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  • Confirmed coronavirus cases reach one million worldwide

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    The first reported cases came from China in December, eventually spreading to nearly every other country on earth over the ensuing three months.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 15:53:01 -0400
  • A national lockdown to stop coronavirus? Trump is 'thinking about doing that'

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    President Trump shied away Wednesday from issuing domestic travel restrictions or a national lockdown to try and beat back the rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic that, in a best case scenario, is expected to kill between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans.

    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 20:57:35 -0400
  • A 1,000-bed Navy hospital ship was meant to help relieve New York City's overburdened hospitals. So far it's 2% full, and a hospital director called it a 'joke.'

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    The ship hasn't been able to accept many patients because of strict Navy guidelines and the lack so far of many non-coronavirus patients in the city.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 05:27:14 -0400
  • Flattening the curve on coronavirus: What California and Washington can teach the world

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    New data suggests the two West Coast states may have slowed the spread of coronavirus. How they did it.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 09:04:05 -0400
  • Pakistan court set to free four accused in Daniel Pearl killing

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    A Pakistani court on Thursday commuted the death sentence of the main person accused in the 2002 kidnapping and murder of an American Wall Street Journal reporter, Daniel Pearl, and acquitted three other co-accused in the matter. All four had been convicted in connection with Pearl's kidnapping and murder, including British-born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who was sentenced to death in 2002 for masterminding the murder. Pearl, 38, was investigating Islamist militants in Karachi after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States when he was kidnapped in January 2002.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 01:51:10 -0400
  • The US intelligence community has reportedly concluded that China intentionally misrepresented its coronavirus numbers

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    US officials have accused China of spreading disinformation, and even some Chinese residents have expressed skepticism about the numbers.

    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 13:39:55 -0400
  • Singapore to Close Schools, Most Workplaces With Rising Virus Cases

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    (Bloomberg) -- Singapore will shutter schools and most workplaces as the city-state unveiled a raft of stricter measures to slow the spread of coronavirus, shifting away from an approach crafted to limit interruptions to daily life and commerce.Most workplaces, except for essential services and key economic sectors, will close starting on Tuesday, while the city-state will move to full home-based learning in its schools from Wednesday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in an address to the nation Friday afternoon. The government will also unveil additional stimulus measures to boost the economy early next week.The action comes as confirmed cases of local transmission and unlinked infections in the country have risen in recent weeks. “We have decided that instead of tightening incrementally over the next few weeks, we should make a decisive move now, to preempt escalating infections,” said Lee.Singapore’s tougher moves signal its current approach -- relying on contact tracing, strict containment measures such as shutting bars, and quarantine -- is no longer tenable. While more than 160 countries have already shut schools, the city-state was one of a handful that did not do so, citing early research that children are not as affected as adults.Here are other details of the stricter measures:Casinos, theme parks to close starting next week.Food establishments, markets and supermarkets, clinics, hospitals, utilities, transport and key banking services will remain open.From April 7, all restaurants, hawker centers, coffee shops, food courts and other food-and-beverage outlets will remain open only for takeaway or delivery.Other economic sectors “that are strategic, or form part of a global supply chain” will not be closed.All preschool and student care centers will be closed, but will provide limited services for children of parents who have to continue working and are unable to make alternative arrangements.Government will stop discouraging the general public from wearing face masks in public, and will distribute reusable masks from April 5.The government also plans on Monday to announce more support aimed at businesses and households. Singapore delivered a second stimulus package worth S$48 billion ($33.4 billion) last week to fight the outbreak, drawing on national reserves for the first time since the global financial crisis to support an economy heading for recession.“Even if more assistance measures are announced on Monday, they are unlikely to offset the economic ramifications of what is akin to an economic immobilization,” Selena Ling, head of treasury research and strategy at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. in Singapore, said in an email. Retail sales plunged 8.6% in February from the same time last year, marking the worst decrease since June and the 13th consecutive decline.‘Very Worrying’ TrendsLee said the spirit of these measures is to get people to minimize physical contact. “If we don’t go out, if we avoid contact with others, then the virus won’t be able to spread. It is as simple as that,” he said.Lawrence Wong, minister for national development who co-chairs a task force to fight the virus, said in a press conference the increase in the number of local and unlinked coronavirus cases are “very, very worrying trends.”The latest set of moves will continue for at least a month, Wong said, adding there’s a chance the government can roll back the measures by the end of the month if the guidelines are upheld. He said the key objective is to reduce the spread of the virus, particularly cutting the number of unlinked cases.“If there’s poor compliance, poor implementation, then we have to be prepared for these measures to continue,” Wong said. “Let’s hunker down and beat the virus together.”Singapore announced Friday a fifth person has died due to complications from the coronavirus. Cases have risen more sharply in March compared to earlier months, and now total more than 1,000.Health Minister Gan said the city-state has yet to reach its highest level of alert, so-called Dorscon Red, and would press on with contact-tracing and widespread efforts to contain the disease. “We’re not yet in Dorscon Red, and we’re quite a distance from Dorscon Red,” he said.(Updates to add detail on prior approach in first, fourth paragraphs)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.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:42:37 -0400
  • Iran parliament speaker, Israeli health minister have virus

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    Iran’s parliament speaker has contracted the new coronavirus, the country's highest-ranking government figure yet to catch the disease, while in Israel, several top officials entered quarantine when the health minister tested positive on Thursday. Iran's parliament announced Ali Larijani’s illness on its website, saying he was receiving treatment in quarantine. Iran, the regional epicenter of the virus, has been fighting one of the world's worst outbreaks.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 01:02:06 -0400
  • Hungry black hole may be cosmic 'missing link'

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    Astronomers say they have found the best evidence yet for an elusive class of black hole.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 03:59:29 -0400
  • Two years before coronavirus, CDC warned of a coming pandemic

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    Long before the coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China, and then soon spread to nearly every country on Earth, a conference in 2018 offered proof that epidemiologists at the CDC and other institutions were aware that a new pandemic was poised to strike.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 05:01:13 -0400
  • Serbia sets the stage for Beijing's mask diplomacy

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    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.

    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 22:48:09 -0400
  • Americans masking up against coronavirus — 'no harm to it,' Trump says

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    With the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 surging nationwide and health officials warning that, even in a best-case scenario, deaths from the disease could top 100,000 in the U.S., the government is reviewing its guidance on the use of face masks by the general population.

    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 14:53:25 -0400
  • Many states already short on paying unemployment

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    "We're talking about 10 million people filing for unemployment insurance in two weeks. Nobody is prepared for that," said one finance expert.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 16:16:00 -0400
  • Birx: 5 states could be among next coronavirus 'hot spots'

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    Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, listed several states that could be the next “hot spots” for large numbers of COVID-19 cases, based on how many positive cases they have now.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 20:01:42 -0400
  • Woodworking Can Bring Solace in Times of Uncertainty

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    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 15:00:00 -0400
  • American Airlines crammed the only 11 passengers on a flight into 3 rows because they only bought basic economy, report says

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    American Airlines has risked the health of flight attendants and passengers by enforcing rules about riding in coach, it is alleged.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 12:15:59 -0400
  • Cuban docs fighting coronavirus around world, defying US

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    For two years the Trump administration has been trying to stamp out one of Cuba’s signature programs __ state-employed medical workers treating patients around the globe in a show of soft power that also earns billions in badly needed hard currency. Labeling the doctors and nurses as both exploited workers and agents of communist indoctrination, the U.S. has notched a series of victories as Brazil, Ecuador and Bolivia sent home thousands after leftist governments allied with Havana were replaced with ones friendlier to Washington. The coronavirus pandemic has brought a reversal of fortune for Cuban medical diplomacy, as doctors have flown off on new missions to battle COVID-19 in at least 14 countries including Italy and the tiny principality of Andorra on the Spanish-French border, burnishing the island's international image in the middle of a global crisis.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 10:00:44 -0400
  • Brazil: Amazon land defender Zezico Guajajara shot dead

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    Zezico Guajajara is the latest activist to be killed in a campaign to protect Brazil's indigenous land.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 07:16:32 -0400
  • Spanish Virus Deaths Climb Past 10,000 With 950 New Victims

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    (Bloomberg) -- Spain reported an increase in coronavirus deaths and new cases, suggesting severe containment measures have yet to bring the outbreak under control.The Health Ministry recorded its deadliest day on Thursday, with 950 fatalities lifting the total to more than 10,000. The country is dealing with the second-most severe outbreak in Europe after Italy and the government has struggled to check the spread of the disease. A wave of infections has stretched the health service to breaking point and led to a shortage of beds in intensive-care units, while the army has been deployed to assist in its biggest domestic peacetime operation.The number of confirmed cases increased by 8,102, a bigger gain than Wednesday’s 7,719, to 110,238. The daily death toll in Italy -- where more than 13,000 have died -- dropped to 727 on Wednesday, the lowest in six days, and the number of new cases is below highs in mid-March.The newest Spanish figures contrast with optimism expressed by the government. Health Minister Salvador Illa told a parliamentary hearing on Thursday, after the data were released, that the “curve has stabilized and we are entering a process of slowing down.”Illa, a philosopher by training, added that the percentage increase in deaths, hospitalizations and new cases reported Thursday was lower than a week ago.Aside from over-stretched hospitals, the government is also struggling to deal with the impact in nursing homes in a nation with one of the world’s oldest populations. Many homes are understaffed and death tolls are rising rapidly as the virus is especially dangerous for the elderly.Fernando Simon, a Health Ministry official, said Thursday it’s hard to find an explanation for Spain’s relatively high mortality rate. “In certain periods and regions, we have had nursing homes affected, with very fragile people,” he told reporters. “And there can also be a variability in how different countries report their numbers.”The devastating impact on the Spanish economy is evident in recent data. The Labor Ministry on Thursday reported more than 300,000 new jobless claims for March, the highest monthly increase on record. The number doesn’t include hundreds of thousands of workers temporarily laid off after companies shut down following the declaration on March 14 of a state of emergency.The tourism industry, a bellwether of the Spanish economy, has ground to a halt, in a blow to workers who rely on temporary hotel and restaurant jobs over the summer.Airlines are meeting with the government to try to secure liquidity, the transport minister said Thursday. The country’s largest company by market value, retailer Inditex SA, has closed all its stores in Spain and is considering around 25,000 temporary redundancies if the state of emergency continues beyond April 11.(Updates with Health Ministry official in seventh paragraph)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.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 08:27:42 -0400
  • Coronavirus compounds Lebanon's woes, many struggle for food

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    Battered by Lebanon's economic crisis, Hassan Zeitar was already struggling to keep his family fed when the coronavirus lockdown stripped him of the little money he made as a minibus driver. Now housebound in Beirut, Zeitar is racking up debt at a local grocery to provide rice and lentils for his four children. A suffocating economic crisis has left Lebanon's poor with little or no means to cope with extra hardship.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 08:29:42 -0400
  • Some Coronavirus Patients Show Signs of Brain Ailments

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    Neurologists around the world say that a small subset of patients with COVID-19 are developing serious impairments of the brain.Although fever, cough and difficulty breathing are the typical hallmarks of infection with the new coronavirus, some patients exhibit altered mental status, or encephalopathy, a catchall term for brain disease or dysfunction that can have many underlying causes, as well as other serious conditions. These neurological syndromes join other unusual symptoms, such as diminished sense of smell and taste as well as heart ailments.In early March, a 74-year-old man came to the emergency room in Boca Raton, Florida, with a cough and a fever, but an X-ray ruled out pneumonia and he was sent home. The next day, when his fever spiked, family members brought him back. He was short of breath, and could not tell doctors his name or explain what was wrong -- he had lost the ability to speak.The patient, who had chronic lung disease and Parkinson's, was flailing his arms and legs in jerky movements, and appeared to be having a seizure. Doctors suspected he had COVID-19, and were eventually proven right when he was finally tested.On Tuesday, doctors in Detroit reported another disturbing case involving a female airline worker in her late 50s with COVID-19. She was confused, and complained of a headache; she could tell the physicians her name but little else, and became less responsive over time. Brain scans showed abnormal swelling and inflammation in several regions, with smaller areas where some cells had died.Physicians diagnosed a dangerous condition called acute necrotizing encephalopathy, a rare complication of influenza and other viral infections."The pattern of involvement, and the way that it rapidly progressed over days, is consistent with viral inflammation of the brain," Dr. Elissa Fory, a neurologist with Henry Ford Health System, said through an email. "This may indicate the virus can invade the brain directly in rare circumstances." The patient is in critical condition.These domestic reports follow similar observations by doctors in Italy and other parts of the world, of COVID-19 patients having strokes, seizures, encephalitislike symptoms and blood clots, as well as tingling or numbness in the extremities, called acroparesthesia. In some cases, patients were delirious even before developing fever or respiratory illness, according to Dr. Alessandro Padovani, whose hospital at University of Brescia in Italy opened a separate NeuroCovid unit to care for patients with neurological conditions.The patients who come in with encephalopathy are confused and lethargic and may appear dazed, exhibiting strange behavior or staring off into space. They may be having seizures that require immediate medical care, and experts are warning health care providers who treat such patients to recognize that they may have COVID-19 and to take precautions to protect themselves from infection.Much is still unknown about the neurological symptoms, but efforts are underway to study the phenomena, said Dr. Sherry H-Y. Chou, a neurologist at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, who is leading a team of investigators for the Neurocritical Care Society."We absolutely need to have an information finding mission, otherwise we're flying blind," Chou said. "There's no ventilator for the brain. If the lungs are broken we can put the patient on a ventilator and hope for recovery. We don't have that luxury with the brain."Experts have emphasized that most COVID-19 patients appear to be normal neurologically."Most people are showing up awake and alert, and neurologically appear to be normal," said Dr. Robert Stevens, a neurologist at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore who is tracking neurological observations.Neurological specialists also say that it is too early to make definitive statements or identify the specific mechanisms by which the new coronavirus is affecting the neurological system.In one recent paper, Chinese scientists noted that there was some evidence that other coronaviruses were not confined to the respiratory tract and invaded the central nervous system, and the authors speculated that this may potentially play a role in acute respiratory failure in COVID-19.Stevens emphasized that all mechanistic explanations at this point are hypotheses because so little is known: "It could be as simple as low levels of oxygen in the bloodstream," resulting from respiratory failure, along with an increase in carbon dioxide, which "can have significant impact on the function of the brain, and lead to states of confusion and lethargy," he said."We are still in the early days of this, and we don't really know for sure."Neurologists in Wuhan, China, where the outbreak started, were among the first to report the symptoms in a preliminary paper published online in February.Since that report, specialists observed similar symptoms in Germany, France, Austria, Italy and Holland as well as the United States, including among patients under 60, Stevens said.Some doctors have reported cases of patients who were brought in for treatment because of their altered mental state, and who ultimately tested positive for COVID-19, although they had none of the classic symptoms like fever or cough.Four elderly patients who came into Danbury Hospital in Connecticut with encephalopathy ultimately tested positive for COVID-19, although they had no other symptoms, said Dr. Paul Nee, an infectious disease specialist at the hospital. Two of the four went on to develop low grade fevers and needed oxygen briefly, but two did not, he said.While it is not unusual for elderly people to experience confusion when they develop other infections, "the striking thing is we have not seen any real respiratory illness in these patients," Nee said. They have continued to test positive and cannot be discharged, even though they are not really ill, he said.But earlier reports had indicated that severely ill individuals with more typical symptoms were more likely to exhibit the rare neurological conditions, which ranged from dizziness and headaches to impaired consciousness, stroke and musculoskeletal injury. The Chinese study in February said that about 15% of those patients with severe illness experienced a change in mental status, compared with 2.4% of those who did not have severe illness, according to that study.Another study, published in the British Medical Journal in late March, found that of 113 patients from Wuhan who died of COVID-19, 22% had experienced disorders of consciousness, ranging from somnolence to deep coma, compared with only 1% of another group of patients who recovered from the illness.For potential COVID-19 patients and the people caring for them, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention includes "new confusion or inability to rouse" among the warning signs that should prompt a decision to seek immediate medical care.Patients who have encephalopathy and seem confused or incoherent are prone to having seizures, and should receive treatment as soon as possible, said Dr. Jennifer Frontera, a neurologist at NYU Langone Health who is working with Chou. She added that seizures can manifest in more subtle ways than the dramatic presentations often depicted in movies and television shows."Seizures are not always big things where people fall down and are shaking on the ground," Frontera said. "Some could be just veering off, not paying attention, making repetitive nonpurposeful movements, or just mental status changes where people are just not themselves."But even if seizures are not observed, people who are sick should be aware of other potential mental symptoms."You don't feel your best when you have a fever, but you should be able to interact normally," Frontera said. "You should be able to answer questions and converse in a normal fashion."She added: "I don't want everyone calling 911 because they're overly concerned. We just don't have the capacity. But if someone is really out of it, they probably need medical attention."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 09:02:23 -0400
  • Trump Responds to Schumer’s Coronavirus Criticism: ‘I Never Knew How Bad a Senator You Are’

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    President Trump sent a scathing letter to Senator Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) after the Senate minority leader criticized the president’s coronavirus response and demanded that he establish someone “unpolitical” to oversee the flow of medical equipment to embattled providers.“No wonder AOC and others are thinking about running against you in the primary. If they did, they would likely win,” Trump wrote. “ . . . I've known you for many years, but I never knew how bad a senator you are for the state of New York, until I became president."> Trump sends a letter to Sen. Schumer and it is worth reading in full. pic.twitter.com/jrvFnEI8oa> > -- Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) April 2, 2020The criticism comes after Schumer claimed Trump was politicizing the government’s coronavirus response, after reports that hospitals and other medical providers are facing shortages of crucial medical equipment. “It is the cruelest irony that this nation is now dependent on China for many of these products,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said at his daily press briefing on Thursday.“I am calling on the administration to put in charge of both production and distribution of materials a military man as czar under the [Defense Production Act],” Schumer said Thursday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. "We need someone unpolitical to produce the materials more quickly and to distribute them to the places that are most needed — to not have my governor have to call up California and compete with other states.”Trump initially responded on Twitter, saying “we do have a military man in charge of distributing goods,” in reference to Rear Admiral John P. Polowczyk, who is overseeing the supply chain task force at FEMA.> …It wouldn’t matter if you got ten times what was needed, it would never be good enough. Unlike other states, New York unfortunately got off to a late start. You should have pushed harder. Stop complaining & find out where all of these supplies are going. Cuomo working hard!> > -- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 2, 2020He added in later tweets that “Massive amounts of medical supplies, even hospitals and medical centers, are being delivered directly to states and hospitals by the Federal Government.”Schumer then sent a letter to Trump to further press the issue, accusing the Trump administration of “tardiness and inadequacy” in its response.“The existing federal leadership void has left America with an ugly spectacle in which States and cities are literally fending for themselves,” Schumer wrote. “ . . . The only way we will fix our PPE and ventilator shortage is with a data-driven, organized and robust plan from the federal government.”The president then responded with his own letter. “Thank you for your Democrat public relations letter and incorrect sound bites, which are wrong in every way,” Trump opened.He then reiterated the points from his tweets, before laying into the Democrat further.“If you spent less time on your ridiculous impeachment hoax, which went haplessly on forever and ended up going nowhere (except increasing my poll numbers), and instead focused on helping the people of New York, then New York would not have been so completely unprepared,” Trump leveled. “. . . You have been missing in action, except when it comes to the ‘press.’”

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 19:12:45 -0400
  • Asian countries impose new restrictions as coronavirus cases come roaring back

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    After appearing to have the virus under control, Singapore, Vietnam and Hong Kong are imposing new controls as COVID-19 infections continue to rise.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 18:28:17 -0400
  • Canceling a cruise due to coronavirus? Here’s a list of updated policies

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    Following the COVID-19 outbreak, cruise lines like Disney, Norwegian and Viking are implementing strict travel restrictions to protect passengers and crew members.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 10:39:00 -0400
  • Elon Musk says the hospitals he sent medical machines to all confirmed they were 'critical' and traditional ventilators are arriving shortly

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    BiPAP machines were recently allowed by the FDA as a substitute for ventilators, but some medical experts warn they could spread the coronavirus.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 16:28:00 -0400
  • Trump says he doesn’t want a nationwide stay-at-home order because some states don’t have a high number of coronavirus cases

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    At the coronavirus task force briefing, President Trump said he didn’t want to issue a nationwide stay-at-home order to fight the pandemic because there are some states that don’t have a large number of positive coronavirus cases.

    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 19:42:46 -0400
  • PA Man ‘Upset Over Coronavirus’ Shoots Girlfriend Before Turning Gun on Himself: Cops

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    A Pennsylvania man “extremely upset” about losing his job amidst the coronavirus pandemic allegedly shot his girlfriend, before turning the gun on himself in an attempted murder-suicide, authorities said Wednesday.The Wilson Borough Police Department said in a statement to The Daily Beast that Roderick Bliss IV, 38, attempted to fatally shoot his girlfriend with a semi-automatic pistol on Monday afternoon, before dying by suicide, after he “had become increasingly upset over the COVID-19 pandemic.” The 43-year-old girlfriend, who was shot once in the back, survived the attack and is in St. Luke’s hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. “In the days prior to the shooting, Bliss had become increasingly upset over the COVID-19 pandemic,” police said. “Minutes before the shooting Bliss was extremely upset about the pandemic and the fact that he had recently lost his job.”What if This Coronavirus Lockdown Is Only the Beginning?At around 1:20 p.m. on Monday, authorities responded to reports of “multiple shots fired with injuries” at Bliss’ Wilson Borough home, about an hour outside of Philadelphia. Upon arrival, officers found Bliss “unresponsive and not breathing” and a semi-automatic pistol near his body. The Northampton County Coroner ruled Bliss’ death a suicide.The girlfriend, who is alert, and other witnesses told police that Bliss had become upset that the pandemic—which has infected more than 206,200 people and killed 4,542 nationwide—cost him his job. Authorities said an enraged Bliss “went into the basement and came outside on to the rear porch” with a handgun. “While holding the handgun, Bliss told the victim, ‘I already talked to God and I have to do this,’” police said. “The victim ran off of the porch and he shot at her four times striking her once. Bliss then shot himself.”The attempted murder-suicide marks the latest example of the collateral damage of the coronavirus pandemic. Domestic violence experts and law enforcement believe domestic violence incidents will rise as families are forced into social isolation across the country.Judy Harris Kluger, executive director of Sanctuary for Families in New York, told The Daily Beast that, for some survivors of domestic violence, being able to leave their home is critical—and forced stay-at-home orders isolate them from the “social support system” that would have previously allowed them to report abuse. White House Trots Out Grim Death Models to Drive Home Social Distancing“Domestic violence is all about power and control and what a powerful tool it is to be able to say to somebody, ‘You can’t go out of this house, you have to be here,’” Kluger said. “Even though people can go out for certain things, this environment just engages in the most negative way the power of the abuser.” Kluger said her organization, and several others across New York—the current epicenter of the outbreak in the United States—are anticipating an increase in domestic violence calls as the pandemic continues. A spokesperson for the National Domestic Violence Hotline said they haven’t yet seen a significant increase in call volumes but were receiving an increase in calls related to COVID-19 and the anxiety of people being stuck in their homes. “Right now, the people who are at risk are very isolated,” Kluger said, noting her organization is reaching out to former clients who might be at risk. “We are worried that we are going to see an uptick while this ‘shelter-in-place’ is in effect. Also, as the tension of the crisis rises, we anticipate people will begin reporting soon.”But, even as the looming number of domestic violence cases threatens New York and other cities, the number of healthy police officers is also dwindling. New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said Wednesday there were at least 1,400 officers who had tested positive for coronavirus, while about 17 percent had called out sick. Despite trying to police a city with a virus-related death toll of more than 1,000, Shea has previously stressed the NYPD is focused on domestic violence cases. “What I’m concerned about is, it’s happening and it’s not getting reported,” Shea said Tuesday, noting that survivors may not be calling for help. “We’ve asked the domestic violence officers—you know who the people are in your commands, who are most vulnerable. Pick up the phone, pick up the computer keyboard and start communicating with them. Just make sure that things are OK.”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.

    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 13:54:08 -0400
  • Mayor taps ex-Dallas chief to head Chicago police force

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    Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday named former Dallas police Chief David Brown to head the police force in the nation's third largest city, touting his humility and calling him “a leader who commands respect.” Lightfoot introduced Brown as the next superintendent of the Chicago Police Department during a news conference, saying he's the right man for the job.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 17:00:10 -0400
  • Gender divide: Peru, Panama limit men and women to alternate days out to stall virus

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    Peru and Panama both started on Thursday limiting the times men and women can leave their homes in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Amid a strict quarantine in Peru, President Martin Vizcarra said on Thursday that men and women will only be allowed to leave their homes on designated days divided by gender. "We have to get fewer people to be on the streets every day," Vizcarra said in a virtual news conference with his cabinet of ministers and experts.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 16:07:52 -0400
  • More than 1,000 in US die in a single day from coronavirus, doubling the worst daily death toll of the flu

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    The U.S. passed 1,000 coronavirus deaths in a single day Wednesday, a daily death toll more than double lung cancer and the flu.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 14:01:39 -0400
  • US sends warships to Caribbean to stop illegal drugs

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    The announcement came a week after the US accused Venezuela's leader of "narco-terrorism".

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 05:09:10 -0400
  • 10 Great Deals on Apparel From REI’s 25% off Sale

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    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 11:23:00 -0400
  • China Wants to Use the Coronavirus to Take Over the World

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    What started as a catastrophe for China is shaping up to be a moment of strategic opportunity, a rare turning point in the flow of history. Suddenly, the protests in Hong Kong, carrying a mortal threat to political stability in the mainland, became a physical impossibility. More important, the pandemic set in motion a global competition, to contain the virus, for which China and the Chinese Communist Party seem uniquely prepared.As the virus spread to the whole world, it became apparent that Western societies — Beijing’s true rivals — did not have the ability to quickly organize every citizen around a single goal. As opposed to China, which remains to a large extent a revolutionary society, their political systems were built for normal times. Chinese society is a mobilized army, which can quickly drop everything else and march in one direction.Mao once said, “Everything under heaven is in utter chaos, the situation is excellent.” And so it seems at present, as seen from Beijing. Chinese diplomats stationed all over the world spend their time raising the stakes to a dangerous level. Following instructions from the very top, they have taken to the media to issue a challenge to America, to point out its failure, and to compare the chaos in American cities and hospitals with what they see as a singular success in stopping the epidemic in China.Several commentators have suggested that China may be winning the coronavirus battle by stepping forward in providing medical help to affected countries, mostly in Europe, at a time when the United States is consumed with its own difficulties. This misses the point.The cases have been multiplying where the medical equipment provided by Chinese companies and even the Chinese state turned out to be faulty, provoking justified ire in, for example, Spain, the Netherlands, and Turkey. Moreover, medical help is a normal occurrence in a crisis. China has done nothing different, except perhaps in the clumsy way it publicizes those efforts.Forget about “mask diplomacy.” It is no more than a distraction. There are other ways for China to use the coronavirus pandemic to upturn the existing global order. I see three main levers.The first one is the direct comparison between the situation in China and elsewhere. The numbers of cases and fatalities provided by Chinese authorities almost certainly misrepresent the real figures by more than an order of magnitude, but the fact remains that a semblance of normalcy was achieved in a small period of time. If the United States fails to do the same, its prestige will suffer a severe blow. People all over the world will quickly change their perceptions about relative power and capacity.The second lever resides with industrial value chains. Last month General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler closed all their automotive production plants across the United States and Canada. Other sectors have followed. In the meantime, China contained the worst of the pandemic to one province, allowing economic activity to quickly resume elsewhere. The most recent data show renewed activity in the flow of goods across the country, as well as at ports worldwide that do business with China. If the freeze in Europe and America continues for much longer, Chinese companies will be able to dramatically expand market share and replace Western-led value chains. Just yesterday Chinese authorities announced that manufacturing activity expanded in March, defying expectations of a contraction. In February the official Purchasing Managers’ Index hit a record low of 35.7. It bounced back to 52.0 in March. Prepare for a worldwide wave of Chinese acquisitions at knockdown prices.Finally, in a more extreme scenario, important countries could experience the kind of economic shock that leads to widespread social and political collapse. At that point, China would have a unique opportunity to step in, provide aid, and refashion these countries in its image. It would look like a repeat of the Marshall Plan and the beginning of the American world order after the ravages of World War II. Indonesia, South Asia, and even Russia might be of special interest in such a scenario.We knew that a generalized race or competition between alternative geopolitical models had started, but it was never clear what the background for such a competition would be. If the clash took place within the existing global trade and financial system, which was of course built according to Western rules and principles, the United States was confident the battle could be decisively won. But what if it took place on neutral ground? What if it took place in a kind of neutral landscape, a state of nature with few or no rules, against a chaotic and quickly evolving background? The outcome would become considerably more uncertain.To put it more bluntly: There was always an argument that the existing world order cannot change because only a momentous war has done that in the past and world wars have become impossible. But in pandemics — and soon in climate change — we may have found two functional equivalents of war.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 06:30:22 -0400
  • Holland America tells cruise passengers on Rotterdam ship they won't be getting off for at least 2 more nights after weeks of being stranded at sea

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    Passengers onboard the Rotterdam will processed by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement and then returned to the ship today.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 13:37:33 -0400
  • NRA Sues New York State Governor Over Closure of Gun Stores

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    (Bloomberg) -- The National Rifle Association sued New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for closing gun shops during the coronavirus pandemic, saying the restriction is unconstitutional and leaves citizens defenseless while prisoners are being released early as a result of the crisis.Cuomo’s March 20 executive order that included firearms retailers as non-essential businesses which must close is a “pointless and arbitrary attack on the constitutional rights of New York citizens and residents,” the NRA said in a complaint filed late Thursday in Syracuse, New York.New York ordered most businesses to close to prevent the spread of the virus, but deemed grocery stores, liquor stores, pharmacies and restaurants that do take-out as essential and allowed them to remain open. New York City is the center of the outbreak in the U.S., accounting for more than 1,300 of the 5,700 deaths in the country.New York officials are “going out of their way to protect liquor stores and release criminals onto the streets, while ignoring the public’s outcry over the suspension of Second Amendment rights,” the suit says.The New York lawsuit follows similar action the NRA took in Northern California, where it sued several cities including San Jose for ordering gun stores to close. Earlier this week in New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy lifted a temporary ban on the sale of guns in the state after the NRA filed suit to block it, and Los Angeles County also backed off an earlier ban.Gun shops around the country have reported surges in sales, and shares of gun and ammunition manufacturers have risen. The final week of February saw the third largest number of background checks since at least 1998, behind the weeks following the Sandy Hook and San Bernardino shootings, according to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, known as NICS.New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, said before the lawsuit was filed that she’d defend the state’s decision.New York’s take on what’s essential is at odds with the Trump administration, according to the complaint. On March 28, the Department of Homeland Security issued a list of critical infrastructure, including: “Workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges,” the NRA said. The gun-rights organization also says that law enforcement may not be sufficient to protect citizens during the crisis.New Yorkers “have read about the release of thousands of prisoners by state officials, and they are concerned about the ability of police forces to maintain order when officers fear contact with Covid-19 or have fallen ill themselves,” the complaint says.“Government officials, including Governor Cuomo and Letitia James, are bound by the U.S. Constitution,” William Brewer, counsel to the NRA, said in an email. “The NRA will aggressively defend the Second Amendment freedoms of its members and all New Yorkers.”(Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, helped launch Everytown for Gun Safety and backs candidates who support measures such as universal background checks.)(Updates with rise in gun sales, Los Angeles County sheriff’s statement.)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.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 10:06:28 -0400
  • The US Army warned 2 months ago that the coronavirus could kill as many as 150,000 Americans

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    What was a worst-case scenario is now nearly a best possible outcome as the White House warns that 100,000 to 240,000 people could die.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 14:34:47 -0400
  • A small Georgia city is facing hundreds of coronavirus cases after residents flocked to a beloved janitor's funeral

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    Atlanta's Dougherty County has reported 490 confirmed cases of COVID-19, that all emerged after two funerals were held in the town of Albany.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 10:57:31 -0400
  • Italy's coronavirus deaths push higher, new cases hold steady

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    The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has climbed by 760 to 13,915, the Civil Protection Agency said on Thursday, slightly higher than the daily rise of 727 registered a day earlier. Italy hit a daily peak of 6,557 new cases on March 21. Italy has registered more deaths than anywhere else in the world and accounts for around 28% of all global fatalities from the virus.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 14:33:34 -0400
  • One nursing home offers grim advice: Take your loved ones home

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    Coronavirus cases are increasing so rapidly that one New York nursing home CEO is advising families to take their loved ones home if possible.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 19:59:08 -0400
  • ‘A lot has changed’: Bernie’s Wisconsin stronghold breaks hard for Biden

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    The ex-veep has a big lead in the polls, but the coronavirus crisis has added an unstable element.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 04:30:14 -0400
  • Stocks fall on Wall Street, heading for another weekly loss

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    The losses came after the government reported that U.S. employers cut 701,000 jobs last month, the first drop in nearly a decade and the latest of what is sure to be many grim indicators of the toll the coronavirus is is taking on the economy as businesses, industry and travel shut down in an attemp to slow the spread of the outbreak. The S&P 500 was down 1.8% as of 12:42 p.m. Eastern time after earlier flipping between modest gains and losses. The relatively muted reaction “is actually a bit of a silver lining for investors at this point,” said Peter Essele, head of portfolio management for Commonwealth Financial Network.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 01:56:20 -0400
  • Coronavirus: Islamophobia concerns after India mosque outbreak

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    Outrage over a Muslim congregation that led to new Covid-19 cluster turns hateful.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 04:54:40 -0400
  • Here's where you can still buy hand sanitizer online

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    Hand sanitizer can be hard to find in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but you can still find some at Office Depot, Staples, and more.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 09:29:01 -0400
  • Republican Senator Calls on ‘Communist’ WHO Director to Resign

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    Senator Martha McSally on Thursday called on the director of the World Health Organization to step down, saying the organization covered up the extent of the spread of the coronavirus, which originated in China.The Arizona Republican called WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus a "communist" and accused him of helping China conceal its underreporting of coronavirus case numbers."I’ve never trusted a communist," McSally said in an interview with Fox Business."I think Dr. Tedros needs to step down," she continued. "We need to take some action to address this issue. It’s just irresponsible, it’s unconscionable what they have done here while we have people dying across the globe."The senator condemned China itself for failing to acknowledge and curb the virus before it spilled over China's borders and spread to the rest of the world."Their cover-up of this virus that originated with them, has caused unnecessary deaths around America and around the world. The WHO needs to stop covering for them," McSally said, adding that as restitution, any U.S. debts to China "should be forgiven, as a minimum."The senator's criticism comes days after another GOP senator, Rick Scott of Florida, called for a congressional investigation into the WHO and questioned whether the organization should continue to be funded since it engaged in “helping Communist China cover up” the seriousness of the virus.“We know Communist China is lying about how many cases and deaths they have, what they knew and when they knew it — and the WHO never bothered to investigate further,” Scott said. “Their inaction cost lives.”The WHO also “willfully parroted propaganda” from China’s Communist Party, Scott charged.During an interview with Radio Television Hong Kong, WHO assistant director-general Dr. Bruce Aylward appeared to dodge a question about whether the WHO will reconsider granting membership to Taiwan, which China claims as a territory. Taiwan, which has reported just slightly more than 300 cases of the infection and only two deaths, has been widely praised for its containment of the coronavirus.The senior WHO advisor responded that he could not hear the question, and when the interviewer offered to repeat it he interjected, “no, that’s okay, let’s move to another one then.” Later, he appeared to hang up when asked about Taiwan's response to the pandemic, and afterwards said they had “already talked about China,” which has done “quite a good job.”> I wanted to find a slightly longer version of the RTHK interview (more context) with the WHO’s Dr. Bruce Aylward who basically froze when asked about Taiwan then started babbling about China then fled. And commend @yvonne_tg for sticking to the question. HT @BonnieGlaser: pic.twitter.com/2cc3hViiij> > -- Melissa Chan (@melissakchan) March 28, 2020The U.S. intelligence community concluded in a classified report obtained by Bloomberg News that China deliberately provided incomplete public numbers for coronavirus cases and deaths resulting from the infection. In December, local and national officials issued a gag order to labs in Wuhan after scientists there identified a new viral pneumonia, ordering them to halt tests, destroy samples, and conceal the news.The U.S. now has nearly 240,000 cases of the coronavirus around the country, and more than 5,000 have died. Worldwide, more than 50,000 people have died from the respiratory illness.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 15:23:27 -0400
  • Airbnb has reportedly dropped its internal valuation to $26 billion as the coronavirus halts travel worldwide

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    Airbnb lowered its internal valuation by 16% as it faces a sharp decline in bookings due to the coronavirus, according to the Financial Times.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 21:25:11 -0400
  • Tucker Carlson: Sen. Kelly Loeffler Should Resign if She Knew About Stock Trades

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    Two weeks after calling on Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) to resign if he couldn’t explain his suspicious stock dumps, Fox News host Tucker Carlson said Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) must leave office if it is revealed she knew in advance about stock trades her financial advisers made.Last month, after news broke that Burr dumped up to $1.7 million in stocks—including shares in the hotel and resort industry—after Senate briefings on the new coronavirus, The Daily Beast reported that Loeffler made up to $3 million of stock transactions after attending a senators-only meeting on the disease. All but two of the 29 transactions Loeffler and her husband made between late January and mid-February—before the stock market began tanking—were sales. One of Loeffler’s two purchases was in a tech company that offers teleworking software, which saw a bump in price as more and more workers shifted to working from home.At the end of his Thursday night program, Carlson noted that he had Loeffler on to defend herself right after the Beast’s story came out, adding that she denied any wrongdoing and insisted that all the trades were made by her advisers without her prior knowledge.“Now new congressional disclosures show that she sold far more stock than we initially knew,” the Fox host said. “Between February 26 and March 11, Loeffler and her husband dumped almost $19 million of stock in Intercontinental Exchange, the company her husband runs.”Pointing out that during that same period the couple sold roughly $1 million in shares of several retailers, Carlson added that they then went and bought stock in DuPont, a company that makes antiviral protective gear.“So did she know any of this was happening?” Carlson asked. “We don’t know the answer to that. We do know that on March 10, after almost all these trades were done, she went on Twitter to assure constituents that everything was fine.”“So again, we don’t know the truth,” the Fox News host continued. “But if she knew about these trades and still issued that little PSA we showed you, she should leave office. She claims she only learned about the trades after they happen. She denies insider trading, and good. Then she should welcome a federal investigation into all of this.”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.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 22:17:33 -0400
  • Latest on the spread of the coronavirus around the world

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    "In the next few days, we will reach 1 million confirmed cases and 50,000 deaths worldwide," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. * Mexico's economy is forecast to contract by as much as 3.9% in 2020, the finance ministry said on Wednesday, in an annual economic report used to guide the budget, adding that the numbers incorporated a "drastic" impact from coronavirus.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 01:43:03 -0400
  • Europe Makes Tentative Gains in Containing Coronavirus Spread

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    (Bloomberg) -- New coronavirus infections slowed in Spain and decreased marginally for the second day in Italy, while intensive-care admissions declined in France, tentative signs that the pandemic may be easing in Europe.Austria could become one of the first countries in the region to loosen restrictions that have shut down much of public life. Over the weekend, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s government will review data and consider a plan to gradually restart the economy, the Austrian leader told parliament in Vienna on Friday.“Let’s not jump to conclusions because there are some positive signals,” Kurz told lawmakers. “I can promise you, if the numbers support it, we’ll do what we can to return to normality step by step.”Spain -- the epicenter of the outbreak in Europe alongside Italy -- reported that new fatalities from the virus declined on Friday for the first time in four days.In another positive development, German Chancellor Angela Merkel -- Europe’s longest-serving leader -- left her precautionary quarantine.Despite pockets of improvement, death tolls in Italy, Spain, France and Germany surpassed 31,000, giving governments little leeway to unwind lockdown measures. The four countries account for almost 60% of global fatalities and more than a third of the world’s 1 million confirmed cases.After ending 12 days in voluntary self-isolation in Berlin, Merkel will continue to observe social-distancing standards, government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters.The chancellor, who this week prolonged a nationwide lockdown until April 19, addressed the public Friday from the chancellery in Berlin for the first time since the quarantine, making a plea to stay home and avoid social contact through the Easter holiday.Even though a slight slowing of the spread of the disease offers “some hope,” she said it was far too early to set a target date for easing restrictions.Europe’s longest-serving leader took center stage in Germany’s fight against the virus with a rare televised address to the nation on March 18, in which she called the pandemic the country’s gravest challenge since World War II.Merkel’s brush with the virus parallels that of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has been working from self-isolation at home since March 12 after his wife contracted the illness. European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde also isolated herself temporarily last month following exposure to an infected person. And U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been quarantined for over a week after testing positive for the virus.Lockdown ReviewKurz, who wore a face mask before and after his speech, urged Austrians to persevere with measures to limit contact between people and asked them to refrain from celebrating the Easter holiday with large gatherings of families and friends. His government will review virus statistics with epidemiology experts on Sunday and present its plans on Monday.Growth in new infections in Austria have decreased to less than 5% per day. The number of daily fatalities has fallen for four straight days this week.Spain’s Health Ministry on Friday reported 932 new deaths and 7,472 cases over the latest 24-hour period, both smaller gains than the previous day. The dip in the daily figures could lead to less pressure on overwhelmed hospitals. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s government is looking to extend the current lockdown for another two weeks beyond April 11, Spanish media reported.Italy reported 4,585 new infections, while there were 766 fatalities compared with 760 in the previous 24-hour period, civil protection authorities said at their daily news conference in Rome.The pace of both new deaths and new infections has flattened out over past days, even as the containment measures shuttering all non-essential activities and banning most movement take a heavy toll on the economy. In total, the country had 119,827 cases and 14,681 deaths.In efforts to address the economic fallout of the crisis, Germany is planning to set up an extra 300 billion-euro ($324 billlion) aid program to help small- and medium-sized companies, and Switzerland doubled the amount of state credit guarantees for businesses to 40 billion francs ($41 billion).Despite Merkel returning to work, Germany’s fight against the outbreak suffered a setback. Fatalities and confirmed cases rose by more than the previous day on Friday, with total deaths climbing past 1,000. The mortality rate is probably underestimated because of insufficient testing, according to Lothar Wieler, president of the Robert Koch Institute.The country -- which has 84,794 infections, the third-most in Europe -- may still need additional intensive-care space, even after boosting capacity by more than 40% since the crisis began, the head of Germany’s public health authority said.“My personal appraisal is that it will not be enough,” Wieler said at a press briefing. “I would be happy to be wrong.”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.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 12:23:49 -0400
  • Falling China imports fuel US trade deficit decrease

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    The US trade deficit continued to shrink in February, fueled by falling imports from China as that country struggled with the coronavirus outbreak, the government reported Thursday. The Commerce Department report on imports and exports was compiled before the worst of the virus's economic disruptions hit the United States, where many businesses have since been forced to close causing millions to lose their jobs, and others complaining of scarce supplies. As in January, a sharp decline in imports from China played a large role in the data, after President Donald Trump escalated his confrontation with Beijing in 2019, leading to tariffs on nearly all products traded with the country.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 11:07:49 -0400
  • Philippine leader says coronavirus lockdown violators could be shot

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    The president of the Philippines said Wednesday in a televised address that people who violate coronavirus lockdown rules could be shot.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 06:45:38 -0400
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