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  • Pelosi: Trump's downplaying of coronavirus has cost American lives news

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sharpened her criticism of President Trump’s early dismissal of the coronavirus, saying the delay cost American lives. She criticized the president's initial response to the virus during a Sunday morning interview on CNN.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 10:20:50 -0400
  • In the coronavirus pandemic, carbon emissions have fallen, but climate change remains an existential threat news

    In a world desperate for good news about the coronavirus, a dip in global carbon emissions caused by the outbreak’s economic downturn might be seen as a silver lining. But climate scientists and policy experts aren’t encouraged.   

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 10:00:02 -0400
  • A New York dad refused to let his 21-year-old son back in their house after the spring breaker partied in Texas amid coronavirus spread news

    "I was aggravated," Peter Levine said of his son's decision to party on South Padre Island instead of heeding warnings about the virus.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 12:22:27 -0400
  • South Korea to pay cash to families, bring in extra budge relief news

    South Korea will make an emergency cash payment to most families and draw up a second supplementary budget next month in a bid to ease the drawn-out economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, President Moon Jae-in said on Monday. Moon, after an emergency meeting with economic policymakers, said an "emergency disaster relief payment" of up to 1 million won ($816) would be made to all households except the top 30% by income. Moon said he would prepare another extra budget for parliamentary approval in April and some small- and medium-sized companies would be exempt from paying partial insurance and utility bills starting this month.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 22:44:20 -0400
  • Virus prevention measures turn violent in parts of Africa news

    Police fired tear gas at a crowd of Kenyan ferry commuters as the country’s first day of a coronavirus curfew slid into chaos. Virus prevention measures have taken a violent turn in parts of Africa as countries impose lockdowns and curfews or seal off major cities. Cases across Africa were set to climb above 4,000 late Saturday.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 07:08:16 -0400
  • Stay In the Lines With These Neat Science Coloring Pages

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    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 09:00:00 -0400
  • A 1,000-bed US Navy hospital ship just docked in Los Angeles to increase local healthcare capacity — see inside the USNS Mercy news

    The arrival of the USNS Mercy will allow local hospitals to focus its resources and Intensive Care Units (ICUs) on COVID-19 patients.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 07:57:00 -0400
  • Stunning photos show Pope Francis praying to an empty St. Peter's Square amid the coronavirus news

    Images from an empty St. Peter's Square during a prayer on Friday paint a stark portrait of how the coronavirus has affected the Vatican.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 17:35:42 -0400
  • Venezuelan ex-general surrenders to US on drug trafficking charges news

    A retired Venezuelan general who was charged by the United States with "narco-terrorism" along with President Nicolas Maduro and other officials has surrendered in Colombia to US authorities, prosecutors said Saturday. "The national Attorney General learned that Mr Cliver Alcala surrendered to US authorities," the Colombian prosecutor said in a statement, adding there was no arrest warrant when he gave himself up. Alcala turned himself in on Friday to the Colombians, who in turn handed him over to US authorities, the El Tiempo de Bogota newspaper said.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 00:12:23 -0400
  • Analyzing the Patterns in Trump's Falsehoods About Coronavirus news

    Hours after the United States became the nation with the largest number of reported coronavirus cases on Thursday, President Donald Trump appeared on Fox News and expressed doubt about shortages of medical supplies, boasted about the country's testing capacity, and criticized his predecessor's response to an earlier outbreak of a different disease."I don't believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators," he said, alluding to a request by Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York. The president made the statement despite government reports predicting shortages in a severe pandemic -- and he reversed course Friday morning, calling for urgent steps to produce more ventilators.Speaking on Fox on Thursday, Trump suggested wrongly that because of his early travel restrictions on China, "a lot of the people decided to go to Italy instead" -- though Italy had issued a more wide-ranging ban on travel from China and done so earlier than the United States. And at a White House briefing Friday, he wrongly said he was the "first one" to impose restrictions on China. North Korea, for one, imposed restrictions 10 days before the United States.He misleadingly claimed again Friday that "we've tested now more than anybody." In terms of raw numbers, the United States has tested more people for the coronavirus than Italy and South Korea but still lags behind in tests per capita.And he continued to falsely claim that the Obama administration "acted very, very late" during the H1N1 epidemic in 2009 and 2010.These falsehoods, like dozens of others from the president since January, demonstrate some core tenets of how Trump has tried to spin his response to the coronavirus epidemic to his advantage. Here's an overview.Playing down the severity of the pandemicWhen the first case of the virus was reported in the United States in January, Trump dismissed it as "one person coming in from China." He said the situation was "under control" and "it's going to be just fine" -- despite a top official from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention telling the public to "expect more cases."No matter how much the count of cases has grown, Trump has characterized it as low."We have very little problem in this country" with five cases, he said in late January.He maintained the same dismissive tone on March 5, as the number of cases had grown by a factor of 25. "Only 129 cases," he wrote on Twitter.A day later, he falsely claimed that this was "lower than just about" any other country. (A number of developed countries like Australia, Britain and Canada as well as populous India had fewer reported cases at that point.)By March 12, when the tally had again increased tenfold to over 1,200, the president argued that too was "very few cases" compared to other countries.He has also misleadingly suggested numerous times that the coronavirus is no worse than the flu, saying Friday, "You call it germ, you can call it a flu. You can call it a virus. You can call it many different names. I'm not sure anybody knows what it is."The mortality rate for the coronavirus, however, is 10 times that of the flu and no vaccine or cure exists yet for the coronavirus.In conflating the flu and the coronavirus, Trump repeatedly emphasized the annual number of deaths from the flu, and occasionally inflated his estimates. When he first made the comparison in February, he talked of flu deaths from "25,000 to 69,000." In March, he cited a figure "as high as 100,000" in 1990.The actual figure for the 1990 flu season was 33,000, and in the past decade, the flu has killed an estimated 12,000 to 61,000 people each flu season in the United States. That's so far higher than the death count for the virus in the United States, but below projections from the Centers for Disease and Prevention, which estimated that deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, could range from 200,000 to 1.7 million. As of Friday evening, more than 1,200 deaths in the United States have been linked to the coronavirus.On the flip side, Trump inflated the mortality and infection rates of other deadly diseases as if to emphasize that the coronavirus pales in comparison. "The level of death with Ebola," according to Trump, "was a virtual 100%." (The average fatality rate is around 50%.) During the 1918 flu pandemic, "you had a 50-50 chance or very close of dying," he said Tuesday. (Estimates for the fatality rate for the 1918 flu are far below that.)This week, as cities and states began locking down, stock markets tumbled and jobless claims hit record levels, Trump again played down the impact of the pandemic and said, with no evidence and contrary to available research, that a recession would be deadlier than the coronavirus.Overstating potential treatments and policiesThe president has also dispensed a steady stream of optimism when discussing countermeasures against the virus.From later February to early March, Trump repeatedly promised that a vaccine would be available "relatively soon" despite being told by public health officials and pharmaceutical executives that the process would take 12 to 18 months. Later, he promoted treatments that were still unproven against the virus, and suggested that they were "approved" and available though they were not.Outside of medical interventions, Trump has exaggerated his own policies and the contributions of the private sector in fighting the outbreak. For example, he imprecisely described a website developed by a company affiliated with Google, wrongly said that insurers were covering the cost of treatment for COVID-19 when they only agreed to waive copayments for testing, and prematurely declared that automakers were making ventilators "right now."Often, he has touted his complete "shut down" or "closing" of the United States to visitors from affected countries (in some cases leading to confusion and chaos). But the restrictions he has imposed on travel from China, Iran and 26 countries in Europe do not amount to a ban or closure of the borders. Those restrictions do not apply to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, their immediate families, or flight crews.Not only were these restrictions total and absolute in Trump's telling, they were also imposed on China "against the advice of a lot of professionals, and we turned out to be right." His health and human services secretary, however, has previously said that the restrictions were imposed on the recommendations of career health officials. The New York Times has also reported that Trump was skeptical before deciding to back the restrictions at the urging of some aides.Blaming othersThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent test kits to states in February, some of which were flawed and produced inconclusive readings. Problems continued to grow as scientists and state officials warned about restrictions on who could be tested and the availability of tests overall. Facing criticism over testing and medical supplies, Trump instead shifted responsibility to a variety of others.It was the Obama administration that "made a decision on testing that turned out to be very detrimental to what we're doing," he said on March 4. This was a misleading reference to draft guidance issued in 2014 on regulating laboratory-developed tests, one that was never finalized or enforceable. A law enacted in 2004 created the process and requirements for receiving authorization to use unapproved testing products in health emergencies.The test distributed by the World Health Organization was never offered to the United States and was "a bad test," according to Trump. It's true that the United States typically designs and manufactures its own diagnostics, but there is no evidence that the WHO test was unreliable.As for the shortage of ventilators cited by Cuomo, Trump has misleadingly said that the governor declined to address the issue in 2015 when he "had the chance to buy, in 2015, 16,000 ventilators at a very low price and he turned it down."A 2015 report establishing New York's guidelines on ventilator allocation estimated that, in the event of a pandemic on the scale of the 1918 flu, the state would "likely have a shortfall of 15,783 ventilators during peak demand." But the report did not actually recommend increasing the stockpile and noted that purchasing more was not a cure-all solution as there would not be enough trained health care workers to operate them.Rewriting historySince the severity of the pandemic became apparent, the president has defended his earlier claims through false statements and revisionism.He has denied saying things he said. Pressed Tuesday about his pronouncements in March that testing was "perfect," Trump said he had been simply referring to the conversation he had in July with the president of Ukraine that ultimately led to the House impeaching him. In fact, he had said "the tests are all perfect" like the phone call.He has compared his government's response to the current coronavirus pandemic ("one of the best") favorably to the Obama administration's response to the H1N1 epidemic of 2009 to 2010 ("a full scale disaster"). In doing so, Trump has falsely claimed that former President Barack Obama did not declare the epidemic an emergency until thousands had died (a public health emergency was declared days before the first reported death in the United States) and falsely said the previous administration "didn't do testing" (they did).At times, Trump has marveled at the scale of the pandemic, arguing that "nobody would ever believe a thing like that's possible" and that it "snuck up on us."There have been a number of warnings about both a generic worldwide pandemic and the coronavirus specifically. A 2019 government report said that "the United States and the world will remain vulnerable to the next flu pandemic or large scale outbreak of a contagious disease." A simulation conducted last year by the Department of Health and Human Services modeled an outbreak of a rapidly spreading virus. And top government officials began sounding the alarms about the coronavirus in early January.Despite his history of false and misleading remarks, Trump has also asserted, "I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 10:08:32 -0400
  • Mexico's president shifts tone on coronavirus, urges people to stay home, warns of dire consequences news

    Critics said Mexico's president was downplaying the coronavirus threat. But he has now shifted his tone.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 00:09:35 -0400
  • An Arkansas doctor stayed in his home to socially distance from his wife and child. Days after his photo went viral his house was destroyed by a tornado. news

    He went viral for distancing from his wife and 1-year-old son. Days later, his house was destroyed by a tornado that hit Jonesboro, Arkansas.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 17:06:44 -0400
  • Trump asks why reporter doesn't act 'a little more positive' news

    President Trump on Sunday asked why a White House reporter does not act “a little more positive” in covering the administration’s coronavirus response.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 19:17:24 -0400
  • Moscow says coronavirus outbreak enters new phase as residents go out to brave risk

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    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 06:15:42 -0400
  • China sends medical aid to Pakistan to combat virus outbreak news

    China sent a plane loaded with medical personnel and supplies Saturday to help Pakistan fight the spread of the coronavirus in one of the world's most populous nations. In Iran, which is battling the worst outbreak in the region, state TV said Saturday another 139 people had died from the virus. China has sought to portray itself as a global leader in the fight against the outbreak, which began a few months ago in its Wuhan province.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 05:51:46 -0400
  • New York City is Opening an Emergency Field Hospital in Central Park news

    The makeshift medical facility is a replica of the one opened in Northern Italy, and will have a capacity of 68 beds

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 18:58:49 -0400
  • Inmate dies after contracting coronavirus at Louisiana federal prison news

    The death of Patrick Jones marks the first COVID-19-related death of an inmate in the federal prison system, a Bureau of Prisons spokesperson said.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 11:08:00 -0400
  • 'Merkel is back': virus crisis boosts Germany's centre-right news

    Angela Merkel's long-struggling conservatives have rebounded in the polls thanks to the government's handling of the coronavirus crisis and widespread faith in the outgoing German chancellor's ability to manage the upheaval. Shaking off years of record-low popularity, Merkel's centre-right CDU/CSU bloc is now enjoying approval ratings of around 32 to 35 percent, some six to seven points higher than just a few weeks ago. It's a surprise turn of events for Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) which as recently as last month was riven by internal turmoil and debate over who would be the party's chancellor candidate when Merkel bows out in 2021.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 06:10:44 -0400
  • Fact check: Is the coronavirus being spread 'quickly' via gas pumps? news

    A Facebook post warned users to be careful at the gas station because coronavirus is spreading "quickly" via pumps. This claim is partly false.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 12:54:02 -0400
  • Europe, US virus tolls surge as Trump reverses on New York lockdown news

    The coronavirus death toll shot past 20,000 in Europe on Saturday, with Italy and Spain each reporting more than 800 dead in one day, as US President Donald Trump pulled back on putting the hard-hit New York region under quarantine. Up to one-third of the world's population is under lockdown as the virus leaves its devastating imprint on nearly every aspect of society: wiping out millions of jobs, straining health care services and weighing heavily on national treasuries for years to come. Globally, the death toll has surged past 30,000 and officials in some countries say the worst still lies ahead.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 21:39:04 -0400
  • A New York nurse shared a chilling photo of coronavirus victims to show 'the ghastly reality of what' medical workers deal with on frontlines news

    The harrowing image shows the bodies of deceased COVID-19 patients being stored in a refrigerated truck outside the ambulance bay.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 17:18:29 -0400
  • The Justice Department is reportedly investigating actions by US lawmakers who dumped stocks before the market plunged over coronavirus fears news

    The FBI has reportedly reached out to Republican Sen. Richard Burr as part of the investigation, which is in its early stages.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 22:38:58 -0400
  • Saudi Arabia expands lockdown as coronavirus death toll doubles news

    Saudi Arabia halted entry and exit into Jeddah governorate on Sunday, expanding lockdown rules as it reported four new deaths from a coronavirus outbreak that continues to spread in the region despite drastic measures to contain it. The Saudi health ministry said four more foreign residents, in Jeddah and Medina, had died from the virus, taking the total to eight. Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain reported more cases, taking the total in the six Gulf Arab countries to over 3,200, with 15 deaths.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 06:59:09 -0400
  • Trump boosts virus aid, tells governors to be 'appreciative' news

    After days of pleas from governors across the country, President Trump took steps to expand the federal government’s role in helping produce critically needed supplies to fight the coronavirus pandemic and warned the leaders of hard-hit states not to cross him.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 11:40:01 -0400
  • Fit, healthy 33-year-old recounts falling ill to coronavirus news

    Andrea Napoli didn’t fit the usual profile of a coronavirus patient. At 33, he was in perfect health, with no history of respiratory disease. Until that day, Napoli was following his routine of work, jogging and swimming.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 15:49:04 -0400
  • Violent Tornado Rips Through Arkansas Town, Injuries Reported news

    At least six people were injured after a tornado ripped through downtown Jonesboro, Arkansas on Saturday, ripping entire walls off buildings, flattening homes, and leaving cars overturned. There was no immediate word on fatalities, but videos showed major damage to the area, with only piles of debris apparently left of some buildings. Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin issued a 7 p.m. curfew for the entire city as authorities began assessing the damage and conducting search-and-rescue missions throughout the area. Police Chief Rick Elliott urged residents to remain indoors to avoid hazards while authorities clean up all the debris. “We’ve already asked you to stay at home for this virus but we're really stressing to stay at home,” he was quoted saying by CNN.Footage from the scene shared by local media outlets showed that the tornado had obliterated buildings and mangled vehicles; it was reportedly so powerful that it sent debris flying more than 4 miles high. Multiple grocery stores, restaurants, and a Best Buy were reportedly hit by the twister. A National Weather Service spokesman told The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that he detected “quite a bit” of destruction from the tornado on social media in both Jonesboro and Paragould.“This is a very life threatening situation right now,” Paul Dellegatto, Fox 13’s meteorologist, said in a live stream as the violent tornado was seen on video roaring through the area. “Get in your tornado safe spot immediately. This is businesses, this is homes. This is a major tornado. Look at the size of that debris being wafted. This is as dire of a situation that we could have,” another meteorologist said.The tornado destroyed numerous houses and also reportedly derailed a train. It also struck Jonesboro Municipal Airport, according to the Democrat-Gazette.Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR), who represents the first congressional district that includes the affected areas, said on Twitter that his family members and staff are safe. “The video and pictures are devastating,” he added. “Reports of some trapped in buildings along the path. Please pray for those assisting and aiding those who have been hurt. Our hospitals are responding too.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 18:50:47 -0400
  • Taiwan says US media expelled from China are welcome news

    American journalists expelled by China are welcome to set up shop in Taiwan, foreign minister Joseph Wu said Saturday, as the democratic island burnishes its credentials as a regional free speech haven. Beijing ordered the expulsion of 13 journalists from the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal earlier this month as part of a widening spat over media freedoms with the United States. The move marked the biggest crackdown on the foreign press in China in recent decades.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 02:01:20 -0400
  • Tornado tears through Arkansas city, prompting curfew and National Guard response news

    “I know there is property damage,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “Just praying all is safe.”

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 21:14:00 -0400
  • Coronavirus: Trump 'considering quarantine on New York' news

    The president says he is considering quarantining the state, but its governor expresses concern.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 14:57:23 -0400
  • White House task force official says 'no state, no metro area' will be spared from coronavirus news

    The United States is preparing for a novel coronavirus epidemic that is national in scope."No state, no metro area will be spared," Dr. Deborah Birx, the coronavirus response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, told NBC's Chuck Todd on Sunday's edition of Meet the Press.Birx was clear that no area of the country will evade the effects of the virus, but said the sooner places react and instill mitigation measures, the easier it will be to "move forward."> WATCH: Dr. Deborah Birx says "no metro area will be spared" of the coronavirus outbreak. MTP IfItsSunday> > Dr. Birx: "The sooner we react and the sooner the states and the metro areas react and ensure that they have put in full mitigation ... then we'll be able to move forward."> > -- Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) March 29, 2020Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also provided a sense of scale Sunday, but he said he doesn't want to be held to any prediction. Fauci told CNN's Jake Tapper that he's never seen an outbreak match the worst-case scenario of its models, and he believes that remains unlikely for the coronavirus, as well. Nevertheless, he thinks it's possible the U.S. could be looking at somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths. > Dr. Anthony Fauci says there could potentially be between 100,000 to 200,000 deaths related to the coronavirus and millions of cases. "I just don't think that we really need to make a projection when it's such a moving target, that you could so easily be wrong," he adds. CNNSOTU> > -- State of the Union (@CNNSotu) March 29, 2020More stories from Once coronavirus infects a human body, what happens next? Nearly a dozen Liberty University students report COVID-19 symptoms after returning to campus Joe Biden is the worst imaginable challenger to Trump right now

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 13:29:00 -0400
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson is spending £5.7 million to write to all 66 million people in the UK, urging them to stay at home to fight coronavirus news

    "The more we all follow the rules, the fewer lives will be lost and the sooner life can return to normal," Johnson said in a letter

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 18:00:00 -0400
  • Coronavirus deaths fall again in Italy but lockdown extension looms news

    The number of deaths from coronavirus in Italy fell for the second consecutive day on Sunday but the country still looked almost certain to see an extension of stringent containment measures. The Civil Protection department said 756 people had died in the last day, bringing the total to 10,779 - more than a third of all deaths from the virus worldwide. "The measures that were due to expire on April 3 inevitably will be extended," Regional Affairs Minister Francesco Boccia told Sky TG24 television.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 14:11:30 -0400
  • Kremlin Fights U.S. Sanctions, Backs Maduro in Rosneft Deal news

    (Bloomberg) -- The Kremlin’s sudden shift of ownership of multi-billion-dollar oil projects in Venezuela shields oil giant Rosneft PJSC from further U.S. sanctions but keeps Moscow firmly behind embattled President Nicolas Maduro amid a wider stand-off with Washington.“Russia is not walking away from Maduro and will seek to thwart U.S. efforts to depose him,” said Vladimir Frolov, a former diplomat and foreign policy analyst in Moscow. “Moscow is just shielding Rosneft from sanctions which could result in a blanket embargo on all Rosneft exports.”Fears of broader sanctions have grown after the U.S. in recent months slapped restrictions on Rosneft trading companies for handling business with Venezuela. More recently, the U.S. has hinted that it might step up pressure on the Russian oil sector to reduce production. That followed Moscow’s decision early this month not to deepen output cuts agreed with OPEC led Saudi Arabia to boost output, flooding the market and pushing prices to the lowest levels in decades.The administration of President Donald Trump has already reached out to Saudi leaders to reconsider their strategy, which has battered producers in the U.S. with low prices.Read: Putin and MBS Draw Trump Into Grudge Match for Oil SupremacyRosneft late Saturday announced it’s turning over its Venezuelan projects to an unnamed state-owned company in what it called an effort to protect its shareholders’ interests. Rosneft, which produces 40% of Russian oil and 5% of world output and has substantial exposure in the western financial system, can’t afford the risk of broad U.S. sanctions that could cripple its operations. Earlier this month, a Chinese company said it wouldn’t buy crude from Rosneft because of the risks caused by the sanctions on the trading companies.“As recently as February, the Venezuelan business was profitable, which offset the sanctions risk,” said Ivan Timofeyev, an analyst at the Kremlin-founded Russian International Affairs Council. “Now the desire to avoid sanctions coincided with the need to avoid losses” after oil prices plunged, he added.The Russian giant has already cut its exposure under multi-billion-dollar prepayment deals reached several years ago. Venezuela’s oil producer PDVSA owes Rosneft only $800 million at the end of the third quarter of 2019, according to the last available data, down from $4.6 billion at the end of 2017.Sanctions ProtectionThe latest Russian maneuver mirrored its strategy in 2018 when it used Promsvzyabank to set up a new banking vehicle to serve the defense industry after state-owned weapons producers came under U.S. sanctions, thereby shielding the country’s two largest banks, government-controlled Sberbank and VTB. Unlike those big lenders, which have significant exposure to western financial institutions and thus are at risk from sweeping U.S. sanctions, the new special entity operated largely out of Washington’s reach.While Rosneft may even push to have the recently imposed sanctions on the trading units lifted, risks remain.“Rosneft is trying to stay out of the firing-line but nothing stops the Americans from finding another pretext to sanction it,” said Fyodor Lukyanov, who heads the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, a research group in Moscow that advises the Kremlin.“Russia understands that Maduro is in an awful situation, especially with oil prices at rock bottom,” he said. “But Putin’s psychology is that you should stick with partners in difficulty.”Maduro said on state TV on Saturday evening that ”President Putin sent me a message through his ambassador reaffirming their strategic and integral support to Venezuela in all areas.”Rosneft StakeFrolov said, “Moscow thinks that Maduro is actually winning the fight with the opposition and is likely to split it to the point where he would be able to win parliamentary elections this year.” Russia has backed Maduro even as the U.S. and its allies back opposition leader Juan Guaido.For Rosneft, the deal also could give management, led by Igor Sechin, its influential chief executive, greater control, since the company is receiving 9.6% of its own shares in the transaction. That may mean the government’s share in Rosneft falls below a controlling stake, according to Andrey Polischuk, Moscow-based analyst for Raiffeisenbank.Neither the company nor the government would comment on whether the deal will bring state ownership below 50%.“Sechin gets Rosneft shares and Putin gets the chance to trade with Trump,” said Konstantin Simonov, head of the National Energy Security Fund in Moscow.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 23:00:00 -0400
  • Off to the cafe: Sweden is outlier in virus restrictions news

    People still sit at outdoor cafes in the center of Sweden's capital. Swedish authorities have advised the public to practice social distancing and to work from home, if possible, and urged those over age 70 to self-isolate as a precaution. Standing at bars has been banned in Sweden, but restaurant customers can still be served at tables instead of having to take food to go.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 04:13:11 -0400
  • The mystery behind Germany's low coronavirus death rate news

    Experts see a number of possible reasons why Germany has fared better than Italy in the pandemic so far.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 02:31:56 -0400
  • 'I don't know how you look at those numbers and conclude anything less than thousands of people will pass away': Cuomo discusses state fatality projections news

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke about New York state’s fatality projections during a press conference on Sunday.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 13:39:30 -0400
  • North Korea says tested 'super-large' rocket launchers news

    Nuclear-armed North Korea successfully tested "super-large multiple rocket launchers", state media said on Monday, but leader Kim Jong Un was not described as commanding the drill as analysts say Pyongyang seeks to normalise its launches. With the world focused on the coronavirus pandemic and North Korea insisting it has not had a single COVID-19 case, the isolated state has carried out four such firings this month. Unusually, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) did not say in its report that Kim had directed Sunday's test.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 22:09:17 -0400
  • Trump says Harry and Meghan must pay for security news

    The Duke and Duchess of Sussex reportedly moved from Canada to the US amid the virus outbreak.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 17:29:24 -0400
  • China defends against incoming second wave of coronavirus news

    A growing number of imported coronavirus cases in China risked fanning a second wave of infections when domestic transmissions had "basically been stopped", a senior health official said on Sunday, while eased travel curbs may also add to domestic risks. China, where the disease first emerged in the central city of Wuhan, had an accumulated total of 693 cases entering from overseas, which meant "the possibility of a new round of infections remains relatively big", Mi Feng, spokesman for the National Health Commission (NHC), said. Nearly a quarter of those came from arrivals in Beijing.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 20:22:41 -0400
  • An unprecedented wave of layoffs, what you need to know about the stimulus bill, and what comes next news

    Here are the business stories you need to know this week, tracking Silicon Valley layoffs, the stimulus bill, and what comes next.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 09:20:00 -0400
  • Choir practice turns fatal. Airborne coronavirus strongly suspected news

    The deadly outbreak among members of a choir has stunned health officials, who have concluded that the virus was almost certainly transmitted through the air from one or more people without symptoms.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 22:34:14 -0400
  • Washington state bans non-immediate family members from attending funerals due to social-distancing recommendations news

    Gov. Jay Inslee announced the measures as part of his "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" initiative. Washington had the first US case and death from COVID-19.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 19:19:00 -0400
  • Plane catches fire at Manila airport, killing all 8 aboard news

    A plane carrying eight people, including an American and a Canadian, burst into flames Sunday while attempting to take off from Manila’s airport on a flight bound for Japan, killing all those on board, officials said. The Westwind 24 plane, which was carrying six Filipino crew members and the American and Canadian passengers, was bound for Tokyo on a medical mission when it caught fire near the end of the main runway, Manila airport general manager Ed Monreal said. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said the aircraft apparently encountered an unspecified “problem which resulted in a fire” as it rolled to take off, adding its chief investigator was on the way to the scene.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 10:57:54 -0400
  • Ex-Venezuelan spy chief Carvajal discussing surrender with U.S. authorities: sources news

    CARACAS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The former head of Venezuela's military intelligence unit, Hugo Carvajal, is discussing his possible surrender with U.S. authorities, three people familiar with the matter said on Saturday, after prosecutors charged him this week with drug trafficking alongside Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Carvajal, a former general and ally of late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, has been in hiding since a Spanish court in November approved his extradition to the United States.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 13:28:48 -0400
  • 'Like sitting ducks': Amid coronavirus, families, attorneys sound alarm over ICE detainees news

    “If he ends up catching something— I don’t know if he’ll survive,” said Rosalia Machado-Orellana, whose husband is in a detention facility.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 06:22:52 -0400
  • Moscow mayor orders all residents to stay at home news

    Moscow's mayor announced strict isolation rules for the city from Monday, the latest in a series of measures introduced in Russia to fight the spread of the coronavirus. The new restrictions would apply to all the city's residents, regardless of age, mayor Sergei Sobyanin said in a statement Sunday. "The extremely negative turn of events that we see in the largest cities in Europe and the USA causes great concern for the life and health of our citizens," Sobyanin said introducing the new rules.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 15:26:01 -0400
  • Trump: Coronavirus guidelines, set to expire Tuesday, will be extended to April 30 news

    “The peak in death rate is likely to hit in two weeks,” Trump said. “Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won.”

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 19:59:35 -0400
  • Coronavirus: India's PM Modi seeks 'forgiveness' over lockdown news

    Narendra Modi apologises for sweeping restrictions that have left many jobless and hungry.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 10:00:09 -0400
  • The Netherlands has recalled 600,000 coronavirus face masks it imported from China after discovering they were faulty news

    The Dutch Ministry of Health said on Saturday that it asked hospitals to return 600,000 face masks after they failed to meet safety requirements.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 06:18:00 -0400
  • Silent Coronavirus Spreaders Could Unleash Second Wave of Disaster news

    A burst of fresh data on the prevalence of “silent,” or asymptomatic, carriers of the 2019 novel coronavirus points to the looming danger of ending America’s national shutdown early.Classified Chinese government data suggest “silent carriers” could make up at least one-third of the country’s positive cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus, Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post recently reported. Approximately 43,000 people in China who had tested positive for COVID-19 last month had no immediate symptoms. And those cases were not included in the official national tally of confirmed cases, which had hit 80,000 at the end of February, the paper said.Last week, China reported no new local infections for the first time since the outbreak started in December. And after weeks of lockdown, the city of Wuhan—where the global pandemic originated—said on Tuesday that public transportation was reopening and that residents would be allowed to leave the city itself starting on April 8.But as extensive testing continues, authorities in Wuhan have found new cases of asymptomatic—or mildly symptomatic—infection, sparking concerns about how many contagious people have been circulating freely. Fresh data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Friday about a nursing home in Washington state only served to compound those fears.Four Ways Experts Say Coronavirus Nightmare Could End“Almost everybody thinks there’s the potential of a second wave after we relax the restrictions,” said Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University and an expert on U.S. readiness for pandemics. “There’s no good timeframe—it’s certainly not by Easter—that we’ll be starting to loosen up,” he continued, referring to President Donald Trump’s suggested finish line. “But once we do, people who did not have coronavirus will be going out to spaces where silent spreaders might be.”With Americans still getting acclimated to a quasi-national shutdown, and Trump repeatedly suggesting restrictions might ease in a matter of days or weeks, the prospect of silent spreaders wreaking epidemiological havoc looms large.“The biggest danger here is that this is like a stealth attack in that you have no idea that the person you have come into contact with is contagious,” said Dr. Adrian Hyzler, the chief medical officer for Healix International, which provides medical information to organizations whose clients travel internationally. “It makes it so much more difficult to try to contain the spread of the virus.”For obvious reasons, silent carriers are not nearly as notorious in the public imagination as “super-spreaders,” or patients who are extra contagious. A possible super-spreader in the United Kingdom may have transmitted the virus to nearly a dozen people before realizing he was sick earlier this year. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization previously claimed that pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic transmission of the new coronavirus was “relatively rare.” But newer studies—out of Japan, Italy, South Korea, and now Washington state—have called that assertion into question. And research suggests that silent spreaders can be just as dangerous to a community.The CDC released a study on Friday of the outbreak’s spread—specifically via asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic patients—in a long-term care facility in King County, Washington. The report found that “approximately half of all residents with positive test results did not have any symptoms at the time of testing, suggesting that transmission from asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic residents—who were not recognized as having [the coronavirus] infection and therefore not isolated—might have contributed to further spread.”“These findings have important implications for infection control,” according to the CDC, since “current interventions” for preventing the virus’s transmission, in part because of the shortage of tests, primarily rely on the presence of “signs and symptoms to identify and isolate residents or patients who might have COVID-19.” Patients were cohorted, or separated, according to which ones had symptoms. But that method of intervention no longer makes sense if there are asymptomatic—or silent—spreaders within a community, especially one that is at high risk of severe infection.Researchers previously published a study in the journal Science on March 16, finding that 86 percent of all infections in China before Jan. 23—when the government there instituted severe travel restrictions—were undocumented because they were mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic.“They may, for the most part, have experienced some symptoms at some point,” Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University who worked on the study, explained to WBUR radio. “But it didn't keep them home, didn't stop them from getting on public transportation, going to work, going to school, getting on airplanes and going on business trips.”Because those individuals didn’t feel sick—or didn’t know they were sick—and kept traveling through the community, the researchers found that this group of people “contributed to the vast majority of the spread” of the virus, added Shaman, who called the phenomenon “stealth transmission.”In a letter to the International Journal of Infectious Diseases in February, a group of Japanese experts led by epidemiologist Hiroshi Nishiura at Hokkaido University wrote that the growing data outside of China “indicates that a substantial number of cases are underdiagnosed.” Nishiura’s group estimated—based on the number of asymptomatic Japanese patients who were evacuated from the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, China—that about 30.8 percent of cases were asymptomatic.Of course, American authorities know even less than their foreign counterparts about how many cases there are, period. The same goes for silent spreaders. “This is partly because health systems are just overrun with sick people, as well as a scarcity of testing kits,” said Hyzler, adding that a trial in a small Italian town where all 30,000 people were tested revealed that asymptomatic or very mildly symptomatic people represented a whopping 70 percent of all cases, of which an unknown number were able to transmit the virus to others.Redlener noted that, while much is still unknown, “the vast majority of Americans with the virus will be mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic, and we really have to be careful not to relax our stringent requirements too soon.” The U.S. health system has generally not tested individuals without symptoms unless they are especially wealthy or well-connected—like NBA players or Sen. Rand Paul—or else health workers with known exposure. And in many places in the U.S., authorities are discouraging testing except in the case of severe symptoms, meaning American officials have limited data on the number of asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic cases, with few exceptions.Hyzler said there were two key assumptions that likely went into the decision to begin opening up Wuhan again: that there are very few unidentified silent spreaders transmitting the infection throughout the community, and that the incubation period is 14 days.If authorities are correct on both points, it might well be safe to resume public transportation and to allow travel to and from the city. But if they’re incorrect, Hyzler cautioned: “We will certainly start to see a second wave of cases” emerge in China.Fortunately for Wuhan and its surrounding province, China’s zealous testing means that authorities would likely detect a new wave “right away” before it spread very far, according to Arnold Monto, a professor of epidemiology and global health at the University of Michigan who has advised both the World Health Organization and the Defense Department on communicable diseases.But unless the U.S. rapidly expands its testing—and zealously tracks individuals who’ve had contact with confirmed cases—Americans won’t have that same advantage. Both Hyzler and Monto said they hoped the U.S. government could learn from its weeks of delays, as well as failures abroad. But there’s no guarantee.Vice President Mike Pence took heat this past week for claiming that federal officials may soon recommend that critical workers—even those who’ve been exposed to the virus—return to work, as long as they wear a mask.“It’s premature to try to put a time limit on this,” said Monto, who emphasized the importance of continued social distancing throughout the country to control the surge of cases from overwhelming hospitals.“From an epidemiological standpoint, one lockdown would be better than waves of lockdown,” he said. “With waves, all you’d be doing is letting it up again and then you’re back where you started. I think if we’re still seeing an overwhelming number of cases in hospitals, it’s too early to lift a lockdown.”Ultimately, Hyzler argued, there are two main ways that authorities can try to ensure that an end to social distancing isn’t premature. One is so-called herd immunity, or, as he put it, “if a good percentage, maybe as many as 70 percent of people... have been infected and therefore, we assume, have an immunity against a re-infection.” The other is what’s called antibody testing, or, as Hyzler explained, “once you can show that someone has had the virus, and they no longer need to self-isolate and can return to work.” (To be clear, the jury’s still out on whether some patients who already had coronavirus can be re-infected.)But without enough tests, Monto said, “we have no idea at this point” how many people may be mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic. “After the dust settles,” he said, scientists will likely make an effort to collect blood samples, which can detect antibodies for the virus after a person has recovered. “We’ll know the numbers only after the fact,” he added.Redlener was more optimistic: “The hope is that we get to a point where mass testing will be possible.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 05:02:58 -0400
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