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CDC's 'disease detectives' are on the coronavirus case 
Wed, 01 Apr 2020 07:00:41 -0400

CDC's 'disease detectives' are on the coronavirus case While the Washington State Department of Health had prepared a plan for the arrival of the virus in January, it assumed it still had weeks before the disease would reach the U.S. “In three days, the plan was trashed. We went through every step,” Marcia Goldoft, a clinical epidemiologist with the Washington State DOH, told Yahoo News. “I don’t think anyone involved has ever seen anything go this fast.” 


Liberty University students choose sides after fallout from coronavirus reporting
Tue, 31 Mar 2020 18:30:48 -0400

Liberty University students choose sides after fallout from coronavirus reportingThe New York Times reported this week that almost a dozen Liberty University students have come down with COVID-19 symptoms since the school reopened last week. But Liberty University officials have since pushed back on these claims, calling the Times story “fake news”. Now, students are choosing sides in who they believe is telling the truth.


PA Man ‘Upset Over Coronavirus’ Shoots Girlfriend Before Turning Gun on Himself: Cops
Wed, 01 Apr 2020 13:54:08 -0400

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


Great Recession showed countries can’t fight the coronavirus economic crisis alone
Thu, 02 Apr 2020 09:00:20 -0400

Great Recession showed countries can’t fight the coronavirus economic crisis aloneTrade represents close to 60% of world GDP, and national economies can't thrive in isolation. We needed a global response in 2008 and we need one now.


North Korea insists it is free of coronavirus
Thu, 02 Apr 2020 07:01:08 -0400

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


Trump doubles U.S. military assets in Caribbean, bolstering drug fight after Maduro indictment
Wed, 01 Apr 2020 17:07:47 -0400

Trump doubles U.S. military assets in Caribbean, bolstering drug fight after Maduro indictmentThe Trump administration said on Wednesday it was deploying more U.S. Navy warships and aircraft to the Caribbean to prevent drug cartels and "corrupt actors" like Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to smuggle more narcotics. President Donald Trump said he was doubling U.S. military resources in the region, including destroyers, surveillance planes and personnel, in an anti-drug crackdown to deal with what he called a "growing threat." The beefed-up operation - quickly dismissed by the Maduro government - will also call for sending Navy ships closer to Venezuela, according to a U.S. official and two people familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity.


Defense lawyer in death of 7 motorcyclists: Biker at fault
Tue, 31 Mar 2020 13:33:50 -0400

Defense lawyer in death of 7 motorcyclists: Biker at faultOne of the motorcyclists in a crash that killed him and six fellow bikers on a north woods highway was drunk and actually was the one who hit a pickup and caused the accident, the lawyer for the truck driver charged with homicide said in a document made public Tuesday. A New Hampshire State Police account of the June 21 crash in the community of Randolph “was deeply flawed," the lawyer for truck driver Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 24, of West Springfield, Massachusetts, said in a motion filed Friday that seeks a hearing to set him free on bail. State police initially determined that the flatbed trailer he was hauling was 1 1/2 feet over the center line at the time of impact, the motion said.


Army attack helicopters teamed up with Navy ships to practice holding enemies 'at high risk' in the Middle East
Thu, 02 Apr 2020 09:33:49 -0400

Army attack helicopters teamed up with Navy ships to practice holding enemies 'at high risk' in the Middle EastThe operations were designed to enhance the capabilities of US forces to respond to surface threats.


Philippine leader says coronavirus lockdown violators could be shot
Thu, 02 Apr 2020 06:45:38 -0400

Philippine leader says coronavirus lockdown violators could be shotThe president of the Philippines said Wednesday in a televised address that people who violate coronavirus lockdown rules could be shot.


Differing death tolls in California and Louisiana hint at the urgency to 'flatten the curve'
Wed, 01 Apr 2020 15:21:00 -0400

Differing death tolls in California and Louisiana hint at the urgency to 'flatten the curve'In the past week, California has seen its number of deaths slowing down, while the tally in Louisiana has accelerated.


India’s coronavirus emergency just beginning as lockdown threatens to turn into human tragedy
Tue, 31 Mar 2020 15:08:51 -0400

India’s coronavirus emergency just beginning as lockdown threatens to turn into human tragedyA week after Narendra Modi ordered the largest national lockdown the planet has ever seen and Delhi's Bhogal market is little quieter than usual. Rather than being confined to home to stop the spread of Covid-19, large groups of residents instead huddle together in the shade, drinking tea and playing cards. Street vendors continue to hawk fresh fruit and vegetables and the police watch as daily life in the capital's backstreets continues, apparently content to enforce movement restrictions only on the capital's major thoroughfares. The failure to abide by the prime minister's decree is due to necessity, rather than defiance, said Muhammad Asif, 21, a cycle-rickshaw driver scanning the crowd for customers. The three-week-long social distancing precautions ordered by Mr Modi are an unaffordable luxury for tens of millions of daily-wage labourers.


New financial disclosure shows Sen. Kelly Loeffler invested in firm that makes personal protective equipment
Wed, 01 Apr 2020 23:16:00 -0400

New financial disclosure shows Sen. Kelly Loeffler invested in firm that makes personal protective equipmentA financial disclosure filed Tuesday shows that from mid-February to mid-March, Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) and her husband, New York Stock Exchange Chairman Jeff Sprecher, invested in DuPont, a company that makes personal protective equipment used by first responders fighting the COVID-19 coronavirus, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Loeffler, worth an estimated $500 million, came under fire last month when it was discovered that she dumped millions in stock after receiving confidential briefings on the coronavirus pandemic and before she publicly downplayed the threat from the virus; 15 of the stocks had, on average, lost more than a third of their value by late March. Loeffler has denied using insider knowledge to influence her decisions to buy and sell stock, and her campaign says an investment firm manages her stocks and she does not have any control over day-to-day decisions.The disclosure filed Tuesday shows that the largest transactions made between mid-February and mid-March involved $18.7 million in sales of Intercontinental Exchange stock. ICE owns the New York Stock Exchange, and Loeffler is a former company executive. Loeffler's campaign said the sales were prearranged as part of Loeffler's and Sprecher's compensation package. Read more about Loeffler's stock sales at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.More stories from theweek.com The Secret Service signed an 'emergency order' this week — for 30 golf carts Trump to New York: 'Stop complaining' Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is what real coronavirus leadership looks like


Chinese Doctor Disappears after Blowing the Whistle on Coronavirus Threat
Wed, 01 Apr 2020 16:20:59 -0400

Chinese Doctor Disappears after Blowing the Whistle on Coronavirus ThreatWuhan doctor Ai Fen, who expressed early concerns about the coronavirus to the media, has disappeared and is believed detained by Chinese authorities.Fen, the head of emergency at Wuhan Central Hospital, was given a warning after she disseminated information about the coronavirus to several other doctors. She recounted the reprimand in an essay titled, "The one who supplied the whistle," which was published in China's People (Renwu) magazine. The article has since been removed.The reprimand from her boss came after Fen took a photo of a patient’s positive test results and circled the words 'SARS coronavirus' in red.She brought several cases of coronavirus to the attention of her colleagues, eight of whom were later called in by police for revealing information about the respiratory illness, according to Radio Free Asia. One, opthalmologist Li Wenliang, warned fellow med school grads to wear protective clothing, an early warning that was condemned by authorities as “rumormongering.” Wenliang eventually died from the virus himself.Fen's social media account on the Chinese platform Weibo has been updated several times since her disappearance, although Chinese authorities have been known to update detainees' social media accounts or order them to do so themselves. On Wednesday, a post appeared on her account reading “Happy April Fools Day,” with a picture of her in a lab coat and mask.About two weeks ago, a post appeared on Fen's account reading, “Thank you for your care and love. I’m fine at the moment and I’m still working.”However, Fen's whereabouts are now unknown, 60 Minutes Australia reported Monday.China has confirmed a total of 81,554 infections and 3,312 deaths from the coronavirus.However, the U.S. intelligence community concluded in a classified report Wednesday that China deliberately provided incomplete public numbers for coronavirus cases and deaths resulting from the infection. In December, local and national officials issued a gag order to labs in Wuhan after scientists there identified a new viral pneumonia, ordering them to halt tests, destroy samples, and conceal the news.


China reports 1,300 asymptomatic virus cases after public concern
Wed, 01 Apr 2020 06:39:26 -0400

China reports 1,300 asymptomatic virus cases after public concernChina on Wednesday said it has more than 1,300 asymptomatic coronavirus cases, the first time it has released such data following public concern over people who have tested positive but are not showing symptoms. Health officials also reported the first imported case from abroad in Wuhan -- the epicentre where the virus first emerged late last year -- heightening fears of infections being brought into China from other countries. Of 36 new cases reported Wednesday, 35 were imported from abroad.


Pakistan court set to free four accused in Daniel Pearl killing
Thu, 02 Apr 2020 01:51:10 -0400

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


AP-NORC poll: Less than half back Trump's pandemic response
Wed, 01 Apr 2020 14:35:19 -0400

AP-NORC poll: Less than half back Trump's pandemic responseAmericans give high marks to state and local governments for their handling of the fast-moving coronavirus pandemic that has swiftly remade everyday life. The coronavirus pandemic, which has already killed more than 4,000 Americans and shut down much of the U.S. economy, is the most urgent and unpredictable crisis of Trump’s presidency. The coming weeks will likely shape how Americans view the wisdom of giving him a second term in the November election, where he is likely to face off against former Vice President Joe Biden.