In shadow of coronavirus, Congress contemplates 'one of the biggest rule changes in the last century'

In shadow of coronavirus, Congress contemplates 'one of the biggest rule changes in the last century'The pandemic has left multiple members of Congress in quarantine and led to restrictions on movement that could prevent the House from voting.


Florida man whose 'game changer' coronavirus treatment was touted by Trump is a believer, but warns: Don't try this at home

Florida man whose 'game changer' coronavirus treatment was touted by Trump is a believer, but warns: Don't try this at homeDespite warnings from experts that existing evidence of hydroxychloroquine’s effect on coronavirus symptoms is limited and largely anecdotal, President Trump’s promotion of the prospective treatment has prompted stockpiling and fatally misinformed attempts to self-medicate. 


A Connecticut doctor has been charged after authorities said he deliberately coughed on his coworkers

A Connecticut doctor has been charged after authorities said he deliberately coughed on his coworkersPeople across the United States have been arrested and charged in recent days after allegedly violating social distancing measures.


Asia virus latest: People return to China epicentre, security talks off

Asia virus latest: People return to China epicentre, security talks offWuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus first emerged last year, partly reopened on Saturday after more than two months of near total isolation for its population of 11 million. AFP saw crowds of passengers arriving at Wuhan railway station on Saturday, most wheeling suitcases alongside them. A top Asian security conference that gathers defence ministers -- including from the US and China -- and senior military officials was cancelled due to the pandemic.


Coronavirus outbreak diverts Navy aircraft carrier to Guam, all 5,000 aboard to be tested

Coronavirus outbreak diverts Navy aircraft carrier to Guam, all 5,000 aboard to be testedThe number of infected sailors has risen sharply — from initial reports of three to "dozens" as of Thursday, officials said.


AP Sources: Alleged Maduro co-conspirator is in DEA custody

AP Sources: Alleged Maduro co-conspirator is in DEA custodyA retired Venezuelan army general indicted alongside Nicolás Maduro has surrendered in Colombia and is being taken by Drug Enforcement Administration agents to New York for arraignment, four people familiar with the situation said Friday. Cliver Alcalá has been an outspoken critic of Maduro for years.


Japan's Abe vows unprecedented stimulus, Tokyo virus cases rise by daily record

Japan's Abe vows unprecedented stimulus, Tokyo virus cases rise by daily recordJapan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday promised a massive unprecedented package of steps to cushion the economy from the coronavirus pandemic, saying the country was close to a national emergency as infections surged in Tokyo. Abe told a country that is seeing a rising number of deaths and cases from the outbreak that the "huge, powerful" measures would be greater than the response to the global financial crisis of 2008. "Japan is holding up barely, but it would not be strange if there were a rapid spread (of the virus) at any time," Abe told a nationally televised news conference, though he held back from declaring a state of emergency.


Chinese State Media Falsely Claim U.S. Army Athlete Brought Coronavirus to China

Chinese State Media Falsely Claim U.S. Army Athlete Brought Coronavirus to ChinaChinese state-run media are citing an American conspiracy theorist to push claims that coronavirus was brought to China by a U.S. military athlete.The Global Times claimed in an article Wednesday that the coronavirus, which was first discovered in Wuhan, was in fact manufactured in a U.S. military lab and brought to China by a cyclist who took part in the World Military Games in Wuhan in October.The CCP-run paper cites known U.S. conspiracy theorist George Webb as the source for the claim, which it admits lacks “strong evidence” but still raises questions about the U.S. athletes who traveled to Wuhan.The Global Times also quotes Li Haidong, a professor of U.S. studies at the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, who challenges the U.S. to release “relevant information regarding the athlete’s health status and infection records to clear public doubts and help with the scientific study on the virus' origin.”China has pushed propaganda to distance itself from blame for the spread of COVID-19, after suppressing initial reports of human-to-human transmission and silencing labs that discovered the novel virus resembled the deadly SARS virus of 2002-2003.On February 27, Zhong Nanshan, a primary pulmonologist said at a press conference, that “the coronavirus first appeared in China but may not have originated in China.”The efforts have led to scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers, who have proposed holding China accountable for the coverup.“Since day one, the Chinese Communist Party intentionally lied to the world about the origin of this pandemic. The CCP was aware of the reality of the virus as early as December but ordered laboratories to destroy samples and forced doctors to keep silent,” Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) said in the release of a resolution calling for an international investigation to determine how the Chinese Communist Party directly contributed to the emerging global pandemic.Multiple mainstream outlets have been complicit in serving the interests of Chinese state media.The Global Times also used footage this week from U.S. mainstream media criticizing President Trump's use of the term "Chinese virus" to suggest any scrutiny of China's handling of the coronavirus is racist.> The US President’s rhetoric in using “Chinese virus” to describe COVID19, has sparked fierce public criticism from all walks of life in the US. pic.twitter.com/RMljngN7P3> > -- Global Times (@globaltimesnews) March 23, 2020The Daily Caller reported Wednesday that The Daily Mail, the popular British tabloid, has also been pushing Chinese propaganda by publishing dozens of coronavirus-related stories originating from People’s Daily, the communist party’s official newspaper.The Economist is running advertorials — ads designed to look like news stories — from the state-backed Beijing Review in its print issues, The Washington Free Beacon reported Thursday.


Coronavirus: 3 migrant children in US custody in New York test positive

Coronavirus: 3 migrant children in US custody in New York test positiveThree migrant children in U.S. government custody in New York test positive for coronavirus, officials said.


Merkel Pleads With Germans for Patience on Lockdown Measures
Trump tweets blame in all directions over ventilators for coronavirus, except at himself

Trump tweets blame in all directions over ventilators for coronavirus, except at himselfHours after a Fox News interview in which he downplayed a national shortage of hospital ventilators to treat patients infected with the coronavirus, President Trump fired off a number of tweets Friday blaming General Motors and its CEO, Mary Barra, for not manufacturing more of them.


A Wuhan seafood vendor believed to be one of the first coronavirus patients says 'a lot fewer people would have died' if the Chinese government acted sooner

A Wuhan seafood vendor believed to be one of the first coronavirus patients says 'a lot fewer people would have died' if the Chinese government acted soonerWei Guixian, a 57-year-old seafood vendor in Wuhan, China, was among the first 27 people to be diagnosed with the coronavirus.


Pope faces coronavirus 'tempest' alone in St Peter's Square

Pope faces coronavirus 'tempest' alone in St Peter's SquarePope Francis stood alone in vast Saint Peter's Square Friday to bless Catholics around the world suffering under the coronavirus pandemic, urging people to ease their fears through faith. In a historic first, the Argentine performed the rarely recited "Urbi et Orbi" blessing from the steps of the basilica to an empty square, addressing those in lockdown across the globe via television, radio and social media.


Alabama girl, 4, missing for nearly two days, found safe

Alabama girl, 4, missing for nearly two days, found safeEvelyn Vadie Sides and her dog have been reunited with worried loved ones.


China threatens to strike back after Taiwan deal

China threatens to strike back after Taiwan dealChina has denounced a U.S. act that increases American support for Taiwan internationally.


Russia confirms coronavirus case in Putin's administration, tightens curbs

Russia confirms coronavirus case in Putin's administration, tightens curbsThe Kremlin confirmed a coronavirus case in President Vladimir Putin's administration on Friday and the government said measures imposed in Moscow to fight the virus should be extended across Russia. The Kremlin said it was taking measures to stop the virus spreading further after a staff member in the presidential administration contracted the virus. It said the person had not come into contact with Putin, but declined to identify them.


Now That Canada Is Rationing Masks, Trudeau Faces Backlash for Donating Medical Supplies to China

Now That Canada Is Rationing Masks, Trudeau Faces Backlash for Donating Medical Supplies to ChinaCanada’s Official Opposition Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer took aim at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for shipping tons of medical supplies to China in February, calling the move “outrageous” with current concerns that Canada is running short on supplies amid its own fight against coronavirus.“Drs. across the country are facing urgent shortages of critical supplies. PM must explain why he sent 50,118 face shields, 1,101 masks, 1,820 goggles, 36,425 medical coveralls, 200,000 nitrile gloves and 3,000 aprons from Canada’s own gov't reserves overseas in Feb,” Scheer tweeted.> Outrageous. Drs across the country are facing urgent shortages of critical supplies. PM must explain why he sent 50,118 face shields, 1,101 masks, 1,820 goggles, 36,425 medical coveralls, 200,000 nitrile gloves and 3,000 aprons from Canada’s own gov't reserves overseas in Feb. https://t.co/OkXFErFw57> > -- Andrew Scheer (@AndrewScheer) March 26, 2020 Canada’s Foreign Affairs department announced on February 9 that “Canada has deployed approximately 16 tonnes of personal protective equipment, such as clothing, face shields, masks, goggles and gloves” overseas to China, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.The move came after the World Health Organization warned the international community that “further international exportation of cases may appear in any country” and that “severe coronavirus-related disruptions” would occur as a result.“It was absolutely certain in early February that we would need this equipment,” Amir Attaran, a professor at University of Ottawa’s school of epidemiology and public health and its faculty of law, told The Globe and Mail. "This decision went beyond altruism into high negligence and incompetence because Canada did not, and does not, have surplus equipment to spare.”A spokesman for Foreign Affairs explained to the paper that the decision was made “when the spread of COVID-19 was primarily limited to China,” and that Canada had since “welcomed donations from Chinese companies” to boost its own stockpiles.Local European news outlets reported this week that the majority of rapid coronavirus test kits supplied by China to Spain and the Czech Republic are faulty.


American Airlines flight attendant dies of coronavirus, elevating fears in the industry

American Airlines flight attendant dies of coronavirus, elevating fears in the industryPaul Frishkorn, a Philadelphia-based flight attendant, has died from coronavirus, fueling fears in a profession on the front lines of the pandemic.


Citing virus, EPA has stopped enforcing environmental laws

Citing virus, EPA has stopped enforcing environmental lawsThe Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday abruptly waived enforcement on a range of legally mandated public health and environmental protections, saying industries could have trouble complying with them during the coronavirus pandemic. The oil and gas industry were among the industries that had sought an advance relaxation of environmental and public health enforcement during the outbreak, citing potential staffing problems. The EPA’s decision was sweeping, forgoing fines or other civil penalties for companies that failed to monitor, report or meet some other requirements for releasing hazardous pollutants.


Letters to the Editor: Trump's updates are ridiculous, but they make you wonder: Where is Joe Biden?

Letters to the Editor: Trump's updates are ridiculous, but they make you wonder: Where is Joe Biden?Joe Biden should more forcefully rebut President Trump, whose daily updates on the coronavirus give him precious media coverage.


Half the residents who tested positive for the coronavirus in a Washington nursing home did not yet have symptoms, but they were highly contagious

Half the residents who tested positive for the coronavirus in a Washington nursing home did not yet have symptoms, but they were highly contagiousHalf of COVID-19 cases at a care home were asymptotic. That may mean up to half of contagious patients may not be caught, per a new CDC report.


South Africa begins 'unprecedented' military-patrolled lockdown

South Africa begins 'unprecedented' military-patrolled lockdownSouth Africa came under a nationwide military-patrolled lockdown on Friday, joining other African countries imposing strict curfews and shutdowns in an attempt to halt the spread of the coronavirus across the continent. Some 57 million people are to be restricted to their homes during South Africa's three-week total lockdown which began at midnight. Kenya, Rwanda and Mali are some of the African countries that have imposed restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which has been confirmed to have infected 3,203 people and killed 87.


California Gov. Newsom commutes sentences for 21, including killers

California Gov. Newsom commutes sentences for 21, including killersFourteen of the commuted cases involved murder or related charges.


A 90-year-old woman in Washington state recovered from the coronavirus, and she credits family, God, and potato soup

A 90-year-old woman in Washington state recovered from the coronavirus, and she credits family, God, and potato soupFamily members of 90-year-old COVID-19 patient Geneva Wood were called to the hospital to say their goodbyes. After seeing them, she recovered.


South Korean coronavirus test kit makers win U.S. FDA pre-approval

South Korean coronavirus test kit makers win U.S. FDA pre-approvalThree Korean coronavirus test-kit makers have won preliminary approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), paving the way for kits to be exported to the United States to help it battle the largest outbreak of the virus in the world. South Korea's foreign ministry said that winning the preliminary approval under emergency use authorization will allow the products to be sold in the United States. Earlier this week, U.S. President Donald Trump asked his Korean counterpart to supply the medical devices and promised to help Korean firms gain U.S. regulator approval.


Coalition Out of Crisis: Why Gantz Threw in with Netanyahu

Coalition Out of Crisis: Why Gantz Threw in with NetanyahuAfter more than a year of bitter political dispute and maneuvering, Israel is about to have a coalition government. It took three elections and an unprecedented public-health crisis to get the country to this point.Benny Gantz, a former chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces and the leader of the opposition Blue and White Party, was faced with a choice this week. He could join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, or he could stick to the commitment he’d made to his supporters to bring Bibi down. As the country dealt with the coronavirus pandemic, Gantz’s continued refusal to join a coalition would likely have plunged it into the agony of a fourth election in less than two years. He chose to throw in with Netanyahu.The price of that decision, which Gantz described as a patriotic duty at a time of national distress, was the destruction of the Blue and White. The year-old political alliance had presented the most potent challenge to Netanyahu’s grip on power in more than a decade, propelling Gantz to the brink of becoming his successor.In the new coalition, Gantz will reportedly serve as foreign minister, with Netanyahu continuing as prime minister. The agreement calls for him to switch places with Netanyahu after 18 months, ending the latter’s run as the country’s longest-serving prime minister. But this will not be a broad unity coalition with Netanyahu’s Likud and its right-wing and religious-party allies; rather, Gantz will take only part of his faction into the new government.Gantz took his decision in the midst of a tense and complicated squabble. The Knesset that was elected earlier this month struggled to organize itself in the absence of a governing majority for either Netanyahu or Gantz. Netanyahu and his bloc had 58 seats in the 120-seat parliament, leaving him three short of the votes he needed to continue in power. Gantz had the endorsement of 61 members, but that included the 15 seats held by the Arab Joint List, an alliance of four parties comprising Islamists, Palestinian nationalists, and Communists. A number of Knesset members from the Blue and White refused to serve in a government that depended on the votes of an alliance with the declared intent of ending Israel’s status as a Jewish state. Thus Gantz, too, lacked the votes to create a government.A similar impasse after the two previous elections, held in April and September 2019, had led to the March 2 general election. On both sides of the political divide, there were some who were prepared to take their chances a fourth time in order to get a decisive result. But fate in the form of the coronavirus pandemic intervened.Netanyahu, as the head of a caretaker government, embraced the crisis as only an experienced policymaker and wartime leader could. Some of his leftist critics decried the emergency measures he ordered to contain the coronavirus contagion, charging him with exploiting the crisis to bolster his political standing and to distract the country from the fact that he is still facing trial on three corruption charges. Indeed, some regarded his decision to close the courts, one result of which was to postpone the start of his trial, as an assault on democracy. But polls show that most Israelis believe he is once again demonstrating his competence in dealing with an emergency.The incumbent prime minister knew that, though his opponent couldn’t form a government, Gantz did have the votes to effectively prevent Netanyahu from remaining in power. The critical factor was the position of Speaker of the Knesset, which has been held by a Netanyahu loyalist. A coalition of the Blue and White, smaller leftist parties, and the Joint List could have elected a new Speaker, and the Knesset could then have passed a law banning anyone under indictment from serving as prime minister. To members of the opposition, this was Gantz’s golden opportunity to take Netanyahu down. Indeed, the Blue and White — a diverse alliance including former members of the once-dominant Labor Party, a right-wing faction led by former general and Likud defense minister Moshe Ya’alon, the left-leaning Yesh Atid Party, and Gantz’s own centrist faction — was united by only one common purpose: pushing Netanyahu out the door.Though Gantz entered politics as a much-needed fresh face a year ago, after three bruising election campaigns he is now widely seen as lacking the energy and political skills that Netanyahu possesses. Moreover, Gantz had campaigned on a promise not to form a government that would be dependent on the anti-Zionists of the Joint List, and his flirtation with that alliance in the weeks since the last election had soured voters on the Blue and White. Going to a fourth election was therefore a big risk for the party, with polls suggesting not a big or even a narrow win but in fact a decisive defeat. The electorate leans right to begin with, on top of which it was most likely to want a familiar steady hand to lead the country through the pandemic crisis. Thus Gantz came to the conclusion that joining the prime minister was the only reasonable choice.But if he thought he could bring all of his party with him into Netanyahu’s cabinet, he was dead wrong. Leaders of the factions within the opposition regarded Gantz’s decision as a betrayal, not only of them personally but of the million Israelis who voted for them. Much of Israel’s left-leaning mainstream media, especially columnists in Haaretz, the newspaper that dubs itself Israel’s version of the New York Times, echoed this sentiment, lambasting Gantz for his cowardice and for just being too exhausted to carry on the fight.So what becomes of the Blue and White? Some factions will stay in the opposition, and since they will have more Knesset seats than Gantz’s own faction, they will likely retain the Blue and White label. But in effect, this split spells the end of the party that had presented the most formidable challenge that Netanyahu has faced since 2009. Moreover, given that the factions disagree on most policy questions, the ability of the party, or what’s left of it, to serve as an effective opposition is questionable.The exact terms of Gantz’s deal with Netanyahu have yet to be formalized. Gantz signaled his deal with the prime minister by having himself elected Speaker of the Knesset with Likud support — presumably only until the final bargain is sealed. In doing so, he prevented the Blue and White from wielding any remaining leverage to block the coalition. The arrangement hinges on a rotation of the office of prime minister after 18 months and on allowing Gantz’s allies to lead the ministries of defense and justice. Having one of Gantz’s allies in the latter post will ensure that, once the national coronavirus lockdown has been lifted and the courts reopened, Netanyahu’s trial will go forward.As things stand, it appears that Netanyahu’s rule will end either with a conviction or with the prime minister’s scheduled handing over of the office to Gantz — whichever comes first. Still, many in the Likud as well as Blue and White believe that if Netanyahu is acquitted, he will find a way to renege on his deal with Gantz. Indeed, it may be that Gantz suspects the same thing.Gantz has gone from the savior of Israel’s left-wing opposition to its bête noire. But he understood that the political stalemate could not go on: It was preventing the country from passing a budget that was needed, most urgently, to provide relief to citizens in the face of the pandemic and to shore up the economy. Dragging out the stalemate was neither rational policy nor good politics. Deciding to end it may have cost Gantz a political future, since it’s unlikely he will be able to reassemble another formidable coalition. Whether or not he really does become prime minister in September 2021, Gantz decided that destroying his party was not too high a price to pay for saving his country from further chaos in the midst of a pandemic.


Airlines owe you a refund when they cancel a flight. So why is United balking during coronavirus crisis?

Airlines owe you a refund when they cancel a flight. So why is United balking during coronavirus crisis?Airlines are supposed to refund flyers' money if they cancel a flight. United has introduced more restrictive policies during the coronavirus crisis.


Pedestrian bridge falls onto Detroit freeway after collision

Pedestrian bridge falls onto Detroit freeway after collisionA truck collided with a pedestrian bridge early Friday in Detroit, sending a portion of the span onto a freeway and blocking traffic along part of the heavily traveled thoroughfare, authorities said. No one was injured in the collapse onto westbound Interstate 94, Lt. Mike Shaw, a Michigan State Police spokesman, said in an email. The freeway in both directions was closed after the collapse, which was caused by a truck apparently carrying a large load hitting the bridge at some point after 5 a.m, said Diane Cross, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Transportation.


Cuomo Says Ventilator Needs Not Based on ‘Feelings’ After Trump Attack

Cuomo Says Ventilator Needs Not Based on ‘Feelings’ After Trump AttackNew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo hit back at Donald Trump on Friday after the president said he “felt” that New York, the struggling epicenter of the coronavirus, did not need the 30,000 ventilators officials have demanded.With 519 deaths and 44,635 confirmed cases, of which 6,481 require hospitalization, the coronavirus pandemic has put New York’s medical facilities on the brink. Cuomo has been practically begging for ventilators for days, slamming the federal government for initially sending 400 from the national stockpile when the state needed 30,000. The Trump administration later sent 4,000 more.In an interview on Fox News on Thursday night, Trump said he doubted that states, including New York, actually needed the amount of equipment they were asking for.“I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they’re going to be. I don’t believe that you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators,” he said.Then, on Friday, he wrote a series of frenzied tweets, saying General Motors, which reportedly had a plan to make ventilators that was rejected by the federal government, must immediately open a plant for production. “START MAKING VENTILATORS, NOW!!!!!! FORD, GET GOING ON VENTILATORS, FAST!!!!!!” he tweeted. (Despite his tweets, Trump had still not implemented the Defense Production Act, which forces companies to manufacture supplies, White House officials told The Daily Beast.)In a Friday briefing at the Javits Center, which is being converted into a massive emergency hospital, Cuomo did not name-check Trump but said equipment needs were not based on “feelings.”“Look I don’t have a crystal ball, everybody is entitled to their own opinion but I don’t operate here on opinion,” he said. “I operate on facts and on data and on numbers and on projections.”He said experts’ projections for New York predict that the state will hit its apex for hospitalization rates in 21 days. The state is building a stockpile of resources for when that apex hits and the entire system is stressed, Cuomo said. That includes 3,000 ventilators that would be distributed to hospitals as needs arise—a fraction of the total 30,000 needed across the state.“Those are numbers, not ‘I feel, I think, I believe, I want to believe.’ Make the decisions based on the data and the science,” he said. “I hope we don’t need 30,000 ventilators, I hope some natural weather change happens overnight and kills the virus globally. That’s what I hope. But that’s my hope, that’s my emotion, that’s my thought. The numbers say you may need 30,000.”Health-care workers say ICU and emergency rooms in New York are “under siege” and running desperately low on personal protective gear and medical equipment, including ventilators.“We have never seen anything like this, and we are so unprepared for the need that seems to grow daily,” an NYU Langone doctor told The Daily Beast on Thursday. “Honestly, I’m terrified.”The U.S. now has more coronavirus cases than anywhere else in the world, with 86,012 positive diagnoses, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tracker.Cuomo announced on Friday that the state was building another four emergency hospitals in convention centers, university stadiums, and shipping terminals, on top of four makeshift facilities already being built, to meet the 140,000 beds needed.“We are doing things that have never been done before,” he said.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.


U.S. warship passes through the sensitive Taiwan Strait amid heightened tensions

U.S. warship passes through the sensitive Taiwan Strait amid heightened tensionsA U.S. warship passed through the sensitive Taiwan Strait on Wednesday, the U.S. and Taiwan militaries said, following heightened tensions between China and Taiwan that have seen Taiwanese air force jets scramble to intercept Chinese fighters.


Why the US is leading the world in confirmed coronavirus cases

Why the US is leading the world in confirmed coronavirus casesFrom the first known patient in late January to now almost 100,000 infected, the United States has earned the unwanted distinction of leading the world in confirmed coronavirus cases. Public health experts say that while we've yet to hit the peak of the US epidemic, there are several reasons why the COVID-19 disease has exploded in America. Early on in the outbreak, President Donald Trump was accused of downplaying its severity, saying that sustained community spread was not "inevitable" even after a senior health official said it was, which could have led to a sense of complacency.


Spain, Europe's worst-hit country after Italy, says coronavirus tests it bought from China are failing to detect positive cases

Spain, Europe's worst-hit country after Italy, says coronavirus tests it bought from China are failing to detect positive casesSpanish researchers found that the tests could identify cases only 30% of the time. Testing delays could hamper Spain's efforts to slow the virus.


Coronavirus unemployment benefits. Here's who qualifies and how much they get.

Coronavirus unemployment benefits. Here's who qualifies and how much they get.How long do the payments last? What if you worked part time? You got hired but couldn't start your job — are you eligible? And more.


Pope holds dramatic solitary service for relief from coronavirus

Pope holds dramatic solitary service for relief from coronavirusPope Francis said the coronavirus had put everyone "in the same boat" as he held a dramatic, solitary prayer service in St. Peter's Square on Friday, urging the world to see the crisis as a test of solidarity and a reminder of basic values. "Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities," he said, speaking from the steps of St. Peter's Basilica into an eerily empty and rainy square before delivering an extraordinary "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) blessing - something he normally does only twice a year. The Vatican called the service "An Extraordinary Prayer in the Time of Pandemic," a sombre echo of an announcement by Italian officials minutes earlier that the coronavirus death toll in the country had surged past 9,000.


In Singapore, Standing Too Close Can Now Get You 6 Months in Jail

In Singapore, Standing Too Close Can Now Get You 6 Months in JailSingapore's drastic new measure drastic measures are an attempt to try to curb the surge of coronavirus


Fact check: Did Gates Foundation fund, does Pirbright Institute own coronavirus patent?

Fact check: Did Gates Foundation fund, does Pirbright Institute own coronavirus patent?Multiple posts on Facebook claim that Pirbright Institute, with ties to the Gates Foundation, owns the patent on the coronavirus. This is false.


Water shutoffs in sharp focus amid coronavirus outbreak

Water shutoffs in sharp focus amid coronavirus outbreakThe advice is simple and universal: Washing your hands with soap and water is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The Rev. Roslyn Bouier remembers when children began to show up at the Brightmoor Connection Food Pantry on Detroit’s northwest side, clutching empty pitchers. Through the end of 2019, the city has recorded about 127,500 total service cutoffs, according to the water department, though that figure includes households where the water was turned off repeatedly.


Opinion: Trump isn't alone in worrying about closing churches during the pandemic

Opinion: Trump isn't alone in worrying about closing churches during the pandemicChristians are debating whether a total shutdown of church services is necessary.


The UK government claims it failed to take part in an EU scheme for coronavirus ventilators because it didn't see the email asking it to take part

The UK government claims it failed to take part in an EU scheme for coronavirus ventilators because it didn't see the email asking it to take partThe UK government is accused of putting "Brexit before breathing" after failing to sign up to an EU scheme for coronavirus ventilators.


Dour Moscow mayor сomes to fore as 'PM for coronavirus'

Dour Moscow mayor сomes to fore as 'PM for coronavirus'At a televised meeting with Vladimir Putin, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin flatly told the President that official figures on COVID-19 cases were far from the reality. After that reality check, the official narrative changed swiftly: Putin, who had called the situation "under control", on Wednesday gave a grim-faced address to the nation. "Putin signed up to Sobyanin's position," opposition politician Vladimir Ryzhkov said on the popular Echo of Moscow radio station.


In Iran, false belief a poison fights virus kills hundreds

In Iran, false belief a poison fights virus kills hundredsStanding over the still body of an intubated 5-year-old boy wearing nothing but a plastic diaper, an Iranian health care worker in a hazmat suit and mask begged the public for just one thing: Stop drinking industrial alcohol over fears about the new coronavirus. The boy, now blind after his parents gave him toxic methanol in the mistaken belief it protects against the virus, is just one of hundreds of victims of an epidemic inside the pandemic now gripping Iran. Iranian media report nearly 300 people have been killed and more than 1,000 sickened so far by ingesting methanol across the Islamic Republic, where drinking alcohol is banned and where those who do rely on bootleggers.


Democratic Super-PAC defies Trump, ramps up ad blasting coronavirus response

Democratic Super-PAC defies Trump, ramps up ad blasting coronavirus responseDemocratic super-PAC Priorities USA said on Thursday it planned to expand its use of an advertisement critical of President Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic despite the Trump reelection campaign's efforts to stop it.


South Korean test kit makers swamped as coronavirus cases explode in U.S., Europe

South Korean test kit makers swamped as coronavirus cases explode in U.S., EuropeLast year, South Korean biotech firm SolGent made diagnostic kits for 300,000 tests. SolGent, which is one of the five firms that have received fast-track approval to make test kits for South Korea, is capitalizing on the country's success in containing its outbreak to boost exports, with cases slowing down at home. SolGent has even got offers from three U.S. biotech firms to license its technology so that they can manufacture test kits in the United States, You said, adding nothing has been decided.


Catholics allowed to eat meat on Lenten Fridays

Catholics allowed to eat meat on Lenten FridaysSome bishops this year are telling parishioners that they've sacrificed enough as the coronavirus pandemic denies people of gatherings, outside entertainment and everyday conveniences.


Fact check: Not true that no Democrats voted for coronavirus stimulus package

Fact check: Not true that no Democrats voted for coronavirus stimulus packageA viral meme on Facebook claimed March 22 that no Democrats had voted in favor of helping Americans through an economic stimulus bill. This is false.


Biden reportedly says Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is in his 'top three' picks for VP

Biden reportedly says Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is in his 'top three' picks for VPWhile reportedly setting up video equipment in Delaware over four days, former Vice President Joe Biden was apparently mulling over possible running mates.Biden told former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) is one of his "top three" choices should he win the Democratic presidential nomination, Mediaite reported Thursday.Reid, who was also a longtime senator representing Nevada, is reportedly nudging Biden toward choosing Cortez Masto as his VP, and Biden's campaign apparently feels she would be a strong choice and could help expand Biden's popularity among Latinx voters. Biden publicly committed to choosing a woman as his vice president if nominated over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), sparking endless speculation over who that woman might be. CNBC says Biden's "business allies" are hoping for Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) or Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), two former presidential candidates themselves. The Washington Post, meanwhile, said Biden's shortlist probably included Cortez Masto, but also named more well-known Democrats like former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. Biden's campaign declined to dispute Mediaite's reporting, simply saying he would vigorously vet candidates.New York magazine wrote that Biden is spending his "coronavirus bunker" time "thinking a lot" about a potential VP, and taking lots of calls from supporters and Democratic strategists who are pushing Biden to pick their candidate of choice. None of those calls, however, resulted in much reported information on whether Biden had narrowed his list.Biden told The View on Tuesday his "short" list was between "12 and 15" names, but if his reported statement to Reid is to be believed, he's done a lot of whittling in the past few days. Read more at Mediaite and New York.More stories from theweek.com Social distancing is about to get a whole lot harder Trump has never been worse — but his approval is surging. Why? Trump invokes Defense Protection Act to force GM to make ventilators


Dr. Fauci Contradicts Trump to Trevor Noah: Can’t ‘Arbitrarily’ Reopen America

Dr. Fauci Contradicts Trump to Trevor Noah: Can’t ‘Arbitrarily’ Reopen AmericaTrevor Noah landed the first late-night interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases appeared remotely on Thursday night’s edition of “The Daily Social Distancing Show.”Fauci began by characterizing the coronavirus as the “worst nightmare” from a pandemic perspective, more “frightening” than Ebola because it spreads more easily and is more “insidious” than the seasonal flu because it’s about 10 times as deadly.As with his livestream interview with Steph Curry earlier in the day, Fauci’s primary objective in talking to Noah was communicating to young people why they should be more scared of the virus than they might think. “We know that people who are older or people who have underlying respiratory infections have a higher chance of dying from the virus,” Noah said. “But I think people have started to believe that that means young people are immune and cannot get sick from coronavirus. What are people not understanding from the numbers?” Fauci made two points in response. “Even though you are young, you are not absolutely invulnerable,” he said, explaining that even people in their 30s and 40s with no underlying conditions can end up in the hospital, requiring intensive care. “If you think you are completely invulnerable, you are incorrect,” he said.Joe Biden Jokes About Trump and Sarah Palin With Jimmy KimmelSamantha Bee on Making Comedy Amidst ‘Unimaginable’ Tragedy“Second issue that is important, that even though you may not get seriously ill, you can get infected with relatively few symptoms, either asymptomatic or mild, relatively trivial symptoms, but then you can infect another person who would then infect a vulnerable person, who would then die,” he continued. “So you have a responsibility, not only to protect yourself, but you almost have a societal, moral responsibility to protect other people.” Without criticizing Donald Trump directly, Fauci made sure to dismiss some of the president’s overly optimistic messages to the American people, from the viability of the drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment to the promise that people will be able to gather in large numbers by Easter.“The virus is the clock, Trevor,” Fauci said. “So people say arbitrarily two weeks we’re going to be OK. It depends on the kinetics of the outbreak.” He explained that it is “unpredictable” when any country will complete its infection cycle but pointed out that it took about eight weeks for things to start leveling off in China. And that is with much stricter measures taken than have been put in place in the U.S.As he was wrapping up the interview, Noah told Fauci, “Stay safe and wash your hands because of that fake cough you did.” For more, listen to Daily Show correspondent Jordan Klepper on The Last Laugh podcast. 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.


A massive stockpile of 39 million N95 masks is being sold to American hospitals and local governments — about 27 million more than the US emergency stockpile

A massive stockpile of 39 million N95 masks is being sold to American hospitals and local governments — about 27 million more than the US emergency stockpileThe Service Employees International Union said in a statement Thursday, circulating on Twitter, that it had found 39 million masks for hospitals.


Italy, Spain suffer record virus deaths as British PM tests positive

Italy, Spain suffer record virus deaths as British PM tests positiveItaly on Friday recorded the most daily deaths of any country since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and Spain had its deadliest day, as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson became the first major world leader to test positive. Italy reported 969 new deaths, Spain 769 and France 299 as Europe reeled from a crisis that led the United States on Friday to finalise an unprecedented $2 trillion stimulus package. In other grim milestones, AFP tallies showed more than 26,000 deaths worldwide, and a total of 300,000 cases now recorded in Europe, after the United States overtook China as the country with the most infections.


US couple, adopted daughter, caught in India virus lockdown

US couple, adopted daughter, caught in India virus lockdownA Georgia couple who traveled to India to adopt a child have had to delay bringing their new daughter back to the United States after Indian authorities locked down the country because of the coronavirus. India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on Tuesday announced a three-week lockdown in the country of 1.3 billion people, meaning that citizens and visitors alike may only leave their homes or hotels for food, medicine or other essential needs. The order is meant to keep the virus from surging and overwhelming an already strained health care system, but it has also left Mike and Whitney Saville of Auburn, Georgia, with little hope of getting back home with their daughter Grace anytime soon.


In shadow of coronavirus, Congress contemplates 'one of the biggest rule changes in the last century'

In shadow of coronavirus, Congress contemplates 'one of the biggest rule changes in the last century'The pandemic has left multiple members of Congress in quarantine and led to restrictions on movement that could prevent the House from voting.


Florida man whose 'game changer' coronavirus treatment was touted by Trump is a believer, but warns: Don't try this at home

Florida man whose 'game changer' coronavirus treatment was touted by Trump is a believer, but warns: Don't try this at homeDespite warnings from experts that existing evidence of hydroxychloroquine’s effect on coronavirus symptoms is limited and largely anecdotal, President Trump’s promotion of the prospective treatment has prompted stockpiling and fatally misinformed attempts to self-medicate. 


A Connecticut doctor has been charged after authorities said he deliberately coughed on his coworkers

A Connecticut doctor has been charged after authorities said he deliberately coughed on his coworkersPeople across the United States have been arrested and charged in recent days after allegedly violating social distancing measures.


Asia virus latest: People return to China epicentre, security talks off

Asia virus latest: People return to China epicentre, security talks offWuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus first emerged last year, partly reopened on Saturday after more than two months of near total isolation for its population of 11 million. AFP saw crowds of passengers arriving at Wuhan railway station on Saturday, most wheeling suitcases alongside them. A top Asian security conference that gathers defence ministers -- including from the US and China -- and senior military officials was cancelled due to the pandemic.


Coronavirus outbreak diverts Navy aircraft carrier to Guam, all 5,000 aboard to be tested

Coronavirus outbreak diverts Navy aircraft carrier to Guam, all 5,000 aboard to be testedThe number of infected sailors has risen sharply — from initial reports of three to "dozens" as of Thursday, officials said.


AP Sources: Alleged Maduro co-conspirator is in DEA custody

AP Sources: Alleged Maduro co-conspirator is in DEA custodyA retired Venezuelan army general indicted alongside Nicolás Maduro has surrendered in Colombia and is being taken by Drug Enforcement Administration agents to New York for arraignment, four people familiar with the situation said Friday. Cliver Alcalá has been an outspoken critic of Maduro for years.


Japan's Abe vows unprecedented stimulus, Tokyo virus cases rise by daily record

Japan's Abe vows unprecedented stimulus, Tokyo virus cases rise by daily recordJapan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday promised a massive unprecedented package of steps to cushion the economy from the coronavirus pandemic, saying the country was close to a national emergency as infections surged in Tokyo. Abe told a country that is seeing a rising number of deaths and cases from the outbreak that the "huge, powerful" measures would be greater than the response to the global financial crisis of 2008. "Japan is holding up barely, but it would not be strange if there were a rapid spread (of the virus) at any time," Abe told a nationally televised news conference, though he held back from declaring a state of emergency.


Chinese State Media Falsely Claim U.S. Army Athlete Brought Coronavirus to China

Chinese State Media Falsely Claim U.S. Army Athlete Brought Coronavirus to ChinaChinese state-run media are citing an American conspiracy theorist to push claims that coronavirus was brought to China by a U.S. military athlete.The Global Times claimed in an article Wednesday that the coronavirus, which was first discovered in Wuhan, was in fact manufactured in a U.S. military lab and brought to China by a cyclist who took part in the World Military Games in Wuhan in October.The CCP-run paper cites known U.S. conspiracy theorist George Webb as the source for the claim, which it admits lacks “strong evidence” but still raises questions about the U.S. athletes who traveled to Wuhan.The Global Times also quotes Li Haidong, a professor of U.S. studies at the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, who challenges the U.S. to release “relevant information regarding the athlete’s health status and infection records to clear public doubts and help with the scientific study on the virus' origin.”China has pushed propaganda to distance itself from blame for the spread of COVID-19, after suppressing initial reports of human-to-human transmission and silencing labs that discovered the novel virus resembled the deadly SARS virus of 2002-2003.On February 27, Zhong Nanshan, a primary pulmonologist said at a press conference, that “the coronavirus first appeared in China but may not have originated in China.”The efforts have led to scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers, who have proposed holding China accountable for the coverup.“Since day one, the Chinese Communist Party intentionally lied to the world about the origin of this pandemic. The CCP was aware of the reality of the virus as early as December but ordered laboratories to destroy samples and forced doctors to keep silent,” Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) said in the release of a resolution calling for an international investigation to determine how the Chinese Communist Party directly contributed to the emerging global pandemic.Multiple mainstream outlets have been complicit in serving the interests of Chinese state media.The Global Times also used footage this week from U.S. mainstream media criticizing President Trump's use of the term "Chinese virus" to suggest any scrutiny of China's handling of the coronavirus is racist.> The US President’s rhetoric in using “Chinese virus” to describe COVID19, has sparked fierce public criticism from all walks of life in the US. pic.twitter.com/RMljngN7P3> > -- Global Times (@globaltimesnews) March 23, 2020The Daily Caller reported Wednesday that The Daily Mail, the popular British tabloid, has also been pushing Chinese propaganda by publishing dozens of coronavirus-related stories originating from People’s Daily, the communist party’s official newspaper.The Economist is running advertorials — ads designed to look like news stories — from the state-backed Beijing Review in its print issues, The Washington Free Beacon reported Thursday.


Coronavirus: 3 migrant children in US custody in New York test positive

Coronavirus: 3 migrant children in US custody in New York test positiveThree migrant children in U.S. government custody in New York test positive for coronavirus, officials said.


Merkel Pleads With Germans for Patience on Lockdown Measures
Trump tweets blame in all directions over ventilators for coronavirus, except at himself

Trump tweets blame in all directions over ventilators for coronavirus, except at himselfHours after a Fox News interview in which he downplayed a national shortage of hospital ventilators to treat patients infected with the coronavirus, President Trump fired off a number of tweets Friday blaming General Motors and its CEO, Mary Barra, for not manufacturing more of them.


A Wuhan seafood vendor believed to be one of the first coronavirus patients says 'a lot fewer people would have died' if the Chinese government acted sooner

A Wuhan seafood vendor believed to be one of the first coronavirus patients says 'a lot fewer people would have died' if the Chinese government acted soonerWei Guixian, a 57-year-old seafood vendor in Wuhan, China, was among the first 27 people to be diagnosed with the coronavirus.


Pope faces coronavirus 'tempest' alone in St Peter's Square

Pope faces coronavirus 'tempest' alone in St Peter's SquarePope Francis stood alone in vast Saint Peter's Square Friday to bless Catholics around the world suffering under the coronavirus pandemic, urging people to ease their fears through faith. In a historic first, the Argentine performed the rarely recited "Urbi et Orbi" blessing from the steps of the basilica to an empty square, addressing those in lockdown across the globe via television, radio and social media.


Alabama girl, 4, missing for nearly two days, found safe

Alabama girl, 4, missing for nearly two days, found safeEvelyn Vadie Sides and her dog have been reunited with worried loved ones.


China threatens to strike back after Taiwan deal

China threatens to strike back after Taiwan dealChina has denounced a U.S. act that increases American support for Taiwan internationally.


Russia confirms coronavirus case in Putin's administration, tightens curbs

Russia confirms coronavirus case in Putin's administration, tightens curbsThe Kremlin confirmed a coronavirus case in President Vladimir Putin's administration on Friday and the government said measures imposed in Moscow to fight the virus should be extended across Russia. The Kremlin said it was taking measures to stop the virus spreading further after a staff member in the presidential administration contracted the virus. It said the person had not come into contact with Putin, but declined to identify them.


Now That Canada Is Rationing Masks, Trudeau Faces Backlash for Donating Medical Supplies to China

Now That Canada Is Rationing Masks, Trudeau Faces Backlash for Donating Medical Supplies to ChinaCanada’s Official Opposition Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer took aim at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for shipping tons of medical supplies to China in February, calling the move “outrageous” with current concerns that Canada is running short on supplies amid its own fight against coronavirus.“Drs. across the country are facing urgent shortages of critical supplies. PM must explain why he sent 50,118 face shields, 1,101 masks, 1,820 goggles, 36,425 medical coveralls, 200,000 nitrile gloves and 3,000 aprons from Canada’s own gov't reserves overseas in Feb,” Scheer tweeted.> Outrageous. Drs across the country are facing urgent shortages of critical supplies. PM must explain why he sent 50,118 face shields, 1,101 masks, 1,820 goggles, 36,425 medical coveralls, 200,000 nitrile gloves and 3,000 aprons from Canada’s own gov't reserves overseas in Feb. https://t.co/OkXFErFw57> > -- Andrew Scheer (@AndrewScheer) March 26, 2020 Canada’s Foreign Affairs department announced on February 9 that “Canada has deployed approximately 16 tonnes of personal protective equipment, such as clothing, face shields, masks, goggles and gloves” overseas to China, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.The move came after the World Health Organization warned the international community that “further international exportation of cases may appear in any country” and that “severe coronavirus-related disruptions” would occur as a result.“It was absolutely certain in early February that we would need this equipment,” Amir Attaran, a professor at University of Ottawa’s school of epidemiology and public health and its faculty of law, told The Globe and Mail. "This decision went beyond altruism into high negligence and incompetence because Canada did not, and does not, have surplus equipment to spare.”A spokesman for Foreign Affairs explained to the paper that the decision was made “when the spread of COVID-19 was primarily limited to China,” and that Canada had since “welcomed donations from Chinese companies” to boost its own stockpiles.Local European news outlets reported this week that the majority of rapid coronavirus test kits supplied by China to Spain and the Czech Republic are faulty.


American Airlines flight attendant dies of coronavirus, elevating fears in the industry

American Airlines flight attendant dies of coronavirus, elevating fears in the industryPaul Frishkorn, a Philadelphia-based flight attendant, has died from coronavirus, fueling fears in a profession on the front lines of the pandemic.


Citing virus, EPA has stopped enforcing environmental laws

Citing virus, EPA has stopped enforcing environmental lawsThe Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday abruptly waived enforcement on a range of legally mandated public health and environmental protections, saying industries could have trouble complying with them during the coronavirus pandemic. The oil and gas industry were among the industries that had sought an advance relaxation of environmental and public health enforcement during the outbreak, citing potential staffing problems. The EPA’s decision was sweeping, forgoing fines or other civil penalties for companies that failed to monitor, report or meet some other requirements for releasing hazardous pollutants.


Letters to the Editor: Trump's updates are ridiculous, but they make you wonder: Where is Joe Biden?

Letters to the Editor: Trump's updates are ridiculous, but they make you wonder: Where is Joe Biden?Joe Biden should more forcefully rebut President Trump, whose daily updates on the coronavirus give him precious media coverage.


Half the residents who tested positive for the coronavirus in a Washington nursing home did not yet have symptoms, but they were highly contagious

Half the residents who tested positive for the coronavirus in a Washington nursing home did not yet have symptoms, but they were highly contagiousHalf of COVID-19 cases at a care home were asymptotic. That may mean up to half of contagious patients may not be caught, per a new CDC report.


South Africa begins 'unprecedented' military-patrolled lockdown

South Africa begins 'unprecedented' military-patrolled lockdownSouth Africa came under a nationwide military-patrolled lockdown on Friday, joining other African countries imposing strict curfews and shutdowns in an attempt to halt the spread of the coronavirus across the continent. Some 57 million people are to be restricted to their homes during South Africa's three-week total lockdown which began at midnight. Kenya, Rwanda and Mali are some of the African countries that have imposed restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which has been confirmed to have infected 3,203 people and killed 87.


California Gov. Newsom commutes sentences for 21, including killers

California Gov. Newsom commutes sentences for 21, including killersFourteen of the commuted cases involved murder or related charges.


A 90-year-old woman in Washington state recovered from the coronavirus, and she credits family, God, and potato soup

A 90-year-old woman in Washington state recovered from the coronavirus, and she credits family, God, and potato soupFamily members of 90-year-old COVID-19 patient Geneva Wood were called to the hospital to say their goodbyes. After seeing them, she recovered.


South Korean coronavirus test kit makers win U.S. FDA pre-approval

South Korean coronavirus test kit makers win U.S. FDA pre-approvalThree Korean coronavirus test-kit makers have won preliminary approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), paving the way for kits to be exported to the United States to help it battle the largest outbreak of the virus in the world. South Korea's foreign ministry said that winning the preliminary approval under emergency use authorization will allow the products to be sold in the United States. Earlier this week, U.S. President Donald Trump asked his Korean counterpart to supply the medical devices and promised to help Korean firms gain U.S. regulator approval.


Coalition Out of Crisis: Why Gantz Threw in with Netanyahu

Coalition Out of Crisis: Why Gantz Threw in with NetanyahuAfter more than a year of bitter political dispute and maneuvering, Israel is about to have a coalition government. It took three elections and an unprecedented public-health crisis to get the country to this point.Benny Gantz, a former chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces and the leader of the opposition Blue and White Party, was faced with a choice this week. He could join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, or he could stick to the commitment he’d made to his supporters to bring Bibi down. As the country dealt with the coronavirus pandemic, Gantz’s continued refusal to join a coalition would likely have plunged it into the agony of a fourth election in less than two years. He chose to throw in with Netanyahu.The price of that decision, which Gantz described as a patriotic duty at a time of national distress, was the destruction of the Blue and White. The year-old political alliance had presented the most potent challenge to Netanyahu’s grip on power in more than a decade, propelling Gantz to the brink of becoming his successor.In the new coalition, Gantz will reportedly serve as foreign minister, with Netanyahu continuing as prime minister. The agreement calls for him to switch places with Netanyahu after 18 months, ending the latter’s run as the country’s longest-serving prime minister. But this will not be a broad unity coalition with Netanyahu’s Likud and its right-wing and religious-party allies; rather, Gantz will take only part of his faction into the new government.Gantz took his decision in the midst of a tense and complicated squabble. The Knesset that was elected earlier this month struggled to organize itself in the absence of a governing majority for either Netanyahu or Gantz. Netanyahu and his bloc had 58 seats in the 120-seat parliament, leaving him three short of the votes he needed to continue in power. Gantz had the endorsement of 61 members, but that included the 15 seats held by the Arab Joint List, an alliance of four parties comprising Islamists, Palestinian nationalists, and Communists. A number of Knesset members from the Blue and White refused to serve in a government that depended on the votes of an alliance with the declared intent of ending Israel’s status as a Jewish state. Thus Gantz, too, lacked the votes to create a government.A similar impasse after the two previous elections, held in April and September 2019, had led to the March 2 general election. On both sides of the political divide, there were some who were prepared to take their chances a fourth time in order to get a decisive result. But fate in the form of the coronavirus pandemic intervened.Netanyahu, as the head of a caretaker government, embraced the crisis as only an experienced policymaker and wartime leader could. Some of his leftist critics decried the emergency measures he ordered to contain the coronavirus contagion, charging him with exploiting the crisis to bolster his political standing and to distract the country from the fact that he is still facing trial on three corruption charges. Indeed, some regarded his decision to close the courts, one result of which was to postpone the start of his trial, as an assault on democracy. But polls show that most Israelis believe he is once again demonstrating his competence in dealing with an emergency.The incumbent prime minister knew that, though his opponent couldn’t form a government, Gantz did have the votes to effectively prevent Netanyahu from remaining in power. The critical factor was the position of Speaker of the Knesset, which has been held by a Netanyahu loyalist. A coalition of the Blue and White, smaller leftist parties, and the Joint List could have elected a new Speaker, and the Knesset could then have passed a law banning anyone under indictment from serving as prime minister. To members of the opposition, this was Gantz’s golden opportunity to take Netanyahu down. Indeed, the Blue and White — a diverse alliance including former members of the once-dominant Labor Party, a right-wing faction led by former general and Likud defense minister Moshe Ya’alon, the left-leaning Yesh Atid Party, and Gantz’s own centrist faction — was united by only one common purpose: pushing Netanyahu out the door.Though Gantz entered politics as a much-needed fresh face a year ago, after three bruising election campaigns he is now widely seen as lacking the energy and political skills that Netanyahu possesses. Moreover, Gantz had campaigned on a promise not to form a government that would be dependent on the anti-Zionists of the Joint List, and his flirtation with that alliance in the weeks since the last election had soured voters on the Blue and White. Going to a fourth election was therefore a big risk for the party, with polls suggesting not a big or even a narrow win but in fact a decisive defeat. The electorate leans right to begin with, on top of which it was most likely to want a familiar steady hand to lead the country through the pandemic crisis. Thus Gantz came to the conclusion that joining the prime minister was the only reasonable choice.But if he thought he could bring all of his party with him into Netanyahu’s cabinet, he was dead wrong. Leaders of the factions within the opposition regarded Gantz’s decision as a betrayal, not only of them personally but of the million Israelis who voted for them. Much of Israel’s left-leaning mainstream media, especially columnists in Haaretz, the newspaper that dubs itself Israel’s version of the New York Times, echoed this sentiment, lambasting Gantz for his cowardice and for just being too exhausted to carry on the fight.So what becomes of the Blue and White? Some factions will stay in the opposition, and since they will have more Knesset seats than Gantz’s own faction, they will likely retain the Blue and White label. But in effect, this split spells the end of the party that had presented the most formidable challenge that Netanyahu has faced since 2009. Moreover, given that the factions disagree on most policy questions, the ability of the party, or what’s left of it, to serve as an effective opposition is questionable.The exact terms of Gantz’s deal with Netanyahu have yet to be formalized. Gantz signaled his deal with the prime minister by having himself elected Speaker of the Knesset with Likud support — presumably only until the final bargain is sealed. In doing so, he prevented the Blue and White from wielding any remaining leverage to block the coalition. The arrangement hinges on a rotation of the office of prime minister after 18 months and on allowing Gantz’s allies to lead the ministries of defense and justice. Having one of Gantz’s allies in the latter post will ensure that, once the national coronavirus lockdown has been lifted and the courts reopened, Netanyahu’s trial will go forward.As things stand, it appears that Netanyahu’s rule will end either with a conviction or with the prime minister’s scheduled handing over of the office to Gantz — whichever comes first. Still, many in the Likud as well as Blue and White believe that if Netanyahu is acquitted, he will find a way to renege on his deal with Gantz. Indeed, it may be that Gantz suspects the same thing.Gantz has gone from the savior of Israel’s left-wing opposition to its bête noire. But he understood that the political stalemate could not go on: It was preventing the country from passing a budget that was needed, most urgently, to provide relief to citizens in the face of the pandemic and to shore up the economy. Dragging out the stalemate was neither rational policy nor good politics. Deciding to end it may have cost Gantz a political future, since it’s unlikely he will be able to reassemble another formidable coalition. Whether or not he really does become prime minister in September 2021, Gantz decided that destroying his party was not too high a price to pay for saving his country from further chaos in the midst of a pandemic.


Airlines owe you a refund when they cancel a flight. So why is United balking during coronavirus crisis?

Airlines owe you a refund when they cancel a flight. So why is United balking during coronavirus crisis?Airlines are supposed to refund flyers' money if they cancel a flight. United has introduced more restrictive policies during the coronavirus crisis.


Pedestrian bridge falls onto Detroit freeway after collision

Pedestrian bridge falls onto Detroit freeway after collisionA truck collided with a pedestrian bridge early Friday in Detroit, sending a portion of the span onto a freeway and blocking traffic along part of the heavily traveled thoroughfare, authorities said. No one was injured in the collapse onto westbound Interstate 94, Lt. Mike Shaw, a Michigan State Police spokesman, said in an email. The freeway in both directions was closed after the collapse, which was caused by a truck apparently carrying a large load hitting the bridge at some point after 5 a.m, said Diane Cross, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Transportation.


Cuomo Says Ventilator Needs Not Based on ‘Feelings’ After Trump Attack

Cuomo Says Ventilator Needs Not Based on ‘Feelings’ After Trump AttackNew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo hit back at Donald Trump on Friday after the president said he “felt” that New York, the struggling epicenter of the coronavirus, did not need the 30,000 ventilators officials have demanded.With 519 deaths and 44,635 confirmed cases, of which 6,481 require hospitalization, the coronavirus pandemic has put New York’s medical facilities on the brink. Cuomo has been practically begging for ventilators for days, slamming the federal government for initially sending 400 from the national stockpile when the state needed 30,000. The Trump administration later sent 4,000 more.In an interview on Fox News on Thursday night, Trump said he doubted that states, including New York, actually needed the amount of equipment they were asking for.“I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they’re going to be. I don’t believe that you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators,” he said.Then, on Friday, he wrote a series of frenzied tweets, saying General Motors, which reportedly had a plan to make ventilators that was rejected by the federal government, must immediately open a plant for production. “START MAKING VENTILATORS, NOW!!!!!! FORD, GET GOING ON VENTILATORS, FAST!!!!!!” he tweeted. (Despite his tweets, Trump had still not implemented the Defense Production Act, which forces companies to manufacture supplies, White House officials told The Daily Beast.)In a Friday briefing at the Javits Center, which is being converted into a massive emergency hospital, Cuomo did not name-check Trump but said equipment needs were not based on “feelings.”“Look I don’t have a crystal ball, everybody is entitled to their own opinion but I don’t operate here on opinion,” he said. “I operate on facts and on data and on numbers and on projections.”He said experts’ projections for New York predict that the state will hit its apex for hospitalization rates in 21 days. The state is building a stockpile of resources for when that apex hits and the entire system is stressed, Cuomo said. That includes 3,000 ventilators that would be distributed to hospitals as needs arise—a fraction of the total 30,000 needed across the state.“Those are numbers, not ‘I feel, I think, I believe, I want to believe.’ Make the decisions based on the data and the science,” he said. “I hope we don’t need 30,000 ventilators, I hope some natural weather change happens overnight and kills the virus globally. That’s what I hope. But that’s my hope, that’s my emotion, that’s my thought. The numbers say you may need 30,000.”Health-care workers say ICU and emergency rooms in New York are “under siege” and running desperately low on personal protective gear and medical equipment, including ventilators.“We have never seen anything like this, and we are so unprepared for the need that seems to grow daily,” an NYU Langone doctor told The Daily Beast on Thursday. “Honestly, I’m terrified.”The U.S. now has more coronavirus cases than anywhere else in the world, with 86,012 positive diagnoses, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tracker.Cuomo announced on Friday that the state was building another four emergency hospitals in convention centers, university stadiums, and shipping terminals, on top of four makeshift facilities already being built, to meet the 140,000 beds needed.“We are doing things that have never been done before,” he said.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.


U.S. warship passes through the sensitive Taiwan Strait amid heightened tensions

U.S. warship passes through the sensitive Taiwan Strait amid heightened tensionsA U.S. warship passed through the sensitive Taiwan Strait on Wednesday, the U.S. and Taiwan militaries said, following heightened tensions between China and Taiwan that have seen Taiwanese air force jets scramble to intercept Chinese fighters.


Why the US is leading the world in confirmed coronavirus cases

Why the US is leading the world in confirmed coronavirus casesFrom the first known patient in late January to now almost 100,000 infected, the United States has earned the unwanted distinction of leading the world in confirmed coronavirus cases. Public health experts say that while we've yet to hit the peak of the US epidemic, there are several reasons why the COVID-19 disease has exploded in America. Early on in the outbreak, President Donald Trump was accused of downplaying its severity, saying that sustained community spread was not "inevitable" even after a senior health official said it was, which could have led to a sense of complacency.


Spain, Europe's worst-hit country after Italy, says coronavirus tests it bought from China are failing to detect positive cases

Spain, Europe's worst-hit country after Italy, says coronavirus tests it bought from China are failing to detect positive casesSpanish researchers found that the tests could identify cases only 30% of the time. Testing delays could hamper Spain's efforts to slow the virus.


Coronavirus unemployment benefits. Here's who qualifies and how much they get.

Coronavirus unemployment benefits. Here's who qualifies and how much they get.How long do the payments last? What if you worked part time? You got hired but couldn't start your job — are you eligible? And more.


Pope holds dramatic solitary service for relief from coronavirus

Pope holds dramatic solitary service for relief from coronavirusPope Francis said the coronavirus had put everyone "in the same boat" as he held a dramatic, solitary prayer service in St. Peter's Square on Friday, urging the world to see the crisis as a test of solidarity and a reminder of basic values. "Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities," he said, speaking from the steps of St. Peter's Basilica into an eerily empty and rainy square before delivering an extraordinary "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) blessing - something he normally does only twice a year. The Vatican called the service "An Extraordinary Prayer in the Time of Pandemic," a sombre echo of an announcement by Italian officials minutes earlier that the coronavirus death toll in the country had surged past 9,000.


In Singapore, Standing Too Close Can Now Get You 6 Months in Jail

In Singapore, Standing Too Close Can Now Get You 6 Months in JailSingapore's drastic new measure drastic measures are an attempt to try to curb the surge of coronavirus


Fact check: Did Gates Foundation fund, does Pirbright Institute own coronavirus patent?

Fact check: Did Gates Foundation fund, does Pirbright Institute own coronavirus patent?Multiple posts on Facebook claim that Pirbright Institute, with ties to the Gates Foundation, owns the patent on the coronavirus. This is false.


Water shutoffs in sharp focus amid coronavirus outbreak

Water shutoffs in sharp focus amid coronavirus outbreakThe advice is simple and universal: Washing your hands with soap and water is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The Rev. Roslyn Bouier remembers when children began to show up at the Brightmoor Connection Food Pantry on Detroit’s northwest side, clutching empty pitchers. Through the end of 2019, the city has recorded about 127,500 total service cutoffs, according to the water department, though that figure includes households where the water was turned off repeatedly.


Opinion: Trump isn't alone in worrying about closing churches during the pandemic

Opinion: Trump isn't alone in worrying about closing churches during the pandemicChristians are debating whether a total shutdown of church services is necessary.


The UK government claims it failed to take part in an EU scheme for coronavirus ventilators because it didn't see the email asking it to take part

The UK government claims it failed to take part in an EU scheme for coronavirus ventilators because it didn't see the email asking it to take partThe UK government is accused of putting "Brexit before breathing" after failing to sign up to an EU scheme for coronavirus ventilators.


Dour Moscow mayor сomes to fore as 'PM for coronavirus'

Dour Moscow mayor сomes to fore as 'PM for coronavirus'At a televised meeting with Vladimir Putin, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin flatly told the President that official figures on COVID-19 cases were far from the reality. After that reality check, the official narrative changed swiftly: Putin, who had called the situation "under control", on Wednesday gave a grim-faced address to the nation. "Putin signed up to Sobyanin's position," opposition politician Vladimir Ryzhkov said on the popular Echo of Moscow radio station.


In Iran, false belief a poison fights virus kills hundreds

In Iran, false belief a poison fights virus kills hundredsStanding over the still body of an intubated 5-year-old boy wearing nothing but a plastic diaper, an Iranian health care worker in a hazmat suit and mask begged the public for just one thing: Stop drinking industrial alcohol over fears about the new coronavirus. The boy, now blind after his parents gave him toxic methanol in the mistaken belief it protects against the virus, is just one of hundreds of victims of an epidemic inside the pandemic now gripping Iran. Iranian media report nearly 300 people have been killed and more than 1,000 sickened so far by ingesting methanol across the Islamic Republic, where drinking alcohol is banned and where those who do rely on bootleggers.


Democratic Super-PAC defies Trump, ramps up ad blasting coronavirus response

Democratic Super-PAC defies Trump, ramps up ad blasting coronavirus responseDemocratic super-PAC Priorities USA said on Thursday it planned to expand its use of an advertisement critical of President Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic despite the Trump reelection campaign's efforts to stop it.


South Korean test kit makers swamped as coronavirus cases explode in U.S., Europe

South Korean test kit makers swamped as coronavirus cases explode in U.S., EuropeLast year, South Korean biotech firm SolGent made diagnostic kits for 300,000 tests. SolGent, which is one of the five firms that have received fast-track approval to make test kits for South Korea, is capitalizing on the country's success in containing its outbreak to boost exports, with cases slowing down at home. SolGent has even got offers from three U.S. biotech firms to license its technology so that they can manufacture test kits in the United States, You said, adding nothing has been decided.


Catholics allowed to eat meat on Lenten Fridays

Catholics allowed to eat meat on Lenten FridaysSome bishops this year are telling parishioners that they've sacrificed enough as the coronavirus pandemic denies people of gatherings, outside entertainment and everyday conveniences.


Fact check: Not true that no Democrats voted for coronavirus stimulus package

Fact check: Not true that no Democrats voted for coronavirus stimulus packageA viral meme on Facebook claimed March 22 that no Democrats had voted in favor of helping Americans through an economic stimulus bill. This is false.


Biden reportedly says Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is in his 'top three' picks for VP

Biden reportedly says Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is in his 'top three' picks for VPWhile reportedly setting up video equipment in Delaware over four days, former Vice President Joe Biden was apparently mulling over possible running mates.Biden told former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) is one of his "top three" choices should he win the Democratic presidential nomination, Mediaite reported Thursday.Reid, who was also a longtime senator representing Nevada, is reportedly nudging Biden toward choosing Cortez Masto as his VP, and Biden's campaign apparently feels she would be a strong choice and could help expand Biden's popularity among Latinx voters. Biden publicly committed to choosing a woman as his vice president if nominated over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), sparking endless speculation over who that woman might be. CNBC says Biden's "business allies" are hoping for Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) or Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), two former presidential candidates themselves. The Washington Post, meanwhile, said Biden's shortlist probably included Cortez Masto, but also named more well-known Democrats like former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. Biden's campaign declined to dispute Mediaite's reporting, simply saying he would vigorously vet candidates.New York magazine wrote that Biden is spending his "coronavirus bunker" time "thinking a lot" about a potential VP, and taking lots of calls from supporters and Democratic strategists who are pushing Biden to pick their candidate of choice. None of those calls, however, resulted in much reported information on whether Biden had narrowed his list.Biden told The View on Tuesday his "short" list was between "12 and 15" names, but if his reported statement to Reid is to be believed, he's done a lot of whittling in the past few days. Read more at Mediaite and New York.More stories from theweek.com Social distancing is about to get a whole lot harder Trump has never been worse — but his approval is surging. Why? Trump invokes Defense Protection Act to force GM to make ventilators


Dr. Fauci Contradicts Trump to Trevor Noah: Can’t ‘Arbitrarily’ Reopen America

Dr. Fauci Contradicts Trump to Trevor Noah: Can’t ‘Arbitrarily’ Reopen AmericaTrevor Noah landed the first late-night interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases appeared remotely on Thursday night’s edition of “The Daily Social Distancing Show.”Fauci began by characterizing the coronavirus as the “worst nightmare” from a pandemic perspective, more “frightening” than Ebola because it spreads more easily and is more “insidious” than the seasonal flu because it’s about 10 times as deadly.As with his livestream interview with Steph Curry earlier in the day, Fauci’s primary objective in talking to Noah was communicating to young people why they should be more scared of the virus than they might think. “We know that people who are older or people who have underlying respiratory infections have a higher chance of dying from the virus,” Noah said. “But I think people have started to believe that that means young people are immune and cannot get sick from coronavirus. What are people not understanding from the numbers?” Fauci made two points in response. “Even though you are young, you are not absolutely invulnerable,” he said, explaining that even people in their 30s and 40s with no underlying conditions can end up in the hospital, requiring intensive care. “If you think you are completely invulnerable, you are incorrect,” he said.Joe Biden Jokes About Trump and Sarah Palin With Jimmy KimmelSamantha Bee on Making Comedy Amidst ‘Unimaginable’ Tragedy“Second issue that is important, that even though you may not get seriously ill, you can get infected with relatively few symptoms, either asymptomatic or mild, relatively trivial symptoms, but then you can infect another person who would then infect a vulnerable person, who would then die,” he continued. “So you have a responsibility, not only to protect yourself, but you almost have a societal, moral responsibility to protect other people.” Without criticizing Donald Trump directly, Fauci made sure to dismiss some of the president’s overly optimistic messages to the American people, from the viability of the drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment to the promise that people will be able to gather in large numbers by Easter.“The virus is the clock, Trevor,” Fauci said. “So people say arbitrarily two weeks we’re going to be OK. It depends on the kinetics of the outbreak.” He explained that it is “unpredictable” when any country will complete its infection cycle but pointed out that it took about eight weeks for things to start leveling off in China. And that is with much stricter measures taken than have been put in place in the U.S.As he was wrapping up the interview, Noah told Fauci, “Stay safe and wash your hands because of that fake cough you did.” For more, listen to Daily Show correspondent Jordan Klepper on The Last Laugh podcast. 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.


A massive stockpile of 39 million N95 masks is being sold to American hospitals and local governments — about 27 million more than the US emergency stockpile

A massive stockpile of 39 million N95 masks is being sold to American hospitals and local governments — about 27 million more than the US emergency stockpileThe Service Employees International Union said in a statement Thursday, circulating on Twitter, that it had found 39 million masks for hospitals.


Italy, Spain suffer record virus deaths as British PM tests positive

Italy, Spain suffer record virus deaths as British PM tests positiveItaly on Friday recorded the most daily deaths of any country since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and Spain had its deadliest day, as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson became the first major world leader to test positive. Italy reported 969 new deaths, Spain 769 and France 299 as Europe reeled from a crisis that led the United States on Friday to finalise an unprecedented $2 trillion stimulus package. In other grim milestones, AFP tallies showed more than 26,000 deaths worldwide, and a total of 300,000 cases now recorded in Europe, after the United States overtook China as the country with the most infections.


US couple, adopted daughter, caught in India virus lockdown

US couple, adopted daughter, caught in India virus lockdownA Georgia couple who traveled to India to adopt a child have had to delay bringing their new daughter back to the United States after Indian authorities locked down the country because of the coronavirus. India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on Tuesday announced a three-week lockdown in the country of 1.3 billion people, meaning that citizens and visitors alike may only leave their homes or hotels for food, medicine or other essential needs. The order is meant to keep the virus from surging and overwhelming an already strained health care system, but it has also left Mike and Whitney Saville of Auburn, Georgia, with little hope of getting back home with their daughter Grace anytime soon.


In shadow of coronavirus, Congress contemplates 'one of the biggest rule changes in the last century'

In shadow of coronavirus, Congress contemplates 'one of the biggest rule changes in the last century'The pandemic has left multiple members of Congress in quarantine and led to restrictions on movement that could prevent the House from voting.


Florida man whose 'game changer' coronavirus treatment was touted by Trump is a believer, but warns: Don't try this at home

Florida man whose 'game changer' coronavirus treatment was touted by Trump is a believer, but warns: Don't try this at homeDespite warnings from experts that existing evidence of hydroxychloroquine’s effect on coronavirus symptoms is limited and largely anecdotal, President Trump’s promotion of the prospective treatment has prompted stockpiling and fatally misinformed attempts to self-medicate. 


A Connecticut doctor has been charged after authorities said he deliberately coughed on his coworkers

A Connecticut doctor has been charged after authorities said he deliberately coughed on his coworkersPeople across the United States have been arrested and charged in recent days after allegedly violating social distancing measures.


Asia virus latest: People return to China epicentre, security talks off

Asia virus latest: People return to China epicentre, security talks offWuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus first emerged last year, partly reopened on Saturday after more than two months of near total isolation for its population of 11 million. AFP saw crowds of passengers arriving at Wuhan railway station on Saturday, most wheeling suitcases alongside them. A top Asian security conference that gathers defence ministers -- including from the US and China -- and senior military officials was cancelled due to the pandemic.


Coronavirus outbreak diverts Navy aircraft carrier to Guam, all 5,000 aboard to be tested

Coronavirus outbreak diverts Navy aircraft carrier to Guam, all 5,000 aboard to be testedThe number of infected sailors has risen sharply — from initial reports of three to "dozens" as of Thursday, officials said.


AP Sources: Alleged Maduro co-conspirator is in DEA custody

AP Sources: Alleged Maduro co-conspirator is in DEA custodyA retired Venezuelan army general indicted alongside Nicolás Maduro has surrendered in Colombia and is being taken by Drug Enforcement Administration agents to New York for arraignment, four people familiar with the situation said Friday. Cliver Alcalá has been an outspoken critic of Maduro for years.


Japan's Abe vows unprecedented stimulus, Tokyo virus cases rise by daily record

Japan's Abe vows unprecedented stimulus, Tokyo virus cases rise by daily recordJapan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday promised a massive unprecedented package of steps to cushion the economy from the coronavirus pandemic, saying the country was close to a national emergency as infections surged in Tokyo. Abe told a country that is seeing a rising number of deaths and cases from the outbreak that the "huge, powerful" measures would be greater than the response to the global financial crisis of 2008. "Japan is holding up barely, but it would not be strange if there were a rapid spread (of the virus) at any time," Abe told a nationally televised news conference, though he held back from declaring a state of emergency.


Chinese State Media Falsely Claim U.S. Army Athlete Brought Coronavirus to China

Chinese State Media Falsely Claim U.S. Army Athlete Brought Coronavirus to ChinaChinese state-run media are citing an American conspiracy theorist to push claims that coronavirus was brought to China by a U.S. military athlete.The Global Times claimed in an article Wednesday that the coronavirus, which was first discovered in Wuhan, was in fact manufactured in a U.S. military lab and brought to China by a cyclist who took part in the World Military Games in Wuhan in October.The CCP-run paper cites known U.S. conspiracy theorist George Webb as the source for the claim, which it admits lacks “strong evidence” but still raises questions about the U.S. athletes who traveled to Wuhan.The Global Times also quotes Li Haidong, a professor of U.S. studies at the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, who challenges the U.S. to release “relevant information regarding the athlete’s health status and infection records to clear public doubts and help with the scientific study on the virus' origin.”China has pushed propaganda to distance itself from blame for the spread of COVID-19, after suppressing initial reports of human-to-human transmission and silencing labs that discovered the novel virus resembled the deadly SARS virus of 2002-2003.On February 27, Zhong Nanshan, a primary pulmonologist said at a press conference, that “the coronavirus first appeared in China but may not have originated in China.”The efforts have led to scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers, who have proposed holding China accountable for the coverup.“Since day one, the Chinese Communist Party intentionally lied to the world about the origin of this pandemic. The CCP was aware of the reality of the virus as early as December but ordered laboratories to destroy samples and forced doctors to keep silent,” Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) said in the release of a resolution calling for an international investigation to determine how the Chinese Communist Party directly contributed to the emerging global pandemic.Multiple mainstream outlets have been complicit in serving the interests of Chinese state media.The Global Times also used footage this week from U.S. mainstream media criticizing President Trump's use of the term "Chinese virus" to suggest any scrutiny of China's handling of the coronavirus is racist.> The US President’s rhetoric in using “Chinese virus” to describe COVID19, has sparked fierce public criticism from all walks of life in the US. pic.twitter.com/RMljngN7P3> > -- Global Times (@globaltimesnews) March 23, 2020The Daily Caller reported Wednesday that The Daily Mail, the popular British tabloid, has also been pushing Chinese propaganda by publishing dozens of coronavirus-related stories originating from People’s Daily, the communist party’s official newspaper.The Economist is running advertorials — ads designed to look like news stories — from the state-backed Beijing Review in its print issues, The Washington Free Beacon reported Thursday.


Coronavirus: 3 migrant children in US custody in New York test positive

Coronavirus: 3 migrant children in US custody in New York test positiveThree migrant children in U.S. government custody in New York test positive for coronavirus, officials said.


Merkel Pleads With Germans for Patience on Lockdown Measures
Trump tweets blame in all directions over ventilators for coronavirus, except at himself

Trump tweets blame in all directions over ventilators for coronavirus, except at himselfHours after a Fox News interview in which he downplayed a national shortage of hospital ventilators to treat patients infected with the coronavirus, President Trump fired off a number of tweets Friday blaming General Motors and its CEO, Mary Barra, for not manufacturing more of them.


A Wuhan seafood vendor believed to be one of the first coronavirus patients says 'a lot fewer people would have died' if the Chinese government acted sooner

A Wuhan seafood vendor believed to be one of the first coronavirus patients says 'a lot fewer people would have died' if the Chinese government acted soonerWei Guixian, a 57-year-old seafood vendor in Wuhan, China, was among the first 27 people to be diagnosed with the coronavirus.


Pope faces coronavirus 'tempest' alone in St Peter's Square

Pope faces coronavirus 'tempest' alone in St Peter's SquarePope Francis stood alone in vast Saint Peter's Square Friday to bless Catholics around the world suffering under the coronavirus pandemic, urging people to ease their fears through faith. In a historic first, the Argentine performed the rarely recited "Urbi et Orbi" blessing from the steps of the basilica to an empty square, addressing those in lockdown across the globe via television, radio and social media.


Alabama girl, 4, missing for nearly two days, found safe

Alabama girl, 4, missing for nearly two days, found safeEvelyn Vadie Sides and her dog have been reunited with worried loved ones.


China threatens to strike back after Taiwan deal

China threatens to strike back after Taiwan dealChina has denounced a U.S. act that increases American support for Taiwan internationally.


Russia confirms coronavirus case in Putin's administration, tightens curbs

Russia confirms coronavirus case in Putin's administration, tightens curbsThe Kremlin confirmed a coronavirus case in President Vladimir Putin's administration on Friday and the government said measures imposed in Moscow to fight the virus should be extended across Russia. The Kremlin said it was taking measures to stop the virus spreading further after a staff member in the presidential administration contracted the virus. It said the person had not come into contact with Putin, but declined to identify them.


Now That Canada Is Rationing Masks, Trudeau Faces Backlash for Donating Medical Supplies to China

Now That Canada Is Rationing Masks, Trudeau Faces Backlash for Donating Medical Supplies to ChinaCanada’s Official Opposition Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer took aim at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for shipping tons of medical supplies to China in February, calling the move “outrageous” with current concerns that Canada is running short on supplies amid its own fight against coronavirus.“Drs. across the country are facing urgent shortages of critical supplies. PM must explain why he sent 50,118 face shields, 1,101 masks, 1,820 goggles, 36,425 medical coveralls, 200,000 nitrile gloves and 3,000 aprons from Canada’s own gov't reserves overseas in Feb,” Scheer tweeted.> Outrageous. Drs across the country are facing urgent shortages of critical supplies. PM must explain why he sent 50,118 face shields, 1,101 masks, 1,820 goggles, 36,425 medical coveralls, 200,000 nitrile gloves and 3,000 aprons from Canada’s own gov't reserves overseas in Feb. https://t.co/OkXFErFw57> > -- Andrew Scheer (@AndrewScheer) March 26, 2020 Canada’s Foreign Affairs department announced on February 9 that “Canada has deployed approximately 16 tonnes of personal protective equipment, such as clothing, face shields, masks, goggles and gloves” overseas to China, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.The move came after the World Health Organization warned the international community that “further international exportation of cases may appear in any country” and that “severe coronavirus-related disruptions” would occur as a result.“It was absolutely certain in early February that we would need this equipment,” Amir Attaran, a professor at University of Ottawa’s school of epidemiology and public health and its faculty of law, told The Globe and Mail. "This decision went beyond altruism into high negligence and incompetence because Canada did not, and does not, have surplus equipment to spare.”A spokesman for Foreign Affairs explained to the paper that the decision was made “when the spread of COVID-19 was primarily limited to China,” and that Canada had since “welcomed donations from Chinese companies” to boost its own stockpiles.Local European news outlets reported this week that the majority of rapid coronavirus test kits supplied by China to Spain and the Czech Republic are faulty.


American Airlines flight attendant dies of coronavirus, elevating fears in the industry

American Airlines flight attendant dies of coronavirus, elevating fears in the industryPaul Frishkorn, a Philadelphia-based flight attendant, has died from coronavirus, fueling fears in a profession on the front lines of the pandemic.


Citing virus, EPA has stopped enforcing environmental laws

Citing virus, EPA has stopped enforcing environmental lawsThe Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday abruptly waived enforcement on a range of legally mandated public health and environmental protections, saying industries could have trouble complying with them during the coronavirus pandemic. The oil and gas industry were among the industries that had sought an advance relaxation of environmental and public health enforcement during the outbreak, citing potential staffing problems. The EPA’s decision was sweeping, forgoing fines or other civil penalties for companies that failed to monitor, report or meet some other requirements for releasing hazardous pollutants.


Letters to the Editor: Trump's updates are ridiculous, but they make you wonder: Where is Joe Biden?

Letters to the Editor: Trump's updates are ridiculous, but they make you wonder: Where is Joe Biden?Joe Biden should more forcefully rebut President Trump, whose daily updates on the coronavirus give him precious media coverage.


Half the residents who tested positive for the coronavirus in a Washington nursing home did not yet have symptoms, but they were highly contagious

Half the residents who tested positive for the coronavirus in a Washington nursing home did not yet have symptoms, but they were highly contagiousHalf of COVID-19 cases at a care home were asymptotic. That may mean up to half of contagious patients may not be caught, per a new CDC report.


South Africa begins 'unprecedented' military-patrolled lockdown

South Africa begins 'unprecedented' military-patrolled lockdownSouth Africa came under a nationwide military-patrolled lockdown on Friday, joining other African countries imposing strict curfews and shutdowns in an attempt to halt the spread of the coronavirus across the continent. Some 57 million people are to be restricted to their homes during South Africa's three-week total lockdown which began at midnight. Kenya, Rwanda and Mali are some of the African countries that have imposed restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which has been confirmed to have infected 3,203 people and killed 87.


California Gov. Newsom commutes sentences for 21, including killers

California Gov. Newsom commutes sentences for 21, including killersFourteen of the commuted cases involved murder or related charges.


A 90-year-old woman in Washington state recovered from the coronavirus, and she credits family, God, and potato soup

A 90-year-old woman in Washington state recovered from the coronavirus, and she credits family, God, and potato soupFamily members of 90-year-old COVID-19 patient Geneva Wood were called to the hospital to say their goodbyes. After seeing them, she recovered.


South Korean coronavirus test kit makers win U.S. FDA pre-approval

South Korean coronavirus test kit makers win U.S. FDA pre-approvalThree Korean coronavirus test-kit makers have won preliminary approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), paving the way for kits to be exported to the United States to help it battle the largest outbreak of the virus in the world. South Korea's foreign ministry said that winning the preliminary approval under emergency use authorization will allow the products to be sold in the United States. Earlier this week, U.S. President Donald Trump asked his Korean counterpart to supply the medical devices and promised to help Korean firms gain U.S. regulator approval.


Coalition Out of Crisis: Why Gantz Threw in with Netanyahu

Coalition Out of Crisis: Why Gantz Threw in with NetanyahuAfter more than a year of bitter political dispute and maneuvering, Israel is about to have a coalition government. It took three elections and an unprecedented public-health crisis to get the country to this point.Benny Gantz, a former chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces and the leader of the opposition Blue and White Party, was faced with a choice this week. He could join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, or he could stick to the commitment he’d made to his supporters to bring Bibi down. As the country dealt with the coronavirus pandemic, Gantz’s continued refusal to join a coalition would likely have plunged it into the agony of a fourth election in less than two years. He chose to throw in with Netanyahu.The price of that decision, which Gantz described as a patriotic duty at a time of national distress, was the destruction of the Blue and White. The year-old political alliance had presented the most potent challenge to Netanyahu’s grip on power in more than a decade, propelling Gantz to the brink of becoming his successor.In the new coalition, Gantz will reportedly serve as foreign minister, with Netanyahu continuing as prime minister. The agreement calls for him to switch places with Netanyahu after 18 months, ending the latter’s run as the country’s longest-serving prime minister. But this will not be a broad unity coalition with Netanyahu’s Likud and its right-wing and religious-party allies; rather, Gantz will take only part of his faction into the new government.Gantz took his decision in the midst of a tense and complicated squabble. The Knesset that was elected earlier this month struggled to organize itself in the absence of a governing majority for either Netanyahu or Gantz. Netanyahu and his bloc had 58 seats in the 120-seat parliament, leaving him three short of the votes he needed to continue in power. Gantz had the endorsement of 61 members, but that included the 15 seats held by the Arab Joint List, an alliance of four parties comprising Islamists, Palestinian nationalists, and Communists. A number of Knesset members from the Blue and White refused to serve in a government that depended on the votes of an alliance with the declared intent of ending Israel’s status as a Jewish state. Thus Gantz, too, lacked the votes to create a government.A similar impasse after the two previous elections, held in April and September 2019, had led to the March 2 general election. On both sides of the political divide, there were some who were prepared to take their chances a fourth time in order to get a decisive result. But fate in the form of the coronavirus pandemic intervened.Netanyahu, as the head of a caretaker government, embraced the crisis as only an experienced policymaker and wartime leader could. Some of his leftist critics decried the emergency measures he ordered to contain the coronavirus contagion, charging him with exploiting the crisis to bolster his political standing and to distract the country from the fact that he is still facing trial on three corruption charges. Indeed, some regarded his decision to close the courts, one result of which was to postpone the start of his trial, as an assault on democracy. But polls show that most Israelis believe he is once again demonstrating his competence in dealing with an emergency.The incumbent prime minister knew that, though his opponent couldn’t form a government, Gantz did have the votes to effectively prevent Netanyahu from remaining in power. The critical factor was the position of Speaker of the Knesset, which has been held by a Netanyahu loyalist. A coalition of the Blue and White, smaller leftist parties, and the Joint List could have elected a new Speaker, and the Knesset could then have passed a law banning anyone under indictment from serving as prime minister. To members of the opposition, this was Gantz’s golden opportunity to take Netanyahu down. Indeed, the Blue and White — a diverse alliance including former members of the once-dominant Labor Party, a right-wing faction led by former general and Likud defense minister Moshe Ya’alon, the left-leaning Yesh Atid Party, and Gantz’s own centrist faction — was united by only one common purpose: pushing Netanyahu out the door.Though Gantz entered politics as a much-needed fresh face a year ago, after three bruising election campaigns he is now widely seen as lacking the energy and political skills that Netanyahu possesses. Moreover, Gantz had campaigned on a promise not to form a government that would be dependent on the anti-Zionists of the Joint List, and his flirtation with that alliance in the weeks since the last election had soured voters on the Blue and White. Going to a fourth election was therefore a big risk for the party, with polls suggesting not a big or even a narrow win but in fact a decisive defeat. The electorate leans right to begin with, on top of which it was most likely to want a familiar steady hand to lead the country through the pandemic crisis. Thus Gantz came to the conclusion that joining the prime minister was the only reasonable choice.But if he thought he could bring all of his party with him into Netanyahu’s cabinet, he was dead wrong. Leaders of the factions within the opposition regarded Gantz’s decision as a betrayal, not only of them personally but of the million Israelis who voted for them. Much of Israel’s left-leaning mainstream media, especially columnists in Haaretz, the newspaper that dubs itself Israel’s version of the New York Times, echoed this sentiment, lambasting Gantz for his cowardice and for just being too exhausted to carry on the fight.So what becomes of the Blue and White? Some factions will stay in the opposition, and since they will have more Knesset seats than Gantz’s own faction, they will likely retain the Blue and White label. But in effect, this split spells the end of the party that had presented the most formidable challenge that Netanyahu has faced since 2009. Moreover, given that the factions disagree on most policy questions, the ability of the party, or what’s left of it, to serve as an effective opposition is questionable.The exact terms of Gantz’s deal with Netanyahu have yet to be formalized. Gantz signaled his deal with the prime minister by having himself elected Speaker of the Knesset with Likud support — presumably only until the final bargain is sealed. In doing so, he prevented the Blue and White from wielding any remaining leverage to block the coalition. The arrangement hinges on a rotation of the office of prime minister after 18 months and on allowing Gantz’s allies to lead the ministries of defense and justice. Having one of Gantz’s allies in the latter post will ensure that, once the national coronavirus lockdown has been lifted and the courts reopened, Netanyahu’s trial will go forward.As things stand, it appears that Netanyahu’s rule will end either with a conviction or with the prime minister’s scheduled handing over of the office to Gantz — whichever comes first. Still, many in the Likud as well as Blue and White believe that if Netanyahu is acquitted, he will find a way to renege on his deal with Gantz. Indeed, it may be that Gantz suspects the same thing.Gantz has gone from the savior of Israel’s left-wing opposition to its bête noire. But he understood that the political stalemate could not go on: It was preventing the country from passing a budget that was needed, most urgently, to provide relief to citizens in the face of the pandemic and to shore up the economy. Dragging out the stalemate was neither rational policy nor good politics. Deciding to end it may have cost Gantz a political future, since it’s unlikely he will be able to reassemble another formidable coalition. Whether or not he really does become prime minister in September 2021, Gantz decided that destroying his party was not too high a price to pay for saving his country from further chaos in the midst of a pandemic.


Airlines owe you a refund when they cancel a flight. So why is United balking during coronavirus crisis?

Airlines owe you a refund when they cancel a flight. So why is United balking during coronavirus crisis?Airlines are supposed to refund flyers' money if they cancel a flight. United has introduced more restrictive policies during the coronavirus crisis.


Pedestrian bridge falls onto Detroit freeway after collision

Pedestrian bridge falls onto Detroit freeway after collisionA truck collided with a pedestrian bridge early Friday in Detroit, sending a portion of the span onto a freeway and blocking traffic along part of the heavily traveled thoroughfare, authorities said. No one was injured in the collapse onto westbound Interstate 94, Lt. Mike Shaw, a Michigan State Police spokesman, said in an email. The freeway in both directions was closed after the collapse, which was caused by a truck apparently carrying a large load hitting the bridge at some point after 5 a.m, said Diane Cross, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Transportation.


Cuomo Says Ventilator Needs Not Based on ‘Feelings’ After Trump Attack

Cuomo Says Ventilator Needs Not Based on ‘Feelings’ After Trump AttackNew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo hit back at Donald Trump on Friday after the president said he “felt” that New York, the struggling epicenter of the coronavirus, did not need the 30,000 ventilators officials have demanded.With 519 deaths and 44,635 confirmed cases, of which 6,481 require hospitalization, the coronavirus pandemic has put New York’s medical facilities on the brink. Cuomo has been practically begging for ventilators for days, slamming the federal government for initially sending 400 from the national stockpile when the state needed 30,000. The Trump administration later sent 4,000 more.In an interview on Fox News on Thursday night, Trump said he doubted that states, including New York, actually needed the amount of equipment they were asking for.“I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they’re going to be. I don’t believe that you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators,” he said.Then, on Friday, he wrote a series of frenzied tweets, saying General Motors, which reportedly had a plan to make ventilators that was rejected by the federal government, must immediately open a plant for production. “START MAKING VENTILATORS, NOW!!!!!! FORD, GET GOING ON VENTILATORS, FAST!!!!!!” he tweeted. (Despite his tweets, Trump had still not implemented the Defense Production Act, which forces companies to manufacture supplies, White House officials told The Daily Beast.)In a Friday briefing at the Javits Center, which is being converted into a massive emergency hospital, Cuomo did not name-check Trump but said equipment needs were not based on “feelings.”“Look I don’t have a crystal ball, everybody is entitled to their own opinion but I don’t operate here on opinion,” he said. “I operate on facts and on data and on numbers and on projections.”He said experts’ projections for New York predict that the state will hit its apex for hospitalization rates in 21 days. The state is building a stockpile of resources for when that apex hits and the entire system is stressed, Cuomo said. That includes 3,000 ventilators that would be distributed to hospitals as needs arise—a fraction of the total 30,000 needed across the state.“Those are numbers, not ‘I feel, I think, I believe, I want to believe.’ Make the decisions based on the data and the science,” he said. “I hope we don’t need 30,000 ventilators, I hope some natural weather change happens overnight and kills the virus globally. That’s what I hope. But that’s my hope, that’s my emotion, that’s my thought. The numbers say you may need 30,000.”Health-care workers say ICU and emergency rooms in New York are “under siege” and running desperately low on personal protective gear and medical equipment, including ventilators.“We have never seen anything like this, and we are so unprepared for the need that seems to grow daily,” an NYU Langone doctor told The Daily Beast on Thursday. “Honestly, I’m terrified.”The U.S. now has more coronavirus cases than anywhere else in the world, with 86,012 positive diagnoses, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tracker.Cuomo announced on Friday that the state was building another four emergency hospitals in convention centers, university stadiums, and shipping terminals, on top of four makeshift facilities already being built, to meet the 140,000 beds needed.“We are doing things that have never been done before,” he said.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.


U.S. warship passes through the sensitive Taiwan Strait amid heightened tensions

U.S. warship passes through the sensitive Taiwan Strait amid heightened tensionsA U.S. warship passed through the sensitive Taiwan Strait on Wednesday, the U.S. and Taiwan militaries said, following heightened tensions between China and Taiwan that have seen Taiwanese air force jets scramble to intercept Chinese fighters.


Why the US is leading the world in confirmed coronavirus cases

Why the US is leading the world in confirmed coronavirus casesFrom the first known patient in late January to now almost 100,000 infected, the United States has earned the unwanted distinction of leading the world in confirmed coronavirus cases. Public health experts say that while we've yet to hit the peak of the US epidemic, there are several reasons why the COVID-19 disease has exploded in America. Early on in the outbreak, President Donald Trump was accused of downplaying its severity, saying that sustained community spread was not "inevitable" even after a senior health official said it was, which could have led to a sense of complacency.


Spain, Europe's worst-hit country after Italy, says coronavirus tests it bought from China are failing to detect positive cases

Spain, Europe's worst-hit country after Italy, says coronavirus tests it bought from China are failing to detect positive casesSpanish researchers found that the tests could identify cases only 30% of the time. Testing delays could hamper Spain's efforts to slow the virus.


Coronavirus unemployment benefits. Here's who qualifies and how much they get.

Coronavirus unemployment benefits. Here's who qualifies and how much they get.How long do the payments last? What if you worked part time? You got hired but couldn't start your job — are you eligible? And more.


Pope holds dramatic solitary service for relief from coronavirus

Pope holds dramatic solitary service for relief from coronavirusPope Francis said the coronavirus had put everyone "in the same boat" as he held a dramatic, solitary prayer service in St. Peter's Square on Friday, urging the world to see the crisis as a test of solidarity and a reminder of basic values. "Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities," he said, speaking from the steps of St. Peter's Basilica into an eerily empty and rainy square before delivering an extraordinary "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) blessing - something he normally does only twice a year. The Vatican called the service "An Extraordinary Prayer in the Time of Pandemic," a sombre echo of an announcement by Italian officials minutes earlier that the coronavirus death toll in the country had surged past 9,000.


In Singapore, Standing Too Close Can Now Get You 6 Months in Jail

In Singapore, Standing Too Close Can Now Get You 6 Months in JailSingapore's drastic new measure drastic measures are an attempt to try to curb the surge of coronavirus


Fact check: Did Gates Foundation fund, does Pirbright Institute own coronavirus patent?

Fact check: Did Gates Foundation fund, does Pirbright Institute own coronavirus patent?Multiple posts on Facebook claim that Pirbright Institute, with ties to the Gates Foundation, owns the patent on the coronavirus. This is false.


Water shutoffs in sharp focus amid coronavirus outbreak

Water shutoffs in sharp focus amid coronavirus outbreakThe advice is simple and universal: Washing your hands with soap and water is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The Rev. Roslyn Bouier remembers when children began to show up at the Brightmoor Connection Food Pantry on Detroit’s northwest side, clutching empty pitchers. Through the end of 2019, the city has recorded about 127,500 total service cutoffs, according to the water department, though that figure includes households where the water was turned off repeatedly.


Opinion: Trump isn't alone in worrying about closing churches during the pandemic

Opinion: Trump isn't alone in worrying about closing churches during the pandemicChristians are debating whether a total shutdown of church services is necessary.


The UK government claims it failed to take part in an EU scheme for coronavirus ventilators because it didn't see the email asking it to take part

The UK government claims it failed to take part in an EU scheme for coronavirus ventilators because it didn't see the email asking it to take partThe UK government is accused of putting "Brexit before breathing" after failing to sign up to an EU scheme for coronavirus ventilators.


Dour Moscow mayor сomes to fore as 'PM for coronavirus'

Dour Moscow mayor сomes to fore as 'PM for coronavirus'At a televised meeting with Vladimir Putin, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin flatly told the President that official figures on COVID-19 cases were far from the reality. After that reality check, the official narrative changed swiftly: Putin, who had called the situation "under control", on Wednesday gave a grim-faced address to the nation. "Putin signed up to Sobyanin's position," opposition politician Vladimir Ryzhkov said on the popular Echo of Moscow radio station.


In Iran, false belief a poison fights virus kills hundreds

In Iran, false belief a poison fights virus kills hundredsStanding over the still body of an intubated 5-year-old boy wearing nothing but a plastic diaper, an Iranian health care worker in a hazmat suit and mask begged the public for just one thing: Stop drinking industrial alcohol over fears about the new coronavirus. The boy, now blind after his parents gave him toxic methanol in the mistaken belief it protects against the virus, is just one of hundreds of victims of an epidemic inside the pandemic now gripping Iran. Iranian media report nearly 300 people have been killed and more than 1,000 sickened so far by ingesting methanol across the Islamic Republic, where drinking alcohol is banned and where those who do rely on bootleggers.


Democratic Super-PAC defies Trump, ramps up ad blasting coronavirus response

Democratic Super-PAC defies Trump, ramps up ad blasting coronavirus responseDemocratic super-PAC Priorities USA said on Thursday it planned to expand its use of an advertisement critical of President Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic despite the Trump reelection campaign's efforts to stop it.


South Korean test kit makers swamped as coronavirus cases explode in U.S., Europe

South Korean test kit makers swamped as coronavirus cases explode in U.S., EuropeLast year, South Korean biotech firm SolGent made diagnostic kits for 300,000 tests. SolGent, which is one of the five firms that have received fast-track approval to make test kits for South Korea, is capitalizing on the country's success in containing its outbreak to boost exports, with cases slowing down at home. SolGent has even got offers from three U.S. biotech firms to license its technology so that they can manufacture test kits in the United States, You said, adding nothing has been decided.


Catholics allowed to eat meat on Lenten Fridays

Catholics allowed to eat meat on Lenten FridaysSome bishops this year are telling parishioners that they've sacrificed enough as the coronavirus pandemic denies people of gatherings, outside entertainment and everyday conveniences.


Fact check: Not true that no Democrats voted for coronavirus stimulus package

Fact check: Not true that no Democrats voted for coronavirus stimulus packageA viral meme on Facebook claimed March 22 that no Democrats had voted in favor of helping Americans through an economic stimulus bill. This is false.


Biden reportedly says Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is in his 'top three' picks for VP

Biden reportedly says Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is in his 'top three' picks for VPWhile reportedly setting up video equipment in Delaware over four days, former Vice President Joe Biden was apparently mulling over possible running mates.Biden told former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) is one of his "top three" choices should he win the Democratic presidential nomination, Mediaite reported Thursday.Reid, who was also a longtime senator representing Nevada, is reportedly nudging Biden toward choosing Cortez Masto as his VP, and Biden's campaign apparently feels she would be a strong choice and could help expand Biden's popularity among Latinx voters. Biden publicly committed to choosing a woman as his vice president if nominated over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), sparking endless speculation over who that woman might be. CNBC says Biden's "business allies" are hoping for Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) or Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), two former presidential candidates themselves. The Washington Post, meanwhile, said Biden's shortlist probably included Cortez Masto, but also named more well-known Democrats like former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. Biden's campaign declined to dispute Mediaite's reporting, simply saying he would vigorously vet candidates.New York magazine wrote that Biden is spending his "coronavirus bunker" time "thinking a lot" about a potential VP, and taking lots of calls from supporters and Democratic strategists who are pushing Biden to pick their candidate of choice. None of those calls, however, resulted in much reported information on whether Biden had narrowed his list.Biden told The View on Tuesday his "short" list was between "12 and 15" names, but if his reported statement to Reid is to be believed, he's done a lot of whittling in the past few days. Read more at Mediaite and New York.More stories from theweek.com Social distancing is about to get a whole lot harder Trump has never been worse — but his approval is surging. Why? Trump invokes Defense Protection Act to force GM to make ventilators


Dr. Fauci Contradicts Trump to Trevor Noah: Can’t ‘Arbitrarily’ Reopen America

Dr. Fauci Contradicts Trump to Trevor Noah: Can’t ‘Arbitrarily’ Reopen AmericaTrevor Noah landed the first late-night interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases appeared remotely on Thursday night’s edition of “The Daily Social Distancing Show.”Fauci began by characterizing the coronavirus as the “worst nightmare” from a pandemic perspective, more “frightening” than Ebola because it spreads more easily and is more “insidious” than the seasonal flu because it’s about 10 times as deadly.As with his livestream interview with Steph Curry earlier in the day, Fauci’s primary objective in talking to Noah was communicating to young people why they should be more scared of the virus than they might think. “We know that people who are older or people who have underlying respiratory infections have a higher chance of dying from the virus,” Noah said. “But I think people have started to believe that that means young people are immune and cannot get sick from coronavirus. What are people not understanding from the numbers?” Fauci made two points in response. “Even though you are young, you are not absolutely invulnerable,” he said, explaining that even people in their 30s and 40s with no underlying conditions can end up in the hospital, requiring intensive care. “If you think you are completely invulnerable, you are incorrect,” he said.Joe Biden Jokes About Trump and Sarah Palin With Jimmy KimmelSamantha Bee on Making Comedy Amidst ‘Unimaginable’ Tragedy“Second issue that is important, that even though you may not get seriously ill, you can get infected with relatively few symptoms, either asymptomatic or mild, relatively trivial symptoms, but then you can infect another person who would then infect a vulnerable person, who would then die,” he continued. “So you have a responsibility, not only to protect yourself, but you almost have a societal, moral responsibility to protect other people.” Without criticizing Donald Trump directly, Fauci made sure to dismiss some of the president’s overly optimistic messages to the American people, from the viability of the drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment to the promise that people will be able to gather in large numbers by Easter.“The virus is the clock, Trevor,” Fauci said. “So people say arbitrarily two weeks we’re going to be OK. It depends on the kinetics of the outbreak.” He explained that it is “unpredictable” when any country will complete its infection cycle but pointed out that it took about eight weeks for things to start leveling off in China. And that is with much stricter measures taken than have been put in place in the U.S.As he was wrapping up the interview, Noah told Fauci, “Stay safe and wash your hands because of that fake cough you did.” For more, listen to Daily Show correspondent Jordan Klepper on The Last Laugh podcast. 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.


A massive stockpile of 39 million N95 masks is being sold to American hospitals and local governments — about 27 million more than the US emergency stockpile

A massive stockpile of 39 million N95 masks is being sold to American hospitals and local governments — about 27 million more than the US emergency stockpileThe Service Employees International Union said in a statement Thursday, circulating on Twitter, that it had found 39 million masks for hospitals.


Italy, Spain suffer record virus deaths as British PM tests positive

Italy, Spain suffer record virus deaths as British PM tests positiveItaly on Friday recorded the most daily deaths of any country since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and Spain had its deadliest day, as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson became the first major world leader to test positive. Italy reported 969 new deaths, Spain 769 and France 299 as Europe reeled from a crisis that led the United States on Friday to finalise an unprecedented $2 trillion stimulus package. In other grim milestones, AFP tallies showed more than 26,000 deaths worldwide, and a total of 300,000 cases now recorded in Europe, after the United States overtook China as the country with the most infections.


US couple, adopted daughter, caught in India virus lockdown

US couple, adopted daughter, caught in India virus lockdownA Georgia couple who traveled to India to adopt a child have had to delay bringing their new daughter back to the United States after Indian authorities locked down the country because of the coronavirus. India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on Tuesday announced a three-week lockdown in the country of 1.3 billion people, meaning that citizens and visitors alike may only leave their homes or hotels for food, medicine or other essential needs. The order is meant to keep the virus from surging and overwhelming an already strained health care system, but it has also left Mike and Whitney Saville of Auburn, Georgia, with little hope of getting back home with their daughter Grace anytime soon.


In shadow of coronavirus, Congress contemplates 'one of the biggest rule changes in the last century'

In shadow of coronavirus, Congress contemplates 'one of the biggest rule changes in the last century'The pandemic has left multiple members of Congress in quarantine and led to restrictions on movement that could prevent the House from voting.


Florida man whose 'game changer' coronavirus treatment was touted by Trump is a believer, but warns: Don't try this at home

Florida man whose 'game changer' coronavirus treatment was touted by Trump is a believer, but warns: Don't try this at homeDespite warnings from experts that existing evidence of hydroxychloroquine’s effect on coronavirus symptoms is limited and largely anecdotal, President Trump’s promotion of the prospective treatment has prompted stockpiling and fatally misinformed attempts to self-medicate. 


A Connecticut doctor has been charged after authorities said he deliberately coughed on his coworkers

A Connecticut doctor has been charged after authorities said he deliberately coughed on his coworkersPeople across the United States have been arrested and charged in recent days after allegedly violating social distancing measures.


Asia virus latest: People return to China epicentre, security talks off

Asia virus latest: People return to China epicentre, security talks offWuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus first emerged last year, partly reopened on Saturday after more than two months of near total isolation for its population of 11 million. AFP saw crowds of passengers arriving at Wuhan railway station on Saturday, most wheeling suitcases alongside them. A top Asian security conference that gathers defence ministers -- including from the US and China -- and senior military officials was cancelled due to the pandemic.


Coronavirus outbreak diverts Navy aircraft carrier to Guam, all 5,000 aboard to be tested

Coronavirus outbreak diverts Navy aircraft carrier to Guam, all 5,000 aboard to be testedThe number of infected sailors has risen sharply — from initial reports of three to "dozens" as of Thursday, officials said.


AP Sources: Alleged Maduro co-conspirator is in DEA custody

AP Sources: Alleged Maduro co-conspirator is in DEA custodyA retired Venezuelan army general indicted alongside Nicolás Maduro has surrendered in Colombia and is being taken by Drug Enforcement Administration agents to New York for arraignment, four people familiar with the situation said Friday. Cliver Alcalá has been an outspoken critic of Maduro for years.


Japan's Abe vows unprecedented stimulus, Tokyo virus cases rise by daily record

Japan's Abe vows unprecedented stimulus, Tokyo virus cases rise by daily recordJapan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday promised a massive unprecedented package of steps to cushion the economy from the coronavirus pandemic, saying the country was close to a national emergency as infections surged in Tokyo. Abe told a country that is seeing a rising number of deaths and cases from the outbreak that the "huge, powerful" measures would be greater than the response to the global financial crisis of 2008. "Japan is holding up barely, but it would not be strange if there were a rapid spread (of the virus) at any time," Abe told a nationally televised news conference, though he held back from declaring a state of emergency.


Chinese State Media Falsely Claim U.S. Army Athlete Brought Coronavirus to China

Chinese State Media Falsely Claim U.S. Army Athlete Brought Coronavirus to ChinaChinese state-run media are citing an American conspiracy theorist to push claims that coronavirus was brought to China by a U.S. military athlete.The Global Times claimed in an article Wednesday that the coronavirus, which was first discovered in Wuhan, was in fact manufactured in a U.S. military lab and brought to China by a cyclist who took part in the World Military Games in Wuhan in October.The CCP-run paper cites known U.S. conspiracy theorist George Webb as the source for the claim, which it admits lacks “strong evidence” but still raises questions about the U.S. athletes who traveled to Wuhan.The Global Times also quotes Li Haidong, a professor of U.S. studies at the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, who challenges the U.S. to release “relevant information regarding the athlete’s health status and infection records to clear public doubts and help with the scientific study on the virus' origin.”China has pushed propaganda to distance itself from blame for the spread of COVID-19, after suppressing initial reports of human-to-human transmission and silencing labs that discovered the novel virus resembled the deadly SARS virus of 2002-2003.On February 27, Zhong Nanshan, a primary pulmonologist said at a press conference, that “the coronavirus first appeared in China but may not have originated in China.”The efforts have led to scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers, who have proposed holding China accountable for the coverup.“Since day one, the Chinese Communist Party intentionally lied to the world about the origin of this pandemic. The CCP was aware of the reality of the virus as early as December but ordered laboratories to destroy samples and forced doctors to keep silent,” Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) said in the release of a resolution calling for an international investigation to determine how the Chinese Communist Party directly contributed to the emerging global pandemic.Multiple mainstream outlets have been complicit in serving the interests of Chinese state media.The Global Times also used footage this week from U.S. mainstream media criticizing President Trump's use of the term "Chinese virus" to suggest any scrutiny of China's handling of the coronavirus is racist.> The US President’s rhetoric in using “Chinese virus” to describe COVID19, has sparked fierce public criticism from all walks of life in the US. pic.twitter.com/RMljngN7P3> > -- Global Times (@globaltimesnews) March 23, 2020The Daily Caller reported Wednesday that The Daily Mail, the popular British tabloid, has also been pushing Chinese propaganda by publishing dozens of coronavirus-related stories originating from People’s Daily, the communist party’s official newspaper.The Economist is running advertorials — ads designed to look like news stories — from the state-backed Beijing Review in its print issues, The Washington Free Beacon reported Thursday.


Coronavirus: 3 migrant children in US custody in New York test positive

Coronavirus: 3 migrant children in US custody in New York test positiveThree migrant children in U.S. government custody in New York test positive for coronavirus, officials said.


Merkel Pleads With Germans for Patience on Lockdown Measures
Trump tweets blame in all directions over ventilators for coronavirus, except at himself

Trump tweets blame in all directions over ventilators for coronavirus, except at himselfHours after a Fox News interview in which he downplayed a national shortage of hospital ventilators to treat patients infected with the coronavirus, President Trump fired off a number of tweets Friday blaming General Motors and its CEO, Mary Barra, for not manufacturing more of them.


A Wuhan seafood vendor believed to be one of the first coronavirus patients says 'a lot fewer people would have died' if the Chinese government acted sooner

A Wuhan seafood vendor believed to be one of the first coronavirus patients says 'a lot fewer people would have died' if the Chinese government acted soonerWei Guixian, a 57-year-old seafood vendor in Wuhan, China, was among the first 27 people to be diagnosed with the coronavirus.


Pope faces coronavirus 'tempest' alone in St Peter's Square

Pope faces coronavirus 'tempest' alone in St Peter's SquarePope Francis stood alone in vast Saint Peter's Square Friday to bless Catholics around the world suffering under the coronavirus pandemic, urging people to ease their fears through faith. In a historic first, the Argentine performed the rarely recited "Urbi et Orbi" blessing from the steps of the basilica to an empty square, addressing those in lockdown across the globe via television, radio and social media.


Alabama girl, 4, missing for nearly two days, found safe

Alabama girl, 4, missing for nearly two days, found safeEvelyn Vadie Sides and her dog have been reunited with worried loved ones.


China threatens to strike back after Taiwan deal

China threatens to strike back after Taiwan dealChina has denounced a U.S. act that increases American support for Taiwan internationally.


Russia confirms coronavirus case in Putin's administration, tightens curbs

Russia confirms coronavirus case in Putin's administration, tightens curbsThe Kremlin confirmed a coronavirus case in President Vladimir Putin's administration on Friday and the government said measures imposed in Moscow to fight the virus should be extended across Russia. The Kremlin said it was taking measures to stop the virus spreading further after a staff member in the presidential administration contracted the virus. It said the person had not come into contact with Putin, but declined to identify them.


Now That Canada Is Rationing Masks, Trudeau Faces Backlash for Donating Medical Supplies to China

Now That Canada Is Rationing Masks, Trudeau Faces Backlash for Donating Medical Supplies to ChinaCanada’s Official Opposition Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer took aim at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for shipping tons of medical supplies to China in February, calling the move “outrageous” with current concerns that Canada is running short on supplies amid its own fight against coronavirus.“Drs. across the country are facing urgent shortages of critical supplies. PM must explain why he sent 50,118 face shields, 1,101 masks, 1,820 goggles, 36,425 medical coveralls, 200,000 nitrile gloves and 3,000 aprons from Canada’s own gov't reserves overseas in Feb,” Scheer tweeted.> Outrageous. Drs across the country are facing urgent shortages of critical supplies. PM must explain why he sent 50,118 face shields, 1,101 masks, 1,820 goggles, 36,425 medical coveralls, 200,000 nitrile gloves and 3,000 aprons from Canada’s own gov't reserves overseas in Feb. https://t.co/OkXFErFw57> > -- Andrew Scheer (@AndrewScheer) March 26, 2020 Canada’s Foreign Affairs department announced on February 9 that “Canada has deployed approximately 16 tonnes of personal protective equipment, such as clothing, face shields, masks, goggles and gloves” overseas to China, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.The move came after the World Health Organization warned the international community that “further international exportation of cases may appear in any country” and that “severe coronavirus-related disruptions” would occur as a result.“It was absolutely certain in early February that we would need this equipment,” Amir Attaran, a professor at University of Ottawa’s school of epidemiology and public health and its faculty of law, told The Globe and Mail. "This decision went beyond altruism into high negligence and incompetence because Canada did not, and does not, have surplus equipment to spare.”A spokesman for Foreign Affairs explained to the paper that the decision was made “when the spread of COVID-19 was primarily limited to China,” and that Canada had since “welcomed donations from Chinese companies” to boost its own stockpiles.Local European news outlets reported this week that the majority of rapid coronavirus test kits supplied by China to Spain and the Czech Republic are faulty.


American Airlines flight attendant dies of coronavirus, elevating fears in the industry

American Airlines flight attendant dies of coronavirus, elevating fears in the industryPaul Frishkorn, a Philadelphia-based flight attendant, has died from coronavirus, fueling fears in a profession on the front lines of the pandemic.


Citing virus, EPA has stopped enforcing environmental laws

Citing virus, EPA has stopped enforcing environmental lawsThe Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday abruptly waived enforcement on a range of legally mandated public health and environmental protections, saying industries could have trouble complying with them during the coronavirus pandemic. The oil and gas industry were among the industries that had sought an advance relaxation of environmental and public health enforcement during the outbreak, citing potential staffing problems. The EPA’s decision was sweeping, forgoing fines or other civil penalties for companies that failed to monitor, report or meet some other requirements for releasing hazardous pollutants.


Letters to the Editor: Trump's updates are ridiculous, but they make you wonder: Where is Joe Biden?

Letters to the Editor: Trump's updates are ridiculous, but they make you wonder: Where is Joe Biden?Joe Biden should more forcefully rebut President Trump, whose daily updates on the coronavirus give him precious media coverage.


Half the residents who tested positive for the coronavirus in a Washington nursing home did not yet have symptoms, but they were highly contagious

Half the residents who tested positive for the coronavirus in a Washington nursing home did not yet have symptoms, but they were highly contagiousHalf of COVID-19 cases at a care home were asymptotic. That may mean up to half of contagious patients may not be caught, per a new CDC report.


South Africa begins 'unprecedented' military-patrolled lockdown

South Africa begins 'unprecedented' military-patrolled lockdownSouth Africa came under a nationwide military-patrolled lockdown on Friday, joining other African countries imposing strict curfews and shutdowns in an attempt to halt the spread of the coronavirus across the continent. Some 57 million people are to be restricted to their homes during South Africa's three-week total lockdown which began at midnight. Kenya, Rwanda and Mali are some of the African countries that have imposed restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which has been confirmed to have infected 3,203 people and killed 87.


California Gov. Newsom commutes sentences for 21, including killers

California Gov. Newsom commutes sentences for 21, including killersFourteen of the commuted cases involved murder or related charges.


A 90-year-old woman in Washington state recovered from the coronavirus, and she credits family, God, and potato soup

A 90-year-old woman in Washington state recovered from the coronavirus, and she credits family, God, and potato soupFamily members of 90-year-old COVID-19 patient Geneva Wood were called to the hospital to say their goodbyes. After seeing them, she recovered.


South Korean coronavirus test kit makers win U.S. FDA pre-approval

South Korean coronavirus test kit makers win U.S. FDA pre-approvalThree Korean coronavirus test-kit makers have won preliminary approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), paving the way for kits to be exported to the United States to help it battle the largest outbreak of the virus in the world. South Korea's foreign ministry said that winning the preliminary approval under emergency use authorization will allow the products to be sold in the United States. Earlier this week, U.S. President Donald Trump asked his Korean counterpart to supply the medical devices and promised to help Korean firms gain U.S. regulator approval.


Coalition Out of Crisis: Why Gantz Threw in with Netanyahu

Coalition Out of Crisis: Why Gantz Threw in with NetanyahuAfter more than a year of bitter political dispute and maneuvering, Israel is about to have a coalition government. It took three elections and an unprecedented public-health crisis to get the country to this point.Benny Gantz, a former chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces and the leader of the opposition Blue and White Party, was faced with a choice this week. He could join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, or he could stick to the commitment he’d made to his supporters to bring Bibi down. As the country dealt with the coronavirus pandemic, Gantz’s continued refusal to join a coalition would likely have plunged it into the agony of a fourth election in less than two years. He chose to throw in with Netanyahu.The price of that decision, which Gantz described as a patriotic duty at a time of national distress, was the destruction of the Blue and White. The year-old political alliance had presented the most potent challenge to Netanyahu’s grip on power in more than a decade, propelling Gantz to the brink of becoming his successor.In the new coalition, Gantz will reportedly serve as foreign minister, with Netanyahu continuing as prime minister. The agreement calls for him to switch places with Netanyahu after 18 months, ending the latter’s run as the country’s longest-serving prime minister. But this will not be a broad unity coalition with Netanyahu’s Likud and its right-wing and religious-party allies; rather, Gantz will take only part of his faction into the new government.Gantz took his decision in the midst of a tense and complicated squabble. The Knesset that was elected earlier this month struggled to organize itself in the absence of a governing majority for either Netanyahu or Gantz. Netanyahu and his bloc had 58 seats in the 120-seat parliament, leaving him three short of the votes he needed to continue in power. Gantz had the endorsement of 61 members, but that included the 15 seats held by the Arab Joint List, an alliance of four parties comprising Islamists, Palestinian nationalists, and Communists. A number of Knesset members from the Blue and White refused to serve in a government that depended on the votes of an alliance with the declared intent of ending Israel’s status as a Jewish state. Thus Gantz, too, lacked the votes to create a government.A similar impasse after the two previous elections, held in April and September 2019, had led to the March 2 general election. On both sides of the political divide, there were some who were prepared to take their chances a fourth time in order to get a decisive result. But fate in the form of the coronavirus pandemic intervened.Netanyahu, as the head of a caretaker government, embraced the crisis as only an experienced policymaker and wartime leader could. Some of his leftist critics decried the emergency measures he ordered to contain the coronavirus contagion, charging him with exploiting the crisis to bolster his political standing and to distract the country from the fact that he is still facing trial on three corruption charges. Indeed, some regarded his decision to close the courts, one result of which was to postpone the start of his trial, as an assault on democracy. But polls show that most Israelis believe he is once again demonstrating his competence in dealing with an emergency.The incumbent prime minister knew that, though his opponent couldn’t form a government, Gantz did have the votes to effectively prevent Netanyahu from remaining in power. The critical factor was the position of Speaker of the Knesset, which has been held by a Netanyahu loyalist. A coalition of the Blue and White, smaller leftist parties, and the Joint List could have elected a new Speaker, and the Knesset could then have passed a law banning anyone under indictment from serving as prime minister. To members of the opposition, this was Gantz’s golden opportunity to take Netanyahu down. Indeed, the Blue and White — a diverse alliance including former members of the once-dominant Labor Party, a right-wing faction led by former general and Likud defense minister Moshe Ya’alon, the left-leaning Yesh Atid Party, and Gantz’s own centrist faction — was united by only one common purpose: pushing Netanyahu out the door.Though Gantz entered politics as a much-needed fresh face a year ago, after three bruising election campaigns he is now widely seen as lacking the energy and political skills that Netanyahu possesses. Moreover, Gantz had campaigned on a promise not to form a government that would be dependent on the anti-Zionists of the Joint List, and his flirtation with that alliance in the weeks since the last election had soured voters on the Blue and White. Going to a fourth election was therefore a big risk for the party, with polls suggesting not a big or even a narrow win but in fact a decisive defeat. The electorate leans right to begin with, on top of which it was most likely to want a familiar steady hand to lead the country through the pandemic crisis. Thus Gantz came to the conclusion that joining the prime minister was the only reasonable choice.But if he thought he could bring all of his party with him into Netanyahu’s cabinet, he was dead wrong. Leaders of the factions within the opposition regarded Gantz’s decision as a betrayal, not only of them personally but of the million Israelis who voted for them. Much of Israel’s left-leaning mainstream media, especially columnists in Haaretz, the newspaper that dubs itself Israel’s version of the New York Times, echoed this sentiment, lambasting Gantz for his cowardice and for just being too exhausted to carry on the fight.So what becomes of the Blue and White? Some factions will stay in the opposition, and since they will have more Knesset seats than Gantz’s own faction, they will likely retain the Blue and White label. But in effect, this split spells the end of the party that had presented the most formidable challenge that Netanyahu has faced since 2009. Moreover, given that the factions disagree on most policy questions, the ability of the party, or what’s left of it, to serve as an effective opposition is questionable.The exact terms of Gantz’s deal with Netanyahu have yet to be formalized. Gantz signaled his deal with the prime minister by having himself elected Speaker of the Knesset with Likud support — presumably only until the final bargain is sealed. In doing so, he prevented the Blue and White from wielding any remaining leverage to block the coalition. The arrangement hinges on a rotation of the office of prime minister after 18 months and on allowing Gantz’s allies to lead the ministries of defense and justice. Having one of Gantz’s allies in the latter post will ensure that, once the national coronavirus lockdown has been lifted and the courts reopened, Netanyahu’s trial will go forward.As things stand, it appears that Netanyahu’s rule will end either with a conviction or with the prime minister’s scheduled handing over of the office to Gantz — whichever comes first. Still, many in the Likud as well as Blue and White believe that if Netanyahu is acquitted, he will find a way to renege on his deal with Gantz. Indeed, it may be that Gantz suspects the same thing.Gantz has gone from the savior of Israel’s left-wing opposition to its bête noire. But he understood that the political stalemate could not go on: It was preventing the country from passing a budget that was needed, most urgently, to provide relief to citizens in the face of the pandemic and to shore up the economy. Dragging out the stalemate was neither rational policy nor good politics. Deciding to end it may have cost Gantz a political future, since it’s unlikely he will be able to reassemble another formidable coalition. Whether or not he really does become prime minister in September 2021, Gantz decided that destroying his party was not too high a price to pay for saving his country from further chaos in the midst of a pandemic.


Airlines owe you a refund when they cancel a flight. So why is United balking during coronavirus crisis?

Airlines owe you a refund when they cancel a flight. So why is United balking during coronavirus crisis?Airlines are supposed to refund flyers' money if they cancel a flight. United has introduced more restrictive policies during the coronavirus crisis.


Pedestrian bridge falls onto Detroit freeway after collision

Pedestrian bridge falls onto Detroit freeway after collisionA truck collided with a pedestrian bridge early Friday in Detroit, sending a portion of the span onto a freeway and blocking traffic along part of the heavily traveled thoroughfare, authorities said. No one was injured in the collapse onto westbound Interstate 94, Lt. Mike Shaw, a Michigan State Police spokesman, said in an email. The freeway in both directions was closed after the collapse, which was caused by a truck apparently carrying a large load hitting the bridge at some point after 5 a.m, said Diane Cross, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Transportation.


Cuomo Says Ventilator Needs Not Based on ‘Feelings’ After Trump Attack

Cuomo Says Ventilator Needs Not Based on ‘Feelings’ After Trump AttackNew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo hit back at Donald Trump on Friday after the president said he “felt” that New York, the struggling epicenter of the coronavirus, did not need the 30,000 ventilators officials have demanded.With 519 deaths and 44,635 confirmed cases, of which 6,481 require hospitalization, the coronavirus pandemic has put New York’s medical facilities on the brink. Cuomo has been practically begging for ventilators for days, slamming the federal government for initially sending 400 from the national stockpile when the state needed 30,000. The Trump administration later sent 4,000 more.In an interview on Fox News on Thursday night, Trump said he doubted that states, including New York, actually needed the amount of equipment they were asking for.“I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they’re going to be. I don’t believe that you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators,” he said.Then, on Friday, he wrote a series of frenzied tweets, saying General Motors, which reportedly had a plan to make ventilators that was rejected by the federal government, must immediately open a plant for production. “START MAKING VENTILATORS, NOW!!!!!! FORD, GET GOING ON VENTILATORS, FAST!!!!!!” he tweeted. (Despite his tweets, Trump had still not implemented the Defense Production Act, which forces companies to manufacture supplies, White House officials told The Daily Beast.)In a Friday briefing at the Javits Center, which is being converted into a massive emergency hospital, Cuomo did not name-check Trump but said equipment needs were not based on “feelings.”“Look I don’t have a crystal ball, everybody is entitled to their own opinion but I don’t operate here on opinion,” he said. “I operate on facts and on data and on numbers and on projections.”He said experts’ projections for New York predict that the state will hit its apex for hospitalization rates in 21 days. The state is building a stockpile of resources for when that apex hits and the entire system is stressed, Cuomo said. That includes 3,000 ventilators that would be distributed to hospitals as needs arise—a fraction of the total 30,000 needed across the state.“Those are numbers, not ‘I feel, I think, I believe, I want to believe.’ Make the decisions based on the data and the science,” he said. “I hope we don’t need 30,000 ventilators, I hope some natural weather change happens overnight and kills the virus globally. That’s what I hope. But that’s my hope, that’s my emotion, that’s my thought. The numbers say you may need 30,000.”Health-care workers say ICU and emergency rooms in New York are “under siege” and running desperately low on personal protective gear and medical equipment, including ventilators.“We have never seen anything like this, and we are so unprepared for the need that seems to grow daily,” an NYU Langone doctor told The Daily Beast on Thursday. “Honestly, I’m terrified.”The U.S. now has more coronavirus cases than anywhere else in the world, with 86,012 positive diagnoses, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tracker.Cuomo announced on Friday that the state was building another four emergency hospitals in convention centers, university stadiums, and shipping terminals, on top of four makeshift facilities already being built, to meet the 140,000 beds needed.“We are doing things that have never been done before,” he said.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.


U.S. warship passes through the sensitive Taiwan Strait amid heightened tensions

U.S. warship passes through the sensitive Taiwan Strait amid heightened tensionsA U.S. warship passed through the sensitive Taiwan Strait on Wednesday, the U.S. and Taiwan militaries said, following heightened tensions between China and Taiwan that have seen Taiwanese air force jets scramble to intercept Chinese fighters.


Why the US is leading the world in confirmed coronavirus cases

Why the US is leading the world in confirmed coronavirus casesFrom the first known patient in late January to now almost 100,000 infected, the United States has earned the unwanted distinction of leading the world in confirmed coronavirus cases. Public health experts say that while we've yet to hit the peak of the US epidemic, there are several reasons why the COVID-19 disease has exploded in America. Early on in the outbreak, President Donald Trump was accused of downplaying its severity, saying that sustained community spread was not "inevitable" even after a senior health official said it was, which could have led to a sense of complacency.


Spain, Europe's worst-hit country after Italy, says coronavirus tests it bought from China are failing to detect positive cases

Spain, Europe's worst-hit country after Italy, says coronavirus tests it bought from China are failing to detect positive casesSpanish researchers found that the tests could identify cases only 30% of the time. Testing delays could hamper Spain's efforts to slow the virus.


Coronavirus unemployment benefits. Here's who qualifies and how much they get.

Coronavirus unemployment benefits. Here's who qualifies and how much they get.How long do the payments last? What if you worked part time? You got hired but couldn't start your job — are you eligible? And more.


Pope holds dramatic solitary service for relief from coronavirus

Pope holds dramatic solitary service for relief from coronavirusPope Francis said the coronavirus had put everyone "in the same boat" as he held a dramatic, solitary prayer service in St. Peter's Square on Friday, urging the world to see the crisis as a test of solidarity and a reminder of basic values. "Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities," he said, speaking from the steps of St. Peter's Basilica into an eerily empty and rainy square before delivering an extraordinary "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) blessing - something he normally does only twice a year. The Vatican called the service "An Extraordinary Prayer in the Time of Pandemic," a sombre echo of an announcement by Italian officials minutes earlier that the coronavirus death toll in the country had surged past 9,000.


In Singapore, Standing Too Close Can Now Get You 6 Months in Jail

In Singapore, Standing Too Close Can Now Get You 6 Months in JailSingapore's drastic new measure drastic measures are an attempt to try to curb the surge of coronavirus


Fact check: Did Gates Foundation fund, does Pirbright Institute own coronavirus patent?

Fact check: Did Gates Foundation fund, does Pirbright Institute own coronavirus patent?Multiple posts on Facebook claim that Pirbright Institute, with ties to the Gates Foundation, owns the patent on the coronavirus. This is false.


Water shutoffs in sharp focus amid coronavirus outbreak

Water shutoffs in sharp focus amid coronavirus outbreakThe advice is simple and universal: Washing your hands with soap and water is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The Rev. Roslyn Bouier remembers when children began to show up at the Brightmoor Connection Food Pantry on Detroit’s northwest side, clutching empty pitchers. Through the end of 2019, the city has recorded about 127,500 total service cutoffs, according to the water department, though that figure includes households where the water was turned off repeatedly.


Opinion: Trump isn't alone in worrying about closing churches during the pandemic

Opinion: Trump isn't alone in worrying about closing churches during the pandemicChristians are debating whether a total shutdown of church services is necessary.


The UK government claims it failed to take part in an EU scheme for coronavirus ventilators because it didn't see the email asking it to take part

The UK government claims it failed to take part in an EU scheme for coronavirus ventilators because it didn't see the email asking it to take partThe UK government is accused of putting "Brexit before breathing" after failing to sign up to an EU scheme for coronavirus ventilators.


Dour Moscow mayor сomes to fore as 'PM for coronavirus'

Dour Moscow mayor сomes to fore as 'PM for coronavirus'At a televised meeting with Vladimir Putin, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin flatly told the President that official figures on COVID-19 cases were far from the reality. After that reality check, the official narrative changed swiftly: Putin, who had called the situation "under control", on Wednesday gave a grim-faced address to the nation. "Putin signed up to Sobyanin's position," opposition politician Vladimir Ryzhkov said on the popular Echo of Moscow radio station.


In Iran, false belief a poison fights virus kills hundreds

In Iran, false belief a poison fights virus kills hundredsStanding over the still body of an intubated 5-year-old boy wearing nothing but a plastic diaper, an Iranian health care worker in a hazmat suit and mask begged the public for just one thing: Stop drinking industrial alcohol over fears about the new coronavirus. The boy, now blind after his parents gave him toxic methanol in the mistaken belief it protects against the virus, is just one of hundreds of victims of an epidemic inside the pandemic now gripping Iran. Iranian media report nearly 300 people have been killed and more than 1,000 sickened so far by ingesting methanol across the Islamic Republic, where drinking alcohol is banned and where those who do rely on bootleggers.


Democratic Super-PAC defies Trump, ramps up ad blasting coronavirus response

Democratic Super-PAC defies Trump, ramps up ad blasting coronavirus responseDemocratic super-PAC Priorities USA said on Thursday it planned to expand its use of an advertisement critical of President Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic despite the Trump reelection campaign's efforts to stop it.


South Korean test kit makers swamped as coronavirus cases explode in U.S., Europe

South Korean test kit makers swamped as coronavirus cases explode in U.S., EuropeLast year, South Korean biotech firm SolGent made diagnostic kits for 300,000 tests. SolGent, which is one of the five firms that have received fast-track approval to make test kits for South Korea, is capitalizing on the country's success in containing its outbreak to boost exports, with cases slowing down at home. SolGent has even got offers from three U.S. biotech firms to license its technology so that they can manufacture test kits in the United States, You said, adding nothing has been decided.


Catholics allowed to eat meat on Lenten Fridays

Catholics allowed to eat meat on Lenten FridaysSome bishops this year are telling parishioners that they've sacrificed enough as the coronavirus pandemic denies people of gatherings, outside entertainment and everyday conveniences.


Fact check: Not true that no Democrats voted for coronavirus stimulus package

Fact check: Not true that no Democrats voted for coronavirus stimulus packageA viral meme on Facebook claimed March 22 that no Democrats had voted in favor of helping Americans through an economic stimulus bill. This is false.


Biden reportedly says Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is in his 'top three' picks for VP

Biden reportedly says Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is in his 'top three' picks for VPWhile reportedly setting up video equipment in Delaware over four days, former Vice President Joe Biden was apparently mulling over possible running mates.Biden told former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) is one of his "top three" choices should he win the Democratic presidential nomination, Mediaite reported Thursday.Reid, who was also a longtime senator representing Nevada, is reportedly nudging Biden toward choosing Cortez Masto as his VP, and Biden's campaign apparently feels she would be a strong choice and could help expand Biden's popularity among Latinx voters. Biden publicly committed to choosing a woman as his vice president if nominated over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), sparking endless speculation over who that woman might be. CNBC says Biden's "business allies" are hoping for Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) or Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), two former presidential candidates themselves. The Washington Post, meanwhile, said Biden's shortlist probably included Cortez Masto, but also named more well-known Democrats like former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. Biden's campaign declined to dispute Mediaite's reporting, simply saying he would vigorously vet candidates.New York magazine wrote that Biden is spending his "coronavirus bunker" time "thinking a lot" about a potential VP, and taking lots of calls from supporters and Democratic strategists who are pushing Biden to pick their candidate of choice. None of those calls, however, resulted in much reported information on whether Biden had narrowed his list.Biden told The View on Tuesday his "short" list was between "12 and 15" names, but if his reported statement to Reid is to be believed, he's done a lot of whittling in the past few days. Read more at Mediaite and New York.More stories from theweek.com Social distancing is about to get a whole lot harder Trump has never been worse — but his approval is surging. Why? Trump invokes Defense Protection Act to force GM to make ventilators


Dr. Fauci Contradicts Trump to Trevor Noah: Can’t ‘Arbitrarily’ Reopen America

Dr. Fauci Contradicts Trump to Trevor Noah: Can’t ‘Arbitrarily’ Reopen AmericaTrevor Noah landed the first late-night interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases appeared remotely on Thursday night’s edition of “The Daily Social Distancing Show.”Fauci began by characterizing the coronavirus as the “worst nightmare” from a pandemic perspective, more “frightening” than Ebola because it spreads more easily and is more “insidious” than the seasonal flu because it’s about 10 times as deadly.As with his livestream interview with Steph Curry earlier in the day, Fauci’s primary objective in talking to Noah was communicating to young people why they should be more scared of the virus than they might think. “We know that people who are older or people who have underlying respiratory infections have a higher chance of dying from the virus,” Noah said. “But I think people have started to believe that that means young people are immune and cannot get sick from coronavirus. What are people not understanding from the numbers?” Fauci made two points in response. “Even though you are young, you are not absolutely invulnerable,” he said, explaining that even people in their 30s and 40s with no underlying conditions can end up in the hospital, requiring intensive care. “If you think you are completely invulnerable, you are incorrect,” he said.Joe Biden Jokes About Trump and Sarah Palin With Jimmy KimmelSamantha Bee on Making Comedy Amidst ‘Unimaginable’ Tragedy“Second issue that is important, that even though you may not get seriously ill, you can get infected with relatively few symptoms, either asymptomatic or mild, relatively trivial symptoms, but then you can infect another person who would then infect a vulnerable person, who would then die,” he continued. “So you have a responsibility, not only to protect yourself, but you almost have a societal, moral responsibility to protect other people.” Without criticizing Donald Trump directly, Fauci made sure to dismiss some of the president’s overly optimistic messages to the American people, from the viability of the drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment to the promise that people will be able to gather in large numbers by Easter.“The virus is the clock, Trevor,” Fauci said. “So people say arbitrarily two weeks we’re going to be OK. It depends on the kinetics of the outbreak.” He explained that it is “unpredictable” when any country will complete its infection cycle but pointed out that it took about eight weeks for things to start leveling off in China. And that is with much stricter measures taken than have been put in place in the U.S.As he was wrapping up the interview, Noah told Fauci, “Stay safe and wash your hands because of that fake cough you did.” For more, listen to Daily Show correspondent Jordan Klepper on The Last Laugh podcast. 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.


A massive stockpile of 39 million N95 masks is being sold to American hospitals and local governments — about 27 million more than the US emergency stockpile

A massive stockpile of 39 million N95 masks is being sold to American hospitals and local governments — about 27 million more than the US emergency stockpileThe Service Employees International Union said in a statement Thursday, circulating on Twitter, that it had found 39 million masks for hospitals.


Italy, Spain suffer record virus deaths as British PM tests positive

Italy, Spain suffer record virus deaths as British PM tests positiveItaly on Friday recorded the most daily deaths of any country since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and Spain had its deadliest day, as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson became the first major world leader to test positive. Italy reported 969 new deaths, Spain 769 and France 299 as Europe reeled from a crisis that led the United States on Friday to finalise an unprecedented $2 trillion stimulus package. In other grim milestones, AFP tallies showed more than 26,000 deaths worldwide, and a total of 300,000 cases now recorded in Europe, after the United States overtook China as the country with the most infections.


US couple, adopted daughter, caught in India virus lockdown

US couple, adopted daughter, caught in India virus lockdownA Georgia couple who traveled to India to adopt a child have had to delay bringing their new daughter back to the United States after Indian authorities locked down the country because of the coronavirus. India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on Tuesday announced a three-week lockdown in the country of 1.3 billion people, meaning that citizens and visitors alike may only leave their homes or hotels for food, medicine or other essential needs. The order is meant to keep the virus from surging and overwhelming an already strained health care system, but it has also left Mike and Whitney Saville of Auburn, Georgia, with little hope of getting back home with their daughter Grace anytime soon.


In shadow of coronavirus, Congress contemplates 'one of the biggest rule changes in the last century'

In shadow of coronavirus, Congress contemplates 'one of the biggest rule changes in the last century'The pandemic has left multiple members of Congress in quarantine and led to restrictions on movement that could prevent the House from voting.


Florida man whose 'game changer' coronavirus treatment was touted by Trump is a believer, but warns: Don't try this at home

Florida man whose 'game changer' coronavirus treatment was touted by Trump is a believer, but warns: Don't try this at homeDespite warnings from experts that existing evidence of hydroxychloroquine’s effect on coronavirus symptoms is limited and largely anecdotal, President Trump’s promotion of the prospective treatment has prompted stockpiling and fatally misinformed attempts to self-medicate. 


A Connecticut doctor has been charged after authorities said he deliberately coughed on his coworkers

A Connecticut doctor has been charged after authorities said he deliberately coughed on his coworkersPeople across the United States have been arrested and charged in recent days after allegedly violating social distancing measures.


Asia virus latest: People return to China epicentre, security talks off

Asia virus latest: People return to China epicentre, security talks offWuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus first emerged last year, partly reopened on Saturday after more than two months of near total isolation for its population of 11 million. AFP saw crowds of passengers arriving at Wuhan railway station on Saturday, most wheeling suitcases alongside them. A top Asian security conference that gathers defence ministers -- including from the US and China -- and senior military officials was cancelled due to the pandemic.


Coronavirus outbreak diverts Navy aircraft carrier to Guam, all 5,000 aboard to be tested

Coronavirus outbreak diverts Navy aircraft carrier to Guam, all 5,000 aboard to be testedThe number of infected sailors has risen sharply — from initial reports of three to "dozens" as of Thursday, officials said.


AP Sources: Alleged Maduro co-conspirator is in DEA custody

AP Sources: Alleged Maduro co-conspirator is in DEA custodyA retired Venezuelan army general indicted alongside Nicolás Maduro has surrendered in Colombia and is being taken by Drug Enforcement Administration agents to New York for arraignment, four people familiar with the situation said Friday. Cliver Alcalá has been an outspoken critic of Maduro for years.


Japan's Abe vows unprecedented stimulus, Tokyo virus cases rise by daily record

Japan's Abe vows unprecedented stimulus, Tokyo virus cases rise by daily recordJapan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday promised a massive unprecedented package of steps to cushion the economy from the coronavirus pandemic, saying the country was close to a national emergency as infections surged in Tokyo. Abe told a country that is seeing a rising number of deaths and cases from the outbreak that the "huge, powerful" measures would be greater than the response to the global financial crisis of 2008. "Japan is holding up barely, but it would not be strange if there were a rapid spread (of the virus) at any time," Abe told a nationally televised news conference, though he held back from declaring a state of emergency.


Chinese State Media Falsely Claim U.S. Army Athlete Brought Coronavirus to China

Chinese State Media Falsely Claim U.S. Army Athlete Brought Coronavirus to ChinaChinese state-run media are citing an American conspiracy theorist to push claims that coronavirus was brought to China by a U.S. military athlete.The Global Times claimed in an article Wednesday that the coronavirus, which was first discovered in Wuhan, was in fact manufactured in a U.S. military lab and brought to China by a cyclist who took part in the World Military Games in Wuhan in October.The CCP-run paper cites known U.S. conspiracy theorist George Webb as the source for the claim, which it admits lacks “strong evidence” but still raises questions about the U.S. athletes who traveled to Wuhan.The Global Times also quotes Li Haidong, a professor of U.S. studies at the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, who challenges the U.S. to release “relevant information regarding the athlete’s health status and infection records to clear public doubts and help with the scientific study on the virus' origin.”China has pushed propaganda to distance itself from blame for the spread of COVID-19, after suppressing initial reports of human-to-human transmission and silencing labs that discovered the novel virus resembled the deadly SARS virus of 2002-2003.On February 27, Zhong Nanshan, a primary pulmonologist said at a press conference, that “the coronavirus first appeared in China but may not have originated in China.”The efforts have led to scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers, who have proposed holding China accountable for the coverup.“Since day one, the Chinese Communist Party intentionally lied to the world about the origin of this pandemic. The CCP was aware of the reality of the virus as early as December but ordered laboratories to destroy samples and forced doctors to keep silent,” Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) said in the release of a resolution calling for an international investigation to determine how the Chinese Communist Party directly contributed to the emerging global pandemic.Multiple mainstream outlets have been complicit in serving the interests of Chinese state media.The Global Times also used footage this week from U.S. mainstream media criticizing President Trump's use of the term "Chinese virus" to suggest any scrutiny of China's handling of the coronavirus is racist.> The US President’s rhetoric in using “Chinese virus” to describe COVID19, has sparked fierce public criticism from all walks of life in the US. pic.twitter.com/RMljngN7P3> > -- Global Times (@globaltimesnews) March 23, 2020The Daily Caller reported Wednesday that The Daily Mail, the popular British tabloid, has also been pushing Chinese propaganda by publishing dozens of coronavirus-related stories originating from People’s Daily, the communist party’s official newspaper.The Economist is running advertorials — ads designed to look like news stories — from the state-backed Beijing Review in its print issues, The Washington Free Beacon reported Thursday.


Coronavirus: 3 migrant children in US custody in New York test positive

Coronavirus: 3 migrant children in US custody in New York test positiveThree migrant children in U.S. government custody in New York test positive for coronavirus, officials said.


Merkel Pleads With Germans for Patience on Lockdown Measures
Trump tweets blame in all directions over ventilators for coronavirus, except at himself

Trump tweets blame in all directions over ventilators for coronavirus, except at himselfHours after a Fox News interview in which he downplayed a national shortage of hospital ventilators to treat patients infected with the coronavirus, President Trump fired off a number of tweets Friday blaming General Motors and its CEO, Mary Barra, for not manufacturing more of them.


A Wuhan seafood vendor believed to be one of the first coronavirus patients says 'a lot fewer people would have died' if the Chinese government acted sooner

A Wuhan seafood vendor believed to be one of the first coronavirus patients says 'a lot fewer people would have died' if the Chinese government acted soonerWei Guixian, a 57-year-old seafood vendor in Wuhan, China, was among the first 27 people to be diagnosed with the coronavirus.


Pope faces coronavirus 'tempest' alone in St Peter's Square

Pope faces coronavirus 'tempest' alone in St Peter's SquarePope Francis stood alone in vast Saint Peter's Square Friday to bless Catholics around the world suffering under the coronavirus pandemic, urging people to ease their fears through faith. In a historic first, the Argentine performed the rarely recited "Urbi et Orbi" blessing from the steps of the basilica to an empty square, addressing those in lockdown across the globe via television, radio and social media.


Alabama girl, 4, missing for nearly two days, found safe

Alabama girl, 4, missing for nearly two days, found safeEvelyn Vadie Sides and her dog have been reunited with worried loved ones.


China threatens to strike back after Taiwan deal

China threatens to strike back after Taiwan dealChina has denounced a U.S. act that increases American support for Taiwan internationally.


Russia confirms coronavirus case in Putin's administration, tightens curbs

Russia confirms coronavirus case in Putin's administration, tightens curbsThe Kremlin confirmed a coronavirus case in President Vladimir Putin's administration on Friday and the government said measures imposed in Moscow to fight the virus should be extended across Russia. The Kremlin said it was taking measures to stop the virus spreading further after a staff member in the presidential administration contracted the virus. It said the person had not come into contact with Putin, but declined to identify them.


Now That Canada Is Rationing Masks, Trudeau Faces Backlash for Donating Medical Supplies to China

Now That Canada Is Rationing Masks, Trudeau Faces Backlash for Donating Medical Supplies to ChinaCanada’s Official Opposition Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer took aim at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for shipping tons of medical supplies to China in February, calling the move “outrageous” with current concerns that Canada is running short on supplies amid its own fight against coronavirus.“Drs. across the country are facing urgent shortages of critical supplies. PM must explain why he sent 50,118 face shields, 1,101 masks, 1,820 goggles, 36,425 medical coveralls, 200,000 nitrile gloves and 3,000 aprons from Canada’s own gov't reserves overseas in Feb,” Scheer tweeted.> Outrageous. Drs across the country are facing urgent shortages of critical supplies. PM must explain why he sent 50,118 face shields, 1,101 masks, 1,820 goggles, 36,425 medical coveralls, 200,000 nitrile gloves and 3,000 aprons from Canada’s own gov't reserves overseas in Feb. https://t.co/OkXFErFw57> > -- Andrew Scheer (@AndrewScheer) March 26, 2020 Canada’s Foreign Affairs department announced on February 9 that “Canada has deployed approximately 16 tonnes of personal protective equipment, such as clothing, face shields, masks, goggles and gloves” overseas to China, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.The move came after the World Health Organization warned the international community that “further international exportation of cases may appear in any country” and that “severe coronavirus-related disruptions” would occur as a result.“It was absolutely certain in early February that we would need this equipment,” Amir Attaran, a professor at University of Ottawa’s school of epidemiology and public health and its faculty of law, told The Globe and Mail. "This decision went beyond altruism into high negligence and incompetence because Canada did not, and does not, have surplus equipment to spare.”A spokesman for Foreign Affairs explained to the paper that the decision was made “when the spread of COVID-19 was primarily limited to China,” and that Canada had since “welcomed donations from Chinese companies” to boost its own stockpiles.Local European news outlets reported this week that the majority of rapid coronavirus test kits supplied by China to Spain and the Czech Republic are faulty.


American Airlines flight attendant dies of coronavirus, elevating fears in the industry

American Airlines flight attendant dies of coronavirus, elevating fears in the industryPaul Frishkorn, a Philadelphia-based flight attendant, has died from coronavirus, fueling fears in a profession on the front lines of the pandemic.


Citing virus, EPA has stopped enforcing environmental laws

Citing virus, EPA has stopped enforcing environmental lawsThe Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday abruptly waived enforcement on a range of legally mandated public health and environmental protections, saying industries could have trouble complying with them during the coronavirus pandemic. The oil and gas industry were among the industries that had sought an advance relaxation of environmental and public health enforcement during the outbreak, citing potential staffing problems. The EPA’s decision was sweeping, forgoing fines or other civil penalties for companies that failed to monitor, report or meet some other requirements for releasing hazardous pollutants.


Letters to the Editor: Trump's updates are ridiculous, but they make you wonder: Where is Joe Biden?

Letters to the Editor: Trump's updates are ridiculous, but they make you wonder: Where is Joe Biden?Joe Biden should more forcefully rebut President Trump, whose daily updates on the coronavirus give him precious media coverage.


Half the residents who tested positive for the coronavirus in a Washington nursing home did not yet have symptoms, but they were highly contagious

Half the residents who tested positive for the coronavirus in a Washington nursing home did not yet have symptoms, but they were highly contagiousHalf of COVID-19 cases at a care home were asymptotic. That may mean up to half of contagious patients may not be caught, per a new CDC report.


South Africa begins 'unprecedented' military-patrolled lockdown

South Africa begins 'unprecedented' military-patrolled lockdownSouth Africa came under a nationwide military-patrolled lockdown on Friday, joining other African countries imposing strict curfews and shutdowns in an attempt to halt the spread of the coronavirus across the continent. Some 57 million people are to be restricted to their homes during South Africa's three-week total lockdown which began at midnight. Kenya, Rwanda and Mali are some of the African countries that have imposed restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which has been confirmed to have infected 3,203 people and killed 87.


California Gov. Newsom commutes sentences for 21, including killers

California Gov. Newsom commutes sentences for 21, including killersFourteen of the commuted cases involved murder or related charges.


A 90-year-old woman in Washington state recovered from the coronavirus, and she credits family, God, and potato soup

A 90-year-old woman in Washington state recovered from the coronavirus, and she credits family, God, and potato soupFamily members of 90-year-old COVID-19 patient Geneva Wood were called to the hospital to say their goodbyes. After seeing them, she recovered.


South Korean coronavirus test kit makers win U.S. FDA pre-approval

South Korean coronavirus test kit makers win U.S. FDA pre-approvalThree Korean coronavirus test-kit makers have won preliminary approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), paving the way for kits to be exported to the United States to help it battle the largest outbreak of the virus in the world. South Korea's foreign ministry said that winning the preliminary approval under emergency use authorization will allow the products to be sold in the United States. Earlier this week, U.S. President Donald Trump asked his Korean counterpart to supply the medical devices and promised to help Korean firms gain U.S. regulator approval.


Coalition Out of Crisis: Why Gantz Threw in with Netanyahu

Coalition Out of Crisis: Why Gantz Threw in with NetanyahuAfter more than a year of bitter political dispute and maneuvering, Israel is about to have a coalition government. It took three elections and an unprecedented public-health crisis to get the country to this point.Benny Gantz, a former chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces and the leader of the opposition Blue and White Party, was faced with a choice this week. He could join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, or he could stick to the commitment he’d made to his supporters to bring Bibi down. As the country dealt with the coronavirus pandemic, Gantz’s continued refusal to join a coalition would likely have plunged it into the agony of a fourth election in less than two years. He chose to throw in with Netanyahu.The price of that decision, which Gantz described as a patriotic duty at a time of national distress, was the destruction of the Blue and White. The year-old political alliance had presented the most potent challenge to Netanyahu’s grip on power in more than a decade, propelling Gantz to the brink of becoming his successor.In the new coalition, Gantz will reportedly serve as foreign minister, with Netanyahu continuing as prime minister. The agreement calls for him to switch places with Netanyahu after 18 months, ending the latter’s run as the country’s longest-serving prime minister. But this will not be a broad unity coalition with Netanyahu’s Likud and its right-wing and religious-party allies; rather, Gantz will take only part of his faction into the new government.Gantz took his decision in the midst of a tense and complicated squabble. The Knesset that was elected earlier this month struggled to organize itself in the absence of a governing majority for either Netanyahu or Gantz. Netanyahu and his bloc had 58 seats in the 120-seat parliament, leaving him three short of the votes he needed to continue in power. Gantz had the endorsement of 61 members, but that included the 15 seats held by the Arab Joint List, an alliance of four parties comprising Islamists, Palestinian nationalists, and Communists. A number of Knesset members from the Blue and White refused to serve in a government that depended on the votes of an alliance with the declared intent of ending Israel’s status as a Jewish state. Thus Gantz, too, lacked the votes to create a government.A similar impasse after the two previous elections, held in April and September 2019, had led to the March 2 general election. On both sides of the political divide, there were some who were prepared to take their chances a fourth time in order to get a decisive result. But fate in the form of the coronavirus pandemic intervened.Netanyahu, as the head of a caretaker government, embraced the crisis as only an experienced policymaker and wartime leader could. Some of his leftist critics decried the emergency measures he ordered to contain the coronavirus contagion, charging him with exploiting the crisis to bolster his political standing and to distract the country from the fact that he is still facing trial on three corruption charges. Indeed, some regarded his decision to close the courts, one result of which was to postpone the start of his trial, as an assault on democracy. But polls show that most Israelis believe he is once again demonstrating his competence in dealing with an emergency.The incumbent prime minister knew that, though his opponent couldn’t form a government, Gantz did have the votes to effectively prevent Netanyahu from remaining in power. The critical factor was the position of Speaker of the Knesset, which has been held by a Netanyahu loyalist. A coalition of the Blue and White, smaller leftist parties, and the Joint List could have elected a new Speaker, and the Knesset could then have passed a law banning anyone under indictment from serving as prime minister. To members of the opposition, this was Gantz’s golden opportunity to take Netanyahu down. Indeed, the Blue and White — a diverse alliance including former members of the once-dominant Labor Party, a right-wing faction led by former general and Likud defense minister Moshe Ya’alon, the left-leaning Yesh Atid Party, and Gantz’s own centrist faction — was united by only one common purpose: pushing Netanyahu out the door.Though Gantz entered politics as a much-needed fresh face a year ago, after three bruising election campaigns he is now widely seen as lacking the energy and political skills that Netanyahu possesses. Moreover, Gantz had campaigned on a promise not to form a government that would be dependent on the anti-Zionists of the Joint List, and his flirtation with that alliance in the weeks since the last election had soured voters on the Blue and White. Going to a fourth election was therefore a big risk for the party, with polls suggesting not a big or even a narrow win but in fact a decisive defeat. The electorate leans right to begin with, on top of which it was most likely to want a familiar steady hand to lead the country through the pandemic crisis. Thus Gantz came to the conclusion that joining the prime minister was the only reasonable choice.But if he thought he could bring all of his party with him into Netanyahu’s cabinet, he was dead wrong. Leaders of the factions within the opposition regarded Gantz’s decision as a betrayal, not only of them personally but of the million Israelis who voted for them. Much of Israel’s left-leaning mainstream media, especially columnists in Haaretz, the newspaper that dubs itself Israel’s version of the New York Times, echoed this sentiment, lambasting Gantz for his cowardice and for just being too exhausted to carry on the fight.So what becomes of the Blue and White? Some factions will stay in the opposition, and since they will have more Knesset seats than Gantz’s own faction, they will likely retain the Blue and White label. But in effect, this split spells the end of the party that had presented the most formidable challenge that Netanyahu has faced since 2009. Moreover, given that the factions disagree on most policy questions, the ability of the party, or what’s left of it, to serve as an effective opposition is questionable.The exact terms of Gantz’s deal with Netanyahu have yet to be formalized. Gantz signaled his deal with the prime minister by having himself elected Speaker of the Knesset with Likud support — presumably only until the final bargain is sealed. In doing so, he prevented the Blue and White from wielding any remaining leverage to block the coalition. The arrangement hinges on a rotation of the office of prime minister after 18 months and on allowing Gantz’s allies to lead the ministries of defense and justice. Having one of Gantz’s allies in the latter post will ensure that, once the national coronavirus lockdown has been lifted and the courts reopened, Netanyahu’s trial will go forward.As things stand, it appears that Netanyahu’s rule will end either with a conviction or with the prime minister’s scheduled handing over of the office to Gantz — whichever comes first. Still, many in the Likud as well as Blue and White believe that if Netanyahu is acquitted, he will find a way to renege on his deal with Gantz. Indeed, it may be that Gantz suspects the same thing.Gantz has gone from the savior of Israel’s left-wing opposition to its bête noire. But he understood that the political stalemate could not go on: It was preventing the country from passing a budget that was needed, most urgently, to provide relief to citizens in the face of the pandemic and to shore up the economy. Dragging out the stalemate was neither rational policy nor good politics. Deciding to end it may have cost Gantz a political future, since it’s unlikely he will be able to reassemble another formidable coalition. Whether or not he really does become prime minister in September 2021, Gantz decided that destroying his party was not too high a price to pay for saving his country from further chaos in the midst of a pandemic.


Airlines owe you a refund when they cancel a flight. So why is United balking during coronavirus crisis?

Airlines owe you a refund when they cancel a flight. So why is United balking during coronavirus crisis?Airlines are supposed to refund flyers' money if they cancel a flight. United has introduced more restrictive policies during the coronavirus crisis.


Pedestrian bridge falls onto Detroit freeway after collision

Pedestrian bridge falls onto Detroit freeway after collisionA truck collided with a pedestrian bridge early Friday in Detroit, sending a portion of the span onto a freeway and blocking traffic along part of the heavily traveled thoroughfare, authorities said. No one was injured in the collapse onto westbound Interstate 94, Lt. Mike Shaw, a Michigan State Police spokesman, said in an email. The freeway in both directions was closed after the collapse, which was caused by a truck apparently carrying a large load hitting the bridge at some point after 5 a.m, said Diane Cross, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Transportation.


Cuomo Says Ventilator Needs Not Based on ‘Feelings’ After Trump Attack

Cuomo Says Ventilator Needs Not Based on ‘Feelings’ After Trump AttackNew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo hit back at Donald Trump on Friday after the president said he “felt” that New York, the struggling epicenter of the coronavirus, did not need the 30,000 ventilators officials have demanded.With 519 deaths and 44,635 confirmed cases, of which 6,481 require hospitalization, the coronavirus pandemic has put New York’s medical facilities on the brink. Cuomo has been practically begging for ventilators for days, slamming the federal government for initially sending 400 from the national stockpile when the state needed 30,000. The Trump administration later sent 4,000 more.In an interview on Fox News on Thursday night, Trump said he doubted that states, including New York, actually needed the amount of equipment they were asking for.“I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they’re going to be. I don’t believe that you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators,” he said.Then, on Friday, he wrote a series of frenzied tweets, saying General Motors, which reportedly had a plan to make ventilators that was rejected by the federal government, must immediately open a plant for production. “START MAKING VENTILATORS, NOW!!!!!! FORD, GET GOING ON VENTILATORS, FAST!!!!!!” he tweeted. (Despite his tweets, Trump had still not implemented the Defense Production Act, which forces companies to manufacture supplies, White House officials told The Daily Beast.)In a Friday briefing at the Javits Center, which is being converted into a massive emergency hospital, Cuomo did not name-check Trump but said equipment needs were not based on “feelings.”“Look I don’t have a crystal ball, everybody is entitled to their own opinion but I don’t operate here on opinion,” he said. “I operate on facts and on data and on numbers and on projections.”He said experts’ projections for New York predict that the state will hit its apex for hospitalization rates in 21 days. The state is building a stockpile of resources for when that apex hits and the entire system is stressed, Cuomo said. That includes 3,000 ventilators that would be distributed to hospitals as needs arise—a fraction of the total 30,000 needed across the state.“Those are numbers, not ‘I feel, I think, I believe, I want to believe.’ Make the decisions based on the data and the science,” he said. “I hope we don’t need 30,000 ventilators, I hope some natural weather change happens overnight and kills the virus globally. That’s what I hope. But that’s my hope, that’s my emotion, that’s my thought. The numbers say you may need 30,000.”Health-care workers say ICU and emergency rooms in New York are “under siege” and running desperately low on personal protective gear and medical equipment, including ventilators.“We have never seen anything like this, and we are so unprepared for the need that seems to grow daily,” an NYU Langone doctor told The Daily Beast on Thursday. “Honestly, I’m terrified.”The U.S. now has more coronavirus cases than anywhere else in the world, with 86,012 positive diagnoses, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tracker.Cuomo announced on Friday that the state was building another four emergency hospitals in convention centers, university stadiums, and shipping terminals, on top of four makeshift facilities already being built, to meet the 140,000 beds needed.“We are doing things that have never been done before,” he said.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.


U.S. warship passes through the sensitive Taiwan Strait amid heightened tensions

U.S. warship passes through the sensitive Taiwan Strait amid heightened tensionsA U.S. warship passed through the sensitive Taiwan Strait on Wednesday, the U.S. and Taiwan militaries said, following heightened tensions between China and Taiwan that have seen Taiwanese air force jets scramble to intercept Chinese fighters.


Why the US is leading the world in confirmed coronavirus cases

Why the US is leading the world in confirmed coronavirus casesFrom the first known patient in late January to now almost 100,000 infected, the United States has earned the unwanted distinction of leading the world in confirmed coronavirus cases. Public health experts say that while we've yet to hit the peak of the US epidemic, there are several reasons why the COVID-19 disease has exploded in America. Early on in the outbreak, President Donald Trump was accused of downplaying its severity, saying that sustained community spread was not "inevitable" even after a senior health official said it was, which could have led to a sense of complacency.


Spain, Europe's worst-hit country after Italy, says coronavirus tests it bought from China are failing to detect positive cases

Spain, Europe's worst-hit country after Italy, says coronavirus tests it bought from China are failing to detect positive casesSpanish researchers found that the tests could identify cases only 30% of the time. Testing delays could hamper Spain's efforts to slow the virus.


Coronavirus unemployment benefits. Here's who qualifies and how much they get.

Coronavirus unemployment benefits. Here's who qualifies and how much they get.How long do the payments last? What if you worked part time? You got hired but couldn't start your job — are you eligible? And more.


Pope holds dramatic solitary service for relief from coronavirus

Pope holds dramatic solitary service for relief from coronavirusPope Francis said the coronavirus had put everyone "in the same boat" as he held a dramatic, solitary prayer service in St. Peter's Square on Friday, urging the world to see the crisis as a test of solidarity and a reminder of basic values. "Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities," he said, speaking from the steps of St. Peter's Basilica into an eerily empty and rainy square before delivering an extraordinary "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) blessing - something he normally does only twice a year. The Vatican called the service "An Extraordinary Prayer in the Time of Pandemic," a sombre echo of an announcement by Italian officials minutes earlier that the coronavirus death toll in the country had surged past 9,000.


In Singapore, Standing Too Close Can Now Get You 6 Months in Jail

In Singapore, Standing Too Close Can Now Get You 6 Months in JailSingapore's drastic new measure drastic measures are an attempt to try to curb the surge of coronavirus


Fact check: Did Gates Foundation fund, does Pirbright Institute own coronavirus patent?

Fact check: Did Gates Foundation fund, does Pirbright Institute own coronavirus patent?Multiple posts on Facebook claim that Pirbright Institute, with ties to the Gates Foundation, owns the patent on the coronavirus. This is false.


Water shutoffs in sharp focus amid coronavirus outbreak

Water shutoffs in sharp focus amid coronavirus outbreakThe advice is simple and universal: Washing your hands with soap and water is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The Rev. Roslyn Bouier remembers when children began to show up at the Brightmoor Connection Food Pantry on Detroit’s northwest side, clutching empty pitchers. Through the end of 2019, the city has recorded about 127,500 total service cutoffs, according to the water department, though that figure includes households where the water was turned off repeatedly.


Opinion: Trump isn't alone in worrying about closing churches during the pandemic

Opinion: Trump isn't alone in worrying about closing churches during the pandemicChristians are debating whether a total shutdown of church services is necessary.


The UK government claims it failed to take part in an EU scheme for coronavirus ventilators because it didn't see the email asking it to take part

The UK government claims it failed to take part in an EU scheme for coronavirus ventilators because it didn't see the email asking it to take partThe UK government is accused of putting "Brexit before breathing" after failing to sign up to an EU scheme for coronavirus ventilators.


Dour Moscow mayor сomes to fore as 'PM for coronavirus'

Dour Moscow mayor сomes to fore as 'PM for coronavirus'At a televised meeting with Vladimir Putin, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin flatly told the President that official figures on COVID-19 cases were far from the reality. After that reality check, the official narrative changed swiftly: Putin, who had called the situation "under control", on Wednesday gave a grim-faced address to the nation. "Putin signed up to Sobyanin's position," opposition politician Vladimir Ryzhkov said on the popular Echo of Moscow radio station.


In Iran, false belief a poison fights virus kills hundreds

In Iran, false belief a poison fights virus kills hundredsStanding over the still body of an intubated 5-year-old boy wearing nothing but a plastic diaper, an Iranian health care worker in a hazmat suit and mask begged the public for just one thing: Stop drinking industrial alcohol over fears about the new coronavirus. The boy, now blind after his parents gave him toxic methanol in the mistaken belief it protects against the virus, is just one of hundreds of victims of an epidemic inside the pandemic now gripping Iran. Iranian media report nearly 300 people have been killed and more than 1,000 sickened so far by ingesting methanol across the Islamic Republic, where drinking alcohol is banned and where those who do rely on bootleggers.


Democratic Super-PAC defies Trump, ramps up ad blasting coronavirus response

Democratic Super-PAC defies Trump, ramps up ad blasting coronavirus responseDemocratic super-PAC Priorities USA said on Thursday it planned to expand its use of an advertisement critical of President Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic despite the Trump reelection campaign's efforts to stop it.


South Korean test kit makers swamped as coronavirus cases explode in U.S., Europe

South Korean test kit makers swamped as coronavirus cases explode in U.S., EuropeLast year, South Korean biotech firm SolGent made diagnostic kits for 300,000 tests. SolGent, which is one of the five firms that have received fast-track approval to make test kits for South Korea, is capitalizing on the country's success in containing its outbreak to boost exports, with cases slowing down at home. SolGent has even got offers from three U.S. biotech firms to license its technology so that they can manufacture test kits in the United States, You said, adding nothing has been decided.


Catholics allowed to eat meat on Lenten Fridays

Catholics allowed to eat meat on Lenten FridaysSome bishops this year are telling parishioners that they've sacrificed enough as the coronavirus pandemic denies people of gatherings, outside entertainment and everyday conveniences.


Fact check: Not true that no Democrats voted for coronavirus stimulus package

Fact check: Not true that no Democrats voted for coronavirus stimulus packageA viral meme on Facebook claimed March 22 that no Democrats had voted in favor of helping Americans through an economic stimulus bill. This is false.


Biden reportedly says Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is in his 'top three' picks for VP

Biden reportedly says Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is in his 'top three' picks for VPWhile reportedly setting up video equipment in Delaware over four days, former Vice President Joe Biden was apparently mulling over possible running mates.Biden told former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) is one of his "top three" choices should he win the Democratic presidential nomination, Mediaite reported Thursday.Reid, who was also a longtime senator representing Nevada, is reportedly nudging Biden toward choosing Cortez Masto as his VP, and Biden's campaign apparently feels she would be a strong choice and could help expand Biden's popularity among Latinx voters. Biden publicly committed to choosing a woman as his vice president if nominated over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), sparking endless speculation over who that woman might be. CNBC says Biden's "business allies" are hoping for Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) or Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), two former presidential candidates themselves. The Washington Post, meanwhile, said Biden's shortlist probably included Cortez Masto, but also named more well-known Democrats like former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. Biden's campaign declined to dispute Mediaite's reporting, simply saying he would vigorously vet candidates.New York magazine wrote that Biden is spending his "coronavirus bunker" time "thinking a lot" about a potential VP, and taking lots of calls from supporters and Democratic strategists who are pushing Biden to pick their candidate of choice. None of those calls, however, resulted in much reported information on whether Biden had narrowed his list.Biden told The View on Tuesday his "short" list was between "12 and 15" names, but if his reported statement to Reid is to be believed, he's done a lot of whittling in the past few days. Read more at Mediaite and New York.More stories from theweek.com Social distancing is about to get a whole lot harder Trump has never been worse — but his approval is surging. Why? Trump invokes Defense Protection Act to force GM to make ventilators


Dr. Fauci Contradicts Trump to Trevor Noah: Can’t ‘Arbitrarily’ Reopen America

Dr. Fauci Contradicts Trump to Trevor Noah: Can’t ‘Arbitrarily’ Reopen AmericaTrevor Noah landed the first late-night interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases appeared remotely on Thursday night’s edition of “The Daily Social Distancing Show.”Fauci began by characterizing the coronavirus as the “worst nightmare” from a pandemic perspective, more “frightening” than Ebola because it spreads more easily and is more “insidious” than the seasonal flu because it’s about 10 times as deadly.As with his livestream interview with Steph Curry earlier in the day, Fauci’s primary objective in talking to Noah was communicating to young people why they should be more scared of the virus than they might think. “We know that people who are older or people who have underlying respiratory infections have a higher chance of dying from the virus,” Noah said. “But I think people have started to believe that that means young people are immune and cannot get sick from coronavirus. What are people not understanding from the numbers?” Fauci made two points in response. “Even though you are young, you are not absolutely invulnerable,” he said, explaining that even people in their 30s and 40s with no underlying conditions can end up in the hospital, requiring intensive care. “If you think you are completely invulnerable, you are incorrect,” he said.Joe Biden Jokes About Trump and Sarah Palin With Jimmy KimmelSamantha Bee on Making Comedy Amidst ‘Unimaginable’ Tragedy“Second issue that is important, that even though you may not get seriously ill, you can get infected with relatively few symptoms, either asymptomatic or mild, relatively trivial symptoms, but then you can infect another person who would then infect a vulnerable person, who would then die,” he continued. “So you have a responsibility, not only to protect yourself, but you almost have a societal, moral responsibility to protect other people.” Without criticizing Donald Trump directly, Fauci made sure to dismiss some of the president’s overly optimistic messages to the American people, from the viability of the drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment to the promise that people will be able to gather in large numbers by Easter.“The virus is the clock, Trevor,” Fauci said. “So people say arbitrarily two weeks we’re going to be OK. It depends on the kinetics of the outbreak.” He explained that it is “unpredictable” when any country will complete its infection cycle but pointed out that it took about eight weeks for things to start leveling off in China. And that is with much stricter measures taken than have been put in place in the U.S.As he was wrapping up the interview, Noah told Fauci, “Stay safe and wash your hands because of that fake cough you did.” For more, listen to Daily Show correspondent Jordan Klepper on The Last Laugh podcast. 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.


A massive stockpile of 39 million N95 masks is being sold to American hospitals and local governments — about 27 million more than the US emergency stockpile

A massive stockpile of 39 million N95 masks is being sold to American hospitals and local governments — about 27 million more than the US emergency stockpileThe Service Employees International Union said in a statement Thursday, circulating on Twitter, that it had found 39 million masks for hospitals.


Italy, Spain suffer record virus deaths as British PM tests positive

Italy, Spain suffer record virus deaths as British PM tests positiveItaly on Friday recorded the most daily deaths of any country since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and Spain had its deadliest day, as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson became the first major world leader to test positive. Italy reported 969 new deaths, Spain 769 and France 299 as Europe reeled from a crisis that led the United States on Friday to finalise an unprecedented $2 trillion stimulus package. In other grim milestones, AFP tallies showed more than 26,000 deaths worldwide, and a total of 300,000 cases now recorded in Europe, after the United States overtook China as the country with the most infections.


US couple, adopted daughter, caught in India virus lockdown

US couple, adopted daughter, caught in India virus lockdownA Georgia couple who traveled to India to adopt a child have had to delay bringing their new daughter back to the United States after Indian authorities locked down the country because of the coronavirus. India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on Tuesday announced a three-week lockdown in the country of 1.3 billion people, meaning that citizens and visitors alike may only leave their homes or hotels for food, medicine or other essential needs. The order is meant to keep the virus from surging and overwhelming an already strained health care system, but it has also left Mike and Whitney Saville of Auburn, Georgia, with little hope of getting back home with their daughter Grace anytime soon.