highly publicized visit to a coronavirus treatment facility has now tested positive for the infection himself. Widely disseminated photos of the visit showed Putin donning an orange hazmat suit, but he had also talked to Dr. Denis Protsenko extensively without protection and photographs show them together with very little "social distancing." Putin's spokesman says the Russian president is tested frequently for coronavirus infection and is just fine.

  • 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.

  • Coronavirus live updates: US toll tops 5,100 after deadliest day yet; Florida, 3 other states issue stay-at-home orders; CDC considers masks
    USA TODAY

    Coronavirus live updates: US toll tops 5,100 after deadliest day yet; Florida, 3 other states issue stay-at-home orders; CDC considers masks

    The U.S. recorded its deadliest day – more than 1,000 fatalities – since the coronavirus outbreak began, more than 215,000 overall infections have been reported, and public health officials may recommend that more Americans wear face masks to combat the pandemic that has brought the global economy to its knees. "Even if you do wear a mask, it can't be at the expense of social distancing," Surgeon General Jerome Adams said. The current U.S. death toll appears to be a tiny fraction of what the nation faces over the next few weeks, public health officials say.

  • Trump warns Iran of 'heavy price' in case of attack on US troops
    AFP

    Trump warns Iran of 'heavy price' in case of attack on US troops

    President Donald Trump warned Iran on Wednesday of a "heavy price" if it or its allies in Iraq attack US troops stationed there. "We don't want hostility, but if they are hostile to us, they're going to regret it like they've never regretted anything before," he said of Iran at a White House press briefing on the coronavirus pandemic. "If this happens, Iran will pay a very heavy price, indeed!" Trump tweeted earlier in the day.

  • Africa's biggest city Lagos locks down to defend against coronavirus
    Reuters

    Africa's biggest city Lagos locks down to defend against coronavirus

    Lagos, Africa's largest city of at least 20 million people, ground to a halt on Tuesday as it and the Nigerian capital Abuja entered a two-week lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Lagos' usual unending cacophony and interminable "go slows" or traffic jams were gone. Security forces manned frequent checkpoints where cars crawled through one by one.

  • The US intelligence community has reportedly concluded that China intentionally misrepresented its coronavirus numbers
    Business Insider

    The US intelligence community has reportedly concluded that China intentionally misrepresented its coronavirus numbers

    Thomas Peter/Getty The US intelligence community has determined that the Chinese government concealed the extent of its coronavirus outbreak and gave false statistics to other countries, Bloomberg News reported, citing three US officials. Officials transmitted a classified report of their findings to the White House last week. Bloomberg described its sources as saying that the report's main conclusion was that China's public reporting of coronavirus cases was "intentionally incomplete" and that its numbers were fake.

  • Bloomberg

    Iraq Seen Boosting Oil Output in April In Spite of Coronavirus

    Iraq plans to raise output by about 200,000 barrels a day, reaching 4.8 million barrels a day in average production, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The country would join Saudi Arabia, Russia and others in adding more barrels to a sated market amid a price war -- even as the coronavirus saps global demand. Iraq will ship 3.6 million barrels a day in April, using its pipelines at maximum export capacity, the person said, asking not to be identified because the information isn't public.

  • Woodworking Can Bring Solace in Times of Uncertainty
    Popular Mechanics

    Woodworking Can Bring Solace in Times of Uncertainty

    When things get stressful, it's worth slowing down and appreciating the simpler things. From Popular Mechanics

  • Lindsey Graham Calls on IG Horowitz to Testify in Further FISA Hearings after Scathing New Report
    National Review

    Lindsey Graham Calls on IG Horowitz to Testify in Further FISA Hearings after Scathing New Report

    Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) plans to call DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz to testify before congress regarding his office's audit of the FBI's FISA application process, which was released Tuesday and revealed potentially systematic abuses of the transparency measures required of the Bureau when agents interact with the FISA court. I have just been briefed on Inspector General Horowitz's audit of FISA applications involving American citizens. This random audit shows discrepancies regarding verification of the information under the Woods Procedures,” Graham said in a press release.

  • Kellyanne Conway Keeps Attacking Joe Biden for Staying Inside
    The Daily Beast

    Kellyanne Conway Keeps Attacking Joe Biden for Staying Inside

    While leaders across the country are urging Americans to stay in their homes to stop the spread of the coronavirus, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway is openly mocking former Vice President Joe Biden for setting that example. During a press gaggle outside the White House, Conway called it “completely unhelpful” to have the former vice president “in his bunker in Wilmington just lobbing criticisms” at the current president.